Friday, October 26, 2012

Proposed American Battlefield Protection Bill Could Preserve NJ Sites

Reenactors at Morristown's Jockey Hollow   photo via nps.gov
"In the early Revolutionary struggle, few of the States among the old Thirteen had more of the battle-fields of the country within their limits than old New Jersey." 
~ Abraham Lincoln in an 1861 address to the New Jersey Legislature. 
If you went to school in NJ, you had a lesson at least once where you were told that General Washington not only slept here but spent more time in NJ with the Continental Army than any other state. Our best known sites are the Trenton Barracks, the Princeton and Monmouth battlefields, the Jockey Hollow encampment and Washington's Headquarters in Morristown.

The sites that are of concern are the many lesser-known sites that are being ignored and may end up being destroyed by development like a Continental Artillery winter encampment in the Pluckemin section of Somerset County's Bedminster Township.

Michele Byers'  post on preserving some of New Jersey's historic landscapes alerted me to a bill introduced by New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt that would preserve our Revolutionary War sites.

The American Battlefield Protection Program already helps preserve Civil War sites, and the new bill would extend the program to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 sites. The amendment was passed by the House of Representatives on September 10 and will now go to the Senate, where a companion bill has been introduced.

New Jersey has a good claim to being the "Crossroads of the American Revolution" being between the British stronghold in New York and our capital in Philadelphia.

If you want to learn more about the American Battlefield Protection Program Amendments Act, or S779 - go to the Library of Congress website at http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php.

If you are interested in this preservation, you can contact New Jersey's two U.S. Senators, Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, and ask them to support S779 via the Senate website at www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?State=NJ.



For more information about New Jersey's Revolutionary War history, visit the Crossroads of the American Revolution website at www.revolutionarynj.org.

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