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Thomas Mundy Peterson’s Historic Vote

PERTH AMBOY – Thomas Mundy Peterson was the first African-American to vote under the 15th Amendment and it happened right here in Perth Amboy.

On March 30, 1870, the Fifteenth amendment to the Federal Constitution had just been adopted by Congress. On March 31, 1870 Perth Amboy had a special election to decide whether or not to adopt a new charter.  Some people in town wanted to revise the present charter while others wished to drop the present city charter altogether and revert to a township form of government.

Thomas Mundy Peterson was asked to vote by both James Lawrence Kearny and Marcus Spring.

Thomas Peterson recalls, “As I advanced to the polls one man offered me a ticket bearing the words “revised charter” and another one marked, “no charter.”  I thought I would not vote to give up our charter after holding it for so long; so I chose a revised charter ballot.”  He handed the ballot to Patrick Convery.

For more info read Stories From Perth Amboy by Katherine Massopust.

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Perth Amboy Calendar

MON. May 22

• City Council, Caucus, 4:30 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

WED. May 24

• City Council, Regular, 7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

THUR. May 25

• Historic Preservation Commission, 7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

All Meetings are at City Hall, High Street unless otherwise noted.
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South Amboy Calendar

WED. May 17

City Council, Regular, 7 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

WED. May 31

• Planning Board, 7 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

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