Skip to main content

Full text of "History of the Presbyterian Church in Trenton, N.J. : from the first settlement of the town"

See other formats


3 3433 08044064 1 





Firft Prefbyterian Church, Trenton, N. J, 

H I S T O R T 




Presbyterian Church 








U .T, 

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1859, by 


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the 
Soutliern District of New- York. 

- <> « 


Priki£i'\i7id 'i^Cureoiyper-, l§."dJ?;lJ3 Jacob Street, N. Y., 

«r <J ■' « t 4 » <■ ' " ' I- ' 

F'IRE-i'BOOi'' b'ui'LDISGS. 



-• • ♦- 

It will be at once noticed that this volume introduces many persons, 
places, and incidents, as well as churches, that do not come strictly 
within the scope of its title. But I thought that it would contribute to 
the interest and usefulness, not to say the circulation of the book, to 
make it contain as much information as without positive incongraity 
could be collected from the materials that came before me, and which 
would probably not fall so easily into other hands. 

I take the opportunity of asking to be apprised of the errors or omis- 
sions that may be discovered, and of any additional facts or documents 
relative to the history, which would make it more complete. 

Having now fulfilled the request of many esteemed friends in the 
church and city, I leave the work in their hands, hoping that none will 
be wholly disappointed, and praying that the result may show that the 
time it has occupied has not been spent at all inconsistently with the 
obligations of my sacred office and my particular charge. 

Trektox, March 23, 1859. 


• • •— 


Presbyterian Settlement of Central New-Jersey — Falls page 
OF Delaware— 1682-1700, 9 



The Trenton Church— The Rev. David Cowell — 1714-1738, 52 


Rev. Mr. Cowell and Rev. Mr. Texnent — Schism of Synod — 

173G-1760, 79 


Trenton in 1748 — Episcopal Churches — Trenton Names and 

Places— 1746-1700, 97 


College of New-Jersey— Cowell, Burr, Davies, Finley — 

1746-1760, 116 

Mr. Cowell's Death and Burial — 1759-1760, . . . 134 

The First Charter OF the Church — Trustees— 1756-1760, . 154 


Ministry of the Rev. Wm. Kirkpatrick — His History — 

1760-1766, 163 

vi Table of Contents. 


Trustees — Trenton and Maidenhead — 1764-1*769, . . 194: 

Elihu Spencer, D.D.— His PREVIOUS History— I721-lt69, . 208 

Dr. Spencer's CoNaREGAxiON— 1769-17 13, .... 229 


Dr. Spencer's Ministry — Revolutionary Incidents in Tren- 
ton— 1773-1780, 260 


Close of Dr. Spencer's Ministry — His Death — 1780-1784, . 280 


The Rev. J. F. Armstrong — Previous History and Settle- 
ment— 1750-1790, 295 


The General Assembly — New Constitution' of the Church 

—Notes— 1785-1790, 319 


Public Occasions in Trenton — Notes — 1789-1806, . . 333 

The New Brick Church— Notes— 1804-1806, . . . 362 


Theological Seminary — Mr. Arjistrong's Death — Notes — 

1806-1816, 367 


S. B. How, D.D. — "W. J. Armstrong, D.D. — Rev. John Smith 

—1816-1828, 388 

J. "W. Alexander, D.D.— J. "W. Yeomans, D.D.— J. Hall, D.D. 

—1829-1859, ■. . ...'.'. . . . 408 


-• ♦ ♦- 

I. History op the Proposal to make Trenton the Capi- page 



ir. Basse and Revel's Deed, . . . . . . 440 

III. Additional Isotes, 443 


lY. List of the Pastors, Elders, and Trustees of Tren- 
ton Church, 446 

Y. Pastors op Ewing and Lawrenceville Church, . . 448 

YI. Pastors, Elders, and Trustees of Pennington and 

Titusville Churches, 449 

YIL List of the first Members of the Presbytery of 

New-Brunswick, • 451 



Peesbyteria:n' Settlement of Central New- 
Jeesey — Falls of Delaware. 


The territory occupied by the present city of 
Trenton lies so near tlie boundary between tlie 
Berkeley and tlie Carteret, or tlie east and the 
west sections of tlie Province of New-Jersey, 
tliat the history of its settlement is connected 
with that of both the original divisions. The ad- 
vance of the Quaker colonists from the south 
and west, and of the Dutch and Puritan from 
the north and east, gradually peopled this cen- 
tral region. It is, however, to the policy which 
•invited to East- Jersey the inhabitants of Scot- 
land and Ireland that we owe the immigration. 

10 Firft Proprietors. 

wliich in tlie course of time, gave Presbyterian fea- 
tures to tlie religious cliaracter of its inliaMtants, 
and made it " tlie cradle of Presbyterianism in 
America."^ In tlie year 1682, when Carteret's in- 
terest in New-Jersey was purcliased by William 
Penn and liis eleven associates, the Societv of 
Friends, of wliicli tliey all were members, was 
the smallest religious denomination there. The 
few settlements that existed at the time — ^the 
whole population was not more than five thou- 
sand — were composed chiefly of families that had 
emigrated from New-England, Holland, and Scot- 
land. As West New-Jersey and Pennsylvania 
were sufficient to absorb the Quaker interest, it 
was a matter of policy to place the new enter- 
prise on such a foundation as would be in^^Lting 
to persons of all creeds. For this purpose the 
twelve original proj)rietors determined to share 
their interest with an equal number of new ad- 
venturers. The leading varieties of ecclesiastical 
connections then prevailing in the mother coun- 
tries of England, Scotland, and Ireland, seem to 
have been represented in the new body of pro- 
]3rietors, but most of them, whether Protestants 
or Romanists, and even the leading Quakers^ 

* Hildreth's " United States," vol. ii. chapter IT. 

Scotch and Irilli. ii 

were connected witli Scotland.''^ The Scotch and 
Irish Presbyterians and New-England Puritans, 
(many, perhaj)s most, of whom were Presbyte- 
rians,f ) made the moral character of the Province. 
In July, 1684, a vessel from Leith carried one 
hundred and sixty passengers, and another from 
Montrose one hundred and thirty to East-Jersey. 
In that year Gawen Lawrie, the Deputy Gover- 
nor, wrote from EHzabethtown : " The Scots and 
William Dockwra'sJ peojple, coming now and 
settling, advance the Province more than it hath 
been advanced these ten years." In closing 
a glowing account of the Province, he says : "1 
have none to write for me, but you must send a 
copy of this to Scotland." In another letter of 
the same month, the same writer remarks : ''' The 
Scots have taken a right course. They have sent 

* The second set were a motley collection. The earls of Perth and 
Melfoid (Drummond) had apostatized to Eomanism from the Church of 
Scotland on the accession of James II. " They did this," says Macaulay, 
" with a certain audacious baseness which no English statesman could 
hope to emulate." ("England," chap. 6.) They were, at the time of be- 
coming proprietors in the land of toleration, persecuting in Scotland such 
as refused to testify against the Presbyterians. Barclay was a native of 
Scotland, became a Koman Catholic in Paris, was thereupon recalled by 
his father, and both became Quakers. 

