Part Memoir. Part History. Part Travelogue.
Part Love Letter to the State of New Jersey.
On a late summer day in 2009, Al Frazza began a journey of exploration. His goal ó to visit, research, and photograph hundreds of New Jersey Revolutionary War historic sites. While thoroughly exploring the physical landscape of his home state, he encounters a history that is often heart-breaking, sometimes uplifting, but always interesting.
Working alone, with no prior training as a historian, and no financial backing, his life slowly becomes dominated by the project. Increasingly unsure if and when he will ever complete his journey, he moves ever onward in his 1994 Oldsmobile. Ultimately, he explores nearly 650 historic locations, and creates the popular website RevolutionaryWarNewJersey.com.
State of Revolution: My Seven-and-a-Half-Year Journey Through Revolutionary War New Jersey tells the story of Alís journey in his own words, including some humorous experiences he had along the way. It also describes the New Jersey experiences of famous figures such as George Washington and Ben Franklin, as well as ordinary New Jersey residents whose lives, farms, and homes stood in the midst of a war zone.
Told in short chapters that flow from one topic to another, the book moves at a brisk pace. State of Revolution creates a unique reading experience that will keep you engaged. You might even find yourself inspired to go out and explore the history around you ó wherever you may live.
State of Revolution: My Seven-and-a-Half-Year Journey Through Revolutionary War New Jersey contains all new material written specially for the book; it does not reprint text from the website. Reading the book is a very different experience. While the Revolutionary War New Jersey website is a very detail-heavy field guide, the book tells a much more personal, informal story. To contribute to the personal style Al was going for, he did not use a computer in the writing of the book. It was written entirely on a vintage manual typewriter that has been in his family since the late 1940ís.
This website is researched, written, photographed, and designed by Al Frazza
This website was created out of my love for history and for New Jersey. I began work on it on September 17, 2009, and completed it on March 1, 2017. During those seven-and-a-half years, I drove thousands of miles throughout New Jersey, locating and photographing Revolutionary War historic sites. In addition to getting to see and experience all of these historic places first-hand, it allowed me to get to know my home state in a way that I had never before imagined.
What has interested me most throughout the years of research were the very human experiences of those who lived through this monumental historic event, and the fact that they experienced it in this state. I spent a great deal of time reading the letters, diaries, and journals of officers, enlisted soldiers, and local citizens whose lives were affected dramatically — and often tragically — by the events of the Revolutionary War. Throughout this website, you will find source notes listing the historic materials used in my research. Whenever those documents are available to be read online, you will find a link to them. I recommend reading some of these original Revolutionary War era documents for yourself. The people of that time wrote in a style which is somewhat different than ours, and it may take a little time to acclimate yourself to their writing style. However, the rewards of reading their original words are great. Take my word for it.
I have striven to be as complete and thorough as possible in cataloging the Revolutionary War historic sites in New Jersey. There are almost 650 individual historic sites described on this website, including all truly important locations, and many of the minor ones. I have now concluded work on this website, and will not be adding any more entries for the foreseeable future. I will now be focusing on writing a series of books about the Revolutionary War experience in New Jersey, which will see print over the upcoming years.
This project has taken up a good portion of my life. Overall, it has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and was well worth the thousands of hours that went into it. I hope this website helps you to go out and explore for yourself the important history which took place in this great state.
- Al Frazza
March 1, 2017
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