Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site offers engaging programs for high school students of all ages. Topics include the development of the New Netherland and New York colonies, Dutch colonial culture including women's rights and their decline under British rule, enslavement and New York's role in the slave trade including the 1712 insurrection and 1741 Conspiracy and gradual emancipation, the Munsee Lunaape and land agreements (including Daniel Ninham), New York's manorial system and tenant uprisings, and the American Revolution, including divisions along rebel and Loyalist lines.
Time: 60-90 minutes, flexible start and end times
Group Size: Up to 2 classes (50 students) at a time
Philipse Manor Hall has limited parking available for buses and picnic tables for eating lunch on site. Ask about walking tours or a joint program with the Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park!
To reserve your date use the contact form on the main Education page.
All programs include a tour of the new museum exhibits at Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site. The new exhibits at Philipse Manor Hall introduce students to three main cultures in Colonial New York: The Munsee Lunaape, enslaved Africans and people of African descent, and European colonists. Interactive exhibits follow these three groups from the before the establishment of the New Netherland colony to the end of the American Revolution. Tours are tailored to individual group needs and emphasize inquiry-based learning. Download the one-sheet description of the museum exhibits and themes below.
New York City was once the second-largest slave trading port in the colonies and the colony of New York had more enslavers per capita than any other American colony. Slavery in New York persisted as late as the 1840s. But enslaved Africans and people of African descent resisted slavery at every turn. One way to resist was through self-emancipation, or running away. This program includes a tour of the museum and a sit-down primary source document workshop. Students will read and analyze historical runaway slave advertisements and analyze the documents for both reading comprehension and historical empathy. Groups can then choose a creative writing or art component based on their primary document.
Another way in which enslaved people resisted slavery was through active forms of resistance like rebellion and uprisings. But White colonists also developed deep-seated fears about slave uprisings which led to overreactions. In this program, students learn about the 1741 Conspiracy in which White colonists arrested, tried, and executed dozens of enslaved people on the suspicion of conspiracy. In the period, the Conspiracy of 1741 was compared to the Salem Witch trials. Students will participate in a reader's theater of the court trials, based on historical documents, and explore what really happened.