EMANCIPATION in NEW YORK
Most of the Revolutionary leaders who came to power in New York in 1777 had anti-slavery sentiments, yet, as elsewhere in the North, the urgency of the war with Britain made them delay, and they restricted their activity to a policy statement and an appeal to future legislatures “to take the most effective measures consistent with public safety for abolishing domestic slavery.” This resolution passed in the state Constitutional Convention by a vote of 29 to 5.
The war proved particularly destructive in the case of New York, and the state was a battleground from one end to the other. Little was done during the war towards ending slavery, except that in 1781 the legislature voted to manumit slaves serving in the armed forces. But the war itself wrought havoc with the institution. Many slaves ran off to the British during the occupation of the state. Others achieved freedom by taking up the rebels’ offer of manumission in exchange for military service. The slave population of New York City was permanently reduced. When the British and the American Loyalists pulled out of New York at the end of the war, some 3,000 blacks left with them.
In 1785, when the fighting was over, New York got around to the slavery question. As before, most of the legislators were anti-slavery, but by now a split had developed between moderates, who favored gradual emancipation, and a minority of hard-liners behind Aaron Burr who sought an immediate end to slavery. The moderates won, and out of the Assembly in 1785 came a plan that children born to slave women after 1785 would be free from birth. But it was passed up to the state Senate with a number of riders attached, which reflected fears of potential power in an ex-slave population and racist concerns about social order. Blacks would be denied the right to vote or hold public office, or to intermarry with whites or give testimony against them in state courts. This combination of gradual emancipation with restrictions on black civil rights was the plan that had succeeded in Connecticut the previous year. “The representatives in effect sought to blunt the political and social impact of emancipation by relegating the Negro freedmen to a civil limbo of second-class citizenship.”
The majority in the Senate, however, was more aristocratic and had less to fear from black economic competition. They rejected the restrictive provisions, not only because they were undemocratic, but because they would perpetuate a caste system based on race, which could awaken dangerous civil strife. The Senate sent the bill back to the Assembly for revisions.
The Assembly dutifully stripped off the other provisions, but it would not budge on withholding the right to vote. The Senate, recognizing a line had been drawn, agreed to this.
The emancipation plan faced one more hurdle: the Council of Revisions. Under leadership of Chancellor Livingston (whose family had not long before been slave traders), the bill was indignantly rejected, with the suffrage clause called “shocking” to the “principal of equal liberty.” The Council also echoed the Senate’s earlier objection to permanent class divisions based on race, which would weaken blacks’ commitment to the civil society of the new nation, turning them into a potentially subversive force without a stake in the social order.
The Council sent the bill back to the Senate. But the Senate had made up its mind for emancipation as soon as possible, and the Senators felt this was the price that had to be paid for it. They passed the bill back to the Assembly unchanged. Yet now the Assembly was having second thoughts on the matter. It failed to break the Council’s veto, and the bill died. “In the final analysis, emancipation was blocked by a majority that feared Negro power more than it desired Negro freedom.” All this concern about the power of a black vote took place in a state where blacks made up less than 8 percent of the population, and even in the county (Kings) where they had the highest population concentration, they were outnumbered 2 to 1 by whites.
In 1788, the slave trade in New York was banned outright (but with important loopholes), and the special courts, which had held power of life and death over slaves for 80 years, were abolished. The loosening of restrictions filtered down to the municipal level, and Albany abolished the custom of flogging slaves for curfew violations.
The New York Manumission Society, based in the Quaker population of Long Island and headed by the most prominent and wealthy men in the state, had formed in 1785. It kept up a relentless pressure of economic intimidation. It hectored newspaper editors against advertising slave sales, pressured auction houses and ship-owners, and gave free legal help to slaves suing their masters. This effort, along with a booming birth rate and a flood of white workers from other states who did not have to be maintained during periods of unemployment and were willing to work for low wages, made slavery economically obsolete.
In 1799 the Legislature passed “An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery” with only token opposition. It provided for gradual manumission on the Pennsylvania model, which allowed masters to keep their younger slaves in bondage for their most productive years, to recoup their investment. The law freed all children born to slave women after July 4, 1799, but not at once. The males became free at 28, the females at 25. Till then, they would be the property of the mother’s master. Slaves already in servitude before July 4, 1799, remained slaves for life, though they were reclassified as “indentured servants.” The law sidestepped all question of legal and civil rights, thus avoiding the objections that had blocked the earlier bill.
