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The atrocities of slavery were met with several periods of resistance, and one of the first major uprisings in American history was the New York Slave Revolt of 1712. In the aftermath, the revolt left nine whites and over 25 Black men captured and later executed.

Unlike the sprawling but contained plantations of the South, slaves in the North were able to speak with other enslaved people and free men in the British province. Historians note that this is perhaps how the revolt’s plans came to be. During the early morning hours of April 7, a group of 23 men armed with knives, guns and hatchets met in a meadow on Maiden Lane in Manhattan.

The group launched their assault by torching the homes of white colonists and began to attack those who tried to stop them. The group shot, beat and killed whoever crossed their paths as they continued their uprising. It was the hope of the group that their actions would lead into an all-out revolution with other slaves joining their cause but that never came to pass.

A nearby militia force was alerted of the uprising and promptly broke apart the fracas. In all, 27 slaves were captured and taken into prison. While jailed, six of the men committed suicide while the remaining group were all brutally executed via torture, being burned alive and other means.

Another similar revolt took place in 1741, and was just as bloody as its predecessor. But by the end of the 18th Century, many slaves in the North had already been freed.

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