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Weekender Recommendations: The Ex-Slaves’ Fortune: The Story of Cynthia Hesdra

by Visit Nyack

Nyack Library will host a book discussion this evening at 7pm on The Ex-Slaves’ Fortune: The Story of Cynthia Hesdra, by Dr. Lori Martin.

Cynthia D. Hesdra was born a slave in Tappan in 1808 to John and Jane Moore. She became an entrepreneur and abolitionist. During her lifetime, she operated a successful laundry business and owned a number of properties in New York and in New Jersey.

Photo Credit: Nyack Library

At the time of her death in 1879, she was worth about $100,000. She was a millionaire by today’s standards! Her husband, Edward, and many of her relatives, fought over her assets. The extensive court battle was precedent-setting from a legal standpoint and was one of the most celebrated cases of the time.
In 2015, Cynthia Hesdra was honored by the Toni Morrison Society with a Bench by the Road at Memorial Park in Nyack. Join Dr. Lori Martin, who was born and raised in Nyack, as she leads a discussion about the life and times of Cynthia D. Hesdra. Space is limited—every attendee receives a copy of the book. You can register for the event here.

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