Nuns Retreat In Cape May Point Connected To Figure In The Underground Railroad
CAPE MAY POINT Robert E. Mullock believes he has uncovered a piece of history that will sa
There also will be a demonstration of African dance, a talk on the history of Juneteenth from retired teacher Teddy Bryan and a presentation to Carolyn Davis, widow of the Rev. Robert Davis, beloved pastor of the Macedonia Baptist Church. He died in 2015.
He was an icon, Anderson-Towns said.
He was known for his extraordinary voice, she said, and as a leader in the Cape May community, both Black and white. He lectured on Black history and organized an annual choir concert. Carolyn Davis loaned his extensive collection of African artifacts and art to the museum.
Were going to take the opportunity to highlight her and to publicly thank her, Anderson-Towns said.
The museum also will present the history of Cape Mays Black community, a history that will now be preserved and disseminated, according to Towns. The final room in the museum will be dedicated to Cape Mays Black residents.
But much of the museum focuses on Tubman and the historic citys place as home to an active abolitionist movement before the Civil War. Local historians say Tubman lived and worked in the town for at least one summer, possibly longer.
Whats Harriet Tubmans Connection To Cape May
Freshly painted, the Howell House, after years of neglect, will house the Harriet Tubman Museum.
- Jennifer Kopp
The Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church was originally built in 1843. Though recently suffering a fire, plans are to restore the church in the near future.
- Jennifer Kopp
Fulcrum Design Group, an architectural firm in Cape May, is in charge of the plans and details of restoring the Howell House on Lafayette Street. Pictured are architects Paul and Cassandra Farnan.
- Jennifer Kopp
Restoration of the Howell House began in July 2019, shortly after a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The museum is planned to open in 2020.
- Jennifer Kopp
Macedonia Baptist Church will jointly work with the Mullock family as curators of the Harriet Tubman Museum.
- Jennifer Kopp
Frequented by local newspaper editor, Joseph Leach, it was here that topical copies of abolitionist meetings were sent to Frederick Douglas for publication.
- Jennifer Kopp
The official ribbon-cutting ceremony in July 2019 was attended by members of the Macedonia Baptist Church and the Mullock family, with Carolyn Davis, center, widow of Rev. Robert O. Davis, doing the honors.
- Jennifer Kopp
The Stephen Smith House, built in 1846, is a National Historic Landmark.
- Jennifer Kopp
The below replaces an earlier version.
CAPE MAY For those who live here, its been a puzzle through the years. Did Harriet Tubman ferry slaves via the Underground Railroad through Cape May? Some say yes, while others are skeptical.
Harriet Tubman Museum In Cape May Opens Virtually On Juneteenth
On Lafayette Street, a busy route that takes visitors into the heart of Cape May, a little-known chapter of New Jersey history is about to come into sharp relief.
The timing is perfect for those seeking to learn more about the deep roots of racial injustice in this country and close to home in the midst of worldwide protests for racial equality and equal justice following the death of George Floyd at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer on May 25.
On Friday, the Harriet Tubman Museum will open its doors for the first time, albeit virtually, shining new light on the abolitionist’s time spent living and working in this Shore city.
The celebration is a long time coming for local organizers historians, volunteers, church leaders and local officials who have held fast to the dream of preserving the rich Black history of the surrounding neighborhood.
Founders announced last year that the new cultural center would open on June 19, or Juneteenth, the date that commemorates Union Army General Gordon Granger’s 1865 proclamation that enslaved persons in Texas were now free, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The date is beginning to be recognized as an official holiday in some places, including Philadelphia.
Because New Jersey’s museums have not yet been given the green light to open for visitors, the virtual opening will take place on Facebook.
Also Check: Museum Of Natural History Nyc Hours
Celebrate Black History Year
Celebrate Black History Year-round with the Harriett Tubman Museum at the Jersey Cape
CAPE MAY, NJ As we mark the end of Black History Month in America, the Jersey Cape invites you to explore the Harriet Tubman Museum in Cape May- the small museum with a big story.
