In this episode of the A New York Minute In History podcast, the history of Timbuctoo, an African American settlement founded by philanthropist Gerrit Smith in response to an 1846 law requiring all black men to own $250 worth of property in order to vote in New York State.
To counter this racist policy, Smith decided to give away 120,000 acres of land to 3,000 free, black New Yorkers, hoping to enable them to move out of cities and work the land to its required value. Lyman Epps and other black pioneers relocated to the wilderness near Lake Placid, New York — as did abolitionist John Brown, who based his family in North Elba to assist the black pioneers in their farming.
Guests include Amy Godine, historian and curator of the “Dreaming of Timbuctoo” exhibit; Paul Miller, director and producer of the upcoming film Searching for Timbuctoo; Dr. Hadley Kruczek-Aaron, director of the Timbuctoo Archeology Project; and Russell Banks, bestselling author of Cloudsplitter.
You can listen to the podcast here.
A New York Minute In History is a production of the New York State Museum, WAMC, and Archivist Media, with support from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation. This episode was produced by Jesse King, with original music from Sean Riley. Our theme is “Begrudge” by Darby.
For a full list of this week’s New York Almanack podcasts announcements click HERE.