Skip to main content

Full text of "Historical sketches of Greenwich in old Cohansey"

See other formats

Hook 6 $ffh 

f ojATiohi \° **pt ' z 










Printed for the Author 



I ,/f f 


Two Copies Received 

DEC U 19° 5 

Copyright Entry 


Entered, According to Act of Congress, 

In The Year 1905, 



"OIi, river winding to the sea! 
We call the old time back to thee; 
From forest paths and water-ways 
The century-woven vail we raise.^ 

— Whittier 


Greenwich in "Old Cohansey," the second 
town laid out by the direction of John Fen- 
wick in South New Jersey, has always been 
noted for the intelligence, morality, and lon- 
gevity of its inhabitants. 

As the years go by we learn to appreciate 
the privations and trials of the pioneers who 
opened the way for the settlement of the first 
towns in our state and county. 

I have endeavored to present authentic his- 
tory of the earl}' settlers and their successors, 
and have written of some of the prominent 
men and women whom I saw and knew in 
my youth. 

I acknowledge my indebtedness to "Bar- 
ber's Historical Collections of New Jersey," 
and have been greatly aided by Judge Elmer's 
"History of Cumberland County," and other 
local histories. 

Trusting that this little work may be val- 
ued not only by the present dwellers of "Old 
Cohansey," but by all who are interested in 
the history and memories of the past. 

Chapter I. 

In the old historic town of Greenwich, in 
1849, my cousin and I were born; born in 
homes of plenty, surrounded with all the 
necessaries of life, and many of its luxuries. 

Our fathers were brothers, living at the 
head of the village, and doing a thriving bus- 
iness at the time of our advent. 

My cousin had brothers and one sister, 
while I had sisters and one brother. 

At the early age of five 3'ears we entered the 
district school, accompanied by our sisters, 
clad in hoods and long gray cloaks, made by 
the same pattern; our mothers partook strong- 
ly of the Quaker element in our village with 
regard to color, and our usual attire were 
garments of a sober hue. 

The school house stood a few rods west of 
our homes: almost hidden from the public 
road by large hawthorne hedges both east 
and west until you approached the entrance 
of the play grounds; to and fro twice a day 
did we go to that seat of learning, or Haw- 
thorne Academy, as it was sometimes called. 

As we advanced in years, our school days 
and companionship was most delightful. Our 
leisure hours and holidays were usually spent 
at a stream or brooklet that flowed back of 


our homes. When stern winter had relaxed 
and given place to the early spring days, 
along its banks we would revel in the sun- 
shine; searching for the first violets; espying 
a fish emerging from its moss) 7 bed and swim- 
ming in the current; watching the shining 
black bugs — sometimes called beavers — dart- 
ing and playing on the surface. As the 
season advanced we would doff our shoes and 
stockings, wade in the stream and gather the 
yellow lillies that abundantly flowered there. 
Our favorite place was near the old bridge, 
where the willow boughs swayed in the soft 
western winds — those willows .were the first 
trees in the spring time to array their branches 
in living green — and in the topmost 
branches, the cardinal bird in his brilliant 
plumage trilled his melodious song. 

Pine Mount Creek, as the stream is called, 
has its rise in a spring a mile or so east of our 
homes, and broadened in its winding way, 
flowing a few miles south, then losing its 
identity in the Cohansey River. The river 
was named after an Indian Chief Cohansic, 
who lived in former days on the south side, 
so my sister told us. She said not many cen- 
turies back, there was an Indian encampment 
near the head of the stream, and in the open 
fields on either side could be found arrow 
points, broken pottery, and occasionally a 
stone axe, proving they had formerly lived 


My mother explained to us girls the work- 
ing of the old Fulling Mill, that was erected 
by the early settlers on Pine Mount Creek, 
or Mount Gibbon Run it was called when the 
mill was built. She said in those days nearly 
all the clothing and bedding used by the 
people was spun in the family, and often 
woven there also. Then it was taken to the 
Falling Mill to be dressed. At the Fulling 
Mill by the use of pestles or stampers they 
beat and pressed it to a close or compact 
state, at the same time cleansing it. A little 
farther down the stream the first settlers 
erected a grist mid It stood under the wil- 
lows very near where the bridge crosses the 
stream. At one time when rebuilding the 
bridge, the workmen found some of the tim- 
bers of the old mill. A romance has been 
handed down from generation to generation 
concerning the "Old Mill." One spring 
morning wdien all things in nature become 
new and resonant of life, the birds on the 
willow boughs were carolling their songs of 
gladness, one of "Old Cohansej^'s" fair 
maidens stood in the doorway, possibly had 
brought some grain and was awaiting the 
grinding. A youth was pa sing and the beau- 
tiful charms of the maiden so overpowered 
him, he approached the mill and proposed to 
her. She accepted and they were afterwards 
married. The young man was said to be 
Thomas Maskeli. 


As we played near the old bridge on the 
grassy slope, we frequently saw an elderly 
gentleman passing. We knew him, and 
would often go where he would notice us. 
Sometimes his greeting would be by the crook 
of his cane, bringing us to a halt, which 
would amuse us very much. Then we would 
saunter along by his side. He was a phys- 
ician, and also lived at the head of the village. 
Our mother said he had been a greet blessing 
to the people, and helped us into the world, 
so we regarded him as superior to most of the 
villagers. My sister said he was a descendant 
of one of those brave men who burned the tea 
near the village landing just before the Revo- 
lutionary war, and just as soon as we would 
take an interest in it, she would teach us the 
history of our town and early settlers. 

Chapter II. 

Life to my cousin and me in our childhood, 
had been one glad summer day. As we were 
growing into larger girlhood, a great shadow 
crossed my cousin's pathway; her mother met 
with an accident, which in a few days termin- 
ated in death. 

Sorrow which is a part of every human 
experience, had touched her heart for the 
first time, and left an aching void. The va- 
cant place was soon filled by an estimable 
lady, who kindly ministered to the family, 
and the days came to us with the same radi- 
ancy of dawn, and departed with splendor at 
evening time- The flowers blossomed by the 
wayside, and the birds sang in the waving 
willow branches, while beneath the stream 
rippled in its ceaseless flow to the broader sea. 

We were learning new lessons, year by 
year as they passed; learning that we must 
study and enrich our minds with knowledge, 
to meet the work and stern realities of life. 

With the aid of my sister, we began in 
earnest to study "Old Cohansey." My sister 
was a student of history, having all the books 
in her possession we needed for information. 
She impressed upon our minds the importance 
of acquiring the knowledge of the early his- 

tory of our town, which in after life would 
prove of value. 

We learned that probably the first settlers 
of West New Jersey, were the Dutch and 
Swedes, but so far as is known, they never 
took any steps to secure permanent titles to 
the land upon which they settled. Whatever 
titles they may have claimed were ignored by 
the English, although they were per- 
mitted in many cases to purchase the unim- 
proved land. 

It is stated that there is no certain evidence 
that any white settlers had located in the 
limits of what is now Cumberland County pre- 
vious to the settlement of Salem by Fenwick 

in the fall of 1675. M ? sister said that J ° lm f 
Fenwick was the founder of the town of 
Salem and what was known as Fenwick' s Col- 
ony. Then she had us read from history, 
how "King Charles II granted all that 
territory called by the Dutch" New 
Netherlands, including part of the state of 
New York and all New Jersey, to his brother 
the Duke of York, afterwards James II, 
March 12th, 1633-4- The Duke conveyed 
New Jersey to Lord Berkley and Sir George 
Carteret, June 24th, 1664. In 1672 the 
Dutch reconquered the province, but in 1673 
it was restored, and new grants executed. At 
this time Lord Berkley became alarmed at the 
spirit which the planters of New Jersey mani- 
fested, and, dissatisfied with the pecuniary 

prospects of his adventure, offered his interest 
in the province for sale. It was not long be- 
fore he received from two Quakers in Eng- 
land, John Fenwick and Edward Billinge, a 
satisfactory offer, and in 1674 conveyed his 
interest to Fenwick in trust for himself and 
Billinge. A difficulty arose between these 
purchasers, the precise nature is not known, 
and the matter was submitted to William Perm. 
He awarded one tenth to Fenwick which was 
said to include 150,000 acres, and the remain- 
der to Billinge. 

Fenwick was dissatisfied with the decision 
at first, but at length assented to it, and in 
1675 sailed in the ship Griffin for his new 
possession in America. He sailed into the 
Delaware with his family, servants, and asso- 
ciates consisting of masters of families. Fen- 
wick's immediate family consisted of three 
daughters, Elizabeth, Ann and Priscilla. John 
Adams, husband of Elizabeth, of Reading, in 
Berks, weaver, and three children: Elizabeth, 
aged eleven years, Fenwick, aged nine years, 
and Mary, aged four years; Edward Champ- 
neys, husband of Priscilla, of Thornbury, 
Gloucestershire, joiner, and two children, 
John and Mary. John Fenwick brought ten 
servants: Robert Twiner, Gervis By water, 
William Wilkinson, Joseph Worth, Michael 
Eaton, Elinor Geere, Sarah Hutchins, Ruth 
Geere, Zachariah Geere and Ann Parsons. 

