PRESENTER: RICK GEFFKEN
This presentation is an overview of the history and legacy of New Jersey’s two-hundred-year embrace of human bondage. New Jersey voted against Abraham Lincoln in both the 1860 and 1864 presidential elections; and was also the last northern state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery (1866).
New Jersey state government policies and historical records involving the treatment of enslaved people are examined. Interactions between individual enslaved people, slave owners, and Quakers from the Shrewsbury Meeting (Monmouth County) are discussed. The influential activities of the Quaker Abolition movement and resistance to it will illuminate New Jersey’s painful and gradual acceptance of Abolition.
Rick has presented historical research topics at the New Jersey History & Historic Preservation in 2014 and 2015. He has participated in Symposia for the Navesink Maritime Historical Association, and has appeared on the New Jersey Cable TV show, Family Historian.
Rick has spoken about Monmouth County historical topics at dozens of historical societies. He has been a featured speaker at the Trent House Museum, the Quaker Meeting of Shrewsbury, the Battleground Historical Society, and other organizations. He is Past-president and a Trustee of the Jersey Coast Heritage Museum at Sandlass House. He is a member of the Monmouth County Historical Association.
A retired U.S. Army officer and Viet Nam veteran, he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from St. Peter’s University, a Secondary Teaching Certificate from Monmouth University, and a Master’s Degree from Montclair State University.