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Royall House and Slave Quarters (Royall House Association)

 15 George Street
 Medford, MA 02155
[P] (781) 396-9032
[F] --
Gracelaw Simmons
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-6046749

LAST UPDATED: 11/22/2017
Organization DBA Royall House & Slave Quarters
Royall House and Slave Quarters
Isaac Royall House
Royall House
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

The Royall House and Slave Quarters explores the meanings of freedom and independence before, during, and since the American Revolution, in the context of a household of wealthy Loyalists and enslaved Africans.

Mission Statement

The Royall House and Slave Quarters explores the meanings of freedom and independence before, during, and since the American Revolution, in the context of a household of wealthy Loyalists and enslaved Africans.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Apr 01, 2017 to Mar 31, 2018
Projected Income $119,871.00
Projected Expense $118,871.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Building & Landscape Preservation & Maintenance
  • Collections, Archives, and Exhibitions
  • Public Education
  • Youth Education / School Programs

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The Royall House and Slave Quarters explores the meanings of freedom and independence before, during, and since the American Revolution, in the context of a household of wealthy Loyalists and enslaved Africans.

Background Statement

The Royall House Association was founded in 1906 to protect an endangered historic mansion and to ensure its long-term preservation. During the organization's first century, tours and public programs emphasized the American Revolution and the family of Isaac Royall Jr., a Loyalist in that war, who occupied the property from 1732-1775. Over the past decade and as a result of a strategic planning process in 2005, we have expanded our interpretive focus to incorporate the stories of enslaved Africans who lived with and worked for the Royall family. 

The Royall House and Slave Quarters, as it is now known, is a volunteer-driven membership organization staffed by a part-time paid executive director and governed by a 14-member board of directors. A corps of 40+ volunteers provides guided tours, event support, and landscape maintenance.

Few other sites have the same ability to tell and show the history of colonial slavery in New England. Isaac Royall was among the wealthiest men in Massachusetts in his day, perhaps the colony’s largest slaveholder. The property includes the only remaining freestanding slave quarters in the north, located in close proximity to an eighteenth-century house that is furnished to interpret the side-by-side living spaces of the wealthy Royalls and those they enslaved.

Impact Statement


1) In June 2017 Cummings Foundation awarded a repeat $100K for 100 grant to our museum that will enable us to utilize short-term professional expertise over the next 4 years to accomplish organizational goals in the areas of preservation, youth education, collections management, and diversity.

2) Parallel Lives: Life and Work on a Northern Plantation," our school field-trip program, is now available to 4th through 6th grade classes, and we have developed "Belinda's Footsteps: Sugar, Slavery, and Survival," an introductory in-school program for the winter months. A limited number of admission fee reductions and transportation subsidies are available to ensure that students from low-income school districts have access to this important piece of American history.

3) The first floors of both the Slave Quarters and the Royall mansion are now wheelchair accessible, thanks to a grant from the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation. Funding from Cummings Foundation in 2013 supported accessibility modifications to one of the restrooms in the Slave Quarters building. 

4) Museum visitation has increased five-fold in the last ten years, and the numbers continue to grow.  
5) New "Enslavement to Freedom" exhibition, with displays in both buildings, opened to the public in May 2017.  

1) Youth education – Promote and implement educational field-trip programs for elementary school students.

2) Preservation – Remove the driveway gate and continue mansion restoration. 

3) Collections -- Establish a new Cummings Collections Fellowship in collaboration with the Tufts University museum studies program to complete the comprehensive inventory of all collections and develop a collections policy and disaster plan.  

4) Exhibitions – Complete the restructuring of the archaeological artifact exhibit thanks to a 2017 grant from the Medford Arts Council.    

 5) Diversity -- Establish a "Cummings Diversity Fellowship" in collaboration with nearby Tufts University to expand outreach.

Needs Statement

1) Additional volunteers to fill several openings on the Board of Directors, to serve as tour guides and as assistant teachers for school field trips, and for special projects

2) Institutional development and planned giving plans -- $5,000

3) Staffing support to expand outreach initiatives -- $25,000

CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

Because the Slave Quarters is believed to be the only remaining such structure in the northern United States, the museum serves all of New England and has national significance. 

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - History Museums
  2. Education - Elementary & Secondary Schools
  3. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Historical Societies & Historic Preservation

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Building & Landscape Preservation & Maintenance

Fundamental to our mission is the responsibility to preserve, protect, and maintain the eighteenth-century Isaac Royall Mansion, adjacent Slave Quarters, and surrounding grounds for the future.  

We have recently completed the reconstruction of a major landscape fence, repainting the exteriors of both buildings and several interior rooms, and the construction of a new accessible ramped path to the Slave Quarters.  
Our next major projects are to repair/remove the driveway gate, continue restoration work in the mansion, and improve the grounds through gravel path repair.   
Budget  $50,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Historic Preservation & Conservation
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success 

The Slave Quarters is accessible to wheelchair users, and the Royall mansion better portrays its owners' significant wealth. 

