Newark, New Jersey Revolutionary War Sites
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REVOLUTIONARY WAR SITES IN NEWARK, NEW JERSEY

Newark NJ Historic Sites
MILITARY PARK
Including TRINITY CHURCH and the 'WARS OF AMERICA' MONUMENT

Trinity Church - Newark NJ Newark Trinity Church
Newark Trinity Church Newark Trinity Church
Newark in the Revolutionary War Newark Trinity Church - Revolutionary War
Newark Trinity Church - Revolutionary War Newark Trinity Church - Revolutionary War
Military Park
Broad St. and Park Pl.
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

608 Broad St. (located inside Military Park
Map / Directions to the Military Park Trinity Church
Map / Directions to all Newark Revolutionary War Sites
For more information about Military Park, including upcoming events,
see the Military Park website

Newark New Jersey in the Revolutionary War

Site of The Continental Army Encampment in Newark
November 23 - 28, 1776, During Their Retreat Across New Jersey [1]

The year 1776 was a tumultuous one for the American cause in the Revolutionary War. July 4 had seen the milestone of ratifying the Declaration of Independence. But on the military side, the war had gone poorly for General George Washington and the Continental (American) Army. They suffered a series of defeats on Long Island and Manhattan between August and September. Then on November 19-20, British troops invaded New Jersey by crossing the Hudson River from New York and landing at Lower Closter Landing in Bergen County. This forced the Continental Army to evacuate their camp at nearby Fort Lee and begin a twelve-day retreat across New Jersey, with the British forces in pursuit behind them. [2]

Their retreat took them through Bergen County to the Passaic River. They crossed the Passaic River into Passaic, and then marched along the river through what are now Clifton, Nutley, and Belleville.

On November 22 or 23, they arrived in Newark and encamped in what is now Military Park, and was then known as the Training Place. It had been used as a grounds for training local militia since 1667. [3]

This was a desperate period for General Washington, the army, and the country. Thomas Paine described the situation in his famous quote, "These are the times that try men's souls," which was the opening phrase of his work The Crisis. Paine was with the Continental Army as they retreated across New Jersey, and he is believed to have begun writing The Crisis while at Newark during this time. [4]

The Continental Army remained at Newark until November 28 when they then continued their retreat southwest across the state through New Brunswick and Princeton. They arrived in Trenton on December 2, where they spent five days moving all the troops and supplies across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania.

Within weeks, Washington and his army would turn the tide. On Christmas night, they crossed the Delaware River back into New Jersey to win a small but important victory the next morning at Trenton, followed eight days later with another victory at Princeton. Having revived their chances and morale, Washington's army headed to Morristown where they spent the winter. [5] New Jersey had played a pivotal role in this important time, as it would throughout the rest of the Revolutionary War.

 

Newark New Jersey in the Revolutionary War

Trinity Church
(Now known as Trinity & St. Philip's Cathedral)

Trinity Church is located inside Military Park, as it was when the Continental Army poured into Newark during their November 1776 retreat. Trinity was used as a hospital for both American and British soldiers. The church was damaged during the course of the war, and it was replaced with the current church building in 1810. Part of the tower is from the original church that stood here during the Revolutionary War. [6]

 

Newark New Jersey in the Revolutionary War

The Wars of America Monument [7]

The centerpiece of the park is the Wars of America monument, depicting soldiers from all of America's wars, including the Revolutionary War. Sculpted by Gutzon Borglum, who also sculpted Mount Rushmore, it was dedicated in a ceremony on Memorial Day 1926.

The sculpture features depictions of forty-two people and two horses. The four figures in the front of the statue represent officers in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I. Behind them are other figures depicting a variety of war-related scenes, including soldiers holding their weapons, a soldier saying goodbye to his family, and a Red Cross nurse. The monument is enormous; it needs to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. It is 42 feet long, 18 feet wide and 17 feet high. At the time of its dedication, the Wars of America was the largest bronze sculpture in the United States.

