Dutch and English settlers brought the first enslaved people to New Jersey in the seventeenth century. By the time of the Revolutionary War, slavery was an established practice on labor-intensive farms throughout what became known as the Garden State. The progenitor of the influential Morris family, Lewis Morris, brought Barbadian slaves to toil on his estate of Tinton Manor in Monmouth County. “Colonel Tye,” an escaped slave from Shrewsbury, joined the British “Ethiopian Regiment” during the Revolutionary War and led raids throughout the towns and villages near his former home. Charles Reeves and Hannah Van Clief married soon after their emancipation in 1850 and became prominent citizens of Lincroft, as did their next four generations. Author Rick Geffken reveals stories from New Jersey’s dark history of slavery.
Rick Geffken has written numerous articles on various aspects of New Jersey history for local newspapers, magazines and newsletters. An energetic and popular speaker, he has spoken at the New Jersey History & Historic Preservation symposia, Rutgers and Monmouth Universities and dozens of libraries and historical societies throughout the Garden State and has appeared on the New Jersey Cable TV show Family Historian. Rick is a trustee of the Shrewsbury Historical Society, past president and a trustee of the Jersey Coast Heritage Museum at Sandlass House, former publisher of the Monmouth Connection and a member of the Navesink Maritime Historical Association and the Monmouth County Historical Association. He is currently heading up a project called the New Jersey Slavery Records Index.
Stories of Slavery in New Jersey
by Rick Geffken
Pub Date: January 4, 2020
$21.99 | 208 pp. | Paperback