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Thomas Mundy Peterson, The First Black Man To Vote In U.S., Has A Park Named In His Honor

Thomas Mundy Peterson, The First Black Man To Vote In U.S., Has A Park Named In His Honor

He's finally getting his recognition!

A New Jersey county park has been named in honor of the first Black man to vote in the United States, My Central Jersey reports.

A Middlesex County park located in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, has been renamed in honor of Thomas Mundy Peterson, a city resident and the first Black man to vote in the United States. Officials had a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil the park recently, complete with picnic games, sports drills, food vendors, college open houses, and history lectures. 

The new park features a synthetic turf multipurpose field that can be used for soccer or football, another field that can be adjusted for softball or baseball, a waterfront walkway, oodles of benches and historical markers, and a waterfront walkway. 

Thomas Mundy Peterson Park is an example of how, when everyone involved works together, we can create something wonderful for our residents to enjoy. I know that I, and the entire Board of County Commissioners, look forward to seeing this park being used and enjoyed by the people of Middlesex County. [It] is not only a wonderful outdoor space for county residents to enjoy but is our way of paying a fitting tribute to a man that dedicated his life to serving the people and engaging civically in so many ways,” Ronald Rios, commissioner director, said. 

Peterson was the first Black person to vote in the country after the passing of the 15th amendment, granting Black men the right to vote. The park is the 19th in the Middlesex County Park system and a long time coming. Many community residents advocated for a community space residents could enjoy that would honor a city native who had contributed significantly to history. 

Perth Amboy Mayor Helmin J. Cole said he is honored to help preserve the life and legacy of Peterson and do it in a way that brings his constituents joy. 

“The Thomas Mundy Peterson Park is the result of hard work on the part of the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners and the city of Perth Amboy who work tirelessly to enhance the quality of life for our residents. This effort was many years in the making and represents more than just a park - it’s a community gathering space that honors a Perth Amboy citizen who played an important role in the history of our country. We look forward to seeing all the enjoyment and education this park will bring to this and future generations,” said Mayor Cole. 

The Thomas Mundy Peterson Park is located in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, at High Street between Washington Street and Buckingham Avenue.

Photos Courtesy of Perth Amboy Now/Middlesex County Parks & Recreation