Visit Parting Ways

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Historical Significance

Parting Ways Cemetery is the final resting place of four African-American Revolutionary War veterans: Prince Goodwin, Cato Howe, Quamony Quash, and Plato Turner. At least three and perhaps all four had been slaves before the war. Quamony Quash fought for American independence while still enslaved; he was not emancipated by Theophilus Cotton until 1781. Their graves are visible reminders of the New Guinea Settlement at Parting Ways (named for the fork in the road leading from Plymouth to either Plympton or Carver). In 1792 the Town of Plymouth granted approximately 94 acres to  the men for clearing the land. They created one of the earliest independent African-American communities in New England.

Directions

From Route 3, take exit 6 onto Samoset Street. Travel west for 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Route 80 East (Plympton Street). Travel 1.5 miles. Parting Ways is located on the right, just before the Kingston townline. There is a small parking area and a half-mile trail through the woods behind the gravesites.

Learn More

Long Road to Freedom: Online exploration of African-American history in Plymouth based on 2006 exhibit at Pilgrim Hall Museum, featuring digital copies of original documents with transcriptions

Parting Ways: Chapter from In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life  by Dr. James Deetz, who led an archaeological dig at Parting Ways in 1975 and 1976

Early African-American Settlement at “Parting Ways“, Plymouth: Blog post by historian Patrick Browne (PhD Candidate at Boston University)

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