Abolition Acre

Welcome! Abolition Acre honors and celebrates the abolitionist movement and the many activists in Boston, Massachusetts who fueled the historic struggle to end slavery in the United States and whose work had international impact.

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

Conceived and developed by Beacon Hill Scholars, a voluntary group of local historians, the Abolition Acre project offers a self-guided walking tour of the area and includes plans for a commemorative and educational exhibit. The focus is on three of the most important figures in Boston’s abolitionist community of the period: two Black and largely 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 Black community located on the north slope of Beacon Hill that was home to many activists campaigning for abolition and for racial equality;
  • Create a permanent and highly visible tribute to some of our city’s unsung heroes;
  • Offer a compelling educational resource for schools, colleges, and community groups to inform discussion about the ongoing struggle for racial justice;
  • Reinforce Boston’s national reputation as a cradle of abolitionism;
  • Provide opportunities for commissioned projects by artists and educators, enhancing the cultural fabric of the city; and
  • Help boost tourism and our local and state economies. It would also serve to highlight and generate interest in overlapping networks of freedom trails and other sites that tell the story of abolitionism and slavery elsewhere in Massachusetts.