Founders of oldest church in Roxbury were slaveowners
In a report for and on the First Church in Roxbury, Aabid Allibhai chronicles some of the horrible exploits of the colonial founders of the church, including its founding minister, as enslavers of both Blacks and natives, from their involvement in the slave trade to owning slaves themselves, to giving away newborn Black children "like puppies."
When Nan - enslaved by First Church's inaugural pastor, Thomas Weld - passed away in 1646, the church simply noted that "Nan, Mr Weld's captive Indian died, who also was hopefull." The church failed to dignify another deceased Indian (d. 1678) with a name: he was only referred to as "an Indian boy of Holbrook's."
Allibhai discusses slave owning and trading across New England and provides evidence why Dudley Square might not be the only place named for a colonial settler that should have its name changed: Samuel Maverick, as in the East Boston square, owned slaves and when one woman slave he wanted to breed refused to sleep with a male slave, he had the man rape her.
Also, the first inter-racial marriage in Massachusetts was between two First Church congregants - after which the colonial legislature passed a law against miscegenation to make sure it would be the last.
Allibhai will discuss his report in a Zoom session at 6 p.m. on Monday.
Via the Bay State Banner.
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That was 1764
Today its 2023. I see you trying to setup your justification for reparations.
That was THREE CENTURIES ago.
Terrible things happened in the past, lets not repeat them by dividing an entire county by taking money from people not responsible for anything during that period and compensating people who never experienced the harsh realities of arguably the worst stain on our country's short history.
Ya know, sometimes a history story is just a history story
That's how I approached this - the report tells a fascinating, if pretty depressing story (never mind Dudley Square, Maverick Square should have its name changed, too).
To be honest, I've been remiss in covering the reparations issue; haven't really written about it much. So thanks for the nudge to at least point to the mayor's announcement this week of the reparations task force.
Because history rarely happens in a vacuum. What happened in the 1600s and 1700s affected what happened in the 1800s, which in turn affected events in the 20th century and, from there we arrive at the 21st century.
It would not be hard to draw a line from the slavery and oppression of early Boston through the 19th century (sure, Boston was an abolitionist center, but at the same time, William Lloyd Garrison only narrowly avoided being tarred and feathered) up to more modern times with our segregation and red-lining, all of which leave us with a city where Black children are born with a weight on their backs that many, perhaps these days most White children are not - as exemplified, in our capitalist society, of that now infamous statistic comparing the wealth of the average Back Bay family with that of a family just a couple miles away in Roxbury.
Who said reparations?
Seems like a rather spontaneous conclusion that you drew here, unprompted.
caucasion fragility guilt ?
seeing words that dont even exist for the first response (usually it would wait until a few other responders to blindly negate their point).
Yeah, clearly events that
Yeah, clearly events that happened in the past couldn't possibly have led to the material conditions that people are born into in the present, right? I'm pretty sure they hit a big reset button every night and the world starts from scratch with each new day. As the saying goes, "Never remember."
July 4, 1776 was THREE CENTURIES ago. . .
It's comical that in a nation that celebrates July 4, 1776, and a mythical potluck dinner that occurred in Plymouth in 1621 every year that some people are too fragile to engage in authentic histories that have been ignored, dismissed, and suppressed for centuries.
Imagine saying "Lexington and Concord were THREE CENTURIES ago! Let it go."?
Do not forget
that it was all of 234 years ago that our all-wise ancestors laid down the Sacred Law, so mystical and sublime that it can only be interpreted by the nine High Priests who make the ablutions and incantations necessary to divine the Original Intent of those ancestors.
Oh I'm so sorry
Did something hurt you?
You are using a lot of words, but not saying anything that means anything.
Your comment is so hurtful, you think us blacks are worried about reparations ? We’re still afraid of the system designed to get rid of us and you definitely a product of that.
but don't take MY word on that!
You did not read the source material.
Do not comment without reading the source material.
Your comment is wrong because you did not read the source material.
No go read the source material, come back here, and delete this nonsensical comment.
Methinks this comment says more about...
...your fears than Adam's motivations.
Bruh the case for Reparations
Bruh the case for Reparations in Boston is built pretty solidly on shit that was SIXTY YEARS AGO, if we're doing capslock, affecting people who are you know directly still alive. Shit like Redlining, School segregation, the failed highway redevelopment, continued decades of shit schools...
