Guinea Town, New York

Guinea Town Settlement, Hyde Park is located in Hudson Valley, New York and was a thriving African American settlement in the 1790s to 1850 built by free and runaway, formerly enslaved Blacks. It was a settlement of over 60 families at its peak. Guinea Town was part of the Underground Railroad that assisted in the transport of runaway slaves to Nova Scotia, Canada.[1]


Guinea Town played a part in transporting runaway enslaved Africans to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, which was a Quaker community. Eliakim Levi was a leader in the Black community of Guinea Town, in New York and a conductor with the Hicksite's on the Underground Railroad. Hicksites were Quakers who were followers of Elias Hicks. Elias was an early Quaker abolitionists.[2]

Primus Martin was another leader in the settlement of Guinea Town. His home site is an archaeological site in Hyde Park. Ceramic fragments found at the site indicate that Martin had communal dining and tea drinking at his home, suggesting that he was well established socially and possibly politically in the community.[3] In the 1860s, John Hackett bought land in the area of "Guinea" and built the Crum Elbow Farm. The community gradually dissolved.[4][5][6]

In 2005 the Black Ice Project/Underground Railroad project was created to identify connections between slavery, safe houses in Brooklyn, transit through Guinea Town, and ex-slaves who played hockey in Canada. The project works towards identify Quaker families, free Africans and runaway slaves that were part of the 1800s underground railroad network.[7]

There was a dispute as to who owns the remains that were excavated from the excavation site by Bard College professor Dr. Christopher Linder[8] and the Dutchess County Historical Society. The area was home to free blacks that owned small farms and who worked for "elite' families along the Hudson river. The area where Primus and Elizabeth Martin stayed was the first area of the excavation project. They were community leaders of Guinea community.[9][10][11][12][13][14]

On December 22, 2017, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced 23 properties to be sites recommended by New York State Board of Historic Preservation for the state and national registry as a historic place including the New Guinea site located at East Market Street in Hyde Park.[15][16]


  1. ^ "New Guinea Community National Historic Landmark | Hyde Park, NY". Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  2. ^ "In Search of Hockey's Underground Railroad". Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  3. ^ "Guineatown in the Hudson Valley's Hyde Park : The Archaeology of Race in the Northeast - oi". doi:10.5744/florida/9780813060576.003.0003. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  4. ^ "GC1JF0P Can you Hackett? (Traditional Cache) in New York, United States created by Yeahoh". Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  5. ^ Rhinevault, C.; Rhinevault, T. (2011). Hidden History of the Mid-Hudson Valley: Stories from the Albany Post Road. Arcadia Publishing Incorporated. ISBN 9781625841001. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  6. ^ "Re-evaluating the Place of Race in Historical Archaeology". Anthropology-News. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  7. ^ "Duffield St. Underground: Black Ice Project/Underground Railroad Announces an Association to Identify Links with Duffield". Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  8. ^ Bard College. "About Bard Archaeology". Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  9. ^ "Hackett Hill Trail - Home Of Franklin D Roosevelt National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service)". Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  10. ^ "Locals Dispute Over Guinea Community Artifacts". Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  11. ^ "Hyde Park Site Recommended For Historic Registry". Northwest Dutchess Daily Voice. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  12. ^ "African American History: A Past Rooted in the Hudson Valley - Hudson Valley Magazine - February 2017 - Poughkeepsie, NY". Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  13. ^ "New York destroyed a village full of African-American landowners to create Central Park". CityMetric. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  14. ^ "The Underground Railroad in the New York Hudson Valley « Fergus Bordewich: The Imperfect Union". Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  15. ^ "Governor Cuomo Announces 23 Properties Recommended to State and National Registers of Historic Places | Governor Andrew M. Cuomo". Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  16. ^ "23 Properties Recommended to State, National Registers of Historic Places". Hudson Valley News Network. Retrieved 2018-08-21.

Coordinates: 41°47′17″N 73°55′37″W / 41.788°N 73.927°W / 41.788; -73.927