The activity of kidnappers and cheats in selling slaves out of the state in spite of the laws was said to have been the impetus for the 1817 statute that gave freedom to New York slaves who had been born before July 4, 1799 — but not until July 4, 1827. Governor Daniel D. Tompkins, in proposing the change in 1817, also suggested an economic motive for slave-owners:
“I do therefore, respectfully, but earnestly, recommend to the legislature, to establish some future day, not more remote than the 4th day of July, 1827, on which slavery shall cease in this state. Before the arrival of that period, most coloured persons born previous to the 4th of July, 1799, (and others are now free by the existing laws,) will have become of very little value to their owners, indeed many of will, by that time, have become expensive burthen.
“To fix a day thus remote for general emancipation, will consequently impair, in a very small degree, any private right, and will, at the same time, consistent with the humanity and of a free and prosperous people.” 
Slavery was still not entirely repealed in the state, because the new law offered an exception, allowing nonresidents to enter New York with slaves for up to nine months, and allowing part-time residents to bring their slaves into the state temporarily. Though few took advantage of it, the “nine-months law” remained on the books until its repeal in 1841, when slavery had become the focus of sectional rivalry and the North was re-defining itself as the “free” region.
The state’s slaveholders had seen the writing on the wall after 1785. And part of their response was to sell their slaves south while they still could. As early as the 1780s, after commissions and insurance costs, an able-bodied New York slave could be sold south for a profit of at least �40. Owners avoided the ban on the slave trade by disguising purchases as long-term leases or indentures (one importer brought a “free” black over from New Jersey under a 99-year “indenture”). Free blacks were victimized, too, sold into slavery for debt or under terms of fraudulent contracts or apprenticeships. The New York Manumission Society rescued 33 blacks from such schemes in 1796 alone; uncounted others certainly slipped past their vigilance.
In “A History of Negro Slavery in New York” , Edgar J. McManus writes that an analysis of census figures shows an extremely sharp drop in the growth rate of New York’s black population after 1800. Many blacks must have left the state, he writes, and few left voluntarily. “The conclusion is inescapable”, McManus writes, “that the exodus was largely the work of kidnapers and illegal traders who dealt in human misery.”
As it did elsewhere in the North, freedom in New York, even with the right to vote, opened up a new set of hardships for blacks. Organized pressure from white workers drove them from the skilled and semi-skilled positions they had filled under slavery. Working class mobs harassed them in riots large and small, the largest of the period being the one in July 1834 in New York City that leveled hundreds of black homes.
Blacks voted in New York, and though they were too few to be a political power on their own, they tended to remember the aristocrats who had been the chief backers of emancipation, and they backed the party of Jay and Hamilton. In certain close races, their block votes were credited with victories for the Federalists. This earned them the enmity of the Jeffersonian Democratic-Republican Party, which made a political issue of the black vote and attempted to discredit the Federalists by marrying them, in the public mind, to the most vicious racist stereotypes of blacks.
As the Federalists faded in the War of 1812, the Democratic-Republicans moved to shut out the black voters. In 1815, they pushed a bill through the legislature that required blacks to get special passes to vote in state elections. Then in 1821 the Democratic-Republicans successfully sponsored an amendment to the state constitution that, while it entirely abolished the property qualification for white voters, raised it for blacks from $100 to $250 — the cost of a modest house in those days. The caste system foreseen with fear by the men of 1785 had come into effect, even without legal sanction.
1. Edgar J. McManus, A History of Negro Slavery in New York, Syracuse University Press, 1966, p.7.
2. Edgar J. McManus, Black Bondage in the North, Syracuse University Press, 1973, p.172.
3. Daniel D. Tompkins, public message, Jan. 13, 1817, quoted in full in “The African Observer,” Twelfth Month, 1827; also in McMaster, History of the People of the United States, 1910, vol. V, p.192.
Tabacco suggests you Click on the Link, not the Image, to read the entire Wikipedia Posting!
Human Trafficking Advances in the US
Jan 1 1619
First Slaves in North America
The first English colony in North America, Virginia, acquired its first Africans after a ship arrived, unsolicited, carrying a cargo of about 20 Africans.
Jan 1 1652
Slavery Abolished in Providence Plantations.
Slavery abolished in Providence Plantations.
