Photograph album containing 85 gelatin silver photographs of Valentine family of Gouldtown New Jersey, as well as African-American
soldiers on a military base during World War II.
Gouldtown, which is located in New Jersey about 60 miles south of Philadelphia, was called "America's Oldest Negro Community"
by Ebony magazine in 1952. It traces its roots to the 1700s when a freedman named Benjamin Gould married a Finnish woman. Community
lore holds that in the mid-1700s two mixed race brothers, who were previously indentured servants, arrived from the West Indies,
settled near the Goulds and began families of their own after purchasing the passage of two "mail order brides" from the Netherlands.
Shortly thereafter, a mixed race couple (White and Native American) arrived from Cape May. It was descendants of these four
families that formed the core of Gouldtown's population well into the latter half of the 20th century. Harold L. Valentine
Jr., to whom the album originally belonged, was born in 1923 and lived in Gouldtown until his death in 1977. This is an important
visual record of mid-20th century African-American life in one of the most historic African-American enclaves.
1.17 linear feet
(1 flat box)
Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Research Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish
or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Research Collections. Permission for publication
is given on behalf of the Department of Special Research Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended
to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.
The collection is open for research.