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For “one dollar in hand paid” Edward Laughinghouse in 1852 gave the wardens and vestry of Chocowinity’s Trinity Church an acre and a half of land that adjoined the church and cemetery. The church members needed the property in order to build “a good and suitable school house . . . for the benefit of the Congregation.” The Reverend N. Collin Hughes reported to the 36th Annual Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in May 1852 that “within the past year a building has been erected for a Parochial School, and the School established with encouraging prospects.” Hughes, the rector of Trinity Church, was also the headmaster of Trinity School. Although described in 1854 as a “large and prosperous” parochial school for boys, Trinity School appears to have closed around 1857 when Hughes moved to Pittsboro.
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Hughes and his son, N. C. Hughes Jr., reopened Trinity School at Chocowinity in 1879. After the death of his father in 1893, the younger Hughes assumed the position of principal. Two of his sons, N. C. Hughes III and I. Harding Hughes, served as teachers at Trinity between 1903 and 1908. The school closed in 1908 as a result of the economic crisis of the panic of 1907. It has been estimated that thirty to forty Trinity School graduates went on to become Episcopal priests.
Journal of the 36th Annual Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of North Carolina (1852)
(Raleigh) News and Observer, October 3, 1954
C. Wingate Reed, Beaufort County: Two Centuries of Its History (1962)
Trinity Church website: http://www.trinitychocowinity.com/