Tuesday, June 13, 2017

“Land, Faith and Slaves: The shared heritage of the Hardenbergh family, Rutgers University, and the Dutch Reformed Church” - June 17, 2017

“Land, Faith and Slaves: The shared heritage of the Hardenbergh family, Rutgers University, and the Dutch Reformed Church” 
Saturday, June 17, 2017

On Saturday, June 17, at 2:30 pm at the Old Dutch Parsonage, speakers from Rutgers University and Rutgers Theological Seminary will explore the slave-holding history of Rutgers’ founders.

The Rev. Jacob Hardenbergh, principal founder of Rutgers University, was an outspoken proponent of American freedom. Yet he was also a slave owner, for slavery pervaded the social and religious world in which he lived. Join archivists and faculty from the New Brunswick Theological Seminary and Rutgers University as they explore the connections between the Hardenbergh family of New York and New Jersey and the great African American abolitionist leader Sojourner Truth, at one time their slave; the stories of other early slave-holding leaders of Rutgers College, and the history of Rutgers and Dutch Reformed circles during the Revolutionary War and the early years of the American Republic.

1751 Old Dutch Parsonage historic site.
The presentation will take place at the 1751 Old Dutch Parsonage historic site, once home to the Rev Jacob Hardenbergh, his family, and his slaves.

The June 17 presentation at the Old Dutch Parsonage serves as a prelude to a larger conference to take place at the Rutgers Theological Seminary in the fall of 2017.

Speakers include:
John Coakley, Feakes Professor of Church History, Emeritus, at New Brunswick Theological Seminary
Thomas J Frusciano, Rutgers Library faculty and Vice President of the Rutgers Living History Society
Helene Van Rossum, Public Services and Outreach Archivist at Rutgers Libraries Special Collections

There is a suggested five dollar donation to attend this program. Advance registration is recommended. To register, call 908-725-1015 or e-mail whouse3@verizon.net. Please register early, as seating is limited.

The Wallace House
The Wallace House, built in 1776, served as George Washington’s winter headquarters during the Middlebrook Cantonment of 1778-1779. The house was the country residence of retired Philadelphia merchant John Wallace; Washington rented the use of half the house for himself and his staff and paid Wallace $1,000 for the use of his house and furniture. During his stay, the General hosted foreign dignitaries and planned strategies for the spring military campaign. The house is fully restored and furnished with period furniture.

The Old Dutch Parsonage was constructed in 1751, by the congregations of three local Dutch Reform Churches. The house was occupied by the Reverend John Frelinghuysen and his family until his death in 1754. His successor, the Reverend Jacob Hardenberg was the principal founder and first president of Queens College in New Brunswick, now Rutgers University.

Both sites are administered by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, and are open to visitors Wednesday through Sunday. The Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage are both listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.

The parking lot entrance and interpretive center for the sites is located at 71 Somerset Street, Somerville, NJ. For directions and more information about the sites, visit www.wallacehouseassociation.org or call 908-725-1015.

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