Visit The Robbins House

June, July & August: 11-4
(Closed Tuesdays)
September, October: 11-4
(Open Fri-Sun + Columbus Day)

320 Monument Street
Concord MA
(Located opposite the Old North Bridge)

(978) 254-1745
Freedom’s Way Hidden Treasures Program— Patriots, Prejudice, And Protest: The Hidden Stories Of Concord’s Early African Americans

Freedom’s Way Hidden Treasures Program— Patriots, Prejudice, and Protest: The Hidden Stories of Concord’s Early African Americans

Freedom’s Way Hidden Treasures Program — Patriots, Prejudice, and Protest: The Hidden Stories of Concord’s Early African Americans

At The Robbins House
Sat. May 19 • 2:45–4:00 PM
Meet at 320 Monument St., in the Parking Lot across from the North Bridge
Our next stop, with time to travel, is the Robbins House, where Peter Robbins’ niece Ellen Garrison talks about being raised in 1820-30s Concord, and the antislavery activism that brought her from Boston to Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, Kansas, and California in pursuit of independence at a time of racial injustice.
Register at education@walden.org.

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Freedom’s Way Hidden Treasures Program — Patriots, Prejudice, And Protest: The Hidden Stories Of Concord’s Early African Americans

Freedom’s Way Hidden Treasures Program — Patriots, Prejudice, and Protest: The Hidden Stories of Concord’s Early African Americans

Freedom’s Way Hidden Treasures Program — Patriots, Prejudice, and Protest: The Hidden Stories of Concord’s Early African Americans

On Brister’s Hill with The Walden Woods Project
Sat. May 19 • 1:00–2:15 PM • Brister’s Hill
Meet at Hapgood Wright Town Forest Parking Lot
Our program will begin at Brister’s Hill, named after Brister Freeman, a formerly enslaved man who was the second person of African descent to own land in Concord. Peter Robbins, whose father Caesar Robbins went with Brister Freeman as a soldier to Bennington in the summer of 1776, will recount the lives of Patriots of Color. Both Brister Freeman and Caesar Robbins gained their freedom at the time of the Revolutionary war and began lives as free men in Concord. See the ditch fence Brister Freeman dug around his property almost 200 years ago.

Register at education@walden.org.

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Transgressing The Color Line: Depictions Of Free Blacks In The Popular Press

Transgressing the Color Line: Depictions of Free Blacks in the Popular Press

Transgressing the Color Line: Depictions of Free Blacks in the Popular Press

Fresh Goods Lecture Series
Thursday, May 10 • 7:00-8:00 PM • Concord Museum
Join writer and historian Jonathan Michael Square as he analyzes past images of free Africans Americans in New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston that appeared in the popular press. Specifically, a series of cartoons published in the early 19th century used to arouse northern anti-black fears that free blacks might be threatening the racial, sexual, and class hierarchies of the time. Fashion will be the central analytic as free blacks were often depicted as dandified buffoons. He will show how the overly fashioned bodies of the free blacks in northern metropolises transgressed and threatened the, until then, established slavocratic order. Professor Square is a writer and historian specializing in Afro-Diasporic fashion and visual culture. He currently teaches at Harvard University, where his work explores the intersection of fashion and slavery in the African Diaspora — an outgrowth of his academic training at Cornell University, University of Texas at Austin, and New York University. Museum members free, Non-members $5.

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Interactive Workshop & Panel Discussion

Interactive Workshop & Panel Discussion

Myth, Reality & Mapping the Underground Railroad An Interactive Workshop & Panel Discussion

Saturday, May 5th • 9 am–3:30 pm
St John’s Church • 101 Chapel Street | Portsmouth NH
Cost: $35 Tour & Symposium (includes lunch) • $25 Symposium only (includes lunch) • $20 Tour only • Register here

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CCHS Students Teach Elementary School Students About The Robbins House

CCHS Students Teach Elementary School Students about the Robbins House

Spring Semester • The Robbins House

This spring, a group of 6 students from the Rivers and Revolutions program, working with CCHS teacher and Robbins House board member Johanna Glazer, have been developing field trip curriculum that can be used by the Robbins House and the Concord Public Schools. So far they have planned and piloted activities for second and fifth graders including an Ellen Garrison scavenger hunt, a petition activity, and a consideration of everyday life in the Robbins House. The Rivers and Revolutions students have learned a great deal about the house and its residents and are excited to find ways to bring the house to life for young people. The students have two more elementary school visits scheduled in May to continue developing and testing activities for young people.

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African Wrap Dolls At The Robbins House

African Wrap Dolls at The Robbins House

Jack and Jill Group Makes African Wrap Dolls while Learning about The Robbins House

Sunday, April 29th • The Robbins House

A group of 15 young children and their parents from the Middlesex County Jack and Jill organization enjoyed an afternoon at the Robbins House. Jack and Jill of America, Inc. is a membership organization of parents with children ages 2–19, dedicated to nurturing future African American leaders by strengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty. The Robbins House Co-President Maria Madison shared stories about Ellen Garrison, and the children had a chance to make an African Wrap Doll from National Black Doll Museum of History and Culture kits.

