US Department of Education Resources

…ducation Underground Railroad Educational and Cultural Program (URR) In Pursuit of Freedom explores the history of abolition and the antislavery movement in Brooklyn, New York. Created by partners at the Brooklyn Historical Society, Irondale Ensemble Project and Weeksville Heritage Center, this project, the first of its kind, comprises original scholarly research; a series of exhibitions at the three partner sites, a curriculum for teachers and t…

Crisis Decade (1850 – 1860)

…against the Fugitive Slave Law. The law allowed federal authorities to cross state lines and kidnap any person of color suspected of being a fugitive. For white abolitionists kidnapping under the Fugitive Slave Law would always remain in the abstract – a violation that could not be committed against them. But it did not deter pastors with anti-slavery convictions denouncing the law at the pulpit. Brooklyn, the “City of Churches”, so called becau…

A Gradual Emancipation (1783 – 1827)

…death of his owner Maria Magdalene Ruble. However, he remained enslaved after she died. Harry enlisted the help of William Livingston, the Surrogate for Kings County, who wrote to the N-YMS. Founded in 1785 by Manhattan’s white elite, the N-YMS was committed to gradually ending slavery. During gradual emancipation they focused on three primary concerns in Kings County: the enslavement of free African Americans; slave sales between New York and Ne…