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Full text of "Stories of New Jersey, its significant places, people and activities"


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STORIES OF 



NEW JERSEY 




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5tories Of 
Jersey 




ITS SIGNIFICANT PLACES, 
PEOPLE AND ACTIVITIES 



Compiled and Written by the 
Federal Writers' Project of 
the Works Progress Admin- 
istration for the State of 
New Jersey 



Profusely Illustrated 



M. BARROWS AND COMPANY 

1938 NEW YORK 



COPYRIGHT, 1938, BY THE 
NEW JERSEY GUILD ASSOCIATES, INC. 

All rights reserved 



Sponsored by The New Jersey Association of Teachers 
of Social Studies 

New Jersey Guild. Associates, Inc., Co-operating Sponsor 



SOLE DISTRIBUTORS 

R A D E M A E K E R S 

NEWARK NEW JERSEY 



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 
BY J. J. LITTLE AND IVES COMPANY, NEW YORK 



PREFACE 

This volume of Stories of New Jersey is the result of a 
two-year experiment carried on by the Federal Writers' 
Project in New Jersey. In November 1936, after consul- 
tation with several educators, the Project began issuing to 
the schools and libraries of the State periodical pamphlets 
dealing with significant aspects of New Jersey life. 

The first issue of 3,000 copies was sent to those school 
principals who had indicated an interest in the service. 
The demand for additional copies was so great and the 
reputation of the service grew so rapidly that the issue Had 
to be increased to 10,000 copies, which is the maximum 
possible by the reproduction method used. Thirty Stories 
were distributed during 1936-37, and twenty during 

1937-38. 

The service was designed to stimulate the interest of 
New Jersey school children in the affairs of the State and 
to supply the schools with data, not otherwise available, to 
supplement the curriculum of the social study courses. 
There has been no attempt to follow a particular course 
of study or to deal with any one period or activity. 

In response to requests from students, teachers, librar- 
ians and historians, urging that this material be put in 
more permanent form, some of the original bulletins have 
been reprinted here. Several new Stones have been sub- 
stituted for those which seemed to have less value as refer- 
ence material. As the work continues new material will 



IV PREFACE 

be presented with the hope that there will eventually be 
accessible a collection of useful New Jersey material. 

In an effort to avoid error we have indebted ourselves 
to many experts, too numerous to list here. We are espe- 
cially grateful to The New Jersey Association of Teachers 
of Social Studies for their encouragement in the prepara- 
tion of this volume and for their support in sponsoring it. 

IRENE FUHLBRUEGGE, State Director 

VIOLA HUTCH INSON ) A 

c T-, > Assistant state Directors 

OAMUEL EPSTEIN 



FOREWORD 

The most interesting and charming pamphlets written 
and distributed by the Federal Writers' Project in New 
Jersey during the years 1936, 1937 and 1938 were wel- 
comed so enthusiastically by the schools and libraries of 
our State that The New Jersey Association of Teachers of 
the Social Studies moved to promote publication in a more 
permanent form. These stories of historic spots, person- 
ages, and unusual industries of New Jersey, presented in 
a single volume, afford valuable supplementary reading 
material for use in our schools. For these reasons The New 
Jersey Association of Teachers of Social Studies is very 
happy to join with The New Jersey Guild Associates in 
sponsoring this volume. 

The Federal Writers' Project in New Jersey deserves 
great credit for rendering this unique service to our State. 
To them, alone, all honor is due for the painstaking care 
with which the facts have been gathered, the articles writ- 
ten, and the stories edited. Both admiration and gratitude 
for this achievement prompts The New Jersey Association 
of Teachers of Social Studies to state that its sole con- 
tribution to this volume has been that of urging for it a 
wide circulation and a useful life. 

THE NEW JERSEY ASSOCIATION 
OF TEACHERS OF SOCIAL STUDIES 



WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION 

HARRY L. HOPKINS, Administrator 

ELLEN S. WOODWARD, Assistant Administrator 

HENRY G. ALSBERG, Director Federal Writers y Project 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 



PREFACE iii 
By Irene Fuhlbruegge, State Director, Federal Writers' 
Project. 

FOREWORD v 

By The New Jersey Association of Teachers of Social 
Studies. 

PLACES 

RINGWOOD MANOR STATE PARK IJ 

OLD OXFORD FURNACE 2D 

ROCKAWAY RIVER 33 

COLONIAL HOUSES OF NEW JERSEY 40 

MORRISTOWN NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK 46 

PATERSON, THE "FEDERAL CITY" 58 

NEW JERSEY'S FIRST SUMMER RESORT 63 

CRADLE OF THE TELEGRAPH 69 

A CONFEDERATE SHRINE IN NEW JERSEY 79 

BIRTHPLACE OF GROVER CLEVELAND 84 

ANIMAL QUARANTINE 92 

LIVING LANDMARKS 96 

PEOPLE 

MARK NEWBIE, AMERICA'S FIRST BANKER 1 07 

THE SWEDISH SETTLERS I I 2 

THE TEA BURNERS OF GREENWICH 125 
NEW JERSEY'S DELEGATES TO THE FEDERAL CON- 
STITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1787 129 
vii 



Vlll CONTENTS 

PAGE 

BIRTHPLACE OF HANS BRINKER 142 

STEPHEN CRANE 146 

THE LAST DAYS OF WALT WHITMAN 154 

CLARA BARTON, IN SCHOOL AND WAR 158 

JOHN HOLLAND, SUBMARINE INVENTOR 1 66 

WORKING AND LIVING TOGETHER 

NORTH AMERICAN PHALANX 175 

FREE ACRES 187 

CONSUMERS' COOPERATIVES 194 

EGG AUCTION 201 

THE SEEING EYE 2O4 

JERSEY HOMESTEADS 20Q 

SERVICE FOR THE PUBLIC 

SAFEGUARDS OF OUR COAST 2IQ 

FOREST FIRE FIGHTERS 232 

STATE POLICE 240 

REFORESTATION IN MULLICA WATERSHED 250 

AGRICULTURE 

CRANBERRIES 259 

JERSEY TOMATOES 265 

BABY CHICKS BY THE MILLION 274 

DAIRY FARMING IN NEW JERSEY 279 

JERSEY PEACHES 290 

INDUSTRY 

VANISHED BOG-IRON INDUSTRY 297 

TWO CENTURIES OF GLASSMAKING 307 

LEATHER MAKERS OF NEWARK 32O 

GOLD BEATERS 329 

ROMANCE OF THE ROEBLINGS 333 



CONTENTS IX 

PAGE 

THE STORY OF LENOX POTTERY 343 

PHONOGRAPH TO TELEVISION 350 

DELAWARE BAY OYSTERS 357 

THE AGE OF PLASTICS 365 

CEDAR MINING IN NEW JERSEY'S SUNKEN FOREST 374 

TRANSPORTATION 

JOHN FITCH AND HIS STEAMBOAT 383 

THE FIRST RAILROAD IN NEW JERSEY 394 

THE MORRIS CANAL 4O2 

THE LINCOLN TUNNEL 413 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

RINGWOOD MANOR 1 6 

REVOLUTIONARY RELICS 23 

OXFORD FURNACE 2J 

THE FALLS OF THE ROCKAWAY AT BOONTON 34 

THE ROCKAWAY RIVER BASIN (MAP) 38 

DEMAREST HOUSE 4! 

HANCOCK HOUSE 44 

WASHINGTON'S HEADQUARTERS, MORRISTOWN 47 

REVOLUTIONARY HOSPITAL, JOCKEY HOLLOW 55 

THE PASSAIC RIVER FALLS 59 

SUMMER VISITORS AT CAPE MAY 64 

BATHING COSTUMES OF THE 'go's 68 

THE CRADLE OF THE TELEGRAPH 73 

FINN'S POINT CEMETERY 80 

GROVER CLEVELAND 84 

THE MANSE, CALDWELL 85 

BURLINGTON SYCAMORE 98 

SALEM OAK IOO 

PATRICK'S PENCE 108 

FOUNDING OF NEW SWEDEN 113 

GOVERNOR JOHAN PRINTZ 117 

SWEDISH STAMPS 123 

TEA BURNER MONUMENT, GREENWICH 128 

BENNETT HOUSE, PARSIPPANY 13! 

DAVID BREARLY'S CAMP DESK 135 

THE MAPES FARM 145 

BUST OF STEPHEN CRANE 147 

WALT WHITMAN'S HOME, CAMDEN 157 

CLARA BARTON'S SCHOOL, BORDENTOWN 161 

xi 



Xll ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

HOLLAND SUBMARINE, PATERSON 167 

THE PHALANSTERY AT PHALANX 176 

BLOOMER COSTUME, PHALANX I 86 

HENRY GEORGE 187 

OUTDOOR THEATER, FREE ACRES 1 90 

A CO-OP STORE 196 

THE SEEING EYE 2O5 

A KITCHEN CORNER, JERSEY HOMESTEADS 2IO 

WINDOWS, JERSEY HOMESTEADS 211 

EXTERIOR OF A JERSEY HOMESTEAD 213 

SANDY HOOK LIGHTHOUSE 221 

BARNEGAT LIGHTHOUSE 225 

SHIP JOHN SHOAL LIGHT 227 

SCOTLAND LIGHTSHIP 22Q 

MEN AGAINST THE FLAMES 235 

TRAINING IN HORSEMANSHIP 244 

THE FIVE-MILE DAILY RUN 245 

TROOP HEADQUARTERS, STATE POLICE 248 

MULLICA RIVER BASIN (MAP) 25 I 

TOMATO PICKERS 266 

SPECIMEN TOMATOES 270 

INCUBATORS 275 

PACKING DAY OLD CHICKS 276 

A SUSSEX COUNTY DAIRY FARM 280 

THE ROTOLACTOR 286 

MOTHER JUBILEE TREE, NEW BRUNSWICK 293 

BOG IRON RELICS 3 02 

OLD MILL AND POND, BATSTO 303 

OLD WISTAR GLASS 3^ 

BLOWING QUARTZ GLASS 3 J 9 

"FLESHING" A HIDE 324 

ROEBLING WIRE MILL 334 

GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE 34 l 

FIRST AMERICAN BELLEEK 34^ 



ILLUSTRATIONS Xlll 

PAGE 

LOADING A KILN 347 

RECORDING, RCA STUDIOS, CAMDEN 353 

CONSTRUCTING A TELEVISION TUBE 355 

THE OYSTER FLEET, MAURICE RIVER 36 2 

OYSTER "SETS" 364 

PLASTIC GEARS 369 

RESINOID WATERPROOFING 37 O 

LUCITE 371 

PROBING FOR CEDAR LOGS 375 

CEDAR PLANKS 378 

JOHN FITCH'S STEAMBOAT, 1786-87 386 

JOHN FITCH'S STEAMBOAT, 1788-89-90 389 

STONE TIES, CAMDEN AND AMBOY R.R. 398 

THE JOHN BULL 399 

MORRIS CANAL AT DENVILLE 404 

MORRIS CANAL AQUEDUCT 405 

ROUTE OF MORRIS CANAL (MA?) 412 

CHART OF OPERATIONS, LINCOLN TUNNEL 415 



All photographs not otherwise credited are by the 
New Jersey Writers' Project staff photographers 



PLACES 



A 




RINGWOOD MANOR 



RINGWOOD MANOR STATE PARK 

Ringwood Manor, a fine old estate that resembles an 
outdoor museum, is the newest New Jersey State park. 
Within the 7 8 -room mansion and scattered indiscrim- 
inately about the grounds is an amazing collection of 
relics, art objects and knicknacks. A great iron cogwheel 
leans against a tree ; a huge mortar planted on the front 
lawn is aimed toward the adjoining lake; stretching along 
a terrace are 24 enormous links of the great iron chain 
that was stretched across the Hudson to protect West 
Point from British warships 5 and throughout the formal 
gardens are newel posts and iron gates, marble columns 
and statuary, ancient millstones and the bleached skulls of 
long-dead cattle in which birds find convenient nesting 
places. 

Ringwood Manor lies between the wooded slopes of a 
rugged little valley at the northern end of Wanaque 
Reservoir, only a mile from the New York State boun- 
dary and about 10 miles southwest of Suffern, New York. 
The Manor House and about 100 acres of land were given 
to the State in 1937 by Erskine Hewitt, the last owner 
of an estate once occupied by early iron manufacturers. 

The iron mined in the nearby hills was converted at 
the Ringwood forges into munitions and field equipment 
for Washington's army, and the plant continued in opera- 
tion long after modern methods of smelting and forging 
had carried iron manufacture to other regions. Until 1931 
Ringwood was the center of an active community. The 

17 



1 8 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

pretentious house and gardens, the many relics and ob- 
jects of art gathered from all parts of the world reflect 
the importance of the owners and the wealth they took 
from an estate that once covered 15,000 acres in the 
Ramapo hills. 

On the path before the house are crushing stones and 
grindstones found in the vicinity. They indicate that the 
section was an Indian camp site. About 1739 Cornelius 
Board, a Welsh miner then living at Little Falls, learned 
from the Indians that there was iron ore in the Pompton 
mountains. They led him to the head of the Ringwood 
River, a branch of the Pequannock, and there he built a 
small furnace. In May of the following year Board sold 
the furnace and 16 acres for 63 to the Ogden family, 
residents of Newark, who had been surveying the iron 
fields of northern New Jersey and had bought up several 
water-power sites along the Pequannock River. 

It was the Ogdens who gave the northern New Jersey 
iron industry its start. They built a splendid house and 
several smaller dwellings and carried on an active trade in 
forged iron which was shipped by mules to points on the 
Hackensack and Passaic Rivers, where it could be trans- 
ferred to boats. 

Word of this promising enterprise came to the ears of 
Peter Hasenclever, a shrewd German promoter. He went 
to London and persuaded people influential in court 
circles to buy shares in a company that was to develop 
resources in the new world. It is said Queen Charlotte 
and some of her maids of honor subscribed. The new con- 
cern was called the American Iron Company, and Hasen- 
clever was sent to America as resident manager. 

In the New York Mercury of March 5, 1764, appeared 
an advertisement offering for sale the Ogden properties 



RINGWOOD MANOR STATE PARK IQ 

on the Ringwood River. This Hasenclever bought for 
5,000, together with additional lands at Long Pond, in 
all 1 5,000 acres. 

He imported several hundred workmen from Germany 
and Ireland j rebuilt the Ogden residence, put up cabins 
for the workmen, storehouses, a gristmill, a sawmill and 
a stamping mill and constructed dams to provide water 
power. The mines and forges prospered, and so did Hasen- 
clever. 

The company was also interested in iron properties in 
New York State along the Mohawk River, where 50,000 
acres had been acquired. In two years Hasenclever had 
spent 54,600, which was 14,400 more than had been 
pledged j but no money had found its way back to the 
stockholders. Hasenclever's management of the company's 
affairs was brought into question, and he returned to Eng- 
land to find that his associate there was bankrupt and had 
allowed the concern to become seriously involved. After 
restoring his credit abroad, Hasenclever returned to Amer- 
ica in 1768, but in his absence the American interests had 
likewise fallen into danger. 

At Hasenclever's request, Governor William Franklin 
appointed a commission of four appraisers to investigate 
the management of the Ringwood, Long Pond and Char- 
lotteburg properties. Their report upheld Hasenclever's 
conduct j they argued that he needed only more time to 
put the American Iron Company on a paying basis. Never- 
theless, Hasenclever could obtain no further credit, and he 
returned to London bankrupt in 1769. A photostatic copy 
of the book recounting the proceedings against the Ger- 
man promoter is in the Ringwood Manor House. He de- 
fended himself in The Remarkable Case of Peter 
Hasenclever, published in 1773, but it was 1787 before 



2O STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

his rights were secured in the Chancery Court of London. 
By that time Hasenclever had recouped his losses and 
become a successful merchant in Landeshut, Germany. 

After Hasenclever's return to England John Jacob 
Faesch, one of the great early ironmasters and an asso- 
ciate of Hasenclever, was left in charge. Then, in 1771, 
the management of the Ringwood properties was turned 
over to Robert Erskine, a young Scottish engineer. He was 
left to carry on the work as best he could, for the financial 
condition of the company was very unstable. There is a 
tradition that the investors who were closest to King 
George III persuaded him to sign the tax on tea to make 
up to them for their losses. Thus Ringwood, which was 
to play an important part in the Revolution, may have 
been an indirect cause of the war. 

When the Revolution broke out Erskine at once sided 
with the colonists and sold his products to the patriots. 
Because he was one of the few engineers in the country, 
Washington appointed him Geographer and Surveyor 
General to the Revolutionary Armies. Erskine made most 
of the military maps, including those for the Jersey cam- 
paigns. In the New York Historical Society there are 114 
of the 129 maps in Erskine's own handwriting j several 
are in the possession of J. P. Morgan j the remainder are 
in Washington. These maps are models of accuracy and 
execution. 

The master of Ringwood and his forges were so im- 
portant to the Colonial cause that extreme precautions 
were taken to protect them. The names were not men- 
tioned in military dispatches, lest the messages fall into 
the hands of British spies. 

Ringwood's position on the main road halfway between 
West Point and Morristown made it a convenient place 



RINGWOOD MANOR STATE PARK 21 

for conferences between Washington and his generals. It 
is said that many of Washington's letters dated from 
"headquarters" were written in this secluded valley. 

The road to Ringwood was carefully guarded, and a 
battery was planted on the mountain at Suffern. Erskine 
organized and drilled a company of men ready to march 
against any attack. Several times the English troops got 
as far as Mahwah, just over the mountains. Once a raid- 
ing party reached Ringwood and set fire to the house. 
Mrs. Erskine escaped in her nightgown, her watch safely 
hidden in her slipper. Fortunately the raiders had found 
their way first to the wine cellar. While they dallied there, 
American troops arrived, and the invaders were driven 
off. 

Erskine administered the industry so efficiently that he 
was called the "Lord of Ringwood." He built a dam at 
Tuxedo and dug a ditch to carry the waters of Lake 
Tuxedo to increase the water power. He also built a dam 
at Greenwood Lake. Day and night the forges were turn- 
ing out ammunition for the patriots. 

There are a number of entries in Washington's expense 
accounts, such as items for washing and for shoeing of 
horses, that refer to stops at Ringwood. Washington was 
at Ringwood when he sent orders for the suppression of 
the Pompton mutiny. General Howe's report of this up- 
rising was written in the house. When the war ended 
there was a great victory dinner at the Manor, attended 
by Washington and guests from as far as New York. 
Impressed by the beauty of the country, Washington is 
said to have suggested that Ringwood would be ideal for 
a great recreation ground. He foresaw that New York 
would become the largest city in the country, if not in the 
world. Thirty-five miles away, New York was then a two 



22 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

days' journey; the time required now is less than two 
hours. 

On that tragic day, October 2, 1780, on which the 
young Major Andre was executed at Tappan, Robert 
Erskine died as a result of exposure while on a surveying 
expedition. Though some of Washington's staff were 
present, the general did not witness the execution of the 
young English spy. The shutters of headquarters at Tap- 
pan were closed, and it is possible that the saddened 
Commander in Chief was traveling through the northern 
hills to the home of his devoted friend. 

In 1782 Washington returned to Ringwood and planted 
an elm beside the brick crypt in which Erskine was buried. 
The grave may be seen today. Beside it is that of Erskine's 
secretary, Robert Monteith. 

After Erskine's death his widow and her second hus- 
band, Robert Lettis Hooper, an army officer, managed the 
property for three years. In 1783 all the iron was offered 
for sale, and the place was closed. 

It was not until 1807 tnat tne Ringwood mines and 
forges were again active. The property was purchased by 
Martin Ryerson, who ran the industry successfully for 30 
years. Under his three sons who followed him the business 
dwindled, due partly to the opening of the Pennsylvania 
fields and to the improvement in methods of iron manu- 
facture. 

During the management of the elder Ryerson, Ring- 
wood forges furnished munitions for the War of 1812. 
Standing on the lawn in front of the house today is one 
of the main deck guns of the frigate Constitution, forged 
here. A grove of trees flanking the terrace in front of the 
house was planted by Mrs. Ryerson to commemorate the 
Peace of Ghent that ended the conflict. 







REVOLUTIONARY RELICS AT RINGWOOD MANOR 

By 1853 the fortunes of Ringwood were at a low ebb. 
Peter Cooper, the great industrialist and philanthropist, 
loaned the Ryersons money to build up the tottering struc- 
ture; but in the end he was forced to purchase it. The 
management of the iron properties was turned over to 
Abram S. Hewitt, who in partnership with Peter Cooper's 
son, Edward, owned the Trenton Iron Company. Ring- 
wood promised a valuable source of supply for the firm 
of Cooper and Hewitt, which became one of the most 
important concerns in the iron-mining industry. After 
Abram Hewitt married his partner's sister Ringwood was 
chosen as their summer home. 

As the mines brought wealth to the Hewitt family, the 
house and gardens were enlarged and embellished. There 
is no trace in the present mansion of the simple Colonial 
lines of Robert Erskine's house, partly destroyed by the 
British raiding party. Each owner has altered it according 
to his tastes and needs. Finally the whole has been covered 
with stucco. 



24 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

The gardens have been laid out with walks, rose arbors, 
terraces and ponds j adorned with statues, ornamental 
gates, Chinese vases, Italian marbles and French foun- 
tains -y and sprinkled with relics of Colonial and early 
American history. In the garden there are columns from 
the old New York Life Insurance Building. In the tower 
of the house hangs the bell from the old furnace which 
summoned the workmen in times of danger. The windows 
of the glass piazza were formerly part of the Cooper 
Union Art School in New York City. 

Museums, expositions and private collectors have drawn 
on the storehouse of treasures preserved by the proprietors 
of Ringwood. At the Centennial Exposition in Philadel- 
phia in 1876 there was shown a complete Revolutionary 
kitchen, with utensils, spit crane and spiders, all fur- 
nished by Mr. Hewitt. These were never returned. 

The stables are unusually elaborate, with paneled 
cypress walls. When Henry Ford founded his American 
Village at Dearborn, Michigan, Ringwood supplied him 
with five carloads of relics, including carriages and sleighs 
dating from 1757, many of which were made to order by 
Brewster. These old vehicles had been standing unused in 
the stables. 

The mines finally closed in 1931, and will probably not 
be reopened. Although the nearby hills are still rich in 
iron ore, it is no longer profitable to extract it. Upwards 
of 500 men, many of them descendants of those who 
came here in the early days of the industry, were thrown 
out of work when the mines were shut down. Many of 
these are Jackson Whites, a mountain folk who have lived 
in the Ramapo Mountains since the Revolutionary War. 
They have depended for subsistence on the mines, and still 
speak of the "Company" with awe, while "The Family" 



RINGWOOD MANOR STATE PARK 25 

means only the Hewitts. In the early years, before Peter 
Cooper's time, money was practically unknown to the 
workmen. All of their trading was done at the company 
store still in existence where they were credited with 
supplies in exchange for their services. 

Ringwood Manor State Park is under the jurisdiction 
of the Department of Conservation and Development. 
Here, within easy distance of the metropolitan area, are 
woodlands almost completely unspoiled, and relics that 
recall a great period in the Nation's development. 



OLD OXFORD FURNACE 

New Jersey has fallen heir to Oxford Furnace. Once it 
was a thriving iron smelter, pouring forth smoke and 
gushing streams of white hot molten iron to be made 
into horseshoes, nails and stoves for the colonists and 
cannon balls to fight the Indians, French and British. 

The ruins of the old furnace are on the slope of Scott's 
Mountain, in the village of Oxford, about a block from 
State Highway 30. It was built in 1742 by Jonathan Robe- 
son, in what was then the wilds of Morris (now Warren) 
County, and for 140 years it served New Jersey well. 

Oxford Furnace was placed to take advantage of a vein 
of ore containing 60% of iron. Some of the shafts, at the 
outset, were sunk close to the furnace, but later consider- 
able ore was taken from the Kisbaugh Mine, situated sev- 
eral miles north near Great Meadows and the Pequest 
River. 

There were other mines three-quarters of a mile south. 
Among these was Car Wheel Mine, named for an industry 
established in 1840 when railroads were being built. Its 
founders were the Scranton brothers, George and Selden, 
for whom the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, was named. 
They found the Oxford pig iron well adapted to their 
needs and operated the furnace many years. 

Oxford ore was recommended as the best for making 
steel, since it also contained carbon. Britain, however, did 
not encourage the more finished forms of industry here, 
and the Governor reported only one steel plant in the 

26 




OXFORD FURNACE AS IT LOOKS TODAY. AT THE EXTREME 
LEFT CAN BE SEEN THE REMAINS OF THE OLD FURNACE. 
THE BUILDING IN THE CENTER WAS THE STAMPING MILL, 
AND THE CHURCH AT THE EXTREME RIGHT WAS ONCE 
THE GRISTMILL 

Province in 1768. The smelting of crude pig iron, which 
could be taken to England for making into hardware, was 
not forbidden, however. 

Iron is rarely found in the earth in a pure state. It is 
scattered in veins and fragments throughout rocks. The 
method of extracting the iron from the rock has not 
changed since the early days of the Oxford Furnace. 
Modern machinery, however, with large furnaces and 
electric power, has made it possible to extract or smelt 
hundreds of tons of pure iron a day, while in the early 
days two or three tons were considered good. 

Smelting iron consists merely in applying intense heat 
to the ore. This melts both the iron and the rock. The 
iron, being heavier, runs to the bottom, while the liquid 
rock floats to the top. The molten iron is drawn off 



2 8 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

through holes in the bottom of the furnace, while the 
rock and other impurities are carried off through another 
vent. This waste matter is called slag. 

Some of the cannon balls made at Oxford for the 
French and Indian Wars, 1754-1763, have been found 
among the cinder heaps. Another product of this period 
was chimney firebacks. These were cast in molds in several 
patterns. One bears the British coat of arms with the lion 
and the unicorn and the date 1746. Another shows a 
Colonial couple preparing to dance. Some of these fire- 
backs have been found in old houses in Northern New 
Jersey. Most of Oxford's iron, however, was in the shape 
of "pigs" or rough cast blocks that were pounded into 
other forms at New Jersey forges. 

The furnace also shipped its pigs to Philadelphia, where 
some of them became ballast for ships. The iron was car- 
ried in oxcarts about four miles to the Delaware River 
below Belvidere. Here at Foul Rift the iron was placed 
aboard Durham boats for the two-day voyage to Phila- 
delphia. 

The Durham boat, invented by Robert Durham, was 
designed to carry goods through the Delaware River 
rapids. Flat bottomed with sharp ends, some of them were 
66 feet long, 6 feet wide and 3 feet deep, capable of 
carrying 15 tons. The first one was built in 1740, and so 
many others followed that at one time there were several 
hundred on the river, employing over 2,000 men. A crew 
of six was required to propel and steer them by oars or 
poles, though they used sails at times. 

Throughout the Revolution Oxford was safely shel- 
tered by Washington's line of defense along the Wat- 
chung Ridge, 30 miles to the southeast, and continued to 
supply the Continental Army with cannon balls. 



OLD OXFORD FURNACE 2Q 

Production at the Oxford Furnace, which had risen to 
three tons of pig iron a day, declined about 1807. Two 
years later it was bought by Morris Robeson, grandson 
of Jonathan Robeson. The sides of Scott's Mountain and 
other hills around the works became bare of trees. Its 
4,000 acres of woodland were exhausted. Soon the iron- 
master had to close the furnace for lack of fuel, "go out 
of blast," as the workers sadly said. For 20 years it was 
idle or produced only chimney backs and stoves. Many of 
the forges that had used its pig iron fell into ruins. 

Building of canals brought about a change for the better 
in New Jersey industry, including iron. When the Morris 
Canal was opened in 1831 and the Pennsylvania canal 
system was completed, they brought the new fuel, Penn- 
sylvania coal, to New Jersey. Oxford then sprang into 
new life. About this time William Henry, manager of the 
works, invented the "hot blast." This was a method of 
heating the air before it was forced through the fire. Aided 
by larger bellows, this increased production to four tons 
and more a day. It was necessary to enlarge the furnace, 
and soon the output reached 10 tons a day. The pig iron 
was hauled to the Morris Canal a few miles distant and 
thence aboard boats to the Delaware, to Philadelphia by 
the Pennsylvania Canal, and to many towns in New 
Jersey. 

Another peak of prosperity came to Oxford in the Civil 
War, when iron was in great demand. The Scranton 
brothers rebuilt the works to a capacity of 12,000 tons a 
year. They also erected a foundry, a rolling mill and a 
nail factory that turned out 240,000 kegs a year. 

The activity of the Civil War period was short lived. 
Soon afterward the iron fields of Western Pennsylvania 
and Indiana began production. New Jersey operators could 



3O STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

not compete with these new fields that had the advantage 
of a nearby fuel supply from the soft-coal mines. Oxford 
was "blown out" for the last time in 1882. Since then the 
crumbling stones and bricks have served only as a 
memento. 

But the historic ruins are not the only reminders of a 
prosperous industry. Behind the furnace stands a long 
stone barn that housed the mules that once strained to pull 
the little ore trucks up the ramp to the stamping mill. 
Behind the barn is a pile of slag; mountain would perhaps 
be a better word, for the pile towers more than 50 feet 
above the houses at its base and stretches for nearly a 
mile to the north. Slag was considered a waste product 
once, but now it is used for road construction. So immense 
is this slag deposit that although thousands of truckloads 
have been carted away, there is hardly a visible effect on 
the pile. 

Of the furnace itself, only 25 feet remain of what was 
once a 38-foot, pyramid-shaped stack. It stands close to 
the foot of the hill, largely concealed by the engine house 
and boilerhouse, later additions. The lower half of the 
engine house was originally the stamping mill, where the 
ore was crushed before being smelted. It stands beside a 
raceway that carried water from Furnace Creek to turn 
the water wheel that ran the stamping mill as well as the 
big leather bellows that blew air into the furnace. 

High on a hill overlooking the furnace is the three- 
story house that was built in 1754 by the Shippen brothers, 
Joseph and William, who then owned the controlling in- 
terest in the furnace. Joseph was known as "Gentleman 
Joe," because of the many distinguished guests from New 
York and Philadelphia whom he entertained in the little 
village. Though the house has been remodeled from time 



OLD OXFORD FURNACE 31 

to time, the original walls of native stone remain intact. 
Its broad front is partly hidden by glass-enclosed porches. 
This house went with the furnace, and the many owners 
and lessees used it in turn. 

Near the house is the three-story gristmill that ground 
flour for the workers and feed for the animals that hauled 
ore and fuel. For the past 25 years the gristmill has been 
used as a Methodist Church. At the peak, where once 
hung a pulley to hoist grain, now hangs the church bell, 
without cover, like those of the Spanish missions of Cali- 
fornia. 

Some of the older residents of the neighborhood still 
tell stories of the days when Oxford was a booming min- 
ing town. One of these, a lurid Hallowe'en story, relates 
the visit about 60 years ago of the ghost of Jerry Mack. 
Jerry had been found dead at the furnace one February 
day. Although the cause of his death was a mystery, 
people soon ceased wondering about it. Jerry Mack was 
forgotten. But Jerry had not forgotten his former asso- 
ciates. One windy night just before Hallowe'en three 
workers at the furnace heard a voice above the wind call- 
ing over and over, "doomed to wander, doomed to wan- 
der." There was a rustling at the stack house door, and as 
the workmen looked up, there stood Jerry's ghost carrying 
an umbrella and dressed in a long-tailed coat. Without 
waiting for a second look, all three dived through the 
window and, without stopping, fled for their homes three 
miles away. Jerry then wandered about and scared the 
wits out of three more workmen. The next morning the 
whole town was terror stricken. There was an investiga- 
tion, but nothing could shake the six men from their 
story. They had seen Jerry Mack; and what was more, not 
one of them would ever set foot near the furnace again. 



32 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

In fact, they all left town a few days later, taking their 
families and household goods with them. 

The Warren Pipe and Foundry Co. of Belvidere, last 
owner of Oxford Furnace, decided that the historic value 
of the furnace should be perpetuated. The company has 
given the ruins and some land to the State, which plans to 
restore and preserve it for the benefit of future Americans. 
The restoration will be under the direction of the New 
Jersey Historic Sites Commission. 



ROCK AWAY RIVER: A GATEWAY TO 
THE IRON REGION 

Although it is one of New Jersey's smaller rivers, the 
Rockaway was once important as the gateway to the vast 
magnetic iron deposits of Morris County. Its fingerlike 
branches penetrate the northern hills beyond the Wat- 
chung ridges, where hundreds of shafts were sunk when 
New Jersey provided most of the iron for America. Most 
of these mines were abandoned as the industry shifted to 
richer deposits in other States. 

Forges and furnaces set up in this region by the early 
colonists produced iron household utensils and ammuni- 
tion for the Revolutionary Army. These Colonial indus- 
tries are only memories now. But the brooks and springs 
that feed the Rockaway as it twists among the hills, drain- 
ing an area of about 200 square miles, are still tinged with 
iron from the hidden veins in the rocky ridges. 

Tumbling down its mountain stairway, the stream falls 
more than 1,000 feet to its mouth, pausing long enough 
to form a number of lakes on the way. The largest of 
these is the Jersey City Reservoir, covering 120 acres 
south of Boonton. Throughout the region are numerous 
natural lakes fed or drained by the Rockaway branches. 
Other lakes have been created by damming the streams 
for water power. 

The North American Glacier dug out the beds of some 
of the lakes about 100,000 years ago. Others were created 
as the glacier pushed masses of gravel and boulders into 

33 




THE ROCKAWAY FALLS AT BOONTON 

water courses. Behind these barriers the water piled up 
until it overflowed. In recent years the lakes, the river 
and the brooks have created a vacation land for thousands 
from cities and towns. Commercially, the river is still a 
source of power for modern mills at a few points along 
its banks. 

Green Pond Mountain separates the East Branch from 
the West Branch of the river until they join a short dis- 
tance above Wharton. The West Branch rises 1,200 feet 
above sea level in tiny Lake Madonna on Sparta Moun- 
tain, southwest of Oak Ridge Reservoir and remote from 
any large town. Lake Madonna is 40 miles from the 
mouth of the river. 

Falling steadily through rocky country, draining ten 
lakes, the river emerges from Lake Swannanoa in the 
northwest corner of Morris County and flows southward 
through Longwood Valley. Almost all of the lakes in 
this region served early industry. 

Rockaway seems to be the white man's shortening of 



ROCKAWAY RIVER 35 

the Indian name of the river, roga weighwero, which 
means "running out of a deep gorge." It is an especially 
fitting title for the East Branch. This stream flows from 
Green Pond, a lake two and one-half miles long at the 
foot of the mountain, where for more than a mile a 
granite cliff rises 1 50 feet over the lake. Leaving the lake, 
the brook races through a boulder-strewn ravine between 
steep rock walls and drops 300 feet in less than four miles 
in a series of cataracts and waterfalls. Halfway between 
Green Pond and Lake Denmark the water drops sheerly 
from the summit of Green Pond Mountain to the brook 
almost 100 feet below. An old road paralleling the stream 
is passable only on foot or horseback. Swollen by rain or 
melting snows in spring, the stream overflows its banks 
and runs over the road. 

This region today contributes far more to the war 
strength of America than it did during the Revolution. 
At forest-lined Lake Denmark the Navy has a large 
ammunition storehouse, and down the stream a mile and 
one-half, at Picatinny Arsenal on Lake Picatinny, the 
Army makes ammunition for military forces in the New 
York area. These munitions depots are on the sites of 
Colonial iron centers. 

In Rockaway Borough, where a dam furnishes water 
power for the old Rockaway gristmill, the river turns 
sharply north for about eight miles to the Powerville 
Dam. This stretch of quiet water, shaded by trees whose 
branches often meet overhead, is popular with canoeists 
and fishermen. The New Jersey Fish and Game Commis- 
sion stocks the stream with thousands of trout each year. 

South of the river around Denville are Arrowhead 
Lake, Rainbow Lake, Indian Lake and Lake Estline, with 
log cabins and summer bungalows on their shores. From 



36 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

the north. Deer Pond, Lake Valhalla, Surprise Lake, 
Ideal Lake, Fayson Lake and Dixon's Pond feed the 
Rockaway. All are popular with summer visitors. East of 
the river between Denville and Boonton is a group of 
five lakes around which has developed the modern com- 
muters' town of Mountain Lakes. 

From Powerville the river continues southeastward over 
a steep rocky course and plunges down 22-foot Boonton 
Falls into a rugged gorge, one of the outstanding scenic 
features of Morris County. The bridge into Boonton at 
the foot of the gorge is lined with fishermen during the 
season. Southeast of the town the river flows into Boonton 
Reservoir, which covers the site of old Boonetown, an 
important iron town before 1834. 

As it emerges from the northeast corner of the reservoir, 
the river bends northward for a short stretch and then 
turns abruptly southeast through a stretch of flat meadow- 
land to join Whippany River between Pine Brook and 
Hanover Neck. 

For many years authorities have considered building a 
two-mile dam at this point to form a lake which would 
cover 25 square miles of now worthless meadow, drained 
by the Whippany and Rockaway Rivers. This project 
would destroy more than 5,000 acres of mosquito-breed- 
ing ground and prevent floods in the Passaic Valley. 

Historians say that the first iron produced in New 
Jersey (other than bog iron from the southern swamps) 
was probably forged in the Rockaway region. From the 
Indians the colonists learned of the prized "black stone" 
from which the red men had made sturdy hatchets. Scouts 
from the Newark colony first found the source of this 
iron ore near Succasunna in Morris County. The discovery 
was almost equal to finding money, because every piece of 



ROCKAWAY RIVER 37 

land bought from the Indians was paid for partly in iron 
tools, hatchets, knives and hoes. These had to be imported 
from England at high prices. 

As early as 1685 or 1700 a party of Newark and Eliza- 
beth pioneers, skilled ironworkers among them, set out 
for the Passaic River frontier. On the west side of the 
Passaic near the mouth of the Rockaway, they cleared a 
tract extending to the Whippany River. Close to the 
present village of Whippany they built a forge known for 
many years as Old Forges. These men followed the 
streams up into the hills to find the "black stone," which 
was carried by pack horses back to the forge. 

Today bats live in the scores of old mine shafts on the 
range of hills spreading southwest from Wharton and the 
Rockaway River. One of these, the Dickerson Mine, was 
bought by Mahlon Dickerson, Governor of New Jersey. 
Its ore contained 82% of iron. 

The prospectors covered the whole basin of the river 
and its branches and reached beyond to Ringwood and 
Charlotteburg. As the veins of ore were discovered, more 
and more forges and furnaces were built. Despite the 
opposition of English ironmasters who tried to crush the 
infant enterprise, the colonists developed an industry that 
enabled them to achieve independence of Europe. At one 
time northern New Jersey had 80 forges and furnaces. 

Denmark, where the United States Naval Ammunition 
Depot is situated, is the site of the Burnt Meadow Forge, 
established in 1750. It was owned by Col. Jacob Ford, 
commander of the militia who kept the enemy away from 
the numerous forges scattered through the Morris County 
hills, all of which were furnishing munitions to the Revo- 
lutionary Army. 

Most productive of the Morris County mines was the 



STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 



ROCKAWAY RIVER 
BASIN 

/ COMPILED BY 

/ FEDERAL WRITERS* PROJECT, W.RA. 




ROCKAWAY RIVER 39 

Hibernia group, which continued to operate long after 
the Civil War. Close to the village of Hibernia, about five 
miles north of Rockaway Borough, these mines and the 
Hibernia Furnace, built 1763, were bought during the 
Revolution by William Alexander, one of Washington's 
generals, who was called Lord Stirling. He soon had 
skilled men at work molding small cannon for the Con- 
tinental Army. In the museum at Washington's Head- 
quarters in Morristown is an iron pig bearing the mark 
"Hibernia" on one side. 

When the Morris Canal was opened in 1831, Hibernia's 
iron was taken on oxcarts to Dover, and there loaded on 
canal boats. Dover soon became an important center of 
trade on the canal. It had two forges making chain cables 
for clipper ships j three rolling mills, one built in 1792, 
and a foundry where sugar and fish kettles, ten-plate 
stoves, salt pans and other useful things were made of 
cast iron. Dover is still working iron at its rolling mill, 
run by the Rockaway River's power. 

The folk for miles around drove into Dover for shop- 
ping during the canal era, and the older boys and girls 
attended its academy, which was also the church on Sun- 
day. Some of these boys and girls lived long enough to 
hear the song written about 30 years ago: 

Put on your old gray bonnet 
With the blue ribbons on it; 
While I hitch old Dobbin to the shay. 
And through the fields of clover 
We'll drive up to Dover 
On our golden wedding day. 



COLONIAL HOUSES OF NEW JERSEY 

It is over 300 years since the first Dutch settlers came 
from New Amsterdam to northern New Jersey to trade 
with the Indians. Many of the houses built since 1664, 
when they began to establish permanent homes, are still 
standing, reminders of the thrifty, comfort-loving farmers 
who brought European civilization to the New Jersey 
wilderness. The ownership of slaves supplied ample 
labor to build the houses of local sandstone and a mortar 
made of river mud mixed with straw or hogs' hair. The 
walls, about i l /2 feet thick, helped to keep the interior 
warm in winter and cool in summer. 

The great eaves that project above the front door are 
the most noticeable characteristic of these North Jersey 
Dutch houses, which were almost invariably built to face 
south. Ingeniously designed for comfort, the eaves served 
as an awning in the summer, and yet permitted the winter 
sun, hanging low in the south, to shine in the front win- 
dows and door. 

The early houses had just two rooms and an attic 
reached by a ladder. To save space there was no hall 
between the rooms, and, for privacy, there was no con- 
necting door, but separate front entrances. Beside each 
door was one great window, and sometimes a second 
smaller window was placed in the rear wall. So few win- 
dows were used because glass was expensive and not effec- 
tive as an insulator. 

Usually the single fireplace, built in the west wall of 

40 




IJHHRHHHHHi 

THE OLD DEMAREST HOUSE AT RIVER EDGE 

the house, was wide enough to take big logs and high 
enough for the large cranes that held the heavy iron 
kettles in which Dutch housewives prepared the family 
meals. There was always a cellar, reached by outside steps 
beside the front doors. Beams for the rafters and the 
joints under the wide plank floors were roughly squared 
and adzed from trees growing on the land. 

Typical of this style is the tiny old David Demarest 
house in River Edge, built about 1680. The roof is pitched 
from the ridge and curves out to cover the eaves over- 
hanging the twin doors and two large south windows. 
Though this type of pitched roof was used occasionally, 
the Dutch generally preferred the gambrel roof, which 
slopes gently from the ridge, then breaks steeply down to 
the eaves. The flatter portion provided more space in the 
attic without increasing the size of the building and was 



42 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

often used on larger houses with a central hall and stair- 
way. The attic could then be utilized for comfortable 
bedrooms. 

One of the best examples of the latter form, and much 
larger than the Demarest house, is the Terhune house in 
Hackensack, built about 1708. The gambrel roof ends in 
long eaves extending over a south porch, built many years 
later. The unusual width of the house made the roof very 
high, providing not only a second floor but also a con- 
siderable attic above. The outside stonework, rougher and 
cruder than in the later houses, has been whitewashed, 
giving the old stone an aged, crusty texture beneath the 
ivy vines. The door in the central hall halfway up the 
steep, narrow stairway to the attic was kept closed during 
the winter, a customary arrangement in houses of this 
type. 

As families grew, an addition much larger than the 
original house was sometimes built, and the old house 
became the kitchen wing. Occasionally a second small wing 
was added to the opposite end of the new addition to form 
a central house with balanced side wings. The Hopper 
house on Polifly Road in Hackensack grew this way. The 
central portion, built in 1808, is much newer than the 
kitchen wing. 

Toward the end of the i8th century the eaves were 
extended still further, and small columns were placed 
beneath them to form a porch. This was sometimes done 
on both front and rear. 

The Dutch houses built after 1800 show the influence 
of settlers from New England, who introduced English 
Georgian details which appear in the enframements of 
doorways, delicate fanlights, transoms and side lights and 
molded cornices. 



COLONIAL HOUSES OF NEW JERSEY 43 

Some of the houses were built of wood instead of stone 
and the frame walls filled with brick like the Vreeland 
house in Leonia, the finest example of the fully developed 
Dutch Colonial style in New Jersey. The frame part was 
built about 1836 as an addition to the small stone wing to 
the east, which was kept for service quarters. The front 
and rear porches are purely Dutch, but the beautiful 
leaded glass fanlight and narrow side lights framing the 
doorway, the gables adorned with oval windows and the 
carving of the woodwork around the doors and windows 
show the strong English influence. 

The charm of the Dutch Colonial lies in its impression 
of coziness, comfort and gentility. The soft curve in the 
roof line where it meets the walls and the deep shadow 
of the overhanging eaves, low over the first floor win- 
dows, seem to reflect something of the personal home life 
of the interior. The style has been much copied in modern 
house design, but it is not often that the simple grace of 
the old houses is successfully reproduced. 

There is a marked difference between the styles of the 
northern and southern New Jersey Colonial houses. The 
Swedes settled in this section before the middle of the 
1 7th century, but were soon mastered by the Dutch. There 
are no purely Swedish houses standing today, but the 
Swedes who remained in the section exerted a marked 
influence on the architecture introduced by their Dutch 
conquerors. 

Taking advantage of the clay and sand soil of southern 
New Jersey, the pioneers built their homes of brick made 
from the native clay. The earliest houses were small one- 
story buildings with gambrel roofs, such as the office of 
Thomas Revel, in Burlington, built in 1685. The high, 
steep roofs of the South Jersey houses gave so much extra 




HANCOCK HOUSE, HANCOCK'S BRIDGE, SALEM COUNTY 

space in the attic that it became a real second floor. For 
ventilation and light the Dutch often placed two dormer 
windows at the front. Only a few of these very old little 
houses remain as they were; to most of them the Swedes 
added a full second floor where the attic used to be. In 
many cases the shape of the original gambrel roof line can 
be traced in the brickwork of the gables. 

The Dutch used either white or a dull blue-gray brick 
to decorate the exterior, and almost always they placed 
their initials and the date of building in the gables. The 
Swedes imitated the use of patterns, at first with simple 
checkerboard or diamond designs, but later they tried 
very intricate patterns, such as the one on the Dickinson 
house at Alloway. 

In South Jersey the great overhangs built by the Bergen 
County Dutch were replaced by "pent eaves," small pro- 



COLONIAL HOUSES OF NEW JERSEY 45 

jections of roof between the first and second stories to 
protect the windows and doorway from rain and sno*w. 
Sometimes the eaves were built along the sides of the 
house as well as the front. It is not known where pent 
eaves originated, but they were common in parts of Eu- 
rope and in England at the time. 

The Hancock house at Hancock's Bridge, site of a mas- 
sacre of American soldiers during the Revolution, has two 
patterns, the checkerboard and zigzag, worked into its 
walls with glazed brick. Now owned by the State and 
preserved as a Colonial museum, the two-story house is 
one of the best examples of South Jersey Colonial archi- 
tecture. 



MORRISTOWN NATIONAL HISTORICAL 
PARK 

On February 27, 1933, when only four days remained 
before the expiration of the Seventy-second Congress, 
Representative Percy H. Stewart of Plainfield, New Jer- 
sey, rose to make a special request of the House of Repre- 
sentatives. He asked to have the rules of the House 
suspended so that his colleagues might discuss his bill for 
the establishment of a national historical park at Morris- 
town. 

Speaker John Nance Garner granted the permission, 
and the clerk then read the bill that had been passed by 
the Senate two and a half weeks earlier. When the reading 
had been completed, Mr. Stewart rose to speak for the 
measure: 

Mr. Speaker, this bill provides for the creation of 
a national historical park by setting aside certain areas 
at and in the vicinity of Morristown, N. J. Mr. Lloyd 
W. Smith proposes to donate to the Federal Govern- 
ment approximately 1,000 acres of land, and the city 
of Morristown has by a referendum of citizens, voted 
to turn over about 300 acres of land to the Federal 
Government. These two gifts comprise the camp 
ground occupied by the Revolutionary Army during 
the winter of 1779 and 1780, and the Revolutionary 
cemetery. In addition, the Washington Association 
of New Jersey proposes to donate the famous Ford 

46 




WASHINGTON'S HEADQUARTERS, MORRISTOWN 

House, used by General Washington and his staff as 
headquarters during the time the army was in camp 
at Morristown. This donation is to include also the 
many priceless treasures which have been collected by 
the Washington Association. . . . 

The New Jersey Congressman continued for about five 
or six of the ten minutes allotted to him, describing the 
historical significance of the proposed park and dwelling 
on New Jersey's importance in the Revolutionary War. 
Amidst applause from the Congressmen he closed with 
the hope that there would "not be a single vote in opposi- 
tion to accepting this splendid patriotic gift." 

Representatives were immediately on their feet with 
questions. Mr. Stewart assured Representative Blanton of 
Texas that thousands had already visited the Ford House 



48 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

and informed Mr. Hill of Alabama that no battles had 
been fought on the site of the park. Representative Wat- 
son of Pennsylvania came to the support of the Congress- 
man from his neighboring State. "Morristown is so closely 
allied with Washington . . ." he said, "that we should 
not turn down the gentleman's proposition." 

"I thank the gentleman," said Mr. Stewart. 

Representative Carl Michener of Michigan leaped into 
the discussion with a flat statement that he intended to 
oppose the bill because he felt the park would be too 
costly to the Federal Government. To this Representative 
Cochran of Missouri replied, "As a matter of fact this is 
about the first bill that has been introduced which gives 
the government something for nothing. The government 
is receiving property worth $1,000,000 for only $7,500 a 
year for maintenance." 

Mr. Michener's opposition grew more pointed. He 
insisted that if the house passed the Morristown bill it 
should also accept a proposition to take over the Ever- 
glades in Florida, which "some people call the alligator 
park bill." Another New Jersey Congressman, Charles A. 
Eaton, quickly inquired: 

Do I understand the gist of the argument of the 
gentleman from Michigan is that the sacred ground 
occupied by Washington and the fathers of this Re- 
public is on a level with alligators and snakes of the 
Everglades? 

After a vigorous protest that he did not mean to make 
such a comparison, Mr. Michener retired from the floor 
and left Representative Blanton to carry on. Mr. Blanton 
agreed that the park might prove a huge financial burden 
to the Government and added that Morristown did not 



MORRISTOWN NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK 49 

compare with Mount Vernon as a shrine "of the great 
Father of our country." 

Representative Eaton then returned to the conflict to 
insist that Morristown did rank as a shrine with Mount 
Vernon, pointing out that it had been called "The Valley 
Forge of New Jersey." It ought to be preserved," he 
argued, "as a sacred shrine by and for our people to the 
end of time." 

Mr. Eaton's plea terminated the debate. The question 
was put to the House by Speaker Garner, and the bill was 
quickly passed with a better than 2-1 majority. On March 
2, just one day before his administration ended, President 
Herbert Hoover signed the bill which created the Na- 
tion's first national historical park. 

Four months later, on July 4, 10,000 people gathered 
in the natural amphitheater on the grounds of Washing- 
ton's Morristown headquarters for the formal dedication 
of the park. In a graceful message President Franklin D. 
Roosevelt recognized Morristown's proud claims by re- 
ferring to the city as "in fact, if not in name, the capital 
of the future republic" and by characterizing the Ford 
House as "our first White House." As the Federal Gov- 
ernment's official representative, Secretary of the Interior 
Harold L. Ickes received the deeds to the historic lands 
from the mayor of Morristown and made the principal 
address of the ceremony. 

After expressing his pleasure to be in the hills of Mor- 
ristown, "at once so beautiful and so historic," the Secre- 
tary praised Washington's genius "in selecting these hills 
as his military headquarters, difficult of access as they were 
to the foe, yet for the Revolutionary commander within 
easy striking distance of two vital cities, New York and 
Philadelphia." In conclusion, he observed that this same 



5O STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

strategic location would make Morristown National His- 
torical Park a patriotic shrine easily accessible to a sixth of 
the Nation's population. 

At the time of the dedication of the Morristown Park, 
there were 21 other national parks. Of these only a few 
had historic associations comparable to those of Morris- 
town, and none approached it in size. The Morristown 
National Historical Park is really three historical parks in 
one. Each unit has its full share of Revolutionary signifi- 
cance: the Ford Mansion as Washington's headquarters j 
Fort Nonsense as the refuge of the Continental soldiers 
guarding military stores j and Jockey Hollow three miles 
southwest as the site of the encampment of more than 
1 2,000 soldiers of the Continental Army. Taken together, 
the three divisions tell the story of one of New Jersey's 
outstanding contributions to the success of the colonies in 
their struggle for independence. 

Ever since Washington's occupancy of the Ford House 
in the desperate winter of 1779-80, the lovely Colonial 
mansion has been the historical heart of Morristown. Its 
setting on an expanse of sloping lawn on which stand 
towering trees has doubtless changed little from the day 
when the house was built in 1774 by Colonel Jacob Ford, 
a wealthy iron and powder manufacturer. It was then the 
most pretentious residence in Morristown, a village of 
300 people. 

For generations the beautiful door of the Ford House 
has been thrown open to those who would come close to 
the cares and responsibilities, the joys and triumphs ex- 
perienced by Washington and his staff. Furnishings and 
decorations have been acquired to suggest the atmosphere 
of the Revolutionary period. Delicate Colonial furniture 
makes the spacious central hall appear much as it did 



MORRISTOWN NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK 51 

when Martha Washington ordered it cleared for one of 
the many balls she gave to keep up the morale of the 
Continental Army. 

The dignity with which the house bears its age of 
eight score and four befits the statement that "under its 
roof have gathered more characters known to the military 
history of our Revolution than under any one roof in 
America." Visitors from abroad, like Kosciusko and 
Pulaski from Poland, Baron von Steuben from Prussia, 
the Chevalier de la Luzerne from France and Don Juan 
de Miralles from Spain, brought hope of foreign aid that 
occasioned rejoicing and celebration in the generous Vir- 
ginia way of the Washingtons. No event was more jubi- 
lantly observed than Lafayette's arrival in 1780 with word 
that the King of France was sending a fleet of ships and 
6,OOO troops to the aid of the colonies. 

Washington's fellow American generals, Greene, Wayne 
and Light Horse Harry Lee, however, brought mostly 
discouraging news of the progress of the war. Equally 
depressing were the constant accounts of bickerings with 
the Congress and State Legislatures over support of the 
army. Perhaps the bitterest experience for Washington at 
Morristown was the report of Benedict Arnold's treason 
at West Point. It was the climax of a tragedy in which an 
important scene had been played at the New Jersey head- 
quarters. 

At the Dickerson Tavern on the village green Arnold 
had been tried early in 1780 on charges of abuse of power 
brought by Pennsylvania officials. The military court did 
not pronounce him guilty, but recommended a reprimand 
from the Commander in Chief. Washington reluctantly 
complied, but tried to soften Arnold's mortification by 



52 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

offering him command of West Point. Arnold's treachery 
was the general's thanks. 

The gay temperament of two of the youngest members 
on Washington's staff, Alexander Hamilton and Lafay- 
ette, often helped to relieve the heavy gloom. The French 
nobleman's witty tongue and zestful spirit could always 
be counted on to enliven an evening, and Hamilton's suc- 
cessful courtship of General Philip Schuyler's daughter, 
Betsy, brought a youthful buoyancy to the atmosphere. 

Both Hamilton and Lafayette lived for a time in the 
Ford House with Washington and his family and others. 
Despite the size of the mansion, it was taxed beyond its 
facilities, and Washington wrote to Greene: 

I have been at my present quarters since the ist day 
of December and have not a Kitchen to cook a 
Dinner, . . . Nor is there a place at this moment 
in which a servant can lodge, with the smallest de- 
gree of comfort. Eighteen belonging to my family, 
and all of Mrs. Ford's are crowded together in her 
Kitchen, and scarce one of them able to speak for the 
colds they have caught. 

Mrs. Ford was one of the few of Washington's hostesses 
who refused to accept payment for her hospitality. The 
general, however, insisted on plastering the house at his 
own expense. When Washington moved in, he instructed 
Mrs. Ford to make an inventory of her possessions. At 
the time of his departure she reported that her belongings 
were intact, save for the absence of a silver tablespoon. 
After the war, Washington replaced this with a spoon 
from his service at Mount Vernon, inscribed with the 
initials "G.W." 



MORRISTOWN NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK 53 

Directly behind the Ford House is the Historical Mu- 
seum of Morristown, recently built by the Department of 
the Interior. Its valuable collection of Washington ma- 
terial, nearly all acquired by the Washington Association 
of New Jersey, includes a Gilbert Stuart portrait of the 
general j a diorama depicting the mutiny of the regiment 
of the Pennsylvania Line; a iO4-pound link of the great 
iron chain stretched across the Hudson to prevent the 
British fleet from reaching West Point ; and some weapons 
captured from the British at the Battle of Princeton. It is 
intended to place all the historical articles from the Ford 
House in this museum and to furnish the house completely 
as a typical eighteenth century mansion. Among the ex- 
hibits which are still on view in the house itself are the 
piano used by Nellie Custis, Washington's adopted daugh- 
ter, and the china and silverware with which Washington 
and Lafayette were served. 

About two miles from the headquarters stands Fort 
Nonsense. Originally built in 1777 during Washington's 
first winter in Morristown, it gradually crumbled away 
and was rebuilt in 1937 by the National Park Service, 
aided by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Although the 
Watchung Mountains seemed to provide a measure of 
protection, the Continental Army was constantly on the 
watch for British attacks. The high ridge on which Fort 
Nonsense was situated strategically commanded a pass 
through the mountains and was probably used as the site 
of a beacon to summon the militia in times of danger. 

In its natural state the hill was probably adequate for 
the purposes of the army. Washington, however, ordered 
a fort built there, possibly to afford greater protection to 
the town, its valuable stores of munitions and important 
iron works. The soldiers contended that the job was de- 



54 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

signed only to keep them busy and dubbed the project 
"Fort Nonsense." 

The original fort was constructed of earth. The hill was 
cut in a series of terraces, upon each of which soldiers took 
their stand. The fort was rebuilt from a study of military 
manuals of the Revolutionary period. 

Difficult as conditions were at the Ford House through 
the frigid winter of 1779-80, Washington himself would 
have been the first to agree that the greatest measure of 
suffering was experienced three miles beyond the town, 
at Jockey Hollow. In what is now an inviting tract of 
forest overgrown with hardwoods and wildflowers, 12,000 
American soldiers camped under the most trying circum- 
stances. At the headquarters the housekeeper was once 
obliged to sell large quantities of salt to provide food for 
the general, but of his men at Jockey Hollow Washington 
wrote that they sometimes went "five or six days together 
without bread" and that at one time they "ate every kind 
of horse food but hay." 

Winter struck at the encampment before they could 
build proper huts, and an epidemic of smallpox carried 
off hundreds of men. Portions of the barrack huts remain, 
and Jockey Hollow Cemetery holds the graves of about a 
hundred men who died here. Across from the cemetery 
has been built a military hospital which is an exact repro- 
duction of the one used by the Continentals. Up the hill 
from the hospital stands the rebuilt hut of the officers of 
the Pennsylvania Division. Reconstruction of other au- 
thentic huts is planned by the National Park Service, 
which administers Morristown National Historical Park. 

The most famous event associated with Jockey Hollow 
occurred the winter following that which Washington 
spent in Morristown. On January i, 1781, 2,000 veteran 




Courtesy Wide World Photos 

REVOLUTIONARY HOSPITAL, JOCKEY HOLLOW 

troops of the Pennsylvania Line mutinied against the 
authority of the Continental Congress. Poorly fed and 
clothed, unpaid for 12 months, the men were convinced 
that their officers had deceived them on the terms of 
enlistment. Their patience snapped when they learned that 
new recruits were being offered the handsome bounty of 
three half-joes ($26.43). 

The mutineers seized ammunition and provisions and 
appropriated horses from the stables of their commander, 
General Anthony Wayne. In a brief skirmish they killed 
Captain Adam Bettin, who had attempted to restrain 
them. Wayne tried to placate them, but he was warned 
that he would be put to death if he fired his pistol. He 
was also assured that the men would obey his orders 
should the British attack. 



56 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

Meanwhile British spies offered the men a considerable 
sum to fight for England. The soldiers were as furious at 
this reflection on their loyalty to their country as they 
had been at their commanding officers. They quickly 
turned over the British agents to Wayne, who promptly 
executed them. 

With two colonels, the general accompanied the men 
to Princeton, where he presented Washington with a 
written list of their complaints. A council of war was 
called by the Commander in Chief, and the mutiny was 
settled by discharging many of the men from the service. 
The mutineers had intended to go to Philadelphia to con- 
front Congress with their demands, but they accepted this 
peaceable solution. 

Closely associated with events in the Pennsylvania Line 
mutiny is the Wick House, which stands farther down the 
road running through most of Jockey Hollow. Captain 
Henry Wick of the New Jersey militia lived here, but it 
was his daughter, Temperance, who made tradition for 
the farmhouse. According to the legend, two mutinous 
soldiers attempted to commandeer Tempers horse when 
they met her on the road. She pretended to submit, and 
the soldiers let loose their hold on the horse's bridle. 

Instantly, Tempe brought her whip down on the horse's 
flanks, and he galloped up the hill. When she reached the 
farmhouse, the girl led her horse into the kitchen, through 
the parlor and to a bedroom in the northwest corner of 
the house. She closed the wooden shutter and spread the 
featherbed on the floor so that the horse's stamping would 
be muffled. When the soldiers arrived, they searched the 
barn and adjoining woods, but fortunately never thought 
that the animal might be in the house. According to an- 
other version of the story, Tempe rode the horse straight 



MORRISTOWN NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK 57 

into the house without stopping to dismount. Regardless 
of the authenticity of the Tempe legend, the house itself 
retains more of its original appearance than any other 
Jockey Hollow building standing during the war. Partial 
restoration was made by the Civilian Conservation Corps. 
About 175 CCC boys are carrying on the work of re- 
construction and improvement of the huts and landmarks 
under the supervision of the National Park Service. Other 
field work has been accomplished through the Works 
Progress Administration and Public Works Administra- 
tion. Washington's Headquarters and the Historical 
Museum may be visited daily except Sunday from 9 to 5 
o'clock. Fort Nonsense and Jockey Hollow are open every 
day from 9 o'clock until dark. Free lecture and guide 
service may be obtained by making advance arrangements 
with the superintendent of the park. 



PATERSON, THE "FEDERAL CITY" 

Paterson, the city of mills and factories, owes its begin- 
nings to the dreams of one of the fathers of the country, 
the brilliant first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander 
Hamilton. The realization of the dream was somewhat 
delayed, and perhaps has fallen short of the hopes of the 
founder j but Paterson has, nevertheless, followed the 
pattern laid out for it in the early days of the country's 
history. 

Though the Revolution had left America politically 
independent of Great Britain, leading minds soon realized 
that the new country must secure her industrial independ- 
ence as well. To stimulate pride in home manufactures, 
the newspapers took pains to attract the public's attention 
to the fact that when Washington was inaugurated he 
was wearing a suit of broadcloth of the finest American 
manufacture. 

The new world had been looked upon as a producer of 
precious metals, pelts and raw materials for the mother 
country to turn into manufactured articles. These the 
colonists had to buy at advanced prices. They were pre- 
vented from making woolen, cotton or linen cloth for 
sale, and they were not allowed to build furnaces to con- 
vert the native iron into steel. 

