Parkman Coat-of-Arms, The Diary of Rev. Ebenezer Parkman Westborough, MA on Google Books & Amazon – University Press of Virginia (book)

January 9, 2010

Elias Parkman, American Progenitor’s Pedigree Chart and Family Groups link:>

Circa 1730

<a href=””

Mr. Arthur B. Denny, of Chestnut Hill,
made the copies of Madam Parkman and of the Parkman Coat-of.
Arms — the latter from a water-color illumination which formerly
adorned the walls of the Westborough parsonage.

Parkman parsonage Westborough:;view=1up;seq=27

Harvard Alumnai Rev. Ebenezer Parkman 1730 Signature

January 9, 2010

Ebenezer Parkman was admitted to Harvard College in 1717,
when he was fourteen years old, and graduated in 1721.




harvard aerial


For a glimpse at the Reverend Ebenezer Parkman’s Diary that he kept for 65 years (printed by the University Press of Virginia):

Parkman Westborough History:;view=1up;seq=27

Rev. Ebenezer Parkman (1703-1782) wife Hannah Breck sons Samuel & Breck Parkman nephew Robert Breck Parkman & Westborough, MA

January 9, 2010

Reverend Ebenezer Parkman 1703 – 1782

For a glimpse at the Reverend Ebenezer Parkman’s Diary that he kept for 65 years (printed by the University Press of Virginia):


Hannah Breck Parkman

Hannah Breck Parkman’s Wedding Shoes – Married 1737

Samuel Parkman (looks a lot like George Washington – likely painting by Gilbert Stuart that Samuel commissioned to paint George Washington standing in front of his white horse – see full size oil painting that now hangs in Boston Museum of Fine Art and prior to that in the Faneuil Hall – as posted further on in this blog)>

Samuel Parkman’s Manse @ Bowdoin Square, Boston, Mass

Samuel Parkman’s Manse @ Bowdoin Square circa 1880 & built circa 1816 – Boston, Mass

Samuel Parkman House, Bowdoin Square, Boston, MA by Philip Harry 17-2Collections_Parkman-House_cso

Samuel Parkman house, Bowdoin Square, Boston, MA painting by Philip Harry 1847

Reverend Ebenezer Parkman Parsonage – Homestead – House – Home

Breck Parkman

Breck Parkman’s Shop

Nephew Honorable Robert Breck Parkman

Page from a Sermon of Rev. Ebenezer Parkman

Parkman Graves Site – Westborough, MA

Tribute to Rev. Ebenezer Parkman

The desk of Elias Parkman, son of Rev. Ebenezer Parkman

Reverend Ebenezer Parkman Church Communion Cup and Baptismal Basin kept @ the Westborough Historical Society along with the Wedding Dress of Hannah Breck Parkman (see link below)

Parkman Farm House (Westborough, Mass.) Scan number: 000420-0048. Parkman Farm House, June 4, 1892. (1892)

Link about Parkman’s relationship with Acadians :

For a glimpse at the Reverend Ebenezer Parkman’s Diary that he kept for 65 years (printed by the University Press of Virginia):


Farms on Powder Hill

A half mile west of the Forbush Farm-Tavern on the hill where the first meetinghouse was built were the farms of Edmund Rice and John B. Maynard. Although the area was virtual wilderness, it was settled by the homesteads of approximately 27 families. But the threat of wolves, bears and Indian attacks was always a major concern.

In 1704, Edmund Rice’s three boys were playing with their two cousins at the Thomas Rice farm when they were attacked by Canadian Indians. Four of the boys were taken hostage while the youngest was slain during the Indian retreat. A second attack in 1707 in the Stirrup Brook area prompted the town of Marlborough to increase the number of garrisoned homes. The Edmund Rice farm and the Samuel Forbush farm became garrisoned in 1711 to serve as safe houses for the families in the immediate area.

