For a great part of its history, going back to colonial times, New Jersey was a slave state. Africans labored on the farms, worked at the ports, and were employed as domestics. So important was slave labor to the economy that New Jersey was the last of the northern states to abolish slavery in 1804 - and then in a piecemeal way that left many blacks with the status of indentured servants.
|Mt. Zion AME Church October 2018|
Hillsborough Township did not escape the scourge of slavery. But to find evidence of Hillsborough's black history today sometimes requires looking beyond the city limits. On Hollow Road in the Skillman section of Montgomery Township stands the Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Engraved on the front right cornerstone of the church is the marking "Nov. 19, 1899", representing the date that the church building was moved from its original location in Hillsborough and placed on a new foundation in Montgomery.
|Historic maps dated, clockwise from top left, 1850, 1851, 1860, and 1873,|
each showing the location of the Mt Zion AME Church
|Research project created by Hillsborough High School history students|
on display in the church October 2018