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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Africans in Early New York

 
 
Africans in Early New York Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, October 10, 2011
1. Africans in Early New York Marker
Inscription.
Africans were brought to the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam from different regions with diverse cultures, religions, and languages. In 1664 the British captured New Amsterdam and renamed it New York. Before the American Revolution, New York had more enslaved Africans – its most valuable commodity – than any other colony in the North. There were also free Africans, some descended from those freed by the Dutch West India Company. Men cleared farmland, felled swamps, and built structures and roads like Broadway and The Wall (today’s Wall Street). Women sewed, cooked, harvested, and cared for owners’ children as well as their own. From an early age, children carried water and firewood. The work was hard and death rates for Africans were disproportionately high.
 
Erected by National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 40° 42.866′ N, 74° 0.25′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is on Elk Street near Duane Street, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10007, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Changing Landscape Obscures the Past (a few steps from this marker); Sacred Tradition, Sacred Ground
Africans in Early New York Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, February 15, 2019
2. Africans in Early New York Marker
This marker is on The Elk Street side, just above the yellow traffic cone.
(a few steps from this marker); African Burial Ground (a few steps from this marker); "Sankofa" (within shouting distance of this marker); African Burial Ground National Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Foley Square c. 1730 (within shouting distance of this marker); Foley Square c. 1800 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Triumph of the Human Spirit (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
 
More about this marker. Elk Street and this stretch of Duane Street have been closed to through automobile traffic since 9/11.
 
Regarding Africans in Early New York. The monument is listed in the "AIA (American Institute of Architects) Guide to New York City, Fifth Edition".
 
Categories. African AmericansCemeteries & Burial SitesColonial Era
 
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, October 10, 2011
3. Inset
Workers outside Tontine Coffee House, 1797
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, October 10, 2011
4. Inset
African American workers position hollowed-out pine log pipes in a trench along Broad Street. The 25-mile pipeline formed the city’s first municipal water system in the early 1800s. laborers tore up the cobblestone streets, dug trenches, laid and joined the pipe sections, and filled in the trenches. Pay was one dollar a day; enslaved workers’ wages went to their owners.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 19, 2019. This page originally submitted on February 15, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 58 times since then. Last updated on February 15, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 15, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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