Chapter 13 ESSEX COUNTY IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR. (Continued.)
Originally published in 1884
(Compiled from Joseph Atkinson's "History of Newark.")|
DURING that memorable European conflict, the end of which virtually eclipsed forever the dazzling French military meteor, the great Napoleon, little Belgium was the chief battle ground. Some forty years before Waterloo was fought, "little Jersey" was the Belgium of the Anglo-American conflict. Saying nothing of the battles of Trenton, Princeton, and Monmouth, here for seven long years was carried on no end of distressing and devastating skirmishing and foraging. No section of the state suffered more from the terrible ravages of war than Newark and its neighboring communities. Here was the Belgium within the Belgium. Indeed, the country in this vicinity fared infinitely worse than the vicinages of any of the noted battle-grounds. When the war broke out Newark and Elizabeth were flourishing places, the homes of thrifty and even wealthy families. The numerous farms were well stocked with horses, cattle, poultry and garden produce. To the troops of King George stationed in New York, where was there a more inviting and convenient raiding and foraging ground than this section ? That they appreciated its excellence in this respect, is abundantly susceptible of proof. Nor was it alone the British troops who paid wolfish attentions hereabout. Thieves and plunderers, in the garb of the scarlet-coated soldiery, vied with the latter in lawless diablerie. The outrages to which the inhabitants were subjected during the war have never been fully described. Indeed, the records are preserved of but very few examples. Among the noteworthy occurrences of the period, those giving a fair insight into the times, the manners, and the character of the men and women of the Revolutionary period, are the following:
The evening of January 25th, 1780, was marked in Newark and Elizabethtown by exhibitions of wanton cruelty and malevolence on the part of the British soldiers. It was a bitter cold night, as may be judged from the fact that the North River was frozen solidly, so that a regiment of five hundred red-coats, under command of Major Lumm, crossed over on the ice from New York to Jersey City then called Paulus Hook-and marched out to Newark. On the same night there crossed over on the ice from Staten Island to Elizabethtown a smaller company of the enemy's troops, sent on the same errand -plunder and persecution. After committing all sorts of depredations, the least of which were robberies of barns and private dwellings, Lumm's party set fire to the Academy, a fine two-story stone building located on the Upper Green, now Washington Park, close to Washington Place and Broad street. Meanwhile their colleagues conducted themselves similarly in Elizabeth, concluding their proceedings by applying the torch to the First Presbyterian Church of that place. The flames of this memorable structure illuminated the horizon for miles around, and alarmed the Lumm soldiers, who, probably, mistook the fire for a movement of the Americans. At all events they beat a hasty retreat from Newark.
As they left the town, they vented their malignity on one of the most prominent patriots of the place, Justice Joseph Hedden, Jr. This gentleman came of a family noted for courage and firmness. His father, Joseph Hedden, senior, who lived to be ninety-six years of age, was wont to speak with pride of the fact that he had eight sons in the service of the country during the long battle for freedom. His son, Joseph, was a man of great nerve. By the proceedings of the State Council of Safety, we find that Mr. Hedden was chosen "Commissioner for the County of Essex for signing and inventorying the Estates and Effects of persons gone over to the Enemy." He was chosen in place of Isaac Dodd, "who refuses to act." The position, as may readily be imagined, was one that demanded in its occupant absolute fearlessness and firmness. So well had Mr. Hedden fulfilled his duties, that he was pointed out by the persons who had "gone over to the enemy," as a Newarker worthy of the bitterest persecution. On the night of the twenty-fifth he happened to be at home - a rather rare family treat for an active patriot at the particular period we write of. As it was, but for illness Hedden would probably not have been home. His house stood on Broad street, near what is now Lombardy street, facing the " Upper Common," (Washington Park.) His married sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Roberts, lived on the other side of the "Common," about where the Second Presbyterian Church now stands. She saw the Academy ablaze, but no one dared attempt to quench the flames, even if a single bucket of water could have saved the building. Some one told her that the British were carrying off her brother. Over she ran, and entered the Hedden house by one door, as the soldiers were dragging her brother out by another. They had forced him from his sick-bed. Mrs. Hedden was in her night-dress, which was stained with blood. It appears the soldiers - whether from sheer brutality, or eagerness to get on the retreat, will never be known - essayed to drag Mr. Hedden into the street with nothing but his night-clothes on. In her efforts to prevent this, and to get her husband properly clothed, Mrs. Hedden braved the bayonets of the cruel soldiers, and was severely but not dangerously wounded in several places. Such was her noble anxiety for her husband, that she did not know she was wounded until her attention was drawn to her blood-stained garment by Mrs. Roberts. Meanwhile, the soldiers, with Mr. Hedden and other captives, started on the retreat, taking the route down what is now Centre street, and along River street to the old Ferry Road, (now the Plank Road.) While passing the Bruen property - the same which now forms the junction of Market and Commerce streets - Eleazar Bruen is said to have passed to Mr. Hedden a blanket. The prisoner was marched, at the point of the bayonet, to Paulus Hook, and thence, across the ice, to New York, where he was thrown into the Sugar House. Here he was kept a considerable time. In consequence of his terrible exposure and hardships on the night of the incursion, and of the cruel treatment he received in the Sugar House, Mr. Hedden's limbs mortified, and, when it was apparent that he could not live long, his friends were notified, and his brothers, David and Simon, were permitted to remove him to Newark. Hither he was brought and tenderly cared for, but to the effect only of softening his sufferings before death. He died on the twenty-seventh of September. His remains were interred in the old Burying Ground, but exactly where, a grateful and appreciative posterity has not yet taken pains to indicate. Upon Judge Hedden's grave-stone-the whereabouts or existence of which constitutes matter of conjecture-was cut the following inscription:
Esq., who departed this life the 27th of September, 1780,
in the 52nd year of his age.
He was a firm friend to his country
In the darkest times.
Zealous for American Liberty
In opposition to British Tyranny.
And at last fell a victim
To British Cruelty.
It is proper here to state, that the account given of Judge Hedden's martyrdom, widely different as it is from all versions heretofore published, is related on the authority of the martyr's grand-niece and nephew, with whom the author had personal interviews. It may be added, that Simon Hedden, Joseph's brother, was a man of great strength and ignorant of fear. He served three months in what was called "the whale boat service." In an obituary notice of the father of the Heddens, Joseph, senior, the Centinel of Freedom said, in November, 1798: "This venerable citizen (he was ninety-six years of age when he died) has from his youth sustained the character of an honest and upright man, and was much lamented by those who were acquainted with him. He had thirteen children, one hundred and seventy-six grandchildren, one hundred and six great-grandchildren, and three great- great-grandchildren."
It is a no less curious than amusing fact that this "father of a host," immediately upon rising every morning, and before dressing, took a generous draught of pure Jersey distilled liquor.
The royal version of the incursions described appeared a few days afterwards, in Rivington's Royal Gazette, published in New York, January 29th, and ran as follows:
Lieut. Col. Buskirk's detachiinent-consisting of about 120 men from the 1st and 4th battalions of Brigadier General Skinner's brigade, with 12 dragoons under command of Lieutenant Stuart-moved from Staten Island early in the night, and got into Elizabethtown without being discovered between the hours of 10 and 11. With little resistance they made prisoners: 2 majors, 3 captains and 47 privates, among whom were 5 dragoons, with their horses, arms and accoutrements. Few of the rebels were killed, but several were wounded by the dragoons, though they afterwards escaped.
