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The Abyssinian Meeting House: Maine's Untold African-American Heritage

Posted on: June 21st, 2013 by Aria Danaparamita

 

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The Abyssinian is the third-oldest standing African-American meetinghouse in the U.S. (The first two are in Boston and Nantucket, MA.)

150 years ago, ships anchored and runaway slaves hurriedly disembarked on the Maine State Pier. They covertly walked up India Street onto Newbury Street to the Abyssinian Meeting House in search of help. There, in this humble house of worship, they found it.

The Abyssinian: where William Lloyd Garrison and, locals think, Frederick Douglass gave impassioned speeches while members of the congregation helped those on the Underground Railroad find their way to Canada -- and freedom.

As local preservationist David Paul claims, this was “the black history that nobody told.” ... Read More →

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Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita, or Mita, is a contributor to the PreservationNation blog and recent graduate of Wesleyan University. She enjoys walks, coffee, and short stories. Follow her odd adventures on Twitter at @mitatweets.