Besides these he was accompanied by Mary 


White, the faithful nurse of his children, 
who had lived in his family several years be- 
fore corning to America; she was very, much 
attached to the three daughters and resolved 
to share their good or bad fortuue in a strange 
land. Their father's house was her home, 
where she had entire charge. Edward 
Champneys brought three servants: Mark 
Reeve, Edward Webb and Elizabeth Waite; 
in all twenty-four persons of the immediate 
family of the chief proprietor. Samuel Hedge, 
Jr., married the daughter Ann, soon after 
their arrival. 

Samuel Nicholson, his wife Ann, and five 

children, Parobal, Elizabeth, Samuel, Joseph 

and Abel, came in the same ship. Samuel 

Nicholson had been a farmer and resident of 

Wiston, in Nottinghamshire. 

r/f John Smith, his wife Martha, and four 

y children, Daniel, Samuel, David and Sarah, 

u came also in the Griffin. John Smith was a 

miller and came from Roxbury. 

The following persons were also passengers: 
John Pledger and his wife, Elizabeth, lived at 
Portsmouth, South amptonshire; he was a ship 
carpenter; James Nevill had been a weaver 
and lived in the parish of Stepney, L,ondon; 
Edward Wade and his wife Prudence, had 
been residents of London ; he was a citizen 
and cloth worker; Robert Wade, his brother, 
was a carpenter and lived near by Edward; 
Richard Hancock and his wife, Margaret, 


lived in Bromley, near Bow, Iyondon; he was 
an upholsterer; Isaac Smart came from Wilt- 
shire; he was a single man; Hippolit L-efever 
and Win. Malster were "gentlemen;" the 
first lived in St Martins in the fields; the last 
in Westminster, both towns in the suburbs of 
London. Whatever may have been their 
calling, all became tillers of the soil, to secure 
food for themselves and families. 

Once on board the ship and free from the 
shore, these adventurers found themselves 
crowded and inconvenienced in many ways 
not anticipated; hence the tidy housewife, 
whose delight it had been to have her home 
attractive, was sadly annoyed at the want of 
neatness around her, and a glance at the cook- 
ing arrangements put an end to all enjoyment 
of meals from that time forward. Exclusive- 
ness within such limited space was not to be 
considered and the annoyance of "going down 
to the sea in ships" seemed to multiply. The 
English Channel was not passed before 
all the romance had departed, and Neptune, 
the god of the great deep, demanded and re- 
ceived his tribute. The routine of the ship 
and the broad expanse of waters that sur- 
rounded them on every side soon became 
monotonous, and put their patience and brav- 
ery to the severest test. As they left "L,ands 
End' ' and saw the shores sink into the waves, 
each could have said with the poet, 


"Adieu, oh fatherland ! I see 

Your white cliffs on th' horizon's rim, 

And though to freer skies I flee 

My heart swells — and my eyes are dim." 

The first approach of the ship to the shores 
of America was near Cape Henlopen, on the 
southerly side of Delaware Bay, at a small 
island subsequently called Fenwick island. 
Nothing reminded them of their native land 
save the beautiful autumn tints upon the for- 
ests that crowded down to the water's edge 
and fringed the streams with marvelous color- 
ing. The absence of shipping contrasted 
strangely enough with the river Thames 
where vessels from all parts of the world 
found a port; while here, seldom but the 
canoe of the Indian or the fishing smack of 
the Swedes disturbed the waters. 

They sailed up the bay about fifty miles 
along the eastern shore from Cape May, 
and anchored opposite the Old Swedes fort, 
"Elsborg" near the mouth of Assamhocking 
river, on the 23d of September, 1675. 

The day following they ascended the As- 
samhocking river, (now Salem) about three 
miles, and landed on the south side of the 
river, where now is the city of Salem. They 
had been two and a half months crossing At- 
lantic's troubled waves, and the thankfulness 
of landing at that beautiful spot, suggested 
the name of Salem, the City of Peace. 

Chapter III. 

As soon as practicable after his arrival John 
Fenwick bought from the Indians or natives, 
his tenth of New Jersey, which included 
Salem and Cumberland counties. 

My sister explained to us that titles to land 
in New Jersey was derived from the British 
Crown. Among the nations of Europe, it 
was a settled principle that all uninhabited 
countries, and also those inhabited by savage 
tribes, became the property of the sovereign 
whose subjects sailing along its rivers and 
harbors, first took possession of it. So Fen- 
wick had a legal right, but policy and a sense 
of justice, prompted him and the early settlers 
to make compensation for the land. The 
friendship of the Indians was worth a great 
deal to the few and scattered settlers. Im- 
mense tracts could be bought for a few bau- 
bles, and to the fair and reasonable treatment 
they received from the Quakers, may prob- 
ably be ascribed the absence of those desolat- 
ing wars which prevailed in New England. 

His third purchase wu.s from the Canna- 
ockink river (now Cohansey) to the Wahat- 
quenack (now Maurice river,). 

We never tired of reading and studying 
about the Red Men of the forest, and learned 


when kindly treated, they were capable of de- 
voted and enduring friendships and were 
extremely sensitive to contempt and injury. 
They had no written language, important 
events were kept in memory by carefully re- 
peated traditions, handed from generation to 
generation with accuracy. They were very 
fond of personal adornment, and sometimes 
their vanity and ignorance were taken advan- 
tage of, but no part of New Jersey was ever 
taken from them by force; all was acquired by 
voluntary sale. 

When weary of the early history, my sister 
would relate to us, what she had read about 
some of the Indian Kings. She said the old 
King "Ockamicon" who died in Burlington, 
New Jersey, about the year 1754, appointed 
his brother's sou, Iahkursoe, his successor. 
He earnestly desired him to hear his last 
words, and addressed him after this manner. 

"My brother's son, this da5^ I deliver my 
heart into your bosom; and mind me, I would 
have you love what is good, and keep good 
company; refuse what is evil, and by all means 
avoid bad company. 

"Brother's son, I would have you cleanse 
your ears, and take all foulness out, that you 
may hear both good and evil, and then join 
with the good, and refuse the evil; and also 
cleanse your eyes, that you may see good and 
evil, do not join with it, but join to that 
which is good. Be sure always to walk in a 


good path, and if any Indian should speak 
evil of Indians or of Christians, do not join 
with it; but look at the sun from the rising of 
it to the setting of the same." 

My mother remarked it was the same lesson 
that the Apostle Paul taught the Thessalon- 
ians; "Cleave to the good, and resist the very 
appearance of evil." Then she quoted from 
the old prophet Isaiah, "He that walketh 
righteously, and speaketh uprightly, he that 
despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shak- 
eth his hands from holding of bribes, that 
stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and 
shutteth his eyes from seeing evil, he shall 
dwell on high; his place of defence shall be 
the munitions of rocks; bread shall be given 
him; his waters shall be sure." 

Then she sang to us an old Indian hymn, 
that her father taught her. 

"In de dark wood, no Indian nigh, 
Den me look heben and send up cry, 

Ubon my knee so low. 
But God on higa in shiny place, 
See me at night, with teary face, 

De priest he tell me so. 

"God send de angel take him care, 

He come he'self to hear him prayer 

If Indian heart do pray. 
He see me now, he know me here. 
He say poor Indian 'neber fear' 

Me wid you night and day. 


"So me lub God, with inside heart 
He fight for me, he take him part, 

He save im life before, 
God hear poor Indian in de wood 
So me lub God, and dat be good 

Me pray him two times more." 

Chapter IV. 

In gleaning the page of history we learned 
the first proprietors of the land all about us, 
including our homes, were Leonard and 
Nicholas Gibbon. 

The rights west of the Cohansey seem all 
to have been purchased of Fenwick or his 
executors. Most of the land was covered by 
surveys before 1700. James Wasse, Joshua 
Barkstead, R. Hutchinson, George Hazle- 
wood, John Budd, Cornelius Mason, and 
Edmund Gibbon, made large surveys which 
extended nearly from the Cohansey to the 
Salem line. 

Edward Gibbon was an English merchant 
in New York. In 1677 in order to secure a 
debt due to him by Edward Duke and Thomas 
Duke — he took from them a deed for 6,000 
acres in West New Jersey, which had been 
conveyed to them by John Fenwick in Eng- 
land. Gibbon by virtue of this deed had a 
tract of 5,500 acres surveyed for him by 
Richard Hancock in 1682. It was resurveyed 
in 1703 by Benjamin Acton, and lay in Co- 
hansey precinct, now in Greenwich and Hope- 
well Townships, including Roadstown, ex- 
tending southward to Pine Mount Branch, 
and westward to the Delaware. 


He devised this tract to his grandson Ed- 
mond who devised it to Francis Gibbon of 
Bennesdere, England. In 1700 Francis de- 
vised it to his two kinsmen, Leonard and 
Nicholas Gibbon Of Gravesend, Kent, Eng- 
land, describing it as all the tract of land known 
as Mount Gibbon, upon the branches of an un^ 
known creek, (Stow Creek) near Cohansey, 
in West New Jersey, provided they settle 
Upon it. 

