The oldest public park in New York City Bowling
Green marks the area where the “Dutch West India Company” began the
process of developing a colony that would one day become one of the
greatest cities in the history of mankind. In order to prepare the
island of “Manahatta” for the sole purpose of generating revenue, the
Dutch West India Company utilized the labor of enslaved Africans. Learn
about the first 11 African men who helped to prepare the area in which
you will be standing.
Taverns of colonial New York were more than just
a place to drink. Often the meeting places to discuss politics and
formulate a plan of action, the taverns of this city helped to shape the
direction of its growth. Formerly known as the “Queens Head Tavern”,
Fraunces Tavern at 54 Pearl Street played an important role during the
American Revolution. Samuel Fraunces, a merchant of French-West Indian
ancestry bought this former home of the DeLancey family, and converted
it into one of the most popular taverns in colonial New York City.
The infamous Wall Street has been identified as
being the capital of the financial world. The “wall” for which the
street has been named was built with the help of enslaved African labor
in 1653 to help protect the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam from British
invasion, as well as to protect the colonist from attacks by the Native
American tribes indigenous to the island. At this location we will
discuss New York’s role in the triangular slave trade, and the
significant wealth it created for those involved in the inhumane
institution during this shameful era of American history.
John Street Church
The John Street United Methodist Church is the
home of the oldest Methodist congregation in North America. In 1796
Peter Williams, James Varick, and other black members of the church
started their own congregation thus giving birth to the “African
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church”. Here we will talk about the various
abolitionists movements that began to take place, in which many
prominent individuals of African descent began speaking out against the
injustices of slavery.
The area known today as City Hall Park that once
served as the town “Commons” for the British colony of New York is
where those charged in the “New York Conspiracy of 1741” were executed.
At this location tour participants will learn about the various
rebellions that have taken place throughout New York City’s turbulent
and fascinating past.
African Burial Ground
During the construction of a Federal office
building in Lower Manhattan in 1991, human remains were discovered as
the excavation process had begun. This had once been the area where
people of African descent were finally laid to rest, formerly known as
the “Negro Burial Ground”. Our final stop on the walking tour will take
us inside the museum to view the work that has taken place, and learn
about the current research being done allowing us to further understand
the lives of the early African residents living in New York City during
its colonial era.