Celebrate Black History Month with author Rick Geffken as he virtually guides us through his new book Stories of Slavery in New Jersey. Readers will be fascinated and probably surprised at the revelation that New Jersey, in 1866, was the last northern state to abolish slavery. Geffken will analyze this fact and much more as he leads us through this fascinating look at New Jersey's relationship with slavery.
Rick Geffken has written numerous articles on various aspects of New Jersey history for local newspapers, magazines, historical societies, and newsletters. Rick has presented historical papers at the New Jersey History & Historic Preservation in 2014 and 2015. He has participated in Symposia for groups such as the Navesink Maritime Historical Association, and he has appeared on the New Jersey Cable TV show, Family Historian.
Rick’s books include The Story of Shrewsbury Revisited, 1965-2015; Lost Amusement Parks of the North Jersey Shore; Highland Beach, Gateway to the Jersey Shore, 1888-1962; Hidden History of Monmouth County; and To Preserve & Protect, profiles of people who recorded the history and heritage of Monmouth County, New Jersey. The History Press will publish Stories of Slavery in New Jersey in January 2021.
Rick has spoken about New Jersey historical topics – Lost Amusement Parks; Quakers & Slavery in NJ; NJ’s Submarine Inventors: Simon Lake & John Holland; The Morris Family of NJ - at dozens of historical societies and libraries. He has been a featured speaker at the Trent House Museum, the Quaker Meeting of Shrewsbury, the Battleground Historical Society, and other organizations. He is a Trustee of the Shrewsbury Historical Society; Past-president and a Trustee of the Jersey Coast Heritage Museum at Sandlass House; and a member of the Monmouth County Historical Association.
Rick is currently heading up a project called the New Jersey Slavery Records Index under the auspices of Monmouth University of West Long Branch, NJ.
Rick retired from a career with Hewlett-Packard; owned and operated several small businesses; taught secondary school mathematics; and was an Adjunct Professor at Ocean County Community. A retired U.S. Army officer and Viet Nam veteran, he holds a BS in Economics from St. Peter’s University, a Secondary Teaching Certificate from Monmouth University, and an MA in Social Sciences from Montclair State University.