Photos of New York’s poor neighborhoods

Over the course of the nineteenth century, New York City’s population grew from 60,000 to 3.43 million. Under New York State’s abolition act of 1799, children of slave mothers were to be eventually liberated but to be held in indentured servitude until their mid-to-late twenties. Together with slaves freed by their masters after the Revolutionary War and escaped slaves, a significant free-Black population gradually developed in Manhattan.