Samuel Harrison House

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Samuel Harrison House
Rev Samuel Harrison House.JPG
Samuel Harrison House is located in Massachusetts
Samuel Harrison House
Samuel Harrison House is located in the US
Samuel Harrison House
Location 82 Third St., Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°27′7.86″N 73°15′5.51″W / 42.4521833°N 73.2515306°W / 42.4521833; -73.2515306Coordinates: 42°27′7.86″N 73°15′5.51″W / 42.4521833°N 73.2515306°W / 42.4521833; -73.2515306
Built 1850 (1850)
Architectural style Greek Revival
NRHP Reference #


Added to NRHP March 22, 2006

Samuel Harrison House is a historic house at 82 Third Street in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Built about 1850, it was for many years home to Samuel Harrison, a regionally prominent African American minister who served as chaplain to the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.[1]


The Samuel Harrison House stands on the east side of Third Street near its junction with Silver Street in a residential area northeast of Pittsburg's central Park Square. It is a 1-1/2 story plank-framed wooden structure, with a gabled roof, and a shed-roof porch extending along its south side. It has modest vernacular Greek Revival elements, include gable returns and a Doric column supporting the porch, whose rear section is enclosed.[2]


Rev. Samuel Harrison was a 19th-century African American born into slavery in 1818. By 1821, he and his mother were given their freedom. At an early age, he had the desire to become a minister. He sought out an education at the Peterboro Manual Labor school in Peterboro, New York. This school was closed shortly after his arrival. He then traveled to Hudson, Ohio where he attended and graduated from the Preparatory School at Western Reserve College (now Western Reserve Academy). In 1850, Samuel Harrison moved to Pittsfield, Massachusetts and became the first minister of the Second Congregational Church in Pittsfield.[3]

In 1862, Rev. Harrison resigned from the church and worked for the National Freedman's Relief Society during the American Civil War. In July 1863, the Massachusetts 54th Volunteer Regiment spearheaded the assault on Fort Wagner in Charleston, South Carolina. The regiment suffered heavy losses. Massachusetts Governor John A. Andrew sent Rev. Harrison to South Carolina to express the sympathies of the commonwealth to the men of the 54th. Later that year, Rev. Harrison received a commission as chaplain and mustered into the 54th. The following year, Rev. Harrison was honorably discharged for health reasons. He would work for the National Freedman's Relief Society until the war was over.[3]

In the late 1860s, Rev. Harrison filled the pulpit in various places around New England. But in 1872, Rev. Harrison returned to his home in Pittsfield and returned as pastor of the Second Congregational Church. Rev. Harrison would serve in this capacity until his death in 1900. During this time, Rev. Harrison would have 2 sermons published, one in 1874 and the other in 1877. In 1899, he was commissioned to write his autobiography.[3]

In 2004, the Samuel Harrison Society was formed to save Rev. Samuel Harrison's house from demolition after learning that it had historic value. Now with Rev. Harrison's house on the Registry of Historic Places, the Samuel Harrison Society is committed to restoring and preserving the home.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "NRHP nomination for Samuel Harrison House". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  3. ^ a b c d Samuel Harrison House website (accessed August 20, 2008)

External links[edit]