Timbuctoo, New Jersey

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Timbuctoo, New Jersey
Timbuctoo, New Jersey is located in New Jersey
Timbuctoo, New Jersey
Timbuctoo, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°00′11″N 74°48′51″W / 40.00306°N 74.81417°W / 40.00306; -74.81417Coordinates: 40°00′11″N 74°48′51″W / 40.00306°N 74.81417°W / 40.00306; -74.81417
Country United States
State New Jersey
CountyBurlington
TownshipWestampton
Elevation10 m (33 ft)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
GNIS feature ID881192[1]

Timbuctoo is an unincorporated community in Westampton Township, Burlington County, New Jersey, United States.[2]

Located along the Rancocas Creek, Timbuctoo was founded by former slaves in 1826.[3] At its peak in the mid-nineteenth century, Timbuctoo had more than 125 residents, a school, and the Zion Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal African Church, which was part of the AME Zion denomination. The church included a cemetery that remains today.[4]

History[edit]

Timbuctoo was founded by free blacks and former slaves in 1826, in a region of New Jersey where the influence of Quakers was strong.[5][6][7] Timbuctoo appeared on Burlington County maps as early 1849,[8] and continues to appear on maps today.[9]

In 1860, the "Battle of Pine Swamp" took place in Timbuctoo, and it was reported in the New Jersey Mirror, a local newspaper. It involved armed residents of Timbuctoo preventing the capture of Perry Simmons, an escaped slave living in Timbuctoo, by an infamous slave catcher named George Alberti.[10][11][12]

The US Census identified the "Village of Timbuctoo" as a separate entity within Westampton Township for the first time in 1880, enumerating 108 residents and 29 households.[13]

Today, the key remaining evidence of Timbuctoo's historical significance is a cemetery, well known for gravestones of US Colored Troops who fought in the Civil War. However, there are also civilian gravestones, the oldest of which dates to 1847, thirteen years before the Civil War.[14] A geophysical survey conducted in 2009 identified at least 59 unmarked graves.[14]

Current residents and landowners include descendants of early settlers.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Timbuctoo
  2. ^ Locality Search, State of New Jersey. Accessed June 9, 2016.
  3. ^ Weston, Guy (2017). "New Jersey: A State Divided on Freedom". Journal of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. 34: 8–12.
  4. ^ Lyght, Ernest (1978). Path of Freedom: The Black Presence in New Jersey's Burlington County, 1659-1900. Cherry Hill, NJ: E and E Publishing. pp. 38, 39, 40, 68.
  5. ^ Weston, Guy (2017). "New Jersey: A State Divided on Freedom". Journal of the Afro American Historical and Genealogical Society. 34: 8–12.
  6. ^ Rizzo, Dennis. (2008). Parallel Communities: The Underground Railroad in South Jersey. New York: History Press.
  7. ^ Lyght, Ernest. (1978). Path of Freedom: The Black Presence in New Jersey's Burlington, County 1659-1900. Cherry Hill: E and E Publishing House.
  8. ^ Burlington County Historical Society. 1849 Map of Timbuctoo and Mount Holly.
  9. ^ Official Map of Burlington County. Accessed August 1, 2010.
  10. ^ "Excitement at Timbuctoo: The Battle of Pine Swamp; Invaders Forced to Retreat". December 6, 1860. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  11. ^ "African American Historical Sites". Burlington County, New Jersey. Retrieved 2010-08-02. Located along the Rancocas Creek about one mile from Mount Holly, "Buckto" or "Bucktown," as it is commonly called, was a community of freed slaves and a haven for fugitive slaves. In connection with the latter, there occurred in 1860 an incident called the "Battle of Pine Swamp" that was reported in the New Jersey Mirror, a local newspaper. This incident involved armed residents of Timbuctoo preventing the capture of Perry Simmons, a fugitive slave living in Timbuctoo, by a southern slave catcher aided by sympathetic local whites.
  12. ^ Barton, Christopher (December 4, 2009). "Antebellum African American Settlements in New Jersey". African Diaspora Archeology Newsletter. 12: 9.
  13. ^ US Census Bureau. 1880 Census of Population and Housing. Accessed July 27, 2010 on http://www.Ancestry.com.
  14. ^ a b "Zion Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal African Church and Cemetery". Timbuctoo, NJ. June 2018.
  15. ^ Hefler, Jan (February 15, 2015). "Descendant Says Burlington County Village of Ex-Slaves Included Free Blacks". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 16, 2015.

External links[edit]