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July 1998


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"A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Bill Martin <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 6 Jul 1998 18:11:29 -0400
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"A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
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Edward Knoblauch wrote:

> Curiously, the 1830 federal census shows 75 slaves in NYState:
> Does anyone have an explanation for this? Because the remaining slaves seem
> concentrated in rural counties, I reject the idea that the slaves are
> 'sojourners'. Also, 52 of the 75 (69%) were females between 0-35 years of
> age. In 1840, when 4 slaves are listed, they are all females (3 in King's
> County, 1 in Putnam). By 1850, no slaves are listed in NY State.
> Curious, eh?

A thought.  Bearing in mind that in the early British colonial period  NY had
the  largest concentration of slaves in the north, and as a result of the
revolts (legit 1714 and imaginary 1741)that ensued, the terror of slave revolt
was very real in NYC.  People held as slaves in such circumstances were in more
intimate contact with their "masters" than those working as gang labor on large
southern plantations.  And there was a concentrated effort to make the populace
switch from slaves to indentures as a way of dealing with this from the time of
Gov. Montgomerie.  So the society may have purged itself of black slaves well
before the issue was joined in the legal sense, and not, I fear, from a sense
of justice.

And on that subject...  Does anyone have hard facts on where those early
indentures came from?  I'm tempted to say Ireland, but I have my doubts.  May
well have been English recusants, but that too poses problems...

Beverly Martin
(who is up to her eyeballs in colonial NYC at the moment)