The Peter Mott House is a window into the home of a mid-19th century freedom fighter who used his home as respite for the Enslaved fleeing North to freedom along the Underground Railroad.


Underground Railroad
Youth Camp 2022

Play Video about Campers from the first Peter Mott House Underground Railroad Camp 2022

As the only African American incorporated municipality above the Mason-Dixon Line, Lawnside, NJ was a haven to people of African descent since colonial times.

Some residents can still trace their lineage to shrewd people who purchased their freedom, were manumitted or escaped here through the secret network of abolitionists known as the Underground Railroad.

Programs like the UGRR Camp empower our residents to defend preservation of the town and its unique place in the history of New Jersey.

This summer the Peter Mott House hosted the first ever Underground Railroad Camp, through grants  from the Camden County Cultural and Heritage Commission and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities from the National Endowment for the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan Act.

"We can't change our history but we must face it and learn from it."

2022 UGRR Youth Camp Theme

Artwork of The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad:
It Takes a Village

The Underground Railroad was an informal association of people and locations providing transportation, food, shelter, clothing for the enslaved escaping the antebellum South.

The Road to Freedom

US Negro Population, 1790-1890 from the 1940 Paris Expo
Credit: Library of Congress
The road to freedom for those African Americans risking their lives was a journey of bravery and courage.
They were forced to leave behind any family they may have had on the plantations and farms where they were enslaved - to strike it out their own.
The trip ahead of them would have been completely unknown. They would be forced to place their lives into the hands of perfect strangers for food, clothing, shelter and protection all the way.
Without the kindness of strangers, such as Peter Mott, his wife Elizabeth and communities like Snow Hill, the journey would be almost impossible to complete.
Learn how people like Peter & Elizabeth Mott aided the enslaved along their journeys to freedom.
learn more
Vintage Flyer Cautioning Colored People to Beware of Slave Catchers
Credit: Library of Congress

Hiding In Plain Sight

According to researchers with the National Park Service, “Free Haven was developed in 1840 by Ralph Smith, a white abolitionist who was the first Secretary of the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee, an antislavery organization founded in 1838.


bounty hunters

Hear about the notorious Georgio Alberti as he terrorized the Northern and New England states searching for runaway slaves, fugitives and swooping up innocent freed Blacks through cronyism, nepotism and jealousy.

Credit: Library of Congress

Upcoming Events

Mott House Tour Requests - Small Groups
This form is used to book small groups of at least 5 people at the Peter Mott House. Individuals and smaller groups should plan on Saturday walk-ins visits from 12 to 3 PM.
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