Matawan, New Jersey Revolutionary War Sites
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Matawan NJ Historic Sites
The Burrowes Mansion - Matawan NJ Matawan NJ Revolutionary War Sites
Matawan NJ Revolutionary War Sites Matawan NJ Revolutionary War Sites
Matawan in the Revolutionary War Matawan NJ in the Revolutionary War
Matawan NJ in the Revolutionary War Matawan NJ in the Revolutionary War
Burrowes Mansion
94 Main St.
Map / Directions to Burrowes Mansion
Map / Directions to all Matawan Revolutionary War Sites

First and Third Sundays of each month, From 2-4 p.m.
A minimum donation of $5.00 per person is appreciated.

Phone: 973-566-5605
Burrowes Mansion Website

This was the home of "Corn King" John Burrowes Sr., and his son Major John Burrowes Jr. The historic sign in front of the house states that it was built in 1723; however recent archeological investigations suggest that the building may have been built in the 1750s.  At the time of the Revolution, John Burrowes Sr. became known as the "Corn King", because he as a grain merchant, he dealt mainly in corn. Burrowes was firmly in the Patriot camp, and had been for years before the war. In 1765 and 1766, he had been a member of the Sons of Liberty. He served in 1774 as a delegate to the Provincial Congress that chose the delegates who would attend the Continental Congress.

He was active in the sending of food and money in the support of Boston after the Boston Tea Party. When the first militia in this area was formed, he allowed them to train in his front yard. There is a tradition that this house also served as the point of departure for local "six months men" who marched from here to join Washington's army. ("Six months men" was a term used for men who enlisted for a half-year's service in the militia.)

His son John Burrowes Jr., was also an active patriot, and served as a Major during the war. His wife had continued to live in this house, and the Major would return to visit her when he was on furlough. These visits became known to local Tories, and on May 27, 1778, a raid was made on the Burrowes property, in an attempt to capture the Major. While he escaped capture, his father John Sr. was taken prisoner in the raid. Several of the buildings on his property were burned, although the house survived. [1]

A newspaper account in The New Jersey Gazette several days later described the event: [2]

"We are informed that on Wednesday morning last, a party of about seventy of the Greens from Sandy Hook, landed near Major Kearney's, headed the mill-creek, Middletown Point, and marched to Mr. John Burrow's made him prisoner, burnt his mills and both his store-houses, all valuable buildings, beside a great deal of his furniture - Also took Lieut. Col. John Smock, Capt. Christopher Little, Mr Joseph Wall, Capt. Jacob Covenhoven, and several other persons; killed - Pearce and - Van Prockle, and wounded another man mortally. Having completed these and several other barbarities,. they precipitately returned the same morning to give an account of their abominable deeds to their bloody employers. A number of those gentry, we learn, were formerly inhabitants of that neighborhood."

Major Burrowes is buried at the Historic Presbyterian Cemetery in Middletown

Revolutionary War Sites in Matawan
Philip Freneau House
12 Poet Dr.
Map / Directions to the Philip Freneau House
Map / Directions to all Matawan Revolutionary War Sites

This house is a private residence.
Please respect the privacy and property of the owners.

Freneau was known as the "Poet of the Revolution" for his pro-American and anti British poetry. He was once captured by the British, and spent six brutal weeks aboard one of their prison ships.

Before the war, Freneau had been a friend and Princeton classmate of James Madison. During the 1790s, he became involved in the ongoing rivalry between Hamilton and Madison's friend Jefferson, and he was made editor of the pro-Jefferson newspaper, the National Gazette. [3]

Philip Freneau House


Revolutionary War Sites in Sandy Hook
Philip Morin Freneau Gravesite
Matawan New Jersey in the Revolutionary War
Philip Morin Freneau Gravesite
Historic Sites in Matawan, NJ

Philip Freneau Grave Site
Poet Dr.
Map / Directions to the Freneau Gravesite
Map / Directions to all Matawan Revolutionary War Sites

Across from the house on Poet Dr., you will find a set of stairs that leads up to an area surrounded by an iron fence. Within the fence is this cemetery, which contains only the grave of Philip Freneau and mother Agnes. This is an interesting site. Over the years that I have been working on this Revolutionary War New Jersey project, I have visited a lot of cemeteries. This one really stood out, because it is unusual to find a cemetery that has an open field with just one grave marker in the rear corner. Freneau's grave is marked with an obelisk, which also marks his mother's grave. The obelisk is inscribed with this tribute, "Philip Freneau. Died Dec. 18th, 1832 - Aged 80 years, 11 months, and 16 days. He was a native of New York, but for many years a resident of Philadelphia and New Jersey. His upright and benevolent character is in the memory of many and will remain when this inscription is no longer legible." [4]

Hawkins House
Major Thomas Hunn
Hawkins House
Mill Rd. (Between Freneau Ave. and Saphire Ln.)
Map / Directions to the Hawkins House
Map / Directions to all Matawan Revolutionary War Sites

Text for this entry coming soon.

This house, which was built in 1697, was operated as a tavern by Major Thomas Hunn during the Revolutionary War, and according to the marker in front was, "a rendezvous of Philip Freneau and other patriots." [5]

Major Thomas Hunn served in the First Regiment of the Monmouth County Militia. [6] He was in command of the Monmouth County militiamen who responded to the May 27, 1777 raid on this area, when John Burrowes was taken prisoner. (See the Burrowes Mansion entry above). Due to the lackluster response of the Monmouth Militia, Major Hunn was later court-martialed. [7] He was charged with cowardice, for which he was acquitted; and for "unofficer like behavior," for which he was found guilty. [8]

(And Site of the Mt. Pleasant Church)
Mt. Pleasant Cemetery
Site of the Mt. Pleasant Church - Matawan NJ
Mt. Pleasant Cemetery
New Brunswick Ave near Main St.
Map / Directions to the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery
Map / Directions to all Matawan Revolutionary War Sites

Text for this entry coming soon.