The museum was a 19th-century parish house formerly associated with the adjacent Macedonia Baptist Church. It opened in September 2020, though public tours have yet to begin because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the official Harriet Tubman Museum of New Jersey, it features displays about Tubmans life, the abolitionist movement in Cape May and the contributions of local African Americans.
As the Museum prepares open its doors to the public in 2021, you are invited to subscribe to its Youtube Channel and to get updates and receive access to future events, live streams and videos.
Museum executive director Cynthia Mullock and president Lynda Anderson-Towns joined our new Escape to the Jersey Cape podcast this week with host Cleve Bryan to talk about Tubman, the museum and Black History Month.
The podcast can be heard here
Here are some highlights from Cynthia and Lyndas conversation with Cleve:
Harriet Tubmans Time in Cape May
The New Jersey Historical Commission says Harriet Tubman spend several summers living in Cape May in the early 1850s, working as a cook and domestic servant to help fund her missions to guide enslaved people to freedom.
Harriet Tubmans Cape May Connection
The Treasury Departments recent announcement that freedom fighter Harriet Tubman will replace President and slaveholder Andrew Jackson on the face of the $20 bill finally acknowledges Tubmans place in the pantheon of American heroes.
Most school children learn that Tubman, born a slave, freed herself and then risked her life time and again to return to the South to emancipate family and friends. But few people know the role that Cape May played in her efforts. It was here in Cape May that Tubman earned some of the money critical to carry out her rescues.
Tubman was enslaved on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, which sits across the Delaware Bay from Cape May. At the time, the Eastern Shore was an agricultural area and a source of prized lumber for the Baltimore and New England shipyards. These goods were transported on the numerous waterways and canals in the region.
Life was harsh for Harriet Tubman during the 27 years she was enslaved to a small planter who mostly hired her out to other farmers, many of whom beat her severely. Tubman worked alongside her oxen, plowing fields, lugging huge barrels to ships, pulling boats through the canals.
That year marked the start of the worst period in pre-Civil War history for people of color. It was a time when no black person in the North, neither those who had fled slavery nor those born free, was truly safe from the tentacles of slavery.
Cape May Magazine
Also Check: Museum Of Life And Science
Visit The Harriet Tubman Museum
The must-see museum in Cape May, N.J., opened for in-person visits on Juneteenth of this year.
The Harriet Tubman Museum of New Jersey. Photo by Tim Hawk
Named by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the most anticipated new museums of 2020, the Harriet Tubman Museum of New Jersey, located in Cape May, opened virtually last year and in-person this year on Juneteenth . The exhibits pay tribute to Cape Mays role in the Underground Railroad and Tubmans life as an abolitionist and womens suffrage activist. Tubman worked in Cape May as a cook and domestic worker in the early 1850s, raising money to return to Marylands Eastern Shore to rescue more enslaved people. The museum is housed at Howell House, formerly the parsonage for Macedonia Baptist Church. Interesting items include a signed first-edition printing of the 1872 book The Underground Railroad Records by abolitionist leader William Still, and several African masks and art pieces that belonged to the Rev. Robert Davis, a former pastor of the church who once lived at Howell House.
Additional exhibits include a timeline of Cape Mays Black history, a list of the once plentiful and varied Black-owned businesses, plus details on other notable residents, such as Stephen Smith. After buying his freedom, Smith went on to run a successful coal and lumber business and became an active conductor in the Underground Railroad. Admission is $10 $5 for ages 10 and younger. Reservations are recommended.
Lafayette Street And Franklin Street: The Center Of Abolitionist Activism In Cape May
The Harriet Tubman Museum building is located on a block that anti-slavery activists called home in Cape May. Lafayette Street and Franklin Street became a center of abolitionist activity centered around three important buildings developed in 1846.