The original settlement, referred to as Chauncy Village, was incorporated as the Town of Westborough in 1717. In November of 1720, the construction of the first meeting house commenced on land donated by Edmund Rice and John Maynard. But it was not until 1724 and the town held its first March town meeting in the crudely built 30×40 foot structure that did not have heat, a floor or benches.

On a visit to the area, Parkman’s diary entry of August 1723 reads; “I walked to the Meeting House with a Pistol in my Hand by reason of the Danger of the Indians. When I returned was much affrighted with the sight of an Indian as I supposed; but drawing nigher I perceiv’d it was my Landlord. In the afternoon about 4 o’clock, there was an alarm in the North and people hastened with their arms, But it came to little.”

When Rice became unsuccessful at negotiating for the return of his boys he sold the 100 acre farm (excluding the meetinghouse) to Captain Daniel Howe of Marlborough to pay the ransom on the boys, but Silas and Timothy Rice were never returned. On April 2, 1724, the heirs of Capt. Daniel Howe deeded the farm to the town’s first seated minister, Ebenezer Parkman.

In October 1724, Parkman was ordained pastor, “Town Minister,” of the fledgling community and the same year took a wife, Mary Champney of Cambridge, and moved into their new home. The farm became the parsonage and home for the Parkman family for the next 28 years. The Parkmans had four surviving children here, but Mary died in 1736 and two years later Reverend Parkman married Hannah Breck of Marlborough. They had seven children at the Powder Hill Farm and four more at the new parsonage.

During the next twenty eight years, the meetinghouse was remodeled and enlarged to accommodate a growing church population and became the center of not only the town’s religious needs but also the political affairs. It served in that capacity until 1748 when it was taken down and salvaged for the new meetinghouse built in the newly-established center of town.

Although Parkman’s ministerial duties kept him very busy, the farm for the most part was managed by his parishioners and family. Parkman and Hannah continued to live on this farm until a new pastoral home was built near the second meetinghouse. After moving into the new parsonage built in 1752, Parkman’s eldest son, Ebenezer Jr., and his new wife moved into the old homestead but continued to raise livestock and grow vegetables and fruit for the family.

The farm was sold by Parkman in 1764 to Captain Stephen Maynard who days later transferred ownership to John Beaton, a Scotsman from Hopkinton. The farm remained in the Beaton family until 1822 when Colonel William Beaton deeded the Powder Hill Farm to Silas Wesson. Wesson operated the farm for approximately ten years. In 1825, Wesson set aside a portion of the property on the Turnpike and built the Wesson Tavern. The area then became known as Wessonville.

In 1832, Wesson was experiencing financial difficulties and sold the homestead and 80 acres to William White. White dismantled the former Parkman home and built a new house on the existing foundation. The farm was sold by widow Nancy White in 1850 to Emmons Raymond. It was then sold again in 1865 to Whittemore Rowell. In 1859, Rowell had partnered with Cyrus Brigham to form the largest milk distribution business in the world (four to five thousand hogsheads [63 gals] of milk annually sent from town) amounting to a million dollars per year. The partnership was dissolved in 1873.

Rowell sold the farm to Bela J. Stone, who had moved to Westborough in 1871 from Sturbridge. Stone was a successful and well respected breeder and livestock farmer. Stone named his farm the Linden Wood Milk and Fancy Stock Farm. In 1877, it is recorded that Stone sold at auction 25 head of prized Ayshire bulls, cows, and heifers.

In April 1885, the farm – consisting of 79 acres of land, house, barn, grainier and hen houses – was purchased from Stone by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for $14,000 and became part of the campus of the Lyman School for Boys. The house was named Maples Cottage.

