Vermont Folklife Center

Links to Resources in African American History in New England


New England Historic Genealogical Society, African American Research in New England

Articles available online include, “New England African American History Resources” ; “Researching African American Participation in the Civil War, Part One: New England Regiments” ; “Using Local Histories to Research New England African Americans.”

The African-American Mosaic

A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History & Culture.

Library of Congress American Memory Project, “The Progress of a People.”

“Negro in the Wars of the Nation,” featuring the pamphlet The Negro as a Soldier; written by Christian A. Fleetwood, Sergeant-major 4th U. S. Colored Troops, for the Negro Congress held in Atlanta, Georgia in 1895.

African American Research at

The overwhelming majority of Americans of African ancestry are descendants of slaves forcibly brought to the New World during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Most of these slaves were from peoples living within 300 miles of the Atlantic coast between the Congo and Gambia rivers in East Africa. In addition, since the end of the Second World War, a significant number of people of African ancestry have emigrated to the U.S. from the Caribbean, where their ancestors were also slaves (primarily at the hands of the British, Dutch, and French).

Since most tribal history in Africa was recorded by oral tradition rather than written down, actually tracing one's roots in Africa can be an extremely difficult task, but not impossible. Alex Haley, the author of Roots was able to trace his ancestors all the way back to the African continent. By examining records of slave sales and slave advertisements, many people may be able to trace their family history all the way back to the original arrival of their ancestors in America.

WGBH (Boston) Forum Network

Archived webcasts of 12 public lectures organized in partnership with the Museum of African American History in Boston.

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Mystic Seaport's “Exploring Amistad” site

The Amistad Revolt of 1839-1842 was a shipboard uprising off the coast of Cuba that carried itself to the United States--where the Amistad Captives set off an intense legal, political, and popular debate over the slave trade, slavery, race, Africa, and ultimately America itself.

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Maine Black History Resources

A comprehensive list of online resources ranging from advocacy to the underground railroad.

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Boston African American National Historic Site

Located in the heart of Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood, the site includes 15 pre-Civil War structures relating to the history of Boston's 19th century African-American community, including the African Meeting House, the oldest standing African-American church in the United States. The sites are linked by the 1.6 mile Black Heritage Trail.  Augustus Saint-Gaudens' memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the African-American Massachusetts 54th Regiment, stands on the trail.

The Museum of Afro American History (MAAH) in Boston

The Museum is a not-for-profit history institution dedicated to preserving, conserving and accurately interpreting the contributions of African Americans during the colonial period in New England. Through educational workshops, youth camps, special events and unique partnerships with professional organizations and educational institutions, the Museum places the African American experience in a social, cultural and historical perspective.

New Bedford (Massachusetts) Whaling Museum

From Colonial times to the twentieth century, men of African ancestry were active in New England’s whaling industry as sailors, blacksmiths, shipbuilders, officers, & owners. By the 1840s, Black sailors constituted about one-sixth of the labor force; and by 1900, African Americans and Cape Verdeans had become a majority.

Memorial Hall Museum, Old Deerfield, Massachusetts

“Turns of the Centuries,” an online exhibit contains a section titled, "Struggle for Freedom:Working Black Yankees."

Guide to Black Boston

A web site created as a resource for the Boston African American community and to provide a service to visitors that have an interest in African American culture and community activities throughout the city.

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New Hampshire

Black History of the Seacoast at Portsmouth

African American history in New Hampshire begins as early as 1645. Hundreds of blacks, enslaved and free, lived in the seacoast in the 1700s. Black men fought in the Revolution and the Civil War. Their stories are presented on this web site.

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Rhode Island

Rhode Island Black Heritage Society

The Society is constituted for the purpose of: Procuring, collecting, and preserving books, pamphlets, letters, manuscripts, prints, photographs, paintings, and any other historical material relating to the history of the Blacks of Rhode Island; encouraging and promoting the study of such history by lectures and otherwise; and publishing and diffusing information as to such history.

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Rokeby Museum, the home of Rowland and Rachel Gilpin Robinson

The Robinsons were devout Quakers and radical abolitionists, and they harbored many fugitive slaves at their family home and farm during the decades of the 1830s and 1840s. Among the thousands of letters in the family's correspondence collection are several that mention fugitive slaves by name and in some detail. Rokeby Museum is one of the best-documented Underground Railroad sites in the country.

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