Slaves of New York

NASA ‏@NASA · 4h4 hours ago


Eric Foner | Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad | W. W. Norton & Company | January 2015 | 31 minutes (8,362 words)

Below is an excerpt from the book Gateway to Freedom, by Eric Foner, as recommended by Longreads contributing editor Dana Snitzky.

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The history of slavery, and of fugitive slaves, in New York City begins in the earliest days of colonial settlement. Under Dutch rule, from 1624 to 1664, the town of New Amsterdam was a tiny outpost of a seaborne empire that stretched across the globe. The Dutch dominated the Atlantic slave trade in the early seventeenth century, and they introduced slaves into their North American colony, New Netherland, as a matter of course. The numbers remained small, but in 1650 New Netherland’s 500 slaves outnumbered those in Virginia and Maryland. The Dutch West India Company, which governed the colony, used…

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semper aliquid novi africam adferre

Etienne van Heerden (1954) is a South African writer. He was raised in a family where the Afrikaner  language was the linguaga franca. His mother was a teacher in mathematics and his father raised sheep.

I do not know if this life near a sheepfarmer has inspired him or influenced him in writing this book “Die stoetmeester”. The protagonist of this novel is Seamus Butler, who farms on his ‘Fata Morgana’. The Butlers breed ‘caper timidus’, a special breed (by accident) that faints with imminent danger. Due to this talent these animals are desired by animals farmers all over the world who need to protect their animals from wild animals. Sean Butler is the Stoetmeester, the breeder.

Seamus is from a long line of British settlers and he is proud of it. His is married to Sarah, from a Boer ancestry. Her brother Siener Wehmeijer is still unmarried…

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The Importance of Philadelphia to the Work of David Lynch


Philadelphia looms large in the personal mythology of David Lynch as a place that both terrorized him and changed the course of his life, his Gomorrah and his Rubicon in one. A product of small-town America, Lynch credits this onetime epicenter of urban blight with instilling in him a fear and disgust so extreme it opened a mental pathway to “another world.” He transfigured the city’s postindustrial dereliction into the infernal wasteland of his first feature film, Eraserhead (1977), and the dying gasps of its manufacturing age—clanking gears, droning machines, venting steam—indelibly shaped his aesthetic vocabulary. It was art school that brought Lynch to Philly in 1966, and it was in his studio at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts where he experienced an epiphany that, in the familiar telling, moved him away from painting. The story appears in his memoir-cum-self-help-guide, Catching the Big Fish (2006). He…

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