PERTH AMBOY — Author Gordon Bond will be at the Ferry Slip Musem on Sunday, January 29 at 2 p.m. “To Cast a Freedman’s Vote”: How a Handyman from Perth Amboy Made Civil Rights History. 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 himself and other NJ historians to tell Peterson’s story. It is a study in race relations that resonates with us even today. Gordon Bond is the ePublisher of Garden State Legacy, a free online quarterly magazine dedicated to New Jersey history.
Its website, www.GardenStateLegacy.com, 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 is working with The History Press on a book tentatively titled, “North Jersey Footnotes: Tangential Tales and Hidden History,” due out in the Spring of 2012.
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.