Mount Gibbon, or Pine Mount as it was 
afterwards called, stood a short distance from 
our homes. Its wealth of Flora afforded us 
girls more happiness, than the glittering gold 
of Ophir, or the sparkling diamonds of India, 
could possibly have given us in later years. 
The middle or last of April, with joyous step, 
did we hasten to the hillside, to gather the 
pink and white clusters of the Trailing 
Arbutus while the feathery pines reverberated 
to the gentle wind in mournful song. In 
May we would hunt for the pink Moccasin 
Shoe and Dog toothed Violets; in early June 
the wild Honey Suckle scented the air and 
the stately Laurel would adorn its evergreen 
branches with pink and white cup-like flow- 
ers. A few weeks later we inhaled the aro- 
matic whiffs of the Magnolia blossoms, tow- 
ering just beyond our reach, while at our 
feet the modest Pipsissaway was opening 
snowy petals, and emitting its most delicious 
fragrance in the summer air. 


The Christmas Holly grew everywhere in 
the wood at the foot of the hill, the beauty of 
these Holly trees in the wintry season after 
a carpet of snow had fallen, covering the 
sere leaf, and all unsightliness, almost rival- 
ed the spring time verdue. 

At almost ever}' excursion to Mount Gib- 
bon, we girls would climb to its pine clad 
summit to view the landscape o'er. Far 
away to the South we could see the waters 
of the noble Delaware, winding its w r ay to 
the great Ocean, whose sails glanced in the 
sunlight like birds at sea. L,ord Delaware 
on a voyage to Virginia touched at Delaware 
Bay, which has since borne his name. In an 
easterly direction, we could catch occasional 
glimpses of Old Cohansey gliding through its 
meads and marshes to the bosom of the bay; 
suddenly a canvass white as sunlit snow 
would appear in view, 'then disappear and 
reappear in the same place apparently in 
sailing the reaches of the river. Just below 
us was our village church, store and scattered 
houses surrounded with fertile farms dotted 
here and there with white residences, almost 
hidden by orchards of green and tall stately 
sycamores, while over all the white cumulus 
clouds drifted in the azure skies, ever change- 
ing and dissolving in the atmosphere. 

Nicholas Gibbon borne in 1702 was a son 
of Arthur and Jane Gibbon, Gravesend Kent, 
England. Nicolas and his younger brother 


Leonard came to New Jersey and erected 
one of the first grist-mills near Cohansey, 
upon the stream called Macanippuck. My 
cousin and I loved to go when the monthly 
grist was taken to see the mysteries of that 
old mill. In every story we would watch 
the revolutions of the moss covered wheel 
and listen to the roar, as the grain was made 
into flour. When at the mill we often called 
upon Mrs. Tyler, the widow of Rev. Ben- 
jamin Tyler, the owner and proprietor who 
lived in the brick mansion. She always 
gave us maidens a cordial welcome. A lady 
so amiable and generous that none knew 
her but to love her. She was said to be a 
direct descendant of Nicholas Gibbon. 

In 1730 they divided the tract, Nicholas 
taking the Southern part including the mill 
and two thousand acres of land. Leonard 
erected a stone house about two miles north 
of Greenwich, afterwards owned by Asa 
Horner. Nicholas built a substanial brick 
house in Greenwich which he occupied until 
he moved to Salem in 1740. They were 
Episcopalians and at their own expense erect- 
ed an Episcopal Church in "Old Cohansey," 
not very far from the Greenwich landing. 
The Gibbons were said to have much wealth 
and built the church for the accommodation 
of their own and neighbors' families. The 
consecration of the church took place in the 
year 1729 and was named St. Stephen. As 


the tide of emigration seemed to flow to- 
wards that part of Old Cohansey, so did the 
religion of the community tend toward the 
Quakers, Baptist and Presbyterians and so 
overpowered the Episcopalians, that in after 
years the church waned into insignificance 
and was finally obliterated. 

Chapter V. 

We learned in resuming the study of Fen- 
wick that directly after his arrival he provid- 
ed foi laying out a neck of land for a town 
at Cohansey. He paid the Indians for Cum- 
berland County and adjoining parts of his ten- 
th, four guns, powder and lead, 336 gallons of 
rum, an uncertain number of shoes and 
stockings, four blankets, and 16 match-coats. 
The sale of the land being ratified by the 
Indian Chiefs Mahowskeys, Newswego, Chee- 
keenaham, Tinecho and Shacanan. He de- 
signed calling the town Cohansey but the 
Settlers called it Greenwich probably after 
Greenwich, Connecticut, which place some 
of the settlers had come from. The lots were 
to be sixteen acres each. A street was laid 
out from the whart one hundred feet wide 
to where the Presbyterian church now stands. 
The laying out of the town seemed to be 
delayed until after Fenwicks death. 

Fen wick died in the latter part of 1683 but 
by his will directed his executors to proceed 
with the laying out of Cohansey. Sixteen 
acres at the wharf on the north side they sold 
to Mark Reeve, who came over with Fenwick 
in the Griffin. The Griffin was the first 
English ship that came to West Jersey after 
its purchase by the Friends. Sixteen lots 


were sold to Alexander Smith, Thomas 
Watson, John Clark, John Mason, Thomas 
Smith, William Bacon, Joseph Brown, Sam- 
uel Bacon, Edward Hurlburt, Joseph Dennis, 
Enoch Moore, Obadiah Holmes and Frances 
Alexander by 1700 and most of them settled 
upon these lots and were the first settlers 
of Greenwich. 

Two fairs were held yearly in the town of 
Greenwich, in April and October. These 
fairs were continued until 1765 when a law 
was enacted, that fairs in the town of Green- 
wich ha 1 been found inconvienient and un- 
necessary. It is said there had been an in- 
crease of regular retail stores whose propri- 
etors desired patronage. 

Nearly all of the first settlers of Greenwich 
were Friends or Quakers. Soon after 1700 
new settlers arrived in increasing numbers 
and settled in the limits of Cumberland 
County. The first roads that were laid out 
followed the Indian paths. 

At the last grand council of the Apos, 
Colados and a smaller tribe the Wallas 
gathered from the river to the shore; the old 
men and warriors came and invoking the aid 
of the great spirit sat in council. For days 
and days the council lasted. The future 
comfort of the tribes and their fondness for 
their favorite home Washalla held long and 
fearful contest in their savage breast. News- 
wego arose from among his sorrowing friends 


and pointing to the trail near which the 
council fire burned, said ' 'This trail so plain- 
ly marked shall some day guide the pale face 
from the hills to the sea. We will find a 
resting place near the setting sun." The 
prophecy of the old chief was soon verified. 
The kings highway was upon that trail while 
the state was yet a province. The king 
Mahowskey, considered Washalla his home 
by the sea an earthly Paradise. The south- 
ern peninsula with its many miles of un- 
broken forest, the Atlantic on one side 
and the Delaware on the other, intersected 
with numerous streams teeming with fish; 
the forest abounding with game and the 
soil easily cultivated by their crude tools 
supplied to them their every want. Nature 
sang for them her sweetest hymns. 

There were well known clans that crossed 
the state. Many of the Pennsylvania clans 
made annual visits to the Seashore. Their 
chief object was to procure fish, oysters and 
clams, drying them for winter food and 
partly for making and getting money. The 
celebrated wampum consisted of beads made 
out of the shells of the large clam found 
abundantly on the coast. 
James Daniels a minister among the friends, 
whose Father settled in the forks of Slow 
Creek near the place now called Canton in 
Salem Co. in 1690, When he was about five 
years old, learned the Indian language and 


says in his memoirs: "The white people were 
very few, and the natives a multitude, but a 
sober, grave and temperate people and used 
no manner of oath in their speech, but as the 
country grew older the people grew worse, 
and had corrupted the natives in their morals, 
teaching them bad words and the excessive 
use of strong drink." Columbus describes 
the innocent happiness of these people. He 
says, "They were no wild savages, but very 
gentle and courteous, without stealing, with- 
out killing." History scarcely records an 
instance when hospitality was not extended 
by the red men of the forest to our first ex- 

A few of the descendants of the original 
inhabitants lingered within the county until 
after the Revolutionary War, earning their 
substance principally by making baskets. 

Chapter VI. 

The Presbyterian Church stands in the 
old village, just a few rods south of the bridge, 
and the old burial ground just across the 
street, the stream forming its western boun- 
dary. The early settlers built their houses of 
worship near a stream, so those who attended 
the services could procure water for themselves 
and horses. 

This church was so near our homes that in 
the fading summer twilight we would sit on 
my cousin's doorstep and watch the congre- 
gation gather, and listen to the worshippers 
as they sang their evening song of praise. 

It is believed the society of the church was 
formed as early as 1700. Jeremiah Bacon 
deeded to Henry Joice and Thomas Maskell a 
lot of land in trust as a gift for the Presbyter- 
ian church and congregation as early as the 
month of April 17 17. 

The Gibbon brothers gave six acres of land 
for a parsonage. The deed bears the date of 
January 13, 1729-30, and was from Nicholas 
and Leonard Gibbon to Josiah Fithian, 
Thomas Maskell and Noah Miller. The 
first building was wooden, but was superceded 
by one of brick which was not finished until 
1 75 1, although occupied for worship several 
years before completion. It was 44 feet in 


length by 34 in breadth. When completed it 
was said to have been the largest and most 
imposing edifice inthecounties of Salem, Cum- 
berland, or in South Jersey. Cumberland coun- 
ty was set off f ro?n the county of Salem and 
erected into a new county, by an act of Assem- 
bly passed January 19th, 1747-8. "The Duke 
of Cumberland who had not long before 
gained the victory of Culloden, and thereby 
established the house of Hanover permanently 
on the throne of Great Britain, was the great 
hero of the day, and the new county was 
named after him." 

