The Winslows

Edward WinslowThe historic 1699 Winslow House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the ancestral home of the founding family of Marshfield and was considered an avant-garde South Shore mansion. Built by Judge Isaac Winslow, grandson of Mayflower passenger and three-time governor of Plymouth Colony Edward Winslow, the house is an example of Marshfield’s historic past.

Virtually untouched by modernization, it was occupied by a family of governors, generals, doctors, lawyers and judges who helped to create Marshfield and the South Shore as we know it. It survives as an example of how some well-to-do landed gentry, particularly those loyal to the King, lived in the years prior to the American Revolutionary War.

A tour of the home shows antiques and architecture from the Winslow period.  The house remained in the Winslow family until 1822, and was later owned by Daniel Webster. It was restored and opened to the public in 1920.

Dr. Isaac Winslow Among its occupants were General John Winslow, leader of the Massachusetts militia who is best known for his role in the evacuation of the Acadians from Nova Scotia—an event commemorated by Longfellow in his epic poem Evangeline. His son, Isaac Winslow, was a Loyalist doctor who quarantined and inoculated many Marshfield and Duxbury residents afflicted with smallpox.  Largely because of his actions, his property was not confiscated after the Revolution.

Another notable occupant was the manservant Britton Hammon, who after his voyages at sea, capture by Indians off the coast of Florida, subsequent escape and reconciliation with former master John Winslow, wrote his life story—becoming perhaps the first African-American to have published his work in the New World. It was in the Winslow House that generations of Winslow children grew up and became the influences on Marshfield society that they were.