Historic New York Times Articles on
the Miscegenation of Sourland Mountain (1879-1880)
A search for "Sourland" in the New York Times digital archives returns a surprising number of articles featuring Sourland Mountain, dating from the 19th century to modern times. Not surprisingly, you'll find numerous articles about the Lindbergh kidnapping and trial from the 1930's, as well as features about modern environmental issues on the region.
However, some of the more interesting articles, for friends of SSAAM, focus on the people of Sourland Mountain in the late 1880's. Two articles, written in 1879 and 1880, focus on miscegenation of the region; interbreeding of people who are of different racial types, producing mixed-race progeny. Opposition to miscegenation was prevalent during this time period, as a means of preserving racial purity and nature, and is a classic theme of racial supremacist movements, especially white supremacy.
One can surmise just from the titles that the region and its African American residents were not represented well in the articles. One of the primary goals of SSAAM is to educate the public about African American history in the region and dispel many of the myths associated with it.
Much has changed in the Sourland region since these articles were written; suburban landscapes have replaced the valley farms where African American slaves once labored, and Sourland Mountain is no longer seen as a wild, remote place. But the history remains, and so do issues of social justice and racial equality; these issues are unchanged in the 100+ years after the Times reported on this unique place.
Special thanks to SSAAM freinds Jennifer and Tommy Dambeck for transcribing the articles.
To access these historic articles, click on the links below.