By Judith Wellman
In 1966 a bunch of scholars, Boy Scouts, and native electorate rediscovered all that remained of a then almost unknown group referred to 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 loose black groups in 19th century usa, have been almost burnt up because of Brooklyn’s exploding inhabitants and increasing city grid.
Weeksville was once based by means of African American marketers after slavery resulted in big apple kingdom in 1827. positioned in jap Brooklyn, Weeksville supplied an area of actual protection, fiscal prosperity, schooling, or even political energy. It had a excessive fee of estate possession, provided a large choice of occupations, and hosted a comparatively huge percentage of expert staff, enterprise proprietors, and pros. population equipped church buildings, a college, orphan asylum, domestic for the elderly, newspapers, and the nationwide African Civilization Society. outstanding citizens of Weeksville, resembling journalist and educator Junius P. Morell, participated in each significant nationwide attempt for African American rights, together with the Civil battle.
In Brooklyn’s Promised Land, Judith Wellman not just tells the real narrative of Weeksville’s development, disappearance, and eventual rediscovery, but additionally highlights the tales of the folk who created this group. Drawing on maps, newspapers, census files, pictures, and the cloth tradition of structures and artifacts, Wellman reconstructs the social heritage and nationwide value of this outstanding position. throughout the lens of this area people, Brooklyn’s Promised Land highlights subject matters nonetheless proper to African american citizens around the country.
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Extra resources for Brooklyn's Promised Land: The Free Black Community of Weeksville, New York
Graham) created a neighborhood along Hunterfly Road, east of the pond and south of the old Suydam house. Still others, such as Samuel Anderson, settled south of Crow Hill, in an area noted for its large pig farms. The result was less a coherent village than a scattered collection of small neighborhoods. Eventually, local people gave them nicknames: Fort Sumter was first established as a rude earthworks to protect people who fled from the draft riots in Manhattan in 1863. ” Bannon’s Barracks (or Bannon’s Row) encompassed “half a dozen frame houses on Butler Street,” between Rochester and Buffalo Avenues, and its residents “derived their chief support from housebreaking,” noted the Brooklyn Eagle.
Steep hills, deep valleys, and woodlands traversed this area. “Nature has kindly done her best to make the place picturesque,” noted the Brooklyn Eagle in 1873. “It is all hills and hollows. ” A large pond called Suydam’s Pond, named after the local Dutch farm family whose farmhouse overlooked its east end, filled in a deep hollow between Crow Hill and Atlantic Avenue. Weeksville’s residents built their houses west, south, and east of this pond. James Weeks settled in an area between Atlantic Avenue on the north and Crow Hill on the south, between what are now Troy and Schenectady Avenues, just west of this pond.
41 A sixth ad appeared in the North Star on January 25, 1850: “t w en t y buildin g l ots, in the Ninth Ward of the City of Brooklyn, a few minutes’ walk from the railroad, and ten minutes travel to the East River Ferries. Title indisputable. Persons wishing to purchase and improve immediately, will be accommodated on easy terms. Said lots front on Thompson Street and Morell’s Lane, and adjoin Ward School No. ”42 In addition to these six advertisements in African American newspapers, Sylvanus Smith placed a real estate ad in the New York Times in 1855 for Weeksville land: “f or sale to c ol ored peopl e .
Brooklyn's Promised Land: The Free Black Community of Weeksville, New York by Judith Wellman