Explore the places where people lived and worked! Take a 3D tour of Historic Cherry Hill.
Historical African American Experiences at Cherry Hill
This collection includes bills of sale, indentures, and letters related to people who were enslaved by the Cherry Hill Van Rensselaers and their relatives, between 1760 and 1827, as well as letters, books, photographs, dolls, musical instruments and other artifacts related to five children of African American descent raised as wards and servants at Cherry Hill and in other Van Rensselaer households.
This collection was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom and in partnership with Siena College.
Cherry Hill Receipt Books
A collection of manuscript cookbooks kept by several generations of Cherry Hill women (and a few men) spanning the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Individual receipts include cooking recipes, remedies for the sick, and instructions for farming, as well as newspaper clippings and other ephemera.
This collection was made possible by support from the Capital District Library Council (CDLC) and in partnership with Siena College.
Both collections are available on New York Heritage.
Grades 4 - 11, Social Studies & ELA
Guided by essential questions, students learn to read primary source documents and artifacts from the digital collection by the same name and other available resources to better understand slavery and gradual emancipation in Albany.
Teacher's Guides contain lesson plans, sample answers, and connections to NYS & Common Core learning standards.
Classroom Slides can be used for in-person or remote instruction, or as independent assignments. Activities include guided questions, prompts to dig deeper into historical topics, links to primary sources and a 3D tour of the historic house.
Printable worksheets correspond with the lesson plans and classroom slides.
Want the following activities as fillable Google Slides? Contact the Director of Education at email@example.com for the free converted files.
Slavery at Cherry Hill
Students look at primary objects and documents and take a 3D tour of the museum to learn about the institution of Slavery in Albany, New York. Activities increase content knowledge, strengthen foundational skills, and support 4-8 Common Core standards for ELA & Social Studies.
Teacher's Guide Classroom Slides Worksheets
Slavery in Albany, New York, Lesson 1
Guided by essential questions, students analyze primary objects and documents related to the period of enslavement to better understand the experiences of enslaved people until Emancipation in 1827. The lesson ends with the solving of a "True Cherry Hill Mystery" and a 3D tour of the museum. This is one of two lessons, and supports 7-12 curriculum standards for Social Studies & ELA.
Gradual Emancipation: Slavery by a Different Name, Lesson 2
Guided by essential questions, students analyze primary objects and documents related to gradual emancipation and the legacy of Slavery as it manifested at Cherry Hill. The lesson ends with the solving of another "True Cherry Hill Mystery" and 3D tour of the museum. This is the second of two lessons, and supports 7-12 curriculum standards for Social Studies & ELA.
These teaching units were made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. Many thanks to NEH for making possible the research, digitization, and interpretation of the collection, and the creation of these materials.
Another thanks goes to Siena College for the use of their Digital Scholarship Center to scan dozens of books and fragile manuscripts, as well as the college's McCormick Center for the Study of the American Revolution internship program.
Grades 4 & 5
For remote, in-person & home classrooms, 3 lessons lead students on an exploration of primary sources and historical artifacts belonging to children who lived at Cherry Hill during the 1800s. Each activity brings students closer to discovering the roles and relationships of the four children, and solving the Cherry Hill Case!
In Each Lesson: You will find interactive glossaries and timelines, graphic organizers, and step-by-step instructions on how to use artifacts for historical investigation. Students are prompted to explore their own histories, create personal timelines, family or VIP trees, and more. The unit is presented using Google Slides.
Many thanks to Price Chopper's Golub Foundation whose support made this online version of the Cherry Hill Case possible.
The Hudson River Trading Game is based on historical documents belonging to Philip Van Rensselaer, an Albany merchant and the first of five generations to live at Cherry Hill. In person, the game is 34 feet long. But now YOU can play the game online! Sailing on the river during the 1700s was unpredictable, and you will find that the game is too...All we can say is stay safe and good luck!
Dig a Little Deeper!
Click on the links below for more information and activities about Hudson River trade.
Passengers on the Hudson River worksheet
Activities for After the Game
Hudson River Trading Game Resources
Many Thanks to Our Partners
We owe a huge thanks to the Port of Albany whose support over the past decade has allowed thousands of City School District of Albany students to play the game as part of a field trip experience.
Thank you as well to our long-time partners, the City School District of Albany and Discover Albany, as well as the Albany Institute of History & Art, who graciously offered to host the program for 2020. We would also like to thank the 2nd Regiment-Albany County Militia, Eileen Finn, Jim Sparks, and Maryrita Dobiel for making sure we have great props--hundreds of props--for the school program and public events. Finally, thank you to all our volunteer museum teachers for your dedication and hard work--we cannot wait to set sail with you again!