I See Hodge's "Constitutional History," part i. 22-39. 

X " William Dockwra, of London, to whom London owes the useful in- 
voution of the penny-post." (Oldmixon.) 

12 Want of Minifters. 

over many servants, and are likewise sending 
more. Tliey have likewise sent over many poor 
families, and given tkem a small stock." James 
Johnston writes to his brother in Edinburgh : 
" It is most desired there may be some ministers 
sent us over ; they would have considerable be- 
nefices and good estates f" and since it would be 
a matter of great piety, I hope you will be in- 
strumental to advise some over to us." Peter 
Watson Vr^rites to a friend in Selkirk, (August, 
1684 :) " We have great need of good and faith- 
ful ministers, and I wish that there v/ould come 
over some here ; they can live as well and have 
as much as in Scotland, and more than many get. 
We have none within all the Province of East- Jer- 
sey, except one who is preacher in Newark; 
there were one or two preachers more in the 
Province, but they are dead, and now the people 
meet together every Sabbath-day, and read, and 
pray, and sing psalms in their meeting-houses." 
In January, 1685, Fullerton writes from Eliza- 

* There appears to have been an early provision in some places for the 
ministry. Oldmixon says : "A year or two after the surrender, [of the 
patents of the proprietaries to the Crown, 1*702,] Serjeant Hook purchased 
3750 acres of land in West- Jersey, and gave the tenth part of it as a 
glebe to the Church. He was a Presbyterian ; but I suppose glebe is as 
consistent with that denomination, as any other." — British Emiyire in 
America^ i. p. 29-4. 

Perfecutions. i^ 

betlitown to Montrose : " By my next I hope to 
insure sixty or seventy pounds to tlie parson, for 
we Avant a minister." In March, 1685, Cockhurn 
writes to Scotland : " There is nothing discour- 
ages us more than want of ministers here ; but 
now they have agreed about their sti^^ends, there 
is one to be placed in New-Perth, Piscataway, 
Woodbridge, and Elizabethtown. They have a 
mind to bring them from Scotland." Among the 
emigrants who left Scotland in 1685, was George 
Scot, Laird of Pitlochie. It was the first year 
of the reign of James II., when already the non- 
conformists of England and Scotland perceived 
that they had nothing to expect under the new 
monarch but a continuance of the persecutions 
of which their country, for its faith's sake, had 
been the bloody field. " Never," says Macaulay, 
'' not even under the tyi^anny of Laud, had the 
condition of the Puritans been so deplorable as 
at that time. . . . Through many years the 
autumn of 1685 was remembered by the non- 
conformists as a time of misery and terror. . . . 
In Scotland the King had demanded and ob- 
tained new statutes of unprecedented severity 
against the Presbyterians."* " Severe as the suf- 

* "History of England," chap. 5, *J. 

14 Scot, of Pitlochie. 

ferings of tlie non-conformists in England were at 
this period," says another historian, " they were 
nothing compared with that was endured by the 
poor Presbyterians of Scotland."* 

George Scot advertised his project in the fol- 
lowing terms : 

"Whereas there are several people m tliis kingdom, 
who uj^on account of their not going that length in con- 
formity required of them by the law, do live very uneasy ; 
who, beside the other agreeable accommodations of that 
place, [East New-Jersey,] may there freely enjoy their 
own principles without hazard or the least trouble ; seeing 
there are ministers of their own persuasion going along 
with the said Mr. George Scot ; who, by the fundamental 
constitution of that country are allowed the free exercise 
of their ministry, such as Mr. Archibald Riddel, brother 
to Sir John Riddel of Riddel, Mr. Thomas Patterson, late 
minister of Borthwick, and several other ministers ; it is 
hereby signified to all who desire this voyage, that the 
Henry and Francis, of Newcastle, a shij) of 350 tons, and 
twenty great guns, Richard Hutton, master, is freighted 
for the transportation of these famiUes, and will take in 
passengers and goods at Leith, and passengers at Mont- 
rose, and Aberdeen, and Kirkwa, in Orkney, and set sail 
thence for East New-Jersey, against the 20th day of July, 
God willing." 

Scot sailed abont the time specified, with near- 

* Orme's "Life of Baxter," i. 294. And see Woclrow's " History of 
the Sufierings of the Church of Scotland." 

Scot's Model. 


ly two liundrecl of liis countrymen, but himself 
and wife died on the voyage." Previous to his 
embarldng he published at Edinburgh a volume 
of 272 pages, entitled : " The Model of the Gov- 
ernment of the Province of East New-Jersey in 
America ; and encouragement for such as design 
to be concerned there."f The Scottish Presby- 
terian, or one knowino^ he was writing^ to such, is 
at once detected in the elaborate and learned a - 
gument, which j)recedes all his statistics, to prove 
a warrant for colonization from the w^ord of God. 
Among his points is that the wonderful openings 

* Of the company brought over by Pitlocliie, seventy-two are said to 
have been "prisoners, banished to the plantations," and "made a pre- 
sent to the Laird." Their crime was non-conformity ; and on the pas- 
sage, " when they who were under deck attempted to worsliip God by 
themselves, the captain would throw down great planks of wood in order 
to disturb them." The Eev. Mr. Riddel had already been imprisoned 
several years in England. After the revolution he sailed for England, 
(June, 1689.) but was " captured by a French man-of-war, and after 
twenty-two months' imprisonment in France, he was at length exchanged 
for a Popish priest." {MS. History; citing Ci'ookshanUs Church of Scot- 
land, vol. ii. 110, 428. Cloud of Witnesses^ ^PP- 337.) 

f Only four copies of the original work are known to be extant, but it 
has been reprinted entire in the first volume of the collections of the 
New- Jersey Historical Society, as an appendix to Mr. Whitehead's " East- 
Jersey under the Proprietary Governments." The facility and satisf c- 
tion of reading this interesting document, are much impaired by its being 
printed in the obsolete orthography and abbreviations of the original 
copy — a custom of our Historical Societies which seems to have very 
httle to recommend it, even to the antiquary. 

l6 Scot's Model. 

to tlie discovery of America, and tlie encourage- 
ments offered to Protestant nations, indicated the 
purpose of Providence that " he might at length 
cause the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ shine 
out to them as it did to other nations, after the 
sharp times of the bitter desolations thereof be- 
twixt the Romans and them." In bolder terms 
than in the more public advertisement of his un- 
dertaking, he thus appeals to the religious jea- 
lousy of his fellow-churchmen : 

" You see, it is now judged the interest of the govern- 
ment altogether to suppress the Presbyterian principles ; 
and that in order thereto the whole force and bensill [vio- 
lence] of the lavr of this kingdom are levelled at the 
effectual bearing them down, that the vigorous putting 
those laws in execution hath in a great part ruined many 
of these, who, notwithstanding thereof, find themselves in 
conscience obliged to retain these principles ; v/hile, on the 
other hand, Episcopacy is, by the same laws, supported 
and protected. I would gladly know what other rational 
medium can be proposed in their circumstances, than 
either to comply with the government by going what 
length is required by law in conforming, or to retreat 
where by law a toleration is by his Majesty allowed. Such 
a retreat doth at present offer itself in America, and is 
nowhere else to be found in his Majesty's dominions." 

