Mar 29, 2010

Urgent Press Release Submitted by Leon Brooks

 The following release was issued by Richard Patterson,director of The Old Barracks whose unwavering support has helped us tell the story of black soldiers in the American Revolution.
For Immediate Release:                                                                        March 25, 2010
Contact: Richard Patterson, Executive Director (845)551-7725
Old Barracks Museum
101 Barracks St.
Trenton, NJ   08608

Old Barracks Eliminated from New Jersey Budget after 93 Years

The Old Barracks, which the New Jersey Legislature ordered built in 1758-59 to house British troops for the French and Indian War, has been cut from the FY11 proposed budget.
The State-owned National Historic Landmark was saved by a group of patriotic Trenton women who in 1914 gave the building and land to the State. In return, the Legislature  agreed to partially fund a private-public partnership for the preservation of the site.
Richard Patterson, Executive Director of The Old Barracks Museum, testified today (Thursday, March 25, 2010) at the Camden hearing of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. In his prepared remarks (attached), Patterson stated that the annual State funding level of $375,000, in force since 1994, covers 45% of annual operating costs. Without that funding, Patterson said, the not-for-profit Old Barracks Association, administrator of the site, faces bankruptcy.
The museum celebrated the 250th anniversary of its building in 2009.  The Barracks is the most important building still standing from the Battles of Trenton and has been ranked as one of just two New Jersey sites among the top 25 sites of the American Revolution. It is one of nine museums in New Jersey accredited by the American Association of Museums, the only historic site of the nine.

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