The museum's curator of historical archaeology, Michael Lucas, and project manager of The Archaeology of Slavery in the Hudson Valley, is featured in the Winter 2018-19 issue of American Archaeology in an article entitled, The End of Slavery in New York.
For the last two years, in collaboration with Marilyn Masson of SUNY Albany, Lucas has been co-director of excavations at the Ten Broeck Mansion, a large estate built in 1798 in the heart of the Arbor Hill neighborhood of Albany, NY. The wealthy owners of the mansion were known slave owners, with census records indicating ten slaves lived on the estate in 1800. Due to Northern opposition and increasing stigma associated with slave ownership, most New York slaves were freed voluntarily in the 1810s. An 1817 law mandated all adult slaves be freed by 1827, and emancipated slaves did not move great distances from their places of enslavement. As a result, an urban community of freed blacks formed in Arbor Hill, only two blocks from Ten Broeck Mansion. It is this transition - from slavery to freedom - Lucas and his collaborators hope to elucidate through archaeological investigations.
For further information, please contact Dr. Michael Lucas, firstname.lastname@example.org.
PICTURED ABOVE: Dr. Michael Lucas, Curator of Historical Archaeology (left) and Marty Pickands, retired museum archaeologist (right) overlooking excavation by SUNY Albany field school students -- photo courtesy of Derek J. Healey