"We find in this connection an allusion to the 
north of Ireland, which was fully realized 1)1 sub- 

North of Ireland. 

sequent years, in the contrihiitions made from 
that quarter to the Presbyterian population of 

" I had an account lately from an acquaintance of mine, 
that the Province of Ulster, Avhere most of our nation are 
seated, could spare forty thousand men and women to an 
American plantation, and be sufficiently peopled itself. 
The gentleman who gave me this information is since 
settled in Maryland ; the account he sends of that coun- 
try is so encouraging that I hear a great many of his ac- 
quaintances are making for that voyage." 

But it was not contemplated to establish the 
Kirk in New-Jersey. "Presbyter" of Britain 
was not, according to Milton, to be " Priest writ 
large" ' in America. " Liberty in matters of re- 
ligion," said Scot, '' is established in the fullest 
manner. To be a planter or inhabitant, nothing 
is required but the acknowledging of one Al- 
mighty God ; and to have a share in the govern- 
ment a simple profession of faith of Jesus 
Christ, without descending into any other of the 
differences among Christians ; only that religion 
may not be a cloak for disturbance, who ever 
comes into the Magistrature, must declare they 
hold not themselves in conscience obliged, for re- 
lio^ion's sake, to make an alteration, or to endeavor 
to turn out their partners in the government, be- 

i8 Character of the People. 

cause they differ in opinion from them ; and this 
is no more than to follow the great rule, to do as 
they would be done by." 

Mr. Bancroft, after following the remark, " this 
is the era at which East Nev/-Jersey, till now 
cHefiy colonized from New-England, became the 
asylum of Scottish Presbyterians," with an eloquent 
sketch of the sufferings of that people under the 
attempt of tbe Stuarts to force Episcopacy upon 
them, asks : " Is it strange that Scottish Presby- 
terians of \drtue, education, and courage, blend- 
ing a love of popular liberty with religious en- 
thusiasm, hurried to East New-Jersey in such 
numbers as to give to the rising commonwealth 
a character which a century and a half has not 
effaced ?" " In a few years," he adds, " a law of 
the commonwealth, gi^^-ng force to the common 
principle of the New-England and the Scottish 
Calvinists, established a system of free schools. . . . 
Thus the mixed character of New-Jersey springs 
from the different sources of its people. Puri- 
tans, Covenanters, and Quakers met on her soil ; 
and their faith, institutions, and preferences, hav- 
ing life in the common mind, survive the 

* Bancroft's " Colonial History," chap. 17. 

Frelbyterians. 19 

Eobert Barclay was tlie first Governor under 
tne new proprietary administration, (1683.) Al- 
though the office was given him for life, he was 
not required to reside in the Province, and, in 
fact, he never saw it, but was represented by 
deputies. Mr. Grahame, in his " Colonial History" 
says, under 1685 : ''As a further recommenda- 
tion of the Province to the favor of the Scotch, 
Barclay displacing a deputy, (Lawrie,) whom he 
had appointed of his own religious persuasion, 
conferred this office on Lord Neil Campbell, uncle 
of the Marquis of Argyle, who repaired to East- 
Jersey, and remained there for some time as its 
Lieutenant-Governor." Campbell was followed 
by another Scotchman, Andrew Hamilton. 

While Presbyterians were thus finding homes 
in the northern and eastern parts of the Province, 
others mingled with the settlements that were 
creeping up the Delaware on both banks, and 
scattering between the river and the ocean. The 
first church in Philadelphia (less than thirty 
miles from Trenton) was organized about 1698. 
There was a Dutch Presbyterian church at Ne- 
shaminy (twenty miles) in 1 Y 1 0. But the church 
in Monmouth county, originally called " the 
Scotch Meeting-House," better known to us as the 

20 Edmundfon's PaiTage. 

J' Tennent Cliurcli," (tliirty miles,) was formed 
of Scottisli materials about 1692. Its first j^astor 
was fi^om Scotland.* 

I have indulged in tlie foregoing retrospect for 
tlie purpose of showing tlie origin and general pro- 
gress of the i^opulation that at length reached the 
more central region where the capital of the Pro- 
vince came to be established. And here I intro- 
duce, as a curious local memorandum, the earliest 
record to be found of a journey on what is now 
one of the two great thoroughfares between New- 
York and Philadelphia, by Trenton, but eight 
years before Philadelphia was laid out by Penn, 
and when the site of Trenton was only known as 
at " the Falls of the Delaware." William Ed- 
mundson, a minister of the Friends from Eng- 
land, made the following entry in his journal of 
1675, after leaving Shrewsbury and Middletown: 

* His grave is in the church-yard, w-ith a Latin inscription, signifying : 
"The ashes of the very pious Mr. John Boyd, pastor of this church of 
Calvin, are here buried, whose labor, although expended on a barren soil, 
was not lost. They who knew him well, at the same time prove his 
worth as rich in virtues. Reader, follow his footsteps, and I hope thou 
wilt hereafter be happy. He died August 30, 1108, the 29th year of his 
age." Mr. Boyd completed his trials with the Presbytery of Philadelphia 
September 27, 1*706, and was ordained ten days afterwards. On the 
minutes of May 10, 1709, the following expressive record is found; 
" The Kev. Mr. John Boyd being dead, what relates to him ceases." 

Edmund son. 21 

" Next morning we took our journey tlirongh the wil- 
derness towards Maryland, to cross the river at Delaware 
Falls. Richard Hartshorn and EliakiniWardell would go 
a day's journey with us. We hired an Indian to guide 
us, but he took us wrong, and left us in the woods. When 
it was late we alighted, put our horses to grass, and 
kindled a fire by a little brook, convenient for water to 
drink, to lay down till morning, but were at a great loss 
concerning the way, being all strangers in the wilderness. 
Richard Hartshorn advised to go back to Rarington river, 
about ten miles back, as was supposed, to find out a small 
landing-place from New- York, from whence there teas a 
small path that led to Delaware Falls. So we rode 
back, and in some time found the landing-place and little 
path ; then the two friends committed us to the Lord's 
guidance, and went back. We travelled that day, and 
saio no tame creature. At night we kindled a fire in the 
wilderness and lay by it, as we used to do in such jour- 
neys. Next day, about nine in the morning, by the good 
hand of God, we came well to the Falls, and by his provi- 
dence found there an Indian man, a woman, and boy with 
a canoe : so we hired him for some wampam.peg to help 
us over in the canoe ; we swam our horses, and though 
the river was broad, yet got well over, and by .the direc- 
tions we received from friends, travelled towards Dela- 
waretown, [probably Newcastle,] along the west side of 
the river. When we had rode some miles, vf e baited our 
horses and refreshed ourselves with such provisions as we 
had,/b7' as yet toe were not come to any inhabitants.'''^'^ 

* "A Journal of the life, travels, sufferings, and labors of love in the 
■work of the ministry of that worthy elder and faithful servant of Jesus 

22 Falls of the Delaware. 

As "the Falls of the Delaware" was not only 
the first name given to the part of the river 
where Trenton was afterwards built, but was for 
more than a century used to denote the general 
locality, it may be well to notice that w^hat is 
dignified by the term, is no more than the ra- 
pids of the current in the descent of about eigh- 
teen feet in six miles.* The association of the 
term has often led to the confounding of the 
Trenton rijDj)!©^ with the truly grand falls of 
West Canada Creek in Xew-York, which are 


called "Trenton Falls" from a ^dlla^■e in their 
vicinity. This has given occasion to some ludi- 
crous disappointments with travellers. It was 
probably the cause of the illusion of the English 
tourist in 1797, who " entered the State of jSTew- 
Jersey and slept at Trenton, which we left before 
sunrise the next morning ; a circumstance I re- 
gretted, as I wished to see the falls of the river 
Delaware in that neighborhood, which, I am in- 
formed, are worthy the attention of a traveller."f 

Christ, William Edmundson, who departed thiglife the 81st of the sixth 
month, 1712." London. 1715. (Philadelphia Library, No. 668. 8vo.) 

