Hannah C. Boston (Cook) (c.1797 - c.1855)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: New Bedford, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States
Death: Died in Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, United States
Occupation: boardinghouse
Managed by: Erica Howton, (c)
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Hannah C. Boston (Cook)

One so-called respectable woman became prominent by virtue of marriage into the established Boston family. She took on a great number of responsibilities and obligations as the third wife of Absalom F. Boston. Born in the whaling town of New Bedford, Hannah Cook came to Nantucket in 1827 to marry the successful mariner, who at that time was captain of his own whaling ship and employer of an all-black crew. His —— first and second wives had died at young ages, leaving two sets of children. Taking her place as the "first lady" of Nantucket's community of color, Hannah Boston interacted with her extended family and managed a household that included four stepchildren, two brothers-in-law, and several boarders, one a foreigner. In her way, she added to the financial success of her family, for servicing boarders provided obvious economic advantages. Hannah Boston, no doubt, was a strong woman; she had experienced grief over the loss of her five children, none of whom lived to adulthood. Yet, she bore her responsibilities well. She supported her husband in his activities as a trustee of the African Baptist Church, as a candidate for local offices, as a member of the African Abolition Society, and as a plaintiff in a suit filed on behalf of his daughter to attend the high school. For women like Hannah, living in a large family with many friends had advantages. Isolation and alienation were rare and burdens shared by kinfolk, community, and church family were bearable. In 1858, upon the death of her husband, Hannah Boston was named executor of his estate, valued at over $1,300. As a widow she managed her property and her personal assets. (1)

Sources

  1. African-American Women in Nineteenth-Century Nantucket: Wives, Mothers, Modistes, and Visionaries. By Gloria Davis Goode. Historic Nantucket, Vol 40, no. 4 (Winter 1992), p. 76-78
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Hannah Boston's Timeline

1797
1797
New Bedford, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States
1808
1808
Age 11
1827
August 18, 1827
Age 30
New Bedford, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States
1836
1836
Age 39
1841
1841
Age 44
1855
1855
Age 58
Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, United States
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