Exploring Racial Formation in Early 19th Century New York City

Author(s): Herbert Seignoret

Year: 2016


This paper explores racial formation in New York City from 1799 to 1863, when the city had the largest free Black population in the North, and ends with the 1863 Draft Riots, which marked a major turning point in the relationship between the city’s Black and Irish communities.  Using the optic of historical archaeology, Diana Wall’s work is critical to this analysis of racial formation in New York City. By unearthing the city's complex racial history while guiding a significant number of non-traditional students, Wall’s work in historical archaeology is able to make a significant contribution to deepen our understanding about disenfranchised communities and the ways in which they struggled and struggle for social inclusion. Her work on the Seneca Village Community, an African American and Irish–immigrant community, will be central to this paper.

Cite this Record

Exploring Racial Formation in Early 19th Century New York City. Herbert Seignoret. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434539)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 370