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Boston abolitionist sites: Mapping the region's role in the anti-slavery movement

These include notable houses and stops on the Underground Railroad

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The Boston area played a major role in the abolitionist movement of the 19th century as well as on the Underground Railroad. There are spots in the area cloaked in laudable lore, ones both already well-known and those not so much. This map includes both.

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1. Lewis and Harriet Hayden House

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66 Phillips St
Boston, MA 02114

Lewis Hayden was an escaped slave from Kentucky, who, in turn, helped escaped slaves once he settled as a clothing retailer and community leader in Boston.

His and his wife's townhouse was a stop on the Underground Railroad and also a meeting place for abolitionist activity.

The Haydens, too, opened it as a boarding house for African-Americans, including former slaves.

Wikipedia

2. Faneuil Hall

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1 Faneuil Hall Sq
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 635-3105
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The legendary tourist trap was also the site of many anti-slavery rallies as well as fundraisers for various abolitionist efforts (a tad ironic, given its origin).

These fundraisers included bazaars that African-American women hosted.

The exterior of Faneuil Hall in Boston. The facade is red brick and there is a tower. ArtifyAnalog/Shutterstock

3. African Meeting House

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Built in 1806, the African Meeting House is the oldest black church edifice still standing in the United States, according to the Museum of African American History, of which the house is a part.

It was a hub of abolitionist activity and, during the Civil War, a recruitment center for the 54th Massachusetts, one of the first African-American regiments in the U.S. Army.

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4. Julia Ward and Samuel Gridley Howe House

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13 Chestnut St
Boston, MA 02108

The Howes were leading abolitionists, going so far as to raise funds for John Brown and his guerilla raids.

Julia Ward Howe is perhaps most famous, though, for later efforts on behalf of women's suffrage and for penning the lyrics to "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," the fifth verse of which is unmistakably anti-slavery.

The couple lived at 13 Chestnut from 1863 to 1866. The house is a private residence and not open to the public.

5. The Liberator Office

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12 Post Office Square
Boston, MA 02109

A commemorative plaque is all that's left of the building that housed The Liberator, the nation's leading abolitionist newspaper before the Civil War.

Publisher William Lloyd Garrison ran the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society as well.

The Great Fire of 1872 destroyed the building, seven years after Garrison saw fit to stop publishing The Liberator.

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6. Jackson Homestead

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527 Washington St
Newton, MA 02458
(617) 796-1450
Visit Website

Timothy Jackson, a Revolutionary War veteran, built the house in 1809.

His son, William Jackson, built a soap and candle factory on the land as well and later served in both the state Legislature and Congress.

William also led a double life, using his estate as a stop for the Underground Railroad.

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7. Harriet Tubman Park

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Columbus Ave & Pembroke St
Boston, MA 02118

The park includes a 10-foot bronze memorial to the Maryland-slave-turned-Underground Railroad conductor.

That statue by Fern Cunningham was the first on city-owned property in Boston to honor a woman. It was unveiled in 1999.

A bronze relief of several people being led by a woman clutching a large Bible. Shutterstock

8. Williams Ingersoll Bowditch House

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9 Toxteth St
Brookline, MA 02445

Bowditch was an elected official who opened his house, built in 1844 as part of the planned suburban community that became Brookline, to escaped slaves on the Underground Railroad.

He also hid a son of John Brown, the guerilla fighter executed for leading an anti-slavery raid in 1859 on the federal armory at Harper's Ferry, Virginia.

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9. Tappan-Philbrick House

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182 Walnut St
Brookline, MA 02445

The Tappan family, which included noted abolitionists, built the stone house in 1822.

Seven years later, Samuel Philbrick, a local official and also an ardent opponent of slavery, moved in and made his new home a stop on the Underground Railroad.

He was said to have told his son shortly before his 1859 death, "you will live to see a war over this slavery business." The Philbricks lived at 182 Walnut until 1922.

It is a private residence and is not open to the public.

10. William Lloyd Garrison House

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125 Highland St
Roxbury, MA 02119

The publisher of The Liberator lived in this house—known as Rockledge—from 1864 until his death in 1879.

It is a private residence and not open to the public.

