This bill would require the New York City Department of Transportation to install an informational sign near the intersection of Wall and Water Streets, in Manhattan, to mark the site of New York’s first slave market.
Int. No. 801
By Council Member Williams
A Local Law in relation to requiring the placement of an informational sign near the intersection of Wall and Water Streets in Manhattan to mark the site of New York’s first slave market
Be it enacted by the Council as follows:
Section 1. Section 1. The department of transportation shall construct and maintain a sign bearing the following inscription: “In 1711 New York’s first slave market was established at the intersection of Water and Wall Streets. Also known as the ‘Meal Market,’ grain and other goods were bought and sold there. The market was created by the New York Common Council in order to regulate the commerce of slavery, which up to that time had been a somewhat informal system. Captive African slaves would arrive on slave ships along the East River and be brought to market on this site. Some ships came directly from Africa, but most came from the West Indies, leaving from ports in Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and elsewhere. Native Americans were also sold as slaves here. New York’s early economy was fueled by slavery. Slaves were used to clear the land to create Broadway and to build the first City Hall, Fraunces Tavern, and the wall for which Wall Street is named.” Said sign shall be erected near the intersection of Wall Street and Water Street in Manhattan within ninety days of the effective date of this local law.
§2. This local law shall take effect immediately.
LS# 3146/Int. 036-2014