Through some valuable information from Springfield Museums, our class found that Ginny Gay was later named Jennie Gay. Due to this discovery, it made things much easier for us to uncover more. We have sources that provided us with the knowledge that Jennie Gay worked at the Parsons Tavern when she was in her teens. Jennie was born in 1777, and worked for Eleazer Williams at the Parsons Tavern. Jennie worked as a cook here, which was a very uncommon job amongst African-American women. Jennie likely worked that this hotel/tavern for over ten years – until the early 1800’s. Our previous hypothetical ideas of Jennie working at the Massasoit House (A hotel for runaway slaves in Springfield), is lacking evidence. Jennie working at this underground railroad hotel is not impossible, but there is a lack of evidence depicting that she worked here as she was not part of the consensus. Jennie would have been in her mid-sixties by the time the Massasoit House was built in 1843 (after the railroad made its way through Springfield). Jennie passed away at the age of 83 due to “lung fever” one January 16th, 1860. This hotel clearly had great significance with its location as it was on route from New York to Boston; it housed president George Washington for a night whilst he was on his way to Boston; a year later, president James Monroe also stayed the night there. Now, we will be looking more into the Parson’s family and try to uncover more information on them as a whole. Also, I personally will be attempting to make a statement to rewrite the plaque written in commemoration of the tavern. I will need to
See Below – This is the Twitter conversation we had with multiple historians in order to find more information on Jennie Gay and the Parson’s Tavern.
Hello @Lizro27 & @d_roback: Our #PBL class wonders if this 19th c "Ginny" https://t.co/pEehkG8xFt worked at the Massasoit House. Do you know? If not, where can we explore this possibility? Or do you know of another Springfield hotel https://t.co/57rpRfGA2R Thx! #PBLChat #CAICT
— #CAISCT #PBL (@caisct_pbl) February 11, 2019