Posted on 12/15/2013

Photo taken on February 1, 1901

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African American Man
George Peter Newkirk
Old George Pete
Born a Slave in the 'Land of the Free
1st black voter in NY
Ulster County, NY
Newspaper article, NY Sun (1901)

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Photo replaced on December 16, 2013
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Old George Pete

Old George Pete
New York Sun
March, 1, 1901

Died At The Age of 117 Years --- Born a Slave in Ulster County --- The First Negro Voter In This State

Kingston, N.Y., Feb. 28 --- George Peter Newkirk, a negro, known as "Old George Pete," died at his home in Hurley on Tuesday at the extraordinary age of 117 years. "George Pete" had been a familiar figure to generations of prominent men and women whose early lives were passed in Ulster county. He was born and brought up a slave in the Newkirk family, and continued to reside with some member of that family all his life. He was the first negro voter in the State of New York, having voted long before Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. At that time negroes, in order to vote, were required to be freemen and to own property over a certain amount in their own name and right. "George Pete" was in fairly good health during the latter years of his life and even until within a short time of his death.

FYI: According to the NY federal census, George P. Newkirk's age was somewhere between 75 and 85.

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