Black People : 4th of July: New York Style

cherryblossom

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In 1788, the slave trade in New York was banned outright (but with important loopholes), and the special courts which had held power of life and death over slaves for 80 years were abolished.....

In 1799 the Legislature passed "An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery" with only token opposition. It provided for gradual manumission on the Pennsylvania model, which allowed masters to keep their younger slaves in bondage for their most productive years, to recoup their investment. The law freed all children born to slave women after July 4, 1799, but not at once. The males became free at 28, the females at 25. Till then, they would be the property of the mother's master.


Slaves already in servitude before July 4, 1799, remained slaves for life, though they were reclassified as "indentured servants." The law sidestepped all question of legal and civil rights, thus avoiding the objections that had blocked the earlier bill.

The activity of kidnappers and cheats in selling slaves out of the state in spite of the laws fostered the 1817 statute that gave freedom to New York slaves who had been born before July 4, 1799 -- but not until July 4, 1827.

Slavery was still not entirely repealed in the state, because the new law offered an exception, allowing nonresidents to enter New York with slaves for up to nine months, and allowing part-time residents to bring their slaves into the state temporarily. Though few took advantage of it, the "nine-months law" remained on the books until its repeal in 1841, when slavery had become the focus of sectional rivalry and the North was re-defining itself as the "free" region.

The state's slaveholders had seen the writing on the wall after 1785. And part of their response was to sell their slaves south while they still could. As early as the 1780s, after commissions and insurance costs, an able-bodied New York slave could be sold south for a profit of at least £40. Owners avoided the ban on the slave trade by disguising purchases as long-term leases or indentures (one importer brought a "free" black over from New Jersey under a 99-year "indenture"). Free blacks were victimized, too, sold into slavery for debt or under terms of fraudulent contracts or apprenticeships. The New York Manumission Society rescued 33 blacks from such schemes in 1796 alone; uncounted others certainly slipped past their vigilance.

In "A History of Negro Slavery in New York" [1966], Edgar J. McManus writes that an analysis of census figures shows an extremely sharp drop in the growth rate of New York's black population after 1800. Many blacks must have left the state, he writes, and few left voluntarily. "The conclusion is inescapable," McManus writes, "that the exodus was largely the work of kidnapers and illegal traders who dealt in human misery."


http://www.slavenorth.com/nyemancip.htm
 

cherryblossom

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Feb 28, 2009
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...On July 5, 1852, Douglass gave a speech at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held at Rochester's Corinthian Hall. It was biting oratory, in which the speaker told his audience, "This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn." And he asked them, "Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day?"


http://destee.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59687
 

Ankhur

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...On July 5, 1852, Douglass gave a speech at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held at Rochester's Corinthian Hall. It was biting oratory, in which the speaker told his audience, "This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn." And he asked them, "Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day?"


http://destee.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59687

Good to see youback and thanks again,

timely post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:teach::time:

:flowers::flowers::hearts4::hearts4::wine::chef:
 

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