J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Slaves at the Smith Parsonage in Weymouth, 26 Feb.

On Thursday, 26 February, the Abigail Adams Historical Society will present a program on “Slavery at the Abigail Adams Birthplace” in cooperation with Weymouth Public Libraries.

As an adult, Abigail Adams strongly opposed the institution of slavery, yet she grew up in a slaveowning household. Her father, the Rev. William Smith, owned a male servant named Tom and a female servant named Phoebe, and they both played significant roles in Abigail’s life.

The fact that Weymouth’s town minister owned slaves was not unusual in New England. Indeed, ministers were part of a community’s elite, and sometimes independently wealthy. It was common for a genteel young woman marrying a minister to receive an enslaved person as a wedding present to help her set up her new household.

Michelle Marchetti Coughlin, author of One Colonial Woman’s World, will speak about the details of Tom’s and Phoebe’s lives within the Smith household and in the larger context of New England slavery.

Admission to this even is $15 per person, $10 for members of the society. It will take place from 7:00 to 8:00 P.M. at the Tufts Library, 46 Broad Street in Weymouth. Reservations are not necessary.

1 comment:

True Lewis said...

Thanks for sharing this information.....The History I learn all Day...