History 259: Slave Rebellions in New York City. Office: 134 Physical Science Office Hours: T: 4-5:00 (for this class only)

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1 Dr. Thomas D. Beal Office: 134 Physical Science Office Hours: T: 4-5:00 (for this class only) History 259: Slave Rebellions in New York City Fall Welcome!: Welcome to History 259: Slave Rebellions in New York City. This document along with the attached writing assignments provides students with everything they need to know to succeed in the course. Although we will discuss the course outline and its requirements on the first day of class, I want to draw your attention to two requirements: First, History 259 students must attend the first class 8 November 2011; second, students must turn in the required writing assignment on that day (see pages 2 and 3). Those students who do not attend the first class will be dropped; late or electronically submitted papers will not be accepted. Otherwise, this is a exciting, fun and eye-opening class! See you on 8 November 2011 at 5:30pm in Human Ecology Room # 203. Course Description: Slavery played a crucial role in the history of New York City. This course explores two significant moments in that history: the slave insurrection of 1712 and the slave conspiracy of During the 1712 slave insurrection, dozens of slaves rebelled and with axe, knife and gun attempted to free themselves from bondage. In 1741 slaves, free blacks and poor whites conspired to burn the city and free all the slaves; many were arraigned, tried, convicted and executed for arson and high treason. Further, the course explores how, in less dramatic ways, slaves rebelled and attempted to lay claim to their body and their freedom. The outcome of these actions and the response of New York City s residents receive special attention. Teaching: This is an upper-division history seminar on the history of slavery and slave rebellions in New York City. As a seminar, the course requires students to actively participate in class discussions. Required readings, discussions and in-class activities provide students an overview of the institution of slavery and how slaves rebelled against it. Goals: 1. Develop an understanding of slavery s place in New York City s history. 2. Develop an understanding of the causes, consequences and significance of the 1712 & 1741 slave rebellions. 3. Develop an understanding of the slave code that colonial and municipal authorities developed and instituted to control New York City s slave population. 4. Develop an understanding of how slaves acted as historical agents and often attempted to claim their freedom. Required Texts: The New York Conspiracy Trials of 1741, ed. Serena R. Zabin (Bedford/St. Martin). Course Reserves (Angel Webpage, Lesson Tab): The instructor has placed a number of documents on Course Reserve (Lesson s Tab on the Angel Web Page for HIST 259), which you may download and print from any computer. The titles are included in the course outline (below) and correspond to the Course Reserve page. Discussion Participation (30%): This is an upper-division seminar, which requires students to actively participate in class discussions and activities. Students must complete the assigned readings and be prepared to discuss their ideas with peers. To actively participate and improve critical thinking skills, students must come to class prepared; the required reading must be completed before class. Unprepared students will be excused from class. Response Papers (55% each): Students will submit one page written analysis papers based on the week s required reading. The reading is a combination of primary and secondary sources. Assignment sheets are attached (pages 3-6). Slaves, Free Blacks and Fire Analysis Paper (15% Paper): History 259 students (working in groups of two) will submit a Slaves, Free Blacks and Fire Analysis Paper. Students will read the documents provided and using everything they have learned in the course write a two page analytical essay (see page 7 for assignment). The documents, entitled Fraser and Vanderpool Case File & Rose Butler Case File are on Course Reserve. The essay students submit should explore how rebellion is related to issues of race, slavery, fire and religion. During the class period on 13 December 2011 students will submit their paper (one copy for each group) to the instructor and present their findings to their peers in an informal five (5) minute presentation/discussion. Evaluation: Response Paper # 1 = 15% Response Paper # 4 = 15% Response Paper # 2 = 15% Slave, Free Blacks and Fire Analysis Paper = 15% Response Paper # 3 = 10% Discussion Participation = 30%

