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.
The 1799 "Gradual Emancipation Act" laid out a lethargic route to freedom July 4th, 1827
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What we can learn from Census records
Census records can tell stories. The concentrated annotations on page three indicate the location of the "New Guinea Community" in Hyde Park.
This 1790 census for Fishkill is revealing as you see almost no free Persons of Color living in their own houeholds. Slaveowners are also conctrated. Women as well as men are large slave owners.
What we can learn from newspapers
An unfathomable matter of fact public practice of human ownership.
Above: Isaac Smith, a lawyer, and Lewis Graham, from the wealthy 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."
What we can learn from DCHS Collections
From DCHS Collections: Bills of "Sale" for human beings
Above: 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.