Slave revolt in New York

Wed, 1712-04-06

On this date in 1712, the New York Slave Rebellion occurred.

Reacting to harsh treatment by their masters, about 25 Black slaves and American Indians set fire to an outhouse and laid in ambush of their oppressors, killing nine men and wounding several others. The slaves then fled into the woods where within two days more than 40 had been arrested and 6 others committed suicide before apprehension. Twenty-seven slaves were convicted of murder and sentenced to death, although the bulk of the evidence used to convict them was questionable. eighteen were acquitted, six, including a pregnant woman, were let go.

Many disagree on the exact number of people executed, but about twenty were hanged, three more were burned to death. Chains hanged one man until he died; another was broken on a wheel. Shortly after the rebellion, New York’s legislature toughened its slave codes. Slaves gathering in groups of three or more were subject to 40 lashes and property crimes were deemed punishable by death.

The World Book Encyclopedia.
Copyright 1996, World Book, Inc.
ISBN 0-7166-0096-X