Antebellum New York City
Antebellum NYC
Building an interactive expereince with antebellum era NYC commercial sites and aspects of Black American thought

A Work in Progress


Plenty, it turns out.

New and different questions will not be asked as long as slavery is studied in and of itself, apart from general American history.
Our master narrative denies it place, marginalizing both the institution and African-Americans. Governed by that fact, the questions will remain the same until our national history and myth can incorporate both slavery and racism. Until then, slavery and slaves will remain only accidentally and tragically American.

Nathan Huggins
The Deforming Mirror of Truth: Slavery and the Master Narrative of American History

When a young girl was married her parents would always give her a slave.
I was given by my master to his daughter, Miss Elizabeth, who married Mr. Blakely. I was just five years old. She moved into a new home at Fayetteville and I was taken along but she soon sent me back home to my master telling him that I was too little and not enough help to her. So I went back to the Parks home and stayed until I was over seven years old. My master made a bill of sale for me to his daughter, in order to keep account of all settlements, so when he died and the estate settled each child would know how he stood.

"Aunt Adeline", Age: 89
Home: 101 Rock Street
Fayetteville, Arkansas

Black women who labored in the antebellum plantation household were enslaved workers.
They were enslaved workers despite the intimacies inherent in the household. The plantation household was a site of work during and after slavery, and it was that despite the ideologies of white male patriarchy, white female subordination, and private versus public spheres, that circulated within and around its precincts. These are the simple facts that lie submerged in the historiography. Submerged along with them is the story of what those simple facts meant for the lives of black and white women in slavery and freedom. Yet this history is far from simple.

Thavolia Glymph
Out of the House of Bondage : The Transformation of the Plantation Household

At the three corners of the "cotton triangle" were the cotton port (Charleston, Savannah, Mobile, or New Orleans), the European port (generally Liverpool or Havre), and New York.
[The New York business circles] actually took over a large share of the South's commercial activity. The combined income from interest, commission, freight, insurance, and other profits was so great that, when southerners finally awoke to what was happening, they claimed that the New Yorkers with a few other northerners were getting forty cents of every dollar paid for southern cotton.

Robert Albion
The Rise of New York Port


Scholars, Social Critics, Artists & Journalists

Brenda Stevenson, Paula Giddings, Daina Ramey Berry, Craig Steven Wilder, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Anne Moody, Isabela Wilkerson, C.L.R. James, Ella Baker, August Wilson, Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Deborah Gray White, Martha S. Jones, Barbara Omolade, Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Leslie Harris, Simone Brown, Chana Kai Lee, John Hope Franklin, Sterling Stuckey, Edward Baptist, Jacqueline Jones, Chris Brown, James Baldwin, W.E.B. Du Bois, Seth Rockman, Carter G. Woodson, Imani Perry, Adam Rothman, Mary Church Terrell, Harold Woodman, Laurence Levine, Alice Dunbar, Andrew Kahrl, Anna Julia Cooper, Edmund Morgan, Frances Harper, Frederick Douglass, Erica Dunbar, Ira Berlin, Manning Marable, Thavolia Glymph, Eric Williams, Fannie Lou Hamer

  Helpful Works

Black Womanhood: The Syllabus
Writing About Slavery - A Crowdsourced Doc

Works & Publications

Robert Albion The Rise of New York Port


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