Boston African American NHS (2 photos) / by Dave Hileman

You ought to visit this African Meeting House built in 1806 and now the oldest African-American church in the US. It was organized and built by about 20 members of the Black congregation led by Thomas Paul that was meeting in Faneuil Hall. They constructed a simple but elegant building now restored to its 1854 appearance when some aspects were upgraded. The pews are curved, the balcony mirrors those curves in the pews upstairs. The speakers platform has a small pulpit and two lights that were gas in the 1800s. I took a very low photo to show the floors that are original to the 1806 building and one from above to see the stunning lines of the church. What you cannot see is the echo of William Lloyd Garrison who founded the New England Anti-Slavery Society here in 1832 or Maria Stewart, abolitionist and woman’s rights activist, the first woman to speak before a mixed audience on political issues. Or Frederick Douglass who recruited soldiers here for the famed 54th and 55th Massachusetts Regiments. Or the intensity of Harriet Tubman or the passion of Sojourner Truth or a host of others who sought dignity and freedom. You ought to visit the African Meeting House. This was a new park number 7 for us and 13 on the itinerary for this trip.