Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail

Walking in Portsmouth

Established by dedicated volunteers in 1995, this historic trail links a series of sites connected with the African American experience in Portsmouth. Bronze plaques commemorate nearly four centuries of black history, from the arrival of the first enslaved people at Portsmouth's Prescott Park wharf in the 1680s to the formation of the local civil rights group Scorr in the 1960s.

Particularly thought-provoking is the plaque commemorating New England's only known African Burying Ground, which was established here in the 1700s on what was then the fringes of Portsmouth, but ultimately paved over to create present-day Chestnut St and forgotten as the city grew.

Visitors can take a self-guided tour any time of the year using the resources on the PBHT website. If you're here in summer, reserve ahead for one of the excellent guided tours offered most Saturdays between mid-April through early November by the all-volunteer Sankofa Scholars group. Tours begin at the South Ward Meetinghouse.