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The father of Cornelia and Peter Williams Ray, Peter Ray was one of the black community’s most respected members. Born in 1800, he began working in Peter and George Lorillard’s tobacco company as an errand boy in 1811. When he died in 1882, he… Read More

Pierre Toussaint was one of the slaves that the Berards, a former grand blanc slaveholding family from St. Domingue, brought with them to New York when they fled the Haitian revolution. Emancipated in 1807, Toussaint became a hairdresser, built a… Read More

In 1847, Philip White established his drugstore on the corner Frankfort and Gold Streets, and maintained it in that location until his death in 1891. This might well have been the view he had of Frankfort Street looking out of the front window of… Read More

By 1859, conditions in the Five Points had not improved. And outsiders—whether southern born William Bobo or New Yorker George Foster—still described the neighborhood in the same derogatory terms that Dickens had used some years earlier as the… Read More

The younger brother of Patrick Reason, Charles also attended the Mulberry Street School in the late 1820s where he excelled as a student. After graduation, he dedicated himself to a life of public activism, fighting for the abolitionist cause ase… Read More

Patrick Reason was a classmate of Peter Guignon's at the Mulberry Street School. After his graduation, British born engraver, Stephen Henry Gimber, took Patrick into his shop for a four year apprenticeship “to learn the art, trade and mystery… Read More

Alexander Crummell was a student at the Mulberry Street School at the same time as Peter Guignon; the two remained lifelong friends. After graduation, Crummell attended Noyes Academy in New Hampshire and Oneida Institute in upstate New York with… Read More

Born into slavery in Maryland, Henry Highland Garnet escaped north with his family, arriving in New York City in 1825. He was a student at the Mulberry Street School at the same time as Peter Guignon, and later attended Noyes Academy in New Hampshire… Read More