New Jersey Residents Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills Collect Decades of Research, Oral Histories, Land Deeds, Church Records, and Preserved Cemetery Plots Tracing the Legacy of Slavery in Small Town USA
January 18, 2016 —Princeton, NJ— Today, Princeton, New Jersey-based consulting and publishing company Wild River Books announced formal engagement in the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association book project. Funded in part by the Bunbury Company, the book spans over three centuries of untold stories, contributions, and legacies of countless African Americans in the region since the Colonial Period. Co-authors Beverly Mills and Elaine Buck are both Trustees of the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association and descendants of those buried there.
The most common response Mills and Buck hear after their frequent presentations about African Americans in the Central Jersey region is: “I never knew there was slavery in New Jersey.”
It is not widely known that New Jersey, as one of the original thirteen colonies, was not only a slave holding state but was also one of the last northern states to abolish slavery through legislation in 1821.
“We are met with stares of utter amazement from Whites, but more sadly, Blacks, because this side of history has not been talked about or, more importantly, taught in our schools,” says co-author Beverly Mills, who recently won the Pennington Historical Preservation Award for her commitment to preserving the unique heritage in the region.
The Stoutsburg Cemetery is located at the foot of the Sourland Mountains, exactly halfway between New York City and Philadelphia. The Cemetery, now led by President John B. Buck, was originally purchased in 1858 by three men for the exclusive use as a burial ground for people of color, who could not be buried with Whites. It is believed that the land bordered a pre-exiting cemetery when purchased.
“I grew up hearing about the Stoutburg Cemetery and community all my life,” continues Mills. “As the oldest granddaughter, I was the first to hear about what life was like on the mountain. Imagine my shock to learn that enslaved people were instrumental in building this region and contributed to their communities in every respect. They built churches and neighborhoods, served in wars dating back to the Revolution, and excelled in education, music, and the arts. We want to put faces with the stories because there are many.”
Co-author Elaine Buck adds: “We want the public to know how and why the land was purchased. Blacks were separated even in death. The land was purchased so that Blacks would have a place to be buried with dignity. Our ancestors left their footprints in Hopewell Valley, Pennington, Princeton, Stoutsburg, Rocky Hill, Blawenburg, Trenton, Lambertville, Mercer, Hunterdon and Somerset, Monmouth Counties, and surrounding areas. History books are missing this untold story, which impacts Black lives to the present day.”
“We are honored to be publishing the history of the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association project, which lines up directly with our mission as a company,” says Joy E. Stocke, Co-Founder of Wild River Books. “Wild River seeks to elevate difficult conversations—and bring fresh perspectives and important stories to new audiences in print and digital formats. The history of slavery in the United States remains a hot-button issue that is too often missing full historical context.”
About Wild River Books and Wild River Consulting & Publishing: With over thirty years of publishing, editing, design, and marketing experience, Wild River Books upholds the top standards of the industry. Through editorial consultation, marketing, publicity expertise, and crafted packaging, Wild River Books helps authors tell and promote stories that make a difference in the world. Through Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC, Wild River Books also runs the international online literary and arts magazine, Wild River Review (www.wildriverreview.com), with loyal readers from every corner of the world.
In 2006, Kimberly Nagy founded Wild River Review with Joy E. Stocke; and in 2009, they founded Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC. With more than twenty years in the field of publishing, Nagy specializes in market outreach and digital media strategies as well as crafting timeless articles and interviews. She edits many of the writers who appear in the pages of Wild River Review, as well as clients from around the world.
Kimberly Nagy is a poet, professional writer, and dedicated reader who has interviewed a number of leading thinkers, including Academy-Award winning filmmaker, Pamela Tanner Boll, MacArthur Genius Award-winning Edwidge Danticat, historian James McPherson, playwright Emily Mann, biologist and novelist, Sunetra Gupta and philosopher Alain de Botton.
Nagy is an author, editor and professional storyteller. She received her BA in history at Rider University where she was influenced by professors who stressed works of literature alongside dates and historical facts–as well as the importance of including the perspectives of women and minorities in the historical record. During a period in which she fell in love with writing and research, Nagy wrote an award-winning paper about the suppression of free speech during World War I, and which featured early 20th century feminist and civil rights leader, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.
Nagy continued her graduate studies at University of Connecticut, Storrs, where she studied with Dr. Karen Kupperman, an expert in early contact between Native Americans and the first European settlers. Nagy wrote her Masters thesis, focusing on the work of the first woman to be accepted into the Connecticut Historical Society as well as literary descriptions of Native Americans in Connecticut during the 19th century. Nagy has extensive background and interest in anthropological, oral history and cultural research.
