Implications of the Conspiracy Trials
The Negro plot of 1741, otherwise known as the Conspiracy of 1741 was an alleged plot by poor whites and slaves in the British colony of New York to level the city and revolt. They planned to accomplish this through a series of fires. However, there does exist some disagreement with historians regarding to the existence of this plot. Rumors of the conspiracy did in fact rise during a time filled with chaos in terms of the war between Britain and Spain, a severe winter, economic competition between slaves and poor whites among many other disputes.
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Between the months of March and April of 1741, 13 fires are reported to have erupted in Manhattan, another at the governor’s house and at a warehouse. Mary Burton, a sixteen year old Irish indentured servant testified against other people as participants in a conspiracy of poor blacks and whites to burn down the city that was supposedly still growing. This paper will analyze the implications of the conspiracy hearings on race and class.
Davis, Natalie Zemon, et al. Fear, Race and Society in British New York. n.d.
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