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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Portsmouth in Rockingham County, New Hampshire — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Joseph & Nancy (Cotton) and their children, Eleazor & James

Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail

 
 
Joseph & Nancy (Cotton) Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 28, 2017
1. Joseph & Nancy (Cotton) Marker
Inscription.  In 1717 Portsmouth's first identified black family was baptised by South Church. Baptisms of enslaved people became more frequent in local churches; black marriages, however, were not included in town records until the Revolutionary Era, when slavery was ending in New England.
 
Erected by Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansChurches & ReligionColonial EraWar, US Revolutionary.
 
Location. 43° 4.53′ N, 70° 45.465′ W. Marker is in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in Rockingham County. Marker is at the intersection of State Street (U.S. 1) and Court Place, on the right when traveling north on State Street. Marker is mounted above eye level on the west side of the South Church Unitarian Universalist Church building, near the northwest corner. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 292 State Street, Portsmouth NH 03801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The South Church (within shouting distance of this marker);
Joseph & Nancy (Cotton) Marker (<i>wide view; showing related South Church plaque & information</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 28, 2017
2. Joseph & Nancy (Cotton) Marker (wide view; showing related South Church plaque & information)
Site of "Negro Burying Ground" (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); African Burying Ground Memorial (about 400 feet away); Siras Bruce (about 400 feet away); Treaty of Portsmouth 1905 (about 400 feet away); Negro Pews (about 400 feet away); Frank Jones's Hotels (about 500 feet away); 18 Congress (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Portsmouth.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail
 
Also see . . .  Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail.
South Church’s Unitarian women are reputed to have been part of the pre-Civil War “Underground Railroad,” violating federal law by helping fugitive slaves out of the country. After the Civil War, they founded, funded and operated schools for newly freed black Americans in the South, in which as many as 100 students, ranging from infants to elderly, were instructed together. In the 20th century, South Church ministers have been guest preachers at Portsmouth’s black People’s Baptist Church, and among the organizers of the local civil rights movement. (Submitted on April 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Joseph & Nancy (Cotton) Marker (<i>tall view; showing marker location on church building</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 28, 2017
3. Joseph & Nancy (Cotton) Marker (tall view; showing marker location on church building)
 
 
South Church (<i>marker is mounted on northwest corner of building; right edge of photo</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 28, 2017
4. South Church (marker is mounted on northwest corner of building; right edge of photo)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 24, 2019. It was originally submitted on April 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 94 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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