The Stoutsburg Cemetery, located at the foot of the Sourland Mountains since the late 18th century, overlooks a peaceful valley with an unmatched view.
Steeped in a rich history, Stoutsburg has served as a burial ground for African American residents and veterans primarily from Hopewell, Pennington, Montgomery and East Amwell Townships (though not restricted to these areas). One of the oldest commemorative markers is that of Pvt. William Stives (1760-1839) a Revolutionary War soldier who served with the 3rd New Jersey Regiment as a fifer and wintered with General Washington in Valley Forge. The Stoutsburg Cemetery also has ten documented Civil War Veterans who trained at Camp William Penn and served in the 24th, 41st, 45th, and 12th U.S. Colored Troop Regiments. These soldiers, in particular the 41st and 127th Regiments along with other union forces, helped capture Petersburg and joined in the chase after Lee’s retreating army. At Appomattox Court House five Camp William Penn Regiments (the 8th, 41st, 43rd and 127th) were represented to witness the surrender of Lee’s army to General Grant.
Early names such as Hoagland, Barksdale, Truehart (True), Robinson, Grover, Clark and Smith date back to the post-colonial era and are remarkably still represented by descendants in this area to this day. It is an honor to salute our ancestors, may who were enslaved, who built this region as laborers, farmers, cooks, caretakers…. and soldiers. As their descendants it is our duty to continue honoring their history and preserving the legacy that has been passed down.
Ongoing Cemetary Project:
Trustees of the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association, located in the Sourland Mountains, off Province Line Road, are seeking information and pictures of old buildings or gravestones from ancestral wills, deeds or family Bibles, regarding African-American slaves, indentured servants or "bound boys," who lived in the Hopewell-Pennington areas (Mercer Country) as well as Hunterdon and Burlington counties for a research project.
They also want pictures of the original First Colored Baptist Church of Hopewell, formerly located on First Street in hopewell Borough and renamed Second Calvary Baptist Church, on the corner of Columbia and Maple avenues in Hopewell.
Contact Elaine Buck at 609-466-9345 or Beverly Mills, 609-737-0859.
The Sourland Conservancy hosted "A Proud Heritage: African American Presence in Hopewell Valley and Sourland Mountian" presentation on Friday, April 11, 2014 at the Hopewell Train Station. The presenters were Beverly Mills and Elaine Buck of the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association.
This research is ongoing and any and all donations would be appreciated. For information regarding donations contact: Bev Mills 609-737-0859 or Elaine Buck 609-466-9345, 79 Columbia Avenue, Hopewell, NJ 08525.
This year's Memorial Day Service was held on Sunday, May 25, 2014, 3 pm-4 pm. We hosted Brook Hunter who is an Associate Professor of History at Rider University who spoke on the history of slavery in our local area.
For more info contact John Buck 609-466-9345.