David Walker & Maria Stewart House - 81 Joy Street

Historical plaque on a brick building identifying the location as the former home of Maria Stewart.
This historical plaque noting that Maria W. Stewart once lived at this home.

NPS Photo

Quick Facts
81 Joy Street
David Walker and Maria Stewart both lived at this home.

Several of Boston's most prominent African American activists resided at 81 Joy Street (originally 8, then 4 Belknap Street) in the early 1800s. David Walker, one of America's earliest abolitionist authors, and Maria Stewart, the first woman to speak publicly for abolitionism and women's rights, both resided here. Built in 1825, a three and a half brick home stood in this location on Belknap (now Joy) Street. The current building here today replaced the original building in 1902.

The Heritage Guild, Inc. installed an historical plaque on the house that reads:

8 Belknap Street
Maria W. Stewart 1803 - 1879

Controversial Black Abolitionist. Essayist, lecturer, religious activist. Her speeches, published by William Lloyd Garrison, were first publicly-delivered speeches by an American woman on politics and women's rights.

The Heritage Guild, Inc.


Grover, Kathryn, and Janine V. Da Silva. "Historic Resource Study: Boston African American National Historic Site." Boston African American National Historic Site, (2002), 42-45.

Boston African American National Historic Site

Last updated: March 7, 2023