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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

New Brunswick in Middlesex County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Willís Way

 
 
Willís Way Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Weintraub
1. Willís Way Marker
Inscription.  
This plaque honors Will, an enslaved black man who worked to lay the foundation for the Old Queens building in 1808. In recognition of Willís labor and the role of slavery in Rutgersí early history, the walkway from Hamilton Street to the entrance of Old Queens has been named Willís Way
 
Erected by Rutgers University.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: African Americans.
 
Location. 40° 29.946′ N, 74° 26.787′ W. Marker is in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in Middlesex County. Marker is on Hamilton Street east of College Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New Brunswick NJ 08901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Queens (within shouting distance of this marker); Queenís College (within shouting distance of this marker); Men of Rutgers College (within shouting distance of this marker); Theological Education in Old Queens (within shouting distance of this marker); Class of 1924 Memorial (within shouting
Willís Way Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Weintraub
2. Willís Way Marker
Another plaque on Old Queens
distance of this marker); Geology Hall (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Winants Hall (about 300 feet away); Van Nest Hall (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Brunswick.
 
More about this marker. Most people donít think about New Jersey as a slave state, but New Jersey had a slave population until the passage of the 14th Amendment when the last of the 13 slaves were freed.

New Jersey emancipation began in 1804, but a gradual emancipation meant that slaves were held as “indentured servants” until their adulthood. Old Queens started being built in 1809 five years after “emancipation”.
 
Also see . . .  Old Queens (Wikipedia). Old Queens is the oldest building on the Rutgers University New Brunswick campus. (Submitted on January 30, 2021, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.) 
 
Willís Way Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Weintraub, January 24, 2021
3. Willís Way Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 30, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 20, 2021, by David Weintraub of Edison, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 31 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 20, 2021, by David Weintraub of Edison, New Jersey.   3. submitted on January 24, 2021, by David Weintraub of Edison, New Jersey. • Michael Herrick was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 3, 2021