Somewhat More Independent
The End of Slavery in New York City, 1770-1810
Publication Year: 1991
Published by: University of Georgia Press
Title Page Copyright Page
List of Maps and Figures
List of Tables
IN THE BEGINNING this was to be a study of the end of slavery in the North. After a couple of years I realized that I had bitten off more than I could satisfactorily chew and the topic was cut back to the end of slavery in the Middle Atlantic states...
OVER RECENT YEARS historians of black Americans have demonstrated a high level of historical consciousness about their own field. August Meier and Elliot Rudwick, relying on scores of interviews with practitioners...
A Note to the Reader
THE POPULATION STATISTICS for New York in this book are taken from the 1790, 1800, and 1810 federal censuses. My figures differ from the totals used by other historians for a number of reasons. Anyone who has worked with these early censuses...
Part One: Whites
1. Slavery in New York City
IN THE EARLY HOURS of a September morning in 1794, the Fair American drifted gently on the tide into New York harbor. Awakened by unaccustomed sounds and eager for his first glimpse of America, William Strickland, an English gentleman...
2. The Decline of Slavery in New York City, 1790–1810
THE NEW YORK that William Strickland observed in 1794 had already begun the dramatic growth that would soon make it the most important city in the United States. With its splendid harbor (open, unlike Philadelphia's, for virtually...
3. Impious Prayers
IN A LETTER to Egbert Benson in 1780, John Jay asserted that unless America introduced a gradual abolition measure "her Prayers to Heaven for Liberty will be impious." It was a maxim in God's court as well as in the new...
Part Two: Blacks
4. A Mild Slavery?
IN THE 1830s ALEXANDER COVENTRY, who spent much of his life in the lower Hudson River valley, set down the impressions he had formed in the iy8os and 17905 of the conditions of blacks in that region. Though these blacks were then enslaved...
5. Running Away
IN EARLY JULY 1787 two Schenectady slaves fetching their master's cows came upon a pocket book lying on the ground. Later, another black was able to identify the five notes inside the pocket book as ten-pound bills...
6. Free Blacks
IN AUGUST 1814, as the British naval blockade of New York tightened, the "free people of color" called a public meeting and resolved to offer their services to the city's Committee of Defense. To this end, a notice was inserted...
7. A Question of Style
As ELIHU SMITH, a young physician, and William Dunlap, his dramatist friend, strolled through the streets of New York on an October day in 1795, their attention was attracted to the appearance of a black passerby. The man, Smith recorded...
WE ARE NOW in a better position to understand that there were grounds for the "Citizen of Color" to claim, in 1814, that blacks were advancing under the protection of New York's liberal laws and that "we dwell in safety and pursue our honest callings...
Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 1991
OCLC Number: 786181098
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