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From Historic Roadsides of New Jersey by The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of New Jersey, 1928
Edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2002


By an Act of March, 1682, the Province of East Jersey was divided into the four Counties of Bergen, Essex, Middle, sex and Monmouth. Middlesex County then comprised much more territory than now, as part was set off to Somerset County in 1688, 1850, and 1858; part was set off to form Mercer County in 1838, part added to Monmouth County in 1844 and part to Union County in 1858. As at present constituted, it is bounded on the north by Union County; on the east by Staten Island Sound and Raritan Bay; on the southeast by Monmouth County; on the southwest by Mercer County and on the west by Somerset County.

(or "Perth Town.") On the Raritan Bay at the junction of Raritan River and Sound. Was named in honor of the Earl of Perth, who was one of the Associators. It was located at Ambo Point and the name Perth Amboy is a combination of Perth and Ambo. The town site is supposed to have been selected by Governor Carteret and the first charter was granted August 1718 during the administration of Governor Robert Hunter. Early Provincial Governors resided here -- Governor Lawrie, Andrew Hamilton, Lord Neill Campbell, Robert Hunter, Jonathan Belcher, Francis Bernard, Thomas Boone, Josiah Hardy, and William Franklin.

Perth Amboy was, during Colonial days the site of barracks built in 1758 and 1759, occupied by troops returning from the siege of Havana. The place is industrial and large terra cotta works are located here.

Building of the Proprietors of East Jersey, Perth Amboy
and Residence of William Franklin, Last Royal Governor (Now Westminster Hotel)

Principal points of interest:

  1. The Court House Market, formerly the office of the Secretary of the Province, now in possession of St. Peter's Church.
  2. Residence of Governor William Franklin. Built in 1764, now known as Westminster Hotel, where Franklin came in 1775 to urge, but without success, his son, William Franklin, to join the American cause.
  3. Kearney Cottage. Built 1780, where Elizabeth Lawrence Kearney, or Madame Scribblerus, taught her half-brother, Captain James Lawrence the love of poetry. Kearney Cottage now owned by the Perth Amboy Historical Society, has been moved from its former location.
  4. Bartow House. Moved from its original location and remodeled. Original site now occupied by the Baptist Church. Here William Dunlap, theatrical manager, art historian, and critic did his first drawings.
  5. Parker Castle built in part a century before the Revolution. Here many notable personages gathered. It is still stand ing in its original location. Used by English as a barracks and a hospital in the Revolution.
  6. St. Peter's Church established in 1685. Used as a stable during the Revolution. A stone from the original church is inserted in the rear wall of the present church.
  7. Foundation and part of the first story of the present City Hall are of the original building built about two hundred years ago.
  8. East Jersey Proprietor's Building, about seventy-five years old containing records of more than two hundred and fifty years ago, the earliest times of the Province.
  9. East Jersey Club. Its present home on High Street was one of the first buildings built in the city. It was a former residence of Neill Campbell, one of the prominent immigrants from Scotland.
  10. The Presbyterian burial ground on State Street dates back to the early part of the 18th century.
(or Prigmore's Swamp) On west bank of Raritan River, twenty-six miles northeast of Trenton. Settled by John Inian and Cornelius Longfield 1681, originally named Inian's Ferry. Named New Brunswick in honor of British Royal house. Royal charter granted in 1730. First inhabitants were from Long Island, many of them Dutch. Rutgers College was the eighth college founded in American Colonies. Charter granted in 1766 by William Franklin, Governor. Formerly called Queen's College. Charter revised in 1770. In 1825 name was changed to Rutgers in honor of Henry Rutgers, a Colonel in the Continental Army.

