Presentation on theme: "New York City Wall Street, Broadway, Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, Central Park, NYU, Columbia University. Bright lights, buzzing streets, museums,"— Presentation transcript:
New York City Wall Street, Broadway, Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, Central Park, NYU, Columbia University. Bright lights, buzzing streets, museums, movies, parks and bridges. The home of millions of people. Home of the free, land of the brave.
What most people do not know is that New York City was the capital of the Slave Trade in the United States for nearly 2 centuries.
In 1991, part of a very old cemetery was found at a building site in Manhattan. A few historians knew what it was: the African Burial Ground, where enslaved and free blacks were buried during the colonial period. Many people were very surprised, however. Some thought slavery did not exist here at all. Others thought there might have been a few slaves who worked on farms and were treated well. Most could not imagine huge numbers of slaves in New York City, living lives as hard as the enslaved people in the South. They thought of New York as the place enslaved Africans escaped to for freedom and opportunity. Most had no idea that New York City was a major slave- holding area for two centuries.
The African Burial Ground is America’s oldest and largest black burial grounds The first black New Yorkers were probably buried in the African Burial Ground around 1650, some 25 years after the first slaves arrived. At that time, New Amsterdam was still very small and concentrated at the tip of Manhattan. The enslaved were given a spot for their cemetery that was far outside of town, in a low-lying area not suited for farming. Over the next century and a half, the African Burial Ground grew to cover six acres of lower Manhattan.
It stretched from Broadway to Centre Street, and from above Duane to below Chambers.
During this time, the city of New York grew up around it. In 1794, the African Burial Ground ran out of space and was closed. Houses were built on the site almost immediately, then landfill was added from nearby hills, and more buildings went up. People forgot who was buried in the ground. below until construction.
The bones were only discovered in 1991 because the building under construction was a skyscraper; the digging for the foundation had to go very deep into the earth. Almost 200 years after the last funeral was held.
By law, when artifacts and remains are unearthed at a construction site, work has to stop so the area can be examined and important findings studied by historians and scientists. Some bones from the African Burial Ground were removed before construction work stopped, but over time, the remains of 419 people were found. There are many other graves under nearby buildings in lower Manhattan, perhaps 20,000 graves in all.
Sometimes there were other items in the grave, and usually parts of a coffin were found. There were no headstones, so there was no way to know the person’s name or date of death. The remains themselves had a story to tell, though, after they were studied and analyzed.
Pre-Reading Question: What do you see in this painting? How does the painting relate to the African Burial Ground?
Slavery is brought to New York City The Dutch built and grew wealthy on the Atlantic's first empire of sugar, slaves, and ships. They controlled New Amsterdam( New York) from 1620 to 1664. Only 44 years. Enslaved Africans were at work in New Amsterdam from its beginning.
The Dutch: Africans Work in Manhattan In the early years of New Amsterdam, the enslaved worked for the Dutch West India Company, not for individual residents of the colony. African slaves were the city’s first public works department. ( construction workers) They were used for projects such as building the fort of New Amsterdam, laying roads, carrying merchandise, and providing officers with domestic services ( house work) like cooking and laundry.
They built Fort Amsterdam, where Battery Park is now.
They cut the road that became Broadway. Which is the longest street in New York.
They built the wall for which Wall Street is named. Without their work, the colony of New Amsterdam might not have survived.
Slavery under the Dutch By the late 1630s, there were 100 enslaved men and women in New Amsterdam, amounting to one-third of the population. Other northern colonies held slaves, too, but there were many more in New Amsterdam During these years slaves were legally married in church and their children were registered with the Dutch West Indian Company. Africans in New Netherland and New Amsterdam wore Dutch clothing, learned the Dutch language, and adopted the Dutch Pentecost holiday of Pinkster as their own.
As the settlement became established and public works lessened, the need for slaves lessened and the eleven men of the first cargo ( Groot Manuel) asked for their freedom.
Half- Freedom On February 25, 1644 the enslaved Africans won “half-freedom”. They still had to pay an annual tax and could be called back to work for the Dutch West India Company at any time. Their children born or unborn were still slaves. But they had their own homes and the chance to create one of the first free black communities in North America.
Half Freedom: Land of the Blacks Former slaves under half freedom owed a tax to the Company; white colonists did not. They also had to work for the colony whenever they were needed, and their children were automatically slaves. However, these blacks no longer lived the life of the enslaved. They were able to farm their own lands, sell their produce, and keep the profits beyond what they owed in tax. They also created the first black community in Manhattan, on farms granted them in the Land of the Blacks, located where Washington Square is now. (also known as The Village)
The End of Dutch Rule: The British Take Over Under Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant, New Amsterdam thrived. Unfortunately the small Dutch colony had no defenses and in 1664 the British fleets( hundreds of ships) arrived. The Dutch were outnumbered and Stuyvesant gave over the colony to the British. (England) They changed the name to New York after the kings brother, James -The Duke of York.
Dutch law vs. British law The Dutch passed very few laws to control black people. Custom and unwritten rules mostly determined what blacks could and could not do.) 1640: Only Europeans were allowed to become skilled tradesmen, like carpenters or bricklayers. The British however began to pass many laws. The first one in 1664: When the British took control of New York, the Duke of York proclaimed that no Christian could be held in slavery. This rule, and the principle behind it, became an issue later, when enslaved blacks wanted to convert to Christianity.
More British Laws 1683: No slaves shall gather on the Sabbath in any number greater than four. 1684: No slave shall sell or trade in any item whatsoever. 1692: No slaves shall be entertained at the houses of free blacks outside of the gates. 1702: Any slave who strikes a white man or woman shall be punished severely, short of loss of limb or life. 1702: Masters may punish their slaves however they choose so long as they do not cut off their limbs or kill them. 1702: No free white or black person is ever to entertain another man's slave.
1702: No more than three slaves can meet together at any time or place. Forty lashes on the naked back if they are found to do so. 1706: Baptizing a slave will not result in release from slavery. 1706: All children born of slave mothers shall be slaves as well. 1706: Slaves may never give testimony against a white person. 1708: Any slave murdering his or her master or conspiring to do so with others shall suffer a horrible death.
What ends up happening after 1712? After the 1712 revolt, the British organized and restated earlier laws to form what was called the Black Code. 1712: Any slave convicted of conspiring with others to revolt against the whites shall suffer a horrible death. 1712: No black made free after this law shall be allowed to own any house or land or pass any other goods to his or her descendants. 1712: No slave is to be freed without a £200 bond being paid in case they become a public charge. 1712: No slave shall ever possess a gun or pistol.
1713: No slaves over the age of 14 could be out at night without a lantern by which they could be plainly seen. 1722: Black funerals had to be held during daylight. 1731: Slaves were not permitted to gamble for money. Slaves who rode a horse recklessly or fast within the city could be whipped. 1731: No more than 12 slaves could assemble for a funeral. They would be chosen by the dead slave’s master