Hopewell Valley authors unearth uneasy truths about local African-American history in new book

Beverly Mills and Elaine Buck with some of the research materials amassed for their book.

Some say that when the first Dutch settlers came to the ridge of uplands along the Delaware river in Central New Jersey, they found land that was rocky, and the soil so acidic that an acrid smell wafted through the air. They called this remote and desolate place the Sourland Mountains.

Around the time of the American Revolution though, another group of people came to the Sourlands. These people, who had once been enslaved, saw something completely different in these mountains. They saw refuge, a place they could be safe from those who would persecute them. And there they made their homes and tilled their farms in the hard land.

Now, two Hopewell Valley residents, Elaine Buck and…

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