2 Course Outline Week 1: 8 November 2011: Questions about Slavery and Slave Rebellions in New York City Documentary Film: New York: Slave Rebellions in Early America and New York City Long Island Slave Rebellion (Course Reserve). Due: 1708 Rebellion: Response Paper #1 Assignment (see page 3). Week 2: 15 November 2011: Reconstructing the 1712 Slave Rebellions Slave Rebellion Documents (Course Reserve). 2. Kenneth Scott, The Slave Insurrection in New York in 1712" New-York Historical Society Quarterly 45 (1961): (Course Reserve). Library Activity: 1712 Rebellion Trial Transcripts, Reel #294: Court of General Session Note: We will begin our class in the Microfilm Section (the basement) of the James M. Milne Library (½ the class at 5:30PM and the other ½ at 6:05PM). The entire class will begin discussing the material from the 1712 Slave Rebellion in the classroom HECO 203 at 6:40PM. Due: 1712 Rebellion: Response Paper #2 Assignment (see page 4) Week 3: 29 November 2011: Escape and other forms of Rebellion: A Study of Runaway Slave Advertisements 1. Runaway Advertisements (Course Reserve). Note: there are several files of Runaway Advertisements. Library Activity: Note: We will begin our class in the Microfilm Section (the basement) of the James M. Milne Library (½ the class at 5:30PM and the other ½ at 6:05PM). The entire class will begin discussing the material in from Runaway Advertisements and Trial Transcripts in HECO 203 at 6:40PM. Due: Runaway Slave: Response Paper # 3 Assignment (see page 5) Week 4: 6 December 2011: The 1741 Slave Conspiracy and Rebellion 1. Zabin, New York Conspiracy Trials (one trial selected by lots on (8 March 2011) 2. Lepore, Reconstructing New York, Part 1 & 2 (Course Reserve). Due: 1741 Rebellion: Response Paper #4 Assignment (see page 6) Week 5: 13 December 2011: Slaves, Free Blacks and Fire. 1. Rose Butler Case File (Course Reserve) 2. Ishmael Fraser (a.k.a Frazer) & George Vanderpool Case File (Course Reserve) Due: Slaves, Free Blacks and Fire Analysis Paper (see page 7)

3 History 259: 1708 Rebellion: Paper Assignment: Fall 2011 Dr. Beal Due: 8 November 2011 This assignment challenges HIST 259 students to explore the 1708 slave rebellion. Begin the assignment by reading the 1708 Long Island Slave Rebellion documents on Course Reserve. Then turn your attention to thinking about what happened (in the rebellion and the aftermath) and most importantly about how/why residents of New York City and Long Island reacted to the rebellion. Assignment: Imagine you are a writer and a newspaper reporter for the London Gazette and you are assigned to New York. Using the assigned reading on the 1708 slave rebellion as evidence, write a one to two page newspaper article for the London Gazette that outlines the slave rebellion, the public reaction to the rebellion, and what residents said and thought while observing the events on the execution ground. Be sure to be as specific as possible and provide evidence to support your assertions. Note: avoid discussions of their guilt, and focus on providing a newspaper-like discussion, analysis and interpretation of the material. end/footnotes, etc). 2. paper is one (1) to two (2) pages long (single spaced). 7. paper has been spell-checked

4 History 259: 1712 Rebellion: Paper Assignment: Fall 2011 Dr. Beal Due: 15 November 2011 This assignment challenges HIST 259 students to explore the 1712 slave rebellion. Begin the assignment by reading Kenneth Scott s The Slave Insurrection on Course Reserve. Then turn your attention to the 1712 Slave Rebellion Documents on Electronic Reserve. These work together to provide you with more than enough information to address the assignment below. Assignment: In a one to two page paper and using the assigned reading on the 1712 slave rebellion as evidence, write a one to two page newspaper article for the New York Gazette. Imagine you are a writer for the New York Gazette, describe and analyze the 1712 rebellion. Be sure to be as specific as possible and provide evidence to support your assertions. Note: avoid discussions of their guilt, and focus on providing a newspaper-like discussion, analysis and interpretation of the material. end/footnotes, etc). 2. paper is one (1) to two (2) pages long (single spaced). 7. paper has been spell-checked.

