Timbuctoo
Timbuctoo

This place was in Pemberton Township, Burlington County. E.M. Woodward, writing in 1883, mentions that it was a 'black settlement' but gives no other information. If you know something else about this place, please send me an e-mail at klopeks@yahoo.com According to this site:


This all-black settlement bears the name of the famous West African city that is today located in the Republic of Mali, a city that flourished as a commercial (trans-Saharan trade) and intellectual center (Sankore University) between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries as part of the great medieval empires of Mali and Songhay. It is possibly the only all-black settlement in the nation carrying the name of an African community; there is uncertainty as to how it came to be called Timbuctoo. Located along the Rancocas Creek about one mile from Mount Holly, "Buckto" or "Bucktown," as it is commonly called, was a community of freed slaves and a haven for fugitive slaves. In connection with the latter, there occurred in 1860 an incident called the "Battle of Pine Swamp" that was reported in the New Jersey Mirror, a local newspaper. This incident involved armed residents of Timbuctoo preventing the capture of Perry Simmons, a fugitive slave living in Timbuctoo, by a southern slave catcher aided by sympathetic local whites. Timbuctoo seems to have been established around 1820; but, it may have been founded as early as the late eighteenth century with the support of local Quakers like John Woolman and Samuel Aaron. At its peak of prosperity in the mid-to-late nineteenth century (it appears on a 1849 map of Burlington County), it had more than 125 residents, a school, and an AME Zion church. It also served as a site for religious camp meetings (revivals) that attracted large crowds. Today the community has virtually disappeared. Perhaps the key remaining evidence of the existence of this community is a cemetery on Church Street ; it contains the graves of black Civil War veterans.

Below are some news items concerning this place from the New Jersey Mirror:
27 Feb 1851
In Timbuctoo, near Mount Holly, on Friday last, February 21, 1851, Hezekiah Hall, (colored) aged about 60 years. The deceased in early life, was a slave, and belonged to Charles Carroll, of Carrollton. He escaped from bondage in the year 1814. He settled in our midst about the year 1824, since which time he has resided here. He was regarded by every one as a man of unblemished character, and his truly upright walk and Christian deportment commanded the highest respect. His remains were followed to the grave on Sunday last, February 23, 1851, by a very large concourse of friends and neighbors.

26 Feb 1857
A colored man named George Armstrong, a resident of Timbuctoo, was found dead, in the road, between that place and Mount Holly, on Monday morning last. He was subject to fits, and it is supposed that on his way home on Sunday night, he was attacked with one, and suddenly expired from its effects.

6 Aug 1857
A colored boy named Somers, aged about 15 years, was drowned in the Rancocas, near Timbuctoo, on Sunday, afternoon last. He went into bathe, with another boy, and being unable to swim, ventured out beyond his depth, and soon sank. His body was recovered half an hour after.

26 Apr 1860
Wardell W. Parker, for many years a preacher among the colored people of this neighborhood, died at Timbuctoo, on Friday night last, at an advanced age.

13 Feb 1862
Perry Simmons, the colored man, whose attempted arrest as a fugitive slave, on two occasions, created considerable excitement in our neighborhood, died in Timbuctoo, a week or two ago. Perry had not been well since the last attempt to capture him, in consequence of taking a severe cold on that freezing night. It will be recollected that he was forced to fly suddenly from his bedroom to the garret, where he was obliged to remain till morning, suffering severely from the cold. Perry is at last beyond the reach of his Southern master.

21 Sep 1865
The wife of William Grooms was drowned in the Rancocas, near Timbuctoo, on Friday morning. Her little daughter fell in the creek, when Mrs. Grooms jumped in to rescue the child, and getting into deep water, her dress became entangled in some bushes, and she was drowned before assistance could be rendered. The child was saved.

12 Apr 1866
A colored woman of Timbuctoo, died very suddenly a week or two since. She had been sick sometime, and the Overseer of Poor of Westampton went to her residence for the purpose of removing her to the County House. She was carried to his wagon, and he was about starting on his journey, when he discovered that she was dead.

