The Museum of African American History is dedicated to preserving, conserving and accurately interpreting the contributions of African Americans in New England from the colonial period through the 19th century.



Black Heritage Sites in Nantucket's New Guinea
In the 18th century, a number of free blacks bought lots on the West Monomy shores, near the Old Mill. Once known as Newtown, the area around Five Corners (see Site 8) became known by 1820 as New Guinea, indicating the African roots of the property owners. (The label “New Guinea” was used in numerous cities and towns to designate the section in which people of color resided.)

In 1994, Preservation Institute: Nantucket established the rough modern geographic boundaries for New Guinea to be Silver and Orange Streets, Williams Lane, and Prospect and Angola Streets, although in the nineteenth century the area probably extended further west to include the cemetery. An 1834 map names Atlantic Avenue as New Guinea.

During the nineteenth century, New Guinea was a separate community, conscious of its own identity and needs. There were two churches, inns, shops, and social organizations.

Image: footsteps
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