Parkman Westborough history:;view=1up;seq=27

more Reverend Ebenezer Parkman history:

Ebenezer Parkman

Birthdate: September 5, 1703
Birthplace: Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts
Death: Died December 9, 1782 in Westborough, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
Place of Burial: Westborough, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family: Son of William Parkman and Elizabeth Parkman
Husband of Mary Parkman and Hannah Parkman
Father of Mary Forbes; Sgt. Ebenezer Parkman;Thomas Parkman; Lydia Parkman; Lucy Forbes;Elizabeth Parkman; William Parkman; Sarah Parkman; Susannah Parkman; Alexander Parkman;Breck Parkman; Samuel Parkman; John Parkman;Anna Sophia Brigham; Hannah Parkman; Elias Parkman and Robert Breck Parkman « less
Brother of Mary Parkman; Capt. John Parkman; Elias Parkman; Samuel Parkman; Susana Parkman and 4 others
Occupation: minister in Westboro, Mass.


Parkman House – 33 Beacon Street – Boston – Mayor’s Official Reception Hall

January 2, 2010

tlumacki_parkman house540-3087(1)





Parkman House - Boston - 33 Beacon Street

Parkman House – Boston – 33 Beacon Street



parkman house 33 beacon st interior floor plan.jpg

parkman house 33 beacon st next to state capitol


Here lived and died George Francis Parkman, Jr. 1823-1908 Remembered with enduring gratitude by the City of Boston for his bequest of a $5 million fund that secures for-ever the maintenance and improvement of the Boston Common and other public parks (Boston Common is America’s oldest Park founded in 1634). The Parkman House is next to the gold domed Boston State Capital Building (as seen at the far right center photo above & aerial photo of State Capitol the Parkman House is to the left see below).

George Parkman JR bio

boston state capitol parkman house 33 beacon st


Jimmy Carter slept here while he was Governor of Georgia in 1980.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, together with Department of Neighborhood Development Director Sheila Dillon, Chief of Economic Development, John Barros, members of Boston Main Streets and community members, celebrate the Boston Main Streets volunteers and businesses of the year at the 20th Annual Boston Main Streets Award Ceremony, held at the Parkman House in Downtown Boston.        Published on Jun 29, 2016

Parkman house book 33 Beacon St Boston


Parkman House 10 & 16 interior photos:

freedom trail boston

He was “Murdered at Harvard” and PBS made a documentary about it (link):

George Parkman JR bio


Parkman, Samuel & U.S. President George Washington @ Boston Museum of Fine Art and @ Faneuil Hall – 1806

January 2, 2010


George Washington Gilbert Stuart Samuel Parkman Boston Museum of fine Arts

Samuel Parkman commissioned Gilbert Stuart to paint a full length oil portrait of U.S. President George Washington, which Samuel later gifted to the Town of Boston on the 30th anniversary of the signing of The Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July 1806 where the painting hung in the Faneuil Hall and now in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The painting by Gilbert Stuart is of George Washington ,in Dorchester Heights, full-length in uniform, standing by a white horse, holding his bridle in his left hand and his chapeau in his right.

This oil painting is approximately 9 feet tall by 6 feet wide.


The full-length Washington, on the other side of the great painting, is a Gilbert Stuart. It, also, was presented to the town by Samuel Parkman, in 1806. :,+boston+museum+of+fine+arts&source=bl&ots=jaxkhkLxJx&sig=h3Yc-WYm8l2towZ1r2V-hTj5HJA&hl=en&ei=EBrbSYiBFIOIyAXKp4TCCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6



Samuel Parkman commissioned Gilbert Stuart to create this life sized oil painting than hung at Faneuil Hall (see above the bottom right side painting) that now is on display at The Boston Museum of Fine Art.

George Washington Samuel Parkman Gilbert Stuart BMFA 1

George Washington Samuel Parkman Gilbert Stuart BMFA Feb 2015 SC168397

George Washington Samuel Parkman Gilbert Stuart BMFA Feb 2015 SC240634

Washington at Dorchester Heights

Gilbert Stuart (American, 1755–1828)


274.95 x 180.34 cm (108 1/4 x 71 in.)


L-R 30.76a


Oil on panel


Kristin and Roger Servison Gallery (Gallery 133)






The artist; commissioned for the town of Boston by Samuel Parkman, 1806; deposited by the City of Boston, 1876.

