While much has been written about the African American diaspora from the south to the north after the Civil War, relatively little is known about those who were brought directly from Africa near Albany, NY. Unlike the South, where slavery wasn’t abolished in 1865, manumission in New York State occurred gradually from 1785 onward.
As a result, northern experiences of African Americans was far different from those in the South. Even as slaves, some skilled craftsmen traveled freely for their work. Some formerly enslaved people were educated in the local schools. Some owned businesses or were farmers. Many were members of the Dutch Reform Church, while others started the first African Methodist Episcopal Church in the area. They formed relationships with other residents of all ethnicities. [Read more…] about Researching Black History in the Hudson Valley (Virtual Program)