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June 3, 2014

St. Paul's hosts graveyard tour Sunday

NEWBURYPORT — St. Paul’s annual narrative history tour of the Colonial graveyard surrounding the church takes place on Sunday, June 8, at 1:30 p.m.

The tour begins with a brief history of St. Paul’s from its founding in 1711 through the Revolutionary period before visiting the grave sites of prominent Newburyporters. Hear about the lives of the ship captains who perished at sea, merchants who amassed tremendous wealth, Revolutionary leaders, loyalists whose lives were shattered, the sea captain who transported Thomas Jefferson to Paris in 1783, slavery and early African American members of the church. Attendees will also learn about the Rev. Edward Bass, the first Episcopal bishop of Massachusetts who had to choose between his loyalty to the crown and his devotion to his church.

The tour is filled with liberal doses of local lore and Revolutionary War history, organizers say, as participants look at the lives of the early founders and first families of Newburyport during this turbulent period, and discussion of gravestone art, symbolism and poetry over 21/2 centuries.

Meet at the front doors of the church at 166 High St., Newburyport. The tour is free.

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