History News: Slave Quarters in Massachusetts. Who Knew?!

The Royall House (above left) and Slave Quarters (rear) in Medford, was built by Isaac Royall, a trader in rum, sugar, and slaves.

This evening I came across a fascinating article about the Royall family estate in Medford, MA, right near Tufts University. While there are many 18th century house museums in New England, I do not know of any, other than the Royall mansion, that has actual slave quarters. Since we teach a slavery program at the Webb-Deane-Stevens museum in CT, my attention was immediately snagged by this article. Slave quarters in New England? It was customary for  owners here to house their slaves – generally between 1 and 5, since there were few large “plantation” type properties – within their own homes, usually in the cellar or attic. Building separate “slave quarters” was simply not economically practical.

I can’t wait to visit Royall House and Slave Quarters. Find the detailed article about this important site here.


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