By Keith Sargeant | NJ Advance Media for

The shackled men and women were sold door to door.

Privateers sailed up the Hackensack River, offering slaves to plantation owners from modern-day Newark to Rutherford.

The Africans were lucrative human cargo, seized when the pirates commandeered slave ships in Perth Amboy before fleeing north to sell the enslaved people. Then the privateers routinely hid in the dense, white cedar forest where MetLife Stadium and the American Dream mall now sit, waiting for the next ship to plunder.

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