Woodbridge in Middlesex County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Alvin P. Williams Park in Sewarren commemorates the public service tradition of Woodbridge African-Americans from Colonial days to the present. Honoring the bravery of a Woodbridge police officer who died in 1979 trying to save two drowning children, the park is a center for Township social and cultural activity throughout the year
Peter Williams, Sr. (1755-1823) was one of many Woodbridge African-American slaves who served with patriot forces in the Revolutionary War. Williams escaped from his Loyalist owner, joined the colonial militia and heroically hid a local clergyman from a British manhunt. Williams’ son, Peter Williams, Jr. (1780-1840), founded St. Philip’s African Church in 1808 (New York City’s first African-American church) and organized the anti-slavery Phoenix Society in 1813.
On Mar. 31, 1870, Thomas Mundy Peterson (1824-1904) became the first African-American in the United States to vote under the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Born in Metuchen during the years it was part of Woodbridge Township, he served on the Perth Amboy charter revision committee and the Middlesex County Commission.
First Baptist Church of Woodbridge was founded in 1906 and flourished today in Sewarren; the Township’s oldest African-American political organization, Independent Club of Colonia, was established in 1949, dedicated to promoting civic betterment.
More information visit www.wthpc.org
Woodbridge Township Historic Preservation Commission
Mayor John E. McCormac Woodbridge Township 2013
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Civil Rights • Patriots & Patriotism • Sports.
Location. 40° 33.405′ N, 74° 16.934′ W. Marker is in Woodbridge, New Jersey, in Middlesex County. Marker can be reached from Amboy Avenue near N Park Drive. The marker is along a footpath that runs through Bernie Anderson Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Woodbridge NJ 07095, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Trinity Episcopal Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Fulton Street Neighborhood (within shouting distance of this marker); M.D. Valentine & Brothers (within shouting distance of this marker); William Cutter House (within shouting distance of this marker); Woodbridge Speedway (within shouting distance of this marker); Methodist Episcopal Church & Parsonage (within shouting distance of this marker); Boynton Beach & Sewaren House Hotel (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Presbyterian Church of Woodbridge (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Woodbridge.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 9, 2018. It was originally submitted on November 7, 2018, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 206 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 7, 2018, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.