Herbert Homestead

The Herberts were a well-known and respected African-American family in Trenton during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Mansfield Herbert (c.1806-c.1890) was born in Maryland and moved to the South Trenton by 1840. Herbert was a successful cabinetmaker: a picture frame and a combined meat safe and refrigerator built by Herbert won awards at the New Jersey State Fair in 1858, and John Roebling was reportedly a frequent customer. Herbert owned his home on Lamberton Street, where he also ran his business. It is unclear whether Herbert and his first wife, Alice, had children; however, his family with his second wife, Ellen, included sons John M., R. Henri, and Gustavus, and daughters Ida, Susan (Eliza), and Agnes. The children were educated in the German Catholic and colored schools. John was in the flooring business and a founding member and president of the Eclectic Club. Henri was a journalist and publisher of the city’s Black newspaper, The Sentinel; he was active in the Republican party and served several state political appointments. Ida was a teacher in the Trenton Public Schools for 30 years, and Gustavus reportedly ran the first Black-owned hotel in Trenton. The family continued to live on Lamberton Street until around 1925. The building is no longer extant.

Address: 25 Lamberton Street, Trenton, NJ 08611

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