Jane Deyo Wynkoop is believed to be the first African American—man or woman—to buy land in New Paltz, New York. Born to an enslaved woman in this rural Ulster County community, Jane has a remarkable story. Despite harsh beginnings, her diligence and determination resulted in a productive, inspiring life that included marriage and raising a family. As a result of her hard work and planning, Jane’s purchase of land was the first step toward opening the door for her sons’ acquiring the right to vote. Through original archival documents, the exhibit Jane Deyo Wynkoop explores her story from birth in 1803 to death in 1876, at age 73.
The exhibit was curated by Josephine Bloodgood, Director of Curatorial and Preservation Affairs, Historic Huguenot Street.