In 1799, a law entitled "An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery" stated that any child born to a slave in New York State after July 4, 1799 would be free but would remain the servant of his mother's master until, if male, he reached his 28th birthday; if female, her 25th birthday (Chapter 62). Within a year of the child's birth, the master had the right to abandon all claims to his service by filing a certificate of abandonment with the town clerk. Abandoned children of slaves were to be supported at the state's expense by the local overseers of the poor.
This is an audited account documenting expenses of overseers of the poor for the maintenance of children of slaves in the Town of Orange, Rockland County. The document provides: name of the master of the child's mother; child's name; sex; when born; when maintenance began; time maintained from April 1, 1802 to March 31, 1803; and amount of support.
April 13 1803
New York State Archives. New York (State). Comptroller's Office. Audited accounts of payments made by overseers of the poor for support of children born to slaves. A0827-78. Box 1.
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