Sandy Ground, Staten Island-New York
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Sandy Ground, Staten Island-New York

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Discover your history in learning about the oldest surviving free black community in the US.

Discover your history in learning about the oldest surviving free black community in the US.

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Sandy Ground, Staten Island-New York Sandy Ground, Staten Island-New York Presentation Transcript

  • SANDY GROUNDBY: RACHELLE MANGIN
  • SANDY GROUND STATEN ISLAND, NYThe oldest surviving “FreeBlack” community in the UnitedStates
  • History of Sandy GroundSlavery was abolished in New York State on July 4th, 1827Capt. John Jackson purchased land in Westfield-now Rossville, Staten IslandThis was the first recorded purchase of a land by a black man known today as Sandy GroundSandy Ground is the oldest community established by free black slaves in North America
  • History of Sandy Ground… Sandy Ground is located in the southern part of Staten Island, New York not far from the shipping ports
  • Sandy Ground Then… By 1830s, freed men and woman from all over New York State, Maryland, Virginia, and Snow Hill, Maryland, would follow Jackson‟s lead, settling on Staten Island as an oasis from persecution. Sandy ground became the “gateway to freedom” Sandy ground also served as an important stop on the Underground Railroad, and is the oldest continuously settled free black community in the United States
  • History of Sandy Ground… The freed slaves that first settled formed a farming community, which grew as free black oyster fishermen from Maryland and Delaware settled the region. These early settlers were skilled in the oystering trade. Oystering harvesting was a major business on Staten Island during the 19th century and was mainly conducted on the island‟s south shore By harvesting oysters and farming, this fledging community was able to thrive and became a safe haven on the Underground Railroad
  • Sandy Ground Then.. The oyster harvesting industry was a major business here in the 19th century, and the oysters the men of Sandy Ground planted and raked in were sold in the finest restaurants in Manhattan and elsewhere
  • Sandy Ground Then… Sandy Ground was one of several similar neighborhoods in urban centers in the Northeast where free blacks gathered to further themselves socially and economically Homes and school were built for the young and old. The literacy rate was 60%, according to the 1860 Census. High for any area in those times
  • Sandy Ground Then… In the midst of this thriving community, the Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church was formed on Dec 5th, 1850 This was a central meeting place and annual camp meetings were held at the church in those early years, with people coming from as far away as Connecticut and Virginia to celebrate living a “free life” The first church was built of frame construction in 1854. It was destroyed by fire and replaced by the current building, which was occupied on Dec 19, 1897
  • Sandy Ground Then… Residents of the area were known to have large plots of land and prided themselves on their industry and self- sufficiency. Relations with local white neighbors, though not intimate, were for the most part cordial As the oyster beds became overworked, many people turned to well digging, iron working, blacksmithing and being midwives.
  • Sandy Ground Then… On a Spring day in 1963, devastating brush fires raged across the Island on a dry spring day Quite a number of buildings were destroyed in that one-day inferno. And the community began to decline when oysters in New York waters became tainted, and the city closed the beds supporting Sandy Ground by 1916.
  • Sandy Ground Now… Ten houses remain in the area where more than 60 once stood Several historic sites were fortunately spared: a 17th-century private school; the home of William Pedro, who died in 1988 at the age of 106; the Bishop Forge, the last private blacksmith shop in New York, and the only intact 18th - century African cemetery in America
  • Sandy Ground Now… As the oldest continuously inhabited free Black settlement in the Unites States, Sandy Ground is a place of great historical significance. Today, Sandy Ground is home to the families that are descendants of original settlers
  • Sandy Ground Now… The Rossville A.M.E Zion Church still plays a prominent role in the life of this part of Staten Island Many families still live in the community that was founded by their courageous ancestors The rich history of Sandy Ground has been documented and preserved through the efforts of the Sandy Ground Historical Society