Program Long-Term Success  These unique and important buildings will last another 275 years.
Program Success Monitored By  Our volunteer maintenance consultant, a retired preservation carpenter/contractor, regularly assesses building needs. An all-volunteer Landscape Committee oversees plantings and landscape maintenance.  
Examples of Program Success 
Cummings Foundation supported the restoration of the Slave Quarters, exterior painting of both buildings, ceiling repair in the Royall House, and rebuilding a prominent landscape fence. 
A grant from the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation supported the installation of a gently sloping ramped path into the Slave Quarters, upgrades of ramps to and from the Royall House porch, and related landscaping.   
Major funding from the 1772 Foundation in 2010 supported several preservation projects in the Royall House, including window repair, re-plastering, and repainting selected rooms.

Collections, Archives, and Exhibitions

The first and second floors of the Royall House are furnished to portray the home of a wealthy colonial-era landowner, sugar planter, and slaveholder. The third floor and attic provide storage for the museum’s additional collections of furnishings, decorative items, and textiles.  A major grant in 2010 enabled us to restore and reinterpret the service corridor of the House as living/working space for enslaved Africans, whose presence there in the 18thcentury is documented through primary sources.

In 2017 we opened a new "Enslavement to Freedom" exhibition, with displays in both buildings.  Slave Quarters exhibits include a display of artifacts unearthed by an archaeological dig on the site and an exhibit on the property’s historic landscape. 
Budget  $5,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Museums
Population Served General/Unspecified Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) College Aged (18-26 years)
Program Short-Term Success  Third-floor storage areas in the House fully organized. Descriptions of archaeological artifacts re-written and exhibit cases reorganized to coordinate with recently completed descriptive panel. An additional exhibit panel featuring a conjectural drawing of this building’s appearance and function in the 18thcentury completed. 
Program Long-Term Success  Completion of a full inventory of the contents of the House, with inventory numbers assigned to all objects and a full photographic record.
Program Success Monitored By  National museum standards and best practices.
Examples of Program Success  Grants from Historic New England and the Medford Arts Council supported the creation of a new “Learning from the Landscape” exhibit in 2011. The exhibit’s central feature is a rare eighteenth-century wooden sculpture of Mercury, the Roman god of commerce, returned to public view after more than a century. A volunteer recently donated hours of her time to organize and document the items stored on the third floor of the Royall House; this project is nearly complete.

Public Education

The museum is open to visitors, for a modest fee, weekends from June through October. Trained volunteers lead tours that tell the intertwined stories of one of the Massachusetts colony’s wealthiest families and the enslaved Africans upon whose labor that wealth was built and maintained. Groups are accommodated on weekdays by reservation. Visitors are encouraged to view the exhibits in the Slave Quarters building at their own pace. At least 6 public programs each year address subjects relevant to the museum’s history and themes.

In 2017, more than 1,400 members of the general public toured the museum.  An additional 400 students from area colleges and universities came with classes in history, architecture, and literature.  More than 800 people attended museum-sponsored programs.  Our monthly email updates go to 2,000 recipients, our Facebook page is followed by more than 2,800 individuals and, and our Twitter feed has nearly 750 followers.

Budget  $20,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Population Served Adults College Aged (18-26 years) Families
Program Short-Term Success 

Visitation meets or exceeds previous years’ numbers and income. 

Public program attendance meets capacity of 40-60 people. 

Program Long-Term Success  We will need additional guides to handle beyond-capacity tours.
Program Success Monitored By  We regularly implement visitor surveys, and we monitor visitor feedback.  
Examples of Program Success  For the first time in 2017, tours of the museum were offered to Harvard Law School alumni as part of their annual reunion program.  More than 50 HLS alumni and their family members visited, and the program will be repeated in 2018.  

Youth Education / School Programs

"Parallel Lives: Life and Work on a Northern Plantation,” our field trip program targeting 4th through 6th graders, explores themes of work and wealth on Ten Hills Farm in Medford using archaeology and household objects. Educational resources include artifacts unearthed on site and a rich collection of primary source documents that bring to life the human side of northern slavery. Students gain an understanding of the contributions of enslaved Africans to the development of colonial Massachusetts and an introduction to the complex issues of race and identity, slavery and freedom. Transportation subsidies are available to ensure that students from a full range of school districts have access to this important chapter of the American narrative. “Belinda’s Footsteps: Sugar, Slavery, and Survival,” serves as an in-school introduction to the museum, its resources, and its history of northern slavery.  