Credit Line

Deposited by the City of Boston



Faneuil Hall

faneuil hall night

Faneuil Hall

See this Video at the 1:56 minute mark filmed at Faneuil Hall in Boston where the George Washington Oil Painting by Gilbert Stuart hung at the time. (shame on Mitt Romney’s “liberal views”) : 

George Washington Gilbert Stuart Samuel Parkman Faneuil Hall 1_faneuil_hall_meeting_hall_2010.JPG

George Washington as seen in Faneuil Hall see above the bottom right painting.


(see page 3 of this blog “Sarah Francis Lightner Brownlee” for other ties to George Washington & Thomas Jefferson mentioned below)


Some believe George Washington came to the site in 1750 as a young surveyor on behalf of Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron.[4] To support claims that Washington surveyed the area, some tour guides claim the initials “G.W.” on the wall of the bridge, 23 ft. up, were carved by the future president. Legend also has it that George Washington threw a rock from the bottom of Cedar Creek over the bridge. In 1927, a large stone was found, also engraved “G.W.” and bearing a surveyor’s cross, which historians accepted as proof that he indeed surveyed the bridge.[5]

Thomas Jefferson purchased the bridge (@ Natural Bridge,VA) for $2.40 from King George III. He also built a cabin there while he was president.

King George III


Samuel Parkman spoon Paul Revere Jr B18707

Teaspoon (one of a pair)

about 1795
Paul Revere, Jr. (American, 1734–1818)

Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Buhler, 1972, No. 397


13.81 cm (5 7/16 in.)









Silver flatware


Samuel Parkman, m. first Sarah Shaw, 1773, second Sarah Rogers, 1784; subsequent history unknown; given to the Museum by the collector Pauline Revere Thayer.

Credit Line

Pauline Revere Thayer Collection


Other Parkman provenance artwork at the Boston museum of fine Arts:

Parkman Surname arches over the Sacred Cod Fish – since 1747

January 2, 2010

sacred cod fish parkman 2.jpg

Hanging over the public gallery in Massachusetts House of Representatives under the surname Parkman is the Sacred Cod fish symbolizing the importance of the fish industry in the early Massachusetts economy. It was given to the House in 1747 by a Boston merchant. The sir names that encircle the hall are of the families that were pillars of the community at the time the State Capitol Building was constructed in Boston.

sacred cod fish parkman.JPG



boston state capitol building.jpg


Sacred Cod Fish rests under the surname of Parkman

The Sacred Cod is a carving of a codfish an Atlantic cod that rests in the chamber of the Massachusetts House of Representatives under the surname of Parkman. The Massachusetts House of Representatives is the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court, the state legislature of the U.S….The Cod that currently hangs in the building is actually the third one to be carved. The first was destroyed in a fire in 1747, the second during the Revolutionary War. Alexander Parkman was a Lieutenant & Minute Man in the American Revolution.

The American Revolutionary War , also known as the American War of Independence, was a war between Kingdom of Great Britain and revolutionaries within 13 colonies, who United States Declaration of Independence as the United States in 1776…The current cod was crafted around 1784 by an unknown artist.

The Atlantic cod is a well-known seafood belonging to the family Gadidae. It grows to two metres in length…..It represents the importance of the fishing. Fishing is the activity of hunting for fish. By extension, the term fishing is also applied to hunting for other aquatic animals such as various types of shellfish as well as squid, octopus, turtles, Edible frog and some edible marine inverteb…industry in the early history of the state.

Cod are very abundant in the waters surrounding Massachusetts.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a U.S. state in the New England region of the Northeastern United States United States….and in 1974 it was chosen as the official state fish.

The Sacred Cod sculpture measures five feet long and is carved out of pine.

Pines are Pinophyta trees of the genus Pinus, in the family Pinaceae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authors accept anything from 105 to 125 species…..