  • Sandy Ground Now… Descendants of the original settlers still live on Staten Island, and Sandy Ground Historical Society runs a museum and library that examines the life and history of the freed Blacks who settled in the area prior to the Civil War The Sandy Ground Historical Society maintains the largest documentary collection of African-American culture and history on Staten Island and the museum also serves as an educational research facility charted by the state Department of Education
  • Sandy Ground Now… The Society‟s Museum and library are dedicated to researching, preserving, and informing visitors about this historically important Staten Island Community. The museum preserves material related to the historic town, as well as letters, photographs, film, art, rare books, quilts and other archaeological artifacts. Highlights include a rare surviving can of Tettersalve, a beauty product manufactured by legendary Harlem businesswoman Madame C. J. Walker, and a letter from W. E. B. DuBois.
  • Sandy Ground Now… The museum educates and inspires the public with exhibitions, photographs, and art documenting the history of Sandy Ground and African Americans Sandy Grounds Historical Society museum has sponsored arts and craft sessions, a music heritage series, a lectures series presented in Island schools and churches, and a traveling lecture sessions to institutions around the country
  • Sandy Ground Now… A visit to Sandy Ground guarantees a lesson in our Nation‟s history Many families still live in the community that was founded by their courageous ancestors Some descendants of Sandy Ground‟s Bishop family migrated to the south and currently live in Raleigh, NC since 1999
  • Sandy Ground Now… For further information and assistance on Sandy Ground, the oldest surviving “Free Black” community in the United States Please Contact: The Sandy Ground Historical Society, Inc. 1538 Woodrow Road Staten Island, New York 10309 (718) 317-5796
  • Sandy Ground Picture Gallery
  • SANDY GROUND PICTUREGALLERYPictures of Sandy Ground‟s Landscape
  • Sandy Ground Picture GallerySandy Grounds Landscape
  • Sandy Ground Picture Gallery  The Landmark Preservation Commission of New York City granted protective status to two „baymen‟s cottages” at Sandy Ground on Staten Island
  • Sandy Ground Picture Gallery  Mr. and Mrs. Harry Hicks of Sandy Ground, circa 1900
  • Sandy Ground Picture Gallery  Robert McKinney, Jeffrey Moody, Catherine McKinney, Denise Pedro and Warren Landin, from left, play in Sandy Ground on March 31, 1967. The community was founded in Rossville around 1830.
  • Sandy Ground Picture GalleryA 1800s couple from Sandy Ground
  • Sandy GroundPicture Gallery
  • Sandy GroundPicture Gallery
  • Sandy GroundPicture Gallery
  • Sandy GroundPicture Gallery
  • Sandy Ground Picture Gallery  Built before 1859, the Coleman House is a vernacular frame structure that has just been granted landmark status by the city
  • Sandy Ground Picture Gallery  1897 Rossville AME Zion Church
  • Sandy Ground Picture GalleryThe “only” intact 18th -century African cemetery inAmerica
  • Sandy Ground Picture GalleryPicture of outside the Sandy Ground HistoricalMuseum
  • Sandy Ground Picture GalleryInside the Sandy Ground Historical Museum
  • Sandy Ground Picture Gallery  Quilts are among the historical items on display at the Sand Ground museum and library
  • Sandy Ground Picture GalleryOne of the exhibits inside the Sandy GroundHistorical Museum
  • References "Black History Lives at Sandy Ground". Staten Island Advance. 2005-04-24. Stephanie Reitz (2009-11-23). "Group tries to preserve 2 historic Conn. homes". Associated Press (Boston Globe). http://www.boston.com/news/local/connecticut/articles/2009/11/23/homes_bui lt_in_conn_by_free_blacks_in_jeopardy/. Retrieved 2010-08-02. "Sandy Ground Historical Museum". Office of the Staten Island Borough President. http://www.statenislandusa.com/pages/sandy_ground.html. Retrieved 2009-08-22. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. http://nrhp.focus.nps.gov/natreg/docs/All_Data.html. Biddle, William T. “A.M.E. Zion Church” in History of Methodism and the Methodist Churches of Staten Island, ed. A. Y. Hubbell (New York: Richmond Publishing Company, 1898), p149 Ferreri, James G. (2005-02-28). "On Sacred Ground". Staten Island Advance. http://www.silive.com/homegarden/interiordesign/index.ssf/2008/02/on_sacre d_ground.html. Retrieved 2009-08-22. Sandy Ground, Staten Island. (2011, June 7). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:42, January 2, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sandy_Ground,_Staten_Island&oldi d=433079300