The cathedral was built on the historic site where missionaries first came, led by Charles Price and others. This site was along the route where Arab slave trader would bring chain the people they captured and march them to Dar es Salaam and ship them to Zanzibar where they would be sold at auction to be shipped all over the world. Since 1876 the cathedral was a place of resistance to the slave trade where slaves would be freed and taken up to the nearby village of Chamhawi, the locale of the Queen Esther girls school in the nearby mountains where they would not be found. The tree and the rock and path are all part of the route. Newly captured slaves were chained to the tree by their captors.