The Fish Heist That Shocked Massachusetts

freedom trail boston

Parkman Bandstand – Boston Common – 1912

January 2, 2010
Parkman Bandstand - Boston Common

Parkman Bandstand – Boston Common

Parkman Bandstand Boston Common




Parkman Bandstand Boston Common Aerial

freedom trail boston

The Parkman Bandstand was named for one of the Common’s greatest benefactors, George Francis Parkman Jr., who died in 1908 and left $5 million for the care of the Common and other city parks. The bandstand was originally dedicated in 1912 and was restored in 1996. It still hosts small events such as midday concerts, theatrical productions, weddings and speeches (Obama  in 2007). Annually, the Boston Freedom Rally is held at Parkman Bandstand, the second largest rally calling for the reform of marijuana laws in the United States. The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company puts on free plays from Parkman Bandstand, drawing as many as 100,000 theater-lovers into the park every summer.

Boston Common History &amp; Map_tcm3-30691

Boston Common History Map & brochure produced by the City of Boston link:

George Parkman was Murdered at Harvard and PBS made a documentary about it (link):


Parkman House – National Historic Landmark – Boston

January 2, 2010

Parkman House - National Historic Landmark - 50 Chestnut St.- Boston

Parkman House - National Historic Landmark - 50 Chestnut St.- Boston

Francis Parkman House is a National Historic Landmark at 50 Chestnut Street in Boston, Massachusetts.

The house was built in 1865 for Francis Parkman, a historian and horticulturalist, and the house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.[1

Gov Endicott Chub Peabody 1962-1964 – Mother Mary Parkman –

January 1, 2010

Governor Endicott Chub Peabody 1962-64 (oil portrait hangs in Governors Office @ State Capitol Building Boston)

boston state capitol building

mary-parkman-peabody-civil-rights-activist (1).jpg

Mary Parkman Peabody (Civil Rights Activist) Mother of Governor Endicott Chub Peabody 1962-64

Massachusetts Governor Endicott Peabody’s statement regarding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas,Texas.


Vice Presidential Nomination Speech Former Johnson administration employee Gov. Endicott Peabody addressed the Democratic National Convention to advocate the adoption of a Constitutional amendment allowing for the popular election of the U.S. vice president. Gov. Peabody nominated himself for the position, to nominally compete with Gov. Clinton’s vice presidential choice Sen. Albert Gore. – 1992

This oil painting above hangs in the Governors Office in the gold domed Boston State Capital Building. It was front page news around the country on April 1, 1964 when the governor’s 72 year old mother, Mary Parkman Peabody, was arrested at the Ponce de Leon Motor Lodge in St. Augustine, Florida for attempting to be served in an integrated group at a racially segregated restaurant. This made Mrs. Peabody a hero to the civil rights movement, and brought the efforts in St. Augustine—the nation’s oldest city—to national and international attention. The story of her arrest is told in many books including one by her arrest companion Hester Campbell, called Four for Freedom.

An All-American star defensive lineman for the Harvard football team, he was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He was a grandson of the founder of the Groton School and Brooks School, also named Endicott Peabody. He ran for political office unsuccessfully in Massachusetts several times. In 1962 he was elected Governor, upsetting Republican Governor John Volpe by 4,431 votes out of over 2 million cast. He served a single two-year term, but in 1964, was defeated in the Democratic primary by Lieutenant Governor Francis X. Bellotti. In 1966 he ran for a seat in the United States Senate and lost by a wide margin to then-state Attorney General Edward Brooke. Also during the United States presidential election, 1960 he coordinated John F. Kennedy’s Presidential campaigns in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire[1]

freedom trail boston


Mary Parkman Peabody – Civil Rights – 1964

January 1, 2010


mary parkman peabody st augustine 1964 sit in

<a The event that brought the civil rights movement in St. Augustine to international attention was the arrest of Mary Parkman Peabody (1891-1981), the 72-year old mother of the Governor of Massachusetts (Endicott (Chub) Peabody) , for trying to be served in a racially integrated group at the Ponce de Leon Motor Lodge on March 31, 1964.