Alexander Hamilton was greatly impressed with the 
Great Falls of the Passaic River in northern New Jersey. 
He foresaw it as the site of a great manufacturing center 
to supply the needs of the country. Here was the water 

58 



THE PASSAIC RIVER FALLS 

power to turn the mill wheels and a navigable river to 
carry the manufactured goods to the market centers. 

The Revolution over, in the midst of the thousand and 
one details of organization of the Government that occu- 
pied him, Hamilton proceeded to put his pet idea into 
motion. His plan was to form a large stock company 
which would engage in all sorts of manufacturing and 
would encourage other enterprises as well. Although he 
was convinced that the Great Falls of the Passaic was the 
logical site for a manufacturing center, he kept that part 
of his plan to himself. In the newspapers of New York 
and Pennsylvania, as well as in those of New Jersey, arti- 
cles appeared designed to interest moneyed citizens in a 
"Federal City" to be placed at some favorable spot accessi- 
ble to the cities along the seaboard. 

There were a number of influential men who saw at 



60 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

once the wisdom of the plan, and gradually the idea 
began to take hold of the imagination of the people at 
large. It was the first organization of its kind in the 
world and, because of its novelty, was received doubtfully 
by some and enthusiastically by others. Among the first 
to give support to the plan was the new Governor of New 
Jersey, William Paterson. 

Several meetings were held to consider plans of organ- 
ization and location. New Brunswick was one of the sites 
suggested. It had the advantage of a location on a broad 
river and it was, in addition, the birthplace of Governor 
Paterson. Newark was another suggested site. But, in the 
end, Hamilton had his way. The Great Falls of the Pas- 
saic were called into service to furnish the needed power, 
and the smooth-flowing Passaic River, the transportation 
essentials of the plan. 

Under a charter signed November 22, 1791, the Society 
for Establishing Useful Manufactures was organized. The 
city was named Paterson, in honor of the Governor of 
New Jersey who signed the charter. With the backing of 
Hamilton and Paterson to give them assurance, people 
from all parts of the country hastened to buy shares in 
the new company at $100 each. The list of the first sub- 
scribers contains the names of men prominent in the 
business and political affairs of the new country. The 
State of New Jersey assisted with a subscription of $10,000 
and, in addition, authorized a lottery to raise money for 
the enterprise. The practice of raising money through 
lotteries for public purposes, charities, churches, improve- 
ments, etc., which was more or less customary during 
Colonial days, had been abused in several instances; and it 
was only in special cases that the governing body per- 
mitted this method of raising money. 



PATTERSON, THE "FEDERAL CITY" 6 1 

The organizers of the "S. U. M.," as the company 
came to be called, were so certain that the whole country 
would benefit by its activities that they introduced into 
the charter some startling provisions which have since 
become a burden to the City of Paterson. For instance, 
the property of the Society was to be exempt from all 
taxes for ten years, and, thereafter, from all but State 
taxes. Later, when the S. U. M. gave up its manufacturing 
activities and leased its land to private organizations, the 
city, because of the original charter, was prevented from 
collecting taxes on the property. 

The Society bought about 700 acres of land above and 
below the falls and began digging a raceway. The French 
engineer, Pierre L'Enfant, who had been engaged to lay 
out the National Capital, was called into service. He 
conceived the plan of a magnificent city laid out in splen- 
did avenues and reached by a fine highway from Newark. 
The newspapers of the day spoke in enthusiastic terms of 
the fine prospects of the "National Manufactory," where 
they fondly believed would be produced all the cotton, 
cassimeres, wallpapers, books, felt and straw hats, shoes, 
carriages, pottery, bricks, pots, pans and buttons needed 
in the United States. But L'Enfant's plans were more 
magnificent than practical, and Peter Colt, treasurer of the 
State of Connecticut, was chosen in his place. 

A stone mill, four stories high, about 55 by 80 feet, 
was erected. There was nothing in the country like it, 
with its 768 spindles for spinning cotton. It would be an 
insignificant mill now, but it promised great things in 
those days. 

It is impossible to realize today the difficulties in the 
way of this pioneer manufacturing enterprise. Most of the 
machinery had to be imported, as well as the workmen to 



62 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

set it up and operate it. Moreover, the money to finance 
the venture did not come in so quickly as anticipated. Of 
the $1,000,000 capital authorized, only about $60,000 was 
subscribed. William Duer, the governor of the Society, 
whose wealth and business experience had been counted on 
to set the new venture on its feet, lost all his money in a 
sudden panic in New York and was sent to jail for debt. 
Foreign manufacturers flooded the market with goods the 
Society had planned to produce. An agent sent abroad with 
$50,000 to purchase supplies made off with the money j 
this was the final blow. 

Alexander Hamilton was too much absorbed with 
affairs of government to give as much time as was neces- 
sary to the scheme. With his financial genius and energy 
he might have been able to carry the plan through suc- 
cessfully, but he had to leave the S. U. M. to fend for 
itself. 

The Society limped along ineffectually until it finally 
decided, in 1796, to give up the business of manufacturing. 
Private concerns were invited to take up its land holdings, 
and the once hopeful Society of Useful Manufactures 
became nothing more than a glorified landlord. 

Paterson of today is not the "Federal City" of which 
Alexander Hamilton dreamed; but it has moved along 
consistently as a manufacturing center with a long list of 
products to its credit, three of which never entered into 
even the far-seeing calculations of Hamilton silk, loco- 
motives and airplane motors. 



NEW JERSEY'S FIRST SUMMER RESORT 

Cape May, at the southernmost point of New Jersey, 
where the State dips its toe into the Atlantic Ocean, is the 
oldest of its many seashore resorts. The Indians discovered 
it and liked it long before the shot of a musket broke the 
quiet of the forest or before the ring of a woodsman's axe 
was heard in the land. 

Cape May became a vacation resort for the Lenapes. 
They wore paths to it with their moccasined feet, fished 
along the shore, and dug for clams and oysters all sum- 
mer. When it was time to return to the fields to harvest 
their maize, the red-skinned summer visitors dried oysters, 
clams and fish to take back with them for use in the 
winter. 

The first white man to enter Delaware Bay passing the 
cape, was Henry Hudson, who sailed up the coast in 
1609 in his bark, the Half Moon. Hudson claimed the 
land in the name of the States-General of the Netherlands. 
Fourteen years later the Dutch West India Company 
sent out Captain Cornelius Jacobsen Mey to establish set- 
tlements. Arriving in Delaware Bay in the Glad Tidings 
in 1623, Mey gave his own name to the cape. 

Peter Hyssen, the Dutch captain of a whaling ship, 
purchased the land from the Indians before 1640. He 
paid for it in the usual way with copper kettles, knives, 
beads and other trinkets. His tract was four miles wide 
and four miles long. 

There were many whales off the New Jersey coast in 

63 




SUMMER VISITORS AT CAPE MAY IN THE i88o ? s 

the early days, and whalers found the cape a convenient 
place to bring their catches and cut them up. Besides the 
Dutch whalers, there were others from Long Island and 
Connecticut who put up sheds at Cape May_ as early as 
1640. There was no permanent settlement until 1685. 

These early settlers were peaceful Quakers, tending 
rigidly to their farms and their simple home life. Even 
when pirates like Captain Kidd and Blackbeard Teach 
came to fill their empty water casks from Lilly Pond they 
were not disturbed. Kidd, a privateer out of New York, 
turned pirate and was pursued by the King's officers. He 
was captured and hanged in London from the yardarm of 
his ship. His captors complained that they had received no 
cooperation from the Cape May people because the 
Quakers there disliked "gaols" (jails), and refused to help 
in sending anyone to jail. Many of them had suffered 



NEW JERSEY'S FIRST SUMMER RESORT 65 

imprisonment in England because of their religious 
beliefs. 

A report by Colonel Quary to the British Lords of 
Trade in 1699 shows that Captain Kidd did use Cape May 
as a hide-out. The report says: 

I have, by the assistance of Col. Basse, apprehended 
four more the pyrates at Cape May. 'Hee (Kidd) 
hath been here (Cape May) about ten days and the 
people frequently goes on board him. Hee is in a 
sloop with about fourty men and a vast treasure. 

For years many people have dug in the sands in hope 
of finding the famous Kidd treasure. Nothing, however, 
has been found except those sparkling but worthless stones 
known as Cape May diamonds. These are colorless Crystals 
of quartz found in granite, gneiss and other rocks and 
also in most sands and gravels. They were produced in 
the furnaces of an ancient geological age when these rocks 
were heated to a melting point. Glass is made from the 
sand underlying this region. 

During the Revolution, British men-of-war would land 
boats and raid Cape May for cattle and fill their water 
barrels from Lilly Pond. The inhabitants were so angry 
over these raids that they sacrificed their own fresh water 
supply by digging a ditch from the ocean to the pond, 
making the water brackish and unfit to drink. This dis- 
couraged the enemy from coming. 

After the Revolution, aristocratic Philadelphians sail- 
ing on Delaware Bay began landing at the small fishing 
village on the Cape and came to like it. It was an ideal 
place for bathing. The water was not too deep, and the 
beach was firm, with a gentle slope. The settlers finally 
realized that there was money to be made in providing 



66 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

food and lodging for the visitors. In 1801 Postmaster 
Ellis Hughes put the following advertisement in the 
Philadelphia Daily Aurora: 

The subscriber has prepared himself for entertaining 
company who use sea bathing, and he is accom- 
modated with extensive house-room, with fish, oysters, 
crabs, and good liquors. Care will be taken of gentle- 
men's horses. Carriages may be driven along the 
margin of the ocean for miles, and the wheels will 
scarcely make an impression upon the sand. The 
slope of the shore is so regular that persons may wade 
a great distance. It is the most delightful spot that 
the citizens may retire to in the hot season. A stage 
starts from Cooper's Ferry [Camden] on Thursday 
in every week and arrives at Cape Island on Friday; 
it starts from Cape Island on Friday and Tuesday 
each week and arrives in Philadelphia the following 
day. 

The ambitious postmaster also called attention to the 
view of the lighthouse, the many ships that came there, 
and the cool ocean breezes. He gave the routes for those 
traveling in their own carriages, and mentioned that there 
were boats for those who wished to travel by water. Eager 
vacationists sailed slowly down the Delaware, or drove 
along the bad, sandy road from Camden in dearborns 
(four-wheeled carriages). 

The accommodations to which the postmaster referred 
in the advertisement consisted of a huge barnlike building 
with one room, called the Atlantic Hotel. At night, a 
large sheet divided it in half. The men slept on one side 
and the women on the other. Later it was improved and 
became the resort of many prominent and wealthy men. 



NEW JERSEY'S FIRST SUMMER RESORT 67 

Commodore Stephen Decatur came there season after 
season for 16 years. 

The hotel prospered. The year after the historic ad- 
vertisement, boats ran regularly from Philadelphia to 
Cape May. In 1818 Congress Hall, another hotel, was 
built. By 1830 there were six boarding houses, three of 
them very large, to accommodate the increasing summer 
population. 

Bathing suits in those days were strange collections of 
old clothes which were carried to the Cape in carpetbags. 
Shoes and stockings were worn to protect feet from pebbles 
and shells. Later a regular bathing suit was designed with 
long sleeves, skirts, pantaloons with ruffles, and draw- 
strings at the neck, wrists and ankles. 

By 1850 Cape May was on its way to becoming the 
leading summer resort in the country. A steamboat made 
the trip from Philadelphia in half a day. Each spring the 
natives set out the pier at which the boat tied up, and each 
fall they took it apart and stored it because of the winter 
storms. 

Among the famous politicians who came to the resort 
at about this time was Henry Clay. He was so popular 
that at one time a group of women admirers chased him 
along the beach and cut off locks of his hair as souvenirs. 

The building of the West Jersey Railroad from Phila- 
delphia to Cape May in 1866 spread the Cape's name far 
and wide. Congressmen, bankers, wealthy manufacturers 
and noted writers came here. Society leaders from Wash- 
ington, Richmond and Baltimore made the place a fashion 
center. Five Presidents of the United States Pierce, Bu- 
chanan, Lincoln, Grant and Harrison were entertained 
in the large hotels. 

Days were spent pleasantly in bathing, sunning on the 







BATHING COS- 
TUME s OF 

THE 90'S 



beach, and driving on the firm sands at low tide. In the 
evenings there were dancing, gambling and other amuse- 
ments. The resort later offered such attractions as the 
Annapolis Naval Academy Band, and the Marine Band 
with John Philip Sousa. 

By 1900, with the development of other resorts along 
the coast. Cape May began to lose its popularity. In 1903 
Henry Ford came to the cape with several other men 
who were interested in racing to try out his experimental 
car in a race on the three-mile stretch of smooth beach. 
A touring car was brought along to assist in starting Ford's 
auto. The contest was not won by the Ford entry. 

Ford had to sell the touring car later in order to get 
enough money to return to Detroit with the racing car. 
Daniel Focer was the buyer, and Ford appointed him the 
agent for the new Ford car. The agency is operating to- 
day, and the old touring car stands on the display floor 
among the streamlined modern models. 

Cape May is no longer the famous resort it was 5 how- 
ever, the old homes and stately hotels are standing, and 
people who like its beauty and quiet still return year after 
year. 



CRADLE OF THE TELEGRAPH 

On Speedwell Avenue in Morristown, New Jersey, 
stands an undistinguished two-and-one-half-story frame 
building, once a part of the famous Speedwell Iron Works. 
Now situated on the grounds of a private residence, its 
age has been disguised by a new shingle roof and clap- 
board siding, and the original basement is half concealed 
in a banked lawn. Here was born one hundred years ago 
an industry that has transformed the commerce of the 
world. 

Samuel Finley Breese Morse came to Morristown in 
1837 to work with Alfred Vail on a problem which had 
challenged scientists for almost a century. Alfred, son of 
Stephen Vail, proprietor of the Speedwell Iron Works, 
was an earnest young mechanic. Morse was no young 
man 5 behind him lay two years of persistent experimenta- 
tion with the telegraph. And behind this was the memory 
of the checkered career as a portrait painter, satisfaction 
with the high praise of critics, disappointment with the 
low sums of patrons. At 46 Morse was well equipped with 
the persevering spirit so often necessary to scientific ac- 
complishment. 

Just how much Morse knew about the field in which he 
was soon to become famous is an unsettled question. An 
artist turned inventor practically overnight, he could have 
spent years catching up on what had been accomplished in 
the complicated science of telegraphy. He would have 
had to go all the way back to the first proposal for com- 

69 



7O STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

munication by electricity in a letter published in 1753 in 
the Scots Magazine of Edinburgh, signed only with the 
mysterious initials, "CM." 

Twenty-one years later George Louis Le Sage exhibited 
at Geneva the first telegraph instrument on record. This 
device required a separate wire for each letter of the 
alphabet. At the receiving end was a row of tiny lettered 
pith balls, suspended on silk threads at the terminals of 
the wires. As the current was sent through their respective 
wires the balls would swing, enabling the receiver to spell 
out words and sentences. In the years that followed, ex- 
periment with the telegraph spread all over the continent 
and to England, where in 1824 William Sturgeon de- 
veloped the electromagnet, the direct inspiration of 
Morse's work on the telegraph. 

Returning from Europe in 1832 on the packet Sully, 
Morse listened to a fellow passenger, Dr. Charles T. 
Jackson, describe experiments showing the property of 
electricity to travel over any length of wire instantane- 
ously. Jackson commented that the presence of the cur- 
rent in any part of the line could be ascertained by the 
spark, or by an electromagnet. The electromagnet that 
Jackson described consisted of soft iron bent in the shape 
of a horseshoe, around the limbs of which was wound a 
copper wire in a loose coil. With a flash of understanding 
that went to the heart of the problem of achieving an 
electric telegraph, Morse remarked, "If the presence of 
electricity can be made visible in any part of the circuit, 
I see no reason why intelligence may not be transmitted 
instantaneously by electricity." That statement was the 
birth of today's telegraph. 

After discouraging efforts to secure painting commis- 
sions, in 1835 Morse became a professor in the Fine Arts 



CRADLE OF THE TELEGRAPH Jl 

Department of the University of the City of New York, 
now New York University. Relatively free from financial 
worry, he set to work to develop the idea suggested by 
Jackson's information on the electromagnet. Whether 
Morse knew that a number of crude instruments had 
already accomplished instantaneous transmission is another 
doubtful matter. It is far more important that he grasped 
the problem immediately and that he labored until he 
brought telegraphy from the stage of theories and rude 
experimental apparatus to that of practical use. 

From the time that Morse began to apply his under- 
standing to the task of developing the telegraph, his work 
became crisscrossed with that of three other scientists, Dr. 
Leonard Gale, Dr. Joseph Henry and Alfred Vail. Al- 
though their just share in the great work can probably 
never be determined accurately, all undoubtedly con- 
tributed significantly to the final triumph. Technical diffi- 
culties with an instrument made in 1836 sent Morse first 
to Dr. Gale, a colleague on the faculty of the university. 
Gale gave him important advice on the best type of battery 
for his purposes and suggested increasing the number of 
turns of wire on the electromagnet, thereby making the 
magnet stronger. 

This latter advice was based on the work of Dr. Henry. 
Henry had indeed all but forestalled Morse in the inven- 
tion of an electric telegraph. While a professor at Albany 
Academy in 1831, he hung a mile of copper wire around 
the walls of a large classroom and placed a battery and 
one of his powerful magnets at each end of the circuit. 
When the magnet was excited by impulses from the bat- 
tery, it caused a rod, which had been in contact with it, to 
move and strike a bell. A year later Henry accepted a 
position at the College of New Jersey, now Princeton, 



72 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

where in 1836 he built a telegraphic circuit between two 
campus buildings. He was more interested in the purely 
scientific aspect of his invention and did not develop it 
beyond signaling. 

In September 1837 at New York University, in a room 
hung with 1,700 feet of wire, Morse actually sent a mes- 
sage. His apparatus differed greatly from that which 
became the parent of present-day instruments. The simple 
plan of sending letters and numerals by pressing down a 
key by hand did not occur to the inventor until later. This 
early apparatus was much more complicated. Each time 
electricity passed through it, an electromagnet at the re- 
ceiving end attracted a soft iron bar to which a pencil was 
fastened. When the current was shut off, a spring pulled 
the iron bar and pencil back to the original position. The 
pencil was thus moved back and forth over a strip of 
paper, which traveled along beneath it, and made a series 
of V-shaped marks which could be translated into letters 
and words. 

To make and break the circuit at the sending end in 
some regular way Morse used pieces of metal with an edge 
notched in different combinations to represent characters. 
Pieces of this "type" were set in a form to spell out words. 
The sending lever, which operated like a seesaw, closed 
and opened the circuit alternately. At one end of the lever 
was a spike pointing downward. As the "type" was pushed 
along beneath this spike, the points pushed the spike up- 
wards, so that the opposite end of the seesaw descended to 
close the circuit. In the spaces between the "type" points, 
the contact would be broken. The series of contacts acti- 
vated the magnet at the receiving end, and the pencil 
recorded the symbols. The zigzag line was in effect 




THE VAIL BARN, CRADLE OF THE TELEGRAPH 

a crude forerunner of the dot and dash system later 
employed. 

For the experiment at New York University Morse 
selected the word "successful." It was an apt choice, for 
in the company which witnessed the demonstration was 
Alfred Vail, who was so impressed that he desired to have 
a share in the enterprise. He persuaded his father, Judge 
Stephen Vail, and his brother, George, to advance $2,000 
to cover the expense of perfecting the instrument. 

Vail and Morse entered into a contract under the terms 
of which Vail was to give his services, $2,000 in cash and 
the use of his father's shop in return for one-quarter of 
the American royalties and one-half of the foreign interest. 
Vail retired to his shop in the yard of his father's iron 
works and applied himself to working out mechanical im- 
provements on Morse's instrument. 



74 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

Judge Vail was now in the telegraph business, and, busi- 
nessman that he was, he expected results. His own skep- 
ticism at his son's enthusiasm was heightened by the jests 
of his friends and, worse still, by the evasive attitude of 
the inventors themselves. 

About four months after the contract had been signed, 
a very short time in the development of an invention, but 
doubtless a very long time to dubious Judge Vail, Morse 
and his son invited him to a demonstration at the Speed- 
well shop. They also asked people from the iron works 
and the surrounding districts. 

Morse, at this time, considered that the most efficient 
method of communication was by using numerals, each of 
which referred to a word in a specially numbered diction- 
ary. The dictionary was prepared 5 the apparatus was in 
order 5 three miles of copper wire had been looped about 
the walls of the room. When the group assembled on 
January 6, 1838, the judge handed his son a message on 
a slip of paper, saying, "If you can send this and Professor 
Morse can read it at the other end, I shall be convinced." 
Alfred Vail must have stiffened when he read his father's 
sentence "A patient waiter is no loser." A moment or two 
passed while he assembled the numbers for the message ; 
then there was only the scratching of Morse's pen at the 
other end of the wire. When he had finished writing, he 
handed the message to the judge, correct. Jubilation at 
the success of the experiment broke the tenseness of the 
atmosphere, and Judge Vail, now convinced, immediately 
urged that the inventors ask Congress to establish a 
Government line. 

Although they were not able to flash the news instantly 
to the Morristown Journal, shortly afterward Vail and 



CRADLE OF THE TELEGRAPH 75 

Morse had the satisfaction of reading the following 
account of their work in that paper: 

It is with some degree of pride, we confess, that it 
falls to our lot first to announce the complete success 
of this wonderful piece of mechanism, and that hun- 
dreds of our citizens were the first to witness its sur- 
prising results. No place could have been found more 
suitable to pursue the course of experiments necessary 
to perfecting the details of machinery than the quiet 
retirement of the Speedwell works, replete as they 
are with every kind of convenience which capital and 
mechanical skill can supply. . . . Others may have 
suggested the possibility of conveying intelligence by 
electricity, but this is the first instance of its actual 
transmission and permanent record. 

Despite such an enthusiastic reception and Judge Vail's 
haste to commercialize their success, the scientists con- 
tinued to improve their instrument. Only 18 days after 
the Morristown demonstration, they held another trial at 
New York University at which letters of the alphabet 
replaced the old numerals so that the dots and dashes 
actually spelled out words. According to the New York 
Journal of Commerce y this improvement increased the 
number of words that could be transmitted in a minute 
from ten to twenty. 

In a short time, however, Morse and Vail discarded type 
altogether and substituted the key and keyboard which 
have remained permanent features of the telegraph ever 
since. The sending instrument which they devised was a 
simple affair. A spring raised a metal knob over another 
metal knob attached to a board. When the top knob was 



76 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

pressed down to make contact with the lower one, the 
circuit was completed. 

Alfred Vail pushed on to perfect the recording of the 
dots and dashes. After considerable experiment with pens, 
pencils and other markers, he finally adopted a blunt steel 
stylus which marked the telegraphic symbols on a sheet 
of paper. Years later, when the question of the true in- 
vention of the telegraph was being dragged through the 
courts, Vail explained that by the terms of his contract 
with Morse he could not obtain a patent for the device. 

To convince the public of the practical possibilities of 
the telegraph it was necessary to give a demonstration 
covering two distant points. It was not enough to send a 
message from one room to another or even from one 
house to another. It had to be shown that a message could 
be sent over a wire, no matter how great its length. 

Again and again Congress was petitioned for a subsidy 
to permit building a telegraph line between Baltimore and 
Washington, but each time it was presented the bill died 
in committee. The public seemed utterly indifferent to the 
whole idea. Talking over wires! It was absurd! 

On February 23, 1843, tne bill was again introduced. 
It passed the House by 6 votes, but it had only a slim 
chance in the Senate, due to the pressure of business. 
Morse asked two Senators if they thought the Senate 
would consider his bill before its adjournment, but they 
gave him no grounds for encouragement. He went to his 
room wholly discouraged. 

The next morning as Morse was sitting at breakfast 
Annie Ellsworth, the daughter of the Commissioner of 
Patents, called on him. When he expressed surprise at 
the early call, she said, "I have come to congratulate you." 

"Indeed, for what?" 



CRADLE OF THE TELEGRAPH 77 

"On the passage of your bill." 

Her father had waited in the Senate gallery till the end 
of the session, when, to everyone's surprise, $30,000 had 
been appropriated for the construction of the line between 
Washington and Baltimore. Morse was so elated that he 
promised the young woman to let her choose the first 
message. 

Work was started at once. There were no precedents to 
go by. Every move was a pioneer step. Two-thirds of the 
appropriation was exhausted in using underground wires, 
but this method was found unworkable, because of faulty 
insulation. Fighting against the loss of time and money, 
they hung the wire between tall poles, using the necks of 
bottles for insulation at the poles. This idea was contrib- 
uted by Ezra Cornell, mechanic, inventor, promoter and 
businessman who later founded the great university that 
bears his name. 

On May 24, 1 844, the day of the demonstration, Morse 
sat at the transmitter in the Supreme Court Room of the 
Capitol; Vail waited at the receiving end in Baltimore. 
Annie Ellsworth handed Morse the message, "What Hath 
God Wrought?" which he ticked out on the key. In a few 
moments the receiver clicked out the same message. The 
telegraph was a success. 

Morse offered his invention to the Government for 
$100,000, but it was refused. However, $8,000 was voted 
to maintain the 4O-mile line already constructed. The in- 
ventors and a promoter then organized the Magnetic 
Telegraph Company with a line from Philadelphia to 
New York. In 1846 Vail and Morse leased the Washing- 
ton-Baltimore line from the Government and shortly 
afterward acquired it outright for the Magnetic system. 



78 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

Congress had definitely taken itself out of the telegraph 
business. 

Even before this there had been competition from other 
lines. As companies increased, patents were infringed on, 
and Morse and his partners were obliged to spend much 
time defending their claims. An unfortunate side light on 
this litigation was the frequent presence of Dr. Joseph 
Henry as a witness against Morse. Henry had been 
offended in 1845 when VaiPs book on the telegraph had 
failed to take into account the importance of his use of the 
electromagnet in transmitting signals. 

The Morse company joined with other telegraph com- 
panies, but in 1859 they were absorbed by the American 
Telegraph Company. The era of swift expansion across 
the continent was at hand; and the telegraph was ready 
to play its part in the development of the Nation. 



A CONFEDERATE SHRINE IN NEW JERSEY 

The heroes of the Civil War are honored on two memo- 
rial days in New Jersey. May 30 is dedicated to the sol- 
diers who fought for the Union, and April 26 to the 
soldiers who fought for the Confederacy. 

At Finn's Point National Cemetery, adjoining the Fort 
Mott reservation, about five miles from Salem, the Fed- 
eral Government, in 1912, erected an 85-foot monument. 
On 12 tablets at the base are inscribed the names of 2,436 
soldiers of the Confederacy who died during a cholera 
epidemic in Fort Delaware, where they were being held 
as military prisoners. 

Every April 26 a group of the Confederate Daughters 
of America journey to this spot to place wreaths at the 
monument in tribute to the men who were brought here 
for burial from the island fort where they had died miser- 
ably of neglect and disease, far from their homes. 

The cemetery, enclosed by a gray stone wall, with its 
orderly rows of gravestones, its well-kept lawns and fine 
trees, is an impressively peaceful spot. A fringe of native 
brush and scrub oaks is kept as a bird refuge. The songs 
of birds and the wind in the trees are the only sounds that 
penetrate the quiet. Leading inward from the entrance 
gates are two rows of bronze plates, on each one of which 
is inscribed a verse of Theodore O'Hara's famous poem, 
The Bivouac of the Dead. 

79 



FINN'S POINT CEMETERY 



One verse of the poem sounds a solemn note: 

Rest on, embalmed and sainted dead! 

Dear as the blood ye gave 
No impious footstep here shall tread 

The herbage of your grave: 
Nor shall your glory be forgot 

While Fame her record keeps, 
Or honor points the hallowed spot 

Where Valor proudly sleeps. 

At one end of the cemetery a smaller monument honors 
the 165 Union soldiers, of the Fort Delaware garrison, 
who died in the same epidemic. Now that the scars of war 
are healed, the Union soldiers are also honored by a 
wreath placed there by the descendants of their former 



A CONFEDERATE SHRINE IN NEW JERSEY 8 I 

enemies. Over the graves of all, the Stars and Stripes flut- 
ters constantly in the breeze. 

Fort Delaware, today the central link in the chain of 
forts near the mouth of Delaware River, was designed to 
protect the city of Philadelphia. It was completed in 1859 
just in time for the Civil War. Pea Patch Island, on 
which the fort is situated, lies about midway in the Dela- 
ware River between the Delaware and New Jersey shores. 

There is a legend dating back to Colonial times that a 
ship laden with peas was grounded on a sandbar at this 
point. The roots grew, accumulating drift and sediment 
until an island of about 178 acres appeared on the surface 
of the water. Parts of the island are actually about three 
feet below water level, and a sea wall has been built to 
keep out the tide. 

By 1861 about 1,000 prisoners were interned on the 
swampy little island with its grim granite fort. Some 
prominent citizens of Salem County and Delaware who 
had given evidence of their sympathy with the Southern 
cause were among the first to be confined there. In 1862 
the place began to fill with war prisoners, and by the end 
of 1863, 12,000 prisoners, most of whom were taken at 
Gettysburg, were crowded together in a place that could 
accommodate only 4,000 with safety. Rude wooden bar- 
racks were constructed to house the wretched men. Barbed 
wire and alert sentries discouraged them from rash at- 
tempts to escape ; those who managed to elude the guards 
and get to the mainland were helped to reach their own 
lines by means of an underground railway system that had 
been set up in Salem and in southern Delaware. 

Fort Delaware was to the South what Andersonville 
and Libbey were to the North. It was a cesspool of misery, 
dirt, lice, rats and disease. Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, who 



8 2 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

later became famous as a specialist in nervous diseases and 
a writer of historical romances, was at this time Federal 
Inspector of Prisons. In a letter written to his sister he 
describes the conditions of the island. Part of his letter 
is as follows: 

Tomorrow I go to Fort Delaware to inspect that 
inferno of detained rebels. A thousand ill, twelve 
thousand on an island that should hold four thou- 
sand, the general level three feet below the water 
mark; twenty deaths a day of dysentery, and the liv- 
ing having more life on them than in them. Occa- 
sional lack of water, and thus a Christian nation 
treats the captives of its sword. 

The thermometer is ninety. Not that I care. It may 
go until it requires a balloon to get any higher, and 
not reach my boiling point. 

Unruly prisoners were thrown into dungeons built into 
the solid masonry of the fort. These dungeons were totally 
dark and ventilated only by an airshaft too narrow to 
admit a small man. 

The only water supply was the rain that washed off 
the flat roofs of the fort, drained along gutters and then 
filtered through sand. When this supply failed, water was 
brought from Brandywine Creek in Delaware and dumped 
into cisterns without any attempt at filtering. 

When the number of dead exceeded the capacity of the 
cemetery on the little island, the government decided to 
bury them on the Jersey shore at Finn's Point, on what is 
now the Fort Mott reservation. A government tug, the 
Osceola, chugged back and forth across the mile of water 
transporting loads of bodies. Long ditches were dug and 



A CONFEDERATE SHRINE IN NEW JERSEY 83 

the dead were dumped in 2,436 of them without even 
the questionable glory of being shot down on the battle- 
field. 

A government launch from Fort Mott takes visitors to 
Pea Patch Island, where the old granite fort, surrounded 
by its 4O-foot moat, looks much as it did in those dark days 
of the Civil War. Many of the old cannon balls, some 
weighing as much as 107 pounds, are still in evidence. 

On the ground floor is one of the bastion rooms set 
aside for a bakery $ the old-fashioned brick oven built into 
the walls can still be seen. It could not have supplied 
much more bread than the officers needed for themselves. 

During the late i88o's and 'go's young people from 
Salem held dances in the guardrooms and prison rooms on 
the second floor. But from the time of the Spanish-Ameri- 
can War no civilian has been allowed on the island with- 
out special permission from the War Department. 




PRESIDENT GROVER CLEVELAND 



GROVER CLEVELAND'S BIRTHPLACE 



Grover Cleveland never came back to the little white 
house in Caldwell, New Jersey, where he was born. 
Caught in the swirl of American politics, he moved for- 
ward until at last he sat in another white house on Penn- 
sylvania Avenue in the Nation's capital. But his friends 
and admirers appreciated the significance of the modest 
dwelling set in a broad green lawn in the shadow of a red 
brick church, on busy Bloomfield Avenue. 

The former President had been dead two years when 
it was first planned to make a memorial of the house in 

84 




,_ 



BIRTHPLACE OF GROVER CLEVELAND, CALDWELL, N. J. 

which he had been born. Built in 1833, it was still being 
used as the manse of the First Presbyterian Church when 
in 1910 a number of prominent Democrats of Caldwell, 
Verona, Essex Fells and Roseland met to discuss taking 
over the house as a permanent political club. In the face 
of opposition from the trustees of the church, the plan col- 
lapsed, but the following year it was agreed to sell the 
birthplace to the Cleveland Memorial Association for 
$18,000, even though there was loud dissent from those 
who wanted the church to retain ownership. The resolu- 
tion passed, 15 to 2, and the sale was consummated March 
9, 1912. 

Dr. John H. Finley, then president of the College of 
the City of New York and at present associate editor of 
the New York Times, Cleveland H. Dodge and George 
W. Perkins were to act as trustees of the property until 



86 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

the Cleveland Birthplace Association had legal status. 
Also interested in the patriotic venture were Thomas A. 
Buckner, then vice president of the New York Life Insur- 
ance Co., and President Day of the Equitable Life Assur- 
ance Co. 

On March 18, 1913, the 76th anniversary of Grover 
Cleveland's birth, the home was dedicated before one of 
the largest crowds ever assembled in Caldwell. Mrs. 
Thomas Jex Preston Jr., widow of the President, his chil- 
dren, Esther, Marion and Richard, and several members 
of the Cleveland cabinet attended. Dr. Finley presided. 
The streets and houses of the borough were hung with 
flags and bunting, and a band paraded on Bloomfield 
Avenue to the schoolhouse where the pupils were waiting 
to be dismissed to march to the exercises. 

In 1915 William H. Van Wart, secretary of the Asso- 
ciation, suggested that the United States take over the 
manse, as it was always called, and preserve it as a national 
memorial. The following year President Woodrow Wil- 
son, who had spoken from its steps in 1910 during his 
gubernatorial campaign, brought the plan to Congress. 
The Association was willing to offer the home free of all 
encumbrances if Congress would make it a public memo- 
rial and provide for its upkeep. The annual cost of main- 
tenance, it was computed, was no more than $500. When 
the Attorney General gave it as his opinion that such a 
purchase was impossible, the idea was abandoned. 

Even though George M. Canfield, who had subscribed 
$IO,OOO originally, left a $20,000 endowment in his will, 
the Association was having difficulty in maintaining the 
property, which by 1930 was valued at $100,000. There 
were other isolated instances of philanthropy, but by 1933 
it was clear that the Association could not support the 



GROVER CLEVELAND'S BIRTHPLACE 87 

home. It was Dr. Finley who then asked: "Should not the 
State of New Jersey show her pride in her only native 
son who, of his own choice, came back to her after serving 
as Governor of a sister state and twice President of the 
United States, by making his birthplace a State memo- 
rial?" 

The legislature considered the question, and on June 
13, 1933, the State Senate voted to take the house as a 
gift from the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Association. 
But since the State cannot accept property encumbered by 
debts, a $5,000 mortgage held up formal acceptance of 
the manse. Finally, on February 13, 1934, Governor A. 
Harry Moore named a board of 20 trustees, serving with- 
out pay, to maintain the Cleveland birthplace for the 
State. Among the trustees were Dr. Finley, Newton D. 
Baker, former Secretary of War, Adolph Ochs, Richard 
F. Cleveland, Louis Annin Ames and Edward D. Duf- 
field. The transfer ceremonies took place October 6, 1934. 
Under the Works Progress Administration a $10,000 pro- 
gram of renovation was inaugurated. 

Additions had been made to the house from time to 
time after the Clevelands moved away, but when it was 
decided to make a memorial of the manse the house was 
restored as nearly as possible to its original form. Except 
for minor details, the eight-room dwelling remains as it 
was when the infant who was to become President slept 
in the borrowed maple cradle in the small room on the 
first floor. The flooring, of planks of random width, is 
almost intact; the original bannister railing, bent from one 
piece of wood, is still pinned to the walls by wooden pegs. 
The door and the windows and the white enamel door- 
knob are just as they were. On the black door lock is the 



00 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

broadwinged figure of the American eagle, symbolic, per- 
haps, of the destiny of the child who was born here. 

Charles E. Welsh, curator of the home, estimates that 
about 250 visitors come each month to walk about the 
grounds and look at the exhibits. These include, in addi- 
tion to Cleveland's cradle and his White House chair, the 
desk he used while mayor of Buffalo, the lawbooks over 
which he pored, the preacher's license given to his father 
by the New York Presbytery, the family Bible and numer- 
ous religious tomes Richard Cleveland must have used for 
his Sunday sermons. Carefully preserved in a box is a piece 
of the wedding cake served to guests at the White House 
when Cleveland married Frances Folsom. 

On the walls of the home are many pictures of the 
President, the members of his family and his many close 
friends. The variety of his correspondence attests his attrac- 
tion, which overrode the boundaries of politics or creed. 
Joseph Jefferson, who created the role of Rip Van Winkle 
on the stage, and Richard Watson Gilder, poet and editor, 
wrote affectionate letters. The letters of Richard Croker, 
who wrote to Congressmen begging that they attempt to 
influence the President's policies, are strong testimonials 
of Cleveland's steadfast political honesty. 

Grover Cleveland was born in the manse on March 18, 
1837, three years after his father, the Reverend Richard 
Falley Cleveland, had come to occupy the pulpit of Cald- 
well's First Presbyterian Church. The minister and his 
wife, Ann, named their fifth child for Steven Grover, 
Richard Cleveland's predecessor. The family lived in 
Caldwell, with an income of never more than $600 a year, 
until 1841, when a call came from Fayetteville, New 
York. 

The Clevelands led a difficult life at Fayetteville. The 



GROVER CLEVELAND'S BIRTHPLACE 89 

family soon grew to eleven, and the meager salary of a 
country preacher, however augmented by donations from 
kindly parishioners, had to be stretched a long way. When 
the boy was 14, circumstances compelled him to give up 
his education and take a job clerking in a store. For 22 
months he slept in a cold room above the store, tormented 
by rats that overran the banks of the canal and burrowed 
in the earth beneath the shabby houses. He rose early and 
worked very late for a dollar a day and "keep." 

Then the family's financial situation improved, and 
Grover was able to quit his job. But his father died shortly 
after, and rather than burden his family with additional 
expenses Cleveland left home for New York, where he 
found a job as bookkeeper in a school for the blind. This 
did not last long, and he looked to the West for a brighter 
future. 

On his way to the city of Cleveland, which bears the 
name of one of his kinsmen, he stopped off at Buffalo to 
see an uncle. This man persuaded him to remain in Buf- 
falo and placed him with an important law firm, where 
the boy began training for his profession. 

In 1859 ne was admitted to the bar, and by 1863 he 
had become assistant district attorney of Erie County. 
When the Civil War broke out he was called in the draft, 
but because he was virtually the sole support of his family 
he borrowed $300 to buy an exemption. Cleveland became 
sheriff of Erie County in 1870, and n years later was 
elected mayor of Buffalo, pledged to cleanse the city of 
the remnants of a once-powerful ring of grafters. Tam- 
many Hall opposed him in the campaign for Governor of 
New York in 1883, but he was elected after a bitterly 
fought campaign and began a relentless war against 
corruption in government. 



9O STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

The Democratic convention in the following year was 
a hard-fought and turbulent affair. The announcement of 
Cleveland's candidacy was greeted by a mixture of cat- 
calls and cheers. But the poor reception was not indicative 
of the final result. In 1884, a scant three years after be- 
coming mayor of Buffalo, Grover Cleveland was elected 
President of the United States. 

His administration was marked by serious labor troubles, 
and in his message to Congress on April 22, 1886, Cleve- 
land indicated how deeply concerned he was with the 
quarrels of labor and capital. There was no department of 
labor at the time in the Cabinet, although a Bureau of 
Labor, with limited powers, was already in existence. 
Cleveland advocated that the work of this bureau be ex- 
panded by the appointment of a permanent commission to 
arbitrate labor disputes. This agency, he hoped, would 
function better than a board chosen only after a contro- 
versy had begun. The present National Labor Relations 
Board represents the development of Grover Cleveland's 
vision. 

In 1888 Cleveland was defeated for reelection by Ben- 
jamin Harrison, but his popularity had by no means 
waned, for in 1892 he was returned to the Presidency, the 
only man so rewarded in our history. After a second term 
of splendid service to the Nation, he retired to Princeton. 
Cleveland died there June 24, 1908, at "Westland," the 
estate that he had named for former Dean West of Prince- 
ton University. 

The Grover Cleveland Birthplace trustees have planned 
a publicity campaign to acquaint visitors with the first 
home of a great President. A sign at the entrance to the 
Borough of Caldwell directs tourists to the house. When 
the task of gathering more relics has been completed, the 



GROVER CLEVELAND'S BIRTHPLACE 91 

trustees hope to publish a booklet describing the manse 
more fully. 

The simple white house with its four gables and lattice- 
work, the trim lawn, the bucket well that stands in the 
yard all these are the mementoes of the beginning of an 
American career. 



ANIMAL QUARANTINE 

Years ago the spread of tuberculosis and foot-and-mouth 
disease among farm animals caused the loss of millions of 
dollars yearly. In order to safeguard the home cattle from 
infectious diseases brought in from abroad, the United 
States passed a law in 1884 providing for an inspection 
and quarantine service for animals. 

As soon as the animal quarantine legislation was passed 
the Department of Agriculture set about establishing quar- 
antine stations where imported animals could be held 
while undergoing observation and inspection. One of 
these, for the Port of Baltimore, was at Turner in Mary- 
land j another, somewhat larger, for the Port of New 
York was first established at Garfield, New Jersey, and 
later moved to its present site at Clifton, where a 5o-acre 
reservation has been set aside as a sort of Ellis Island for 
imported animals. They are held here from 15 to 30 
days to determine whether they are carrying disease. 
When a ship enters an American harbor the passengers 
must pass through a routine quarantine inspection and the 
captain must testify that there is no contagious disease 
among the passengers or crew; but where there are ani- 
mals in the cargo the procedure is more rigorous. 

All such animals as sheep, goats, cattle, horses, camels, 
giraffes those that graze or chew the cud must be 
passed by a veterinarian before the owner is allowed to 
take them to his home. If, however, an animal comes into 
the country with papers certifying to its good health, and 

92 



ANIMAL QURANTINE 93 

the certificate is countersigned by a United States Govern- 
ment official, the animal may be admitted without quaran- 
tine. Dogs, cats and similar pets have not been subject to 
quarantine regulation for many years. 

Animals that must be submitted to quarantine are taken 
from the steamer and shipped directly to the Clifton 
Quarantine Station by the Newark branch of the Erie 
Railroad. They must remain until the superintendent is 
satisfied that they do not carry any infectious disease. The 
length of the term of quarantine varies with different 
kinds of animals. Sheep, goats, deer and antelope are usu- 
ally released after 1 5 days, while cattle stay for an average 
of 30 days. 

Since most of the animals are brought in for breeding 
purposes, they are of the highest class and must be given 
the finest care and food. Often their new owners stay at 
the station with them during the quarantine period to 
keep an eye on them. 

On the reservation are 19 polished-brick barns and two 
of wood, each with its own spacious, fenced-in paddock. 
The barns are of the latest design and are kept scrupu- 
lously clean and well ventilated. Each barn is about 35 
feet long and 25 feet wide. There are accommodations for 
about 600 cattle. Separated from the barns and paddocks 
by a steel-wire fence is the residential section, where are 
the houses of the superintendent of the station and the 
chief mechanic. These white frame houses are pleasantly 
surrounded by several acres of well-kept lawn, trees and 
shrubbery. 

Only the employees of the owner are allowed to handle 
the animals. These men must remain at the station during 
the quarantine period, attending to the feeding, watering 
and cleansing just as if they were in the home barn. The 



94 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

workers of one owner are not permitted to enter the barns 
and paddocks of another owner. All expenses, except water 
and light, which are provided by the government, must 
be met by the different owners. 

Every day the superintendent in charge of the quaran- 
tine inspects the visitors. The government employs four 
workmen to keep the barns in good order and fumigated 
after each consignment has left. These men are not al- 
lowed to enter a barn that is occupied. When a workman 
has completed fumigation of a barn, he has to be fumi- 
gated himself before proceeding to the next barn. These 
four workmen are also charged with keeping pasture lands 
in proper state. The superintendent, in addition to super- 
vising the farm, has to spend a good deal of time at the 
Port of New York examining the animals as they arrive 
to make sure that they meet the high standards set by the 
United States Government. There is today an embargo 
against the importation of livestock from about 50 coun- 
tries where hoof-and-mouth disease is prevalent. 

Occasionally the cows, sheep and deer have some 
strange-looking fellow guests. Frank Buck of "Bring 'Em 
Back Alive" fame, before turning over the jungle animals 
which he imports for zoos and parks, has to submit them 
to the regular quarantine. A newly arrived giraffe may 
raise a proud nose above the fence that separates him from 
the humble sheep, goats or cows in an adjoining paddock j 
but for all his distinguished foreign air he must submit 
to the same laws that govern the common everyday ani- 
mals of the field and farm. Most of the cattle come from 
the Channel Islands, Jersey and Guernsey, for these are 
the most desirable for breeding purposes. 

One is apt to find visitors from odd corners of the earth 
feeding on New Jersey grass at the Clifton Station. 



ANIMAL QURANTINE 95 

Recently 34 musk oxen from Greenland on their way to 
Africa were guests. From Singapore came three mouse 
deer. These tiny animals less than a foot high and weigh- 
ing less than 15 pounds were shipped to California as 
household pets. 



LIVING LANDMARKS 

Older and more beautiful than the granite columns and 
bronze tablets by which New Jersey honors famous men 
and events are a number of fine old trees that have with- 
stood storm and blight for centuries. Some of these, be- 
cause of their historic associations, are being cared for 
today by patriotic societies, governmental agencies or pri- 
vate individuals. 

Of these testaments to New Jersey's passing history, 
oaks and sycamores are most plentiful. Both are hardwood 
species and noted for long life. The oak grows slowly. 
The sycamore sometimes called the buttonwood sets a 
faster pace; by some authorities it is considered the most 
massive of our native deciduous trees. It resembles the 
plane tree, and is distinguished by its burrlike blossoms 
and the periodic peeling of its bark, which leaves streaked 
patches of white. The sycamore prefers low ground, and 
is most commonly found in southern New Jersey. 

Close to the bank of the Delaware River in the city of 
Burlington there stands a sycamore whose age is estimated 
at 250 years. Though it has been filled with cement and 
has lost many of its branches, the old tree maintains a 
sturdy grip on life. It measures 20.3 feet in circumference 
at breast height. Once the river flowed directly beneath 
the tree, which has given weight to the tradition that it 
served as a mooring mast for the ship Shield that brought 

early settlers to Burlington in the autumn of 1678. For 

96 



LIVING LANDMARKS 97 

this reason it is often referred to as the Shield Tree. After 
Burlington became the seat of government of West Jersey 
the sycamore shaded the lawn at the home of William 
Franklin, last Royal Governor of the Province, and the 
son of Benjamin Franklin. 

In 1765 the board of trustees of the College of New 
Jersey (now Princeton University) ordered the planting 
of a row of sycamores before the residence of the president 
of the college. This was the year in which England passed 
the Stamp Act. For this reason the Princeton sycamores 
have been associated with the War of Independence, and 
are often called the Stamp Act Trees. Two of the trees 
still stand near the house occupied by the dean of the 
faculty. They are 90 feet in height and have diameters of 
3 feet. 

In front of the old Baptist meeting house in Hopewell, 
on land donated by John Hart, a signer of the Declaration 
of Independence, stands another great sycamore. Under 
its branches Colonel Jacob Houghton, a Revolutionary 
patriot, rallied Jersey farmers with news of the Battle of 
Lexington, ending his stirring address with the cry, "Men 
of New Jersey, the redcoats are murdering our brethren 
of New England! Who follows me to Boston?" Every 
man, tradition states, answered, "I!" This fine old tree 
now shades the quiet burying ground where Hart and 
Houghton both rest. 

At Shrewsbury are two sycamores of great beauty that 
have been preserved for their historic importance. They 
stand about 100 feet apart in an island in the center of 
Shrewsbury Avenue nearly opposite Old Christ Church. 
The larger and, presumably, the older of the two trees 
bears a bronze plaque which reads: 



98 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

THIS SYCAMORE 
PLANTED BY THE EARLY COLONISTS 

IN THE ROYAL PROVINCE OF NEW 

JERSEY MARKED THE DELAWARE TRAIL 

USED BY THE INDIANS AND LATER 

BY WASHINGTON'S TROOPS ON THE 

BURLINGTON PATH 




BURLINGTON SYCAMORE 

Memorialized by 

Monmouth Chapter D.A.R. 

June 28, 1935 

A plaque on the other tree designates it as one of the 
13 sycamores which, according to tradition, were placed 
to commemorate the original 13 colonies. Though several 
unmarked sycamores stand along the side of the avenue, 



LIVING LANDMARKS 99 

it has not been possible to establish the location of the 
remainder of the traditional 13 trees. 

In 1930 the board of freeholders undertook to cut down 
the trees because they were a traffic hazard. The women 
of the town, aroused, sent a messenger to Freehold to 
get an injunction that would stop the destruction. Men 
were already at work, but the women delayed them by 
feeding them cakes and ice cream even passing refresh- 
ments to those in the uppermost branches until word came 
to stop the work. The trees are now in the care of patriotic 
societies of Monmouth County. 

Probably the most famous tree in New Jersey is the 
Salem Oak, a 4OO-year-old veteran which stands in the 
Friends' Burial Ground in Salem. For more than a century 
the Society of Friends has kept faithful guard over the 
tree and has carefully gathered its acorns to fill the many 
requests that have come in from all parts of this country 
and abroad. In 10 years $2,000 has been spent in surgery 
and care. 

Measurements made in 1933 gave the height as 73 feet; 
circumference 5 feet from the ground, 19.5 feet; spread, 
10,516 square feet. Beneath its branches John Fenwick 
is supposed to have made his treaty with the Indians in 
1675 when he purchased extensive lands for the Quaker 
colony which he established. This treaty, made six years 
previous to Penn's famous treaty, was the first made by 
a white man with the Indians that was not broken. 

Equaling the Salem Oak in beauty, age and size is a 
great lightning-scarred white oak on farm land owned by 
Daniel Gaskill, at the end of First Avenue, in Mantua, 
Gloucester County. It is said that the Indians gathered 
under it for their councils, a tradition strengthened by the 
knowledge that they used the banks of Mantua Creek for 




SALEM OAK 

a rendezvous. There is no historical event associated with 
this tree, nor has it enjoyed the care given the Salem Oak. 
Some of its powerful branches might be trimmed of dead 
wood, but the dense foliage testifies to a sound heart. 
Summer and winter it is a picture of symmetry and beauty. 
It has a breast high circumference of 19 feet and 9 inches 
and looks like a miniature forest balanced on a single 
stem. 

There is a white oak on the Hartshorne estate in the 
Navesink Highlands, not far from the Shrewsbury River, 
which was in its second or third century when Richard 
Hartshorne in 1671 bought the land from the Indians. 
In 1778 a 12-mile line of British soldiers, burdened with 
supplies, retreated from Monmouth Battlefield to ships 
anchored off Sandy Hook. An English officer tradition 
says it was Sir Henry Clinton saluted Richard Harts- 



LIVING LANDMARKS IOI 

home, and complimented him on his holdings in the 
Highlands. Hartshorne is said to have answered firmly, 
"I intend to hold them, sir." His descendants still possess 
the land on which the oak stands. 

In the Presbyterian Churchyard at Basking Ridge, 
Somerset County, stands a white oak reputed to be 400 
years old. Its great branches, extending almost 140 feet, 
are strengthened by many wire cables, iron rods and braces 
to help it withstand the effects of age. In its shadow the 
British attacked General Charles Lee in 1776, taking him 
prisoner j around its trunk, it is said, they tethered their 
horses while raiding in the vicinity in 1781. 

Another white oak called the "Shoe Tree," in the quiet 
town of Belvidere, is revered because it recalls a homely 
custom of our fathers rather than an important historical 
event. Its name derives from a tradition that the early 
settlers used to stop beneath it, before going across the road 
to church, to put on their shoes, which they had carried in 
their hands up to this point. When some years ago the 
street was widened the townspeople insisted that the tree 
be left standing in the center of the road, even though 
it caused inconvenience to traffic. At an age of 250 or 300 
years the old landmark is still in excellent condition. 

These old trees sometimes live in the cities, surrounded 
by tall buildings. In Military Park, Newark, there is an 
Oriental plane estimated as being 175 years old, a witness 
possibly of Washington's retreat from New York in 1776. 
Still in excellent condition, it towers over the shrubbery 
of the park, unperturbed by the hurrying traffic and the 
crowded department stores which face it. 

On a farm now known as "Poet's Dream," just south of 
Matawan, at Freneau, there is a grove of locust trees near 
the grave of Philip Freneau, the poet of the Revolution. 



IO2 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

The trees were a century old when young Philip played 
in their shade on his father's loo-acre farm, which was 
called Mount Pleasant Hall. Later he walked under the 
locusts with Eleanor Forman, who became his wife; many 
of his poems were supposedly written in the grove. 
Freneau's grave is marked with a monument, but the liv- 
ing locusts give breath to the memorial. 

A row of fine catalpas planted about 1757 on the lawn 
of "Morven," home of the Stocktons in Princeton for 
seven generations, recalls Richard Stockton, signer of the 
Declaration of Independence. They are sometimes called 
"Independence Trees," because they bear pure white blos- 
soms on the Fourth of July. 

Haddonfield has two yew trees said to be the oldest of 
their species in America. They were brought from Eng- 
land on one of her three voyages in 1712 and 1713 by 
Elizabeth Haddon, founder of the town, whose romantic 
life was celebrated in Longfellow's Tales of a Wayside 
Inn and in Lydia Maria Child's story, The Youthful 
Emigrant. Elizabeth came to this country at the age of 
20 to develop land purchased by her father. She married 
John Estaugh, a Quaker, and built a fine brick mansion 
for their home, setting the trees before it. When the 
mansion was destroyed by fire in 1842 her descendants 
saved the yews by spreading wet rugs over the branches. 
Yews are not native to this country and only rarely adapt 
themselves to the soil and climate. Although they have 
stood for two centuries, Elizabeth Haddon's yews are 
now in poor condition and destined to survive only a few 
years. 

The Washington Walnut, shading the Washington Inn, 
425 Ridge wood Road, Maplewood, is believed to have 
been planted by Timothy and Esther Ball when they built 



LIVING LANDMARKS 103 

their home, now the inn, in 1743. According to the tablet 
on the tree, when Washington visited the home during 
the Revolution he tied his horse to an iron ring which the 
bark has since overgrown. Although many of the branches 
that shaded the road have been cut away, the old giant 
still flourishes. The trunk is about 13.6 feet in circum- 
ference. 

On the property of Dr. Maurice Cohen, at Claremont 
Avenue and Valley Road, Montclair, where the historic 
Crane house once stood, is another walnut tree, surviving 
from the days when Washington visited there. This tree 
is of special interest to the children of the community 
because of the fantastic figures of animals and gnomes 
placed in its branches by Dr. Cohen. 

Cedars of Lebanon are distinctly not native to this 
country, but in a congenial environment are known to live 
to a great age. One of these, imported about 1850 as a 
sapling from Mount Olivet in the Holy Land, stands in 
front of the Borough Hall in Woodlyne, Camden County. 
This was the site of the house where Mark Newbie estab- 
lished the first bank in New Jersey, if not in the country. 

At Ringwood Manor in the northern part of Passaic 
County, recently given to the State as a historical park, 
are many old trees. At the Manor, during the Revolution, 
Robert Erskine, ironmaster and Washington's surveyor 
general, maintained a forge which supplied the army with 
part of its munitions. The Commander in Chief stopped 
here often while journeying between battlefields. Along- 
side the house and still bearing luscious fruit is a fine pear 
tree that was standing when Washington visited here. In 
front of the house is a double row of trees planted by 
Mrs. Martin Ryerson, wife of Erskine's successor, to 



IO4 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

commemorate the Peace of Ghent following the War 
of 1812. 

There has been established at Washington Crossing 
Park an arboretum of 1,000 native trees and 1,500 small 
bushes with the combined purpose of keeping alive public 
interest in one of the great moments in the Nation's 
history and in the future of its forest lands. 



PEOPLE 



MARK NEWBIE, AMERICA'S FIRST BANKER 

In 1682 Mark Newbie opened and operated the first 
bank in North America. In a room of his simple home 
near Camden, New Jersey, this Quaker ex-tallow chandler 
from London set up his new institution with a capital of 
300 acres of land and a currency consisting of copper coins 
which today are valuable only to collectors. 

Newbie, to escape the persecution of the Quakers under 
Charles II, had sold his prosperous London business in 
1677 and joined a group of sympathizers who had gath- 
ered in Dublin, Ireland, while they completed plans to 
migrate to the colonies. They were awaiting reports from 
Robert Zane, one of their group, who had been sent over 
to join the colony of English Quakers established by John 
Fenwick. In 1675 Fenwick had made a treaty with the 
Indians for a great tract of country around Salem. 

As the news of conditions in the distant colonies reached 
him, Newbie realized that his old trade would be of little 
help to him as a means of livelihood in the wilderness. 
He was a shrewd, farseeing man, however, and before 
long hit upon a scheme which he thought might prove 
profitable. 

During the three years spent in Ireland he had taken 
note of the circulation of some copper coins known as 
Patrick's pence. These had been issued as a reminder of 
the terrific slaughter of Protestants by Catholics during 
the retaliatory religious massacres in the reign of Charles I. 
The coins were named for the figure of St. Patrick which 

107 




FARTHING 
PATRICK'S PENCE OR MARK NEWBIE COPPERS 



appeared on the reverse. The figure of Charles I in the 
character of King David was on the face. The original 
coins made of silver were used as legal tender, but copper 
replicas in two sizes, though not legal, were accepted by 
some people as halfpence and farthings at a discount. It 
occurred to Newbie that these coins might be useful in 
the settlements across the sea where civilization was 
loosely organized and trade was without regulation. He 
invested a part of his savings in all the Patrick's pence 
he could obtain. 

In the spring of 1682 a small vessel sailed up the Dela- 

HALF PENNY 




MARK NEWBIE, AMERICANS FIRST BANKER 

ware River, entered Newton Creek and deposited Mark 
Newbie together with a group of 25 men and women near 
the site of what is now Collingswood, New Jersey. With 
Newbie came his coin collection. 

There was at this time no authorized currency in the 
colony. The rate of exchange for the moneys of Spain, 
France, Portugal, Holland and England was based on 
the Spanish dollar. Trade was carried on by barter or with 
wampum, Spanish doubloons, pistoles and dollars, French 
guineas, Portuguese johanesses, Dutch ducats and stivers, 
English guineas, crowns and shillings, or with whatever 
currency fell into the hands of the colonists. There was 
no organized system of banking. The larger local mer- 
chants with English connections usually acted as bankers 
for the smaller businessmen. Thus custom prevailed until 
1781, when Robert Morris formed the Bank of North 
America in Philadelphia. 

In May 1682 Newbie was chosen as a member of the 
General Assembly meeting at Burlington. He was ap- 
pointed to the Governor's council, and became one of the 
commissioners for the division of land and a member of 
the committee of ways and means to raise money for the 
government. 

Meanwhile the little hoard of Patrick's pence was jin- 
gling in his pockets, and thrifty Mark Newbie decided 
that the time had come to put them to work. He suggested 
to the Assembly that the souvenir copper coins could be 
put into circulation for use in small transactions. He agreed 
to provide security by placing 300 acres of his land in the 
hands of a commission so that the money could be re- 
deemed on demand. The land was signed over to two 
commissioners, and Newbie hung on the wall of a room 



IIO STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

in his log house his charter as a banker, dated May 18, 
1682, reading: 

For the convenient payment of small sums, be it 
enacted that Mark Newbie's half-pence, from and 
after the Eighteenth instant, pass for half-pence cur- 
rent pay of the province, provided he, the said Mark 
Newbie, his executors and administrators shall and 
will exchange the said half-pence for pay equivalent 
on demand j and provided also that no person or per- 
sons hereby be obliged to take more than five shillings 
in any one payment. 

This was the first legal issue of currency in the colonies, 
and Newbie became in effect the first American banker. 
The bank proved popular from its beginning, for the 
settlers found it convenient to use the coins from Ireland. 
Although the charter specified that no more than five 
shillings need be accepted in one transaction, trade among 
the colonists was stimulated to no small extent. Gradually 
the use of the coins became general $ some of them 
reached as far as Salem. 

Newbie became known as a prudent administrator dur- 
ing the few months he lived after founding his institution. 
He was careful that the amount of coins in circulation was 
kept within a reasonable figure, mindful that his charter 
did not grant him permission to issue or mint new money, 
to enlarge his own credit or to keep up circulation. The 
coins were employed only in those business dealings that 
could not be conveniently handled by barter. 

When Mark Newbie died suddenly in 1683 his widow 
Hannah, executrix of his will, ordered the bank closed. 
The coins were called in before the estate was settled on 
July 4, 1684. A discrepancy of about 30 was disscovered 



MARK NEWBIE, AMERICANS FIRST BANKER I I I 

in the funds of the bank, probably caused by the inability 
of the founder to perfect his plans. Mrs. Newbie paid the 
shortage out of her husband's personal estate, and the 
commissioners released the land held as security. 

Several of Mark Newbie's coins were never redeemed 
and for a time continued to circulate. Gradually they dis- 
appeared from ordinary channels and now are to be found 
only among the rare coins of collectors. Sometimes called 
Mark Newbie coppers, Patrick's pence bring $2.50 for a 
halfpenny piece in good condition j $5 if in excellent con- 
dition. The farthing brings $2 and $3.50. 



THE SWEDISH SETTLERS 

Marshes and woodlands along the shores were showing 
the first faint coloring of spring as two small vessels came 
to anchor in the lower reaches of the Delaware River. 
From their mastheads flew proudly the royal cross of 
Sweden, and from their decks crews and passengers alike 
were anxiously scanning the shore line for a trace of 
Indians or ferocious beasts. Many a fabulous tale of this 
new world had they heard by their firesides during the 
cold and stormy winters along the Swedish coast 
tales of the uncivilized inhabitants, of their clothes 
made from the skins of animals, of their strange cus- 
toms, of their reverence for white men and of great 
wealth that might be amassed in trade with the childlike 
savages. 

It was in the spring of 1638. Only 18 years earlier the 
Pilgrims had landed at Plymouth Rock. The Swedish 
Mayflower, the Kalmar Nyckel (Key of Kalmar), with 
her companion tender, the Fogel Grip (Bird Griffon), 
sailed up the Delaware River in charge of Peter Minuit, 
the famous Hollander who had governed the colony 
of New Netherland on the Hudson for the Dutch West 
India Company. Now, in the service of the Crown of 
Sweden, he was bringing traders and soldiers to establish 
a settlement. 

