March 31st will be the 147th anniversary of Thomas Mundy Peterson becoming the first African-American to cast a vote under the 1870 Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Perth Amboy has long taken pride in Peterson and his place in Civil Rights history. After casting his vote, he could have disappeared into history. Yet instead, he fully embraced civic life as a citizen. How Peterson took advantage of this new opportunity is an aspect of the story that few know about.
New Jersey historian, author, and lecturer, Gordon Bond, will be exploring this aspect in his presentation, “Citizen Peterson: How Thomas Mundy Peterson Made the Most of His Historic Vote.” He will be talking specifically about how his original research revealed some of Peterson’s forgotten participation in Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, and State politics.
Bond will also provide an update on the release of a pamphlet about Peterson he is writing for the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission that will be made available free of charge later this year.
Location: Perth Amboy Free Public Library - 196 Jefferson Street, Perth Amboy NJ, 08861.
Audience: All ages.