SLOW GROWTH OF A FREE BLACK COMMUNITY, 1644 UNTIL THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
May every son, with grateful heart,
This day from others set apart:
The hour that first proclaim'd us free,
Shall be our lasting jubilee.
When history unrols her page
Of Africa's degraded age,
Then shall the dawn of freedom's light
A radiance shed o'er slavery's night.
Hymn, Nathaniel Paul, Pastor of the First African Baptist Society in Albany
(July 5, 1827)
From the introduction of slavery into New Amsterdam in 1626 through the end of the American Revolution most blacks in New York were slave rather than free. Aside from those who were manumitted by the Dutch before their colony fell to the British, very few blacks achieved freedom before 1785. Between 1712 and 1785 carefully constructed restrictive manumission policies sought to preserve public order and prevent the rise of a large free black population that would be dependent on local poor authorities. The first significant challenge to the institution of slavery in New York came in the 1770s from Quakers who began to question the morality of the practice and to manumit their own slaves.
The first blacks to achieve freedom in New York were Dutch slaves who had been brought to New Amsterdam between 1626 and the British takeover of the settlement in 1664. The Dutch West India Company and private slaveowners manumitted many of their slaves on either partial or full freedom plans from 1644 through 1664, leaving the British with a small free black population. The fact that freed Dutch slaves were often able to acquire or were given lands by the Dutch West India Company meant that they were more successful in supporting themselves than slaves who were later freed in British New York--usually without land or money.1
Slaves freed by the Dutch set up independent households in Manhattan and in the newly developing Dutch towns around New Amsterdam.2 This process of town formation was paralleled by the English who settled twenty‑five new towns between 1639 and 1696: one in Kings County, six in Queens County, six in Suffolk, and twelve in Westchester. French Huguenots founded the Westchester County town of New Rochelle in 1688.3 Blacks freed by the Dutch or by New England masters joined whites as early settlers in these English towns. John Negro was on the list of persons who received powder from the town of Southampton's (founded 1640) magazine on April 30, 1657. Since arms were generally not given to slaves, he was probably a free black man.4 At a Southampton town meeting on February 20, 1659, "Peeter the Neigro" was granted three acres of land provided that he give up to the common the land "he hath in use by Cobbs pond."5 In Easthampton (founded 1639) on May 18, 1676, it was noted that John Neiger "has begun to set himself up a house in the street. . . . The town grants him liberty to fence in for his own use a little quantity of land above his house for him to make a yard or garden. He has the land for life, but he is not to sell it. . . ."6 If he left, the land reverted back to the town.
With the inauguration of British rule, manumission policy shifted from the public arena of Dutch West India Company regulations to the private sphere of master‑slave interactions. From September 8, 1664, through December 9, 1712, the manumission of slaves was not subject to provincial legal control and (except for local town ordinances) remained a private matter between the master and his slave.7 The first slave known to have been freed in post‑Dutch New York was Frans, a negro man manumitted in 1669 by Anna Medford of New York. She gave him "a small parcel of ground lying about the Great Kill, on the Island of Manhattan" as a legacy.8 Swaentie Janse, the widow of Cornelis De Potter of Kings County, next freed three slaves in her 1676 will:9
Her neger and neger woman, Francis and Katharine, now married to be, after her death, free. And during her life, to have a piece of land to farm and to maintain her. And the boy Domingo to be servant to my daughter for fifteen year from the day of my death, and she is not to sell him, and then is to let him be free.
A total of 3,612 black slaves were listed in a sample of 1,446 wills for the period 1669 to 1829 for the southern six counties of New York.10 Of them, 437 were freed by the wills,11 of whom eighteen were manumitted during the years 1669 through December 9, 1712.12 Out of a sample of 1,876 slaves freed between 1701 and 1831 through instruments of manumission in the southern six counties of New York,13 only four were freed between 1701 and December 9, 1712.14 No manumission deeds were located prior to 1701. The number of blacks freed from 1669 to December 9, 1712, remained low in spite of non‑restrictive manumission laws both because slaveholders were averse to freeing their property and because of the small size of the total black population.15 There were only 1,972 slaves in the southern six counties of New York in 1698, rising to 4,607 slaves by the year 1723.16 Although prohibitive manumission policies were in effect from December 10, 1712, through 1785, more manumissions occurred during these years than in the earlier period17 due to the increase in the numbers of both slaveholders and slaves in the colony.
Elias Jamain's executors freed Fortune on December 9, 1712,18 one day before the enactment of a law sufficiently stiff to halt almost all manumissions in New York for the next five years. A violent slave uprising in New York City in April 1712 led to the passage of an act on December 10, 1712, which severely restricted the possibility of slaves gaining their freedom through private manumission. The law stated as its rationale that freed blacks were "an idle, slothful people and prove very often a charge on the place where they are. . . ."19 Not only were freedmen perceived as potential burdens on public poor rolls, but they were also seen by whites as dangerous examples whose status their slaves would aspire to achieve by forceful means. This law required masters to post a 200 bond to guarantee that they would pay 20 annually for life to any slave they freed, making manumission economically impractical and prohibitively expensive. It also denied future manumitted blacks the right to own houses or real estate in New York colony.
Only one testator is known to have attempted to free a slave during the five year term of this act. George Norton, a New York City butcher, provided in his May 1, 1715, will that his slave Sam was to be freed and given a legacy of a negro slave called Robin and 30 in money "to help him pursue the same trade."20 The estate executor refused to post the 200 bond and Sam lost both his liberty and the bequest. In 1717 Sam petitioned the court that the executor, Ebenezer Wilson, had refused to turn over the money and negro willed to him by Norton yet required Sam to clothe and support Robin in sickness. Other testators freed their slaves by will or deed to take effect at a specific future date which inadvertently fell between December 1712 and November 1717. William Leath, on April 26, 1708, gave his Spanish Indian boy Wan his freedom provided that he serve Leath's widow for seven years21--placing his operative date of freedom in the year 1715. Other "blind" testators may have promised their slaves future freedom in the years before 1712 with the result that either their estates were heavily burdened by the support requirements of the unanticipated 1712 law or that the slaves were denied their freedom by executors who were unwilling or unable to post their manumission bonds.
On November 2, 1717, the manumission requirements of the 1712 law were softened by the removal of the mandatory lifetime annuity payment of 20 to each slave freed under its provisions. Instead, the master simply had to post a 200 bond to guarantee that he would maintain his freed slave if he ever became a public charge. The revision was made because the near‑impossibility of gaining liberty under the 1712 law discouraged slaves from serving well with future freedom as an incentive.22 The 200 bond requirement still constituted a major deterrent to manumission; it kept the number of manumissions down to a trickle for most of the eighteenth century. From 1712 until 1785 New York largely prevented both manumissions and the growth of a free black community. Frightened by the slave uprising of 1712 and the slave plot of 1741, whites were determined to control the number of free blacks in the population, who were seen as potential instigators of such events. Recurrent concerns over the costs of maintaining dependent former slaves on town poor rolls also worked to keep restrictive manumission legislation in effect for seventy‑three years until a major change in policy occurred in 1785.
