The Robbins House – Concord’s African American History




Our site is a 544 sq. ft. historic early 19th century house formerly inhabited by the first generation of descendants of formerly enslaved African American Revolutionary War veteran Caesar Robbins, and by fugitive slave Jack Garrison.
Jack Garrison For Home Page


The stories of the occupants of The Robbins House reveal the ways in which this first generation of free Concord African Americans pursued independence and contributed to the antislavery movement
Map Square


We created a map of African American and antislavery history in Concord, MA.

Download the map and take a walking tour of the African American and Antislavery history sites in Concord.

News and Events

Robbins House Exhibit featured in the Concord Journal

“Welcome home, Ellen, you were lost to history,” Madison said July 28 to a crowd of Robbins House staffers and guests as twilight cast its final shadows on the property, located across the street from the Old North Bridge and Old Manse. Madison is co-founder and president of the board of the Robbins House, and she used a powerful phrase to sum up Ellen’s life – “a 19th century civil rights firebrand.”

Ellen Tested Our Nation’s First Civil Rights Bill

Ellen Tested our Nation’s First Civil Rights Bill

Robbins House Humanities Director Elon Cook visited Baltimore’s President Street train station in costume, where Ellen Garrison defended her right to sit in the ladies’ waiting room on May 7, 1866. The Civil Rights Bill of 1866, enacted on April 9th, was the first US federal law to define citizenship and affirm that all citizens are equally protected – it was mainly intended to protect the civil rights of African Americans in the wake of the Civil War.

Have You Walked The Umbrella’s 2016 Art Ramble?

Have You Walked The Umbrella’s 2016 Art Ramble?

Concord’s Hapgood Wright Town Forest
June 2 – September 5, 2016
For a map of art locations and events, please visit:

18 inspired art installations beckon evocatively around and beyond Fairyland Pond, at the intersection of art, nature and community in this historic natural setting.

Concord’s African American History Goes To School

Concord’s African American History Goes to School

The Concord Education Fund (CEF) granted $16,000 this past spring to a team of teachers led by Robbins House board member Johanna Glazer for curriculum development work on African American history and updating the material in the 1976 book, Concord: Its Black History. The Concord and Concord-Carlisle school systems have committed to funding the website development pieces of this project. This grant also serves as a match for educational resources for our Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS) grant.