The little company sailed into Minquas Kill, now Chris- 
tina, Creek, and landed on "The Rocks" near where Wil- 
mington, Delaware, now stands. There, under the guard- 

112 






THE FOUNDING OF NEW SWEDEN 

Peter Minuit and the First Swedish Settlers Are Bid 
Welcome by the Indians 

(Painting in the American Swedish Historical Museum, Philadelphia, Pa.) 

ing cannon of their vessels, they set up their first settle- 
ment, called it Fort Christina, in honor of the young 
Queen of their home country, and surrounded it by a 
palisade against any surprise visits by an Indian war party. 
But the only Indians who appeared were merely curious 
to discover what these strange men wanted. On March 28, 
1638, five sachems appointed by the assembled tribes 
sold as much "of the land on all parts and places of the 
river and on both sides as Minuit requested." Minuit had 
been ordered by the Swedish Crown to be fair in all his 
dealings with the Indians; and so, for what they consid- 
ered value received, the natives transferred all the land 



114 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

extending along the creek, as far north as the Schuylkill 
River and stretching westward indefinitely. 

When Minuit set out for the Delaware in 1637 Sweden 
had become one of the most powerful nations of Europe. 
Her rulers had forged all the Baltic countries Sweden, 
Finland, Estonia and Latvia (at that time called Inger- 
manland, Estland, Li viand and Kurland) into one Scan- 
dinavian union. During the sixteenth century the kings of 
the House of Vasa had rebuilt the whole nation from its 
very foundations. Copper and iron mined in the rocky 
interior was carried to foreign lands to exchange for gold, 
silver, silks, spices and valuable furs, but the supplies at 
home grew faster than they could be carried away to be 
exchanged or sold. Storehouses began to bulge with re- 
serve stocks of refined ore. Surpluses were stored in 
friendly foreign countries. Sweden was powerful among 
the nations of the world, and rich in materials, but her 
supply of ready cash was deplorably low. 

Spain and Portugal had increased their national wealth 
by subjecting Mexico and the South American continent 
to their rule. Their galleons brought gold and silver back 
to the mother countries. England had explored the coast 
of North America and had settled Jamestown, Virginia, 
in 1607, and Plymouth in 1620. The Dutch had built 
Fort Nassau on the Delaware in 1623, near Gloucester 
city. 

King Gustavus Adolphus was anxious that Sweden 
should obtain a share of the New World's riches, and 
between 1626 and 1632 he permitted the establishment 
of three trading companies for this purpose. Subscriptions 
of funds were slow, however, and when the King was 
slain at the Battle of Liitzen in 1632, the plan appeared 
doomed. Fortunately Axel Oxenstierna, the regent for 



THE SWEDISH SETTLERS 115 

the new ruler, six-year-old Queen Christina, was a man 
of prudence and vision. One of his main efforts was to 
revive the colonization plans of his royal master. 

He spoke to Samuel Blommaert, a Dutch financier, 
about organizing a trading expedition. Blommaert was one 
of the directors of the Dutch West India Company, for 
which Peter Minuit in 1625 had purchased the Island of 
Manhattan from its Indian owners for the equivalent of 
twenty-four dollars. After six years' service as director- 
general and acting governor of New Netherland, Minuit 
was suddenly recalled to Holland and summarily dis- 
missed from the service of the company. Blommaert 
himself had been one of the "patroons" of an attempted 
Dutch settlement near Cape May in 1630. He had the 
highest regard for Minuit's courage, self-reliance and ad- 
ministrative ability, and recommended him to Oxenstierna 
as the leader of the proposed expedition. 

Plans for the organization of the company were com- 
pleted in 1636. Funds were widely subscribed for the 
New Sweden Company, and Minuit, who had been called 
to Sweden in the meantime, personally supplied one- 
eighth of the total capital of 24,000 guilders. Two vessels 
were purchased, and on November 20, 1637, they set sail 
from the new port of Gothenburg. 

The dauntless Dutchman who led the Swedish pioneer 
immigrants was not to live, however, to see the success 
of his ventures. In June 1638 re departed from the new 
colony on board the Kalmar Nyckel for the West Indies, 
to exchange part of his cargo for tobacco. At St. Chris- 
topher a Dutch merchantman, the Flying Stag of Rotter- 
dam, was lying in the harbor, and her captain invited the 
famous explorer on board. Suddenly one of the dreaded 
West Indian hurricanes blew up, and the Stag was blown 



I I 6 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

out to sea, never to be heard from again. The Kalmar 
Nyckel had to return to Europe without her commander. 

Peter Minuit's death left a vacancy hard to fill, and it 
was several months before the New Sweden Company 
could agree on a successor. Peter Hollander Ridder 
finally was chosen as the second governor of New Sweden 
and commander of Fort Christina. 

Under his leadership a second group of colonists set 
sail on board the Kalmar Nyckel in September 1639. 
Among Ridder's company was the Reverend Reorus 
Torkillus, who was to act as spiritual adviser to the people 
of New Sweden. He was the first minister of the Lutheran 
faith to serve in America. In addition to the handful of 
passengers there were also on board the little sloop "four 
mares and two young horses and a number of farm imple- 
ments ... so that the colonists can make a trial with 
seeding in the Autumn." 

This was an indication that the attitude of the crown 
and of the proprietors of the New Sweden Company had 
changed. No longer did they dream of sudden riches to 
be amassed by one or two lucky trading ventures. They 
began to understand that, if wealth was to come from 
America, it would come only through the gradual de- 
velopment of the Delaware settlements. New Sweden was 
to become a crown colony in fact as well as in name. 

Ridder's administration was notable chiefly for expan- 
sion. The lands which he purchased from the Indians in 
the spring of 1641 for the first time extended the territory 
of New Sweden across the Delaware into New Jersey. 
Stretching from Raccoon Creek south along the coast to 
Cape May, it was by far the largest tract yet added to 
New Sweden. Compared with Minuit's small strips along 



GOVERNOR JOHAN PRINTZ OF NEW SWEDEN 



I I 8 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

the west bank, the New Jersey purchase was the start of 
real Swedish dominion in America. 

In 1 643 Ridder was succeeded by Johan Printz, a huge 
man, weighing close to 400 pounds, whom the Indians 
humorously dubbed "Big Belly." Known as an excellent 
soldier in Sweden, he proceeded to rule the colony in mili- 
tary fashion. Almost immediately he gave orders for the 
erection of a new fort on the Jersey shore. His trained 
eye had discovered the site from which Swedish cannon 
might command the river. He chose a point of land that 
stretches into the Delaware, south of the modern cities 
of Newcastle and Wilmington. The site is at Elsinboro, 
near the present city of Salem, New Jersey, and it is said 
that foundation pilings may still be seen at low water. 
The fort was called Elfsborg after a Swedish stronghold. 
But to the soldiers it was known as "Fort Myggenborg," 
meaning "Mosquito Fort," because of the mosquitos and 
gnats which made life at the garrison a torment. 

Another fortification, Fort Gothenburg, was raised on 
Tinicum Island, opposite Gibbstown in Gloucester County. 
Here the new governor built Printzhof, his official resi- 
dence. The choice of the island for the colony's capital was 
particularly wise. For not merely was Tinicum centrally 
located, but from there Printz could also keep constant 
vigil on the Dutch at Fort Nassau. This old stronghold, 
a short distance to the north of Tinicum Island, near the 
mouth of Timber Creek, had been revived by the Dutch 
since Printz's arrival in the New World. 

Under the personal supervision of the governor the 
primitive dugouts and sod huts that had given temporary 
shelter to the first group of Swedish settlers developed 
into substantial log cabins. These homes, reminiscent of 
the cabins the settlers had left behind them in the deep 



THE SWEDISH SETTLERS IIQ 

forests of Sweden and Finland, were the origin of the 
American log cabin, that structure that later was to 
become the distinctive mark of the frontier. 

The life of the colonists was far from being as primitive 
as later day accounts picture pioneer existence. The deep 
forest of South Jersey yielded an abundance of venison, 
even an occasional bear. Wild ducks, geese and turkeys 
were plentiful. Fish, oysters and clams could be taken 
from the streams. In the woods was a profusion of wild 
fruits, berries, edible roots and herbs. The settlers grew 
garden vegetables, including peas, beans, squash, potatoes 
and turnips. The fields yielded a good grain crop. 

The furniture of their tight little cabins was hand-hewn 
from logs. A smooth-sawed slab on four legs may have 
served as a table, smaller ones for chairs and stools. Beds 
were pallet like shelves built against the walls. A layer 
of straw, covered with a deer skin or bear skin, supplied a 
mattress, and bedclothes were more skins. 

Wood also was the raw material for most household 
utensils. The clever hands of these early woodsmen shaped 
plates from smooth strips of bark; spoons and forks from 
the limbs of trees j cups and bowls from wooden blocks, 
and even the bread pans were hollowed with fire and adze 
out of a section of a tree trunk. An axe, a knife, a saw, 
several iron or copper kettles and his musket were usually 
the only tools for which a pioneer depended on the mother 
country. The rest he fashioned for himself. 

Trade with the Indians continued. Although Printz had 
a personal aversion to the "savages," he was much too 
shrewd to forget the steady demands of the New Sweden 
Company for valuable pelts and furs. And the Indian 
trappers and hunters were the ones to supply that demand, 



I2O STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

at least as long as trade goods in Printz's warehouses held 
out. 

Throughout his administration the governor had con- 
sistently sought new colonists to strengthen his lands 
against the threatening Dutch from New Netherland. 
Although Printz had gained control of the river by his 
strategic arrangement of forts, he could not cope with the 
superior force of the Dutch governor. Peter Stuyvesant. 
In 1651 he was forced to abandon Fort Elfsborg, which 
had been New Sweden's pride and protection. There fol- 
lowed two long years of waiting vainly for help from 
home, and then in 1653, disappointed and defeated, Printz 
returned home. 

With the arrival of a new governor, Johan Rising, 
hopes for the strengthening of New Sweden improved. 
Unfortunately he antagonized the Dutch by an unneces- 
sary conquest of their fortress opposite Fort Elfsborg, and 
Stuyvesant proceeded to eliminate the troublesome Swedes 
once and for all. In September 1655 he appeared with a 
formidable force in the Delaware Valley and demanded 
complete surrender of New Sweden. Outnumbered, Rising 
agreed on the condition that the Swedish settlers might 
be left in full possession of their lands. Stuyvesant assented, 
and New Sweden became a part of New Netherland. 

Not long after the passing of New Sweden, the Swedes, 
who since 1638 had been concentrated on the Pennsylvania 
and Delaware shores of the Delaware River, began to 
migrate eastward into New Jersey. They sailed up the 
creeks that empty into the Delaware to find new homes 
and better farm lands than those on the west bank. 
Throughout the century following the fall of New 
Sweden, the migration was so steady that ultimately New 



THE SWEDISH SETTLERS 121 

Jersey became the center of Swedish activity in North 
America. 

By 1685 Swedes had established themselves all over 
present-day Camden, Gloucester and Salem Counties. They 
were living as far north as Pensauken Creek and as far 
south as Salem Creek. They founded centers such as Cin- 
naminson, Repaupo and Penns Neck, which were not vil- 
lages in the modern sense, but central gathering spots for 
settlers over a wide area. 

The most famous gathering spot was Raccoon, on the 
creek of that name. In 1702 the Kings Highway, running 
from Salem to Burlington, reached the small settlement 
and transformed it into an important town. The road was 
also the instrument by which the Swedes were to be joined 
into a closely knit social and religious community. 

With travel thus made easier, the scattered Swedes 
began to think seriously of erecting a church of their own 
on the New Jersey side of the Delaware. Since their 
arrival in the New World steadfastness to their Swedish 
Lutheran faith had been one of their major character- 
istics, and since the fall of New Sweden it had been their 
sole tie with the mother country of their forefathers. 

Up to the beginning of the eighteenth century, the New 
Jersey Swedes were obliged to cross the river to attend 
the Lutheran churches at Wilmington or Wicacoa (Phila- 
delphia). It was a long journey to these churches from 
the outlying districts of New Jersey. It necessitated spend- 
ing time that should have been applied to work on the 
land. The faithful had to walk and ride along trails and 
paths newly blazed through the woods. At the river's edge 
there awaited them the crude, open flatboats that would 
ferry them across, bucking the wild freshets of spring and 
fall and dangerous ice floes in wintertime. 



122 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

All these hardships made the simple enterprise of going 
to church a dangerous adventure. Only on Christmas, 
Easter and Pentecost, the three high holidays of the 
Lutheran faith, and on the occasion of his own wedding, 
might a frontier farmer leave his homestead for the sev- 
eral days or even the week required for the toilsome 
journey. The occasional tours of traveling parsons supple- 
mented the visits to church. 

Discontent, ever on the increase, was finally fanned into 
open flames by Lars Tollstadius, an ambitious young 
preacher. He eventually led a secession of the New Jersey 
Swedish Lutherans from the Wicacoa parish and brought 
about the establishment of the Raccoon Church, the first 
and most famous of all Swedish Lutheran edifices in New 
Jersey. Although the ecclesiastical authorities in Sweden 
and America disapproved of Tollstadius, he ignored their 
objections and easily persuaded the New Jersey Swedes 
to erect their own church. Early in the fall of 1703 he 
preached his first sermon in a little log church which stood 
within a few feet of the site of the present Trinity Epis- 
copal Church in Swedesboro, as Raccoon is now known. 

Tollstadius died suddenly in 1706, either by suicide or 
by accident, but the religious independence of the New 
Jersey Swedes had been firmly established. His success 
led to the formation of another parish below Raccoon at 
Penns Neck, which was formally dedicated in 1717. 
Thereafter, with the exception of two years, a single pas- 
tor, sent from Sweden, officiated for both parishes. 

Although the Swedes had hoped that the establishment 
of their own churches would help to preserve Swedish 
customs and language, they fought a losing battle against 
superior forces. Southern New Jersey was a melting pot 
including, besides the Swedes, English, Dutch, Scotch-Irish 




SWEDISH STAMPS ISSUED FOR THE CELEBRATION 

and German settlers, all of whom intermarried with the 
Swedes. By 1750, when the great Swedish-Finnish natu- 
ralist, Peter Kalm, visited New Jersey, he found Repaupo 
the only settlement still Swedish in character. In dress, 
language and social habits the Swedes were rapidly becom- 
ing assimilated with the other nationalities, especially the 
dominant English. A little more than a decade later, 
Swedish pastors began to keep their church records in 
English, and it became less and less necessory for them 
to preach in Swedish as well as in English, for fewer and 
fewer people understood the language. 

When the Revolutionary War broke out, the Swedes 
for the most part took arms against England and played 
an important part in southern New Jersey's military cam- 
paigns. After the war they quickly came to look upon 
themselves as Americans, an attitude which contributed 
to the final effacement of the Swedish Lutheran Church. 
In 1786 the tie with the mother church in Sweden had 
become so weak that the New Jersey Swedes finally sev- 
ered it completely by joining the Episcopal Church. Only 





124 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

two years before they had erected in Swedesboro a new 
church building which still stands. 

This building was one of the centers of the New Jersey 
celebration in 1938 of the three hundredth anniversary of 
the landing of the Swedes in America. The church re- 
ceived a Bible from King Gustaf V of Sweden and con- 
ducted a special service attended by Prince Bertil, official 
representative of the Swedish government to the cele- 
bration. 



THE TEA BURNERS OF GREENWICH 

When the word "tea" is mentioned as a cause of the 
Revolutionary War most people picture howling redskins 
throwing cases of tea into Boston Harbor. Few know that 
New Jersey had its own tea party one that was as color- 
ful and as violent. The New Jersey patriots used fire 
instead of water, but the destruction was as complete. The 
incident occurred in the southern part of the State in the 
town of Greenwich, a peaceful, law-abiding community 
whose citizens were about equally divided in their loyal- 
ties: half Whig, half Tory. Many of the Whigs were 
younger persons who bitterly opposed England's treat- 
ment of the Colonies. 

On that exciting night in December 1774 the inhabi- 
tants of the little town of Greenwich were awakened by 
a racket. People were running toward the market place, 
where a huge bonfire was burning. Around the high-leap- 
ing flames a band of 40 Indians, grimly silent, were open- 
ing large packages which they brought from the cellar of 
a house on the square. As each package was opened its 
contents were fed to the fire. 

Many a Greenwich housewife sniffed the air regret- 
fully as she recognized the fragrance of burning tea leaves. 
So this was another tea party j like the one in Boston a 
year ago! There were people in the group watching the 
destruction who deeply disapproved the rash act, while 
others looked on admiringly; but whatever the sentiments 
of the spectators, no one offered to halt the work of the 

125 



126 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

young men who had disguised themselves as Indians in 
order to intimidate any Tories who might attempt to 
resist them. 

This tea business was being taken seriously by the colo- 
nists. They enjoyed the comfort of a cup of tea as much 
as ever j but rather than submit to a tax imposed without 
fair representation, many refused to drink tea. All sorts 
of substitutes were used, raspberry and blackberry leaves, 
goldenrod, dittany and various other native plants and 
herbs. There is a story told of Hugh Drum of Somerset 
County who was so thoroughly in earnest that he vowed 
that as long as he lived he would never touch a drop of 
tea. Having made the vow he stuck to it even after the 
Revolution when the Americans were importing their own 
tea. 

Early in December the Greyhound, loaded with tea for 
Philadelphia, had sailed up the Delaware River. At the 
mouth of Cohansey Creek the captain unexpectedly gave 
the order to come about, and the vessel headed up the 
stream to Greenwich. The skipper had decided that Green- 
wich was a safer place to unload his cargo than Philadel- 
phia. In Greenwich he knew of a Tory named Dan Bowen 
who would be pretty sure to permit the storing of the tea 
in his cellar. Things had come to such a pass that English 
ships were afraid to put in at big ports, and any captain 
who succeeded in landing a shipload of tea on American 
soil felt proud of himself. 

As the crew of the Greyhound unloaded the cargo, 
groups of angry citizens muttered disapproval j but the 
crew worked on until the last package had been carried 
across the square and deposited in Dan Bowen's cellar. 
The captain then set sail down the creek, hardly guessing 



THE TEA BURNERS OF GREENWICH 127 

that this tea would provide fuel for a blaze that would 
ultimately light two continents. 

The skipper had figured that, once the tea was stored in 
Greenwich, the consignees in Philadelphia would find a 
means of getting it across the land and selling it. But a 
meeting had already been arranged at Bridgeton to dis- 
cuss the problem of British imports. The townspeople of 
Greenwich decided to refer the tea question to this meet- 
ing. When, at the end of the first day, no action had been 
taken, some of the younger men decided to take matters 
into their own hands. 

On the night of December 22 a group of young Revolu- 
tionists met at the home of the Howells in Bridgeton. 
From there they marched through the towns of Bridge- 
ton, Fairfield, Shiloh and Roadstown, increasing in de- 
termination and numbers as they drew closer to Green- 
wich. Arrived at the square they stormed the cellar where 
the tea was stored and carried out package after package. 
Soon the crackling flames and fragrant smoke aroused the 
townspeople. 

There was one humorous incident at the party. One of 
the tea burners, named Stacks, could see no harm in acquir- 
ing for himself a little of the precious cargo. As the 
"Indians" danced around the blaze, he snatched handfuls 
from the broken cases and stuffed them into his trouser 
legs. Before long his expanding breeches were detected. 
* From then to the end of his days, which he spent in com- 
parative prosperity in Dutch Neck, he was known as "Tea 
Stacks." 

This Greenwich tea party created a great stir in the sec- 
tion. The Tories called it wanton destruction, and insisted 
that the "hoodlums," as they called them, should be pun- 




TEA BURNER MONUMENT, GREENWICH 

ished. There was no difficulty in finding the guilty ones, 
because they boasted about their work. 

Encouraged by the sympathetic attitude of the Tories, 
the English shippers finally did start a court action. But 
the Whig element was so strong that it was impossible to 
find a jury that would bring in a verdict of guilty. Before 
the case could be reopened the Revolution was in full 
swing, and far more important things were taking place. 

In 1908 the State of New Jersey built a monument in 
the Market Square in Greenwich to commemorate the 
event. The names of 23 men preserved in historical rec- 
ords as among the "Indians" are inscribed on the stone 
shaft. 



NEW JERSEY'S DELEGATES TO 

THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL 

CONVENTION OF 1787 

May 14, 1787 a convention made up of representa- 
tives from twelve of the thirteen States assembled in the 
State House at Philadelphia "for the sole and express 
purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation." Rhode 
Island alone did not participate in the Convention. At the 
end of 1 6 weeks of work and spirited debate September 
17, 1787 this group of 55 men had written a new law 
of the land: the Federal Constitution. A year and a half 
later the law went into effect, and today, with the addition 
of 21 amendments, it still functions. 

The various State legislatures picked delegates with 
care; they sent men with experience in colonial and state 
government, Congressmen and lawyers. Most of the mem- 
bers were large landowners. This has led to the accusa- 
tion that they drew up a document which would work to 
the benefit of the propertied classes. An opposing belief 
is that these men were genuine idealists, motivated en- 
tirely by interests of the general welfare. Despite the 
difference of opinion, one thing is certain: they were an 
unusual group of men possessed of high intellect and com- 
mon sense. 

The State of New Jersey was represented by its wartime 
Governor, William Livingston j a former Attorney Gen- 
eral, William Paterson; a Chief Justice of the State Su- 
preme Court, David Brearley; a Princeton professor, 

129 



I3O STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

William Churchill Houston , and a Revolutionary Army 
paymaster, Jonathan Dayton. 

Houston became ill during the Convention and was 
unable to remain. Two others named as delegates were 
unable to serve. They were Abraham Clark of Rahway, 
surveyor and signer of the Declaration of Independence, 
and John Neilson, merchant of New Brunswick, who had 
commanded a regiment of New Jersey militia in the war. 

William Livingston (1723-1790) 

Livingston, the senior delegate, was t{ien 64 years old 
and Governor of New Jersey. He had been a member of 
the Continental Congress, gaining the hatred of Tories 
and the British for his services to the Colonies. As chan- 
cellor or chief judge of the high court, an office held by 
the governor, he supported measures confiscating the prop- 
erty of those New Jersey residents who remained loyal 
to the King. To escape soldiers of the Crown, he had been 
compelled several times to flee from his home near Eliza- 
beth to the hills of the interior. 

There is a story told of one raid on Governor Living- 
ston's house, in which the quick wit and charm of his 
daughter Susan averted a serious situation. The British 
were about to search a secretary containing important 
papers. Susan promised to show them where secret docu- 
ments were hidden if they would leave the desk un- 
touched, implying that it held some very private papers 
of hers. The redcoats agreed to the bargain and were 
hoodwinked into accepting a sheaf of old law briefs. 

Born at Albany in 1723 of a prominent New York 
family, Livingston was graduated from Yale and was 
admitted to the bar in 1748. While practicing law in New 
York City he joined a group opposing the existing Church 







BENNETT HOUSE AT PARSIPPANY, THE HAVEN OF Gov. 
LIVINGSTON DURING THE REVOLUTION, AS IT LOOKS 

TODAY 

of England theocracy and British domination. He was 
editor of the Independent Reflector, established by James 
Parker at Woodbridge, New Jersey, in 1752. The printer 
refused to handle the publication after 52 issues, fearing 
British officials. Livingston then edited the Watch Tower 
column in the New York Mercury, frequently writing 
under such pseudonyms as Z.B.X., Z.Z. and B.X.A. At 
that time, according to one authority, the Province of 
New York had fewer than a score of college graduates, 
among whom were Livingston and his three elder 
brothers. 

In 1772, asking to be delivered, as he had put it, 

From ladies, lap-dogs, courtiers, garters, stars, 
Fops, fiddlers, tyrants, emperors, and czars, 



132 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

he built on his land in Elizabeth, Liberty Hall, so named 
for political reasons. Several years previously he had 
bought about 120 acres to devote to his hobby of fruit 
growing. He had developed 65 varieties of pears, plums, 
cherries, peaches and apples. 

Livingston's daughters, the three "Livingston Graces," 
the best known of his 13 children, soon made the place 
a resort for the very class he had shunned. In 1774 the 
house was the scene of the wedding of Sally Livingston 
to John Jay, already one of the prominent men of the 
Colonies. Alexander Hamilton was a guest at Liberty 
Hall during his student days in the academy at Elizabeth, 
where he was a fellow student of Aaron Burr Jr. 

In Parsippany on Parsippany Road is the Bennett house, 
a private home, where Governor Livingston lived while 
avoiding the enemy at Elizabeth. The rear of the house, 
moved across the road, now forms half of another 
building. 

At the end of the war the Governor returned from his 
retreat at Parsippany to Liberty Hall, although complain- 
ing that Elizabeth was full of "unrecommended strangers, 
guilty-looking Tories, and very knavish Whigs." He had 
acquired two nicknames: Rivington's Royal Gazette had 
called him "Don Quixote of the Jerseys," while his promi- 
nent thinness and height had long ago inspired a New 
York belle to dub him "The Whipping Post." 

Governor Livingston was once described as a man whose 
brilliance of wit exceeded the strength of his thinking. 
Under his pen name "Hortensius" Livingston wrote a 
humorous complaint against the sufferings of the Revolu- 
tionary soldiers during the winter cold. As a remedy, he 
proposed that attention be directed to Bergen County, 
because "the rural ladies in that part of our State pride 



DELEGATES TO CONVENTION OF 1787 133 

themselves in an incredible number of petticoats, which, 
like house furniture, are displayed by way of ostentation." 
He urged that these undergarments be remade into cloth- 
ing which would protect the soldiers from the inclemencies 
of the weather. To prove his suggestion wasn't unfair to 
the ladies, he argued that "the women in that country hav- 
ing, for above a century, worn the breeches it is highly 
reasonable that the men should now . . . make booty 
of the petticoats." 

Jonathan Dayton (1760-1824) 

Jonathan Dayton, the youngest member of the Conven- 
tion, was only 27 years old when he helped to frame the 
Constitution. He was born in Elizabeth and joined the 
Continental Army immediately after his graduation from 
Princeton at the age of 16. Dayton served throughout the 
Revolution, advancing to the position of paymaster and 
colonel. 

Jonathan's father, Brigadier General Elias Dayton, was 
originally named a delegate, but resigned in favor of his 
son. During the debates at the Convention Dayton was a 
prominent speaker, once pleading for the establishment of 
a regular standing army. 

Between 1790 and 1799 Dayton was a member of Con- 
gress, serving as Speaker the last four years. In 1799 he 
began his single term as Senator from New Jersey. At a 
time when war with France was imminent, President John 
Adams commissioned him a brigadier general. 

One commentator called him a man of "talents with 
ambition to exert them." Dayton held the opinion that 
those men in the government who had knowledge of im- 
pending changes in the Federal economy were justified in 



134 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

taking advantage of their information in making specu- 
lations. 

He had a number of irons in the financial fire during 
Hamilton's incumbency as Secretary of the Treasury. He 
gambled in land and Federal currency, supporting Hamil- 
ton during the Secretary's application of his highly un- 
popular policies of taxation which led to the Whiskey 
Rebellion. Dayton, Ohio, the scene of one of his activities 
in partnership with Aaron Burr, was named for this New 
Jersey delegate. 

Association with Burr resulted in Dayton's indictment 
for high treason in 1807. Although he was exonerated, 
the repercussions from the affair ended his political activ- 
ity on a national scale. 

Up to the end, Dayton retained Colonial dress and man- 
ners, and was known as the "last of the cocked hats." For 
his residence he bought Boxwood Hall in Elizabeth from 
Elias Boudinot, president of the Continental Congress and 
signer of the peace treaty with Great Britain. In 1824 
Dayton entertained Lafayette at Boxwood Hall. His death 
a few days later was ascribed to exhaustion following the 
festivities. 

Boxwood Hall, at 1073 East Jersey Street, Elizabeth, 
is today a home for aged women. 

David Brearley (1745-7790) 

David Brearley was one of the chief spokesmen for the 
small states. It was he who made the first speech pro- 
posing equal state representation. This proposal became a 
part of what later was known as the New Jersey Plan. 
In order to avoid the threatened domination by the 
larger states, Brearley suggested, in addition, that the 
existing state boundaries be erased and the country divided 




DAVID BREARLY'S CAMP DESK 



up into thirteen equal parts. Brearley, a conscientious 
member of the Convention, wrote letters to Dayton and 
Paterson, urging them to attend more regularly. 

The Brearley family homestead, Spring Grove, still 
stands in the Prince Road, five miles from Trenton. When 
Brearley built an addition to the house, he put a lock, a 
memento of his service with the Revolutionary forces in 
Canada, on the front door. 

Before his admission to the bar in 1767, Brearley had 
been a law student in the Newark offices of Elias and 
Elisha Boudinot. He became surrogate of Hunterdon 
County in 1771, and so outspoken was his opposition to 
British rule in the Colonies that he was arrested on a Tory 
charge of high treason four years later. Neighbors and 
friends rescued him, and he immediately obtained a com- 
mission as captain in the Second New Jersey Regiment of 



Ij STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

the Continental Line, later being promoted to lieutenant 
colonel. 

Brearley served as a committee member of the Conti- 
nental Congress that drafted the Articles of Confedera- 
tion. He was forced to remain away from his Trenton 
home much of the time, because the British had put a 
price on his head. 

In 1779 he was serving with the First New Jersey 
Regiment against the Indians when he was appointed 
Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. While 
in office, his opinion that the courts had the right to decide 
the constitutionality of laws already passed by legislative 
bodies established the precedent later maintained by John 
Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the 
United States. 

As a member appointed by Congress to the committee, 
Brearley helped determine and qualify the duties and 
powers of the President. He presided over the State Con- 
vention which ratified the Constitution. 

David Brearley was Grand Master of the Masonic 
Order in New Jersey, and two lodges were named in his 
honor. He was a charter member of the Federalist Asso- 
ciation, the Society of the Cincinnati, and was one of the 
organizers of the Trenton Academy. 

Congress appointed him one of the commissioners to 
decide the land dispute between Pennsylvania and Con- 
necticut. The ruling in favor of Pennsylvania became 
known as the "Trenton Decision." 

In 1789, a year before his death, Brearley resigned as 
Chief Justice of the State and took office as the first Judge 
of the United States District Court for the district of New 
Jersey. His grave is in St. Michael's Episcopal Graveyard, 
at Warren and Ferry Streets, Trenton. 



DELEGATES TO CONVENTION OF 1787 137 

William Churchill Houston (1745-1788) 

William Churchill Houston was born in North 
Carolina. Three years after his graduation from Prince- 
ton at the age of 22, Houston became professor of mathe- 
matics and natural philosophy. During the Revolution he 
was a captain of the Somerset County Militia and a mem- 
ber of the Continental Congress and the New Jersey 
Council of Safety. 

Houston was admitted to the bar in 1781, became Clerk 
of the Supreme Court of New Jersey and receiver of 
Continental taxes from 1782 to 1785. 

In Trenton he practiced law and was agent for the sale 
of some Hunterdon County lands of the Bainbridge fam- 
ily. Houston was a member of Congress for five terms. 
During his second term he became interested in John 
Fitch's plan to build a steamboat. It was probably because 
of him that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention 
saw a successful trial of Fitch's craft. 

With David Brearley, Houston was a member of the 
committee that issued the famous "Trenton Decision." 
Although he had been very active in the preliminary pro- 
ceedings, Houston attended the Convention only a short 
time. He fought against the proposal that a President 
be ineligible for a second term. Ill health, probably tuber- 
culosis, caused him to leave the Convention before signing 
the Constitution. He started to travel south, but died on 
the way in 1788. 

William Pater son (1745-1806) 

Because of William Paterson's abilities as an orator, he 
is generally credited with sponsoring the New Jersey 



13^ STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

Plan, although David Brearley first offered the proposal 
on which it was based. 

Paterson, born in Antrim, Ireland, was brought to 
Delaware in 1747 when he was two years old. Profitable 
real estate deals in Somerville enabled his father to send 
him to Princeton, from which he was graduated in 1763. 
He read law with Richard Stockton, a New Jersey signer 
of the Declaration of Independence, received an M.A. 
from Princeton in 1766, and helped found the Well 
Meaning Society, revived in 1769 and still functioning 
at Princeton .as the Cliosophic Society. 

William Paterson was secretary of the Provincial Con- 
gress in 1776. On July 16 of that year the Congress 
ordered township committees to prepare for hostilities by 
collecting all the "leaden weights from windows and 
clocks." Through the war years Paterson served as Attor- 
ney General of New Jersey, supporting Governor Liv- 
ingston in his fight to rid the State of Tories, the enemy 
at home. 

At the Constitutional Convention Paterson emphasized 
that the delegates were obliged honestly to represent the 
citizens who had vested them with power. He expressed 
his political philosophy: 

Our object is not such a government as may be best 
in itself, but such a one as our constituents have au- 
thorized us to prepare, and as they will approve. . . . 

Paterson advanced a number of proposals that were em- 
bodied in the finished document j his struggle for State 
rather than proportional representation led to the com- 
promise of the establishment of two houses of Congress. 

After the death of Livingston, Paterson became Gov- 
ernor and the leader of the Federalist Party in New 



DELEGATES TO CONVENTION OF 1787 139 

Jersey. Hamilton, the national head of the Federalists, 
organized the Society for Establishing Useful Manufac- 
tures in an effort to make the United States economically 
as well as politically independent of England. The inten- 
tion of the Society was to found at the Great Falls of the 
Passaic a city which would be the industrial capital of the 
country. Paterson granted the charter, and the city was 
named in his honor. 

In 1793 Paterson was appointed Associate Justice of 
the United States Supreme Court, and continued in office 
until his death in 1805. During his 13 years' service he 
democratized and facilitated court practices, and he estab- 
lished the policy of legal aid to the poor by free process 
and assignment of counsel. 

He died in Albany at the home of his son-in-law and 
was buried there. 

The New Jersey Plan 

The New Jersey delegates came to the Convention of 
1787, as Paterson declared, with instructions to demand 
equality for the Thirteen States in their votes in Congress. 
This principle had been recognized for more than twelve 
years in the Continental Congress and in the existing gov- 
ernment under the Articles of Confederation. 

New Jersey had suffered much through defects in the 
Confederation of States formed during the war. Each of 
the States, jealous of its own power and privileges, had 
withheld too much from Congress. There was fear in 
New Jersey and in other small states that a stronger 
national government might be controlled by the larger 
States, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and 
Virginia. 

The country was still dependent on Europe for many 



I4O STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

manufactured articles, English Colonial rule having for- 
bidden or discouraged the establishment of factories. New 
Jersey had complained bitterly of duties on imports at 
New York and Philadelphia, the chief seaports through 
which goods reached her in ships. These taxes went into 
the State treasuries of New York and Pennsylvania and 
were added to the price New Jersey paid for many articles. 

Freight between New Jersey and the two large ports 
was carried in sailboats. New York compelled New 
Jersey's boats to enter and clear like foreign ships, paying 
fees to New York. New Jersey struck back by laying a 
heavy tax on the Sandy Hook Light, maintained by New 
York for the shipping entering and leaving the harbor. 

In the Convention of 1787 Paterson and Brearley as- 
sailed a plan presented by Virginia for representation in 
Congress entirely on the basis of the population or con- 
tribution of each State. They declared it would destroy 
the smaller States. 

The New Jersey Plan, which won support among the 
smaller States, provided foremost for the equal vote in 
Congress of all States. It proposed increase of the powers 
of Congress, to permit the levying of duties on imports at 
any port in the country, by postage and other stamps, and 
the regulation of commerce between the States and with 
foreign countries. Congress was to elect the Federal Ex- 
ecutive; but the question was left to the delegates to decide 
whether this should be a president or a committee. Pun- 
ishment of offenders against the Federal laws was left to 
the State courts, subject to an appeal to Federal judges. 

The debates that followed showed the danger of a split 
that would divide the States into two or more unions 
"wretched fragments of empire" as Washington wrote 
of it. 



DELEGATES TO CONVENTION OF 1787 141 

Paterson boldly declared that New Jersey would never 
join with other States on the Virginia plan. He would 
rather submit to a monarch, to a despot, than to see his 
State swallowed up. 

In the end, the moderate counsel of Benjamin Franklin 
for a compromise was heeded. The United States Senate 
was formed under the New Jersey plan of equal repre- 
sentation for all the States, so that each, whether large 
or small, has two Senators and two votes. The influence 
of the larger States, however, prevailed in the formation 
of the House of Representatives, with its membership 
based on the population of each State. 

New Jersey was the third State to ratify the new Fed- 
eral Constitution, December 18, 1787. 



BIRTHPLACE OF HANS BRINKER 

The story of Hans Ermker y or the Silver Skates has 
delighted boys and girls in foreign lands as well as in the 
United States. Children of New Jersey may not know that 
it was written for two small boys by their own mother, 
Mrs. Mary Mapes Dodge, in a tiny farmhouse on the 
outskirts of Newark. 

Mary Mapes was born in New York City in 1831. She 
was one of four daughters of Professor James J. Mapes, 
a well-known scientist and inventor. According to the cus- 
tom of the day the Mapes girls were educated at home. 
Mary was the best student of the four sisters and spent 
hours poring over the great books that lined the shelves 
of her father's spacious library. It was from her reading 
of history, especially that of Holland, that she derived 
much of the story of the little Dutch boy, Hans Brinker. 
She loved to write, too, and when still but a young girl 
helped her father with his scientific pamphlets. 

When she was 20 years old Mary Mapes became the 
wife of William Dodge, a New York lawyer. A few years 
later Mr. Dodge died accidentally, leaving Mary Mapes 
Dodge to care for herself and her two small boys, Harry 
and Jamie. She gave up her New York home, went to live 
with her parents, who had bought a home in the suburbs 
of Newark, near the present Weequahic Park, and began 
to write again. Almost from the beginning her stories 
were eagerly bought by publishers. 

In her father's busy home it was difficult to find a quiet 

142 



BIRTHPLACE OF HANS BRINKER 143 

place in which to work, but Mary Dodge was a person 
who always found a way out of difficulties. There was a 
small farm cottage adjoining the orchard on her parents' 
estate. With the help of her boys, she pulled down a par- 
tition here and there and arranged the old cast-off furni- 
ture, and soon had a cozy workshop away from the hub- 
bub of the big house. There she worked while Harry and 
Jamie were away at the Newark Academy each day; the 
remainder of the day was spent at play with them after 
their return. It is said that the boys' birthdays were always 
celebrated in this little farmhouse den, with verses written 
by their mother honoring the event. 

The children enjoyed bedtime stories, and there was no 
happier time in the day for the two boys than the evening 
hour when they sat and listened to the tales their mother 
told from the pictures in her own mind instead of from 
the pages of a book someone else had written. 

It was an especially happy day, not only for them, but 
for countless children the world over, when she started to 
tell the adventures of Hans Brinker and his sister. It was 
in response to repeated requests from Harry and Jamie, 
who spent many hours skating on Drake's pond nearby, 
that she told the story of skaters across the seas. Each 
night she recited a new chapter of the story for them, and 
each following day she wrote it down. It was published 
serially in a small magazine and was most eagerly re- 
ceived. When eventually the story was printed in book 
form its popularity was overwhelming. 

The story of Hans Brinker has been translated into five 
languages. In its first 30 years 100 editions were printed. 
Although Mrs. Dodge had never been in Holland, she 
had gained accurate knowledge of this little lowland na- 
tion from her reading and from her Dutch neighbors, 



144 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

with whom she discussed her work. The book was so well 
done that it was accepted by the Dutch people themselves 
as a true picture of their nation and its life. 

Some years later Mrs. Dodge was traveling in Europe 
with one of her sons. One day she sent him into a store 
for a book about Holland. To her amazement he came 
out with a copy of Hans Brinker, quoting the Dutch 
dealer as saying it was positively the best book that had 
ever been written about his people. 

Mrs. Dodge wrote many other stories and verses for 
children , but her outstanding service to juvenile literature 
was her editorship of the popular magazine, St. Nicholas. 
She was given charge of it shortly after it was founded 
in 1873, an d credit is due her for its name. She could have 
thought of no name dearer to the heart of childhood than 
that of the good old saint. The editor of St. Nicholas num- 
bered some of the leading writers of the country among 
her personal friends and so was able to obtain contribu- 
tions from such famous people as John Greenleaf Whittier 
and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. 

The magazine achieved outstanding success, and it was 
considered a privilege to write for its pages. When Kip- 
ling, then a very young man, offered the services of his 
pen, Mrs. Dodge asked him if he thought he was equal 
to it. The story of Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances 
Hodgson Burnett was first written for serial publication 
in St. Nicholas. It was for St. Nicholas that Mark Twain 
wrote Tom Sawyer Abroad and Louisa May Alcott wrote 
Under the Lilacs. 

Mrs. Dodge planned the department contributed by the 
young readers. This section, which became one of the most 
popular features of the magazine, has always been known 
as the St. Nicholas League, and many artists and writers 



BIRTHPLACE OF HANS BRINKER 

known far and wide entered upon their successful careers 
through the pages of St. Nicholas. Edna St. Vincent Mil- 
lay first received honorable mention by the League for 
her verses when she was fourteen. Then she won, each 
in turn, silver and gold badges, and at last the longed-for 
cash prize. 

Children of the gifted Benet family all contributed to 
the League. It is interesting to compare the poem called 
Mystery , written for St. Nicholas by Stephen Vincent 
Benet when he was only fifteen, with his long prize poem 
John Brown's Body, which has won him a high and last- 
ing place in American literature. Faith Baldwin, Ring 
Lardner and Cornelia Otis Skinner are among the many 
other noted people who first won recognition through the 
department established by Mrs. Dodge. 

In the Weequahic section of Newark, where the parents 
of Mary Mapes Dodge had their home, Mapes Avenue 
has been named in honor of the family. The spacious old 
homestead stood almost at the corner of Mapes and Eliz- 
abeth Avenues. Today a huge modern apartment house 
and the dug-out side of a hill mark the place where Mrs. 
Dodge lived with her children and where the storybook 
boy, Hans Brinker, was born. 




>THE MAPES FARM 
1847-1866 



STEPHEN CRANE 

Stephen Crane, who in a short life of less than 30 years 
won for himself a lasting place among the great American 
authors, was a native of New Jersey. Though in his varied 
career he wandered through Europe and America, New 
Jersey was, more than any other, the place he could call 
home. And it was in New Jersey soil that he was finally 
laid to rest among his ancestors. 

On the joth anniversary of Stephen Crane's birth the 
Schoolmen's Club of Newark, aided by the children of 
the public schools, placed in the Newark Public Library a 
bronze tablet bearing this inscription: 

INSCRIBED TO THE MEMORY OF 
STEPHEN CRANE 

He attained before his untimely death, June 5th, 1900 

international fame as a writer of fiction. 

His novel, the Red Badge of Courage, 

set a model for succeeding writers 

on the emotions of men in battle. 

His verse and his delightful stories of boyhood 

anticipated strong later tendencies 

in American Literature. 

The power of his work won for him the admiration of a 
wide circle of readers and critics. 

Stephen Crane was born on November i, 1871, to the 
Reverend Jonathan and Mary Crane in the Methodist 

146 




BUST OF STEPHEN CRANE NEWARK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 

parsonage at 14 Mulberry Place, Newark. At that time 
Mulberry Place was one of the city's best residential 
streets. Today the house in which Stephen was born is 
crowded among closely packed, tumbledown buildings. 

Jonathan Crane was a man of moral and intellectual 
independence. When he discovered in his student days at 
Princeton that he could not honestly accept some of the 
tenets of the Presbyterian Church, he had the courage to 
leave it and enter the Methodist Church. Mary Crane, 
like her husband, was a person of firm character and 
fortitude. With such parents it was natural that Stephen 
Crane should develop the hardihood to face poverty, ill- 
ness and disappointment without flinching, and that his 
stories were honest pictures of life as he saw it. 

The Crane family had figured prominently in the affairs 
of New Jersey and of the Nation for generations. Jasper 



148 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

and Azariah Crane had founded the city of Montclair, 
which for a time was called Cranetown. Another Crane 
had taken part in the Continental Congress. When his 
fourteenth child was born Jonathan Crane wrote to a 
friend, "we have named him Stephen because it is an old 
name in the Crane family." 

Young Stephen, a delicate child, was subject to severe 
colds, and it was not until he was eight years old and the 
family had moved to Port Jervis, New York, that he was 
allowed to attend school. He had been taught to read and 
write at home, and once in school seemed to have little 
difficulty in keeping step with his contemporaries. 

In the quiet country town Stephen lived the life of a 
normal schoolboy. He liked school no more than any boy 
of his age, but he did like horses and dogs. This devotion 
to animals and to all helpless creatures remained with him 
to the end of his life. 

In 1882 the family moved to Asbury Park, where 
Stephen's brother Townley was conducting a news service 
for Newark and Philadelphia newspapers. Here young 
Stephen achieved a small fame in baseball. He boasted 
that no one could pitch a ball that he could not catch bare- 
handed, and announced to one of his elder brothers that 
he was going to be a professional ballplayer. 

In spite of his- interest in horses, dogs and baseball, he 
was already beginning to show signs of his future ability. 
He had a talent for unusual words, even to the point of 
coining them to suit his meaning. His first step up the 
ladder of literary fame was taken when he interrupted his 
ball playing long enough to write an essay for a 25^ prize. 

The summer of his seventeenth year he went to work 
for his brother Townley in Asbury Park. He covered 
miles of hot sandy roads on a bicycle, gathering news of 



STEPHEN CRANE 149 

the summer resorts and writing stories of clambakes and 
sailing parties. 

In 1889-90 he had two terms at Lafayette College, fol- 
lowed by a year at Syracuse University. While there he 
was correspondent for the New York Tribune and con- 
tributed articles to the Detroit Free Press and Syracuse 
Daily. 

Anxious to be independent, Stephen moved in 1891 to 
East 23rd Street, New York, to try to earn his living 
with his pen. As a newspaper reporter he was a hopeless 
failure. It was of more interest to him to describe accu- 
rately and vividly the color and action of a great fire than 
to tell where it happened or the loss involved. For a time 
he tried business, but the routine and restraint were 
unbearable. 

Meanwhile he was spending his spare time exploring 
the odd corners of the city, sitting in saloons and standing 
on street corners, listening to the conversations of the 
people about him. He had made up his mind that he was 
going to write a book about the people on the Bowery j 
therefore he must see for himself how these people lived 
and talked. The book was written in the two days before 
Christmas of 1891. He called it Maggie, a Girl of the 
Streets. It so horrified the conventional-minded publishers 
of that day that, although they recognized that it was the 
work of an artist, they dared not undertake to print it. 

All this time Crane was living in poverty and privation. 
What odd bits he earned came from special articles sent 
to the newspapers. He was too proud to ask help from 
his brothers, who would have been only too glad to come 
to his aid if they had realized his need. His brother 
Edmund was living in Lakeview, just outside of Paterson. 
It was no novelty for Stephen to walk the seven miles 



I5O STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

from the Hudson River to his brother's home for a square 
meal and a little rest. Perhaps it was at this time that he 
said, "I would give my future literary career for twenty- 
three dollars in cash at this minute." 

In the summer of 1892 his brother Townley again gave 
him a job in Asbury Park writing stories for the New 
York Tribune. When Townley went away to Newark one 
day, he left Stephen to cover a political parade held for 
the Republican nominees for President and Vice Presi- 
dent, Benjamin Harrison and Whitelaw Reid. These two 
men represented the narrow capitalism of that time. Crane, 
always sensitive to the lot of the underprivileged, was 
moved by the irony of laborers marching for men who 
opposed their interests. He forgot that Whitelaw Reid 
owned the New York Tribune; he sat down and wrote 
a biting article that somehow got past the copy desk and 
was printed in one edition of the Tribune (August 21, 
1892). It is said that this article helped defeat the two 
candidates. It also cost Townley his job. 

Maggie was still haunting her creator. In November 
Crane borrowed $1,000 from his brother William and 
had the book printed in a cheap paper-backed edition, to 
be sold at 50^. But even this undignified approach failed 
to reach the American public. Maggie in bright yellow 
stacks gathered dust in the corner of his room. Some of 
the copies were used for fuel. (In 1930 a copy of this 
once despised first edition was sold to a collector for 
$3,700.) 

Meanwhile Crane was working on the book that was 
to bring him lasting fame. In February 1894 he sold the 
serial rights of The Red Badge of Courage for $100 to 
a newspaper syndicate conducted by Irving Bacheller. This 
story of the Civil War called forth a shower of favorable 



STEPHEN CRANE I5 1 

letters. The story was printed in book form the following 
year. But it was not until the review of the English edition 
reached this country that the general public awoke. Almost 
overnight Crane became a person of public importance. 
His stories at once had a ready market j even Maggie was 
rescued from obscurity. 

This belated recognition of his ability was a justification 
of Crane's simplicity, honesty and devotion to his art, 
expressed in the following extract from one of his letters: 

. . . When I was the mark for every humorist in the 
country I went ahead . . . for I understand that a 
man is born into the world with his own pair of eyes, 
and he is not at all responsible for his vision he is 
merely responsible for his quality of personal hon- 
esty . . . 

In 1896 Crane was shipwrecked off the Florida coast 
while on a filibustering expedition headed for Cuba from 
Jacksonville. Crane, the ship's captain, the cook and an 
oiler rowed in a dinghy for 50 hours until within swim- 
ming distance of shore. This adventure was the basis for 
The Open Boat, published in New York and London in 
1898. This powerful, dramatic tale of shipwrecked men 
has been acclaimed as one of the greatest short stories ever 
written. The exposure endured in this experience was too 
much for Crane's delicate constitution. He was never en- 
tirely well thereafter. 

His next assignment was as war correspondent for the 
New York Journal and Westminster Gazette in the Greco- 
Turkish War. In the freedom allowed a war correspon- 
dent to recount vividly the stirring episodes of war, Crane 
found the type of journalism he could and liked to do. 



152 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

In addition to his regular work he wrote a series of letters 
entitled With Greek and Turk. 

It was during his stay in Greece that Cora Taylor, a 
woman several years older than himself, whom he had 
met in Jacksonville, Florida, nursed him through a serious 
attack of illness. In 1898 they were married and returned 
to England. They went to live in Surrey, where Crane 
was able to indulge his love of dogs and horses. There 
were never fewer than three dogs that had the run of the 
place, and Crane spent many hours in the saddle riding 
through the fresh English country. This house was a ren- 
dezvous for novelists, critics and others of the literary 
world. Guests came in swarms and stayed for long periods, 
invited or not. At one time Crane had to take refuge in a 
London hotel in order to get some work done while his 
wife cleared the house of guests. 

At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War Crane 
left England, intending to enlist in the United States 
Navy. He left so suddenly that many of his friends jour- 
neying down for a visit to his Surrey home were surprised 
to find him gone. After he had sailed the World cabled 
to obtain his services as war correspondent, but it was only 
after he had been turned down at the Navy recruiting 
office that he reported for duty at the New York office of 
the newspaper. 

At Guantanamo Crane was caught in a surprise attack 
on a party of marines. His gallantry in staying to help 
care for the wounded under fire when he might have 
sought safety on a gunboat earned him mention in official 
dispatches. 

While he was writing stories of the Battles of Santiago, 
San Juan, Guantanamo and the Cuban blockade, he was 
also working on short stories which are still among the 



STEPHEN CRANE I 53 

best American efforts in that field. But his health could 
not withstand the climate, bad food and recurrent fevers. 
He left the island a very sick man. 

Back in England, after Christmas of 1899 Cora and 
Stephen went to live in Brede Place, a crumbling baronial 
hall, which it was hoped would not be so accessible to his 
friends and where he might have quiet and peace in which 
to work. But Cora's famous cooking and cordiality and 
Crane's informal hospitality continued to attract visitors 
not always considerate of their hosts' pocketbook and 
privacy. 

His health was failing rapidly, but he kept writing at a 
furious pace. Finally, in a vain attempt to stall off the 
ravages of tuberculosis, he hurried to Baden Weiler, 
Germany. 

The Black Forest could work no magic for Stephen 
Crane. He died in his sleep on June 5, 1900. Cora had his 
body brought back to the State of his birth, and he was 
buried in the Crane family plot in Evergreen Cemetery, 
Hillside, New Jersey. 



THE LAST DAYS OF WALT WHITMAN 

A little gray house, once the home of a Camden work- 
ingman, is today one of the literary shrines of the world, 
maintained by the State of New Jersey as a memorial to 
the great Walt Whitman. Here "the good gray poet" 
spent the last eight years of his life; and here he died in 
the midst of the simple people he loved, whose minds 
and hearts he had understood and interpreted in his strik- 
ing poetry. 

From the far corners of the earth people have come to 
this quiet back street to pay homage to the man who has 
been ranked with the great poets of all times. Among 
those who have written their names in the guest book is 
the Japanese poet, Katsua Kawa, who has translated Whit- 
man's poems into the language of his country, where they 
are as familiar to every schoolboy and schoolgirl as are 
the poems of Longfellow and Milton to American school 
children. 

Whitman has been called the father of modern poetry. 
His subjects were the common everyday people and things 
about them. He found beauty in drab, sordid streets; in 
the harsh lines of factory buildings; in crowding chimneys 
and plodding ferryboats; in dull-eyed, tired working peo- 
ple and the problems of their daily life. The new and free 
style of his verse, which often disregards rhyme and 
adopts the rhythms of Nature rather than the pattern of 
earlier poetic forms, was adopted after long and patient 
experiment as bet suited to express the things he had to 



THE LAST DAYS OF WALT WHITMAN 155 

say. His vigorous and colorful style reflects the abounding 
vitality and love of life that were his outstanding 
characteristics. 

Whitman himself declared that his poetry would not 
be appreciated until 100 years after his death j but his 
prophecy was not borne out. Although his fame has risen 
slowly, he was already being acclaimed in 1873 when, 
at the age of 53, he came to his brother's Camden home to 
see his dying mother. 

After his mother's death, when his brother moved to 
Burlington, New Jersey, Whitman chose to remain in 
Camden. He had spent days and nights wandering the 
streets and had come to love the little city and its simple, 
hard-working people. At first he lived in lodgings j and 
then, with the help of George W. Childs, a wealthy Phila- 
delphia admirer, he bought the little two-story frame 
house at 330 Mickle Street. The belongings of the poet 
are there, his books, his work chair, some furniture that 
was in his childhood home in West Hills, Long Island j 
portraits of his father and mother, a bust of himself by 
Sidney Morse, a copy of his will, and a copy of the Jap- 
anese translation of his Leaves of Grass. 

From 1884 to 1892 he worked contentedly at the parlor 
window of the little house until his long, last illness con- 
fined him to his bedroom. On spring and summer days the 
people passing his window would stop to hail him, espe- 
cially the children, and he would drop his pen to greet 
them. Perhaps that is one reason why he was often pressed 
for money. His poems and articles were selling in news- 
papers and magazines j but Walt was more absorbed in 
observing life and people and in developing his art than 
in the practical problems of living. Admirers of his poems 
in England sent him $400 through the Pall Mall Gazette. 



156 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

Friends arranged a lecture for him in Philadelphia, and 
he got a goodly sum for it. 

Then, as he began to decline, the aging poet could 
enjoy life as he wished. Camden people bought him a 
horse and buggy, and he was the delight of the town, 
driving at full speed, his great white beard streaming over 
his shoulders. Nothing disturbed him, neither popular 
opinion nor physical inconvenience. He took whatever life 
offered, even the smell of the neighboring fertilizer plant 
and the shouting of a nearby congregation. 

In his bedroom was an iron stove. In cold weather he 
kept the wood piled about its base, while in an outer circle 
were stacks of books and manuscripts. When he went to 
bed he would hang his clothes on the higher piles, drop- 
ping his shoes between the islands of books, sticking the 
ink bottle where it would hold. His housekeeper was a 
brave woman, leaving the poet to pursue his work undis- 
turbed by any criticism of his disorderly habits. Even 
when he took his work to the kitchen she did not com- 
plain. His spotted dog ambled around, and the cat 
smoothed itself against his legs. Sometimes a rooster 
paraded in with his wives and pecked around contentedly. 

Many famous people journeyed to the little house to 
meet Whitman, and he received them all with the same 
enthusiasm and informality that he offered the children 
and neighborhood friends. 

In the autumn of 1891 he began planning his tomb, 
which can be seen in Harleigh Cemetery in Camden. The 
inscription, "For That of Me Which Is to Die," was writ- 
ten by the poet and engraved on the stone at his request. 

All through the winter he lingered, confined to his bed 
in his cluttered bedroom, surrounded by a sea of books and 
manuscripts. On March 26, 1892, he closed his eyes for 




WALT WHITMAN'S HOME 

the last time. The tomb was waiting for his body, but his 
spirit has been kept alive in the little house which reflects 
so much of his personality and life. 



CLARA BARTON, IN SCHOOL AND IN WAR 

In a quiet corner of the old town of Bordentown, on a 
wedge-shaped lot enclosed by a picket fence, is a tiny one- 
story brick schoolhouse one of the first public schools in 
New Jersey. The key, borrowed from the house opposite, 
will admit the visitor to the one-room building, not much 
larger than a playhouse, where a few pieces of old-fash- 
ioned school furniture are preserved. 

In 1921 the school children of New Jersey contributed 
to a fund to restore the building and maintain it as a 
memorial to the little New England school teacher who 
opened the door to those children who were deprived of 
education because their parents could not afford to pay the 
required fee. That teacher was Clara Barton, later to be- 
come world-famous as the founder and first president of 
the American Red Cross. 

On Christmas Day 1821 Stephen and Sarah Barton wel- 
comed into their farmhouse in Oxford, Massachusetts, the 
fifth child to their family of half-grown boys and 
girls. The new baby was named Clarissa Marlowe, after 
the heroine of an early 1 8th century best seller by Samuel 
Richardson. 

Her father, Captain Stephen Barton, had been a Revo- 
lutionary soldier. He liked books and saw to it that his 
children had access to them. Clara could not recall when 
she learned to read. Practically in infancy she was taught 
spelling, arithmetic and geography by her brothers and 
sisters. At four she was ready to go to school in the little 

158 



CLARA BARTON, IN SCHOOL AND IN WAR 159 

stone building not far away from her home. She wrote 
quaintly of her childhood: 

I had no playmates but in effect six fathers and 
mothers. They were a family of school teachers. All 
took charge of me, all educated me, each according to 
personal taste. My two sisters were scholars and artis- 
tic and strove in that direction. My brothers were 
strong, ruddy, daring young men, full of life and 
business. 

At eight Clara entered what was called high school, 
which meant boarding away from home. The timid little 
girl was so unhappy in the strange surroundings that it 
was decided to take her home, where her instruction again 
fell to her brothers and sisters. 

Timidity was a handicap that Clara Barton had to fight 
all her life. Many years later, when she had faced the 
dangers of the battlefield and had stood before great audi- 
ences to persuade them to her ideas, she wrote: "I would 
rather stand behind the line of artillery at Antietam, or 
cross the pontoon bridge under fire at Fredericksburg than 
to be expected to preside at a public meeting." 

Clara's sensitiveness and timidity caused her mother 
considerable anxiety, and, being an intelligent woman, she 
looked about for a way to help her youngest daughter. At 
this time people were taking a great interest in phrenol- 
ogy. This now discredited "science" claimed to read char- 
acter and to estimate mental aptitude by studying the 
formation of the skull. 

Mrs. Barton asked Mr. L. W. Fowler, author of a 
popular book on phrenology, what Clara ought to do in 
life. Mr. Fowler's answer proved that he had wisdom if 
not scientific accuracy. "The sensitive nature will always 



l6o STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

remain. She will never assert herself for herself; she will 
suffer wrong first. But for others she will be perfectly 
fearless. Throw responsibility upon her." He suggested 
that she become a school teacher. Both Clara and her 
mother were much impressed by Mr. Fowler's recommen- 
dation. Years later she looked back upon Mr. Fowler's 
visit as the turning point in her career. 

Clara Barton was 15 at the time and barely five feet 
tall, but all she needed to qualify as a teacher was to let 
down her skirts and put up her hair. Her education was 
ample to meet the requirements. A position was obtained 
for her in a district school near her home. 

Her success as a teacher was immediate, for she com- 
manded the love and respect of her pupils. Young though 
she was, she had no trouble with discipline. In the next 10 
years she was often called upon to straighten out problems 
in schools where there was disciplinary trouble. 

Teaching in country schools, however, did not long 
satisfy this ambitious young woman. She realized that 
these years of her youth should be spent in increasing her 
own knowledge and training her own mind. Higher edu- 
cation for women was not taken seriously at this time, and 
there were few institutions that offered Clara Barton what 
she was looking for. She finally decided on the Liberal 
Institute, at Clinton, New York, where she dismayed the 
faculty by her eagerness to fill to the limit her program 
of study. 

When she had absorbed all that the Institute had to 
offer, spending her vacations there in study and reading, 
she accepted an invitation to visit friends, the Nortons, in 
Bordentown, New Jersey. There she was offered an oppor- 
tunity to teach in the Bordentown school. 

This was in 1852. In New England and New York free 



k^ijfetfyfcK 




CLARA BARTON'S SCHOOL, BORDENTOWN 

schools had been established ; but in New Jersey the old 
fee system remained. Only those who were able to con- 
tribute to teachers' salaries and the cost of maintenance 
could receive an education. It was not long before the 
faces of the children of the poor began to haunt and worry 
the young teacher. 

One day she approached a group of youngsters idling 
around the park fountain. 

"Would you boys like to go to school?" she inquired 
brightly. 

She was ready for the reply, "Lady, there is no school 
for us." True enough, there was no school for these 
urchins. But Clara Barton had quietly made up her mind 
that there would be a school provided and soon. 

"If there were a school opened for you, would you 
come?" 



l62 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

"We would be glad to go if there was one," was the 
eager reply. 

That was all she wanted to know. Without delay she 
sought out Mr. Suydam, the chairman of the school com- 
mittee, and laid the plan before him. He listened carefully 
to her idea for a public school and, when she had finished, 
proceeded in a sympathetic but superior manner to explain 
the impossibility of the venture. The rich would not 
patronize a "pauper school." The ragamuffins really be- 
longed in a reform school j anyway how could a woman 
expect to control them? Since there would be no fees from 
the pupils there would be no pay for her. 

To all his arguments Clara had a reply. She offered to 
work without pay for an experimental period of three 
months if the committee would furnish quarters. Mr. 
Suydam, completely vanquished, referred her to the 
school committee. The determined young woman over- 
rode their objections and instilled in them, against their 
will, something of her own enthusiasm and confidence. 

Clara Barton got her school. A little ramshackle one- 
room building opened its doors on the first day to six timid 
pupils, and Bordentown sat down to watch the results. 
But they had not long to wait. 

The school quickly outgrew its quarters, and Clara sent 
word to her brother, superintendent of schools in Oxford, 
Massachusetts, that she had to have an assistant. He sent 
Miss Fannie Childs, who was put in charge of 60 pupils, 
quartered in a room over a tailor shop. When there was 
no longer any doubt of the success of the public school, 
the Bordentown citizens voted $4,000 for the construction 
of an eight-room brick schoolhouse, and proceeded to the 
appointment of a principal to manage it. 

