February 2021
Crossroads Gazette
Revolutionary Neighbors' Stories Resound During Black History Month
New Jerseyans from all walks of life faced difficult choices during the American Revolution, opting to support independence, pledge loyalty to the British Crown, or declare neutrality. For people of African descent, the decisions were often calculated on the potential of freedom once the war concluded, and the faith that others would keep their word.

Take, for example, the story of Prime, a man enslaved by a Loyalist, sold and transported to New York. His complex story brought him back to New Jersey, where he was taken into custody as confiscated Loyalist property. Though he enlisted in the Continental Army in hopes of earning his freedom, his fate ultimately rested with the white men who petitioned the state legislature on his behalf for his freedom.

Colonel Tye escaped enslavement, joined a Loyalist refugee camp at Sandy Hook and became leader of the Black Brigade, leading raids through Monmouth County. Oliver Cromwell served in the Continental Army at the battles of Short Hills, Monmouth, Brandywine, Springfield, and Yorktown. Jacob Francis fought with the Third Hunterdon Militia and, following the war, purchased the freedom of an enslaved woman and married her.

Black and Native American Troops at the Battle of Monmouth are the focus of a special program at Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center on February 14. More information

On February 16, Morven Museum and Garden explores the relationship between the Stockton family and the free black composer Francis “Frank” Johnson, the first African American to publish sheet music and perform an integrated concert. Register for this online event.

Learn more about the Revolutionary world of Jacob Francis on February 25 in a Zoom session sponsored by the Hunterdon County Historical Society. Historian Larry Kidder recounts the challenges this Revolutionary Neighbor faced throughout his life and their influence on his childrens' abolition work. Register for this online event.

Follow Crossroads’ Facebook page for Black History Month program updates from our Heritage Partners.
Celebrate Washington's Birthday in Revolutionary New Jersey!

General George Washington spent more time in New Jersey than anywhere else during the American Revolution. Mark his February birthday by participating in events online and in person this month!

On February 10, take a virtual VIP tour of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, with a distinctly New Jersey twist! More information.

Celebrate with the General a little early, as Washington Crossing Historic Park hosts a virtual George Washington Birthday Celebration on February 14. Gather the kids and sing happy birthday, then ask our first president a question. Space is limited for this Zoom session, so register today. More information. 

The Washington Association of New Jersey's annual meeting will be held virtually this year on February 15, with keynote speaker former Governor Thomas H. Kean. More information.

Monmouth Battlefield State Park welcomes you to trace Washington’s path through the June 1778 battle during a special program on February 21. More information.

Be sure to follow Crossroads' Facebook page for more events as they're scheduled.
Revolution NJ Update replay available
Did you miss the January quarterly update for Revolution NJ, the state's commemorative planning for the 250th anniversary of the United States?

Check out the replay to learn about the interpretive framework from the Advisory Council co-chairs and more!
NJ Sen. Loretta Weinberg, History Advocate, Announces Retirement
In January, New Jersey State Senator Loretta Weinberg announced her intention to retire at the conclusion of her current term, in 2022. 

Crossroads deeply appreciates her enduring service to New Jersey, both as an influential State Senator representing the 37th district, and as a committed advocate for the state’s history.

Recognizing the economic development potential of New Jersey’s Revolutionary-era history, she was a driving force in the passage of legislation creating the public-private partnership to plan the state’s commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the United States. Her foresight will help New Jersey to make the most of our deep and diverse historic resources in helping all Americans understand the complexity of our nation’s founding story.
Crossroads welcomes renewed Heritage Partners

Crossroads gets its strength from more than 200 historic sites, historical societies and heritage organizations that help tell the story of the American Revolution in New Jersey. From long-established museums to interest groups working to preserve local history, Crossroads helps members enhance their visibility and build community engagement as they help visitors discover Revolutionary New Jersey. We're eager to help get the word out on public programs as member sites and groups work through COVID restrictions.

The following Heritage Partners recently joined or renewed their Crossroads memberships:

Affair at Egg Harbor Historical Society

Whether your site currently offers online programs, isn't yet ready to welcome visitors or is somewhere in between, Crossroads can help. Contact our Program Manager, Amy Osterhout by email for more information, or visit our Heritage Partner membership webpage to join us.
Stay Updated with Crossroads All Month Long
We're working to keep our social media and website updated with the latest information from our Heritage Partners' site and event status during the COVID-19 crisis. We're committed to be your source for rescheduled event dates and site re-openings as we receive them.
Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for site news, interesting facts and more throughout the season. 
Board of Trustees
Thomas H. Kean, Honorary Chair ● Sally Lane, Chair ● Edward Allison ● Steve Ayscue ● David Capozzi ●  
Laura Crowley, CPA ● Iris Delgado ● Dale Florio ● Jennifer Godoski ● Seth Hahn ● Joshua Henne ●   
Ira Jersey ● Jeff Kaszerman● Patrick Murray ● Michael Murphy ●
Tony Perry ● Rocky Peterson ● Laura Szwak

Crossroads Staff
Janice Selinger, Executive Director ● Sue Kaufmann, Communications Director ●
Amy Osterhout, Program Manager ● Roseann Butterfield, Office Administrator