Local History Talk on Slavery in New York during the Colonial Era

Two Men Pointing at a Boy by Jan Luyken, c. 1711, Courtesy of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Program Description: The library, in collaboration with the  Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History and the Gotham Center for New York City History, presents the latest in its Local History talks:Slavery and Dutch-Palatine Farmers: How did middle class farmers in Colonial New York interact with slavery? by Travis M. Bowman. In New York State slavery existed for 200 years and recent interest and research, particularly focused on the Hudson Valley area, confronts this reprehensible fact.

Date/Time: Thursday, September 12, 2019, 6-7:30pm

Usually considered a Southern issue, slavery played a surprisingly large role in colonial and revolutionary era New York. Mr. Bowman will examine how slavery evolved in New York under the Dutch, British, and American systems of government and how the institution was utilized at a local and personal level among middle class farmers in the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys.This lecture is an opportunity to learn how slave labor led to the prosperity of many families in the region and also may have eventually influenced the abolition movement.

Travis M. Bowman is the Senior Curator of the New York State Bureau of Historic Sites, where he is responsible for the research, care, and exhibition of the collections at New York State’s historic sites and parks.

A question and answer period and refreshments follow the talk. For more information email programs@hudsonarealibrary.org, call 518-828-1792 x101, or visit the main desk in the library.

The Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History is an independent, not-for-profit study and research center devoted to collecting, preserving, and disseminating information relating to colonial New York under English rule. In the years spanning 1664 to 1773, New York province’s diverse European settlements and Native American and African populations fused into a cosmopolitan colonial territory with ties throughout the Atlantic World. The Institute is unique in focusing on this under examined 109-year period in American history.

The Institute maintains a collection of original, digital, and/or paper copies of primary source manuscripts, books, maps, and illustrative materials, as well as a library of secondary resources that provide scholarly context to the primary sources. The Jacob Leisler Institute is an open resource for both scholars and the interested public.

The Gotham Center is a university-based research and educational center, devoted to advancing scholarly and public understanding of New York City’s rich and living past. The organization was founded in 2000 by Mike Wallace, Distinguished Professor of History at John Jay College and The Graduate Center, CUNY, after his landmark work Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, co-authored with Edwin Burrows, won the Pulitzer. For nearly twenty years, it has been the one academic institution devoted exclusively to promoting this critical field of study.

The Hudson Area Library History Room houses a special collection that pertains to the history of the City of Hudson, Greenport and Stockport; as well as Columbia County and New York State. The History Room also hosts the Local History Speaker Series at the library, offering free monthly talks on diverse topics related to the history of Hudson, Greenport, Stockport, and Columbia County.

The History Room hours are Tuesdays 4 – 6pm, Saturdays 10am – 12pm, and by appointment, during which people may visit and browse the extensive collection of city directories, yearbooks and local history books; and research items in the archival collection. The public can also request information on local history that volunteers will research. Appointments are available upon request. For more information email reference@hudsonarealibrary.org, call 518.828.1792 x100, or visit the main desk in the library.

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