Slavery in Dutchess County

New York's "Gradual Emancipation Act" of 1799 laid out plans for the abolition of slavery in the state in 1827. This page provides some statistics and a few samples from DCHS Collections related to enslaved individuals from that period.

DCHS Slavery

The 1799 "Gradual Emancipation Act" laid out a lethargic route to freedom July 4th, 1827

Advance using right arrow. For best viewing click full screen icon.

An unfathomable matter of fact public practice of human ownership

Isaac Smith of Pine Plains

Slave Adr 1782 Nov 15 HC

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.

DCHS Yearbook Articles on Black History

How to best read DCHS Yearbooks online

Digital Book InstSh

Invisible People

Fugitive Slave

The 18th Century

Anti-bellum Anti-slavery

Quakers & Slavery

James Tallmadge


Storm Slave Cemetery

1755 Slave Census