Our award winning exhibit on slavery in New Jersey, Beneath the Floorboards: Whispers of the Enslaved at Marlpit Hall, is now the focus of two NJ curriculum-based digital companions, complete with applicable standards. Thank you to our advisors and supporters:
Hank Bitten, Executive Director, New Jersey Council for the Social Studies
Dr. Wendy Morales, Assistant Superintendent, Monmouth Ocean Educational Services Commission
Dr. Jason Fitzgerald, Dr. Rich Veit and Dr. Bill George, Monmouth University School of Education
Patrice Maillet, Executive Director, New Jersey School Boards Association
Gary Melton, Manager, Office of Civil and Human Rights, New Jersey Education Association
Noelle Lorraine Williams, Director of African American Education at the New Jersey Historical Commission
Click the images below to access the resources
*The Marlpit resource is currently available for laptop/PC viewing only
Beneath the Floorboards: Whispers of the Enslaved at Marlpit Hall
Using primary sources and artifacts from the MCHA collections and material culture from the historic c. 1756 Marlpit Hall in Middletown, this exhibit tells the stories of seven of the 12 known enslaved individuals who inhabited this residence. The larger story of slavery in New Jersey is also explored through careful research and documentation.
Upper Elementary Level
Middle School / High School
Monmouth County Education Page
This intermediate/high school resource focuses on archival material and museum objects from the collections of MCHA and beyond to help illustrate the rich history of Monmouth County, New Jersey! Colonial era documents, WWII artifacts and ephemera, newspaper articles, and other unique objects help students connect American history to local history.
In addition to curriculum-based content, educators and students will find unique and interesting topics to explore. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or suggestions!
Washington Rallies the Troops at Monmouth by Emanuele Leutze
MCHA also offers on-site programs at Marlpit Hall. Programs are tailored for the grade level attending.
127 Kings Hwy, Middletown 07748
5th Grade through High School
This c. 1756 house features our award-winning exhibit, Beneath the Floorboards: Whispers of the Enslaved at Marlpit Hall. 5th grade students tour the historic house museum to learn about slavery in New Jersey through the lens of those who were once enslaved at the residence. They discover the stories of these individuals, reconstructed through primary sources such as birth records and freedom papers, and are given the opportunity to investigate the process of creating historically accurate stories using primary sources. Students leave the exhibit with a solid understand of the institution of slavery in New Jersey, and the skills needed to think like historians.
Freehold High School students, 2022
Middle thru high school students are engaged in an in-depth Primary Source Workshop after the guided museum tour to learn about the processes involved in breaking down primary sources such as birth records, inventories, freedom papers, "for sale" ads, and runaway ads. What can these sources tell us, what questions do they leave us with, and how can we use our understanding of history to develop possible theories? Students leave with the skills to conduct responsible analysis and interpretation of historic documents, and a solid background on the components of slavery in New Jersey as compared to the institution in South.
MCHA offers free professional development training for all grade levels. Educators have frequently expressed a tendency to shy from the topic of slavery, not from lack of recognizing the importance, but for fear of being insensitive or unable to answer tough questions. MCHA's PD program is given by professionals in the field, and presents educators with a two-fold approach to understanding the topic on an in-depth level. First, educators experience a curator-led tour of the exhibit, where they gain the background necessary to bolster their confidence level in the subject matter. They then take part in a Primary Source Workshop in which they learn how to analyze documents from the era to extract information in the most useful way, applying curriculum standards into guided classroom discussion. They are prepared with the most commonly asked questions from students, and provided answers according to top scholars in the field. This workshop can be applied in the classroom as well via the digital companion to the exhibit, and has been found useful by ELA educators as well. The program runs approximately 2-2.5 hours long.
The Elizabeth Van Cleaf Institute is a multi-day workshop that runs during the summer and is by application only; please inquire below.