Call Number: 1974.005
Extent: 0.25 Linear feet, in 16 folders in one manuscript box
The Seaman family papers (1752-1838) principally concern merchant John Seaman and Willet Seaman, though several other Seaman family members are also represented. The bulk of the collection consists of deeds and other documents concerning land transactions. Several of these deeds relate to land in North Hempstead, Long Island, acquired to establish a manufactory for woolen goods, circa 1816. Other legal documents related to this business are also in the collection, such as partnership agreements and an insurance policy. An indenture for an apprentice from the Overseers of the Poor of Brooklyn and a bill of sale for John Seaman’s purchase of an enslaved African-American also relate to the manufactory, known as Seaman and Cock (the Cock referring to partners John Cock and Townsend Cock). Other land transactions concern Seaman properties or interests on Long Island, New York City, other New York State counties, and other states. Other documents include John Seaman’s will, Seaman’s conditions for the eventual manumission of the slave he purchased, and correspondence from Willet Seaman supporting quarantine laws to prevent the spread of yellow fever.
- Long Island (N.Y.)
- New York (N.Y.) — Commerce
- North Hempstead (N.Y. : Town)
- Indentured servants — New York (State) — New York
- Merchants — New York (State) — Kings County
- Merchants — New York (State) — New York
- Real property — New York (State)
- Real property — New York (State) — Long Island
- Slavery — New York (State) — Long Island
- Woolen goods industry — New York (State) — Long Island
Types of material:
- Cadastral maps
- Legal documents
- Manuscript maps
- Slave bills of sale
View Finding Aid
This collection also has an item inventory provided with the collection by the donor:
View Item Inventory, pages 1-2
View Item Inventory, pages 3-4
View Item Inventory, pages 5-7
Slavery Pamphlet Collection, late 18th century – late 19th century
Call Numbers: PAMP AASS-1 – PAMP Wolfe-1
Extent: 27 file boxes
The Brooklyn Historical Society has a collection of 18th and 19th century pamphlets relating to slavery. The collection comprises approximately 27 file boxes and contains over 1,000 unique items. The majority of these items are transcriptions of political speeches (usually made by United States congressmen), sermons, or reports of anti-slavery or colonization societies. The speeches primarily occurred in the period leading up to and including the United States Civil War, or between 1845 and 1865. The speeches often represent the speaker’s views on slavery, specifically in regards to issues of the day, e.g. causes of the Civil War or whether or not slavery should be expanded to new U.S. territories. The remainder of the collection is made up of various odds and ends, including broadsheets, a census report, novels, newspapers, scrapbooks, etc.
Please note that some items in the collection are extremely fragile and will not be available for patron use. In these cases, patrons can view the item on microfiche. This judgment will be made by staff.
All of the items in this collection can be searched using our catalog BobCat. The following list shows the most commonly used search terms.
- Southern States
- Confederate States of America
- African Americans — Colonization
- African Americans — Suffrage
- Freedmen — United States
- Fugitive slaves — United States
- Kansas — Politics and government — 1854-1861
- Lecompton constitution
- Nebraska – Politics and government — 1854-1861
- Secession — Southern States
- Slavery — United States
- Slavery — United States — Extension to the territories
- Slaves — Emancipation — United States
- Statehood (American politics)
- United States — Fugitive slave law (1850)
- United States — History — Civil War, 1861-1865
- United States — History — Civil War, 1861-1865 — Causes
- United States — History — Civil War, 1861-1865 — Foreign public opinion
- United States — Kansas-Nebraska act
- United States — Politics and Government
Type of material:
- Annual reports
- Antislavery literature
- Anti-abolition literature
- Congressional addresses
- Fast-day sermons
- Legislative speeches
- Thanksgiving sermons
Call Number: ARC.218
Extent: 0.13 Linear feet, in one manuscript box
The collection includes correspondence received by Henry Reed Stiles in response to his requests for historical information in connection with his writing of A History of the City of Brooklyn. The bulk of the correspondence concerns religious institutions and congregations in Brooklyn, N.Y., including the areas of Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Greenpoint. Baptist, Congregational, Episcopal, Jewish, Lutheran, Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian, Reformed Dutch, and Universalist congregations are represented in the correspondence. A small number of institutions other than religious are represented in the collection. Among these is correspondence from the African-American activist and educator William J. Wilson concerning the history of Brooklyn’s Colored Public School Number 1. Also found here are financial data from Green-Wood Cemetery (1839-1868) and historical information about the Brooklyn Academy of Eclectic Medicine. The collection also includes, among other material, Jonathan Greenleaf’s descriptive recollections of 1840s East Brooklyn (the Wallabout area) and its subsequent growth to 1860 and correspondence from Joseph Gardner Swift, the Chief Engineer of the Army responsible for the fortifications built at New York and Brooklyn in 1814.
- Stiles, Henry Reed, 1832-1909
- Atlantic Yacht Club
- Brooklyn Academy of Eclectic Medicine (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
- Brooklyn Eclectic Dispensary (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
- Green-Wood Cemetery (New York, N.Y.)