* Some pleasant associations must have lingered about the old name 
as late as 1824, when a Bible Society being formed in Trenton, the name 
was adopted of " The Bible Society of Delaware Falls." 

f "Priest's Travels, 1793-7." London. 

The Falls. 23 

Tlie translator of tlie "work of Kalm, to be more 
fully quoted hereafter, raises the humLle rapids 
mentioned Ly the Swede, to " the cataracts of the 
Delaware near Trenton."* Another Englishman, 
and president of the Eoyal Astronomical Society, 
pronounced, in 1Y96, that "these do not deserve 
the name oi falls ^ being nothing more than a 
ledge of rocks reaching across the river, and ob- 
structing the navigation for large vessels."f 

* " Kalm's Travels, by Forster." London. 1170. I. 49. 

•{• "Journal of a tour in unsettled parts of North America in 1196 and 
1197. By the late Francis Baily, President of the Royal Astronomical 
Society." London. 1856. P. 115. 

"Wansey, the " Wiltshire Clothier," says in 1194 : " In passing the Del- 
aware with our coacheo, we ferry within ten yards of one of the rapids, 
by which we are to understand that part of a river where the bed is al- 
most filled up with rocks, chiefly below the surface of the water, which 
occasions the current to pass very quick, and make it dangerous to 
those who are not acquainted with the navigation. {Journal of an Excur- 
sion, p. 106.) In a work by Dr. Douglass, a Scotchman, but for thirty 
years a resident of Boston, the following description is given of the nav- 
igation of the Delaware river in 1149-53: "Prom Philadelphia to 
Trent-Town Palls are thirty-five miles ; these are the first falls in the 
river, and the tide reaches up so high ; these falls are practicable, and 
the river navigable with boats that carry eight or nine tons iron, forty 
miles higher to Durham iron works. . . . Prom Trent-Town Palls 
this river is practicable upwards of one hundred and fifty miles for Indian 
canoe navigation, several small falls or carrying places intervening." 
{A Summary historical and political, of the first planting, progressive im- 
provements, and present state of the British Settlements in North America. 
By William Douglass, M.D. Boston. Vol. L 1149. Vol. IL 1153. 
Vol. II., p. 312.) 

24 Mahlon Stacy. 

It was at the Falls that Mahlon Stacy, a 
Yorkshireman, found the tract of land that com- 
mended itself as the most suitable site for a new 
settlement. He was one of the emigrants to 
Burlington (or Bridlington) in 1678, and being 
a creditor of Byllinge, he obtained from his as- 
signees eight hundred acres, l}^ng on both sides 
of the Assanpink, a creek which empties into the 
Delaware at Trentou. Here he took up his own 
abode, and built a grist mill. If, according to 
Smith's " History of New-Jersey," the first name 
given to the settlement at the Falls was " Little- 
worth," the disparaging title must have been dis- 
dained by Stacy, who pronounced it " a most 
brave place, whatever envy or evil spies may 
speak of it.'** 

In letters dated from " the Falls of Delaware" 

* The only positive evidence T have ever found that the name Little- 
worth was actually used, is that of the Rev. Dr. Cooley, who states that 
he had seen a deed of two lots, lying east of Greene street, between 
Second street (now State) and the Assanpink, which were described as 
"being in Little worth." The date of the deed is not given. It was probably 
the designation of some portion of the land too much exposed to the 
freshes of the creek to be as valuable as other parts. Smith's Histoiy, 
in the account of the great flood at Delaware Falls in 1692, says: "The 
first settlers of the Yorkshire tenth in New-Jersey had several of them 
bulk upon the low lands nigh the falls of Delaware, where they had now 
lived and been improving near sixteen years." It is to be hoped that 
there was nothing in the character of the settlers that suggested the ap- 
plication of Solomon's epithet : " The heart of the wicked is littk ivorth." 
Proverbs 10 : 20. 

Mahlon Stacy. 25 

m 1680, Stacy extols tlie fertility of the whole 
region, the abundance of fruit,* berries, game, 
and fish, whilst he " honestly declares there is 
some barren land, as (I suppose) there is in most 
places of the world, and more wood than some 
would have upon their lands ; neither will the 
country produce corn without labor, nor cattle 
be got without something to buy them, nor bread 
with idleness ; else it would be a good country 
indeed." The good Friend would not overlook 
the guidance of Providence in his own case, nor 
encourage his Yorkshire correspondents to follow 
him over the sea, unless they felt the same in- 
ward direction. " When I am walking alone, 
and the sense of the Lord's good dealings is 
brought before me, I can not but admire him for 
his mercies, and often in secret bless his name 
that ever he turned my face hitherward, and 
gave me confidence in himself, and boldness by 
faith to oppose all gainsayers, though never so 
stronor. ... If you have clearness to come 
to New-Jersey, let nothing hinder ; but if you 
have a stop within yourself, let not any thing 
farther you, until the way clears to your full 

* "Peaches in such plenty that some people took their carts a peach- 
gathering. I could not but smile at the conceit of it." 


<I|hayti!iI ^j'lioiri. 

The Chueches of Hopewell and Maidenhead. 


® JMl 

This little map will serve to explain the topo- 
grapliy of the region embraced in the history of 
the united churches of Hopewell and Maidenhead, 
which is the history of the churches of Trenton.* 

* One of the most prosaic downfalls in the history of the change ot 
names, took place when the ancient English term for maidenhood 

Hopewell. 27 

In 1694 tlie Assanj)ink was made the northern 
boundary of the county of Burlington ; and in 
1Y14 the new county of Hunterdon was formed, 
reaching from the Assanpink, as its southern line, 
to the northern extremity of West -Jersey. Of 
this large and for the most part unsettled terri- 
tory, now divided into several of the most popu- 
lous and important counties of the State, Hope- 
well and Maidenhead were adjoining townships. 
It is reasonable to suppose that the Presbyterian 
inhabitants, scattered over the twin townships, 
were for some time dependent on itinerant or 
missionary preachers for the opportunities of 
public worship, and that when such opjDortunities 
opened, the people would congregate from long 
distances in school-rooms, or private houses, or in 
the shade of woods, in different neighborhoods, 
as convenience or some system of rotation might 

was converted by the Legislature, in 1816, on the petition of the inhab- 
itants, into Lawrence for the township and Lawrenceville for the town, 
in honor of the hero of the frigate Chesapeake. It would be a parallel 
improvement if the people of Virginia should drop the name of their 
State for one that would embalm the name of Captain Joha Smith. The 
original Maidenhead is a small town on the Thames, in Berkshire, and is 
partly in the parish of Bray ; one, at least, of whose vicars is' an historical 
personage. Not far from the town is Salt Hill, famous which scholars 
for the Eton Montem. 