Today it would be natural to appoint the founder and 



CLARA BARTON, IN SCHOOL AND IN WAR 163 

organizer to fill the post of principal j but the people of 
the middle I9th century were reluctant to place authority 
in the hands of a woman. It was argued that the school 
was too large for a woman to manage, although a woman 
had developed it and was managing it successfully. There 
was persistent demand on the part of the citizens for a 
male principal. The majority of the pupils would have 
preferred to keep Clara Barton, but in the end the appoint- 
ment was given to a man. 

The tireless little woman, who had given the best of 
her energy and talent to the building up of the public 
school, would not remain to occupy a second place. 
Whether from disappointment or overwork, she suffered 
a nervous collapse. Her voice completely failed her, and 
she was prostrated. 

In 1854 she went to Washington to regain her strength, 
little realizing that in leaving Bordentown she was leav- 
ing the schoolroom forever. She had no more definite plan 
than to gain some knowledge of the Nation's Capital. 
Returning strength renewed her ambition. Before long 
she had received an appointment as clerk in the Patent 
Office one of the first women to receive a government 
appointment. 

When the Civil War broke out Clara Barton began 
visiting the hospitals in Washington and doing what she 
could to help the soldiers. She made newspaper appeals 
for money and supplies for the injured. She organized 
groups of women as nurses and took them to the battle- 
fields to ease the sufferings of the wounded while they 
were waiting for transportation to hospitals. 

Despite every opposition and obstacle placed in her way 



164 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

by those in authority, she carried on her work. On the 
grounds of 16 battles she nursed the sick and wounded 
and comforted the dying. She was known far and wide 
as "the angel of the battlefield." 

When the war was over and the North counted its 
losses, 359,528 were listed as dead. There were 315,555 
graves, and of these only 172,400 were identified, leaving 
I 43> 1 55 graves without names. When frantic relatives 
flooded Washington with inquiries about their loved ones, 
there was the utmost confusion. President Lincoln called 
on Clara Barton. She established a bureau for answering 
the countless letters, and managed to locate over 40,000 
men, dead and alive. 

Once more Clara Barton had overtaxed her strength. 
As at the time she left Bordentown, her voice failed her 
and she had a nervous collapse. She was ordered to Swit- 
zerland for a three years' rest. 

At Geneva a delegation from the International Com- 
mittee for the Relief of the Wounded in War called upon 
her, urging her to do something about aligning the United 
States with the great cause. The war of 1870 between 
France and Germany was then in progress. Clara Barton 
was so much impressed by the efficiency of the Red Cross 
of the two countries that she determined to try to get her 
own people to join the international organization. For 
years she devoted herself untiringly to this great cause. 
From the lecture platform and in the press she issued 
countless appeals to her fellow countrymen. 

In 1882 the American National Red Cross was formed 
with Clara Barton as its first president. From then on 
Clara Barton's life was one with the great organization 
she had founded. She saw it bring its priceless services to 



CLARA BARTON, IN SCHOOL AND IN WAR 165 

suffering people in such disasters as the Spanish-American 
War, the San Francisco earthquake and Mississippi floods. 
She did not live to see the achievements of the Red 
Cross during the World War, for she died April 12, 1912, 
at the age of 90. 



JOHN HOLLAND, SUBMARINE INVENTOR 

Strangely enough the submarine, which took a terrific 
toll of life in the World War, was the invention of a 
school teacher who hoped that his invention would insure 
peace by making war impracticable. He foresaw the de- 
struction of entire navies by this vessel which could steal 
up unseen and with one well-aimed torpedo sink a great 
battleship. 

This peace-minded inventor was John P. Holland, born 
in Ireland in 1 840. While teaching school as a young man 
of 30 in his native County Clare, he first got the idea of 
an undersea boat of steel. He had been much impressed by 
the battle of the Monitor and the Merrimac during the 
Civil War, but it was hardly to be expected that a genera- 
tion that had laughed at the "cheese box on a raft" would 
take enthusiastically to his fantastic idea. 

Failing to interest the British Government, Holland 
migrated to America in 1873, and became a teacher at 
St. John's Parochial School in Paterson. In 1875 he sub- 
mitted plans for his undersea craft to the Navy Depart- 
ment, but the United States Government was no more 
receptive than the British Admiralty. 

Holland's persistence finally won the support of an 
Irish brotherhood known as the Fenian Society, which 
enabled him to finance the construction of his first experi- 
mental craft. The little boat, only 14 feet long, could hold 
but one man. It was divided into three compartments. In 
the center was the machinery, the small engine and the 

166 




HOLLAND SUBMARINE, WEST SIDE PARK, PATERSON 

apparatus for storing an air supply for the operator. This 
section was, of course, airtight and watertight. The two 
end sections were built to hold or discharge water pumped 
in and out by the engine, making the boat sink or rise. 

On the afternoon of May 22, 1878, Holland brought 
his craft, which had cost $4,000, from the shops of Raf- 
ferty and Todd in Paterson and launched it in the Passaic 
River. The results were discouraging. The submarine had 
sprung a leak in transport and sank almost immediately. 
But a leak was only the first of a series of obstacles that 
were to impede the progress of Holland's invention. After 
the boat was raised, several further attempts were made to 
operate it. There was no room on board for steam boilers, 
so a launch was pressed into service to supply steam 
through a flexible rubber hose. When the hose broke, as 
it frequently did, Holland opened a little trap door and 
calmly swam to the surface. 

The weight of the stem prevented floating, so the boat 
had to be supported by heavy casks. Disregarding these 
relatively minor difficulties, Holland determined to con- 
centrate on testing the submerging possibilities. On June 
6, 1878, at 6 p.m. the submarine dove beneath the sur- 
face, remained there until the same hour on the following 



1 68 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

day, and emerged with no damage to itself or the occu- 
pant. That much, at least, had been accomplished. It had 
been proved that the submarine was no idle dream. 

Forced, for the time being, to be content with this in- 
complete success, the inventor abandoned the craft. It was 
tied up beneath the Spruce Street bridge. Forty-seven 
years later a group of young men, with the aid of a mag- 
net borrowed from a nearby plant, located the almost for- 
gotten boat. They salvaged it from the river bottom and 
presented it to the Paterson Museum, where it is now on 
display. 

In 1 88 1 Holland launched another submarine in the 
Hudson River. This new boat, built in the Delamater 
yards, was a decided improvement. Thirty-one feet long 
and equipped with a one-cylinder combustion engine, it 
could accommodate a crew of three. 

By this time Holland's venture had attracted consider- 
able notice. Cheering throngs on boats and on shore 
watched in amazement as the "wild Irishman" in his cigar- 
shaped craft ducked under the surface in the harbor off 
Staten Island to a depth of 100 feet, remained for an 
hour and rose again. The Fenian Ram y as the new boat 
was named by a newspaper reporter, caused quite a flurry 
in the daily news as the inventor continued to try it out. 
There were various conjectures as to the purpose for 
which it was built. There was no war in progress, nor in 
prospect, other than the chronic trouble between Ireland 
and England. This gave rise to the half-humorous sugges- 
tion that the boat was meant for the use of the Irish 
against the British navy; therefore the name, Fenian 
Ram. 

Tug and ferryboat captains were frequently startled 
when the queer-looking craft rose from the bottom. Sud- 



JOHN HOLLAND, SUBMARINE INVENTOR 169 

denly the little trap door would open and out would pop 
the genial smiling face of John Holland, who would hail 
them gaily in his thick Irish brogue. Since there was no 
periscope to warn the navigator of anything on the sur- 
face, there was great danger of collision. On January 3, 
1 88 1, the Ram was sunk when it collided with a ferry- 
boat near the Weehawken slip. Within a week a wrecking 
crew had raised the boat. It rests today in West Side Park, 
Paterson. 

It seemed that Holland's hard work was accomplishing 
nothing but the distinction of providing exhibits for Pater- 
son. But the intrepid schoolmaster kept at his task, and 
five years later he completed another submarine. Success, 
however, was still far off. This third vessel was damaged 
in launching, and the Fenian Society, discouraged by 
repeated failures, withdrew its financial aid. 

Holland had learned enough from his mistakes to spur 
him to further endeavors. Although the Navy Depart- 
ment still withheld recognition, the new device com- 
manded the interest and support of those who were con- 
cerned with the improvement of war machinery, and he 
was able to obtain financial backing to continue his work. 
He worked at plans and models for seven more years and 
finally succeeded in getting the support of the Navy offi- 
cials. In. 1893, w i tn a $150,000 contract, he started to 
build again. The new boat, called the Plunger, was 
launched in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1895; but Holland 
had been so hampered in carrying out his plans by inter- 
ference from government experts that the result was a 
failure, and the Plunger was abandoned. 

Holland, still under government contract, returned to 
New Jersey and at the Crescent Shipyards in Elizabeth- 
port started to build the Holland according to his own 



I7O STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

ideas, profiting by the mistakes made in the construction 
of the Plunger. 

The Holland was successfully launched early in 1898. 
It was 53 feet 10 inches long, fitted with a gasoline engine 
for surface propulsion and an electric motor, supplied by 
storage batteries, for traveling under water. It carried one 
pneumatic dynamite gun, a torpedo tube and several tor- 
pedoes. 

In February of that year, before the submarine had 
been accepted by the government, it became the center of 
a serio-comic incident. The United States was on the brink 
of war with Spain, and, as a protest against the presence 
of the Maine in Havana harbor, the Spanish warship 
Viscaya had been sent to New York and was anchored in 
the harbor. 

One of those baseless rumors to which nervous govern- 
ment officials are susceptible in troublous times reached 
the ear of the Navy Department. The tale was that the 
Holland was planning to try its guns on the Viscaya. 
Admiral Bunce, in command of the New York Navy 
Yard, was ordered to watch the strange vessel and seize 
it if necessary. 

The Holland, as yet privately owned, had set out from 
Elizabethport for Perth Amboy for final preparation be- 
fore being tested. Just before leaving she had taken on 
board several dummy wooden projectiles made to fit the 
8-inch dynamite gun mounted in the bow. From a distance 
these dummies looked very real; so real that when a Navy 
tug came to look for the submarine, some workmen at the 
shipyard told the tugboat captain that they had seen the 
Holland load up with projectiles and set off down the 
river. At full speed the tug went in pursuit. An all-day 
search of New York Harbor and the port of Perth Amboy 



JOHN HOLLAND, SUBMARINE INVENTOR 1 7 1 

revealed no sign of the suspect, but the Viscaya was still 
intact, so the tug returned to report the disappearance of 
the submarine and no harm done. Several days later, quite 
innocent of the commotion it had aroused, the little Hol- 
land was discovered tied up in the Perth Amboy docks. 

At that time Holland had not yet tested the submerg- 
ing ability of his latest model. The first test took place 
on March 17, St. Patrick's Day. It was not, however, until 
April 1900, after several grueling tests off Sandy Hook 
and Long Island, that the Government authorized the 
purchase of the Holland. 

On one of these tests, in June 1899, Clara Barton, the 
founder of the American Red Cross, was on board as a 
guest. As they ran for two miles under 15 feet of water, 
Holland explained the mechanical devices and described 
the probable effect of the torpedo. If he expected any 
approbation from his guest he was sadly disappointed, for 
Clara Barton in no uncertain terms expressed her dismay 
that a civilized American should be guilty of inventing 
such a deadly instrument. Holland hastened to explain 
that he was confident that if all nations were equipped 
with submarines war would no longer be possible. 

In December 1899 the Holland was taken to Washing- 
ton, D. C., for exhibition runs up the Potomac River. 
Because of rough weather it was decided to take the inside 
passage from Perth Amboy through the Delaware and 
Raritan Canal to Bordentown, down the Delaware to 
Delaware City and through the Chesapeake Canal to 
Chesapeake Bay and on to Washington. 

All along the route people turned out in crowds to see 
this new wonder. At Bordentown, where the submarine 
came through the locks of the canal and entered the Dela- 



172 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

ware River, public school children were dismissed and 
many of the stores were closed. 

A few months after the successful demonstration at 
Washington, the Government ordered six more subma- 
rines. The following year Great Britain, Russia and Japan 
placed their orders. 

John Holland made an unquestionable success of his 
invention, but he utterly failed to promote peace. Realiza- 
tion of this final failure was spared him by his death on 
August 12, 1914, at the opening of the World War. If 
they both had lived, Clara Barton might have reminded 
him of her words on that June day in 1899. 



WORKING AND LIVING TOGETHER 



NORTH AMERICAN PHALANX 

The panic of 1837 and the long period of suffering 
afterward focused wide attention on plans for establishing 
a social order with a more abundant and secure life for all 
the people. Many of the social thinkers of a century ago 
felt the need of testing their theories to prove their worth. 
To do this it was necessary to organize communities where 
people would live and work under a plan that differed 
sharply from the ordinary community life in towns and 
villages. 

As a result, hundreds of experimental projects sprang 
up throughout the country. Some lasted only a few 
months, others for several years. One of the most suc- 
cessful was the North American Phalanx, about five miles 
west of Red Bank in Monmouth County, New Jersey. 
Today, resting quietly in a grove of trees, a large, ram- 
bling house occupied by descendants of the original 
founders is all that remains of the once busy community 
where for 12 years men and women worked, played and 
educated their children with one common object the 
greatest good for the greatest number. 

The socially minded thinkers of the period believed 
that most unhappiness arose from competition in an eco- 
nomic order that made it necessary for each individual to 
work for as much profit as possible, regardless of the 
rights of others. This resulted in the setting up of two 
classes the rich, with leisure for recreation and study, 
and the poor, with time for little except work. 

175 



I 












Courtesy Red Bank Register 

NORTH AMERICAN PHALANX FROM AN OLD OIL PAINTING 

Most of the proposed plans fell into two categories, 
based on the ideas of Robert Owen of England or of 
Charles Fourier of France. Owen had put his socialistic 
ideas into practice at his textile mill in New Lanark, Scot- 
land. Visitors reported that the workers appeared remark- 
ably happy, especially when compared with those in other 
towns where the Industrial Revolution had brought only 
exploitation and misery. Owen came to America and lec- 
tured to huge crowds. He tried to establish a socialistic 
community at New Harmony, Indiana, in 1825, but 
failed. 

Fourier differed from Owen in one important way. 
Owen believed that mankind would never be happy so 
long as the rich and the poor remained as separate classes, 
and that the only solution was to give every man the 
means of enjoying an abundant life. On the other hand, 
Fourier argued that the rich man should be allowed to 
keep his wealth and bequeath it to his children, even 



NORTH AMERICAN PHALANX 177 

though it was more than was needed for a comfortable 
existence. He felt that the rich and poor could reach an 
understanding through living together in an experimental 
community. 

Under Fourier's plan, every member of the communal 
enterprise would get income from three sources: interest 
on his investment, a share of the profits and wages for his 
labor. Fourier believed that a man would have to work 
only 10 years, from three to five hours a day, to be assured 
of an income for the rest of his life. His followers estab- 
lished many communities in France, but his plan failed 
to work. 

Although the theories of Fourier and Owen had borne 
no practical results, many people maintained that they had 
planted the seeds of a new and happier society which 
needed only careful planning to bring it to flower. It was 
during this period that Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote to 
Thomas Carlyle: "Any one you meet on the street may 
at any time produce a new community project from his 
waistcoat pocket." Among the many who became infected 
was Albert Brisbane, father of the late newspaper editor, 
Arthur Brisbane. In 1840, on his return from France, the 
elder Brisbane published a book, Social Destiny of Man, 
inspired by the ideas of Fourier. Three years later he pub- 
lished a paper, The Phalanx, in which he detailed the 
Fourier plan of social reorganization. 

According to this plan people would live in groups of 
from 800 to 4,000, away from the big cities. These groups, 
known as Phalanxes (taken from the Greek military for- 
mation), would be self-supporting, growing their own 
food and making their own clothes, furniture and other 
articles. People were to be housed in huge, hotellike struc- 
tures called phalansteries, eliminating the duplication of- 



178 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

housework. Three or four phalanxes would form a union, 
and three or four unions would become a district. Several 
districts, in turn, would become a province. Between the 
phalanxes scattered over the land there would be an ex- 
change of surplus goods. There would be no drones, no 
parasites, no extremes of poverty and wealth. Rich and 
poor would work together and learn to understand each 
other through equal education and opportunity for all. 
By successive combinations, a world unity would emerge. 
There would be a republican form of government with 
annual elections. Universal harmony would do away with 
soldiers, policemen and criminals. 

With the idea of reaching a wider public, Brisbane pur- 
chased from Horace Greeley the use of a daily column in 
the New York Tribune in which, day after day, he ex- 
pounded the theory of Fourierism. Although Greeley was 
to become one of the staunchest supporters of the Phalanx 
movement, he took care to assume no responsibility for 
Brisbane's articles. The column carried a statement which 
read, "This column has been purchased by the advocates 
of Association in order to lay their principles before the 
public." 

Brisbane's teachings fell on fertile soil. A few years 
later one investigator listed 69 associative communities, 
excluding religious ones, 15 of which were called pha- 
lanxes. They comprised about 9,000 people and owned 
about 140,000 acres of land. 

One of the most famous experiments of the time was 
Brook Farm, a few miles out of Boston, founded in 1842 
as an endeavor in communal living based upon the social- 
political democracy advocated by George Bancroft, the his- 
torian. George Ripley, the founder, was a Unitarian min- 
ister whose plan was 



NORTH AMERICAN PHALANX 179 

... to insure a more natural union between intel- 
lectual and manual labor ... to combine the thinker 
and the worker as far as possible in the same indi- 
vidual ... to guarantee the highest mental freedom 
by providing all with labor adapted to their tastes and 
talents and to secure for them the fruits of their 
industry. 

Many of the most distinguished scholars and literary 
men of the day Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo 
Emerson, Charles Dana, later editor of the New York 
Sun; the Reverend Theodore Parker and a host of others 
were active in, or for a time associated with, the Brook 
Farm colony. When Brisbane's articles appeared, Brook 
Farm aligned itself with the Phalanx plan and for a time 
was known as the Brook Farm Phalanx. The Harbinger, 
the organ of Fourierism in this country, was printed at 
Brook Farm from June 1845 to June 1847. 

Although the Brook Farm experiment has, because of 
its association with many names famous in literature, re- 
ceived more attention from writers and historians, it was 
not nearly so successful as the New Jersey colony known 
as the North American Phalanx. One reason given for 
this is that the Phalanx members happened to be prac- 
tical, rather than literary or esthetic. Of the scores of colo- 
nies set up along the lines of Fourierism, the majority 
lasted not more than a year. Brook Farm lasted about six 
years, but the North American Phalanx flourished for 12 
years. 

In 1 843 a small group of ten progressive families from 
the vicinity of Albany, with an aggregate subscription of 
$8,000, purchased the old Van Mater farm in Monmouth 
County for $14,000 and set up the North American Pha- 



i8o 



STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 



lanx. There were 673 acres of well-watered arable land, 
woodland and meadow, plus extensive beds of marl, used 
as fertilizer. In addition to those who took up residence, 
there were some who had sufficient faith in the experiment 
to back it with purchases of stock. Among these was 
Horace Greeley, who, from first to last, was an enthusi- 
astic supporter of the association. He had dedicated his 
New Yorker to an "advocacy of the great social revo- 
lution . . . rendering all useful Labor at once instruc- 
tive and honorable, and banishing Want . . . from the 
globe." 

In September some of the families took possession of 
the two farmhouses on the property. In most instances 
the men preceded their families in order to prepare suit- 
able quarters for the women and children who followed 
in the spring. 

The first two years were extremely difficult for the set- 
tlers. Nathan French later said that the first winter they 
lived on buckwheat cakes and sorghum, and the second 
winter on buckwheat cakes without sorghum. The farm 
was impoverished, and none of the colonists knew much 
about farming. There were only two farm buildings and 
a pre-Revolutionary barn. But the settlers were not easily 
discouraged. They had pledged themselves "not to rest 
nor turn back until the whole people were convinced of 
the practicability of associative living." 

By 1847 tne population was about 90, including about 
40 children under 16. The colonists represented a cross 
section of people from all walks of life: scientists, writers, 
doctors, lawyers, artisans, farmers. New quarters had to 
be provided for all these people, and a multifamily house 
was erected on the plans of Fourier. This phalanstery was 
40 by 80 feet, three stories high and was flanked on each 



NORTH AMERICAN PHALANX l8l 

side by the two old farm buildings. The top floor was 
reserved for bachelors, the middle floor for the families. 
Each family had two bedrooms and a sitting room. The 
first floor or "grand salon" was used as a dining room. 
When there were dances or lectures the tables were 
pushed aside. Here the colonists staged their amateur 
plays and charades. Music was often provided by a 
famous Negro fiddler, Caesar Johnson, who lived near 
the Phalanx. 

Each person bore his or her share of the work of the 
entire community. A woman who had spent the morning 
in the dairy, or in canning fruits or vegetables, might in 
the afternoon teach French or music to a group of chil- 
dren. After a day's digging in the potato field, teachers, 
writers and farmers would congregate in the evening to 
discuss the political or social questions of the day. One 
settler declared that "our days were spent in labor and 
our nights in legislation for the first five years." 

There was some criticism of the unconventional be- 
havior of the colonists. Women of the surrounding com- 
munities were shocked at seeing the Phalanx women 
wearing a sort of Turkish trouser over which was worn 
a skirt reaching a little below the knees. These loose trou- 
sers, known as bloomers, were named after Mrs. Amelia 
Jenks Bloomer of New York, who had introduced them 
in 1848. The Phalanx women found the trousers more 
comfortable for work in the fields. So much excitement 
did the bloomers cause in the streets of Red Bank (a tiny 
settlement itself at that time) that the colonist women 
usually put on long skirts when they went shopping. 

The Phalanx people were far beyond their time in 
many things. They believed in and practiced religious 
toleration, the 3O-hour week and profit sharing. All forms 



l82 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

of work were considered equally honorable, with no dif- 
ferences in pay according to age or sex. In addition to 
reserves for old age and accidents, a fund was to be main- 
tained for the education of children, which was an impor- 
tant factor in the systems of both Fourier and Owen. 

Education at Phalanx was similar to what is, even to- 
day, called progressive. The students, for instance, drew 
from real models instead of from an art book and studied 
living plants instead of a textbook on botany. They fre- 
quently spent the entire day at school, keeping busy with 
a multitude of tasks and incidentally leaving their mothers 
free for their own work. The teachers attempted to give 
the pupils a true insight into the business of life by pre- 
senting to them the problems of production, distribution 
and administration. In addition, the association maintained 
a day nursery and an evening school for workers. Mem- 
bers had the benefits of lectures, concerts, readings, plays, 
daily papers and a library. Every distinguished lecturer 
who appeared in New York was likely to be brought 
there. 

The people ate in the main dining room and could 
order what they pleased from the menu, as if they were 
in a restaurant. Families could either sit at the long tables 
or enjoy the privacy of a small table. Coffee sold for y 2 $ 
a cup, bread for i^ a plate, meat 2^, pie 2^, and every- 
thing else in proportion. "Table, laundry and room rent 
amounted to $2 a week and sometimes less." 

The work was divided into series: the agricultural series, 
the domestic series, the manufacturing series, etc., and 
these were subdivided into groups. Each series was headed 
by a chief. The leaders, or series chiefs, as they were 
called, comprised the industrial council. Each evening the 
council met and planned the work for the following day. 



NORTH AMERICAN PHALANX 183 

"Every able-bodied person had his or her appointed task. 
Because of careful planning and supervision there was no 
confusion, loss of time or idleness." 

The rate of pay was from 6^ to 10^ an hour, with the 
series heads receiving 10^ a day extra. The least agreeable 
and most exhausting work paid the highest rate. Every- 
thing was furnished at wholesale price. Food was raised 
in the garden and on the farm. Clothing was made on the 
premises. There was little need for money and less need 
for saving. The Phalanx contract provided for old age 
pensions and insurance to cover any emergency. 

Soon farmers and mechanics joined the colony, machine 
shops and mills were constructed, and after a few years' 
hard work the colony was producing wheat, rye, buck- 
wheat flour, corn meal and hominy. By 1852 the North 
American Phalanx farm was one of the most productive 
and profitable in the State. Its original value of $14,000 
had increased to $80,000 and its population to 112. Phi- 
losophers, sociologists and curiosity seekers came from far 
and wide. Charles A. Dana, the Reverend George Ripley 
and other members of the Brook Farm Colony were visi- 
tors. All went away impressed with the apparent success 
and happiness of the members. 

Soon there was enough surplus to sell to outsiders. The 
association purchased an interest in a steamboat plying 
between Red Bank and New York and another between 
Keyport and New York. All fruits, vegetables, flour and 
other products sent to market were stamped N.A.P. This 
trademark was recognized as representing high quality. 
The first packaged and trademarked cereals ever sold in 
this country came from the Phalanx mills. 

It is probable that the success of the Phalanx was due 
to the wise administration of the three men at the head of 



184 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

the organization. Charles Sears, a businessman, was presi- 
dent for a time and always took a leading part in its 
affairs 5 John Bucklin, his brother-in-law, was head of the 
agricultural group, and Nathan French had charge of the 
manufacturing group. 

In spite of the flourishing condition of affairs and the 
apparent satisfaction of the members, there was an under- 
current of disagreement. Little by little the desire for gain 
began to undermine the smooth surface of the colony. As 
news of returning prosperity came from the outside world, 
a teacher who was paid 9^ an hour began to wonder if it 
would not be better to go where he would receive $5 for 
two hours' work. There was some question as to whether 
higher pay and independence were not preferable to the 
communal life. Then, following a visit by a missionary, 
religious sectarianism began to cause some dissension in 
contrast to the previous mutual tolerance. 

In 1854 there was a fire that destroyed the flour mill, 
sawmill, smithy and machinery. The loss involved was 
about $9,000 not enough to ruin the association. At a 
conference after the fire, no decision could be reached as 
to the best site on which to rebuild the mills. There were 
some who advocated that they be built nearer to shipping 
points. A number of these withdrew their capital and some 
of them formed at Perth Amboy a new association headed 
by George B. Arnold, which they called the Raritan Bay 
Union. They thought they could make more money there. 
They did not. 

A vote was then held on the desirability of continuing, 
and the majority voted in favor of dissolution. The fire, 
therefore, was more the excuse than the reason for aban- 
doning the experiment. 

In April 1855 the Phalanx property was broken up into 



NORTH AMERICAN PHALANX 185 

parcels and sold at auction. The nonresident stockholders 
got 1 00% of their investment back. The resident stock- 
holders received about 60%. The Phalanx was dead, but 
the members were almost unanimous in regarding this 
period as the happiest of their lives. A number of them 
remained in Monmouth County, where they became sub- 
stantial and respected residents. 

John Bucklin purchased the phalanstery with the pur- 
pose of continuing the canning industry. Down through 
the years the Bucklin family has occupied the huge build- 
ing, moving into closer quarters as decrepit sections were 
torn down. The Bucklin factory in the village of Phalanx, 
where tomatoes and other vegetables are canned, is on the 
site of the association's property. 

In 1887 Alexander Woolcott, grandson of John Buck- 
lin, was born at Phalanx. In While Rome Burns he writes: 

The place [Phalanx] is thronged with ghosts. 
Ghosts of the Van Mater slaves who, back in the 
early part of the i8th century, forged the nails and 
hewed the beams of the barn that went up in flames 
in 1919, and whose burial ground still stands between 
two fields, the wooden crosses long since moldered 
away. . . . Certainly the redcoats, retreating before 
Washington, to the waiting ships at the Highlands, 
ran across our fields. Once the potato diggers came 
upon a British officer's sword. Then there is the ghost 
of Mr. Greeley, who used to take his nap in a chair 
on the veranda, the red bandana, which would be 
thrown across his face, belling rhythmically with his 
snores, and all the young fry compelled to go about 
on tiptoes because the great editor was disposed to 
doze . 



I 86 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

Only one of the original buildings still stands. The 
grand ballroom was razed in 1935. The schoolhouse is a 
memory. Here "with the drab old caravansary bleak as 
a skull in winter," the descendants of John Bucklin live 
among ghosts and memories. 




FEMININE WEAR AT PHALANX 




HENRY GEORGE 



FREE ACRES, A SINGLE-TAX COMMUNITY 

Free Acres, a section of New Providence Township in 
Union County, New Jersey, is one of several experimental 
colonies founded about the turn of the 2Oth century to 
demonstrate the single-tax theory. This was the fourth of 
such colonies in this country. The first, Fairhope, was 
established>in 1895 on Mobile Bay in Alabama. Five years 
later followed Arden, in Delaware. One man alone, Fiske 
Warren, a wealthy paper manufacturer, was so anxious to 
spread the single-tax doctrine that he founded 13 colonies 
with a total land area of 971 square miles and a popula- 
tion of more than 9,000 persons. Of these, Tahanto, in 
Massachusetts, and Halidon, in Maine, are among the 
best-known. 

187 



155 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

The single-tax movement is credited to Henry George, 
whose book. Progress and Poverty , caused a sensation 
when it appeared in 1880. According to Henry George 
Jr., "it out-sold most of the popular novels of the day. 
In America and England it ran serially in the columns of 
the newspapers and by 1905 more than 2,000,000 copies 
had been printed." Single tax was debated in clubs and 
forums and discussed in editorial columns. To many it 
seemed that it was a scientific solution of the numerous 
difficulties of a complex economic and social structure. 
Others looked on it as just another scheme that had no 
possibility of success. 

Nearly every celebrity of Henry George's time had 
something to say upon the subject of single tax either 
for or against the plan. Tolstoy, the Russian novelist, con- 
tended that "no one could possibly disagree with Progress 
and Poverty" George Bernard Shaw, John Dewey and 
Lincoln Steffens were admirers of Henry George and his 
philosophy. Tom L. Johnson, onetime mayor of Cleve- 
land, Ohio, happened to buy George's book on a railroad 
train ; as a result he sold out his monopolies. Later he was 
elected to Congress on a reformist program. 

Many socialists, on the other hand, argued against 
single tax because it was based upon the value of land, 
not labor. 

George Fallon, economist, asserted that land tax under 
George's scheme would benefit neither agriculture, indus- 
try nor business; would increase the cost of living, and 
would destroy "billions of dollars of wealth of a large 
number of our citizens." Another opponent, Alvin Saun- 
ders Johnson, said in the Atlantic Monthly in 1914 that 
the single tax was a "device for the spoliation of the mid- 
dle class." He called attention to the fact that pioneers 



FREE ACRES, A SINGLE-TAX COMMUNITY 1 89 

who crossed the plains, enduring great hardship, did so 
because the land was sure to rise in value. 

Lately there has been a revival in popularity of single- 
tax doctrines. In 1932 Oscar H. Geiger founded the 
Henry George School of Social Science with 84 pupils. 
In August 1938 the school purchased for $50,000 a build- 
ing in Manhattan which will be used as a headquarters 
and academy. John Dewey, the American philosopher, is 
honorary president of the Henry George School. Accord- 
ing to Frank Chodorov, the director of th school, the 
simplicity of the doctrine is the principal reason for its 
resurgence in popular thought. 

At present in the United States there are 21,000 stu- 
dent followers of George's philosophy, and the number is 
rapidly growing. New teachers cannot be trained quickly 
enough to supply the demand for instructors. Single-tax 
classes are conducted in about 200 cities in this country 
and seven foreign countries. Approximately 5,000 men 
and women are students by correspondence. 

The advocates of single tax contend that the funda- 
mental cause of economic difficulties is the taxation of 
industry, of profit and of income. Land, they say, alone 
should be taxed, never the improvements on it. This, 
they believe, would make it unprofitable for speculators 
to hold land unused. Under the single-tax plan the land 
belongs to the community, not to the individuals who 
occupy it. Individuals pay a tax rent the amount of which 
is regulated by the cost of improvements and of providing 
services. As community costs rise the tax rent rises, regard- 
less of whether any particular parcel of land has been 
improved or not. 

Under our present system, of course, speculators may 
buy land in undeveloped communities, hold it unused 




FREE ACRES PUTS ON A SHOW 

while community improvements are made meanwhile 
paying a comparatively small tax and sell their unde- 
veloped land at a profit when space in the community 
grows valuable. Those who believe in a single tax argue 
that everyone would eventually become a landholder, 
subject to taxation $ there would be plenty of land for all, 
because it would be unprofitable for anyone to attempt 
to speculate in land or land values. The taxes paid on the 
land would furnish revenue for policing, fire protection, 
national defense, schooling and all the other services pro- 
vided by the government. 

Free Acres cannot ever fully express Henry George's 
theory as long as it is part of a state and country governed 
by economic principles at variance with the single-tax idea. 
But within the limits of Free Acres a certain amount of 
single-tax demonstration has been in force since the com- 
munity's beginning in 1910. 

The land, about 60 acres originally owned by Mr. 
Bolton Hall, belongs to the Free Acres Association. 
Mr. Hall, a strong advocate of single tax, was one of the 
founders of the colony, incorporated under the Coopera- 



FREE ACRES, A SINGLE-TAX COMMUNITY 19 1 

tive Act of New Jersey, which prohibits selling for profit. 
The land is leased to residents on a perpetual lease. For 
occupying their home sites the people of Free Acres pay a 
yearly tax, or rent, to the association. The association, in 
turn, pays taxes to the Township of New Providence, 
to bear its share of the expense of public education, police 
and fire protection and general improvements. As im- 
provements have been made, the tax rent paid by the land- 
holders to the Free Acres Association has risen from about 
$16 an acre to about $70 or $80. The rules of the associa- 
tion require that no one can lease, or rent, less than one- 
half acre for a home site. 

The governing body of Free Acres is the entire mem- 
bership of the association, and it is known as the Free 
Acres Folk. Open meetings are held monthly where all 
the business of the association is discussed. Trustees and 
committees for all public activities are elected annually 
from the membership. 

The children attend grammar school in Berkeley 
Heights, and high school at the new Regional High 
School at Springfield. They are gathered up each school 
day by busses at the entrance to Free Acres. 

Free Acres was originally begun as a summer colony. 
The settlers put up simple shingle cottages, many without 
cellars, and cleared only enough woodland to make room 
for their homes and for roads and paths. As transportation 
facilities improved many of the residents found the com- 
munity life so pleasant and the woodland surroundings 
so congenial that they remained throughout the year, com- 
muting to their work. Many people widely known in art 
and literature have been members of the Free Acres com- 
munity. Some of these have given up their residence ; 
others have remained and have contributed to the interest 



STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

of the community life. The hand of an artist is evident in 
the attractive signposts and bulletin boards, the rustic 
benches and the general landscaping of the tract. 

Just inside the entrance on Wood Road is the Henry 
George Common, a clearing in the woodland. Here is a 
rustic bulletin board on which town notices are posted. 
At one side is an old farmhouse, shaded by a giant syca- 
more tree said to be about 200 years old. This spot is the 
community center ; here are the libraries, one for adults 
and one for children, where meetings, lectures, teas, flower 
shows and other affairs are held. The old building is 
familiarly called "The Inn." 

In front of the building a large outdoor pavilion has 
been built around a huge walnut tree that rises through 
the center of the floor and spreads its shadow over the 
entire platform. Here dances and outdoor meetings are 
held in the summertime. From this platform many men 
and women prominent in public life have lectured. On 
the end of the platform is a bell which is rung to call 
people to town gatherings. 

A gradually sloping lawn leads from the platform to a 
baseball field, an archery court, a tennis court and a play- 
ground with swings, rings and bars for the children. Near 
the center of the colony is a swimming pool surrounded 
by benches in the shade of towering old trees. Across the 
road from the swimming pool is an open-air theater 
framed in a setting of white birch and cedar trees. During 
the summer months plays are produced by the residents, 
many of whom have been professionals. 

Trees are among the outstanding features and are pro- 
tected by a local forestry committee which supervises their 
care. Most of the members prefer to keep the natural 
setting of trees, bushes and wild flowers, with stepping- 



FREE ACRES, A SINGLE-TAX COMMUNITY 193 

stone or gravel paths for their yards. Free Acres has an 
active Garden Guild which encourages members to plant 
only those flowers that will fit into this natural setting. 

The winding gravel or dirt roads through the colony 
are cared for by the association. There are no sidewalks 
and no street illumination. At night each foot traveler 
carries his own light. Though the surroundings are sim- 
ple, almost primitive, there are more than 100 persons 
who find Free Acres a congenial year-round residence. 
In summer the population is about doubled. Although 
many of the old cabins and bungalows put up by the 
original settlers still remain, modern improvements such 
as electric refrigeration and oil heating systems have been 
installed. There is delivery service from all the leading 
metropolitan stores. 

After 27 years, there are still many of those associated 
with the beginnings of Free Acres and other similarly 
organized communities who feel that the single-tax idea 
must be kept alive, because it is based on Henry George's 
simple and forceful expression, "liberty is justice and 
justice is the natural law." 




CO-OP 

The two green pine trees in a circle and the word 
"Co-Op" are new to the New Jersey scene, newer than 
the George Washington Bridge or modernistic architecture 
much newer than radio. Yet they represent a century- 
old idea. This sign over a store front or displayed on 
canned goods, clothing, oil cans, or any one of a number 
of commodities indicates that a group of people are apply- 
ing to their everyday living the great principle of coopera- 
tion. It means that they have taken the initiative of going 
directly to the source of supply for the things they need, 
so that they may get the best value for their money. 

It was the depression that gave impetus to the coopera- 
tive movement in America, though it had been growing 
steadily in Europe for generations. In 1934 the word 
a co-op" was almost unknown. Today it is displayed over 
sixteen stores in New Jersey j and there is an increasing 
number of groups buying goods under the cooperative 
plan. Throughout the United States the "Co-op" sign 
may be seen on clothing stores or apartment houses, 
bakeries or gasoline stations, restaurants or coal trucks. 

Since its birth 100 years ago the cooperative movement 
has appealed to people who are looking for a practical 
solution of their everyday problem of securing food, cloth- 
ing and shelter. It was a group of weavers in the little 
town of Rochdale, England, who, faced with the problem 
of chronic poverty, worked out a plan so practical that 

194 



CO-OP 195 

today it affects the lives of 120,000,000 families in every 
country of the world. 

The Rochdale weavers decided that if they would, as 
a group, buy food, clothing and other necessities directly 
from the farmer, manufacturer or wholesale dealer in 
large quantities, and then distribute the goods among 
themselves in their own little shop, they would save ex- 
penses. In this way each member would obtain goods at 
cost. What was saved after deducting the expense of 
freight and handling could be divided among the 
members. 

These weavers never had enough of the bare necessities 
of life. It took them a whole year to save 28, equal to 
about $135. With this small capital they opened a tiny 
store in a deserted warehouse in Toad Lane, arousing the 
scorn of neighbors and local tradesmen. But this was only 
a beginning. They called themselves the Rochdale Society 
of Equitable Pioneers and declared that "as soon as pos- 
sible this society shall proceed to arrange the powers of 
production, distribution, education and government." 

The Rochdale enterprise was so successful that the news 
spread, and other stores were opened. The society then 
established a wholesale department to serve the various 
stores. Next they built factories to make many of the arti- 
cles they bought. Even that was not enough the whole- 
sale branch bought tea plantations in India and great 
wheat ranches in Canada to supply the food prepared and 
packed in the factories. All these properties were owned 
and controlled by the consumers who obtained the prod- 
ucts through the society's stores. 

The rules adopted by the Rochdale society for govern- 
ing their organization were so simple and practical that 
they have been used in every successful consumer co- 









'iSMV 



iif.K* 
i* I 

i I Ni 



A CO-OP STORE 

operative group since that time with only slight changes. 
These rules, called the Rochdale Principles > are the first 
thing taught to a new cooperative member. They are based 
on individual rights which we today would say are essen- 
tial to a democracy, although several of them did not 
become a part of democratic government until years later. 
One of the most far-seeing of the Rochdale principles 
is that providing for the sale of goods at prevailing prices. 
Since it is impossible to decide beforehand exactly how 



CO-OP 197 

much it will cost to run a store, it is more likely that ex- 
penses will be covered if the prevailing price is charged. 
Whatever surplus results goes back to the consumer any- 
way. In the second place, if a cooperative should start 
underselling it would be the signal for a price war. Young 
"Co-ops" have not the financial strength to stand this type 
of competition. 

Sweden, where more than 20% of the retail and whole- 
sale trade is carried on through cooperatives, has supplied 
a notable exception to this rule. In fields where monopoly 
control has kept the price of goods unnecessarily high, the 
cooperatives have stepped in and, by producing as well as 
distributing, have lowered prices for all consumers. 

In order to force down the artificially controlled price 
of electric bulbs the Swedish cooperative announced that 
they would build their own factory. Immediately the price 
dropped 10^ a bulb; and it was announced that bulbs 
would be distributed for nothing if the co-ops persisted in 
their plan. The cooperatives replied that they would con- 
sider this a very good result of their investment. Obvi- 
ously, no private interest would consider investing a mil- 
lion dollars in a factory just to let it stand idle. But these 
co-op members were also consumers. If their threat re- 
sulted in the production by a private industry of bulbs 
below cost, it would be to their advantage. No monopoly 
can continue to sell below cost indefinitely. It is merely a 
strategy to force small competitors out of the market. The 
Swedish cooperative was strong enough to stand this type 
of competition, since its members were getting the benefit 
of a reduced price on a commodity. The great Luma fac- 
tory is now distributing bulbs to co-ops in all the Scandi- 
navian countries. 

Today half of the families in England are members of 



190 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

consumer cooperatives, and the movement is growing 
steadily. They employ in all their branches 450,000 
workers. In most countries the cooperative provides not 
only consumers' goods but also banking, insurance, hous- 
ing, medical care and even burial services. 

The various local groups in the United States are 
building up a strong consumer cooperative movement. 
These groups have united to form regional organizations 
which, in turn, form a national body. This national body 
is divided into several groups to coordinate the business 
of the smaller groups. National Cooperatives is a national 
wholesale organization. They have copyrighted the term 
"co-op," which can be used only by member groups organ- 
ized on Rochdale principles. In addition to the central 
business organization, there is a national organization, the 
Cooperative League of the United States, whose concern 
it is to provide an educational program. Their insignia is 
two green pine trees in a circle, the use of which is allowed 
only to member groups. In other words, in order to use 
the term co-op and the pine tree insignia, a cooperative 
group must meet the requirements of both national organ- 
izations. 

Established groups are laying out educational programs 
embracing everything from art to economics, as well as 
the history and principles of consumer cooperation. Those 
groups that can afford it employ full-time educational 
directors to take charge of the education of their youth 
as well as their adult members, management and em- 
ployees. 

Buying on specification is an important part of the co-op 
plan. For example, the Wholesale purchases co-op soaps 
made according to a formula drawn up by chemist mem- 
bers, the best it is possible to make. Goods bearing the 



CO-OP 199 

co-op label are made to meet the demands of the consumer 
for quality at a reasonable price. There is no incentive to 
cheapen materials in order to make more money. As one 
of the leading farm cooperators say of their fertilizer 
factory, "We have never made a pound of fertilizer to 
sell; it has all been produced to use." 

Before the depression cooperation was concentrated in 
farming areas and in foreign groups in the urban popu- 
lation. New Jersey has several long-established foreign 
groups and stores in the rural sections. Outstanding among 
these is the Germania Fruit Growers Union and Coopera- 
tive. Started in 1888 by a group of farmers to fill a press- 
ing community need, the store has prospered consistently. 
Today it occupies a modern three-story structure and sup- 
plies, at nearly wholesale prices, fertilizer, coal, farm 
implements, meat, groceries and many other commodi- 
ties to a widespread community in Atlantic County. 

The New Jersey Consumers Cooperative, Inc., is one of 
the most successful of the new eastern suburban coopera- 
tives. In 1935 small groups of white collar and profes- 
sional workers in Madison and Summit, who had been 
providing themselves with coal, organized a co-op and 
opened a grocery store. An affiliated store was opened in 
Caldwell, and the first year the business amounted to 
$52,000. The second year business doubled. The organ- 
ization now operates stores in Fair Lawn, Caldwell, East 
Orange and Madison. 

In 1936 President Roosevelt sent a commission abroad 
to make a study of the cooperatives in Europe. The com- 
mittee's report supplies an estimate of the long-run effect 
on other businesses. From Denmark "Their total effect 
is so much to improve the situation of a community that 
it could reasonably be said that there is more business and 



2OO STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

more work to be done as a result of cooperative enterprise 
than there would have been without it ... Business in 
general is better and industrial production steadier as a 
result of cooperative enterprise . . ." 



EGG AUCTION 

Chicken farmers, in addition to the natural hazards of 
drought, storms and plant and animal disease, have had 
to face further difficulties in the marketing of their prod- 
uce. Small producers in particular have been forced to 
sell their goods at prices set more or less arbitrarily by 
dealers who rode up and down the country bargaining 
independently with each farmer. 

In 1930 a group of nine men from Flemington decided 
that the poultry farmer should be enabled to deal directly 
with the retailer and thus get a fair price for eggs. They 
formed an organization called the Flemington Auction 
Market Cooperative Association, Inc. The idea appealed 
so strongly to the citizens of Flemington that the Chamber 
of Commerce offered the free use of a cellar for the first 
meetings, and a local printer offered to print the necessary 
announcements without charge. The organizers of the auc- 
tion were prepared to invest $500 to launch the new 
scheme j but from the first it met with such great success 
that not one cent was called for. At first the auctions were 
confined entirely to eggs, but in the second year poultry 
was added, and in 1935 livestock was offered for sale. 

Farmers who live in New Jersey and produce their 
goods here are invited to bring their eggs to the auction, 
held twice a week, where they are graded for color, size 
and quality by an inspector from the New Jersey Depart- 
ment of Agriculture. Retail dealers bid for the eggs as 
they are put up by the auctioneer. The farmer receives 
about 95% of the proceeds immediately j the rest is re- 
tained to meet the expenses of the auction. At the end of 



2O2 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

the year, after all expenses are deducted and a certain 
amount set aside for improvements, profits are divided 
among the farmers in proportion to the amount of goods 
they have brought for sale. 

The first year's business left a profit of $1,818.02 for 
the members of the association. So rapidly have the profits 
grown that at the end of two years the auction felt justified 
in investing in land and a building. 

Today it has exchanged its small cellar quarters for a 
large, two-story brick building close to the Flemington 
Railroad station, with lofts, salesrooms, offices and ship- 
ping platform. It takes an office force of from 30 to 35 
to conduct the business of the auction and keep the ac- 
counts of the members. There is a membership of more 
than 1,000. 

The business of the auction is in the hands of a manager. 
He keeps in close touch with the farmers so that they will 
be thoroughly informed on everything done by the board 
of directors and the business staff, and will feel free to 
take an active part in the affairs of the association. There 
is an annual meeting of all members to discuss general 
business and to elect the board of directors. Details of 
finance and administration are handled by the nine board 
members. 

The auction itself is very interesting to watch. It is held 
in a large room equipped with folding wooden seats, much 
like classroom chairs. The auctioneer stands on a platform 
in front of a large double blackboard. Behind him a clerk, 
writing as fast as he can and he has to write fast to keep 
up with the speed of the auctioneer posts a list of the 
particular lot of goods that is being offered. The auction- 
eer talks so fast that, until one becomes accustomed to the 
sound, it is impossible to understand what he is saying. 



EGG AUCTION 203 

The dealers sitting in the chairs facing him, to all ap- 
pearances, are quite indifferent to the proceedings on the 
platform. But as one looks around, a finger will be seen 
lifted here and there to indicate that the bid has been 
raised. When the auctioneer is satisfied that he has re- 
ceived a fair price for the goods, he signifies the closing of 
the bid by clapping his hands together. 

Meanwhile, another clerk is keeping a close watch on 
the audience to see which dealer gets the goods. When a 
dealer has completed his purchase he steps to the front of 
the room, receives a slip indicating the lot numbers of the 
eggs he has bought, walks to a window and pays cash, 
and then goes downstairs to receive the lot and take it 
away at his own expense. The whole proceeding is carried 
on with businesslike efficiency and speed. 

Before the establishment of this method of selling, the 
farmer sold his goods mostly through wholesale dealers, 
who in turn sold them to stores or route salesmen. The 
farmer received as little as 86% of the wholesale selling 
price. Retailers then added anywhere from 8^ to 10^ a 
dozen to the wholesale price; and the farmer had to be 
content with the difference. Now the auctioneer can hold 
the price up to meet the market price in the large cities, 
and all the farmer has to pay for the service is the actual 
expense of running the auction. In addition, he gets a 
return from the yearly profits of the auction. 

So successful has the cooperative idea proved that today 
about 70% of the eggs sold in New Jersey find their way 
to the market through this plan. There are now auctions 
at Mount Holly, Vineland, Paterson and Hightstown set 
up on the Flemington plan. The Flemington auction, 
however, the largest of its kind in the world, does about 
45% of the total business. 



THE SEEING EYE 

Coeducation is a term that is commonly applied to the 
education of men and women in the same institution and 
under the same terms. There is, however, in the village 
of Whippany near Morristown, New Jersey, another kind 
of coeducational institution a college for people and 
dogs. This is The Seeing Eye, where dogs are trained to 
act as guides for the blind j where men and women are 
trained to discard canes and the shuffling, hesitating gait, 
and to rely on the intelligence and devotion of their dumb 
guides. 

The dogs are not merely trained ; they are actually edu- 
cated. They learn to obey commands, but only when it is 
safe for their masters that they do so. To develop this 
high standard requires as much as three months of pains- 
taking education. Only those dogs especially adapted to 
the purpose are selected. Most are of the German shep- 
herd breed j females are preferred because they are more 
docile than the male, more tractable and less likely to be 
drawn into a battle. One of the hardest lessons Seeing 
Eye dogs must learn is not to fight. No matter how deeply 
aroused is their canine sense of justice, they must control 
their inherent instinct to have it out with the enemy. To 
a Seeing Eye dog alumnus her master's safety is all 
important. 

Every dog must pass a rigid health and intelligence test 
before being accepted for training. For example, small 
torpedoes are exploded to see if the dog continues to be 

204 




Courtesy L. Bamberger & Co. 



THE SEEING EYE 



2O6 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

frightened at the sound. This test reveals whether the 
animal will become scared by sudden sharp sounds such as 
backfiring automobiles. 

The peak of the course is reached when the dog learns 
to guide her master away from impediments, such as awn- 
ings and low branches. A bit of string is stretched before 
the dog, too low to permit her to pass under. She invari- 
ably walks around it. Little by little the string barrier is 
raised until she can pass under it, although the master is 
stopped. Having passed under the obstacle the dog then 
turns to see what is preventing her master from following. 
Again and again this lesson has to be repeated until the 
dog learns to circle the obstacle. Finally she is able to judge 
whether any obstruction is high enough for the master to 
pass under safely. 

Obedience is the mark of any well-trained dog. But the 
Seeing Eye dogs must learn also to disobey when the 
master gives a command that might lead to disaster. 

They learn to obey the commands, "forward, left, 
right," only as long as it is safe for the blind person. For 
instance, the man may order the dog to cross a street. But 
she sees a car speeding toward her. Regardless of the 
order, she stands still. When the car has passed she looks 
in both directions and, when sure that the way is clear, 
ventures across. 

The dog wears a harness with a rigid U-shaped rubber 
handle placed conveniently for the blind man. This inti- 
mate contact enables each to be instantly aware of the 
slightest movement of the other. 

The blind person must also be educated. His education 
may be even more difficult than that of the dog, since it is 
first necessary to erase former habits of uncertainty and 
fear. When he arrives at the institution he is first allowed 



THE SEEING EYE 

to become familiar with his own room. Then he is taken 
out on the grounds and whirled around, time after time, 
until he is able to reorient himself. 

After he has learned confidence he is assigned a dog 
guide. When they have become acquainted the two pupils 
are taken out into the streets of Morristown, to gain ex- 
perience in stopping at curbs, passing broken sections of 
sidewalk and other obstructions, and crossing traffic- 
covered streets. When both have passed this final test they 
are sent out into the world as one individual, fit to earn 
their living in a competitive society. As in every good edu- 
cation, both have been subjected to a rigid discipline, with 
approving words and caresses as a reward for the dog 
when she acts properly. 

The Seeing Eye project was the idea of Mrs. Harrison 
Eustis. On her travels through Europe she saw the Ger- 
man shepherd dog performing remarkable tasks. The 
German and Swiss police in particular made special use 
of the breed. What was more important, animals of this 
type showed touching faithfulness in leading men blinded 
in the World War. 

Mrs. Eustis was so impressed that she determined to 
see if more of the dogs might not be trained to lead the 
blind. At Fortunate Fields, a pleasant retreat in Switzer- 
land, she experimented for some years with these dogs. 
Mrs. Eustis was assisted in her work by Elliott S. Hum- 
phries, who had had a great deal of experience in training 
animals for circus work. 

Then in 1928 a blind young Southerner, Morris S. 
Franks, learned of their experiments through an article in 
an American magazine, and wrote to offer his assistance. 
Mrs. Eustis urged him to visit Fortunate Fields. He did 
so, and when he felt confident in the judgment of his dog 



2O8 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

he returned to America. The dog behaved exactly as she 
had been trained. Delighted with the results, Franks wrote 
to Mrs. Eustis, asking that she carry on her work in 
America. The result was the establishment of The Seeing 
Eye. Today Franks directs the institution and tours the 
country with his dog. His first dog died in June 1938 at 
the age of n. 

So, in a spacious and pleasant residence in the rolling 
countryside near Morristown, Mrs. Eustis maintains her 
school for men and dogs. The men come looking eagerly 
for their "eyes." The dogs are procured either by pur- 
chase or donations. Many people give their female shep- 
herd pups to the institution. Churches and schools help 
the work along. All donations are accepted j although only 
a nominal charge is made for training of dog and man, 
many of the blind are unable to pay at once. Time is 
allowed for payment in small installments while the 
graduates are getting started on the important business 
of earning a living. 

The Seeing Eye is intended to be neither a charitable 
institution nor a subject for sentimental writers. The direc- 
tors are interested only in the solution of a difficult 
problem. 



JERSEY HOMESTEADS 

In exchange for a crowded tenement, a pleasant house 
and garden ; for a cluttered city street, sunny fields and 
cool green woods; for an ill-lighted, stuffy workroom, a 
modern glass and concrete factory set in the open country 
these and the opportunity to share in the profits of their 
own labor are the advantages enjoyed by the group of 
families that has joined the Jersey Homesteads, a co- 
operative colony near Hightstown. 

The colony occupies 1,275 acres of beautiful rolling 
farm land and forest five miles southeast of Hightstown 
in Monmouth County. A factory is the center from which 
spread out, fanlike, the homes of the workers, the stores 
and the school. A wide belt of farm land and forest be- 
longing to the colony encircles the community. This in- 
sures freedom from the encroachment of industrial or 
commercial activities. 

The colony, was started by the Department of the In- 
terior of the Federal Government, at the suggestion and 
under the sponsorship of a group of prominent men in- 
terested in social betterment. It was designed as an experi- 
ment in the decentralization of industry, to enable workers 
to live in pleasant homes, near their work, with enough 
land on which to raise some of their own food, and so 
supplement their incomes. The colonists have organized 
all the work of the community and the administration of 
its affairs on a cooperative basis. 

Like Brook Farm, the North American Phalanx and 

209 



SUNLIT CORNER OF A HOMESTEAD KITCHEN 

other experiments in communal living, Jersey Homesteads 
is designed to find a simple and happy solution for the 
complexities of modern industrial life. 

Construction was started in May 1933 under the Reset- 
tlement Administration. In August of the next year the 
first families moved in. In planning the colony it was 
decided that 200 families or about 1,000 people would 
provide all the workers necessary to run the factory, farm, 
school, store, post office, etc. 

The greatest care was used in selecting the colonists. 
First of all they had to be of good character, and each 
worker had to be expert in his particular field, whether 
he be farmer or hat trimmer. Second, everyone had to 
pass a rigid health examination. Finally, each family had 
to be able to contribute $500 toward financing the venture. 

The colony is run on the same democratic principles as 






WINDOWS REACH FROM FLOOR TO CEILING 

a club, each member having only one vote. To date only 
two families have dropped their membership. 

At present the garment factory is the center of the 
colony. It is designed to furnish jobs for 160 garment 
workers making men's, women's and children's clothing. 
The workers are all members of the International Ladies 
Garment Workers Union or the Amalgamated Clothing 
Workers of America and are paid according to the union 
wage scale. 

The factory is a one-story structure of glass, steel and 
concrete, sleek as an airplane. This air-conditioned build- 
ing, one of the most modern garment factories in the 
United States, cost $95,000. It is planned to provide the 
most efficient operation consistent with the safety and 
health of the workers. There follow in successive steps 
around the building the receiving platform and room, the 



212 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

stockroom, the cutting room where 75 to 150 garments 
are cut at one time, the underpressing, the finishing, the 
final pressing, the finished stock room, and so back to the 
shipping room, which is shared with the receiving room. 
The factory has a capacity of 1,500 coats and suits and 
1,000 dresses a week. 

One corner is devoted to hat making, with a capacity 
of 200 to 300 dozen hats a week. There are also a shop 
meeting room, a directors' room and retail department. 
The association maintains a showroom and designers in 
New York. 

During the first year, 1936-37, the factory disposed of 
its output through the New York market. The following 
year they distributed through consumer cooperatives in 
Utah, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, 
New Jersey, New York and New England. This experi- 
ment proved successful enough to warrant setting up an 
organization, composed of representatives of the regional 
cooperative groups and one representative from the work- 
ers, which has taken over the management of the factory 
as well as the distribution of its output. In this way the 
consumer, through his regional board, is taking his part 
in controlling the production of the garment he buys and 
is sharing proportionately in any saving that is effected. 
The factory turns over to the regional bodies any money 
that remains after the expenses of manufacturing have 
been met. This money is turned over by each regional 
group to the local consumer cooperatives, after deducting 
the cost of distribution. The consumer, in turn, receives 
a rebate from his local group, in proportion to the amount 
of his purchases. 

The workers' homes are good, sturdy examples of mod- 
ern architecture, for the most part one-story and flat- 




CONCRETE WALLS FIREPROOF AND DURABLE 

roofed, designed for efficient, comfortable and gracious 
living. Windows reach from floor to ceiling. Each house 
has a living room, dining room, kitchen and three or four 
bedrooms. All are equipped with hardwood floors, gas 
and electricity, electric refrigerators, oil burners, and are 
air-conditioned. There is an attached garage and a work- 
room for garden and carpenter tools. A plot of ground 
no smaller than 100 by 300 feet surrounds each house, 
enough space to allow each occupant to grow whatever 
flowers or vegetables he desires. The homes will be paid 
for over a period not exceeding 30 years at a cost of $18 
to $24 a month. 

A space of about 500 feet between the backs of the 
houses is ploughed, sown and cultivated by community- 
owned machinery. The families have decided on the vege- 
tables which they all want. These are grown and cared 



214 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

for by the community, but the produce belongs exclusively 
to the family on whose land 'it is raised. 

The cooperative farm of about 500 acres gives work to 
six members. It has been so successful that wages of $25 
a week have been paid the year round and a considerable 
amount returned to the credit of the whole colony. The 
produce has either been sold to other members or disposed 
of through a farmers' cooperative auction market in 
Hightstown. The quality of the vegetables has been 
praised, particularly the Irish potatoes, which in 1936 
were judged second best of all raised in Monmouth, 
Mercer or Middlesex Counties. The first year's crops 
showed a profit of $17,000 after repaying a Government 
loan of $26,000. During the planting and harvesting sea- 
sons the women help in the fields. When work is slack in 
the factory the coat makers and milliners join the farm 
workers. 

A cooperative poultry project has been started with 
3,000 chickens. This gives work to two members of the 
colony. The colony has also acquired a dairy which is run 
cooperatively like all the other community projects. 

A consumer cooperative store owned by all the mem- 
bers as consumers is run on the same principles which 
govern other such ventures the world over. The savings 
were 8^ on the dollar after the first four months of busi- 
ness. The young people of the colony opened in the spring 
of 1938 a small cooperative tearoom which was needed 
to serve the many visitors to the colony. 

The two utilities which serve the community coopera- 
tively and which eventually will be owned by them 
water supply and sewage disposal are models for their 
size and have attracted the attention of engineers from 
all over the country. 



JERSEY HOMESTEADS 21 5 

A fine school building with a capacity of 500 opened in 
the fall of 1937; in addition to the usual subjects the 
school offers training for future workers in the colony. 
A nursery school is conducted in one of the old farmhouses 
that stood on the property. A community center has been 
established in a farmhouse, and the factory is used for 
movies and dances on Saturday evenings. 

At first the surrounding Monmouth County residents 
looked askance at this community of pioneers. But little 
by little they are coming to accept them. Neighboring 
farmers have been impressed with the methods of the city- 
bred newcomers; and the Hightstown people are coming 
out to buy clothes from the factory. 

Jersey Homesteads, now incorporated as a borough 
with its own mayor and council, welcomes visitors inter- 
ested in studying this new adventure in social and indus- 
trial planning. 



SERVICE FOR THE PUBLIC 



SAFEGUARDS OF OUR COAST 

New Jersey, except for a small strip along the northern 
border, is surrounded by water, nearly 300 miles of which 
is navigable. The gentle coast line is bordered by many 
miles of broad beaches where children romp safely in the 
breakers j it is indented by coves and inlets that offer safe 
harbors for gay yachts and fishing boats. But beyond the 
level shore are treacherous shoals and sand bars that have 
been the dread of mariners from the days of Henry 
Hudson and the Dutch, Swedish and English settlers who 
followed him. The newcomers to these shores in the early 
days, without a signal to warn them, took their chances 
on being grounded on a sand bar and battered to pieces by 
the waves. 

The first American lighthouse, built to protect the ship- 
ping of Boston, was hailed as an epoch-making event 
when it was lighted September 17, 1716. Sixteen oil lamps 
placed in groups of four furnished the illumination. The 
cost of maintaining the light and the salary of the keeper 
were paid from a tax imposed on all vessels putting into 
the harbor. In the next 40 years two more beacon towers 
were built along the rocky New England coast. 

As late as 1761 there was no warning signal or other 
aid to navigation in New York Harbor. The merchants 
of the city organized a lottery to raise funds for the con- 
struction of a lighthouse and bought four acres of land on 
Sandy Hook. So apathetic was the public that a second 

219 



22O STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

lottery was necessary to produce enough money to com- 
plete the project. 

On June 1 i, 1764, the Sandy Hook light first shone out 
over the dark ocean. The nine-story, octagonal masonry 
tower, rising to a height of 85 feet, was a notable sky- 
scraper at the time. The light of 48 oil blazes set in glass- 
sided lanterns made it the most powerful on the continent. 
Of all the early Colonial lights the sturdy Sandy Hook 
tower with its brick-lined walls, seven feet thick at the 
base, is the only one remaining intact and in service today. 
At the time of its construction it stood about 500 feet 
from the northern extremity of the Hook. The tides of 
almost 175 years have piled the sand around it so that 
today the shore line extends a quarter of a mile beyond 
the tower. 

When the British fleet gathered off New York Harbor 
in 1776, a party of adventurous Americans dismantled the 
light so as to confuse the enemy. A British landing party 
was forthwith dispatched to restore it. Shortly afterward 
the Americans tried again to destroy the light by using 
a small field gun mounted on an open boat. They suc- 
ceeded in damaging the tower somewhat before they were 
driven off. 

One of the first agencies established by the Congress 
of the United States in 1789 was the Lighthouse Service. 
At that time there were twelve lighthouses in operation. 
The Sandy Hook tower was onej nine were in New Eng- 
land waters j one was at Cape Henlopen, Delaware, and 
one at Charleston, South Carolina. 