A total of 209 slaves were freed in sampled wills between November 2, 1717, and April 11, 1785, in the southern six counties of New York, and another twenty‑seven slaves by deeds of manumission23 (see table 1 above). William Johnson of Jamaica freed nine slaves during this period--eight by deeds of manumission24 and one in his will. Between October 16, 1741, and March 7, 1745, he freed seven young men between the ages of eighteen and thirty. All but one bore his last name, and all were described by Johnson as "born in the house and brought up in my family." They had been held from eighteen to thirty years without being sold, a continuity of ownership and residence unknown to most New York slaves. Each of the seven men paid Johnson a sum of money for his freedom and was liberated under varying circumstances.
Peter Johnson and Samuel Johnson were freed immediately and were required to pay 4 yearly for the rest of their lives to Johnson or his executors. Anthony Johnson gave his master 16 for his manumission and was given "one bay mare and saddle and one bridle and one set of cordwinder's tools including lasts." Ceasar, William Johnson, Joseph Johnson, and Cullaman Johnson were each required to pay 2 to their owner and were promised freedom effective at William Johnson's death in deeds dated March 7, 1745. One other slave was promised freedom on March 7, 1745--fifty‑five‑year‑old Cullaman who had been recently purchased from William Cornwell of Hempstead. He would also be manumitted at Johnson's death on the condition that he pay the estate executors 20 for his freedom. The older Cullaman was probably the father of twenty‑five‑year‑old Cullaman Johnson, referred to as "Calleman Jr." in Johnson's will. The young Cullaman may have induced Johnson to purchase his father, from whom he had been parted since birth, with the prospect in mind of their eventual freedom.
In addition to reafffirming in his 1746 will--proved in 1749--the freedom previously given to his eight men, William Johnson freed his negro woman Betty at his death. Betty was given her owner's "dwelling house, barn, orchard, lands, meadows," during her life, in addition to "the free use of [Johnson's] horses, mares, ploughs, harrows, waggons with all the corn and half the grains on the farm at the time of [his] death." She was also left three cows, ten sheep, and a large quantity of household goods and implements which she was allowed to pass on to her children at her death.25 The rarity of manumission by either deed or will during this period, the absence of sales, and the generous will provisions all suggest a blood relationship between Johnson and his slaves.26
Although no notation was entered into the town record of Jamaica to indicate that Johnson had posted a 200 bond with the manumission of each of his nine slaves, the law would have made it obligatory to fulfill this provision. Evidence exists to indicate compliance with the law for other manumissions. John Wright of Flushing freed his slave Cambridge in his March 8, 1768, will with several legacies of money, clothing, and guidance toward a future trade. On September 19, 1769, his executors posted the required bond: "Thomas Thorne and Silas Lawrence are bound in 200 to indemnify the government from Cambridge, a slave of Jno. Wright, deceased, lately manumitted."27 When Thomas Robertson of New York executed his will on July 25, 1766, he ordered the freeing of his slave boy Joseph Moralla at age twenty‑one and acknowledged the bond requirement: "And I desire Mr. Richard Morris will enter into security to perfect his freedom, as the Law requires."28 On May 5, 1772, the widow Mary Ferrari and her executors bound themselves to the court for 200 to guarantee that Thomas Mills, whom she had manumitted on May 1, 1772, would not become a public charge.29
The free black population also grew between 1712 and 1785 by natural reproduction and by free blacks purchasing and then manumitting enslaved relatives and friends.30 In 1719 the executors of the estate of Jacob and Elizabeth Regnier charged in court that a free black named Fortune had unlawfully disposed of three black slaves that he had inherited from his deceased master. Fortune won the case, which established the right of blacks to own slave property.31 On March 1, 1723, John Fortune, "a free negro man of New York City, cooper" (possibly the same Fortune)32 and his free black wife Maria bound their daughter Elizabeth to service at age nine for a term of nine years. John Fortun[o] had earlier purchased Maria and her son Robin from Thomas Parsell of Barn Island for 40; he officially manumitted them on December 31, 172433. As another example, Peter Porter, a free negro, ordered on August 26, 1720, that Nanny be freed after his death.34
* * * * *
The free black community was small before 1785, evidenced by the predominance of slaves rather than freedmen in church records of black baptisms, marriages and deaths, by the rarity of manumission through deed or will, and by the omission of free blacks from most New York colonial censuses. Free blacks before the first federal census in 1790 were generally either not enumerated by census takers or were mistakenly counted as slaves.35 Only four censuses prior to 1790 included information on the living circumstances of free blacks. The first census to include a free black was the 1698 census of New Utrecht: Jora Bettie lived alone and formed one of the forty‑two separate households in the town.36 In the Westchester County town of Fordham in 1698, "antone the neger and dianna his wife and three children: ben, abraham, Jacob" were a rare example of an early free black‑headed nuclear household.37
Eight free negroes, six males and two females, lived in the village of Jericho within the town of Oysterbay in 1755, along with an unknown number of other free blacks who were not listed in this census of the slave population in Oysterbay.38 Three of the eight free blacks lived with white slaveholders: among them a man and woman who lived with two male slaves in the household of Obadiah Valentine. The third free male black lived with two female slaves held by David Seaman. The other five free blacks lived singly with white employers. None of the eight blacks headed independent households; all lived as dependent workers in white households.
A generation later, in 1781, twenty‑five free blacks lived in Oysterbay‑Jericho in six free black‑headed households:39
Black Jacob--one man, one woman, two children
Ben Homer--one man, one woman, two children
Jeams Lambo--one man, one woman, two children
French Joe--one man, one woman
Jeney Lines--two women, one child
Timothy Semon--two men, two women, four children
These six black households were composed of three nuclear families, one simple couple, one female‑headed household, and one nuclear family with either some grown children or extra adults present. Four of the six heads of household had surnames and five of the six were headed by males. When blacks were able to achieve independence and set up their own households they lived in conventional nuclear patterns, sometimes supplemented with other kin, evidenced by the family structure of Dutch slaves and former slaves40 and the few free black‑headed households found in eighteenth‑century censuses.
