NYSM Home Page


Human bondage had been sanctioned by law in colonial New York since 1626, and slavery remained legal after the signing of the United States Constitution in 1787.  African and Caribbean slaves tended to work on farms in rural areas, or as artisans or domestic workers in cities and towns.  In 1790, four out of five New York blacks remained enslaved.

Slave Collar, brass, c.1806
Reward Broadside for
Runaway Slave, c.1806
Sojourner Truth Carte De Visite, 1864
Female Slave For Sale
"Injured Humanity" Broadside, 1805
African Burial Grounds