Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

MA History




Larry Greene, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Maxine Lurie, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dermot Quinn, Ph.D.


Amendments, Black Codes, miscegenation, New Jersey Gradual Abolition Act of 1804, New Jersey Governors, race, suffrage rights


New Jersey was the only northern state to reject the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments. The state’s implicit financial relationship with numerous southern states before the Civil War influenced political beliefs that had consequential effects on future policies. State governors worked with their political parties to pass legislation consistent with their views and popular opinion. This thesis examines both the rejection and subsequent passage of three specific amendments by reviewing the opinions of politicians in New Jersey. Governors were dictated by political beliefs and racial attitudes before and after the war with the focus on the post-Civil War years of 1865 through 1870. Several New Jersey periodicals were analyzed along with the personal papers of Frederick T. Frelinghuysen and Marcus Lawrence Ward. Additional research found various advocates for African American suffrage as it pertains to the Fifteenth Amendment, including Lucy Stone, founder of the American Woman Suffrage Association.