The Stephen Smith House stands at 645 Lafayette Street, across from the site of the Harriet Tubman Museum, where Stephen Smith built his summer home in 1846. Smith was a founder of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society.
The Banneker House was next to the Stephen Smith House. The Banneker House became a first-class hotel and one of the only summer resorts for free Black people in the country and was developed by James Harding, a friend of Stephen Smith.
The white Baptist Church was located directly across the street from the Stephen Smith House and Joseph Leach frequently preached there. Leach was a political leader and editor of the Ocean Wave newspaper, where he often wrote accounts of enslaved people that fled to Cape May. The congregation of the church issued a strong condemnation of slavery.
Don’t Miss: Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Wedding
A Historic Museum Dedicated To Harriet Tubman Is Opening Its Doors Virtually On Juneteenth
by Jon Greig
Most museums have had to close for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic. But a new museum dedicated to the legacy of Harriet Tubman is opening its doors virtually in honor of the Juneteenth holiday.
The Harriet Tubman Museum in Cape May, New Jersey, was slated to open for in-person visits on Juneteenth this year, as Blavity previously reported. The pandemic, however, forced organizers to shift plans and hold the opening ceremony through Facebook, according to the Daily Journal.
A look inside the future home of the Harriet Tubman Museum in Cape May
“The Harriet Tubman Museum has been organized to recognize Harriet Tubman’s courage, compassion and conviction as well as the history of abolitionist activism in Cape May and its surrounding region. Harriet Tubman lived in Cape May in the early 1850s, working to fund her expeditions to conduct fugitive enslaved people to freedom, and leaving Cape May to rescue enslaved people in southern states,” event organizers said in an announcement.
Although Cape May is a small New Jersey town about an hour outside of Philadelphia, it played an integral role in the abolitionist movement and was home to Tubman and many others as they worked to free enslaved people.
The town sits right across the bay from Delaware and for many enslaved people served as a destination to freedom.
New Harriet Tubman Museum Opens In Cape May On Juneteenth
- Peter Crimmins
June 19, 2021
Lynda Anderson-Towns, president of the Trustees of the Harriet Tubman Museum, stands outside the museum on Lafayette Street in Cape May.
A Juneteenth celebration in Cape May doubled as the grand opening of the new Harriet Tubman Museum in this Jersey Shore resort town.
About 200 people gathered Saturday in Rotary Park for the citys first significant Juneteenth event, organized by the museum. African drumming and speeches by local leaders drew some for their first taste of Juneteenth as it became a national holiday.
I thought the event was very inspirational, said Shirlene Darby of nearby Whitesboro, who had never celebrated Juneteenth before. Just knowing that were going to be getting together every Juneteenth as a national holiday, I just think its something good. Its a long time coming.
A nonprofit is purchasing the decaying Walnut Street house where Martin Luther King Jr. lived when he was denied service at a Maple Shade bar in 1950.
9 months ago
Others came specifically for the long-awaited opening of the Harriet Tubman Museum, which had been delayed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
I know a lot about Harriet Tubman, that history. Right. Thats what made me come here, said Gerald Brown, who came down from Pleasantville. They talk about the Underground Railroad, but after that, what she did in the military, you know, she was a nurse. Theres a lot of different things shes done.
Recommended Reading: American Museum Of Natural History Membership
African American Heritage Museum Exhibit In Atlantic City Focuses On Women
ATLANTIC CITY The history of Americas Favorite Playground focuses typically on men.
Theres been tremendous interest locally and all over the country, she said. The museum was listed in Smithsonian Magazines most anticipated museum openings of 2020 and is No. 5 on USA Todays readers choice for 10 best new museums in the country.
Saturdays event starts 11 a.m. at Rotary Park at 400 Lafayette St., about two blocks from the museum. According to Mullock, it will feature dancing, speakers and Civil War reenactors depicting the 22nd U.S. Colored Infantry, formed in 1864 and including hundreds of Black soldiers from New Jersey.
