Black Heritage Trail of N.H. Expands With First Official Tour Outside Portsmouth
The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire is expanding its educational tours beyond the city of Portsmouth for the first time.
The non-profit has the goal of shining a light on African-American history in the state and this month they'll visit the town of Hancock. That's where a formerly-enslaved man named Jack Ware settled in the 1700s.
"All of this research that came to us, was really done by this one person, Erik Aldrich, who was fascinated by this history and just kept at it, it's like 20 years of a passion he's collected,” said JerriAnne Boggis, executive director of the BHTNH. “So one person can make a difference in collecting this history and sharing it.”
Aldrich says he discovered the remains of a cellar while hiking and began looking into its former owner, which is how he came to learn more about Jack Ware.
The tour will also cover what Aldrich calls a "civil disruption" that took place outside of an anti-slavery convention in October of 1842 in Hancock. Attendees at the convention included Nathaniel P. Rogers, the editor of an anti-slavery publication based in New Hampshire.
“A mob was there trying in vain to disrupt the proceedings,” Aldrich said. “These kind of anti-slavery disruptions were happening all over New Hampshire in the early 1840s.”
The tour is titled “Asserting Freedom: A Tour of Cellar Holes & Sites in Hancock, N.H.,” and is scheduled for Sunday, September 9th at 10 a.m.