Research Spotlight On…

Research Spotlight On…

Penn State Student Transcribes 100 Letters Written in 1863-1870 by Ellen Garrison Jackson

By Olivia Wertz • Penn State Altoona • 2017 Graduate

I took multiple classes with Dr. Sandra Petrulionis, professor of English and American studies, so she was very familiar with my work ethic and academic interests. She approached me about the opportunity to do research with her, and I began working on the project my junior year.

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Concord Academy Multimedia Exhibits

Concord Academy Multimedia Exhibits

Concord Academy History & Media Studies Students Create Multimedia Exhibits for The Robbins House

Students in Concord Academy teacher, and Robbins House board member, Kim Frederick’s spring course spring course, US: Public History, are studying the Robbins House and the history of African Americans in Concord while learning media skills to produce engaging exhibits. The first half of the semester focused on learning about the Garrisons, Robbins, and other 19th-century Concordians. After learning about different multimedia formats, students worked on their own projects, pitched their exhibit proposals – and then voting commenced. For the winning multimedia projects, please visit our website.

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John Hannigan And The Massachusetts Archives

John Hannigan and the Massachusetts Archives

As soon as restoration of the Robbins House was complete, our nonprofit group turned its attention to the families of color who first lived there. Supported by a Research Inventory grant from MassHumanities in 2012, we sought out John Hannigan, a Brandeis PhD student whose focus was on black soldiers in the Revolution.

As the Robbins House Scholar-in-residence, John produced our first family trees and local connections for the Robbins, Garrison and Hutchinson families. Over the summer of 2014, John researched Patriots of Color for Minute Man National Historical Park as their Scholar in the Park. (See John’s research papers )

John has been working for the Massachusetts State Archives since 2004, and is now their Head of Reference Services. Six years, countless research discoveries and three children later (his third due any day now), John recently gave us a tour of the Massachusetts Archives. Along with colleague Susan Foster of the Concord Museum, John helped create their five interactive, student-friendly Commonwealth Museum galleries exploring Massachusetts’ history:

  1. Native Americans/Indigenous People
  2. The American Revolution
  3. The Massachusetts Constitution and its influence on the US Constitution, as well as the abolition of slavery through the freedom lawsuits of Quock Walker and Elizabeth (Mum) Bett
  4. Reform Movements of the mid-to-late 18th century – women’s suffrage, education reform, abolitionism, and industrialization
  5. Faces of the Industrial Revolution: children and immigrant factory workers (Click here for a virtual tour)

“And now the crown jewels of the Mass Archives collection,” John said as he led us to the Massachusetts Archives Treasure Gallery Documents. These five original documents are permanently on view to the public thanks to the MIT Department of Engineering who designed and installed cases with specialized lighting that uses argon gas. Up until 2009, these fragile, original documents were seen only upon request.

“At the National Archives in Washington DC, people stand in line for hours to see the Bill of Rights,” according to John. “Here they can walk in and see it instantly, along with the Declaration of Independence and these other original documents, usually with nobody else around!” 

  1. The 1629 Charter of Massachusetts Bay
    Also known as the Winthrop Charter, this manuscript was brought from England to the New World by John Winthrop on the ship Arabella in 1630.
  2. The 1692 Charter of the Province of Massachusetts Bay
    The American Revolution began in Massachusetts as colonists rebelled against violations of the provisions of this document. In his famous portrait by John Singleton Copley, Samuel Adams defiantly points to this manuscript.
  3. The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1780
    Authored by John Adams, this is the oldest written constitution still functioning as a structural foundation of government in the world.
  4. The Bill of Rights
    One of the original 14 copies (one for each new state, one for Congress), this priceless manuscript is signed by John Adams. The copy kept by Congress is now on display in the rotunda of the National Archives.
  5. The Declaration of Independence
    One of the original 14 “authentic copies” authorized by Congress in 1777, it is the first document to publicly identify the signers of the Declaration.

The Massachusetts Archives • 220 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, 02125 • 617-727-0268 • FREE • www.sec.state.ma.us/mus/

Conversations In A Civil Society: Agreeing To Disagree

Conversations in a Civil Society: Agreeing to Disagree

Conversations in a Civil Society: Agreeing to Disagree

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 • 7–9 PM • Panel Discussion at Concord Carlisle High School • Sponsored by Concord Carlisle Adult and Community Education

“The right to criticize, the right to hold unpopular beliefs, the right to protest, the right of independent thought, all basic principles of Americanism.”
– Margaret Chase Smith

Come join this discussion on how to navigate our differences: politics, religion, values, life style. How do we learn to have conversations around issues that sometimes divide us? How do we learn to listen better, discuss, and even bridge that divide?
Moderator: Ethan Hoblitzelle, Social Studies teacher, CCHS
Panelists:
Robert Munro, Middlesex School and The Robbins House Co-president
Ona Ferguson, Consensus Building Institute
Rose Pavlov, Ivy Child
Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.
For advance tickets, go here.

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