Northern Slavery: Part 2

This is our second part on our series covering Yankee slavery – a topic that seems to only be directed towards the South. As we discovered in part 1, Dixie wasn’t the only region that tolerated slavery, much to the chagrin of present-day SJWs and mouth breathing normies. This article will discuss New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

New Hampshire:

There were slaves in New Hampshire by 1645, mostly concentrated in the area around Portsmouth. As one of the few colonies that did not impose a tariff on the slave commodity, New Hampshire became another base in the North for slaves to be imported, then smuggled into the South and other areas. Soon after the Revolutionary War in 1779, the slave of a Continental Army officer along with 18 others sent a petition to the legislature with hopes to gain their emancipation. In light of the war, they used freedom rhetoric and wrote that slavery was incompatible with “justice, humanity and the rights of mankind‘, the petition was coldly ignored. In 1788, the New Hampshire Supreme Court Justice Simeon Olcott affirmed that slavery was still completely legal in his state.

In 1835, free blacks, mostly from New York, were accepted for enrollment at Noyes Academy, a private school in Canaan. Back in those days, the idea of educated negroes was hugely offensive to Yankees. So on July 4th, a mob of folks from neighboring towns with the larger part of a hundred oxen pulled the school building completely off its foundation and dragged it into the middle of a street in the town square.   Afterwards, this mob praised slavery and also the US Constitution, they then invoked the memories of all the great patriots of the American Revolution in support of their cause.  Speaking in Congress, New Hampshire Sen. Isaac Hill defended the mob, saying their goal had been to thwart the abolitionist scheme to mingle the children of the two races. He wasn’t wrong. The town of Hill, New Hampshire is named after him.

Although very few existed by this time, the most commonly accepted date for the formal end of slavery in New Hampshire was 1857. It was only four years before the War for Southern Independence that New Hampshire finally passed an act that said, “No person, because of decent, should be disqualified from becoming a citizen of the state“. The act was interpreted as prohibiting slavery.

New Jersey:

In 1664, politicians offered sixty acres of land, per slave, to any man who imported slaves into the colony, but no mules were offered. Slaves became very numerous around the main port of entry, Perth Amboy, that by 1690, most of the inhabitants of the region owned one or more negroes. In 1702, under the English crown, Gov. Edward Cornbury left from London with instructions to keep the settlers provided with a “constant and sufficient supply of merchantable negroes at moderate prices“.

Slaves guilty of arson were subject to punishments severe even by brutal northern standards: they were to be put to death in a way that “the aggravation or enormity of their crime shall merit and require“. To be burned at the stake was most common of these punishments for not only witches, but also negroes.

New Jersey narrowly escaped a large violent slave revolt in 1743. You see, rumors had spread that Great Britain outlawed involuntary servitude and so they were being held illegally. The slaves agreed to rise up, slit the throats of their masters, their sons, capture the women to be raped and then to escape into the French and Indian lands. One dimwitted slave actually bragged about the plot during an argument with a white man, so the authorities were alerted. A thorough investigation found thirty ringleaders arrested, one man was hanged while the rest were only flogged or had their ears cut off since the revolt never actually materialized I wonder which was higher in New Jersey at the time,  the bounty for coyote or negro ears?

In 1804, the New Jersey Legislature finally passed an “Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery”; many slave owners simply utilized the legal option to sell their negro commodity into the South. This slow  emancipation of the children would not even begin until the 1820s and the adults were still bound for life. So, at the end of the War for Southern Independence, there were actually a small number of surviving slaves in New Jersey who had to be freed by the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865.

New York:

Slavery began in New York in 1626, although it was called New Netherland at the time. In 1712, there was a slave revolt in New York City. It happed like this- late one dark night, twenty-four negro conspirators gathered, armed themselves with a cache of muskets, machetes and clubs and set fire to a local building. As white men and women quickly rushed out to put out the fire, the hidden slaves then violently attacked, five innocent white folks were killed and six wounded. Soon an angry local mob pinned down the blacks in the woods of northern Manhattan. The leaders of the uprising committed suicide and the rest surrendered.

“A special court convened by the governor made short work of the rebels. Of the twenty-seven slaves brought to trial for complicity in the plot, twenty-one were convicted and put to death. Since the law authorized any degree of punishment in such cases, some unlucky slaves were executed with calculated barbarity. New Yorkers were treated to a round of grisly spectacles as negroes were burned alive, racked and broken on the wheel, and gibbeted alive in chains. In his report of the affair to England, Governor Hunter praised the judges for inventing ‘the most exemplary punishments that could be possibly thought of.'”

By 1799, New York passed a gradual emancipation law, the “Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery”. As with most other states in the North, the slaves actually remained in servitude for life, but their children born subsequent of the new law would eventually be set free sometime after adulthood. There were slaves in New York as late as the 1840 Census, but afterwards the government ceased keeping records. The freed blacks then voted in New York in large numbers and opened up wins for the Federalists. They consistently backed the party of Jay and Hamilton for the same ideals they still vote for today, a larger and stronger federal government.


As early as 1664, Pennsylvania sent the West India Company to catch “a lot of negroes for agricultural purposes“. Thirty years later, blacks were so numerous in the colony’s capital that the city council complained of “tumultuous gatherings of negroes in the town of Philadelphia.” By 1700, ten percent of Philadelphians owned slaves that were used largely in both iron works and ship building. Within twenty years, a wheat-based economy had formed and white indentured servants from Europe proved cheaper, more productive and by far more pleasant to be around than their negro competitors (big surprise). As the two races began to work closely together, legal protections for both were created. For example, for the crime of miscegenation, freed negroes who married whites were sold back into slavery. In 1730, about one in eleven Pennsylvanians had been slaves, but due to market forces by 1779 the figure had dropped all the way down to only one in thirty.

The law for gradual emancipation in Pennsylvania passed in February 1780. As with most of the northeast, the slaves remained servants for life but their children would be freed upon reaching a certain age in adulthood. By the last Census to include slaves in the North, there were only 64 elderly slaves left alive in all of Pennsylvania.

-By Tex Wood

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