Excellent public history resource
This report is a thorough examination of slavery in early Roxbury, but it also serves as a terrific introduction to the realities of slavery in Greater Boston. It's a great read and if you are interested in authentic, unacknowledged history, bookmark it and read it.
A few years ago Brookline laid out who was a slave owner in the town.
In your backyard…
Thanks For That
I did not know this.
The Pilgrims and their descendants were huge loyalists as well. There are a very limited amount of Revolutionary War monuments south of Hingham for a reason.
Royall House in Medford
There is an intact slave quarters at the Royall House in Medford - one of the few surviving in New England.
In recent decades the foundation that runs the site has been doing a great deal to explore the lives and history of enslaved peoples in the area and has some great resources on the existence, extent, and daily lived realities of slavery in New England - and how the legacy of enslavement impacts black lives to the present day.
Royall House and Slave Quarters is impactful. I went a few years ago and can't stop thinking about it. The focus on the slave quarters told a story I didn't know and provided a perspective that I hadn't considered. I think about the enslaved people and how hard their lives were. It made the house boring in comparison. When I visit other exhibits, it helps me see them through a different lens. If you haven't gone, GO! It's a story you need to know.
Growing up in MA, we learned some about harm done to indigenous peoples due to colonialism (I grew up in a large Wampanoag population town, so we had some extra background and actual Wampanoag teachers in some cases), but I don't recall ever learning about slavery in our state. It was always just "the south" and MA was held up as such a better place and an abolitionist hub.
It's good to see reports like this pulling back the curtain on what was actually going on without hiding anything.
All Of The Colonies
Photo is from when the US was a British territory.
It’s shortly after the Seven Years War.
I believe the phrase "Deep East" to describe Boston was attributed to Bill Russell.
Whether that is true or apocryphal, Russell was adept at calling out the reality versus the reputation:
This is no surprise.
One of the many purposes of religion is to enable slavery and other forms of domination of one group over others.
Religion is very adaptable
Abolitionism was also a predominantly religious movement.
Also connected to a reformed and non fundamentalist sects.
North East abolitionism was not particularly opposed to oppression in other forms or to other groups. And it’s reasoning was based more on humanitarianism than some claim to know some deity’s will.
I think you’re underselling it by saying it’s not surprising. If you compare what is in the report vs. what is “common knowledge” to those with a good working history of colonial Boston, you’d find a tremendous gap.
I was understating for sure.
Call me Caption Obvious.
Such a Reddit response.
So many streets, squares, and other things in the city with these names.
Along with Lechmere and other MBTA stations named after slaveholders should be renamed.
My work is cited in this report.
I was flying out the door when I made my first comment above, but I'd be remiss if I didn't disclose that in August 2021 I launched a small project that detailed evidence that the Dudley family were slaveholders. The project is cited in the Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery report and Allibhai's work linked above. I should have disclosed when I raved about it.
The project has grown since then, with an expanded WordPress site and a weekly Substack newsletter.
I bet he's somewhere in the Governor's family tree.
Many if not most of the originally-Puritan "First Churches" in New England are now UU through Enlightenment conversion first to Unitarianism, eg John Adams became a Unitarian. The Universalist part came later.
Going from strict Calvinism to something much laxer.
And the ones that didn't become UU churches
became Congregational churches, known today as United Church of Christ. They have also come a long way from their origins.
Not all, I believe.
King’s Chapel is or was a few years ago simply Unitarian. Services were formal. Visually you thought you were at an Anglican service.
is an important thing to be aware of.
As nasty as John Winthrop may have been to the Quakers or the Wampanoag, the liberal institutions of the courthouse and the jury tribunal were established here.
We should not forget that that first few generations of American settlers introduced and established firmly radical democratic ideas in actual space/time that have lasted.
“Sure he committed genocide but he also helped establish the prison system” both of those things are bad you realize that right?
how generous !
[i'm black -- i'm allowed to make that joke on black history month]
In between this and reparations in getting the sense people. Thought Boston didn’t have slavery??
How do people figure that when we all know about Phillis Wheatley Crispus Attacks and so on. People thought between 1630 and 1865 there were no slaves in Boston???
Between 1630 and 1783
In 1783, the Supreme Judicial Court declared slavery to be inconsistent with the Massachusetts constitution.
Wow, people aren't hip to the
Wow, people aren't hip to the White Anglo Saxon Calvinists who left Europe to make money off of the incredibly rich, fertile shores of the New World?
Read a book.