Browse Items

In addition to the Five Points, black New Yorkers settled in and around Greenwich Street from the 1820s on. Much like the Five Points, the area was overcrowded and highly unsanitary. In the 1850s, Peter Guignon could be found on Greenwich Street… Read More

Frankfort Street ended at Chatham Street, a couple of blocks west of Philip White's drugstore, so Philip would have been quite familiar with this street.

In the 1850s, southerner William Bobo visited the city and remarked that although Chatham… Read More

Philip White must have walked William Street countless numbers of times. It lay a mere block west of his drugstore located at the corner of Frankfort and Gold Streets. 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

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