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Departure for Wyoming. – Newark and its Associations. – The old Academy. – Trip to Morristown. – Arrival at Morristown. – Kimble’s Mountain. – Fort Nonsense. – September Sunset. – The "Head-quarters." – Spirit and Condition of the Continental Army. – Place of Encampment. – Free-masonry. – Inoculation of the Army. – Jenner. – Proclamation of the Brothers Howe. – Disappointment of the People. – Washington’s counter Proclamation. – Opposition to Washington’s Policy. – His Independence and Sagacity. – Good Effect of his Proclamation. – Winter Encampment at Morristown. – The Life-guard and their Duties. – Pulaski and his Cavalry. – Effect of Alarum Guns. – Sufferings and Fortitude of the Army. – Sterling’s Secret Expedition. – Extreme Cold. – Chevalier Luzerne. – Death of Miralles. – Mutiny at Morristown. – Excuses for the Movement. – Injustice toward the Soldiers. – Policy and Success of Wayne. – Final Adjustment of Difficulties. – Emissaries of Sir Henry Clinton. – Patriotism of the Mutineers. – Fate of the Emissaries. – Mutiny of the New Jersey Line. – Prompt Action of Washington. – Success of Howe. – Illustrations of Washington’s Character. – Prohibition of Gambling. – Washington’s religious Toleration. – Anecdote of Colonel Hamilton. – Room occupied by Washington. – View of an Eclipse of the Moon. – Reflections. – Finances of the Revolutionary Government. – Emission of Bills of Credit. – Continental Paper Money. – Form of the Bills. – Devices and Mottoes. – Paul Revere and cotemporary Engravers. – New Emissions of Continental Bills. – Plans for Redemption. – Counterfeits issued by the Tories. – First coined Money. – Depreciation of the Paper Money. – Confusion in Trade. – Foreign and Domestic Debt. – Specie Value of the Bills. – Unjust Financial Law. – Washington’s Deprecation of it. – Hopes of the Tories. – Cipher Writing of the Loyalists. – Charge against General Greene. – Excitement throughout the Country. – Riot in Philadelphia. – Convention at Hartford. – Battle-ground at Springfield. – Invasion by General Knyphausen. – Clinton’s Designs. – Plan of the Springfield Battle. – Washington deceived by Clinton. – Second Invasion under Knyphausen. – Disposition of opposing Troops. – The Battle. – Partial Retreat of the Americans. – Burning of Springfield. – Retreat of the Enemy. – Colonel Barber. – Connecticut Farms. – Murder of Mrs. Caldwell. – Her Murderer identified. – Timothy Meeker and his Sons. – His Idea of a Standing Army. – Burial-ground at Elizabethtown. – Caldwell’s Monument. – Dickinson’s Tomb. – Boudinot’s Vault. – Death of Mr. Caldwell. – Execution of his Murderer. – Mr. Caldwell’s Funeral. – His Orphan Family. – Old Elizabethport. – Ancient Tavern and Wharf. – Fortification of the Point. – Naval Expedition. – Franklin Stove. – Capture of a Provision Ship. – Privateering. – "London Trading." – "Liberty Hall." – Designs against Governor Livingston. – Scenes at "Liberty Hall." – Spirit of Governor Livingston’s Daughters. – Sketch of the Life of Livingston. – Arrival at Middlebrook. – Place of the Encampment of the American Army. – Howe’s Stratagem. – Skirmishes. – Clinton’s Operations in New Jersey. – Disposition of the American Forces. – Encampment at Middlebrook. – Pluckemin. – Steuben’s Head-quarters. – Recollections of Mrs. Doty. – Visit to the Camp-ground. – "Washington’s Rock." – View from it. – View from Washington’s Rock. – Another similar Rock at Plainfield. – Celebration at Pluckemin in 1779. – Incident at Pluckemin. – Departure from Middlebrook. – Somerville. – Incidents by the Way. – Arrival at Easton. – Sullivan’s Expedition. – Indian Council. – Whitefield and Brainerd.


"The sultry summer past, September comes,
Soft twilight of the slow, declining year;
All mildness, soothing loneliness, and peace;
The fading season ere the falling come,
More sober than the buxom, blooming May,
And therefore less the favorite of the world,
But dearest month of all to pensive minds."



On the morning of the 12th of September I left New York on my SECOND TOUR. My chief destination was Wyoming, after a visit to a few noteworthy places in New Jersey, of which Morristown was the first. I was in Newark just in time to be too late for the morning train for Morristown. Newark is beautiful and eligible in location, and a thriving city; but it has only a few scraps of Revolutionary history, exclusively its own, for the entertainment of an inquirer. The village contained about one thousand inhabitants at that time. British, republicans, and Hessians were alternately billeted upon the people and, being on the line of travel from New York to Brunswick and Trenton, its monotony was often broken by the passage of troops. Political parties were nearly balanced at the commencement of the war, and, when the Declaration of Independence was put forth, many of the Loyalists left the place and went to New York, among whom was the pastor of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Newark. It suffered much during the war from the visitations of regular troops of both armies, and of marauders. When Washington fled toward the Delaware, in November, 1776, his army (three thousand in number) encamped there from the 22d to the 28th. On that day Cornwallis entered the town with a pursuing force. Both armies were quartered upon the inhabitants. Cornwallis left a strong guard there, which remained until after the battle of Princeton. Foraging parties and plunderers kept the inhabitants in a state of continual alarm. On the night of the 25th of January, 1780, a party of five hundred of the enemy went from New York to Newark on the ice, burned, the academy, 1 carried off an active Whig named Hedden, and would doubtless have laid the town in ashes had not the light of a conflagration at Elizabethtown (the burning of the Presbyterian Church by another party, unknown to the first) alarmed them, and caused them to hasten back to New York. No other events of much general importance occurred there during the war. It seems to have been as famous in early times as now for its cider. Governor Carteret wrote, in a letter to the proprietors in 1682, "At Newark are made great quantities of cider, exceeding any we can have from New England, Rhode Island, or Long Island."

I left Newark for Morristown at two o’clock, by rail-road, through a beautifully-diversified region. The road passes above the upper verge of the sandy plains, through a very hilly country, and makes some broad curves in its way from Newark to Morristown, a distance, by the track, of about twenty-two miles. Springfield on the left and the Short Hills on the right, places of note in our revolutionary history, were pointed out as we sped rapidly by, and, before memory could fairly summon the events which made them famous, we were at the station at Morristown, a quarter of a mile eastward of the village green. The town is pleasantly situated upon a table land, with steep slopes on two sides. On the west is a high ridge called Kimble’s Mountain, two hundred and fifty feet above the town, its summit commanding a magnificent prospect of the adjacent country, and considerably resorted to during the summer. It was upon the southern slope of this mountain that the American army, under the immediate command of Washington, was encamped during the winter of 1779-80; and upon the same ridge (which terminates abruptly at the village), half a mile. from the green, are the remains of Fort Nonsense. It was nearly sunset when I ascended the hill, accompanied by Mr. Vogt, the editor of one of the village papers. The embankments and ditches, and the remains of the block-houses of Fort Nonsense, are very prominent, and the form of the embryo fortification may be distinctly traced among the trees. Its name was derived from the fact that all the labor bestowed upon it was intended merely to counteract the demoralizing effects of idleness. The American army was comfortably hutted, and too remote and secure from the enemy to make camp duty at all active. Washington foresaw the evil tendency of idleness, and discreetly ordered the construction of a fort upon a hill overlooking the town. There was no intention to complete it, and when the winter encampment broke up in the spring the work was, of course, abandoned.

From the mountain we saw one of those gorgeous September sunsets so often seen in the Northern States, and so beautifully described by Wilcox:

"The sky, without the shadow of a cloud,
Throughout the west is kindled to a glow
So bright and broad, it glares upon the eye,
Not dazzling, but dilating, with calm force,
Its power of vision to admit the whole.
Below, ’tis all of richest orange dye;
Midway, the blushing of the mellow peach
Paints not, but tinges the ethereal deep;
And here, in this most lovely region, shines,
With added loveliness, the evening star.
Above, the fainter purple slowly fades,
Till changed into the azure of mid-heaven."

As the warm glow in the west faded, the eastern sky was radiant with the light of the full moon that came up over the hills, and under it we made our way along the sinuous mountain path down to the village. I spent the evening with the Honorable Gabriel Ford, who owns the fine mansion which was occupied by Washington as his head-quarters during the winter encampment there in 1779-80. It belonged to Judge Ford’s mother, then a widow, himself being a boy about fourteen years old. His well-stored mind is still active, notwithstanding he is eighty-four years old, and he clearly remembers even the most trifling incidents of that encampment which came under his observation. He entertained me until a late hour with anecdotes and facts of interest, and then kindly invited me to pass the night under his hospitable roof, remarking, "You shall sleep in the room which General Washington and his lady occupied." That certainly was the proffer of a rare privilege, and I tarried till morning. Before making further notes of a personal character, let us look at the history.

Morristown was twice the place of a winter encampment of the division of the American army under the personal command of Washington. The first time was in 1777, after his brilliant achievements at Trenton, and the battle of Princeton. When the fortieth and fifty-fifth British regiments, which Washington encountered in that battle, fled, he pursued them as far as Kingston, where he had the bridge taken up, and, turning short to the left, crossed the Millstone River twice, and arrived at Pluckemin the same evening. It had been his intention to march to New Brunswick, to capture British stores deposited there; but his troops were so exhausted, not having slept for thirty-six hours, and Cornwallis was so near, that he abandoned the design and advanced to Morristown, where he went into winter quarters. He had achieved much, far more than the most sanguine patriot hoped for. At the very moment when his army appeared upon the verge of dissolution, and retreating from town to town, he struck a blow so full of strength that it paralyzed the enemy, broke up the British line of cantonments upon the Delaware, and made Cornwallis turn his eyes back wistfully to more secure quarters at New York, under the wing of General Howe, the British commander-in-chief. Nor did Washington sit down quietly at Morristown. He had established cantonments at various points from Princeton on the right, under the control of General Putnam, to the Hudson Highlands on the left, at which post General Heath was still in command, having been left there when the American army fled from Fort Lee, on the Hudson, to the Delaware, the previous autumn. He was in the midst of hills and a fertile country teeming with abundance, but he did not trust to the strong barriers of nature for his protection. Weak and poorly clad as was his army, he sent out detachments to harass the British, and with such spirit were those expeditions conducted, that, on or before the 1st of March, not a British or Hessian soldier remained in the Jerseys, except at New Brunswick and Amboy. Under the circumstances, it was a splendid triumph, and greatly inspirited the friends of the republican cause. The martial spirit of the people seemed to revive, and it was thought that the thinned battalions of the army would be speedily replenished. New courage was infused into the Continental Congress, the members of which, alarmed at the rapid approach of the British to Philadelphia, then the national metropolis, had fled to Baltimore, and held their sittings there.

The American army was encamped in log huts at Morristown, and Washington’s headquarters were at the old Freeman Tavern, which stood on the north side of the village green. In the Morris Hotel, a building then used as a commissary’s store-house, the chief was initiated into the mysteries of Free-masonry, in a room over the bar, which was reserved for a ball-room and for the meetings of the Masonic Lodge. There he received most of the degrees of the Order, and his warm attachment to the institution lasted until his death.

Some writers assert that, toward the close of January [1777.], the small-pox broke out violently in the American camp, and that Washington resorted to a general inoculation of the army to stay its fatal progress. As Dr. Thacher, who performed this service in the camp in the Highlands, opposite West Point, at a later period, does not mention the circumstance in his Journal, and as cotemporary writers are silent on the subject, it was reasonable to conclude that such an event did not occur at Morristown. But Dr. Eneas Munson, one of Dr. Thacher’s assistants, and still living in New Haven, has settled the question. I wrote to him upon the subject, inquiring also whether vaccination was ever substituted for inoculation during the Revolution. It was during the preceding year that Jenner, a young English surgeon, had made his famous discovery of the efficacy of vaccination. 2 It had attracted the attention of Washington, for the soldiers of the Northern army had suffered terribly from the disease in Canada during the spring of 1776, and one of the most promising officers of the Continental army (General Thomas) had fallen a victim to the loathsome malady. Dr. Munson kindly answered my letter, as follows, under date of November 1st, 1849: "In reply to your inquiries of the 30th ult., I can say that vaccination was not practiced generally, nor at all, to my knowledge, in the American army of the Revolution. At Morristown there was a partial inoculation, but it was not general there. At the Highlands, opposite West Point, it (inoculation) was general, and I assisted in it professionally. 3 Vaccination was practiced by my father one year after the close of the war of the Revolution." 4 This is unquestionable authority.

When the British entered New Jersey, the proclamation of the brothers Howe, offering a free pardon to all rebels who should lay down their arms, and full and ample protection of person and property to those who should take an oath of allegiance to the British crown, was freely circulated. 5 This proclamation was received by the people while the American army was flying before the Britons, and general despondency was crushing every hope for the success of the patriot cause. Its effect was, therefore, powerful and instantaneous, and hundreds, whose sympathies were with the Americans, timid and hopeless, accepted the protection upon the prescribed terms. They generally remained in their houses while the belligerent armies were in motion. But they soon found their hopes cruelly disappointed, and those who should have been their protectors became their worst oppressors. The Hessians, in particular, being entirely mercenary, and influenced by no feelings of sympathy, plundered, burned, and destroyed every thing that came in their way, without discriminating between friend and foe. The people of all parties were insulted and abused in their own houses, their dwellings were rifled, their women were oftentimes ravished by the brutal soldiers, and neither smiling infancy nor decrepit age possessed immunity from their outrages. The British soldiery sometimes participated in these crimes, and upon the British government properly rested the guilt, for the Hessians were its hired fighting machines, hired contrary to the solemn protests and earnest negative pleadings of the best friends of England in its national legislature. But these enormities proved favorable to the republican cause. Those who had received paper protections regarded Sir William Howe as a perjured tool of oppression, and the loyalty of vast numbers of the disaffected and lukewarm, that burned so brightly when recording their oaths of allegiance, was suddenly extinguished, and their sad hearts, touched by the persuasions of self-interest, felt a glow of interested patriotism. Washington took advantage of this state of feeling, and issued a counter proclamation [January 25, 1777.], commanding all persons who had received protections from the British commissioners to repair to head-quarters, or to some general officer of the army, to deliver up such protections, and take an oath of allegiance to the United States. It nevertheless granted full liberty to all such as preferred "the interests and protection of Great Britain to the freedom and happiness of their country, forthwith to withdraw themselves and their families within the enemy’s lines." The reasonable time of thirty days was allowed the inhabitants to comply with these requisitions, after which those who remained, and refused to give up their protections, were to be regarded and treated as adherents to the king and enemies of the United States.

