Examination Days: The New York African Free School Collection
It began as a single-room schoolhouse with about 40 students, the majority of whom were the children of slaves, and by the time it was absorbed into the New York City public school system in 1835, it had educated thousands of children, a number of whom went on to become well known in the United States and Europe. The New-York Historical Society’s New York African Free School Collection preserves a rich selection of student work and community commentary about the school. This site showcases pages from Volume IV of the collection, Penmanship and Drawing Studies, 1816–1826, and tells the story of the school and of African American New York in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Visit the exhibition here.