The socially prominent Mrs. Peabody, whose husband was an Episcopal bishop, and who was related to Eleanor Roosevelt, stayed here at 177 Twine Street when she was not in the St. Johns County Jail. She was the guest of Mrs. Loucille Plummer (1924-1978) a nurse and civil rights activist.

Mrs. Plummer’s house was the target of a firebombing attempt in 1965 because of her civil rights activities, but she did not let that dissuade her. According to Audrey Nell Edwards (one of the St. Augustine Four), Loucille Plummer “was a rock” in the cause of equal rights.

mary parkman peabody jail

Mary Parkman Peabody(1891-1981) the mother of Endicott Peabody the Governor of Massachusetts along with Hester Campbell, Florence Rowe and Esther Burgess, the wife of the first Black Episcopal Bishop in the United States traveled to St. Augustine Florida to desegregate restaurants and hotels in the area. Working with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference the group of ladies descended on the local restaurants and when refused service they participated in a sit-in refusing to leave. Mary Peabody at the age of 72-years-of-age along with the 92 others was arrested. Mrs. Peabody spent 2 nights in jail to help desegregate the American south.

mary parkman peabody st augustine 1964

mary parkman peabody civil rights activist 1964

mary parkman peabody

mary parkman peabody - peabody_dv8

endicott peabody mass governor 1962 - 64

Governor Endicott Chub Peabody of Mass 1962-64 , Mary Parkman Peabody’s son



Mary Parkman Peabody, the eldest of five children of Henry Parkman and Mary Frances (Parker) Parkman, was born on July 24, 1891, in Beverly, Massachusetts. She attended the Winsor School in Boston, Massachusetts, and Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut. In 1912, after inheriting money from an uncle, she embarked on a trip around the world with two friends and a chaperone, traveling to India, Burma, Ceylon, China, Japan, and the Philippines. After returning, she took classes at Simmons College School of Social Work and in 1916, she married Malcolm Peabody, son of Fannie and Endicott Peabody, the founder of Groton School. They had five children: Mary, known as Marietta (1917-1991), Endicott (1920-1997), George (born 1922), Samuel (born 1925), and Malcolm, Jr. (born 1928).

The couple settled in Lawrence, Massachusetts, where Malcolm Peabody was first curate and then rector of Grace Episcopal Church. Shortly after the birth of their first child, Malcolm Peabody began service as a World War I chaplain in France. During his absence, Mary Peabody worked with the Women’s Liberty Loan committee, which encouraged women to buy Liberty Bonds to support the troops, and was active in community welfare projects. Malcolm Peabody returned to Lawrence in 1919, and in 1925 the Peabodys moved to Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, where he served as rector of St. Paul’s Church; in 1938 he was elected bishop coadjutor of central New York and became bishop the following year. The Peabodys relocated first to Utica and then to Syracuse, New York. Mary Peabody taught religious classes for public school students in Syracuse and took in German and Austrian refugees during World War II. In 1960, Malcolm Peabody retired and the Peabodys moved again, to Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In 1964, at the age of 72, Mary Peabody was recruited by a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to join a civil rights demonstration in St. Augustine, Florida. She traveled with Hester Campbell, wife of the dean of the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Cambridge, Florence Rowe (mother-in-law of her son Malcolm), and Esther Burgess, wife of the first black Episcopal bishop in the United States. At the request of the demonstation’s leader, Dr. Robert Hayling, Peabody and her companions attempted to get service at local restaurants and hotels. They were refused and Peabody was arrested for participating in a sit-in at a segregated motel dining room; she spent two nights in jail, drawing praise from Martin Luther King, Jr. Her son Endicott was governor of Massachusetts at the time, and partly because of this, her arrest drew a great deal of press coverage and she received large amounts of mail both praising and condemning her actions.

