CCNS-LP Settlement 29.jpgPrince Freeman house [Long Point Settlement No. 29].

The Universalist movement in Provincetown, which reached its architectural apogee with the building of the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, legendarily got its foothold on Long Point. One day, the sisters Silvia Freeman (b 1807) and Elizabeth Freeman (b 1809) pulled from the flotsam and jetsam a copy — presumably tossed or lost overboard — of The Life of Rev. John Murray, Late Minister of the Reconciliation, and Senior Pastor of the Universalists, Congregated in Boston. “The girls did not tell of their prize, but they dried the book, read it, believed its teachings and became the first Universalists in the community,” Nancy W. Paine Smith wrote in The Provincetown Book. “The secret could not long be kept. They showed the book to their father and mother, to cousins and neighbors on the Point and to friends on T’other Side. Out of the discussion and agitation which followed grew the Christian Union Society.”

Silvia and Elizabeth’s brother, Capt. Prince Freeman (1822-1909), was the first child born on Long Point but scarcely the first Prince Freeman. His father — for whom this house is named — was Prince Freeman (1775-1847), a Provincetown native. And his grandfather was also Prince Freeman (b 1738), a native of Eastham. Captain Freeman’s boyhood home was moved to 49 Commercial Street. The Prince Freeman Apartments stand next door, at 51 Commercial Street.

¶ Last updated on 18 February 2017.

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