Today in labor history: first legal protest by slaves in New York

On this date in 1644 the first “legal” protest by Africans in America occurred when 11 slaves petitioned the Council of New Netherlands (New York) for their freedom. The petition was granted. The bondsmen had been enslaved for close to 20 years. Slavery began in New York in 1626. The Dutch West India Company were the chief slavers responsible for importation of slaves from Angola into the U.S. and Caribbean. By the early part of the 1700s over 40 percent  of New York households used slaves.



Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.