By Judith Wellman
In 1966 a bunch of scholars, Boy Scouts, and native electorate rediscovered all that remained of a then nearly unknown neighborhood known as Weeksville: 4 body homes on Hunterfly highway. The infrastructures and colourful histories of Weeksville, an African American group that had turn into one of many biggest unfastened black groups in 19th century usa, have been nearly burnt up as a result of Brooklyn’s exploding inhabitants and increasing city grid.
Weeksville was once based via African American marketers after slavery resulted in ny kingdom in 1827. positioned in japanese Brooklyn, Weeksville supplied an area of actual defense, monetary prosperity, schooling, or even political energy. It had a excessive fee of estate possession, provided a wide selection of occupations, and hosted a comparatively huge share of expert staff, company vendors, and execs. population prepared church buildings, a college, orphan asylum, domestic for the elderly, newspapers, and the nationwide African Civilization Society. awesome citizens of Weeksville, akin to journalist and educator Junius P. Morell, participated in each significant nationwide attempt for African American rights, together with the Civil conflict.
In Brooklyn’s Promised Land, Judith Wellman not just tells the $64000 narrative of Weeksville’s progress, disappearance, and eventual rediscovery, but in addition highlights the tales of the folk who created this neighborhood. Drawing on maps, newspapers, census documents, images, and the fabric tradition of constructions and artifacts, Wellman reconstructs the social background and nationwide value of this remarkable position. during the lens of this local people, Brooklyn’s Promised Land highlights issues nonetheless appropriate to African americans around the country.
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Extra resources for Brooklyn's Promised Land: The Free Black Community of Weeksville, New York
78 It would be surprising if Francis P. Graham, as secretary of this meeting, had not been strongly influenced by these ideas. Later that year, he purchased his first large block of land in Weeksville, and he immediately began selling this to other African Americans. 79 Weeksville allowed Henry Thompson, Francis P. S. soil, created by and for African Americans, where African Americans could be safe, free, and independent, living their lives both as people of color and as Americans. For Thompson, Graham, and others, Weeksville had all the advantages of emigration—physical safety, economic stability, a chance to create a community controlled by and for African Americans—and none of the disadvantages.
New York City was second only to Charleston, South Carolina, as the city with the most concentrated black population in the United States. 19 By 1783, Pieter Lefferts built a new house on the old foundation of his parents’ home, near the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Maple Street. Lefferts became one of the wealthiest and most influential men in Kings County. He owned more than 240 acres of land and headed a household of eight family members and twelve enslaved people. S. 20 Pieter Lefferts’s cousin, Judge Leffert Lefferts, was born in the Bedford homestead in 1774, attended Columbia College in 1794, and became, in 1823, the first judge of Kings County and the first president of Long Island Bank.
The Long Island Railroad took over this line in 1836, running both horse-drawn streetcars and steam trains directly from the ferry landing to what is now 158th Street in Jamaica. Today, it is the oldest railroad in the United States still operating under its original charter. 28â•…<<â•…Weeksville’s Origins, from Slavery to Freedom Many of the Dutch families in Kings County remained in their family homesteads until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Suydam family homestead, owned by Lambert Suydam of Revolutionary War cavalry fame and his wife Mary Lefferts Suydam (and later by descendents Moses Suydam, Phebe Suydam, and Ann Suydam), stood into the late nineteenth century on Suydam Place, just south of Atlantic Avenue, on the northeast border of Weeksville.
Brooklyn's Promised Land: The Free Black Community of Weeksville, New York by Judith Wellman