HV Black History Collaborative Research Project Spreadsheet

This spreadsheet is the result of research conducted by HAK historians and other interested parties.

A key part of the Black History Collaborative Research Project is connecting individuals to resources and information on Black history in the Hudson Valley and beyond. Below and at the spreadsheet link provided we have pulled together an initial resource guide that lists objects, books, letters, websites, exhibits and more, related to black history.

Perhaps the most important feature of this list is that it is collaborative. We encourage anyone to contribute to the list. If yourself, a family member, friend, or relative has anything to share that you think may be of value to the understanding of Black history in the Hudson Valley, please fill out the Research Submission form to get your source added to the list. Thank you to all of our contributors so far!

This spreadsheet is also available in Excel format by using this link.

Resource Type Title/Description Author Publisher/Holding Institution Date
  Time Period Topic(s) Location(s)  
  Description Link (if applicable) Notes/How to Access
Archival Collection “An Act to prevent Slaves from Voting” Anthony Lamb Ulster County Hall of Records 04/04/1811
  19th century Slavery    
  Act blocking slaves from voting and making it much more difficult for “blacks” and “Mullatos” to vote as well.   Contact the Ulster County Clerk’s Office at (845) 340-3288
Archival Collection 19th C. Farm Ledger from Hurley, NY   Hurley Heritage Society c. 1840
  19th century Agriculture Ulster County  
  A handwritten ledger from a farmhouse in Hurley, NY, listing farm activities from the 1840s and 1850s. Sparse labor entries for black farm workers who are referred to by only their first name, e.g. “Black Andrew.” [dropbox.com link]  
Archival Collection Abraham Hasbrouck’s Diary Abraham Hasbrouck Senate House State Historic Site 1777
  18th Century Slavery, American Revolution Kingston  
  Reference to the British carrying away “one negro man named Harry, Two negro wenches Janey and Flora” during the Burning of Kingston   Request Research Appointment
Archival Collection African American Presence in the Hudson Valley   Historic Huguenot Street  
  17th century, 18th century, 19th century Slavery, Hudson Valley, Ulster County, New Paltz  
  This collection includes historic documents and photographs relating to the African-American experience in the Hudson Valley. This includes historic photographs, as well as last will and testaments, bills of sale, inventories, slave law codes, journals, and ledgers, which demonstrate the realities of slavery in New York. [nyheritage.org link]  
Archival Collection Bill for Peter Elting Unknown Senate House State Historic Site 1796
  18th Century Slavery Kingston  
  Bill for Peter Elting mentioning “Negroe Boy (Dick).”   Request Research Appointment
Archival Collection Circa 1759 Manumission Court of Common Pleas Ulster County Hall of Records 10/24/1904
  18th century slavery Ulster County  
  Court of Common Pleas rulebook showing Orandata, Orandatis, Stradwell, Sateria, and Sateria’s son Thomas being freed pre-Revoultion. Might be the oldest Ulster records of Slaves gaining freedom.   Contact the Ulster County Clerk’s Office at (845) 340-3288
Archival Collection Daguerrotype   Senate House State Historic Site  
    African American History    
  Daguerrotype of young African American woman, unidentified   Request Research Appointment
Archival Collection Father Divine papers, circa 1930-1996   Emory University, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Atlanta, GA 30322  
    [emory.edu link]  
Archival Collection Inquisition Unknown Senate House State Historic Site Unknown
  Unknown Slavery    
  Inquisition into the death of an enslaved person   Request Research Appointment
Archival Collection Letter Peter Elting Senate House State Historic Site 1772
  18th Century Slavery Kingston  
  Letter re: selling of a slave, who is the son of “Negroe Thom”   Request Research Appointment
Archival Collection Letter Unknown Senate House State Historic Site 1793-1795
  18th Century Slavery Kingston  
  Letter re: purchases on account, including price of “the negroe Dick”   Request Research Appointment
