1799 New York passes a law aimed at gradually abolishing slavery in the state

This article was written by Craig A. Landy, a partner at NYC firm Peckar & Abramson, PC. Mr. Landy talks more extensively about this topic in Issue 12 of The Historical Society of the New York Courts’ Judicial Notice, a journal of articles of historical substance and scholarship that uniquely focuses on New York legal history. This latest issue of Judicial Notice is ready to be shipped out and is only available to Society Members. Don’t miss out and Join the Society!
Photo: The Fifteenth Amendment. Celebrated May 19, 1870.
Pub. by Thomas Kelly, New York, c. 1871, showing the grand celebratory parade in Baltimore. A similar parade in New York City on April 8, 1870 drew over 1,500 spectators and over 7,000 participants. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-DIG-pga-01767

The 1799 gradual abolition law declared that children born after July 4, 1799 to enslaved mothers in New York would be born free, but would have to provide free services to their mothers’ masters until they reached 25 if female and 28 if male.



  1961 – The 23rd amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment allowed residents of Washington, DC, to vote for president.

Twenty-third Amendmentamendment (1961) to the Constitution of the United States that permitted citizens of Washington, D.C., the right to choose electors in presidential elections. It was proposed by the U.S. Congress on June 16, 1960, and its ratification was certified on March 29, 1961.

Twenty-third Amendment
Twenty-third AmendmentThe Twenty-third Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, ratified in 1961. image: NARA

ful the complete article


The full text of the Twenty-third Amendment is:

Section 1—The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:

A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

Section 2—The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Brian P. Smentkowski