February 4, 2021

 The Abolitionist Movement and Lowell’s Mechanics Hall

 
In the early 1800s, Lowell was a city torn between the abolitionist movement and slavery. The Cotton Mills generated a great profit for the city. Without slavery and the plantations in the south, the economic stability of the City of Lowell could be harmed. However, the economic success of the city was not the only motivating factor for the community, the community was reckoning with its moral code by enabling and profiting from slavery.
Youth Opportunity Center
By the 1830s, numerous safe houses existed across the city as part of the Underground Railroad. Mechanics Hall, which is known today as Community Teamwork’s Youth Opportunity Center at 167 Dutton St., was built in 1835. The Hall was used as a meeting place and library for skilled craftsmen. This building was also home to various small businesses, including several Black-owned businesses.
Mechanics Hall was a hub for abolitionist activity and provided a safe space for the Black Community to not only open businesses but also to organize community allies in an effort to end the practice of slavery. 


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