Archival Collection Letter – Typed Facimile   Senate House State Historic Site 1751
  18th Century Slavery    
  Sale of an enslaved person named “Herry”   Request Research Appointment
Archival Collection Letter – Typed Facimile   Senate House State Historic Site 1807
  19th Century Slavery    
  Letter regarding runaway enslaved person named Harry aged 32 in 1795   Request Research Appointment
Archival Collection List of names of “colored” workers on the D&H Canal Bill Merchant D&H Canal Historical Society  
      Contact Bill Merchant at the D&H Canal Historical Society historian@canalmuseum.org
Archival Collection Manumission records (1794, 1811, 1820-1821)   Ulster County Hall of Records  
  18th, 19th century Slavery Ulster County  
  Four manumission records in 3 boxes. Names include: Bet (featured in several non-manumission records here), Sharpe, William, Anthony Hogeboam, Joseph Crooke, and Philip Smedes.   Internal database of the Hall of Records
Archival Collection Newspaper article on Sojourner Truth   Senate House State Historic Site Unknown
    Slavery, Suffrage, Notable Figure Ulster County  
  Article titled “Death of Sojurner Truth – A Sketch of the Life of a Remarkable Colored Woman”   Request Research Appointment
Archival Collection Sale/Indenture   Senate House State Historic Site 1772
  18th Century Slavery    
  The sale or indenture of a “negro girl” named Sally (Typed Facilmile)   Request Research Appointment
Archival Collection Speech John Addison Senate House State Historic Site  
  18th Century Slavery    
  A speech by John Addison on slavery   Request Research Appointment
Archival Collection Typed Facilmile Unknown Senate House State Historic Site 1744
  18th Century Slavery    
  Letter re: Buying and Selling of enslaved boy named Dick   Request Research Appointment
Archival Collection Various photographs, mostly unidentified, of Black workers on steamboats, brickyards, etc.   Hudson River Maritime Museum various
      Research request
Article “African American History: A Past Rooted in the Hudson Valley” David Levine Hudson Valley Magazine Originally, February, 2017, republished February 8, 2021
  17th century, 18th century Slavery, American Revolution    
    [hvmag.com link]  
Article “Re-Examining Slavery in New York” Albert James Williams-Myers New York Archives Magazine Winter, 2002
  17th century, 18th century Slavery    
    [nysarchivestrust.org link]  
Article “Researching African Americans in the Mid-Hudson Valley” Fergus Bowditch Blog June, 2015
  18th, 19th century slavery, underground railroad    
  Overland and river travel on Underground Railroad, lists major players, negative public reaction to abolition and Black suffrage in Hudson Valley [fergusbordewich.com link]  
Article “The New York Slave Revolt of 1712 Was a Bloody Prelude to Decades of Hardship” Danny Lewis Smithsonian Magazine April 6, 2016
  18th century Slavery New York City  
    [smithsonianmag.com link]  
Article Black Glee Clubs of the Steamboats Mary Powell and Thomas Cornell Sarah Wassberg Johnson Hudson River Maritime Museum 2/17/21
  19th century   Kingston  
  Dueling singing groups of Black employees of the steamboats “Mary Powell” and “Thomas Cornell” in 1881 [hrmm.org link]  
Article Exploring the History of the Black Hudson River Schuylers Tashae Smith and Mark Peckham Hudson River Maritime Museum 2019
  19th century steamboats, business owners Albany  
  The story of Black steamboat and towboat owner Samuel Schuyler and his family [hrmm.org link]  
Article Fannie M. Anthony: Stewardess of the Mary Powell Sarah Wassberg Johnson Hudson River Maritime Museum 2020
  19th and 20th century steamboats, service, biography Kingston, New York City  
  The life and times of Fannie Anthony, the longest-serving Stewardess aboard the famous steamboat Mary Powell [hrmm.org link]  
Article Henry Gourdine: Dean of the Hudson Sarah Wassberg Johnson Hudson River Maritime Museum 2020
  20th century fishing Peekskill  
  A history of Henry Gourdine’s life, including documentary films and what happened to his Peekskill waterfront fishing shack. [hrmm.org link]  
Article Invisible People George A. Thompson Hudson River Maritime Museum  
