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Hempsted Historic District

Located in the center of New London and surrounding the 17th century Joshua Hempsted House (see Underground Railroad section), the Hempstead Historic District includes houses that were purchased by free African Americans in the 1840s. These properties were sold by Hempsted descendants, who were abolitionists, to Savillion Haley, who believed that African Americans deserved adequate housing like whites had. African Americans of colonial New London had already lived in this area,area and, with these new purchases and later home building by African Americans, organizations important to the community’s interests developed. One of these is Shiloh Baptist Church located on Garvin Street, which is named for the early 20th century African American leader, Albert Garvin. The Joshua Hempsted House is one of two historic houses in the district open to the public. Owned by Connecticut Landmarks, it contains a family archive of early abolitionist papers. The district is on the National Register of Historic Places.


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