At your fingertips is an adventure into a period of Brooklyn's history that has remained
unexplored until now. From 1783 to 1865, Brooklyn transformed from an agricultural
slaveholding capital to the third largest city in the United States. Its growth was the backdrop
for pursuits of freedom, equality, and social justice for African Americans—a struggle that was
carried out by the city's residents, both black and white. Three of Brooklyn's leading cultural
and educational institutions—Brooklyn Historical Society, Weeksville Heritage Center, and
Irondale Ensemble Project_have come together to tell the story in the course of three parts
that begins at the end of the American Revolution and ends at the beginning of Reconstruction.
From archives in Brooklyn and all over the United States come photographs and publications
that have never been seen by the general public. Newspapers, diaries, personal letters, pamphlets,
city directories, census records, and broadsides have yielded a treasure trove of information
about people and places you may never have heard about. We present them to you now in an
interactive site that will show you their faces, tell you their stories, and let you walk where they
walked. You may have thought you knew about the abolition movement and the fight for racial
equality in Brooklyn, but prepare to have your preconceptions altered.
Join us In Pursuit of Freedom.