New York State Archives, New York (State). Dept. of State. Bureau of Miscellaneous Records. Enrolled acts of the State Legislature, 1778-2005. Series 13036-78, Laws of 1799, Chapter 62.
New York State Archives
New York (State). Dept. of State. Bureau of Miscellaneous Records.
In 1799 the New York State Legislature, based on a model in Pennsylvania, passed a law to gradually abolish the institution of slavery in the state. Though freeing many slaves, it did not do so immediately, in part to allow owners at the time to recoup the most profit from their slaves before losing them.
Thus, children born to a slave mother after July 4, 1799 were declared legally free--but not until male children had turned 28, and females 25. Slaves born before that date remained in servitude, although they were redefined as indentured servants.
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