Historian and author Mac Griswald, whose forthcoming book “Slaves in the Attic” documents slavery at Sylvester Manor on Shelter Island, will be talking about her research in a program titled “From Slavery to Freedom on Long Island’s East End 1790-1827” at New York University on Thursday, May 3 at 2 p.m. She will be joined in her talk by Ben Davidson. The public is welcome.
Ben Davidson is an NYU graduate student who will discuss the account book of Ezra L’Hommedieu and other documents that reveal how some slaves made their way to freedom and the legal obstacles they faced. Ms. Griswald will talk about Jack Comus Fanning, who owned 21 acres on Shelter Island, and about his stepdaughter, Julia Dyd, after whom Dyd Creek (today known as Dodd Creek) was named.
The Fales Library was the recipient of the manor’s extensive archives containing 10,000 documents, some dating back to the 17th century. They were donated by the owner of the manor, Eben Ostby, who with his nephew Bennett Konesni, is seeking to preserve it as a working farm.
The manor has been described as the only intact remnant of a slave plantation in America north of the Mason Dixon Line.
The talk will be in Room 324 of the King Juan Carlos Center at 53 Washington Square South. This is the second in a series of talks presented by the library’s Sylvester Manor Working Group.