Notwithstanding Washington had been vested by Congress with the power of a military dictator [December 27, 1776.], and the wisdom and equity of the proclamation were not questioned, the Legislature of New Jersey regarded it as an infringement upon state rights, that political stumbling-block in the progress of the Revolution; and even members of the Continental Congress censured the commander-in-chief. The former claimed that each state possessed the exclusive power of requiring such an oath, and the latter deemed the oath absurd when the states were not legally confederated, and such a thing as "United States" did not exist. But Washington, conscious of the necessity and wisdom of his course, did not heed these foolish murmurs. His plan worked admirably, and hundreds flocked to the proper officers to give up their British protections. The state was purged of the most inimical Tories, and the ranks of the army were so rapidly filled by volunteers and new recruits, that, when the campaign opened in June, his force, which numbered about eight thousand men when he left his head-quarters at Morristown, toward the close of May, for Middlebrook (a strong position, twelve miles from the British camp at New Brunswick), had swelled to fourteen thousand. He had previously written to the republican governors of the several states, urging them to adopt prompt and efficient co-operative measures, by raising recruits and filling up the broken regiments. He also wrote stirring appeals to Congress, but that body, acting under powers undefined, and swayed by the jealousies of the several states represented therein, was tardy and inefficient in its action. He was obliged, in his public declarations, to magnify the strength of his army, in order to encourage the desponding people and awe the enemy; and this justifiable deception made his appeals less effective, for the necessity did not seem so great as represented. These were trying circumstances for the commander-in-chief, but his stout heart did not despond, and his hopeful spirit saw brighter prospects in the future.


Morristown was again the head-quarters of Washington during the winter of 1779-80. The campaigns for the season had been fruitless of very favorable results to either party. The war had been carried on chiefly at the extreme south, and in the vicinity of New York city, at the north. Toward the close of the year, Sir Henry Clinton, who had succeeded Sir William Howe in the chief command, sailed from New York for Charleston, and the main body of the American army went into winter quarters near Morristown. They remained in tents until the 14th of February, when log huts were completed for their use. Strong detachments were stationed at West Point and other posts near the Hudson, and the American cavalry were cantoned in the western part of Connecticut. Washington, as we have noted, made his head-quarters at the residence of the widow of Colonel Jacob Ford, who had commanded a regiment of Morris county militia during Washington’s retreat through New Jersey. It is situated nearly three fourths of a mile east of the village green, on the Newark and Morristown turnpike. The general and his suite occupied the whole of the large building, except two rooms on the eastern side of the main passage, which were reserved for Mrs. Ford and her family. The lower front room, on the left of the door, was his dining-room, and the apartment immediately over it was his sleeping-room while Mrs. Washington was at head-quarters. He had two log additions made to the house, one for a kitchen, on the east end, and the other, on the west end, was used as the offices of Washington, Hamilton, and Tilghman. In the meadow, a few rods southeast of the dwelling, about fifty log huts were erected for the accommodation of the life-guard, which consisted of two hundred and fifty men, under General William Colfax. In that meadow Count Pulaski exercised his legion of cavalry, and his dexterous movements were the wonder and emulation of the officers, many of whom were considerably injured in attempts to imitate his feats. 7

The main body of the army, as we have noticed, was encamped upon the southern slope of Kimble’s Mountain, beginning about two miles from head-quarters, and extending several miles westward. They were sufficiently near to be called into service instantly, if necessary. During the winter many false alarms occurred, which set the whole camp in motion. Sentinels were placed at intervals between the camp and head-quarters, and pickets were planted at distant points toward the Raritan and the Hudson, with intervening sentinels. Sometimes an alarm would begin by the firing of a gun at a remote point. This would be answered by discharges along the whole line of sentinels to the head-quarters and to the camp. The life-guard would immediately rush to the house of the general, barricade the doors, and throw up the windows. Five soldiers, with their muskets cocked and brought to a charge, were generally placed at each window, and there they would remain until the troops from the camp marched to head-quarters, and the cause of the alarm was ascertained. It was frequently the case that the attempts of some young suitor, who had been sparking until a late hour, and attempted to pass a sentinel without giving the countersign, caused the discharge of a musket, and the commotion in the camp. These occasions were very annoying to the ladies of the household, for both Mrs. Washington and Mrs. Ford were obliged to lie in bed, sometimes for hours, with their rooms full of soldiers, and the keen winter air from the open windows piercing through their drawn curtains.

The winter of 1780 was one of uncommon severity, and the troops suffered dreadfully from a lack of provisions, clothing, and shelter. 8 The snow fell in great quantities, and the channels of transportation for provisions being closed, Washington found it necessary to levy contributions upon the inhabitants in neighboring towns. He applied to the magistrates for aid, apprehending some difficulty in the exercise of his power, but the people cheerfully complied with his requisitions, and the pressing wants of the army were supplied. The chief was greatly annoyed by complaints of frequent thefts committed by his soldiers; but such was the force of the first law of nature – self-preservation – when the commissariat was empty, that the severest punishments did not deter them from stealing sheep, hogs, and poultry. Repeated warnings were given to the army, in general orders and otherwise, against the marauding practice, yet many suffered the inflictions of the lash, and in some cases of robbery the death penalty was incurred. 9

In January [1780.], Major-general Lord Sterling, with about fifteen hundred men in sleighs, set off at night on a secret expedition, ostensibly to procure provisions, but really to attack the enemy in their quarters on Staten Island. They passed over on the ice from Elizabethtown about midnight. It was a starry night, and the weather was extremely cold. The enemy had notice of their approach, and the object of the expedition was defeated. They captured some blankets and stores, and then returned to camp about daylight. The snow was three feet deep on the ground, and so excessive was the cold, that five hundred of the party were more or less frozen. 10 A retaliating movement was made soon afterward by the enemy [January 27, 1780]. A party attacked the American picket guard, and carried off a major and forty men. Two or three enterprises of a like nature were all that varied the monotonous round of duties until the arrival [April 19.] at head-quarters of the Chevalier de Luzerne, the minister from the French government. He succeeded M. Gerard, the first minister sent to the insurgent colonies from France, and had arrived in Philadelphia the September previous. He was an accomplished and highly honorable gentleman, and was received with much regard by the commander-in-chief. Don Juan de Miralles, a distinguished Spaniard, accompanied him; and during their visits the military education which Baron Steuben, the celebrated tactician, had imparted to the army was several times displayed in reviews and difficult evolutions. Luzerne remained some time at head-quarters, and a ball, which was attended by Washington and his lady, all his officers, Governor Livingston and his lady, and many other distinguished persons, was given in his honor, at the Morris Hotel. Miralles, in the mean while, was seized, at head-quarters, with a pulmonic fever, and died on the 28th. The religious ceremonies of the funeral were conducted by a Spanish Catholic priest, and the body was interred with great pomp in the common burying-ground near the church in Morristown. 11 A guard of soldiers was placed near the grave, to prevent its desecration in search of hidden treasure, until the body could be removed to Philadelphia.

Morristown was the scene of the only serious and decided mutiny in the American army during the Revolution. It occurred on the 1st of January, 1781. The whole movement, when all the circumstances are taken into account, should not be execrated as a military rebellion, for, if ever there was just cause for men to lift up their strength against authority, those mutineers possessed it. They had suffered every privation during a long, and, in many respects, disastrous campaign, and not a ray of hope appeared in the gloomy future. Their small stipend of money was paid irregularly, sometimes not at all, and generally in Continental bills, which were every day becoming more valueless. The frequent promises of Congress had as frequently been unfulfilled, and the illiberal interpretations which the officers gave to the expressed terms of the enlistment of the soldiers produced great dissatisfaction. It was stipulated in those terms that they (the soldiers of the Pennsylvania line, who revolted) should serve for three years, or during the war. The soldiers interpreted these words to mean that they should be entitled to a discharge at the end of three years, or sooner, if the war should terminate. This was doubtless the spirit of the agreement, but the officers read it otherwise, and claimed their service until the conclusion of the war, however long that time might be. This was the principal cause of dissatisfaction, and a quarrel with the officers led to open rebellion.

The Pennsylvania line at that time consisted of about two thousand men, and was stationed at the old camp-ground near Morristown. The three years’ enlistment had expired with most of them. A bounty of three half joes (about twenty-five dollars) had been offered to new recruits, while the pay of these veterans of three years’ service was not increased. There was still due them their pay for twelve months, and nakedness and famine were their daily companions. The officers had murmured somewhat, and the soldiers, hearing the whisperings of complaint, took courage and spoke out boldly. They appointed a sergeant major their commander, styling him major general; and in the evening of the 1st of January [1781.], on a preconcerted signal, the whole line, except a part of three regiments, paraded under arms without officers, marched to the magazines, supplied themselves with provisions and ammunition, and, seizing six field pieces, took horses from General Wayne’s stables to transport them. The officers of the line collected those who had not joined the insurgents, and endeavored to restore order, but some of the revolters fired, killing a Captain Billings and wounding several others. The mutineers then ordered the minority to come over to their side immediately, or suffer destruction by the bayonet, and the command was obeyed.

General Wayne was in command of the Pennsylvania troops, and was much beloved by them. He exerted all his influence, by threats and persuasions, to bring them back to duty until their grievances should be redressed. They would not listen to his remonstrances, and, on his cocking his pistol, they presented their bayonets to his breast, saying, "We respect and love you; often have you led us into the field of battle, but we are no longer under your command; we warn you to be on your guard; if you fire your pistol, or attempt to enforce your commands, we shall put you instantly to death." Wayne appealed to their patriotism; they pointed to the impositions of Congress. He reminded them of the strength their conduct would give to the enemy; they exhibited their tattered garments and emaciated forms. They avowed their willingness to support the cause of freedom, for it was dear to their hearts, if adequate provision could be made for their comfort, and declared their intention to march directly to Philadelphia, and demand from Congress a redress of their grievances. Finding threats and persuasion useless, Wayne resolved upon a line of policy that proved effective. He supplied them with provisions, and, with Colonels Stewart and Butler, officers whom they greatly respected, marched with them to prevent their depredating upon the inhabitants, and to draw from their leaders a statement of their claims and wishes. They reached Princeton on the 3d, and there a committee of sergeants submitted to Wayne, in writing, the following demands: First, a discharge for all those, without exception, who had served three years under their original engagements, and not received the increased bounty and re-enlisted for the war. Second, an immediate payment of all arrears of pay and clothing, both to those who should be discharged and those who should be retained. Third, the residue of their bounty, to put them on an equal footing with the recently enlisted, and future substantial pay to those who should remain in the service. General Wayne was not authorized to promise a full acquiescence in their demands, and further negotiations were referred to the civil authority of the state of Pennsylvania.

Intelligence of this revolt reached Washington. and Sir Henry Clinton on the same day [January 3, 1781.]. The head-quarters of the former were at New Windsor, on the Hudson, just above the Highlands; of the latter, in the city of New York. Washington called a council of war, and, as the extent of the disaffection was unknown, it was determined to have one thousand men, drafts from the several regiments in the Highlands, held in readiness to march at a moment’s notice, to quell the rebellion, if called upon. The council heartily approved of the course pursued by General Wayne; and Washington, whose patience had often been severely tried by the tardy movements of Congress, was willing to have that body aroused to activity by circumstances which should demand immediate and undivided attention. Sir Henry Clinton, mistaking the spirit of the mutineers, thought to gain great advantage by the event. He dispatched two emissaries, a British sergeant, and a New Jersey Tory named Ogden, to the insurgents, with the written offer that, on laying down their arms and marching to New York, they should receive their arrearages, and the amount of the depreciation of the Continental currency, in hard cash; that they should be well clothed, have a free pardon for all past offenses, and be taken under the protection of the British government; and that no military service should be required of them, unless voluntarily offered. Sir Henry requested them to appoint agents to treat with his and adjust the terms of a treaty; and, not doubting the success of his plans, he went to Staten Island himself, with a large body of troops, to act as circumstances might require. Like his masters at home, he entirely misapprehended the spirit and the incentives to action of the American soldiers. They were not mercenary – not soldiers by profession, fighting merely for hire. The protection of their homes, their wives and little ones, and the defense of holy principles, which their general intelligence understood and appreciated, formed the motive power and the bond of union of the American army, and the soldier’s money stipend was the least attractive of all the inducements which urged him to take up arms. Yet, as it was necessary to his comfort, and even his existence, the want of it afforded a just pretext for the assumption of powers delegated to a few. The mutiny was a democratic movement; and, while the patriot felt justified in using his weapons to redress grievances, he still looked with horror upon the armed oppressors of his country, and regarded the act and stain of treason, under any circumstances, as worse than the infliction of death. Clinton’s proposals were, therefore, rejected with disdain. "See, comrades," said one of the leaders, "he takes us for traitors. Let us show him that the American army can furnish but one Arnold, and that America has no truer friends than we." They immediately seized the emissaries, who, being delivered, with Clinton’s papers, into the hands of Wayne, 12 were tried and executed as spies, and the reward which had been offered for their apprehension was tendered to the mutineers who seized them. They sealed the pledge of their patriotism by nobly refusing it, saying, "Necessity wrung from us the act of demanding justice from Congress, but we desire no reward for doing our duty to our bleeding country!"

Congress appointed a commissioner to confer with the insurgent troops at Princeton. The result was, a compliance with their just demands, and the disbanding of a large part of the Pennsylvania line for the winter, which was filled by new recruits in the spring. Thus "terminated," as Thacher remarks, "a most unfortunate transaction, which might have been prevented had the just complaints of the army received proper attention in due season."

