Historic marker in Lower Manhattan for former slave market (148174)

Elected officials, historians and community members came together last weekend to unveil a plaque marking the site of the colonial-era Wall Street slave market. Standing in Manhattan Park on the corner of Wall Street and Water Street, the plaque is the first official acknowledgement of the market.

Africans were sold at the slave market, which operated from 1711 to 1762, by order of the Common Council. Under consecutive Dutch, British and American rule, slave labor was used in New York City homes and industries, including farming and public works. Although the transatlantic slave trade was outlawed by the U.S. Congress in 1807, not all slaves were freed in New York until 1841.

In February 2014, Council Member Jumaane Williams introduced legislation, along with Majority Leader James Van Bramer, to establish the landmark, but the administration partnered with the council members to create it without force of law.