The successful career of Owah, a slave freed in 1685, illustrates the fortunes of one early free black family. On November 26, 1673, Quaker Richard Crabb of Oysterbay received a twelve or thirteen‑year‑old boy named Owah from the prominent family of Lewis Morris at Morrisania. As part of the arrangement, Crabb agreed to either free Owah at age thirty‑one or upon the death of his wife, or to deliver him to Morris if Morris should previously demand his return. The death of Richard Crabb's widow Alice twelve years later enabled Owah, renamed Tom, to achieve liberty at age twenty‑five. Alice Crabb freed Tom in her 1685 will and left him a legacy of one calf, one iron "skellett," and one mare in exchange for which freedom and goods he was to pay within three years her grandson 4 in silver money.41
Tom had acquired property by 1696, an acquisition made evident by a town grant to a white man which mentioned "Black Tom's" land as a boundary line.42 At an Oysterbay town meeting on January 11, 1697, the freeholders granted "to negro Tom and his children two acres of land in Oysterbay at ye south End of ye South street which he now lives on." At the same meeting Tom and his children were also given "a piece or gore of land" with defined boundaries.43 Not only had Tom obtained a house and lands, but by 1700 according to town records he also owned several animals: "The mark of Black Tom the Negro which he marketh all his cretures of is a latch mark under or on the under side of ye left ear. Entered by the order of said Tom, June 7, 1700."44
Tom's household continued to prosper and to be active in land ownership and purchase. A January 30, 1716/17, land transaction in Oysterbay made reference to "Black Tom's orchard," while a land survey on May 20, 1717, mentioned "the swamp by Tom Gals."45 Tom and his wife temporarily expanded their holdings on April 28, 1720, when they purchased lands for 85 from George Baulden of Westbury in the town of Hempstead. "Thomas Gall and Mary Gall his wife, of Oysterbay, free negroes," subsequently sold for the same price some parcels, presumably the same ones, two years later to Thomas Rodgers of Oysterbay. Tom Gall still held lands in 1726 when his property was again mentioned in town records as a boundary demarcation in a land deed.46
Further information on the activities of Tom Gall comes from a letter written by Henry Lloyd, second lord of the Manor of Queens Village, on September 23, 1728. Tom, now aged sixty‑eight, worked for Richard Youngs in Oysterbay and was accused by Lloyd of having poached deer from his property over a number of years:47
I have at times for several years been plagued with Tom Gall, a free negro of Oyster Bay, who comes by stealth to hunt deer on this place. The last February in the great snow I discovered him but could not until Saturday last find evidence sufficient to prosecute him. . . . In my absence from home . . . he or somebody for him broke into my house and stole a dog from under a table where he was tied. The dog was formerly his but when he was discovered hunting, I took the dog from him whom to prevent his being killed he gave to one of my sons. . . . He is a sly villain and I am informed about to go speedily into the New Country. I would sue him for a trespass and the damage laid . . . that I may get him into the gaol. I can't think I had less than forty or fifty deer killed in that snow. This fellow if he did not kill all, in all likelihood he did a great many.
Tom and Mary Gall founded a long line of free blacks. As late as the 1830s free black descendants with the last name of Gall lived in the vicinity of Long Island--in Oysterbay, Huntington, Flushing, and New York City. On February 7, 1717/18, "Mary Gall, free negro woman of Oyster Bay, wife to Thomas Gall," purchased a slave named Obed for 60 from Nathaniel Weeks of Oysterbay. Thomas and Mary Gall freed "their son‑in‑law Obed‑neger man" four years later. "Black Obed" continued as late as 1741 to live in his own Oysterbay household. In the 1790 census of Oysterbay a black man named Obed was the free head of a four‑member household. He was either the aged son‑in‑law of Thomas Gall or the original Obed's son or grandson.48 A free black named Tom Gaul headed a household in Oysterbay in 1790, as did Samuel F.B. Gall in the town of Huntington. Free black Townsend Gall lived in New York City's Seventh Ward in 1800. The 1810 census of Oysterbay listed three separate free black Gall heads of household--Samuel (nine members), James (six members), and Edward (two members). In Queens County in 1820 three black households were headed by James Gaul (four members), Hannah Gaul (sixteen members), and Edward Gaul (three members).49
Galls served in provincial armies and were among the blacks evacuated with the British after the Revolution. A 1761 army muster roll listed Samuel Gall as a twenty‑three‑year‑old laborer who had been born on Long Island.50 When the British left the port of New York in 1783, twenty‑five‑year‑old Joseph Gaul and eighteen‑year‑old Naomi Gaul were among the blacks removed to Nova Scotia. Both had been born free, but Joseph had served until age twenty‑one with Thomas Young of Oysterbay, while Naomi had served her time with John Townsend of Oysterbay.51 In 1820 the overseers of the poor of Huntington certified that Edward Gaul (a laborer) was a legally settled inhabitant of the town.52 Members of the free black Gall family were married in Baptist and Episcopal churches in the towns of Oysterbay and Flushing between 1814 and 1836.53
Other free blacks in early New York were also successfully independent. Fortune lived in his own house valued at 5 for tax purposes in the North Ward of New York City in 1730.54 An April 24, 1750, land transaction in the town of Oysterbay listed as one of the boundaries "land belonging to the old negro woman named Pegg which she formerly bought of Jonathan Rogers."55 Many of the blacks freed before 1785, however, found it difficult to acquire property, maintain their own households, and survive economically. Several appeared as debtors of the estate in white property inventories. John De Vries, Leysbit, Manvell, and Billew and Claes owed Stephen Mahoult small sums of money in 1703.56 Anthony, a "free neger," was in debt to Assher Levy for 25 in 1702/3, while Augustine owed the estate the considerable sum of 258.18.57 In one instance a free black husband seemed to be unable to care for his wife. On June 27, 1738, the churchwardens sent Mary Peterson, "the wife of Lucas Peterson, laborer, a free negro man" to the poorhouse until Lucas could be apprehended. The doctor was to take care of Mary, "who [had] the pox or some such disease."58
Many free blacks as well as Indians59 indentured themselves to service in early New York as a means of self‑support. On July 23, 1696, a twenty‑seven‑year‑old free black named Bastian Congo indentured himself to two New York City merchants to live with and serve them for eleven months in exchange for 17.15.0 in immediate payment.60 A free black woman, Maria, was given a black child by Isaac Depeyster of New York City "immediately after the same was borne to be kept nursed and maintained and to be to her one use and behoof and her assigns forever." Probably either her own child or that of a slave relative, Maria found it necessary in 1718 to bind the girl out at age four as an apprentice for a period of seven years.61 Peter Jacobson also resorted to indentured service in 1718; he bound himself as an apprentice to Gerardus Stuyvezandt for 6 1/2 years.62 In 1765, "Free Peg" bound herself to the overseers of the poor of Huntington for ten years or until she had accumulated 7 plus interest with which to repay them for the period during which she had been a pauper to the town.63 Blacks freed between December 10, 1712, and 1730 were prohibited from owning houses, land, or herediments in New York colony.64 Relegated to the status of dependent workers in white households or enterprises, their chances for autonomy and daily family life were slim.
