Logo   African-Americans in Concord MA
Concord has had African-American citizens since early times.


Concord, Massachusetts has had inhabitants of African descent since the 1600s. Most were or had lived enslaved (in this cradle of liberty!) Some gained their freedom, though were still subject to racial discrimination.

In the mid-1800s, Concord was an important way-station on the Underground Railroad, that system of helpers and safe houses by which the enslaved could travel from slave states—and free states in which it was illegal to help an "escaped slave"—to freedom in Canada, where slavery was illegal.

Some prominent Concordians were early advocates for the abolition of slavery. These Abolitionists were often subjected to defamation and ridicule, but courageously continued their work. Ralph Waldo Emerson did not concern himself with the topic of slavery at first, but later became an ardent Abolitionist and supporter of the cause.

Henry David Thoreau, the naturalist and chronicler of life in Concord, mentioned several African-American Concordians in his work. Brister's Hill and Brister's Spring, between Concord Center and Walden Pond, is named for Brister Freeman, a slavery survivor who lived and farmed here for many years.

The history of Concord's African-American inhabitants, of slavery and Abolitionism, was little regarded for a long time. Now, the Drinking Gourd Project is working to restore this history to its rightful place by organizing events, publishing informative materials, and supporting others' efforts in this cause.

The Project has published Concord's African American & Abolitionist History Map of Concord sites significant in this history. It's available at the Concord Visitor Center and other locations in Concord.

The Caesar Robbins House, built by the son of slavery survivor Caesar Robbins, has been moved to a site near Old North Bridge in Minute Man National Historical Park, and is thus near where Caesar Robbins once lived. It has been restored as Concord's African-American and Abolitionist History Center. Donations are accepted for this significant work. More...

The Drinking Gourd Project
PO Box 506
Concord MA 01742-0506

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West of Boston



Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Caesar Robbins House, Minuteman National Historical Park, Concord MA

Caesar Robbins House,
Old North Bridge, Concord MA.





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