(June 2019) We believe Black Boston was founded by people like Dorcas de Blackmore who was one of about 18 Africans brought to Boston as “cargo” in the year 1638 by the merchant ship named the DESIRE.
So here goes the story according to William Murrell, publisher of BlackBoston.com
The Africans on the ship were enslaved. Early Boston was inhabited by White Puritans, Quakers and other people who sailed here in search of wealth and freedom from oppressive English rulers and religious clerics. You know …. the Pilgrims were the so called “first Whites ” to inhabit these parts and it is debatable if they really were first, because Blacks lead explorers into the lands more than one hundred years before the venture capital backed Pilgrim’s Mayflower ship arrived with about 120 weary souls. The popular story begins with the religious Pilgrims coming to Pllymouth Rock in Pllymouth Massachusetts in 1620.
Edit. Please allow us to return and finish writing the story. We pulled up on 12/26 at 11am before finishing an update
…..You’ll learn more about the first Africans in Boston on the ship named Desire. What were their names? Dorcas from Angola was one of them. Her English name DORCAS was given by the Boston man who bought her. She learned English and spoke it as good as anyone in Early Boston. She became a highly respected black woman in the church the man’s family belonged to. Back then, everybody had to belong to a church and pay dues, no exceptions. Her baptism record is reportedly in storage today at the First Church of Dorchester.
The Dorcas biographic sets up how Early Africans became assimilated into Yankee New England. It was very religious those days. One family bought a slave. Then another. Then another. Slaves from different families found a way to get together. At first, enslaved Blacks lived far apart from each other and worked for Puritan families. Eventually they found a way to hang out.
That’s how Dorcas met Her boyfriend. He had a lot to do with making the first Black community in Boston. They had babies. A small African presence began to grow Massachusetts from the 1630s. The Black population grew large enough to become the predominate residential community of Beacon Hill and the West End North station area in the early day. Today’s Boston black population has no ties to the Early Africans documented in Boston. You can look North to Canada for ties. Blacks were left out of New England formal society. We were hidden as property on the books. Our native tongues were lost. The paper trail tracing Blacks moving about Boston were few. Blacks come to Massachusetts a few years after Pilgrims claimed Plymouth at the Rock. Their story is well documented. Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate William Weld claims to be a direct descendant from the Plymouth Rock Pilgrims as does former President George Bush. Henry Louis Gate on his PBS tv show proved to Senator Newt Gingrich that he comes from the ancestral line of first President George Washington.
A woman who sailed over on the Mayflower is tied to 2,200 offspring from the 10 kids she had during the voyage before she died at sea, wrote Ric Burns into the script of his TV documentary titled “The Pilgrims,” which aired on Thanksgiving day 2015. The film set the record straight once and for all about the origin of the Thanksgiving America celebrates.
At what point did the Africans leave? Never! There was a continuing life force birthing Black Boston. The ancestors are not that far behind us. When the unfortunate were expelled from native villages by the chief, little did they know or did anyone know at the time, that they would be dropping seedlings in Early America that would become the African American experience.
This is a historic scene from the original dedication ceremony of the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial monument located on Boston Common.
The Robert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial, located across Beacon Street from the State House, serves as a reminder of the heavy cost paid by individuals and families during the Civil War.
In particular, it serves as a memorial to the group of men who were among the first African Americans to fight in that war. Although African Americans served in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, northern racist sentiments kept African Americans from taking up arms for the United States in the early years of the Civil War. learn more
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