Free African American Families in Antebellum Monmouth County
This is an Archives Week Program.
This presentation will take a look back to the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when voluntary Emancipation was embraced in certain parts of Monmouth County and African American families emerged from bondage. Families such as Jobes, Smock, Quero, Brown, Still, Abrahams, Reevy, Leo, Corlies, White, Davis, Van Der Veer, Polhemus & Stillwell. It will explore the various documents and collections in the Monmouth County Archives related to these families including, “Black” Deeds, Birth and Manumission records, Coroner’s Inquests, Estate Inventories and more. Following the NJ Slave Codes of 1704, 1714 & 1798, the 1804 Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery and subsequent Acts and court cases continued to regulate the lives and fortunes of African American citizens of Monmouth County up to and through the Civil War.
The presenter, Joseph A. Grabas is a professional educator who is recognized locally and nationally as a certified land title research expert. Joe has lectured at Rutgers University, Drew University, Bloomfield College and Monmouth University on topics from land title documents to African American History. Mr. Grabas founded the Grabas Institute for Continuing Education in 2008 to bring alternative historically based continuing education to the Title, Legal, Real Estate & Insurance professions. He currently serves as a Commissioner on the Monmouth County Historical Commission and holds a degree in History from Monmouth University. He has spent the last 20 years researching Free African American Communities in Monmouth County.