Tradition says the pulpit of the church was 
hexagonal, made of black walnut, as was also 
the sounding board, said to have been made 
in Boston. At first the only pews it contained 
were those constructed around the walls, each 
pew being built at the expense of the occu- 
pant, the area in the building being furnished 
with benches. The galleries were originally 
reached by a stairway outside of the building. 
It stood on the old burial ground, not very 
far from the entrance, and remained there 
until one of brick was erected on the opposite 
side of the street. 

The cornerstone of the new church was 
laid May 7, 1835. The church was built at a 
cost of about $5,000, and was enlarged to its 
present dimensions in i860. 

The society formed in 1 700 was supplied 
by Mr. Black. It is not known what year Mr. 


Black left the church. It is stated he moved 
to L-ewes, Delaware, about 1708. 

It is probable the pulpit was filled with sup- 
plies until 1728, when Rev. Ebenezer Gould 
was installed pastor. He was a native of 
New England and a graduate of Yale. The 
next year after Mr. Gould was installed the 
congregation built a parsonage, where he re- 
sided. It was burned about the year 1740. 

After Mr. Gould came to Greenwich he 
was married to Annie Brewster, a sister of 
Frances Brewster, one of the elders of the 
church, a descendant of Elder Brewster who 
lauded from the Mayflower in December 1620. 
She died while he was pastor and was buried 
under the communion table of the church. 
Mr. Gould resigned the next year after his 
wife's death. The church was without a pas- 
tor for six years but was supplied by eminent 
preachers of the denomination. 

The celebrated Whitefield visited "Old 
Cohansey" about the year 1740, and 
preached with his accustomed eloquence. The 
church could not contain the people that had 
assembled to hear him so he preached to them 
on the side of the hill northeast of the church, 
which was then covered with the original 

Rev. Andrew Hunter was installed pastor 
of the church, and the Presbyterian church of 
Deerfield September 4, 1746. He preached two 
Sabbaths at Greenwich and every third Sab- 

bath at Deerfield. He served both churches 
untUiySo, when he confined his labors to the 
Greenwich church. An able scholar and 
divine, his influence and usefulness was very 
.reat At the close of his ministry the church 
had never been in a more prosperous state. 
He fell a victim to dysentery July 28, 1775. 
and was buried in the middle aisle of the 
church. He was an ardent friend to the lib- 
erties of America, and was active in and out 
of the pulpit to arouse the spirit of liberty 
against the oppressive measures of British 


In after years a large tablet was erected to 
his memorv, which bears this inscription: 
-Beneath this stone are deposited the remains 
of the Rev. Andrew Hunter, A. M., for thirty 
years the pastor of this church. He was a 
judicious divine, zealous pwacher, and an 
eminent example of piety, charity and public 
spirit He finished his labors and entered 
into 'The Joy of his Lord' July the 28th, 1775, 

a^red sixty years. 

Upon the side of the tablet there is anotner 

inscription, "Here lies the body of Annie 

Gould, wife of the Rev. Ebenezer Gould who 

departed this life July 16th, i 7 39, aged 36 

years. Mi Mento Mori. "So the. descendant 

of the Puritan Pilgrim, and the minister ^who 

was so influential in enkindling the jam .oi 

patriotism in the citizens of Cumberland 

■ county-One stone fittingly marks their place 

of burial. 


My cousin and I delighted in rambling in 
that old burial ground studying the inscrip- 
tions and epitaphs, some of them so blackened 
by time's passing years they were hardly in- 

Our old friend the Doctor was almost a 
daily visitor. We often met him and no 
young admirer of us maidens ever raised his 
hat at our approach more politely than did 
he. We were very fond of his society. At 
one time when the woods south of the old 
cemetery were ablaze with the Autumn's 
glory, he repeated some very beautiful lines 
regarding October to us. He has been known 
to repeat the entire poem of Scott's "Lady of 
the Lake." 

One evening when my brother was passing 
the old burial ground as the twilight shadows 
were deepening, midway between the tab- 
lets of the Gibbons and Mr. Hunter stood 
the "Old Doctor" singing that old hymn, 
"There is a land of pure delight where saints 
immortal reign." He sang the entire hymn and 
we knew he was living again with the friends 
of yore, and though the sod covered the earth- 
ly forms, by the eye of faith he saw their spirits 
in the heavenly land. My father said when 
he first came to the village to live the Doctor 
led the church choir and was a very sweet 

History records that after the death of Rev. 
Andrew Hunter the church was without a 

pastor until the year 1782. The Rev. Isaac 
Keith was for a time a supply. In 1782 the 
Rev. George Faitoute was installed pastor and 
remained pastor until 1788. In 1792 a con- 
gregation was formed in Bridgeton which 
drew largely for the material for its formation 
from the Greenwich church. 

Dr. William Clarkson was installed pastor 
of both churches in November 1794. He 
was dismissed upon his own application by the 
Presbytery in 1801. He was said to be a pop- 
ular and excellent preacher. In 1804 the 
Rev. Jonathan Freeman, of Newburgh, N. Y. 
was unanimously called to be the pastor of 
the church and congregation, the congrega- 
tion at Bridgeton concurring in the call of Mr. 
Freeman. He was installed pastor of both 
churches in the church at Bridgeton October 
16, 1805. After the death of Mr. Freeman in 
1822 the pulpits of the churches were supplied 
by the Presbytery. 

Mr. Freeman's successor was the Rev. Sam- 
uel Lawrence. He was ordained November 
10, 1S24. It was during his pastorate that 
the old church building, which had become so 
dilapidated, was abandoned and a new church 
erected across the street. The congregation 
worshipped in the old church for the last time 
April 1 2th, 1S35. Mr. Lawrence served the 
church faithfully for over twenty years; then 
applied to Presbytery for admission in the 
spring of 1847. He was followed by the 


Rev. Shepherd K. Kollock. He was installed 
January 26th 1848. He was a very tal- 
ented man, and excelled by very few; fail- 
ing health obliged him to sever his pastoral 
relation with the church March nth 1861. 
November 4th 1861. Rev. John S. Stewart 
was unanimously called, and was ordained 
pastor of the church February nth, 1862. 
My cousin and I were occasionally permitted 
to go in company to listen to the eloquent 
Dr. Stewart, and began from that time to 
take much interest in the church that could 
be seen from our homes. 

Chapter VII. 

About a mile east of Sheppard's Mill, the 
early Baptist settlers built a church, which 
is said to be the first organized church in 
this region, of which there is any authentic 

History informs us in the year 1683 some 
Baptists from Tipperary, Ireland, settled in 
the neighborhood of Cohansey. About this 
time Thomas Killingworth settled not far off. 
He was a man of much ability; fully qualifi- 
ed to occupy any position in the colony to 
which he might be called, a native of Nor- 
wich, England. He increased the number 
to nine souls, and probably as many more 
including the sisters. They tormed a church 
in the spring of 1690. A wooden building 
was erected. Its dimensions were 32 by 36 
feet and history records had a stove in 1789. 
In those early times it was so unusual to warm 
the houses of worship in any way, that the 
Stove claimed special mention. 

The old frame building remained until 
1804, when a brick church was erected at 
Roadstown, to which the congregation re- 
moved. The Roadstown church still retains 
the name of "Old Cohansey." 

My sister informed us girls that in the 


old burial ground that marks the place 
where the old church stood, the first white 
female that was bom in "Old Cohansey" 
was buried. We were much enthused about 
it, and had a great desire to visit the place, 
when unexpectedly came an invitation to 
spend the day with some friends whose farm 
adjoined the old cemetery. The much an- 
ticipated day dawned upon us in all the 
beauties of midsummer, the beams of the 
morning sun was filling field and meadow 
and threw an air of sprightliuess and gayety 
over all nature. 

Around the old town the bearded grain had 
fallen before the reaper, and much of it 
garnered . 

The blades and tassels of the green grow- 
ing corn were waving and rustling in the 
mellow summer breezes. 

In the gardens could be seen a few belated 
blossoms gracing the stalks of the stately 
hollyhocks, and a few lingering lillies and 
roses. As we were driven through the wood- 
ed way to our friends home, some of the 
feathered songsters were warbling their 
sweetest notes for their love mate's ear, and 
the overhanging trees made cool shadows 
beneath, where the graceful ferns grew in 
their mysterious beauty; springing from per- 
ished leaves and dripping mold. 

