The Hudson Area Library History Room in collaboration with the Jacob Leisler Institute for the
Study of Early New York History presents Reconsidering Slavery in 17th century New
Netherland – What do We Know? What Can We Learn?, a talk by Dennis J. Maika on
Thursday, April 28th.
There has been a glaring gap in today’s important and critical discussion of American slavery
and its legacy: an accurate understanding of the lives of the enslaved and their enslavers in the
Northern colonies and how their experiences contributed to the institution of American slavery.
Many Americans are surprised to learn of the existence of Northern slavery and New Yorkers
may be stunned to learn that slavery was deeply entwined in their colonial and state history.
Historians have long recognized these connections but have been marginally successful in
bringing these stories to a wider audience. In recent years, a new cohort of New Netherland
historians has focused their attention on the experiences of the enslaved, slavery’s institutional
origins and development, the slave trade, and how slavery impacted New Netherland society.
Thus, the purpose of this talk is to provide a broader historical context in which to consider some
of these new revelations and the questions they raise. Hopefully, a better appreciation of slavery
in New Netherland will stimulate a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of
Dennis J. Maika is Senior Historian at the New Netherland Institute. A historian of colonial New
York with a Ph.D. in History from New York University, he has written numerous articles and
papers and served as a consultant for a variety of local history and education projects. His recent
article, “To ‘experiment with a parcel of negros’: Incentive, Collaboration, and Competition in
New Amsterdam’s Slave Trade,” was a winner of NNI’s 2021 Clague and Carol Van Slyke
Article Prize. He is currently working on a book about Manhattan merchants and their city
government in the Dutch and English periods of seventeenth-century New York history. As a
professional educator, he taught History and Psychology at the high school and college levels for
The Jacob Leisler Library Lectures are made partially possible through the generous support of
the Van Dyke Family Foundation.
DATE/TIME: Thursday, April 28, 2022 / 6 – 7:30pm
LOCATION: The Hudson Area Library via Zoom
REGISTRATION: Visit HudsonAreaLibrary.org for the Zoom registration link
For more information contact Brenda Shufelt, History Room Coordinator, at 518-828-1792 x106 or