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Sign dedication honors African-American Morris Canal Boat Captain James Campbell

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By Jocelynn Thomas, NJ.com

The Morris Canal Committee, in conjunction with The Campbell Cultural Heritage House Inc., held a kiosk and sign dedication ceremony commemorating the life of Morris Canal Boat Captain James Campbell, on Oct. 17 at Warren County Community College.

Born in 1856, James Elliot Campbell, or “Poppa” as his family called him, became one of only a small percentage of African-American boat captains on the Morris Canal at the age of 15, following in the footsteps of previous family members, also Boatmen. In 1889, Campbell purchased his home for $167.98, serving as the family residence throughout his career of 40 plus years. Adjacent to the home was a large barn with a haymow where mules were kept readily available for borrowing or short periods of rest. Remains of this early canal community can still be seen on the west end of North Lincoln Avenue in Washington, in close proximity to Mt. Pisgah AME Church, once the place of worship for Campbell and his family, and continues as such today for surviving relatives. His home stands as a symbol of his legacy as a duty-bound family man, provider and citizen, his undaunted spirit, perseverance and strong work ethic. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Symphony

October 28, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Posted in history, Honors

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