The wisdom of Washington’s precaution in having a thousand men ready for sudden marching orders was soon demonstrated. About the middle of January a portion of the New Jersey line, cantoned at Pompton, 13 followed the example of the Pennsylvania mutineers, and revolted. The chief resolved not to temporize with them, and ordered a detachment of five hundred men, under Major-general Robert Howe, to reduce them to subordination. Howe reached their encampment, after a fatiguing march of four days through deep snow, on the 27th of January [1781.]. His troops were well armed, and, parading them in line, he ordered the insurgents to appear in front of their huts, unarmed, within five minutes. They hesitated, but a second order, as promptly given, made them obedient. Three of the ringleaders were tried and condemned to be executed on the spot. Two of them were shot, and their executioners were twelve of the most prominent of their guilty associates. The other one, less guilty, was pardoned. Their punishment was quick and terrible, and never were men more humble and submissive than were the remainder of the insurgents. General Howe then addressed them effectively, by platoons, and ordered their officers, whom the mutineers had discarded, to resume their respective commands. The hopes of Sir Henry Clinton had been again excited, but the emissary whom he sent to the revolted troops, hearing of the fate of the others, played false to his master, by going directly to Howe and delivering the papers into his hands. Revolt, that followed so closely upon Arnold’s treason a few months before, was thus effectually nipped in the bud.

I have said that I spent an evening at Morristown with Judge Ford, the proprietor of the head-quarters of Washington. I look back upon the conversation of that evening with much pleasure, for the venerable octogenarian entertained me until a late hour with many pleasing anecdotes illustrative of the social condition of the army, and of the private character of the commander-in-chief. As an example of Washington’s careful attention to small matters, and his sense of justice, he mentioned the fact that, when he took up his residence with his (Ford’s) mother, he made an inventory of all articles which were appropriated to his use during the winter. When he withdrew in the spring, he inquired of Mrs. Ford whether every thing had been returned to her. "All but one silver table-spoon," she answered. He took note of it, and not long afterward she received from him a spoon bearing his initials, G. W. That spoon is preserved as a precious relic in the family. His tender care for the comfort of Mrs. Ford was often evinced. On the occasions when the alarms, which we have noticed, were given, he always went to her room, drew the curtains close, and soothed her by assurances of safety. And when her son, a lad of seventeen, was brought home from the Springfield battle, seriously wounded, his first care in the morning was to inquire after the sufferer. 14 Washington’s moral and religious feelings were never blunted by the influences of the camp. While at Morristown, he observed that gambling was frequent among the officers and soldiers. This growing vice he arrested by prohibition and threats of punishment, put forth in general orders. It is related that he called upon the Rev. Dr. Jones, the pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Morristown, on learning that the communion service was to be observed in his church on the following Sabbath, and inquired whether communicants of another denomination were permitted to join with them. The doctor replied, "Most certainly; ours is not the Presbyterian’s table, general, but the Lord’s; and hence we give the Lord’s invitation to all his followers, of whatever name." "I am glad of it," said the general; "that is as it ought to be; but, as I was not quite sure of the fact, I thought I would ascertain it from yourself, as I propose to join with you on that occasion. Though a member of the Church of England, I have no exclusive partialities." Washington was at the communion table on the following Sabbath.


General Schuyler was with Washington during the winter of 1780. His head-quarters were at a house (still standing) a few rods eastward of the rail-way station. A portion of his family was with him, among whom was his daughter Elizabeth, a charming girl, about twenty-two years of age. Colonel Alexander Hamilton, who was Washington’s aid and military secretary, was smitten with her charms and accomplishments, and his evenings were usually spent with her at her father’s quarters. Mr. Ford, then a lad, was a favorite with Hamilton, and, by permission of the chief, the colonel would give him the countersign, so as to allow him to play at the village after the sentinels were posted for the night. On one occasion he was returning home, about nine o’clock in the evening, and had passed the sentinel, when he recognized the voice of Hamilton in a reply to the soldier’s demand of "Who comes there?" He stepped aside, and waited for the colonel to accompany him to the house. Hamilton came up to the point of the presented bayonet of the sentinel to give the countersign, but he had quite forgotten it. "He had spent the evening," said Judge Ford, who related the anecdote to me, "with Miss Schuyler, and thoughts of her undoubtedly expelled the countersign from his head." The soldier lover was embarrassed, and the sentinel, who knew him well, was stern in the performance of his duty. Hamilton pressed his hand upon his forehead, and tried hard to summon the cabalistic words from their hiding-place, but, like the faithful sentinel, they were immovable. Just then he recognized young Ford in the gloom. "Ay, Master Ford, is that you?" he said, in an undertone; and, stepping aside, he called the lad to him, drew his ear to his mouth, and whispered, "Give me the countersign." He did so, and Hamilton, stepping in front of the soldier, delivered it. The sentinel, seeing the movement, and believing that his superior was testing his fidelity, kept his bayonet unmoved. "I have given you the countersign; why do you not shoulder your musket?" asked Hamilton. "Will that do, colonel?" asked the soldier, in reply. "It will for this time," said Hamilton; "let me pass." The soldier reluctantly obeyed the illegal command, and Hamilton and his young companion reached headquarters without further difficulty. Colonel Hamilton afterward married Miss Schuyler. She still survives him (1849), and at the age of ninety-two years is the attractive center of a circle of devoted friends at Washington city, her present place of residence.

I passed the night under the hospitable roof of Judge Ford, and in the room which Washington and his lady had occupied. The carpet upon the floor, dark and of a rich pattern, is the same that was pressed by the feet of the venerated chief nearly seventy years ago; and in an apartment below were a looking-glass, secretary, and book-case that formed a portion of the furniture of the house at that time. 15 The room fronts south, and, the sky being perfectly clear, I had a fine view, from the window, of an almost total eclipse of the moon, which occurred at about midnight [September 12, 1848.]. As from that interesting observatory I watched the progress of the obscuration, and then the gradual enlightenment of the satellite, it appeared to me a most significant emblem of the political condition of America, and the cause of the patriots, at the time when, from the same window, Washington, with anxious eye, had doubtless gazed upon the same moon in its silent path-way among the stars. It was the gloomiest period of the war. For many months the bright prospects of the patriots were passing deeper and deeper within the penumbra of British power and oppression, and, at the beginning of 1780, only a faint curve of light was seen upon the disk of hope; the eclipse was almost total. Financial embarrassment was the chief bane of the patriots, and the expected antidote of rebellion for the Loyalists and the king. Let us here take a brief view of the financial affairs of the Revolutionary government.

When the Continental army was organized, in June, 1775, and other methods of defense were adopted by the General Congress, the necessity for providing pecuniary means for defraying the expenses, demanded and received the most serious attention of the delegates. The colonies, deprived, in a great measure, of all commercial intercourse with other parts of the world, by the unwise and oppressive policy of the mother country, a paper medium seemed to be their only resource. It was a blessing at the beginning, but proved a curse in the end. To place it upon a footing that should command the public confidence, and to secure it from depreciation, was important and difficult. The New York Convention, foreseeing the necessity of such a measure, had already considered the subject, and a committee of that body had reported suggestions a few weeks previously. They proposed three distinct modes of issuing paper money. First, that each colony should issue, for itself, the sum which might be appropriated to it by Congress. Second, that the united colonies should issue the whole sum necessary, and each colony become bound to sink its proportionable part; and, third, that Congress should issue the whole sum, every colony be bound to discharge its proportion, and the united colonies be obliged to pay that part which any colony should fail to discharge. The convention preferred the last mode, as affording higher security to those who should receive the paper, and, of consequence, as likely to obtain more ready, general, and confidential circulation. It was also believed that it would be an additional bond of union to the associated colonies. 16

The Continental Congress adopted, substantially, the last proposition, and, in the course of the session of 1775, three millions of dollars were issued in bills of credit, and the faith of the confederated colonies was pledged for their redemption. 17 This sum was appropriated among the colonies according to the supposed number of the inhabitants, including negroes and mulattoes, and each colony was to pay its proportion, in four equal annual payments, the first by the last of November, 1779, and the fourth by the last of November, 1782. The several Colonial Conventions were to provide, by taxes, for sinking their proportion of the bills, and the bills themselves were to be received in payment for such taxes. Two general treasurers were appointed, and it was recommended to each colony to appoint a treasurer. The amount of the first emission was two millions of dollars.


On the 25th of July [1775.] the Continental Congress ordered the issuing of one million of dollars more, 19 and from time to time new emissions were authorized, to meet the demands upon the treasury, until, at the beginning of 1780, the enormous sum of two hundred millions of dollars had been issued, no part of which had been redeemed. While the amount of the issues was small, the credit of the bills was good; but when new emissions took place, and no adequate measures for redemption were exhibited, the people became suspicious of those frail representatives of money, and their value began to depreciate. This effect did not occur until eighteen months from the time of the first emission had elapsed. Twenty millions of the Continental bills were then in circulation, besides a large amount of local issues by the several states. It was now perceived that depreciation was inevitable, and Congress proposed, as a substitute for further issues, a loan of five millions, at an interest of four per cent. A lottery was also authorized, designed to raise a like sum on loan, the prizes being payable in loan office certificates. These offices were opened in all the states; the rate of interest was raised from four to six per cent., but the loans came in very slowly. The treasury ran low, the loan offices were overdrawn by the commissaries’ drafts, the issue of bills was reluctantly recommenced, and ten additional millions were speedily authorized. During the year 1778 sixty millions and a half were added to the issues already made. The commissioners in France (see page 86) had been instructed to borrow money there, but as yet they had been unsuccessful.

Various plans were proposed at different times to sink those issues of bills of credit, but none could be put into efficient practical operation. The several states issued paper money independently of the Continental Congress; and the Loyalists, aided by Sir Henry Clinton, in the autumn of 1778 sent out large quantities of counterfeits of the Continental emissions of May 20th, 1777, and April 11th, 1778, and scattered them as widely among the people as their means would allow. Under these circumstances, Congress felt the necessity of making an extraordinary effort to sustain the declining credit of the bills, by making some provision for their actual redemption. On the 2d of January, 1779, it was "Resolved, That the United States be called on to pay in their respective quotas of fifteen millions of dollars for the year 1779, and of six millions of dollars annually for eighteen years from and after the year 1779, as a fund for sinking the emissions and loans of the United States to the 31st of December, 1778, inclusive." It was provided that any bills emitted by order of Congress prior to 1780, and no others, should be received in payment of those quotas. A period of five months was given for taking out of circulation the emissions which had been counterfeited, during which time they were to be received into the public treasury in payment of debts and taxes, and also into the Continental loan offices, either on loan or to be exchanged for other bills of a new tenor, bearing interest at five per cent., and redeemable in specie within six years. The old bills thus called in were to be destroyed. 20

This effort, like its predecessors, was unsuccessful. Prices rose as the money sank in value, and every branch of trade was deranged. In several states laws limiting prices were still in force, and the rapid depreciation of the bills threw all contracts into confusion. The amount in circulation on the 1st of September, 1779, was a hundred and sixty millions. Congress resolved that the issues should not exceed two hundred millions in the whole. The loans prior to the 1st of August, 1778, the interest of which was payable in bills on France, were seven millions and a half. The loans contracted since were more than twenty-six millions. The debt abroad was estimated at four millions. Only three millions out of the sixty millions of paper dollars already called for from the states had been paid into the public treasury.

Congress was powerless to stay the downward tendency of the paper currency. It continued to depreciate and prices to rise. Early in 1780, forty paper dollars were worth only one in specie. 21 The commissaries found it extremely difficult to purchase supplies for the army, for the people refused to exchange their articles for the almost worthless paper. Direct taxes had been unsuccessfully tried to replenish the treasury, and, as supplies could not be obtained, a speedy dissolution of the army and abandonment of the rebellion seemed inevitable.

Congress was obliged to open new resources for the supply of the army, and required each state to furnish a certain quantity of beef, pork, flour, corn, forage, and other articles, which were to be deposited in such places as the commander-in-chief should determine. The states were to be credited for the amount at a fixed valuation in specie. This scheme was utterly impracticable, from the want of authority to enforce the demands, and the distance of several states from the army, and Congress speedily abandoned it. The several states were then recommended by Congress to pass laws making paper money a legal tender, at its nominal value, for the discharge of debts which had been contracted to be paid in hard cash. Such laws were enacted, and many dishonest debtors took advantage of them. Although the bills were passing at the rate of twenty for one, they were made a lawful tender, and debts were discharged at a cheap rate. It was one of the most unwise and unjust acts committed by Congress during the war. The honest and simple were defrauded, and the rogues were immense gainers. 22 The people justly raised a great clamor, while the friends of the king greatly rejoiced in seeing the growth of what they deemed the canker-worm in the seed of rebellion. 23

Among the most prominent evils arising from the rapid depreciation of the paper was a spirit of speculation and fraud, which excited unfounded jealousies and suspicions. The rapid rise in prices was unjustly attributed to extortion on the part of public officers, and even General Greene, who acted as quarter-master general, was accused of enriching himself at the public expense, because he received for his salary a percentage on all moneys disbursed, and the depreciation made the nominal amount vast. Individual speculators and monopolizers were the extortioners and the oppressors of the people, and of them Washington said, in a letter to President Reed, "I would to God that some of the more atrocious in each state were hung in gibbets upon a gallows four times as high as the one prepared for Haman." It was remarked, "that while the honest and patriotic were impoverished, rogues and Tories were fast growing rich."

Toward the close of the summer of 1779, the country was greatly agitated by the existing financial embarrassments. Meetings were held in the chief cities on the subject. In Philadelphia, party feelings, growing out of the currency question, became so strong and decided that a riot took place under the very eyes of Congress. A committee had undertaken to regulate the prices of flour, rum, sugar, molasses, coffee, salt, and other articles of general use. Robert Morris and other leading merchants refused to conform to the regulation. Wilson, Clymer, and Mifflin, with their friends, were threatened with banishment to New York, as abettors and defenders of the Tories. They armed themselves, and repaired to Wilson’s house [October 4, 1779.]. A mob, with fire-arms and two cannons, approached. Some shots were fired, and one of the defenders of the house was killed. A man and a boy of the mob were also killed. The mob were about to force the door, when Reed, the president of Congress, appeared with some cavalry, and partially restored order, but it was necessary for the citizens to turn out and patrol the streets. It was several days before quiet was restored. In the midst of this general excitement a convention of the five Eastern States was held at Hartford [October 20, 1779.], and Congress, unable longer to disguise the fact that its bills of credit were permanently depreciating, approved of, and recommended, a plan elaborated by that convention, to regulate prices on the basis of twenty paper dollars for one of specie. This measure partially quieted the public mind. Before the end of the year the two hundred millions were emitted, and the press was stopped. 24 At that time the depreciation stood thirty for one, and was constantly increasing. The diversion of labor from agricultural and other industrial pursuits, the destruction of grain by the belligerent forces in various parts of the country, combined with the embarrassed state of the finances of government, which we have briefly considered, threatened famine and general bankruptcy; and during the winter and spring of 1780, when Washington had his quarters at Morristown, the hope of the patriot was suffering an almost total eclipse; it was the gloomiest period of the Revolution. The financial operations which subsequently occurred will be noticed hereafter, such as long drafts on the United States commissioners abroad, and foreign loans.

We have made a wide but necessary digression in turning aside to view the financial affairs of the patriots at the period under consideration. Let us resume our journey and historic annotations.

I left Morristown for Springfield in the early morning train [September 13, 1848.]. The air was cool and bracing, and I had a pleasant walk of about a mile from the station, at the foot of the Short Hills, to the pretty village lying in the bosom of a fertile plain near the banks of the Rahway River. The trees upon the surrounding hills were beginning to assume the variegated livery of autumn, not from the effects of frosts, but of a long drought; yet on the plain every thing was as green as in June, except the ripening maize. I sought for the "oldest inhabitant," and found him in the person of the venerable Gilbert Edwards, who was a half-grown boy at the time of the battle of Springfield, and sold apples to the American soldiers when they came down from the Short Hills to oppose the invasion of the enemy under Knyphausen, the German general. 25 He kindly accompanied me to the place where the principal engagement occurred, which is on the right of the present turnpike leading from Springfield to Elizabethtown, and a few rods westward of the Rahway. Nothing now remains upon the spot to indicate military operations, for no works were thrown up on the occasion. The battle was the result of an unexpected invasion. The knoll on which the Americans were posted, then covered with apple-trees, is now bare, only a few stumps remaining; but on the eastern slope a few of the trees are left, venerable in form and feature, and venerated for their associations. One of them is pictured in the engraving. It bears several scars of wounds inflicted by the cannon-balls of the approaching enemy. They are "honorable scars," and I bespeak for the veteran a perpetual pension of respect.

On the 6th of June, 1780, General Knyphausen, then in temporary command of the British troops in New York during the absence of Sir Henry Clinton at the south, dispatched Brigadier-general Mathews from Staten Island with about five thousand troops, who landed at Elizabethtown Point. He had been informed that the American army at Morristown was much dissatisfied, and ripe for mutiny and treason, and that the people of New Jersey were ready to join the royal standard as soon as ample protection should be guarantied them. Influenced by these opinions, Knyphausen ordered Mathews to march toward Morristown, but the annoyances which he met with on the way soon undeceived him. He burned the village of Connecticut Farms, and advanced on Springfield, but, being informed that Washington had sent a force to oppose him, he wheeled and returned to Elizabethtown. Many of his soldiers were cut off during the recession, by small parties of Jerseymen concealed behind fences, rocks, and bushes. On reaching Elizabethtown Point, he intrenched his forces within the old works thrown up there by the Americans, where they remained about a fortnight.


EXPLANATION OF THE MAP. – The stream with branches, and running in a southerly direction, is the Rahway River; a is the house (still standing) of Mrs. Mathews, near which the enemy formed for battle; b, the site of Byram’s Tavern, at the foot of the first range of hills; c, the Springfield and Elizabethtown turnpike; d, the Vauxhall Road; e, the first position of the brigades of Stark and Maxwell, near the mill, and north of the rail-road; f, Shrieve’s regiment at the second bridge; g, the mill; h, post of the Americans, on the hills in the rear of Byram’s Tavern. The other localities are printed on the map.

In the mean while, General Clinton arrived from the south, and determined to carry out the plan arranged by Knyphausen, to capture the stores at Morristown, and, if possible, draw Washington out from his strong position among the Short Hills, into a general engagement. He also took pains to mislead Washington, by embarking troops in transports on the Hudson, as if an expedition was intended against West Point. Washington was deceived by this movement, and, with a considerable force, marched toward the Highlands, leaving Major-general Greene in command at Springfield. Clinton, perceiving the success of his stratagem, crossed over to Elizabethtown, with Knyphausen and additional troops, and at break of day on the 23d [June, 1780.] the whole army, consisting of about five thousand infantry, a considerable body of cavalry, and from fifteen to twenty pieces of artillery, advanced toward Springfield. They moved in two columns, one on the main road (the present turnpike) leading to Springfield, the other on the Vauxhall Road, leading to the principal pass among the Short Hills, a series of high ridges at the head of the Springfield plains. The Americans were under the immediate command of Greene. The right column of the enemy, on the Vauxhall Road, was opposed by Major Henry Lee with his cavalry, and some pickets under Captain Walker, and the left was confronted by Colonel Dayton, of the New Jersey line. 26 The remainder of the American troops had been posted upon the roads leading to the different passes over the mountains, and it was with considerable difficulty that they were collected in force at Springfield to oppose the enemy concentrating there. The latter, after maneuvering to gain the flanks of the Americans, formed upon a gentle eminence on the eastern side of the Rahway, near the house of Mrs. Mathews, which is still standing. Colonel Angell, with his regiment, was posted in the orchard upon the knoll west of the stream, with a single field piece under the charge of Captain Little, to defend the bridge; and Colonel Shrieve’s regiment was drawn up at the second bridge, in the rear of the town, to cover the retreat of the Americans, if such a movement should become necessary. Lee’s dragoons, and the pickets under Captain Walker, were stationed at the Vauxhall Bridge, and the militia were drawn up on the flanks, principally under the command of General Dickinson, of New Jersey.


The first attack was made by the enemy upon Lee’s force at the Vauxhall Bridge, and the Americans were repulsed. At that instant the British troops near the first Springfield Bridge moved to attack Colonel Angell in the orchard. Captain Little played his artillery so briskly and well, that he kept the enemy east of the bridge for some time; but bringing their artillery to bear, they pressed forward, forded the stream (which is there only about two rods wide), and drove the Americans from their position and across the second bridge. The artillery of the British, being leveled too high, did but little execution, except among the branches of the apple-trees, and the Americans retreated with very little loss. The enemy were warmly received at the second bridge by Shrieve’s regiment, but overwhelming numbers obliged the gallant little band of Americans to fall back and join the brigades of Maxwell and Stark upon the hill. The situation of the patriot army was now critical. The enemy was pushing vigorously forward on the Vauxhall Road, leading in their rear, and their numbers were too small to guard the several passes through the mountains, and have a respectable force engaged in battle. Greene accordingly ordered the main body of the army, except the two brigades already mentioned, to take post on the hills in the rear of Byram’s Tavern, and detached the regiments of Colonels Webb and Jackson, with one piece of artillery, to check the advance of the enemy on the Vauxhall Road. The movement was successful, and that important pass was secured.

The Americans were now advantageously posted, and General Greene was anxious for an engagement; but Knyphausen saw his own disadvantage, and, after setting fire to the village, began a retreat toward Elizabethtown. Greene ordered out detachments to extinguish the flames of such houses as were not within the reach of the enemy’s cannon, but their efforts were of little avail. The church, and every house and barn in the village but three, were burned. One of the latter now stands close by the tavern of Mr. Reynolds. It is a very well built house, and exhibits an orifice in the northwestern gable, made by the passage of a cannon-ball. The parsonage was saved, and in it the congregation worshiped until a more convenient place was supplied.

As soon as the village was fired, the enemy began their retreat. Captain Davis, with one hundred and twenty men and large parties of militia, fell upon their flanks and rear, and kept up a continual fire upon them all the way to Elizabethtown. The retreat was so precipitate that Stark’s brigade, which was put in motion, could not overtake them. At midnight [June 23.] the enemy began crossing over to Staten Island on a bridge of boats, and by six o’clock in the morning they had evacuated Elizabethtown and removed their bridge. 28 The loss in killed and wounded has not been fully given on either side. Lieutenant-colonel Barber, in his return to General Greene, reported thirteen Americans killed, and fifty-eight wounded and missing. In this report was not included the return of Davis’s detachment and of the militia that pursued the enemy to Elizabethtown. The militia had twelve wounded and none killed. The loss of the enemy is unknown. The newspapers of the day put down their loss in the skirmish at Connecticut Farms and vicinity, two weeks previous, at one hundred and fifty killed, and as many wounded. Colonel Barber, who acted as deputy adjutant general on the occasion, was particularly recommended for his activity, by General Greene, in his report of the engagement. 29 General Washington, on hearing of the movement of the enemy toward Springfield, sent a re-enforcement, but it was too late to save the town. Greene, in his report, says, "I lament that our force was too small to save the town from ruin. I wish every American could have been a spectator; they would have felt for the sufferers, and joined to revenge the injury."

After much difficulty, I procured a conveyance to Elizabethtown. Mr. Meeker, a resident of Springfield, seventy-four years old, kindly left his plow, and in a light wagon took me thither, by the way of Connecticut Farms, a small village now called Union, lying four miles northwest of Elizabethtown. Almost every building in that village was destroyed by the British invaders while on their way to Springfield, on the 6th of June, 1780. An event occurred there at that time, which excited the greatest indignation throughout the country. The family of the Rev. James Caldwell, the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church at Elizabethtown, and an ardent Whig, had removed to Connecticut Farms as a place of greater security, and occupied the parsonage. Mrs. Caldwell was the daughter of John Ogden, of Newark, and was greatly beloved for her piety and benevolence. When she heard of the approach of the enemy, and the people fled from the town, she resolved to remain, trusting in Providence for protection. When they entered the village, she withdrew, with her infant in her arms, into a private apartment, and engaged in religious devotions. A maid, who had charge of the other children, and accompanied her to the private apartment, saw a "redcoat soldier" jump over the fence into the yard, and told Mrs. Caldwell that he was approaching the window. Mrs. Caldwell arose from a bed on which she had been sitting, and at that moment the soldier discharged his musket at her through the window. It was loaded with two balls, both of which passed through her body, and she fell lifeless upon the floor, in the midst of her children. 30 It was with much difficulty that her body was saved from the conflagration that ensued. It was dragged into the street, and lay exposed for several hours in the hot sun, when some of her friends procured liberty to take it to the house of Captain Wade, on the opposite side of the road. Her husband was at the Short Hills that night, suffering dreadfully from anxiety respecting his family. The next day he procured a flag and went to Connecticut Farms, when he found the village in ruins and his wife no more. That cold-blooded murder, as well as the wanton destruction of the peaceful village, changed many Tories to Whigs, and helped to confirm the settled hatred of the well-affected and the patriots against the British government, whose military officers winked at such atrocities.

On our way, Mr. Meeker related some interesting facts concerning his family. His grandfather was a stanch republican, and had eight sons and four sons-in-law in the Continental army, who were remarkable for their physical strength and moral courage. The father of Mr. Edwards, the old gentleman who went over the Springfield battle-ground with me, was one of the sons-in-law. One of his sons (Mr. Meeker’s father) lived up among the Short Hills, and was a substantial farmer. A conversation which he had one day with General Dayton, at Elizabethtown, well illustrates the political character of many of the yeomanry of that period. While a portion of the standing army, under the administration of the elder Adams, was at Elizabethtown, Mr. Meeker went to General Dayton to pay his direct tax, in hard cash, for the support of the army. "Of what use is your standing army?" asked Meeker. "To support Congress," replied Dayton. "Ay, to support Congress indeed," said the old man, bitterly. "To support Congress in taking away our liberties, and in altering the Constitution so as to place men in public offices for life. I fought for freedom through the war for nothing (his Continental money was worthless), and now I want to pay for my land and be independent indeed, but tax upon tax keeps me poor. I could at any time raise one hundred men among my neighbors upon the Short Hills, say privately to your standing army, ‘Come and help us’ – and they would come, and we’d march to Philadelphia and take your Congressmen from their seats. We will not have a standing army. Disband it." "Our standing army," said Dayton, "will intimidate the British." "Look ahere, General Dayton," said Meeker, while his eyes sparkled with emotion, "you are well acquainted in London. Write to your acquaintances there, and tell them that Timothy Meeker is dead, and that he has left seven sons, every one of whom is a stronger man than he. Tell them we are seven times stronger than before, and that will intimidate them more than all your standing armies, that suck the life-blood from the people." Such was the logic of New Jersey farmers in 1798, and our government soon acted in accordance with it.

We reached Elizabethtown at about noon, and having ample time before the departure of the evening train for Middlebrook, my next tarrying-place, I visited the several Revolutionary localities in the vicinity. The burial-ground of the First Presbyterian Church, on Broad Street, was the chief attraction within the village, for therein repose the remains of many distinguished men of the Revolution. The church that occupied the site of the present one was burned on the night of the 25th of January, 1780, together with the academy (which stood upon the ground of the present lecture room) and the court-house. A notorious Tory named Cornelius Hetfield fired the church with his own hands, and was heard to lament that the "black-coated rebel," as he called Dr. Caldwell, the pastor, was not burned in his pulpit.


Near the Broad Street front of the burying-ground stands the monument erected to the memory of the Rev. James Caldwell and his wife, by citizens of Elizabethtown. It is a handsome marble obelisk, which, with an inscribed pedestal, rests upon a granite base. On the left in the picture are seen a recumbent slab, and also an upright one. The former is of brown stone, and covers the grave of Jonathan Dickinson, 32 the founder of the College of New Jersey, now located at Princeton; the latter is of white marble, and is sacred to the memory of Margaret Van Pelt, a grand-daughter of Mr. Caldwell.


On the west side of the cemetery, in the rear of the church, are several vaults shaded by a venerable oak, among which is that of the celebrated Elias Boudinot, who was president of Congress in 1782, and an active patriot during the Revolution. Of him I shall have occasion to write hereafter. A little south of Boudinot’s vault is that of General Dayton, just mentioned, and in the vicinity are the graves of General Crane, an active patriot of the Revolution; Colonel Barber, already mentioned; Moses Ogden, a young American officer, who was killed at Connecticut Farms when that settlement was burned; and of several others of colonial and Revolutionary eminence, among whom is Governor Belcher.

The death of Mr. Caldwell, which occurred a little more than a year subsequent to that of his wife, was regarded as a foul murder. He was shot upon the causeway at old Elizabethtown Point, by an American sentinel named Morgan, who was hung for the deed. The circumstances are substantially as follows. At the time of the occurrence the Americans had possession of Elizabethtown, and there was established there a commissariat of prisoners, under the superintendence of Major Adams. To facilitate the business for which the commissariat was established, a sloop made weekly trips between the Point and New York, then the head-quarters of the British army. Passengers with a flag, and also parcels, were frequently carried by this vessel, and a strong guard was placed at a tavern on the shore, having one or more sentinels upon the causeway that extended across the marsh to the wharf. On the 24th of November, 1781, this vessel arrived at the wharf, having on board a Miss Berlah Murray (afterward Mrs. Martin Hoffman), who had permission to visit her sister (Mrs. Barnett), at Elizabethtown. Mr. Caldwell went down to the sloop in his chaise to receive her, but she was not there. He went on board the vessel, when a small bundle belonging to her was placed in his charge, with which he started for his vehicle. James Morgan, a sentinel on duty upon the causeway, ordered Mr. Caldwell to deliver his bundle to him for examination, as his orders were not to let any thing of the kind pass without strict scrutiny. Mr. Caldwell told him it was the property of a lady, which had been placed in his charge, and refused to give it up. The sentinel reiterated his demand, when Mr. Caldwell turned from him, and, it is said, went toward the vessel to leave the bundle, rather than subject it to the inspection of the soldier. The latter, probably irritated by disobedience of his orders, and, it may be, by words, leveled his musket and shot Mr. Caldwell dead upon the spot. Opinions were, and still are, various as to the motive of the sentinel. Some justify him as acting in strict obedience to his orders; others believe him to have been bribed to murder the active patriot when the first opportunity should offer; and others, again, simply condemn him for exceeding the spirit of his instructions. Morgan was arrested, the coroner’s inquest brought in a verdict of willful murder against him, and he was tried, found guilty, and executed at Westfield on the 29th of January, 1782. He was taken to the church, where a sermon was preached by the Rev. Jonathan Elmer, from the words of Jeremiah, "O, do not this abominable thing which I hate;" and immediately after the close of the services the prisoner was hung. The place of his execution is about half a mile north of the church, in Westfield, and still bears the name of Morgan’s Hill. A local controversy has arisen upon the subject, which seems to turn more upon the inferences of the several writers than upon the material facts here given. "Who shall decide when doctors disagree?" Cotemporary records form the best umpire in such cases, and correct history, the patient in question, is not likely to suffer from such a disagreement.

The death of Mr. Caldwell, a pious and eloquent minister, and such an active patriot, made a powerful impression on the public mind, and there was "a voice of mourning" wherever his eminent virtues were known. It was Saturday afternoon when he was shot. His body was conveyed to the house of his friend, Mrs. Noel, whence it was buried the following Tuesday. "Many," says Dr. Murray, "were ignorant of the tragical deed until they came to church on the Sabbath; and, instead of sitting with delight under his instructions, there was a loud cry of wailing over his melancholy end. There was a vast concourse assembled to convey him to his tomb. The corpse was placed on a large stone before the door of the house of Mrs. Noel (now the residence of Miss Spalding), where all could take a last view of the remains of their murdered pastor. After all had taken their last look, and before the coffin was closed, Dr. Elias Boudinot came forward, leading nine orphan children, and, placing them around the bier of their parent, made an address of surpassing pathos to the multitude in their behalf." 33

I rode down to Elizabethtown Point, a place famous in the annals of the Revolution. The distance is about two miles, and so nearly adjacent are the houses along the road, that it may be said the village extends all the way to the Point. The old wharf or landing is about three quarters of a mile northeast of the present bustling port, and only a solitary dwelling, the traces of the causeway, and the apparition, at low water, of some of the logs of the ancient wharf, constitute the remains of the Revolution, there, except slight indications of the works thrown up by the Americans in the rear. Making a journey in a direct line through some shrub oaks and a field of tangled buckwheat, I visited and sketched the old tavern, now the property of Mr. Isham, of New York, where many of the stirring scenes of the Revolution occurred. There American and British officers were alternately quartered, from 1776 until the close of the war, and in that house the corpse of Mr. Caldwell was laid while a wagon was procured to convey it to the town. In front of it is a flat shore, overflowed at high tide, across which was a substantial causeway about seventy-five rods in length, with a wharf at the end. Here was the landing-place of troops passing and repassing to and from Staten Island, closely contiguous; and from this wharf extended the bridge of boats over which the British retreated after the battle of Springfield. There Washington embarked in the barge prepared to convey him to New York, to be inaugurated the first President of the United States, and in the old tavern he breakfasted that morning [April 24, 1789.].


When the British fleet appeared off Sandy Hook with the troops of General Howe, in June, 1776, great alarm spread through New Jersey; for, as the Americans then had military occupation of New York city, it was supposed the enemy would land on the Jersey coast. Governor Livingston, at the head of the New Jersey militia, established his camp at Elizabethtown Point, and caused a fortification to be constructed by digging ditches and throwing up breast-works, which extended from the old to the new Point, and on which a few cannons were mounted. These works were never of any material use, and hardly a vestige of them remains.

From the Point several water expeditions were fitted out, for the narrow and tortuous channel, and low, marshy shore protected the place from the visits of large vessels of war. One of these expeditions was under the command of Elias Dayton and William Alexander. The latter is better known in our history as Lord Stirling, and was Governor Shirley’s military secretary at Albany twenty years before. Informed that a British transport and provision ship was on the coast, the Committee of Safety at Elizabethtown ordered four armed boats to attempt its capture. They came in sight of the vessel about forty miles from Sandy Hook. The men in the boats were all concealed under hatches, except two in each, unarmed, who managed the oars. The enemy mistook them for fishing vessels, and allowed them to come along side. At a preconcerted signal, the hatches were raised, the armed Americans poured upon the deck of the ship, and in a few minutes she was their prize, hardly a show of resistance having been made. She was taken in triumph to Elizabethtown Point, where her cargo was landed. This exploit was performed in the summer of 1775, soon after the battle on Bunker Hill. Some privateering expeditions were fitted out here and at Amboy during the war; but, with the exception of the invasion already detailed, there were few military operations there. There are a few blemishes in the general good character for Whiggery, claimed by Elizabethtown. During the war there was a great deal of "London trading," or supplying the enemy with provisions and other things, carried on there. The high price paid by the British on Staten Island tempted even the most ardent Whigs to put money in their purses by the traffic. Many took their pay in British goods, and actually opened stores in the village with articles thus obtained. Governor Livingston, alluding to the practice, said, "The village now consists of unknown, unrecommended strangers, guilty-looking Tories, and very knavish Whigs."


Having an hour to spare on my return to the village, I walked out to old "Liberty Hall," the former residence of Governor Livingston, now the property of Mr. John Kean. It is a fine old mansion, imbowered in shrubs and overshadowed by venerable trees. It is situated upon the left of the Springfield Turnpike, beyond the Elizabeth River, and about three fourths of a mile north of the rail-way station in the village. Governor Livingston was an active partisan, and during the whole war was continually employed in public duties or in wielding his pen in favor of the Republican cause. For this reason he was extremely obnoxious to the enemy, and particularly to the Tories, whom he cordially hated and despised. Several attempts were made to abduct him, but they were all unsuccessful. It was also said that Sir Henry Clinton offered a bounty for his life, if he could not be taken alive, and that a prominent Tory of New Jersey had been solicited to assassinate him for a price. Of this Governor Livingston accused Clinton, in a letter. The latter did not deny the charge, but, in a very discourteous reply, said, "Had I a soul capable of harboring so infamous an idea as assassination, you, sir, at least, would have nothing to fear; for, be assured, I should not blacken myself with so foul a crime to obtain so trifling an end." Sir Henry, however, thought the "end not too trifling" to fit out an expedition for the express purpose of capturing the "rebel governor." It was midnight, on the 28th of February, 1779, that a party of British troops, sent by Clinton from New York, landed at Elizabethtown Point, and, marching directly to "Liberty Hall," burst open the doors, and shouted vociferously for "the damned rebel governor." Fortunately, the governor had left home some hours before, to pass the night with a friend, a few miles distant. After becoming convinced that he was not there, they demanded his papers. Those of the greatest importance (his recent correspondence with Washington, and with Congress and the state officers) were in the box of his sulky, in his parlor. This box the officer in command was about to seize, when Livingston’s daughter Catharine, a girl of great spirit and presence of mind, represented to him that the box contained her private property, and appealed to his courtesy as a gentleman and a soldier to protect it for her. A guard was placed over it, and she then led the men to the library, where they filled their foraging bags with worthless law papers. After threatening to burn the house, they returned to Elizabethtown, burned one or two dwellings in the village, and then departed for New York. 36


Mr. Sedgwick relates a tradition connected with the family of Governor Livingston. At the time of the invasion, when the village of Connecticut Farms was burned, Governor Livingston was absent from home on official duty. The family had spent the day in great alarm, for immediately in front of their dwelling the smoke and flames of the conflagration of that village were distinctly seen. Late in the evening several British officers came to the house, told them that their troops were retreating, and proposed to pass the night there. The family felt secure from marauders while such protectors were present, and retired to bed. About midnight they were aroused. The officers were called away, and soon afterward some drunken soldiers rushed into the hall, swearing that they would burn the "rebel house." There were none but women in the house. The maid servant fastened herself in the kitchen, and the ladies of the family locked themselves in another room. The ruffians discovered their hiding-place, and, fearing to exasperate them by refusing to come out, one of the governor’s daughters boldly opened the door. A drunken soldier seized her by the arm, and at the same moment she seized him by the collar with a force that alarmed him. At that instant a gleam of light illumined the hall and fell upon the white dress of the lady. The soldier staggered back, exclaiming, "God! it’s Mrs. Caldwell, that we killed to-day!" They soon left the house.

I left Elizabethtown in the cars, at about three o’clock, and arrived at Middlebrook, a pleasant little village on the Raritan, toward sunset, passing on the way Scotch Plains and the thriving town of Plainfield. The road passes over an almost level country, and, though the soil is light and sandy, thrift appeared on every side. Middlebrook and Boundbrook lie close together, and are included in one village. Here, toward the last of May, 1777, Washington encamped his army, after breaking up his cantonments at Morristown. His troops rapidly augmented; and when, in June, General Howe began to show some disposition to open the summer campaign, the American army mustered about fourteen thousand effective men. They were strongly posted upon the Heights of Middlebrook, in the rear of the village, near the place of the winter encampment in 1778-9, which will be presently noticed. Washington suspected Howe’s design to be to make an attempt to capture Philadelphia. He concentrated the Northern forces on the Hudson; a strong division under Arnold was posted on the Delaware, and a considerable force was under his immediate command at Middlebrook. General Howe had encamped at New Brunswick, ten miles distant, and endeavored to draw Washington out from his strong position, into a general engagement upon the plains. But the chief would not hazard a battle while his forces were so divided. Howe remained two days at New Brunswick; but, concluding that Washington was too strongly posted among the hills to be attacked with impunity, the British commander sought to accomplish by stratagem what he had failed to do by open and obvious movements. For this purpose he advanced rapidly toward Somerset Court-house, feigning a design to cross the Delaware [June 14, 1777.]. Failing to draw Washington from his post by this maneuver, he made another feint, a few days afterward, which succeeded better. He suddenly retreated, first toward New Brunswick [June 19.], and then to Amboy [June 22.], and even sent some detachments over to Staten Island. Partly deceived by these movements, and hoping to reap some advantage by harassing the British rear, Washington sent strong detachments after the retreating enemy, and also advanced with his whole force to Quibbletown (now New Market), five or six miles from Middlebrook. This was exactly what Howe desired to accomplish, and, accordingly, on the night of the 25th [June.], he suddenly recalled his troops from Staten Island and Amboy, and early the next morning marched rapidly toward the American lines, hoping to cut off their retreat to Middlebrook, and thus bring on a general action. Washington was too quick and vigilant for Howe, and reached his strong position again. The advanced guard of the British fell in with Lord Stirling’s division, and a warm skirmish ensued. On the approach of Cornwallis with a considerable force, Stirling retreated to his camp with inconsiderable loss. Other skirmishes ensued, but neither party suffered much. At Westfield the British forces wheeled, and, marching back to Amboy, passed over to Staten Island, leaving the Americans in the quiet possession of New Jersey.

It was on the gentle slope from the plain to the steep acclivities of the mountain in the rear of Middlebrook, that seven brigades of the American army were hutted during the winter of 1779-80. After the battle of Monmouth [June 28, 1778.], the American army crossed the Hudson River, and took post chiefly in Westchester county. The head-quarters of Washington were at White Plains. In the mean while the Count d’Estaing had arrived at Sandy Hook with a French fleet; but, being unable to pass the bar with his heavy ships, to attack Lord Howe in the bay, he sailed eastward to co-operate with General Sullivan in a proposed attack upon Newport, on Rhode Island. Of this expedition, which proved unsuccessful, I shall hereafter write.

Washington continued at White Plains until late in autumn, suspecting the design of Sir Henry Clinton to be to make a movement eastward. Sir Henry gave currency to the reports that such were his intentions, until Washington moved his head-quarters to Fredericsburg, near the Connecticut line, and turned his attention decidedly to the protection of the eastern coast. Clinton then sent foraging parties into New Jersey, and ravaged the whole country, from the Hudson to the Raritan, and beyond. The abandonment of the siege of Newport, the return of Howe’s fleet to New York, and the entire withdrawal of forces from the east by Clinton, except those stationed upon Rhode Island, convinced Washington that the British commander had no further designs in that direction, and he prepared to put his army into the most advantageous winter-quarters. Nine brigades were stationed on the west side of the Hudson, exclusive of the garrison at West Point. One of these was at Smith’s Cove, in the rear of Haverstraw, one at Elizabethtown, and the other seven were at Middlebrook. Six brigades were cantoned on the east side of the Hudson and at West Point. One was at West Point, two were at Continental Village, a hamlet near Peekskill, and three in the vicinity of Danbury, in Connecticut. The artillery was at Pluckemin, in Bedminster county, New Jersey. 38 The head-quarters of the chief were in the vicinity of Middlebrook. Knox, Greene, and Steuben were among the general officers that accompanied him; and the ladies of several of the officers, among whom was Mrs. Washington, enlivened the camp by their presence during the winter.

