Did you know…

  • That the first non-indigenous settler on Manhattan was a man of African descent?
  • That numerous plantations flourished on both banks of the Hudson River?
  • That the variety of African nationalities in colonial NY equaled or surpassed the number of European nationalities represented?
  • That enslaved individuals in New York actively resisted using both covert and overt means?

Although the history of enslavement in the Hudson River valley is well documented and researched, its existence and significance to the development of New York’s commercial and cultural development continues to be obscured, ignored, or misunderstood by many.

Michael A. Lord, Director of Content Development at Historic Hudson Valley, examines the issues, events, and individual choices surrounding enslavement in the Hudson Valley from the perspective of the enslaved. Lord’s presentation traces the development of slavery in New York, everyday life for those enslaved in the Hudson River valley, resistance to the institution, and why this most-American of stories continues to be relevant.

Bio, Michael A. Lord: A Magna cum laude graduate of Amherst College with degrees in History and Black Studies, Michael A. Lord was introduced to living history as a graduate student at the College of William and Mary. Michael came to Historic Hudson Valley in 1998 as the Associate Director for Reinterpretation, working to create and implement Philipsburg’s story of northern colonial enslavement.

Michael trains interpreters to tell the story of the enslaved community who resided on this living history farm, gristmill, and manor house. He also writes, produces, and directs museum theatre presentations for Historic Hudson Valley and other institutions.