The Florence Higginbotham House
Florence Higginbotham, her son Wilhelm and
daughter-in-law, Angeleen Campra saved both the African Meeting House and
the house at 27 York Street, two precious historic structures, and provided
the opportunity for the Museum of African American History to share this unique
and powerful story with the world.
With support from the Community Preservation Act and the
Tupancy-Harris Foundation of 1986, the Museum acquired the Florence
Higginbotham House. The Museum selected nationally recognized historic
architects and preservationists, John G. Waite Associates, to produce a
Historic Structures Report and master site plan for the Nantucket campus.
At a press conference on May 11, the Museum announced
exciting new information about the house at 27 York Street dating its
history to before the Revolutionary War.
Recently developed and corroborated evidence reveals the
house was built sometime after the property was purchased by Seneca Boston,
an African American, on September 13, 1774. Boston was a weaver and formerly
enslaved man who purchased the land a decade before slavery was abolished in
Absalom Boston, the well-known Nantucket whaling captain,
was one of the six children of Seneca Boston and his wife, Thankful Micah, a
Wampanoag Indian who all lived in the house. Except for a period of less
than one year, the property was owned by African-Americans for the next two
For more on the Higginbotham house,
(MS Word document)