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Emancipating New York

The Politics of Slavery and Freedom, 1777-1827

by David N. Gellman

Antislavery, Abolition, and the Atlantic World

312 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / 3 Maps

ebook available

American History | Slavery Studies

  Hardcover / 9780807131749 / November 2006
  Paperback / 9780807133682 / August 2008

Winner of the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

An innovative blend of cultural and political history, Emancipating New York is the most complete study to date of the abolition of slavery in New York state. Focusing on public opinion, David N. Gellman shows New Yorkers engaged in vigorous debates and determined activism during the final decades of the eighteenth century as they grappled with the possibility of freeing the state's black population. The gradual emancipation that began in New York in 1799 helped move an entire region of the country toward a historically rare slaveless democracy, creating a wedge in the United States that would ultimately lead to the Civil War. Gellman's comprehensive examination of the reasons for and timing of New York's dismantling of slavery provides a fascinating narrative of a citizenry addressing longstanding injustices central to some of the greatest traumas of American history.

David N. Gellman is coeditor of Jim Crow New York: A Documentary History of Race and Citizenship, 1777-1877 and associate professor of history at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.

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