NYHIST-L Archives

September 2012


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
NYHISTLED <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 18 Sep 2012 13:34:40 -0400
text/plain (12 lines)
ALBANY INSTITUTE OF HISTORY & ART Upcoming Lecture and Book Signing
Myra Armstead
"Freedom's Gardener: James F. Brown, Horticulture, and the Hudson Valley in Antebellum America"
Sunday, September 23 * 2:00pm
FREE with museum admission

Freedom's Gardener is the meticulously researched story of one man, James F. Brown, who was born into slavery in 1793 and who achieved freedom, respect, financial independence, the right to own property, and the right to vote in the pre-Civil War America.  In 1827, at the age of 33, James Brown escaped from a plantation in Maryland and came to New York where he was able to purchase his freedom, with the help of his employer, Daniel C. Verplanck, the descendant of a wealthy Dutch family.  For nearly forty years, Brown kept a diary of his work and life as a master gardener at Mount Gulian, the Verplanck family estate in Fishkill Landing (now Beacon), New York.  Because of his horticultural expertise and his esteemed position as head gardener of the estate, Brown was able to form many relationships across racial and ecomomic lines.  When he died in 1868, James Brown's diary was ten volumes of details about weather, gardens, agriculture, and the domestic life and social life of a free man of color.  Professor Armstead's extensive research of this diary has resulted in a book in which horticulture adds to our understanding of the history of African Americans in the Hudson Valley in the nineteenth century.

 Myra B. Young Armstead is Professor of History at Bard College.  She is the author of two other books on the history of African Americans in the Hudson Valley.