Following her return to Cambridge, Peabody remained active in the civil rights struggle and made many public appearances. She also worked for the rights of American Indians and the establishment of a school in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Malcolm Peabody died in 1974 and Mary Peabody died of heart failure on February 6, 1981.>

Mrs. Mary Parkman Peabody 2013 Recipient of the ‘Dr. Robert B. Hayling Award of Valor’

In honor and recognition of her courageous acts displayed during the 1964 Civil Rights Movement, ACCORD presents the “Dr. Robert B. Hayling Award of Valor” Posthumasely to the Late Mrs. Mary Parkman Peabody.

In a June, 2013 letter written by her son Malcolm E. Peabody, to Ms. Dalonja Duncan, President of ACCORD, Inc., he states, “I will be unable to attend the event, but…honored to receive the award in absentia…if mother were alive today, she would be very proud to receive the…award…she would insist that the courage of all those who participated in the demonstrations, particularly the children and Dr. Hayling…far exceeded what she was required to display…In representing my family let me say how touched we are to have this honor placed on our mother”

The Annual “Dr. Robert B. Hayling Award of Valor” was initiated and sponsored, July 2, 2009 by former Florida State Senator Dr. Anthony ‘Tony’ Hill. Past Recipients are Mr. James Jackson, Mr. Clyde Jenkins, Rev. Goldie Eubanks+, and Mrs. Loucille Plummer+ who had as a guest in her home, Mrs. Peabody in 1964.

It was 49 years ago: March 31, 1964: a time of excitement in the Nation’s Oldest City. It was spring break, and many college students had come to town — not to go to the beach, but to take part in civil rights demonstrations. The Elk’s Rest on Washington Street was the headquarters. The historic two-story building had meeting facilities, and also a kitchen where food could be prepared (civil rights veterans can still remember the peanut butter sandwiches). Integrated groups would be organized and sent out to the restaurants, lunch counters, motels and churches to see if they would be served, barred or arrested.

Not all of the visitors were students. One was Mary Parkman Peabody, 72-year-old wife of an Episcopal bishop, cousin of Eleanor Roosevelt, and mother of the governor of Massachusetts. Her presence in St. Augustine was very big news. FBI reports show that J. Edgar Hoover himself began taking an interest in the Nation’s Oldest City when he learned the governor’s mother would be coming here.

Mrs. Peabody agreed to “test” (in the parlance of the day) the Ponce de Leon Motor Lodge on U.S. 1 north of town. Two of her white friends, a Harvard professor and the wife of the president of the Episcopal Theological Seminary, agreed to go with her. They looked around for black people to accompany them — and came upon the women working in the kitchen of the Elk’s Rest: Georgie Mae Reed, Rosa Phelps, Cuter Eubanks, Nellie Mitchell and Lillian Twine Roberson. They were driven home to dress appropriately for the occasion, then went out to the Ponce Lodge — and were arrested. The next day it was front-page news all over the country. From that time until the signing of the landmark Civil Rights Act on July 2, 1964, St. Augustine got more media coverage that it had in the previous 399 years of its existence.

The sacrifices they made led Martin Luther King to hail them among the Heroes of St. Augustine”. Of these five black women, only Lillian Twine Roberson is alive today. A sister of the late city Commissioner and ViceMayor, HenryTwine. Lillian now lives in Jacksonville, FL. Her home on Gault Street in North City was burned down in 1964 (only the brick steps remain) after she sent her children to integrate the previously allwhile Fullerwood School and her husband was fired from his job at a local car dealership because of his civil rights activities.

One of the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that grew out of the demonstrations in St. Augustine outlawed job discrimination — not just against blacks, but also against women. Every woman who now has a job that in previous generations reserved for men only, owes a vote of thanks to Mrs. Mary Parkman Peabody and the other “Heroes of St. Augustine”.

David Nolan, Historian & Author Anniversary to Commemorate the Civil Rights Demonstrations, Inc.


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