On Sunday, February 22, 2015 at the Crane-Phillips House Museum, located at 38 Springfield Avenue in Cranford, residents are invited to a free program featuring historian and author, James Gigantino. Gigantino will discuss his book, “The Ragged Road to Abolition: Slavery and Freedom in New Jersey, 1775-1865. ” Most people don’t realize that slavery persisted in the North well into the nineteenth century. New Jersey, in fact, was actually the last northern state to pass an abolition statute in 1804. But because of the nature of the law, which freed children born to enslaved mothers only after they had served their mother’s master for more than two decades, slavery continued in New Jersey through the Civil War. Passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 finally destroyed the last of slavery in NJ, but this book chronicles the long road to slavery’s demise in our state.
Gigantino, who also authored the earlier book, The American Revolution in New Jersey: Where the Battlefront Meets the Home Front, is a former Cranford resident. He received his B.A. from the University of Richmond in 2004 and his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 2010. He is an early American historian who specializes in the history of slavery. He works in the history department of the University of Arkansas.
The program is free, but to reserve your seat, please call the Historical Society’s office at 908-276-0082 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.