Points of interest:

  1. Bell Tavern. Stopping place of Franklin, Adams and Rutledge, Commissioners to meet Lord Howe at Staten Island Conference. The Bell has been an Inn since 1729, first known as the Indian Queen, then the Bell, and recently modernized and renamed The Parkway.
  2. Buccleuch. In Buccleuch Park. Occupied by the British at the time of the British occupation of New Brunswick. George Washington subsequently a guest of honor at Buccleuch. Home of Colonel Anthony Walton White, friend of Washington.
  3. Whitehall Tavern. Dated 1756.
  4. Neilson House, Burnet Street. Headquarters of Lord Howe, winter of 1776-1777.
  5. Vale Mansion, dated 1760. Livingston Avenue and Carroll Place. Built by Henry Gest. During Revolution the place of refuge of Tom Payne when he fled to avoid arrest on charge of treason. The house bears the marks of cannon shot.
  6. Dutch Church. Organized 1717.
  7. Presbyterian Church 1739,40.
  8. Episcopal Church built 1743. Bishop Seabury at one time Rector.
  9. Home of William Paterson, Governor of New Jersey, member of the Constitutional Convention, United States Senator and Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Woodbridge Township named in honor of the Rev. John Woodbridge, who, with a number of associates and their families, came from Newbury, Massachusetts, in 1665, and settled in Woodbridge, at the solicitation of Captain Philip Carteret, Governor of the Province of New Jersey. Chartered June 1, 1669.

The General Assembly of the Province met in Woodbridge October 5, 1676, lasting four days, when it was decided that the Governor's salary should be paid in "peas, wheat or tobacco." Among the laws passed was one providing that "rowdies be put in the stocks for two hours for swearing, quarrelling, drinking liquor or singing vain songs or tunes on the Sabbath."

The Township Court established in 1669, was held in a building on the site where Mrs. F. G. Tisdall's residence now stands on Rahway Avenue.

In 1680, Rev. John Allen of England, was selected as pastor of the Town Church, built in 1675 on the "Kirk Green" near the spot now occupied by the Presbyterian Church. The Presbyterian Church dates back to year 1669. The Presbyterian Burial Ground has burials prior to 1700. Here may be found the graves of Captain Daniel Britton, who died in 1733, General Nathaniel Herd, Captain Nathaniel Fitz Randolph, Captain David Edgar, Lieutenant James Paten, Colonel Samuel Crow, Colonel Benjamin Brown, General Clarkson Edgar, and a host of others.

Trinity Episcopal Church founded in 1711, was chartered by George III, December 6, 1769. The Episcopal Burying Ground dates from 1714.

The Quaker Burial Ground (now the Methodist Burial Ground) dates from 1707.

In 1751, James Parker, an apprentice of William Bradford, printer in New York, established a printing press. In 1761, Parker printed on his Woodbridge press the second volume of Nevill's Laws of New Jersey.

General Washington visited Woodbridge April 22, 1789, and stopped at the Cross and Key Tavern while on his way to New York to be inaugurated President.

Woodbridge was the scene of much fighting by the British, Tories, and Continentals during the Revolution.

Sewaren, now part of Woodbridge, has Governor Carteret's quarters to which the soldiers would come from Totenville to confer with the Governor. CRANBURY. Settled about 1697 by Joseph Prickett. One of the oldest places in the State. In its vicinity David Brainerd, missionary to the Indians, labored.

Points of interest:

  1. First Presbyterian Church, founded over two hundred years ago. The graveyard has many headstones dating back to the eighteenth century, and contains the remains of many soldiers of the Revolution.
  2. Northwest corner of Main Street and Plainsboro Road. House occupied by General Washington prior to Battle of Monmouth. Place of refuge of Aaron Burr after his duel with Hamilton.
  3. John Wetherill House. King George's Highway between Cranbury and Dayton. Here lived John Wetherill, member of the New Jersey Colonial Assemblies and Provincial Congress, and a Colonel in the Revolution.
  4. John Wicoff House. West of Cranbury on Plainsboro Road. Here lived John Wicoff, a Revolutionary soldier who fought in Washington's Army at Battles of Trenton, Princeton, and Monmouth.

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