Newark, New Jersey
Newark NJ Revolutionary War Sites
Newark New Jersey in the Revolutionary War
OLD FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH AND CEMETERY
First Presbyterian Church
Newark New Jersey in the Revolutionary War

Old First Presbyterian Church and Cemetery
820 Broad St.
Map / Directions to the Newark Presbyterian Church
Map / Directions to all Newark Revolutionary War Sites

During the Revolutionary War, Alexander MacWhorter was the reverend at the First Presbyterian Church of Newark. He was strongly committed to the American cause during the war. After the retreat of the Continental Army in late 1776, Reverend MacWhorter went to the troops at their encampment in Pennsylvania, and was with them at the time of the Battle of Trenton. In the summer of 1778, he became chaplain to General Henry Knox's Artillery Brigade. He soon had to leave his chaplainship because he needed to return home to take care of his wife, who was seriously injured when she was struck by lightning in July of that year. MacWhorter remained at the church until his death in 1807, when he was buried in the cemetery behind the church. [8]

The current church building was built between 1787 and 1790. It replaced an earlier First Presbyterian Church building which was the one in use during the Revolutionary War. After the completion of the current church building, the older building, which was located on the opposite side of Broad Street, was used as a court house until 1807. [9]

A plaque on the front of the church lists forty-seven Revolutionary War soldiers and patriots buried in the church cemetery: [10]

John Alling
Samuel Alling
Jabez Baldwin
Moses Baldwin
Sylvanias Baldwin
Stephen Baldwin
David Banks
Nathaniel Beach
Elisha Boudinot
Caleb Bruen
Eleaser Bruen
David Burnet
Abiel Camfield
Thomas Canfield
David Crane
David D. Crane Jr.
David E. Crane
Joseph Crane
Richard Cunningham
Thomas Eagles
Samuel Farrand
Samuel Foster
William Grant
Samuel Hay
Samuel Hayes
David Hays
Stephen Hays
David Hedden
James Hedden
Nehemiah Hedden
Samuel Huntington
Eliphelet Johnson
Samuel Jones
Alexander MacWhorter
John Ogden
Caleb Parkhurst
William Pennington
Jabez Pierson
John Roberts
Uzal Sayrs
William Peartree Smith
Jasper Ten Brook
Daniel Tichenor
David Tichenor
Moses Tichenor
Thomas Ward
Caleb Wheeler
Newark New Jersey in the Revolutionary War
BOULDER MONUMENT AT PHILLIPS PARK
Newark, New Jersey
Newark NJ Revolutionary War Sites

Boulder Monument at Phillips Park
Elwood Ave. and Lincoln Ave.
Map / Directions to Phillips Park

Map / Directions to all Newark Revolutionary War Sites

This boulder monument commemorates two Revolutionary War soldier encampments at Newark. [11] The first is the November 1776 encampment which occurred during the retreat across New Jersey, which is described in the above entries. The second is an encampment of troops under General Anthony Wayne in 1779; however, it is uncertain whether the General Wayne encampment actually occurred. [12]

Newark New Jersey in the Revolutionary War
WASHINGTON PARK
Site of the First Academy of Newark, Burned by the British on January 25, 1780
Washington Park
Washington Park
Washington Park
Broad St. and Washington Pl.
Map / Directions to Washington Park

Map / Directions to all Newark Revolutionary War Sites

Site of the First Academy of Newark - Burned by the British on January 25, 1780

During the winter of 1779-80, the main body of General Washington's army was encamped in Morristown. Smaller groups of soldiers were at other locations in New Jersey, including Newark. The soldiers in Newark used the school known as the Academy of Newark as a barracks.

That winter was a brutal one. Twenty-eight separate snow storms fell during the winter. The season was so continuously cold that, for the only time in recorded history, the waters around New York City froze over and were closed to shipping for weeks at a time. [13]

During most of the war, the British controlled and occupied New York City, which served as a base of operations for them. Because of this, New Jersey was always open to raids and attack. On the night of January 25, 1780, British forces made a raid on Newark. Because the Hudson River was frozen, they crossed over the ice on sleighs to what is now Jersey City, and then moved on to Newark. They burned down the Academy, ransacked houses, and inflicted casualties. Over thirty Americans were captured and taken prisoner to New York City.

