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This site - work in progress.

If you have any public domain photographs of historical interest to donate, whether scanned or printed please contact the webmaster, Roger Chartier and your submission will be credited if it is displayed on this site.

By Roger Chartier


1800's Martha Briggs School For Runaway Slaves

This was John Briggs' home, in New Bedford at 111-113 Allen Street, near Orchard between Dartmouth Street and County Street, where his daughter Martha kept a school in his house for runaway slaves.

In the city the William H. Carney home, is now the home of the Martha Brigg's Educational Society.

This is an important part of the Black History of New Bedford, a city that was exceptionally tolerant as well as helpful in protecting African Americans from slavery and recapture.
There was a larger than usual population of African Americans in New Bedford compared to other
northern cities after 1850. This was against the workings of the Runaway Slavery Act, which allowed the recapture of runaway slaves from the northern states.

The city's African American population grew to 7.5 percent with the additional fugitive slaves that came here.

In the early and mid 1800's the Quakers controlled New Bedford economy and politics.

They were very much against the oppression that slaves had endured and were leaders in the anti slavery

Today the location is a pest control business office. The photo was taken in January, 2010.
Click the image to enlarge it.

John Briggs Home - Mrtha Briggs school for runaway slaves. - New Bedford, Ma.