Royall House Slave Quarters Entrance

forty percent of the slaves were kids

A slave plantation estate stands near the banks of Mystic River waters flowing through Medford and Somerville to Boston seas. The Royall House and Slave Quarters is a rehabbed version of its former self.  It is in great shape. On the property stands the grand master’s house and a separate structure that housed his enslaved servants and plantation workers. There are no lights in the house – just like it was before the days of electricity.

The Royalls were rich and loved by England’s aristocracy.  Their close relationship with the crown infuriated Paul Revere’s pals – the Patriots of the Revolutionary War.  The Royalls were driven out of town, lucky to escape because others of their ilk were beaten to death during the Revolution.  This anger spread across the area, from Lexington and Concord to Belmont, Boston and the burbs. Patriots were going house to house beating people loyal to the British crown in Early Boston at the time Paul Revere had his infamous “sound-the-sirens, the British are coming”  horse ride.

The Royall family,  who owned 264 slaves according to records of the estate, ran a working plantation across the Charles River from Boston near the Mystic River located on property now surrounded by Medford residents and the Tufts University campus today.

Royall House and Slave Quarters owner family portrait.
Family Portrait of the Royall Family
minus two females who were on the left

The Royalls made their money extracting and reselling the resources of Barbados the same way Early Boston’s most prominent families were doing.  That island sugar crop was the cash cow that escalated Boston from a hick town full of religious zealots onto the world stage with prominence once enjoyed by the richest Pharoah in Africa’s ancient Egypt. 

We toured the plantation and it was a very, very nice, educational and expertly guided experience, produced by the Royall House Association. And we have something to compare it to which would be the BOONE HALL PLANTATION of Mt. Pleasant, S.C. The major difference in our opinion are about the differences in slave culture between the slaves of the south and the Gullah Geechee, and the enslaved of the North.

It is hard to put a finger on it in words. You’ll have to walk the campuses to know what I mean., but I will say this. At Boone Plantation there were large trees on the grounds as old as Negro slavery in America is.  And you could “
feel” the slaves pain through those trees. I am not kidding.

I walked upon a white woman and her daughter who was sitting at the base of one of the trees in tears. She remarked how horrible it must have been for the slaves to work those rice paddies, which were across the yard from the tree line.  And still standing slave houses sit on the Boone site, basically untouched but they are in very good shape because the quality of bricks used in their construction was good.

In Royall House, we walked directly into the rooms slaves lived and worked in. They didn’t seem to be so bad. The Royall House enslaved workers caught more hell from the attitudes of white residents and visitors probably, more so than they did from the work. 

..okay, well this post is in the journal section of the site an we will add more later.  Thanks for reading.

posted 10/13/2018

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