Self-Guided Black Heritage Bike Tour
What’s Not Included
Cost of Food
If you want to make all of the delicious stops, plan on approximately 20-30 minutes per each stop to enjoy the food
While our guides provide water, you might consider bringing a sports drink or snack.
Any luggage, large bags, or bulky jackets can be left at the shop during the tour.
In 2015, Portsmouth installed a marker to honor the African ancestors who were brought to the state and their descendants who played key roles in its early history. Today’s downtown includes sites of the earliest urban settlement, the waterfront, homes of the early merchants, and, consequently, the earliest enslavements.
African presence in the colony of New Hampshire can be traced back to 1645, with the first documented captive person from the west coast of Africa; he was bought by a Mr. Williams of Piscataqua. Although the number of blacks in the colony was small in the 17th century, records of wills and inventories indicate that the enslaved were included in the estates of several prominent families. Because the colony of New Hampshire did not impose a tariff on the importation of captive Africans, many were transported to the state’s only port at Portsmouth or along the Piscataqua River and smuggled into Massachusetts and other colonies.
Portsmouth, with its history as a New England human trade hub, primarily transported the enslaved between Africa, Portsmouth, Virginia, and the West Indies. Africans who were victims of the trade usually arrived in the state through the port of Portsmouth, and according to Valerie Cunningham, “The town’s slave population grew from a reported 52 in 1727 to about 4% of the total population in 1767 when 187 slaves were reported . . .” with as many as 700 black people here by the American Revolution. By this time, the colony had become a major Atlantic seaport. Most of the enslaved worked in the shipyards, on the waterfront, in tradesmen’s workshops, and in family homes. As a result of a very active abolitionist group, the state became an Underground Railroad route of escape for enslaved people.
$24 includes bicycle, helmet, water and guided APP.
• 9 am - 1 pm
• 4 - hours long
• 7-8 miles