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) — Church history
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) — Description and travel
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) — History — War of 1812
- Bushwick (New York, N.Y.) — Church history
- Greenpoint (New York, N.Y.) — Church history
- Williamsburg (New York, N.Y.) — Church history
- African Americans — Education — New York (State) — Kings County
- Baptists — New York (State) — Kings County
- Congregational churches — New York (State) — Kings County
- Episcopal Church — New York (State) — Kings County
- Jews — New York (State) — Kings County
- Lutheran Church — New York (State) — Kings County
- Methodist Episcopal Church — New York (State) — Kings County
- Presbyterian Church — New York (State) — Kings County
- Reformed Church — New York (State) — Kings County
- Sabbath schools — New York (State) — Kings County
- Sunday schools — New York (State) — Kings County
- Universalist churches — New York (State) — Kings County
Types of material:
View Finding Aid
Brooklyn Heights Synagogue Oral History, 2010. Sound recordings: 12 digital audio WAV files (16 hours)
In 2010, the Brooklyn Historical Society and Brooklyn Heights Synagogue partnered to collect oral history interviews with 10 members of the congregation on the occasion of the Synagogue’s 50th anniversary.
Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, a Reform synagogue on 131 Remsen Street, was founded in Brooklyn in 1960 and currently includes over 330 member units made up of families, couples, and singles who live in Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Park Slope and Fort Greene, as well as in nearby DUMBO and Lower Manhattan.
Recordings of these interviews and accompanying transcripts are available in the Brooklyn Historical Society’s Othmer Library and at Brooklyn Heights Synagogue.
Long Island Historical Society Quarterly, 1939-1942; The Journal of Long Island History, 1961-1969 and 1973-1982
From 1939-1942, 1961-1969, and 1973-1982, the Brooklyn Historical Society (known then as the Long Island Historical Society) published a periodic journal, called the Long Island Historical Society Quarterly in 1939-42 and, in the later years, The Journal of Long Island History. The journals include articles on historical topics concerning Kings, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties. Many of the articles, especially in the 1939-1942 volumes, include full or partial transcriptions of account books, correspondence, deeds, tombstone inscriptions, and other manuscripts from the BHS collection and elsewhere. While there is a wide range of subject matter, perhaps best-represented in the journal are articles concerning the colonial period through the 19th century, American Revolution, Civil War, and African-American history. No appointment is necessary to use the journals in the BHS library.
Marriage and Death Records from The Long Island Star (1809-1863), 1809-1845
The Brooklyn Historical Society possesses the entire run of The Long Island Star, which lasted from 1809 to 1863. The collection is on microfilm only and is accompanied by a navigational card index documenting the occurrence of marriage and death records posted in the newspaper between the years 1809 and 1845.
Information included in marriage records relates to the place and date of the ceremony, immediate family members and places of origin of the newlyweds, and, occasionally, the reverend who performed the service.
Information included in death records relates to the deceased’s relation to the Long Island/Brooklyn area, place and date of death, immediate familial and spousal relations, and occupation and/or titles of distinction. Occasional mentions are also made regarding place of birth, site of funerary ceremony, place of burial, and the family line of the deceased.
This collection is an excellent resource for genealogy researchers. No appointment is necessary to view this collection.
Call Number: 2008.017
Extent: 3.0 Linear feet, in one manuscript box, one record carton and two oversize flat boxes.
The Amote Sias papers consist of personal essays, legal and financial records, ephemera and various clippings relating to Sias’s life and involvement in Brooklyn politics as well as her role as an African-American activist. The majority of the collection focuses on the political environment in Brooklyn from the mid 1970s and 1980s through newspapers, magazines and other publications. The collection is rich with programs, bulletins and manuals from Sias’s involvement in various political organizations focusing on social justice, women’s rights and Black Nationalism. The collection also documents Sias’s political campaign for a seat on the New York City Council in 1989 and her involvement in the Committee to Elect Jesse Jackson for President.
- Sias, Amote
- Jackson, Jesse, 1941-
- Congressional Black Caucus
- Democratic National Committee (U.S.)
- Jesse Jackson for President ’88 Committee
- Madre (Organization)
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) — Politics and government — 20th century
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) — Social life and customs — 20th century
- African Americans — Politics and government — 20th century
- Black nationalism — United States — History — 20th century
- Community activists
- Local elections — New York (State) — Kings County
- Political participation — New York (State) — Kings County
- Political parties — United States
- Politicians — New York (State)
- Social movements — United States
- Voter registration
Types of material:
- Administrative records
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Financial records
- Magazines (periodicals)
- Manuals (instructional materials)
- political posters
- Programs (documents)
- Voters’ lists
View HTML Finding Aid
View PDF Finding Aid
8th Avenue – Sunset Park Oral History, 1993-1994. Sound recordings: 38 cassettes (90 minutes each)
In 1993-1994, the Brooklyn Historical Society and the Chinatown History Museum (now Museum of Chinese in America), collected interviews regarding Brooklyn’s Chinese community in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. 28 interviews were conducted in English, Mandarin, or Cantonese. Narrators include recent Chinese immigrants as well as people of Italian and Puerto Rican heritage who live in the neighborhood.
Transcripts of these interviews may be read in the library. Some but not all of the recordings of these interviews may be listened to in the library; we anticipate the full collection will be available for researchers to listen to in Spring 2011.