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Discovering Timbuctoo

Categories: History, Industry & Commerce, NYS History, Pomeroy Foundation

In this episode, New York State Historian Devin Lander and Saratoga County Historian Lauren Roberts dive into the history of Timbuctoo, an African-American settlement founded by philanthropist Gerrit Smith in response to an 1846 law requiring all Black men to own $250 worth of property in order to vote in New York State. To counter this racist policy, Smith decided to give away 120,000 acres of land to 3,000 free, Black New Yorkers. Lyman Epps and other Black pioneers relocated to the wilderness near Lake Placid, New York — as did abolitionist John Brown, who based his family in North Elba to assist the Black pioneers in their farming.