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Local “History Detectives” Will Join Museum Curators for a Discussion on Recovering Lost Black History During Black History Month

When curators from the Museum of the American Revolution discovered the name of a Black voter, Ephraim Hagerman, on a New Jersey poll list from 1801, they consulted with “history detectives” (New York Times) Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills to dig deeper. On Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, from 6 – 7:15 p.m., Buck and Mills will join the Museum for a virtual presentation and panel discussion about the Revolutionary-era Black voters they discovered and their legacies today, as part of the Museum’s Black History Month celebration.

Through a video presentation, participants will virtually visit Stoutsburg Cemetery, one of the oldest African American burial grounds in New Jersey, and Hagerman’s believed burial place. Then, Museum curators Dr. Philip C. Mead and Dr. Marcela Micucci will join Buck and Mills, founders of the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum and co-authors of If These Stones Could Talk: African American Presence in the Hopewell Valley, Sourland Mountain, and Surrounding Regions of New Jersey, for a panel discussion and question-and-answer session with the audience.

The Museum’s Director of Education and Community Engagement Adrienne Whaley will facilitate the conversation on genealogical research, public history, and the stories behind the Museum’s current special exhibition, When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776-1807, which explores the little-known story of women and free people of color legally voting in New Jersey during the Revolutionary era and is on view through April 25.

As part of the event, Mead and Micucci will demonstrate how anyone can virtually explore poll lists from the early 1800s featuring the names of women and people of color through a poll list interactive as part of the Museum’s new When Women Lost the Vote online experience. To date, the team has discovered 163 women voters and at least four free Black male voters on nine poll lists from 1800 to 1807. Prior to this discovery, little proof of women or people of color voting in this period was known to exist.

General admission for the event is $7, student, teachers, and museum professionals are $5, and Museum Members are free. Tickets can purchased here.

Please note: The Museum is now open to the public Fridays – Sundays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and select holiday Mondays with enhanced health and safety protocols.

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About Elaine Buck
Elaine Buck is a founder of the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum. She is also a 30-year Trustee of the Soutsburg 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 a mother of two adult sons, Aaron, and Jason. She is the third generation to live in her home in Hopewell Borough, N.J.

About Beverly Mills
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 to Robert Mills for 45 years, and is the mother of two adult sons, Jason and Drew, and the grandmother of five. 

About Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum
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. For more information, visit www.ssaamuseum.org/.

About Museum of the American Revolution
The Museum of the American Revolution uncovers and shares compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment in liberty, equality, and self-government. Through the Museum’s unmatched collection, immersive galleries, powerful theater experiences, and interactive elements, visitors gain a deeper appreciation for how this nation came to be and feel inspired to consider their role in ensuring that the promise of the American Revolution endures. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum, which opened on April 19, 2017, is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit www.AmRevMuseum.org or call 877.740.1776.