Jan 1 1654
First Legal Slave
John Casor, an African, became the first legally recognized slave in the present United States. A court in Northampton County ruled against Casor, declaring him property for life, “owned” by the black colonist Anthony Johnson.
Jul 8 1777
Vermont Bans Slavery
Constitution of the Vermont Republic bans slavery.
Mar 1 1780
Penn. Gradual Abolition
Pennsylvania passes An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery, freeing future children of slaves. Those born prior to the Act remain enslaved-for-life. The Act becomes a model for other Northern states.
Jan 1 1783
Mass. Rules Against Slavery
Massachusetts rules slavery illegal based on 1780 constitution. All slaves immediately freed.
Jan 1 1799
NY Gradual Emancipation
New York State passes gradual emancipation act freeing future children of slaves, and all slaves in 1827.
Jan 1 1804
Jersey Gradual Abolition
New Jersey begins a gradual abolition of slavery, freeing future children of slaves. Those born prior to the Act remain enslaved for life.
Jan 1 1808
Import and export of slaves prohibited after January 1st.
Jan 1 1817
NY Sets Freedom Date
New York State sets a date of July 4, 1827 to free all its slaves.
Jan 1 1827
NY Keeps Their Word
New York State abolishes slavery. Children born between 1799 and 1827 are indentured until age 25 (females) or age 28 (males).
Tabacco: New York State act occurred on 2 levels. NYS Assembly approved the freeing of slaves up to age 35 on July 4, 1817. Then on July 4, 1827, all Slaves were to be free in NYS regardless of age. However the Celebration in downtown Manhattan was delayed until July 5, 1827, to prevent conflict with White Independence Day, July 4, 1827. Even at its finest moment, Segregation in New York, as in all of America, was the Order of the Day! Even when it reverses Slavery, America never ceases to Equivocate on the Issue of Racial Intolerance!
Jan 1 1847
Slavery Ends in Penn.
Slavery ends in Pennsylvania. Those born before 1780 (fewer than 100 in 1840 Census) are freed.
Sep 18 1850
Fugitive Slave Law Sets us Back
Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 requires return of escaped slaves.
Jan 1 1862
African Slave Trade Treaty Act
Treaty between United States and Britain for the suppression of the slave trade (African Slave Trade Treaty Act).
Jan 1 1863
Emancipation Proclamation declares those slaves in Confederate-controlled areas to be freed. Most slaves in “border states” are freed by state action; separate law frees the slaves in Washington, D.C.
Dec 6 1865
13th Amendment Adopted
United States abolishes slavery with the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; about 40,000 remaining slaves are affected. The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865.
Jan 1 1870
Abolition in Alaska
U.S. abolishes slavery in the Department of Alaska after purchasing it from Russia in 1867.
Jan 1 1910
White-Slave Traffic Act
Chicago’s U.S. attorney announced (without giving details) that an international crime ring was abducting young girls in Europe, importing them, and forcing them to work in Chicago brothels. These claims, and the panic they inflamed, led to the passage of the United States White-Slave Traffic Act of 1910. It also banned the interstate transport of females for immoral purposes.
Oct 28 2000
US Congress passes The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), the first comprehensive federal law to address trafficking, putting the spotlight on the international dimension of the problem.
Jan 1 2001
Estimated Sex Slaves
United States State Department estimated that 50,000 to 100,000 women and girls are trafficked each year in the United States.
Jan 1 2002
Trafficking Becomes Felony
The state of Washington enacts the nation’s first state human trafficking criminal statute. Since then, more than 75% of the United States has passed state legislation, making human trafficking a felony.
Jan 1 2004
The Project to End Human Trafficking (PEHT) is formed. The organization offers direct service to victims, educational lectures, and outreach.
Mar 1 2004
Love146, an organization dedicated to ending child sex trafficking, is declared Official Public Charity.
Feb 24 2007
Virginia Resolution #728
Virginia General Assembly passed House Joint Resolution Number 728 acknowledging “with profound regret the involuntary servitude of Africans and the exploitation of Native Americans, and call for reconciliation among all Virginians.”
Tabacco: Being White must be a marvelous condition! In South Africa after Europeans committed all sorts of Atrocities including Genocide, all White South Africans had to do was confess to their Racial Crimes in Court and all was forgiven.
