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  • Writer's pictureTyGrayEL

New York Slave Rebellion, BOMA Minute

Very few of us know of the New York Slave Rebellion starting on this night, April 6, 1712. Approximately twenty fed-up enslaved Africans and Native Americans armed themselves with knives, guns and swords then set fire to an outhouse on Maiden Lane near Broadway in Manhattan. They then shot and stabbed any man, white or black, who attempted to extinguish the blaze.

When the smoke cleared more than six white men were beaten and nine were dead. On the morning that followed, the governor of New York commanded the militia to, in his words, “drive the island.” Six escaped torture by committing suicide. It was known that only twenty were directly responsible but more than seventy were arrested. Of those seventy, twenty-seven were convicted and sentenced to death. Six were hung by the neck. Twenty were burned at the stake and one was stretched to death on a breaking wheel.

Shortly after the rebellion, New York’s legislature toughened its slave codes. If three or more blacks were seen congregating, they were subject to forty lashes with a cat-o-nine-tales.

This has been another Breath of My Ancestors Minute brought to you by the Institute of Radical Reconciliation… #WeMustNeverForget


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