Site of Samuel Snowden's House

Red brick building with a black door on the right with a metal fence and bushes on the left.
The site of Samuel Snowden's house at 73 Phillips Street (formerly Southac Street).

NPS Photo/Pollock

Quick Facts
73 Phillips Street (73 Southac Street)
Site of an Underground Railroad operative's home.
Private Residence

Though no longer standing, this is the site of Samuel Snowden’s home from about 1840 until his death in October of 1850.

Born into slavery in Maryland during the American Revolution, little else is known about his early life. By 1818, however, Snowden arrived in Boston and became a minister. He also became active in the growing anti-slavery movement and opened his home to freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad.1 According to the Liberator, “For many years, his house has been resorted to by the victims of American slavery, on their way to the British dominions.”2 On October 8, 1850, the day Snowden died, thirteen freedom seekers arrived at his home. Isaac Mason’s narrative Life of Isaac Mason as a Slave chronicled a similar incident. He wrote, “When we arrived at Boston the first business my attention was directed to was to find Mr. Snowdon…After making some inquiry I was sadly disappointed to learn that he was dead.”3

Newspaper clipping about Samuel Snowden.

This newspaper clipping recognizes how freedom seekers continued to go to Snowden's home after his death. (Credit: The Liberator, January 3, 1851, p. 4)


  1. Kathryn Grover and Janine V. Da Silva, "Historic Resource Study: Boston African American National Historic Site," Boston African American National Historic Site, (2002), 106-108.
  2. The Liberator, January 3, 1851, p. 4.
  3. Isaac Mason, Life of Isaac Mason as a Slave (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) P. 54.

Boston African American National Historic Site

Last updated: January 8, 2023