That same night, other British forces raided Elizabeth and caused a great deal of damage, including burning the Presbyterian Church and courthouse there. [14]

Historic Sites in Newark, NJ

Orange New Jersey in the Revolutionary War

George Washington Statue

An impressive statue of General Washington stands at the entrance of the park.  It was sculpted by John Massey Rhind in 1912. [15]

The statue was unveiled at a dedication ceremony on November 2, 1912. The ceremony was originally supposed to include an address given by then President of the United States, Howard Taft. However, Taft canceled because he had to attend the funeral of his vice-president, James S. Sherman, who had died three days before. [16]

Historic Sites in Newark, NJ

Orange New Jersey in the Revolutionary War

1776 Retreat Route Map Plaque

There is also a plaque in the park with a map of the retreat route across New Jersey taken by General Washington and the Continental Army in November-December 1776, which included their stop at Newark on November 23-29.

Newark New Jersey in the Revolutionary War
ELISHA BOUDINOT / GENERAL LAFAYETTE MARER
Elisha Boudinot
Historic Sites in Newark, NJ

Elisha Boudinot / General Lafayette Marker
Broad St. and Park Pl.
Map / Directions to the Boudinot / Lafayette Marker

Map / Directions to all Newark Revolutionary War Sites

Elisha Boudinot

A plaque on this waymarking post, located across Park Place from Military Park, commemorates the site of the home of Elisha Boudinot. [17] Boudinot was a prominent citizen of Newark who was active politically in the Revolutionary War era. He knew and corresponded with such notable Revolutionary War figures as George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. [18] Elisha was the brother of Elias Boudinot, who served as the president of the Continental Congress from 1782 - 1783. [19]

 

Lafayette's Visit in 1824

Marquis de Lafayette was a French General who fought with the Americans in the Revolutionary War, and he became a close friend of both General Washington and Alexander Hamilton. Decades after the end of the Revolutionary War, Lafayette made a return visit from France to the United States from August 16, 1824 - September 7, 1825. At that time, the United States consisted of only 24 states, and Lafayette visited all of them.  On September 23, 1824, he visited Newark where he was greeted with an elaborate reception. While in Newark, he was entertained at Elisha Boudinot's home. [20]

Other New Jersey historic sites associated with Lafayette's 1824/1825 visit to America can be found in Elizabeth, Hackensack, Morristown, Paramus, and Woodbridge.

Source Notes:

1. ^ There is some uncertainty as to whether the Continental Army arrived in Newark on the morning of November 23 or on the previous evening of November 22.
However, for the sake of simplicity, the date of November 23 is used throughout this page as the date they arrived at Newark.

• Washington's letters from November 23-27, 1776 are marked as having been sent from Newark, which Washington spells as "New Ark."
Some of these letters are available to be read at the Founders Online / National Archives website here.

• There are no Washington letters available dated November 28, the day he left Newark. However, his letters from November 29 are marked as being sent from New Brunswick.
These letters are available to be read at the Founders Online / National Archives website here

• In a letter he wrote on November 30 to John Hancock, Washington states directly that it was on November 28 that the army left Newark. He wrote, "On Thursday morning I left New Ark and arrived here Yesterday with the Troops that were there."
November 28, 1776 was a Thursday.
“From George Washington to John Hancock, 30 November 1776,” Founders Online, National Archives (http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-07-02-0168 [last update: 2016-03-28]). Source: The Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series, vol. 7, 21 October 1776–5 January 1777, ed. Philander D. Chase. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1997, pp. 232–234.

2. ^ A lengthier, more-detailed description of the events connected with these events, along with accompanying source notes, can be found on the Fort Lee and Alpine pages of this website.

3. ^ For more information about the history of the Training Place / Military Park, see:

National Register of Historic Places / Inventory - Nomination Form for Military Park Historic Commons District
Available as a PDF on the National Park Service website here

Frank John Urquhart, A History of the City of Newark, New Jersey, Embracing Practically Two and a Half Centuries, 1666-1913, Volume I (New York, Chicago: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1913)
Pages 92-93, 100, 131, 163, 166, and 187
Available to be read at the Internet Archive here

4. ^  For more information about Thomas Paine, including the topic of whether he began writing The Crisis while at Newark, see the Thomas Paine Monument entry on the Morristown page and the accompanying Morristown Source Note #34.

