A celebration of freedom 


On July 27, the African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard will unveil a bronze memorial dedicated to a slave with ties to the Island at Memorial Wharf in Edgartown. 

Esther was a slave being transported from Boston to North Carolina in 1743 on the ship named Endeavor. Testimony from the ship’s crew said Esther leaped off the ship while it was anchored overnight in Edgartown Harbor. Although her arms and legs were bound, she was able to escape. Her escape is recognized by the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, and “brings to life the role of the Underground Railroad on Martha’s Vineyard,” according to the press release. 

All are welcome to the celebration. The unveiling of the memorial will be accompanied by spiritual music and poetry beginning at 3 pm. The press release said not only does the celebration honor Esther’s story, but also honors the “diverse groups of people who resisted injustice and oppression.”