Sat, Oct 07|
Mansion South West Lawn
A Conversation about Slavery in the Hudson Valley: Two Linked Descendants Share Their Story
Time & Location
Oct 07, 2023, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Mansion South West Lawn, 1 Clermont Ave, Germantown, NY 12526, USA
About the Event
Debra Bruno and Eleanor Mire each grew up knowing nothing of the history of slavery in the Hudson Valley. When they learned that New York’s 200 years of slavery began in New Netherland and extended well into colonial times, they were shocked. To their surprise, they also discovered through a Facebook group called “I’ve Traced My Enslaved Ancestors and Their Owners” that they both descended from families from Greene County, on the west bank of the Hudson. They also learned that Debra’s ancestors enslaved Eleanor’s ancestors, information that sent them on a dive into even more research, and the eventual truth that their connection was probably also a genetic one.
Debra wrote about this story in a 2020 Washington Post Magazine article called “History Lessons.” She is currently writing a book, “A Hudson Valley Reckoning: Discovering the Forgotten History of Slaveholding in my Dutch American Family,” with an afterword by Eleanor.
Debra and Eleanor will tell this story in a speech that alternates between them, and will share pictures of Mary Vanderzee, the matriarch of Eleanor’s family, her final home, her gravesite, and the Van Bergen Overmantel in Cooperstown, a painting that likely includes both of their ancestors.
This lecture is generously sponsored by the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.
Admission: $10/adults; children 12 and under are FREE. Registration is required.
Van Bergen Overmantel, ca. 1733, attributed to John Heaten, oil on cherry
wood boards, H: 16.25 x W: 88.75 in., Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown,
New York, Museum Purchase. N0366.1954. Photograph by Richard Walker.
Adult$10.00+$0.25 service fee
Child, 12 and under$0.00