"Where Slavery Died Hard:" The Forgotten History of Ulster County, New York

Author(s): Wendy E. Harris; Arnold Pickman

Year: 2016


Diana Wall has inspired our interest in archaeological and historical aspects of African-Americans and women in eighteenth and nineteenth-century America.

Using various primary sources we have been exploring the experiences of enslaved men, women and children in Ulster County, New York, informed in part by accounts of the life of one of the most famous women in American history, Sojourner Truth, a renowned abolitionist, feminist and orator, who was born and raised a slave here in the 1790s.

According to the 1820 census, Ulster County's 1500 slaves represented nearly five percent of its population. For nearly two centuries the "peculiar institution" was widespread throughout the county, described as a place "where slavery died hard."  Our paper examines why slavery was so prevalent in this region, focusing upon specific enslaved individuals and the families identified in historic documents as their "owners," as well as upon the communities in which they lived.    

Cite this Record

"Where Slavery Died Hard:" The Forgotten History of Ulster County, New York. Wendy E. Harris, Arnold Pickman. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434543)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 669