Public Scholars Project

Why Wench Betty's Story Matters: The Murder of a NJ Slave in 1784

February 27, 2020 at 7:00 PM | Scotch Plains, NJ | Scotch Plains Public Library
Wench Betty was murdered in 1784. The subsequent court proceedings for her murder were held that year too. How does exploring her murder today provide insight into the lives of enslaved African Americans during the early American Republic? Often, the lives of enslaved people's in this period are disregarded. This PSP session will educate participants about the state of slavery in New Jersey at the time of Wench Betty's death and provide an opportunity to explore the powerful revolutionary war ideas of freedom and liberty at a time when slavery still existed in the state’s History. Through an examination of court documents and slave records, participants will more deeply understand more about Wench Betty’s life and all the ways it mattered.

Sue Kozel
Public Historian
Scotch Plains Public Library
1927 Bartle Ave
Scotch Plains, NJ