Wikimedia

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1. Lewis and Harriet Hayden House

66 Phillips St, Boston, MA 02114
Wikipedia

Lewis Hayden was an escaped slave from Kentucky, who, in turn, helped escaped slaves once he settled as a clothing retailer and community leader in Boston.

His and his wife's townhouse was a stop on the Underground Railroad and also a meeting place for abolitionist activity.

The Haydens, too, opened it as a boarding house for African-Americans, including former slaves.

66 Phillips St
Boston, MA 02114

2. Faneuil Hall

1 Faneuil Hall Sq, Boston, MA 02109
The exterior of Faneuil Hall in Boston. The facade is red brick and there is a tower. ArtifyAnalog/Shutterstock

The legendary tourist trap was also the site of many anti-slavery rallies as well as fundraisers for various abolitionist efforts (a tad ironic, given its origin).

These fundraisers included bazaars that African-American women hosted.

1 Faneuil Hall Sq
Boston, MA 02109

3. African Meeting House

Boston, MA
Wikimedia

Built in 1806, the African Meeting House is the oldest black church edifice still standing in the United States, according to the Museum of African American History, of which the house is a part.

It was a hub of abolitionist activity and, during the Civil War, a recruitment center for the 54th Massachusetts, one of the first African-American regiments in the U.S. Army.

4. Julia Ward and Samuel Gridley Howe House

13 Chestnut St, Boston, MA 02108

The Howes were leading abolitionists, going so far as to raise funds for John Brown and his guerilla raids.

Julia Ward Howe is perhaps most famous, though, for later efforts on behalf of women's suffrage and for penning the lyrics to "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," the fifth verse of which is unmistakably anti-slavery.

The couple lived at 13 Chestnut from 1863 to 1866. The house is a private residence and not open to the public.

13 Chestnut St
Boston, MA 02108

5. The Liberator Office

12 Post Office Square, Boston, MA 02109
Wikimedia

A commemorative plaque is all that's left of the building that housed The Liberator, the nation's leading abolitionist newspaper before the Civil War.

Publisher William Lloyd Garrison ran the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society as well.

The Great Fire of 1872 destroyed the building, seven years after Garrison saw fit to stop publishing The Liberator.

12 Post Office Square
Boston, MA 02109

6. Jackson Homestead

527 Washington St, Newton, MA 02458
Wikimedia

Timothy Jackson, a Revolutionary War veteran, built the house in 1809.

His son, William Jackson, built a soap and candle factory on the land as well and later served in both the state Legislature and Congress.

William also led a double life, using his estate as a stop for the Underground Railroad.

527 Washington St
Newton, MA 02458

7. Harriet Tubman Park

Columbus Ave & Pembroke St, Boston, MA 02118
A bronze relief of several people being led by a woman clutching a large Bible. Shutterstock

The park includes a 10-foot bronze memorial to the Maryland-slave-turned-Underground Railroad conductor.

That statue by Fern Cunningham was the first on city-owned property in Boston to honor a woman. It was unveiled in 1999.

Columbus Ave & Pembroke St
Boston, MA 02118

8. Williams Ingersoll Bowditch House

9 Toxteth St, Brookline, MA 02445
Wikimedia

Bowditch was an elected official who opened his house, built in 1844 as part of the planned suburban community that became Brookline, to escaped slaves on the Underground Railroad.

He also hid a son of John Brown, the guerilla fighter executed for leading an anti-slavery raid in 1859 on the federal armory at Harper's Ferry, Virginia.

9 Toxteth St
Brookline, MA 02445

9. Tappan-Philbrick House

182 Walnut St, Brookline, MA 02445

The Tappan family, which included noted abolitionists, built the stone house in 1822.

Seven years later, Samuel Philbrick, a local official and also an ardent opponent of slavery, moved in and made his new home a stop on the Underground Railroad.

He was said to have told his son shortly before his 1859 death, "you will live to see a war over this slavery business." The Philbricks lived at 182 Walnut until 1922.

It is a private residence and is not open to the public.

182 Walnut St
Brookline, MA 02445

10. William Lloyd Garrison House

125 Highland St, Roxbury, MA 02119
Wikimedia

The publisher of The Liberator lived in this house—known as Rockledge—from 1864 until his death in 1879.

It is a private residence and not open to the public.

125 Highland St
Roxbury, MA 02119