Historic Preservation Office Names the Beverwyck Site
to the New Jersey Register of Historic Places
Site Evidences Existence
of Slavery in New Jersey
(04/32) TRENTON - Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M.
Campbell today announced the listing of the Beverwyck Site
to the New Jersey Register of Historic Places, where archaeological
artifacts were uncovered that evidence the existence of
slavery in New Jersey. The site is located in Parsippany-Troy
Hills, Morris County.
"The Beverwyck Site is historically
significant with archaeological value that reminds us of
critical events and cultures that took place in the nation's
past," said Campbell. "The site presents sobering
evidence of slavery in the north in the 18th century."
The Department of Transportation discovered
the significance of the site while working on the expansion
and relocation of a Park n' Ride facility. Among the discoveries
at the site were two shackles found in the remains of an
apparent slave dwelling. During the investigations of the
site, archaeologists unearthed numerous personal items from
the 18th century, including buttons from Revolutionary War
era uniforms and cowrie-helmet shells from the Caribbean,
indicating the slaves' ties to that region.
The 5.03-acre Beverwyck Site was historically
part of a 2,000-acre mid-18th century plantation, and today
consists of the intact archaeological remains of residential
buildings, agricultural outbuildings and landscape features
of the agricultural estate.
Archaeological data from the site provides
considerable information on aspects of 18th century plantation
life in northern New Jersey that are absent from the archival
record. Moreover, study of these remains will provide significant
information on the use and decline of enslaved labor in
northern New Jersey.
Through the Revolutionary War, Beverwyck
was a significant plantation in the region. Noted individuals
who were entertained at Beverwyck included George Washington,
Nathaniel Greene and the Marquis de Lafayette.
The State Register of Historic Places is
a list of properties and areas worthy of preservation for
their historical, architectural, cultural or archaeological
significance. New Jersey Register law requires review of
any state, county or municipal undertaking that involves
properties listed in the New Jersey Register. These reviews
are designed to prevent destruction or damage of historic
resources by public agencies.
Campbell will also recommend that this
property be placed on the National Register of Historic
Places, administered by the National Park Service. National
Register listing offers a measure of protection from federally
sponsored or assisted undertakings, destruction, or damage.