We had a most enjoyable visit. After 
dining some one suggested we go to the 


cemetery. In going my cousin and I wan- 
dered by ourselves as we were apt to do, and 
soon found the marble slab that told the 
story; we read the inscription: "In memory 
of Deborah Swinney who departed this life 
the 4th day of April, 1760 in the 77th year 
of her age." She was the first female born 
in "Old Cohansey." Although there were 
man}- other stones of ancient date, soon the 
conversation of the entire party concentrated 
upon the one stone. We longed to know her 
whole history. Born as earby as 1684, about 
64 years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth 
Rock, Massachusetts; born when the dusky 
tribal people inhabited the forest, and must 
have been everywhere around and about her. 
She probably learned their language and their 
customs, for they were governed b}? customs 
instead of laws. If she had no sisters, she 
probably made the Indian girls her compan- 
ions, and roamed the forests with them in 
their wild free life. She must have seen the 
Indian canoe glide over the waters of "Old 
Cohansey," perhaps entered the wigwam and 
saw those savory dishes prepared, such as 
"hominy and succotash" which are strictly 
Indian in name and preparation. The succo- 
tash is found on every farmer's table in "Old 
Cohansey" in the late summer season. 

Deborah Swinney was born about the time 
Charles II., King of England, died, and lived 
in the reign of James II., William and Mary, 


Queen Anne, George I. and George II., and 
died the year George III. commenced his reign. 
George Washington, then unknown to fame, 
having recently married Martha Custis, was 
quietly living at Mt. Vernon, and his diary of 
1760 shows how closely he was applying him- 
self to the management of his splendid estate. 
Deborah Swinney lived and died in old Colo- 
nial times before the great struggle of Inde- 
pendence. She was one of the constituent 
members of the Seventh Day Baptist church 
of Shiloh, organized in the year 1737. 

A Baptist church stands on the main street 
of Greenwich, which for many 3>ears was con- 
sidered an outpost of Old Cohausey church of 
Roadstown. A few persons in the village 
desired a Baptist church. In December 

1843 a subscription toward a meeting house 
was commenced and in two days $2,000 was 
pledged toward that object. In the spring of 

1844 the house was begun. On the 9th day 
of October, 1844, the house was dedicated. In 
1849 the church was organized with 48 mem- 
bers. The church has grown wonderfully and 
at the present time is in a flourishing condi- 
tion with an enrollment of between two and 
three hundred members. 

Chapter VIII. 

We learned that before the Revolutionary 
war there were very few towns in the County. 
Greenwich was the place of most business up 
to the beginning of the 19th century. The 
stores there contained the largest assortment 
of goods. The river forming an excellent 
harbor, vessels traded direct to the West Ind- 
ies and other places. There was a regular 
ferry kept up over the river, and much inter- 
course between Fairfield and Greenwich. In 
1767 after John Sheppard came there and 
occupied the property formerly owned by 
Mark Reeve, a law was passed establishing 
the ferry, and in pursuance of its provision 
he bound himself to keen good and sufficient 
boats, fit for ferrying travelers and carriages 
for 999 years, and to keep and amend the 
roads, and bound his property to keep the 

In 1810, and also in 1820, efforts were made 
to have a draw bridge built at the expense of 
the county but was defeated by those living on 
the river above which caused much rejoicing. 
For several years a horseboat was in constant 
use, but as other towns grew, Greenwich lost 
its relative importance, and the ferry had but 
little business. So in 1838 Mr. Sheppard, by 
paying $300, was released from his engage- 


My sister said it was the persistence of the 
British Government in taxing the English 
Colonies of North America that brought on 
the Revolutionary War, and hastened their 

They had sent petition after petition to 
King James to lift the burdens, and allow 
them to be represented in Parliament. In 
1773 all the taxes were repealed, but the duty 
on tea. Our forefathers resolved not to use 
it, and they would not suffer it to be landed 
and offered for sale. In order to make that 
tax more palatable, they had taken off the 
export duty of 12 per cent from the East India 
Company and allowed them to bring it to this 
country upon payment of an import duty of 
3 per cent. They hoped by thus cheapening 
the price of tea 9 per cent, to bribe the Amer- 
ican to pay the small import duty, and thus 
acknowledge the right of the British Govern- 
ment to tax them without their consent. In 
pursuance of this plan the East India Com- 
pany sent large quantities of tea to this coun- 
try. At some places the tea was not permitted 
to be landed. In December a party disguised 
as Indians boarded the ships in Boston 
Harbor, and threw the tea into the waters. 
About December 12-14, 1774, the brig, Grey- 
hound, commanded by Capt. Allen, bound for 
Philadelphia, came sailing into Cohansey river 
with a quantity of tea, shipped at Rotterdam. 
He was afraid to proceed to his place of des- 


tination and landed the tea at Greenwich, 
where it was stored in the cellar of a house, 
standing in front of the then open market 
square. The house was occupied by Dan 
Bo wen. 

Imitating the example of the Bostonians a 
company of nearly forty men was organized 
with the concurrence of the committee of 
safety of the county of which Jonathan Elmer, 
the royal sheriff, was an active member, who 
disguised themselves as Indians, and on the 
night of December 22nd, 1774, broke into the 
store house, took out the boxes of tea and 
burned them in a neighboring field. One of 
the party, a man named Stacks, tied strings 
around his pantaloons at his ankles and stuffed 
them with tea, which he carried home to his 
family, and ever afterwards was called "Tea 
Stacks." There was a great stir among the 
inhabitants on the next day after the occur- 
ence. Some raved, some condemned, and some 
tried to reason. Many were glad the tea was 
destroyed, but almost all disapproved of the 
manner of destruction. The owner of the tea 
commenced action of trespass, against such of 
the disguised Indians as they thought they 
could identify in the supreme court of the 
state. Money for the defense was raised by 
subscription, and eminent counselors were em- 
ployed in behalf of the defendants. No trial 
however, took place. The rule for security 
of costs was repealed at the November term 


and in default thereof nonsuits were entered 
at the April term in 1776. At the May term, 
security having been filed, the nonsuits were 
set aside and the actions revived, but they 
were short-lived. The new constitution of 
the state adopted in July, having dispersed the 
royal judges and their places being filled in 
the succeeding winter with whigs, the action 
was dropped and no further proceedings took 
place on either side. 

A long time ago the burning of the tea was 
written in verse by an unknown writer: 

"On the wharf I sit and dream, 

While the stars throw many a beam, 

A soft and silvery streak 

On the stillness of the creek; 

And a vessel through ihe haze 

Of the Old Colonial Days, 

Like a spectre seems to ride 

On the inward flowing tide. 

Ivike a phantom it appears 

Faintly through the hundred years 

That have vanished since its sails 

Braved the fierce Atlantic gales. 

Are they risen from the graves — 

Those dark figures clad as braves, 

Of the dusky tribal hosts, 

That of old possessed these coasts? 

Swift they glide from neath the trees 

The ill-fated stores to seize. 

Noiselessly with whispered jests, 

High they heaped the fragrant chests 


Round the gnarled trunk that still 
Ljfts its limbs from yonder hill. 
And at once a ruddy blaze 
Skyward leaps and madly plays 
Snapping, crackling o'er the pyre, 
Till with patriotic fire, 
All that costly cargo doomed, 
Unto ashes is consumed. 
Back the ship drifts through the haze 
And the figures with the blaze, 
Fade and vanish from the night, 
And the moon swells clear and bright. 
Kiist a slender silver line, 

Then Diana's bow divine; 

Quarter, half, three-quarters, till 

All the heavens seem to fill, 

As the orb's full rounded girth, , 

Like a bubble, quits the earth. 

ho ! the lights by twos and threes 

Fade amid the village trees — 

From the narrow casement fade 

Till no mortal beams invade 

With their keen and curious light, 

The unconquered realms of night." 

Chapter IX. 

There are two Quaker meeting houses on 
the main street of the village. 

The Friends meeting was established early 
in the settlement of the colony. Previous to 
the erection of the first meeting house, the 
meeting was held at private houses. 

The first meeting house was a log building 
constructed near the landing in order to 
accommodate the people on both sides of 
Cohansey river. It was built upon the lot 
originally bought by Mark Reeve, who after- 
wards sold his 1 6 acres to Joseph Brown; 
"Joseph Brown selling to Charles Bagiey a 
lot of 50 feet on the street and 55 feet deep, 
for the only use, service, and purpose of a 
meetinghouse and graveyard, for tho.->e peo- 
ple in scorn called Quakers. ' ' 

In the beginning of the 18th century it 
increased largely in the number of its members 
and a substantial brick house was erected. It 
was what was called an "Indulged meeting," 
or meeting for worship only, being under tne 
care of the Salem meeting, and continued so 
until 1770, when this and the meeting at Allo- 
ways Creek were united, and formed one 
monthly meeting to be held alternately at each 


In 1836 there was a great division of the 
so-called Friends, into two parties, called 
Orthodox and Hicksites, the latter being strict 
followers of Elias Hicks. This caused a sep- 
aration in the society. The few Methodists 
in "Old Cohansey" had erected a wooden 
building and located it on the south side of 
old Mount Gibbon. As the tide of emigra- 
tion did not increase their numbers a denomi- 
nation of their faith could not be supported. 
The building was sold to the Hicksite Quakers 
and removed to the main village street about 
a half mile south of the Presbyterian church. 
It consisted of two stories with a stairway on 
the outside. It was not only used for worship 
but for school purposes. The school was 
taught by Sallie Owen, a very excellent 
Quaker lady. She taught the elementary 
branches, needle work and sampler making. 
My sisters were among her pupils. In course 
of time the old building was abandoned, moved 
across the street and converted into a dwell- 
ing, and in its place a neat brick structure 
was erected. 

