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The African Burial Ground biographical summary explains: “Jan Rodrigues (or Juan Rodrigues, depending upon the source) was the first non-native to settle in New York City.
Raised in a culturally diverse household (his mother was African and his father was Portuguese) in the Spanish settlement of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Jan was known for his linguistic talents and was hired by the Dutch captain Thijs Volckenz Mossel of the Jonge Tobias to serve as the translator pn a trading voyage to the Native American island of Mannahatta.
When the Gradual Emancipation law was passed in 1799 it did not apply to persons enslaved at the time, but gradually emancipated children of enslaved mothers born after the enactment of the law.
When the ship left what is today Manhattan, the captain left Jan Rodrigues behind (Burroughs and Wallace, 1999, p.It is uncertain where these people were captured from, but it is possible that some came from the area we now call New York.There is no doubt that a slave-ship explored the lower parts of the Hudson River.Estaban Gomez in 1525 Estaban Gomez sailed with Magellan’s fleet with the early 1500s.He was commissioned by King Charles V of Portugal to search for a northern route to China.