“Blacks on the New York Waterfront During the American Revolution”

Blacks were one of the first groups to arrive in Brooklyn during the Dutch colonial period, usually as slaves, though there were also freemen. To provide an overview of some early Black history, PortSide commissioned this article by Charles Foy about the experience of Blacks on the waterfront during the American Revolution.  Those Blacks lived a parallel, inverted experience from the usual story: their opportunity to obtain freedom often came from working for the British Navy as seamen. For those Blacks, the door to freedom was firmly shut after the Revolution ended.

This is the start of a feature article by historian Charles R. Foy.  To see the full essay click here:

Blacks on the New York Waterfront During the American Revolution

Images

Figure 3. Plans for privateer Rattlesnake, 1781. Daniel S. Gregory Ships Plans Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.

Figure 3. Plans for privateer Rattlesnake, 1781. Daniel S. Gregory Ships Plans Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.

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