* * * * *
Two groups of blacks gained freedom before 1785 outside of the normal manumission processes: slaves who belonged to Quaker owners and slaves who were freed during the turbulence of the American Revolution and its aftermath. New York Quakers began to move as a body against the slave trade and the ownership of slaves in the 1760s. The New York Yearly Meeting, held in Flushing in May 1759, adopted the position that Quakers should not participate in the slave trade. In 1762 the New York Yearly Meeting openly discouraged its members from purchasing slaves.
In 1771 the Yearly Meeting prohibited the selling of slaves and appointed a committee to persuade slaveholding members to manumit their negroes. By 1774, this policy became mandatory; Friends who bought or sold slaves were to be "treated with as disorderly persons."65 A report to the New York Monthly Meeting in May 1776 stated that "there are a considerable number who are possessed of them the greater part of whom seem disposed to sett them free and some few have already complied with the advice given and Executed Manumissions for that purpose and some that have Children signified that they use endeavors to instruct them in some necessary learning but Others there Are who manifested no disposition towards giving them freedom but on the contrary the most of these Endeavor to justify the practice of Holding them in bondage."66 The 1777 New York Yearly Meeting ordered visits to all Quaker slaveholders and the disowning of those who refused to free their slaves.67 A May 1778 committee report to the Monthly Meeting included the names of members who refused to comply with the prohibition on slaveholding. 68
This process was repeated in other meetings. Committees were formed between 1773 and 1776 in every area meeting to interview reluctant slaveholders and apply pressure for manumissions.69 In 1773 the Flushing Yearly Meeting decreed the disowning of Friends if they continued to "buy or sell Negroes or otherwise dispose of them so that after they come to the age of eighteen or twenty‑one according to their sex, they or their Posterity are kept in bondage."70 In 1775 they directed that committees be appointed by each local meeting to visit slaveholders, inquire into the circumstances and education of their slaves, and encourage their manumission. The report the next year indicated that many Friends had slaves, some were willing to free them, and others already had. Another committee was formed to work with persistent Quaker slaveholders and exhort them to free their slaves at age eighteen or twenty‑one.71
The Purchase Quarterly Meeting of Friends in West‑chester County began in 1767 to question the morality of slaveholding. On April 10, 1777, the Purchase Monthly Meeting appointed a committee to visit slaveholding members; the committee reported that in the past year many had freed their slaves. On May 14, 1778, it resolved to treat Friends still holding slaves as disorderly members. All slaves were freed by 1779.72 The Harrison Meeting of Friends pursued the same course: in 1776 it advised Quakers to divest themselves of their slaveholdings. Friends who still held slave property by 1779 were disowned.73
Quaker divestiture requirements drawn up in 1773 stipulated the freeing of adult slaves immediately and all female children by age eighteen and males by twenty‑one. Although deeds written in the 1770s which granted manumission to slave children effective upon maturity were in accordance with Quaker policy, it meant that some Friends would hold slaves for at least the next twenty‑one years. In this fashion Quakers effected their own gradual emancipation program in disregard of New York law with its 200 bond requirement for the manumission of any slave. On March 9, 1798, the New York State legislature retroactively validated all Quaker manumissions:74
Whereas the Quakers did a considerable time past manumit their slaves and in several instances not in strict conformity to the statutes, whereby doubts have arisin whether the slaves so manumitted and their offspring are legally free, it is hereby enacted that such manumissions are hereby validated from their date of origin. . . .
While the total number of slaves freed in conformity with Quaker policy after 1771 in the southern six counties of New York is unknown,75 between 1775 and 1798 sixty‑one Friends of the Westbury Monthly Meeting alone freed 173 slaves (fifty‑five men, twenty‑eight women and ninety children).76 They freed an average of 2.8 slaves each, reflecting the small size of slaveholdings in New York. A full 54.9 percent of the 173 slaves, some ninety‑five, were freed in 1776 and 1777 in response to the Quaker ultimatum of either manumission or disownment from the meeting. Adults were generally freed immediately while children were usually freed effective at age eighteen (females) or twenty‑one (males). Owners signed manumission documents for the eventual freedom of eighty‑seven children who ranged in age from six months to twenty years; time lapses of from as little as seven months to as long as twenty‑one years occurred between the execution of the deed and actual freedom. Manumission documents which granted future freedom to children were filed with the meeting from 1776 through 1797; these manumissions became valid from 1778 until as late as 1805.77 Adult slaves continued to be freed outright from 1775 until 179878 even though retention of either adult slaves or unmanumitted child slaves beyond 1777 was officially unacceptable to Quaker teachings. The tardiness with which some Quakers freed their slaves corroborates the findings of Elias Hicks of the Westbury Monthly Meeting, who reported in 1776 that "there appeared a great unwillingness in most of them to set their slaves free."79
Number of Manumissions Manumission Document‑‑ Immediate Effective at
Year of Filing Manumissions A Future Date
1775 3 ...
1776 26 26
1777 23 20
1778 7 11
1779 2 3
1780 ... 1
1781 3 4
1782 1 2
1783 7 8
1784 8 ...
1786 ... 2
1790 4 8
1791 1 ...
1797 ... 2
1798 1 ...
Total 86 87
The staggered nature of Quaker emancipation freed adults initially and children only upon maturity; this often meant separation for slaves held in family groups. On January 2, 1790, Townsend Hewlett freed Susanah Flanders outright. On February 18, 1790, he executed a deed of manumission for seven‑year‑old Richard and three year‑old Nance Flanders effective at age twenty‑one for Richard and eighteen for Nance.80 Susanah Flanders, their presumed mother, achieved freedom fourteen and fifteen years before her children--who would continue to grow up as slaves in Hewlett's household. Samuel Nichols of North Hempstead in 1797 freed sixteen‑year‑old Grandus at age twenty‑one, Jacob at age twenty‑one, and Catherine at eighteen, noting that "they are all children of Hannah heretofore manumitted by me."81 Some slaves were freed with family members: Richard Alsop freed Robin and Cate, his "old negro man and [his] old negro woman his wife" together on January 22, 1777.82 On March 6, 1776, Henry Whitson freed his negro man Philip and his wife Mary along with their son Philip (born on March 27, 1775) "who [was thereby] manumitted and resigned unto his father and mother."83 Quaker retention of children as slaves until adulthood served to preserve temporarily the rights of these slaveholders to some of their property; however, children under age six were nonproductive and the labor value of children under age twelve was still minimal. More importantly, this method of emancipation acted as a safeguard against the wanton abandonment of young children, many of whose parents were held as slaves by non‑Quaker owners and would be unable to care for them if they were freed.
* * * * *
Quaker agitation against slavery hastened the black population of New York along its long road toward freedom. The military and ideological upheavals of the Revolution in New York between 1775 and 1783 further undermined slavery in the state. Some blacks were freed for wartime military service or through confiscation of their masters' properties, and New York emerged from the Revolution with a changed perspective on manumission and on the future of slavery in the state.