In Virginia all they had to do was pass House Joint Resolution Number 728, which admitted Guilt of a sort, and all was forgiven.
It must be absolutely, positively, absurdly unbelievable to be White anywhere on Earth! All you have to do is do whatever it pleases you to do, and if you finally have to pretend to cease those Abominations, you say, “Mother may I” and take 3 steps forward. Oh to be White!
Jan 1 2009
Craigslist Removes Erotic Ads
Craigslist, a popular online classified ads website, removes “Erotic” Ads, attempting to eliminate the problem of trafficking performed through the site.
Jan 4 2010
Obama Raises Awareness
President Barack Obama declares January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
Jan 1 1600 Mar 5 2011
Human Trafficking/Slavery Advances in the US
‘Teaching American History In South Carolina’ – How apropos in 2015!
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
The Jews have absconded with the word ‘Anti-Semite’ although it refers, not only to Israelis in that part of the world but also to the Muslims with whom they have been at War since God knows when. Today, the terms ‘Semite’ and ‘Anti-Semitic’ belong only to the Jews. Jews know a good word when they find it, and they use it unremittingly to benefit their cause.
Black folks can’t seem to get such words, and when they do, they lose those words through neglect. We use words like ‘Racism’, which can apply to other Groups besides those of African descent.
‘Bias’ is another such word, which can refer to a multitude of races, including Caucasians.
‘Diaspora’ is a great word, but Blacks only use it intermittently and with minimal effect.
‘Slavery’ can mean White Slavery or Sexual Slavery or various other reincarnations having little or nothing to do with the Black Experience.
If you don’t have Expressive and Volatile Nomenclature to capture the Pain & Suffering you have endured, then your Pain & your Suffering are lost in the bowels of history. Likewise if you fail to exploit the Power of Words to VALIDATE YOUR EXPLOITATION BY OTHERS AND/OR THE GENOCIDE OF YOUR RACE!
We have such a word:
St. Augustine Episcopal Church, 290 Henry Street, New York City, used to celebrate Manumission Day annually. That is until Deacon Hopper retired. Since then, Manumission Day ceremonies have been forgotten, cancelled, neglected and consigned to the dustbin of history. They even stopped using the word “MANUMISSION”.
See how Blacks get LOST IN HISTORY!
Tabacco in 2008 requested to be invited to the meetings when the word change would be discussed – to no avail! If Blacks don’t have a Big Name pushing our Agenda (Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Al Sharpton), we get nothing – least of all respect! Often that ‘Big Name’ gets himself assassinated because his name was too BIG!
Today we celebrate Martin Luther King, but we forget what he stood for! In this instance White America has substituted Individual Recognition for Issue Substance. We have been hoodwinked once again! MLK, like Xmas, is just one more historical redundancy, whose significance is lost upon humanity because of clever reverse discrimination. I’ll bet you never thought of MLK’s annual holiday as ‘reverse discrimination’, did you! See how absolutely important words are!
In 1900 the 3-Richest SOBs in America (John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie & J. P. Morgan) convinced their personally selected President, William McKinley, to add Teddy Roosevelt, NY Governor & Trust Buster, to his reelection ticket as Vice President. The Big 3’s Goal was to end Teddy’s political career. Unfortunately for the Big 3, someone put a bullet in William McKinley, and Teddy Roosevelt rose from the dustbin of Politics to become President of the United States. It was a Machiavellian idea! But the best laid plans of mice and men…..
When Muslims commit Murder on Christians or even their own, it’s called ‘TERRORISM’!
When Whites Murder Blacks in their American Churches, it’s called ‘mental illness’ (in lower case)!
That is the POWER OF WORDS!
Don’t permit America to sweep the Black Diaspora under its proverbial carpet by refusing to acknowledge the one word, which might keep our plight alive: MANUMISSION!
Never say, “July 4th” or “July 4th Celebration” without using the word MANUMISSION! Otherwise, anyone would think you meant ‘Independence Day For Whites Only”. Is that what you want people to think? That you are Ignorant! That you are a silly people! That you are stupid and don’t know what is being done to you! That – and this is much worse – that you don’t even care!
The Operative Word is MANUMISSION DAY. Never forget it! Use it always! And never let others forget
Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.
Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!
In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.
T.A.B.A.C.C.O. (Truth About Business And Congressional Crimes Organization) – Think Tank For Other 95% Of World: WTP = We The People