New Yorkers Invest in Slavery

A painting c.1830 by the German artist Johann Moritz Rugendas depicts a scene below deck of a slave ship.

The NYSRI has indexed information about slave ships arriving in New York City between 1715 and 1765 based on colonial records.

We identified 998 records of ownership slave ships by New Yorkers. You can see this by using our Search menu and selecting the “INVNY” tag. Notable NY investors included these people:

  • Peter Barberie
  • John Brown
  • David Clarkson
  • Stephen DeLancey
  • Andrew Freneau
  • Augustus and Peter Jay (grandfather and father of John Jay)
  • Philip and Robert Livingson
  • Nathaniel Marston
  • John Moore
  • Anthony Rutgers
  • William Smith
  • Rip Vandam
  • Cornelius and Garret Vanhorn
  • William Walton

We also identified 665 records of investors outside of New York who had ownership interests in slave ships arriving in New York. You can see these by using our search menu and selecting the “INVI” tag. These owners were generally from Europe or the Caribbean. Notable investors frm outside of New York included these people:

  • William Burrows of Bermuda
  • Richard Janway of England
  • Paul Painter of Bermuda
  • William Riddle of Bermuda
  • John Woodley of Nevis

The ships delivering the greatest number of enslave persons were:

  • Catherine – 106 enslaved persons in 1731 and 100 in 1717
  • The Crown – 117 enslaved persons in 1721
  • The Dragon – 106 enslaved persons in 1717

These ships acquired the enslaved persons in Africa.

The following table presents more than 1,800 slave ship voyages involving New York, listed by year and identifying owners and investors. The tab “INVNY” means that the owner/investor was from New York. For each record, click on “view record” to see the entire record.

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