In Colonial North America, slavery was a part of life. This was true on Long Island, N.Y. and across the Northeast. Enslaved people of African heritage were a presence in the farms and homes of nearly every European family of means, and not just on the estates of the very wealthy.

Starting with the East End of Long Island in the mid-17th century, the Plain Sight Project works to restore the stories of enslaved persons to their essential place in American history.

Who They Were

Simeon Rugg
1816

SimeonRugg.jpg

"the mother of said Simeon is held as a slave by me"

London Dayton
1798

LondonDayton1798.pdf

"negro man formerly a servant to John Dayton"

Unidentified Youths Left on Gardiner's Island, 1699

EarlyGardinersIslandChart02.JPG

Two Black male youths and one female Black youth placed in John Gardiner's care, July 17, 1699