1See pp. ‑ , , ‑ above on the manumission of Dutch slaves.
2See p. above on freed former Dutch slaves who joined whites in settling new towns on Long Island and in Rockland County.
3For Gravesend (Kings County), Newtown, Flushing, Hempstead, North Hempstead, Jamaica, and Oysterbay (Queens County), and Easthampton, Southampton, Southold, Smithtown, Huntington, and Brookhaven (Suffolk County), see Rosenwaike, Population History of N.Y.C., pp. 6,12; Albert McKinley, "English and Dutch Towns of New Netherland," American Historical Review 6 (October 1900):1‑18; Orville B. Ackerly, "Long Island Town Records," NYGBR, 48, no. 1 (January 1917):75‑76. For Westchester, Eastchester, Pelham, White Plains, Greenburgh, Bedford, New Castle, North Castle, Rye, Mamaroneck, Scarsdale, Poundridge, and New Rochelle, see Ernest Griffen, Westchester County and Its People: A Record, 3 vols. (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing, 1946), 2:3‑8; Van Der Zee, Sweet and Alien Land, p. 414.
4Pelletreau, comp., Records of Southampton, 1:155; Helen Wortis, "Blacks on Long Island--Population Growth in the Colonial Period," Journal of Long Island History, 11, no. 1 (Autumn 1974):36.
5Pelletreau, comp., Records of Southampton, 2:207.
6Osborne, comp., Records of Easthampton, 1:387.
7McManus, Negro Slavery, pp. 141‑42; Carl Nordstrom, "The New York Slave Code," Afro‑Americans in New York Life and History, 4, no.1 (January 1980):14.
8Will of Anna Medford, New York, August 31, 1669, Coll. NYHS, Abstracts of Wills, 1:141.
9Will of Swaentie Janse, widow of Cornelis De Potter, the Ferry (Kings County), March 1676, Kings County Conveyances, Liber I, 208‑13, microfilm reel no. 1, Register's Office, Room 203, Municipal Building, Brooklyn, N.Y. This reference was brought to my attention by Bill McLaughlin at Columbia University. It is abstracted (with no mention of slaves) in David McQueen, "Kings County, N.Y., Wills," NYGBR 47(1916):165.
10Slaves in both regular and miscellaneous wills are used in this section of the study on testamentary provisions for slaves. See p. n. above on the will sample. Dispositions made in an additional twenty‑four wills for twenty‑six Indian slaves are excluded from this study, as are provisions for the twenty‑two Indians mentioned in wills which also listed black slave property. See the bibliographical essay for a list of the sources used to compile the sample of wills.
11Earlier chapters divided the discussion of provisions for slaves listed in wills into separate categories for slaves of either young or unknown age and for elderly slaves. See pp. ‑ above on will dispositions for younger slaves and pp. ‑ above on old slaves. Both groups (389 young and 48 old) are combined here as the total sample of blacks freed in wills.
12Will of William Beekman, Sr., New York, December 13, 1701; Will of Alice Crabb, Oysterbay, February 22, 1685 (also in Oyster Bay Town Records, 2:388); Will of Thomas Hunt, Sr., Westchester, October 1, 1694; Will of Peter Jacob Marius, New York, March 25, 1706; Will of Anna Medford, New York, August 31, 1669; Will of Gabriel Minveille, New York, March 8, 1697/8; Will of Elias Nezreau, New York, August 21, 1707; Will of John Ramsden, Newtown, September 20, 1686 (also in William Eardeley, comp., Records in the Office of the County Clerk at Jamaica, Long Island, New York, 1680‑1781, 2 vols. [Brooklyn, N.Y.; n.p., 1918], 1:45; Will of Samuel Wilson, New York, December 14, 1688. All above wills are located in Coll. NYHS, Abstracts of Wills. Estate Inventory of Christina Cappoens, New York, January 5, 1693/4 [two blacks], Scott and Owre, Genealogical Data from Inventories (also see her will in Wills--Commissioner of Records, Kings County, 2:239‑42, St. Francis); Will of Joost and Lysbeth Cockhuyt, Kings County, June 15, 1694/5, Wills--Commissioner of Records, Kings County, 2:158, St. Francis; Will of Swaentie Janse, widow of Cornelis De Potter, Kings County, March 1676 [three blacks], Kings County Conveyances, Liber I, 208‑13, microfilm reel no. 1, Register's Office, Municipal Building, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Will of Jacob Pearce, Rye, 1689, Records of Deeds, Westchester County, vol. B, p. 183 in Baird, Chronicle of a Bordertown--Rye, p. 181; Will of Richard Smith, Sr., Smithown, March 5, 1691/2, William Pelletreau, comp., Early Long Island Wills of Suffolk County, 1691‑1703: The Record of the Prerogative Court of Suffolk County with Genealogical and Historical Notes (New York: Francis P. Harper, 1897), p. 80 (also see Pelletreau, comp., Records of Smithtown, p.35); Will of John Tooker, Southold, Codicil, May 29, 1690, Pelletreau, comp., Early Long Island Wills of Suffolk County, p.41. Seven Indian slaves were also freed in wills written between 1669 and December 9, 1712, but were not included in this study: Will of George Langley, Flushing, November 17, 1703 [two Indians], in Amos Canfield, "Abstracts of Early Wills of Queens County, New York, Recorded in Libers A and C of Deeds Now in the Register's Office at Jamaica, New York," NYGBR 65 (1934): 249; Will of Gabriel Minveille, New York, March 8, 1697/8 [two Indians], Coll. NYHS, Abstracts of Wills, 1:339‑40; Will of James Parshall, Southold, October 14, 1692 [two Indians], Pelletreau, comp., Early Long Island Wills of Suffolk County, pp. 226‑27; Will of Derrick Woortman, Brooklyn, April 4, 1694, in McQueen, "Kings County, N.Y., Wills," p. 232 (also see Kings County Conveyances, Liber I, 357‑58, Register's Office, Municipal Building, Brooklyn, N.Y.). The four Indians freed by Langley and Minveille were only to receive their liberty at the deaths of their owners' spouses, which may have placed their real dates of emancipation after December 9, 1712.
13See the bibliographical essay for a list of all sources used to compile the manumission sample.
