Abolition Acre

Welcome! Abolition Acre honors and celebrates the abolitionist movement in Boston, Massachusetts with a focus on the pivotal and largely unrecognized leadership role of African Americans in the struggle to end chattel slavery in the United States.

Abolition Acre refers to a compact area of downtown Boston around City Hall Plaza where leading abolitionists lived and worked during the early decades of the 19th century.

Conceived and developed by Beacon Hill Scholars, a non-profit volunteer group of history enthusiasts, Abolition Acre offers a self-guided walking tour of the area and includes plans for a commemorative and educational exhibit.

The project features three of the most important figures in Boston’s abolitionist community of the period: two Black and generally unheralded, David Walker and Maria Stewart; and one white and relatively well-known, William Lloyd Garrison.

Abolition Acre will:

  • Increase public awareness of the rich history of Black Boston, and especially the vibrant and resilient free Black community located on the north slope of Beacon Hill, which was home to many activists and the hub of campaigns for abolition, civil rights, and racial equality;
  • Pay long overdue tribute to some of our city’s unsung racial justice heroes;
  • Offer a compelling educational resource for schools, colleges, community groups, and others to inform discussion about the ongoing struggle for racial justice;
  • Reinforce Boston’s national reputation as the cradle of abolitionism;
  • Provide opportunities for commissioned projects by artists and educators, enhancing the cultural fabric of the city;
  • Generate interest in overlapping networks of freedom trails and other sites that tell the story of abolitionism and slavery elsewhere in Massachusetts; and
  • Make a permanent and visible statement about the city’s aspirations to create an equitable and inclusive future for all Bostonians as envisioned by the abolitionists.