The reenactors will honor Cape May residents whose ancestors fought to preserve the Union.
They will present the regimental flag to some local descendants of Civil War heroes, Mullock said. They will include Emily Dempsey, Mullock added, whose family has lived in Cape May for generations.
There will be a series of really cool events, said Lynda Anderson-Towns, president of the museums board of trustees. Im pretty excited about that.
Join Us For A Visit To The Harriet Tubman Museum
The Harriet Tubman Museum shares the inspiring story of an American hero, the rich history of abolitionist activism, and the enduring legacy of the African American community in Cape May County.
Your entry is good from the start of the hour and includes admission for your exploration of the Museum’s exhibits during the hour of your session. Timed ticket entry is limited to the one-hour session so the Museum staff can welcome our next visitors, given high demand.
Guided tours are given during particular sessions, and other sessions are self-guided for your own exploration. Our winter admission schedule is:
Friday 11am – 3pm*
Saturday 11am – 3pm*
Sunday 2pm – 3pm*
*Last daily admission is at 3pm, doors close at 4pm.
To ensure that we are providing a safe environment for our community, face masks are required for all visitors and staff age 2 and above, regardless of vaccination status. Please maintain social distancing and respect others’ efforts to maintain social distancing. Hand sanitizer is provided on-site and recommended for use throughout your visit. The Museum will continue to clean and sanitize its facilities in accordance with federal and state guidance, and will monitor and abide by federal, state, and local guidelines to inform our procedures. So that the Museum can safely remain open, we require that all visitors follow these safety guidelines. The Museum reserves the right to ask visitors who do not follow these guidelines to leave the Museum’s premises.
Recommended Reading: Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum
The Harriet Tubman Museum In Cape May Marked Its Opening Heres Whats Inside And Why Its In Cape May
For residents whose families have lived in Cape May for generations, the Harriet Tubman Museum was a long-awaited recognition of a rich Black and abolitionist history in the seaside resort.
CAPE MAY A year and a half ago, the old parsonage house of the Macedonia Baptist Church on Lafayette Street in Cape May, vacant for decades, was in danger of being torn down.
On Thursday, that danger was declared officially over at Lafayette near Franklin Streets, a corner with deep historic resonance for the citys Black families and for the countrys abolitionist movement.
The old Howell House, newly renovated and expanded, was now filled with artifacts of slavery and abolitionist history, and with an African art and history collection from the Rev. Robert Davis, Macedonias longtime pastor who lived in the parsonage.
On Thursday, it was officially christened the Harriet Tubman Museum with a ribbon cutting that brought Gov. Phil Murphy and other dignitaries to the museums front porch. Smithsonian Magazine declared it one of 2020s most-anticipated museums in the country.
Tubmans connection to Cape May is mentioned in several newspaper articles on display at the museum. It boils down to this: In the summer of 1852, and possibly other summers, Tubman came to Cape May to work in hotels and with families as a cook, raising money to fund her Underground Railroad missions bringing enslaved people to freedom from Maryland.
After More Than A Century Cape May Point’s St Marys Retreat May Have Seen Its Last Summer
CAPE MAY POINT A beloved local landmark may be closed for good.
The museum includes information on the Underground Railroad in New Jersey, a route for those escaping slavery in southern states to freedom in the North and Canada. There also are displays on New Jerseys history with slavery, including shackles from Davis collection.
Returning in time for this summer is an enormous bronze statue on loan to the museum, showing a towering Tubman escorting a young boy from slavery to freedom. Tubman escorted about 70 people out of slavery in southern states and was active in the abolitionist movement. She also served as a scout and a spy for the Union Army during the Civil War.
It was just installed last week. We had to disassemble the doors in the back to get it in, Mullock said. Were so grateful to have it back for this summer.
The piece will be in Cape May through Labor Day.
Read Also: Vizcaya Museum And Gardens Discount Tickets