Connect:

Newburyport’s Kabria Baumgartner Digs into Local African American History

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
Kabria Baumgartner, African American History, Newburyport

Newburyport resident and renowned historian Kabria Baumgartner is digging into the rich and often untold history of African Americans in Essex County. Thanks to a $100,000 grant awarded by the National Parks Service and the Organization of American Historians, Baumgartner is working to uncover materials and information to help create more inclusive and interpretive sources for local sites that reflect the true racial diversity of the county.

Through public records and census records, Kabria Baumgartner can confirm there were many African American families living in Newburyport in the 19th century. However, she has found archival materials like newspapers, photographs, and other documents extremely limiting for Newburyport itself. While Baumgartner, an associate professor at the University of New Hampshire, is still actively researching and uncovering materials, there are some fascinating stories and artifacts that have already been discovered for Essex County. For those that want to hear Baumgartner’s discoveries first hand, she will be the keynote speaker at the Newburyport YWCA’s annual Engaging Community Luncheon on Wednesday, April 28th from 12-1 pm via Zoom.

One such story that she uncovered is that of Sara Baro, referred to as “the African princess”, who lived in Topsfield. Sara, who was born in West Africa in the late 1830s, was captured and brought to the United States as a child. The Conant family “took her in” as an indentured servant—slavery was abolished back in 1783 in Massachusetts, but we know that the labor of enslaved people continued to fuel the economy in Essex County well into the late 18th century. Sara’s life is an amazing story of survival in the face of adversity. The Conant family seems to have treated her well and Sara even received an education at Topsfield Academy. While Sara could not change her class status, she appears to have lived a satisfying life worthy of something very special Baumgartner discovered—a will. It turns out the Topsfield Historical Society holds a very valuable artifact, Sara’s jewelry box which also happens to contain her will. This shows that while she may not have had a large amount of money, Sara had made enough of a life for herself to feel the need to create this document. Kabria Baumgarner sees this as just the beginning of her search to find more documents and artifacts related to the African princess.

Another of Kabria Baumgartner’s stories she has come across is that of the Hintons, an African American family that resided in Andover in the late 19th century and early 20th century. This historical story is a great example of black entrepreneurship and a tale of Black family life in New England. Allen Hinton, a freed slave, moved from the south to Andover for a new beginning—where he started his family. It’s also where he started the Hinton Family Ice Cream Farm, the first ice cream selling business in New England. The business was embraced by the community, with Allen and family selling at local schools—Phillips Andover Academy and Abbott Academy for Young Ladies. Allen’s daughter Alice later took over the business and received praise from Booker T. Washington himself for her keen business sense.

Kabria Baumgartner, who resides in Newburyport with her family,  is an interdisciplinary historian of nineteenth-century African American life and culture in the United States and the author of the award-winning book, In Pursuit of Knowledge: Black Women and Educational Activism in Antebellum America. Baumgartner and her co-principal investigator in the Essex County African American history project,  Elizabeth Duclos Orsello, continue to research and find artifacts and materials to enrich our communities. Orsello, a professor at Salem State, and Baumgartner both use this grant as a teaching moment, getting their students involved in the research first hand.

Clark School Rolling Admissions – Open House Dates

By Jeff Clark, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Jeff Clark has served as Headmaster of Clark School for the past 12 years and is the founder of Clark High School. He was also one of the first students at Clark School during the school’s inception year in 1978. Under Jeff’s leadership, Clark School has embraced the educational opportunities presented by new technology.
Open House, rolling admissions

Clark School, a coeducational private school located in Rowley, MA, offers rolling admissions, making any time of year the perfect time to schedule a private tour or attend an open house. Mark your calendar for Spring 2021 Tour/Open House, April 6th and May 13th. Founded in 1978, Clark offers a stimulating learning environment for students Kindergarten – Grade 12 and is particularly appropriate for all types of students. Our goal is to encourage students to become lifelong learners who think deeply and embrace challenges that lie ahead.

Apply to Clark School

With Clark School’s rolling admissions, you can start on a new educational path today, in a school that better fits who you are as a learner and person. With rolling admissions, prospective students and families may attend an open house or take a tour and apply for admission at any time throughout the year, there is no admissions deadline. At Clark School, we strongly believe that if your current educational path is not working, it is never too late to make a change!

Visit Us!

Schedule a private tour of our beautiful Rowley, MA campus at any time by emailing our admissions department at admissions@clarkschool.com or call us at 978-777-4699 ext. 112.

Attend an Open House!

Clark School Open Houses and Admissions Events are excellent opportunities for prospective students and their families to learn more about our school, our approach to education, and most importantly to develop an understanding if Clark School is the right learning environment and experience for them. And because of our rolling admissions policy, we offer open houses through out the year.

Upcoming Open House Dates

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Tour-us Tuesday | 9:00am-10:00am

Thursday, May 13, 2021

All-School Evening Open House | 6:00-7:30pm

Learn more and register for an Open House!

Can’t make it to an Open House? The Clark School also offers private on-campus or virtual tour/meetings (clarkschool.com), so you can explore our beautiful campus, busy classrooms, and hear from students and staff, all from the comfort and convenience of your own home!

Rescue a Pup & Shop for a Cause at The Black Dog Adoption Events

Featured Video Play Icon

The Black Dog in downtown Newburyport has a long time partnership with the local rescue group, Sweet Paws Rescue. Together they host two dog adoption events per year. The Black Dog has numerous stores and each store works with local shelters to help promote dog adoption and rescue efforts. The first event of 2021 will be virtual and will run for the full month of April. Instead of taking place in the shop, folks will be able to get to know adoptable pups online.

Why does the Black Dog do this? They do this because their roots and our iconic Black Dog silhouette were born from a rescue. 50 years ago Captain Douglas of Martha’s Vineyard rescued a small black pup with white paws and of no certain pedigree. She was called Black Dog and she lived for 16 years sailing side by side with her captain. Rescue and dog adoption is embedded in the Black Dog Brand, in hope that one day every dog will have a loving home.

Sweet Paws Rescue is a non-profit agency driven solely by volunteers. All of the rescued dogs are placed in foster homes until they are able to find their forever home.

Many healthy pups make their journey to Massachusetts looking for a family! We encourage everyone to ADOPT and not SHOP for a pet. If you’re considering the addition of a new special member to your household please keep these bi-annual dog adoption events in mind as they are a wonderful opportunity to meet some very special dogs. The Newburyport Black Dog store located at 37 State Street is host to these events and donates a generous percentage of adoption event sales to Sweet Paws Rescue, helping bring dogs to safety. Even if you can’t adopt a pup, you can SHOP for a cause! Treat yourself to a few new Black Dog items, or maybe you have gifts to purchase. This is a great opportunity to pick up quality Black Dog merchandise, and possibly provide a loving home for one of these very special pups.

Skip to toolbar