On the sign:
Black Heritage Trail
The Black Sherburne Family
Among the earliest residents of this house, built 1695-1702, were anonymous enslaved servants of Joseph and Mary Sherburne. The 1744 inventory of Josephs estate lists "one Negro man and one ditto woman." Probate court valued the man at 200 pounds, the woman at 50 pounds equal in value to the family silver.
Other members of the Portsmouth Sherburne family also possessed enslaved Blacks. In 1754 the Boston Gazette thus described Cromwell, a runaway from Henry Sherburne, Jr.: "talks good English, can read and write" In 1779 Quam Sherburne signed a petition to the New Hampshire legislature requesting an end to slavery in the state.