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.
African American Museum History Project:
The Sourland Conservancy and the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association have partnered to create an African American Museum in the Sourland Mountains. The purpose of this museum is to create awareness and educate the general public about the African American residents who lived in this region. We want people to know about who lived here in this very unique community, how many rose up from slavery to be men and women whose labor helped create one of the wealthiest areas in Central New Jersey. The Sourland Conservancy and the Stoutsburg Assocation are proud to partner on this wonderful opportunity to educate the public about the rich legacy of these individuals.
We are calling for anyone who may have documents, pictures or artifacts that would be of particular interest to loan to the museum. Please note any person or family who contribute will be properly acknowledged by a plaque next to the object.
In collaboration with the Sourland Conservancy, the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association has released an RFP to commission sculptors for the African American Museum. Interested parties please click here to view the RFP.
Contact Elaine Buck at 609-466-9345 or Beverly Mills, 609-737-0859.
On Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 7:00 PM Stoutsburg Cemetery Association members John & Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills will present "African American History in the Sourlands and Hopewell Valley." Learn about African American history in the region from the late 18th century through the present.
Annual Stoutsburg Cemetery Memorial Day Service, Sunday, May 29, 2016 (3:00 PM – 4:00 PM).
The 2015 Memorial Day Service was held on Sunday, May 24, 2015 on the grounds of the Stoutsburg Cemetery. Scheduled speaker, Dr. Linda Caldwell Epps, was unable to present due to a family emergency however she will return to speak at the 2016 Memorial Day service which will take place on Sunday, May 29th (3:00 PM– 4:00 PM). Dr. Epps has served on the New Jersey Historical Society, held a key position with New Jersey Network Public Television and Radio and is currently the President and CEO of 1904 Consultants. The Stoutsburg Cemetery Association is happy Dr. Epps has agreed to come back to our community so please mark this date on your calendar!
On February 22, 2015 at the East Amwell Municipal Building, members of the Stoutsburg cemetery presented "The African–American Presence in the Sourland Mountains, Hopewell Valley and Surrounding Areas." The event was hosted by the East Amwell Historical Society.
On February 10, 2015 at the Mary Jacobs Library in Rocky Hill, NJ members of the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association presented "The African-American Presence in the Sourland Mountains, Hopewell Valley and Surroundings Areas." The event was hosted by the East Amwell Historical Society.
2014'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.
On April 11, 2014 at the Hopewell Train Station, NJ members of the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association: Beverly Mills and Elaine Buck presented "A Proud Heritage: African American Presence in Hopewell Valley and Sourland Mountian."
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.
For more info contact John Buck 609-466-9345.