14Executors of Elias Jamain, Manumission of Fortune, December 9, 1712, Yoshpe, "Record of Slave Manumissions," p. 85; Thomas Mollinex, Manumission of Jack, January 14, 1701, in Theresa Hall Bristol, "Westchester County, New York, Miscellanea," NYGBR 51 (1920):40; Lewis Morris, Indenture of Maude, May 8, 1683, Collections of the New‑York Historical Society, Burghers of New Amsterdam and the Freemen of New York, 1675‑1866, and Indentures of Apprenticeship February 9, 1694/5 to January 29, 1707/8, Publication Fund Series (New York: Printed for the Society, 1885), pp. 601‑2. Morris gave Maude to Ann Rudyard in 1683 for a term of eighteen years of service after which she was to be freed. On July 9, 1702, Maude had this contract entered into the records of New York City. Mary Wright, Manumission of Dick, June 6, 170[ ], Oyster Bay Town Records, 2:453. This manumission occurred between 1707 and 1709. Dick obtained his freedom from the widow Wright only after relinquishing his claim to all "goods, chattels, land or what else was given him or alotted him by his master" (a form of self‑purchase).
15Although the real total of manumissions from 1669 to 1712 was undoubtedly small, their numbers could have been somewhat under‑represented in this sample due to the decreased availability of surviving records from this period. The main source of wills used in this study is the Collections of the New‑York Historical Society, Abstracts of Wills series; it began its compilation of abstracts with the year 1665, thereby providing a source of will samples comparable with subsequent periods. Other will sources, however, were less complete for the years 1669 to 1712 than for later periods.
16Bureau of Census, Century of Population Growth, table 88 p. 170; table 92, p. 181. No 1712 census figures are available for the combined southern six counties of New York. The 1712 census failed to include black population figures for Kings, Richmond, and Queens counties.
17From 1669 through December 9, 1712 (a forty‑three‑year period) twenty‑two slaves were freed in the sample of wills and deeds of manumission; over the next seventy‑three years, from December 10, 1712 to 1785, 237 slaves were freed. An average of .5 slaves were freed annually 1669 to December 9, 1712, and 3.2 slaves per year from December 10, 1712 to April 11, 1785.
18Executors of Elias Jamain, Manumission of Fortune, December 9, 1712, Yoshpe, "Record of Slave Manumissions," p. 85.
19"An Act for Preventing Suppressing and Punishing the Conspiracy and Insurrection of Negroes and other Slaves," December 10, 1712, Lincoln, Johnson, and Northrup, eds., Colonial Laws of New York, 1:761‑67.
20Will of George Norton, New York City, May 1, 1715, Coll. NYHS, Abstracts of Wills, 2:151. The printed dates of the execution (May 1, 1719) and probation (January 23, 1715) of the will in the Abstracts of Wills, 2:151 are incorrect. Examination of the original document at the New‑York Historical Society on August 30, 1982, revealed that the will was written on May 1, 1715, and proved on June 23, 1715. A letter written by Gov. Robert Hunter on November 12, 1715 to the Lords of Trade in London concerning this case not only corroborates the 1715 dates but reveals that Norton had given Sam the legacies of a slave and money as a reward for faithful and diligent service which "had helped to gain most part of his master's wealth. . . ." O'Callaghan, ed., Documents Relative, New York State, 5:461. Also see Shea, "New York Negro Plot of 1741," p. 766.
21Will of William Leath, New York City, April 26, 1708, Coll. NYHS, Abstracts of Wills, 2:3. This testamentary manumission was excluded from the sample of 437 cases, which only includes blacks.
22An Act for Explaining and Rendering more Effectual an Act of the General Assembly of this Colony entitled, an Act for Preventing, Suppressing and punishing the Conspiracy and Insurrection of Negroes and other slaves," November 2, 1717, Lincoln, Johnson, and Northrup, eds., Colonial Laws of New York, p. 922.
23The total of thirty‑one manumissions by deed which took place in the southern six counties of New York between 1701 and April 11, 1785, represent an unknown proportion of the real number of manumissions which occurred during these years. Manumissions which became effective between 1712 and 1785 (until 1801 for slaves over age fifty) were accompanied by a 200 promisory bond deposited by the owner or his executor with the town clerk as a guarantee that the owner or his estate would prevent the freed slave from becoming a public charge. Manumission instruments executed during this period should therefore have been listed in town records, although in some instances these documents may have remained in private hands with no official notation entered into the local record. Manumissions sampled before April 12, 1785, could have been undercounted if they were only irregularly incorporated into town records.
The following masters freed twenty‑seven slaves by deeds of manumission: Mary Avice, Manumission of Stephen Bond, July 29, 1758; Thomas Behanna, Manumission of Molle and her daughter Jenny, January 21, 1753; Frederick Depeyster, Manumission of Zabetha and her male child, July 6, 1769; Benjamin Faneuil, Manumission of Nero, August 25, 1708 [effective 1718]; Daniel Gomez, Manumission of Terressa Fransiska, July 25, 1748; Thomas Lane, Manumission of Deigo Bastian, April 17, 1753. Deigo purchased his freedom from Lane for 300. Daniel McCormick, Manumission of Fortune, September 4, 1765; James Milles, Manumission of Richard Richards, July 14, 1767; Lawrence Roome, Manumission of Robbin, August 3, 1762; William Smith, Manumissions of Anthony and Mary (Molly), December 31, 1736; Geertye Splinter, Manumission of Francisco, May 7, 1722. All above manumissions are abstracted in Yoshpe, "Record of Slave Manumissions." Joshua Carpenter, Manumission of Mary, March 17, 1775, Alice Meigs, comp., Records of the Town of Jamaica, 1749‑1897, vols. 4‑7, Work Projects Administration, Long Island Collection of the Queensboro Public Library (n.p., 1940), NYGBS (microfilm), 4: 99‑100. Mary paid Carpenter a consideration of ten shillings for her freedom. Mary Ferrari, Manumission of Thomas Mills, May 1, 1772, Slaves--Miscellaneous Manuscripts, Folder 1, Manuscript Room, New York Public Library; Elias Hicks, Manumission of Ben Willis, December 14, 1778, Oyster Bay Town Records, 7:226‑27. This manumission also appears in A Record of the Discharges of the Negroes set at Liberty by Friends of Westbury Monthly Meeting, March 15, 1776‑May 11, 1790, Friends Meeting House, New York City. Ben was freed in 1778 according to Quaker practices and was also later examined and certified as free by the overseers of the poor of Oysterbay on April 21, 1794. William Johnson, Manumissions of Peter Johnson, Samuel Johnson, Anthony Johnson, Ceasar, Cullaman, William Johnson, Joseph Johnson, Cullaman Johnson, Frost, ed., Records of the Town of Jamaica, 3:342, 344, 346, 347‑48, 349, 351, 352, 354; Isaac Roosevelt, Manumission of Walley, February 10, 1785; Robert Shedden, Manumission of Judy Byas, 1783, both in Register of manumissions of slaves . . . , pp. 1, 36, MCNY.
24William Johnson, Manumissions of Peter Johnson, Samuel Johnson, Anthony Johnson, Ceasar, Cullaman, William Johnson, Joseph Johnson, Cullaman Johnson, Frost, ed., Records of the Town of Jamaica, 3:342, 344, 346, 347‑48, 349, 351, 352, 354.
