New Yorkers have an additional reason to celebrate the 4th of July: The date also marks the emancipation of slaves and abolition of slavery in New York in 1827. Though the state legislature passed prior laws with the goal of gradually emancipating slaves, they were open to abuse. In 1817, the legislature decreed that slavery in New York State and the City was forbidden as of Independence Day, 1827. According to The Encyclopedia of New York, the practice was not completely banished until 1841, when non-residents were forbidden from holding slaves for more than nine months. (The New York Historical Society ran an exhibit on slavery in New York in 2005.)
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