In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York by Leslie M. Harris

By Leslie M. Harris

"The black adventure within the antebellum South has been completely documented. yet histories set within the North are few. In the Shadow of Slavery, then, is a huge and bold booklet, one during which insights approximately race and sophistication in big apple urban abound. Leslie Harris has masterfully introduced greater than centuries of African American heritage again to existence during this illuminating new work."—David Roediger, writer of The Wages of Whiteness

In 1991 in reduce long island, a workforce of development staff made an remarkable discovery. simply blocks from urban corridor, less than twenty ft of asphalt, concrete, and rubble, lay the continues to be of an eighteenth-century "Negro Burial Ground." Closed in 1790 and lined over by way of roads and constructions during the 19th and 20th centuries, the positioning became out to be the most important such locate in North the US, containing the is still of as many as 20,000 African americans. The graves printed to New Yorkers and the kingdom a facet of yankee background lengthy hidden: the tremendous variety of enslaved blacks who worked to create our nation's greatest urban.

In the Shadow of Slavery lays naked this heritage of African americans in long island urban, beginning with the coming of the 1st slaves in 1626, relocating during the turbulent years sooner than emancipation in 1827, and culminating in a single of the main terrifying screens of racism in U.S. background, the recent York urban Draft Riots of 1863. Drawing on huge shuttle debts, autobiographies, newspapers, literature, and organizational files, Leslie M. Harris extends past previous experiences of racial discrimination through tracing the indisputable impression of African americans on category, politics, and group formation and through delivering bright photographs of the lives and aspirations of numerous black New Yorkers.

Written with readability and charm, In the Shadow of Slavery is an formidable new paintings that would end up crucial to historians of the African American experi

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Additional info for In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863 (Historical Studies of Urban America)

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In April 1712, a group of New York City slaves attempted an insurrection. M. on a Sunday morning, twenty-four slaves gathered, armed with guns, axes, knives, and other weapons. The group included at least two women, one who was the wife of one of the rebels and another who was pregnant. The rebels set fire to the outhouse of Peter Vantilborough, a baker who owned two of the slaves. Through the nineteenth century, arson was an important weapon of slave rebels throughout the Americas. Residents of closely built, wood-frame cities like New York feared the destructiveness of fire.

55 Skilled workers, too, feared competition from slaves. In 1737 and again in 1743, New York’s coopers complained to the colonial government that “the pernicious custom of breeding slaves to trade” reduced “the honest and industrious tradesmen . . ” They complained that New York City merchants used their slaves to build barrels for themselves and sometimes even competed with the coopers by selling the barrels to others. Although the lieutenant governor agreed with the skilled workers, they were unable to convince New York’s Colonial Assembly to pass protective legislation favoring them over slave owners.

Had the Dutch retained control of New Netherland, they probably would have increased their restrictions on the lives of slaves and free blacks, as happened in other North American colonies in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. But in 1664, the British took over the colony of New Netherland, resolving the century-long struggle between the Dutch and British over ownership of the territory. The British government awarded the colony to the Duke of York, who renamed both New Netherland and New Amsterdam New York.

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