Jamestown Historical Society

Library Exhibit, February 2021 Jamestown’s Black Community

The new exhibit in the JHS display case in the Jamestown Philomenian Library tells the stories of some of Africans and African Americans who have lived on the island over the passed 350 years.

During the colonial era, Black and Native American slaves made up about one-third of the population.  Most of them worked on the farms producing the agricultural products the were exported throughout the colonies and to the Caribbean Islands.  When slavery began to die out in the 19th century, the Jamestown Black community diminished, although the Rhode Island Black regiment trained on Dutch Island during the Civil War.  At the end of the century the growing resort economy brought new jobs and new families to the island, and later retired military came to stay.

Visit the Town Hall to see the entire exhibit and please consider donating your Jamestown memorabilia to Jamestown Historical Society, contact info@jamestownhistoricalsociety.org.

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