Black History and Culture

Black History in New Jersey

People, Places, Events

Notables and Black Firsts in New Jersey 
 Walter G. Alexander

The first African American elected to the New Jersey Assembly.

E. Frederic Morrow
Hackensack, NJ

In 1955 President Eisenhower appointed E. Frederic Morrow 
Administrative Officer for Special Projects, making him the first African American to serve in an executive position at the White House.

Thomas Mundy Peterson

The first Black man to vote after ratification of the 15th Amendment.  He voted in a municipal election in Perth Amboy. 

Donald Payne 

The first African American to represent New Jersey in the US House of Representatives.


John S. Rock, from Salem, New Jersey, was the first African American admitted to practice law before the US Supreme Court.

George Henry Wanton
Paterson, NJ

Was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for gallantry during the Spanish-American War.

Charles L. Whigham 

Founded City National Bank, the first Black owned and operated commercial bank in New Jersey. 

 Madeline A. Williams The first Black woman elected to the New Jersey Legislature. 

Places for Black History

The first all-black community in New jersey
to be incorporated (1926) as a municipality.

Gethsemane Cemetery
Little Ferry, New Jersey
African American burial ground

Was an all-black settlement located along the Rancocas Creek near Mount Holly. 
It was commonly called "Buckto" or "Bucktown"
and was a haven for fugitive slaves. 
Among the remains of this town is a cemetery containing the graves of Civil War Veterans.

Underground Railroad Sites in New Jersey
The Grimes Homestead
Peter Mott House
Bethel AME Church
Mount Zion AME Church
The Benson History Museum
427 Pine Street
Lawnside, NJ 08045
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