28 Maidenhead. 

appoint * It is not strange, on this supposition, 
that the names " Hopewell" and " people of 
Hopewell," should be used in the ecclesiastical 
records in reference to different neighborhoods, 
and even parishes, so that after the lapse of a 
century and a half it would not be possible to 
determine in every instance what particular local- 
ity, if any, is designated. The present churches 
of Ewino;', Penninsfton, and Trenton were in 
Hopewell ; that of Lawrence^dlle was in Maiden- 
head. It is not imj)robable that the Presbyteri- 
ans in the latter township were sometimes in- 
cluded in the general reference of '' Hopewell." 

Some of my readers may need to be reminded 
of a ]!^ew-England peculiarity which then obtain- 
ed in this Province, and will still further account 
for the confusion. I may explain it in the words 

* The two townships would have been a small circuit for a mission- 
ary, compared with some that were assigned in the last century by 
Presbyteries to Supplies and even to Pastors. In 1739 the Presbytery ot 
New-Brunswick directed one of their ministers to divide his time among 
the peopleof Allentown, Cranbury, Pepack, Lebanon, and Muskinicunck,_^^ 
In 1740 Mr. McCray accepted a call from Lametunck, Lebanon, Pepack, 
Readingtown, and Bethlehem ; and Mr. Robinson was directed to supply 
Middletown, Shrewsbury, Shark-river, Cranbury, Crosswicks, the Forks, 
G-reen's, and Pahaqually. In 1749 Mr. Chesnut was appointed to supply 
Amwell for four weeks, then Penu's Neck, then Woodbury, then seven 
Sabbaths at Cape May. 

Deed of 1698. 29 

of Colonel (afterwards Governor) Lewis Morris, 
in 1700, wlien referring to tlie " towns" of East- 
Jersey. '' These towns are not like the towns in 
England, the houses built close together on a 
small spot of ground, but they include large por- 
tions of the country of four, five, eight, ten, 
twelve, fifteen miles in length, and as much in 
breadth ; and all the settlements within such 
state and bounds is said to be within such a 
township ; but in most of those townships there 
is some place where a part of the inhabitants 
set down nearer together than the rest, and con- 
fine themselves to smaller portions of ground, 
and the town is more peculiarly designed by 
that settlement."* 

The first authentic notice of any efibrt on the 
part of the inhabitants of the two townships to 
provide a permanent place of worship is found in 
a deed dated March 18, 1698-9.t In that instru- 
ment, Jeremiah Basse, Grovernor of East and 
West- Jersey, and Thomas Eevell, " Agents of 
the Honorable West-Jersey Society in England," 
conveyed one hundred acres '' for the accom- 

* "The Papers of Lewis Morris.'.' N. J. Hist. Soc, 1852. 

f In this part of my researches T have availed myself of the collections 
kindly placed at my disposal by the Rev. George Hale, pastor of Pen- 

30 Grantees. 

modation and service of the inliabitants of the 
township of Maidenhead, within the lil^erties 
and precincts of the said county of Burlington 
and the inhal3itants near adjacent, for the erect- 
ing a meeting-house, and for burying-ground 
and school-house, and land suitable for the 
same."* The names of many of the grantees 
will be recognized as still represented in this 

Ralph Hunt, ^ Philip Phillips, 

John Bainbridge, [or Ban- Joshua Anclris, [sometimes 


Andrus and Andrews, 

Johannes Lawrenson, 

and Anderson, 

William Hixon, 

Samuel Davis, 

John Bryerly, [Brearley ?] 

Enoch Andris, 

Samuel Hunt, 

Cornelius Andris, 

Theophilus Phillips, 

James Price, 

Jonathan Davis, 

John Runian, 

Thomas Smith, 

Thomas Runian, 

Jasper Smith, 

Hezekiah Bonham, 

Thomas Coleman, 

Benjamin Maple, 

Benjamin Hardin, 

Lawrence Updike, 

William Akers, 

Joseph Sackett, 

Robert Lannen, [Lannino^,' 

Edward Hunt, y 

The strong presumption is, that from the be- 
ginning this was a Presbyterian congregation, 

* Eecorded Book B., No. 2, p. 655, in the State House at Trenton. 

Maidenhead Church. 


and that, although the precise year in which a 
church was erected on the ground thus con- 
veyed, can not be ascertained, the first house 
of worship for any denomination in the two 
townships was that at Maidenhead, now Law- 
renceville. John Hart, a signer of the Declara- 
tion of Independence, was baptized by the Rev. 
Jedediah Andrews, at Maidenhead, December 
31, 1713. As Edward Hart, his father, lived 

in Hopewell, three miles below Pennington, it 
is probable that there was a church at Maiden- 
head to which the child was taken. There were 
ten baptisms at Maidenhead in April, 1713, which 

32 Maidenhead Church. 

goes to increase the probability of a permanent 
place of worship being there at that date. There 
is positive evidencce of its existence three years 
later, for in the records of the Court of Sessions 
for Hunterdton county, dated Tuesday, June 5th, 
1716, is the entry : '^ Proclamation made and the 
court adjourned to the meeting-house in Maiden- 
head in half an hour." 

I regret that I am not able to produce views 
of any of the original churches. The engraving 
here presented is a copy of the Lawrenceville 
church as it now stands, but excluding the lec- 
ture and school-l3uilding which stands at the 
extremity of the front of the lot, and excluding 
also the extensive 2Tave-yard which surrounds 
the church. The present front (forty-five feet) 
and about thirty-two feet of the depth, is the 
same structure that was raised in 1764. The 
church was enlarged in 18)^3, to the dimensions 
of forty-five by sixty feet, and in 1853, fifteen 
feet were added to the length. I may add that 
in 1819 this congregation came into possession 
of a valuable farm and parsonage devised to them 
by Jasper Smith, Esq., an elder of the church. 

The earliest sign of preparation for a church 
in Hopewell is found in two deeds of April 20, 

Hopewell Church. 33 

1703."^ In the first of these, John Hutchinson 
conveyed to Andrew Heath, Eicliard Eayre, 
Abiall Davis, and Zel)ulon Heston, a lot of two 
acres, in trust. The second and concurrent deed 
declares the purpose of the trust. It is address- 
ed, ^'To all Christian people to whom these 
presents shall come," and sets forth that the 
trust is " for the inhabitants of the said township 
of Hoj^ewell and their successors inhabiting and 
dwelling within the said township forever ; for 
the public and common use and benefit of tbe 
whole township, for the erection and building of 
a public meeting-house thereon, and also for a 
place of burial, and for no other uses, intents, or 
purposes whatsoever." The ground thus convey- 
ed is within three miles of Trenton, (marked 
" Old Church" on our ma23,) a short distance be- 
yond the State Lunatic Asylum. A church was 
erected on this site which seems to have become 
tlie exclusive proj^erty of Episcopalians, as that 
denomination occupied it until St. Michael's 
Church was built in the towm, and tlie cono^reo^a- 
tion sold the ground in 1838 — the liouse having 
long before disappeared. 

