On February 1st, Graham Hodges, George Dorland Langdon, Jr. Professor of History and Africana and Latin American Studies at Colgate University, led our second annual workshop for teachers. The theme was Slavery in New York.
The workshop examined the history of slavery and freedom for people of African descent in colonial and early American New York and its hinterlands between 1613-1865. Enslaved Africans and African Americans were important contributors to the construction of the colonial city and were key laborers for the city’s economy and society. Between 1703, the year of the first colonial census, and 1776, enslaved blacks constituted roughly fifteen percent of New York’s population. That percentage ranged much higher in Kings County (Brooklyn) where the enslaved population made up nearly forty percent of the total.
Using PowerPoint, copies of Hodges’s Root & Branch: African Americans in New York & East Jersey, 1613-1863, and other selected secondary sources, the workshop examined New York’s slavery and freedom via lecture and discussions.
Graham Hodges, a leading expert on slavery in New York is the author, notably, of David Ruggles: A Radical Black Abolitionist and the Underground Railroad in New York City; Root and Branch: African Americans in New York and East Jersey, 1613-1863; Slavery and Freedom in the Rural North: African Americans in Monmouth County, New Jersey .