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Records for Simon Congo

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Simon Congo

Also Known As: "Simon Congoy; Simon Congoy Augustyn; Symon Congo"
Birthplace: Congo
Death: Died in New Netherland Colony
Immediate Family:

Husband of Unknown Mother
Father of Manuel Congo
Brother of Peter Santomee; Jan Fort Orangien; Paulo Angola; Big Manuel; Manuel Pietersen Minuit and 5 others

Occupation: slave then free farmer
Managed by: George J. Homs
Last Updated:

About Simon Congo

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The brothers of this profile are not necessarily family. This 'artifical affiliation' was created to support the research into the particularly challenging genealogy of African immigration into New Netherland between 1609-1674.

For an explanation about the purpose of this artificial affiliation, please check the New Amsterdam - Origins: African Immigrants project.

Slave North

Please also check the New Amsterdam master project for the dimension on the settlement and development of New Amsterdam and the Dutch province of New Netherland.

a good study:

New Amsterdam Baptism List

baptised: "1640 Jul 22; Jan van't fort Orangien; Maria; Simon Congoy, Isabel D'Angola (Negers) " interpretation: Date: 22 Jul Parents: Jan, van't fort-Orangien Child: Maria Witnesses: Simon Congoy, Isabel D'Angola, Negers


further down the same list (years later) we see:

"1647 Mar 31; Emanuel Neger; Adam (twin); Simon Congoy Augustyn, Pallas and Ceceitia 1647 Mar 31; Emanuel Neger; Eva (twin); Simon Congoy Augustyn, Pallas and Ceceitia "

and what about this entry?: 1655 Feb 07; Anthony Matthys-Neger; Cecilia; Simon Conck, Christina d'Angola

note of November 2013: Simon Congo once owned 45 acres of land. This property was the result of a gift by New amsterdam Governor Kieft who owned the farms once known as Bowery1 and Bowery2. (see media for a screen shot of a map with Simon's name on it)

Simon and others were given the job of building the wall of Wall Street.

Simon and others were once charged with the death of another slave... One was chosen, perhaps as a scapegoat and hanged. The rope broke during the execution and by popular acclaim was exonerated.

"The first blacks to arrive in New Amsterdam were Paul d' Angola, Simon Congo, Anthony Portuguese, John Francisco, and seven other males in 1626. Their names indicate that they may have been slaves on Portuguese or Spanish ships captured at sea. Three women were brought in from Angola in 1628. The Reverend Jonas Michaelius, first minister of the Dutch Reformed Church of New Netherland, gave his opinion of their value as maid‑servants: "the Angola slaves are thievish, lazy and useless trash." These fourteen blacks formed 5.2 percent of the 270‑person population of New Amsterdam in 1628. " ... "Marriage records for the Dutch Reformed Church at New Amsterdam survive for the years 1639 to 1866.20 The first recorded black marriages occurred on May 5, 1641, when two couples were married: Anthony Van Angola with Catalina Van Angola, and Lucie D'Angola with Laurens Van Angola. Altogether twenty‑six black marriages took place between 1641 and 1664 in the Dutch Reformed Church at New Amsterdam."

... "Black children were born as early as the 1630s in New Amsterdam; they began to be baptized in 1639 in the Dutch Reformed Church at New Amsterdam. In this early period, only children of confessing members were allowed to be baptized, indicating that several adult negroes were full members of the Church. The Dutch Reformed Church, however, had little overall success in attracting blacks. In order to become full communicants, blacks had to demonstrate a good understanding of the basic beliefs of the Dutch Reformed Church. A difficult process of catechetical study was required which, coupled with sophisticated, unemotional sermons, discouraged black enthusiasm and participation."

"... Fifty‑one blacks were baptized from 1639 to 1655 in the Dutch Reformed Church at New Amsterdam:29 one male adult, one female adult, twenty‑nine male children, and twenty female children. All of the forty‑nine children who appeared in the baptismal register were listed as the children of their parent or parents rather than as the servants of owners."