It is probable that if tlie history of this 

* Deed Book AAA, 106 and 114. State House. 

34 OW Cemetery. 

Cliiircli could be ascertained, it would read 
somewliat like the following record in tlie Min- 
utes of the Presbytery of New-Brunswick, Sep- 
tember 19, 1Y38. 

" The affair of Cranberry concerning the Meeting-house 
was opened up before the Presbytery, wherein it appeared 
that the peoj)le of the Presbyterian and Church of Eng- 
land persuasion have a conjunct interest in the Meeting- 
house, by virtue of an agreement between such of the 
Presbyterians as assisted the building of it, and their 
neighbors of the Church of England ; and therefore upon 
the proposal of the rest of our persuasion who are not 
willing to have any concern with the said house upon that 
foundation, the Presbytery do advise and judge it most 
proper that the gentlemen of the Church of England do 
either buy or sell their interest, that so the Presbyterians 
may all have a house for worship by themselves alone, and 
so that this whole body may be united." 

When St. Michael's Church made the convey- 
ance of 1838, by which the old church-plot was 
added to a surrounding farm, reservation was 
made of an inclosure measuring thirty-two feet 
by twenty-seven, occupied by graves. The in- 
closure is made by a stone wall, now falling into 
ruins, and has the appearance of having been de- 
signed for a family cemetery. The only grave- 
stones remaining are those of Samuel Tucker, 
1789, and Mrs. Tucker, 1^87, which will be de- 

Lockart's Deed. 35 

scribed hereafter ; one " in memory of John, son 
of William and Elizabeth Cleayton, who died 
November 6, 1757, [possibly 1737,] aged 19 
years ;" another of " Ma , [probably Marga- 
ret,] the wife of John Dagworthy, Esq., who died 
May 16, 1729, aged 37 years ;" and a few more 
which can not be decij^hered beyond " Grace 

Da ," or "Hend ," etc. It is said 

that the widow of William Trent, whose name 
was given to the town, was buried here, but there 
is no trace of the grave. 

In less than six years from Hutchinson's deed 
to Heath and others, the Hopewell Presbyterians 
took measures for the erection of a church for 
themselves, within three miles of the one just de- 
scribed. This was the beginning of the congre- 
gation, which, after the foundation of the town- 
ship of Trenton, (L7 19-20,) was called the 
" Trenton First Church," but which now takes 
the name of the new township of Ewing. The 
original deed was dated March 9, 1709, and con- 
veyed two acres of land from Alexander Lockart, 
a Scotchman, to 

Richard Sciidder, Jacob Reeder, 

John Burroughs,* Cornelius Anderson, 

* The genealogy of the family of Burroughs may be found in Riker's 
Annals of Newtown, Queen's County, New- York," published in 1852. 

36 Flril Congregation. 

Ebeiiezer Prout, John Silerons, (or Siferons, 

Daniel Howell, Severance, Severns,) 

John Deane, Simon Sacket,f 

John Davis, George Farley, 

Jonathan Davis, Caleb Farley, 

Enoch Anderson, William Reed, 

William Osoorne, Joseph Sacket.f 

There are no original records or documents to 
remove tlie obscurity that surrounds the first 
action under this deed; hut in the following 
minute of the Presbytery of Philadelphia^ May 
11,1 709, Hopewell may refer to this people — per- 
haj)s in connection with those of what is now Pen- 
nins: ton : 

" Ordered, that Mr. [Joseph] Smith go to the people of 
Maidenhead and Hopewell, and confer Avitli them on 
such matters as shall be propomided to him by them, cou- 

The first of the name came from England to Salem, Massachusetts, in 
1637, and died in 1678. His name was John. His son, Joseph, "a 
liberal supporter of the Presbyterian ministry in Newtown," died in 1138. 
Joseph's sou, John, who married Margaret Renne in 1721, "owned land 
at Trenton," and died at Newtown, July 7, J 750. Mr. Charles Bur- 
roughs, who has been a trustee of our church since 1826, is a great- 
grandson of the grantee in Lockari's deed. His father, John Burroughs, 
died in Trenton April 28, 1842, in his eighty-ninth year. 

f In Mr. Hiker's work there is also given a history of the Sacket family, 
which appears to have been that with which the two grantees of the 
name, and also the clergyman hereafter mentioned, were connected. 
Simon was a familv-name 

Church of 1712. 


cerning his being called to be their minister ; and that Mr. 
Smith preach to the people aforesaid on his way to New- 
England, or return from it, or both ; and that this be in- 
timated to Mr. Smith, and the people aforesaid be writ to 
by Mr. Andrews."" 

The first cliiircli on this ground was built of 
logs, (1712 ;) this made room, about 1726, for a 
frame-building, which was used until 1795, when 
one of brick was erected. In 1839 the church 
was remodelled. The cut represents the church 
of 1795 before alteration ; and here I take the 
liberty of quoting a few verses from a poem, 

38 The Old Church. 

written for the amusement of her grandchildren 
by an estimable member of this church, and 
prompted by the destruction of one of two old 
oaks in the church-yard, in 1852. 

its 4c 4c * 4c 4: 

" Two hundred years, or more, the storms you braved 
Unharmed, while round your head the tempest raved. 
A faithful guard, for all that time, you kept. 
Above the throng that 'neath your sha,dow slept. 
The wild tornado's breath hath o'er thee past, 
And prostrate on the earth you lie at last. 

^ !}» <♦ H'* T* T* 

And here they stood when the forefathers came, 
To build an altar to their Maker's name. 
Men from afar — perchance across the deep, 
This place they chose their Sabbath rest to keep. 
They built an altar of materials rude, 
Unhewn the stone, and roughly dressed the wood, 
'Twas blest of Him, whose promised dwelling-place 
Is where his people meet to seek his grace. 

*JC Jjj ^ SfC T» *P 

Once in three weeks the stated pastor came 
With gracious message in his Master's name, 
Reciprocated all the greetings kind, 
Rejoiced in health and peace his flock to find. 
The morning service o'er, beneath your shade 
They ate their bread, and kind inquiries made : 
' How fared it mth the brother pioneers. 
What were their prospects, what their hopes and fears? 

The Old Church. 39 

What news from home, afixr — beyond the sea — 
Fight Hampden, Cromwell, still for liberty ? 
Or to his kingdom is King Charles restored ? 
Has promised, bnt again to break his word ? 
Has Scotland sheathed the sword, or does she still 
For conscience' sake oppose her sovereign's will ? 
Worship the faithful still in caves and dens, 
In forest deep, or wild secluded glens ? 
For Wales who strikes to put oppression down ? 
Who nobly dares to w^ear a martyr's crown ?" 