5. ^  For more details and accompanying source notes about these events, see the Hopewell Township, Trenton, Princeton and Morristown pages of this website.

6. ^ Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee sign on the church

Brief History section of the Trinity & St. Philips Cathedral website

National Register of Historic Places / Inventory - Nomination Form for Trinity Church
Available as a PDF on the National Park Service website here

7. ^ Information about the Wars of America was drawn from:
National Register of Historic Places / Inventory - Nomination Form for Trinity Church
Available as a PDF on the National Park Service website here

8. ^ Edward D. Griffin, A Sermon Preached July 22, 1807 at the Funeral of the Rev. Alexander MacWhorter, D.D. , Senior Pastor of the Presbyterian Church, in Newark, New-Jersey, by Edward D. Griffin, A.M., Surviving Pastor of Said Church (New York: S. Gould, 1807) Pages 18-19
Available to be read at the Internet Archive here

A letter written from General George Washington to Reverend Alexander MacWhorter is available to be read at the Founders Online / National Archives website:

“From George Washington to Alexander McWhorter [sic], 12 October 1778,” Founders Online, National Archives
(http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-17-02-0375 [last update: 2016-03-28]). Source: The Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series, vol. 17, 15 September–31 October 1778, ed. Philander D. Chase. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, pp. 355–356.

The following two letters written after the Revolutionary War by MacWhorter to Alexander Hamilton are also available to be read at the Founders Online / National Archive website:

“To Alexander Hamilton from Alexander Macwhorter, 9 November 1789,” Founders Online, National Archives (http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-05-02-0300 [last update: 2016-03-28]). Source: The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. 5, June 1788 – November 1789, ed. Harold C. Syrett. New York: Columbia University Press, 1962, p. 506.

“To Alexander Hamilton from Alexander Macwhorter, 16 March 1799,” Founders Online, National Archives (http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/02-01-02-0117 [last update: 2016-03-28]). Source: [This document from The Papers of Alexander Hamilton is original to the digital edition. It was added on 30 December 2015.]

9. ^ Edward D. Griffin, A Sermon Preached July 22, 1807 at the Funeral of the Rev. Alexander MacWhorter, D.D. , Senior Pastor of the Presbyterian Church, in Newark, New-Jersey, by Edward D. Griffin, A.M., Surviving Pastor of Said Church (New York: S. Gould, 1807) Pages 18-19
Available to be read at the Internet Archive here

Frank John Urquhart, A History of the City of Newark, New Jersey, Embracing Practically Two and a Half Centuries, 1666-1913, Volume II (New York, Chicago: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1913)
Pages 849, 851
Available to be read at the Internet Archive here

Our History section of the Old First Church in Newark website

10. ^ Names from the church plaque placed by the Nova Cæsarea Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 1941

11. ^ Plaque placed by the Nova Cæsarea Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, May 1916

12. ^  A description of the General Wayne encampment appeared in the following book, published in 1916, the same year the boulder plaque was placed. The text makes it clear that its account is based only on local traditions.
Historic Newark: A Collection of the Facts & Traditions about the Most Interesting Sites, Streets and Building of the City (Boston: Walton Advertising & Printing Company, 1916) Pages 39-41
Available to be read at Google Books here
▸The book states, "Anthony Wayne, with a detachment of the American army consisting of about two thousand men, according to tradition encamped in the north end of Newark during the intensely cold winter of 1779. His camp is said to have been in the vicinity of what is now Woodside Avenue." (Woodside Avenue is two blocks away from the boulder monument.) It then gives descriptions of the local traditions about the encampment.

However, there does not seem to be any solid documentation for a General Anthony Wayne encampment in Newark in 1779. None of General Wayne's letters from 1779 that are currently available at the Founders Online / National Archives website place him in Newark.

There could still be some truth to this story. Wayne could have been here at some point in 1779 or another time in the war, or perhaps the local tradition was confusing another encampment.