"... We, William Kieft and Council of New Netherland having considered the petition of the Negroes named Paulo Angola, Big Manuel, Little Manuel, Manuel de Gerrit de Reus, Simon Congo, Anthony Portugis, Gracia, Peter Santomee, Jan Francisco, Little Anthony, Jan Fort Orange, who have served the Company 18 or 19 years, to be liberated from their servitude . . . also that they are burthened with many children so that it is impossible for them to support their wives and children, as they have been accustomed to do, if they must continue in the Company's service . . . do release, for the term of their natural lives, the above named and their Wives from Slavery. The eleven petitioners had arrived in 1625 or 1626‑‑eighteen or nineteen years before their petition--and must have been the first eleven blacks imported into New Amsterdam. They had presumably married women imported between 1628 and 1644, including, perhaps the three Angola women or slaves from the La Garce shipment.

all from: BORN TO RUN: the slave family in early new york, 1626 to 1827 Dr. Vivienne L. Kruger. Ma. M. Phil., Ph.D. circa 1985

see also:

Before Simon Congo: The Wouter van Twiller plantation encompassed that general area on the west side of the Bowery... see The Dutch-American Farm

By David Steven Cohen

see:Bought Patents in speculation

view all 12

Simon Congo's Timeline


this date range is an educated guess only based on his arrival among the first slaves.

Age 26

Systematic use of black slaves in New Netherland began in 1626, when the first cargo of 11 Africans was unloaded by the Dutch West India Company.... Source
[ '''Slave North''']

Age 36
Age 41

** ** Eight slaves are accused of murdering a ninth. One, Manuel, belonging to Gerrit de Reus, is chosen by lot to hang. The rope breaks and spectators successfully plead for his life. The others - Big Manuel, Little Manuel, Paulo d'Angola, Simon Congo, and Anthony Portuguese - are pardoned.

February 25, 1644
Age 44

We know from his manumission document of February 25, 1644 that he had been working in New Amsterdam for 18 to 19 years. Records show that Simon was one of the first slaves to arrive in the colony. In honor of hard work and expediency Governor Kieft granted him partial freedom along with 10 others. Each freedom included a grant of land in return for which each had to agree to provide yearly: “thirty skepels of Maize, or Wheat, Pease or Beans, and one Fat hog, valued at twenty guilders” or risk being fully enslaved once again. There was an additional agreement: “Likewise that the above named men shall be obliged to serve the Honorable West India Company here, by water or on land, where their services are required, on receiving fair wages from the Company.”

Age 45
New Amsterdam, New York

"The iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909 : compiled from original sources and illustrated by photo-intaglio reproductions of important maps, plans, views, and documents in public and private collections"

Copyright, 1928
By I. N. Phelps Stokes

Block Check List. 576-565-557-574-576.

March 1653
Age 53
New Amsterdam, New Netherland

Wall Street
"A gang of black men labored as long as daylight allowed, digging a three-foot-deep trench from the East River all the way across Manhattan Island to the Hudson River. The trench followed a rough path that ran along the north edge of the village. It was March 1653, and Governor Stuyvesant had been sent orders to fortify New Amsterdam. English warships were gathering in Boston Harbor, readying to sail south and take the Dutch colony.

The men digging the trench had names such as Paulo d’Angola, Simon Congo, and Anthony Portuguese. As their names showed, many were Africans who had worked aboard Spanish or Portuguese ships before the Dutch seized them. These Africans were owned by the Dutch West India Company, but some had gained a form of half-freedom. They worked for themselves, but owed the company labor whenever needed. Half-free or enslaved, they could own property, testify in court, bear arms in emergencies, attend church, and marry. But their children were not free.

When the Africans finished the trench, they formed a wall by standing big logs into it. Each log was 18 inches around and 12 feet long. Then they pounded dirt and stones back into the trench around the base of each log to make the wall strong. They built blockhouses at the ends of the wall, and gates were added where roads ran through it. But as soon as the wall was finished, it was no longer needed. The Netherlands and England had signed a peace treaty. However, the wall built by the Africans gave the rough path that eventually became a street with a new name—Wall Street." Leslie Harris (?)

Age 54

1654: ten freed slaves set up cabins and a cattle farm (Chatham Square)

Age 64
New York, New York

"The British took over in 1664, and control of the colony passed to the Duke of York, who, with his cronies, held controlling interest in the Royal African Company. The change of name from New Netherland to New York brought a crucial shift in policy. Whereas the Dutch had used slavery as part of their colonial policy, the British used the colony as a market for slaves. "The Duke's representatives in New York -- governors, councilors, and customs officials -- were instructed to promote the importation of slaves by every possible means." source: Edgar J. McManus, A History of Negro Slavery in New York, Syracuse University Press, 1966, p.7.

Age 67

Governor Richard Nicolls. ( he also confirmed some additional manumissions done under the Dutch )