On April 27, the Senate House State Historic Site (Kingston, NY) hosts the talk “To Serve in a Free Country: Slavery and Freedom in New Netherland” by Sam Huntington, educator at Crailo State Historic Site.
This talk is free and is part of the 2019 Peter Gansevoort Ten Eyck Lecture Series. For more on the series, visit here.
Huntington will discuss how slavery in New York State grew out of the Dutch West India Company’s interconnected web of the African, Caribbean, South American, North American, and European trade networks. Over time, the institution became an entrenched system, as enslaved Africans and African Americans became a vital part of the Hudson Valley’s agricultural and commercial economic system. The presentation highlights both the early history of slavery as an institution in New Netherland and also focuses on the many ways that the enslaved community tried to maintain their cultural identity and traditions while in bondage.
Immediately following the lecture, panelists Cordell Reaves (Historic Preservation Program Analyst for NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation) Ashley Elizabeth Trainor (Collections Manager for Historic Huguenot Street) and Sam Huntington will discuss the ways that the Dutch role in the slave trade and the lives of enslaved Africans are interpreted at historic sites today. The panelists will discuss how the story-telling process includes both physical objects and remnants of the enslaved community’s intangible culture and how this helps them tell a more complete story.