13. ^ David M. Ludlum, Early American Winters 1604 - 1820 (Volume I) (Boston: American Meteorological Society, 1966) p. 111 - 133

This book contains a wealth of information about the weather for the winter of 1779-1780. Based on contemporary sources, it has day-by-day weather records for not only Morristown, but also New York City, and towns in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Haven. This book is long out of print, and it may be difficult to locate a copy. There are non-circulating reference copies of both volumes at the Morristown & Morris Township Library, which is where I found it.

The book's author David M. Ludlum was a weather historian from New Jersey (born in East Orange, died in Princeton). For more information about Ludlum's life, see the interesting obituary which appeared for him in The New York Times when he died in 1997.

14. ^ Placed by the trustees, teachers, graduates and students of the Newark Academy, June 1916. replaced by the Commissioners of the City of Newark, May 1941

William Nelson, editor, Archives of the State of New Jersey, Second Series, Vol IV (Documents Relating to the Revolutionary History of the State of New Jersey / Extracts from American Newspapers Relating to New Jersey) (Trenton: State Gazette Publishing Company, 1914) Pages 151-153
Available to be read at the Internet Archives
Reprints two contemporary newspaper accounts of the January 25, 1780 raids on Newark and Elizabeth:
  ~ A British account from the January 31, 1780 edition of The New-York Gazette and the Weekly Mercury on pages 151-153
  ~ An American account from the January 27, 1780 edition of The New Jersey Journal on page 178-179 (This article is incorrectly identified in the book as being from the February 9, 1780 Royal Gazette.)

  • For more information about the raid on Elizabeth, see the Elizabeth page of this website

15. ^ Arts Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museum

16. ^ Frank John Urquhart, A History of the City of Newark, New Jersey, Embracing Practically Two and a Half Centuries, 1666-1913 (New York, Chicago: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1913)
Pages 841-842
Available to be read at the Internet Archive here

A contemporary account of the funeral of Vice-President Sherman can be found in:
James Schoolcraft Sherman (Late Vice President of the United States) Memorial Addresses Delivered At A Joint Session Of The Senate And The House Of Representatives Of The United States February 15, 1913 and an Account Of The Funeral Services in Utica, N.Y., November 2, 1912 (Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1913) Pages 91-105 (President Taft's attendance at the funeral is noted on pages 94, 95, 97, 98, 100, 102 and 104)
Available to be read at the Internet Archive here

17. ^ Plaque erected in 1924 by the Newark Chapter of the New Jersey Society of the Sons of the American Revolution
 ▸ This plaque was likely originally displayed on another structure in this area, because the waymarking post appears to be much more recent.

18. ^ Some letters exchanged between Elisha Boudinot with Washington, Hamilton, Adams, and Jefferson can be read at the Founders Online/National Archives website at the following links:

Letters written by Elisha Boudinot

Letters received by Elisha Boudinot

19. ^ Elias Boudinot was elected to a one-year term as president of the Continental Congress on November 4, 1782, as recorded in:
Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, Volume XXII, August 12 - December 31, 1782 (Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1914) Pages 707-708
Available to be read at the Internet Archive here

• For more information about Elias Boudinot, see the entries for Boxwood Hall in Elizabeth and for St. Mary's Church Cemetery in Burlington.

20. ^ Descriptions of Lafayette's September 23, 1824 visit to Newark can be found in the following two books. The second book gives a much more detailed account of the reception Lafayette received in Newark:

Auguste Levasseur, Secretary to General Lafayette during his Journey; John D. Godman, Translator, Lafayette in America in 1824 and 1825: Or, Journal of a Voyage to the United States (Philadelphia: Carey and Lea, 1829) Page 134
Available to be read at Google Books here

Amos Andrew Parker, Recollections of General Lafayette on his visit to the United States, in 1824 and 1825 (Keene, N.H: Sentinel Printing Company, 1879)
Available to be read at the Internet Archive here

• See the Elizabeth, Hackensack, Morristown, Newark, Paramus and Woodbridge pages of this website for more information about their historic sites associated with Lafayette's 1824/1825 visit to the United States, along with accompanying source notes.

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