Historic Cherry Hill is thrilled to announce receipt of a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities through the federal CARES Act. With NEH CARES funding, Historic Cherry Hill will digitize collections related to African American life at Cherry Hill during slavery as well as the antebellum and Reconstruction eras. These digital packages will be made available to teachers–along with guidance for their use–to support teachers’ efforts to discuss slavery and its vestiges using local history resources. HCH is one of 317 grantees out of the more 2,300 organizations that applied.
Pictured here are Minnie Knapp (left), her sister Jane Amelia (middle) and Margaret Carrol in 1855. The Elmendorfs, Cherry Hill’s third generation of Van Rensselaer descendants, adopted the Knapp children after the death of their mother, Jane, in 1854; the Knapps were raised as wards and servants. Margaret was the daughter of another family servant. Bringing local history to the classroom or tablet, the new school programs will examine slavery and its vestiges in 19th-century New York and amplify voices heretofore underrepresented by highlighting their letters, greeting cards, toys, and ephemera. These educational materials will be available by the end of 2020–and we are eager to launch this project in commitment to local history and our belief that Black Lives Matter.