N.Y. exhibit explores history of slavery
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 10/11/05

Most Americans think of slavery as a Southern institution.

But for close to 200 years, New York City served as a centerpiece in the African slave trade.

Slavery was an important part of New York's economy, as a new exhibition shows. "Slavery in New York," a massive, $5 million undertaking by the New York Historical Society, opened Friday and runs through March 5.

Through documents, paintings, video and sculpture in more than 9,000 square feet of exhibition space, the show focuses on just how vital slavery was to the building of the city and the state. Slavery was abolished in New York in 1827, but when the American Revolution began in 1776, the only city with more slaves than New York was Charleston, S.C.

"New York almost got an extra representative (in Congress) because it had so many slaves," said Richard Rabinowitz, the show's curator.

The exhibition is spread over multiple galleries..................etc.,etc......



I would think that for $5 Million the exhibit could have come up with a more factual, complete story of the slavery in NY that would at least mention the names of the free Negro's who owned slaves in NY until 1830, three years after it was declared illegal.

According to the book entitled "Free Negro Owners of Slaves in the United States in 1830" by CARTER C. WOODSON, NEGRO UNIVERSITIES PRESS, Westport CT, there were many slaves owned by Black's,  or African American's as they are referred to today..

This book is available in NJ Public Libraries, which book I copied the information. Starting on page 23, listing all of NY state by counties, in NY City William Ritchinson owned a slave, John Jones owned 2 slaves, John Scott owned 3, Benjamin Walker owned one, etc., etc..and so did Sara Kip. In fact many Negro women actually owned male slaves;

From AMERICAN HERITAGE, Feb - March 1993, page 90 "Selling Poor Steven":

In New Orleans , they have changed the name of the George Washington school because Washington owned slaves,  yet fully 25% of the slave owners  there were free negro’s, and a large percentage of them were women. Cases in point are Celeste Dupre, Felicianna Hurtin,  Madelaine Pernet, Maria Louisa Villard, etc.. Many of these women owned their husbands,  lock, stock, and barrel.  Dilsey Pope, a free negress, owned her husband. After a quarrel, she sold him to a white man. After a reconciliation,  Dilsey tried to buy him back, but  his owner would not sell him." Ce la amour.

I stand by what I have written, and invite comments from Deepti Hajla, Richard Rabinowitz, et al.

I remain Your Servant,

Edward Toner

Brick NJ


I submitted the above to The Editors, Asbury Park Press, and got this:

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I sent it directly to DEEPTI HAJELA, and Richard Rabinowitz, the show's curator.