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Enslaved Africans in Dutch Harlem

Last year a number of major museums in The Netherlands began to cease using the term “Golden Age” to describe the 17th-century Dutch empire that included New Amsterdam, and the village that became Harlem. In particular, Dutch society has begun to wrestle with fact that much of the power and wealth centered in Holland during the 17th century was based on the transatlantic slave trade:

“The Western Golden Age occupies an important place in Western historiography that is strongly linked to national pride, but positive associations with the term such as prosperity, peace, opulence, and innocence do not cover the charge of historical reality in this period,” van der Molen explained. “The term ignores the many negative sides of the 17th century such as poverty, war, forced labor, and human trafficking.”

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/amsterdam-museum-will-no-longer-use-term-dutch-golden-age-180973140/

In the spring of 1664, for example, the landowners in Harlem travelled to New Amsterdam (the lower tip of Manhattan) to participate in a slave auction. James Riker, in 1904, notes:

The opening spring brought its share of work for the farmers. A shelter was needed for the young calves turned out to feed on Barent’s Island, and at a meeting held March 13th it was agreed to build on April ist. They also resolved to fence the gardens. Some of the inhabitants, in want of servants and laborers, seized the opportunity to buy a number of negro slaves, sold at auction in Fort Amsterdam, May 29th, by order of the Director and Council. They had arrived on the 24th instant, in the company’s ship Sparrow, from Chicago. At that sale were eager bidders, Johannes Verveelen, Daniel Tourneur, Nicholas De Meyer, Jacques Cousseau, Isaac De Forest, and even Jacob Leisler, himself, in 1678, enslaved by the Turks, and years later the champion of liberty! Verveelen bought a negro at 445 a., De Meyer one at 460 fl., and Tourneur another at 465 fl. These were probably the first slaves owned at New Harlem, and, strange as it may seem, the recollections of the living run back to the time when negro slavery still existed here.

https://archive.org/stream/revisedhistoryof01rike/revisedhistoryof01rike_djvu.txt

For more on the Dutch role in the transatlantic slave trade see:

https://lab.nos.nl/projects/slavernij/index-english.html

To see a visualization of the transatlantic slave trade, see:

https://slavevoyages.org/voyage/database#timelapse

To see a visualization of a transatlantic slave ship, see:

https://slavevoyages.org/voyage/ship#slave-

More on The History of Slavery in New York City

This article from Untapped Cities talks extensively about other New Yorkers who are deeply intertwined with New York City history and our history of slavery.

https://untappedcities.com/2020/10/22/new-york-city-slavery-history/

Realtime MTA Subway Data

If you ever wanted to know when the next train was coming, the new MTA map of the subway is for you.

Simply click on a station, and the map gives you ‘next train’ information. Below I clicked on the Lenox – 125th Street 2/3 station:

To test it out, use this link:

https://map.mta.info/

Thoughts or comments on this post?