As one of the oldest, continuously inhabited free Black settlement in the United States, Sandy Ground is a place of great historical significance. Founded in the early 19th Century, the community arose from a settlement of free Blacks from New York, Maryland, and Delaware. Through the harvesting of oysters and farming, this fledgling community was able to thrive, and soon became a safe haven on the Underground Railroad. Today, Sandy Ground is home to 10 families that are descendants of original settlers. (Text courtesy of Sandy Ground Historical Society).
As the only free Black settlement on the South Shore of Staten Island, Sandy Ground and its inhabitants aided freedom seekers and self-emancipators as they passed through the Underground Railroad.
Louis Napoleon bought a home in Sandy Ground in 1866. Louis Napoleon was a conductor in the Underground Railroad with a connection to such principal figures as Sydney H. Gay, the Station Master for New York City, and Horace Greeley, the noted abolitionist.
Take a look back at images of Sandy Ground collected by the Staten Island Advance at: https://tinyurl.com/y5zr6rkh.