The place of encampment was about three fourths of a mile northwest from the village. Log huts were completed, for the use of the soldiers, in February, after they had suffered exposure under canvas tents for several weeks. The huts, according to the description of Dr. Thacher, who was there, were made very comfortable by filling the interstices between the logs with mud, as log houses in our Western and Southwestern states are now made. The huts were arranged in straight lines, forming a regular and compact village. The officers’ huts were arranged in front of the line, according to their rank, with kitchens in the rear; and the whole was similar in form to a tent encampment. Remains of these are still found in the fields where the encampment was. I could not ascertain where Washington was quartered; and, as far as I could learn by inquiries, there is only one house remaining in the neighborhood which was occupied by any of the general officers at that time, and that is the dwelling of Mr. Staats, where Major-general Baron Steuben had his quarters. From a remark by Dr. Thacher, in his Military Journal (page 156), I infer that Washington’s quarters were at or near Pluckemin, a few miles from the camp. The doctor speaks of an event that occurred "near head-quarters, at Pluckemin."

In the evening of my arrival at Middlebrook, I called on Mrs. Polly Van Norden, a small, but vigorous old lady, eighty-four years of age. She lived near the Monmouth battle-ground at the time of the conflict there, and was well acquainted with the sufferings of the Whigs in that region from the depredations of the desperate band of Tories called the Pine Robbers. She was a woman of strong but uncultivated mind, and became excited with feelings of the bitterest hatred against the Tories while telling me of their deeds – a hatred, the keenness of which the lapse of seventy years has scarcely blunted.

Early the following morning [September 14, 1848.], in company with a gentleman of the village, I rode to the residence of the venerable Bergen Bragaw, a hale old man of eighty-seven. From him I learned the exact locality of the American encampment. His half-brother was one of the Pennsylvania line, and my informant often visited him in the camp. He said the slope where the huts were erected was heavily timbered at that time, but it was completely cleared in cutting down trees for the log houses, and has been a cultivated tract ever since.


From Mr. Bragaw’s we rode to the house formerly owned by Abraham Staats, and now in possession of his son. Three sisters survive, one of whom (Mrs. Jane Doty), nearly eighty years of age, who resided there during the Revolution, has a clear recollection of many events connected with Baron Steuben’s occupancy of the house. Although she was then a child eight or ten years old, she remembers the dignity of his appearance, the urbanity of his manners, for which he was noted, and the elegance and richness of the ornaments with which he was adorned. She spoke of a brilliant medal that hung by a ribbon upon his breast. 40 Mrs. Doty recollected two visits made to the baron by Washington and his lady, one to dine and the other to take tea with him. On the latter occasion several ladies were present. She also remembers an entertainment given by the baron to the American officers and their ladies, on which occasion the table was spread in a grove near by. This occurred a short time before the encampment broke up, which event took place early in June [1779.].

Returning to the village, we proceeded to visit the camp-ground, which is upon the left of the main road over the mountains to Pluckemin; also "Washington’s Rock." The former exhibits nothing worthy of particular attention; but the latter, situated upon the highest point of the mountain in the rear of Middlebrook, is a locality, independent of the associations which hallow it, that must ever impress the visitor with pleasant recollections of the view obtained from that lofty observatory. We left our wagon at a point half way up the mountain, and made our way up the steep declivities along the remains of the old road. How loaded wagons were managed in ascending or descending this mountain road is quite inconceivable, for it is a difficult journey for a foot-passenger to make. In many places not even the advantage of a zigzag course along the hill sides was employed, but a line as straight as possible was made up the mountain. Along this difficult way the artillery troops that were stationed at Pluckemin crossed the mountain, and over that steep and rugged road heavy cannons were dragged. Having reached the summit, we made our way through a narrow and tangled path to the bold rock seen in the picture on the next page. It is at an elevation of nearly four hundred feet above the plain below, and commands a magnificent view of the surrounding country included in the segment of a circle of sixty miles, having its rundle southward. At our feet spread out the beautiful rolling plains like a map, through which course the winding Raritan and the Delaware and Hudson Canal. Little villages and neat farm-houses dotted the picture in every direction. Southward, the spires of New Brunswick shot up above the intervening forests, and on the left, as seen in the picture, was spread the expanse of Raritan and Amboy Bays, with many white sails upon their bosoms. Beyond were seen the swelling hills of Staten the Island, and the more abrupt heights of Neversink or Navesink Mountains, at Sandy Hook. Upon this lofty rock Washington often stood, with his telescope, and reconnoitered the vicinity. He overlooked his camp at his feet, and could have descried the marchings of the enemy at a great distance upon the plain, or the evolutions of a fleet in the waters beyond.

In the rear of Plainfield, at an equal elevation, and upon the same range of hills, is another rock bearing a similar appellation, and from the same cause. It is near the brow of the mountain, but, unlike the one under consideration, it stands quite alone, and rises from a slope of the hill, about twenty-five feet from base to summit. From this latter lofty position, it is said, Washington watched the movements of the enemy in the summer of 1777, recorded on page 331.

While upon the mountains, a haze that dimmed the sky in the morning, gathering into thick clouds, assumed the nimbus form, and menaced us with rain. This fact, and the expectation of the speedy arrival of the train for Somerville, where I was to take stage for Easton, on the Delaware, hurried us back to the village. There I met an old gentleman (whose name I have forgotten), who, though a small boy at the time, remembered the grand display at Pluckemin during the encampment, on the anniversary of the alliance of America with France. 41 He remembered an incident which I have not seen mentioned in the published accounts of that affair. He said that several boys had possession of a small swivel, and, in firing it, one of them, while loading, had his hand blown off by a premature discharge of the piece. The boy was the son of a widow, and Washington, hearing of the circumstance, sent his mother two guineas.

I left Middlebrook at noon, and within half an hour was at dinner in Somerville, five or six miles distant, whence, at one o’clock, I departed in a stage-coach for Easton. Within the coach were seven grown persons, three children about ten years old, and two babies of a respectable size and sound lungs; while on the outside were four passengers and the driver, and an indefinite quantity of baggage. The roads were excessively dusty. The rain that commenced falling gently soon after leaving Somerville relieved us of that annoyance, but produced a greater – the necessity of having the windows of the coach closed, to keep out the drippings of the increasing storm. A wheezing old gentleman in green goggles insisted upon keeping the window open near him, to save him from suffocation; while a shadowy, middle-aged lady, upon the next seat, wrapped in a cloak, as earnestly declared that it should be closed to save her from an ague that had threatened her for a week. The matter appeared to be very properly a casus belli, as prime ministers say; but, unlike the action of prime ministers in general, the controversy was compromised by mutual concessions, the crooked roads over the rough hills presenting a basis for an amicable treaty of peace. It was agreed that, when the course of the road brought the lady to the windward, the window was to be closed, and at other times the gentleman was to be accommodated with fresh air.

The country through which we passed is beautifully diversified with lofty hills and deep ravines, forming numerous water courses, whose irrigating streams fertilize the broad valleys which are found occasionally imbosomed among the less fertile, but cultivated mountains. Of these, the Musconetcong, 42 through which flows a small river of the same euphonious name, dividing the counties of Hunterdon and Warren, is said to be one of the most charming. We crossed the Musconetcong at the pretty little village of Bloomsbury, at twilight, but the gloaming and the rain deprived us of the pleasure of a view of the valley and its thriving town. We were now within six miles of the Delaware, and as the darkness deepened the storm increased; and when, at seven o’clock, we crossed the river, and reined up at the hotel in Easton, we seemed to alight in the very court of Jupiter Pluvius.

Easton is upon the right bank of the Delaware, at its confluence with the Lehigh River, thirty-seven miles northwest from Somerville. Arriving there after dark, and departing the next morning before daylight, I had no opportunity to view it. It is said to be a place of much business, and inhabited by a well-educated, social, and highly moral population, and is in the midst of natural scenery singularly picturesque. It has but little Revolutionary history, and that relates chiefly to contests with the Indians. Here the division of the army of Sullivan, under his immediate command, rendezvoused previous to its flying and desolating campaign against the Six Nations in central New York in 1779, and hither came the poor fugitives from the blackened Valley of Wyoming, after the terrible massacre and burning there in 1778. It has history antecedent to this, but in a measure irrelevant to our subject. Here, in 1758, the chiefs of the Indian tribes, the Delawares, Shawnees, Miamis, Nanticokes, Mohicans, Conoys, Monseys, and all of the Six Nations, assembled in grand council with the Governors of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Sir William Johnson, and other distinguished men; and the eloquence and good sense of the great Indian diplomatist, Teedyuscung, were here displayed on several occasions. Here, too, before the cabin of the white man was built upon the Delaware above Trenton, the surrounding hills echoed the voices of the eminent Whitefield and Brainerd, 43 as they proclaimed the Gospel of Peace to the heathen; and here the good Moravians sang their hymns and held their love-feasts in the wigwams of the Indians.



1 In that building the collegiate school, now the College of New Jersey, seated at Princeton, was held, while under the charge of the Rev. Aaron Burr, the father of the Vice-president of the United States of that name. This school was instituted at Elizabethtown by Jonathan Dickinson, in 1746. He died the following year, and the students were sent to Newark, and placed under the charge of Mr. Burr, who thus became the second president of the institution. It continued at Newark eight years, and was then removed to Princeton.

2 Edward Jenner, who was born in 1749, had his attention turned to the subject of vaccination at about the beginning of 1776, by the circumstance of finding that those who had been affected by the cow-pox, or kine-pox, as it is popularly called, had become incapable of receiving the variolous infection. Inoculation, or the insertion of the virus of the common small-pox, had long been practiced. It was introduced into general notice by Lady Mary Wortley Montague in 1721, whose son was inoculated at Constantinople, and whose daughter was the first to undergo the operation in England. It was reserved for Jenner to discover the efficacy and introduce the practice of vaccination, or the introduction of the virus of the cow-pox, more than fifty years afterward. It was first introduced into the British capital in 1796, but met with great hostility on the part of the medical faculty. The triumph of Jenner was finally complete, and his fame is world wide. Oxford presented him with a diploma, the Royal Society admitted him as a member, and the British Parliament voted him $100,000.

3 In his Military Journal, p. 250, Dr. Thacher, alluding to the inoculation in the Highlands, says, "All the soldiers, with the women and children, who have not had the small-pox, are now under inoculation. . . . . . . Of five hundred who have been inoculated here, four only have died." He mentions a fact of interest connected with the medical treatment of the patients. It was then customary to prepare the system for inoculation, by doses of calomel and jalap. An extract of butternut, made by boiling down the inner bark of the tree, was substituted, and found to be more efficacious and less dangerous than the mineral drug. Dr. Thacher considered it "a valuable acquisition to the materia medica."

4 Dr. Munson’s father was an eminent physician, and was for many years the President of the Medical Society of Connecticut. He was a native of New Haven, graduated at Yale College in 1753, and, having been a tutor, he was a chaplain in the army on Long Island in 1775. He died at New Haven in 1826, aged nearly ninety-two years. He was a practicing physician seventy years. Being a man of piety, he often administered medicine to the mind, by kneeling at the bed-side of his patients and commending them to God in prayer.

5 General Sir William Howe, the commander-in-chief of the British forces in America, and his brother Richard, Earl Howe, the admiral of the fleet on our coast, were appointed by Parliament commissioners to negotiate for peace with the American Congress, or to prosecute the war, as events might determine. They issued a circular letter to all the royal governors, and a proclamation to the people, offering pardon and protection. This commission will be considered hereafter.

6 This view is from the forks of the road, directly in front of the mansion. The house is of brick, covered with planks, and painted white. The rooms are large and well finished, and it was a fine mansion for the times.

7 It is related that, among other feats, that daring horseman would sometimes, while his steed was under full gallop, discharge his pistol, throw it in the air, catch it by the barrel, and then hurl it in front as if at an enemy. Without checking the speed of his horse, he would take one foot from the stirrup, and, bending over toward the ground, recover his pistol, and wheel into line with as much precision as if he had been engaged in nothing but the management of the animal.

8 Dr. Thacher, in his "Military Journal," p. 181, says, "The sufferings of the poor soldiers can scarcely be described; while on duty they are unavoidably exposed to all the inclemency of storms and severe cold; at night they now have a bed of straw upon the ground, and a single blanket to each man; they are badly clad, and some are destitute of shoes. We have contrived a kind of stone chimney outside, and an opening at one end of our tents gives us the benefit of the fire within. The snow is now [January 6th, 1780] from four to six feet deep, which so obstructs the roads as to prevent our receiving a supply of provisions. For the last ten days we have received but two pounds of meat a man, and we are frequently for six or eight days entirely destitute of meat, and then as long without bread. The consequence is, the soldiers are so enfeebled from hunger and cold as to be almost unable to perform their military duty, or labor in constructing their huts. It is well known that General Washington experiences the greatest solicitude for the suffering of his army, and is sensible that they, in general, conduct with heroic patience and fortitude." In a private letter to a friend, Washington said, "We have had the virtue and patience of the army put to the severest trial. Sometimes it has been five or six days together without bread, at other times as many without meat, and once or twice two or three days at a time without either. . . . . . . At one time the soldiers eat every kind of horse food but hay. Buckwheat, common wheat, rye, and Indian corn composed the meal which made their bread. As an army, they bore it with the most heroic patience; but sufferings like these, accompanied by the want of clothes, blankets, &c., will produce frequent desertions in all armies; and so it happened with us, though it did not excite a single mutiny."

9 Dr. Thacher says (Military Journal, p. 182) that whipping with knotted cords, which often cut through the flesh at every blow, applied to the bare back, was the most common punishment. The drummers and fifers were made the executioners, and it was the duty of the drum major to see that the chastisement was well performed. The soldiers adopted a method which they said somewhat mitigated the anguish of the lash. They put a leaden bullet between their teeth, and bit on it while the punishment was in progress. They would thus often receive fifty lashes without uttering a groan or hardly wincing.

