It may come as a surprise to many, but our little town of Milford played an important role in African American History. Within the year, we are dedicating a large area in the museum and have assembled an experienced team to create a new exhibit, but we need you to help make the story complete. The Society will be asking for your help over the year, with a role for everyone at every skill level and talent. This is the first of a series of Help-Wanted notices.
The story of Harriet Wilson, the first African American to pen a novel is a Milford story, but we have few “real” items to use to tell this tale. Right now we are looking for several items for our collection to buy or through loan. We have the house where she was raised and indentured but it is too big to move to our lot! Please help us by spreading the word and researching sources.
We are looking for an original printing of the novel in the original text from 1859, published by Geo. C. Rand & Avery in Boston MA. “Our Nig or Sketches from the life of a Free Black”
We are looking for the original glass bottles of hair products sold from 1857 to 1860. Most are labeled: “Mrs. H.E. Wilson’s Hair Dressing” made in Manchester NH.
We are looking for an original printing of the Farmer’s Cabinet Newspaper front page where the poem “Fading Away” by “Hattie” is printed. The issue is dated: Wednesday, December 17, 1851. We have copies but what we want is what readers in 1851 touched.
Any items of the period that show the struggle of Hattie as she was enslaved by a religious couple in Milford from 1830 to 1843.
Please understand that we have limited room to store objects and will not guarantee that we will show what you can find. Also, we look forward to examining and evaluating anything you may have that connects with that time period.
You have my personal thanks.