Major Lumm, of the 44th Regiment, marched from Powles Hook about S at night, having under his command the flank companies of that regiment, with detachments from the 42nd Anspach and Hessian corps in garrison in this city, and passing the rebel patrols on the banks of the Passaic, reached the town of Newark unperceived by the enemy, about an hour later than Col. Buskirk's arrival at Elizabethtown. Small parties were instantly posted to guard the principal avenues to the town, and Major Lumm seized possession of the Academy which the rebels had converted into a barrack. A momentary defence being attempted seven or eight of the enemy were killed. The remainder, consisting of 34 non-commissioned officers and private men, were taken prisoners as were likewise a rebel magistrate remarkable for his persecuting spirit, and another inhabitant. The Captain who commanded in Newark made his escape. The Lieut. is said to be killed.
The services were performed without loss. The following are the names of some of the rebel officers brought to town on Tuesday last, from Newark: Joseph Haddon, a magistrate and commissioner for the loyalists estates in New Jersey; Mr. Robert Natt, an acting commissary. From Elizabethtown : Maj. Eccles, of the 5th Maryland regiment; Col. Bett, of the 4th Regiment, from Prince George Co.; Mr. B. Smith, son of Peartise Smith; Maj. Williamson and his brother.
The operations of the Lumm and Buskirk commands appear to have been simply of a piece with the practices which had been carried on for years by the officers and soldiers in the service of King George. Writing from Newark, on the 12th of March, 1777, a few months after the battle of Princeton, a highly respected citizen gave the following report of the local situation to Rev. William Gordon, the Congregationalist minister at Roxbury, Massachusetts:
"Justice John Ogden, whom you know, had his house robbed of every thing they could carry away. They ripped open his beds, scattered the feathers in the air, and took the ticks with them; broke his desk to pieces, and destroyed a great number of important papers, deeds, wills, etc., belonging to himself and others; and the more he entreated them to desist from such unprofitable and pernicious waste, the more out- rageous they were. They hauled a sick son of his out of his bed, whose life had been despaired of some time, and grossly abased him, threatening him with death in a variety of forms. The next neighbor to Mr. Ogden was one Benjamin Coe, a very aged man, who, with his wife, was at home. They plundered and destroyed everything in the house, and insulted them with such rage, that the old people fled for fear of their lives; and then, to show the fulness of their diabolical fury, they burnt their house to ashes. Zophar Beach. Josiah Beach, Samuel Pennington, and others, who had large families were all at home, they robbed in so egregious a manner, that they were scarcely left a rag of clothing, save what was on their backs. The mischief committed in the houses forsaken by their inhabitants, the destruction of fences, barns, stables, the breaking of chests of drawers, desks, tables, and other furniture; the burning and carrying away of carpenters' and shoemakers' tools cannot be described.
"With respect to those who took protection and their oath, some of these they robbed and plundered afterward; but the most general way in which they obtained the effects of such people, was by bargaining with them for their hay, cattle, or corn, promising them pay, but none whatever received anything worth mentioning. I might have observed that it was not only the common soldiers who plundered and stole, but also their officers; and not merely low officers and subalterns but some of high rank were abettors and reaped the profits of their gallows-deserving business. No less a person than General Erskine Knight, had his room furnished from a neighboring house with mahogany chairs and tables; a considerable part of which were taken away with his baggage when he went to Elizabethtown, Col. M'Donald has his house furnished in the same felonious manner, and the furniture was carried off as though it had been part of his baggage. But there is no end of their inhuman conduct. They have not only proved themselves cruel enemies, but persons destitute of all honor; and there is no hope of relief but by expelling these murderers, robbers and thieves from our country.
According to these statements, Captain Nuttman was quite advanced in years, at the time of the Revolution, and, though having held a captain's commis- sion in the Provincial militia, was altogether a very inoffensive man. His sympathies were doubtless with the British, but it is not believed that he was at all demonstrative. It is quite true that he and his family were plundered one night by the British, and another night by ghouls wearing the garb of patriots - illustrators of Dr. Johnson's definition of patriotism - the last refuge of scoundrels. Once they despoiled Captain Nuttman even of his silver shoebuckles, and his wife of similar buckles and the gold rings on her fingers. The fact that his home was situated in the midst of a beautifully cultivated property on the banks of the Passaic, about where the Zinc Works are now located-the house is still standing- would seem to throw considerable doubt on the statement that he "met the British troops in the Broad street with huzzas of joy." As shown by the Council of Safety records, (July 2nd, 1777) Captain Nuttman was among those of Essex who refused to take the "oaths of Abjuration and Allegiance agreeably to Law," and was removed to the Morristown jail. He is not named in the proceedings of July 21st, 1777, among those whose petition to be removed back to Newark was granted by the Council. This is explained by descendants, who state that Captain Nuttman was liberated by express order of General Washington, probably because of the captain's age and inoffensiveness. A chair of the Mayflower pattern, belonging to the captain, is among the memorials at Washington's home and resting place, Mount Vernon, a gift from a grand-daughter of "the remarkable tory," now residing in Newark. This chair, like another belonging to the Camp family, is said to have been used by Washington on one occasion, but where, when, or under what circumstances, are matters about which even the donor of the memorial is uninformed.
Newark, as it is now bounded, does not share that halo of Revolutionary battle-field glory and renown which distinguishes other parts of New Jersey; but Newark as it was bounded at the time of the great struggle for independence, furnished a part, at least, of one of the most heroically fought minor fields of the Revolution-the battle of Springfield. Up to 1793 the village of Springfield, as now embraced geographically, was partly in Newark and partly in Elizabethtown, yet all in Essex County at that time. The winter of 1779 and '80, as already remarked, was one of great severity in this section of country. The rivers and streams were mostly frozen solid, and snow covered the ground to the depth of several feet. Hence desultory movements of both British and American troops were seriously interfered with. Upon the opening of spring, however, a decided change took place in military operations. Washington's army lay encamped at Morristown. On the first of June, 1780, his whole command numbered three thousand seven hundred and sixty men. He had just received intelligence of the fall of Charleston, under General Lincoln, before the combined forces of the British naval and military commanders, Admiral Arbuthnot and Sir Henry Clinton. Such was the condition of affairs in New Jersey, that refugees insisted that the people, weary of the terrible ravages of war, and of the compulsory requisition of supplies, were eager to return to their old British yoke. The royalist generals wrote to England that so great was the disaffection among the starved and half-clothed American officers and men, that one-half of them were ready to desert to the English, and the other half ready to disperse. The moment for replanting the British standard in the Jerseys was considered opportune. As events proved, nothing was more fallacious; a serious, quiet and undemonstrative attitude was mistaken then, as oftentimes before and since, as a popular willingness to sacrifice the dearest principle of life, human liberty. But the movement to replant proceeded, and under the leadership of a Lieutenant General, the Baron Knyphausen, the Hessian commander.
At Connecticut Farms was stationed the Jersey brigade, under General Maxwell, and at Elizabethtown were three hundred more Jersey militia. On June 6th, Knyphausen's troops, numbering about 5,000, moved from Staten Island to Elizabethtown, the intent being to surprise Maxwell's force, and, this succeeding, to push on to Morristown and attack Washington's camp there. His advance guard met a very warm reception from the Jerseymen under command of Colonel Dayton. By his greatly superior force Knyphausen compelled Dayton to retreat. The latter was joined by the people, who spiritedly flew to arms, and was enabled to seriously harass Knyphausen's troops on their march to the Farms. The British came provided with seven days' provisions and ample war materiel. Upon reaching Connecticut Farms, the smiling village was reduced to ashes, the church being given to the torch, likewise every dwelling in the place except one. The houses had previously been rifled and plundered, after the manner already described. Nor did the fiendish spirit of the hireling soldiery stop there. Hannah Caldwell, the lovely daughter of Justice John Ogden, of Newark, and the amiable and beloved wife of Rev. James Caldwell, sat in her room at the parsonage, whither she had some months before removed for greater safety, from Elizabethtown. With her were her children, one a nursling in her arms. The maid apprised Mrs. Caldwell of the approach of a red-coat. "Let me see! Let me see!" cried her two-year old boy, as he ran to the window, followed by his mother. At that moment she was shot dead. The parsonage was fired, and it was with difficulty that the body was snatched from the flames. Mr. Caldwell was then at the Short Hills, near Springfield (now Millburn). Quite accidentally, the night following, he heard of the wanton and inhuman murder of his wife. By chance he overheard two men speaking of the tragedy He questioned them and learned the facts. Next morning he repaired to the Farms, and found his. worst information realized. It may well be believed that, in the words of a Revolutionary chronicler, the cruel murder of Mrs. Caldwell and the wanton destruction of the village produced a strong impression on the public mind, and "served to confirm still more the settled hate of the well-affected against the British government."
Maxwell retreated from Connecticut Farms to strong ground near Springfield. Here he arrested Knyphausen's approach. A regiment of Hessians, commanded by Colonel Wurmb, attacked him repeatedly. Thrice did Maxwell's men charge upon the Hessian yagers with fixed bayonets, and retreated only upon the arrival of British reinforcements. Fifty of the yagers were killed or wounded. Washington, meanwhile, having been promptly advised of the enemy's movements, advanced with the main body of his troops to Maxwell's aid. Upon discovering this, though his command was nearly double that of the Americans, Knyphausen turned back to Elizabethtown Point, leaving the Twenty-second English regiment at Elizabethtown. An American detachment followed in pursuit next morning, drove the Twenty-second from Elizabethtown, and returned unmolested. The gallant Colonel Dayton " received particular thanks" in general orders, and the bravery of the Jersey troops was liberally praised by the Commander-in-chief himself.
Battle of Springfield. -We come now to the battle of Springfield. The movement of some British troops. up the Hudson River excited Washington's suspicion that the design of the enemy was to get in his rear. He, therefore, moved his camp to Rockaway Bridge, where it arrived on the twenty-second of June. The post at Short Hills he confided to the care of two brigades. under command of Major-General Greene. Early on the morning of the twenty-third, Knyphausen's command, consisting of two compact divisions, and numbering about six thousand infantry, cavalry and artillery, moved from Elizabethtown Point to Springfield. Such now was the American esprit de corps, that the King's troops had to fight their way almost inch by inch. The enemy's right column, before it could drive Major Lee's dragoons from one of the bridges. over the Passaic, was compelled to ford the stream,. His left column was stubbornly resisted by Dayton's, Jersey regiment, and by its overwhelming numbers alone was Knyphausen's force able to press on. General Greene prepared for action, but Knyphausen feared, or at all events failed, to engage him, though Knyphausen's troops were drawn up and had begun a heavy cannonade. At Springfield they made a stand of several hours' duration, and, after reducing the town to ashes, and plundering its people of their effects, began their retreat to Elizabethtown Point. As upon the retreat from Connecticut Farms, the British flanks and rear were greatly annoyed with a galling fire from the American skirmishers the whole way back. The total loss of the British was unknown, though fifty more of the Hessian yagers were killed or wounded; the latter including one colonel, two captains and one lieutenant. The same night Knyphausen recrossed to Staten Island.
General Greene said, in his report of the action to the Commander-in-chief: "I have the pleasure to inform your excellency that the troops who were engaged behaved with great coolness and intrepidity, and the whole of them discovered an impatience to be brought into action." He added that" the good order and discipline they exhibited in all their movements, do them the highest honor." With regard to the object of the enemy's expedition General Greene confessed himself at a loss to determine. "If," said he, "it was to injure the troops under my command, or to penetrate further into the country, they were frustrated. If the destruction of this place, it was a disgraceful one." "I wish," said he in conclusion, "every American could have been a spectator; they would have felt for the sufferers, and joined to revenge the injury."
Washington, himself, in communicating the result to Congress, made the following remarks:
The enemy have not made their incursion into this State without loss. Ours has been small. The militia deserve everything that can be said, on both occasions. They flew to arms universally, and acted with a spirit equal to anything I have seen in the course of the war.
CHAPLAIN CALDWELL. -one American, in particular, bore a part in the fight at Springfield, which richly deserves to live in history, there to be grouped with the brave and true of all times and of all nations. He came of a lineage ennobled, not by kingly favors, but by the patent of the Great Creator - a lineage distinguished in an older hemisphere for a devotion to faith and principle which rose sublimely superior to all considerations of worldly honor, ease and comfort. He was of French Huguenot stock, which sought shelter in Scotland after the revocation of the Edict of N antes ; but which soon had to fly thence to Ireland, owing to the cruel persecutions of Claverhouse. His name-it deserves to be spoken with reverence, and written, as it is, in letters of veneration - was JAMES CALDWELL. Caldwell was a Virginian by birth, his parents having come to the New World from the County Antrim, Ireland, in the early part of the eighteenth century. He was born in 1734, and was educated for the ministry under the tutelage of President Burr, ere yet Princeton College had removed from Newark. He graduated in 1759. Two years later he was ordained by the Presbytery at New Brunswick, and installed as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church at Elizabeth. A year after this, in 1763, he married Hannah Ogden. In character he greatly resembled William Emerson, the patriot-divine of Massachusetts, who considered that love of God and love of Country were twin-born offspring of the true man. Caldwell, like Emerson, Macwhorter and other Revolutionary period preachers of the Gospel, believed that there were times when it was righteous to fight as well as pray-when it was not only justifiable but a duty to turn the temples of the Most High into forts and towers for the defense of His people. When therefore the issue was made between England and America, Caldwell took his place at once on the side of his native land. Almost to a man and woman, his church - to its everlasting honor be it said - sustained him. He became, in June, 1776, chaplain of the Jersey Brigade, under Colonel Dayton. Mentally and physically he was a man of great force and courage. He was of middle stature, but strong frame ; had a pensive placid cast of countenance, which lit up with expressiveness under excitement. His voice was of a silvery tone, and capable of great power. As a preacher he was persuasively eloquent; as a patriot he earned the love and admiration of the people and the soldiery, likewise the esteem and confidence of Washington and other leaders in the field and council. While the army was in camp in Morris County, Chaplain Caldwell acted as Deputy Quarter-Master General with quarters at Chatham. Such was the respect in which he was held by the people, that his appeals for provisions for the troops were never made in vain. His activity was proverbial in and out of camp. One day he was preaching a sermon to the troops,-a sermon teeming with love of country as well as love of God; another he would be collecting or distributing stores as commissary. Denoting the manner of man he was, as well as the character of the times, is the fact that oftentimes the warrior-priest placed a pair of pistols on his desk beside the Word of God, so as to be ready for any sudden appearance of the enemy. Over his office door at Chatham were the letters "D. Q. M. G." It is stated that on one occasion he found his friend, Abraham Clark, a New Jersey signer of the Declaration of Independence, looking wonderingly at the letters. Mr. Clark said he was striving to comprehend their meaning. "Well, what do you think they mean?" asked Caldwell. "I cannot conceive," replied Clark, "unless they mean Devilish Queer Minister of the Gospel!"
And now to the part Chaplain Caldwell bore in the battle of Springfield. Throughout the engagement he displayed great ardor and conspicuous courage, which, it is safe to assume, lost nothing of its determination by his recollection of the wanton slaughter of his wife a few weeks previously, as already described. In the midst of the fight, while the men of the Jersey Brigade were contesting every inch of ground with Knyphausen's troops, the gun wadding gave out. At this moment, upon being apprised of the situation, Mr. Caldwell hastened to the Presbyterian Church, near which the Americans were stationed, and soon returned, as the well authenticated tradition states, with his arms full of Dr. Watts' hymnbooks. He hastily distributed these to the soldiers, saying: "Now put Watts into them, boys ! give 'em Watts!" With such a spirit and such an example on the part of the man of God, it is not surprising that the laymen fought with a degree of gallantry richly deserving the commendation of Washington and Greene ; or that the loss on the British side that day was out of all proportion to that of the Americans.
The fate of the knightly priest was equally tragic with that of his lamented wife, and if possible more wantonly cruel in its enactment. He was intimately acquainted with the Murray family, residing in New York. The Murrays had endeared themselves to the Jersey people by their kindness to Jersey prisoners held in New York. Under protection of a flag of truce, on November 24th, 1781, Miss Beulah Murray visited Elizabethtown, to spend a season with some relatives there. Mr. Caldwell met her with his carriage at the Point. After seating her in it, he returned to the ferry-boat for Miss Murray's small bundle. While it was being examined, a brutal soldier named James Morgan, who was off duty, ordered Mr. Caldwell to stop, and, leveling his musket, deliberately fired. Mr. Caldwell dropped dead, shot through the heart. Two days afterwards he was buried in Elizabethtown, in presence of a large heart-wounded con- gregation. Rev. Dr. Macwhorter, of Newark, delivered the funeral oration. All New Jersey wept bitter tears over the bier of the " rebel high-priest." Morgan, the murderer, was arrested, tried, and hanged by Noah Marsh, High Sheriff of Essex County. The execution took place at Westfield, then in Essex County. Morgan was a hard-hearted wretch, as shown by his calling, with an oath, to the sheriff to hang him quickly, and not keep him "shivering in the cold" - the day of execution being a bitter cold day in January, 1782. Various motives have been ascribed to the murderer. The most probable one is that Mr. Caldwell had excited Morgan's ire because he had not, as Quarter-Master General, tendered the fellow his pay regularly, and that in a drunken frenzy he saw Mr. Caldwell and murdered him as described. On the trial, a witness named Samuel Hicks testified that he had overheard Morgan say he would " pop Caldwell over," for the reason stated.
In the church which Caldwell served as pastor at Elizabethtown, handsome marble monuments were erected, many years after, in memory of the murdered pastor and his wife. The epitaph on Mr. Caldwell's marble sets forth that he was "the pious and fervent Christian, the zealous and faithful minister, the eloquent preacher and a prominent leader among the worthies who secured the liberties of his countrv." It prophetically adds: "His name will be cherished in the Church and in the State, so long as virtue is esteemed or patriotism honored." Mrs. Caldwell's epitaph speaks of her as having been "cruelly sacrificed by the enemies of her husband and her country." Caldwell's name has been given to one of the towns of Essex County. Nor has the poetic spirit failed to find in his character a fit theme for versification. The following well-conceived and neatly turned lines are from the pen of Bret Harte"
Here's the spot. Look around you. Above on the height
Lay the Hessians encamped. By that church on the right
Stood the bold Jersey farmers ; and here ran a wall -
You may dig anywhere and you'll turn up a ball;
Nothing more. Grasses spring, waters run, flowers blow,
Pretty much as they did a century ago.
Nothing more, did I say? Stay one moment; you've heard
Of Caldwell, the parson. who once preached the Word
Down at Springfield? What ! No' Come, that's bad; why, he had
All the Jerseys aflame ! And they gave him the name
Of '' The Rebel High Priest." He stuck in their gorge;
He loved the Lord God-and he hated King George.
He had cause, you might say ! When the Hessians that day
Marched up with Knyphausen, they stopped on their way
At "The Farms," where his wife, with a child in her arms,
Sat alone in the house. How it happened none knew
But God and that one of the hireling crew
Who fired the shot ! Enough-there she lay,
And Caldwell, the chaplain, her husband, away!
Did he preach? Did he pray? Think of him, as you stand
By the old church to-day; think of him, and that band
Of militant ploughboys! See the smoke and the heat
Of that reckless advance, of that straggling retreat!
Keep the ghost of that wife, foully slain, in your view -
And what could you, what should you, what would you do
Why, just what he did! They were left in the larch
For the want of more wadding. He ran to the church,
Broke the door, stripped the pews, and dashed out in the road
With his arms full of hymn books, and threw down his load
At their feet! Then, above all the shouting and shots Rang his voice: " Put Watts into 'em-boys, give 'em Watts!"
And they did. That is all. Grasses spring, waters run, flowers blow
Pretty much as they did ninety-six years ago.
You may dig anywhere and you'll turn up a ball;
But not always a hero like this-and that's all.
Among the families pre-eminently true to the cause of America were the Allings, the Balls, the Baldwins, the Beaches, the Bruens, the Burnets, the Camps, the Congers, the Condits, the Cranes, the Coes, the Heddens, the Hayeses, the Johnsons, the Macwhorters, the Meekers, the Penningtons and the Wheelers.
ALLING.-The following Revolutionary reminiscence of the Alling family is preserved: John Ailing, a great-grandson of Deacon Alling, who came to Newark from New Haven, in 1698, and settled here, was a hearty hater of red-coats. He held the position of lieutenant in a company of Minute Men. Early one morning a detachment of British soldiers was observed moving up Market street. The lieutenant hastened into his house, (which stood in from the northwest corner of Broad and Market streets) and warned his wife to conceal herself with the children. With his gun he returned to the street, and lay in waiting for the approach of the enemy. From his hiding place he popped off a couple of the red-coats; but leaving his position, he drew from the enemy a volley, and fled to the orchard under a shower of whistling bullets. In an upper chamber sat his grandfather, who witnessed the flight. "Run, John!" cried the venerable Newarker, and John did, and escaped. "Shall I shoot the old devil?" said a redcoat to his officer. With more humanity than was wont to possess the natures of his brother officers, when making unceremonious visits to the Jerseys, the officer replied : "No; he's too old to do us any harm." Another of the Allings, Joseph, served with distinction as a captain in the Jersey Brigade.
WHEELER. -Of the Wheeler family, e'en "if Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise," there still stands a memorial. It is anything but ambitious, anything but worthy the estimable name it recalls. It is the dilapidated remnant of the once proud Wheeler mansion, situated on the northeast corner of Market and Mulberry streets. It now forms the central part of a group of cheap buildings. The venerable pile has a history. It dates back to 1769, when its erection was begun by Captain Caleb Wheeler, a brother of James. It took seven years to build it. In the summer of the memorable year 1776 it was completed and occupied by the Captain's family. At that time it was accounted one of the great houses of the Province. Captain Wheeler, its owner, was a man of large substance. Soon after the settlement of his family in it, the British began their incursions into New Jersey. Captain Wheeler and a Mr. Williams, a neighbor, whose dwelling stood about where the Central Methodist Church now stands, had agreed that whoever should first learn of the approach of the British should apprise the other. Very early one morning "the beat of the alarming drum" roused Mr. Williams. He sprang from bed, partially dressed, and hurried to arouse the Wheelers. " Run for your lives ; the British are coming ! " he shouted, adding : "Go to your hiding places, and I will go to mine." Before he could make good his intention he was shot dead ; a British spy murdered him. Meanwhile Captain Wheeler secreted himself in the centre of a hay-rick, while his wife and children hid away in a safe part of the house. Along to the hayrick, which stood on what is now Clinton street, moved several soldiers. Repeatedly they thrust their bayonets through the hay, remarking that "if the d--d rebels are in there, they are dead by this time." The Captain's clothing was pretty well pierced, but he escaped without a scratch. His family were unscathed also. The Wheeler house was rifled and despoiled, however, and the beautifully laid out grounds overrun after the malicious manner already depicted. During the war the dwelling, thanks to the sterling loyalty of its owners and occupants, was a house of refuge for many a disgusted deserter from the British ranks. It became noted as such, and more than once was visited by British officers in search of fugitive soldiers. Never once were they successful, however; the runaways always found a secure hiding place where Mrs. Wheeler and her children eluded royalist search on the occasion described. Once a French officer, in the British service, made his appearance at the Wheeler house in search of food and shelter. He had deserted from the British army, he said, having "revolted at the idea of fighting against so noble a cause as that of the American, and against so noble a people as the Americans." He was hid away for several days, and finally made his escape to France. The Wheeler property here referred to was occupied in 1884, by George W. Van Ness, as a news room and stationery store, corner of Market and Mulberry streets, Newark.
CAMP. -Of the Camp family there still exists a memorial which recalls the days of the Revolution. It is in the form of an antique piece of ordnance, a six-pound iron howitzer. This cannon, according to the well authenticated records of the family, was given in charge of Captain Nathaniel Camp by no less illustrious a personage than George Washington. It was at the time the American army was encamped in New Jersey, and when Newark was subjected to frequent depredatory visits from red-coats and refugees. One day, as the tradition has it, General Wash- ington visited Newark, and stopped and dined at Cap- tain Camp's house, which was built in the year 1737, and stood on the southeast corner of Camp and Broad streets. The General promised to send the cannon to Newark, and he did. In speaking of the subject, the descendants of the Captain dwell with pride on the most trifling incidents of the visit-how His Excellency had his charger hitched to the fine buttonwood tree in front of the Camp house, and how he heartily enjoyed the ham and eggs prepared for him by the Captain's good dame. The chair the General sat in is still preserved, like the cannon, as a most precious memorial, and has been made to serve the cause of Christianity at church fairs, by charging a fee for its momentary occupancy. Captain Camp commanded an artillery company, but whether any active service was performed by the cannon in Newark-beyond firing national salutes upon each recurring Fourth of July -is not certain. During the war of 1812 the cannon was in possession of an artillery company, commanded by Captain John I. Plume, stationed in Newark. Subsequently it was restored to Captain Camp's keeping, and was among the Revolutionary relics exhibited at the Centennial Exhibition. Henceforth it will form one of the interesting memorials at the Morristown "Washington Headquarters." Upon its breech "Old Nat" - the name given the cannon by the 1812 military-has the following inscription:
[The last four figures are thus translated : four hundred, no quarters, eighteen pounds.]
CONGER. -The Conger family was worthily represented in the army by Lieutenant Samuel Conger. The type of man the Lieutenant was is revealed by an incident. When the war closed, the country considered the subject of bestowing pensions on its heroes. Lieutenant Conger was asked if he wanted one. Promptly he replied: "No; I want no pension - at least not as long as I can shoot a shuttle." He was a weaver by occupation, and disdained to ask government support.
BRUEN.-Caleb Bruen held a Captain's commission in the patriot army. Like Captain Nathaniel Camp, he possessed the confidence of Washington. He somehow gained also the confidence of the British officers, but, at the risk of an ignominious death on the gallows, turned this confidence to the great advantage of his country. Because of the intense suffering and privation to which the American soldiery of the Pennsylvania line were subjected by the force of circumstances, some of the officers and men conceived the idea of revolting. Hearing something about the matter, the British sought to foster the disaffection. A correspondence was opened between the recreant American officers and the British. Somehow, Captain Bruen became possessed of the secret, and was chosen to carry the traitorous correspondence. Waiting till the plot for revolt was ripe, the Captain secretly placed the important dispatches before General Washington. The treason was nipped in the bud, the Commander-in-chief being enabled, by Captain Bruen's action, to pluck the flower of safety from the nettle danger. Captain Bruen, in the soi-disant char- acter of a British spy, next boldly entered the British lines and was arrested. He was charged with exposing the plot. The letters were demanded, but of course not forthcoming. They were accounted for by the Captain in this way: He was suspected, he said, by the Americans, and, in order to save himself and his secrets, he destroyed the letters. His explanation was received with doubt, and he was thrown into the Sugar House at New York, and confined there till the close of the war. He was then brought home, but in a condition as helpless as an infant. After careful nursing, extending quite a long time, he fully recovered his health, and lived to a ripe old age.
BALDWIN AND OTHERS. -The Baldwins, like the Burnets, were represented in the Revolutionary cause by a surgeon-Dr. Cornelius Baldwin.
The Balls, by Stephen, who was hanged by the loyalists because of his "extreme rebel disposition and conduct;" and Samuel, who was killed in the action at Connecticut Farms.
The Johnstons, by Rev. Stephen, a graduate of Yale College in 1743, who removed to Lyme, Connecticut, and, it is stated, "was a distinguished religious and political writer, who did much to advance the cause of freedom in the Revolutionary period."
The Beaches, by Josiah, who was shot in the engagement near Scotch Plains, June 26th, 1777; and by Zophar, who served first as a sailor and then as a soldier.
The Cranes, by Joseph, who was mortally wounded while making a gallant "forlorn hope" assault on Fort Delancey, at Saltersville, a post on Newark Bay held by the British.
The Condits, by Colonels David and Ebenezer.
The Hayeses, by Major Samuel, "a true whig, vigilant and active `in the times that tried men's souls."
The Wheelers, by Captain James, who died on March 12th, 1777, having served with distinction in the Revolutionary army, and who, as a descendant of Newark, was "worthy of a more honorable monument than the edifice stealthily and illegally erected on the burial place of the family."
CAPTAIN LITTELL. -The space from Lexington to Yorktown is dotted with daring and interesting exploits of Jersey militia and minute-men in the immediate neighborhood of Newark. The central figure of quite a number was Captain Littell, who appears to have been a bold, daring, dashing "Son of Liberty," a man of handsome and imposing personal appearance, endowed with great resoluteness, and a stranger to fear. The Captain seems to have been a decided favorite with the fair sex. A volunteer company, thought to have been under his command, was provided by the patriotic women of Newark and vicinity with uniforms of a description which not only distinguished them among their fellow-patriots but which has served to furnish Jerseymen ever since with an appellation of which they are justly proud. The uniforms consisted of tow frocks and pantaloons dyed blue. To these is ascribed the origin of the name "Jersey Blues."
On the very day the British force under Cornwallis abandoned Newark, a company of Waldeckers was dispatched towards Connecticut Farms on some particular service. Captain Littell and his brave spirits speedily followed. Dividing his small force into two sections, the Captain placed one in ambush in the rear of the Waldeckers, and then suddenly appeared in front with the other and boldly demanded the enemy's surrender. Not being able, owing to the nature of the ground, and the approach of night, to determine the size of Littell's force, the Waldeckers sought to make a retrograde movement. Instantly they were assailed in flank as well as front, and were so thoroughly demoralized that they surrendered without having fired a shot. Exasperated over the affair, the great inferiority of Littell's force becoming known, the British commander ordered out a large body of Hessians to wipe out the affront. Again, thanks to his thorough knowledge of the ground, his intrepid spirit, his marvellous skill at ambuscading, likewise the esprit and gallantry of his Blues, Littell completely discomfited his enemy. After goading and injuring him severely at several points, he finally, by an adroit manoeuvre, drew him into a swamp and compelled him to surrender again to greatly inferior numbers. This defeat was still more mortifying to the hireling General, and this time he determined to make short work of "the rascally clever rebel crew." A troop of horse was ordered out; but they were only more successful than their predecessors in that, thanks to their horses, they were able, after being routed, to make good their escape! A fourth attempt was made to put a summary end to the career of the bold Captain and his gallant little band. This time a force of three hundred men was ordered out, and placed under the leadership of a noted Tory, one familiar with the country, and, as supposed, with Littell's movements. He was to receive a large reward for the capture of Littell and the destruction of his band. Guided by their American mercenary leader, the Hessian troops secretly stole to the neighborhood of Captain Littell's house. A large number surrounded it and began a, storm of musketry against the dwelling, the design being to destroy the lion in his lair. It happened, however, that the Captain was elsewhere. He appeared presently on the scene, but under circum- stances the enemy did not dream of. He had with him his own men and another body of volunteers. He attacked the house-storming party in the rear with such vigor, that, stunned and terror-stricken, the Tory-guided expedition fled precipitately; not, however, until its renegade conductor was picked off by a shot from Captain Littell's own musket, nor until the whole body suffered terribly from Littell's ambushed force. At the time of the march of Knyphausen from Elizabethtown to Springfield, Captain Littell, with a company of artillery, proved a very lion in the path of the Anglo-Hessian commander.
PENNINGTON.-The well known Newark names of Pennington and Ogden are likewise written in illuminated characters across the pages of American Revolutionary history. The Pennington family were represented in the war by William Sandford Pennington, a great-grandson of Ephraim Pennington, one of the Milford company of original settlers. William Sandford was born in Newark, 1757. He was domiciled with his uncle, Mr. Sandford, a farmer, and was to have inherited his uncle's property. On the breaking out of hostilities, despite the fact of his uncle being a pronounced Loyalist, and of a threat of disinheritance if he joined the Rebels, young William warmly espoused the Revolutionary cause. The gallant stripling - he was still in his teens - flung away his tempting heirship, and entered the patriot army. According to the family traditions, his first service was as a non-commissioned officer in an artillery company. It is stated that in one of the engagements young Pennington was found by General Knox loading and firing a piece of artillery almost alone, and with such gallantry and signal bravery that Knox procured his promotion on the field of battle as First Lieutenant of Artillery. He was commissioned Lieutenant of the Second Regiment of Artillery, April 21, 1780, taking rank from September 12, 1778. A private journal kept by him from May, 1780, to March, 1781, affords us at once an insight into the character of the young lieutenant, and some interesting incidents :of the Revolutionary period. During the greater por- tion of the seven years' war the Lieutenant was stationed with a park of artillery in the neighborhood of West Point. Once, while visiting his home here, he had to conceal himself in a hay-rick, for fear of being surprised and captured by refugees. He appears to have been an eye-witness, or was in the neighborhood, of the execution at Tappan of the unfortunate Major Andr6, the victim of Benedict Arnold's treachery and the inexorable demands of martial law. In his journal Lieutenant Pennington made this feeling entry:
25th - This day the detachment marched to Smith's Cove, and halted for the night.
26th - This day we marched to Ringwood and joined a detachment of Major-General Howe.
Saturday, 27th-This day the above detachment marched atone o'clock, and at daylight surrounded the Jersey encampment near Pompton, where the mutineers were quartered. No other terms were offered to them but to immediately parade without their arms. General Howe likewise sent them word by Lieutenant-Colonel Barber, that if they did not comply in five minutes, he would put them all to the sword; rather than run the risk of which they surrendered. Upon this the General ordered a Court Martial in the field to try some of their leaders ; three of whom, Grant, Tuttle and Gilmore, were sentenced to suffer death. Grant, from some circumstance in his behavior, was pardoned. Tuttle and Gilmore were immediately executed. The mutineers returned to their duty and receiveed a general pardon.
The Lieutenant was present, it is thought, at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, and left the service with the brevet rank of Captain. Upon the declaration of peace he carried on hatting and afterwards commercial business in Newark. He was of a very active turn of mind and took a deep interest in public affairs, warmly espousing the political principles of Thomas Jefferson, as did also his brother Samuel. On his tombstone was inscribed a Latin inscription, which, translated, runs as follows:
THE MEMORIAL OF DAVID OGDEN, ESQ., LATE OF NEWARK, IN THE COLONY OF JERSEY, IN AMERICA:
That your memorialist, by reason of his loyalty to his Majesty, and his attachment to the British government, became obnoxious to the Rebels and was obliged for his personal safety to abandon his property in New Jersey, and go, in the beginning of the year 1777, into the City of New York, to be under the protection of his Majesty's Army.
That your memorialist had his salary, as one of the Justices of the Supreme Court, taken from him in the year 1776, and on the 6th day of January, 1777, the day after, be went to New York, a regiment of Continental troops came to his dwelling house, who, after enquiring for your memorialist, and not finding him at home, plundered and destroyed a great part of his most valuable effects; and some time afterwards, all his real and the remainder of his personal property was seized, confiscated and sold by the Commissioners appointed for that purpose, in virtue of laws, made and enacted in New Jersey, excepting such parts thereof as are mentioned in the estimate and schedule hereunto annexed, in which, your memorialist has, as far as lays in his power, particularly and accurately described and valued, the property he has lost and the services he has been deprived of.
Your memorialist therefore prays, that his case may be taken into your consideration, in order that your memorialist may be enabled, under your report, to receive such aid and relief as his losses and services may be found to require.
Rathbone-Place, No. 5.
The ACCOUNT and ESTIMATE of the real estate of the Hon. David Ogden, Esq.; late one of his Majesty's council for the Province of New Jersey, and one of the Justices of the Supreme Court of said Province: who abandoned his estate in said Province, in consequence of his loyalty to his Majesty, and attachment to the British Government, and his obedience to various Proclamations issued by his Majesty's Commissioners,
Generals, etc. And joined his Majesty's Army, in the city of New York, on the 5th day of January, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven. The whole of which estate has been confiscated
by virtue of a law of the Legislature of the State of New Jersey; some parts thereof since the said confiscation have been sold, and some part yet remains unsold as is particularly hereinafter mentioned, viz. /dl>
In the schedule of proofs, No. 1 is referred to as follows:
Time softens, mellows and subdues all things. Surely, it is due to the memory of these distinguished "American Loyalists," of whom we have been treating, to recollect that the motives which prompted their course were beyond a doubt anything but low, were the very opposite of mean. As they appear to us through the true historic microscope of a century, they represent an honorable, high-toned and exalted sentiment. It is due the Ogdens and the Brownes to say that their training, education and positions should at least he intelligently considered and judicially weighed before they are forever embalmed in history as traitors to liberty and to America. Judge Ogden was a born Royalist. So was Mr. Browne. As a member of the King's Council, and a member of the Supreme Court, Ogden's associations would naturally incline him to the established order of things. As a minister of the Church of England, bound to the Crown by a most solemn declaration, Mr. Browne did not see the American cause as it was seen by others of his Episcopalian brethren, notably the illustrious Bishop White, who was one of the first chaplains to the Continental Congress, and has been styled "the father of his church." Whatever may be thought of the political views of Judge Ogden and Parson Browne, and of the class they represented, there can be no question as to the purity of their motives and character. They risked all they possessed, even their lives, for what they considered to be right. For conscience and opinion's sake they suffered much, sacrificed much. Who, indeed did any more? The Macwhorters and the Caldwells on the American side had their counterparts in sacrifice and suffering on the other side.
The Ogden blood told on both sides of the Revolutionary struggle, as we have intimated. Strictly speaking, neither Matthias nor Aaron Ogden was a Newarker, but, like Caldwell, they were closely related to the Newark Ogdens. They were grandsons of Jonathan Ogden, one of the original associates of the Elizabethtown Purchase, grand-nephews of David Ogden, who removed from Elizabethtown to Newark, about the year 1676, and nephews of Judge David Ogden. As already stated, at the breaking out of hostilities they espoused the American cause. Matthias, as early as December, 1775, was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the first regiment of the Jersey line, and, with Aaron Burr, was with Montgomery at the storming of Quebec. There lie was wounded. Throughout the war he displayed great bravery and military capacity, and became colonel of his regiment and brigadier-general by brevet. The epitaph on his tombstone, in the First Presbyterian church-yard of Elizabeth, reads as follows:
If social virtues, liberal and refined,
Nipp'd in their bloom deserve compassion's tear,
Then, reader, weep; for Ogden's dust lies here.
Weed his grave clean, ye men of genius, for he was your kinsman! Tread lightly on his ashes, ye men of feeling, for lie was your brother!
