Jersey City, New Jersey Revolutionary War Sites
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Jersey City New Jersey Revolutionary War Sites
Paulus Hook - Revolutionary War
Paulus Hook

Paulus Hook Fort Site
Washington and Grand Streets
Map / Directions to the Paulus Hook Fort Site
Map / Directions to all Jersey City Revolutionary War Sites

Paulus Hook was built as an American fort in 1776. After the defeats in New York City, the Americans abandoned the fort. It was then occupied by the British.

In August 1779, Major Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee advised General Washington of a plan to attack the fort and reclaim it from the British. This became known as the Battle of Paulus Hook. The assault was planned to begin shortly after midnight of August 19, 1779. Lee led a force of approximately 300 men. Some of the men got lost during the march. The attack got started late, but the main contingent of the force was able to reach the fort's gate without being challenged. The Americans succeeded in damaging the fort and took 158 prisoners. However, Lee chose not to destroy the fort. The fort contained wounded soldiers, and wives and children of soldiers, so Lee chose to spare the fort. As daytime arrived, Lee decided to withdraw before the British forces from New York could cross the river. Lee and his men retreated up what is now Newark Avenue. After a shooting engagement with pursuing British soldiers, they escaped to Hackensack. The British continued to occupy Paulus Hook until after the war. [1]

In a letter to Congress, George Washington wrote, "The Major displayed a remarkable degree of prudence, address and bravery upon this occasion, which does the highest honor to himself and to all the officers and men under his command. The situation of the fort rendered the attempt critical and the success brilliant." [2]

Lee received a gold medal from Congress for his attack on Paulus Hook. On the front of the medal was a bust of Lee, with the words (in Latin) "The American Congress to Henry Lee, major of cavalry". On the back was written (in Latin), "Notwithstanding rivers and ramparts, he conquered, with a handful of men, the enemy by skill and valor, and attached by his humanity those vanquished by his arms. In commemoration of the Battle of Paulus Hook, August 19, 1779." A reproduction of this medal was issued as part of the United States Mint's 1973/1974 series "America's First Medals". Photos and information about this series is available on the website of the NumisSociety. [3]

Jersey City NJ Historic Sites
Apple Tree House
The Apple Tree House
298 Academy St.
Map / Directions to the Apple Tree House
Map / Directions to all Jersey City Revolutionary War Sites

Apple Tree House Website
Currently closed for restoration

The house takes its name from a legend that Washington visited this house, and dined under an apple tree in the yard with Lafayette. The Apple Tree fell from a storm on September 3, 1821. When Lafayette returned to America in 1824, he was presented with a walking stick made from the tree, bearing the inscription, "Shaded the hero and his friend Washington in 1779: presented by the Corporation of Bergen in 1824." It is on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

The Sentinel of Freedom newspaper, on September 28, 1824, quoted Dominie Cornelison presenting the walking stick as saying "As a tribute of esteem and veneration, permit me, sir, to ask the favor of your acceptance of this small token of respect, taken from an apple tree under which you once dined, and which once afforded you a shelter from the piercing rays of noonday; and, although it possesses no healing virtue, may it still be a support."

While it is known from their correspondence that both Washington and Lafayette were in Bergen (present day Jersey City) between August 24 and 26, 1780, many historians now question the accuracy of the story.  The prevailing theory is that Washington and Lafayette did meet under an apple tree in this area, but this house may not have been the correct location. Certainly, the Sentinel of Freedom article, and the existence of the cane in the Louvre are evidence of a Washington / Lafayette apple tree meeting in this area. And the house itself did stand here at that time. [4]

The Apple Tree house is currently closed for restoration. Click here for information about the state of the restoration.

Jersey City New during the Revolutionary War
Old Bergen Church
Jersey City, New Jersey

Old Bergen Church
1 Highland Ave.
Map / Directions to Old Bergen Church
Map / Directions to all Jersey City Revolutionary War Sites

The church was originally founded in 1662. It was rebuilt shortly before the Revolution in 1773. The current church building dates to 1842, and used many of the stones from the original church. [5]

During the Revolutionary War, the church's pastor first regular pastor, Reverend William Jackson spoke in support of the American cause to his congregation. Jackson receieved a personal reprimand before British General William Howe because of this. [6]

Jersey City NJ Historic Sites
Jersey City History Sign
Jersey City History Sign

Jersey City History Sign
Washington Blvd. and Pavonia Ave.
Map / Directions to the Jersey City History Sign
Map / Directions to all Jersey City Revolutionary War Sites

A sign across from the Newport Center Mall describes the history of the area, including its Revolutionary War era significance. [7]


Original Site of Sip Manor
Southeast corner of Bergen Ave. and Academy St.
Map / Directions to the Sip Manor Site
Map / Directions to all Jersey City Revolutionary War Sites

The Sip Manor was originally located at this intersection. General Cornwallis used it as his headquarters in 1776. [8]

In 1928, Sip Manor was moved to 5 Cherry Lane in Westfield NJ.


Sip Manor, New Jersey
Jersey City New Jersey Revolutionary War Sites
Newkirk House - Jersey City
Jersey City in the Revolutionary War
Jersey City in the Revolutionary War
Newkirk House - Jersey City

Newkirk House
Now Sanai's Restaurant
510 Summit Ave
Map / Directions to the Newkirk House
Map / Directions to all Jersey City Revolutionary War Sites

The Newkirk House (also known as the Summit House) which is currently in use as Sanai's Restaurant, is the oldest building in Jersey City. When it was originally built circa 1690, it stood several blocks northeast of the nearby Dutch settlement known as Bergen Square. In 1928, it was moved to the current location. [9]

During the Revolutionary War, the building was included on a 1781 British army map drawn for General Henry Clinton. [10]

Source Notes:

1. ^ Information used in the Paulus Hook description was drawn from several sources, including:
         "Recalling Paulus Hook; Jersey City's Revolutionary Battle". The New York Times. August 20, 1879, which is available as a PDF Here
         John Perry Lee: A Life of Virtue (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2010) p. 12-13   / Available to be read online at Google Books Here

2. ^ John Perry Lee: A Life of Virtue (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2010) p.13   / Available to be read online at Google Books Here

3. ^ America's First Medals article, on the website of the NumisSociety

4. ^ The Apple Tree House entry was based on several sources. Two main ones, which both explain the theory on the origin of the legend in more detail, are both available on line:
         Van Wagenen Homestead/Apple Tree House article, by Carmela Karnoutsos, Jersey City, Past and Present section of the New Jersey City University website
         About The Apple Tree House article, on the Apple Tree House website

The book which is believed to be the origin of the story that the Apple Tree meeting occurred at this house is The History of the County of Hudson, New Jersey by Charles Hardenburg Winfield, published in 1874. Both of the sources listed above explain the believed mis-location made in this book. The book is available online in Google Books here

5. ^ Hudson County Sesquicentennial sign in front of the church. Sign erected in 1990, and sponsored by the Provident Savings Bank.

6. ^History page of the Old Bergen Church website

7. ^ State of New Jersey historic sign

8. ^ Weymer Jay Mills, Historic Houses of New Jersey (Philadelphia and London: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1902) page 63
Available to be read at Google Books here

9. ^ Jersey City historic sign

10. ^ The History of The Newkirk House article in the "About Sanai's" section of the Sanai's Restaurant website


Website Researched, Written, Photographed and Designed by Al Frazza
This website, its text and photographs are © 2009 -2016 Al Frazza. All rights reserved.