In 1903 lighthouse work was placed under the Depart- 
ment of Commerce, and in 1910 the present Bureau of 
Lighthouses was created under the same department to 
direct the establishment, construction, maintenance and 





SANDY HOOK LIGHTHOUSE 



222 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

operation of all lighthouses, lightships, buoys, markers 
and other navigation aids on the 40,000 miles of seacoast, 
the Great Lakes and navigable rivers of the country. 
Supervision is divided among 1 7 districts with a personnel 
of 5,050 employees, 42 of whom are employed in the 
bureau at Washington. The seacoast of New Jersey lies 
in the Third District, which includes the waters of Rhode 
Island (excepting Narragansett Bay), Connecticut, New 
York and New Jersey, with headquarters at Staten Island. 
The Delaware Bay and River waters are under the Fourth 
District, with headquarters in Philadelphia. 

The efficiency of the lighting devices is an important 
factor in lighthouse equipment. The older lighthouses had 
to depend on simple whale or coal oil lanterns set in front 
of reflectors to direct the beam. In 1822 a French engineer, 
Augustin Fresnel, developed a lens consisting of a series 
of prisms to collect and concentrate the light. This was an 
important step in lengthening the beam. Not until the 
beginning of the century did electricity come into use for 
lighting, although there are still lighthouses operating 
with vapor oil lamps. Electricity is also used to revolve 
the lens to produce a flashing light. In the past the 
lens was revolved by a clockwork device controlled by 
weights which the lighthouse keeper wound every few 
hours. 

Lighthouses placed on exposed points of land or shift- 
ing shoals are at the mercy of the very dangers they are 
set to guard. There have been many lighthouses literally 
washed into the sea as their foundations crumbled under 
the pounding waves or collapsed beneath crushing ice 
jams. The towers have to be constructed to withstand the 
force of the wind that batters at them from all directions. 
Though they are designed for utility rather than beauty, 



SAFEGUARDS OF OUR COAST 223 

many lighthouses are notable for the graceful lines of the 
tapering towers, others are famous for skillful design and 
ingenious construction. 

The color of the light and the length and frequency of 
the flash are significant features that help the mariner to 
differentiate between the beacons and thus confirm his 
location. For the same reason the lighthouses are painted 
in varying colors and designs. Special coloring also helps 
to make the structures stand out more clearly from their 
backgrounds. 

The most powerful light in the country is at Navesink 
Lighthouse on Beacon Hill, Highlands, New Jersey. It 
has a 9,ooo,ooo-candlepower beam. Two lights were estab- 
lished here in 1828, and the first Fresnel lens used in 
America was installed in 1841. The present stone structure 
with two towers, looking much like an old fortress, was 
built in 1862. The electric lamp in the south tower, which 
is the only one in use today, is set in a lens weighing over 
seven tons that revolves in ten seconds and gives a flash 
every five seconds. Its light can be seen 22 miles at sea, 
beyond which it is obscured by the curvature of the earth. 
It has been reported, however, that its beam has been seen 
in the sky 70 miles from shore. Since its establishment 
Navesink has been considered the principal light for New 
York Harbor, although it has lost much of its importance 
with the improvement and increase in the number of 
floating aids lighted buoys, fog signals, sounding buoys 
and lightships. 

The Absecon light in Alantic City was abandoned in 
1933 an d three years later deeded to the city, which 
maintains it as a landmark. When it was built in 1854 it 
was placed at what was thought to be a safe distance from 
the shore, 1,300 feet, but the sea kept tearing at the shore 



224 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

until the waves were breaking within 75 feet of the tower. 
In 1876 the United States Government built stone jetties 
to protect it. Then the tides brought in tons and tons of 
sand until there was $10,000,000 worth of new building 
property around old Absecon. Now, instead of being 
lapped by the ocean, the lighthouse is safely tucked away 
among summer houses and is no longer useful. 

The 1 67-foot tower, painted in three alternating bands 
of black and white, is set on a foundation of piling 30 feet 
thick. The light may be seen for more than 20 miles at 
sea. On the lighthouse grounds are a Coast Guard and a 
Weather Bureau Station. 

At Barnegat Inlet, where the sea pours past the south- 
ern tip of Long Beach Island into Barnegat Bay, is the 
now abandoned Barnegat Lighthouse, one of the most 
famous beacons along the Atlantic Coast. The first tower 
built at this point in 1834 was brought down by the sea. 
The present structure was built in 1858 under the direc- 
tion of the father of F. Hopkinson Smith, the famous 
author and playwright. In fact, F. Hopkinson Smith him- 
self was an engineer who at first did all his writing in his 
spare time. It was while working on the lighthouse at 
Barnegat City that he started his well-known book, The 
Tides of Barnegat. 

When the lighthouse was first built it was about a mile 
back from the shore, but today the bay and ocean meet 
at its very feet in Barnegat Inlet. Its foundations have 
been weakened by so many storms that in 1930 the Fed- 
eral Government finally decided to abandon it. 

The State of New Jersey bought the lighthouse from 
the Federal Government for $i and raised funds to fill 
in around the base of the tower and so preserve the famous 
old landmark. This work is being carried on by the State 





BARNEGAT LIGHTHOUSE 
v 

Bureau of Commerce and Navigation. An automatic light 
still remains burning as a warning to sea travelers. Visitors 
are welcome. 

The Cape May Lighthouse, built in 1823 to guard the 
entrance to Delaware Bay, was the second in the State. Its 
site has long since vanished in the sea. A second tower, 
built in 1847, was a ^ so swallowed by the ocean. When 
the present lighthouse was built in 1859, ^ was placed 
i ,OOO feet inland. Near the tower are the buildings of 
the U. S. Coast Guard Life Saving Station. The 1 45-foot 
white tower with its red lantern stands out boldly against 



226 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

the sky. Its light, flashing every 30 seconds, can be seen 
1 8 miles out to sea. 

The Brandy wine Shoal Lighthouse, erected in 1914 
eight miles from the entrance of Delaware Bay, marks 
a dangerous shoal where two lighthouses have succumbed 
to the pounding of the waves and the grinding of the ice. 
For years the spot was marked by a lightship. The aban- 
doned lighthouse is still standing close to the new one. A 
225-ton reinforced concrete pier forms the foundation for 
the circular concrete structure. The beacon itself stands 
at the center of a group of nine iron legs. Surrounding the 
entire structure are 30 heavy iron piles driven into the 
sea bed. 

Fourteen Foot Bank Lighthouse, lying just a little above 
Brandywine Shoal about in the middle of Delaware Bay, 
is one of the greatest achievements of lighthouse engi- 
neers. The lighthouse is named for the 14 feet of water 
covering these dangerous shoals. At this point, in 1887, 
was built the first lighthouse in the United States on a 
submarine foundation. A timber working chamber built on 
shore was encased in an iron cylinder and sunk 20 feet 
into the bed of the river. Through the center of the 
cylinder rose an air shaft through which the workmen 
entered the working chamber where they dug out the 
sand, which was blown out by air pressure. Eight men 
working in four-hour shifts sank the caisson 35 feet into 
the bed of the shoal at the rate of about one and one-half 
feet a day. As the caisson sank into the river bed, the walls 
of the cylinder were built higher to keep them above the 
level of the water. The completed cylinder was then filled 
with concrete and upon it was built the keeper's dwelling 
topped by the light tower. 

Opposite Cohansey River in the middle of Delaware 






SHIP JOHN SHOAL LIGHT 

Bay, east of the main ship channel, is Ship John Light- 
house, one of the oldest lighthouses on the Delaware, 
built in 1877. The lighthouse is named for the ship John, 
which grounded on the shoal in the early winter of 1797. 
By spring it had been cut through by heavy ice and storms 
and gradually it settled into the sand. Drift accumulating 
around the sunken hulk has increased the area of the 
shoal, which is marked by a 65-foot tower surmounted 
by a light visible for 13 miles. The tower is surrounded 
by 3,700 tons of stone for protection from ice and the sea. 
One of the souvenirs at the lighthouse is the wooden 
figurehead of the ship ]ohn y which, along with much of 
the assorted cargo, was salvaged from the wreck. In the 
Museum of the Cape May Historical and Genealogical 
Society at Cape May Court House is the bronze frame 
of the ship's rudder, which was caught in an oyster dredge 
and brought to the surface by Captain Zadok Sharp, who 
presented the relic to the museum in 1930. 



228 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

Lightships 

The first lightship in the country was moored seven 
miles off Sandy Hook in 1823 at the entrance of New 
York Harbor. It was known as the Sandy Hook Light- 
ship until 1908, when its name was changed to Ambrose 
to identify it with the Ambrose Channel which it now 
marks. Though this ship is not within New Jersey waters, 
it is one of the links in the chain of navigation aids for 
New York Harbor. 

Three lightships are anchored in New Jersey waters. 
Scotland Lightship, three miles off Sandy Hook, was 
placed in 1868 to mark the wreck of the steamer Scotland. 
The encumbrance has long since been removed, but the 
Scotland Lightship has been kept in service as an addi- 
tional safeguard. Barnegat Lightship, the most recent of 
the New Jersey lightships, took over the functions of the 
abandoned Barnegat Lighthouse in 1930. Five Fathom 
Bank Lightship, 16 miles southeast of Cape May Point, 
was established in 1839. In a hurricane that raged for 
two days, August 23 and 24, 1893, the lightship stationed 
at this point foundered. Four of the crew were lost. 

Unless relieved, a lightship is not allowed to leave her 
station on any pretext. The more serious the weather con- 
ditions, the more important it is that her light and fog 
signals be kept in operation. There are many accounts of 
terrific hardships suffered by the crews of these lonely 
guardians during ferocious storms or dense fogs. 

Lightships are placed in exposed positions at the mercy 
of gales and cross-currents. To keep them at their station 
they are equipped with mushroom anchors weighing up to 
7,000 pounds with iron or steel chains in some cases as 
long as 900 feet. A modern lightship has the advantage 



f 




Courtesy Bu. Lighthouses, Wash. 



SCOTLAND LIGHT, SANDY HOOK 

of engines to relieve the strain on the mooring during a 
hard storm and radio to communicate with shore stations 
and ships at sea in case a storm drives it from its position. 

Great advances have been made in the design and 
equipment of lightships since the first small boats were 
towed out and anchored at harbor entrances or dangerous 
points and left at their stations without a crew. Someone 
had to go out each day to see that the light was kept 
burning. 

The modern, snub-nosed, sturdy ship, designed to ride 
out every kind of weather and withstand every strain, 
is a more comforting than beautiful sight. The dark hulk 
bobbing serenely on the waves or dimly glimpsed through 
the thick curtain of fog, its name painted in large letters 
on its side, assures the navigator of his position. From the 
tall masts, which in the larger ships raise the light 57 feet 
above the water, the flashing signal can be seen 14 to 
20 miles at sea. 



230 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

In addition to fog signals, all lightships are equipped 
with a radio beacon, which sends out an assigned dot and 
dash signal which can be picked up 100 miles or more at 
sea by any vessel equipped with the proper radio receiving 
apparatus. By this device an approaching vessel, even 
though far below the horizon and out of sight and sound 
of the lightship's other signals, can keep a check on its 
course. 

Depending on the size of the ship and the importance 
of the station, the crew varies from 6 to 15 men. Except 
in the stormy season, when no one is allowed to leave the 
ship, the work is arranged so that the men have ample 
shore leave to compensate them for the monotony and 
loneliness of their life. The crews of the lightships have 
the most liberal vacation allowance of any men in the 
service. Time on duty and ashore is arranged in rotation 
so that each man has a maximum of 90 days' annual leave 
without interfering with the operation of the ship. 

At regular intervals each ship must make a trip to the 
nearest depot to be overhauled. Meanwhile a relief ship 
takes its place, sending out the same signals. Not for a 
moment is the station allowed to go unguarded. 

Lighthouse tenders, the messenger boys of the service, 
carry supplies and equipment to all lightships and light- 
houses in addition to inspecting and placing the various 
buoys, markers and other aids. In the stormy season special 
care is taken that the lightships have a full supply of food 
and equipment, in case they are cut off from the shore 
by a protracted spell of bad weather. 

Before the coast was amply provided with lightships 
and lighthouses, the shoals off New Jersey were a grave- 
yard for ships, shipwrecked sailors and passengers. Among 
the many shipwrecks with dreadful loss of life were those 



SAFEGUARDS OF OUR COAST 231 

of the passenger ships Powhatan and New Era in the 
i86o's. In the former 311 lives were lost, and 260 in 
the latter. 

The duties of the men in the lighthouse service do not 
include lifesaving. This work is delegated to the Coast 
Guard service, which has 39 stations along the coast 
equipped with devices for saving the lives of bathers from 
the shore and of shipwrecked travelers. Nevertheless, 
because of the exposed and isolated positions of light- 
houses and lightships, there have been many instances of 
rescues undertaken voluntarily and at great risk. Employ- 
ees receive no remuneration for such hardships endured 
or dangers faced. Commendation by the Department of 
Commerce, or, in rare instances, the award of a medal 
are the only rewards for deeds of notable heroism per- 
formed as a matter of course in the line of duty. 

Captain C. W. Atkins of the tender Iris in June 1930 
received commendation from the Department of Com- 
merce for rescuing eight persons from a burning yacht in 
the Delaware River. When the Iris reached the yacht 
the people were in such great peril that they had jumped 
overboard and were clinging to the sides of a small 
swamped boat. Two men, two women and four children 
were saved. 



FOREST FIRE FIGHTERS 

For many years New Jersey's 2,000,000 acres of woods 
and forests were left to the mercy of fires that destroyed 
vast acres of valuable timber, left the land barren and 
desolate, and robbed the birds and wild animals of refuge. 
This area, 120 miles long and averaging 30 miles in 
width, only recently has been placed under the protection 
of the State. The first attempt at organization of fire pre- 
vention was in 1903, when local firewardens were ap- 
pointed under township ordinance. This haphazard system 
worked pretty well, but there was still an average loss of 
51 acres per fire each year. 

In 1923 there was a reorganization of the system. The 
work was placed in charge of a State Fire Warden with 
headquarters in Trenton. Under this system, the State is 
divided into three divisions: Division A extends from the 
New York border to the Raritan River j Division B from 
that point to the Mullica River j and Division C covers 
the remainder of the State. These divisions are subdi- 
vided into 40 fire sections, each in charge of a State-paid 
section fire warden. The sections are split into districts 
under district wardens, making 372 districts. To each 
district warden is assigned a crew of from 10 to 25 helpers 
who are paid only when fighting fires. Altogether there 
are 9,000 men available for fire duty. Seventeen towers 
overlook the State's forest areas. These and the 13 district 
offices are connected to headquarters at Trenton by short- 
wave radio. In addition, the State Fire Warden has at his 

232 



FOREST FIRE FIGHTERS 233 

disposal an airplane manned by a pilot and an observer. 
Thus the headquarters office is in constant communication 
with every portion of the field. 

Although through education of the public the State 
Forest Fire Service has done much to diminish the number 
of fires, its greatest accomplishment has been in reducing 
the loss in acres per fire. With the entire State under 
constant observation from lookout towers and the well- 
organized crew of trained helpers that can be marshaled 
quickly and efficiently, there is now less likelihood of a 
fire getting out of control and destroying great areas. 
As an example, instead of losing 51 acres per fire, as was 
the case before 1923, the recent average has been 17 acres. 

Each division is equipped with three fire trucks which 
may seem primitive when compared to the elaborate fire- 
fighting apparatus used in cities, but they are most efficient 
for the rough work they have to do. The trucks are 
stripped of fenders to give them better clearance through 
narrow lanes between trees. Their equipment includes a 
portable gasoline-driven water pump, 2,000 feet of 2^2- 
inch hose, and a bristling load of long-handled shovels 
and brooms of a special type the most efficient of all 
forest fire-fighting appliances as well as axes, brush hooks, 
buckets, steel drums, lanterns, hoes, mattocks, sprayers 
and torches. 

Combatting forest fires depends on eternal watchful- 
ness and speed in getting out to fight the flames. All that 
a forest fire-fighting service can do in the way of prevent- 
ing fires is to have laws passed that discourage fire hazards, 
to post the woods with warnings and educate the public in 
the dangers of carelessness. The causes of forest fires are 
far too numerous and varied and the area to be protected 



234 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

is far too extensive to permit more than the most general 
preventive measures. 

A forest fire may start in any number of ways from a 
spark thrown by a passing locomotive or a lighted ciga- 
rette tossed into dry grass. Picnickers or hunters may have 
lighted a campfire in restricted areas. Glowing ashes 
knocked from a pipe into a bed of dried leaves or grass 
can start a blaze that will burn over miles of country and 
keep crews of men fighting for hours to control it. 

Fire Warden Fales reported in the winter of 1937 that 
hunters were responsible for setting 42 blazes in the fall 
of that year, several of which were of major proportions. 
One of these larger forest fires was in Sussex County 
and was started by sportsmen who set fire to a hollow 
tree to rout out a squirrel. The hunters did their best to 
put out the fire, but it got beyond them. 

The increasing number of devastating forest fires led 
to the enactment of many laws pertaining to the care of 
the forests and the duties of the fire wardens. A person 
starting a fire in the woods without obtaining permission 
from the local fire warden may be fined as much as $400. 

When engaged in fighting a fire the warden in charge 
may summon any male person between the ages of 18 
and 50 within his jurisdiction to assist in extinguishing 
the blaze. No physically fit person can refuse. Such recruits 
are paid the same rate as the warden's regular staff of 
helpers. The fire warden also has the right to use personal 
property and material if they are needed to beat back the 
fire. 

The men of the forest fire service do more than merely 
wait for fires. There is much preparatory work to be done 
to make the actual work of fire fighting more effective. 
During the off season, December 20 to March i, each 




MEN AGAINST THE FLAMES 



district warden and his crew go through the woods remov- 
ing dry branches, digging up patches that threaten to pro- 
duce dry grass and cutting away underbrush and trees of 
less than three inches in diameter. Sand piles are deposited 
to be ready to scatter on the flames. 

At certain points, strips or "lanes" are cut through the 
woods. These are cleared of all vegetation and are cut 
wide enough to allow the fighters to get through to start a 
"backfire." In case a forest fire gets a serious start, a "back- 
fire" is set toward the onrushing flames so that when the 
two meet neither can proceed for lack of fuel on the 
already burned area. 

The dangerous and expensive practice of backfiring may 
be eliminated, however, with a new pumping unit devel- 
oped by the department. The outfit, which can reach about 
80% of the fires in a district, is capable of pumping n 



236 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

gallons of water a minute at the end of a io,ooo-foot hose. 
The unit is equipped with tanks to wet down the road 
bordering the burning area, a two-way radio, hand spray- 
ers, axes and other fire-fighting equipment. Water can 
be pumped into the apparatus from a 22-foot well, and 
the intake hose needs only three inches of water in which 
to operate. The department is planning to have one of 
these in each of the three divisions. 

The average forest fire is not spectacular unless it breaks 
into tree tops where it roars or crackles from tree to tree, 
sending flames sky high, making an awe-inspiring scene. 
Man power is what counts in the struggle, for the fire has 
to be beaten down with shovels, brooms and other imple- 
ments before it has the chance to spread upward into the 
dry foliage of the trees. 

Of the three sections into which the forest areas have 
been mapped, Division B and parts of C in the central and 
southern sections of the State are the danger spots, for 
here are dense forests of evergreens filled with resin and 
volatile oils. Many of the sections in this division are 
covered with scrub pine and underbrush tangled into a 
jungle so thick that even hunters refuse to penetrate it. 
Once these pines catch fire they burn so quickly and cast 
off so much heat that men cannot come near enough to 
fight the flames. This section of the State, abused and 
neglected by man in earlier times, is one of the greatest 
fire hazards in the United States. 

When the railroads were built through this region to 
carry people to the Atlantic coast resorts there was a great 
increase in forest fires. Little attempt was made to extin- 
guish the blazes. They were allowed to burn until arrested 
by some natural barrier a swamp, stream or road. Not 
only have the trees been weakened and destroyed by fre- 



FOREST FIRE FIGHTERS 237 

quent burnings, but the soil, robbed of its richness through 
the destruction of humus and ground litter, has been so 
impoverished that it will take 100 years to restore it to 
productivity. 

The procedure of reporting a forest fire has become an 
exact science. High in one of the observation towers sits 
the lookout, a licensed radio operator. Smoke from chim- 
neys in the villages and hamlets that lie in his district 
do not interest him. But let smoke appear where it should 
not, or let the chimney smoke appear suspiciously heavy, 
and immediately he is all attention. 

Around swings his range finder and the smoke is located 
on the map plot 62. He watches to see if the smoke is 
increasing. If it does, he calls the section warden, giving 
his tower location and the number of the burning plot. 
The warden calls another tower and gets a location from 
the lookout there. From this tower it looks as though plot 
6 1 is afire. A glance at the map shows where the two 
bearings cross, and the fire is located. The section warden 
then calls the district warden, who drops whatever work 
he is doing and races for the garage, stopping only long 
enough to notify his men. Then down the street and 
across the fields, sometimes as much as eight miles, the 
truck jounces with its load of men and equipment. On 
the way more men are picked up. In the woods, the smoke 
leads the crew to the fire. 

Just as the causes of forest fires vary, so do the methods 
of fighting them. These depend on what headway the fire 
has made, on the nature of the vegetation on which it is 
feeding, on the terrain whether the ground is level, 
uphill or downhill and whether or not there is a high 
wind. As a rule, the easiest fires to handle are those near 
farms or wherever else it may be handy to set up the 



238 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

water pump, drop its suction hose down a well or a cistern 
and let the water spray. Hillside fires are next most easily 
disposed of, because the draught created by the flames 
is deflected by the slope of the hill instead of fanning the 
fire. The most difficult fires to handle are those on a level 
among the evergreens in Divisions B and C, because of 
the heat and speed of the flames. In cases like these the 
fire lanes that have been cut and prepared are a godsend. 
If the blaze occurs where no fire lanes have been cut the 
fire fighters are rushed ahead of the fire to cut lanes for 
backfiring. 

Backfiring, however, is not undertaken except when 
necessary, and only under favorable conditions. In a high 
wind there is danger of spreading flames in the wrong 
direction unless, of course, the lanes are very wide. The 
safest backfires are started on the downhill side of slopes, 
where the flames progress far more slowly than uphill. 
Except where backfiring is used all forest fires are attacked 
from in front and beaten out with shovels. 

In these days of fire-fighting efficiency the attack is 
more interesting than spectacular. The choking, acrid 
fumes of blinding smoke that rise from the charred area 
over which the fire has traveled on occasion are hot enough 
to scorch shoes. But the army of shovelmen piles through 
this, choking and coughing, whether the fire front be a 
half-mile or a mile in length. Each tries to beat a gap in 
the line of flames, thus putting a stop to further advance 
at that point, and then along the line of fire so as to out- 
flank it. 

Relatively small fires are quickly disposed of, especially 
in the northern end of the State where trees of the pine 
family are scarcer and where the chief fuel for the flames 
is little more than dried grass, dry underbrush and leaves. 



FOREST FIRE FIGHTERS 239 

But fighting a real forest fire is a he-man's job. The smoke 
is so thick that the men are discernible only as shadows. 
The heat, the ash dust and the smoke parch their throats, 
blacken their faces and send streams of tears out of red- 
dened eyes. 

There is no such thing as time out for a breathing spell 
or food or even drink j and throughout, without a mo- 
ment's cessation, the shovels are pounding, sometimes for 
hours and hours while even the strongest lungs, joints 
and muscles weary. On one occasion, in Division C, the 
fight continued eight hours. Then, reeling, the men came 
back from the front, black and sooty, red-eyed, swollen- 
lipped for want of a drink and so absolutely exhausted 
that many were obliged to sit or lie down before pro- 
ceeding home. For this work the "extras" are paid $i 
for the first and 40^ for each succeeding hour of work. 
But it is not the money, it is pride in belonging to a splen- 
did service, that commands the loyalty of every man. 



STATE POLICE 

In 1921, when mounting automobile casualties and the 
increase of crime in rural communites were beyond con- 
trol of local facilities, the New Jersey State Legislature 
authorized the creation of the State Police with a force 
of 140 men. In 17 years its duties have been expanded to 
include a variety of services, from conducting safety edu- 
cation classes to tattooing poultry as a protection against 
thieves. Even though the personnel has been doubled. 
Col. Mark O. Kimberling, Superintendent, feels that 
the present force cannot adequately cope with the growing 
population and the increasing traffic on the State's 8,200 
miles of roadway. 

An applicant must be more than 5 feet 6 inches tall, 
weigh at least 135 pounds and be between the ages of 
24 and 40. Very few over 32 apply because of the rigid 
physical test. Applicants who pass a thorough character 
investigation are invited to take the periodic mental and 
physical examinations. On these tests they must attain 
an average of 65% to be put on the eligible list. When 
vacancies occur, those highest on the list are called to the 
training station at Wilburtha, near Trenton. 

For three months the training classes of 50 to 75 re- 
cruits are not permitted to leave Wilburtha except in 
cases of serious illness at home. On Sundays they may go 
to church with an officer and receive visitors in the after- 
noon. The student is carefully watched to determine 
whether or not he is temperamentally fit for police work. 

240 



STATE POLICE 241 

Many are eliminated for this reason alone. Life in the 
training school under the rigorous schedule is a test of 
stamina, mental and physical alertness and adaptability: 

5:45 a.m. Rise. 

6:OO a.m. Roll call, calisthenics and foot drill. 

7:00 a.m. Breakfast. 

8:00 a.m. Road run. A quarter of a mile the first 
day, and this distance is increased until the 
-daily limit of five miles is reached. This 
is followed by a shower, more calisthenics, 
jiujitsu, boxing, wrestling, broadswords 
and horsemanship, motorcycle riding or 
automobile driving, until noon. 
12:00 noon Dinner. 

i :oo p.m. Lecture. These include talks on the legal 
phase of a policeman's work, first aid and a 
practical knowledge of medicine. The lec- 
turers are doctors, lawyers, judges and 
police officials. 

2:oo p.m. Study of the police manual. This includes 
the State, criminal, game, forestry and 
motor vehicle laws ; Federal statutes, State 
geography, court procedure, courtesy and 
consideration toward prisoners and com- 
plainants, scientific crime detection, includ- 
ing the study of fingerprinting, toxology 
and making of moulage casts. 

4:30 p.m. Marksmanship, livesaving and resuscita- 
tion. Colt pistols are used on the rifle 
range. A candidate must be able to shoot 
with both hands and attain an average of 
85% in marksmanship. The use of gas 



242 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

hand grenades to quell disturbances is also 

part of the study. 
5:30 p.m. Supper. 
7:00 p.m. Classroom. 
8:00 p.m. Recreation. 
9:30 p.m. Lights out. 

Those selected for service sign up for two years, but they 
may resign at any time. The $100 monthly salary which 
begins in training continues for a six-month probationary 
period served under the supervision of a veteran trooper. 
At the end of nine months a trooper's pay is $1,600 a year. 
This is increased annually until at the end of six years he 
reaches $2,200 the limit for trooper's grade. At the age 
of 50, after 20 years of continuous service, State police- 
men are pensioned at half of salary and maintenance. 
Troopers disabled in line of duty receive between one- 
quarter and three-quarters of their pay, depending on the 
degree of disability. Widows or dependents of men killed 
in the service receive an amount not in excess of one-half 
of salary and allowance. 

Following the six months' probation the rookie becomes 
a full-fledged State policeman. "Duty, Honor, Fidelity," 
the motto of the State police, are the first three words in 
his lexicon, and the rolling road becomes his home for 12 
or 13 hours each day, 6 days a week. 

A State trooper is subject to call 24 hours a day. To 
keep criminals from knowing the exact whereabouts of 
troopers at certain hours, there are no set "beats" or 
mileage limits. Nor does a trooper know from day to 
day to which of the three trooper headquarters or the 
25 substations he will be assigned. Transfers are made 
"for the good of the service" and are never questioned. 



STATE POLICE 243 

Troopers are seldom removed from stations except for 
good cause. 

State headquarters are maintained at Trenton, where 
Superintendent Kimberling, former Army officer and 
warden of the State Prison, directs the activities of the 
department. The three troop headquarters are at Ham- 
monton, Morristown and Wilburtha. 

A captain, or troop commander, is in charge of each 
troop headquarters and eight substations. He is responsible 
to the Superintendent for the men and for police condi- 
tions in the area. Substations are commanded by a sergeant 
or corporal who in turn is accountable to the troop com- 
mander. 

Although crime prevention is an important part of the 
work, the particular responsibility of the State police has 
been patrolling the roads that carry the commercial and 
pleasure traffic to and from the great cities of New York 
and Philadelphia. Despite the efforts of the police to 
educate drivers, there is still an appalling number of 
injuries and deaths from automobile accidents each year. 
State policemen are trained to treat the motorist, as well 
as the law, with respect. Minor offenders may receive only 
a warning; but the deliberately reckless driver can expect 
the full penalty of the law. To this particular public 
nuisance the State police have dedicated a parody on 
Trees: 

I think that I shall never see, 
Along the road an unscratched tree, 
With bark intact and painted white, 
That no car ever hit at night. 
God gave them eyes so they could see, 
Yet any fool can hit a tree. 




TRAINING IN HORSEMANSHIP 

Colonel Kimberling has devised an accident-control 
system that has cut down mishaps considerably. Every 
reported accident is recorded by a pin placed on a huge 
map of the State ; in addition, a detailed description of the 
accident is filed. When the pins become massed in any 
spot on the map, that spot is marked off as an accident 
center and is subject to special policing. 

In the last few years the airplane has proved very effec- 
tive in untangling traffic snarls, especially on holidays. 
Observers fly over the highways and by radio inform 
headquarters of the extent of traffic jams. The news is 
teletyped to station WOR, which broadcasts warnings 
of possible delay and suggested detours. Meanwhile, extra 
details of troopers are rushed to untangle the traffic knots. 
Eight white patrol cars and 55 motorcycles are used for 
this work. 




RUNNING j PART OF THE TRAINING 

EVERY TROOPER WHILE IN TRAINING MUST RUN FIVE 

MILES DAILY 

School Safety Patrols 

The Safety Education Bureau was started in 1929 when 
angry Camden County parents protested against the 
mounting number of automobile accidents in rural dis- 
tricts. Since then the bureau has carried on a broad 
program of instruction for children and adults. Police 
especially trained for this work are assigned to certain 
territories to supervise and instruct the safety patrols of 
school children. In country schools in 1937 there were 
405 active safety patrols under the supervision of the 
State police. 

There is a keen rivalry among these young traffic direc- 
tors, whose motto is "Safety, Service, Citizenship." Good 
work means promotion to the rank of lieutenant or captain. 
Advancement is decided upon by a board in each school 



246 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

consisting of the principal, a teacher and the trooper in 
charge. 

Organization and supervision of the school safety pa- 
trols is only part of the work of these trooper-teachers. 
Twice each month they visit the schools in their territory 
to direct safety training from kindergarten to high school 
classes. The course is planned to follow the seasons from 
October until spring. Instruction in November and De- 
cember is devoted to methods of preventing Christmas 
accidents, while in March the hazards of roller skating, 
bicycling and kite flying are discussed. During May and 
June the troopers tell of summer dangers, with emphasis 
on July Fourth mishaps. 

The State police have proved good teachers, enlivening 
the talks with stories and moving pictures. The confidence 
placed in the troopers by their young charges is illus- 
trated by a recent incident. A little girl about seven called 
the telephone operator and asked for the State police. The 
operator relayed the call to the nearest barracks, and the 
trooper on duty heard a small voice ask that a State police- 
man be sent to her home to keep her company. 

"Why?" asked the desk man. 

"Because my mama's gone to the city and I'm alone 
and afraid. A policeman teaches me in school and I'm 
never afraid when he's around," the youngster explained. 
The trooper on the nearest beat was told to drop in and 
see how the child was faring. 

Adults, too, may receive instruction through lectures 
before civic groups, luncheon and social clubs, church 
groups and parent-teacher associations. The police urge the 
importance of broadening the educational program, be- 
cause a preponderance of accidents occurs as a result of 
violation of simple safety rules. 



STATE POLICE 247 

Crime Prevention 

The clocklike precision with which the troopers spring 
into action in an emergency has often resulted in the ap- 
prehension of a criminal, the uncovering of telltale evi- 
dence or the saving of a life. As soon as an emergency 
call is received, the telephone operator plugs in the nearest 
substation. The troopers make regular calls into their sta- 
tions so that the officer in charge has a constant check on 
the movement of every man in his detail. In case of a sud- 
den call for help, the substation orders a light placed in 
the window of a home, store or garage along the trooper's 
beat. The trooper, recognizing the signal, calls up the sta- 
tion for orders, and off he goes to the scene of the accident 
or crime. 

An idea of the speed with which the State police func- 
tion can be gained from a recent attempted burglary near 
Stanhope. An aged woman, left alone in the house, heard 
someone prowling donwstairs at midnight. Locking her 
bedroom door, she opened the window and screamed for 
help. Neighbors telephoned the barracks at Stanhope, five 
miles away, and seven minutes later a State policeman was 
at the scene. The would-be thief had fled when he heard 
the woman's cries, but by noon the next day he had been 
arrested, tried and sentenced to a year in jail. 

In 1930 the legislature authorized the installation of a 
State-wide police teletype alarm system to be connected 
with similar systems in New York, Pennsylvania, Massa- 
chusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware and Ohio. 
This method of communication has been responsible for 
apprehending many criminals. 

In the crime laboratory at Wilburtha are kept the 
rogues' gallery and fingerprint records of thousands of 




ONE OF THE TROOP HEADQUARTERS SHOWING NEWEST 
TYPE CARS 



lawbreakers. In addition, the laboratory is equipped with 
almost every known scientific device for checking evidence: 
microscopes, cameras, violet-ray and X-ray machines, 
equipment for making ballistics examinations and chem- 
ical analyses, machines for making photomicrographs (pic- 
tures made through a microscope), for enlarging photo- 
graphs and making photostats. Fingerprint files, to a great 
extent, have taken the place of the rogues' gallery as a 
means of identifying criminals. Experts estimate that the 
chance of two fingerprint impressions being identical is one 
in 64 billion. When no fingerprints are left at the scene of 
a crime, the investigators must rely on other devices. A 
cast of a footprint or the chemical analysis of a single hair 
may lead to the solution of a crime. 

The uniformed force of the State police is augmented 
by the detective bureau of 25 men. These plain-clothes 
men, selected because of special aptitude for the work, co- 
operate with the troopers and local police. In 1937 the 



STATE POLICE 249 

detective force investigated about 1,300 criminal cases, of 
which 566 have been completed and 728 are still under 
investigation or awaiting trial. 

Rendering first aid, policing disasters and quelling riots 
are vital parts of the troopers' work. One of the best ex- 
amples of their efficiency in this line of duty was the 
Hindenburg tragedy. At 7:23 on the night of May 6, 
1937, the giant dirigible from Germany exploded and 
took fire as it neared the mooring mast of the Naval Air 
Station at Lakehurst. A few minutes later, troopers on 
duty at the station were connected with the Trenton head- 
quarters. Messages were sent out over the teletype, speed- 
ing ambulances, doctors and nurses to the scene. At 7:33 
every available State policeman was on his way to Lake- 
hurst. Their heroic work that night brought praise from 
passengers, naval officers and government officials. 

Many other demands are made of the State police from 
time to time. The cooperation with the Fire Warden in 
fighting forest fires has been a factor in keeping the dam- 
age at a minimum, and poultry thefts have been greatly 
reduced by the State police system of tattooing a number, 
registered like automobile license numbers, on the fleshy 
part of the birds' wings. 

The efficiency and courage of the State police have 
earned the respect of the public. Many troopers have left 
to accept positions as chiefs of local police departments or 
for police work in private industry. Most of them, how- 
ever, remain in the service, well satisfied with the healthy 
outdoor life and the secure economic future. 



RESTORING LOST FORESTS IN THE 
MULLICA WATERSHED 

The Mullica River and its branches, once important 
arteries of commerce for the industries of southern New 
Jersey, drain nearly 450 square miles of silent woodland 
and barren waste in the heart of the pine belt. Here in 
five State forests, scientists are conducting experiments 
that look to the rebuilding of the 3,200 square miles of 
New Jersey forest area so that the soil of the southern 
pine lands, which produced the valuable forest of Colonial 
days, will again grow timber, hold the rainfall and give 
service to man. 

Early settlers in this region found the land covered 
with giant pine, cedar and oak trees, an abundance of wild 
life and many streams, well stocked with fish. They set up 
furnaces, smelting iron from the bog ore found along the 
banks of the streams, and built glass works that drew upon 
the rich deposit of glass sand underlying the area. In the 
vast forests they ruthlessly cut down the trees to supply 
charcoal for the furnaces and timber for ships that plied 
the clear, swift-flowing Mullica, carrying cargoes to New 
York, Philadelphia and other cities. 

Today only crumbling ruins of furnaces and mill wheels 
are left as reminders of this former activity. Shipyards 
along the banks of the Mullica closed long ago. Here and 
there ghost towns are decaying. The few people remaining 
in the vicinity earn a living in the cranberry bogs and by 
exploiting the remnants of the forest. 

250 



RESTORING LOST FORESTS 251 

Much of the timber left standing by earlier inhabitants 
was destroyed by fires which again and again ravaged the 
area. Even the leafy covering of the soil was burned away 
in spots, and wind and rain eroded the thin mold, laying 
bare the unfertile subsoil of sand and gravel. Trees forced 
by the heat of fires sprouted too often, ever weaker, until 
they became dwarfed, crooked and feeble. 

It is through these denuded forests that the Mullica 
River flows southeastward across New Jersey for 35 miles, 
starting at a point near Berlin, Camden County, and 
emptying into Great Bay, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean 
about 15 miles north of Atlantic City. Its many branches 
reach into three other counties Burlington, Ocean and 
Atlantic. Along the lower stretches of the river the mead- 
ows covered with reeds and grasses are feeding grounds 



, > J*STATC FOREST 

o C hd rswo rrti 



MULLICA 

CO 
FEDERAL WRITERS" PROJ 




252 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

for countless birds. Large vessels can still navigate the 
Mullica for several miles above its mouth, and small 
ships can travel 20 miles upstream, as far as Pleasant 
Mills, but today there are no large towns to attract com- 
merce. For 20 miles above Pleasant Mills, where the 
stream is joined by four others, it is sometimes called 
Atsion River. 

The State forest reservations along the Mullica and its 
tributaries, centers of large-scale forest planting, comprise 
35,000 acres, or more than two- thirds of all the State 
forest reserve. Fine groups of trees that somehow escaped 
the woodman's axe in the two centuries preceding the 
Civil War still stand in scattered spots. Tall fire-towers 
give silent evidence of the value the State places on 
these forests. 

The Mullica, once called Little Egg Harbor River, has 
two State forests on its shores, Green Bank and Lower 
Bank. Trees cast their shadows on the smooth surface of 
the broad stream. Here are picnic grounds and camping 
places which are increasing in popularity each year. 

The rising quest of outdoor life that has come with the 
automobile and motorboat has brought new activity into 
the Mullica River region. Many residents of Philadelphia 
and Atlantic City have found its forests and streams ideal 
for a summer vacation land. Small cottages have been 
built in recent years around the Colonial village of Sweet- 
water or Pleasant Mills. The summer visitors spend much 
time in fishing, hiking and horseback riding along the 
woodland paths that lead to berry patches and ghosts of 
towns. Hunting also is a favorite sport. 

Canoeists, attracted by the beauty of the clear-flowing 
river and its tree-shaded banks, make their way up as far 
as old Atsion, once an iron center. The tides flood the 



RESTORING LOST FORESTS 253 

streams as far as old Batsto, where there is a dam. Boys' 
and girls' camps may be seen on the shores near cabins of 
hunters, fishermen and summer residents invited by the 
silent woods. The balmy scent of pine fills the air. Out- 
side of the many bogs the soil is dry and porous. 

The Bass River branch of the Mullica River reaches the 
Bass River State Forest, while the Wading River branch 
rises from the springs and brooks of Lebanon State Forest 
and Penn State Forest, named for William Penn. Pictur- 
esque Oswego Lake, made by damming the Oswego River 
branch of Wading River, is at the southern border of 
Penn State Forest. 

In the Bass River reserve the forest supervisor recently 
found an old dam mysteriously repaired and flooding 
seven acres. He discovered that the work had been done 
by beavers, most of which had vanished from this section, 
having been killed for their valuable skins in Colonial 
days. The founders of the new beaver colony are believed 
to be descendants of those deported from northern New 
Jersey about two years ago at the request of human 
neighbors. 

On the experimental area in Bass State Forest are lob- 
lolly pine trees planted in 1913 that have grown 50 feet 
high and 10 to 16 inches in diameter. Here also are white 
pines which in the same period have reached a height of 
40 feet. These are the largest of the experimental plant- 
ings, though the foresters also have set out jack, red, 
Scotch and Austrian pines, Norway spruce, Douglas fir 
and European larch trees. 

The foresters have been and still are thinning out the 
white swamp cedar trees to relieve crowding and to per- 
mit the best trees to develop. Where the soil is shallow, 
the oak scrub is cut away to permit the growth of yellow 



254 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

pines, which thrive better than oak in this locality. In these 
forests and the land around them the deer, protected by 
law, have been increasing for the last 20 years. At one 
time deer were almost extinct in New Jersey, but they 
have been replaced by bringing Virginia whitetail deer to 
the State forests. 

The State operates two nurseries for producing young 
trees, one of them close to the Mullica River near Green 
Bank Forest. In recent years the Civilian Conservation 
Corps, stationed at several camps in this region, has aided 
the State Forester by planting millions of young trees. In 
the entire State this corps has set out 40,000,000 trees and 
collected between 7,000 and 8,000 pounds of seed. 

State engineers have offered plans to save the soft water 
of the Mullica basin for the drinking supply of New Jer- 
sey cities. This would include the building of an aqueduct 
13 feet in diameter stretching 84 miles northward to 
Newark. Two reservoirs of 54 square miles would be cre- 
ated on the Mullica and Wading Rivers by dams, each 
four miles long. Unfortunately these reservoirs would 
bury old Batsto, Pleasant Mills, Gloucester Furnace and 
other historic points beneath their waters. 

Another report made by the State Board of Conserva- 
tion and Development favors purchase of the Wharton 
tract for its forest and park value. The Wharton Estate, 
covering 148 square miles, takes its name from Joseph 
Wharton of Philadelphia, who purchased large tracts of 
pine land along the Mullica and its branches before the 
Civil War. Wharton proposed to build a reservoir which 
would furnish a future water supply for Philadelphia. 
Since State legislation forbids water to be taken out of 
New Jersey, these vast areas in the river basin have re- 
mained a part of the Wharton estate. The small cottages 



RESTORING LOST FORESTS 255 

now at Batsto were built for workers who protect the 
Wharton forest lands against timber thieves. The fine old 
manor house was rebuilt as it now stands by Mr. Wharton. 

Little farming is possible in the Mullica Watershed, 
but cranberry culture has been a growing industry in the 
bogs that once yielded iron ore. New Jersey's crop is now 
the second largest in the United States. In recent years 
the development of the swamp blueberry has been fos- 
tered in this region as a result of successful experiments 
by the Federal and State Departments of Agriculture. 
Sphagnum moss is also gathered in the woodland in large 
quantities for the use of florists. 

One of the early furnaces with forge attached, the 
Batsto Iron Works, was built on the Batsto River, about 
two miles north of its junction with the Mullica. Across 
the river from the village was the Colonial settlement of 
Sweetwater, now Pleasant Mills, where lived timber cut- 
ters, charcoal burners and teamsters serving Batsto. The 
ruins of an old cotton mill which opened in 1821 still 
stand. The mill was later converted to the manufacture 
of paper, using wood pulp made from the surrounding 
forest. In Batsto is the Aylesford House built by Charles 
Read, the ironmaster. His daughter Honore, heroine of 
the novel Kate Aylesford, was rescued from Tory out- 
laws by a young Continental officer, Major Gordon, whom 
she later married. 

The leader of the bandits was Joe Mulliner, a South 
Jersey Robin Hood who robbed the rich and sometimes 
aided the poor. He held up wagon trains carrying supplies 
to Batsto Furnace and sold "protection" to other team- 
sters. Joe's lieutenant, "Big Dan" Johnson, who had a 
shrill high voice, would hide himself under a blanket and 
call to passing drivers for a lift. When the wagon stopped, 



256 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

the gang swarmed out of the bushes and looted the load. 
Tradition relates that Mulliner loved Honore Read and 
kidnaped her when she failed to invite him to a party at 
here home. Honore was returned that night, but the party 
was a failure. The militia, stirred to action, tracked Joe to 
his den in Hemlock Swamp a few miles up the Mullica 
River. They dragged him to a birch tree near the Read 
manor house and hanged him. A wooden sign now 
beneath the tree reads: "Joe Mulliner, Hung. 1781." 

The Mullica River, so important in the State's early 
industrial history, received its name from Eric Mullica, 
who came to this country with other Swedish settlers in 
1663. About 1697 Mullica led a party of Swedes from 
their settlement on the Delaware into the wilderness and 
cleared a strip of forest land along the north bank of the 
river close to the present village of Lower Bank, near the 
State Forest in Burlington County. Mullica remained here 
until he was 80 years old, when he joined his sons at their 
home near Raccoon Creek, close to the present village of 
Mullica Hill, which also took the name of this hardy 
pioneer who lived to the age of 87. 

In the more than 240 years that have intervened since 
Eric Mullica led his little band of pioneers into the Mul- 
lica region, it has been despoiled to supply the utilities 
of a rapidly expanding nation. Now that science has taught 
greater respect for the gifts of Nature, future generations 
may benefit from the forward-looking program of the 
Department of Conservation. 



AGRICULTURE 



CRANBERRIES 

Early New Jersey settlers were introduced by the 
Indians to a small red berry with a distinctive acid flavor. 
Before long they discovered that the new fruit had a cer- 
tain tonic value and was particularly helpful as a cure 
for scurvy. 

This fruit, the cranberry, is a native of the bogs of the 
northern United States and belongs to the same botanical 
family as do blueberries, huckleberries and snowberries. 
It is closely related to the European cranberry which 
grows in colder bogs in Europe and Asia and between 
Labrador and Alaska and Michigan and British Columbia. 
The American variety is comparatively large, ranging in 
color from a light yellow to a very dark red, almost black. 
The fruit may be bell-, bugle- or cherry-shaped. 

The first colonists were satisfied to gather the cranber- 
ries in their wild state. In 1835 the first bog in New Jersey 
was set out by Benjamin Thomas near Burr's Mills in 
Burlington County. Many bogs were established in the 
early fifties, but it was not until after the Civil War that 
production was begun on a large scale. Since then the in- 
dustry has flourished, enlisting the aid of science in its 
fight against its natural enemies, insects and disease. 

There are few States with the climate and soil necessary 
for cranberry cultivation. Massachusetts leads in produc- 
tion with New Jersey in second place. The level, sandy, 
well-watered soil of the southern part of the State is par- 
ticularly suited for this enterprise, which is rapidly beconv 

259 



260 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

ing the most important small fruit industry of New Jer- 
sey. Burlington, Atlantic and Ocean Counties produce 
about one quarter of the entire cranberry crop in the 
United States. There is plenty of room for expansion, for 
only a little more than 10 percent of land suitable for 
cranberries has been cultivated. 

The primary requisite in cranberry cultivation is an 
available water supply, since periodic flooding is impor- 
tant. The most desirable soil is sandy with a top layer of 
acid muck or peat and a hardpan base that will retain the 
water until it is drained off. Throughout the pine barren 
section of New Jersey there are miles of bog land watered 
by small streams which can be dammed and controlled to 
provide water to flood the bogs. 

The preparation of the land takes several years. First 
the soil must be cleared of all vegetation, the usual 
method being to burn everything after the site is cleared. 
The land is then ditched and covered with two to four 
inches of clean sand. Cuttings are next planted at six-inch 
intervals in rows 16 inches apart. Care is taken to weed 
out any cutting showing disease. Working on his knees 
and using an ordinary dibble, a man can plant about 10 
square rods a day. In about four years the ground is com- 
pletely covered by the vines, and they start to bear fruit. 

The cranberry plant or vine is a trailing runner along 
which are distributed numerous erect branches and roots. 
Both the runner and the upright bear leaves, but only the 
upright bears fruit. During the winter all the leaves are 
red, but in the spring they turn green. 

Fruit buds first appear in August. In the following 
spring the new uprights grow from the terminal bud. 
The vines flower in June and early July and bear fruit 
in September or October. 



CRANBERRIES 26 1 

In January of each year the bogs are submerged and 
kept flooded until early May in order to prevent winter 
killing and a too early start of growth. Bogs are flooded 
again during late May or early June to kill insects, and 
the treatment is repeated after the fall harvest. Occasion- 
ally a reflow in August is necessary. These periodic reflows 
must be very carefully controlled. If the plants remain 
submerged too long the entire crop may be ruined. In 
most cases the flow must be put on and taken off in 24 
hours. 

The most troublesome disease is the false blossom, 
which is spread by a tiny leafhopper. Growers, working 
with the cooperation of experiment stations, are now able 
to fight this disease, but in recent years it has been the 
main cause for the cutting of the cranberry crop from 
some 200,000 barrels a year to a little over 100,000. Other 
diseases, such as scald, blast and rot, are caused by fungi. 
Insects that injure the plants include the yellow-headed 
fireworm, the black-headed fireworm, blossom worm, cran- 
berry girdler and the common grasshopper. 

Although flooding is the most common way of fighting 
these pests, new methods of control are being developed. 
Many growers use pyrethrum dust, sprayed by hand 
dusters, by traction dusters or from autogiros and air- 
planes. 

Frosts are another worry to the grower, for the cran- 
berry bogs are much colder than the surrounding upland 
on clear, still nights because of lack of air circulation. 
Growers watch the temperatures, and when conditions 
threaten frost during the growing season they flood the 
bogs enough to counteract the cold. The water, which is 
warmer than the surrounding atmosphere, raises the tem- 
perature above the danger point. It is important for the 



262 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

grower to know just what minimum temperature the 
plants can stand so that the water may be used without 
waste or without damage to the plants. 

Another problem is that of forest fires. Since many of 
the bogs are in woodland, and the vines are combustible, 
a system of fire lines or burned-off strips is employed to 
protect them. The ordinary methods of fighting forest 
fires are used when flames threaten the bogs. 

Harvest begins in early September and lasts until late 
October. Entire families, men and women, young and old, 
spend the season in the fields. They are housed in make- 
shift shelters provided by the owners. They are paid on 
the basis of the quantity of berries picked. As each box is 
filled the picker receives a ticket which represents so much 
money and is accepted as currency in the stores in the 
vicinity. 

Pickers are assigned to certain places and are held re- 
sponsible for that section. A group of four or five pickers 
may be assigned to a strip one rod wide. Eight to 12 such 
groups are supervised by a foreman, who walks up and 
down between the strips to see that the plants are picked 
clean and that few berries are dropped on the ground. 
Unless the picking is carefully supervised as much as 25 
percent of the crop may be left on the vines by the work- 
ers. The pickers must work hard and fast during the brief 
season to make their employment profitable enough to 
meet their needs. 

The method of keeping track of the harvest is simple. 
If 30,000 bushels of berries are to be picked in 40 work- 
ing days it means that 750 bushels must be picked daily. 
With a force of 200 or 250 pickers the average is three 
to four bushels. As the picker presents a filled box he 
receives a numbered ticket. If the first ticket issued in the 



CRANBERRIES 263 

morning is No. 569 and the last one at night is No. 1,232 
the grower knows that 663 measures have been harvested. 

Recently a new method of picking, called scooping, has 
changed the labor problem on the bogs. A cranberry scoop 
has steel teeth so arranged that the operator can comb 
through the vines, catching the berries in a boxlike com- 
partment. It is a heavy tool that requires handling by 
men. An ordinary laborer using a scoop can gather 6 to 
12 bushels a day, while an expert can average 20 bushels. 

The scooping method, used on more than half of the 
bogs in New Jersey, reduces the cost of labor and saves in 
housing and supervision. But there are disadvantages. 
More berries are dropped to the ground, and the vines 
are often damaged. Some growers have tried paying on 
an hourly basis instead of by piece rates. This slows up 
the work somewhat, but makes it more thorough. 

Cranberries should be picked and handled only when 
dry and should be kept at an even temperature during 
storage. A temperature of 34 to 40 degrees is desirable. 
The berries are placed in storehouses built to allow free 
circulation of air. During cool nights the doors are left 
open, and then closed by day to retain the cool air. Some 
of the elaborate storehouses are fitted with cold storage 
walls. 

Methods of cultivating and marketing the cranberry 
have been vastly improved since the formation of the 
American Cranberry Exchange, which functions as a sell- 
ing agency for its members. All the important cranberry 
growers are members of the exchange and benefit from 
the information it distributes impartially. New discoveries 
in producing methods, disease control or handling of labor 
problems become common property. There was a time 
when an individual grower regarded any improvement 



264 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

he had worked out as his personal property to be used in 
competition. Now the growers work together to prevent 
glutting the market and to develop better methods of pro- 
duction. In addition, the exchange has developed an ex- 
tensive advertising program to interest consumers in the 
cranberry's place in the everyday diet. 

The canning of cranberries has also become a profitable 
industry in this State. About 20% of the crop is packed as 
canned cranberries, cranberry jelly or cranberry cocktail. 

Some of the New Jersey bogs have odd names. One, a 
few miles south of Toms River, is known as Double 
Trouble. The story is that a minister lived "at this little 
settlement on Cedar Creek many years ago. Whenever the 
muskrats burrowed through the dam it was his job to 
make repairs. Once the muskrats dug two tunnels at the 
same time. Exasperated upon finding twin leaks, the min- 
ister cried: "Here's double trouble!" The name stuck. 



JERSEY TOMATOES 

The long white road cuts through the fields of green 
plants hung thickly with bright red tomatoes. Up and 
down the rows men and women, young girls and boys 
stoop over the heavily laden bushes plucking the fruit 
from the stems and piling it up in baskets. All day they 
keep at their task in the hot sun, calling pleasantly to one 
another, or singing now and then to while away the long 
hours. A steady procession of wagons and motor trucks 
winds down the road, each vehicle piled high with a tot- 
tering load of baskets. All day and night the wagon train 
moves in a steady stream toward the canneries and the 
waiting city markets. 

In five of the southern counties of New Jersey Glouces- 
ter, Salem, Burlington, Cumberland and Camden 
33,000 acres of tomato fields stretch mile after mile, each 
field sprinkled with its group of industrious pickers, its 
piles of overflowing baskets. In Monmouth, Mercer and 
Middlesex Counties, too, there are great tomato fields. 

During the picking season, July to October, South Jer- 
sey looks as though it had been invaded by an army of 
gypsies. From Philadelphia and other nearby cities whole 
families move into the district and spend the summer trav- 
eling from farm to farm. They camp in temporary quar- 
ters supplied for them. The parents and all the children 
large enough to work spend their days in the fields. 

Grandmothers of today can remember when a tomato 
was considered poisonous. They were called "love apples" 

265 



TOMATO PICKING IN THE FIELD 



because they were used in France in courtship as a token 
of love. The tomato then was a far smaller fruit than that 
now grown. It is only within the last 50 years that the 
large, luscious and highly nutritive product of today has 
been deveolped. 

The tomato was discovered in South America by the 
Conquistadors, who introduced it to Europe. About 1600 
the Italians discovered its value in making sauces, espe- 
cially for spaghetti, and no one has been able to surpass 
them in this particular use of it. The rest of the civilized 
world was content to let the Italians take the risk of poi- 
soning, and it was not until the middle of the igth cen- 
tury that the tomato was considered seriously as a food. 
People began growing a few plants in their gardens, but 
no one thought of a tomato farm. The first seeds found 
their way to New Jersey from Florida in 1812, when Dr. 



JERSEY TOMATOES 267 

Ephraim Buck of Cumberland County began experiment- 
ing with them. 

Few other foods can be enjoyed in so many different 
forms. Cooked, pickled or raw tomatoes are equally tasty 
and healthful. New Jersey, about 1931, first produced for 
sale the latest form of this valuable food tomato juice. 
Sales of this delicious drink are mounting steadily. 

Most farmers contract for their entire crop with the 
canning companies, of which there are 35 in New Jersey. 
Among the prominent canneries are the T. J. Ritter Com- 
pany and E. Pritchard Inc. of Bridgeton, the Edgar F. 
Hurff Company of Swedesboro, the H. J. Heinz Com- 
pany at Salem, and the Campbell Soup Company at Cam- 
den. The farmer and the canning company agree on the 
number of acres to be planted and the price that a certain 
grade of fruit will bring. 

Tomatoes are divided into two acceptable classes accord- 
ing to standards set up by the United States Department 
of Agriculture for tomato canning and the manufacture 
of strained tomato products. Except for the elimination of 
decayed and green tomatoes, called culls, the grower is 
not required to grade his own crop. Ton loads of toma- 
toes arriving by truck, train or boat at the canneries are 
graded by inspectors from the New Jersey State Depart- 
ment of Agriculture. These men, trained in the inspection 
of cannery tomatoes and other farm produce, are licensed 
by the Department of Agriculture at Washington. Three 
baskets are taken at random from each truck and exam- 
ined. Upon determining the percentage of culls and of 
grades one and two by their proportionate weights, the 
inspector presents certificates showing the percentage of 
each grade to both the canner and the grower. 



268 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

If the shipment does not meet with the specifications in 
the contract, the canner may reject it; or if he accepts the 
load anyway, he pays for it according to the percentage 
of each grade. When there is more than 10 percent of 
culls in the crop, the canner usually refuses it. The in- 
spector has nothing to do with rejecting the shipment; he 
merely determines its quality. Payment for his services is 
made to the State Department of Agriculture by the can- 
ner, or by the canner and the grower together. 

Throughout the picking season the roads leading to 
Camden, Bridgeton, Salem and other canning centers are 
crowded with trucks waiting to approach the weighing 
platforms. Sometimes the lines stretch for seven miles. 
The success of a farmer's harvest is reckoned by the tons 
of tomatoes an acre. An average tomato field will yield 
four or five tons an acre, but farmers who use scientific 
methods of propagation and cultivation have raised this 
to eight and often to twelve or more tons. In 1937 the 
farmers of New Jersey received $2,012,000 from the can- 
ning companies for their tomato crop. 

There is in New Jersey an organization, called the 
lO-Ton Canhouse Tomato Club, composed of growers 
who have cultivated at least five acres and produced 10 
tons of tomatoes per acre. Sponsored by the Canners' Asso- 
ciation, the State Horticultural Society and the State Col- 
lege of Agriculture, the group accepted for membership 
70 qualified growers in 1936. In the following year only 
three growers were admitted because the crop had been 
damaged by rainy weather. The club publishes an annual 
report from which other farmers may learn the successful 
methods followed by those who obtain the highest yields. 
Individual members write accounts telling what sort of 
fertilizers and seed or plants they used, how and when 



JERSEY TOMATOES 269 

they planted and cultivated their crops, and what methods 
they found most effective in fighting disease and pests. 

The larger canning companies maintain farms and lab- 
oratories where they experiment with different types of 
tomato plants. Through careful selection of parent seed 
stock and crossbreeding, they have developed heavy, juicy 
tomatoes with better color and flavor, especially desirable 
for the manufacture of tomato juice. Scientists at the New 
Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station have also made 
valuable contributions to the development of improved 
high-yielding varieties which are adapted to New Jersey's 
soil and climate. 

New and improved strains are constantly being devel- 
oped by the process of crossbreeding. When a promising 
plant has developed enough to have some small green 
fruit and some buds and blossoms, the fruit is all cut off 
so that the strength will go into the remaining blossoms. 
Instead of allowing the plant to pollenize itself, the sta- 
mens in the blossoms are removed with surgical tweezers. 
The flower clusters are then tied up in little balloons of 
oiled paper or fine cheesecloth and allowed to develop. 
This protects them from receiving pollen borne from 
other flowers or plants of unknown parentage. 

When the buds are in full bloom, pollen from selected 
plants is applied to the style of the pistil of each flower. 
The coverings are then replaced. These experimental 
plants are then staked and tied, and the fruit is allowed 
to develop. A record is kept of the qualities exhibited. 
Seed selections to reproduce this strain are based on the 
quality of the fruit in terms of flavor, color and ability 
to yield heavily. 

After eight years of such scientific selection and cross- 
breeding, in 1934 the New Jersey Agricultural Experi- 










THE BEST TOMATOES HAVE THICK WALLS AND FEW 

SEEDS 



ment Station developed a super-tomato which they named 
"Rutgers" in honor of Rutgers University, with which 
the Station is affiliated. The Rutgers Tomato has advan- 
tages which make it desirable to all concerned with tomato 
production. Because it ripens from the center out, it pro- 
vides excellent fruit for the manufacture of a richly 
colored tomato juice. Its firm body contains few seeds and 
is finely flavored. It can be picked early in July, and it 
grows with an abundance of foliage which protects it from 
sunscald. This last factor is especially important, because 
the bleaching rays of the sun cause heavy damage to un- 
protected plants. Analysis of the Rutgers variety has 



JERSEY TOMATOES 27 I 

shown it to have a high content of mineral salts, iron, 
calcium and phosphorus. 

Farmers buy crossbred plants from the experimental 
farms maintained by the canning companies and from 
plant nurseries. The tomato plants are certified by official 
inspectors to be true to type and free from disease. Two 
farms of the Campbell Soup Company, for example, one 
at Riverton and another in Georgia, supplied 50,000,000 
tomato plants to New Jersey farmers in 1936. Many New 
Jersey tomato growers and most members of the lO-Ton 
Canhouse Tomato Club use southern-grown plants in their 
fields. Plants are delivered to Jersey farmers 40 hours 
after leaving southern soil. 

When home-grown plants are used, the seed is sown 
during the first weeks of March so that plants of good 
quality may reach the fields by the middle of May. Usu- 
ally, before planting, the seed is treated with a solution 
of mercuric chloride and then coated with red copper 
oxide dust. Under certain conditions the soil is also steri- 
lized by steam or a solution of formaldehyde to prevent 
plantbed diseases. 

After the seedbeds have been prepared for planting, the 
seed is sown in rows in order to permit air and sunlight 
to reach the entire plant. The sowing is done either in 
flats of soil, in coldframes or in hotbeds heated by pipes. 
The heat in the hotbeds is controlled so that the growth 
of the plants may be speeded up or delayed. In the flats 
the seed is covered with one quarter of an inch of soil and 
watered through a burlap bag to prevent the seeds from 
being washed away. Then the flat is covered with paper 
for a few days to hold in moisture and heat until the seed 
has begun to develop. 

Temperature, moisture and ventilation are important in 



272 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

the cultivation of tomatoes. Requiring a day temperature 
of from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and a night tempera- 
ture of 65, the plants are susceptible to disease if watered 
too much or too often. A good ventilation system, regu- 
lating temperature and humidity, reduces and often pre- 
vents the spread of plantbed diseases. During cold weather 
it is often necessary to protect the seedbeds by covering 
them with waterproof tarpaulin cloth or salt hay. This 
salt hay, which is gathered in the New Jersey marshes, 
is more effective than the burlap bags, wooden shutters or 
straw mats used by some farmers. 

