Hannah, Betty, Dick, David, Teem, Brebay, David, Bill, Jack, Bette, Bet, Caesar, Hannah, and Zusannah Derckse
These are the names of some of the enslaved Africans who lived and labored on the farms that were located in what is now Irvington, New York.
Now the names of these individuals, so long forgotten, will be remembered on a new memorial to the enslaved on Irvington’s Main Street.
The Commemorating Enslaved Africans Committee (Commemorate) was founded three years ago to foster civic engagement and to bring to light the history and to honor the humanity, resilience, and contributions of these enslaved people. The work of Commemorate has included in-depth research, a journal article, public presentations, curriculum development with the Irvington schools, and now, a public memorial.
The Irvington school district has given enthusiastic approval to the Commemorate proposal to commission award-winning sculptor Vinnie Bagwell to create a bronze bas relief sculpture to be affixed to a granite slab.The sculpture and an educational plaque will be nestled under the Japanese maple tree by the stone wall in front of the Main Street School. Be sure to read the latest update at the bottom here.
Contributions can be made online here or by sending a check made out to Irvington Historical Society with "Enslaved Africans Memorial" written in the memo line to 10 South Dutcher Street, Irvington NY 10533
To learn more about the history of slavery in Irvington you can read the Irvington Historical Society Roost journal article, written by Cathy Sears and Sarah Cox here: