Two Exhibits now on Display
The New Castle Court House Museum in New Castle, Delaware is currently exhibiting two on-going exhibits: "Sculpture by Charles Parks" and "Emeline Hawkins: Her Journey from Slavery to Freedom on the Underground Railroad."
"Sculpture by Charles Parks" This display features depictions of noted historical and political figures including a Minute Man, and presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George W. Bush. The works compliment the familiar statue of William Penn, also created by Parks, which stands in front of the Arsenal building on Market Street in New Castle.
"Emeline Hawkins: Her Journey from Slavery to Freedom on the Underground Railroad" chronicles the compelling story of Emeline Hawkins and her family, and their 1845 odyssey on the Underground Railroad from slavery in Maryland, through Delaware, to freedom in Pennsylvania. The exhibit shines a spotlight on the roles played by noted Delawareans of the Underground Railroad including "conductor" Samuel Burris, who led the Hawkins family out of Maryland into Delaware; and "stationmasters" Thomas Garrett and John Hunn, who sheltered the family and aided their escape into Pennsylvania. The exhibit also examines the famous federal trial at the New Castle Court House in 1848 which resulted in the conviction of Hunn and Garrett on charges of violating the Federal Fugitive Slave Act.
Built in 1732, the New Castle Court House served as Delaware's first court and state capitol. The building is one of the oldest surviving court houses in the United States and a registered National Historic Landmark. Here in 1776, New Castle, Kent, and Sussex Counties declared their independence from Pennsylvania and England creating the Delaware State. The museum features tours and exhibits that illustrate Delaware's unique boundaries, law and government, and the Underground Railroad. Located at 211 Delaware Street, in New Castle, Delaware, the facility is open from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday; and 1:30-4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free. Donations are accepted and appreciated. For additional information, call (302) 323-4453 or visit their webpage.
The New Castle Court House Museum is one of eight museums administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs (HCA), an agency of the State of Delaware. HCA enhances Delaware's quality of life by preserving the state's unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality, and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history and heritage. In addition to its museums, HCA operates a conference center, manages over thirty historic properties, and serves as the state's historic preservation office. Funding for HCA's programs and services is provided, primarily, by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, a federal agency.