Florence Higginbotham House
27 York St.
Florence Higginbotham, her son Wilhelm and daughter-in-law,
Angeleen Campra saved both the African Meeting House and the house at
27 York Street, two precious historic structures, and provided the opportunity
for the Museum of African American History to share this unique and powerful
story with the world.
With support from the Community Preservation Act and the
Tupancy-Harris Foundation of 1986, the Museum acquired the Florence Higginbotham
House. The Museum selected nationally recognized historic architects
and preservationists, John G. Waite Associates, to produce a Historic
Structures Report and master site plan for the Nantucket campus.
At a press conference on May 11, the Museum announced exciting
new information about the house at 27 York Street dating its history
to before the Revolutionary War.
Recently developed and corroborated evidence reveals
the house was built sometime after the property was purchased by
Seneca Boston, an African American, on September 13, 1774. Boston
was a weaver and formerly enslaved man who purchased the land a decade
before slavery was abolished in Massachusetts.
Absalom Boston, the well-known Nantucket whaling captain,
was one of the six children of Seneca Boston and his wife, Thankful
Micah, a Wampanoag Indian who all lived in the house. Except for
a period of less than one year, the property was owned by African-Americans
for the next two centuries.
For more on the Higginbotham house,
here. (MS Word document)
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