New Book, ‘Blacks In The Colonial Bronx: A Documentary History’ Is A First


The Bronx County Historical Society has just published a new book, by Bronx historian Lloyd Ultan, on Blacks in the Bronx during colonial times —a first of its kind.

According to the Society’s website:

For the first time in over three and a half centuries, the story of people of African descent in the colonial Bronx, the northernmost borough of New York City, is being told. Discovered in over fifty scattered places, 210 separate accounts written by participants and witnesses from 1664 to 1783 in letters, government documents, court records, wills, memoirs and newspapers are brought together in one volume for the first time. The noted historian and author, Lloyd Ultan, puts these statements and accounts from the era into context, telling what they mean and tying them all together in a revealing narrative.

The timing of the publication of the book during Black History Month couldn’t be more poignant as the relatively recent discovery of an African slave burial ground in Hunts Point.

The discovery of the burial grounds, now known as the Hunts Point Slave Burial Ground, came to be by the intrepid students and teachers at PS 48 when they came across an old photograph from 1910 labeled, “Slave burying ground, Hunts Point Road”. The photo was released along with an archive of 50,000 other photographs by the Museum of the City of New York back in 2010.

Slave burying ground, Hunts Point Road / Museum of the City of New York

Last month the New York Times wrote:

“Last September, a team of scientists from the United States Department of Agriculture used ground-penetrating radar at the site and found “anthropogenic features,” suggestive of skeletal remains, about six feet beneath the parkland. On Friday, students and staff from P.S. 48 — which is also named for Joseph Rodman Drake, a poet who lived from 1795 to 1820 — were joined at a news conference by state elected officials and community leaders to call on the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to officially recognize the burial ground.”

To learn more about the Hunts Point Slave Burial Ground visit their website:

To purchase the book, ‘Blacks In The Colonial Bronx: A Documentary History’ visit the Bronx County Historical Society’s website here:

Watch the Bronx News12 interview:


Thursday, February 27, 2014
Time6:00pm until 7:00pm

Barnes and Noble at Bay Plaza will host a panel discussion celebrating Black History Month on February 27, 2014, from 6-7 pm. The Bronx Borough Historian Lloyd Ultan will join the discussion and also discuss his new book. The address is 290 Baychester Avenue, Bronx, N.Y. Please call (718) 862-3945 for more information.

Thanks to Aixa Rodriguez for the above update!

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.