Like Pennington he entered the political arena, but, unlike Pennington, became a leading Federalist. In 1801, he was chosen by Legislature a Senator of the United States to fill an unexpired term made vacant by the resignation of Senator Schureman. At the time of his election he held the position of Clerk of Essex County. In 1812 he was chosen Governor by the Legislature in joint meeting, his opponent being William S. Pennington. He had thirty votes to Pennington's twenty-two. The year following the vote was reversed and Pennington was chosen instead of Ogden. In 1797, when a provisional army was raised, in consequence of the belligerent attitude of the French, Ogden was appointed Colonel of the Fifteenth Regiment-a title he ever afterwards re- tained. During the war of 1812, he was commis- sioned by President Madison a Major-General, the object being to send him to operate against Canada. The emergency requiring his presence there did not arise, however. Princeton College complimented him with the honorary degree of LL. D. It appears that instead of devoting himself to the practice of law, he entered into a steamboat speculation and lost his fortune through unscrupulous opposition and ruinous litigation. The late Cornelius Vanderbilt was once employed by Colonel Ogden as captain of one of his boats. The loss of his fortune broke the Colonel's spirit. He died in 1839, aged eighty-three, holding at the time of his death, under President Andrew Jackson, the position of collector of customs, at Jersey City. As a patriot, a statesman and a professional man, Aaron Ogden was an honor and a credit to his name, his State and his country.
CUDJO. - Nor should the Revolutionary annals of Newark omit mention in this patriotic connection of yet another name worthy of local fame-that of Cudjo. Cudjo was a black man, a slave owned by Benjamin Coe. He entered the army as a substitute for his venerable master, and it is possible may have been one of the seven hundred black American patriots who imperilled their lives for their country at the battle of Monmouth-bravely fighting side by side with the whites. For his services in the field Cudjo was given, by Mr. Coe, his freedom and nearly an acre of ground on High street, near Nesbitt. There was a something about the bearing of Cudjo which gave strength to the claim advanced by him that he was of royal African lineage.
WADE, CARTER AND MOOREHOUSE. -There were other bold and daring spirits besides Littell and his men, belonging to this neighborhood. Matthias Wade, Barnabas Carter and Mr. Moorehouse - names still familiar in the immediate vicinity of Newark - were the heroes of a gallant exploit at Lyons Farms. A house there had been taken possession of by a party of twenty-five Hessians. In it they rendezvoused. Wade, Carter and Moorehouse resolved to surprise and rout them. They agreed upon a night and a plan. Wade was to shoot down the sentinel, while the others raised a tremendous shout and discharged their muskets through the windows, in among the Hessians. The plan was completely successful. The terrified soldiers, supposing that a large force surrounded the house, instantly took to flight, not stopping to pick up their arms or accoutrements.
HOLDEN. -While searching among the descendants
of early settlers and Revolutionary patriots of Newark
for material with which to garnish these pages, the
author discovered a curious business memorial of General Washington, which now sees the light of print
for the first time, and which will serve here as the
introduction to an interesting bit of Newark family
history, possessing general interest. It is the dim,
faded, almost worn-out remnant of a receipt given by
Washington to Captain Levi Holden, of the General's
life or body-guards. Time and neglect have eaten
away the upper part, and all that remains is a scrap
of dingy paper about the size of an ordinary human
palm, bearing the following, in the neat, plain
and well-known chirography of the Commander-in-
The possessor of the relic, though a grandson of Captain Holden's, could give no explanation of the receipt. On it is marked the date 1783, in characters drawn by some other hand than Washington's. That was the date of the disbandment of the American army at Newburg. It seems probable, therefore, that it is part of a receipt given the Captain in settling up his accounts. He may have become pos- sessed of the money receipted for through the mutations of war. Some royalist treasure may have been seized or captured, and a portion been placed in the official charge of Captain Holden. The money, it will be observed, is a curious mixture of Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch. These coinages were largely in circulation among the Colonies prior to and at the time of the war. The guilder (Dutch) represents one shilling and eight pence sterling, or about forty cents American money ; the half Johannes (Portuguese) or "half Joes," as they were colonially called, about sixteen shillings, or four dollars ; the pistoles (Spanish) about the same, and the doubloons (Spanish and Portuguese) about from fifteen to sixteen dollars of American money. Altogether, according to present standards, the whole amount of guilders, half Johannes, doubloons and pistoles, in the Washington-Holden paper, would represent only about eighty-one dollars and a halt, or less than sixteen pounds sterling. The pounds used by Washington in his computation were not sterling but Colonial pounds.
Captain Levi Holden early enlisted in the American cause. He came of the same stock which produced boys in Boston whose liberty-loving spirit is said to have touched the heart and won the admiration of the British commander, General Gage, prior to the evacuation. He was a native of the suburbs, but was hemmed in in Boston when the British landed there in force. He made several unsuccessful attempts to escape from the city by secreting himself in scavenger boats. In the same house with him, on friendly terms, stopped a British officer. The latter displayed a deep interest in Holden's business, that of chocolate dealing, and seemed disposed to engage in it. One day he procured a horse and chaise and started with Holden for a drive in the outskirts of the town, beyond the line of the British sentries. Holden saw that his time to strike for liberty had come. Commanding all his resolution, he seized the reins, and told the officer in tones admitting of no doubt as to his determination that he must alight and allow him (Holden) to pursue his own way. Courteously, but with great firmness, he informed the officer that he was going to fight against him, was going to take up arms and join the American forces under George Washington. Taken wholly by surprise, the officer made no resistance, and did as directed. He walked back to Boston and Holden pushed on to his native village. Before nightfall Holden had begun to enroll a company of brave young spirits like himself. Within two weeks he had a band of seventy-four, the youngest being but fourteen years of age, and the oldest not yet out of his teens. Captain Holden's company is said to have borne a reputation for gallantry second to none in the service. With their spirited commander they served in nearly every battle of the Revolution except Bunker Hill. When that was fought the Captain was still in Boston. The Captain's name is regularly down in the official roster of the Jersey line as compiled at Trenton, in 1872, and is credited to Essex County ; but his family state that he did not come to Newark to settle until about the year 1800. They are also our authority for mentioning him as of Washington's Life or Body Guard, whose commander at one time was Captain William Colfax, of Pompton, and whose motto was "CONQUER OR DIE" For twenty-five years after settling with his family in Newark, Captain Holden conducted a profitable business here. He died in 1825, and was buried in Trinity church-yard at the rear of the chapel in Rector street. The tooth of Time has eaten away much of the legibility of the inscription on his marble head-stone, so that it was with difficulty the following lines were deciphered:
To the memory of
He was a revolutionary soldier, a tried and gallant officer, a man of temper firm and resolute, of affection, temperate, steady, and benevolent, of industry, active and unreserved. His amiable character shone most conspicuous in the domestic circle. He adorned the several relations of husband, father, and neighbor. Through a life of unvaried integrity, his candor, frankness, and love of truth, endeared him to all. Those qualities, united with faith in the Redeemer, upon whose merits he alone relied, and whose presence supported him in his last moments, afford persuasive evidence that his spirit has entered that mansion of the blessed, and that in the morning of the resurrection his body will rise to immortal life.
Returning again to the main thread of our narrative, we find that as regards the effects of the war on the material interests of Newark, no fact could be cited showing the inroad made on the prosperity of the place more suggestive than this : The people - that is to say, the major portion of them, the Presbyterians-were unable to properly provide for their esteemed and greatly loved pastor. The records of the Board of Trustees of the First Church, under date of March 11th, 1779, contain this minute:
The good man's means of support had become entirely inadequate to his wants.
