Bordentown Historical Society

Perseverance Dyed in the Wool

Clara Barton was a remarkable individual, whose efforts were challenged on the front lines every day fighting for acceptance, equality, and dignity with courage and compassion. Short in stature but tall in exuberance, she was the personification of the classically flawed super hero that wore a wool shawl rather than a red cape. On a cold Christmas Day in 1821, Clarissa Harlowe Barton was born as the angel that she was destined to become.  As the youngest of five siblings… Read More »Perseverance Dyed in the Wool

The Winds of Dissension 

By 1765, the Bordentown stage line was well patronized among individuals crossing the terrain of New Jersey. From the days when it took four days to travel from Bordentown to Perth Amboy, now took the same amount of time from Philadelphia to New York City. The small town presented its travelers with a fine array of stabled horses that complimented overnight accommodations that featured food and drink. Although packet boats along the Delaware River offered a safer and more leisurely… Read More »The Winds of Dissension 

Bordentown: The Dawn of Innovation

Following the end of the Revolutionary War and subsequent years with the implementation of the US Constitution, the adoption of the Bill of Rights, and the creation of political parties, our young republic established the foundations of a prosperous economy that grew steadily and brought extraordinary cultural diversity with the influx of European immigrants. At the end of the 18th century, the revolution of that brought independence was now directed on industry. The newly developed factory system and the ability… Read More »Bordentown: The Dawn of Innovation

The American Revolution and the Rhythm of War

Almost a decade had passed since Joseph Borden and other delegates from the colonies met within the walls of the Stamp Act Congress to address concerns over taxes legislated by the British Parliament that affected their liberties. Now, uneasiness loomed as representatives from Virginia met in Williamsburg to discuss the urgency of creating a standing Committee of Correspondence and Inquiry for the purpose of dealing with serious lawful acts and proceedings between their colony and the mother country. In doing… Read More »The American Revolution and the Rhythm of War

The American Revolution: Standing at the Crossroads

In June of 1783, the Revolutionary War with England was drawing to a close. Although America had gained its independence as a self-governing nation, there were numerous revolts instigated by soldiers that did not receive their back pay from the government. As such, the Second Continental Congress and its members, fearing for their safety, moved from Philadelphia to Princeton under the protection of New Jersey officials. Elias Boudinot, the president of the Congress, considered the location because he was a… Read More »The American Revolution: Standing at the Crossroads

The American Revolution in the Arena of War: Part II

The Battle of Saratoga proved to be a major accomplishment for the Continental Army as it persuaded French officials to formalize an alliance of military strength with the American cause against a common foe. Between this mutual relationship and British General John Burgoyne’s disastrous Northern Campaign in New England, it was only a matter of time before the French Fleet would liberate Philadelphia from English occupation. By May of 1778, with the political embarrassment created by these events and the… Read More »The American Revolution in the Arena of War: Part II

 The American Revolution in the Arena of War

In the summer of 1777, British General Sir William Howe set into motion an ambitious plan to strike at the heart of American democracy. Known as the Philadelphia Campaign, the plan called for roughly 17,000 troops to be loaded onto 211 warships under the command of his brother, Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Richard Howe and ferried to a landing point up the Chesapeake River where they would disembark and begin their trek towards the city that seated the Second Continental… Read More » The American Revolution in the Arena of War

The American Revolution and the Struggle for Freedom

It is said that the rebellious fight for independence was galvanized by the powerful inspiration that firebrand revolutionary Thomas Paine brought to his pamphlet, Common Sense, in 1776. As a masterpiece of political writing that engaged the average reader with the call for unity against the corrupt despots of European monarchies, every disseminating argument for our country’s freedom read like concise instructions for operating a well-oiled machine. Using rhetoric as a principal tool to achieve forward thinking, over 500,000 copies… Read More »The American Revolution and the Struggle for Freedom

Bordentown and the Portrait Maker

The high caliber impact that Gilbert Stuart left on the world of early American art is huge. His name resonates through the halls of well-maintained galleries where oiled portraits of our Founding Fathers and other prominent citizens suspend majestically above polished floors as if the wires were gossamer wings. The expressions on the faces of his subjects are so realistic, that they are often considered by critics as nothing short of astounding. And yet despite his natural ability to achieve… Read More »Bordentown and the Portrait Maker

Calling Bordentown Home

If you look on the map of the state of New Jersey, you can pretty easily pinpoint where several destinations are located based on their geography. Cape May, High Point, and Sandy Hook come to mind. So does Bordentown.  It lies at the first major bend of the Delaware River where you can see in two different directions. Considered one of the country’s longest free-flowing rivers, this area encompasses its northernmost freshwater tidal marsh with an impressive and diverse ecosystem.… Read More »Calling Bordentown Home