Tag Archives: Slavery

Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race


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Between 1500 and the 1860s, Europeans and Americans forcibly removed approximately 12 million African people from the African continent, transported them to the Americas, and enslaved them.

Why did Europeans and Americans enslave Africans? How did they justify their actions?

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, Katharine Gerbner, an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Minnesota and author of Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World, leads us on an exploration of ways Christianity influenced early ideas about slavery and its practice (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/206

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Proposals Sought for Sojourner Truth Monument


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The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) has announced a request for proposals (RFP) from potential private sector partners to design, build and install a monument in commemoration of famed abolitionist and suffragette Sojourner Truth.

The monument of Sojourner Truth will be sited at the Walkway Over the Hudson along the Empire State Trail in Ulster County, where she was born. Truth was born into slavery circa 1797, sold three times, and ultimately escaped to freedom in 1826. She went on to become a noted abolitionist and women’s rights advocate until her death in 1883. Continue reading

Escape from Slavery: The Life of William Grimes


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Brig Casket Boston Samuel Davis Master Entering the Port of Palermo“Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave” a 68-page pamphlet self-published in the city of New York in 1825, begins with a note addressed “TO THE PUBLIC.” In the introductory note, Grimes explained:

“Those who are acquainted with the subscriber, he presumes will readily purchase his history. Those who are not, but wish to know who Grimes is, and what is his history, he would inform them, generally, that he is now living in Litchfield, Connecticut, that he is about 40 years of age, that he is married to a black woman, and passes for a negro, though three parts white; that he was born in a place in Virginia, has lived in several different States, and been owned by ten different masters; that about ten years since, he ran away, and came to Connecticut, where, after six years, he was recognized by some of his former master’s friends, taken up, and compelled to purchase his freedom with the sacrifice of all he had earned. That his history is an account of his fortune, or rather of his suffering, in all these various situations, in which he has seen, heard, and felt, not a little.” Continue reading

An 1836 Utica Fugitive Slave Escape and Rescue


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The Hayden BuildingActivist, historian, author, and Utica native Deirdre Sinnott is set to present “Underground Railroad: The 1836 Escape, Arrest, and Rescue in Utica of George and Harry Bird” on Wednesday, September 26th at 5:30 pm at the Oneida County Historical Society.

The presentation is the culmination of extensive research by Sinnott and local Oneida County historians to demystify the 180-year-old story of two enslaved men who were encouraged by their dying mistress to run from their home in Woodstock, VA and find the path from slavery to freedom. Continue reading

New York Streets Named for Slave Traders


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slavery in new york city historyIn the 17th and 18th century, as New Amsterdam grew from a trading post into a village, a village into a town, and then a town into the port city of New York, its wealthiest residents were financially invested in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. And because they were among the most prominent of its early citizens, many of the city’s oldest streets are named after slaveholders and slave traders. An online database, New York Slavery Records Index, created by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York, opens this forgotten history to public view.

During the past year a mayoral commission held public hearings and recommended that a statue of James Marion Sims, a 19th century American physician who experimented on enslaved African women, be removed from the Central Park wall at 103rd street and 5th Avenue in the City of New York. Unfortunately, the commission ignored much of the city’s deep connection to slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Continue reading

Kidnapped! Black New Yorkers Caught in the Slave Trade


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Author David Fiske is set to give lecture on Free blacks from New York State who were kidnapped and sold into slavery before the Civil War has been set for July 17, 2018 at 6:30 pm at the Warrensburgh Museum of Local History, 3754 Main Street.

In “Kidnapped! Black New Yorkers Caught in the Slave Trade,” Fiske will tell the stories of several New Yorkers who were kidnap victims – some from upstate communities and others from New York City. Continue reading

Slavery and the Palatines Lecture at Clermont Sunday


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Two men pointing to a boy by Jan Luyken 1711Travis Bowman is set to give a lecture on slavery in New York on Sunday, March 11th at 1 pm, at the Clermont State Historic Site, 1 Clermont Avenue, Germantown.

Bowman will examine how slavery evolved in New York under the Dutch, British, and American systems of government and how the institution was utilized at a local and personal level among the Palatine immigrants and their descendants in the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys. Continue reading