The "Gradual Emancipation Act" of 1799 laid out a protracted route to freedom as 1790, 1800, 1810 and 1820 Census records show below:
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"For sale" and "Runaway" ads reveal an unfathomable kind of "matter of fact" public practice of human ownership
From DCHS Collections: Bills of Sale
Isaac Smith of Pine Plains
Isaac Smith, a lawyer, and Lewis Graham, from the wealth Graham family of the Manor of Morrissania, were both the earliest of settlers of what is now Pine Plains, arriving in the 1760's. They ran an ad in the Hartford Courant in 1782, calling for the return of Peter, a so-called "runaway."
The 1826 document shows that upon his death, Smith manumitted "Dinah." To ensure no financial burden would fall to towns or the county, the Overseers of the Poor had to endorse the manumission of a slave saying they felt they were capable of sustaining themselves. This is such a document.