Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Visiting Revolutionary War New Jersey

Hopefully, anyone who grew up in New Jersey knows that our state was pivotal in the American Revolution and played an important part in the American colonists's victory. NJ is often referred to as both the "Crossroads of the Revolution" and the "Military Capital of the Revolution".

Throughout the Revolutionary War, there were 296 clashes between the Americans and British within the colony of New Jersey. That is more than any other colony in the Revolutionary War.

I have written here earlier about a key battle that occurred January 3, 1777 in the town of Princeton, when the patriots were pushed back by a British charge General Washington with his staff took to the field to rally the retreating troops back into battle.
    But there are many other historical locations that are less well known.

    The Abraham Staats House is one of the finest surviving buildings from the Dutch Settlement of the Raritan Valley in the 18th century.The house was entered onto the New Jersey Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

    It is located on the Delaware-Raritan Canal. There are a variety of birds which have been spotted on the property and on the canal.

    Of course, not all Jersey colonists were in favor of breaking from the crown. Governor William Franklin was the illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin and was a loyalist who supported the Stamp Act. Governor Franklin signed the charter for Queen's College, which would evolve into Rutgers University. He was like other colonists who had emigrated from England and still felt loyalty to England. On January 8, 1776, Governor Franklin was arrested for opposing the Revolution.

    Another National Historic Landmark in Princeton is known as Morven. Now, it is a museum and public garden. The museum occupies the house called Morven, which was formerly the New Jersey Governor’s Mansion and 18th century home of Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Its restoration and conversion to a museum were completed in 2004. Morven Museum & Garden is administered by Historic Morven, Inc., a non-profit organization founded in 1987, in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of State. The state acquired Morven in 1954.

    The Jacobus Vanderveer House is located in Bedminster Township, Somerset County, on part of the 218 acres that make up River Road Park. The oldest part of the Jacobus Vanderveer House was built in the early 1770s. It is typical of the Dutch frame houses that dotted the countryside before the American Revolution. Much of the original fabric of the house remains intact. It includes a wall in the west parlor that features raised wood paneling above the fireplace with a barrel-back cabinet to the side and the home has original flooring of wide pine boards. The house gained a Federal style addition in the early 1800s.

     Some Revolutionary War Links for New Jersey
    1. Abraham Staats House
    2. Bergen County Historical Society
    3. Bravo - Battlefield Restoration and Archaeological Volunteer Organization
    4. Burlington County Historian
    5. The David Library of the American Revolution
    6. Fort Lee Historic Park
    7. Friends of the Hancock House
    8. Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum
    9. Lawrence Historical Society
    10. The Meadows Foundation
    11. Monmouth Battlefield State Park
    12. Morven
    13. New Bridge Landing
    14. Old Barracks Museum – Trenton
    15. Princeton Battlefield Society
    16. Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route

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