New York City Underground Railroad Tour

National Museum of the American Indian

Take a walking tour of New York City and see the historic sites that tell the story of slavery and the Underground Railroad. Travel back in time to the 17th century when New York City was a Dutch colony named New Amsterdam. As you trace the Undergrou... more

Take a walking tour of New York City and see the historic sites that tell the story of slavery and the Underground Railroad. Travel back in time to the 17th century when New York City was a Dutch colony named New Amsterdam. As you trace the Underground Railroad with your guide, learn about how it freed slaves in the 1800s with the help of key abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass, and discover how slavery played an important role in New York City’s early history and economy. On this guided walking tour, journey back in time and trace the fascinating history of slavery and the Underground Railroad in New York City. Start your tour in Lower Manhattan, where you’ll see the site of Fort Amsterdam -- the first settlement in colonial Manhattan. Visit the former site of the American Cotton Exchange, which housed the offices of two prominent abolitionists who fought against slavery. See the structures the slaves built, such as Collins Wall and Fort Fincastle; hear stories of slaves who were brought over from Africa on merchant ships; and learn about the important role the slaves played in transforming American society. Stop at Wall Street to see the location of the first slav... more

Take a walking tour of New York City and see the historic sites that tell the story of slavery and the Underground Railroad. Travel back in time to the 17th century when New York City was a Dutch colony named New Amsterdam. As you trace the Underground Railroad with your guide, learn about how it freed slaves in the 1800s with the help of key abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass, and discover how slavery played an important role in New York City’s early history and economy.

On this guided walking tour, journey back in time and trace the fascinating history of slavery and the Underground Railroad in New York City. Start your tour in Lower Manhattan, where you’ll see the site of Fort Amsterdam -- the first settlement in colonial Manhattan.

Visit the former site of the American Cotton Exchange, which housed the offices of two prominent abolitionists who fought against slavery. See the structures the slaves built, such as Collins Wall and Fort Fincastle; hear stories of slaves who were brought over from Africa on merchant ships; and learn about the important role the slaves played in transforming American society.

Stop at Wall Street to see the location of the first slave market in New York, and pass a former key location on the Underground Railroad where slaves hid while escaping to free states with the help of the abolitionists. At the African Burial Ground, considered one of the most important archaeological finds of the past century, view various historical artifacts and visit the African Burial Ground Monument.

Finally, walk to the former site of the first African-American church in New York, which was also a stop on the Underground Railroad. Nearby, see the still-standing home of one of the most influential anti-slavery activists in New York history, David Ruggles, who provided shelter on the Underground Railroad to abolitionist and former escaped slave Frederick Douglass.


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Financial District Description

New York City Underground Railroad Tour is located in the Financial District neighborhood of Manhattan. The financial hub of the United States, the seat of New York City government, and home to some of New York's oldest buildings, the Financial District has an illustrious history. 17th century settlers began building here, and given the many seafarers of the time, boats could be conveniently docked at one of the slips right near the settlements of wooden homes. Right nearby, in the heart of the district is Federal Hall, where George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States in 1789, also the meeting site for the First Congress. New York City was both the capital of the United States and New York State at the time.

The street names reflect the district's fascinating history: Fulton Street, named after Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat; Maiden Lane, originally called Magde Platje in Dutch; Beaver Street, recalling the once-significant beaver pelt trade, etc.

The area today houses some great economic powerhouses, including the headquarters of major banks, the New York Stock Exchange, in addition to the World Financial Center. Contrasts are extraordinary, from old two- and three-story old brick buildings near South Street Seaport to the nearby modern mega-skyscrapers. Some of the numerous other attractions include Fraunces Tavern, where George Washington bid farewell to his troops (also, they have a museum!); the newly-landscaped City Hall Park; the Museum of the American Indian and the US Custom House at Bowling Green; Trinity Church, the first parish church in New York City and the resting place of Alexander Hamilton and Robert Fulton, among others; War Of 1812 strong hold Castle Clinton; the Staten Island-bound South Ferry; Battery Park; and the Federal Reserve Bank. Sadly, the biggest attraction since 9/11 has been the former World Trade Center site, although, thankfully, construction has finally filled the long-standing gouge in Lower Manhattan's face, and the stunning 9/11 Memorial and its attendant museum are welcome signs of a healing city. And, of course, soaring a symbolic 1,776 feet over the memorial is the new 1 World Trade Center!

Info

National Museum of the American Indian
New York, NY

Editorial Rating

Tour Admission Cost

Adults: From $35
Child: From $25

Tour Duration And Additional Info

2 hours 30 minutes
A moderate amount of walking is involved

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