Certificates of Manumission

“Long Island's Quaker population formed the New York Manumission Society, the state's first antislavery club, in 1785, and two years later established the African Free School in New York City to educate freed slaves. New York antislavery forces pressured newspapers not to run slave-sale advertisements and auction houses not to hold slave sales. They also provided free legal council to slaves seeking to sue their masters for freedom. These efforts bore fruit when the State Legislature enacted a gradual emancipation law that took effect on July 4, 1799. The law freed all children born to slave women after July 4, 1799, but only after at least two decades of forced indenture. Males became free at age 28 and females at age 25. Until then, they were tied to the service of the mother's master. Unrestricted freedom did not come to New York's slaves until a new emancipation law took effect 28 years later, on July 4, 1827.” 

(www.nyhistory.org September22, 2006)

In 1820 about 10% of the population of the Town of Kingston consisted of black slaves.