25Will of William Johnson, Jamaica, January 19, 1746, proved May 27, 1749, Original Wills, New York County, Surrogate's Records, microfilm reel 1742‑1751, p. 443, NYGBS. Also abstracted in Coll. NYHS, Abstracts of Wills, 4:224.
26Although there is no evidence to indicate that some or all of these slaves were fathered by Johnson, his slaveholding pattern suggests miscegenation. It was out of the ordinary for seven slaves to remain in one household from birth to adulthood unsold. They ranged from eighteen to thirty‑two years of age in 1745 (four years were added to the ages of the two men freed in 1741), suggesting a biological family built up over a fourteen‑year period. Cullaman, however, age twenty‑five in 1745, was almost certainly fathered by a black slave Cullaman, irrespective of the paternity of the other six slaves. Johnson arranged for the freedom of all seven young slaves before his death, and gave them 5 legacies in his will--also indicating an unusual degree of care and interest. The generous provisions for his slave woman Betty in his will support the conjecture that she was the mother of his black children.
27Will of John Wright, Flushing, March 8, 1768, proved April 15, 1768, Coll. NYHS, Abstracts of Wills, 7:147‑48; Henry Onderdonk, Jr., "Notes on the History of Queens County, Part I," Journal of Long Island History, 7, no. 1 (1967):73.
28Will of Thomas Robertson, New York, July 25, 1766, Coll. NYHS, Abstracts of Wills, 7:43.
29Mary Ferrari, Samuel Bayard, Jr., and Benjamin Kissam, New York City, Manumission of Thomas Mills, May 5, 1772, Slaves--Miscellaneous Manuscripts, Folder 1, Manuscript Room, New York Public Library.
30The manumissions of the four slaves by free blacks John Fortuno, Peter Porter, and Tom and Mary Gall (see p. above on Obed) were not included in either the sample of twenty‑seven slaves freed by deeds of manumission from 1717 to 1785 or in the total sample of 1,876 manumissions 1701 to 1831.
31Minutes of the Mayor's Court, April 14, 1719, cited in Ottley and Weatherby, eds., The Negro in New York, p.18. These three blacks were not included in the manumission sample.
32Fortune, John Fortune, John Fortuno, and the free black Fortune who lived in his own household in New York City in 1730 were probably all the same person. See p. above on Fortune in 1730.
33Indenture of Elizabeth to Elizabeth Sharpas, March 1, 1723, Collections of the New‑York Historical Society, Indentures of Apprentices, 1718‑1727 (New York: Printed for the Society, 1909), p. 158; John Fortuno, "free negro cooper," Manumission of Mar[ya] and Robin, December 31, 1724, Yoshpe, "Record of Slave Manumissions," p. 82.
34Peter Porter, Manumission of Nanny, August 26, 1720, Yoshpe, "Record of Slave Manumissions," p. 88.
35Before the 1790 federal census the black census population is usually synonymous with the slave population--all blacks were counted as slaves. The same census problem exists for New England, as reported by Greene, Negro in Colonial New England, p. 97.
36Moorhouse, "1698 New Utrecht," p. 56.
37Miller, "Census of Westchester, Eastchester, Fordham and Bedford, 1698," p. 219.
38The three separate areas of Oysterbay were enumerated by different men in the 1755 census. One of them, Zebulon Seaman, reported these eight free negroes within his jurisdiction, adding that he expected "that ye Other Captains in Oysterbay will acquaint Your Honour of those Resideing in ye Other parts of ye Township." The other captains failed to include figures on any free blacks along with their tallies of the slave population over the age of fourteen. "1755 Slave Census," Doc. Hist., 3:518.
39Darlington, "Census of 1781"; Blank, "Census of 1781." Black Jacob and French Joe were listed in Sgt. Lattin's part of the census, and the other four blacks in Capt. Young's section.
40See pp. ‑ above.
41Lewis Morris to Richard Crabb, Transfer of slave Owah, November 26, 1673, Oyster Bay Town Records, 1:83; Will of Alice Crabb, Oysterbay, April 1685, proved October 13, 1685, Oyster Bay Town Records, 2:388; Coll. NYHS, Abstracts of Wills, 1:473. The original will is located at the Long Island Historical Society. Tom's freedom was confirmed in a document written on October 26, 1685, by Alice Crabb's daughter Mary Andrews: "Tom the negro which was formerly my mother's servant hath performed what he was to do by Alice Crabb's will, so he is to be set free." Oyster Bay Town Records, 2:335. The compiler of this volume of Oyster Bay Town Records noted that Tom was probably Owah.
42Oyster Bay Town Records, 2:379. It is possible that Tom was either squatting on this land in 1696 or was occupying it in anticipation of approval of a town land grant (made the next year in 1697). See Iris and Alonzo Gibbs, "Black Tom, Oyster Bay Slave," Long Island Forum, 18, no. 2 (February 1955), pp. 25‑26, 36.
43Oyster Bay Town Records , 2:388.
45Oyster Bay Town Records, 4:384, 390. This is the first time that the surname Gall appeared in town records. A later reference to "the swamp by Black Tomes house" was made on February 18, 1719/20. Town records mention "the boundaries of the land of Thomas Goll, free negro," again on December 31, 1720. Oyster Bay Town Records, 3:544, 565.
46Oyster Bay Town Records, 4: 281‑82, 283‑84, 286, 409‑10. At about the same time Thomas Gall also seems to have conveyed some lands to John Lesley as security for a debt according to a July 18, 1723, deposition by William and Mary Hall.
47Coll. NYHS, Papers of the Lloyd Family, 1:302‑3. Lloyd was well‑acquainted with the Gall family, as Hannah Gall and George More (free blacks) were listed as customers of the Lloyd family in their account book (no. 5) for the 1707 to 1738 period. Rosalie Fellows Bailey, "The Account Books of Henry Lloyd of the Manor of Queens Village," Journal of Long Island History 2 (Spring 1962), p. 43. Bailey noted that Hannah Gall was "perhaps related to Tom Gall, free negro of Oyster Bay." Six account books of Henry Lloyd, 1707 to 1745, are located at the Long Island Historical Society.
48It is likely that Obed had been purchased by the Galls to facilitate his marriage to their daughter. Oyster Bay Town Records, 4:408, 409. Black Obed's house was mentioned as a boundary along the route of a proposed highway. Oyster Bay Town Records, 5:306; Bureau of Census, Heads of Families, 1790, p. 154.
49The households of both Tom and Samuel contained four members. Bureau of Census, Heads of Families, 1790, pp. 154, 164; 1800 Census, Manuscript Population Schedules, New York County, Ward Seven, p. 878, New York Public Library; 1810 Census, Manuscript Population Schedules; 1820 Census, Manuscript Population Schedules, Queens County, p.229.
