Powerfully illustrated with images from New-York Historical Society's groundbreaking 2005 exhibition, Slavery in New York is the definitive account of New York's slave past.
The discovery of the African Burial Ground in lower Manhattan reminded Americans that slavery in the United States was not merely a phenomenon of the antebellum South. In fact, for most of its history – fully two centuries – New York was a slave city. For a good proportion of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it was the largest slave city on the continent.
Edited by Ira Berlin, the Bancroft Prize-winning author of Many Thousands Gone, and Leslie Harris, author of In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626 - 1863, Slavery in New York brings together twelve contributions by leading historians of slavery and African American life in New York. The book demonstrates how slavery shaped the day-to-day experience of New Yorkers, black and white, and how slavery, as a way of doing business, propelled New York to become the commercial and financial power it is today.
For much of the eighteenth century, New York City was second only to Charlestown, South Carolina, in its proportion of slaves in an urban population. It was a fact about New York that nearly always elicited comment from European visitors. "It rather hurts a European eye to see so many negro slaves upon the streets," one Scottish traveler complained."—from Slavery in New York