Two quarry workers, Brownville, ca. 1868

Contributed by Maine Historic Preservation Commission


Two African-American men stand on the "dump" at the Merrill Slate Quarry in Brownville in about 1868.

A group of about 40 families of former slaves moved to Brownville in about 1866 to work in the slate quarry. Gen. Oliver Otis Howard, a native of Leeds and head of the Freedmen's Bureau, asked Adams Merrill, owner of the quarry, if he would be interested in have former slaves work in his quarry.

The children of the workers attended local schools. All of the families were gone by about 1800, a number having died of disease and others having left for more favorable climates.

A label on the back of the photo reads, "Scenery in Northern Maine. On the Dump - Brownville Slate Quarry, Photographed by A. L. Hinds, Benton, Maine."

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About This Item

  • Title: Two quarry workers, Brownville, ca. 1868
  • Creator: A. L. Hinds
  • Creation Date: circa 1868
  • Subject Date: circa 1868
  • Location: Brownville, Piscataquis County, ME
  • Media: Stereograph
  • Local Code: MHPC 1509
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historic Preservation Commission
55 Capitol Street, 65 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0065
(207) 287-2132

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