Two historians have published a book that examines slavery in New York’s Hudson Valley.
Susan Stessin-Cohn, of New Paltz, and Ashley Hurlburt-Biagini, of Salisbury Mills, spent years researching the topic for “In Defiance,” recently published by Albany-based Black Dome Press. Their book contains more than 550 newspaper notices published between 1735 and 1831, four years after slavery was abolished in New York state.
Most of the notices were published in papers printed from Albany to Westchester, and many contain vivid physical descriptions of the 607 runaways documented in the book.
The authors say that number is just a fraction of the untold number of enslaved blacks in New York who sought freedom through escape.