A plaque to be unveiled Saturday, September 18 in Hancock — at the Forest Society's John Kulish Forest/Welch Family Farm and Forest — will be the newest addition to the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire’s statewide historical marker program.
Building on the success of the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail that began more than two decades ago, the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire is now a statewide organization that connects the stories of New Hampshire’s African heritage by documenting and marking the many historic sites that testify to this rich history. Two dozen markers in Portsmouth have shed light on that city’s Black history for several years.
This fall, the organization is planning to unveil markers in Hancock, Milford, Warner, and two other New Hampshire communities that hold stories of Black history. The marker to be unveiled September 18 in Hancock will be its first outside of Portsmouth.
The Hancock marker will describe the Due family and Jack, a once-enslaved African who gained his freedom and lived in Hancock in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The Due family, identified in early censuses as free people of color, endured many issues with the Church of Christ in Hancock around the same time.
The unveiling will take place in Hancock on Saturday, September 18, in two parts, starting at 9:30 AM. A bus will leave from the Hancock Town Hall parking lot at 9:30 and head to the site of the former Due home for the unveiling. The property is now owned by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. Later that afternoon, starting at 12:00 PM, a celebratory program with music and food will take place at the Hancock Congregational Church, where anti-slavery activities occurred in the early 1840s.
Pre-registration for the September 18 event in Hancock is required and space is limited.