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After New York State abolished slavery in 1827, a small group of New York City abolitionists, such as David Ruggles and Abby Hopper Gibbons, continued to work for an end to slavery nationwide. Both black and white activists denounced New Yorkers who profited from slavery through investment and trade, and they aided escaped slaves making their way to freedom via a secret network of New York “stations” on the Underground Railroad. ... Read More

Meet the Activists

  • Mary Lyons
    Mary Lyons
  • Abigail Hopper Gibbons
    Abigail Hopper Gibbons
  • Frederick Douglass
    Frederick Douglass

Key Events

Global Events
Local Events

1625 First enslaved Africans are brought to New Amsterdam

1827 After Governor John Jay passed a law of gradual emancipation in 1799, slavery is abolished in New York State

1833 Founding of the American Anti-Slavery Society and the New York Anti-Slavery Society

1834 Anti-abolitionist riot in Manhattan

1835 New York Committee of Vigilance established with David Ruggles as secretary; becomes part of the Underground Railroad

1850 Mass public meeting in New York supports the new Fugitive Slave Act

1863 New draft law leads to riots in New York President Abraham Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation

1864 New York raises its first African-American regiment to fight for the Union Army in the Civil War

1865 Civil War ends 13th Amendment ends slavery in the United States

Key Events

1625
First enslaved Africans are brought to New Amsterdam
1827 After Governor John Jay passed a law of gradual emancipation in 1799, slavery is abolished in New York State
1833
Founding of the American Anti-Slavery Society and the New York Anti-Slavery Society
1834 Anti-abolitionist riot in Manhattan
1835 New York Committee of Vigilance established with David Ruggles as secretary; becomes part of the Underground Railroad
1850 Mass public meeting in New York supports the new Fugitive Slave Act
1863 New draft law leads to riots in New York President Abraham Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation
1864 New York raises its first African-American regiment to fight for the Union Army in the Civil War
1865
Civil War ends 13th Amendment ends slavery in the United States