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Free Black Communities of the 19th Century

Written on: July 18th, 2013 in Education Events

On Monday, Aug. 26, 2013 at 6:30 p.m., the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware will present “Free Black Communities of the 19th Century,” a dual lecture conducted by cultural-heritage consultant Janet L. Sheridan who will discuss Marshalltown which was established circa 1830 in Salem County, N.J., and Dr. Rebecca Sheppard, associate director of the Center for Historic Architecture and Design at the University of Delaware, who will discuss Polktown, a cultural community within, and adjacent to, Delaware City, Del. which was studied as part of a 2008-2010 grant from the National Park Service’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

Former one-room schoolhouse, constructed circa 1880, in Marshalltown, Mannington Township, Salem County, N.J. Historically a school for black children, it may have become racially integrated in the late 1940s. In 1951 it was closed as a school and converted into a residence before falling into disuse.

Former one-room schoolhouse, constructed circa 1880, in Marshalltown, Mannington Township, Salem County, N.J. Historically a school for black children, it may have become racially integrated in the late 1940s. In 1951 it was closed as a school and converted into a residence before falling into disuse.

“Free Black Communities of the 19th Century” will take place at the Delaware City Public Library, located at 250 Fifth St., in Delaware City, Del. Sponsored by the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware, the lecture is one of four program meetings that the coalition presents annually throughout the state. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information about the program, call Debra Martin of the coalition at 302-576-3107. Call 302-834-4148 to contact the Delaware City Public Library.

The Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware is a group of private and government organizations and individuals dedicated to sharing the profound stories of the people who escaped from slavery and those in Delaware who assisted them in seeking freedom. To this end, the group provides a forum for gathering and encouraging research; linking local, regional and national resources; and sharing information with the public. The coalition also promotes the preservation of Underground Railroad sites in the state so that future generations may experience the power of these genuine historic places. Staff members of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs serve as members of the coalition.


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