Nantucket Historical Association, we learned that this was one of the names associated with the African Meeting House. The meeting house was constructed in 1827 and it was “a multipurpose center. It housed both the African Baptist Church (later renamed the Pleasant Street Baptist Church) and the African School, and it was used as a community center for neighborhood gatherings.” The meeting house was the space where residents of New Guinea worshipped, attended school, and gathered, and it was seen as the epicenter of the community. As it nears its 200th birthday, the meeting house is the only 19th century public building constructed and occupied by African Americans that is still in existence today. It is maintained by the Museum of African American History and is a National Trust Historic Site.
Stop by the library from February 1 through February 28 to see this map on display in our main reading room. And for those who can’t visit us in person, a high-resolution version of the map an be accessed through our digital repository. There is much more Black history on Nantucket than we can highlight in this blog post, so we hope it serves as a jumping off point to continue your own research, by checking out the organizations linked within this post, exploring the Heritage Trail the next time you’re on Nantucket, and by finding sources at your local library.