In our second episode tied to The Current‘s series on the Black history of the Highlands, historian Myra Young Armstead discusses the life of James F. Brown, who was the longtime gardener in the 19th century at Mount Gulian and may have been the first Black man to vote in what is now Beacon. Armstead’s book, Freedom’s Gardener: James F. Brown, Horticulture, and the Hudson Valley in Antebellum America, details what we’ve learned about Brown’s life and times from a meticulous journal he kept for 37 years, from 1827 to 1866.

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

A former longtime national magazine editor, Rowe has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Idaho and South Dakota and has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. Location: Philipstown. Languages: English. Area of Expertise: General.