We girls were very much interested and 
fascinated with that Quaker meeting. Our 
people greatly admired the "Friends" but 
knowing we did not understand the real sig- 
nificance of their service, would not permit us 
to cross the threshold of the meeting house 
but a few times a year. The interior was 
simplicity itself. No painter's brush had 

been permitted to change the natural color of 
the wood and plainness was a marked featnre 
01 the entire building. There was a partition 
I org h the center of the church which separ- 
ated tte male from the female members It 
was arranged so it could be entirely closed at 
their monthly business meeting. 

••It may be explained that the "**»»»« 

Friends are classified as for worship and d«a 
^ e The meetings for discipline are divided 

too preparative, monthly, quarterly and 
yearly meetings. One or more meetings for 
worship may form a preparative meeting 
01 more preparative meetings may -fern >J 
monthly meeting; two or more monthly meet 
ings may form a Quarterly meeting; and se 
eral quarterly meetings may form »>«* 
meeting. Some monthly meettngs call every 
Sbd meeting a quarterly meeting. The 
™nthlv meetings are the principal executive 
branch of the society, and keep the most volu- 

m 'rt^Pointed hour the congregation 
assembled. They were very prompt m at- 
tendance. Then the stillness began with 
not a sound anywhere to break the 
sdence The elderly members sat upon ele- 
cted seats, facing the younger part of the 
audience We used to gaze m those elderly 
ladl s faces-their peculiar mode of dressing 
wa very becoming-long gray or brown satin 
tannets with the border of the white cap visi- 


ble at the outline of the face and the white 
kerchief was the neck finishing of their plain 

The attitude they assumed seemed to be a 
listening one, with an expression of sweetness 
and serenity that was a mystery to our young 
minds. Our eyes would wander beyond the 
partition to see how the quiet that pervaded 
the meeting was affecting the male members 
but the broad brimmed hats that encircled 
their brows hindered us from seeing their 
faces, but we knew by the holy calm every- 
where they must be partaking of the same 

At half past eleven the eldest male member 
arose and shook hands with his neighbor, 
which broke the silence and ended the First 
day meeting. Then kindly greetings with one 
another introduced by "How does thee do?" 
or ' 'Is thee well?' ' , after which they dispersed 
to their homes. Some of those Quaker ladies 
that occupied the elevated seats were our 
neighbors, and whenever we saw them at 
home or elsewhere they ever manifested the 
same sweet, lovely, serene spirit. Our special 
favorites were those we knew the best. Mrs. 
Lydia Hilliard, a most beantiful woman, who 
presided with such gentle dignity in her home 
usually clad in gowns of silk. It was a joy 
to us maidens to simply behold her. Mrs. 
Martha Tyler, a lady whose generosity and 
hospitality and loveliness seemtd to make her 


daily life a prayer. Mrs. John Tyler and 
Mrs. Sallie Stewart were women of remark- 
able sweetness of character. 

In after years when we were grown into 
young womanhood and learned that their law 
was love, and the purpose of the silent meet- 
ing was to banish the babble of earth's voices, 
and listen to the inner voice that speaks to the 
heart alone, or in other words the soul's com- 
munion with the Eternal Mind — we could 
readily see why the true Quaker's walk in 
life was upright and beautiful. 

"All mighty works of power 

Are wrought in silence deep. 

The earth-sown seed in stillness grows, 

Ere harvest we can reap. ' ' 

Chapter X. 

The Orthodox meeting we never attended 
but knew and saw some of its eminent mem- 
bers. Dr. George B. Wood frequently passed 
our homes in his carriage with footman and 
driver. He at that time was much interested 
in fruit and cranberry culture. He was born 
in Greenwich, March 13, 1797, and spent his 
summers there as long as he lived. His 
brick residence still stands in the old village, 
with'its well kept lawns, and is very attractive. 
The interior contains many old heir-looms — 
beautiful china, mahogany furniture and old 
time treasures. 

He received his early education in New 
York City; graduated at the University of 
Pennsylvania in 181 5; and in medicine in 
18 18. He was not only eminent as a physi- 
cian, but as an author and lecturer. He pub- 
lished many works, some of them having a 
world-wide reputation. With Franklin 

Sac-he, M. D., lit- published the Dispensatory 
of the United States. [Philadelphia, 1S33.] 
Of this work 150,000 copies were sold during 
Dr. Wood's life time, the royalty to the 
authors being about $155,000. He filled 
many high positions and was for many years 


president of the College of Physicians of 
Philadelphia. He died in that city March 30, 

Mr Clarkson Sheppard was a very intelligent 
member of the Orthodox Society of Friends. 
He was sometimes called a Quaker preacher. 
He often spoke in meeting and earnestly de- 
nounced the sins, follies and fashions of this 
world and impressed his hearers with the im- 
portance of cultivating the Christian graces; 
always guided by the inner light or presence 
of Christ in the heart, and daily walk with 
man as with a brother and a friend. He 
taught a Quaker school in the village for a 
number of years. He was a close observer of 
the weather, and furnished Meteorological 
reports to the Smithsonian Institution for a 
number of years. As Quakerism began to 
decline in the village he removed his family 
to Media, Pennsylvania. 

There were ladies with very sweet faces 
that adorned the seats of the Orthodox meet- 
ing, and occasionally a wedding ceremony 
within its walls. 

It was the custom of the engaged couple to 
pass meeting three months before the mar- 
riage, which announced the event. Then it 
was awaited with much expectancy in the 
village. At the meeti; g house the Friends 
and many others gathered to witness the cere- 
mony. After the wedding party had entered 
and taken their seats the utmost quiet reigned 


until the groom arose and repeated the mar- 
riage service; the bride followed in the same 
manner. After the congratulations the cer- 
tificate was signed in the presence of the 
assembled people. 

Chapter XI. 

At the age of seventeen we considered we 
had mastered the curriculum of our village 
school, and the winter term entered Union 
Academy at Shiloh. 

The very name of Shiloh was of interest to 
us girls, as we had heard the story "o'er and 
o'er" that our ancestor was the first settler of 
Shiloh. He first located in Rhode Island. 
Between the years 1684 and 1687 he left that 
colony and came to New Jersey, where he 
first settled on the south side of Old Cohansey 
river, in what was then known as Shrewsbury 
Neck — now Upper Back Neck. He pur- 
chased 200 acres of John Gilman and 600 
acres of Restore L,ippincott, from a tract of 
iooo acres purchased of John Fen wick. This 
section south of the Cohansey river was sur- 
veyed as early as 1678, by Fenwick's deputy 
surveyor Richard Hancock, who laid off 500 
acres for William Worth — the first white per- 
son known to have settled south of this river. 
He was, however, soon followed by others. 
Worth's tract, included the present Lanning 
wharf property, almost opposite Greenwich. 


Into this neighborhood came our ancestor 
and remained there until November 21, 1705, 
when he purchased 2200 acres of the rich 
agricultural land covering the present site of 
the village of Shiloh, of Dr. James Wass, a 
London physician who bought 5,000 acres 
July 12, 1675, of John Feuwick while he was 
still in England. This tract was located and re- 
surveyed October 15-18, 1705 by Joshua Bark- 
stead, and 2200 acres conveyed to our ancestor, 
who removed from the south side of the 
Cohansey to his new purchase. He was a 
Seventh Day Baptist and sold his tract to 
those of his own faith. His son deeded one 
acre of land in the village for a meeting house 
lot and burying ground on the 24th of March, 
173S. The place was first called Cohansey 
Corners, but the second pastor of the church, 
Elder Davis, who was eminent for learning 
and piety, gave to the village the name of 
Shiloh, after the biblical Shiloh in the land of 
Canaan that was consecrated to the worship 
of God. The first settlers were an intelligent 
people and Shiloh has always been noted for 
its good schools, and is said to have sent out 
more teachers than any other town in Cum- 
berland couuty. 

When we attended Union Academy it was 
a prosperous school. It was under the tutor- 
ship of Prof. O. V. Whitford and wife with 
an assistant, Miss Jennie Hoover. They 
were excellent teachers whose aim seemed to 


be to educate and improve the scholar. We 
were taught that we must not commit our 
lessons merely for the class recital, but must 
have an understanding knowledge of them to 
be of practical benefit. 

One of our special studies was astronomy. 
Mrs. Whitford, the teacher of the class, made 
the study so interesting with her instructions 
that we took great delight in our lessons. In 
the cold winter evening when the skies were 
cloudless and the stars sparkled with brillian- 
cy, she would go out with the class and teach 
us the motions of the heavenly bodies, show 
us the visible planets, and trace the winter 
constellations with such accuracy that they 
were indelibly fixed in our memories. Our 
school days passed very pleasantly iu Shiloh. 
We roomed with relatives; made acquaintances 
and took delightful walks about the old town, 
and frequently passed the old cemetery where 
so manjr of our name were buried. 

A short distance from Shiloh on the way to 
Roadstown we saw the old Howell homestead, 
built long before the Revolutionary war. It 
was the home of the father of Richard Howell 
who was governer of the state of New Jersey 
from 1793 to 1 80 1. 

