Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Saving Maxwell's Field in Princeton

This month it was announced that an agreement to save a portion of a Revolutionary War battlefield in Princeton, New Jersey from development was completed.

The Civil War Trust has an agreement to buy nearly 15 acres of land across from Princeton Battlefield State Park for $4 million. The group has raised $1.4 million to buy the land from the Institute for Advanced Study and will now begin fundraising for the rest, with the intention to turn over the property to the state.

The Civil War Trust is the largest and most effective nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of America’s hallowed battlegrounds. Although primarily focused on the protection of Civil War battlefields, the Trust also seeks to save the battlefields connected to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.

The battlefield in Princeton is where American and British troops fought each other on January 3, 1777. The Battle of Princeton during the American Revolutionary War ended when the British soldiers in Nassau Hall (now part of the Princeton University campus) surrendered.

This victory came just after Washington's crossing of the Delaware River and capturing the troops at the Old Barracks in Trenton, and the two victories did a lot to improve American troop morale. This was just Washington’s first victory over British regulars in the field.

The 22 acres adjacent to Princeton Battlefield make up Maxwell’s Field where George Washington's charge first hit the British lines. Also adjacent to the site is the Institute for Advanced Studies which has been attempting to build faculty housing on Maxwell's Field. The institute is best known as the place where Albert Einstein worked. Under the new plan, they will build faculty housing on the part of the land it is keeping.

Approval from the Princeton planning board and Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission is still needed..

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