^ ^ * * * ^ 

One to the other thus the tidings bore, 
Of clime and kindred they would see no more. 
That duty done, once more to praise and pray. 
The church they entered — thus they spent the day. 

^ * its ifi iH :i: 

' Time levels all,' the old church passed away, 
It served a holy purpose in its day ; 
And faithful men a new foundation laid, 
Offerings of patient toil and substance made ; 
Well wrought, the buUding rose by careful hands. 
Memorial of their zeal, the church now stands. 

* * * * * H« 

Now, many a mossy stone the name discloses 
Of faithful Reeds and Scudders, Ho wells, Roses, 
Reeder, Clarke, Hart, Carle, Furman, and the Moores, 
Fish, Welling, Hendrickson, Temples, Greens by scores, 
Lanning, Hunt, Cook, Burroughs, and Jones and Lott, 
And hundreds lie without a stone to mark the spot." 

* ***** 

40 Firlt Preibytery. 

At tlie time of tlie formation of this venerable 
cliurcli, tlie Presbytery of Philadelphia was the 
only one in America. It was formed in 1704 or 
1705, and included seven ministers, who were 
pastors in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and what is 
now Delaware. In 1706 a member was added 
from New-Jersey. To this body the Presbyteri- 
ans, whether organized or not into congregations, 
or represented on the roll, would naturally look 
for counsel and aid, esj)ecially for the obtaining 
of the ordinances of worship). In Sejjtember, 
1710, the Presbytery, writing to the Presbytery 
of Dublin and Synod of Glasgow, in entreaty for 
their help in furnishing ministers, say that they 
have but two congregations " in the Jerseys ;" 
" the number of our ministers from the respective 
Provinces is ten in all ; three from Maryland, 
five from Pennsylvania, and two from East- 

Under date of September 27, 1711, the fol- 
lowing minute ajDpears : 

" Upon the desire of the people of Maidenhead and 
Hopewell, signified by Mr. William Yard, for our assisting 
them in getting a minister, it was agreed that in case the 
people of Maidenhead and Hopewell are not engaged with 
Mr. Sacket, that they use all opportunities they have for a 

Robert Orr. 41 

speedy supply, and apply themselves to the neighboring 
ministers for assistance hi getting a minister for them." 

Tliere is no further reference in the Records 
of Presbytery, to the congregations of this neic>;h- 
borhood until September, 1715, when Philip 
Ringo presented a call from Maidenhead and 
Hopewell to Mr. Kobert Orr, which was ap- 
proved by Presbytery, accepted by him, and his 
ordination appointed for October 20. This took 
place on the day specified, when Mr. Orr was 
" solemnly set apart to the work of the ministry, 
by Masters Andrews, Morgan, Dickinson, Evans, 
and Bradner, at Maidenhead, before a numerous 

As an old tablet, now in the wall of the first 
church in the city of Trenton, gives 1712 as the 
year in which the Presbyterian church was 
" Formed," that is supposed to be the date when 
the parent congregation was formally organized 
in view of taking possession of the ground con- 
veyed by Lockart in 1709. This then, would be 
one of the centres of Mr. Orr's mmistry for Hope- 
well. He appears to have resided on what is 
now the boundary line between the townships 

* Letter Book of Presbytery. Printed Records, p. 41. 

42 Pennington. 

of Lawrence and Ewing. A son of his, who died 
during his pastorate, was buried in the Lockart 
ground, and the grave-stone is visible from the 
present church. Mr. Orr remained in this charge 
nearly four years. His name occurs for the last 
time in ecclesiastical records, in the minutes of 
Synod, September 19, 1719, where he is spoken 
of as " having at present no pastoral charge," and 
the usual testimonials were given to him and an- 
other minister, it "being uncertain how and 
where Providence may dispose of them." 

The age of the Hoj^ewell church at Penning- 
ton is not precisely known, but the building was 
used in 1725-6, as the township records of March 
9 of that year show that it was " agreed upon 
by the majority of the town, to hold their town- 
meetings ensuing at the new meeting-house by 
John Smith's." Smith is known to have been 
owner of the land adjoining the lot which is still 
the site of the church. There is a tradition that 
prior to the building of a church, a school-house 
was used for some time, which stood on what is 
now the southern part of the grave-yard, and 
long known as " the school-house lot." This lot 
was conveyed by John Smith for the considera- 
tion of ten pounds, to Nathaniel Moore, William 

Moi'es Dickinfon. 43 

Cornwell, Jolin Everitt, Ralpli Hunt, Joiiatlian 
Fiirman, Reuben Armitage, and Stephen Baldwin. 
Tlie Rev. Robert Orr was followed in tlie 
Hopewell charge by the Rev. Moses Dickinson, 
a younger brother of the first President of the 
College of New-Jersey, and a graduate of Yale 
when the whole senior-class numbered but ^ve^ 
all of whom entered the ministry. This was in 
1717, the year in which the College was removed 
from Saybrook to New-Haven. The history of 
Mr. Dickinson's Presbyterial connection can not 
be given, as the Records of that period are not 
extant ; but according to the minutes of the 
Synod he attended the sessions of that body in 
1722, 1724, and 1725. Among the delegates of 
those three years appears the name of Enoch 
Armitage, who was a Ruling Elder of Ho23ewell. 
Mr. Dickinson removed to the Congregational 
church of Norwalk, Connecticut, in 1727, and 
continued to be its pastor until his death. May 1, 
1778, in the 83d year of his age, and 51st of his 
ministry. In his seventieth year he took a col- 
league from the Presbytery of New-Brunswick, 
the Rev. William Tennent, Junior. There are 
two printed sermons of Mr. Dickinson's : one of 
them was preached at the ordination of the Rev. 

44 Enoch Armitage. 

Elisha Kent, grandfather of the distinguislied 
Chancellor of New- York. 

Mr. Armitage, who was a native of Yorkshire 
in England, was an active elder. He officiated 
in Hopewell when no minister was present, not 
only in reading " the works of approved di^dnes," 
as our elders and deacons are authorized to do in 
such an emergency, but occasionally reading his 
own compositions. The Rev. J\Ir. Hale has in 
kis possession a manuscri23t of the usual lengtk 
of a sermon, in the handwriting of Mr. Armitage, 
headed, " Some Meditations upon the loth, 16th, 
and 17th verses of tke 27 th chapter of Numbers, 
occasioned by the removal of Mr. Dickinson, and 
delivered at Hopewell meeting-house by E. A., 
1 7 27." The text of the '' meditations " is : " And 
Moses spoke unto the Lord, saying. Let the Lord, 
the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over 
the congregation, which may go out before them, 
and which may go in before them, and which 
may lead them out, and which may bring them 
in : that the conorres^ation of the Lord be not as 
sheep, which have no shepherd." 

The discourse opens in these modest terms : 

" Beloved Friends : I having no book of any subject 
suitable to the present outward circumstances of the con- 

Meditations. 45 

gre2:ation, and being something more than ordmarily af- 
fected with our present desolate condition, I thought meet 
to deliver my own meditations on the forementioned sub- 
ject, though I know not whether they will be of any use 
to you, or meet with acceptance from you ; yet hoping 
they may at least do no harm to any, and presuming on 
your flivorable construction, and being encouraged by 
your kind acceptance of what I have been enabled to do 
in your service, since Divine Providence cast my lot 
amongst you, I therefore humbly proceed to deliver my 
meditations on these words." 

