Education

Manumission of Mink, April 28, 1795


Historical Context
White New Yorkers were divided over slavery even after the close of the American Revolution.  They remained divided over the issue of equal rights for blacks far longer.  While gradual emancipation proceeded according to state laws passed in 1799 and 1817, other laws and the 1821 state constitution barred large numbers of free blacks from voting.  New York's black abolitionists had many allies in the fight to end slavery nationwide, but found fewer supporters in their quest for equal voting rights in their own state.  Following the Civil War, many white New Yorkers resisted the national movement for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing equal voting rights for all men.  As late as 1869, a majority of the state's voters cast ballots in favor of retaining property qualifications that kept New York's polls closed to many blacks.  African American men did not obtain equal voting rights in New York until ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870.
Essential Question
Was New York a perfect model for the best way to end slavery?
 
Check for Understanding
Explain what happened to Mink as a result of this document.
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Manumission of Mink , Other, Schodack_Manumission_Mink
Document Description
Manumission of Mink, April 28, 1795.
Questions
  1. Where was this document written?
Resources
  1. Berlin, Ira and Leslie Harris. Slavery in New York.
     
                Johnson, Mat. The Great Negro Plot: A Tale of Conspiracy and Murder in Eighteenth
    Century New York.
               
    Singer, Alan J. New York and Slavery: Time to Teach the Truth.
     
Transcription
Manumission of Mink
We the Subscribers two of the Justices of the Peace
of the county of Rensselaer and two of the Over
seers of the poor of the town of Schodack in said
County being informed that a Negro named
Mink the property of Rulif Johnson of the Town
and County aforesaid and that the said Rulif
Johnson is inclined to manumit the said
Negro Man Mink ------------------------------------
We do certify that the said Negro man Mink
appears to us to be under fifty years of age and
Sufficient ability to provide for himself. ---------
Witnefs our hands this 28” day of April 1795
 
                        Jacob C Schermerhorn Justices
                        Nicholas Staats             of the
                                                              Peace
 
 
                        James McKoun Overseers of
                        Isaac Phillips     the Poor
 
The above is a true Copy of the Original Certificate
Certified and recorded this twelvth day of May
On thousand seven Hundred & Ninety Five
 
                        By me
                                    Theodosus Drake Clerk
                                    of the Town of Schodack