New Display to Highlight Overlooked Segment of History, Create Relatable Content for Patrons

(Wayne, NJ) - The New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH) recently awarded a $17,000 Action Grant to the County of Passaic to develop a new exhibit and program that highlights the experiences of enslaved and indentured persons during the Revolutionary War in New Jersey. The NJCH Action Grant is awarded to organizations looking to implement new programs or expand existing projects that offer local communities the opportunity to explore the shared history and cultures that constitute the American melting pot.

“We are excited to partner with the New Jersey Council for the Humanities to create more inclusive programing that will highlight an often overlooked segment of our history as a country,” said Freeholder Director Sandi Lazzara. “The Dey Mansion is rapidly adding new exhibits and programming that is drawing new and returning visitors, and we are looking forward to adding this newest exhibit.”

The Dey Mansion is currently housing the “Oh Freedom!” travelling display, which is on loan from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. The “Oh Freedom!” display spotlights the African-American contribution to the Revolutionary War for the American and British sides. When the “Oh Freedom!” exhibit travels to a new location, the Dey Mansion will install a permanent display featuring the experiences of enslaved and indentured persons and how their stories affected the creation of the United States.

The action grant from the NJCH will allow the county to develop permanent exhibits and expand both public and school programming to highlight the important, yet seldom explored, stories of those enslaved and living in servitude in Colonial New Jersey. This project will help to re-imagine what local history means for all Passaic County and northern New Jersey residents, making history more relatable and engaging for our County’s diverse population. The County is already entrenched in the planning stages of this project and with resources from the NJCH can better implement its vision to exhibit original content, conduct a series of lectures, public and school programming, and, ultimately, incorporate this important perspective into its permanent narrative.

“The travelling exhibit from the NJDEP has been a popular addition to the Dey Mansion,” said Freeholder Assad Akhter. “It became clear that our patrons were enthused by the information on the traveling display, and the new permanent showcase will further enhance learning opportunities the Dey Mansion provides.”

Wayne, NJ - The Dey Mansion is hosting an encampment in commemoration of General George Washington's visit to the Preakness Valley on Saturday, July 21st and Sunday, July 22nd from 11:00am to 4:00pm.

During July of 1780, General George Washington and his troops were encamped at the Dey Mansion, home of Colonel Theunis Dey, as well as the surrounding area to await word on the arrival of the French Army. The Dey Mansion offered abundant food and a safe haven for the Continental Army.

Come and learn what life was like as a soldier during the American Revolution. Watch soldiers cleaning their muskets while women prepare meals. Some officers may be drilling with their men while others plan for battle or play cards. Special appearances will be made by New Jersey’s local militia. The day will be filled with 18th century games, music, demonstrations and crafters.

Self-guided tours of the Mansion will be offered, admission into the Mansion will be $5.00 per person, children, 6 years of age and under are free. Parking and outdoor activities are free to the public.

The Dey Mansion is an excellent example of Georgian architecture of the mid eighteenth century, which served as Washington’s Headquarters in July, October and November of 1780. Today, the Dey Mansion is owned by Passaic County and operated by the Department of Cultural and Historic Affairs. The Dey Mansion is open to the public for tours and programs. For more information on the Dey Mansion please contact us at 973-706-6640 or visit our website at


199 Totowa Road, Wayne, NJ 07470

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