To prevent surprise by British incursionists, during the war, and secure some measure of protection, Dr. Macwhorter was obliged to have a sentinel almost constantly in front of the parsonage when he was there. In the year above quoted he accepted a call from a congregation at Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, the North Carolina "rebel hornet's nest," whence emanated a Declaration of Independence earlier even than that adopted in 1776 at Philadelphia. Thither with his family he proceeded in October. Singularly enough, he had scarcely become settled in his new quarters when he was forced again to fly from the approach of the British, and under the same Cornwallis before whom he had fled with Washington from Newark in 1776. Lord Cornwallis took possession of Charlotte, and Dr. Macwhorter lost his furniture, library, and almost everything he possessed. Within a year he made his way back as far as Abington, Pennsylvania, where he remained until the spring of 1781, when, in accordance with an urgent invitation from his old flock, he returned to Newark, where he remained until his death.
It may readily be imagined from such a general outline of popular character as this, as well as from the closer knowledge we already possess of the manner of people inhabiting this community, that th€y were the reverse of indifferent to the important events which occurred at home and abroad, during the period immediately forerunning the Revolution. While, as has been made apparent, the people here were thoroughly British in their governmental ideas and aspirations, even to the liberal and voluntary expenditure of their means, and the shedding of their blood in England's service, it is unquestioned, nevertheless, that the temper and spirit of the settlers of 1666 were by no means extinct. The forefathers were almost if not quite as willing to be subjects of Holland as of Britain, provided they were protected in their originally guaranteed rights and liberties, civil and ecclesiastical. Doubtless their descendants felt with James Otis, one of the earliest and ablest of Massachusetts' patriots, that "it would be of little consequence to the people whether they were subjects of George or Louis, the King of Great Britain or the King of France, if both were arbitrary, as both would be, if both could levy taxes without Parliament."
As regards the public opinion of this community touching the passage and repeal of the odious Stamp Act, an exciting scene is said to have taken place at the November (1774) term of the Supreme Court, held in the Court House here in Newark, which in- dicates accurately how the popular pulse throbbed, and which, at the same time, furnishes an interesting moiety of local and State history. In charging the Grand Jury of Essex county, Chief Justice Smyth referred to the questions then agitating the British Empire, and, as tradition informs us, said: "The imaginary tyranny three thousand miles away, is less to be feared and guarded against than real tyranny at our own doors." With a spirit and patriotism worthy of American freemen, the jury thus addressed made reply - presumably through their foreman, Uzal Ward - in the following brave and manly words: "No bias of self-interest, no fawning servility to those in power, no hopes of future preferment would induce any man to lend his helping hand to the unnatural and diabolical work of riveting chains forging for them at a distance of three thousand miles!" With such a Grand Jury Roland as this for the ermined Oliver, it is risking little to say that Newark mingled her sentiments, her sorrows and her joys in common sympathy with those of her New England sister, Boston. This, certainly, was the case in 1774, when the foolishly advised George crowned his tyrannous conduct toward America, by the enactment of that bill of iniquity and abominations known as the Boston Port-bill. In common with the towns and villages of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Virginia, South Carolina, and, indeed, of all the colonies, Newark felt that the blow dealt Boston was aimed at all America ; that the insidious stab at the freemen of one section was a venomous thrust at the rights and liberties of all. On June 1, 1774, the Port-bill went into effect. Massachusetts having proposed the meeting of a General Congress in Philadelphia, in September, Governor Franklin was vainly requested to convene the New Jersey Legislature for the purpose of appointing delegates thereto. His refusal incensed the people, and here in Newark, soon after, a meeting of the people of Essex county was held, which directed the issuance to the several counties of a circular letter, re- questing delegates to be chosen to meet a general committee at New Brunswick, on the twenty-first of July ensuing. The meeting likewise passed resolutions in strong disapprobation of the aggressive acts and spirit of the home government. When, a yearlater, an appeal to arms was forced, and the memor- able affair of Lexington and Concord precipitated the Revolution, a Committee of Safety was appointed in Newark, the members of which were Dr. William Burnet, Justice Joseph Hedden, and Major Samuel Hayes. The committee held daily sessions and was presided over by Dr. Burnet. The doctor was a grandson of the distinguished English Prelate, Bishop Burnet, and, like the grandsire, was a man of great decision and force of character. To serve his country, he promptly relinquished a lucrative medical practice, and abandoned the pleasures of a delightful home-life. After establishing a military hospital in Newark, he became Surgeon-General of the American army and was stationed at West Point at the time of the discovery of Benedict Arnold's treasonable compact with Sir Henry Clinton, the British commander. It is also related, on good authority, that when the news of Major Andre's capture at Tarrytown was brought to the Point, the Doctor sat at table while Arnold read the note from Lieutenant Colonel Jameson announcing the fact. Arnold preserved his countenance, but immediately excused himself and withdrew "to attend upon an urgent and important service." Very soon he was hurrying with all speed to the ship of refuge which lay at anchor in the Hudson, below the Point, and which, with singular appropriateness, happened to be named the "Vulture." The Doctor's son, Major Ichabod Burnet, was an aid on General Greene's staff, and was selected to bear to Andre, after his conviction as a spy, the official announcement of his fate. He also attended the brave and handsome, but unfortunate British Adjutantt-General upon his execution at Tappan. Dr. Burnet gave to his country, besides his service as a true and valued patriot, a posterity distinguished for its public and private worth. Jacob, one of his sons, settled in the North-Western territory when it had but 15,000 inhabitants, and when Cincinnati, where he made his home in 1796, contained but fifteen rough finished houses. Jacob served as a magistrate, a legislator, and, ultimately, as a United States Senator. Another son, David Burnet, achieved even greater distinction. After filling many important public trusts, he, finally, became the first President of the short-lived Republic, Texas, now a brilliant star in the constellation of American States. Dr. Burnet, himself, upon the close of the war, resumed his practice, likewise the pursuit of husbandry. He also filled the position of Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and was President of the New Jersey State Medical Society. He died suddenly, in 1791, in his sixty-first year.
Daring Adventure. -One cold, dark, wintry night towards the close of the war, another small party of dauntless fellows figured in an incident which further illustrates the mettle and dash of the Jerseymen of '76. The ground was covered with a deep snow. Captain John Kidney, Captain Henry Joralemon, Jacob Garland and Halmach Joralemon started from their homes in Bloomfield, (then within the town limits of Newark), in search of adventure. A pair of swift steeds and an ordinary wood-sled soon brought them into the neighborhood of Bergen Heights. Here, at the time, was stationed a British garrison. On the night in question, it happened that the officers and men of the garrison were enjoying themselves in a dancing and drinking frolic. Having dismounted from their sled, and tied the horses to a fence, the adventurous Bloomfield spirits proceeded to reconnoitre, and discovered the state of affairs with the garrison. Each of the four was fully armed. A plan was quickly arranged for capturing a portion, at least, of the British soldiery. Stealthily Captain Kidney and his men approached the schoolhouse where were gathered the royalist roysterers. After the manner of the men at Lyons Farms, who surprised the Hessians, Kidney and his companions suddenly made all the noise possible. Orders were given by the Captain in a loud voice, as though he was manoeuvring a large force. He then sprang to the door, forced it open, and cried out to the surprised and terror-stricken soldiers within : "Every one of you are my prisoners ; surrender or you die!" Kidney's associates were behind him, so arranged with bristling bayonets that those inside could not tell but that a whole regiment was outside. Kidney ordered the red-coats to fall in line and pass out one by one. He picked out an officer first, then a refugee, and had them muffled and i hurried to the sled, warning all that "the first one who attempted to escape was a dead man." The Captain and his daring companions next made a dash for the sled, started off at the swiftest pace, and baffled the pursuit which promptly followed. The prisoners were secured in the Morristown jail. The chagrin of the captives and the garrison on discovering how they had been so cleverly outwitted may readily be imagined.