New Jersey Topics

The Role of New Jersey After the Civil War

A reexamination of the state’s postwar politics during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age. The view that New Jersey was a conservative backwater during the period between 1865 and 1894 is refuted.

William Gillette, Ph.D.
Professor of History, Rutgers University

The Role of New Jersey in the Civil War

A reconsideration of the state’s wartime role. The traditional view that New Jersey was a copperhead stronghold is rebutted. The home front and the battlefront will be touched on, but emphasis will be given to the political front.

William Gillette, Ph.D.
Professor of History, Rutgers University

Clara Barton: Angel of the Battlefield

Clara Barton was born on December 25, 1821, in Massachusetts. In 1852 she founded one of the first free public schools in New Jersey. During the American Civil War, she headed for the front lines, taking supplies to wounded soldiers and earning the title “Angel of the Battlefield.” She became a passionate supporter of the International Red Cross and established the first chapter of the American Red Cross. Clara’s example of indomitable strength, dogged determination and boundless good will is a model for all Americans.

American Historical Theatre
A nonprofit organization specializing in first-person living history presentations.

New Jersey in the American Revolution

This 50-minute slide presentation is based on the presenter’s book The Long Retreat. This program focuses on the British invasion of New Jersey in late 1776, which ended with Washington‘s famous Christmas night raid on Trenton. The speaker will demonstrate that the closest the British ever came to winning a military victory in the American Revolution was at New Brunswick, New Jersey, on December 1, 1775.

Arthur S. Lefkowitz
Independent Researcher and Author

Program available in Bergen, Burlington, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Union, and Warren counties.

New Jersey’s Modern Politics

A survey of the state’s politics and governmental institutions under the Constitution of 1947. In particular, New Jersey’s modern governors will be surveyed.

William Gillette, Ph.D.
Professor of History, Rutgers University

The Jersey Devil

As the story goes, in a small community, Leeds Point, at the coastal edge of the Pine Barrens, lived the Leeds family. The year was 1735. Already having given birth twelve times, Mother Leeds was about to deliver for the thirteenth time. Feeling tired and weary of the burden, she cursed the unborn child, wishing she had never married Daniel Leeds. But she took revenge on Mr. Leeds that night when she gave birth to the devil’s child, who now lurks in the Pine Barrens of South Jersey. In a talk illustrated by many photographs, drawings, and maps, Gillespie brings together different reports of this legendary creature.

Angus Kress Gillespie, Ph.D.
Professor of American Studies, Rutgers University

Speaker requests that a microphone be made available. Program only available in Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset, and Union counties.

Recapturing a New Jersey Legacy: John Henry “Pop” Lloyd and the Communal Legacy of Negro League Baseball

A discussion, accompanied by video and exhibit materials, of the history of black professional baseball in Atlantic City and the social/communal/civic legacy of one of its greatest players, Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop John Henry “Pop” Lloyd. The presentation also covers the restoration of historic John Henry “Pop” Lloyd Stadium.

Lawrence Hogan, Ph.D.
Professor of History, Union County College

A computer projector and microphone are required for this program.

The Shady Rest Country Club: A Black New Jersey Cultural Oasis in the Age of Segregation

Focuses on a black owned and operated country club in Scotch Plains, NJ, from the 1920s through the 1950s. The presentation examines the rich social, recreational, professional, athletic, business, educational and entertainment world behind the veil of segregation that separated white from black through much of 19th- and 20th- century America.

Lawrence Hogan, Ph.D.
Professor of History, Union County College

A computer projector and microphone are required for this program.

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