Weeksville was a community of African Americans founded in 1838 by a freed slave named James Weeks in an area straddling modern day Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights in Brooklyn. By the 1860s, according to Weeksville Society, it had become a cultural nexus and a draft riot safe haven for New York City's growing African American population. While much has been written about its people, both today, as in this NY Times article from 2005 and in the past, as in The Freedman's Torchlight, one of the first African American newspapers, not all that much geographic information remains about this historical landscape. There are traces that surface today, from the Hunterfly Road Houses to Weeksville Park, commemorating a landscape swallowed up by Brooklyn's street grid. One of the remaining pieces of the streetscape is Hunterfly Place.
This one block section of street was once part of the larger Hunterfly Road, the main thoroughfare of Weeksville that ran north to south from what is now Fulton Street to East New York Avenue. The following is a time series of maps of the area published between 1880 and 1908 from the NYPL Digital Gallery that document the physical changes to this community. These maps are part of the larger series of property mapping from the collections of The Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division here at the NYPL.
Detailed estate and old farm line atlas of the city of Brooklyn
Bromley, George W.
Atlas of the entire City of Brooklyn
Robinson's atlas of the city of Brooklyn, New York
Hyde, E. Belcher
Atlas of the Brooklyn borough of the City of New York
Bromley, George W. and Walter S.
Atlas of the borough of Brooklyn, city of New York...