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

Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail
Site of "Negro Burying Ground" Marker (<i>wide view; marker visible at left edge of building</i>) image, Touch for more information
By Cosmos Mariner, June 28, 2017
Site of "Negro Burying Ground" Marker (wide view; marker visible at left edge of building)
1New Hampshire (Rockingham County), Portsmouth — Site of "Negro Burying Ground"Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail
In colonial Portsmouth, segregation applied in death as in life. City officials approved a plan in 1705 that set aside this city block for a "Negro Burying Ground." It was close to town, but pushed to what was then its outer edge. By 1813, houses . . . Map (db m115977) HM
2New Hampshire (Rockingham County), Portsmouth — Black Yankees and The SeaPortsmouth Black Heritage Trail
People of African origin or descent have been part of Portsmouth since at least 1645. This waterfront was an entry port for enslaved people arriving in New Hampshire during the 1600s and 1700s. Ships brought black children and adults directly . . . Map (db m115978) HM
3New Hampshire (Rockingham County), Portsmouth — Joseph & Nancy (Cotton) and their children, Eleazor & JamesPortsmouth Black Heritage Trail
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 . . . Map (db m115979) HM
4New Hampshire (Rockingham County), Portsmouth — Siras BrucePortsmouth Black Heritage Trail
Siras, in 1783, contracted with John Langdon to serve as a “domestic servant." Among Langdon's papers, itemized bills for "Siras de Bruce" confirm descriptions of his resplendent, even dazzling attire: white breeches, blue or black coats, silk . . . Map (db m115981) HM
5New Hampshire (Rockingham County), Portsmouth — Negro PewsPortsmouth Black Heritage Trail
Until the mid 1800's, most New England churches assigned pews to parishioners by their social rank. Black people, enslaved or free, usually were seated as far as possible from the pulpit. Negro pews in the North Meetinghouse, which stood here from . . . Map (db m115983) HM
6New Hampshire (Rockingham County), Portsmouth — New Hampshire's First Black ChurchPortsmouth NH Black Heritage Trail
In 1915 the congregation of the People's Baptist Church which had been meeting in the South Ward Hall for more than twenty-five years, brought this 1857 building for $1200. Though officially Baptist, its membership was multidenominational. For . . . Map (db m115984) HM
7New Hampshire (Rockingham County), Portsmouth — Prince Whipple and Winsor Maffatt Revolutionary PetitionersPortsmouth NH Black Heritage Trail
Prince, enslaved by General William Whipple and his wife Katharine Moffatt, accompanied the general through several battles of the American Revolution but was not freed until 1784. In 1779, however, Prince and Winsor were two of twenty African-born . . . Map (db m115985) HM
8New Hampshire (Rockingham County), Portsmouth — James (Stavers)Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail
In the midst of the American Revolution in 1777, James, enslaved by tavern owner John Stavers, was ordered to stop a zealous patriot from chopping down the tavern sign. Although James nearly killed the man, it was his owner, a suspected Tory, who . . . Map (db m115986) HM
Dec. 6, 2021