Land Acknowledgment

The people of Grace Episcopal Church respectfully acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Nacotchtank and Piscataway nations. We honor all Indigenous individuals and communities who made—and make—their home here.

People Enslaved by Early Parishioners of Grace Church

We have identified over 70 men, women, and children who were enslaved by Grace’s land donor, first vestry, and early parishioners. We invite you to read the names of these individuals (listed at the bottom of this page) who suffered under the institution of chattel slavery and honor their lives.

Revisiting Our History

The Grace Church community of today takes pride in our diversity and inclusivity. But is this view of who we are now – and have been in the past — a full picture?

Grace’s ties to the Confederacy have been documented in existing histories, but facts have been interspersed with mythology, much of which glorifies the Lost Cause and ignores the contributions of African-Americans to the early church. Even the date of our founding has been questioned: is it 1857, as some narratives claim, or is it 1864, as documented by the Diocese of Maryland?

As our Parish History of Race and Racism Team has been working to uncover details about our founders and their ties to slavery, we recognize that the land and resources we enjoy today come from that legacy of discrimination. We seek to learn about our past to plan actions of repentance and restorative justice in our community.

Telling Our Stories

In December 2022, we shared the first story in our exploration of our history.

In May 2023, we shared our second story on the myths and truths surrounding our history during the Civil War.

In September 2023, we shared our third story, which details our research into Montgomery Blair and his involvement with Grace Church.

In December 2023, we shared our fouth story, which focused on the Rev. James Battle Avirett. He was out third rector, the first commissioned Confederate chaplain, the last surviving Confederate chaplain, and a leading proponent of the Lost Cause mythology.


These men, women, and children suffered under the institution of chattel slavery. We invite you to read the names of the individuals enslaved by Grace’s land donor and first vestry and honor their lives.

  • Daniel Bechet
  • Harriet Bechet
  • Lloyd Beckett
  • Alice Brown
  • Bazil Brown
  • Charles Brown
  • Eliza Brown
  • Frank Brown
  • Margaret Brown
  • Maria Brown
  • Mary Brown
  • James Brown
  • Joseph Brown
  • Robert Brown
  • Samuel Brown
  • William Brown
  • Daniel Butler
  • Elijah Butler
  • Hanson Butler
  • Israel Butler
  • Teresa Butler
  • Lucy Clark
  • Eliza Coquire
  • Henry Coquire
  • David Diggs
  • Adolphus Doy
  • Basil Doy
  • Emma Jan Doy
  • John Doy
  • Mahlon Doy
  • William Doy
  • Priscilla Foreman
  • Reuben Foreman
  • James Gantt
  • Phillip Key
  • Eliza Moore
  • Jasper Pool (Detton)
  • Richard Proctor
  • James Simms
  • Maria Simms
  • Sarah Simms
  • Hanson Smith
  • Henson Smith
  • Erasmus Smith
  • Jane Toogood
  • Lucy Whitacre
  • Moses Whitacre(Whitecan)
  • Samuel Williams
  • Unnamed man, age 63
  • Unnamed man, age 60
  • Unnamed woman, age 33
  • Unnamed woman, age 33
  • Unnamed man, age 31
  • Unnamed man, age 26
  • Unnamed woman, age 24
  • Unnamed woman, age 18
  • Unnamed boy, age 17
  • Unnamed girl, age 6
  • Unnamed boy, age 6
  • Unnamed boy, age 3 1/2
  • Unnamed girl, age 2 1/2

The names above may not have been chosen by the individuals and their families, but assigned to them
by their enslavers. At this time, these given names are what we have available to identify and
acknowledge these men, women, and children’s’ existences.

The Parish History of Race and Racism Team will continue to research our entanglements with slavery
and update this list as we learn more.