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Saturday, February 26, 2022

Enslaved & In Service: A New Beginning

Plato. William. Belinda. Stephen. Mary. Peter Williams. Dinah.
The recorded names of people enslaved by Morgan Lewis.

Morgan Lewis,
founder of Staatsburgh.
             Former g
Morgan Lewis is traveling home from Albany. His carriage drives down the dirt roads parallel to the merchant ships sailing in the Hudson River. Before long, he and Mrs. Gertrude Livingston Lewis stop along their way to visit her siblings in one of the countless Livingston estates between Albany and Clinton. Lewis soon arrives at his own country seat, “Staatsburgh,” named for the original Dutch land owners. Their carriage drives past the sheep grazing and horse stables nearby, when the magnificent Federal Style brick mansion comes into view. As Morgan Lewis steps out of his carriage, Stephen, his Black enslaved valet dressed in European-style livery, is there to carry his bags. The cook, a Black enslaved woman named Mary, is preparing the Lewis family’s dinner inside. The Black domestic staff have been busy all day preparing the home for their enslaver’s arrival.