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.



Site 7

"Colored" Cemetery
Off prospect Street near the hospital.

Graves of Boston family members (See Site 1), Civil War veterans Sampson Pompey (1830-1909) and Hiram Reed (1830-1911), ministers Arthur Cooper (d.1853) and James Crawford (d.1888) and their many others may be found here. Mr. Cooper, an escaped slave, was the minister of Zion Church, an African Methodist Episcopal congregation established in 1835. Mr. Crawford was minister of the Pleasant Street Baptist Church for over forty years; an escaped slave, he gave lectures to raise funds to purchase freedom for his sister-in-law and her daughter, enslaved in South Carolina.

Also buried in this cemetery is Eunice Ross (1824-1895), who was denied admission to Nantucket High School by action of a town meeting in 1840. In 1847, at the age of twenty-four, Eunice and other African American children were finally admitted after legal action, community boycotts of the schools, and political struggles. She spent the rest of her life on the island. Her story is the subject of the 1998 Museum of African American History / WGBH video documentary Rock of Changes: Race, Faith, and Freedom on Nantucket and the book, The African School and the Integration of Nantucket Public Schools 1840-1848, by Barbara L. White (Boston University Press).

A chart of the headstones is available in the Nantucket Historical Association’s Research Library at 7 Fair Street.

Image: footsteps
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