1779Anna Thomas, a parishioner of the Third Parish, accused Reverend Obadiah Parsons of “charges of Bastardy.”People and Communities, African American History, Women's History

Reverend Parsons originally claimed innocence but refused to come to a parish meeting if Anna Thomas was present. The only testimony came from a Black woman who was enslaved by Reverend Parsons, whose name has been lost to history. This woman reported meetings between Reverend Parsons and Anna Thomas the previous summer. The evidence that she presented was dismissed by the church elders because “We do not believe that truth can come from a dark skin.”

When brought to the whole parish at a meeting, the group voted unanimously to dismiss Reverend Parsons.

A Brief Theological and Pastoral History of the Annisquam Village Church and Its Relationship to the Annisquam Community, 1728-1955, Reverend Sarah Clark, Unitarian Universalist, Presented at the Annisquam Village Hall, June 29, 2018, Annisquam Historical Society.
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