African American In NYC from 1626-1830
1626: Gov. Peter Minuit “ buys” Manhattan from Indians; Dutch bring first African slaves to New Amsterdam
Dutch Rule- * held the first slave auction in New Amsterdam
* 1626- Dutch brings first African slaves to New Amsterdam by a ship that belonged to the Dutch India Company
* Company attempted to populate New Netherlands with laborers; unsuccessful; company turned to slavery
* Lack of setters in the colony led the company to depend on slaves.
* By the late 1630s, there were 100 enslaved men and women in New Amsterdam, amounting to one-third of the population. * In the early years of New Amsterdam, the enslaved worked for the Dutch West India Company, not for individual residents of the colony * Without slave labor, New Amsterdam might not have survived. Slaves sawed down trees, turned the soil so it could be farmed, built roads, and constructed important buildings. Wall Street today runs along what was once the wall of the fort, built by slaves. * By 1640s some slaves had earned a half- freedom in New Amsterdam and were able to earn wages. These former slaves owed a tax to the Company; white colonists did not. They also had to work for the colony whenever they were needed, and their children were automatically slaves. However, these blacks no longer lived the life of the enslaved. They were able to farm their own lands, sell their produce, and keep the profits beyond what they owed in tax.
English Rule * The English took over New Amsterdam and the colony in 1664 and continued to import slaves to support the work needed * 1703- more than 40% of house holds in Ny had slaves ( higher than Philly) * Slavery expanded under the British, and there were more slaves in New York than in any American city other than Charleston, South Carolina. Both cities were major slave-trading ports, but Charleston was surrounded by rice plantations with large populations of enslaved laborers. There were only a few large plantations in New York, situated along the Hudson River north of New York City.
* Dutch and English were both spoken by New Yorkers, black and white, through most of the 18th century. African languages were also spoken, and they were probably not understood by most whites. * The British were far harsher toward slaves than the Dutch had been. They eliminated most of the pathways to freedom and passed laws that greatly limited what enslaved people could do, whom they could gather with, and when and how they could be out on the streets. Many of these laws were rewritten often, suggesting that they did not work well. * New York City slaves did not live in quarters with large numbers of other black people, but in the kitchens or back rooms of their owners’ houses. Resistance of…