History Detectives (2005)

The Mitchell Collection Uncovers Rare Document

In 1626, Groote (Big) Manuel was one of the first eleven African slaves brought to New Amsterdam, a Dutch settlement. Eighteen years later, he was granted freedom and full ownership of twelve acres of what is now New York’s Greenwich Village! According to this 1667 document, signed by the first English Governor, Richard Nicolls, Manuel’s widow and children inherit the right to own this valuable property “forever.” 

Part I

Part II