The 1741 New York conspiracy was largely believed to have occurred in the 18th Century. But by 19th century most historians started to doubt about its existence and the justifications of the slave killings that took place. Even Daniel Horsmanden had to try and counteract the criticism by writing a detailed account of the trials so as to justify the court’s actions and wipe the doubts of peoples mind. But his was a one-sided story and did not convince many people. Historians have gone ahead to give an account of what they believe must have been the process of events for the same.
First of all, the situation in New York at the time facilitated a lot to the growth of suspicions about a conspiracy. This is because the alleged conspiracy arose at a time of economic decline with increased competition between the colored slaves and the poor whites. There was a severe winter at the time and the British government had just declared war on Spain leading to increased anti-Spanish and anti-Catholic feelings. All this amidst increased fires and destruction of property was enough to elicit feelings of insecurity from the slaves. The 1712 New York Slave Revolt where about 20 slaves came together to destroy property to avenge the injustices they had been put through and in the process killing nine whites and six others being injured, was also very fresh in the minds of the white population. The political factions would also instill fear about slavery to the white community to achieve other objectives.