American Abolitionists and Antislavery Activists:
Conscience of the Nation

Updated February 14, 2017










l to r: Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips




New York Manumission Society (NYMS)


New York Manumission Society (NYMS), also known as the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, and Protecting Such of Them as Have Been, or May Be Liberated. Founded 1785 to abolish slavery in the State of New York. It is disbanded in 1849. The organization fought to end the slave trade. The Society included prominent founding fathers, like John Jay and Alexander Hamilton. Founded the African Free School for Children of Slaves or Free People of Color in 1787. Aided more than 400 slaves between 1792-1814. In 1791, the Society, along with other abolitionist organizations, petitioned the U.S. Congress to limit the slave trade, without success. In 1794, the Society organized the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race. This group met in Philadelphia. Lobbied New York state legislature for complete abolition. New York passed a law freeing all slaves on July 4, 1827. (References)




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Officers, Members and Supporters:

Jay, John, 1745-1829, New York, lawyer, statesman, founding father, diplomat, anti-slavery leader.  President of the Continental Congress.  First Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  Governor of the State of New York, 1795-1801.  New York State’s leading opponent of slavery.  Founder and president of the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves and Protecting such of them as Have Been Liberated, founded 1785.  Attempted to end slavery in 1777 and 1785.  In 1799, he signed into law the Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery, which eventually freed all the slaves in New York.  This act was arguably the most comprehensive and largest emancipation in North America before the Civil War. 

 

(Basker, 2005, pp. 64-66, 73-74, 75, 77, 239, 319, 321, 322, 347-348, 350-351; Dumond, 1961, pp. 28, 47, 87; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. III, pp. 408-411; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 5, Pt. 2, p. 5; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 11, p. 891; Encylopaedia Americana, 1831, Vol. VII, pp. 180-181)

 

Smith, E. H., Dr., Secretary

 

Allen, Nehemiah

 

Benson, Egbert

 

Brackett, Joseph Warren, Counsellor, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Brown, Samuel

 

Burling, Thomas

 

Burr, Aaron, 1756-1836, Newark, New Jersey, soldier, statesman, antislavery activist.  Vice President of the United States under Thomas Jefferson.  (Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. I, pp. 465-467; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 2, Pt. 1, p. 313)

 

Colden, Cadwallader D., Counsellor, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Collins, Benjamin S., Register, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Collins, Thomas, Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the School, delegate to the convention, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Cornell, Robert C.

 

Cromwell, John J., Secretary of the Standing Committee, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Duane, James

 

Dunlap, William, New York, abolitionist, member of the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, New York, founded 1785 (Basker, 2005, pp. 223, 224, 225, 227, 238, 239n4).

 

Dwight, Theodore, 1764-1846, lawyer, author, editor, Massachusetts.  Opposed slavery.  Gave noteworthy anti-slavery speech at Connecticut Society for the Promotion of Freedom, May 8, 1794.  (American National Biography, 2002, Vol. 7, p. 189; Dictionary of American Biography, 1936, Vo. 3, Pt. 1, p. 569; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. V)

 

Emmett, Thomas Addis, Counsellor, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Franklin, Thomas, Jr., New York, abolitionist, member of the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, founded New York 1785 (Basker, 2005, pp. 223-224).

 

Hamilton, Alexander, 1757-1804, founding father, statesman, first Secretary of the Treasury, anti-slavery activist, second President of the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, founded in 1785. (Zilversmit, 1967, p. 166; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. III, pp. 56-60; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 4, Pt. 2, p. 171; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 9, p. 905; Encylopaedia Americana, 1830, Vol. VI, pp. 152-153)

 

Hamilton, William (Sinha, 2016, p. 82)

 

Hegeman, Adrian

 

Hicks, Samuel, delegate to the convention, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Hook, Isaac A., Treasurer, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Jay, Peter Augustus, 1776-1843, anti-slavery activist.  Son of first Chief Justice of the United States and diplomat John Jay.  President of the New York Manumission Society in 1816, and President of the Anti-Slavery New York Public School Society.  Advocated for suffrage for free African Americans.  (Dumond, 1961, p. 103; Sorin, 1971, p. 77; Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. III; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936, Vol. 5, Pt. 2, p. 11; Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Jenkins, Sylvanus F., Secretary of the Committee of Ways and Means, delegate to the convention, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Johnson, William, Counsellor, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Lewis, Mordechai, delegate to the convention, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

McDougall, Alexander

 

Miller, Samuel (Sinha, 2016, p. 82)

 

Munro, Peter Jay, 1767-1833, jurist, abolitionist, President of the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Appletons’, 1888, Vol. IV, p. 461; Basker, 2005, pp. 223, 239 n4, 5; Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Murray, John, Jr., Treasurer, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Newbold, George, second Vice President, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the School, and Chairman of the Committee of Correspondence, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Robbins, Willet, Chairman of the Standing Committee, delegate to the convention, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Rogers, Moses, New York, abolitionist, member of the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, founded 1785 (Basker, 2005, p. 223)

 

Sanford, Nathan, Counsellor, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Seaman, Willet, delegate to the convention, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Seaman, Valentine, first Vice Presdient of the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Shotwell, Gilbert, delegate to the convention, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Simmons, John

 

Slocum, William T.

 

Slosson, William, Counsellor and Secretary of the Committee of Correspondence, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Smith, Melanton

 

Tompkins, Daniel D., 1774-1825, statesman.  Vice President of the United States.  Governor of New York State.  Advocate for the abolishment of slavery in the United States.  (Sinha, 2016, p. 83; Appletons’, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 130; American National Biography, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, Vol. 21, p. 738; Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1936; Longacre, James B. & James Herring, National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans.  Philadelphia: American Academy of Fine Arts, 1834-1839)

 

Thompson, Jeremiah, delegate to the convention, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Troop, Robert

 

Tucker, Thomas, delegate to the convention, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Underhill, Joshua, delegate to the convention, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

VanHook, Isaac A., Secretary, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Wadsworth, John, Counsellor, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)

 

Webster, Noah

 

Woolsey, W. W.

 

Wright, Isaac, Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, 1812.  (Proceedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)




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References

(Basker, 2005, pp. 218, 223, 239, 295, 322; Berlin, 2005; Bruns, 1977, pp. 397, 504; Dumond, 1961, p. 47; Gellman, 2006, pp. 56-61, 64-77, 135, 145, 154-164, 172, 180, 194, 214; Locke, 1901, pp. 99, 99n, 101, 103, 104, 104n, 105n, 107, 108, 109, 123; Sinha, 2016; Zilversmit, 1967, pp. 147, 150-151, 160, 162-166, 169, 173-174, 176, 179-180, 208-210, 212; Procedings of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race, Philadelphia, 1812)