In 1790, 61% of all white Households in Kings County owned slaves, representing 30% of the borough's total population. This was enough to earn it the ignominious distinction of "the highest proportion of slaveholders and slaves in the North." Our walk this week covers the grounds of Canarsie and the Flatlands where many of these slaves resided, along with the courageous and vibrant abolitionist history of Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg and Weeksville. We'll also step into Manhattan to visit the African Burial Ground National Monument near City Hall.
Back in 2015, Heather Quinlan at Brooklyn Heights Blog stumbled upon a rather exciting map at the Brooklyn Historical society. Published in 1946 by historian James A. Kelly, it details all the Native America trails that cover the borough and their contemporary counterparts. This week we'll walk those existing routes, with a trip down Kings Highway, a walk along Shore Road, and up Division Avenue, among other paths. We'll also visit the peculiar Gravesend Square and the city's oldest cemetery.
The Battle of Brooklyn was the largest conflict of the Revolutionary War in terms of troop deployment, taking place over three days in August of 1776. This week we'll visit all the key locations, including the British landing near Fort Hamilton, Greenwood Cemetery, Prospect Park, Fort Greene, and Fulton Ferry where the Americans made their last gasp retreat.
Back in our home borough, we tackle the three iconic thoroughfares that define the flow of traffic between BK and Manhattan: the Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. In between, we'll take leisurely tours of Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, and a host of lower Manhattan haunts.
Few major thoroughfares define its surroundings as strongly as the section of I-278 known as the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. This week we'll follow the entirety of its path, starting at the foot of the RFK bridge in Astoria and concluding at the base of the Verrazzano. Neighborhoods along the way include Woodside, Sunnyside, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights, Sunset Park, Bay Ridge and more.
If the weather's warm, the shore is where we want to be. This week we look to cover as much BK shoreline in one day as possible. After a hike through inland North Brooklyn, we arrive at the tip of Greenpoint and work our way down the East River, passing all three bridges and crossing the Gowanus Canal. A walk down Second Avenue brings us to Shore Road and the Verrazzanno Bridge. We end the day at Brighton Beach and a long train ride home.
This high-level sweep of North Brooklyn takes us around the edges of Bushwick, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights and Red Hook. We do an about face in Sunset Park and head up 5th Avenue through Park Slope. After briefly touching the tip of Fort Greene, we meander through Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights before heading home.