Browse Items

John DeGrasse was the younger son of George and Maria DeGrasse. Theodocia Degrasse was his sister and Peter Vogelsang his brother-in-law. After receiving his medical degree from Bowdoin College, John moved to Boston in the early 1850s. In 1863 he… Read More

Peter Vogelsang came from a family of activists. His father was a founding member of both the African Society for Mutual Relief and St. Philip's Episcopal Church. Peter Vogelsang married into another prominent black family when he wed Theodocia… Read More

Philip's father Thomas died in 1835 when Philip was about twelve years old. A year later Philip became a student at Colored School no. 2 on Laurens Street. Located in a brand new two-story building, this school, in contrast to the earlier Mulberry… Read More

After the death of his first wife, Rebecca, Peter Guignon married Cornelia Ray sometime in the mid to late 1840s. For years Peter had been struggling to find steady work, trying his hand in "cigars" as well as in hairdressing. This note, in which… Read More

By the early 1860s, Philip White's pharmacy was doing very well and he was becoming quite prosperous. Over the course of several months, Philip placed this ad in the Weekly Anglo African, New York's black newspaper of the period. The ad promoted a… Read More

Born in Falmouth, Mass, Charles B. Ray moved to New York City in 1832. Although he was an ordained Methodist minister, Ray had many other occupations as well. He ran a boot and shoe store, and, In the late 1830s, took over the editorship of the… Read More

George Downing lived to a ripe old age. In this photograph, he is seated by a table, surrounded by unidentified female relatives. Paintings and portraits of family members hang on the walls in the background. Read More

Born into slavery in Virginia, Thomas Downing escaped north with his family and settled in New York City. He was a prominent leader in the black community, an early member of the African Society for Mutual Relief, a vestryman at St. Philip's, a… Read More