Roadstown, about two miles south west of 
Shiloh, was settled at an early date, and was 
a place next in importance to New England 
town and Greenwich. It is called Kingstown 
on an old mortgage on record. Before and 

after the Revolution it was called Sayres Cross 
Roads Ananias Sayre, originally from Fair- 
field, who was a prominent citizen and at one 
time sheriff, settled there and built the house 
at the northwest corner of the cros~, roads. 
He was appointed sheriff by the governor 
1747-8, and 1754. 

Chapter XII. 

As we developed into young womanhood, 
my cousin grew delicately fair — the fairness 
that is beautiful to the beholder, but often- 
times an indication of early decay. Her com- 
plexion was like the lily. Nature had painted 
her cheek with the hue of the rose. Her light 
brown hair fell in ringlets wavingly from her 
fair forehead. She was graceful in figure and 
had many admirers. 

After we completed our school days differ- 
ent avenues in life opened up for us, and we 
could not travel side by side as in the past. 
She taught a district school for a few years, 
and feeling the need of a change of climate, 
visited a brother in the west. At the parting 
visit she laughingly remarked: "I fear I shall 
meet my fate." The separation was painful 
as I realized her frailty. I frequently heard 
from her through her pen, and learned in 
course of time that Cupid's arrow had found a 
lodging place in her heart, and a final separa- 
tion must take place, as she had decided to 
make the state of Wisconsin her future home. 
In 1876 when the Centennial Exposition was 
held in Philadelphia, she returned to the old 
town and home to prepare for her marriage. 
Together we selected the bridal outfit, and 

in the late summer her friends witnessed her 
marriage. She then left us for a permanent 
home in the west. A very few years passed 
and she informed me her health was failing. 
Her frailty was evident when she came to 
endure the rigors of a western climate. She 
returned again for the purpose of regaining 
her health, but it was of no avail. Consump- 
tion, that "fell destroyer," seemed to be seated 
upon her lungs, and all medical aid was un- 
availing. She reminded me of the beautiful 
flower that opens its petals in the night, and 
perfumes with its fragrance the morning air, 
then fades and withers ere the sun reaches 
the meridian. 

So my cousin developed into sweet and 
beautiful young womanhood, faded, drooped 
and died ere she reached the meridian of life. 
Just four years after her marriage we laid her 
frail body in the tomb. A short time before 
her death, she said surprisingl) 7 tome one day: 
"Our old friend, the Doctor, is living yet." I 
attended the church near our homes more 
regularly than in the past, and saw him often. 
He was then nearing ninety years of age, and 
was rarely absent from the church services. 
As a giant oak tree that has withstood cen- 
turies spreads its branches over the younger 
trees of the forest, so lie stood in the old 
church — a tree of righteousness, the eldest, 
the only one familiar with its early history, 
having lived through many of its vicissitudes. 

His contemporaries had all passed away and 
the younger people gathered about him. At 
the prayer meeting a regular attendant, often 
taking part. There was a sublimity about his 
utterance in prayer that was very marked— 
usually beginning his prayer with a biblical 
passage such as "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord, 
God, Almighty, Who art, and was, and art 
to come." The stillness of the meeting was 
impressive while he talked with the Invisible 
Presence whom he worshipped. At the social 
githerings he was the central figure. As his 
intellectual attainments, medical practice and 
long life gave him a large experience, he often 
related incidents of the past that afforded de- 
lightful entertainment. Had he not kept step 
and almost witnessed the growth of our great 
republic? He was born before George Wash- 
ington ended his second term as president and 
saw him when a small boy in Philadelphia. 
He then had lived under every administration. 
In his home at the eventide of life, when 
the doors of sense were softly closing to the 
world— the eye growing dim and ear forget- 
ting to hear, he was still the courteous Chris- 
tian gentleman. Whatever passions or temp- 
tations assailed him in his earlier years, he 
had triumphed over them and was simply hold- 
ing fast to the good— an humble follower of 
the Nazarene. He lived much with nature; he 
loved the tree, the plant, and the flower was a 
special delight to him. 


The tender and loving ministrations of his 
neiee and nephew, Miss Mary and Mr. Samuel 
Fithian, made his life a joy in his old age. 

He was the "Grand Old Man" of "Old Co- 
hansey" — the only one who lived six months 
beyond the century mark. 

Dr. Enoch Fithian was born May 10, 1792. 
Fie began the study of medicine in 181 3 at 
Roadstown, where after he was licensed 
to practice, he began his professional career. 
The first of June 7817, he entered into partner- 
ship with Dr. Ewing of Greenwich, which 
was continued until May 1824, when the 
retirement of Dr. Ewing from practice caused 
a separation of their professional relations. 

He entered into partnership with others — 
Dr. Edward Porter in 1849 and Dr. Nathaniel 
Newkirk in 1851. They continued in active 
practice until 1856, when Dr. Fithian retired 
after a successful career of 41 years. In his 
declining years Rev. Henry E- Thomas was 
pastor of the church. He was installed June 
8, 1870 and served the church successfully 
for 18 years. History informs us the congre- 
gations were larger during his pastorate than 
at any time since so many members with- 
drew to form the church at Bridgeton. 
The congregation consisted of ninety families. 
He was an ardent friend of the Old Doctor's, 
and he said when speaking of him, he "ad- 
mired his intellect, honored his virtues and 
loved him as a friend. " 


At the close of the Civil war Dr. Thomas E. 
Stathems, who served as a surgeon through 
the war, came back to his native town and 
settled in the "Old Doctor's" practice. He was 
a very successful physician; a very genial, 
sympathetic and generous man — so genial 
that when he visited his patients, his presence 
was like a sunbeam, radiating brightness and 
cheerfulness by his jokes and sunny spirit; so 
sympathetic that the sufferings oc humanity 
made the tears flow from his eyes, and if his 
remedies proved ineffectual, he was greatly 
distressed and troubled and sleepless nights 
followed; so generous and kind hearted that 
he gave his skill and strength to those in 
need where he knew there could be no 
remuneration. He reminded one of William 
McClure in Dmmtachty, described by Ian 
Maclaren in "Bonnie Brier Bush," — no matter 
how dark and scoruiy the night, he would 
travel many miles to relieve the sufferer. He 
was the true physician, wedded to his pro- 
fession, living a life of self denial for service 
to his fellow man. He died July 16, 1891, 
aged 59 years. 

William Bedford Ewing, another emi- 
nent physician of "Old Cohansey;" was born 
at Greenwich December 12, 1776. In the 
year 1797 he went to the Virgin Islands, and 
on St. Croix and St. Thomas engaged in 
professional practice, and was later a 
surgeon on a British vessel of war. He after- 


ward returned to his native town and practiced 
medicine until the spring of 1824, when he 
retired from the practice of his profession. 
He assisted in the formation of the Medical 
Society of Cumberland County. He was 
elected President of the Medical Society of 
New Jersey in 1824. He died April 23, 
1866, in the uintieth year of his age. Dr. 
Ephriam Holmes, a descendant of the 
ancient family of that name, was born July 
1 r, 18 1 7. He was a man of unusual intelli- 
gence, and was long a successful practicing 
physician in Greenwich. 

"Old Cohansey" has ever been noted for 
the longevity of its inhabitants. In the past 
forty years two have passed the century mark, 
a score have become nonagenarians, and an 
octogenarian is very common upon the streets. 

Chapter XIII. 

John Fenwick, who planted the first English 
Colony east of the Delaware river, was born 
A. D. 1618 at Stanton Hall. He was the 
second son of Sir William Fenwick, Baronet, 
who represented the County of Northumber- 
land in the last Parliament under the Common- 
wealth (1659.) 

In 1636 he was styled Knight and Baronet, 
and five years after that time he married Eliza- 
beth, daughter of Sir Walter Covert. This 
lady was mother of his children and from her 
came the direct and collateral branches in New 
Jersey. The family was of Saxon origin and 
formed a powerful clan in Northumberland. 

"He afterwards married Mary Burdett a 
blood relation of his own. as they were cous- 
ins to Edward and Sir Frances Burdett. By 
this marriage there was no issue. She did not 
come to America and in his will, he makes no 
mention of his wife, who was living in Lou- 
don at the time it was executed. 

"She app-ars to have had a separate estate 
which she used for her own comfort and 


"The Tower of Fenwick at Widdiugton in 
Northumberland, shows its antiquity in its 
rude strength and scanty limits, similar to 
those built by the Saxon invaders luring the 
fifth and sixth centuries. This was probably 
the first seat of the family, after their coming 
over, and whence it may be traced through 
many of the shires in England. 

"John Fenwick having passed through his 
law studies at Grays Inn, L,ondon 1640, aban- 
doned his profession for a season and accepted 
an appointment in the Parliamentary Army. 
His first commission read as follows: 

"You are hereby ordered ani required as 
Major under Colonel Thomas Barwis, in his 
regiment of cavalry which was raised in 
the county of Westmorland to assist the gar- 
rison of Carlisle, and to exercise the officers 
and soldiers under his command according to 
the discipline of war. And they are hereby 
required to yield obedience unto you as Major 
of said regiment, and all this you are author- 
ized unto, until the pleasure of the Parliament 
or the Lord General be known. Given under 
my hand and seal at Bernard Castle, 27th of 
October 1648. O. Cromwell. 

