NH Black History Now Collectible
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Written by NH Circle of Freinds

NH Black Heritage Card sample/PBHT photo

 

NH HERITAGE

Anthony Clark was a veteran of the American Revolution. He taught dancing and good manners to the children of Warner, NH. Clark was also a black man in a white state, a state that often forgets it has a rich black heritage too. This new set of colorful cards reveals a whole new history of the Granite State.

Now Anthony Clark has his own postcard, one of a dozen released in a collectible set of notable people and events in NH black history. The cards are a subtle and artistic way of passing along stories of the state’s African American heritage. Until recently, few knew NH had a black history at all, yet black "Yankees" have been here since the 18th century, playing an improtant role in their communities.

Since Valerie Cunningham and friends established the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail (a sponsor of this project) towns across the state have been digging into their own ethnic past. These enlightening and colorful postcards were created by a volunteer "Circle of Friends" from across the Granite State and supported by the NH Humanities Council. The group’s goal is to eliminate prejudice through education. These twelve cards offer a surprising array of facts about African Americans in New England. And they are a lot more fun than a history lecture. --- JDR

NH African American Hitory Postcards / SeacoastNH.com

To order by mail
(online sales not yet available)
send check or m.o. for $11 per set payable to:

NHCOF
PO Box 8052
Portsmouth NH 03802

Topics of all 12 cards

Amos & Violate Fortune 1710-1801 & 1720-1802

Jaffrey. Master tanner, bookbinder; philanthropists

Wentworth Cheswill 1746-1817, Newmarket. Rev.War veteran; town clerk, coroner, auditor, etc.

Prince Whipple 1750-1796, Portsmouth. Rev. War veteran; signed Slave Petition of 1779

Anthony Clark 1752-1856, Warner. Dance master and fiddler

Ona Marie Judge 1768-1848, Greenland. Fugitive slave of Martha & George Washington

Petitioners for Freedom 1779, Portsmouth. 20 enslaved African men petitioned for freedom

Richard Potter 1783-1835, Andover. Magician and ventriloquist

Harriet Adams Wilson 1825-1901, Milford. America’s first African American novelist

Mel Bolden 1919-2000, Concord. Visual Artist; political activist

Elizabeth Ann Virgil 1903-1991, Portsmouth. First Black graduate of UNH; educator

Lionel W. Johnson 1923-2004, Manchester. Entrepreneur; civil cights activist; NH state legislator

African American Churches in Portsmouth, Pelham and Nashua

Two sample texts from the postcards:

MEL BOLDEN
Artist and Activist (1919-2000)
A native of Baltimore and educated at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art, Mel Bolden worked as a freelance illustrator with Norman Rockwell and others in New York beginning in 1945. Living in New Hampshire by the late 1950’s, Mel continued his work illustrating many well-known publications, gaining the title "dean" of African-American illustrators. A gifted painter, he is also known for his painting of Christa McAuliffe, the New Hampshire teacher-astronaut. His portrait of Marilyn Gross hangs in the NH State House. Mel was also active in community affairs, being the first Black county committee chairman in the state and a founding member of the New Hampshire Circle of Friends.

HARRIET WILSON
American’s First African American Novelist (1825-1901)
Harriet Adams Wilson was born in Milford, New Hampshire, March 15, 1825. Abandoned by her mother at a young age, she worked as a servant in local households. In 1859 she published a powerful novel, semi-biographical in nature, entitled Our Nig; or Sketches from the Life of a Free Black. Wilson’s novel was the first by an African-American to be published in America, and the first known novel by a Black woman ever published in the English language. Later in life, Wilson gained fame in spiritualist circles as "the colored medium." She died in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1901.

 This project is supported by the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, Inc.