Black History

A History of Slavery in New Jersey

Durand-Hedden and the South Orange-Maplewood Community Coalition on Race created a program honoring Juneteenth, the African American celebration of the end of slavery in the US.

The celebration also included an extensive exhibit on the History of Slavery in New Jersey. The exhibit will remain available for viewing by appointment for most of the summer and is available online.

To make an appointment to view the exhibit, please call 973-763-7712 and leave a message, or email info@durandhedden.org

Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom

June 9, 2019, 1:00 - 5:00 PM

Juneteenth, an African American celebration marking the end of slavery in the United States, will be the focus of the June program in collaboration with the South Orange Maplewood Community Coalition on Race. The afternoon will include dancers, storytelling, a quilt display, musicians, activities for families and children, Civil War Colored Troop reenactors, as well as information about New Jersey’s history of slavery, which continued up until the time of the Civil War.

Schedule of events

Meet Harriet Tubman, a First-Person Historical Interpretation

March 5, 2017, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Inspiring actress and educator, Dr. Daisy Century of the American Historical Theater, will vividly portray Harriet Tubman, the well-known escaped slave, American abolitionist, humanitarian, and armed Union scout and spy during the Civil War. Tubman was a remarkable woman who found freedom for herself and then made sure others were brought to freedom.

Jefferson School, 518 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood


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New Jersey and the Underground Railroad

New Jersey is associated with two of the leading figures in the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman worked in Cape May during the summers from 1849 to 1852. Native New Jerseyan William Still was a key organizer of the railroad operations in Philadelphia.

“Strike the Blow for Freedom” Civil War 6th Regiment U.S. Colored Troop

The 6th Regiment U.S. Colored Troop was organized near Philadelphia in 1863. Fifty-two of the 1,272 members of the 6th Regiment were born in New Jersey. The regiment took part in crucial engagements in Petersburg and Richmond, but its greatest battle was at New Market Heights.

To Cast a Freedman’s Vote

February 24, 2013, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

On March 31, 1870, Perth Amboy resident Thomas Mundy Peterson dropped a ballot into a box. It was a simple action that took, perhaps, all of a second or two. Yet, in that moment, Peterson made history as the first African-American to vote under the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Next Event

October 20, 2019, 2:00 PM

Theodore Roosevelt Returns

Don’t miss Theodore Roosevelt’s resplendent return to Maplewood on Sunday, October 20, at 2:00 p.m. at Jefferson School sponsored by the Durand-Hedden House. Teddy once roamed the hills and meadows of our town as a boy exploring nature while visiting his Uncle Cornelius’s estate, now the Roosevelt Park section. Expertly played by historic interpreter Joe Wiegand, Theodore Roosevelt will come back to reconnect with Maplewood and vividly share stories of his life, family, and presidency.

Afterwards, light refreshments will be served at Durand-Hedden and there will be an opportunity to mingle with the exuberant 26th President of the U.S. The exhibit on the history of slavery in New Jersey will also be on view. The Country Store will be open until 5:00 p.m.


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