15 June 2014

Amanda Foster, Sleepy Hollow, NY

Amanda Foster (1806/7–1904) moved from being a household help at eight years of age to stewardess on a Hudson river steamship at fourteen. Her obtained 'free negro' papers when traveling south, which she took a great risk in lending to a slave girl to allow her to escape to the north.

After this she re-joined her husband John in Tarrytown: he had a barber's shop there and Amanda opened a confectioner's. John died two years later and Amanda married Henry Foster, who was also a barber. Their two businesses thrived and they adopted two children.

John and Amanda were founding members of the A.M.E. Zion Church in Sleepy Hollow, which had an influx of freshly released slaves. Amanda continued the church work after the death of her second husband and 'Foster Memorial' was added to the church name in recognition of her work.

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