This cemetery dates to 1763. It is at the location of the Mt. Pleasant Church, which was built in 1734 and burned by Tories in mid-1777. In his 1932 book, This Old Monmouth of Ours, William S. Hornor wrote the following account of burning: [9]

"The Presbyterian church near Mount Pleasant and the green surrounding it had long been a focus for patriotic mass-meetings and a rallying-point for patriotic activities, these being ardently supported and participated in by the militant pastor, Reverend Charles McKnight. Now, the Tories, rancorous and revengeful, laid a plan to burn the meeting-house and carry its pastor to the captivity of a pestilential prison-house.

"To this end, the Tories are said to have approached the church from several directions. One of their contingents came from the direction of Holmdel, passing the Conover-West house..., where they are said to have stopped to drink from the well at the foot of the little hill on which the house stands.

"The raid was completely successful, although few of its details have been handed down to us. There was considerable sharp fighting, men on both sides were killed and wounded, and the Reverend Mr. McKnight was carried off, to languish in leprous British dungeon in New York - from the results of which he died in the following year."

Major Thomas Hunn (October 8,1735 - September 15, 1796), described in the above entry, is buried in the cemetery. His grave is marked with a large white flat stone, that is now unreadable. It can be located because it stands next to and near several other Hunn family stones which are readable. [10]

At least one other Revolutionary War solider is buried here: Mathias Hulsart  (1756 - April 11, 1846).   Philip Frenau's wife Eleanor (maiden name Forman) is also buried here. (1763 - September 1, 1850) [11]

Mays Landing NJ Revolutionary War Sites

Source Notes:

1. ^ Information about the Burrowes house,and biographical details about John Sr. and Jr. were drawn from:
Helen Henderson, Matawan Historical Association Matawan and Aberdeen: of Town and Field (Charleston SC: Arcadia Publishing, 1903) p.38-42
Portions of this book are available digitized in Google Books here
Specifics about the discrepancy regarding the dating of the house occurs on page 39 of the book.

2. ^ New Jersey Gazette, Volume 1, No. 27, June 3, 1778, as reprinted in:
Francis B. Lee, editor, Archives of the State of New Jersey, Second Series, Vol II (Documents Relating to the Revolutionary History of the State of New Jersey | Extracts from American Newspapers relating to New Jersey) (Trenton: John L. Murphy Publishing Company, 1903) p.237
Available to be read at Google Books here

3. ^ For details about Freneau's involvement with the Hamilton/Jefferson/National Gazette episode, see:
Ron Chernow Alexander Hamilton (New York: The Penguin Group, 2004) p.395-397, 400, 402-405, 407, 412, 424, 433, 445, 446, 453, 476, ,498

4. ^ Text transcribed from the Philip Freneau obelisk

5. ^ Information from the historic marker in front of the house.

6. ^  William S. Stryker Official Register of the Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War  (Trenton: Wm. T. Nicholson & Co., 1872) p 344.
Available to be read at Google Books here

7. ^  Michael S. Adelberg The American Revolution in Monmouth County - The Theatre of Spoil and Destruction (Charleston; The History Press, 2010) p.19-20

8. ^  New Jersey Gazette, Vol IV, No 166, Feb 28, 1781
which appeared in:
Austin Scott, Editor, Archives of the State of New Jersey, Second Series, Vol. V. (Trenton, Star Gazette Publishing Company, 1917) p 200
Available to be read at Google Books Here

This New Jersey Gazette item shows the text of a notice from then New Jersey Governor William Livingston, which reads as follows. (Note that this text does not connect Hunn's court-martial with the May 27, 1777 raid. I am basing the connection on Adelberg's book referenced in note # 7)

By His Exellency the Governor

At a Court-Martial held by the appointment of Major General Dickinson on the 25th day of September last in Freehold in the county of Monmouth the following officers were tried, viz .

Major Thomas Hun, for cowardice and unofficer like behaviour, and acquitted of the first charge, but unanimously found guilty of the last, and adjudged to be cashiered.

[The next five paragraphs describe the court-martial of others, all apparently unrelated to Thomas Hunn and the May 27, 1777 raid.]

All which sentences and acquittals I do approve of, ratify, and confirm.

Given under my hand the twenty first day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty one


9. ^ William S. Hornor, This Old Monmouth of Ours (Originally published by Moreau Brothers of Freehold, New Jersey, 1932 / Reprinted for Clearfield Company, Inc. by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Baltimore, Maryland 1990, 1999) p. 393
Available to be read online at Google Books Here
Horner tells of an event that occurred on February 13, 1777, and then writes of the Mount Pleasant Church burning as having occurred "A few months after this, the exact date not being at hand". From this, I arrived at the 'mid 1777' stated in the entry above

10. ^ William S. Hornor, This Old Monmouth of Ours (Originally published by Moreau Brothers of Freehold, New Jersey, 1932 / Reprinted for Clearfield Company, Inc. by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Baltimore, Maryland 1990, 1999) p. 162-163
"He [Major Hunn] is buried in the old cemetery between Matawan and Freneau, by the side of his wife Catherine..."

11. ^ Gravestones in the cemetery

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