Saturday, April 6, 2013

This Day in History April 6, 1712

I had never heard of this event in U.S. history, but on this date in 1712, the New York Slave Revolt occurred.  In the colonial days, New York had the highest amount of slaves--one in five were enslaved.  They were not plantation workers (as they were in the South), but they were skilled workers like carpenters, stone masons, and fishermen.  A group of these African slaves held a midnight tavern meeting, and they expressed their great discontent at the abuse and treatment they had been receiving from their white masters. They whole purpose in revolt was to get their fellow slaves to join them.  Twenty-three slaves started a fire at a home, and so the fight began.  Nine whites were killed.  Seventy blacks were arrested and jailed. Six slaves did commit suicide before they could be arrested.  Twenty-five were convicted which resulted in hanging or being burned alive.  One was even executed by being tied to a wagon wheel and having all bones and organs being separated from each other (yikes!).  Eighteen were acquitted, and six were let go.  This revolt did lead to stricter slave laws in New York.

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