The Museum of African American History is dedicated to preserving, conserving and accurately interpreting the contributions of African Americans in New England from the colonial period through the 19th century.



Site 10

Florence Higginbotham House

27 York St.

Image: Florence Higginbotham

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.



Image: Florence Higginbotham House

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, click here. (MS Word document)

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