  19th century      
  Finding “invisible people,” free and enslaved Black people in New York State through primary resources. [hrmm.org link]  
Article Paul Robeson and the Peekskill Riots Sarah Wassberg Johnson Hudson River Maritime Museum 2020
  20th century singer, Pete Seeger, American Legion, KKK, Communism Peekskill  
  A brief biography of Paul Robeson’s life and the chronology of the Peekskill Riots, with original film footage [hrmm.org link]  
Bibliographic Essay A portrait of Eve : towards a social history of black women in the Hudson River Valley : a preliminary bibliographic resource essay Albert James Williams-Myers New Paltz, N.Y. : Center for the Study of the African Presence in the Hudson River Valley 1987
    [worldcat.org link]  
Bibliography “Where Slavery Died Hard: The Forgotten History of Ulster County and the Shawangunk Mountain Region” List of Sources Consulted for the film Cragsmoor Historical Society Cragsmoor Historical Society 2018
  Citation information for sources consulted to resarch the film “Where Slavery Died Hard” [filesusr.com link]  
Bibliography Biographies of Sojourner Truth Various   2016
  This annotated bibliography, compiled by Stephanie Krauss for the Sojourner Truth Memorial Committee, includes resources for school-aged children as well as researchers [sojournertruthmemorial.org link]  
Bibliography Father Divine   Wikipedia, JSTOR  
  20th century religion Kingston, NY  
    [jstor.org link]  
Bibliography Peg Leg Bates   Wikipedia, JSTOR  
    entertainment, Black resorts, leisure, dance,    
    [wikipedia.org link]  
Digital Resource Black History and Culture in the Hudson Valley Newburgh Free Library Newburgh Free Library  
    various, including slavery, racism, military service, music, free Black communities, burial grounds, churches Orange County, Newburgh, Dutchess County, Poughkeepsie, Mohonk, Rhinebeck, Kingston, Ulster County, Hyde Park, New Paltz, Town of Wallkill, The Hills, etc.  
  Digital web resource/library guide for Black history in the Hudson Valley divided into three sections: Slavery, History, and Culture. Includes many local history resources for Orange and Dutchess Counties [rcls.org link]  
Digital Resource Dutchess African Heritage Studies: Walter M. Patrice Online Library Dutchess County Historical Society Dutchess County Historical Society  
  18th, 19th, 20th   Dutchess County  
  Collection of online resources, exhibits, articles, etc. based on the collections of Walter Patrice and others. He gave DCHS its foundational collection on Black History, relating to the AME Zion Church on Smith Street, Poughkeepsie. [dchsny.org link]  
Exhibit People Not Property: Stories of Slavery in the Colonial North   Historic Hudson Valley 2019
  18th century Slavery Hudson Valley  
  An interactive digital project of Historic Hudson Valley, including Philipsburg Manor, includes documentary films and archival resources [hudsonvalley.org link]  
Exhibit The Missing Chapter: Untold Stories of African American Presence in the Hudson Valley Susan Stessin-Cohn Southeastern New York Library Resources Council  
  18th century, 19th century Slavery Hudson Valley, Ulster County  
  Online exhibit on African Americans in the Hudson Valley [hrvh.org link]  
Exhibit “African Americans on the Mary Powell,” section of the online exhibit, “Mary Powell: Queen of the Hudson” Hudson River Maritime Museum Hudson River Maritime Museum 2021
  19th, 20th steamboats, maritime work Kingston  
  overview of Black employees on the Mary Powell, including crew lists [hrvh.org link]  
Film The Lost Rondout Stephen Blauweiss and Lynn Woods Available to rent on Amazon or purchase at http://www.lostrondoutproject.com/ 2016
  20th century urban renewal, Rondout, Kingston Rondout neighborhood, Kingston  
  In the late 1960s, most of the historic downtown Rondout district of Kingston, New York, was demolished in a federally funded urban renewal project, displacing thousands of people. This new 69-minute documentary film was completed in October 2016 and was produced and directed by Stephen Blauweiss and Lynn Woods. [lostrondoutproject.com link] Lynn Woods maintains a private collection of the oral histories included in the film. Contact her for access.
