129 and 133 Nonotuck Street were the homes of the families of Joseph Willson, and Ezekiel Cooper of Maryland. Willson was one of ten fugitive slaves who signed a call to meeting to resist the Fugitive Slave Act. These were two of seven households of African Americans, 35 men, women and children in all. The Florence area was nearly ten percent African-American in 1850. By 1855 most African American families had left Nonotuck Street where they had been working at the factories of the Willistons and Alfred Critchlow.