Draft wheel, ca. 1863. Collection New-York Historical Society. Gift of Frederic C. Wagner.

Walking Tours by Cell Phone or Podcast

Cell phone tour: 1-800-895-8161.
Podcast: www.nyhistory.org/podcasts.  The tour script and images can be viewed at this website, as well as an interactive map.

The New-York Historical Society puts history in your hand with free and innovative private tours called Hidden Sites of Slavery and Freedom. These walking tours allow history buffs, New York enthusiasts, students, teachers, museum educators, and the general public to turn cell phones, iPods, and palm pilots into tour guides of relevant historical sites around the city.

Hidden Sites of Slavery offers a glimpse of the important people, places, and events in the history of slavery and freedom in New York. Cell phones offer talking content; audio and images are available on iPods and palm pilots.  Users can start at any site. The entire tour may last 30 to 60 minutes, depending on sites selected.

Tour choices:
Pierre Toussaint. This tour tells the stories of Pierre Toussaint, his family, and mistress and includes visits to St. Patrick's Cathedral and St. Peter's Church. Toussaint was a prosperous Haitian immigrant who served as the hairdresser to elegant New Yorkers and was an important bulwark of his fellow immigrants in the same period. With funds from his hairdressing business, he also helped restore St. Peter's Church after a terrible fire and donated money to build the first St. Patrick's Cathedral on Mulberry Street. Visitors can peek through a crumbling cemetery gate to see the grave of this little known African New Yorker who may soon become America's first African American saint.

African Free School #2.  One of the oldest African Schools in New York, this school nurtured a generation of black leaders including James McCune Smith, Henry Highland Garnet, and Patrick Reason, abolitionists whose stories are told in New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War.

Cell phone tour: 1-800-895-8161.
Podcast: www.nyhistory.org/podcasts.  The tour script and images can be viewed at this website, as well as an interactive map.