10 So intense was the cold that winter that New York Bay was thickly frozen over, and large bodies of troops, with heavy cannons, were transported on the ice, from New York city to Staten Island, a distance of nine miles.

11 Dr. Thacher has left a record of the burial. "The deceased," he says (page 188), "had been about one year a resident with our Congress, from the Spanish court. The corpse was dressed in rich state, and exposed to public view, as is customary in Europe. The coffin was most splendid and stately, lined throughout with fine cambric, and covered on the outside with rich black velvet, ornamented in a superb manner. The top of the coffin was removed, to display the pomp and grandeur with which the body was decorated. It was in a splendid full dress, consisting of a scarlet suit embroidered with rich gold lace, a three-cornered gold-laced hat, and a genteel cued wig, white silk stockings, large diamond shoe and knee buckles; a profusion of diamond rings decorated the fingers, and from a superb gold watch, set with diamonds, several rich seals were suspended. His excellency, General Washington, with several other general officers and members of Congress, attended the funeral solemnities, and walked as chief mourners. The other officers of the army, and numerous respectable citizens, formed a splendid procession, extending about a mile. The pallbearers were six field officers, and the coffin was borne on the shoulders of four officers of artillery, in full uniform. Minute guns were fired during the procession, which greatly increased the solemnity of the occasion." Dr. Thacher adds, "This gentleman is said to have been in possession of an immense fortune, and has left to his three daughters, in Spain, one hundred thousand pounds sterling (half a million of dollars) each. Here we behold the end of all earthly riches, pomp, and dignity. The ashes of Don Miralles mingle with the remains of those who are clothed in humble shrouds, and whose career in life was marked by sordid poverty and wretchedness."

12 When they were delivered up, the insurgents stipulated that they should not be executed until their own affairs were compromised, and, in case of failure, that the prisoners should be delivered when demanded.

13 Pompton is a small town upon a fertile plain on the Pompton River, in Pequannock county.

14 The wounded lad recovered, and afterward became a distinguished lawyer in a southern city. A remarkable instance of Washington’s remembrance of persons was related to me, as having occurred in connection with the wounded boy. Many years afterward, when success had crowned his professional industry with wealth, and two daughters had nearly reached womanhood, he was returning south with them in his carriage, after a visit to his friends at Morristown, and stopped at Mount Vernon to see the retired chief. Reasonably concluding that Washington had forgotten the boy of 1780, he had procured a letter of introduction. When he drove up to Mount Vernon, Washington was walking upon the piazza. He went to the carriage, and as the servant of Mr. Ford threw open the door, and he stepped out, the general extended his hand, and said, with all the confidence of a recent acquaintance, "How do you do, Mr. Ford?" Eighteen years had elapsed since Washington had seen his face, and the boy had grown to mature manhood.

15 I intend to devote a chapter to the consideration of the social condition of the Americans at the time of the Revolution, and shall then introduce sketches of the dress, furniture, &c., of the people. Drawings of the articles here mentioned will appear among them. Judge Ford expressed his surprise that the mirror was not demolished, for the room in which it hung was occupied, at one time, by some of the subalterns of the Pennsylvania line, who were sons of some of the leading men of that state – gentlemen by birth, but rowdies in practice. They injured the room very much by their nightly carousals, but the mirror escaped their rough treatment. Since my visit, Judge Ford has deceased, at the age of eighty-five years.

16 Pitkin, i., 347. Records of the New York Convention.

17 The resolution providing for the first emission of bills was adopted on the 22d of June, 1775, and was as follows: "Resolved, That a sum not exceeding two millions of Spanish milled dollars be emitted by the Congress in bills of credit, for the defense of America." On the next day the committee appointed for the occasion reported and offered resolutions (which were adopted) as follows: "Resolved, That the number and denomination of the bills to be emitted be as follows:



bills of


dollars each,










































Total, 403,800




"Resolved, That the form of the bills be as follows:



No. __________

_____ Dollars.

This bill entitles the bearer to receive _____ Spanish milled dollars, or the value thereof in gold and silver, according to the resolutions of the Congress, held at Philadelphia on the tenth day of May, A. D. 1775.


"Resolved, That Mr. J. Adams, Mr. J. Rutledge, Mr. Duane, Dr. Franklin, and Mr. Wilson be a committee to get proper plates engraved, to provide paper, and to agree with printers to print the above bills." *

* The plates were engraved on copper by Paul Revere, of Boston. Himself, Nathaniel Hurd, of the same city, Amos Doolittle, of New Haven, and an Englishman named Smithers, in Philadelphia, were the only engravers in America at that time. Hurd engraved as early as 1760. Revere began a little later. In 1766 he engraved a picture emblematic of the repeal of the Stamp Act. This, and a caricature called The Seventeen Rescinders, were very popular, and had an extensive sale. He engraved and published a print in 1770, representing the "Boston Massacre." and in 1774 he engraved another of a similar size, representing the landing of the British troops in Boston. In 1775 he engraved the plates, made the press, and printed the bills of the paper money ordered by the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts. Doolittle was at Lexington and Concord, and made drawings and engravings of the skirmishes at those places. The sketches were made on the morning after the engagements, and were engraved during the summer of 1775. Mr. Doolittle assisted in re-engraving the battle of Lexington on a smaller scale, in 1832, forty-three years afterward, for Barber’s "History and Antiquities of New Haven." A copy of it, by permission, is inserted in this work.


18 The paper on which these bills were printed was quite thick, and the enemy called it "the pasteboard money of the rebels." The vignettes were generally, both in device and motto, significant. The one most prominent in the engraving represents a beaver in the slow but sure process of cutting down a tree with its teeth. The motto, "PERSEVERANDO- by Perseverance," said to the colonists, "Persist, and you will be successful." I will notice a few other devices and mottoes of bills which I have seen. A globe, with the motto, in Latin, "THE LORD REIGNS; LET THE EARTH REJOICE." A candlestick with thirteen branches and burners, denoting the number of states; motto, "ONE FIRE, AND TO THE SAME PURPOSE." A thorn-bush with a hand grasping it; motto, "SUSTAIN OR ABSTAIN." A circular chain bearing on each link the name a state, an emblem of union; motto, "WE ARE ONE." I have in my possession a coin, made of some composition resembling German silver of the present day (of which the following is a fac-simile the proper size), bearing the same device on one side. On a three dollar note is a device representing a stork struggling with an eagle – the feeble colonies warring with strong Great Britain; motto, "THE RESULT IS UNCERTAIN." This bill is dated eighteen days after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. A majestic oak-tree; motto, "I SHALL FLOURISH THROUGH AGES OF AGES." A hand planting a young tree; motto, "FOR POSTERITY." A boar encountering a spear; motto, "DEATH, OR LIFE WITH DECENCY." A harp, denoting harmony; motto, "LARGE THINGS ARE CONSONANT WITH SMALL ONES." A figure of Justice; motto, "THE WILL OF JUSTICE."

19 As the signing of so many bills would require more time than the members could spare from public duties, Congress appointed twenty-eight gentlemen to perform the duty, allowing each one dollar and thirty-three cents for every thousand bills signed and numbered by him. It was necessary for each bill to have the signature of two of them.

20 Journals of Congress, vol. i., p. 5.

21 The following bill of items is preserved, and illustrates the value of the Continental bills in 1781:




Bo’t of W. NICHOLLS,

January 5th, 1781.


1 pair boots


6 ¾ yds. calico, at 85 ds.


6 yds. chintz, at 150 ds.


4 ½ yds. moreen, at 100 ds.


4 hdkfs., at 100 ds.


8 yds. quality binding, 4 ds.


1 skein of silk





If paid in specie

£18 10s.


Received payment in full,




* Captain M‘Lane was the father of the late Secretary of the Treasury.

The following scale of depreciation is also preserved:


Value of $100 in Specie in Continental Money.

















































































22 Washington opposed the measure from the beginning as iniquitous, unjust, and fraught with the direst evils. He was a considerable loser by it. While at Morristown, a respectable man in the neighborhood was very assiduous in his attentions to the chief, and they were generally reciprocated. This man paid his debts in the depreciated currency, under the law, and the fact became known to Washington. Some time afterward the man called at head-quarters, but the general hardly noticed him. This coldness was observed by the officers, and La Fayette remarked, "General, this man seems much devoted to you, and yet you have scarcely noticed him." Washington replied, smiling, "I know I have not been cordial; I tried hard to be civil, and attempted to speak to him two or three times, but that Continental money stopped my mouth."

23 Rev. Charles Inglis, who was rector of Trinity Church, in New York, from 1777 until 1782, and, after the peace, was made Lord Bishop of Nova Scotia, in a letter to Joseph Galloway, the great Pennsylvania Loyalist, then in London, thus writes, under date of December 12th, 1778, in reference to the immense issues and the depreciation of the bills of credit: "The fee simple of the thirteen United States is not equal to this sum, which is still increasing. I therefore think it utterly impossible to support the credit of this money; and were there nothing else, this would be sufficient to destroy the rebellion, if Britain would hold the places she now possesses, and keep a moderate number of cruisers on the coast. The mode of securing French debts, by which the colonies became mortgaged for the fripperies of every French peddler, is another embarrassing article on this head, which must prove ruinous to America." Daniel Coxe, a member of the king’s council of New Jersey, and a refugee in New York, writing to Galloway, under date of February 14th, 1779, says, "The current depreciation of their money now at Philadelphia is fifteen for one; and tho’ there are clubs and private associations endeavoring to support its credit, nothing will do, nor can any thing, in my opinion, now save ’em on this point but a foreign loan, and which, though they affect otherwise, I think they can not negotiate any where in Europe, unless all the moneyed nations are turned fools; and if they can not command a loan, and are prevented from all remittances and trade southward, they must sink, never again, I hope, to rise. . . . . . . In short, they never were so wretched and near destruction as at this moment, and, unless some unforeseen event takes place in their favor soon, I firmly expect the next summer must end their independence and greatness. . . . . . . For God’s sake, then, encourage every degree of spirit and exertion all you can, and quickly; a good push, and they go to the wall infallibly." Such was the tenor of the letters sent to England by the Loyalists from 1778 until 1781. The financial embarrassments of Congress gave Loyalists and friends of government strong hopes that it would accomplish what British arms had failed to do. It may be here remarked that many of the letters which passed between the Loyalists here and their friends abroad were written in cipher, so that should they fall into the hands of the patriots, they might not be read, to the disadvantage of the writers and their cause.



I here give, for the gratification of the curious, an alphabetical key, and a fac-simile of two lines of the cipher writing, copied from one of the letters of a distinguished Tory, together with the interpretation.

24 Pitkin, Marshall, Ramsay, Gordon, Sparks, Hildreth.

25 General, the Baron Knyphausen, was a native of Alsace, then one of the Rhenish provinces. His father was a colonel in the German regiment of Dittforth, in the service of John, Duke of Marlborough. The general was bred a soldier, and served under Frederic the First, father of Frederic the Great of Prussia. The twelve thousand German troops hired by the English government, for service in America, were placed under his command, and the Hessians were led by the Baron de Reidesel. He arrived with his troops, under convoy of Admiral Lord Howe, in June, 1776, and was engaged in the battle of Long Island in August following. He was also in the battle of Brandywine, and commanded an expedition to Springfield, New Jersey. For some months during the absence of Sir Henry Clinton at the south, Knyphausen was in command of the city of New York. He was about sixty years of age, possessed of a fine figure, and was remarkably amiable and simple-minded. La Fayette used to tell an anecdote concerning him, on the authority of British officers. The passage to America was very long, and one night, while playing whist in the cabin, Knyphausen suddenly turned to the captain and said, with an air of much sincerity, "Captain, ain’t we hab sailed past America?" He died on the frontiers of Germany toward the close of the last century.

26 Elias Dayton was born in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, in 1735. He joined the army during the French and Indian war. He was a member of the corps called "Jersey Blues," raised in 1759 by Edward Hart, the father of John, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. With that corps he fought under Wolfe at Quebec. He was one of the Committee of Safety at Elizabethtown at the beginning of the Revolution; in February, 1778, Congress appointed him colonel of a New Jersey regiment; and in 1782 he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general. He was in several of the principal battles of the Revolution, and had three horses shot under him – one at Germantown, one at Springfield, and one at Crosswick Bridge. He was the first president of the Cincinnati of New Jersey, and, during the life of Washington, enjoyed the warm personal friendship of that distinguished man. He died at Elizabethtown in 1807.

27 This sketch was made from the left bank of the Rahway, at the site of the old bridge. This is now the rear of the house, but, at the time of the battle, the road was upon this side of it, which formed the front. The deviation of the road is indicated in the map by a dotted line. Remains of the abutments of the old bridge, where the British crossed, may still be seen.

28 Report of General Greene to the commander-in-chief.

29 Francis Barber was born at Princeton in 1751, and was educated at the College of New Jersey. He was installed rector of an academic institution connected with the First Presbyterian Church at Elizabethtown, in which situation he remained until the commencement of the Revolution. He joined the patriot army, and in 1776 was commissioned by Congress a major of the third battalion of New Jersey troops; at the close of the year was appointed lieutenant colonel, and subsequently became assistant inspector general under Baron Steuben. He was in constant service during the whole war, was in the principal battles, and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. He was with the Continental army at Newburgh in 1783; and on the very day when Washington announced the signing of the treaty of peace to the army, he was killed by a tree falling upon him while riding by the edge of a wood. – Rev. Nicholas Murray.

30 Such is the current history, and the diabolical act was fixed upon "a British soldier." Some believed that the occurrence was a mere accident, resulting from the cross firing of the combatants, but there is ample evidence that it was a deliberate murder. A correspondent of the Newark Advertiser says that "there is evidence of a very direct character, which affixes the guilt of murder of the poor lady to a particular individual." "A very respectable citizen," he adds, "lately deceased, who was a witness of the scenes of that day, says that a man named M‘Donald, from the north of Ireland, who had been in the employment of Mr. Caldwell, or of his family, was the person who committed the atrocious deed. This man, from some unknown cause, had conceived a violent enmity against his employer, and it was in this manner he satiated his revenge. The witness to whom reference is now made, further declared that he saw M‘Donald after the murder, and heard him avow it, saying, at the same time, that ‘now he was satisfied,’ upon which he joined and went off with the enemy."

