History of slavery in New York
Slavery in New York began when the Dutch West India Company imported 11 African slaves to New Amsterdam in 1626, with the first slave auction being held in New Amsterdam in 1655. The last slaves were freed in 1827.The British expanded the use of slavery, and in 1703, more than 42 percent of New York City households held slaves, often as domestic servants and laborers. This was the second-highest proportion of any city in the colonies after Charleston, South Carolina. Others worked as artisans or in shipping and various trades in the city. Slaves were also used in farming on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley, as well as the Mohawk Valley.During the American Revolutionary War, the British troops occupied New York City in 1776. The Crown promised freedom to slaves who left rebel masters, and thousands moved to the city for refuge with the British. By 1780, 10,000 blacks lived in New York. Many were slaves who had escaped there from slaveholders in North and South. After the war, 3,000 slaves were evacuated with the British, most being taken to Nova Scotia for freedom.After the American Revolution, the New York Manumission Society was founded in 1785 to work for the abolition of slavery and for aid to free blacks. The state passed a 1799 law for gradual abolition; after that date, children born to slave mothers were free but required to work for the mother's master for an extended period as indentured servants into their late twenties. Existing slaves kept their status. All remaining slaves were finally freed on July 4, 1827.