The Washington Post traces slavery history in Greene County
Jul 26, 2020 6:33 am
Debra Bruno reports in The Washington Post about her family's history with slavery in Greene County. Greene County historian Sylvia Hasenkopf, who lives in Cairo, helped with her research. Slavery in New York lasted for nearly 200 years, ending with the Gradual Emancipation Act of 1799, which allowed it to continue for about 30 more years. During their research they found Eleanor Mire, a woman with slave ancestors in the Coxsackie/New Baltimore area. In Coxsackie's Riverside Cemetery they find a tombstone from one of Mire's slave-born relatives that reads, "Mary Vanderzee, 1801-1907." Mire told Bruno that, “People don’t understand. Slavery is a thread going through the generations. It has affected every generation.” Bruno also found that New York's history of slavery has only been taught in public schools since about 2016 as a small part of the seventh-grade social studies curriculum, according to Dennis Maika, education director of the New Netherland Institute and a former high school teacher. Individual schools, though, can decide for themselves to include the slavery history, or not. Read more about this story in The Washington Post.