Abraham Blauvelt used this account book to record the expenses of the Queen's College Building Committee from July 6, 1808, to March 30, 1810. Blauvelt was the chairman of said committee and oversaw the construction of the first permanent building erected for Queen's College (later Rutgers University). This building is now known as Old Queens. There are 148 entries (excluding several corrections) for the building.
Entry 15 and entry 130 (see photographs) indicate payment to Jacob Dunham for the labor of Dunham's enslaved man on the construction site.
The account book also contains a list of subscribers to the newspaper Blauvelt owned, called the Guardian or New Brunswick Advertiser, for the years 1794-1797. Additionally, the book contains a number of miscellaneous memoranda.
Rev. Israel Read, of the Bound Brook Presbyterian Church, wrote his will in 1785. The will was proved in 1794 after his death. This is an abstract of the will, which mentions 3 enslaved persons: Isabel, Jean, and Toone (or Tony).
The will was proved on February 8, 1794, after the death of Israel Read.
Abstract of the will of William Manning, of Piscataway, Middlesex County, NJ, dated September 23, 1814. Signed by his mark. Witnessed by John Dayton, David Clayton, and Reuben Drake. Proved on October 10, 1814, by brother Thomas Manning and nephew William B. Manning, executors of the estate.
The will enumerates bequests of thousands of dollars in cash and substantial landholdings in New Jersey and Ohio. William Manning passed most of his estate to his brother Thomas Manning and his nephews William T. Manning (Thomas's son) and William B. Manning (son of brother Benjamin, deceased). He provided substantial support for his wife Anna during her widowhood and made numerous bequests to his sisters and other extended family as well as a gift of $700 to the Presbyterian Church of Metuchen.
William Manning mentioned 8 Black people who were enslaved in his household and made the following provisions:
to wife Anna, "$52 yearly for the support of my black woman, Phebe, during her life," also "time of my girls Rachel and Nell and the boy, Peter, until they are liberated." Additionally, "Negro boys, Jake and Tom, to be liberated on May 1, 1818; Peter on May 1, 1830, and Rachel and Hetty and the little boy, Harry, when they become 25 years. Nephew, William T. Manning, to have Peter and Nell after death of my wife until they are free. Jake and Tom to have $100 each, when freed, and Rachel and Hetty to have $50 as soon as Executors see fit."
Minute book maintained by the Secretary of the African Association of New Brunswick from 1817 to 1824. This bound manuscript volume includes the constitution of the organization, meeting minutes, member rolls, and dues paid. The book contains copies of two speeches given by guests at the annual meetings of the association: the address delivered by the Rev. Jeremiah Gloucester of the Second African Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, on January 1, 1820, and the address delivered by Gustavus V. Caesar, then a student at the Parsippany African School, on January 1, 1821. Additionally, a copy of a letter from Gustavus V. Caesar, read at a meeting of the association's standing committee on February 3, 1821, is in the minute book.
Related to the minute book are several permission slips from enslavers who allowed enslaved Black persons to join the organization. One permission slip is glued inside the book, and several loose permission slips are kept in an unmarked folder inside the same archival collection. Permission slips have been digitized as separate items in the New Jersey Slavery Records database and are listed under Linked Resources.
Bound manuscript volume containing records of births for African American children born in bondage in Middlesex County after 1804. Beginning on July 4, 1804, enslavers had to report to the County Clerk when an enslaved mother in their household gave birth to a child.
These county records were necessary to prove the child's age and eligibility for emancipation at age 21 (for female children) or age 25 (for male children) under the provisions of the 1804 Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery.