Discovering Black Voters in Early New Jersey with Elaine Buck and Beverly MillsFebruary 2021
When Museum curators Dr. Philip C. Mead and Dr. Marcela Micucci discovered the name of a Black voter, Ephraim Hagerman, on a New Jersey poll list from 1801, they consulted Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum founders Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills to identify additional Black individuals who voted with him. In February 2021, Buck and Mills, co-authors of If These Stones Could Talk: African American Presence in the Hopewell Valley, Sourland Mountain, and Surrounding Regions of New Jersey, joined the Museum for a virtual visit to the historical houses and cemeteries that still stand to commemorate these individuals and their legacies today in Montgomery Township, New Jersey. The Museum's Adrienne G. Whaley facilitated an interactive discussion with Buck, Mills, Mead, and Micucci on genealogical research, public history, and African American stories behind the Museum’s special exhibition When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776-1807, as recently covered by the New York Times.
The Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum, located in Skillman, New Jersey, has a mission to tell the story of the unique culture, experiences, and contributions of the African American community of the Sourland Mountain Region.
About Elaine Buck & Beverly Mills
Elaine Buck, Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum
Elaine Buck is a founder the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum. She is also a 30-year Trustee of the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association, which is a historic cemetery for people of African descent located on Sourland Mountain. Elaine has been married to John Buck for over 40 years and is the mother of two adult sons, Aaron and Jason. She is the third generation to live in her home in Hopewell Borough, N.J.
Beverly Mills, Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum
Beverly Mills is a retiree as the Director for the Workforce Development Board in Mercer County, N.J. She is a founder of the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum and a member on the Advisory Board and a 35-year Trustee of the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association. Beverly is the first African American woman to hold the elected position as a Councilwoman in Pennington Borough, N.J, her ancestral home and current residence (which has been in her family since 1911). She has been married Robert Mills for 45 years, and is the mother of two adult sons, Jason and Drew, and the grandmother of five.
Bank of America and Comcast NBCUniversal are presenting sponsors of When Women Lost the Vote. Other support was provided by The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. The exhibition was also made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.
Learn more about Ephraim Hagerman and free Black voters by exploring an 1801 Montgomery Township poll list in the Museum's When Women Lost the Vote interactive poll list feature.Explore Online