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Stories of Slavery in New Jersey

Stories of Slavery in New Jersey

Rick Geffken brings alive the history of slavery in New Jersey and the stories of its enslaved people from his most recent book, Stories of Slavery in New Jersey.

Did you know that in 1866 New Jersey was the last northern state to abolish slavery? That enslaved people were in the Garden State since the 1600s?

Slavery in New Jersey existed as early as 1630 under the Dutch. When Berkeley and Carteret took over for the English in 1664, they offered new colonists 75 acres of land for each servant or slave. New Jersey was the last northern state to abolish slavery, in 1866.

Stories of New Jersey's enslaved people bring this history to life. Colonel Tye, an escaped slave from Shrewsbury who joined the British Ethiopian Regiment during the Revolutionary War, led raids throughout the towns and villages near his former home. Charles Reeves and Hannah Van Clief, married soon after their emancipation in 1850, became prominent citizens of Lincroft, as did their descendants.

Rick Geffken has written extensively on New Jersey history, including books such as Hidden History of Monmouth CountyLost Amusement Parks of the North Jersey Shore, and Highland Beach 1888-1962: Gateway to the Jersey Shore. He taught about slavery in New Jersey for Monmouth University, and is part of the New Jersey Slavery Records Index project under the auspice of Rutgers University. He is a retired U. S. Army officer and Viet Nam veteran. operated small businesses after retiring from Hewlett-Packard, and holds a B. S. in Economics and M. A. in Social Sciences.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024
7:00pm - 8:00pm
Englewood - MacKay Room
BCCLS Library:
Englewood Public Library
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