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An African-American Family Photograph Album from “America’s Oldest Negro Community.”
Gouldtown, New Jersey, 1934-1944. This 7” x 11” album contains approximately 85 photographs (most 3.5” x 4.75”) glued to 20 leaves. The photographs are in nice shape; many are captioned. The album cover is well-worn. The first photograph in the album is of a pre-teen boy and titled “Harold L. Valentine, Jr. Dec 25, 1934” in the margin; underneath is a pencil annotation reading, “Me”. Valentine born in 1923, lived in Gouldtown until his death in 1977. Most of the photographs show Valentine’s family and home, the family’s goats, horses, and chicken houses, family vehicles, a man and woman playing guitars, Valentine's father in his white “Coca-Cola” uniform, and other views of the area. Valentine served as a Tech Sergeant in the Army Air Force during World War II, and many of the final 30 photographs in the album show African-American men in uniform at home and at a military base. This is an important visual record of mid-20th century African-American life in one of the most historic African-American enclaves. Gouldtown, which is located about 60 miles south of Philadelphia, was christened “America’s Oldest Negro Community” by Ebony magazine in 1952. It traces its roots to the 1700s when a freedman, named Benjamin Gould, married the granddaughter of wealthy English nobleman, John Fenwick, who had settled in America. 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 20th century.
      [Bookseller: Read 'Em Again Books, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2016-11-28           Check availability:      IOBABooks    


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