Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Black Revolutionary War Hero Edward 'Ned' Hector Program And Open House - February 1, 2015

Black Revolutionary War Hero Edward 'Ned' Hector Program And Open House
Sunday, February 1, 2015

On Sunday, February 1 from 1:00 - 4:00 pm, the Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House will host an open house and a presentation, beginning at 2:00 pm, about Edward 'Ned' Hector, a free African- American soldier who fought on behalf of the Patriots in the American Revolution.

Hector will be portrayed by Noah Lewis, of Upper Darby, PA, author of Hector's biography, Edward 'Ned' Hector - Revolutionary War Hero. Lewis, dressed in the uniform of the Third Pennsylvania Artillery Company, offers captivating insight about the role of African Americans in the Colonial fight for freedom during his highly interactive presentation, including instructions (with audience participation) on how to fire a cannon. For nearly two decades, his first-person interpretation has been lauded by elementary and middle school teachers, who have invited him into their classrooms to bring Revolutionary War lessons to life.

Edward 'Ned' Hector (born about 1744) was one of the 3,000-5,000 African-American soldiers who fought for the cause of American Independence in the Revolutionary War. He served as a teamster (a wagon driver) and a bombardier (part of an artillery crew) with the state militia called Proctor's Third Pennsylvania Artillery, which, by the end of 1777, became the Fourth Continental Artillery. He participated in the Battle of Brandywine (September 11, 1777) and Germantown (October 4, 1777). During the Battle of Brandywine, Hector disregarded orders to abandon everything and retreat.  He is, subsequently, best known for his reply, "The enemy shall not have my team; I will save my horses and myself!"

Hector was one of the earliest African Americans to live as a free black person in Plymouth Township, Pennsylvania (later to become Conshohocken), where he resided in a log cabin with his wife, Jude, and son, Charles. He died at the age of 90 in 1834 and was memorialized in 1850 by the residents of Conshohocken with a street named in his honor. In 1976, a historical plaque was erected at the intersection of Hector and Fayette Streets honoring Ned and the many Africans that served during the American Revolution

The open house tour of the Jacobus Vanderveer House is free, but admission to the Ned Hector presentation is $10 per person (members of The Jacobus Vanderveer House are admitted free and given priority seating). For reservations and information about membership and other upcoming events, visit www.jvanderveerhouse.org or call 908-396-6053. The Jacobus Vanderveer House is located at 3055 River Road East (in Bedminster's River Road Park), Bedminster, NJ 07921.

About The Jacobus Vanderveer House                                  
For more than two centuries, the Jacobus Vanderveer House, located in River Road Park, has been at the center of Bedminster Township’s rich and colorful history. It is situated on part of the 218 acres that make up River Road Park in Bedminster Township, Somerset County. 

Jacobus Vanderveer, Jr., son of Vanderveer, Sr., a wealthy Dutch miller, built a small Dutch frame-style farmhouse just west of the North Branch of the Raritan River on the northern outskirts of Pluckemin. In 1778, during the War of Independence, Vanderveer lent his home to General Henry Knox, who was to command a new artillery encampment and training academy being established by the Continental Army on a hillside above the village of Pluckemin. General Knox, along with his wife Lucy and family, occupied the house from the winter of 1778 through the summer of 1779.

The Vanderveer house is the only surviving building associated with the Pluckemin encampment, which is considered to be the first installation in America to train officers in engineering and artillery. General Knox established “The Academy” and subsequently created its successor, The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.  

The Jacobus Vanderveer House and property were purchased by Bedminster Township in 1989 with the help of Green Acres funding. The house was listed in 1995 on the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places. The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House is a nonprofit organization formed to restore and develop the historic site as an important educational and cultural resource. During the past decade, the Friends have restored the house, created historically accurate period room exhibitions, established historic collections, supported important research, and embarked on a program of education and interpretation to tell the stories of General Henry Knox, the Pluckemin military encampment and the community’s key role in the American Revolution.

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