To John Fenwick, Major, These." 
"In the same year he was ordered by the 
Parliament, with horse and dragon to relieve 
Holy Island Castle in Durham. 

It was besieged by the Royal troops and 
well nigh captured, when he appeared andde- 


feated the enemy. He was an active and 
efficient officer, having the confidence of the 
Parliament and the Protector. 

After the trial and sentence of the King, he 
was detailed as commander of cavalry, in con- 
junction with the foot troops under Colonel 
Hacker, Colonel Hanks, and Lieut. Colonel 
Phayor to attend the execution of Charles I. 

The order ran in this wise: 

"These are therefore to will and require 
you to see the said sentence executed in the 
open streets before Whitehall, upon the mor- 
row, being- the thirtieth of this instant, month 
of January, between the hours of ten in the 
morning, and five in the afternoon of the 
same day, with full effect. And these are to 
require all officers and soldiers and others of 
the good people of this nation of England to 
be assisting unto you in this service." 

'.'Given under our hands and seals, &c." 

"The warrant was signed by all the mem- 
bers who sat as judges upon his trial, and the 
most of whom witnessed the carrying out of 
the sentence. In the discharge of this impor- 
tant and delicate duty, the most reliable offi- 
cers and the best disciplined troops were se- 
lected which placed John Fenwick among 

the first of these in the army about London at 
that time." 

While he was with the army he became a 
convert to the opinions of George Fox. He 
adopted the principles and practices of Friends 


and adhered to them until his death. At the 
time of the restoration John Fenwick suffered 
much for fully adopting the opinions and prac- 
tices of George Fox. In 1666 he was taken 
from a meeting of Friends in Buckingham- 
shire and confined in the common jail. 

"L/ike many others of his religious belief 
he published in pamphlet form several an- 
swers to others against their doctrines and 
manner of worship, none of which, however, 
have been preserved to the present. No de- 
nomination of Christians, perhaps at that day, 
put so much printed matter before the public 
in defence and vindication of their peculiar 
views as the Friends." 

"March 18th 1673 John L,ord Berkley con- 
veyed to John Fenwick his undivided moiety 
of New Caesarea, or New Jersey, for the sum 
of one thousand pounds sterling and a royalty 
of forty beaver skins annually. This grant 
had upon its surface the appearance of good 
faith, and that of a bona fide transaction, yet 
it was scarcely executed, before its intention 
was suspected and its validity endangered. 
Edward Byllynge, a friend and associate of 
the grantee, at once became an important and 
conspicuous personage in these transactions, 
to the exposure and defeat of plans well ma- 
tured, and doubtless to his chagrin and dis- 
comfiture. He was born in 1628, a resident 
of Westminster. London, where he carried on 
the business of brewer. He served as an offi- 


cer in the army of the Commonwealth, and 
while at L,eith, in Scotland, was convinced of 
the correctness of the doctrines of George 
Fox, by his preaching. He published sev- 
eral pamphlets in behalf of Friends, between 
1659 and 1665, all of which were printed in 
IyOndon. In 16S4 with others, he was tried 
at Guildhall. L,ondou, for attending a meeting 
at White Hart Court and creating a riot. He 
wa.3 found guilty and fined four nobles, which 
he refused to pay, and in that default was 
sent to Newgate Prison for three weeks. He 
became involved in his financial affairs and to 
avoid the payment of his debts procured the 
above named conveyance to be made to John 
Fenwick the funds being furnished by 
himself. The number of his creditors, and 
the amount of his debts lead to close inquiry 
in regard to his estate, and it was discovered, 
that hi was interested in this transaction, de- 
signed to defraud them in their just demands. 
The position in which Fenwick and Byllinge 
found themselves was not an enviable one, 
and soon brought about a bitter controversy. 
These criminations were not only made be- 
tween Byllinge and his creditors, but Fenwick 
and he quarreled as to the interest of each in 
the estate conveyed. Much notoriety was 
given to it, but all parties being Friends the 
contest was kept within control of the society 
and settled according to the rites of the same; 
John Fenwick was then a resident of Byufield, 


in Berkshire; a small town near Windsor 
Castle and about thirty miles from the city of 
London. It is possible he had returned to 
his profession and was the legal adviser of 
Byllinge in the disposition of his estate to 
avoid the payment of his debts. In this orig- 
inated with John Fenwick the idea of planting 

a colony in America; of becoming the head of 
a great enterprise, and gratifying his 

*Sketch of John Fenwick, by John Clement, 


A half century has passed since my cousin 
and I began to play in the Old Mill stream. 
Although living in a distant town, I fre- 
quently go back to the old village, and some- 
times stand on the bridge, and look at the 
stream. It is like the current of time with 
me, flowing on — singing the same melody it 
did in the long ago, and teaching the les- 
son of Tennyson's "Brook." "Men may come 
and men may go, but I go on forever." "I 
join the brimming river." 

As I stand on the bridge, I go back in the 
fields of memory, and I am a child again with 
my cousin, sailing our imaginary boats on its 
surface, or walking its pebblj r bottom; sitting 
on its grassy banks in the sunshine; listening 
to the birds, as they twittered and sang in the 
willow boughs. There are beautiful willows 
still by the water course; offsprings of those 
magnificent trees, that overshadowed the 
grist-mill in primitive days. I look up the 
stream, and my mind takes me back, beyond 
my recollections, when the early settlers util- 
ized the force of the waters to run the mills. 
I can see the bank where the fulling mill 
Stood, and in imagination, I can hear the 


clatter of those pestles and stampers as they 
finished the cloth, woven in the homes for 
the inhabitants of Old Cohansey. Then the 
thought comes to me how the flowing stream 
furnished food and clothing for the first 

As I look in the same direction, I can see 
the bare hill top of Old Mount Gibbon. In the 
last decade the tall pines that crowned 
the summit, have fallen before the 
woodman's axe, and the hill is shorn of much 
of its natural beauty. I change my position, 
and I see the church building, whose society 
was formed about the year 1700. For 
200 years, the congregations have gathered 
on the Sabbath day, for prayer and praise, in 
the three church buildings that have super- 
seded one another. Between the church and 
bridge stands the store and arcade, the store 
that has supplied the needs of the people for 
many years; the arcade, a building of four 
apartments, that in the past has sheltered 
many of the shifting population of the village. 
It was built by Noah Flannigan. Hence the 
name, sometimes shortened and called the 

Just across the street stands "God's Acre," 
where reposes the dust of many of the early 
settlers of South Jersey. 

"Lying so silent by night and by day." 

From the bridge the tablet of Maskell 
Ewing can be plainly seen through the pal- 


ings of the new iron fence, that the present 
inhabitants have recently placed around the 
old historic ground. It is one of the oldest 
cemeteries of South Jersey. If you enter the 
grounds you will find sixteen large tablets, 
most of them erected over one hundred years 
ago, some much longer. Near the entrance 
two low tablets mark the resting places of 
Leonard and Rebekah Gibbon. They were 
interred at the Episcopal Church ground in 
the lower part of the village, but afterward 
removed to the Presbyterian Cemetery. They 
are crumbling slowly as the years go by. A 
short distance farthef south two standing 
stones mark the resting place of Joel Fithian 
and wife. He was a Captain in the Revolu- 
tionary War. He also was one of the dis- 
guised Indians who burned the tea near the 
village landing. His stone bears this inscrip- 
tion, "Sacred to the memory of Joel Fithian, 
who departed this life Nov. 9, 1821, in the 
71st year of his age. He was a soldier in the 
Revolution, and served his country in many 
important offices, and the church of Green- 
wich as a ruling elder, with zeal and fidelity. 
Reader, imitate his virtues, that your end 
may like his be peaceful." I recently held in 
my hand the very hymn book that Captain 
Joel Fithian used when he was elder of the 
church. It is in good condition and upon the 
cover is printed his name in large letters- 
There are large tablets erected to the memory 


of 'Thomas Maskell and wife. Upon many of 
the blackened standing stones, you will find 
the names of the first settlers — such as 
Holmes, Bacon, Brown and Dennis. There 
are countless numbers of those old "heroes," 
where the grass blade creeps, and the wild 
floweret is the only decoration. Were they 
not heroes ? When the sword of persecution 
was unsheathed in the Mother Country for 
religious opinion, did they not brave the 
fierce Atlantic gales, come to these shores, 
cut down the forest in the very face of the 
Indians, and prepared for us the broad fertile 
fields of Old Cohansey. "The fruit of their 
labors is our inheritance," and should we not 
cherish and protect and beautify these old 
cemeteries ? 

Two centuries have passed away, and no 
stone marks the place where John Fen wick 
was buried. It is said "no man knoweth the 
place of his sepulchre." He requested in his 
will that his remains be interred at Fenwick 
Grove. For some reason this was not com- 
plied with, as he was buried in Sharp's bury- 
ing ground — long since abandoned for that 
Use, and now nearly lost sight of. It is lo- 
cated near the present Alms House property of 
Salem County. If the ground could be desig. 
nated, it would be a grateful deed for his de- 
scendants and citizens of Salem and Cumber- 
land Counties to erect a monument to his 

inemi »i - 



014 206 359 1