31 The following are the inscriptions upon the Caldwell monument:

EAST SIDE. "This monument is erected to the memory of the REV. JAMES CALDWELL, the pious and fervent Christian, the zealous and faithful minister, the eloquent preacher, and a prominent leader among the worthies who secured the independence of his country. His name will be cherished in the church and in the state so long as Virtue is esteemed and Patriotism honored."

WEST SIDE. "Hannah, wife of the Rev. James Caldwell, and daughter of Jonathan Ogden, of Newark, was killed at Connecticut Farms by a shot from a British soldier, June 25th, * 1780, cruelly sacrificed by the enemies of her husband and of her country."

NORTH SIDE. " ‘The memory of the just is blessed.’ ‘Be of good courage – and let us behave ourselves valiant for our people, and for the cities of our God, and let the Lord do that which is good in his sight.’ ‘The glory of children are their fathers.’ "

SOUTH SIDE. "James Caldwell. Born in Charlotte county, in Virginia, April, 1734. Graduated at Princeton College, 1759. Ordained pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethtown, 1762. After serving as chaplain in the army of the Revolution, and acting as commissary to the troops in New Jersey, he was killed by a shot from a sentinel at Elizabethtown Point, November 24th, 1781."

* This is an error, as will be perceived by reference to the text.

32 Jonathan Dickinson was born in Hatfield, Massachusetts, April 22d, 1688. He graduated at Yale College in 1706, and two years afterward became the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church at Elizabethtown, New Jersey, where he continued nearly forty years. He was the cotemporary of Whitfield, Brainard, Edwards, and the Tennants. He was chiefly instrumental in organizing the academy at Elizabethtown, which was chartered as the College of New Jersey in 1746. He was made its first president, but the institution did not long enjoy the advantages of his care, as he died on the 7th of October, 1747, aged fifty-nine. The first commencement of the college was in 1748, when six young men graduated, five of whom became ministers of the Gospel.

33 Notes on Elizabethtown, page 77. The funeral sermon was preached by Dr. M‘Whorter, of Newark, from Ecclesiastes, viii., 8.

34 This view is looking eastward. In the distance, on the right, is seen a vessel, at the entrance of Newark Bay, and the land beyond is the high ground intervening between it and Jersey City.

In one of the rooms of the old tavern is a Franklin stove, which has probably been a tenant there ever since it came from the foundery. I give a sketch of it, not only because it is a relic of the time, but because it doubtless shows the form of the stove as invented by Dr. Franklin in 1742, * before an "improvement" was made. On its front, in raised letters, are the words "Ross and Bird’s Hibernia Foundry, 1782." Ross had a foundery at Elizabethtown in 1774, as appears by the inscription upon the dinner-bell of Sir William Johnson, now in the belfry of the old Caughnawaga Church at Fonda. See note, page 233.

* Franklin says, in reference to this invention, "Governor Thomas was so pleased with the construction of this stove, that he offered to give me a patent for the sole vending of them for a term of years; but I declined it, from a principle which has ever weighed with me on such occasions, viz., that, as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by an invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generally." A London iron-monger made some alterations, which Franklin says "hurt its operation," got a patent for it there, and made a small fortune by it.

35 Some time after the death of Governor Livingston this property was purchased by Lord Bolingbroke, who, under the assumed name of John Belesis, ran away from England with a daughter of Baron Hompasch, a German general. She was at a boarding school there, and Bolingbroke had a wife living. He married the girl here. She died in England in 1848. The grandmother of the present proprietor, Susan, the daughter of Peter Van Burgh Livingston, bought the farm of Lord Bolingbroke, and it has been in possession of the family ever since. Her first husband was John Kean, a member of Congress from South Carolina from 1785 to 1787, and was first cashier of the first United States Bank, chartered by an act of Congress passed February 8th, 1791. Her second husband was Count Niemcewicz, a Polish nobleman.

36 Sedgwick’s Life of William Livingston, p. 322.

37 William Livingston was descended from the old Scotch family of that name, whose first representative in this country was Robert, the "first lord of the manor" upon the Hudson. He was born in November, 1723, and graduated in Yale College in 1741. He was well educated, and possessed many solid as well as brilliant attainments in law and literature. He early espoused the cause of the colonists, and, having removed from New York to New Jersey, was elected a delegate to the first Continental Congress from that state. In 1776, after the people of New Jersey had sent Governor Franklin, under a strong guard, to Connecticut, Mr. Livingston was elected chief magistrate of the state; and such were his acknowledged talents, and republican virtue, and the love of the people for him, that he was annually elected to that office until his death. In 1787 he was a delegate to the convention that formed the Federal Constitution; and, after being actively employed in public life for almost twenty years, he died at "Liberty Hall," near Elizabethtown, July 25th, 1790, aged sixty-seven years. The silhouette here given is copied from one in Sedgwick’s Life of Livingston, which he says was probably taken from life, about 1773. The Livingstons are descended from a noble Scotch family. Lord Livingston, afterward Earl of Linlithgow, was one of the custodians of Mary, Queen of Scots, while in Dumbarton Castle in 1547. The great-grandson of the Earl was John Livingston, a pious Scotch minister, who fled from persecution, and went to Holland. He was the common ancestor of all the Livingstons in America. His son Robert, the first "lord of the manor" of Livingston, in Columbia County, New York, came to America about 1675, and from him all the family in this country have descended. They were remarkable for their patriotism during the revolution; and for sixty years afterward the Livingstons were among our most prominent men.

38 Pluckemin lies at the base of a high mountain, about six miles northwest of Somerville. There the American army halted on the 4th of January, 1777 (the day after the battle of Princeton), on its way to Morristown. In the village burial-ground is the grave of Captain Leslie, of the British army, who was mortally wounded at Princeton. Mr. Custis, in his Recollections of the Life of Washington, says, "It was while the commander-in-chief reined up his horse, upon approaching the spot, in a plowed field, where lay the gallant Colonel Harslet, mortally wounded, that he perceived some British soldiers supporting a wounded officer, and, upon inquiring his name and rank, was answered, ‘Captain Leslie.’ Dr. Benjamin Rush, who formed a part of the general’s suite, earnestly asked, ‘A son of the Earl of Levin?’ to which the soldiers replied in the affirmative. The doctor then addressed the general-in-chief: ‘I beg your excellency to permit this wounded officer to be placed under my care, that I may return, in however small a degree, a part of the obligation I owe to his worthy father for the many kindnesses received at his hands while a student at Edinburgh.’ The request was immediately granted; but, alas! poor Leslie was soon past all surgery." He died the same evening, after receiving every possible kindness and attention, and was buried the next day at Pluckemin, with the honors of war. His troops, as they lowered the body to the soldier’s last rest, shed tears of sorrow over the remains of their much-loved commander. On a plain monument erected to his memory is the following inscription: "In memory of Captain WILLIAM LESLIE, of the seventh British regiment, son of the Earl of Levin, in Scotland. He fell, January 3d, 1777, aged 26 years, at the battle of PRINCETON. His friend, Benjamin Rush, M. D., of Philadelphia, hath caused this stone to be erected, as a mark of his esteem for his worth, and respect for his family."

39 This view is from the field in front of the house, looking north. The dwelling is at the end of a lane several rods from the main road leading to Middlebrook from New Brunswick. It is on the western side of the Raritan, and about a mile from the bridge near Middlebrook. Only the center building was in existence at the time in question, and that seems to have been enlarged. Each wing has since been added. The interior of the old part is kept in the same condition as it was when Steuben occupied it, being, like most of the better dwellings of that time, neatly wainscoted with pine, wrought into moldings and panels.

40 Baron Steuben had received from the King of Prussia a splendid medal of gold and diamonds, designating the Order of Fidelity, which he always wore when in full military dress.

41 The following account of this celebration, published at the time, will doubtless interest the reader. It must be remembered that on the 6th of February, 1778, Dr. Franklin and other American commissioners, and commissioners appointed by the French government, signed a treaty of friendship and alliance between the two countries. The event alluded to occurred on the first anniversary (1779) of the alliance, or a few days afterward. It was postponed until the 18th, on account of Washington’s absence from camp. The general-in-chief, and all the principal officers of the army there, Mrs. Washington, Mrs. Knox, Mrs. Greene, and the ladies and gentlemen for a large circuit around the camp, were of the company; and there was a vast concourse of spectators from every part of New Jersey.

The artillery were posted upon a piece of rising ground, and the entertainment was given by General Knox and the officers of the artillery corps. The entertainment and ball were held at the academy of the Park. The celebration was commenced at about four o’clock in the afternoon, by a discharge of thirteen cannons. The company invited then sat down to dinner in the academy. In the evening a display of fireworks was made, under the direction of Colonel Stevens, "from the point of a temple one hundred feet in length, and proportionately high." The temple showed thirteen arches, each displaying an illuminated painting. The center arch was ornamented with a pediment larger than any of the others; and the whole edifice was supported by a colonnade of the Corinthian order. The illuminated paintings were disposed in the following order: The 1st arch on the right represented the commencement of hostilities at Lexington, with this inscription: "The scene opened." 2d. British clemency, represented in the burning of Charlestown, Falmouth, Norfolk, and Kingston. 3d. The separation of America from Britain. A magnificent arch broken in the center. with this motto: "By your tyranny to the people of America, you have separated the wide arch of an extended empire." 4th. Britain represented as a decaying empire, by a barren country, broken arches, fallen spires, ships deserting its shores, birds of prey hovering over its moldering cities, and a gloomy setting sun. Motto,

"The Babylonian spires are sunk,
Achaia, Rome, and Egypt moldered down;
Time shakes the stable tyranny of thrones,
And tottering empires crush by their own weight"

5th. America represented as a rising empire. Prospect of a fertile country, harbors and rivers covered with ships, new canals opening, cities arising amid woods, splendid sun emerging from a bright horizon. Motto,

"New worlds are still emerging from the deep,
The old descending, in their turns to rise."

6th. A grand illuminated representation of Louis THE SIXTEENTH, the encourager of letters, the supporter of the rights of humanity, the ally and friend of the American people. 7th. The center arch, THE FATHERS IN CONGRESS. Motto, "Nil desperandum reipublicœ." 8th. The American philosopher and embassador extracting lightning from the clouds. 9th. The battle near Saratoga, 7th of October, 1777. 10th. The Convention of Saratoga. 11th. A representation of the sea fight, off Ushant, between Count d’Orvilliers and Admiral Keppel. 12th. Warren, Montgomery, Mercer, Wooster, Nash, and a crowd of heroes who have fallen in the American contest, in Elysium, receiving the thanks and praises of Brutus, Cato, and those spirits who in all ages have gloriously struggled against tyrants and tyranny. Motto, "Those who shed their blood in such a cause shall live and reign forever." 13th represented Peace, with all her train of blessings. Her right hand displaying an olive branch; at her feet lay the honors of harvest; the background was filled with flourishing cities; ports crowded with ships; and other emblems of an extensive empire and unrestrained commerce.

When the fire-works were finished, the company concluded the celebration by a splendid ball, which was opened by Washington, whose partner was the lady of General Knox.

42 This is an Indian word, signifying "a rapid-running stream."

43 GEORGE WHITEFIELD was born in Gloucester, England, December 16th, 1714. After making some progress in learning, he was obliged to assist his mother; who kept an inn. At the age of eighteen he entered Oxford, where he became acquainted with the Wesleys (John and Charles), the founders of the Methodists. He joined these eminent Christians, took orders, and was ordained by the bishop in June, 1736. Mr. John Wesley was then in Georgia, and by his persuasion Whitefield embarked for America. He arrived at Savannah in May, 1738, and returned to England in September following. Bishop Benson ordained him priest in January, 1739. He made several voyages to America, and traveled through nearly all the colonies. He went to the Bermudas in 1748. In 1769 he made his seventh and last voyage to America. After preaching in different parts of the country, he died suddenly at Newburyport, Massachusetts, September 30th, 1770, aged fifty-five. His powers of eloquence were wonderful, and his ministry was exceedingly fruitful. His voice was powerful. Dr. Franklin estimated that thirty thousand people might hear him distinctly when preaching in the open air. Of him Cowper wrote,

"He loved the world that hated him; the tear
That dropped upon his Bible was sincere;
Assailed by scandal and the tongue of strife,
His only answer was a blameless life;
And he that forged and he that threw the dart,
Had each a brother’s interest in his heart.
Paul’s love of Christ and steadiness unbribed
Were copied close in him, and well transcribed;
He followed Paul, his zeal a kindred flame,
His apostolic charity the same;
Like him, crossed cheerfully tempestuous seas,
Forsaking country, kindred, friends, and ease;
Like him he labored, and like him content
To bear it, suffer shame where’er he went.
Blush, Calumny! and write upon his tomb,
If honest eulogy can spare thee room,
The deep repentance of thy thousand lies,
Which, aimed at him, have pierced th’ offended skies.
And say, blot out my sin, confessed, deplored,
Against thine image in thy saint, oh Lord!"

DAVID BRAINERD was born at Haddam, Connecticut, April 20th, 1718. He entered Yale College in 1739; but, being expelled in 1742, on account of some indiscreet remarks respecting one of the tutors, he never obtained his degree. He immediately commenced the study of divinity. Toward the close of the year he was licensed to preach, and immediately afterward was appointed a missionary to the Indians. His first efforts were made among the Stockbridge Indians, about fifteen miles from Kinderhook, New York. There he lodged upon straw, and his food was the simple fare of the savages. After the Stockbridge Indians agreed to remove to Stockbridge, and place themselves under the instruction of Mr. Sergeant, Brainerd went to the Indians upon the Delaware. There he labored for a while, and then visited the Indians at Crossweeksung, or Crosswicks, in New Jersey, where he was very successful. He worked an entire reform in the lives of the savages at that place. In the summer of 1746, Mr. Brainerd visited the Indians upon the Susquehanna. The next spring, finding his health giving way, he traveled in New England. In July he halted at Northampton, and there, in the family of Jonathan Edwards, he passed the remaining weeks of his life. He died October 9th, 1747, aged twenty-nine years. His exertions in the Christian cause were of short continuance, but they were intense, incessant, and effectual.



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