Tomato fields are prepared in April by thorough plow- 
ing and harrowing. Fertilizers containing the necessary 
properly balanced plant foods are applied, and rows are 
marked off about four feet apart across the fields. In May 
the plants are set out in the fields about four feet apart 
in each row. Nearly 3,000 plants are required for each 
acre. They are "hardened-off" or acclimated to field con- 
ditions by removing the glass from the coldframes and 
regulating irrigation. 

Then the struggle begins against the natural enemies 
that lie in wait. Particularly vicious is a variety of aphis 
which completely covers the plant and sucks out the sap. 
Other pests are cutworms, tomato horn and fruit worms, 
flea beetles and potato bugs. Many tomato growers keep 
apace of the times by using sprayers and even airplanes for 
dusting the fields with poison to fight off these menaces. 

After raising a fine crop of tomatoes, the farmer still 
has the problem of seeing that it is carefully picked and 
properly handled on the way to market and cannery. For 
the canhouse he requires good, red ripe tomatoes. When 
destined for distant markets the fruit is picked as soon as 
it begins to redden. For nearby markets it is permitted to 



JERSEY TOMATOES 273 

ripen almost completely on the vine. Tomatoes that are 
not fully ripe when picked are allowed to stand in bas- 
kets for only one day. During this time they are kept 
under cover. This conserves the heat in the baskets and 
gives the fruit time to darken. The picker, like the grower, 
is paid according to the grade of tomatoes he gathers. 

There are still farmers raising tomatoes by the hit and 
miss method j but the farmer who wants to produce the 
greatest yield per acre and market his crop with the big 
canning companies is the one who follows closely every 
scientific improvement in methods of propagation and 
cultivation. 



BABY CHICKS BY THE MILLION 

New Jersey hens lay more than 36,000,000 dozen eggs 
annually, or enough to provide every man, woman and 
child in the State with 100 eggs a year. Once the farmer 
used to expect 60 eggs a year from his hens; now it is not 
unusual to get 200. A white Leghorn holds the records 
with 352 eggs a year, almost one each day! This amazing 
improvement in laying capacity is the result of scientific 
breeding, which produces a "pedigreed" chicken. 

Next to dairying, poultry raising is the most important 
agricultural business in the State. The area around Vine- 
land, in Cumberland County, has been called the Egg 
Basket of New Jersey; in this one section alone 3,500 
poultry farms yield products worth $1,750,000 annually. 

Although many New Jersey farmers are today produc- 
ing their own chicks, there are still great hatcheries that 
ship chicks throughout the Middle Atlantic and New Eng- 
land States. In the center of the Vineland area is the 
Wene Chick Farm, which produces almost 3,000,000 
chicks a year. They are packed the day they are hatched 
in corrugated containers, 25 chicks into each of the four 
compartments, which are padded with wood wool to ab- 
sorb the droppings and to protect the baby chicks against 
the cold. A newborn chick has absorbed enough strength 
from the egg to do without food for some time, so that 
it may safely be shipped when only a day old to con- 
siderable distances. Only the sturdiest chicks are shipped. 

274 



BATTERY OF INCUBATERS 

Those which are not able to stand squarely on their feet 
on the incubator trays are immediately destroyed. 

The Kerr Chickeries, which ship by the same method, 
has a 24<>acre farm at Frenchtown in Hunterdon County. 
Its battery of incubators, looking like a row of giant re- 
frigerators, have a capacity of 1,100,000 eggs. These me- 
chanical hens, with temperature, moisture and ventilation 
regulated electrically, each holds 52,000 eggs. Real moth- 
erhood has gone out of fashion in the poultry business. 

Eggs are taken from the nests as soon as they are laid 
and placed in the incubator, where it takes three weeks to 
hatch them, just as long as it takes when set under a hen. 
Before science took a hand in chicken farming the Biddy 
of the barnyard, after she had laid about a dozen eggs in 
the spring, would set on them and, feeling that one job at 
a time .was enough, would stop laying. Now she has no 



ONE DAY OLD 

excuse to take a vacation. In fact, by using electric lights, 
poultry farmers lengthen the days for the hens. The 
longer the day, the more they eat; and the more they 
eat, the more eggs they lay. 

In both of these great egg baskets of the State the 
methods of poultry raising are the same. The business has 
developed from the haphazard to the scientific. In the old 
days the farmer kept chickens merely as a side line, feed- 
ing them with anything handy, letting them drink where 
they pleased, and lay where and when they pleased. If the 
flock increased beyond the needs of his family he sold eggs 
and chickens wherever he could. 

The layout of the Kerr plant is typical of the large, 
up-to-date poultry farm. Of the 240 acres about 80 are 
planted with wheat and corn for feeding. The rest is used 
for free range, brooding, and housing the breeders. 



BABY CHICKS BY THE MILLION 277 

(Many smaller farms which raise chickens for their own 
use or for selling in the neighborhood use the same 
methods on a smaller scale.) 

During the busy season, January to July, a force of 60 
men is required to carry on the various operations con- 
nected with the business. One of the most important steps 
is the blood testing of each bird so as to base selection of 
the parent stock on standards of health and vigor. These 
tests are taken by trained experts within a five-month 
period before the hatching season. Each hen is tagged with 
a numbered metal leg band; a sample of its blood is taken 
from beneath the wing, collected in a test tube bearing the 
same number and sent to the laboratory for testing. If 
traces of Pullorum disease are found in any of the sam- 
ples, the bird, identified by its number, is removed from 
the flock and disposed of. This is called "culling out the 
reactors." 

Pullorum disease is incurable j but, because it is in- 
heritable, it can be controlled by destroying carriers of the 
germ. If the disease is not checked a whole flock may be 
wiped out. Any survivors will carry the germ and en- 
danger the next generation. Diseased chickens are likely 
to be low egg producers. 

Although Kerr Chickeries is the only hatchery in the 
State maintaining its own laboratory, there are many 
smaller chicken farms making use of the same scientific 
methods of breeding. These send samples for blood test- 
ing to the laboratory of the Bureau of Animal Industry 
of the Department of Agriculture. 

Another important phase of chicken farming is the 
breeding of hens for high egg production. This is devel- 
oped by a process called "trap nesting." When the hen 
goes on the nest to lay an egg a door springs into place 



278 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

and holds her until she is identified by her number and 
a record made of her laying. Those who produce more 
than the average number of eggs are separated from the 
rest of the flock so that their eggs can be used for breed- 
ing purposes. Trap nesting birds requires expensive equip- 
ment and extra help to keep watch over the nests and 
make the records. But it has enabled poultry farmers to 
improve their stock. 

There are many varieties of domestic chickens. Among 
the more common breeds classed as white-shelled egg pro- 
ducers are the Leghorns and Minorcas. The Leghorns 
originated in Leghorn, Italy. This breed is used on large 
scale commercial egg farms throughout the country. The 
white-shelled eggs they produce bring a top price in many 
markets. The Minorcas are probably the second most 
popular breed of the white egg type. There are also large 
flocks of Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshire Reds and 
Barred Plymouth Rocks maintained for both egg and 
meat production. These are known as dual-purpose breeds. 

Although 90% of the poultry raising in New Jersey is 
concerned with egg production, some poultry farms spe- 
cialize in raising chickens for meat. The Plymouth Rock, 
Rhode Island Red and Wyandotte are all highly desirable 
meat breeds. The Jersey Giant, which originated in New 
Jersey, is developed largely from Asiatic stock. It is simi- 
lar to the Plymouth Rock in type, but is longer, deeper 
and broader. This particular breed, confined mostly to 
farms in the central section of the State, is in great 
demand for roasters and capons. 

New Jersey poultrymen, by their progressive methods 
of production, aided by the experimental work being done 
at Rutgers University and by the marketing program of 
the State Department of Agriculture, have brought the 
State to first rank in the value of poultry per acre. 



DAIRY FARMING IN NEW JERSEY 

The cows of Sussex are the most important element in 
the county. Not only are there more dairy cattle than peo- 
ple, but there is ample evidence that the people regard 
them with great respect. Housed in modern buildings, 
their fodder, care and comfort sedulously watched, these 
animals accept calmly the devotion they receive. Sussex 
County farmers have proved that the care they lavish on 
their cattle is well worth while ; for these cows are among 
the most productive in the Nation, with an average annual 
yield per animal of about 3,010 quarts. 

There are several factors which have contributed to 
New Jersey's rank in this important branch of agriculture. 
The great metropolitan areas of New York and Philadel- 
phia within easy distance over fine roads are ready markets 
for the products of New Jersey farmers. 

It takes more than a generous supply, however, to sat- 
isfy milk consumers. The public has been educated to 
demand that milk fulfill certain requirements: that it have 
sufficient food content, and be fresh and clean. Pure, fresh 
milk comes from healthy, carefully handled and well-fed 
cows. Therefore, from pasture land to milk wagon or gro- 
cery store, every step of milk production is checked by 
State authorities, local health boards and conscientious 
producers. Indeed, the growth of the industry in this and 
other States may generally be attributed to the confidence 
with which people can use milk and milk products. 

Other States with dairy farms at a greater distance 

279 




A SUSSEX COUNTY DAIRY FARM 

from market convert much of their milk into butter, 
cheese and evaporated canned milk, but New Jersey's 
dairy farmers take advantage of the short haul to market 
in glass or stainless steel-lined trucks and deliver practi- 
cally all of their milk in fluid form within a few hours 
of milking. 

New Jersey farmers have been greatly aided by the 
New Jersey State Agricultural Experiment Station organ- 
ized in 1880, which, through research and experiment, has 
raised the standard of the State's agricultural products. 

On the experimental farms at New Brunswick and at 
Beemerville, in Sussex County, the State maintains large 
herds of cattle for testing methods of breeding and feed- 
ing. It is to the intelligent supervision of State authorities 
as well as to their own energy and care that New Jersey's 
dairy farmers of today can attribute their success. 

Although Sussex County leads the State in milk produc- 
tion and in cow population, dairy farming is conducted 
generally throughout New Jersey. In the northern sec- 
tion, where much of the ground is rolling and unsuited 
for cultivated crops, many farms are devoted exclusively 



DAIRY FARMING IN NEW JERSEY 28 I 

to dairying j but in the southern sections, where the farms 
yield tomatoes, potatoes, beans and other garden produce, 
dairying accounts for only part of the income. 

The flood of 408,000,000 quarts of milk produced by 
New Jersey's 136,000 cows in 1937 reached the New 
York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas from two great 
milksheds: that from the northern section of the State 
supplying the New York area and from the southern sec- 
tion supplying Philadelphia and New Jersey suburbs. 

Coastal cities receive a considerable supply from the 
dairy farms in the "Cream Ridge Area" in counties bor- 
dering the shore. In the summertime, when their popula- 
tion increases substantially, large quantities of milk are 
diverted from both the Philadelphia and New York milk- 
sheds to the shore. 

The metropolitan areas of New York and Philadel- 
phia and the smaller cities surrounding them have im- 
posed strict regulations governing their milk supply. This 
was not always so. The time was when the typical dairy 
was housed in a stable next door to a distillery or brewery, 
from where the dairyman obtained waste grain to feed his 
cattle. Rising land values and more stringent sanitary 
regulations both operated to drive the industry into the 
country, increasing the average distance from cow to cus- 
tomer from ten miles a generation ago to 50 miles today. 
Improved methods of transportation, refrigeration and 
preservation also facilitated this trend. 

Important in this respect was the work of Louis Pas- 
teur, the French scientist who in 1871 startled the world 
by announcing the discovery of a method for destroying 
the organisms in milk which caused it to turn sour or de- 
preciate rapidly in quality. Progressive New Jersey dairy- 
men were quick to sense the value of this discovery, and 



282 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

pasteurization became common practice in this State before 
the close of the igth century. 

Prior to this time inadequate use of milk, and in some 
cases use of impure milk, had been factors in infant 
mortality. About 1900 Nathan Straus, the philanthropist, 
began a crusade to provide milk for the needy. He estab- 
lished free milk stations in New York City to distribute 
milk processed by the Pasteur method. The resulting de- 
cline in the infant death rate convinced the public of the 
food value of milk and the desirability of using milk 
treated in this way. Today milk must be pasteurized be- 
fore it is admitted into any well-regulated area, unless 
it has met the still more rigid requirements of certified 
milk. 

Pasteurization consists in heating milk to a temperature 
of 142 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, keeping it at that heat 
for half an hour, and reducing it rapidly to a temperature 
of 50 degrees. By this process the milk is freed of any 
harmful bacteria while little if any of its nutritive value 
is eliminated. There is evidence that pasteurization does 
destroy some of the scant vitamin C in milk, but orange 
juice has the same vitamin in abundance, and the loss can 
therefore be compensated. 

Certified milk does not require pasteurization, because 
it is produced under such rigid supervision that any danger 
of infection is reduced to a minimum. In 1909, five years 
after it had pioneered in America by introducing certified 
milk, New Jersey enacted a law governing its production. 

Certified milk is expensive to produce and therefore 
has a limited market. At present there are only five or 
six farms in the State producing this grade of milk. Each 
of these farms is under the direct supervision of a board 
of five physicians known as the Medical Milk Commis- 



DAIRY FARMING IN NEW JERSEY 283 

sion. They superintend the activities of a chemist, a vet- 
erinarian, a physician, a bacteriologist and a sanitary in- 
spector, who check every step in the production. The 
chemist sees that the milk contains at least 4% of butter- 
fat j the veterinarian tests the cattle for disease and rejects 
from the herd any cow which is not in perfect health or 
which produces less than three quarts of milk a day; the 
bacteriologist superintends blood tests and bacteria counts; 
the physician examines the men who handle the milk at 
least once every six months and visits the plant at least 
once a week to guard against communicable disease; and 
the sanitary inspector sees that the barn equipment and 
the surroundings comply with the specifications of the 
law as to light, air and cleanliness. 

Uniforms worn by the men are examined, utensils are 
carefully checked for contamination and rust, and the 
corners and crannies of the barns are investigated. After 
such control, one can be quite sure that milk from certi- 
fied farms is pure. In addition, certified milk must be 
delivered to the consumer no later than 36 hours after 
production. 

More extensively distributed are the New Jersey Offi- 
cial Grade A Pasteurized and Grade A Raw, standards 
for which were set on August 31, 1931, by the State 
Department of Agriculture. If a dealer wants the ap- 
proval of the State and the right to cap his bottles with 
the official cover, bearing an outline map of the State and 
the legend, "New Jersey Official Grade A Pasteurized" 
or "New Jersey Official Grade A Raw" he must comply 
with the regulations specified by the Department of 
Agriculture. 

New Jersey Grade A milk must contain no less than 
Z T /2% butterfat and no less than 12% in solids. It must 



284 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

be cooled to 50 degrees not later than 60 minutes after 
production. Delivery to the consumer must be made 
within 48 hours, in mechanically filled and capped bottles 
or single service containers. All herds are subject to the 
cooperative supervision of the State and Federal Depart- 
ments of Agriculture, and all cows must be tuberculin 
tested periodically. The dairy employees are examined 
twice a year. 

These premier grades of milk, however, constitute only 
about 30% of the milk sold in New Jersey. Grade B, 
most commonly used, is subject to standards set by the 
communities in which it is sold. The milk companies that 
gather the product from widely scattered farms are re- 
sponsible to the health authorities of the communities in 
which they distribute milk. For their own protection, 
therefore, they must keep the farms which supply them 
under close supervision. They impose regulations as to 
housing, fodder, health and handling of the cows. The 
farmer who hopes to sell his product through a first class 
dealer dare not become careless or allow any contamina- 
tion to creep into his herd. 

In general, dairy farmers fall into two classes: the pro- 
ducer and the produce-dealer. The first has only to cool 
the milk immediately to 60 degrees Fahrenheit or below 
and deliver it to the distributor's creamery. There it is 
tested, weighed, and piped into an insulated truck where 
it will be kept cold until it reaches the pasteurization 
plant. A producer-dealer must cool his milk, pasteurize it 
if it is not to be sold as raw, bottle it, and then make 
deliveries. There are about 800 of these producer-dealers 
in New Jersey. 

After the milk has been cooled a small amount may go 
to a machine called the separator for the extraction of 



DAIRY FARMING IN NEW JERSEY 285 

cream. The milk is whirled around in a metal container. 
Centrifugal force drives the milk, which is heavier than 
cream, to the outer edge where it is drawn off, while the 
cream finds an exit near the center. The skim milk is used 
for cultured milks, cheese or animal feeding. 

The large dealers, who obtain their supply from many 
producers, organize their plants so that the milk passes 
from one process to another without exposure to the air 
or human touch, and with amazing speed. Drawn from 
the trucks, it goes directly by way of pipes into the pas- 
teurization tanks. From there it passes through a series 
of artificially cooled pipes and is immediately bottled by 
a high-speed automatic process which fills and caps 120 
bottles a minute. 

The last word in high speed production of milk is the 
Walker-Gordon farm at Plainsboro, near Princeton. At 
this highly organized "milk factory" every step of the 
process, literally from the ground up, is studied to effect 
the production of the best quality milk with maximum 
efficiency. Here the cattle are housed in clean barns, in a 
setting of sunny pasture land. The soil of the fields where 
fodder is grown is fed with the minerals necessary to sup- 
ply nutritious crops so that, although confined to the barn, 
the cows are assured a balanced diet. When the fodder is 
cut it is dehydrated mechanically. This method eliminates 
the moisture quickly and preserves more of the elements 
that make for better milk than is possible by sun drying. 
The fodder is then stored away in silos as tall as five-story 
buildings until the time of use. At that time a train of 
small carts carries it from the silos to the clean, white 
barns where it is fed in accurate quantities to the cows. 
The cows, clipped, clean and manicured, eat their fill and 





Courtesy Walker Gordon Milk Co. 



THE ROTOLACTOR 



then are led to a unique device in mechanical production 
of milk the rotolactor. 

This giant electric contrivance, capable of milking 250 
cows an hour, is comparable to the assembly line in an 
automobile plant. Three times a day the cows are driven 
from the barns or pastures through a covered runway 
and are literally "taken for a ride;" for the rotolactor is 
a revolving platform, a merry-go-round for cows. As the 
platform turns, the cow steps on, her head is secured in 
a stanchion, and she is given a mechanical shower bath. 
As she continues her circular trip she is dried by an attend- 
ant in a white uniform j then she passes an attendant who 
takes a sample of her milk and examines it. Should it 
appear abnormal in any way, the cow is not milked in the 
rotolactor. If the cow passes muster, the milking device is 
applied. This is a rubber nipple which draws the milk 



DAIRY FARMING IN NEW JERSEY 287 

from the cow mechanically and pumps it into a large 
sterilized jar attached to the side of her stall. The milking 
continues as the platform revolves. 

Meanwhile, one by one, more cows step into place on 
the platform and go through the routine. When a cow 
has completed the revolution she is released, a record of 
her milk is taken, and the milk is discharged through a 
sanitary sluice direct to the coolers. The rotolactor is in 
the center of an air-conditioned room with tiled walls and 
floor. Above the "merry-go-round" is a glass-enclosed 
room from which visitors may observe every step of the 
process. 

But care, cleanliness and food are not the only fac- 
tors to be considered by the dairy farmer. Since he is in 
the milk business, he must see that he is operating effi- 
ciently. This means a study not only of the process and 
the equipment, but also of the materials which go to make 
his product. And it is, after all, the cows which make the 
milk. The amount of milk yielded by a cow varies with 
the breed and the physical condition of the animal. In 
New Jersey, Holsteins and Guernseys predominate, but 
there are also many important Jersey, Ayrshire and 
Brown Swiss herds. There are 24 cow-testing associations 
under State supervision recording production of milk and 
consumption of feed and planning continual improve- 
ments in methods of breeding and feeding. It is gener- 
ally felt that an animal possessing a wide barrel, which 
is the part of the body between the shoulder and the 
hips, a wide muzzle and mouth, velvety skin, and coming 
from a family long established as a plentiful producer of 
milk, will turn out to be a good investment. A first class 
cow will give an average of 10 to 15 quarts a day. 

The question of what is a reasonable profit for farmer 



288 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

and dealer and a fair price for the consumer has resulted 
in considerable conflict. In some States there have been 
violent disturbances and destruction of property by farm- 
ers, who complained that they were not receiving enough 
for their milk to pay them to produce it. Because New 
Jersey's dairy investment in land, buildings and equip- 
ment approaches $100,000,000, one-third of the agricul- 
tural investment of the State, and the annual yield comes 
close to $25,000,000, it was thought necessary in 1933 to 
create a Milk Control Board to regulate the price of milk 
from farm to table. The board, composed of five persons 
appointed by the Governor, has fixed the prices of milk 
in the various areas of New Jersey. It regulates the price 
the processer must pay to the farmer, the price he can 
collect from the subdealer or storekeeper, and the final 
price the consumer must pay when he goes to the store or 
orders from his milkman. 

The progressive farmer bases his calculation on the 
average yearly production of every animal in his herd. 
He checks his fodder, pasturage and equipment carefully. 
He knows about how much milk to expect from each cow 
in a year, and he knows that this must represent substan- 
tially more than the cost of feeding a cow. At his disposal 
he has the facilities and the experiments of the State agri- 
cultural agencies in feeding and caring for cattle. 

In addition to the problems of milk production, the 
scientists are conducting constant research to introduce 
new elements into milk, or alter it to meet special needs. 
The vitamin content of milk can now be increased by arti- 
ficial means. The addition of colonies of certain bacteria 
produces cultured milk, particularly suited to certain types 
of digestive disorders. 

So that the New Jersey of the future shall not lack its 



DAIRY FARMING IN NEW JERSEY 289 

quota of capable farmers, the 4-H Clubs, organized under 
the Agricultural Extension Service, are doing valuable 
work in educating boys and girls in the best methods of 
agriculture. The clubs are divided according to the various 
branches of agriculture. The 4-H Dairy clubs are com- 
posed of young people from the ages of 10 to 21 who 
meet regularly to receive training and discuss the various 
phases of cattle raising. A member must own at least one 
purebred dairy animal no younger than four months or 
older than five years. This calf is raised according to the 
most progressive methods, fed the best available forage, 
and, if a good milk producer, is entered in one of the 
local, county or State 4-H contests. The highest reported 
record of milk from a cow bred by a 4-H member was 
6,616 quarts, more than twice the State average of 3,000 
quarts. 

For those children who cannot borrow the money for 
a calf from their parents the New Jersey Junior Pure 
Breeders' Fund was established in 1921 by former Senator 
J. S. Frelinghuysen and Julius Forstmann. This fund, 
originally of $30,000, has enabled 1,318 young people to 
take up dairying. The amount loaned does not exceed 
$100, and the interest is 6%. By taking advantage of this 
fund, and by buying an animal under the supervision of 
the county club agent, the youngster is fairly certain of 
a profitable venture. Many of the members of 4-H have 
gone on to the colleges of agriculture and to the owner- 
ship of large and thriving farms, applying to excellent 
purpose the first lessons learned under the banner of 
Head, Hands, Heart, and Health. 



JERSEY PEACHES 

The reputation of a peach depends not only on its 
beauty but on its flavor. For the last 32 years the job of 
making peaches taste better has been carried on most effec- 
tively in New Jersey, but the history of the improvement 
of peaches extends far back to ancient China, where some 
of the rarest specimens can still be obtained. New Jersey 
has been building toward better-tasting and better-looking 
peaches to increase the income of the peach growers in 
the State. 

One of the oldest fruits known to man, the peach was 
once reserved only for the tables of emperors and nobles. 
During the Crusades they were brought from China, 
India and Persia by caravan, and later they were grown 
in Spain and England. By extensive culture they became 
more common, spread throughout Europe and were 
brought to America by early colonists. It is certain from 
early letters and writings that the peach flourished 
throughout New Jersey in the i8th century. 

The peach growers in the Colonies from Delaware to 
Connecticut were more successful than the Europeans. 
Though at first the crop was limited and probably of 
little commercial value, the industry developed by experi- 
mentation. In 1806 the catalogue issued by Daniel Smith 
of Burlington, one of the first fruit tree nurserymen of 
record in America, listed 67 varieties of peaches. It was 
not until 1823, however, that Nation-wide attention was 
directed to a New Jersey peach. In that year a Mr. Gill 

290 



JERSEY PEACHES 2QI 

then residing on Broad Street in Newark developed the 
Grosse Mignonne peach, which originated in France. 
Michael Floy, a Hunterdon County farmer, obtained sev- 
eral of Gill's peach buds, grafted them to his own stock 
and renamed his fruit the George IV, in honor of the 
King of England, patron of peach breeding and honorary 
president of the London Horticultural Society. In 1824 
he sent a sample of this peach to the Society, where it was 
recognized as a valuable new variety. 

New Jersey grew in importance as a peach-growing 
State with the development of such varieties as the Early 
and Late Crawford, named for a peach grower of Mid- 
dletown. In the middle of the igth century most of the 
orchards were in Hunterdon and Warren Counties, but 
during the next 50 years the industry shifted to the 
southern part of the State. 

By the turn of the 2Oth century the industry had almost 
gone. Attacked by fruit pests known as the San Jose scale, 
peach yellow and peach borer, peach trees were dying by 
the thousands. Returns had dwindled to such an extent 
that growers were neglecting their orchards, and it seemed 
that New Jersey farmers would soon lose this once impor- 
tant source of revenue. 

This was the situation in 1906 when Maurice A. Blake, 
a young professor of horticulture in the New Jersey Agri- 
cultural College at New Brunswick, began to investigate 
the cause of the decline. 

After making a preliminary investigation, he established 
a research and demonstration orchard at High Bridge. 
In 1908 another peach orchard was set up on the grounds 
of the Training School at Vineland, and a third was later 
established at the College Farm at New Brunswick. In 
these orchards large scale experiments were carried on, 



STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

while Blake kept an eye on the crops of other peach-pro- 
ducing States and the prices their products brought in the 
market. He decided that the only hope for New Jersey 
peach growers was to develop new varieties that were par- 
ticularly suited to New Jersey climate and soil. 

No one realized better than Professor Blake that this 
was a task that would take years of patient work. At the 
Vineland Training School, in 1914, peach trees were im- 
ported from many foreign lands and from other States 
for crossbreeding. The new seedlings that developed from 
the crossbreeding were numbered, examined and tested 
not only in the experimental orchards but on private farms 
in various sections of the State. Not until Professor Blake 
was positive of the results and possibilities of any one 
seedling was a peach given a name. 

Today, at New Brunswick, Blake has control of the 
largest peach-breeding grounds in the world. On 20 acres 
of land he has planted and propagated the most widely 
diversified collection of the fruit in existence. A total of 
350 named peach varieties have been tested, and no fewer 
than 20,000 peach trees have borne fruit in these orchards. 
There are nearly 4,000 peach seedlings under preliminary 
observation, and experimentation still goes on. 

Most famous, most delicious, and the highest-priced of 
Blake's crossbreedings is the Golden Jubilee peach. It 
received its name from the fact that the "Mother Jubilee" 
tree first bore fruit about August 17, 1925, on the 5Oth 
anniversary of the formation of the New Jersey Horti- 
cultural Society. Eighteen years is a ripe old age for a 
peach tree (the average life is from 12 to 14 years), but in 
1938 the "Mother Jubilee" tree still yielded her fruit. 
No one knows the extent of her family, but in this State 
alone it constitutes about one-fourth of the industry. 




Courtesy N. J. Agricultural Experiment Station 

MOTHER JUBILEE TREE 

Among some of the important species and varieties de- 
veloped at the College Farm under Professor Blake's 
direction are several of rather curious shape. One of these, 
the Peen-to or Saucer peach, of China, is broad, shaped 
somewhat like a flat tomato. Another curious peach intro- 
duced from China is called the Eagle's Beak because of 
its long, curved tip. The flesh is very sweet, much like 
the so-called Honey peaches, also from China. A third is 
the result of the crossbreeding of the Chinese Blood (an 
immense peach with blood-red flesh, but rather acid 
flavor) with the Sargent's Chinese, a variety which is 
white, almost free of red color, and exceedingly sweet. 

The New Jersey Station is now experimenting with 
crossbreeding the J. H. Hale, a large, well-known variety, 
and Prunus Kansuensis, a bush peach obtained from the 
mountains of Tibet by plant explorers of the United 
States Department of Agriculture. This wild peach can 



294 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

withstand the cold when in blossom better than the do- 
mestic varieties. If the hardiness of the bush peach from 
the Orient can be combined with the size and flavor of 
the home peach, the season in New Jersey will be 
lengthened. 

The latest sensational product of Professor Blake's de- 
velopments is the improvement of the nectarine. This is 
a peach without fuzz, often seen on the fruit stands. It has 
a delicious flavor, but it tends to be smaller than the 
peach. 

Five counties in the southern part of the State supply 
the majority of the industry's output: Burlington, Cum- 
berland, Camden, Atlantic and Gloucester. Many tourists 
visit this section in the spring to see the flowering trees 
that stretch for miles. The peaches are sold in various 
centers of these peach-growing counties (Glassboro, Ham- 
monton, etc.) at peach auctions and then shipped to the 
nearby markets in Philadelphia and New York. 

One step which helped the growth of the industry was 
the formation, in 1929, of the New Jersey Peach Council, 
an organization of leading peach growers who distributed 
226,000 peach trees (mostly to Jersey men) for testing 
under commercial conditions. Results from experiments 
with new varieties have encouraged growers to increase 
their plantings. 

Today New Jersey, the fourth smallest State, is the 
fourth largest peach producer with an annual output of 
about 15,000,000 bushels. That is enough to supply a 
peach pie to every school child in America, every day 
for a month. "Jersey Peaches" are once more market 
favorites. 



INDUSTRY 



THE VANISHED BOG-IRON INDUSTRY 

The "Pine Barrens" of New Jersey, a fan-shaped sec- 
tion spreading over parts of Ocean, Monmouth, Burling- 
ton, Atlantic and Cape May Counties, is a region of silent 
woods and bogland, of lazy streams and sluggish rivers. 
With cranberries, blueberries, and a few other crops the 
inhabitants manage to wrest a bare living from the swampy 
lands. 

Once these woods resounded with the blows of axes, 
the shouts of workmen and the ring of anvils, as flames 
from charcoal burners, forges and furnaces lighted the sky. 
The streams, now trickling over the flat land, rushed 
vigorously enough to supply water power for the wheels 
of gristmills, sawmills, forges and furnaces. The rivers, 
shallow now and deserted, carried tall ships with heavy 
cargoes on their way to New York, Philadelphia and other 
large centers. 

This was the home of the bog-iron industry, which in 
the early history of the country gave New Jersey high 
rank in iron production. The metal dug from the banks of 
the streams and the beds of watercourses in southern New 
Jersey, while softer than the iron from the northern hills, 
had the advantage of being more easily mined and could 
be shipped quickly and cheaply to the outside markets. 
Land transportation, depending on horse- or mule-drawn 
wagons, was slower and very expensive. Twenty miles of 
road transportation cost 30 shillings a ton, whereas ship- 
ping the same distance cost only five shillings. 

297 



298 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

A successful bog-iron furnace required at least 20,000 
acres of timberland for a constant supply of charcoal. The 
densely forested tracts, where the iron works were situ- 
ated, were usually divided into sections of 1,000 acres each, 
one of which would furnish a year's supply of charcoal 
for a furnace. By the time the last section had been used 
up, trees on the first section had grown large enough to 
be cut. 

Bog iron is found in the lowlands and meadows of many 
parts of the State where water tinged with vegetable mat- 
ter percolates through beds of marl or strata contain- 
ing iron deposits. The iron material is picked up by the 
water and held in solution in the form of iron oxide. As 
the water emerges from the ground and becomes exposed 
to the air the solids are precipitated and leave the reddish, 
muddy iron deposit along the banks of streams or in the 
beds of swamps and wet meadows. The process goes on 
continuously. An exhausted bed will renew itself in from 
20 to 40 years. 

As soon as the early settlers discovered the presence of 
iron deposits, they set about establishing forges and fur- 
naces. By 1750 England was allowing the importation of 
American iron free of duty, and the iron could be shipped 
as ballast at a slight cost. But as early as 1719 English 
iron manufacturers had agitated to curtail the manufac- 
ture of iron goods in America. Nevertheless, iron works 
sprang up at various points throughout the colony, and 
during the Revolutionary War they were taxed to their 
capacity turning out much-needed cannon and other muni- 
tions for the Continental Army. 

Compared to the vast production of today, the yield of 
iron before the I9th century seems insignificant. In 1783, 
according to a report written by Samuel Gustaf Hermelin, 



THE VANISHED BOG-IRON INDUSTRY 2Q9 

a Swedish engineer who had come here to investigate the 
iron industry, the entire annual pig-iron output of New 
Jersey, including that of the hard-iron furnaces in the 
north and the bog-iron furnaces in the south, amounted 
to only 3,500 tons. Today one New Jersey furnace alone 
produces more than 300,000 tons annually. 

The bog-iron communities were set up much like the 
feudal estates of medieval Europe. Sometimes as many as 
600 people would be living in one of these communities 
close to the furnace or forge in the heart of the woods. 
The center of communal life was the master's -(manager's) 
home, called the "big house," usually an elaborate estab- 
lishment with a vegetable patch and flower garden. Here 
the workmen brought their problems and grievances, and 
the stranger could always find supper and a night's lodg- 
ing. Schools, stores, churches, sawmills and gristmills were 
built for the workers and their families. These were ex- 
empt from taxation only as long as they produced just 
enough for the needs of the community. 

Skilled workers from the iron-producing countries of 
Europe were offered every inducement to immigrate, and 
yet their rate of pay seems ridiculously low today. Wages 
varied between $20 and $25 a month, paid mostly in 
goods. In some cases the price of goods such as flour and 
pork was marked up 25% over the wholesale cost, while 
such things as tea, coffee, cloth, sugar and rum, which 
were imported, were marked up 50%. Many preferred 
to work for lower wages in cash. 

Much of the work was done by slaves and indentured 
servants, who were brought overseas under contract to 
pay off the cost of their passage in three years' time. Dur- 
ing this period they were given food and lodging but no 



3OO STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

money. The ironmaster was obliged to supply them with 
a suit of new clothes when the three years were up. 

Smelting and Forging 

The ore was transported by wagons or floated down- 
stream in barges to the nearest furnace for conversion into 
pig iron. The furnace, a four-sided stack of stone or brick, 
20 feet or more in height, tapered from a 24-foot base to 
about a 1 6-foot peak. Where possible, the furnace was 
built against a rise in the land to permit the construction 
of an incline, or ramp, from the top of which the tons of 
charcoal, ore and lime could be passed into the structure 
to form alternate layers. 

The fire was started, and "tub bellows," operated by 
water power from a nearby dammed stream, supplied a 
forced draft. As the ore heated, the vegetable matter was 
burned away, and the lime reacted on the hot iron salts 
to form molten iron. 

The impurities rose to the surface as slag and flowed 
off through a tap hole at the top metal line. The molten 
metal, drawn off at the bottom of the furnace, was led 
through runners to the "sows" and "pigs," molds cut in 
the sandy floor. The sows, as the name implies, were 
larger than the pigs. 

Near the furnace was the forge, where the pigs were 
heated and hammered into bar iron by a giant 400- to 600- 
pound hammer, which beat out the impurities. One end 
of the hammer was attached to a beam that was alternately 
lifted and dropped by a cam on the water wheel. The 
blacksmith who operated the heavy hammer was required 
to produce one ton of bar iron from 2,800 pounds of pig. 
For anything in excess of that amount he received extra 
pay 5 for any less he had to make up the deficit. 



THE VANISHED BOG-IRON INDUSTRY 30 I 

From the bar iron, by the same primitive, slow meth- 
ods, were hammered out the pots, pans, kettles, fire irons 
and nails for the homes of the settlers, spikes for their 
ships and, later, cannon and munitions for the Conti- 
nental Army. Early in the igth century stoves, lamp- 
posts, water pipes and other iron articles were being man- 
ufactured. Day and night the glare from the fire glowed 
in the sky above the dark treetops. From about the middle 
of April, when the furnace was put in blast, there was no 
let-up in the work until January, when ice formed in the 
stream and stopped the water wheel. Then the furnace 
was blown out, and there was a celebration. 

Some Early Furnaces 

Charles Read, an enterprising politician, gave the South 
Jersey iron industry its greatest impetus. Collector of the 
Port of Burlington, a member of the Provincial Assembly, 
a Judge of the Supreme Court and an outstanding leader 
in public affairs, Read determined to become the greatest 
ironmaster of the Province. About 1750, having recog- 
nized the possibilities of the bog-iron resources, he set 
about developing the industry on some large tracts of land 
which he owned. Shortly, however, he was forced by poor 
health to dispose of much of his property and to leave 
his affairs in the hands of trustees, keeping only a part 
interest in some of the iron plants he had started. But the 
industry he had set in motion was to continue for 80 years 
and to attract to the unbroken forests thousands of people. 

Four of the most important bog-iron works grew from 
Read's dream: Taunton, Aetna, Atsion and Batsto. 

Taunton Furnace, about n miles southwest of Mount 
Holly, on what is now called Haines Creek, opened in 
1766. Four years later Read offered it for sale, calling 



INGOT AND DIGGER FROM TAUNTON FURNACE 



attention to the fact that it had an advantage over many 
other works farther back in the woods because transporta- 
tion to Philadelphia cost only 10 shillings a ton. The fur- 
nace, according to Read, had a capacity of 80 tons of pig 
iron a month. The plant continued in operation until about 
1847, when the mill pond and the adjacent property were 
converted into a cranberry bog. 

The second of Read's iron works, Aetna Furnace, which 
was in full operation by 1768, was about 10 miles from 
Taunton, on the southwest branch of Rancocas Creek. It 
is not certain just when this furnace closed, but by 1790 
the water power was being used to operate a gristmill and 
sawmill, the foundations of which are still visible. The 
old dam has been rebuilt and the mill pond is now called 
Aetna Lake. 

Atsion Forge, on Atsion River about 20 miles south- 
east of Medford, was an important one with a capacity of 
150 or 200 tons of bar iron annually. During its early 
days many Indians from the Edge Pillock reservation, 
three miles away, were employed there. After the Revo- 
lution the forge turned out pots and kettles of various 







OLD MILL AND POND AT BATSTO 

sizes, as well as stoves. Two of these old stoves, made 
probably about 1815, are in the old First Presbyterian 
Church in Bridgeton. The products of the forge were 
carried to merchants in New York, Albany and Pough- 
keepsie on the Atsion, a schooner which ran regularly 
between the Mullica River and Albany. Unlike most of 
the south Jersey forges, the Atsion Furnace converted 
"mountain ores" from north Jersey as well as the bog 
ores, and in 1828 was getting $100 a ton for bar iron, as 
compared to the present price of about $20 a ton. 

Batsto Furnace, established in 1766, figured conspicu- 
ously in an episode of the Revolutionary War commemo- 
rated by a monument near Chestnut Neck, an important 
Revolutionary shipping point on Mullica River. In Octo- 
ber 1778 the British had made a surprise attack on 
the Chestnut Neck colony and destroyed the storehouse. 
Captain Ferguson set out with 800 British troops to dis- 
mantle Batsto Furnace, about 10 miles farther up the 
river, which was working at fever heat to make muni- 
tions for Washington's army. One of the patriots at Chest- 



304 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

nut Neck, suspecting the plan, warned the commander of 
the militia. As the British pitched camp in the woods a 
few miles from the furnace, a general alarm was sounded 
by messengers riding furiously through the darkening 
countryside. By midnight a force of 90 woodsmen, iron- 
workers and farmers had gathered for an ambush. Almost 
every bullet found its man as the British advanced at 
dawn, and the invaders retired in confusion. Batsto and 
its stores were saved. 

After the Revolution a glass works was built at Batsto, 
and a host of workmen were kept busy. An advertisement 
in a Philadelphia paper gives an idea of the variety of 
articles produced. 

Manufactured at Batsto Furnace in West Jersey, 
and to be sold, either at the works or by the sub- 
scriber in Philadelphia: A great variety of iron pots, 
kettles, Dutch ovens, oval fish kettles, either with 
or without covers, skillets of different sizes, being 
much lighter, neater and superior in quality to any 
imported from Great Britain potash, and other 
large kettles from 30 to 125 gallons ; sugar mill- 
gudgeons neatly rounded and polished at the ends; 
grating bars of different lengths, grist-mill rounds; 
weights of all sizes from 7 to 56; Fuller's plates, 
open and closed stoves of different sizes, rag-wheel 
irons for saw-mills; pestles and mortars; sash-weights 
and forge hammers of the best quality. Also Batsto 
Pig-iron as usual, the quality of which is too well 
known to need any recommendation. 

At Batsto also were made the iron pipes that replaced 
many miles of wooden water conduits in Philadelphia and 



THE VANISHED BOG-IRON INDUSTRY 305 

Camden in the early I9th century. The Batsto works con- 
tinued in operation until 1848, when, like the other New 
Jersey forges and furnaces, it was forced out of business 
by the development of the Pennsylvania iron fields. 

Relics and Remains 

Batsto today is a ghost of the thriving settlement of a 
century ago. Beside the macadam road that runs through 
the lonely pine woods is an old mill where lumber is still 
sawed, and there are scattered frame houses, unpainted 
and weather-beaten, inhabited by families who barely man- 
age to earn a living from odd jobs and small gardens. The 
old company store, a plain stucco building, is closed; the 
great stucco mansion with a tower, now owned by the 
Lippincott family of Philadelphia, is silent except for 
occasional week-end parties. The sound of water pouring 
through a gate beneath the bridge is all that disturbs the 
quiet. 

Not even this much marks a site on Landing Creek, a 
branch of the Mullica River, opposite the present village 
of Lower Bank, where John Richards in 1813 established 
Gloucester Furnace, which employed about 125 workers. 
His uncle was Colonel William Richards, then owner of 
the Batsto and Atsion Furnaces. Once important as a stop 
on the stage route from Camden to Leed's Point on the 
seacoast, the village is slowly sinking into the dust. No 
one is left. 

Only a few iron relics in the soil, the half-obliterated 
outlines of the furnace foundation and two long piles of 
slag among scraps of castings evidence the work that once 
went on here. The old sawmill is now a pile of decaying 
sawdust; a portion of a sluiceway and a rusted water 



306 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

wheel are the remaining parts of the gristmill; and the 
once broad Mullica River has narrowed into shallows. 

In Ocean County, about seven miles south of Barnegat, 
near the present village of Staffordsville, Stafford Forge 
Cranberry Bog now covers the site of old Stafford Forge. 
The forge was built on West Creek in 1797 by John 
Lippincott, who did a large business here for 10 years. 

The bog-iron industry has been dead for more than 80 
years. What has become of the furnaces, the villages, the 
communal life, the schools, the taverns? Where did the 
people go? 

Today piles of slag, an occasional dam, a chimney, the 
foundations of a house, old cannonballs, crumbling rem- 
nants of forges and rotted splinters of the homes of the 
men who worked the bog-iron mines are all that remain 
of these once busy woodland villages. The forests echo 
only the sounds of birds, or the roar of motor cars on their 
way to and from the Jersey coast. The lonely rivers flow 
through miles of empty country, inhabited sparsely by 
people called "Pineys." 

The section is traversed by highways, wide and hard- 
surfaced, with signposts, gas stations everything to pro- 
vide comfort and safety for both car and driver. But off 
the road is the barren, fire-swept, decaying land of the 
"Pineys." Few tourists come here. There are no gas or 
electricity, no service stations, no billboards in the woods. 
The few road signs are dilapidated, and, more often than 
not, misspelled. It is a different world this pine belt 
where once the bog-iron industry flourished. Apathy has 
settled on the land as on its inhabitants. They live close 
to modern progress, yet remote from it. 



TWO CENTURIES OF GLASSMAKING 

The early settlers on the American continent needed 
window glass badly. They were building log cabins and 
leaving rectangular openings in the walls which served 
well enough to let in the air and sunshine in the summer. 
But in the winter, when they needed all the sunshine they 
could get and less of the cold breezes, they had a problem 
on their hands. Some used oiled paper which let in a little 
light but, because it was very thin, also kept the cabin 
cold. Others tacked skins over the windows and endured 
the gloom all through the winter. Only the wealthiest 
traders and proprietors could afford glass for their win- 
dows, for it had to be imported, and the loss from break- 
age on the rough voyages made the cost prohibitive. 

The glass industry was founded in New Jersey in 1738 
by Caspar Wistar, an enterprising German button manu- 
facturer from Philadelphia. There had been previous un- 
successful attempts to make glass in America in James- 
town, Virginia, New York State, Vermont and New 
Hampshire. Wistar came to New Jersey because it was 
ideally equipped for the manufacture of glass. It had a 
limitless supply of white sand to furnish the chief ingre- 
dient, silica, and acres of pine forest to provide charcoal 
for fuel. 

When Wistar decided that opportunity was awaiting 
him across the Delaware in South Jersey, he lost no time 
in acquiring a parcel of land. A native of the glassmaking 
section of Germany, Wistar realized that if his new ven- 

307 



m 




OLD WISTAR GLASS 



ture was to be a success he would need expert workmen. 
He bargained with a sea captain, James Marshall, to bring 
from Europe workmen who would teach him and his 
assistants the secrets of their craft. In return for the for- 
mulas and their help he agreed to pay for their voyage, 
furnish them homes, food, servants, and give them a third 
of the profits of the enterprise. About three miles south- 
east of the present town of Alloway he built a glass fur- 
nace, workers' homes, a general store and a mansion 
house. The little settlement around the glass works soon 
came to be known as Wistarburgh. 

At first Caspar Wistar and his artisans made only win- 
dow glass, in five sizes ; many kinds of bottles, lamp chim- 
neys and drinking glasses. But, as their skill increased, 
they made ornaments in a great variety of shapes and 
colors. They developed a technique of decorating their 
colored glass objects with whorls of white or contrasting 
colors. The delicate tints of blue and green found in 
Wistarburgh glass have, according to many authorities, 



TWO CENTURIES OF GLASSMAKING 309 

never been reproduced, nor have other makers success- 
fully copied the intricate designs that characterize this 
antique glass, now a collectors' prize. The Wistarburgh 
works also produced a great deal of glass in deep tones, 
amber, brown and very dark green and blue. To Wistar 
is given the credit for having been the first to produce 
flint glass, a particularly clear glass made from powdered 
flint. This term is now applied to any colorless glass made 
with lead oxide, such as that used for windows. 

So wide was the renown of this first glass plant that a 
highway was constructed from Philadelphia to the doors 
of the glass house. Stages brought the fashionable people 
to watch the intricate process and to carry away as me- 
mentos some of the novel ornaments produced. The tiny 
scent bottles, favorites of the ladies of the day, were said 
to be so small and delicately formed that they could be 
slipped into a glove without being noticeable. 

Caspar Wistar died in 1752, leaving the works to be 
managed by his son, Richard. Richard seems, however, to 
have preferred the city. He moved to Philadelphia and 
left a manager in charge of the glass house. In his absence 
the Wistarburgh works gradually declined. The depres- 
sion that followed the Revolution finally forced it to close 
its doors. Some of the secrets of the process that made 
Wistar glass distinctive died with Richard Wistar in 
1781. 

But the Wistarburgh glass works had started an indus- 
try that spread rapidly throughout southern New Jersey. 
Glassmakers, having learned the art, would set up in busi- 
ness for themselves or be lured away to other glass works 
by promises of higher pay or better working conditions. 
A glass plant was started at what was to become Glass- 
boro, in the Township of Clayton, then a collection of 



3IO STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

perhaps a dozen log cabins, by a German widow, Cath- 
erine Stanger, and her seven sons. They had learned their 
trade under the master craftsmen employed by Wistar. 
The Stangers founded their plant in 1775, and became 
famous for flasks, bottles and vials which were much in 
demand by distillers in Philadelphia and New York. The 
brothers proved capable glassmakers but poor business- 
men. Only nine years after their plant was opened, it was 
purchased at a sheriff's sale by Thomas Heston and 
Thomas Carpenter. From them it passed to the Whitney 
Brothers and later to the Owens Bottle Works, subsidiary 
of the Owens-Illinois Glass Company, present operators 
of large plants in Bridgeton. 

Despite the failure of New Jersey's two best-known 
glass manufacturers, the industry developed rapidly 
throughout the first part of the I9th century. The deli- 
cacy and artistry of the Wistar and Stanger products were 
replaced by more commonplace workmanship on a sounder 
business basis. Glassmakers pushed east into Cumberland 
County and concentrated their work at Bridgeton and 
Millville, which continue today to be the center of glass 
production in the State. The Whitall-Tatum Company of 
Millville bases its claim to the title of "the oldest glass 
plant in the United States" on its descent from a company 
founded there in 1806. 

Attracted by the sand, fuel and water resources, glass- 
makers soon spread over the wide section. By 1837 they 
had moved into Atlantic County at Estelville and Ham- 
monton. At about the same time important plants were 
in operation at Winslow and Clementon in Camden 
County and at Malaga in the eastern part of Gloucester 
County. In many cases bog-iron manufacturers set up 
glass houses near their furnaces. 



TWO CENTURIES OF GLASSMAKING J I I 

About 1850 a syndicate of glass and iron interests was 
responsible for the construction of the Camden and Atlan- 
tic, South Jersey's first east-west railroad of any impor- 
tance. At first it ran only as far east as Winslow, but in 
1854 the road was extended to Absecon, which later 
became Atlantic City. 

At the close of 1868 the number of glass factories in the 
State had risen to 13, with 10 furnaces producing about 
$1,000,000 worth of window glass, and 20 other furnaces 
capable of a yield of $1,500,000 worth of hollow-ware 
goods, plates, saucers, bowls and similar items. 

In the boom days following the Civil War, a number 
of speculators came into South Jersey and set up glass 
works on little capital and less experience. Towns grew 
up overnight, only to be abandoned when the great finan- 
cial panic in 1873 wiped out many of these manufacturers 
and hurt the glass industry in general. Two memorials to 
such enterprise are Hermann City and Bulltown. In 1873 
the former was a boom town with at least 60 or 70 houses, 
a store and a hotel clustered around the glass plant. 
Before the year was out the town was little more than a 
crossroads spot. It is little more today. Rotting rails for 
cars that were never built, ruined kilns, cold for decades 
after a brief, intense heat, and crumbling wharves along 
the Mullica River are the unpleasant reminders today of 
the high hopes of Hermann City. Nor is there more at 
Bulltown. A few pieces of brick kilns mingled with glass 
on the sandy road are hardly enough to recall the demi- 
johns and jugs made here for a brief time. 

In addition to speculation, other factors contributed to 
the decline of the glass industry in southern New Jersey. 
Railroads and highways were slow in linking the region 
with the rest of the State and Nation. Coal had taken the 



3 I 2 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

place of wood as fuel for the glass furnaces, and freight 
charges from the coal fields of western Pennsylvania to 
New Jersey made the location of the industries in this 
State an unprofitable business. Finally, a more desirable 
pink sand was discovered in the Ohio Valley and in Illi- 
nois, closer to the source of fuel. Once again glassmakers 
followed the call of superior materials and cheaper rates, 
and gradually Ohio and Illinois have displaced New 
Jersey as the leading glass states. 

The glass industry in New Jersey today is centered in 
Cumberland and Gloucester Counties. According to the 
J 935 U. S. Census of Manufacturers, there were eight 
glass establishments in the State, employing 4,666 people, 
with a total value of manufactured products of $15,941,- 
622. The most important plants are the Owens-Illinois 
Glass Company, Bridgeton; Gaynor Glass Works, Salem j 
Kimball Glass Works, Vineland; Whitall-Tatum Com- 
pany, Millville; and the Owens-Illinois branch in Glass- 
boro. The discovery of a lOO-foot bed of glass sand ex- 
tending under five southern New Jersey counties may 
become an impetus to the industry in the State. 

Along with many other great industries that are reach- 
ing out into every corner of existence, glass, because of 
modern methods of mechanical production, is constantly 
widening its field of usefulness. The millions of incandes- 
cent electric bulbs and the miles of thin glass tubing for 
neon lights could never have been produced by the old 
time hand-blown methods. Likewise, increased knowledge 
of tempering and grinding fine glass for lenses has made 
possible the powerful microscope. The tremendous 200- 
inch telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory in California 
will have a mirror with a glass base that will expand or 



TWO CENTURIES OF GLASSMAKING 3 I 3 

contract less than would metal, thus providing the accu- 
racy necessary for astronomical observations. 

Until the beginning of this century the methods of 
making glass had changed very little from those em- 
ployed by the artisans of ancient Egypt and Venice and 
the latter day European and American manufacturers. 
Modern machinery has speeded up production and re- 
duced what was once a fine art to a mechanical trade. In 
an up-to-date factory, from the weighing of the ingredi- 
ents to the final delivery of the finished product at the 
end of a carrying belt, the entire process is carried out 
automatically. There are still small sections, however, 
even in the most highly mechanized glass factories, where 
the old methods are used to produce ornaments and other 
objects requiring special care. Here one may see the glass 
blowers practicing their ancient art. 

In the making of glass the chief ingredients are sand, 
lime and soda. These, with whatever other materials are 
required to produce the desired color, are mixed together 
to form the batch. In the old days the batch was mixed 
on the floor of the glass house, shoveled into clay pots and 
placed in the furnace to melt. The men worked until the 
pots were emptied. They then had to stand around while 
another batch was prepared. To avoid this delay the con- 
tinuous tank furnace was developed. In it the heat plays 
along the surface of the pool of glass instead of under- 
neath, so that new batches may be added at the melting 
end without disturbing the glass that is being melted, 
while melted glass can be withdrawn continuously from 
the "refining" end without interruption. The capacity of 
the modern furnace of this type varies greatly, many 
being able to produce 100 tons of glass a day. 

The molten glass is raised to temperatures ranging 



314 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

from 2,800 to 3,400 degrees Fahrenheit, the hardness of 
the finished product depending on the temperature and 
the ingredients. 

In handwork, now a minor factor in the industry, the 
furnace has several apertures for the introduction of blow- 
pipes. The glass blower is equipped with a blow-iron, a 
tube of iron one-half to one and one-quarter inches thick 
and about four or five feet long. The amount of glass 
gathered depends on the article to be produced. A wine- 
glass requires but little, and one immersion of the tube 
in the tank is sufficient. The blower works on a low chair 
with two long arms, slightly inclined, along which he rolls 
his iron. This enables him to turn the object with one 
hand and shape it with the other. When necessary he 
works with shears to cut away portions of glass no longer 
of any use, with "pucella," or small tongs, for widening 
or reducing the open forms, and with the "battledore," 
or pallette, for leveling the bottom of glass receptacles. 

In the assembling of a wineglass, three distinct pieces 
are joined: the bowl, the leg and the foot. First, sufficient 
glass to make a bowl is gathered on the iron and shaped 
along the edge of the "marver," a small steel table, to 
give it the initial form. Then the blower puffs the glass 
out into a hollow bulb similar in size to the pattern from 
which he is working. He then adds a piece of hot glass to 
the bottom of the bulb and returns the iron to the furnace 
so that the joints fuse 5 again he removes the iron and 
blows out the leg, retaining a button at the end of the leg 
for the glass which is to be the foot. Again he adds glass, 
and with his tongs or a burned-wood paddle he forms the 
foot of the container. The glass is still crude, however, 
with sharp edges and imperfect contour. Another trip to 
the furnace and reshaping with the tongs leaves the glass 



TWO CENTURIES OF GLASSMAKING 315 

ready for the annealing furnace or "lehr," where it is 
heated and then slowly cooled. 

Heavy glass objects are formed in a mold which con- 
sists of two parts, one stationary, the other capable of 
being lifted or dropped. The molten glass is placed in the 
mold and blown into shape by the worker's breath or by 
compressed air. 

Most modern, average-priced articles, such as shallow 
bowls and saucers, are pressed. The method consists of 
placing the glass in the mold and releasing a plunger 
which presses the glass to shape. 

The making of window glass is a good index of the 
general progress of the industry. In the early days, a 
huge mass of molten glass was held on the pipe and after 
great labor blown into a cylindrical bubble weighing up 
to 40 pounds. Then it was cut along the side, opened, and 
returned to the furance. When it had reached the required 
temperature it was withdrawn, flattened, and cut to size. 
The modern practice is to draw the glass out in sheets 
through slots in floating planks. These large sheets are 
sent through rollers and pressed. They are then ready 
for cutting and cooling. 

The plate glass method is different. In this instance the 
glass is ladled out onto a long table, and there, after it 
has settled to the proper thickness, it is rolled out by a 
moving roller. Expert polishing with various abrasives 
produces a sparkling surface. 

Lenses require the most conscientious attention. They 
are made from the purest silica and soda, and carefully 
checked for deficiencies in strength and clarity. It requires 
a great quantity of melted glass to produce an acceptable 
lens or mirror surface. 

The first successful machine to blow bottles was made 



3 I 6 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

in America in 1906. The latest type has six, ten or sixteen 
arms each a complete bottle-blowing machine, requiring 
at least nine separate parts. A ten-arm machine will make 
a complete revolution, producing ten bottles, in from 10 
to 60 seconds, according to the size. The "Corning" bulb 
machine makes bulbs for incandescent lamps at a rate of 
400 to 600 a minute. 

The manufacture of tubing and vials for use in chemi- 
cal laboratories, formerly a hand process, has also become 
a machine operation. An apparatus attached to the glass 
tank pulls out mile after mile of tubing, uniform in diam- 
eter and thickness of walls, and cuts it into commercial 
lengths. Another machine turns the tubing into vials of 
uniform construction and capacity. The production of 
chemical glassware was enormously stimulated during the 
World War when foreign importations were cut off. 

Glass is colored by the use of chemicals. For a green- 
ish tint a small quantity of marl is added to the batch. 
More marl is added for a deeper shade of green. For 
blue glass, oxide of cobalt is used; for purple, brown or 
black glass various quantities of oxide of manganese are 
added. Oxide of iron and manganese are used for amber 
and claret hues. Ruby glass, the most expensive type 
manufactured, is colored by the addition of gold to the 
batch. Formerly a $20 gold piece was dissolved in acid 
and added to a batch of 300 pounds of molten glass to 
achieve the red in signal lights on railroads and high- 
ways. The unminted gold is now used. A special type of 
colored glass keeps out part of the heat of the sun's rays. 

Research is being carried on continually to produce not 
only different kinds of glass but better glass. The goal is 
a product that will be transparent, permanent, hard, and 
resistant to heat and electricity, all at the same time. A 



TWO CENTURIES OF GLASSMAKING 317 

glass that will withstand high temperatures and from 
which cooking dishes are made, under the trade name of 
Pyrex, is one of the fruits of this activity. It was found 
that by adding borax to the batch such a glass could be 
produced. The first product dissolved in water, however, 
and it was only after seven years of experiment that satis- 
factory heat-resistant glass dishes were made. 

Also highly resistant to heat is quartz glass or fused 
glass, but it is much too expensive to be used for kitchen- 
ware. The proper quality of clear quartz crystals which 
are used in the manufacture of quartz glass can be 
obtained in quantity only from Brazil or Madagascar. 

Because it transmits a third more ultraviolet rays than 
ordinary glass, quartz glass has been an important factor 
in broadening the use of these curative rays. Water, run 
through a length of quartz pipe, can be purified by ultra- 
violet rays which pass through the quartz. For the same 
reason the material is particularly desirable for windows 
of hospitals, schools and similar institutions. Quartz glass 
is also used for telescope mirrors and ultraviolet-ray 
lamps. i 

One kind of shatterproof or "safety" glass is produced 
by the process of case hardening. Quick cooling of the 
outside of a sheet of glass compresses the inside and ren- 
ders it five times stronger than ordinary glass. It breaks 
into minute, harmless particles instead of dangerous 
slivers. Such glass is well suited to the needs of airplanes, 
automobiles and busses. 

Glass bricks are also being manufactured for building 
purposes. Ribs on the inside of the hollow blocks scatter 
the light in all directions, thus preventing objects from 
being seen through them and yet leaving them translu- 
cent. A wall of glass brick one foot thick will insulate as 



3l STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

well as a wall of concrete two feet thick. A windowless, 
air-conditioned six-story department store of glass brick 
was opened in Chicago in the fall of 1937. 

Spun glass was produced in Venice during the Middle 
Ages by dipping a rod into a pool of molten glass and 
pulling it away rapidly. It is now produced by machines 
and used to insulate buildings, refrigerators and hot-water 
tanks. Four inches of spun glass between the walls of a 
house provide as much insulation as would ten feet of 
concrete. Research chemists of a large glass company, 
while working on a totally different problem, recently 
discovered that they could produce a fine quality of this 
glass in quantity. 

In 1937 these chemists demonstrated the production of 
"Fiberglas," which can be spun into a colorful cloth that 
is soft and warm. The process begins with the melting 
of glass marbles in an electric furnace. The flux is forced 
out through tiny holes in the bottom. The filaments thus 
formed, finer than human hair, are united to form a single 
thread one-fortieth of an inch thick. The thread is wound 
on spools which can be used on ordinary textile machines. 
One marble, about the size of those used by children, 
produces 325 miles of thread, and a cubic foot of the fiber 
weighs only a pound. This fiber is used as filter for acids, 
but it has been spun into sample gloves and neckties. 

Glass fibers will not stretch like wool or silk, and cloth 
spun from them will therefore not allow freedom of 
movement to the body. The chemists admit that it would 
be irritating to the skin, but they are now working to over- 
come these disadvantages, and people may eventually be 
wearing glass clothes. 




BLOWING QUARTZ GLASS 



LEATHER MAKERS OF NEWARK 

A map of Newark dated 1806 shows in one of its 
corners the picture of a shoemaker at work at his bench. 
Known ever since as the "shoemaker's map," it has been 
reproduced in bronze by the Schoolmen's Club of Newark 
and dedicated to the memory of Moses Combs, the enter- 
prising tanner who began the State's first large scale pro- 
duction of shoes shortly after the Revolution. 

The shoemaker's map is symbolic of New Jersey's early 
leadership in the preparation of leathers and the manu- 
facture of shoes. Forests of oak and hemlock, natural 
sources of tannic acid, first attracted tanners to New Jersey 
in Colonial days. When Newark became a city in 1836, 
almost the whole of its working population was employed 
in some branch of the leather industry, and leather con- 
tinued to dominate Newark for the next 50 years. 

Although the loss of its great forests has forced leather 
makers to seek tanning materials in other states and 
abroad, leather tanning remains an important New Jersey 
enterprise. 

Though Newark has been vitally interested in leather 
working for so many years, its "leather age" is almost 
nothing compared to the many centuries that have elapsed 
since a prehistoric man first used an animal skin for pro- 
tection perhaps for a foot wound. And this became the 
first shoe. 

In a very few days, however, this man of ancient times 
must have discovered that all animal matter decomposes. 

320 



LEATHER MAKERS OF NEWARK 321 

The piece of rawhide that seemed like such a good idea 
must have become something of a problem. How was he 
to prevent this hide from decaying? 

This was the first problem facing the early leather 
makers. But just as important was finding a method of 
keeping the hide flexible. The process that solves this dual 
problem is called tanning. Though no date can be estab- 
lished for the invention of tanning, leather articles have 
been unearthed in Egyptian tombs that have lain undis- 
turbed for 33 centuries. It is known, however, that people 
in various parts of the world developed the art inde- 
pendently. Centuries ago, the Arabians used a tanning 
process that enabled them to produce the beautifully 
tooled saddles for which they became famous. 

