Beneath the Floorboards
Whispers of the Enslaved at Marlpit Hall
This exhibition is the first major development stemming from the Living and Breathing initiative, started in late 2019 as a means of reinterpreting MCHA’s colonial-era historic houses to include the stories of the enslaved African Americans who once resided within them. The
exhibition offers a better understanding of how slavery took root in early Monmouth County, as well as the complex dynamics of daily life and relationships among the enslaved.
The telling of New Jersey’s history is often fragmented, with little remembrance of the thousands of men, women, and children living under forced servitude for more than two centuries. This exhibit is framed upon seven of these individuals: Ephraim, William, Elizabeth, Clarisse, Hannah, Tom, and York, all of whom once lived at Marlpit Hall.
Extensive archival documentation, archaeological evidence, and objects from MCHA’s museum collection - some on view to the public for the first time - help tell the larger story of slavery in Monmouth County and New Jersey.