13 Nov 1867
Pursuant to an order of the Orphans' Court of the county of Burlington, made on the Nineteenth of September last past, the subscribers will sell at public vendue, on SATURDAY, the Fourteenth of December next, between the hours of 12 and 5 o'clock in the afternoon of said day, at the hotel of William Davis, in Mount Holly, in said county of Burlington, a certain tract of WOOD-LAND, whereof Martha Harker, late of said county, died seized, situate near Timbuctoo, in the township of Westampton, in the county aforesaid, on the south side of the Mount Holly and Rancocas turnpike, adjoining lands of Joseph S. Hulme, William Hultz and others, containing About 4 1/2 Acres of Land, with a good growth of young pine, suitable for cord wood. The premises will be shown before the day of sale by Joseph S. Hulme, living near. Sale to commence at 2 o'clock, P. M. Conditions at sale. WM. M. RISDON, WILLIAM BLACK, AARON S. WHITE, Commissioners. November 12, 1867

14 Oct 1868
The elite of Timbuctoo were alive on Monday evening, in consequence of a wedding among the "fust circles" of that famed and fashionable locality. The ceremonies were performed at the brown stone residence of the groom, and there was a gay and festive time. The venerable JOHN SANDERS, well known to our citizens, is the happy individual, but he name of the blooming young bride, we have not learned. No cards--but lots of home-made gingerbread. The bridal tour will be to the Mineral Spring.

9 Jun 1869
A wedding lately took place near Timbuctoo, at which the sable parson thus spoke: "Here's a couple who have walked out to-night, wishing to be jined in and thro' love, and wishing all dem dat have anything twixt them, to come forward and speak now; if not, let dem hold dar peace now and forever more. I wants every ear to hear, and every heart to enjoy. "Mr. Jim Thompson, whomsoever stands fastly by your left side, do you take her to be your beloved wife, to wait on her through sickness and through health, safe and be safe, holy and be holy, loving and be loving; do you love her mother; do you love her father; do you love her brothers; do you lover her sisters; but do you love God de best ?" Answer--"I do." "Miss Mary Johnson, whomsoever stands fastly by your right side, do you take to be your dear beloved husband, to wait on him through health and through affliction, safe and be safe, holy and be holy; do you love his mother; do you love his father; do you love his brethren; do you love his sisters; do you love God de best ?" Answer--"I will." "I shall pronounce Mr. Jim to hold Miss Mary fastly by the right hand, and I shall pronounce you both to be man and wife, by the commandments of God. We shall hope, and trusting in God, that you may live right--that you may die right, now and forevermore. Now Mr. Jim, salutify(sic.) your bride. Let us sing a hime:" "Plunged in a gulf of dark despair, &c."

11 Oct 1871
Died-At Timbuctoo on the 9th instant, WILLIAM NOLAN.

15 Nov 1871
Married--At his residence in Timbuctoo, on the 9th instant(November, 1871), by Rev. William Williams, after a long and tedious courtship, KING DAVID PARKER, of Timbuctoo, and CLARISSA COLE, formerly of Philadelphia.

9 Sep 1885
Married--LODINE--GREEN.--At Timbuctoo, August 26th, 1885, by Rev. R. F. Butler, Joshua Lodine, Jr., of Hainesport, and Temperance Green, of Mount Holly.

17 Nov 1886
Died-At Timbuctoo, November 5, 1886, Abigail Ann, wife of Theophilus Pinion, aged 36 years.

12 Sep 1888
Married-At Lumberton, September 1, 1888, by W.P. Younker, Justice of the Peace, John Shemeley, and Susan Lewis, both of Timbuctoo.

6 May 1891
Died-At Timbuctoo, April 25, 1891, Rachel Love, aged 75 years.
Died-At Timbuctoo, April 27, 1891, Frank Clifford Evans, son of Samuel and Harriet Evans, aged 5 months.

10 May 1893
Maggie Giles, a daughter of Joseph Giles, of Timbuctoo, died a day or two since from the effects of a severe beating at the hands of some other children. The child had been sent on an errand by her mother and was met by two other children, who began to tease her. Finally they beat her so badly that spinal meningitis resulted and death followed in a short time. The little girl was about 12 years of age. No arrests were made.

10 Aug 1898
ARMSTRONG.--At Timbuctoo, August 4, Chas. Edward Armstrong, son of Lewis Armstrong, aged 28 years.

30 Apr 1902
Died- HENRY.--April 27, at Timbuctoo, Caleb Henry, aged 87 years.

1 May 1912
CAMPBELL--FORD.--April 24, at Timbuctoo, by Rev. Mr. Akers, Frederick Campbell, of Mount Holly, and Timbuctoo was the scene of a wedding on Wednesday evening(presumably a reference to April 24, 1912) when May Ford, of that place, was married to Frederick Campbell, the faithful chauffeur for Dr. R. C. Barrington, of Mount Holly. The ceremony which took place at the bride's home was performed by Rev. Mr. Akers, pastor of the Second Baptist church, and was witnessed by the upper tendom in social circles. A reception followed the tying of the nuptial knot but the usual honeymoon trip was dispensed with, the bridal couple going immediately to their newly-furnished home on West Washington street