The American Indians developed their own crude 
method. After skins were washed and scraped clean of 
all fat and tissue and sometimes buried until decomposi- 
tion loosened the hair, they were tanned by sprinkling 
them with pulverized rotten wood a forerunner of the 
oak bark method used in some plants even today. 

The early settlers in America learned from the Indians 
many new uses for leather. Leather moccasins, coats, 
breeches, boots, canoes and shelters earned for the fron- 
tiersmen the title "Leatherstockings." 

The progress of leather making in the Colonies, how- 
ever, depended on European advances which were brought 
here by English tanners. The first of these was Experi- 
ence Miller, who arrived at Plymouth on the ship Ann 
in 1623. He was followed, in 1628, by Thomas Beard 
and Isaac Rickman, sent over by the Plymouth Company 
to set up their trade in exchange for "their dyett and 
house room at the charge of the companie." 

Continued English colonization increased the demand 



322 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

for leather. The frontier was pushed steadily westward, 
and the development of travel and communication re- 
quired an increasing supply of saddles, harnesses, saddle- 
bags and heavy leather straps for the support of coaches. 
Extensive tanning operations to meet this demand began 
in Elizabeth and Newark. 

As early as 1664 a tannery was established in Elizabeth 
by the family of John Ogden of Long Island, and suc- 
ceeding generations of the same family carried on the 
work in primitive fashion. In 1680 Samuel Whitehead of 
Elizabeth came to Newark at the invitation of the town 
fathers to "come and inhabit among us, provided he will 
supply the Town with Shoes, though for the present we 
know not of any Place of Land Convenient." The first 
tannery was established in 1698 by Azariah Crane. 

The widely scattered farms were served by traveling 
shoemakers, who stayed at a farmhouse for weeks while 
making shoes for the entire household and dispensing the 
gossip of the towns and other farms. The leather soles 
were cut to a rather loose pattern drawn to individual 
measure and then joined to the uppers, sometimes with 
brass or wooden nails, but more often by stitching. When 
all had been well shod, the shoemaker moved on. 

As the forests gave way to cleared fields, and towns 
continued to grow, tanners set up shop in every village or 
market center where farmers brought their produce. In 
return for their service to the farmers, they received one- 
half of the hides. The tannery and vats were usually estab- 
lished on a hillside close to a waterfall which turned the 
slowly moving wooden cogwheel that crushed the tanning 
bark on an oaken floor. 

About 1724 a tanyard was established in Acquakanonk, 
now Passaic, by Stephen Bassett, a New York tanner 



LEATHER MAKERS OF NEWARK 323 

attracted by the low prices of skins supplied by the Indians 
and the abundance of tanning materials, bark, lime and 
salt. He closed his Manhattan tannery and became the 
first leather manufacturer in old Bergen County. For 
nearly 50 years, until his death, his business flourished. 

Slowly, as stagecoach transportation developed, the 
larger towns became the centers of shoe, harness and sad- 
dle manufacturing. Before the Revolution had ended two 
Newark tradesmen were advertising for journeymen shoe- 
makers, and in the 1 790*8 Moses Combs opened the first 
large shoemaking shop in the State. With prices as low as 
50^ a pair, Combs successfully invaded the New York 
market. His shoes gained a reputation in other states, and 
the value of his shipments increased until he was com- 
pleting orders worth as much as $9,000. 

Apprentices came to him from the Dutch families of 
Essex County, and Dutch took equal rank with English 
as the language of the shops. Each apprentice was expected 
to produce an average of seven pairs of shoes a week. The 
employer was required to supply a home and a certain 
amount of^schooling for the young workers. Combs used 
to call his boys together after work for moral and religious 
instruction, and for years he hired a teacher at his own 
expense to conduct night classes which were open to the 
neighborhood. This was probably the first free night 
school in America. 

Like the other leather makers, Combs used ground oak 
bark, almost the only vegetable tanning agent known until 
the beginning of the I9th century. Then Sir Humphrey 
Davy, the English scientist, discovered that tannic acid 
could be obtained from hemlock, sumac, chestnut and 
mimosa. New Jersey had vast resources of all these in 
her forests. 






FLESHING A HIDE 

Research and mechanical invention went hand in hand. 
In 1809 tne perfection of a hide-splitting machine began 
a long series of "machine age" improvements that brought 
mass production to the leather industry. The splitting ma- 
chine, invented by Samuel Parker of Newburyport, Massa- 
chusetts, did away with the wasteful process of "planing" 
leather to a desired thickness as a carpenter shaves down 



LEATHER MAKERS OF NEWARK 325 

lumber. The planing process was wasteful because the 
leather shavings were useless. With a splitting machine 
a skin could be divided into several thin sheets of leather 
with very little waste. The resulting economy was meas- 
ured in millions of feet of leather. 

Seth Boyden, who at his home in Foxborough, Massa- 
chusetts, had also developed a machine for splitting the 
heavy cowhides, was operating a harness shop on Newark's 
Broad Street in 1818. One day he was attracted by the 
enameled leather peak of a German officer's cap. It flashed 
across his mind that here was a valuable harness ornament. 
His analysis of the coatings and varnish led him to the 
invention of patent leather. The glossy finished European 
products were brittle and of little commercial value, but 
Boyden's process of sun drying and baking the varnish 
coatings made possible the manufacture of flexible patent 
leather. 

Although Boyden's inventive interests turned to other 
fields, Newark forged ahead to become one of the leather 
centers of the United States. By 1860 the city had 30 tan- 
neries, which employed more than 1,000 workers. A 
decade later leather was again ranked as the city's leading 
industry. After about 1875 tanneries began to consolidate 
and their number decreased, although their output for 
1880 doubled that of 1870. As late as 1890 leather was 
referred to as "Newark's chief industry." 

At this time the conversion of hides into finished 
leathers by curing and tanning still required months of 
patient labor. Improved methods have speeded up the 
tanning, but the preparatory process remains much as it 
was when leather activity was at its height in Newark. 
To restore the porous fresh hides to their original flexi- 
bility they are immersed in rectangular soaking vats. 



326 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

Proper soaking requires from one to seven days, depend- 
ing upon the condition and thickness of the hides. When 
they are adequately softened, they are transferred to a 
lime solution to loosen the outer skin on which the hair 
grows. After three to nine days the hides are ready for 
the "rehairing" machine. Surplus flesh is then removed 
either by hand or with the aid of a "fleshing" machine. 
The lime is then removed, and the hide is ready for 
tanning. 

The older and slower method of vegetable tanning is 
still used to produce heavy leathers for shoe soles, belt- 
ing, harness, upholstery and luggage. In this process the 
hides, suspended on rocker frames, are first immersed in 
vats of a weak tanning solution for two or three weeks 
and moved up and down in the solution to insure even 
absorption. Next the hides are placed in layers, sprinkled 
with ground bark and submerged in a stronger tanning 
solution. During this treatment, which may last from two 
to six months, the solution is changed from four to seven 
times. When completely tanned, the hides are placed in 
a vat filled with hot water to dissolve any excess tanning 
liquor, and then in a scrubbing machine to remove any 
remaining sediment or bark. 

With a view to shortening the process, a New York 
chemist, August Schultz, developed and patented the for- 
mula for a tanning solution of chrome salts. The leather 
thus treated was stiff and blue and unfit for use. In 1890, 
however, a young Philadelphia tanner, Robert Foerderer, 
by treating the chrome-tanned leather with an emulsion 
of soap and oil, produced a product that was pliable and 
could be dyed any color. Foerderer gave Schultz $60,000 
for his patent rights and called his new product "vici kid" 
"vici" from the Latin, meaning "I have conquered." 



LEATHER MAKERS OF NEWARK 327 

Chrome tanning has made possible the production of 
fine leathers in a great variety of colors, multiplied the 
uses of leather and cut the tanning process to a matter of 
hours. Cured skins that are to be chrome tanned are placed 
in a drum containing the chrome chemicals, where they 
are tumbled about for five or six hours. When the skins 
emerge they have become leather. To give life and flex- 
ibility to the leather, natural oils and greases that have 
been dried out in the curing and tanning must be restored. 
Again the leather is placed in huge revolving drums 
where it is tumbled about in an emulsion of soap and oils 
known as fat liquors. Then dye solutions, if the leather 
is to be colored, are introduced. 

Dried in darkened lofts, the leather is stretched and 
smoothed and made ready for the final operation, known 
as finishing, or glazing. For dull finishes a revolving brush 
is used, while high lustre is produced by friction with a 
glass cylinder. 

Patent leather is put through a special grease-removing 
process and stretched on frames where paints and colors 
are applied by hand in several coats, each time being baked 
and rubbed down with pumice. Sun baking, for which no 
substitute has been found, gives it a hard, bright finish. 

New Jersey is outstanding for the variety of its leather 
products. Newark has the only sharkskin tannery in the 
United States, two of the largest reptile tanneries and one 
of the three kangaroo tanneries. Sharkskin is tanned like 
other leathers except that the outer scaly skin, harder than 
steel, is first removed by special treatment. Of the more 
than 100 varieties of shark, only about 10 are used com- 
mercially. Many varieties of reptiles are used: alligators 
and iguanas from the United States, Mexico and Central 
America; boa constrictors, anacondas, lizards and chame- 



328 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

Icons from South America; Java ring lizards and Karung 
water snakes from the Dutch East Indies j pythons from 
India and Indo-China. 

Besides these, the hides of calf, sheep, goat, pig, deer, 
ostrich, kangaroo, seal, walrus, horse and buffalo are in 
constant demand by leather buyers and constitute a vast 
international trade. 

Goatskin, which has furnished leather since ancient 
times, is now used mainly for fine shoes, gloves and high 
grade bookbinding. Camden has one plant where 30,000 
goatskins are tanned daily to produce ladies' shoe uppers, 
handbags and other articles. 

A Newark firm which has been in continuous operation 
since the Civil War supplied virtually all the leather used 
in the lounges, halls and Rainbow Room of Radio City. 
This leather was the first of its kind to pass the under- 
writers' test for fireproofing of finished leather. Newark, 
at one time considered the center for the production of 
leather, still has a dozen or more tanning plants which 
supply leathers for shoes, furniture and luggage. 



THE GOLD BEATERS 

The art of hammering gold by hand into thin leaves 
for use in ornamentation is one of the rarest and most 
ancient of industries. The gilding found on old relics, 
books and art objects was prepared for the artist in the 
Middle Ages in much the same manner as it is for the 
picture frames, signs and furniture of today. In the whole 
country not more than a thousand people are engaged in 
this highly specialized work, and these are found in only 
13 of the states. 

In Red Bank, New Jersey, there is a colony of these 
gold workers distributed in three shops that owe their 
existence to William Haddon, a gold leaf manufacturer 
of New York who, after his retirement, practiced his craft 
in a small shop in his home at Red Bank. He taught the 
craft to others, who have carried on the business for more 
than 60 years. 

The manufacture of gold leaf begins with the purchase 
of pure (24-carat) gold from the United States Govern- 
ment. One ounce of gold will produce 2,500 sheets, 3^ 
inches square, hammered to a thinness of 1/200,000 of an 
inch. A book of gold leaf which sells for about 75^ con- 
tains 25 sheets packed between protecting layers of paper. 

It is difficult to conceive of anything as thin as these 
gold wafers being visible to the naked eye. One way of 
estimating their thinness is to realize that it would take 
about 400 sheets laid on top of each other to equal the 
thickness of this single sheet of paper. 

329 



33 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

The process by which mined gold is reduced to such 
extraordinary thinness is one requiring time, patience and 
unusual skill. First, the gold is colored to any one of the 
10 acceptable shades by the addition of alloys, such as cop- 
per and silver. In the deeper, or reddish shades, there is 
a preponderance of copper j while a larger proportion of 
silver produces the paler shades. As alloys are added the 
metal becomes less malleable, therefore it is not adulter- 
ated below a 23-carat grade. The gold, with the added 
alloy, is then melted in a clay crucible which may not be 
used a second time for fear of breaking. Once is too often 
to spill a pot of gold in the ashes. The molten metal is 
poured into a mold one inch wide and several inches 
long, and it forms a bar about Y^ of an inch thick. 

This bar is then pressed between steel rollers again and 
again to extend its length. During this ironing process the 
operator guides the bar so that the width does not in- 
crease. When the gold bar has attained a length of about 
IO yards and a thickness of 1/800 of an inch it is cut into 
squares, and each one is placed between sheets of vellum, 
made from calf or lamb gut, imported from France. 
These vellum sheets are three inches square. The inch 
squares of gold are bound closely in the larger vellum 
squares by parchment bands. This pile, called the "cutch," 
is now ready for the first beating. 

The "cutch" is placed on a padded granite block 18 
inches square which is supported by a wooden block em- 
bedded in ashes, to assure the necessary resilience as the 
1 8-pound hammer descends. It requires more skill than 
strength to guide the strokes of the hammer so that the 
little squares in the packet will be evenly beaten. 

When the gold has reached the edge of the 3-inch vel- 
lum wrapper, the squares are removed with long wooden 



THE GOLD BEATERS 331 

pincers and are folded and cut in quarters by a steel knife. 
Six or seven hundred of these are placed between pieces 
of goldbeater's skin, four inches square, bound and packed 
as for the first beating. This packet is called the "shoder." 

Goldbeater's skin is prepared by a secret process from 
the intestines of cattle. In all the world there are only a 
few companies, and these are in England and Germany, 
that undertake its intricate preparation. So carefully is the 
secret guarded that it is said that once, when an employee 
of a certain firm seemed to have learned too much of the 
process, it was arranged that he marry the daughter of 
his employer to insure his loyalty. The intestines of 500 
cattle are required to make a single packet containing 
about 850 leaves. Alum, isinglass and white of egg are 
used in the toughening treatment, and the process is long, 
complicated and somewhat revolting. 

A "mold" of i,OOO skins sells for about $10 and lasts 
not more than two to three years under the punishment it 
receives from the hammer on the granite block. 

Now the gold leaves lying between the 4-inch squares 
of goldbeater's skin are beaten once more, this time by 
a 9- to 12-pound hammer, until the leaves again spread to 
the edges. The leaves are removed again with the wooden 
pincers and placed on a leather cushion. They are now so 
thin that it takes only a breath from the worker to flatten 
them out, and a specially designed tool, called a "wagon," 
must be used to trim them. It has two adjustable blades 
of sharpened reed and looks like a small sled. 

The 4-inch squares are again packed in a "mold" of 
goldbeater's skins about 5 inches square and beaten with 
hammers 7 to 10 pounds in weight for about 4 hours 
until they reach the edge of the skins. Then each square, 
now reduced to almost impalpable fineness, is trimmed 



33 2 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

down with a "wagon" to exactly 3^ inches and packed 
between protecting sheets, ready for sale. 

To the 2Oth century mind this may seem like a slow 
and antiquated process, but the cost of inventing and build- 
ing machinery to handle such delicate operations has until 
recently been considered too great for the volume of busi- 
ness. There are a few firms throughout the country manu- 
facturing gold leaf by machinery, but, generally speaking, 
the hand-made product is preferred by the trade. A ma- 
chine has no eyes to detect flaws, while in the hands of 
a careful workman every leaf is scrutinized and a more 
uniform product results. 



THE ROMANCE OF THE ROEBLINGS 

Bridges, cables and Roebling are as closely bound 
together as the wires in the cables that suspend such great 
bridges as the George Washington Bridge and the Golden 
Gate Bridge. For it was John A. Roebling who, in a small 
factory in Trenton, New Jersey, wove the first wire rope 
and developed an industry that has changed the history 
of transportation. 

Roebling was not the first man to conceive or build sus- 
pension bridges. They were used in remote times in China, 
Japan, India and Tibet. The Aztecs of Mexico and the 
natives of Peru used this device for crossing chasms or 
swirling river currents. They used twisted vines or straps 
of hide fastened securely to strong trees or boulders to 
support the hanging foot bridges. The method is still em- 
ployed in remote parts of the world 5 but these bridges are 
comparatively .short and are not intended to carry great 
weight. 

The first bridge hung on wire cables was over the 
Schuylkill River at Fairmount, Philadelphia, built in 1 8 1 6 
by Joseph White and Erskine Hazard, who owned a wire 
mill. The span was 408 feet long and provided a passage- 
way of only 1 8 inches. With the first accumulation of ice 
and snow, the structure collapsed. In 1842 another hang- 
ing bridge over the Schuylkill was more successful. It 
remained in operation until 1872. But these bridges were 
mere toys in comparison to Roebling's projects. By spin- 

333 






INTERIOR OF ROEBLING WIRE MILL 

ning wire into heavy cable he was the first one to suspend, 
successfully, bridges of 1,000 feet or more in span. 

Roebling, son of a tobacco manufacturer, was born in 
1806 in Miihlhausen, Germany. His mother had great 
ambition for this boy, her youngest son, and by many 
sacrifices managed to have him educated at the Royal 
University of Berlin. Roebling distinguished himself in 
engineering, architecture, bridge construction, hydraulics 
and philosophy. Shortly after his graduation he decided 
to join 60 or 70 others in migrating to the new land of 
promise the United States. 

On arriving here in August 1831, the group decided 
on farming for their future. Some turned to the South- 
land with its great plantations. Roebling, with others, 
because of their strong opinions against slavery, decided on 
the North and purchased 700 acres on the slope of the 
Allegheny ridge, about 25 miles from the then new town 
of Pittsburgh. There they founded the village of Ger- 
mania, now called Saxonburg. 



THE ROMANCE OF THE ROEBLINGS 335 

Those were the days when new transportation methods 
were being developed to carry goods to the ever-widening 
frontier. Railroads were in their infancy, but lumbering 
canal boats loaded with coal and merchandise were hauled 
along artificial waterways by mules and horses. This cap- 
tured the interest of the engineer in Roebling, who had 
discovered that he had little talent for farming. In 1837 
he got a job as assistant State engineer, and soon he was 
building dams and locks on the canals. The problem of 
sending the freight boats over mountains interested him 
immediately. At the base of a mountain these boats were 
floated into cradles that were hauled up by ropes to the 
next water stretch. Occasionally the rope, however stout, 
would break, and cradle, boat, cargo and passengers would 
go crashing down the mountain. 

Roebling remembered having read that a German had 
twisted strands of wire into rope and decided to develop 
the idea. He purchased a quantity of steel wire, went back 
to his farm in Saxonburg and taught his friends and neigh- 
bors how to weave it into rope. His methods were crude 
but the result was startling j the wire rope held under 
great loads, and it was flexible enough to pass over the 
windlass. Soon this strong, tensile wire rope was replacing 
hemp rope for hauling towboat cradles and for towlines. 

Canals sometimes had to cross natural rivers over which 
wooden aqueducts had to be built. These were costly and 
unsafe, for frequently their supporting piles and abut- 
ments would be crushed and destroyed by ice in the river. 
Roebling conceived the idea of a cross-river aqueduct sus- 
pended from wire cables anchored to the land. This, he 
argued, would be much safer because it would eliminate 
piers and posts in the river. 

Learning that a new canal was to be built across the 



33^ STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

Allegheny River at Pittsburgh, he laid his plans and cal- 
culations before the engineers. He frankly admitted that 
what he was proposing had never been done bofere, and 
he was staking his reputation on its success. He finally per- 
suaded them that the advantage to be gained justified the 
risk. The project proved so successful that Roebling re- 
ceived many commissions for similar cross-river aqueducts, 
several of which are still in use. 

It was but a step from a suspension aqueduct to a sus- 
pension bridge, but Roebling realized that he would need 
larger shops, machinery and possibly mills to develop the 
ideas that were taking shape in his mind. His friend Peter 
Cooper had iron foundries in Trenton and urged him to 
settle there. In 1848 he took about 20 trained men with 
him to Trenton, where he designed and built his own 
machinery to weave wire rope and cables. 

Roebting's Early Bridges 

From this plant came the massive cables that made the 
bridge over Niagara Falls possible. And where could a 
more dangerous and dazzling undertaking have been 
found than spanning these hurling waters with a combi- 
nation railroad and highway suspension bridge? But to 
Roebling it was just another engineering problem. Many 
engineers laughed at the idea of carrying a railroad train 
over that turmoil of water, on a web apparently so frail. 
Failure was freely predicted. 

Roebling flew a kite across the gorge to get his first 
wire over and from that single wire built up his cables. 
The bridge was opened to the public in 1854. On March 
1 6, 1855, the first railroad train in history crossed a sus- 
pension bridge, and to the amazement of the public the 
bridge did not collapse. 



THE ROMANCE OF THE ROEBLINGS 337 

This accomplishment demonstrated the soundness of 
Roebling's claims for giant wire structures and estab- 
lished him as one of the outstanding engineers of the age. 
Other contracts quickly followed. He built the Allegheny 
Bridge over the Monongahela River at Pittsburgh in 
1856 and the Cincinnati-Co vington Bridge over the Ohio 
in 1867. 

In the meantime there was considerable agitation for 
a bridge over the East River connecting the cities of 
Brooklyn and New York. The idea still seemed to many 
like a wild dream, and most Brooklynites preferred the 
safety of their chugging ferries. Roebling, in the late fif- 
ties, had written to Abram S. Hewitt, distinguished engi- 
neer, later to become mayor of New York, suggesting a 
hanging bridge that would not interfere with navigation. 
But nothing had been done. 

The winter of 1866-67 was the coldest, bitterest and 
longest New York had ever known. Huge drifts of ice 
surged and crackled around the keels of the ferries and 
tied up river traffic. Passengers from Albany, coming by 
train, reached New York before the Brooklynites could 
cross the river. Manhattan and Brooklyn looked across at 
each other and remembered Roebling and his dream of 
a bridge hanging on steel wire. The demand for the 
bridge rose to a clamor. 

In May 1867 a charter was granted, and John Roebling 
was appointed chief engineer. But he was not to see the 
completion, or even the start of what he considered would 
be his crowning achievement. On June 28, 1869, Mr. 
Roebling was standing on a cluster of piles at the Fulton 
ferry slip, Brooklyn, fixing the site of the proposed tower. 
He failed to see a ferryboat before it crashed into the 
piling. One of his feet was crushed, necessitating the am- 



33^ STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

putation of some of his toes. Tetanus set in and on July 
22, as he neared his 63rd birthday, he died. 

Colonel Washington Augustus Roebling, his son and 
associate, was appointed to succeed him. It was January 
1870 before actual construction was started. A scow with 
a coil of 24-inch wire rope was moored alongside the 
Brooklyn tower and the end of the coil hoisted to the top, 
passed down on the land side, then carried back. The scow 
was then towed to the New York side and the rope carried 
over that tower and wound on a huge drum till it hung 
above the river. A second wire rope was run in the same 
manner and the two were joined around huge driving 
wheels or pulleys at each end. An endless wire rope trav- 
eler, revolving by steam power, now stretched from city 
to city. 

One day in August 1870 the hanging of the cable was 
started by a man on this slender aerial. In a "bosun's 
chair," he started in the traveler from the top of the 
Brooklyn tower down the long sag and up to the top of 
the New York tower while a million people gazed in 
wonder, bands played, and boat whistles shrieked. 

The Brooklyn Bridge project introduced several inno- 
vations in construction. The foundations of the great 
towers were built by the caisson method. While the men 
working in the caisson dug out the earth underneath, 
others in the open air on top of the caisson laid the ma- 
sonry of the towers. On the Brooklyn side the caisson was 
sunk about 50 feet. On the New York side it was neces- 
sary to go down about 90 feet to bedrock. More than a 
hundred men were affected, many fatally, by the dreaded 
caisson disease, or bends, during construction. 

Washington Roebling spent much of his time in the 
caisson chambers. One day he was carried out unconscious 



THE ROMANCE OF THE ROEBLINGS 339 

from the effects of the bends. His speech was gone. After 
that he had to write his instructions to his assistants. By 
the end of 1872 he was an invalid and unable to visit the 
bridge. From that time until it was finished, except for 
six months abroad in an effort to regain his health, he 
directed the work from his home in Brooklyn. 

With the aid of a telescope he could see the men at 
work and the dream taking shape a symphony in steel, 
stone and concrete the longest suspension bridge in the 
world. And then one day in 1883, with the sun shining, 
the waters of the river churned up by craft of all kinds, 
a group of dignitaries gathered in the middle of the 
bridge and the President of the United States, Chester A. 
Arthur, made the dedication address. 

Washington Roebling sat in his window, the telescope 
held close to his eyes, watching the ceremonies. When the 
breeze shifted he could hear the excited tooting of the 
river craft and the blaring of the bands. At last! Brooklyn 
Bridge was a reality. Colonel Roebling remained partially 
paralyzed till he died in 1926 at the age of 84. 

About 1900 Colonel Roebling and his brothers, Ferdi- 
nand and Charles, decided to withdraw from the com- 
petitive field of engineering contracts and concentrate all 
the energies of the firm on the perfection of its products. 

While the name of Roebling is generally associated in 
the public mind with huge wire cables and wire rope, and 
it still continues to make these, the company also makes 
a wide variety of wire, covering almost every commercial 
and technical field, from the 4j^-inch steel wire rope, 
down to the infinitesimal wire in the eyepiece of the tele- 
scope. 

Wire can now be drawn so fine that it would take many 
strands to equal the thickness of a human hair. Perhaps 



34 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

the most amazing of the products of the industry are the 
cables of copper wire used in telephone service. For these 
the individual wires are covered with paper of various 
colors, which acts not only as a protection but enables men 
at the opposite ends of a long cable to identify the wires 
with which the connection is to be made. Steel wires about 
the size of the common lead pencil seem like a fragile sub- 
stance from which to suspend great bridges. Yet these 
wires, when woven into cable, can support many times 
their own dead weight. 

Modern Bridges 

The ever-present question which is the largest bridge 
may be answered in several ways. If one judges by length 
of span, the distance between the towers, the new Golden 
Gate Bridge at San Francisco, with its main span of 4,200 
feet and its total cable length of 7,640 feet from anchor- 
age to anchorage, is the largest in the world. Measured in 
cable strength, the George Washington Bridge is the larg- 
est, even though the span is only 3,500 feet and the cable 
length from anchorage to anchorage is 4,200 feet. But its 
cable strength is 350,000 tons as compared to the 193,304 
tons for the San Francisco Bridge. The George Washing- 
ton Bridge is not yet complete. Its massive cables are 
designed to support a second roadway when required by 
increasing traffic. 

Because of their great size, bridge cables are spun on 
the site. Every reach of the wire is laid flat and separate, 
and when all are in place they are bound together in 
strands. There are 61 strands in each of the four cables 
that support the George Washington Bridge. After being 
adjusted to a sag that would distribute the load, the 
strands were bound together into solid cylinders, each con- 




BBBBBi 

GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE 



342 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

taining 26,474 wires. In addition to the cables there are 
35 miles of suspender rope, representing about 10,000 
miles of wire. Altogether the wires used in the George 
Washington Bridge would reach nearly five times around 
the world. Wire rope and parallel wire cables should not 
be confused. There is no twist in the cables that sustain 
bridges as there is in a wire rope. 

The Roebling headquarters are in Trenton, where there 
are two great plants. The main one covers over 35 acres. 
The second lies a half mile farther south. At the turn of 
the century, when the company could crowd no more 
buildings on its Trenton acreage, it established about ten 
miles below Trenton the town of Roebling, where it owns 
over 200 acres. All together, there are more than a hun- 
dred buildings in the three plants, many of these of im- 
mense size and manufacturing capacity, all devoted to 
making one of the great necessities of this age wire. 



THE STORY OF LENOX POTTERY 

Americans, who accept as a matter of course the out- 
standing achievements of their scientists and engineers, are 
sometimes surprised to learn that in the field of art, as 
well, they have achieved international importance. 

Included in the permanent exhibition in the Ceramic 
Museum at Sevres, France, among the rare and beautiful 
wares of Europe and Asia, are several examples of Lenox 
china. They are products of a factory in Trenton, New 
Jersey, and the result of long and patient effort on the 
part of a man who devoted his life to the accomplishment 
of an ideal, despite the handicaps of poverty and discour- 
agement and the added burdens of blindness and paralysis. 

Walter Lenox, as a schoolboy in Trenton, where he 
was born in 1859, use d to stand for hours before a little 
pottery which he passed daily, fascinated by the transfor- 
mation of the dull lumps of clay into beautiful shapes and 
forms as the rapidly spinning potter's wheel turned in the 
hands of the artisan. Young Lenox resolved that he would 
master this craft, one of the most ancient of mankind, and 
produce finer ware than any he had seen. 

As an apprentice he learned how to make pottery. In 
his leisure hours he studied and experimented with design 
and color. Finally he became art director of the Ott and 
Brewer factory at Trenton and while there learned from 
Irish artisans, imported for the purpose, some of the proc- 
esses of manufacturing Belleek a particularly fine ware. 
But to accomplish his purpose it was necessary for Lenox 

343 



344 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

to have his own plant. He was able to raise the money, 
but his backers were skeptical. They stipulated that the 
building should be designed as a tenement should the 
pottery fail. 

The manufacture of cheap ware in large quantities 
would assure quick and large profits, while delicate and 
finely wrought ware would have a limited market. But 
Walter Lenox had one aim quality. He was convinced 
that if he could produce something truly fine and beautiful 
the public would ultimately recognize it. 

At this time unscrupulous china manufacturers in the 
United States were in the habit of marking their ware with 
English stamps in order to sell their goods. No one would 
believe that really fine china could be produced in Amer- 
ica. Lenox was too proud and honorable to employ such 
unworthy methods, and he resolved to stand or fall on 
the merits of his products. 

Failure followed failure before he produced the lovely, 
creamy, richly glazed china that proudly displays the 
Lenox stamp. In 1895, just as Walter Lenox was about 
to achieve his dream, he was stricken with paralysis and 
blindness. Burdened as he was with debt and physical 
handicaps, it looked as if his factory would have to be 
converted into a tenement. But the artist was not ready 
to surrender. He knew that his china was beautiful and 
that in time the public would learn to appreciate and buy 
it. Harry A. Brown, the secretary of the company, shared 
this faith. He became the eyes and legs of the stricken 
man. Together they worked to solve the monetary difficul- 
ties of the little industry. 

The potter called his devoted friend "Dominie," some 
one to lean upon, some one to trust. Every day Lenox was 
taken to the pottery, and though he could not see, his 



THE STORY OF LENOX POTTERY 345 

sensitive fingers could trace the graceful forms and feel 
the glaze and texture of the china as it came from the kiln. 
"Dominie" took entire charge of the business and of the 
firm, and one memorable day he was able to announce 
that every note had been paid. A miniature kiln was built 
in the office j the canceled notes were placed in it and 
burned while Lenox stood by, tears streaming from his 
blinded eyes. Lenox addressed "his boys," as he called the 
workmen, and urged them never to abandon the ideal of 
creating beautiful china. Quality first the money would 
come after. 

The blind potter died in 1920, but his dream lives on 
in the modern plant built on the site of the first small fac- 
tory, and in the finely textured product which his devotion 
and determination developed. Today the Lenox Pottery 
occupies more than seven acres of ground. The plant, con- 
structed largely of glass to afford the maximum of light, 
has the best equipment for china making. The air is freed 
of dust by the latest ventilating devices. Yet here and 
there throughout the factory there are still reminders of 
the ancient potter's primitive methods. 

Visitors from all over the world come to watch the 
evolution of dull clay and minerals into exquisite fragile 
china. It is a process requiring extreme precision and 
refinement. 

The raw materials, clay, feldspar and flint, are selected 
by specialists. They are weighed and tested at every stage 
from mine to mixing room so that there will be no vari- 
ance in the proportions. Even the water with which they 
are mixed is filtered and measured to the last ounce. 

Several different kinds of clay are used in Lenox pot- 
tery. Feldspar is a crystallike rock formation which when 
crushed becomes a glistening white powder. New Eng- 




FIRST PIECE OF 

BELLEEK MADE 

IN AMERICA 



land feldspar is used exclusively in Lenox pottery. When 
the clay and rock powder have been properly mixed, they 
are placed in a huge revolving cylinder containing water 
and flint pebbles. This process is called pebble grinding. 

After 50 hours the mixture, now of a thick, creamlike 
consistency, is forced through a fine wire screen by air 
pressure. This process, which lasts for two hours, elimi- 
nates all the large particles and results in a fine-textured 
fluid called "slip." Electromagnets remove all iron atoms 
from the "slip," and it is then allowed to age. No one 
knows just why aging makes the clay easier to handle, but 
from ancient times all potters have found it helpful to let 
the "slip" stand for several days. 

The clay is now ready to be shaped. This is the point 
at which in the old days it would have been placed on the 



potter's wheel and molded by the craftsman's sensitive 
fingers as the wheel spun. The modern equivalent of the 
potter's wheel is called the jiggering machine. It is turned 
by an electric motor, controlled by an operator whose 
trained fingers guide the moist clay into a plaster mold. 
He knows to the minute when the clay is in workable 
condition. The work is so fine that an expert craftsman 
can produce only a few pieces each day. 

Not all pieces are formed on the jiggering machine. 
Some intricate shapes are cast in plaster molds. When the 
shapes are complete they are put aside to dry. They are 



34$ STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

then carefully gone over with a camel's hair brush to 
make sure the surface is absolutely smooth. 

When dry and ready for firing, the pieces are gently 
packed in coarse clay containers (called saggers) and car- 
ried to the kiln, which is 14 feet wide and more than 14 
feet high. From time immemorial it has been the custom 
for workmen to carry saggers on their heads. This ancient 
method still prevails in the Lenox pottery. 

One may catch his breath as he watches a workman 
climb the ladder with a load of saggers balanced on top 
of his head. But the artisans say that never has a single 
piece been lost by falling. When the great oven has been 
filled completely, the doors are sealed and the fires started. 
For 30 hours the delicate china is baked. The heat is in- 
creased gradually and carefully until it reaches 2,200 
degrees Fahrenheit. Considering that it takes only 350 
degrees to bake an ordinary cake, this gives an idea of 
the terrific heat used for these delicate vessels. In fact, 
the heat is so intense that if it were not for the steel bands 
with which the kilns are bound they would burst. 

When the pieces are removed from the kiln they are 
carefully examined for any imperfection or warping. 
Imperfect specimens are immediately destroyed. Those 
that pass inspection are subjected to a fine sand blast to 
remove any clinging particles, bubbles or ridges. 

The china next passes into the hands of the glaze dip- 
per, who with remarkable dexterity immerses each piece 
in a glazing solution. It is then fired a second time, to 
fuse the glaze. If the glaze has been applied unevenly the 
whole piece will crack under the heat, which, for this 
operation, must reach a temperature of 2,100 degrees. 

The piece is now ready for decorating with gold and 
colors. This work calls for unusual talent, and is one of 



THE STORY OF LENOX POTTERY 349 

the reasons for the high cost of production at the Lenox 
plant. Of the 325 employees, 39 are skilled craftsmen, 
with salaries as high as $90 a week. 

Thousands of dollars' worth of 24-carat gold is used 
annually for embellishing the ware. No adulterated, so- 
called commercial gold is tolerated. In order to conserve 
every ounce of gold, all wiping cloths and utensils are 
burned to recover any clinging particles. 

Color work is done in several ways. On some pieces the 
artist does the painting freehand, and on others he follows 
an outline design. Sometimes an elaborate design involv- 
ing 14 or 15 colors is transferred and then supplemented 
by hand work. 

At each stage of ornamentation the pieces must be fired 
in the decorating kiln. Color firing and gold firing require 
different degrees of heat, so that one piece may have to go 
into the decorating kiln several times before it is ready 
for final inspection. At every point experts pass upon each 
piece, and sooner or later the tiniest flaw is discovered. 
When a piece falls below standard it is immediately 
destroyed. 

The insistence of Walter Lenox upon attaining nothing 
less than. perfection and the devotion of his helpers have 
been amply justified. Today the lustrous Lenox china is 
in demand all over the world. There are 1,700 pieces in 
the White House dinner service, and sets have been 
ordered for the official banquet services of several other 
countries. 



FROM PHONOGRAPH TO TELEVISION 

The 2Oth century family accepts the victrola and the 
radio as part of the everyday equipment of the home, and 
yet only 60 years ago intelligent, wide awake men and 
women scoffed at the idea of permanently recording 
and reproducing the human voice or any other sound. 

In 1877 Edison applied for a patent for the phono- 
graph, and 10 years later Charles Summer Tainter and 
Alexander Graham Bell invented a new recording method 
and announced another sound-reproducing machine, which 
they christened the graphophone. These first machines 
were grotesque-looking contrivances. The records were 
cylindrical, and the sound was amplified through a large 
megaphone which, following the overornamental style of 
the period, took on fearful and wonderful shapes. The 
sounds were rasping and distorted, but listeners were 
grateful and enthusiastic. 

The first great advance in the phonograph was made 
by Emile Berliner, who had aided Bell in the develop- 
ment of the telephone. Instead of a cylindrical record, 
Berliner used a disc. His instrument, called a gramophone, 
was marketed in 1896 through the Berliner Gramophone 
Company. Competition between the manufacturers of the 
two types of machine opened the field for new develop- 
ments. 

One day in 1895 Berliner brought his instrument to a 
young machinist in a shop back of a carriage facory on 
Front Street, in Camden, New Jersey. The machinist was. 



FROM PHONOGRAPH TO TELEVISION 351 

Eldridge R. Johnson, who had won a reputation as a 
maker of working models for inventors. 

Johnson studied and experimented and finally per- 
fected and patented a silent spring motor which ran with 
uniform speed and so did not distort the sound. This 
motor was so much superior to Berliner's model that 
Johnson received a contract to manufacture it for the 
Gramophone Company. 

Johnson then turned to the improvement of the record 
itself. In 1898, by combining the flat disc with Bell and 
Tainter's method of recording, he turned out a record of 
exceptional merit which reproduced a popular song of the 
day sung by himself, I Guess Pll Have to Telegraph My 
Baby. 

Then began a series of financial troubles. The Berliner 
Gramophone Company was operating at a loss, and John- 
son was left without financial backing. Johnson finally took 
control of the company. He could continue production 
only because the employees in his little shop had faith in 
his invention and in him. Each week they turned back part 
of their wages and accepted in exchange a small interest 
in the business. The stock they bought made them rich. 

Eventually Johnson triumphed over all business rivals, 
and some say that this fact prompted the choice of the 
name "Victor" for his machine and records. In 1901 he 
registered this name in the United States Patent Office, 
and later that year the Victor Talking Machine Company 
was organized. Johnson kept a controlling interest in the 
company, and the bulk of his stockholders were the faith- 
ful employees in his first little machine shop. 

In the autumn of 1901 the Victor talking machine won 
its first gold medal over all competitors at the Pan-Ameri- 
can Exposition at Buffalo, and within a year the company 



352 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

advertised that it had 10,000 dealers. Its business during 
this first year amounted to $2,000,000, and partly respon- 
sible was the support of the general musical firm of 
Lyon & Healy in Chicago. 

A spurt of competitive production by the Columbia 
Gramophone Company, still using the cylinder recording 
principle of Edison and Tainter and Bell, caused the 
Victor Company to devise new methods for increasing 
sales. Johnson first gathered a roster of artists which in- 
cluded the great actress Sarah Bernhardt, Adelina Patti, 
Enrico Caruso and other great opera stars. 

Then the company began research to improve phono- 
graph construction, and out of the experiments came the 
"victrola." The general use of this name, coined by the 
company, testifies to the widespread popularity of the 
product. Up to that time the phonograph's sound delivery 
had been by means of tin or brass horns of all sizes and 
shapes. Johnson turned the horn downward into the cabi- 
net of the machine itself, and the phonograph, for the first 
time, became an ornamental and attractive piece of house- 
hold furniture. The handsomer models, priced at $200, 
had a brisk sale, and the Victor company had the phono- 
graph field virtually to itself. Soon Columbia adopted a 
disc and cabinet machine, and seven years later Edison 
himself discarded his original cylinder for the disc. Fol- 
lowing Johnson's example, he installed the new machine 
in a handsome cabinet. 

Victor's purchase of a half interest in the Gramophone 
Company of London in 1920 opened the world markets 
of Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, in addition to mar- 
kets already controlled in North and South America. It 
was worth the $9,000,000 it cost. 

When in 1924 the interest of the public shifted to radio, 





Courtesy R. C. A. 

"PUTTING IT ON THE WAX" AT OLD RECORDING STUDIO, 

CAM DEN 



Nipper, the little fox terrier -with his ear cocked for "His 
Master's Voice," the trade mark adopted by the Victor 
Company, seemed to be facing a dark future. But a new 
method of electric recording and reproduction developed 
in the research laboratories of the great communication 
companies brightened the outlook. In 1925 Victor began 
the manufacture of another sound-reproducing innovation 
which put the company on a full production schedule 
the orthophonic victrola. Recordings could be made with 
such high fidelity that the great musical artists here and 
abroad flocked to the studios. Shortly afterward the com- 
pany completed negotiations with the Radio Corporation 



354 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

of America for rights to combine the orthophonic victrola 
with the radio. 

In 1929 RCA, which had been a subsidiary of the Gen- 
eral Electric Company, separated from the mother corpo- 
ration and planned to begin production of radios inde- 
pendently. The Victor company was purchased, and the 
plant in Camden was devoted mainly to the manufacture 
of radios. Though the popularity of phonographs dwin- 
dled, research in the reproduction of sound continued 
along with experiments in the field of radio. 

The efficiency of the radio advanced rapidly, and the 
New Jersey company expanded until it was producing 
radio devices for almost every conceivable use. In addi- 
tion to the transmission of sound, radio waves are used 
today in medicine, for industrial safeguards and in various 
other fields. A machine in a factory may be surrounded 
with waves so that if anyone approaches, the machine is 
automatically shut off. 

In Camden, the capital of radio and the phonograph, 
more than 14,000 are employed in the 31 buildings dur- 
ing peak times to turn out the radios, phonographs and 
records that reach all parts of the world. From this same 
plant have come many of the developments that make 
talking pictures a successful reality. When the first sound 
movies appeared, the sound was reproduced from large 
phonograph records, but with this device there was a con- 
stant danger of breakage, and the records could not be 
cut and edited to synchronize with the films. 

Finally a method was developed for converting sound 
into electrical impulses which are then reconverted into 
light waves. The light waves actuate a needle which 
scratches the film beside the pictures of the action. Thus 
a sound picture today is an actual photograph not only of 



Courtesy R. C. A, 

ASSEMBLING THE GRID OF AN ICONOSCOPE (TELEVISION 
TUBE) IN THE R.C.A. RESEARCH LABORATORIES, CAMDEN 



the actors but of their voices, which appear as zigzag lines. 

Recently this technique was improved in the Camden 

laboratories by the use of ultraviolet rays for the beam 

instead of ordinary white light. Because it can be focused 



STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

more sharply, the ultraviolet beam produces a truer, 
clearer picture of the sound. 

With this history of experimental success, it was only 
natural that RCA engineers should conduct one of the 
first successful demonstrations of television out of doors 
in the full brilliance of the midday sun. A special fire 
alarm was sounded, and, as the firemen rushed to the 
scene, the eye of a television camera was poked from a 
window to record the event, while a microphone picked 
up the clang of the bells and the scream of the siren. A 
mile away, across the city, a small group of spectators ob- 
served a greenish-hued picture of the action on a television 
apparatus, 5 by 7 inches. The ultimate home receiver may 
show a pale yellow picture. 

Two new devices developed by Dr. Vladimir K. Zwory- 
kin, ace research man of the RCA laboratories, made this 
demonstration possible. He calls one of them an "icono- 
scope," which is the electric eye of the television camera. 
The other is the "kinescope," the receiving mechanism 
which projects the picture on the television screen. 

Three major problems must be solved before television 
can come into general use. The size of the image trans- 
mitted is still too small for more than a limited gathering; 
the cost is prohibitive, and the television broadcasting 
radius is restricted to 30 miles. But research is yielding 
results, and engineers are rapidly achieving the goal of 
satisfactory reception regularly sustained. 



DELAWARE BAY OYSTERS 

The oyster was a favorite food of the Indians long 
before the coming of the white man. Over the Burlington 
Path and the Minnisink Trail, from the mountains to the 
New Jersey coast, the Indians made annual pilgrimages 
and held great oyster feasts. They, of course, knew noth- 
ing of oyster cultivation, but simply raked the oysters 
from the natural beds with pronged sticks. For the most 
part they ate them raw; but they also dried quantities of 
them for future use. Much of the wampum used for cur- 
rency and decoration was made from the shells of oysters 
and clams. 

The Indians taught the white settlers to appreciate the 
strange-looking bivalves, along with sweet corn, succotash, 
turkey and cranberries. As the years have passed, the State 
has improved the cultivation and marketing of this valu- 
able article of diet, until the oyster industry has reached 
great proportions, representing an investment of $18,500,- 
OOO and a gross annual business of more than $3,500,000. 
In New Jersey, which ranks fourth in the country's oyster 
production, about 2,000 people are employed in the in- 
dustry in a variety of jobs: boatmen, planters, sorters, 
shuckers and packers. 

New Jersey was a pioneer in scientific oyster propaga- 
tion, just as it was in scientific agriculture. Under the di- 
rection of Dr. Julius Nelson of the New Jersey State Agri- 
cultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University, much 
was learned about the habits and peculiarities of this 

357 



STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

humble creature. One phase of the investigation carried 
on by the scientists was protection of the growing oyster 
from contamination. Almost every oyster-producing State, 
through the Federal and State Boards of Health and its 
State Board of Fisheries, has established rules governing 
the planting and dredging of oysters and the packing and 
shipping of them to market. Oysters may be handled only 
by workers who have passed a health examination, and 
they may not be harvested from waters that have been 
polluted. 

In New Jersey, oysters used to be produced mainly 
from Raritan Bay, the Shrewsbury River and Barnegat 
Bay. The first two of these are now impractical for breed- 
ing. Barnegat Bay is still a rich oyster field, but the indus- 
try now centers around Delaware Bay near the outlet of 
the Maurice River at Bivalve, at Port Norris and at sev- 
eral other points in that vicinity. The Maurice River Cove 
has over 31,000 acres of oyster beds, possibly the largest 
single acreage in the world. Owned by the State, the beds 
are under the control of the State Board of Shell Fisheries 
and are leased to operators upon certain conditions. In 
other words, a man may not actually own an oyster bed. 
But he is given the privilege of gathering oysters year 
after year from the same spot as long as he pays his lease 
fee of 50 cents an acre. 

The average plot of ground leased for oystering meas- 
ures from 25 to 30 acres. An operator may obtain several 
leases if grounds are available. He recognizes his own acre- 
age by stakes planted at the corner boundaries. These may 
be marked by a feed bag, a tin can, a splash of paint or 
any other distinguishing mark. All lessees are protected in 
their rights to the stock on their grounds, and this protec- 
tion is enforced by guard boats which are provided, 



DELAWARE BAY OYSTERS 359 

manned and operated by the State. Oystermen must also 
pay a dredging fee for each boat they use. 

From Colonial days until recently the oyster beds in 
Delaware Bay were a battleground for warring oystermen 
from the two states bordering the bay. There were violent 
disputes calling for police interference. But on October 9, 
1933, the U. S. Supreme Court settled the controversy by 
decreeing that the oyster beds of Delaware Bay lying east 
of the main ship channel belonged to the State of New 
Jersey. This decision added $1,250,000 to the value of the 
State's oyster industry, and there has been no trouble since. 

The cultivation and gathering of oysters are rigidly 
controlled by the Board of Shell Fisheries, which employs 
a director who must be an experienced oysterman. Opera- 
tions are conducted very much as in farming. The grounds 
are planted and the crop is harvested j but instead of 
horses and reapers, schooners and dredges are used. The 
insects which are so destructive to plant life have their 
counterparts in undersea pests which molest the oysters. 
Drumfish weighing 40 to 50 pounds crack or crush the 
oystershells with their powerful jaws and eat the meat. 
Starfish have for the most part been eliminated by local 
action, but drills are still the most vicious of the oyster's 
enemies. They are conical-shaped mollusks that drill 
through the shell, discharging a fluid that dissolves the 
oyster. The drill than sucks out the liquefied oyster. 

Recently a successful method of exterminating drills 
has been put into operation by the Works Progress Admin- 
istration. Basketlike traps, made of open mesh wire and 
containing young oysters, are placed on the borders of the 
seedbeds to attract the drills. The numerous traps are 
connected by subordinate ropes to master ropes which are 
kept on the surface by floats. Once a week men visit the 



360 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

baskets, shake off the drills into their skiffs and reset the 
traps for further catches. The drills are taken ashore by 
the millions and destroyed. 

Sometimes storms carry mud or sand over the beds and 
suffocate the oysters. Another enemy of the oyster is pol- 
luted water. Against this nature has provided its own pro- 
tection. Around the oyster is a membrane called a mantle, 
through which all water must pass. This mantle strains 
out any foreign substance and is so sensitive that it detects 
any dangerous matter in the water. Automatically the 
oystershell closes up before too much harmful water has 
entered. When the water is too cold (48 degrees Fahren- 
heit or less) the shell closes and the oyster hibernates, just 
as does a bear or a frog, and remains in this state until the 
water has become warm again. 

The oyster beds of Delaware Bay extend halfway across 
the Bay from Cape May to Oyster Cove, just south of 
Stow Creek in Salem County. Midway between these 
points are the natural or seed grounds provided by nature. 
Here conditions of wind, tide and shore line provide ideal 
conditions for development of the seed oysters. To the 
north and south of these natural grounds are the planted 
grounds where oysters dredged from the natural beds are 
planted. 

Oysters multiply by spawning. During the summer 
months, when the water reaches 70 degrees, female oys- 
ters on the planted grounds eject microscopic eggs by the 
million. The eggs, rising to the surface of the water in a 
cloudy mass, are fertilized by contacting the more abun- 
dant floating sperm of the male oysters. During this free- 
swimming period these potential oysters have the power 
to submerge or raise themselves in the water. In strong 
tides they sink to the bottom, where they remain until the 



DELAWARE BAY OYSTERS 361 

danger of being swept out to sea has passed. Normally 
their drift is toward the natural seed grounds. When, at 
length, shells begin to form, the young oysters or "spats" 
sink permanently and attach themselves to whatever clean 
surface is available. Since the bottom of the bay is either 
sandy or muddy, and the young oyster can only attach 
itself to a clean surface, the State periodically spreads old 
oystershells over the bottom of the natural grounds, and 
to these the tiny organisms cling as they grow. From then 
on they are known as sets. 

The natural or seed grounds, owned and controlled by 
the State, are a common property from which all licensed 
oystermen may gather seed, or sets, for their own licensed 
planting grounds. Each oysterman's license fee depends 
upon the tonnage of his boat, and, in the months of May 
and June only, each man may gather as many seed oysters 
from the natural grounds as his skill permits. During the 
other ten months the natural grounds are left to replenish 
themselves. 

Seeking seed for planting, on May i the fleet of grace- 
ful white-sailed and freshly painted ships sets off for the 
natural seed grounds. From the Maurice River alone 
more than 100 boats leave at one time, necessitating ex- 
pert seamanship to avoid collision. All propeller wheels 
are removed as required by law, for in shallow water a 
propellor would disturb the seed, and waste oils would 
endanger the young oysters. 

At the seed grounds the oystermen cruise around, drag- 
ging dredges hung from both sides of the boats, slowly 
scraping from the bottom the old shells on which the spats 
have grown to the average size of a 25^ piece. As soon as a 
catch has been hauled on deck the crew sets to work cull- 
ing out those shells to which no seed oysters are attached. 




OYSTER FLEET 

Shells without attached seed are shoveled back into the 
water as required by law. State guards keep a sharp eye 
on the oyster boats to see that the unseeded shells are 
thrown back. Even the most hardened oystermen use rub- 
ber ringer stalls in this work to avoid being cut by the 
sharp edges of the shells. 

When he has gathered a load the captain hastens to his 
individual oyster ground to plant the new seed over bot- 
tom that he has dredged clean the previous year. Each 
oysterman divides his plot into sections marked off by 
stakes, each section containing oysters in different stages 
of development from the newly planted spats to mature 
oysters ready for market. 

Harvesting begins in September. On the planted 
grounds the scene is not so picturesque as at the natural 
beds. The white sails and sometimes the masts as well 
have been removed, and powerful motors propel the 
schooners and work the winches. The captain, usually the 
owner, stands in the stern, handling the wheel and the 



DELAWARE BAY OYSTERS 363 

ropes that apply the power to lower and raise the two 
dredges amidship. The deck crew of four or five men, 
often relatives of the owner, stand by to handle the 
dredges after the winches have drawn them to deck level. 

These dredges are large, heavy bags made of iron rings. 
Holding open the mouth of each dredge is an iron frame 
edged with teeth on the under side. When the engine has 
lowered the dredges to the bottom they trail behind the 
schooner, like hand rakes on a lawn, gathering in oysters. 
When the dredges are raised to the rail the members of 
the crew hook the teeth of the dredges to a deck bar. The 
frames of the dredges now being locked in position, the 
oystermen seize the lower ends of the iron-mesh bags and, 
upending them, spill the contents on the deck. The dredges 
are then lowered again and the process is repeated. Ver- 
tical and horizontal rollers on the sides of the boats keep 
the dredges and chains from cutting into woodwork. 
When the ship is finally loaded, it turns either to the 
storage floats, to the wharves where the oysters are sorted 
for market, or to the shucking house. Then it chugs out 
for another load. 

At the shucking houses the oysters are removed from 
the shells. The people who do this work are called shuck- 
ers, and they become so expert that they can open oysters 
as fast as a hungry oyster-eater can devour them. The 
shuckers grade oysters according to sizes, small, medium 
or very large. Opened oysters are placed in cans which 
are packed in cracked ice to be sent long distances. 

Shellpile, opposite Port Norris on Maurice River, 
where oysters are shucked and shipped, derives its name 
from the immense piles of shells that accumulate in the 
process of shucking. The empty shells find a ready mar- 
ket. Some are converted into agricultural lime for fer- 



364 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

tilizer, some are rough-ground for use on poultry farms 
to provide a stronger growth of eggshell, and the rest are 
purchased by the State to spread on the natural seed 
grounds. 

Recently there has been established at Port Norris a 
packing plant where oysters are vacuum packed in eight- 
ounce enamel-lined tins. Oysters are edible at any time, 
even in the R-less months j but since May to August is 
the spawning season, they are not dredged for market so 
as to enable the stock to multiply. 

The possibility of finding a pearl in a New Jersey oyster 
is very remote. Certain chemicals and warm water are 
needed to create pearls. Therefore the waters of the 
Pacific and Indian Oceans are more friendly to the devel- 
opment of these valuable gems. 

Oystermen in Delaware Bay are the stalwart, supple, 
weather-bronzed descendants of the pioneer Swedes and 
English who settled the Delaware Basin and began the 
oyster industry. While ashore in the idle months they 
apply themselves to fixing up their boats and houses. 
Being skillful seamen, they are in demand for taking out 
summer fishing parties. From a curious stranger they may 
withdraw into silence, but to overtures of friendly interest 
they respond with cordiality. Theirs is a simple, closely 
knit community life. They like their work and encourage 
their children to follow them in it. 




OYSTER 

"SETS" 



^^ 



THE AGE OF PLASTICS 

Webster's dictionary defines plastic as "capable of being 
molded or modeled." Quite recently the term plastics 
has been adopted to cover a great new industry that is 
fast entering every corner of modern life, from kitchen 
to office, from factory to palace. 

Celluloid, Bakelite, Pyralin, Catalin, Lucite, Plastacele 
and many other substances belonging to this vast group of 
new products have become indispensable to 2Oth century 
civilization. In the interiors of buildings and ships plas- 
tics have replaced iron and wood. In homes they insulate 
electric appliances and supply heatproof handles for pots 
and kettles. Combs and buttons are made of plastic; father 
smokes a pipe with a plastic mouthpiece, and uses a plastic 
ashtray when mother watches him; and the windows in 
the car are safe only because a thin sheet of a cellulose 
plastic cemented between two sheets of glass makes them 
shatterproof. In fact, a list of all the products made of 
plastic material would make a sizable book. 

Since 1873, when the Celluloid Manufacturing Com- 
pany moved to Newark from Albany, New Jersey has 
been active in the production of plastics. In 1936 the value 
of plastics produced in New Jersey was $15,000,000, about 
one-third of the output of the entire Nation. Large pro- 
ducers that have followed the lead of the Celluloid Cor- 
poration in manufacturing various types of plastics are the 
Du Pont Company in Arlington, the Luzerne Rubber 
Company at Trenton, the Naugatuck Chemical Division 

365 



366 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

of the United States Rubber Company, Passaic, the Rich- 
ardson Company, New Brunswick, and the Bakelite Cor- 
poration, which in 1910 set up a factory at Perth Amboy 
and now has two large plants, one in Bound Brook and 
another in Bloomfield. 

Civilization has progressed as man has learned to adapt 
to his needs materials of the three natural kingdoms: ani- 
mal, vegetable and mineral. Down through the centuries 
he learned to till the fields, domesticate animals, utilize 
metals, the power of the wind and the water. More re- 
cently, in the I9th century, man's ingenuity enabled him 
to turn the wheels of great engines by harnessing steam, 
electricity, oil and gas. 

All this had been done with the materials supplied by 
nature. The metals came from the earth. Water was a gift. 
Fire burned only because of oxygen in the air. 

In the middle of the igth century, however, there de- 
veloped a shortage of certain natural products. There was 
not enough amber for combs and ornaments, bone for but- 
tons, ivory for piano keys and billiard balls, to supply the 
increasing demand. Scientists and chemists began to look 
for substitutes. Here, indeed, was a new kingdom to be 
conquered. In this, which is coming to be called the fourth 
kingdom, men were seeking by formulas and scientific ex- 
periment to supplement the materials made in nature's 
laboratory. 

To spur research a $10,000 prize was offered about 
1860 for an ivory substitute in the making of billiard balls. 
John Wesley Hyatt, born in Starkey, New York, Novem- 
ber 28, 1837, was working as a journeyman printer in 
Albany when he decided to try to produce the much- 
needed material and win the prize. He had little knowl- 
edge of chemistry, but he started conducting his experi- 



THE AGE OF PLASTICS 367 

ments in his spare time, at night and on Sundays. 
Although he discovered several compositions, none was 
good enough to replace ivory billiard balls. 

With the help of his two brothers Hyatt set up a fac- 
tory to make checkers and dominoes out of pressed wood. 
Meanwhile he continued his search for an ivory substi- 
tute. Finally, about 1868, he mixed flakes of paper, shellac 
and collodion (a cottonlike substance mixed with alcohol 
and ether). Together these materials hardened into a new 
product. Billiard balls made from it sold by the thousands. 

Inspired by success, Hyatt continued his experiments. 
He treated ordinary cotton with acids to form what is 
called cellulose nitrate or pyroxylin, added camphor and 
produced a plastic that would take any shape and harden 
quickly. It was a new product and must, therefore, have a 
new name. Hyatt's brother, Isaiah, an editor, chose "cellu- 
loid," a combination of the word "cellulose" and "oid" 
(from the Greek word meaning like). 

Dentists were the first to make use of this new product 
to replace the dental plates of hard rubber then in use. 
The Hyatt brothers organized the Albany Dental Plate 
Company and prospered. 

In 1871 they established the Celluloid Manufacturing 
Company and began making knife handles, piano keys, 
brushes and novelties. Two years later the factory was 
moved to Newark. Celluloid entered the political picture 
in 1872 when the first campaign buttons of that material 
were used in the contest between Grant and Greeley. 
Toward the end of the century, collars made of celluloid, 
which could be kept eternally fresh with a damp cloth, 
were a popular innovation. 

The successful development of celluloid accelerated 
plastic research throughout the world. In Newark the 



368 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

Reverend Hannibal Goodwin was handicapped by the 
continual breaking of the glass stereopticon plates he used 
to illustrate his Sunday School lectures. The minister saw 
that the celluloid developed by the Hyatt brothers might 
be used to replace the glass plates which were so easily 
broken. His problem was to make celluloid as clear as 
glass. 

In his parsonage attic Goodwin went to work. Occasion- 
ally his wife and family downstairs were disturbed by ex- 
plosions. The walls of the old house, still standing on 
Broad Street, bear the stains and scars of the experiments j 
but by 1887 ne h a d succeeded in making and patenting a 
transparent film that was flexible enough to be wound on 
spools. This was the beginning of the motion picture. 

In Germany, too, the search for newer and better plas- 
tics was continuing. In 1890 Dr. Adolph Spitteler, a Ham- 
burg teacher, tried to make a white writing board as a 
substitute for the blackboard. He was experimenting with 
various chemicals with poor results, when one day he 
mixed ordinary sour milk with formaldehyde, a colorless 
gas. The result was a hard shiny substance that resembled 
the cow's horn rather than its milk. This material, 
known as casein plastic, is made into buckles, buttons and 
novelties. 

About this time a new adventurer, Dr. Leo Baekeland, 
a Belgian chemist, entered the field. He had just perfected 
and sold to the Eastman Kodak Company his patent for 
Velox photographic printing paper and was looking for 
new fields of endeavor. He decided that if he could find 
a substitute for expensive shellac used in varnishes and 
insulating materials he would have answered a problem 
that had been facing chemists for years. Dr. Baekeland's 



NT GEARS 
PLASTIC 




first work was to check the attempts of his colleagues to 
find out where they had failed. 

He proceeded slowly and carefully, observing the reac- 
tions between various materials he was using. As he 
watched the changes taking place in the test tubes and 
retorts, he saw a promise of an entirely new material 
something far beyond a substitute for natural resins. 

In 1907 he was successful in obtaining a hard substance 
by combining phenol and formaldehyde. This new mate- 
rial had many of the properties of amber, but it was much 
stronger and harder, and it was almost impervious to heat. 
Once it had taken form under terrific heat, nothing could 
melt it. The new substance was called Bakelite resinoid 
after its inventor. 

At the time of its invention, Dr. Baekeland estimated 




WATERPROOFING WITH 
RESENOID 



Courtesy Bakelite Corp'n. 

that this new product could be used in 43 industries. 
Today Bakelite is used in hundreds of different ways. 
Bakelite was first introduced to industry when the Boon- 
ton Rubber Company, Boonton, New Jersey, molded it 
for use as insulating material at the request of an elec- 
trical company. 

Generally speaking, there are two forms of plastics in 
use today: thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics. 
Thermoplastics, to which group celluloid belongs, may be 
softened and remolded after they are formed j but the 
thermosetting plastics can never be recast or remolded. 
Bakelite is a member of the thermosetting plastic family. 

Modern plastics, made from a soft mass, are cast and 
molded into various shapes. In the production of molded 
materials the liquid resinoid is allowed to harden. Then 
it is pulverized and mixed with a filler such as wood, 



Courtesy Du Pont & Co. 



LUCITE 



flour or asbestos. Under heat and pressure the substance 
becomes soft enough to be formed by dies into any desired 
shape. After it is shaped in this manner it is again allowed 
to harden. Molded Bakelite is a plastic of this kind. 



37 2 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

Plastics for casting are poured while in a liquid state 
into forms where they harden. The product is furnished 
to the trade in sheets, rods and tubes which are cut as if 
they were wood or steel. Decorative and colorful plastics 
are made by the casting process. 