50Muster Roll of the Men Raised and Passed in the County of Albany for Capt. Christopher Yates' Company, May 1761, Collections of the New‑York Historical Society, Muster Rolls of New York Provincial Troops, 1755‑1764, Publication Fund Series (New York: Printed for the Society, 1891), p. 368.
51It is likely that both Joseph and Naomi had been bound out to service until adulthood by their free black parents. Book of Negroes Registered and Certified . . . on board sundry vessels . . . from the Port of New York between July 31 and November 30, 1783 (Book 2), p. 111, British Headquarters Papers, Document 10427, Manuscript Room, New York Public Library.
52Oyster Bay Town Records, 7:445.
53Six couples were married in Oysterbay: William Townsend to Frances Gall (January 29, 1820); James Gall to Nancy Gaul (January 11, 1823); John Sands to Mary Gaul (April 17, 1825); Stephen Hart to Hannah Gaul (December 12, 1830); Plato Gaul to Sarah Treadwell (September 29, 1832); James Gaul to Priscilla Concklin (January 16, 1836), Marriages by Rev. Marmaduke Earle, 1802‑1855, Baptist Church at Oysterbay, NYGBS. Three couples were married in Flushing: Samuel Gall to Sarah Brown (October 30, 1814); David Gall to Margaret Mitchell (October 30, 1814); Jacob Gall to Sarah Bunn (December 8, 1816), Records of St. George's Episcopal Church, Flushing, New York, Flushing microfilm reel, NYGBS. These marriage records are published in Kenneth Scott, "Marriages in St. George's [Episcopal] Church, Flushing, Long Island," NYGBR 110 (January 1979): 1‑6. An error appears in Scott's transcription: the marriages of Samuel and David Gall were transposed leaving Samuel linked to Margaret and David's marriage omitted.
54Julius M. Bloch, Leo Hershkowitz, and Kenneth Scott, "New York City Assessment Roll, February 1730," NYGBR 95(1964):169.
55Oyster Bay Town Records, 6:60.
56Scott and Owre, Genealogical Data from Inventories.
57Ibid. Also see Harriet (Mott) Stryker‑Rodda, "Asser Levy," NYGBR 102 (1971): 133‑34. The account for Anthony appears in the original account book no. 12, p. 22, and the entry for Augustine is located in account book no. 11, p. 68. Assher Levy, a wealthy Jewish merchant, had arrived in New Amsterdam in 1654. His estate papers are located at the Historic Records Division, Paul Klapper Library, Queens College, Queens, N.Y.
58Kenneth Scott, "The Church Wardens and the Poor In New York City 1693‑1747," NYGBR 102 (1971): 52‑53.
59Isaack, an Indian, hired himself as a servant to William Edwards of Easthampton for six months in 1673, for which he was to receive the sum of 4. On February 15, 1677/78, Tom, an Indian, indentured himself to Thomas James of Easthampton for a period of 3 1/2 years. Tom had recently been a servant to Roger Smith. Osborne, comp., Records of Easthampton, 1:362, 410‑11. See chap. 14, nn. , below on other Indian children and adults who bound themselves out to service.
60Coll. NYHS, Burghers of New Amsterdam and Indentures of Apprenticeship, p. 569.
61Indenture of Mary to Richard Betts, April 10, 1718, Frost, ed., Records of the Town of Jamaica, 3:269.
62Indenture of Peter Jacobson to Gerardus Stuyvezandt, May 5, 1718, Coll. NYHS, Indentures of Apprentices, 1718‑1727, p. 119.
63Indenture of Free Peg to Samuel Stratton, Jonas Williams, and Obadiah Platt, March 12, 1765, Huntington Town Records, 2:481‑82.
64Nordstrom, "New York Slave Code," pp. 14‑17.
65Zilversmit, The First Emancipation, pp. 80, 81; Drake, Quakers and Slavery in America, pp. 64, 80.
66John Cox, Jr., Quakerism in the City of New York 1657‑1930 (New York: By the Author, 1930), p. 59.
67Zilversmit, The First Emancipation, p. 81.
68Obdurate New York City Quaker slaveholders included Ebenezer Beaman (who finally did free his slaves), John Field, Samuel Doughty, James Way, John Way, and Daniel Latham. Cox, Quakerism in the City of New York, pp. 59‑60.
69Zilversmit, The First Emancipation, p. 81; Drake, Quakers and Slavery in America, p. 71.
70Richard MacMaster, "Early Long Island Abolitionists," Long Island Forum 26(1963): 31‑32.
71Hartell, "Slavery on Long Island," p. 69.
72Historical Records--North Castle/New Castle, 1:61; Scharf, History of Westchester County, 1:30.
73Baird, Chronicle of a Bordertown--Rye, pp. 187‑88.
74"An Act concerning manumissions of slaves heretofore made by the people commonly called Quakers and others," March 9, 1798, Laws of New York State, 22nd Session, Chap. 27, vol. 4, p. 168.
75It is certain that Friends freed slaves (numbers unknown) in the above mentioned New York City, Flushing, Purchase, Mamaroneck, and Harrison meetings. Records of these manumissions may be preserved in local Quaker archives. In 1871, Charles Baird, Chronicle of a Bordertown--Rye, pp. 187‑88, used Records of the Society of Friends in Harrison, then in the possession of Mellis S. Tilton, Recorder.
76The Westbury Meeting included members from towns in Queens and Suffolk counties--from Oysterbay, Hempstead, Newtown, Islip, and Brookhaven. Its manuscript copies of slave manumissions are preserved in A Record of the Discharges of the Negroes set at Liberty by Friends of Westbury Monthly Meeting, March 15, 1776--May 11, 1790, Friends Meeting House, 15 Rutherford Place, New York City.
77Townsend Hewlett of Oysterbay freed two children on February 18, 1790, effective at age eighteen and twenty‑one. Richard, born in April 1783 would only be free in 1804, while Nance, born in April 1787, would not be free until 1805. A Record of the Discharges of the Negroes set at Liberty by Friends of Westbury Monthly Meeting, p. 76.
78Lewis Valentine of Oysterbay freed Neptune in 1798. A Record of the Discharges of the Negroes set at Liberty by Friends of Westbury Monthly Meeting.
9MacMaster, "Early Long Island Abolitionists," p. 32.
80A Record of the Discharges of the Negroes set at Liberty by Friends of Westbury Monthly Meeting, p. 76.
82Ibid., p. 21.
MESS HERE!30Between 1698 and 1771, there were ten counties in New York, of which my sample covers six. Between 1784 and 1789, five new counties emerged from lands ceded by Albany-Montgomery, Washington, Columbia, Clinton and Ontario counties.
31Wells, Population in America Before 1776, p. 114.
32See app. 19 on the size of data bases used in this study.