The Benjamin Rodman House
Early whaling merchants lived in elegant houses along this street. But by the time Benjamin Rodman built this Federal style home in 1821, many of his wealthy friends were moving uphill away from this shoreside neighborhood.
Though born into a prosperous whaling family, Rodman committed himself to the city's working poor. He and his wife Susan were founding members of the New Bedford Benevolent Society, created "to devise some means for the relief of the physical and moral wants of the poor of this town." In the 1830s he began championing the abolition of slavery. While whaling wealth is apparent in the city's historic houses, the owners' lives reflected some of the powerful social issues of the time.
Yesterday I suppose you know was an awful storm, but I went in the evening to Ben Rodman’s party. All that clique were there and all talking abolition.
Deborah Weston, April 15, 1839
By the 1890s Rodman’s house was hemmed and on all sides by storefronts and warehouse space. Used as a warehouse for forty years, the mansion was purchased and donated to the Waterfront Historic Area League (WHALE)
Erected by National Parks Service.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RR • Charity & Public Work • Industry & Commerce.
Location. 41° 38.181′ N, 70° 55.458′ W. Marker is in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in Bristol County. Marker is on North Second Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 50 North Second Street, New Bedford MA 02740, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Abijah Hathaway House (a few steps from this marker); Bourne Warehouse (within shouting distance of this marker); New Bedford Historic District (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Signs of the Time (about 300 feet away); The Andrew Robeson House (about 300 feet away); U.S. Custom House-Customary Duty (about 300 feet away); Civil War’s First Black Regiment (about 300 feet away); Heroes of Fort Wagner (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Bedford.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 8, 2012, by Bryan Simmons of Attleboro, Massachusetts. This page has been viewed 614 times since then and 2 times this year. Last updated on September 8, 2014, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 8, 2012, by Bryan Simmons of Attleboro, Massachusetts. 3. submitted on September 8, 2014, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.