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  early churches of New Jersey

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Coleman Meetinghouse


Colemantown, Burlington County
Elbo Road
founded 18__, built 1870s

Coleman meetinghouseThe Coleman Meeting-house, originally located across the street, was moved to its present location in 1965, where it serves as the social hall for Jacob’s Chapel. It is a small frame building with a board-and-batten exterior.
      There apparently was an earlier meeting house that was said to have been purchased for $1 from an unknown source by three freed slaves and was used as church, school, way station for the Underground Railroad, and a gathering spot for many African Americans who lived in the area. I have not verified any of that information. Several Black veterans of the Civil war are buried in the cemetery, along with Dr. James Still, the Black Doctor of the Pines.

Elbo Lane was once known as Colemantown Road and was a part of Evesham Township and the village of Colemantown, named for John Coleman, a well respected man of color. Coleman was involved in the Underground Railroad. The federal census of 1830 shows that Evesham had the largest free black population in Burlington County—mainly because it enveloped the Quaker community at Mt. Laurel. The freed slaves worked on Quaker farms. The Quakers of Mt. Laurel were active in the Underground Railroad movement and often thwarted the kidnapping of freed slaves.