Moskehtu (medicine)

I have been working on an field guide to herbal/plant medicine in Nipmuc Country (central MA, northwest RI, northeast CT). I put the book aside for a couple of years during covid since working at a hospital didn’t leave much free time or relaxed time to write. Why this Guide? Our Nipmuc ancestors used plants to maintain their health and bring balance into their lives. … Continue reading Moskehtu (medicine)

The Root Doctress

Susanna Toney was born around 1789 in Barre, MA to Abraham Toney and his wife Mary Harry. She was commonly known as Susan. Barre was and is a small rural farming community just northwest of Worcester. Her mother, Mary Harry, was part of the Narragansett tribe and her father, Abraham, was a Black man born free in Upton, MA to free parents. Upton was another … Continue reading The Root Doctress

Remembering the Sacrifice of William Francis Shepard, Jr.

On May 31, 2021, William Francis Shepard, Jr was remembered and honored by the City of Worcester for his sacrifice during World War I. The ceremony took place at his gravesite in Hope Cemetery. William was born in Worcester, MA on 15 April 1899 to Mabel and William Shepard, Sr. William, Sr was the 2nd son of Jeremiah James Shepard of Monson, MA and Nipmuc … Continue reading Remembering the Sacrifice of William Francis Shepard, Jr.

“We All Got History”

As the image above states, Amos Webber was born a free Black man in 1826 Attleborough, PA. His parents were Samuel Webber and Fannie Johnson. In the 1852, he married Elizabeth Douglas. Around the same time, he began keeping a series of diaries which he called Thermometer books. Each day he recorded the temperature and other weather conditions in the books. He also commented on … Continue reading “We All Got History”

Mother Jefferson

Sunday nights as a teenager was spent watching “The Jeffersons” on CBS. The show premiered in 1975 and lasted 11 seasons. But never, until a few short years ago, did I know that the actress that played Mother Jefferson was born and raised in the same town as me. Zara Frances Cully was born on 26 Jan 1892 to Nora Gilliam and Ambrose Cully both … Continue reading Mother Jefferson

Abbie Freeman Hardy Bostic

For a single Black woman of today, buying a home on her own can be a daunting experience and unfortunately, not a common one. In 1884, it must have been near miraculous. Yet our ancestresses here in Worcester did it and did it often. The photo of the deed above is just one of the properties purchased by Abigail Hardy Wiggins Bostic, 2nd wife of … Continue reading Abbie Freeman Hardy Bostic

Black Lives Mattered – in historic Worcester

Black Lives Matter is considered a relatively modern movement but in Worcester during the 1800s, Black Lives Always Mattered. Black and Brown people worked to help free enslaved people, provided shelter and care for new arrivals, raised funds, and attended rallies and political events. As the news article above from 1895 states “it is expedient and wise that we, as a people, in order to … Continue reading Black Lives Mattered – in historic Worcester