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Photograph: Alys Tomlinson

Staten Island Ferry will be named after a historic community of freed slaves

Will Gleason

We may have to wait until 2019 for the three brand-new Staten Island Ferries to arrive in New York, but the wait’s officially over to find out one of the ship’s names. 

Last night, Mayor de Blasio announced that one of the new 4,500-passenger vessels will be named “Sandy Ground” after a historic Staten Island community of freed slaves. The name was initially proposed by Councilwoman Debi Rose, who launched a petition back in February.

The history of Sandy Ground dates back to 1828, when Capt. John Jackson became the first African-American to own property on Staten Island. The area was then settled by other African-American oystermen fleeing persecution in Maryland. At one point, over 150 African-American families lived in the community, located in what is now Roseville.

When the new ferries eventually arrive in 2019, they’ll be the first added to the city’s fleet in more than a decade. (They'll also be able to take full advantage of the expanded boarding procedures launching in September.)

h/t SIlive


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