Essay about seneca village

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seneca village When people think of Central Park, the thought of African-Americans once owning the land is inconceivable. Yet, this was the case 150 years ago when there once thrived a place called Seneca Village.

The land known as Seneca Village was originally farmland owned by John and Elizabeth Whitehead. Andrew Williams, an African-American male, bought three lots of land from the Whiteheads in 1825. In addition, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church purchased six lots of land, which began the birth of the community. The Whiteheads eventually sold off their land between 82nd to 86th Streets. The majority of the buyers were African Americans. This became the first community for property-owning African Americans .
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There were also plans to for a school in the basement.
The AME Zion Church had burial vaults in their churchyard located in lower Manhattan, but the City Council felt that the burial sites contributed to the rise in yellow fever. The Council granted temporary space in potter’s field but once it was filled to capacity, the church bought land in Seneca Village for burial use. The Church had at least two large burial sites located south of 86th Street. A new site in Brooklyn, the Cypress Hills Cemetery, was the new site for the church due to a new law that banned all burials below 86th Street.

The third church, the All Angels’ Church, was built on land donated by a couple of women. The membership of the church was approximately one-third European and the rest African-American. Records from the church indicate that many people died of a cholera epidemic that occurred between 1848 and 1850. Once the law that limited burials south of 86thStreet was enacted, the congregation moved their burials to St. Michael’s cemetery in Astoria, Queens.

Acquiring additional burial sites for their deceased in other areas of New York was a barometer of the remarkable increase in landowners, as well as residents, of Seneca Village. Racial tension appeared to be non-existent. The Village was a
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