New York Burning
Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan
By Jill Lepore
(Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9781400032266, 323pp.)
Publication Date: August 8, 2006
List Price: $16.95*
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Anisfield-Wolf Award Winner
Over a frigid few weeks in the winter of 1741, ten fires blazed across Manhattan. With each new fire, panicked whites saw more evidence of a slave uprising. In the end, thirteen black men were burned at the stake, seventeen were hanged and more than one hundred black men and women were thrown into a dungeon beneath City Hall.
In "New York Burning," ""Bancroft Prize-winning historian Jill Lepore recounts these dramatic events, re-creating, with path-breaking research, the nascent New York of the seventeenth century. Even then, the city was a rich mosaic of cultures, communities and colors, with slaves making up a full one-fifth of the population. Exploring the political and social climate of the times, Lepore dramatically shows how, in a city rife with state intrigue and terror, the threat of black rebellion united the white political pluralities in a frenzy of racial fear and violence.