Self-Guided Tour: The Work of Revolution in Cambridge

Laundresses at a Revolutionary Army camp, circa 1780.

Introduction For many, the first image that comes to mind when thinking of Cambridge during the Revolutionary Era is that of General George Washington taking command of the Continental Army on Cambridge Common in July of 1775, under what would come to be known as the Washington Elm. Although we now know that this tale…

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Black History in Cambridge: Online Resources

crowd of people sitting on ground with a few protest signs. Woman standing to the right speaks through a megaphone

Explore these online resources that explore Black history in Cambridge. More programs and events about Cambridge’s Black history are being planned. To be notified, sign up for our monthly enewsletter at historycambridge.org.  Articles  A story of enslavement; a Juneteenth reflection  Quiet courage: Groundbreaking Maria Baldwin and the racial politics of education in Cambridge Pauline Hopkins’…

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Self-Guided Tour: Stories from the Early African American Community of Old Cambridge

Black and white photo of a three story house with tree in front

By Jules Long, Longfellow House – Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site, 2018 | Edited by Eshe Sherley, History Cambridge, 2021 Slavery in Pre-Revolutionary Cambridge The oldest existing mention of slavery in Massachusetts was recorded in 1638, when African prisoners arrived in the colony on the slave ship Desire, built in Marblehead the previous year. In…

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Early Black Cambridge Resource Hub

Lit up bottle tree grove with blue bottles against a twilight blue sky, with a building in the background

Are you interested in learning more about the history of race, slavery, and African American life in the Cambridge area? This guide highlights many of the resources available that touch on these topics, including primary, secondary, and public-facing sources (such as self-guided tours and websites). While this hub is focused on material related to the…

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Brief History of the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House and Enslaved People

In July 2019, the Cambridge Historical Society formed a task force to examine the Society’s institutional history and make recommendations about how to confront the organization’s white privilege going forward. One of the first steps was to research the history of the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House (HLN) (currently the Society’s headquarters) and its owners. Did the owners…

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