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April 6, 2004

Contact: Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994
Dana Loschiavo (609) 984-1423

DEP's 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.



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