Rutgers & Slavery

Many early trustees, officers, benefactors, and students at Queen's College (now Rutgers University) exploited enslaved labor and participated in the transatlantic and domestic slave trade. Our research began with the book Scarlet and Black, Volume 1: Slavery and Dispossession in Rutgers History, edited by Deborah Gray White and Marisa Fuentes (Rutgers University Press, 2016). The book provides a deep dive into the history of Rutgers and slavery, telling many stories about enslavers and the Black people they exploited.

Since the publication of the book, we have continued archival research and digitization of primary sources related to Rutgers and slavery. These documents have been integrated into the New Jersey Slavery Records database. Our index of Rutgers affiliates and namesakes provides an entry point for these documents. We also created a virtual tour of campus sites connected with the history of slavery, dispossession, and the long struggle for racial justice.

Database index: Rutgers affiliates and namesakes

Virtual tour: Around Campus with Scarlet & Black