Lost Souls Memorial Project in East Brunswick remembers Black slaves held captive

East Brunswick is shedding light on a dark part of the town's history dating back over 200 years.

News 12 Staff

May 27, 2021, 2:50 PM

Updated 1,053 days ago

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East Brunswick is shedding light on a dark part of the town's history dating back over 200 years.
The "Lost Souls Memorial Project" was unveiled Sunday afternoon, remembering the more than 100 Black men, women, and children who were held captive in what is now called East Brunswick. 
In 1818, Middlesex County judge Jacob Van Wickle ran the Van Wickle slave ring that captured free and enslaved Black people and sold them into permanent slavery.            
Organizers are hoping the memorial will help the community remember the lives of the slaves.
“We needed to raise it up some more so more people knew so that the lost souls, 137 African American women, men and children, a child as young as two days old were stolen into permanent slavery,” says Karen G. Johnston, who is with the project.
Organizers say people must learn from history, both the good and the bad.            
The plaque's permanent home will be at the entrance of the East Brunswick Community Arts Building.


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