On March 31st, 1817 the New York State Legislature decided that enslavement within its borders had to come to an end. Final emancipation would occur on July 4th, 1827. Coincidentally, the date of choice was almost exactly two centuries after the Dutch West India Company’s yacht Bruynvisch arrived at Manhattan on August 29th, 1627. [Read more…] about Sojourner Truth: How An Enslaved Dutch Speaker Became A Black Liberation Icon
Liberty and Slavery in the Birth of a Nation, 1765-1795
Leaders of the founding of the United States who called for American liberty are scrutinized for enslaving Black people themselves: George Washington consistently refused to recognize the freedom of those who escaped his Mount Vernon plantation. And we have long needed a history of the founding that fully includes Black Americans in the Revolutionary protests, the war, and the debates over slavery and freedom that followed. [Read more…] about Liberty and Slavery in the Birth of a Nation, 1765-1795
James Forten and the Making of the United States
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, Matthew Skic, a Curator of Exhibitions at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, joins Liz to explore the life and deeds of James Forten, with details from the museum’s new exhibit, Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia. [Read more…] about James Forten and the Making of the United States
Black History Historiographic Genealogies: Sources & Resources
With the arrival of Black History Month, the 2023 theme, “Black Resistance,” will certainly emphasize the standard bearers of freedom seekers. Most noticeable will be the attention devoted to Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. There will also be discussions about the 1619 Project and the Critical Race Theory. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ attack on the teaching of the AP course in African American History will surely be debated.
Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, were two personalities that Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson honored in 1926 with his launching of Negro History Week. He selected the second week of February as the time of the annual celebration since it coincides with the birthdays of Douglass and Lincoln. [Read more…] about Black History Historiographic Genealogies: Sources & Resources
Pirates, Prostitution & The Livingston Family
From their early days on the North American continent, the Livingston family were a prominent sex-trade family. In a nutshell, they were landlords to brothel-operators from at least as early as the 1810s.
New York State Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, who reluctantly joined the patriot side of the American Revolution in 1776. Chancellor Robert was one of many Livingstons who profited from the sex trade in the aftermath of the unrest. [Read more…] about Pirates, Prostitution & The Livingston Family
Documents Reveal More About Peter John Lee Kidnapping Case
Information about the 1836 kidnapping of Peter John Lee was related in a recent article on the New York Almanack, “NY-CT Border Disputes & The Kidnapping of Freedom-Seeker Peter John Lee.”
Lee, an African American, was lured out of Connecticut, where he resided, to Rye in Westchester County, New York. Additional aspects of this incident can be gleaned from historical documents. [Read more…] about Documents Reveal More About Peter John Lee Kidnapping Case
Massacres & Migrants at Sea: Deadly Voyages To New York
The 1840s brought about a transformation in the nature of transatlantic shipping. With the development of European colonial empires, the forced transportation of African slaves had become big business.
Liverpool was the focus of the British slave trade. As a result of crusading abolitionist movements and subsequent legal intervention, the brutal practice declined there during that decade. But more or less simultaneously a new form of people trafficking took its place. [Read more…] about Massacres & Migrants at Sea: Deadly Voyages To New York
US, NYS Continues To Honor Slavers, Racists, Traitors and Scoundrels
In 2023, the United States Military Academy will remove 13 Confederate symbols on its West Point campus. They include a portrait of Robert E. Lee dressed in a Confederate uniform, a stone bust of Lee, who was superintendent of West Point before the Civil War, and a bronze plaque with an image of a hooded figure and the words “Ku Klux Klan.”
Art displayed in the United States Capitol building in Washington, DC, still includes images of 141 enslavers and 13 Confederates who went to war against the country. A study by the Washington Post found that more than one-third of the statues and portraits in the Capitol building honor enslavers or Confederates and at least six more honor possible enslavers where evidence is disputed. [Read more…] about US, NYS Continues To Honor Slavers, Racists, Traitors and Scoundrels
The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family
Sarah and Angelina Grimke are revered figures in American history, famous for rejecting their privileged lives on a plantation in South Carolina to become firebrand activists in the North. Yet retellings of their epic story have long obscured their Black relatives. [Read more…] about The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family
Preview The New Sojourner Truth State Park in Kingston on Sunday
Decades before she took her fabled name, abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth was born enslaved in Ulster County, NY under the name Isabella.
Covering more than 500 acres and a mile of Hudson River shoreline, the future Sojourner Truth State Park in Kingston, NY, was once an industrial site for production of cement, quarry stone, and ice harvesting. Sojourner Truth State Park will be first new State Park since 2019. [Read more…] about Preview The New Sojourner Truth State Park in Kingston on Sunday