Repeal Whittier’s Curse

I was so impressed today as I checked out the now-opened Brown Square.    Mr. Vining did just as professional a job as can be done on the interpretive plaques that are positioned in the park.      You first read about the prodigal son, William Lloyd Garrison, who was basically run out of town but years later, embraced by the citizens of Newburyport.      You then go to the plaques that are facing Garrison Inn (former Moses Brown residence) and learn about the second richest man in the city.     A wealth built on rum and goods…and slaves.      

Yes, Newburyport was no embracer of the abolitionist movement – the Triangle Trade of slaves and rum and sugar cane was a crucial industry in Newburyport.     There were at one time as many as 60 distilleries within the town’s borders.      Later, as cotton became king in the South, the merchants feared doing anything that would offend their crucial providers for their mills.

That was when Whittier put his curse upon the city.      The curse basically says that the world will not know or hear of Newburyport – we will be like Brigadoon cast off in the mist.   Only a handful will stumble upon our magic place and the rest of humanity will be ignorant of our charms.

My question is, "Isn’t there some expiration date on curses?"

Sheesh, no rum is even made in our region let alone Newburyport.    Men fought and died so all men could become free and free souls roam our city!    The cotton mills are silent and manufacturing is limited to electronics and other small items.

I realized that the statue of Mr. Garrison was placed at Brown Square as a form of penitence.     An ardent but despised anti-slaver triumphing over the square dedicated to a slave trading supporter.

What else can we do to cast off this burden?      We need to work harder than ever to cast off this Curse and promote the international recognition of Newburyport.    

-P. Preservationist


About P. Preservationist

Dedicated to the Enrichment & Preservation of Newburyport
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