Brooklyn's Promised Land: The Free Black Community of by Judith Wellman

By Judith Wellman

In 1966 a bunch of scholars, Boy Scouts, and native voters rediscovered all that remained of a then nearly unknown group known as Weeksville: 4 body homes on Hunterfly highway. The infrastructures and colourful histories of Weeksville, an African American neighborhood that had develop into one of many biggest loose black groups in 19th century usa, have been almost burnt up as a result of Brooklyn’s exploding inhabitants and increasing city grid.

Weeksville was once based via African American marketers after slavery resulted in ny kingdom in 1827. positioned in jap Brooklyn, Weeksville supplied an area of actual protection, financial prosperity, schooling, or even political strength. It had a excessive price of estate possession, provided a wide selection of occupations, and hosted a comparatively huge percentage of expert employees, enterprise proprietors, and pros. population geared up church buildings, a faculty, orphan asylum, domestic for the elderly, newspapers, and the nationwide African Civilization Society. impressive citizens of Weeksville, equivalent to journalist and educator Junius P. Morell, participated in each significant nationwide attempt for African American rights, together with the Civil warfare.

In Brooklyn’s Promised Land, Judith Wellman not just tells the $64000 narrative of Weeksville’s progress, disappearance, and eventual rediscovery, but additionally highlights the tales of the folk who created this neighborhood. Drawing on maps, newspapers, census files, images, and the cloth tradition of constructions and artifacts, Wellman reconstructs the social historical past and nationwide importance of this striking position. throughout the lens of this local people, Brooklyn’s Promised Land highlights topics nonetheless proper to African americans around the country. 

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Additional info for Brooklyn's Promised Land: The Free Black Community of Weeksville, New York

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Henry Reed Stiles, A History of the City of Brooklyn, 3 vols. : Heritage Books, 1993), 3:550. 29 After Robert Fulton invented the steam engine, he established the Fulton Ferry landing in 1814, revolutionizing access from New York City to Brooklyn. When they reached Brooklyn, eastbound passengers on the Fulton Ferry from New York could follow Fulton Street to Bedford, Jamaica, and eastern Long Island. Rail lines radiated from end points of ferry lines, so people could travel quickly and cheaply from almost any part of Brooklyn.

Lefferts family members certainly held people in slavery. In 1698, Lefferts Pieterse owned three people in slavery. 24 In the early nineteenth century, John Lefferts of Flatbush, part of whose farm encompassed what would become Weeksville, continued to own people in slavery. In 1810, five people lived in slavery with the seven family members of his household. In 1820, the number of enslaved people in John Lefferts’s household had increased to eight, along with one free man of color. In contrast, Leffert Lefferts of Bedford had no African Americans—free or enslaved—living in his household in 1820.

Its original Indian settlers moved farther east on Long Island or west to the Delaware Valley. Beginning in the mid-seventeenth century, the Dutch granted patents to the Lefferts, Bergen, Remsen, Suydam, and other families. 15 In 1776, four generations after the original Lefferts family came to Bedford, the British invaded Brooklyn with thirty-one thousand Hessian soldiers. Sentiment was mixed between Tory and Patriot on Long Island, and local Dutch families fought on both sides. Lambert Suydam of Bedford commanded the Kings County Cavalry.

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