5 History 259: Runaway Slave: Advertisement Assignment Fall 2011 Dr. Beal Due: 29 November 2011 This assignment challenges students to systematically explore runaway slave advertisements. These newspaper advertisements document one of the key ways that slaves rebelled (certainly a less bloody form of rebellion comparted to the events of 1712) in early New York City. Before you begin, review several of the Runaway Advertisements files. Then read and carefully study the file of runaway advertisements. Now you are ready for the assignment. Assignment: This is a two part assignment: First, imagine you are in charge of advertising for the New York Weekly Mercury. Today, Peter Porcupine entered the print shop and paid you to publish a runaway advertisement for his slave. Your job is to write that advertisement (keep it to one page).\ Second, on the back side of your advertisement, discuss in 300 words which of the advertisements you used as a basis for your advertisement (be specific, cite newspaper, and date; and add a sentence discussing what about the advertisement you found particularly important / appealing).

6 History 259: 1741 Rebellion: Paper Assignment Fall 2011 Dr. Beal Due: 06 December 2011 The 1741 slave conspiracy and rebellion was one of the most historically significant moments in New York City s history. However, until recently historians often overlooked this episode by arguing that New Yorkers had gone mad; some scholars even compared the courts actions to those taken by Massachusetts residents during the witchcraft trials (Salem, MA in 1692). Note: On 8 November 2011, students will select a trail, by lots. This will be your trial and the one you focus on. Students must read their trial and especially the Introduction to Zabin s New York Conspiracy Trials it provides useful information that will help students understand / interpret their trial. Note: Students should also explore the Lepore, Reconstructing NYC Part 1 and Part 2 documents (Course Reserve). Assignment: Consider your trial: Imagine you were a court reporter and sat in courtroom throughout trial. Write a clear, concise and detailed one (1) to two (2) page newspaper article discussing the key moments in the trial. Be sure to discuss key characters in the courtroom, the charges against the defendant, the testimony, and the outcome (sentencing and execution). Be sure to use or cite key parts of the testimony; to make your article read / sound authentic you might want to include key quotes (keep them short) from the accused and the judges. Your goal is to write an article that analyzes and describes the events of the course well enough that a resident of New York City would after reading it believe he / she knew everything there was to know about the case and its outcome. Note: Be sure to write this as if you were an eighteenth century resident of New York City and be carefully to properly cite document your sources. This may be a group paper be sure to put everyone s name on the cover sheet. end/footnotes, etc) 2. paper is one (1) to two (2) pages long (single spaced). 7. paper has been spell-checked.

7 History 259: Slaves, Free Blacks and Fire Analysis Paper Fall 2011 Dr. Beal Due: 13 December 2011 The Ishmael Fraser / George Vanderpool and the Rose Butler cases are two of the most compelling and interesting in the New York City s history. Fraser and Vanderpool were a part of a street gang of men who roamed New York City s streets. Among other activities, the gang supported itself by setting buildings afire and then looting them before firefighters arrived. Born after the 1799 New York State Gradual Emancipation Law was passed, Rose Butler was an indentured slave ; therefore she had to serve her master a number of years before she obtained her freedom. While in service she was verbally abused by her master (Widow Morris), and it appears that she attempted to retaliate by burning down the family s house. This assignment opens a window onto Butler s life, her condition, the injustices of slavery, and most importantly how she attempted to lay claim to her freedom. It is my hope that students use all their analytical skills to produce a paper worthy of Butler s actions and her memory. If you have ever visited Washington Square Park (NYC) you probably walked by where Rose Butler died and where her body may still rest. Assignment (Grade = 15% breakdown 10% paper, 5% presentation): This is a team assignment (groups of two students are considered a team). There are two parts to this assignment. First, teams should carefully read through the Fraser & Vanderpool Case File and the Rose Butler Case File (both on Electronic Reserve); then they should consider what these cases tell us about how slaves and free blacks rebelled in the early nineteenth century. In New York, owners had to free all slaves by 1827; therefore these cases help illustrate the end of slavery. Second, students should prepare a two (2) to three (3) page analytical paper exploring a topic / theme / idea they believe illustrates key issues in both cases. Also on 13 December 2011, groups will make brief presentations based on their paper s subject. end/footnotes, and spell checked) 2. paper is at least two (2) pages long (single spaced).

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