Two weeks ago a special edition of the NY TIMES Magazine made the case that the year 1619 was crucial to our nation’s founding with essays exploring how no part of modern America remains untouched by slavery. Town Clerk Judith Beville coordinated a program at Philipsburg Manor last week, also attended by Councilwoman Ellen Hendrickx, which highlights the stories of slavery in the Colonial North. It was fascinating. If you missed it you can still benefit from the info because there is a great website linked below.
Historic Hudson Valley received a significant grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and produced an amazing interactive documentary website revealing the history of Northern slavery through the stories of enslaved individuals at Philipsburg Manor and beyond.
If you watch the video’s on this interactive websie you’ll discover Caesar and Phillis, Jack and Neil and many other African captives whose experiences were lost to history. You’ll be able to celebrate the expertise, determination, and courage with which they endured this terrible injustice.
I have asked our Assistant Town Historians, Riley Wentzler and Felicia Barber to try to research the role that enslaved people played in the early years of Greenburgh town history. What happened at the Odell House (which will soon be acquired by the town, renovated and turned into a museum)? Did slaves live there? I had heard years ago that some Greenburgh activists were involved in the Underground Railroad. Does anyone have info about that? If you have any info about slavery in Greenburgh please share it with us.
We should honor those who never received the thanks of the community while they were alive. In the meantime – take some time to watch the fascinating stories posted on the website.