Film Where Slavery Died Hard: The Forgotten History of Ulster County and the Shawangunk Mountain Region Cragsmoor Historical Society Cragsmoor Historical Society 2018
  17th century, 18th century, 19th century slavery Hudson Valley, New Paltz  
    [youtube.com link]  
Filmed presentations 2018 Conference on Black History in the Hudson Valley various Hudson River Maritime Museum 2018
  18th, 19th, 20th      
  Filmed but not yet available online conference presentations    
Nonfiction Book Freedom’s Gardener: James F. Brown, Horticulture, and the Hudson Valley in Antebellum America Myra Young Armstead New York University Press 2012
  In 1793 James F. Brown was born a slave, and in 1868 he died a free man. At age 34 he ran away from his native Maryland to pass the remainder of his life as a gardener to a wealthy family in the Hudson Valley. Two years after his escape and manumission, he began a diary which he kept until his death. This book uses the apparently small and domestic details of Brown’s diaries to construct a bigger story about the transition from slavery to freedom. This book—the first detailed historical study of Brown’s diaries—utilizes Brown’s life to illuminate the concept of freedom as it developed in the United States in the early national and antebellum years. That Brown, an African American and former slave, serves as such a case study underscores the potential of American citizenship during his lifetime. [worldcat.org link]  
Nonfiction Book In Defiance: Runaways from Slavery in New York’s Hudson River Valley, 1735-1831 Susan Stessin-Cohn and Ashley Hurlburt-Biagini Black Dome Press 2016
  18th century, 19th century Slavery Hudson Valley  
  In Defiance documents 607 fugitives from slavery in the 18th and 19th-century Hudson River Valley region of New York State. [worldcat.org link]  
Nonfiction Book Long hammering : essays on the forging of an African American presence in the Hudson River Valley to the early twentieth century Albert James Williams-Myers African Roots Center, Bard College, SUNY New Paltz 1994
  17th century, 18th century, 19th century, 20th century, 21st century   Hudson Valley  
  “Long Hammering addresses the integral role that African Americans played in every aspect of Hudson Valley society, which historically is the embryo of New York history. From the time of the colonial period when enslaved African labor was vital to the tremendous wealth New York generated as a British Colony, to the end of the 19th century when a more democratic society was, African American involvement was a historical fact.”–Publisher’s description.    
Nonfiction Book Memoirs of Aaron Burr (full title?) Aaron Burr(?) Senate House State Historic Site ?
  pg 267 – Letter to Peggy Gaitin (who was enslaved) – Volume 2   Request Research Appointment
Nonfiction Book Mighty Change, Tall Within: Black Identity in the Hudson Valley Myra Young Armstead SUNY Press 2003
  16th century, 17th century, 18th century, 19th century, 20th century Slavery Hudson Valley  
    [worldcat.org link]  
Nonfiction Book On the morning tide : African Americans, history, and methodology in the historical ebb and flow of Hudson River society Albert James Williams-Myers Bard College, SUNY New Paltz 2003
  “On the Morning Tide, like the author’s earlier book, Long Hammering, continues the challenge of creating a more accurate image of the African American in the history of New York. Using an array of primary and secondary sources, including diary and oral recordings to carefully examine the African American presence in New York from the early 17th century through the late 20th century, the author argues convincingly for a more inclusive history, one that contains a substantially improved image of the African American community.”–Jacket. [worldcat.org link]  
Nonfiction Book Peekskill’s African American History: A Hudson Valley Community’s Untold Story John J. Curran Arcadia Publishing 2008
  Highlighting African American stories in Peekskill from the American Revolution through to Paul Robeson and the Peekskill Riots of 1949 and beyond. [worldcat.org link]  
Nonfiction Book Slavery and Freedom in the Mid-Hudson Valley Michael E. Groth SUNY Press 05/30/2017
  18th century, 19th century Slavery Putnam County, Orange County, Ulster County, Dutchess County, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie  
  Focusing on the struggle for freedom in the central Hudson Valley prior to the Civil War. [worldcat.org link]  
Nonfiction Book Sojourner Truth: Slave, Prophet, Legend Carleton Mabee New York University Press 1993
  Many Americans have long since forgotten that there ever was slavery along the Hudson River. Yet Sojourner Truth was born a slave near the Hudson River in Ulster County, New York, in the late 1700s. Called merely Isabella as a slave, once freed she adopted the name of Sojourner Truth and became a national figure in the struggle for the emancipation of both blacks and women in Civil War America. Despite the discrimination she suffered as both a black and a woman, Truth significantly shaped both her own life and the struggle for human rights in America [worldcat.org link]  
