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Black Broadway Actor Buys Huge 19th Century Mansion Built By Slaves

Black Broadway Actor Buys Huge 19th Century Mansion Built By Slaves

A black Broadway actor has bought a mansion in the US built by slaves 200 years ago - and claims the seller assumed the cash only offer would 'take him off the table'.

Robert Hartwell said he knew the property in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, was his future home the minute he lay eyes on it.

However, he claims the seller assumed he wouldn't have sufficient funds to buy the house, which was on the market for $349,000 (£282,854) on a cash only basis.

Hartwell proved them wrong though and is now the proud owner of the mansion, which he has vowed to 'fill with love'.

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Hartwell said he had been 'overwhelmed with gratitude' since buying the house. Credit: Instagram/Robert Hartwell
Hartwell said he had been 'overwhelmed with gratitude' since buying the house. Credit: Instagram/Robert Hartwell

The actor shared a photo of himself outside his new home, with the post receiving 1.1m likes on Facebook and almost 500,000 likes on Instagram.

Captioning the post, he said: "3 weeks ago I found this house online. I said 'this is my house'. I called the seller and was told it was a cash only offer and that 'I'm sure that takes you off the table'. Don't you ever underestimate a hard working black man.

"I saw the house last week and when I walked in I knew I was home. The house was built in 1820 for the Russell family who owned the cotton mill in town. Slavery was still legal. When the agent asked me why I wanted such a large house I said it was 'a generational move'. I know this house is bigger than me.

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"I wish I could've told my ancestors when they were breaking their back in 1820 to build this house that 200 years later a free gay black man was going to own it and fill it with love and find a way to say their name even when 200 years later they still thought I would be 'off the table'.

"We are building our own tables. I've never been prouder to be a black man. Come to my White House any time. I can't wait to have you! Glory to God in the highest. I'm a homeowner."

View this post on Instagram
I can count on one hand the number of people in my life that call me Rob. Aunt Paulette (on the left) and Aunt Deb are two. This is them coming backstage after Hello, Dolly! Aunt Paulette would always say "when we get to Broadway". I NEVER HEARD "IF" FROM HER. She knew we were going to get there. And that we would do it together as a family. I will never know why God took her from us. But what I do know is that there will never be a stronger servant of the Lord. She spent her last days here on this Earth visiting the sick people in her church and delivering meals to people who didn't have anyone else. She was the COME THROUGH auntie. She showed up. She prayed. She loved SO HARD. I will never understand the racial disparity of how black and brown bodies are treated in our healthcare system. I will never understand how so many will die in silence in this season. But I'm here today to let you know her good work won't stop with her. She's given us too much not to keep her legacy alive in our gifts, our stories, and the love and prayers that she instilled in all of us. I will miss her so dearly. I will miss her text messages that felt like sermons of how YOU WERE GOING TO MAKE IT. I will miss how she said the word "awesome". She loved that word. But she said it with the ring of the angels. She would say "oh Rob that's AWESOME". I know a major part of my being here today is because of the prayers she placed over my life. I love you so much Aunt Paulette. I will miss hearing you say "I love you Rob". But I promise to keep going and to keep sharing the love you so generously gave me. I love you forever, and ever, and ever. We will miss you so much. Love, Rob
A post shared by robert hartwell (@sirroberttakespics) on


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Hartwell has been widely congratulated for his gigantic step on the property ladder and said he was 'so overwhelmed with gratitude'.

LADbible has contacted the estate agent for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Robert Hartwell

Topics: Viral, Awesome, Inspirational, US News

Jake Massey

Jake Massey is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from Newcastle University, where he learnt a bit about media and a lot about living without heating. After spending a few years in Australia and New Zealand, Jake secured a role at an obscure radio station in Norwich, inadvertently becoming a real-life Alan Partridge in the process. From there, Jake became a reporter at the Eastern Daily Press. Jake enjoys playing football, listening to music and writing about himself in the third person.