icon for Home page
icon for Kid's Home page
icon for Digital Collection
icon for Activities
icon for Turns Exhibit
icon for In the Classroom
icon for Chronologies
icon for My Collection

Things To Do
Dress Up | 1st Person | African American Map | Now Read This | Magic Lens | In the Round | Tool Videos | Architecture | e-Postcards | Chronologies | Turns Activities

Send an E-Postcard of:
Seating "Negroes" in the Old Hadley meetinghouse

Page 1
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Contact us for information about using this image.

When the new Congregational Church was built in Hadley, Massachusetts in 1808, the pews on the main floor were sold and seating in each section of the gallery was designated by gender and race. Parts of the north gallery were reserved for the use of males, and parts of the south for females. This letter describes where the "Negroes" (free Blacks) were seated. They were also in the gallery but in "arched" pews (probably meaning covered) separated from the rest of the gallery by a balustrade, or barrier, that prevented the "Negroes" from having any communication with other people in the church. The pews on the main floor of the church were sold to families-the most expensive at the front of the church-and there was a stipulation that no Negro would ever sit in the pews assigned to whites. If the pew were to be sold to or allowed to be used by a Negro, there was a penalty to the seller or owner. Even though they were living in the North, these Negroes were subject to discrimination and prejudice.


top of page

Share this image with a friend.
Simply enter their e-mail address below and we'll send them this image in an e-mail greeting, along with a link to see the image on our site.

To E-Mail Address *
From E-Mail Address *
From Name

* = Required

button for Side by Side Viewingbutton for Glossarybutton for Printing Helpbutton for How to Read Old Documents


Home | Online Collection | Things To Do | Turns Exhibit | Classroom | Chronologies | My Collection
About This Site | Site Index | Site Search | Feedback