Nonfiction Book The Kidnapping Club: Wall Street, Slavery, and Resistance on the Eve of the Civil War Jonathan Daniel Wells Bold Type Books 2020
  19th slavery, kidnapping club, media/press New York City  
  Although slavery was outlawed in the northern states in 1827, the illegal slave trade continued in the one place modern readers would least expect, the streets and ports of America’s great northern metropolis: New York City. In ‘The Kidnapping Club, ‘ historian Jonathan Daniel Wells takes readers to a rapidly changing city rife with contradiction, where social hierarchy clashed with a rising middle class, Black citizens jostled for an equal voice in politics and culture, and women of all races eagerly sought roles outside the home. It is during this time that the city witnessed an alarming trend: a number of free and fugitive Black men, women, and children were being kidnapped into slavery. The group responsible, known as the Kidnapping Club, was a frighteningly effective network of judges, lawyers, police officers, and bankers who circumvented northern anti-slavery laws by sanctioning the kidnapping of free Black Americans–selling them into markets in the South, South America, and the Caribbean, for vast sums of wealth. David Ruggles, a Black journalist and abolitionist, worked tirelessly to bring their injustices to light-risking his own freedom in the process and ultimately exposing the vast system of corruption that made New York City rich. A searing and dramatic history, ‘The Kidnapping Club’ upends the myth of an abolitionist North at odds with a slavery-loving South. It is a powerful and resonant account of the ties between slavery and capitalism, the deeply corrupt roots of policing in America, and the strength of Black activism [worldcat.org link]  
Nonfiction Book Woodstock’s Infamous Murder Trial: Early Racial Injustice in Upstate New York Richard Heppner The History Press 2020
  20th century   Woodstock, NY  
  When a white man from a prominent local family in Woodstock was murdered in 1905, authorities quickly identified a local African American man as the prime suspect. Amid racist animus in the press, he fled across two counties before being apprehended by a vigilante and charged. Local reformer and politician Augustus H. Van Buren stood up to community pressure and defended the accused pro bono. It took three years and multiple trials to overcome racial inequalities in the justice system. Local historian Richard Heppner documents the crime, arrest and trials that revealed racial tensions in upstate New York at the turn of the century. (From Amazon.com)    
Nonfiction Book “Black Loyalists and African American Allegiance in the Mid-Hudson Valley” book chapter in The other loyalists : Ordinary people, Royalism, and the Revolution in the Middle Colonies, 1763-1787 chapter author – Michael E. Groth; book editors – Joseph S Tiedemann; Eugene R Fingerhut; Robert W Venables SUNY Press 2009
  18th century Slavery, Native Americans, American Revolution Dutchess County, Hudson Valley  
    [worldcat.org link]  
Nonfiction Book Bound by Bondage: Slavery and the Creation of a Northern Gentry Nicole Maskiell, Ph. D Under contract with Cornell University Press TBD
  16th, 17th centuries Slavery, family, enslaved / enslaver relationships    
  The book compares the ways that slavery shaped Northeastern culture by examining the social and kinship networks that intertwined enslavers with those they enslaved.


Oral history African American memories of Reher’s Bakery Reher Center Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History 2020
  20th century Rondout neighborhood, leisure, housing, sports Rondout neighborhood  
  Oral history interviews with former bakery customers. See Chuck Jackson and Buddy Cohen interviews regarding the African-American Rondout community.    
Oral History Henry Gourdine Oral History Interviews – Hudson River Commercial Fisherman Collection   Hudson River Maritime Museum 1980s & 1990s
  20th century Hudson River, Fishing Hudson Valley, Peekskill  
  Henry Gourdine was a Black commercial fisherman known as the “Dean of the Hudson” [oclc.org link]  
Oral history TMI Project’s Black Stories Matter Various TMI Project  
  20th century      
    [vimeo.com link]  
Public presentations Mitakuye Oyasin: A talk by Rev. Nick Miles and Dr. Herbierto “Airy” Dixon and “Canoeman With Dr.Heriberto Dixon.mp4” Dr. Heriberto “Airy” Dixon Free online various
  18th century, 19th century, 20th century, 21st century Slavery, Native Americans, Religion    
  Dr. Dixon’s research focuses on the history of enslaved people in the Hudson Valley, with particular focus on Native Americans. [youtube.com link]
[archive.org link]
Version: August 13, 2021