Budget  $35,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  Area schools schedule annual field trips for their students. 
Program Long-Term Success  We continue to promote these programs to area 3rd through 6th grade classroom teachers. We charge modest admission fees to schools that can afford them, and several funders have provided funding to subsidize bus transportation for communities that would otherwise be unable to attend. Our goal is to maintain a regular schedule of school visits during the spring and fall, and of day-camp and other youth program visits in the summer.  
Program Success Monitored By  Written student and teacher evaluations help us improve these programs.  
Examples of Program Success 

"It was tremendous because we saw many different artifacts. It was not like any house I've seen before. My favorite part was when we played achi! I learned that there was a house just for the slaves of the Royalls. There must have been lots of slaves." -- 5th grader from O.W. Holmes School in Dorchester


"The Triangle Trade activity got students moving and interacting. It also tied into our math curriculum... with triangles and pictographs." -- 3rd grade teacher, Orchard Gardens Pilot School, Roxbury


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Mr. Tom Lincoln
CEO Term Start Dec 2005
CEO Email
CEO Experience

By training, Mr. Lincoln is a writer and editor, with extensive experience in the legal and marketing sectors. By avocation he is a historic preservationist and environmental activist.  Mr. Lincoln serves as the part-time Executive Director of the Royall House and Slave Quarters, where he works on: implementation of the Strategic Plan and associated interpretive planning; physical and programmatic aspects of the organization and property; fundraising, marketing, membership, outreach, and general institutional development.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Massachusetts History Commendation Mass Humanities (Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities) 2013
National Register of Historic Places Department of the Interior 1966
National Historic Landmark Department of the Interior 1960


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


The RH&SQ collaborates on programs with many local organizations, including the Medford Historical Society, Medford Public Library, and Medford Arts Center.We give annual tours to all 5th graders in the Medford Public Schools. We have cosponsored or participated in teacher-training programs in collaboration with the Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery, Boston University’s African American Studies Program, Primary Source, the Rhode Island Historical Society, and several Teaching American History consortia.
We host history, English, African and American studies, museum studies, law, and architecture students from Tufts, Harvard, Brandeis, Salem and Fitchburg State Universities, Simmons College, and Bunker Hill Community College, among others.
Our organization is a founding member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Northeast African-American Historic Sites Initiative.We are a founding affiliate member of Historic New England, and recipient of their first preservation grant for Massachusetts.We have presented information about our museum and its themes at public forums sponsored by the New England Museum Association, Paul Revere House, Historic Deerfield, Historic Newton, Old South Meeting House, and the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 20
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 2
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 1
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit No
State Registration No

Risk Management Provisions

Accident and Injury Coverage
Commercial General Liability
Employment Practices Liability
Directors and Officers Policy
Fiduciary Liability
General Property Coverage
Internet Liability Insurance
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Workplace Violence

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A


Board Chair Ms. Penny Outlaw
Board Chair Company Affiliation Consultant
Board Chair Term Apr 2013 - Mar 2014
Board Co-Chair Mr. Peter Gittleman
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Historic New England
Board Co-Chair Term Apr 2013 - Mar 2014

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Elizabeth Ammons Tufts University English Department Voting
Michael Baenen Tufts University President's Office Voting
Barbara Berenson Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Voting
Anne Donaghy Boston-based corporation Voting
Peter Gittleman Historic New England Voting
David Goodine Retired Voting
Amanda Hadad Community Volunteer Voting
Madeleine Karolian The Boston Conservatory Voting
Theresa Kelliher Harvard University Voting
Margen Kelsey Community Volunteer Voting
Mary Kathryn Menck Emerging museum professional Voting
Penny Outlaw Consultant Voting
Jennifer Pustz Historic New England Voting
Gracelaw Simmons GMA Foundations Voting
Collins Warren Tufts University - Belinda Sutton Board Member Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Rachelle Browne Smithsonian Institution NonVoting
Dr. Alexandra Chan Monadnock Archaeological Consulting NonVoting
Mr. Steven Cohen Turst University American Studies and Education Departments NonVoting
Ms. Rachel Fletcher Upper Housatonic Valley African-American Heritage Trail NonVoting
Professor Frances Jones-Sneed Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts NonVoting
Professor Joanne Pope Melish University of Kentucky History Department NonVoting
Professor Margot Minardi Reed College History Department NonVoting
Ms. Margaret Vetare Historic Reinterpretation Consultant NonVoting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 14
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 12
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 93%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Collections
  • Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Education
  • Executive

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- $0 --
Individual Contributions $16,387 $32,244 $36,043
Indirect Public Support -- $0 --
Earned Revenue $18,788 $19,923 $19,523
Investment Income, Net of Losses $37,975 $23,827 $28,374
Membership Dues $2,310 $4,815 $4,045
Special Events $6,721 $6,560 $5,652
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- $0 --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $65,111 $84,396 $61,462
Administration Expense $15,169 $10,320 $13,779
Fundraising Expense -- $0 --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.02 0.92 1.24
Program Expense/Total Expenses 81% 89% 82%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $588,378 $573,935 $612,429
Current Assets $66,546 $99,064 $124,213
Long-Term Liabilities -- $0 $0
Current Liabilities $846 $1,828 $378
Total Net Assets $587,532 $572,107 $612,051

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 78.66 54.19 328.61

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


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