When plastics enter into the construction of laminated 
sheets for use in radio cabinets, wallboards, electrical in- 
strument panels, gear wheels and kindred products, a 
slightly different process is used. Instead of forming 
sheets of the plastic by molding or stamping, the resinoid 
is made in the form of a varnish. Into this liquid is dipped 
either paper or cloth. When many coats have been applied 
and dried, the stiffened cloth or paper is cut to the re- 
quired size, and placed in layers one on top of the other. 
These are pressed together under terrific pressure and 
heat, and the whole mass solidifies into one sheet. This is 
called a laminated plastic because it is built of layers. It 
is much tougher than a plain plastic sheet would be, 
because the cloth or paper acts as a reinforcement. 

Strangely enough, the plastic industry got its greatest 
stimulus during the business depression. Manufacturers 
everywhere were losing money and needed new products 
to stimulate sales. Newer, more durable and more beau- 
tiful plastics made their appearance in almost every con- 
ceivable shape. The "gadget" industry called on the 
plastic chemists to find new materials for ashtrays, ciga- 
rette holders, automobile accessories, ornamental jewelry, 
scuffless heels and countless other small items that are 
bought in great quantities. 

Industries that had existed for years without using plas- 
tics began to employ them in an effort to brighten their 
wares. A large manufacturer of grocery scales found that 
his salesmen had to be brawny as well as brainy to demon- 
strate their ware. Some of the counter scales weighed as 



THE AGE OF PLASTICS 373 

much as 165 pounds. A new plastic called Plaskon, one of 
the ureaformaldehyde resins, was invented to take the 
place of metal. Besides cutting the weight of the scales 
from 165 pounds to 55 pounds, Plaskon, which is made 
in bright colors, has been extended to include poker chips, 
buttons, boxes, radio cabinets and frames. 

Other recent plastic products are: Catalin, a phenol- 
formaldehyde resin made in many colors for buckles, 
beads, chessmen, etc.; Lumarith, a cellulose acetate used 
in making noninflammable motion picture film; and 
Lucite, a methyl methacrylate plastic recently perfected 
by the E. I. Du Pont de Nemours Company which is 
carrying the industry into still another field. 

This highly transparent and nonshattering plastic is so 
strong that it can be readily carved for ornamental use. 
Because it retains transparency and can be more accurately 
molded than glass, Lucite has been introduced in reflectors 
for highway lighting. Placed at regular intervals on either 
side of the road, these reflectors pick up the light from 
oncoming automobiles and illuminate the roadway so 
effectively that much of the glare from headlights is 
eliminated. This is a long step toward overcoming the 
dangers of night driving. 

In Washington, the new Library of Congress contains 
$100,000 worth of Bakelite laminated plastics, used both 
for decoration and utility. A comparable sum was spent 
on plastics for the de luxe staterooms on the new British 
liner Queen Mary. 

The work of improving and inventing plastics goes on. 
The field is almost unlimited. Even the inventors cannot 
foresee all of the new uses to be found for their products. 
It is possible that plastic houses will be built before many 
years; or that some article, hitherto undreamed of, will be 
placed on the market and revolutionize modern life. 



CEDAR MINING IN NEW JERSEY'S 

SUNKEN FOREST 

Mining and lumbering, two industries that seem to 
bear little relation to one another, have been combined 
uniquely in the swamplands of southern New Jersey in 
a district that looks as if it would yield nothing but mud 
and mosquitoes. A century or more ago a sunken forest 
of white cedar was discovered in the Great Cedar Swamp 
which stretches for seven miles across the neck of Cape 
May peninsula, following the shores of Dennis Creek and 
Cedar Creek, that drain the swamp's overflow. 

Early settlers of the region dug into the thick muck of 
the swamp and brought up great trees that had lain for 
centuries covered more and more by the accumulation of 
swamp ooze. From these they cut logs and shingles for 
their homes. 

Cedar mining was an important industry in South Jer- 
sey until about 50 years ago. Then, as cheaper lumber 
was brought in from the northwest, the industry fell into 
a decline. Recently a small company of men engaged in 
removing peat for fertilizer from the swamplands near 
Haleyville in Cumberland County discovered another 
sunken forest. Logs buried from 4 to 20 feet deep are 
now being mined and sent to the sawmill at Dennisville 
to be made into planks. Cedar is valuable for use as shin- 
gles, siding for boats, and for other purposes where it will 
be called on to resist water. 

It is this quality of resistance to dampness that has pre- 
374 






Courtesy Wide World Photos 

SEARCHING FOR CEDAR LOGS 

served the buried cedar logs. Lumber cut from them is as 
usable as that made from living cedar and gives off the 
same fragrance as if it had been cut yesterday in the green 
forests. 

It is not uncommon to find buried cedar logs in swampy 
places throughout the United States - y but there are few 
places where men have troubled to dig for the hidden 
treasure. No one can estimate how long these logs have 
lain in their mucky bed. The count of the annual ring 
growths on one of the logs recently mined showed that 
the tree was 500 years old when it fell. There is a tradi- 
tion of a log found a century ago with more than 1,000 
rings. 

The submergence of these cedar trees is explained in 
several ways none of which has been proved conclu- 
sively. One school of thought has it that the land on 
which the trees stood sank gradually. As water began to 
stand around the trees the earth softened, the trees lost 
their hold, and overturned. The land continued to sink 
and eventually the growth was entirely buried beneath 
the silt. Another theory maintains that a great hurricane 
once leveled the entire forest of about 12 square miles. 



376 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

The felled giants then slowly sank beneath the ooze. 
Among the many legends of South Jersey is one that 
attributes the submergence of the cedar forest to the flood 
that prompted the building of Noah's Ark. 

The surface of the swamp is largely covered with brush 
and a few stunted trees surrounded by pools of water. 
There are higher spots, however, where the ground is dry 
and where farming has been made possible by the use of 
dykes that keep out floods. 

That South Jersey land is sinking has been well known 
for a century or more. Commodore Stephen Decatur when 
a guest at Cape May Point measured the loss each year 
from 1804 to 1820 and found that the coast had receded 
about 1 60 feet in that time. The State geologist 70 years 
ago reported the sea still advancing. The silt that has 
buried the trees has also filled some of the streams. There 
are records and pictures of large ships built along Dennis 
Creek where only motorboats now run. There are great 
areas of salt marsh on the coast of Delaware Bay once 
said to have been farm land. 

When the first white settlers came to southern New 
Jersey they found themselves much hampered in their 
explorations of the interior by the Great Swamp, which 
prevented their building roads across the land, and they 
had to use boats to travel. It is not certain how or when 
they discoverd the sunken forest, but it probably was very 
early in the State's history. There is a cabin made of hand- 
hewn cedar timber on the grounds of the Hancock House, 
at Hancock's Bridge near Salem, that is said to have been 
built by the Swedes more than 200 years ago with cedar 
mined from the swamps of New Jersey. In 1740, when 
Independence Hall needed a roof, hand-split shingles 
from the Great Cedar Swamp's logs were used, and about 



CEDAR MINING IN JERSEY'S SUNKEN FOREST 377 

30 years ago the Hall was reshingled with Cape May 
cedar. 

For many years there has been at Dennisville a saw- 
mill that cuts the logs into planks and shingles. Captain 
Ogden Gandy, now 90 years old, runs the sawmill. He 
remembers the days when ships of 200 to i,OOO tons were 
built along Dennis Creek. At that time most of the men 
in this neighborhood were seafarers. Between voyages 
young Gandy used to mine the cedar logs and help to 
cut them into boards and shingles. 

It is said by some people that shingles made from these 
cedar logs will last for 100 years, although Mr. Gandy 
does not claim a longer life for them than 60 or 65 years. 
One of the customers of the Dennisville sawmill was a 
water tank builder. One day he told Mr. Gandy that he 
would buy no more of his material, because it was too 
good. "Tanks built of your cedar last a lifetime," he said, 
"and I never get repeat orders. I can build a tank of soft 
Southern pine and in a few years my customer will need 
another tank." The tank builder never bought another 
foot of cedar. 

The cedar wood is used in boatbuilding, although it is 
not tough enough for the hulls of large ships. It is used 
for the center boards of boats and for parts of motorboats 
and other small craft. 

The men who go out into the swamps to mine the sub- 
merged cedar are called "swampers." Armed with progues, 
which are iron rods about 1 2 feet long, pointed at one end 
with a ring or loop at the other, the swampers poke 
around in the deep muck until one of them strikes a sound 
log. With his progue the swamper finds out just how the 
log lies; then he and his helpers shovel off the muck until 
the log is in view. 




Courtesy Wide World Photos 

LONG CEDAR PLANKS CUT FOR BOAT BUILDING 



With log saws, very much like those used to cut ice 
from lakes and rivers, the logs are cut into six-foot lengths. 
While the men are cutting the logs the water flows into 
the hole made by taking off the muck. In many instances 
the water will be deep enough to allow the sawed-off sec- 
tion to float to the surface. This, of course, is a help to 
the swamper, for then all he has to do is attach a rope to 
the section, place a couple of skids under it, and haul it 
to solid footing. 

When the logs do not float to the surface the swampers 
are obliged to fasten a rope or chain around the section, 
pull it to the surface, and then lift it with skids and man 
power. 

In the last few years a tractor, or perhaps an old auto- 
mobile engine, or, if conditions permit, a truck has been 
used to haul the logs out after they are cut. The logs are 
dragged to a point where the ground is solid enough to 



CEDAR MINING IN JERSEY^ SUNKEN FOREST 379 

enable them to be loaded on trucks and hauled to the 
sawmill. 

They have to lie in the sun for some time to dry out. 
Then the outside slabs are cut off, either thick or thin, 
according to the quality of the log. The balance of the log 
is cut into strips for the manufacture of shingles. Some of 
the board lengths are kept for use in boatbuilding. 

Because of the inaccessibility of the swamplands and the 
difficulty and expense of extracting the logs from their 
ancient burial place, it is not likely that cedar mining will 
ever be a major industry. But those who have made use 
of this prehistoric cedar value it for its lasting quality. 



TRANSPORTATION 



JOHN FITCH AND HIS STEAMBOAT 

Whistles from tugboats, ferries and factories salute the 
arrival of every new transatlantic liner on her maiden 
voyage to New York Harbor. Streams of water are 
sprayed from a municipal fireboat, planes wheel overhead 
with newsreel cameramen, excursion boats and small craft 
of every kind cluster about the giant vessel, while trim 
gray patrol boats of the Coast Guard regulate the harbor 
traffic. From the skyscrapers of Manhattan and from the 
shores of Brooklyn and Staten Island thousands of people 
watch the new liner as she noses her way up the channel, 
past the Statue of Liberty and into a berth on the Hudson 
River. 

There were no whistles, planes or skyscrapers on an 
August day in 1807 when an awkward little boat with a 
tall smokestack churned steadily up the river toward 
Albany at the then amazing speed of four miles an hour. 
No photographers recorded the scene, but there were thou- 
sands of watchers on both shores of the river to shout and 
cheer with a fervor that is unknown to the placid throngs 
who turn out these days to see a new ship come in. 

The little steamboat, the Clermont y built by Robert 
Fulton, was hailed as one of the wonders of the world. 
Back of the demonstration that brought permanent fame 
to Fulton was the story of another man's struggle, dis- 
couragement and tragic death ; a story that has been almost 
lost in the crowded record of America's progress. 

Nine years before the triumphal voyage of the Cler- 

383 



384 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

mont y Colonel John Stevens, at his home in Hoboken, 
New Jersey (now the site of Stevens' Institute of Tech- 
nology), had perfected a steamboat which he tried out on 
a run from Belleville to New York. This boat he called 
the Little Juliana. In 1807 he applied for a lease to oper- 
ate his second boat, the Phoenix, as a steam ferry between 
Hoboken and New York. This was the first steam ferry 
in the world, but it had a short career, for Robert Fulton 
had obtained from New York a monopoly to operate boats 
on the Hudson, and Stevens was ordered to take his boat 
out of service. 

Nothing daunted, the Phoenix steamed jauntily down 
the bay to the open sea and headed for the Delaware 
River, thus making a record as the first ocean-going steam 
vessel. 

But 20 years before the sensational voyage of the Cler- 
mont, another boat on another river had dazzled the im- 
agination of a group of prominent American citizens, 
members of the convention gathered in Philadelphia to 
frame a Federal Constitution. This was the first boat in 
America to be propelled by steam for any distance, the 
invention of John Fitch, an obscure clockmaker and silver- 
smith, born in Connecticut in 1743. 

At the outbreak of the Revolution Fitch had been made 
a lieutenant in the Colonial Army. It soon became ap- 
parent that he would be of more service to the cause as 
a gunsmith and armorer, and Washington ordered him to 
Trenton. He worked long hours on weekdays and even 
Sundays in his gun shop, making arms for the fighting 
men. His few spare moments were devoted to study. 
Books were rare in those days, but Fitch read every one 
he could find. When the British entered Trenton in 1776, 
Fitch fled with what belongings he could gather to Bucks 



JOHN FITCH AND HIS STEAMBOAT 385 

County, Pennsylvania, where he buried part of his little 
hoard of savings. The English had heard of his activities 
as a gunsmith and destroyed his little shop on King Street. 

At the close of the Revolution Fitch sought an appoint- 
ment as a surveyor in the western country soon to be 
opened up to settlers. He had traveled as far west as Ken- 
tucky. There he had invested some of his savings in land. 

Soon after this fresh start he had been captured by sav- 
ages while on a voyage down the Ohio and had been 
marched by them through the wilderness as far west as 
Detroit. From his experience with the Indians he retained 
a vision of the vast opportunities that were offered in the 
unexplored country j great rivers, and miles of woodland 
ready for the hand of the enterprising white man. So far 
the only means of reaching this new treasure-land was by 
horse- or mule-drawn wagons, or hand-propelled boats. 

One day after his return to Pennsylvania, Fitch was 
walking along the street in Neshaminy. His progress 
somewhat slowed by rheumatism contracted during his 
wilderness journeys, he looked rather enviously at a dash- 
ing horse-drawn carriage that sped by him. Speed that 
was what was wanted in this new country and power that 
would draw heavy loads. 

He had read of the Englishman, James Watt, who had 
discovered the power of steam. To Fitch and others the 
idea had occurred that steam might be used to propel 
wagons. Although he had never seen a drawing of a steam 
engine, he began to design an engine for wagons. After 
working with the idea enthusiastically for a week, he de- 
cided it would be impractical to operate a heavy vehicle 
over the rough roads. 

But he did think that a steam engine might move a boat 
against tide and wind and at greater speed than was pos- 



386 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

sible with sail or oars. Afire with his new idea, he set to 
work on drawings for a boat with an engine. Three weeks 
later he took his drawings to a friend, the Reverend 
Nathaniel Irwin, who was much interested in the young 
inventor's idea. The minister took from his shelves a book 
with a description and drawing of a stationary steam en- 
gine. This was the first that Fitch knew of an engine in 
operation, although one had been used for pumping at the 
copper mine in Arlington, New Jersey, since 1753. News 
traveled slowly in those days, but ideas for inventions 
were developed in all parts of the civilized world among 
people who had no communication with one another 
ideas born of the necessity for improving man's mode 
of life. 

When Fitch saw that a practical use had been found for 
steam, he set to work with renewed enthusiasm to carry 
out his plan. Like all inventors and men of genius who 
can see into the future beyond the actual accomplishment 
of their own hands and brain, Fitch visioned steamboats 
traveling up and down the rivers of the new country, 
carrying food and clothing to the new settlers in the wil- 
derness, bringing back wood, furs and other products to 




JOHN FITCH'S STEAMBOAT OF 1786, 1787 



JOHN FITCH AND HIS STEAMBOAT 387 

the cities on the coast. He gathered all available literature 
on the steam engine and saturated his mind with it. His 
first model, built of brass, had wooden side paddle wheels j 
but he later abandoned these in favor of a row of oars or 
paddles suspended from a frame. 

Fitch Seeks Aid 

He traveled to Mount Vernon to see General Washing- 
ton to enlist his interest in presenting his idea to Congress 
not only to protect his patent rights but to secure finan- 
cial aid. He interviewed the members of the legislatures 
of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and New 
Jersey. The last-named State was the first to grant him 
exclusive rights to construct and operate steamboats on the 
rivers and streams under its jurisdiction. This was in 
March 1786. The other states followed New Jersey's 
example shortly, but Congress still withheld its support. 

From Virginia came a rival claim, made by a young 
man named James Rumsey, who said that he had in- 
vented a steamboat. Fitch refuted his claim by proving 
that the boat was propelled only by a stream of water 
sucked in at the bow and forced out at the stern by a 
steam engine. Rumsey's boat, moreover, moved at only 
two miles an hour and never traveled more than 400 
yards. 

But Fitch needed more than legal rights to carry out his 
plan successfully. Money was necessary to build models, 
and money was one thing that John Fitch did not have. 
He has come down in history as "Poor John Fitch." 
Although the "poor" probably refers to the unjust treat- 
ment he received and the chain of unfortunate circum- 
stances that thwarted his ambition, it is probably true that, 
if John Fitch had been able to command enough money 



388 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

to work out his experiments, his sad story would have had 
a very different ending. 

He tried to enlist the support of the American Philo- 
sophical Society of Philadelphia, of which Benjamin 
Franklin was president. But Franklin, whose many inven- 
tions were already being widely used in America and 
Europe, was merely amused at Fitch's efforts. Having 
seen the plans and the first working model, Franklin re- 
marked: "The amount of room taken up in the hull by 
the engine and fuel and the excessive cost of upkeep 
makes this type of navigation unfeasible. I do not believe 
it will ever prove practical." 

Fitch's enthusiasm and many letters of appeal gained 
him enough backing to organize "The Steam Boat Com- 
pany," as fantastic a title in those days as would be "The 
Mars Transportation Company" today. When the com- 
pany had accumulated $300 in subscriptions the intrepid 
inventor started to work to build his boat. He had man- 
aged to secure the aid of a young watchmaker named 
Henry Voigt. Together they labored hours over models 
and plans until on July 27, 1786, they announced that 
they were ready to demonstrate the successful operation 
of a boat by steam. 

The boat was about 45 feet long, with a row of pad- 
dles on either side attached to an endless chain. Not much 
larger than a fisherman's dory, most of the space in the 
hull was taken up by the bulky engine, and what little 
room remained was occupied by the piles of wood required 
for fuel. 

The noise and confusion caused by the crude engine 
scared many of the onlookers, who expected it to explode 
at any minute. Not a few of the crowd moved away before 
the tiny vessel had a fair trial. One person, however, had 



JOHN FITCH AND HIS STEAMBOAT 389 

faith in the future of Fitch's ideas. He was the Spanish 
Ambassador to this country, who wanted the rights to the 
invention for his own country. Fitch refused his offers of 
financial aid, preferring to keep his invention for the 
improvement of America's commerce. 

The Steamboat Runs 

The inventor returned to his workshop, determined to 
improve on his first attempt. On August 22, 1787, with 
all members of the Constitutional Convention except Gen- 
eral Washington present, John Fitch's second steamboat, 
its engine chugging steadily, moved sedately up the Dela- 
ware River against the tide, its paddles swinging rhythmi- 
cally on either side. Despite the success of the demonstra- 
tion, people could not see that steam would ever operate 
a boat as quickly or cheaply as sails or oars. Moreover, 




JOHN FITCH'S STEAMBOAT 1788, 1789, .1790 



39 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

they looked askance at the snorting little demon that fur- 
nished the uncanny power, and expected the whole con- 
traption to blow up. 

There were, however, a number of people, inspired by 
Fitch's enthusiasm, willing to finance further experiments 
in overcoming defects in the engine. Once more the in- 
ventor and his mechanic went to work. By July 1788 they 
were ready to launch another boat on the Delaware. The 
new model had a row of paddles, shaped somewhat like 
snow shovels, at the stern. The whole countryside turned 
out for the exhibition. Both shores of the river were lined 
with cheering spectators as the little craft plowed against 
the current up to Bordentown, making eight miles an 
hour. 

Just before reaching the dock the boiler sprang a leak 
so that the engine would not work. They had to cast 
anchor and wait for the next tide to float them ashore. 
Nevertheless, John Fitch's boat had done what had never 
been done in the world before. It had been impelled for 
twenty miles by steam against the tide. This little accident 
was of the sort that turns enthusiasts into scoffers. But to 
a man like John Fitch, who had faith in his ideas and 
determination to succeed, it acted only as an incentive. 

Fitch and Voigt returned to their workshop and by 
October had completely redeemed themselves. Two suc- 
cessful trips with boatloads of passengers were made to 
Burlington in 190 minutes. 

Fitch's crowning achievement was his commercial steam- 
boat of 1790. All that summer the boat carried passen- 
gers and freight to and from various points along the 
Delaware and Schuylkill. It was operated on a schedule, 
just as are the steamboats of today. But it was not a finan- 
cial success. The public did not patronize it, for they saw 



JOHN FITCH AND HIS STEAMBOAT 391 

no practical use for steamboats. Time meant very little in 
those easy-going days, and it was hard to convince them 
that coal and wood would ever be more effective than 
wind. 

Fitch was eager to present the Nation with his precious 
gift. He was sure that steam navigation would play a great 
part in the opening up of the west by conquering the 
waters of the mighty Mississippi ; but his pleadings fell 
upon deaf ears, and he was consistently ignored by the 
Federal Government. 

Money for further experiments was hard to find. One 
boat, built for use on the Ohio River, ran aground in a 
storm and was wrecked. There were constant accidents 
that discouraged his backers, while powerful friends of 
Rumsey did all they could to balk his efforts. 

Fitch Goes to Europe 

The various uses to which the new steam power could 
be put was a subject that was occupying the attention of 
inventors and scientists the w6rld over. Considerable ex- 
perimentation was going on in England, France, Holland 
and other European countries at this time. Discouraged 
by the attitude of his fellow countrymen and anxious to 
see what could be gained by further investigation, Fitch 
managed to secure the aid of a few faithful friends to 
finance a trip abroad. 

With the idea of exploiting his plans in some of the 
continental countries, he took into his confidence Aaron 
Vail, the U. S. consul at POrient, France. Unfortunately, 
Fitch had chosen an inopportune time to promote his idea 
in France. This was the year 1793, and the turmoil of 
the French Revolution put an end to his plans. Leaving 
his drawings and specifications with Vail in France, Fitch 



392 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

traveled to England. Perhaps another reason for his fail- 
ure to get a hearing was that among the number of people 
in Europe at the time studying the problem of steam 
navigation was Robert Fulton. Fulton had what Fitch 
had not a rich, enthusiastic, liberal and influential patron, 
Chancellor Robert Livingston of New York. He also had 
at his disposal the very best machinery that could be made 
in Europe, whereas Fitch had made his own with the 
help of an ordinary blacksmith. There seems little doubt 
that Fulton had access to Fitch's drawings while they 
were in the hands of Aaron Vail, for when the Clermont 
sailed up the Hudson in 1807 ner engine was designed 
from plans that had originated and been patiently worked 
out by the obscure and forgotten genius. 

In the depths of his discouragement, two years before, 
Fitch had said one day, when he was 48 years old, "The 
day will come when some more powerful man will get 
fame and riches from my invention; but nobody will be- 
lieve that poor John Fitch can do anything worthy of 
attention." 

Return to America 

Wearied and discouraged, and completely out of money, 
Fitch shipped for home as a common sailor. For a while 
he wandered about Philadelphia, trying desperately to 
gain the backing he so badly needed. Frantic at the blind- 
ness of Congress, utterly powerless to obtain recognition 
that was justly his, hungry and poorly clad and half- 
demented from discouragement, he turned his back on 
the scene of his disappointment and proceeded to his 
land in Kentucky. He found it occupied by squatters whom 
he had to eject. 

He tried to gain the support of his Congressman from 



JOHN FITCH AND HIS STEAMBOAT 393 

Kentucky, but met with the usual rebuff. Heartbroken, 
penniless and tired of the long struggle, Fitch committed 
suicide during the spring of 1798. He was buried in a 
pauper's grave in the churchyard at Bardstown, Kentucky. 

His death went unnoticed, and by the time Fulton 
launched his Clermont in 1807 Fitch was no longer even 
a memory. The success of Fulton's vessel struck the world 
like a bombshell, and credit for the invention of the 
steamboat went to Fulton on a sweeping tide of public 
admiration. 

In 1887, exactly 100 years after Fitch's first steamboat 
was launched on the Delaware River, the Legislature 
of Connecticut, the State in which he was born, placed a 
bronze tablet to his memory on the east wall of the State 
Capitol. The memorial reads: "First in world's history 
to invent and apply steam propulsion of vessels through 
water." The tablet was dedicated with appropriate cere- 
monies. 

The citizens of Kentucky, Fitch's adopted State, were 
spurred into action as a result of the Connecticut memorial. 
The inventor's body was removed from its obscure burial 
place to the Bardstown Public Square. A fund of $15,000 
was obtained from Congress to erect a suitable memorial 
to Fitch's memory, and the body of the illustrious pioneer 
in steam navigation was placed in a sarcophagus. 

At Trenton, along the banks of the Delaware on John 
Fitch Way, a memorial boulder, placed in 1921, honors 
the man whose crude engine was the first to disturb the 
placid waters of the river. 



THE FIRST RAILROAD IN NEW JERSEY 

James Watt, a studious lad, seated in his mother's 
kitchen in Greenock, Scotland, watched the lid of the 
teakettle rise from the pressure of the steam within. He 
realized then that steam was power. This discovery, and 
the boy's ability to apply it in the first stationary steam 
engine, brought about the railroad. 

In 1788, at his home in Hoboken, Colonel John 
Stevens, engineer, read of the invention of the young 
Scot in an English journal and ordered one of the Watt 
stationary engines shipped to him. Stevens was one of 
the forward-looking men of the country. He had served 
as an officer in the Revolution and at the age of 27 was 
appointed State Treasurer. He realized that transporta- 
tion was to play a great part in the development of the 
country that he loved, and he saw in the Watt steam 
engine promise of a solution of this problem. At first he 
devoted his experiments to applying steam to navigation, 
although there were many others working in this same 
field. 

When the adaptation of steam power to boats was as- 
sured by the successes of John Fitch, Robert Fulton and 
Stevens' own Little Juliana (the first regularly operated 
steam ferry in the world), the indefatigable engineer 
turned his attention to the development of a steam-pro- 
pelled wagon. 

This was a period when a change in the method of 
hauling freight from one part of the State to the other 

394 



THE FIRST RAILROAD IN NEW JERSEY 395 

was under consideration. Canals, expensive as they were 
to build and to maintain, seemed to be the only alterna- 
tive to the horse-drawn wagons traveling the almost im- 
passable roads. 

As early as 1812 Stevens had urged De Witt Clinton, 
later Governor of New York, to abandon plans for the 
proposed Erie Canal and to substitute a railroad. He 
claimed that a speed of 20 to 30 miles an hour could be 
attained with railroad cars and declared that 100 miles an 
hour might be achieved. He had traveled in vain to New 
York, Pennsylvania and even as far as North Carolina, 
trying to have the legislatures appropriate funds for his 
railroad-building plan. But he was considered a vision- 
ary, and Chancellor Robert Livingston of New York bade 
him try out his railroad himself in order to see whether 
there was really anything practical in his plan. 

The Colonel was an old man well in his seventies, but 
he was indomitable. In 1824 he completed construction 
of an experimental "steam waggon," as he called it, and 
built a circular track on the grounds of his Hoboken es- 
tate (now occupied by the athletic field of Stevens' Insti- 
tute). He invited the members of the Society for Internal 
Improvement, of which he was the founder, to witness 
the result of his years of study and experiment. The 
engine was mounted on a platform with ordinary wagon 
wheels which were geared to the track by casters placed 
at the end of vertical posts on each corner of the frame. 
The fire was built, the water connected with the tubes 
from a barrel, steam generated in confinement, just as the 
steam had been generated in the kettle in Greenock, the 
throttle was opened, and the wheels of the "steam wag- 
gon" turned. Around and around the wooden track at 
12 miles an hour traveled the first locomotive built and 



396 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

operated in this country. The boiler and steam valve used 
that momentous day are now in the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion in Washington. 

John Stevens, 76 years old when he accomplished this 
marvel, could not expect to realize his dream of wide 
railroad development. But he had made the initial step, 
and his sons would carry on for him. 

In 1830 the two sons, Robert Livingston and Edwin, 
became president and treasurer respectively of the Cam- 
den and Amboy Railroad, chartered by the New Jersey 
Legislature. The cars were to be horse-drawn and used 
primarily for freight. Despite the successful performance 
in England of a locomotive made by George Stephenson 
called the Rocket y few people considered steam locomo- 
tives seriously. Nevertheless, Robert L. Stevens, follow- 
ing in the path laid out by his father, sailed for England 
to investigate the new engine, authorized to order one 
should it appear practicable. 

Stevens had been studying the problem of rails and 
on the way over whittled out in wood the model of a 
design for T-rails, which are the standard rails in use 
on all American railroads today. Arriving in England, he 
had considerable difficulty in finding a firm that would 
manufacture the iron rails according to his specifications. 
Finally, by placing a generous deposit against the pos- 
sible breakdown of the machinery, he persuaded a mill 
operator to undertake the job. 

An improvement on the Rocket called the Planet gave 
so satisfactory a demonstration that Stevens decided to 
order one engine for the new American railroad. Pending 
the arrival of the new engine, Robert and Edwin Stevens 
had the roadbed laid at Bordentown. Rock was trans- 
ported from the quarries at Sing Sing, New York, and 



THE FIRST RAILROAD IN NEW JERSEY 397 

laid much as a cobblestone road would be spread, the 
spikes to hold the rails down being driven between the 
stones. But the failure of a shipment of rock caused the 
road builders to try wooden ties, which were found to 
be far more satisfactory. 

The John Bull y as the locomotive was called, with all 
its component parts and the six and one-half miles of 
rail, reached Bordentown in 24 shiploads during 1831. 
The arrival caused considerable excitement; but to young 
Isaac Dripps, the mechanic who had undertaken to as- 
semble the engine, it was a matter of deep concern. The 
parts were uncrated and laid on the ground. Then it was 
discovered that Stephenson and Company, the English 
makers of the engine, had neglected to send the drawings 
by which it could be assembled. Here was a picture puz- 
zle in iron that would have dismayed most mechanics, 
but it did not deter Isaac Dripps. He had never seen a 
locomotive, but he set to work doggedly, fitting one part 
to the other, and by trial and error the John Bull finally 
took shape after several weeks of hard labor. 

The locomotive was fitted on its wooden platform and 
to this was attached the tender, another wooden plat- 
form which carried pinewood for fuel and a whisky barrel 
filled with water. The barrel and the engine were con- 
nected by a leather pipe made by a local cobbler. Behind 
the tender were two carriages with flanged wheels to fit 
the tracks and with benches for the passengers. The en- 
gine had been tried out several times to see whether 
Dripps had managed to get all the parts just in the right 
places, and now, on November 12, 1831, all was ready 
for the final test. Invitations had been sent to members 
of the legislature at Trenton. All Bordentown and vicin- 
ity turned out for a gala day. In the gathering were many 




A PIECE OF CAMDEN & AMBOY R. R. TRACK SHOWING. 
STONE TIES 

farmers ready to celebrate the failure of the experiment, 
for if this newfangled thing worked they stood to lose 
the business of supplying horses and their feed to the 
railroads. They could not foresee that success would help 
every Jerseyman who had anything to sell to the great 
outside world. 

When Ben Higgins, assistant to Dripps, stoked the 
boiler with pinewood, and the great plumes of black smoke 
shot from the funnel, the people backed away. It must 
have been a fearsome sight. The visitors were reluctant 
to accept invitations to ride. But there was one in the 
crowd who was not afraid, Madame Murat, wife of Prince 
Murat, exiled French nobleman who was living in Bor- 
dentown at the time. She tucked her bonnet down tightly, 
drew her billowing skirts close to her legs, and was helped 





ry Cc 



THE JOHN BULL 



up to a seat in one of the carriages. Following her exam- 
ple, the rest of the company stepped gingerly on board; 
Robert Stevens gave the word to the faithful Dripps, and 
the throttle was pulled open. The wheels spun ineffectu- 
ally for a while but finally gripped the tracks, and the 
Camden and Amboy Railroad was functioning. Later, 
their clothes strewn with ashes and their eyes filled with 
smoke, the group of dignitaries and their friends made 
their way triumphantly to Arnell's Hotel, where a gala 
luncheon was served. 

Following the demonstration the John Bull waited pa- 
tiently in a shed while the railroad was finished between 
Bordentown and South Amboy. In September of the fol- 
lowing year it was placed in regular service. 

In 1891 the Pennsylvania Railroad, which had leased 



4OO STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

the Camden and Amboy 20 years previously, erected a 
monument at Bordentown in honor of the John Bull. 
Sunk in a granite slab is a bronze tablet with this in- 
scription: 

First movement by steam on a railroad in the State 
of New Jersey, November 12, 1831, by the original 
locomotive "John Bull," now deposited in the United 
States National Museum in Washington. The first 
piece of track in New Jersey was laid by the Camden 
and Amboy Railroad between this point and the stone 
3500 feet eastward, in 1831. 

The Camden and Amboy, however, cannot claim the 
honor of being the first American railroad with locomotive 
power. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the oldest com- 
pany in continuous service in the United States, sent out 
its first train from Baltimore on August 28, 1830. It ran 
to Ellicott's Mills, a distance of 13 miles, drawn by an 
engine called the Tom Thumb, built by Peter Cooper. 
There was also the Carbondale and Honesdale Railroad 
in Pennsylvania, which made a trial run with an English 
engine, the Stourbridge Lion, August 8, 1829. 

The railroads developed so rapidly that the little John 
Bull was soon out of date. It was stowed away in the 
care of the Smithsonian Institution along with the boiler 
and steam valve of Colonel John Stevens' earlier locomo- 
tive that had raced around his circular track at Stevens' 
Castle. 

After 62 years, in 1893, the iron picture puzzle that 
Isaac Dripps had so laboriously put together for Robert 
and Edwin Stevens was run out of the Museum and given 
another opportunity to display its prowess. Beside a mod- 



THE FIRST RAILROAD IN NEW JERSEY 40 1 

ern locomotive, it looked like a beetle. It was taken to 
New York and there hitched to the old carriages that it 
had first drawn. There had been a long search to find 
them. One was being used as a chicken coop ; the feathered 
passengers had to be dispossessed. The John EM and its 
ancient tender and carriages were put on the railroad 
tracks and pointed due west. The boiler was stoked, water 
fed the tubes, steam generated once more in the old en- 
gine, and with a snort the train was under way for Chi- 
cago, 930 miles distant. The journey was made without 
breakdown or accident. In every city and village along 
the way it was hailed by enthusiastic crowds. Its holiday 
ended, the antique locomotive was taken back to Wash- 
ington, there to remain as a symbol of great American 
achievements. 



THE MORRIS CANAL 

In the i82o's America was expanding, and there was 
great enthusiasm for artificial waterways to transport 
heavy materials such as coal and iron from the isolated 
interior to the growing manufacturing centers along the 
Atlantic seaboard. There were vast stretches of country 
rich in iron and coal that were forced to depend for trans- 
portation on the slow-moving horse- or mule-drawn wag- 
ons traveling the often impassable roads. 

One day in 1822 a Morristown, New Jersey, man 
named George P. McCulloch was fishing at Great Pond, 
or Lake Hopatcong as it is now called. It occurred to 
him that the amount of water spilling out of that lake 
would be enough to maintain a canal running from Hopat- 
cong east to Newark and west to the Delaware. At that 
time coal from the mines in the vicinity of Easton, Penn- 
sylvania, had to be transported to eastern cities by the 
long water route down the Delaware and up the New 
Jersey coast, or by wagons which could haul only a ton. 
Fox Hill, between Denville and Parsippany, was a grade 
of almost 30 percent. It took powerful horses and oxen 
to haul even a small load over the hill. 

Following the discovery of iron ore all over Morris 
County, forges had sprung up before the Revolution. In 
a single stretch of the proposed canal between Rockaway 
and Andover, a distance of 15 miles, there were 56 forges, 
most of which had been forced to shut down because they 
had practically exhausted the local supply of wood fuel. 

402 



THE MORRIS CANAL 403 

Large shipments of coal through the canal would mean 
the rebirth of this industry. 

McCulloch's idea gained in popularity, and a bill was 
introduced in the 1824 session of the New Jersey Legisla- 
ture in an attempt to obtain State funds for building the 
canal. The legislature did nothing about it. The canal 
backers, however, got a charter authorizing them to build 
a canal with private funds, if the money could be raised. 
Under the name of the Morris Canal and Banking Com- 
pand the corporation was launched in a spirit of specula- 
tive enthusiasm. The charter was so liberal that it per- 
mitted the company to issue its own currency. Years later 
the company was forced into bankruptcy as a result of 
the privileges which seemed so desirable when it began. 

The original charter provided for a capital stock of 
$2,500,000. The right to condemn land for canal pur- 
poses was granted. The State retained the right to take 
over the canal at a fair valuation after 99 years or to 
extend the charter 50 years, after which ownership would 
pass to the State without payment. Another provision 
granted the heirs of the original owners the right to re- 
possess the land that they had given or sold in case the 
canal was abandoned. Some of the land was given out- 
right. Some was bought for the nominal sum of 6^ an 
acre, and some was seized without due process of law. 

Interest in the Morris Canal and great expectations for 
its money-making possibilities were stimulated by the suc- 
cess of the Erie Canal in New York, completed in 1825. 
But the New Jersey route offered serious obstacles for 
the engineers. In order to traverse the 55 miles from the 
Hudson to the Delaware the canal would have to wind 
for almost twice that distance through the hills, climb to 




THE MORRIS CANAL 
LOCKS AT DENVILLE 
AS THEY LOOKED 
WHEN THE CANAL 
WAS IN OPERATION 



a height of 1,000 feet, and descend more than 700 feet 
over the humpbacked ridge of New Jersey. 

The only solution was to build planes, or inclined tracks, 
connecting one level of water with another. A boat was 
floated onto a cradle that ran under the water on tracks. 
When the boat had settled securely on the cradle, both 
were dragged uphill by chains wound on drums. Power 
was supplied by the overflow of water from the upper 
to the lower levels. When the cradle reached the top it 
was run into a lock; water was admitted, and the boat 
floated off the cradle again. From there the boat proceeded 
by mule power to the next plane, where the operation 
was repeated. In this way the boats were literally carried 
over the mountains. For gentler changes in elevation, ordi- 
nary locks were used without planes. When the canal was 
completed it had 23 planes and 23 locks. 

Construction of the Morris Canal began in 1825, soon 



THE CANAL 

CROSSES THE PAS- 

SAIC RIVER ON AN 

AQUEDUCT 




after the first money had been raised. Six years later the 
waterway was opened to traffic between Newark and Phil- 
lipsburg. Hand labor was the backbone of the construction 
job. Concrete, as used today, was unknown. All masonry 
had to be of stone construction, held together by lime 
mortar. There were no compressed-air drills or dynamite, 
no steam shovels or motor trucks, no iron girders or "I" 
beams. A working day was from sunrise to sunset. The 
wages were 90 cents a day or even less. 

Rocks were blasted by drilling holes with hand drills 
and then filling the holes with black powder. After tamp- 
ing them with clay and dropping a glowing coal on the 
clay, the blaster ran for cover. Practically every foot of 
earth and stone was removed from the canal excavation 
by hand. Even wheelbarrows were scarce. Horses and 
oxen were needed for farm work and were grudgingly 
loaned or leased for canal construction. 

The organizers of the canal company, more interested 
in the project as a stock-selling proposition than as a use- 
ful enterprise, were short-sighted in making their plans. 
The canal was built only 52 feet wide at the top, 20 feet 



406 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

wide at the bottom and 4 feet deep. Compared with the 
other canals of that day, it was far too small. The 7O-ton 
barges in use on the Lehigh Canal in Pennsylvania were 
too large for the new canal. This meant that the coal, 
instead of being carried direct from the mines in Penn- 
sylvania, had to be transferred from the large boats to 
smaller ones carrying only 25 tons. 

Although the canal was designed primarily for com- 
merce, people were so delighted with the picturesque 
waterway that a packet boat drawn by three horses made 
daily excursions between Newark and Paterson. Fares 
were 25^ to Bloomfield and 50^ to Passaic. This was a 
favorite holiday trip for Newarkers. 

From Phillipsburg on the Delaware, opposite Easton, 
the canal ascended Pohatcong Mountain, came down again, 
and idled past Port Murray, Rockport and Hackettstown. 
Passing Saxton Falls, it edged along Sussex County at 
Waterloo and Stanhope and then touched Lake Hopat- 
cong, its water source, and came into Morris County. Here 
it made a snakelike way to the east, passing Morris Land- 
ing, Kenvil, Wharton, Dover, Rockaway, Boonton, To- 
waco, Mountain View. At Little Falls it crossed the Pas- 
saic River in a wooden aqueduct, finally turning southward 
through Belleville and Newark to Newark Bay. 

The inclined planes, which had delighted visiting leg- 
islators and other observers when they were first tested, 
sometimes provided unexpected thrills. Upon one occa- 
sion a car carrying the barge Electa was beginning the 
descent of the Boonton plane when the sprocket chain 
broke. Laden with iron, the boat tore down the track at 
terrific speed, striking the water at the bottom with such 
force that it ricocheted over a 2O-foot embankment into 



THE MORRIS CANAL 407 

a clump of trees. The captain's wife, extricating her- 
self from the branches, "allowed" she had come down 
pretty fast, but thought "that was the way the thing 
worked." After more serious accidents, hemp ropes were 
substituted for chains, and damage to boats, canal equip- 
ment and human beings was somewhat reduced. Eventu- 
ally the hemp ropes were replaced by wire cables. 

Although it was doomed to financial failure and decay, 
the new waterway brought prosperity to the adjoining 
country during its comparatively brief existence. Before 
the barges came with coal from the Pennsylvania mines, 
Boonton was a village with grass-grown streets. It sprang 
into life with a blast furnace, four forges and a mill for 
manufacturing iron sheets. The machinery and expert 
workers were brought from England, and soon 200 peo- 
ple were employed by the East Jersey Iron Manufactur- 
ing Co. Forges and iron works flourished throughout the 
northern part of the State. Little towns such as Port Mur- 
ray, Port Golden, Pequannock, Pompton and Rockaway 
were developed. The canal proved an industrial godsend 
to Newark, where factories eagerly awaited cheap coal. 
The city doubled its population between 1830 and 1835. 

In 1836 there was a wave of national prosperity; Mor- 
ris Canal stock, which had sold at 32 in 1834, rose to 188 
in a year. The dirctors purchased $6,000,000 worth of 
improvement bonds of Indiana and Michigan, then young 
and struggling States. After selling these to the public, 
some of the money was used to extend the Morris Canal 
to Jersey City, but most of it was dissipated. Then the 
canal was mortgaged for nearly $1,000,000, but the stock- 
holders' interests were not protected. The company went 
bankrupt and thousands of investors lost everything. 



408 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

Out of the proceedings, however, came a reorganized 
canal company. In 1844 tne cana l was enlarged, enabling 
the heavier Lehigh boats to come directly from the mines 
through the Lehigh Canal, across the Delaware and 
through the Morris Canal. These were made in two sec- 
tions hinged together, to enable them to pass up and over 
the steep inclines of the planes. From then on the canal 
begun to prosper. At the peak of its prosperity in 1866 
there were as many as 1,200 boats in operation, an aver- 
age of 12 boats a mile. 

But the reorganization came too late. Whereas the 
usual time for the trip between Phillipsburg and Jersey 
City was five days, railroads were now able to haul coal 
between the two points in eight hours. Each car, carry- 
ing almost as much as a canal boat, continued to draw 
tighter and tighter the noose that was slowly but surely 
choking life from the canal. 

Besides the railroad competition, which alone was 
enough to kill the canal traffic, there were other forces 
at work. The canal basin in Jersey City had become enor- 
mously valuable for other purposes. The Lehigh Valley 
Railroad, which had leased the canal in 1871, had found 
it a burden to carry. The revenue was not sufficient to 
pay for the upkeep, but under the terms of the lease the 
railroad company was obliged to keep the canal navigable. 
When traffic had dwindled to little or nothing the com- 
pany demanded that the State take over the property. 
This was in 1903. Finally no craft were seen along the 
quiet waterway except a few canoes or motorboats on 
pleasure voyages to and from Lake Hopatcong. 

Probably the most insistent demand for abandonment 
came from Hudson Maxim, one of the inventors of smoke- 



THE MORRIS CANAL 409 

less powder, who owned many hundreds of acres at Lake 
Hopatcong, the primary source of water for the canal. 
Under the charter the canal company had been permitted 
to construct a 6-foot dam to hold the water of the lake 
in time of flood and heavy rainfall, thus ensuring a suffi- 
cient supply for operation in abnormally dry seasons. As 
a result the surface area of the lake, already the largest 
in New Jersey, was more than doubled in size. But if, as 
permitted by law, this 6-foot supply was drawn off, parts 
of Lake Hopatcong would become a mudflat, reeking 
with decaying vegetation. 

While it was conceded that the canal was worthless for 
transportation and that in the cities the sluggish waters 
were a menace to health, there were many who fought 
strenuously to preserve its rural sections as beauty spots. 
The Morris Canal Parkway Association was formed to 
champion the cause of the derelict. It was not concerned 
with the sections of the canal that ran through cities. The 
members were willing to compromise with Maxim and 
guarantee that only the overflow waters of Lake Hopat- 
cong would be used. They pointed out that with the dis- 
continuance of canal boat traffic the enormous amount of 
water needed to work the locks and planes would be saved. 

But the State Assemblymen, in whose hands the fate 
of the canal rested in 1924, thought otherwise. During 
the countless hearings that took place they heard the old 
canal referred to as "an open sewer" and "a man-made 
octopus sapping northern New Jersey of its water." And 
so it was that the old Morris Canal, doomed from its 
birth, was finally abandoned officially. 

The canal is now dead, a dried ditch, its towpaths over- 
grown with brush and weeds, its locks, planes and bridges 



41 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

obliterated. Only here and there remain shallow stretches 
of stagnant water. 

There are many who remember it in its day of good 
service when tired mules tugged and pulled the clumsy 
barges j when man and beast rested while a spinning water 
wheel dragged the boat and cargo uphill to the next level j 
when the air resounded with shouts and cracking whips. 

Mules were driven not by lines but by shouted com- 
mands. "Gee" meant go to the right, "Haw," left. Those 
words were and are still used in driving oxen. But an- 
other, doubtless of French origin, "petitwhoa," meant, in 
mule, not to "whoa" at all but to "dig in your toes." This 
was used when a boat loaded with 70 tons of coal or ore 
had to be started out of a lock. A too sudden surge or 
yank would break the towline. This would have meant an 
outburst of profanity and possibly a beating with the huge 
blacksnake whip that the driver always carried. So the 
mules soon learned that "petitwhoa" meant just that 
"whoa, a little." 

When an old mule had outlived his usefulness, he went 
to his reward. He was led to the nearest canal-mule ceme- 
tery, knocked over the head with the dull end of an axe 
and buried in a shallow grave. One of these canal-mule 
burying grounds is a part of the seventh hole of Rock- 
away River Golf Course at Denville. 

Canal boats had to be steered, otherwise they would 
run "spang" into the bank as the mules towed them along. 
The boatman, usually the captain, did the steering while 
his hand drove the mules. 

One of the few pieces of poetry originating on the Mor- 
ris Canal was sung to the tune of Climbing Up the Golden 
Stairs. A verse went something like this: 



THE MORRIS CANAL 411 

Old Bill Miller 

Ridin' on the tiller 

Steering 'round the Browertown Bend; 

Old Davy Ross 

With a ten dollar hoss 

Comin' up the Pompton Plane. 

The "canaller's" life was a sort of gypsy, vagabond ex- 
istence, out in the open with little hard work. When it 
once got into a man's blood it stayed with him. There are 
many cases where "canalling" was the chosen occupation 
of entire families through generations. 

The number of people who sometimes lived in a small 
boat cabin was almost unbelievable. There were no toilet 
accommodations of any kind. Bathing was done with a 
tin basin on deck. When washday came the clothes were 
strung from the towline posts. 

Aside from the boatmen, the workmen were mostly 
lock tenders, plane tenders and towpath walkers. The last 
were just what the name implies. They walked the tow- 
paths, covering a beat of from 6 to 10 miles, on a sharp 
lookout for possible leaks which might flood an entire 
area. The chief enemies of the towpath walker were musk- 
rats who burrowed into the banks to make their nests. A 
colony would almost honeycomb a bank in a few days if 
not prevented. 

In Newark there are several living reminders of the 
waterway. Plane Street is the site of one of the planes 
on the canal. On Orange Street, just below First Street, 
is one of the old drums used to pull the boats up the rise 
and over Orange Street. The Newark subway is built on 
the old canal bed where it ran under Broad Street between 
the old post ofEce and Kresge's Department Store and 



412 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

under the old Center Market, as far as Mulberry Street. 
Here the boatmen were forced to pole the barges through 
the dark, damp tunnel, ill smelling and alive with rats. 
Near Waterloo, in Sussex County, there is a small section 
preserved by the State, the only part of the 109 miles 
that is still usable. 



ROUTE OF 
MORRIS CANAL 




THE LINCOLN TUNNEL 

The Lincoln Tunnel, latest vehicular traffic link be- 
tween New York and New Jersey, is buried 20 feet or 
more under the mud bed of Hudson River. Built in four 
years by the Port of New York Authority, at a cost for 
the south tube of about $45,000,000 and 15 lives, the 
Lincoln Tunnel provides direct access from Weehawken, 
New Jersey, to 39th Street, Manhattan, lessening the 
congestion of the Holland Tunnel in rush hours and the 
necessity of traveling the crowded downtown area of New 
York City. It will connect by means of Manhattan's non- 
parking crosstown streets with the New York-Queens 
Midtown Tunnel now being constructed under the East 
River to form a direct route from New Jersey to Long 
Island. Completion of the twin or north tube has been 
deferred, and meantime the south tube is operated on a 
two-way traffic basis. 

It must have been close to this spot that Colonel John 
Stevens, the Hoboken inventor and engineer, planned to 
lay his vehicular tunnel under the Hudson in 1806. But 
the site and the idea are the only similarities. The iron 
and concrete of the Lincoln Tunnel do not bear much 
relationship to the wooden tube that John Stevens pro- 
posed to lay on the Hudson River bed. The colonel drew 
plans for a tunnel with an eight-foot diameter to be con- 
structed in sections and sunk to the river bottom. He even 
took depth soundings to show that his project would not 
interfere with river shipping. One thing he did not count 

413 



41 4 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

on: the difficulty of getting American capitalists to invest 
in so novel and fantastic a scheme. He never got the 
money. 

Technical advances made a tunnel beneath the Hudson 
a reality in 1908 when the Morton Street tubes of the 
Hudson and Manhattan Railroad were put into service. 
The facilities for individual vehicles, which John Stevens 
dreamed of, were not provided, however, until 1927, 
when the Holland Tunnel was finished. 

The Lincoln Tunnel was projected shortly after com- 
pletion of the Holland Tunnel, but because of the 1929 
crash construction was postponed until the Federal Gov- 
ernment came to the Port Authority's aid with a loan of 
$37,500,000 on September i, 1933. A loan of $26,000,000 
was made available four years later. All Federal advances 
subsequently were repaid. The Government also provided 
outright grants of $4,700,000 to construct certain west- 
ward extensions of the approaches, and $3,100,000 to be 
applied to labor cost. 

Early in the spring of 1934 a shaft 30 by 40 feet was 
dug 55 feet deep at the base of the Palisades. At the bot- 
tom of the shaft the 4OO-ton "shield" was constructed, 
and the actual work of boring the tunnel began. The 
shield, a British invention first used in a simple form in 
1825, is substantially a large steel pipe with a sharp edge 
at the front to cut through the earth. A short distance 
behind this cutting edge is a heavily braced steel bulkhead 
with openings which can be closed when necessary. Inside 
this "pipe" and protected by the bulkhead the men work. 
As the shield was shoved forward by a ring of 28 hy- 
draulic jacks operating under a pressure which could be 
raised to as much as 8,000 pounds per square inch, the 



THE LINCOLN TUNNEL 415 

tunnel builders, or "sandhogs," put together cast-iron and 
steel rings which form the skeleton of the tunnel. 

Each of the rings, two and one-half feet wide and 31 
feet in outside diameter, is composed of 14 segments and 
a key piece. The sections were lifted into place by a giant 
mechanical arm called an erector, and bolted together by 
a newly invented hydraulic wrench which permitted con- 
struction of 45 feet of tunnel shell in one day. The pre- 
vious record had been 24 feet. 

The work of constructing these rings went on inside 
the shield, which fitted like a thimble over the first sev- 
eral feet of the tunnel. Where passing through rock at 
each end of the tunnel, the space between the outside of 
the tunnel rings and the rock was filled with cement and 
sand forced through holes in the segments under 90 
pounds of pressure. This is known as "grouting" and 
serves to protect the tunnel by filling the voids. 

Operations were started in solid ground at each side 
of the river. Here solid rock was encountered, which the 




Courtesy N. Y. Port Authority 



CHART OF TUNNELING OPERATION 



41 6 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

men had to blast away. As the work progressed, test holes 
were drilled diagonally upward so that the point at which 
soft ground began could be determined. Once water-bear- 
ing material was reached, a concrete bulkhead, 10 feet 
thick, was built so that the forward part of the tunnel 
could be sealed airtight to allow the use of compressed air. 

Now began the most dangerous part of the work. Erec- 
tion of the tunnel rings proceeded in the same manner, 
but under entirely different conditions. Air under pressure 
was forced into the area in front of the concrete bulkhead 
to counteract the inward pressure of the water and the 
river mud. Instead of solid rock, the shield now encoun- 
tered soft mud through which it could force its way 
without blasting. All the front openings of the shield ex- 
cept two were sealed, and these were equipped with hy- 
draulically operated steel doors which could be opened 
to allow silt to ooze into the tube. Some of the silt was 
retained in the tunnel as ballast j the rest was removed 
by small cars such as are used in mines. The mud ballast 
deposited along the floor served to weigh the tunnel down 
until it was ready for concreting. 

In general, there was a tendency for the tube to rise, 
because the weight of the hollow, air-filled shell was less 
than the weight of the greenish-gray mud which it dis- 
placed. For the same reason, an empty milk bottle will 
spring to the surface once the weight which keeps it un- 
der water is removed. 

The driving of the shield along its intended line was 
directed by the engineers, and its position constantly 
checked by precise survey methods. Any tendency of the 
shield to deviate from its true course was corrected by 
applying the force of the jacks unequally to bring it back 
to its true course. 



THE LINCOLN TUNNEL 417 

A finished tunnel passing (as does this one) through 
Hudson River silt has been found to move imperceptibly 
with the tides of the river and with the changing seasons. 
In the case of a previously built tunnel, the rise and fall 
with the tide was found to be only one-eighth of an inch, 
each year it rises and falls one-quarter of an inch. Over 
a period of years the structure also settled slightly. No 
such figures are yet available for the Lincoln Tunnel. 
Compared with the George Washington Bridge, the deck 
of which is 6 feet lower in hot weather than in cold, the 
tunnel movement is inconsequential. 

In the confined tube, sweating in the high temperature 
and constantly exposed to threats of explosion and inunda- 
tion, the sandhogs worked under air pressures that ranged 
between 8 and 45 pounds above normal. They were not 
allowed to smoke because of the danger of fire; in the 
higher pressures they could not whistle because the com- 
pressed air was too heavy to put into vibration. Air pres- 
sure was the tyrant which ruled their work; it determined 
their wages and working hours, protected them against 
flood or threatened them with illness and fire. 

The hours and pay for these "human moles" are regu- 
lated by the amount of pressure under which they work. 
Up to 1 8 pounds of pressure, they receive a minimum of 
$10 for an eight-hour day. The wages increase and the 
number of hours they may work decreases until a man gets 
a minimum of $13 for a day consisting of two periods, 
each of one-half hour, at 48 to 50 pounds of pressure. 

Unless great care is taken, the change from compressed 
air to normal air pressure causes a painful and dangerous 
illness known as caisson disease or the "bends." The nitro- 
gen forming part of the air breathed in while under com- 
pression is not freed immediately when pressure is re- 



41 8 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

moved but, for a time, remains in the blood stream and 
tissues. When the individual returns suddenly to a nor- 
mal atmosphere, the internal pressure of the compressed 
nitrogen is not counterbalanced by an external pressure, 
hence it forms gas bubbles that cause agonizing pains in 
the joints of the body, distention of the heart and loss of 
the sense of balance. In extreme cases it may even cause 
death. 

To guard against this disease, the sandhogs enter and 
leave the tunnel through large boilerlike tanks or air- 
locks which are built in the concrete bulkhead. There were 
four such locks in the Lincoln Tunnel bulkhead two for 
men and two for materials. The locks are equipped to in- 
crease or decrease the air pressure gradually. 

Shifts of 20 to 30 men, on entering the tunnel, stay in 
the airlock only a few minutes until the pressure equals 
that in the working area. When they leave, they are re- 
quired to remain in the lock for a period which depends 
upon the working pressure and ranges up to 50 minutes, 
so that the body has ample time to lose all the high- 
pressure nitrogen. Sandhogs must be served coffee on 
reaching a normal atmosphere. 

A newspaper reporter once went down into a tunnel to 
observe operations and carried with him a bottle of whisky. 
While there, he took a drink and recapped the bottle. 
Later, in the airlock as the air pressure was being reduced, 
the bottle exploded. The high air pressure in the partly 
empty bottle had enough power to shatter the glass when 
the external pressure did not offer resistance. This is an 
exaggerated example of what happens to sandhogs with 
the bends. 

Although cases of the bends have been greatly reduced 
today, the Lincoln Tunnel diggers had to wear badges 



THE LINCOLN TUNNEL 419 

bearing the notice: "Compressed air employee. If ill rush 
by ambulance to hospital lock at 38th Street and Eleventh 
Avenue or south of Pier K at Hudson River, Wee- 
hawken." 

At one period during the progress of the work, in 25 
working days 1,040 feet, or approximately one-fourth of 
the underriver section of the tunnel, was bored. This was 
a record in underwater tunneling. At the start, however, 
progress was much slower because of the rock. At times 
the upper part of the shield was cutting through muck 
while the lower part encountered rock. In this area it was 
particularly necessary to drill for a distance in front of 
the shield to discover soft spots. If the shield should cut 
into the soft spot unexpectedly, the compressed air might 
force its way through to the surface, allowing the water 
and muck to enter the tunnel and, incidentally, causing a 
violent disturbance in the water above. This is known as 
a "blow." 

The two sections of the tunnel were to meet at the 
New York wharf line. A huge steel box, 52 by 45 by 100 
feet, with cutting edges along its open bottom, was low- 
ered into the river. The sandhogs worked in the bottom 
of this caisson in pressures up to 45 pounds and high tem- 
peratures, digging out the muck and rock. As they dug, 
the caisson sank while the air pressure kept out the river. 

In December 1934, after six months of work, the caisson 
was brought down to final position at a depth of 100 feet, 
the bottom paved with concrete and the compressed air 
removed. The structure awaited the shields approaching 
from either side. On August 2, 1935, about a year and 
a half after digging had begun, the first tube of the Lin- 
coln Tunnel was "holed through." The shields, which had 
finished their job, were taken apart, and the two sections 



42O STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

met inside the caisson, the centers within one-quarter of 
an inch of each other! 

When the two sections of the 8,21 5-foot tube had been 
joined, the bulkheads and compressed air were no longer 
necessary. The interior was lined with 16 inches of con- 
crete and faced with tile, the brick roadway (21^2 feet 
wide) was laid, and telephone, telegraph, electricity and 
ventilating systems were installed. The caisson, concreted 
permanently in place, served as the foundation for one 
of the ventilating plants; the others were built at the 
shafts in Manhattan and Weehawken, where the work 
began. 

The white tiled walls with blue borders went up, and 
the ceiling of glass tiles, stippled to reduce glare from 
lights, was placed. This is the largest glass ceiling in the 
world. If one man alone could have built the Lincoln 
Tunnel, he would have had to work more than 720 years. 
If he could also have manufactured and transported all 
the materials, he would have spent an additional 17 cen- 
turies! Fifty thousand tons of iron and steel alone were 
used for the tunnel skeleton, which was fastened together 
with 346,000 bolts, each weighing 10 pounds with nuts 
and washers. 

Ex-President Herbert Hoover was present at the cere- 
monies in the tunnel on October 15, 1937, to celebrate its 
completion. The formal dedication took place the follow- 
ing December 21 in the presence of Governors Herbert 
Lehman of New York and Harold Hoffman of New Jer- 
sey, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia of New York City and 
Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes. 

Meanwhile, work had begun on the second tube of the 
tunnel, which was holed through in the spring of 1938. 
At that time the Port of New York Authority decided to 



THE LINCOLN TUNNEL 421 

postpone completion of the second tube until connecting 
links with New Jersey's major highways had been fin- 
ished. The north tube, like the one already in use, will 
measure 4,600 feet under the river, but will be only 7,400 
feet from portal to portal. 

The ventilation system, which in gerjeral follows the 
plan developed for the Holland Tunnel, changes the air 
in the tunnel completely every one and one-half minutes. 
The intakes are spaced along the curbs near the tunnel 
floor j the vitiated air, lighter than the fresh air because 
of the presence of the heated gases of automobile exhausts, 
rises and is sucked out through ducts placed about 1 5 feet 
apart along the ceiling. The system is so planned that 
even if a considerable number of the 32 gigantic fans 
which keep the air flow regular were to break down, traffic 
could continue uninterrupted. 

Traffic in the tunnel is planned and controlled with the 
same care. Vehicles with Diesel engines, trucks carrying 
gasoline and explosives, or any vehicle over five tons with 
a speed less than 20 miles per hour are forbidden. Service 
trucks maintained by the Port of New York Authority 
make necessary tire repairs and provide towing facilities 
free of charge. The~policemen on duty alternate two hours 
in the tunnel and two hours on the plaza to keep the 
cars spaced 75 feet apart and moving steadily at 30 miles 
an hour. 

In addition to the Lincoln Tunnel, the Port of New 
York Authority owns and operates the Holland Tunnel, 
George Washington Bridge, Bayonne Bridge, Goethals 
Bridge, Outerbridge Crossing and the Port Authority 
Commerce Building. Created in 1921 by an agreement 
between New York and New Jersey with the approval of 
Congress, the Authority is a nonprofit public agency, the 



422 STORIES OF NEW JERSEY 

purpose of which is to develop the Port of New York 
area the commercial, industrial and financial center of the 
Nation. The 12 commissioners, six from each State, are 
appointed for a six-year period. They serve without pay. 

The Port Authority obtains its funds by borrowing on 
its credit. It sells bonds, which are promises to pay a cer- 
tain amount of money with interest. Those who buy the 
bonds do so because they believe that the Port Authority 
will be able to pay back this money with its income from 
the revenues collected from its facilities. In this the Port 
Authority is unlike other government agencies, which are 
supported by taxes. By the Port Authority method, the 
various facilities are paid for by those who use them. Resi- 
dents of New Jersey and New York who do not use the 
tunnels or bridges therefore do not contribute one cent 
to their support. 

Motor traffic over the Hudson doubled between 1925 
and 1931, when 26,000,000 vehicles crossed the river. 
Some estimates indicate that within the next 25 years 
280,000 vehicles will travel across the Hudson daily. The 
Lincoln Tunnel is the latest step in planning for this 
future.