Landmarks of Early African-American New York  
Few are aware of the role of African Americans in the history of Lower Manhattan. Even fewer are aware that in 1612, a freeman of African and Portuguese descent, Joao “Jan” Rodrigues, became the first non-native settler on the island of Manhattan. In 1626, the later Dutch settlers brought Africans to New Amsterdam as slaves. By 1711, roughly 1/6 of New York’s residents were black – most enslaved and some free. During the tour, we’ll visit such noted sites as New York’s slave market, the site of the slave revolt of 1712, the notorious “Five Points” district, Abolitionist-related sites, the New York African Free School, the site of African Society for Mutual Relief and the site of Freedom’s Journal, the first African American owned and operated newspaper in the nation.

In addition, from the 1690s until the 1790s, both free and enslaved Africans were interred in a burial ground in Lower Manhattan, beyond the boundaries of New Amsterdam. Built over by development, the cemetery was officially “rediscovered” in 1991. Our tour will include a visit to the new African Burial Ground Memorial – dedicated to those who are buried in this hallowed ground.

During the tour, we’ll encounter such people as Joseph François Mangin, designer of New York’s City Hall and the Venerable Pierre Toussaint – a candidate for Roman Catholic sainthood. We’ll address and visit noted religious sites associated with the black community: John Street Methodist Church, St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, Mother AME Zion, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, and the Abyssinian Baptist Church. We’ll also discover overlooked heroes and heroines. Learn of Elizabeth Jennings who, in 1854, successfully sued to eliminate racial discrimination for New York’s public transit. Discover Dr. James McCune Smith, the first licensed African American doctor in the country. Learn of the New York connections for Frederick Douglass, the most famous African American of the 19th century – often called the “father of the Civil Rights movement.”
Please download, print and mail in your registration form along with payment.
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Date: Saturday October 6, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM  to approximately 4:00 PM
Cost: $ 20 in advance | $ 23 on-site (Includes all Admissions)
Meet: SE Corner of Broadway at Chambers Street at north end of City Hall Park
Train: 2 or 3 Train to Park Place || A or C to Chambers Street
R Train to City Hall || 4, 5, or 6 Train to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall
Tours operate rain or shine. Please dress appropriately. For more information or to confirm meeting locations please call (212) 223-2777. Please note that tours sometimes run late. While tours are rarely cancelled you can call the number above to confirm, or join our mailing list to keep informed of cancellations due to extreme weather conditions.
Justin Ferate's Tours of the City |
Justin Ferate's Tours of the City    |    (212) 223-2777    |    
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