After graduate school, Nagy applied her academic expertise to a career in publishing, in which she worked for two of the world’s foremost publishers—Princeton University Press and W.W. Norton—as well as at Thomson, Institutional Investor Magazine, Routledge UK, and Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic.
Kimberly Nagy in this Edition
AIRMAIL – LETTERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
AIRMAIL – VOICE FROM SYRIA
ARTS – ART
ARTS – FILM REVIEWS
ARTS – MUSIC
ARTS – PHOTOGRAPHY
The Triple Goddess Trials: Fire in the Head: Brigit’s Mysterious Spark
The Triple Goddess Trials: Introduction
The Triple Goddess Trials – Meeting Virginia Woolf at the Strand
The Triple Goddess Trials: Me and Medusa
The Triple Goddess Trials: Aphrodite and the Lightbulb Factory
The Triple Goddess Trials: Goddess of Milk and Honey
The Triple Goddess Trials: Kali’s Ancient Love Song
ASHLEY – Renee Ashley: A Voice Answering a Voice
BELLI – Giocanda Belli – The Page is My Home
BOLL – Pamela Tanner Boll: Dangerous Women: An Interview with Academy Award Winner Pamela Tanner Boll
DANTICAT – Create Dangerously- A Conversation with Edwidge Danticat
CHARBONNEAU – A Cruise Along the Inside Track: With Le Mobile’s Sound Recording Legend Guy Charbonneau
de BOTTON – The Art of Connection: A Conversation with Alain de Botton
GUPTA – Suneptra Gupta – The Elements of Style: The Novelist and Biologist Discusses Metaphor and Science
HANDAL – Nathalie Handal – Love and Strange Horses
KHWAJA – Waqas Khwaja: What a Difference a Word Makes
MAURO: New World Monkeys: An Interview with Nancy Mauro
MORGANSing, Live, & Love Like You Mean It: An Interview with Bertha Morgan
MOSS – Practical Mystic–Robert Moss: On Book Families, Jung and How Dreams Can Save Your Soul
OGLINE – BEN FRANKLIN.COM: Author & Illustrator Tim Ogline explains why Ben Franklin would be a technology evangelist today
OLSEN – Greg Olsen – Reaching for the Stars: Scientist, Entrepreneur and Space Traveler
PALYA – Beata Palya – The Secret World of Songs
SCHIMMEL – Moonlight Science: A Conversation with Molecular Biologist and Entrepreneur, Paul Schimmel
SHORS – Journey into the Male & Female Brain: An Interview with Tracey Shors
von MOLTKE and SIMMS – Dorothy von Moltke and Cliff Simms: Why Independent Bookstores Matter, Part I
WARD – On the Rocks: Global Warming and the Rock and Fossil Record – An Interview with Peter Ward, Part One, and
On the Rocks: Global Warming and the Rock and Fossil Record – An Interview with Peter Ward, Part Two
WILKES – Labor of Love: An Interview With Architect Kevin Wilkes
LITERATURE – MEMOIR
LITERATURE – POETRY
LIVE FROM THE NYPL
Fountain of Curiosity: Paul Holdengraber on Attention, Tension and Stretching the Limits of Conversation at the New York Public Library
The New York Public Library at 100: From the Stacks to the Streets
Paul Holdengraber: The Afterlife of Conversation
That Email Changed My Life: Rolex Arts Initiative. Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet Tracy K. Smith Celebrates Rolex Arts Initiative
First Editions / Second Thoughts — Defending Writers: PEN and Christie’s Raise One Million Dollars to Support Freedom of Expression
ON AFRICA: May 4 to May 10 — Behind the Scenes with Director Jakab Orsos: Co-curated by Award-Winning Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Page is My Home: Giaconda Belli – Nicaraguan Poet, Writer and Public Intellectual
Georgian Writer David Dephy’s Second Skin
The Power of Conversation: David Grossman and Nadine Gordimer – The Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture
NEW FROM WILD RIVER BOOKS – Brief Eulogies at Roadside Shrines
Daring Collaborations: Rolex and LIVE from the NYPL at the New York Public Library
Wild River Books Announces the Stoutsburg Cemetery Project: The Untold Stories of an African American Burial Ground in New Jersey
Wild River Books: Surprise Encounters by Scott McVay
Wild River Review and Minerva’s Bed & Breakfast Presents – “BITTER” Writing in a Weekend: How to Write About the Things We Can’t Change
ALLEN – Quarks, Parks, and Science in Everyday Life: Filmmaker Chris Allen’s Documentary Where Art Meets Science in a Vacant Lot
HOLT – Rush Holt: An Interview with Rush Holt
MANN – Boundless Theater: An Interview with Emily Mann
Keeping Time: A Conversation with Historian James McPherson