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CANCELLED-“To Cast a Freedman’s Vote”: How a Handyman from Perth Amboy Made Civil Rights History
Sayreville Public Library
Tuesday, Feb. 26, 6:30PM-8:00PM
On March 31, 1870, Perth Amboy resident Thomas Mundy Peterson dropped a ballot into a box.
  It was a simple action that took, perhaps, all of a second or two.  Yet, in that moment, Peterson made history as the first African?American to vote under the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Many factors had conspired to make that moment possible, from the bloody Civil War to surprisingly progressive local attitudes. “To Cast a Freedman’s Vote”: How a Handyman from Perth Amboy Made Civil Rights History, is a new presentation by historian, author, and lecturer Gordon Bond.  It explores who this man was, how he came to cast his historic vote, and what happened afterward. This talk summarizes the work done by Bond and other NJ historians to tell Peterson’s story.  It is a study in race relations that resonates with us even today.
About the Presenter: Gordon Bond is the ePublisher of Garden State Legacy, an online quarterly magazine dedicated to New Jersey history. Its website,, includes many free resources for the history and historic preservation communities. He is also the author of the book, “James Parker: A Printer on the Eve of Revolution” and “North Jersey Legacies: Hidden History from the Gateway to the Skylands” (The History Press, 2012). He is presently working on a book about the 1951 Woodbridge, New Jersey, train wreck, and a companion to “North Jersey Legacies” for South Jersey.  He is a proud native of the Garden State and presently lives with his wife, Stephanie Hoagland, and their two cats, Daisy and Onslow, in Union Township.

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