The abolition of slavery was a cause that many Americans fought for in the Boston area. A historic site on the north face of Beacon Hill in Boston is the location of nearly two dozen pre-civil war black-owned structures where leaders in businesses, schools and churches fought with strength the inequalities of slavery. A great look into history can be found by residents of Boston Apartments at this National Park Service location.
The Abel Smith School is the site of the original African School built around 1834, and was one of the first buildings designed by noted architect Richart Upjohn. This spot houses the National Park Service visitor area, with history displayed in photos, art and writings. In the early 1800s, African Americans requested their own schooling, since they were paying taxes and there were no schools for black children, thus, the school was built. Later, integration closed the school. The school museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm.
The African Meeting House, an impressive building viewed from the street is the first African American Baptist church created north of the Mason Dixon Line in 1806. Prominent black Bostonians and other Boston area Baptist churches raised the funds to build this church. It was sold to a Jewish Congregation in 1904, acquired by the Museum of African American History in 1972 and is a National Historic Monument.
A notable monument at the site prominently recognizes the efforts of Robert Gould Shaw, who led the first African American military regiment during the Civil War, the Massachusetts 54th Voluntary Infantry. While blacks had fought during in the War of 1812 and the Revolutionary War, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation allowed African Americans to organize their own regiments. A beautiful bronze relief memorial depicting the departure of the regiment from Boston was created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and unveiled in 1897 after 14 years in the making, with great detail.