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Dorchester Voices/Dorchester History artwork #6: Boat with Rope

The boat sailing over rough seas of rope symbolizes the people who have willingly or unwillingly left their homelands to come here. Three quotes circle the small bronze boat and waves of coiled rope to honor three waves of peoples who were forced, or sought, to leave their homeland by boat to arrive in America. The first quote “We came through the deeps for ten weeks....” (Colonist, 1630) describes the sea passage of Dorchester’s first colonists who traveled aboard the ship the John and Mary from England to arrive here in 1632. The second quote, “A floating world...the pangs of death came like a Balm” (Belinda Royal, Slave, 1783) was written by a woman kidnapped from Ghana Africa when she was 12, and describes the passage from Africa to America on a slave ship. (Belinda Royall was owned by the Royall family of Cambridge who also had connections to Dorchester, and at the end of her life petitioned, and won, compensation for her enslavement from the general court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.) The final quote “We escaped to freedom for our children.” (South Vietnamese Refugee, 2007) was shared by a recent Dorchester immigrant to describe his escape from South Vietnam.

Image courtesy of Laura Baring-Gould