I quote tlie annexed paragraph from the Me- 
ditations for the sake of the intimation it contains 
that there was more than one place of worship 
within reach of the people of Hopewell — the re- 
ference being probably to Maidenhead ; Mr. Ar- 
mit age's farm was within a mile of Pennington. 

" Now this being the case of this congregation, w^e are 
as sheep that have no shepherd by the removal of our 
minister from us : and whether the same Providence that 
removed him, notw^ithstanding all our endeavors to the 
contrary, will permit his return, as some hope, I know not : 
but as however that may be, as affairs now stand, it seems 
likely that some part of the congregation will be as sheep 
that have no shepherd, therefore I hope," etc. 

Mr. Dickinson was followed in 1Y29 by the 
Kev. Joseph Morgan. He is supposed to have 
come from Wales, but was educated at Yale, and 

46 Joleph Morgan. 

was one of the six first graduates in 1702. Pre- 
sident Woolsey, in a letter to Mr. Hale, remarks 
that " some interest is attached to Mr. Morgan 
from the fact that he was not only one of the 
members of the first class in Yale College, but 
also the only one of the class who did not also 
take his degree at Harvard, that is, the only one 
veritably educated at Yale alone." He came into 
New- Jersey from Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1 YlO, 
and was pastor at Freehold from that time until 
called to the united congregations of Hopewell 
and Maidenhead. 

In the " Presbyterian Magazine" of November, 
185Y, is preserved a long letter from Morgan to 
Dr. Cotton Mather, written at Freehold in Sep- 
tember, 1721. It is wholly in Latin, and in such 
Latin as might be expected from the circum- 
stances it describes. " For," he says, " I spent 
only three years in the study of languages and 
the arts, and, for twenty-five years I have la- 
bored almost constantly with my hands. A 
Latin, Greek, or Hebrew book I have sometimes 
not had in my hands for a whole year. I have 
scarcely any books : possess no dictionary but an 
imperfect Rider. I have no commentaries, nor 
theological systems nor histories. I have no 

Morgan. ^7 

leisure for reading, nor for writing discourses for 
the cliurcli, and often know not my text before 
the Sabbath." The letter is chiefly in reference 
to some physical and metaphysical arguments 
against Deists, Socinians, and other heretics, 
which Morgan had sent to Mather some months 
before, but which had not ]:)een acknowledged. 
He incidentally mentions that " in Hopewell and 
Maidenhead, thirty miles distant, where the Rev. 
Moses Dickinson preaches, there is a great in- 
crease of the church." 

Whether there were any unfavorable rumors 
in regard to Mr. Morgan when he came from 
New-England, is not certain ; but he seems to 
have been received by the Presbytery with some 
caution. On the 21st September, 1710, a com- 
mittee was appointed '' to inquire into Mr. Mor- 
gan's and [Paulus] Van Yleck's affair, and pre- 
pare it for the Presbytery." In the afternoon 
the committee reported on " Mr. Morgan's case," 
and " after debating thereon" he was admitted to 
the Presbytery. There was " serious debating" 
upon Van VLeck's case before he was received. 
Within two years Van Vleck, (who was settled 
with the Dutch Presbyterian congregation at Ne- 
shaminy,) was found guilty of bigamy and other 


48 Morgan. 

offenses. Mr. Morgan's irregularities begin to be 
noticed in 1716, when his "absence this and se- 
veral years by-past being inquired into, it was 
resolved that a letter should be writ, informing 
Mm that if he comes not, nor sends sufficient rea- 
sons against next year, we shall take it for 
granted that he has altogether deserted us." It 
was at this session that the Presbytery of Phila- 
delphia di\T.ded itself into three, (Philadelphia, 
Newcastle, and Long Island,) and formed the 
Synod of Philadelphia, and there being no mi- 
nutes of the Presbytery extant after 1716 until 
1733, the furtber history of this part of Morgan's 
delinquency is not traceable. He a23peared at 
Synod in 1717, and was a punctual and active 
attendant for several years. In 1728 "divers 
papers of complaint" against bim were presented 
to the Synod by some members of his church. 
Of the seven charges one related to astrological 
experiments, another to dancing, and a third to 
intemperance. The Synod judged that, though 
Mr. Morgan may have been imprudent in some 
particulars, the accusations proceeded from a 
" captious and querulous spirit ;" and as to th e 
charge of intemperance, " it appears to the Synced 
to be a groundless prosecution Against one wh^o 

Morgan. 49 

has ever been esteemed a temperate man." But 
on tills liead tlie Synod were probably too chari- 
table, as in 1736, when Morgan had been settled 
in Hopewell for some seven years, he was tried by 
the Presbytery and found guilty of intemperance, 
and suspended. A reference from the Pres- 
bytery to the Synod in May, 1737, led to the di- 
recting of the Presbyteries of Philadelphia and 
East-Jersey* to meet as a committee at Maiden- 
head in August, and review the case. After this 
resolution was adopted, a paper was presented 
by Enoch Armitage, the preacher of the " Medi- 
tations," " signed by many hands of the congre- 
gations of Hopewell and Maidenhead, requesting 
that, since Mr. Morgan is not likely to be useful 
any more as a minister among them, from his re- 
peated miscarriages, if the Synod should see cause 
to restore him to his ministry, he might not be 

* The Presbytery of East-Jersey was formed by the Synod in 1733, 
by dividiag the Presbytery of Philadelphia. In 1*738 the Presbyteries of 
East- Jersey and Long Island were united as the Presbytery of ISTew-Tork. 
On a subsequent day of the same sessions, (May 25, 1*738,) the Presby- 
tery of New-Brunswick was formed out of the Presbytery of New- York. 
Its bounds were "all to the northward and eastward of Maidenhead and 
Hopewell unto Raritan river, including also Staten-Island, Piscatua, 
Amboy, Boundbrook, Baskingridge, Turkey, Eocksiticus, Minisink, Pe- 
qually, and Crosswicks." (Printed "Records," pp. 104, 134, 136.) This 
left our churches in the Presbytery of Philadelphia. 

n 3 

50 ' Morgan. 

reinstated as tlieir minister." Upon this tlie 
Synod came to the decision : " That the people of 
Hopewell and Maidenhead be left at their liberty 
to entertain Mr. Morgan as their pastor or not, 
even supposing the committee appointed to meet 
on his affair in August, should see cause to re- 
store him to the ministry ; only the Synod en- 
joins the people to pay to Mr. Morgan what ar- 
rears are due to him for time past."^ The com- 
mittee left him under suspension, which con- 
tinued until 1738, when the Presbytery restored 
him, but his name is not found again on the re- 
cords as present after 1739. 

During Mr. Morgan's pastorate — 1729-1736 — 
his residence was near Maidenhead church. In the 
course of that time the people of Hopewell oj)ened 
a subscription for the purchase of a j)arsonage, 
or as they expressed it, " a plantation to be a 
dwelling-place at all times " for the minister of 
" the Presbyterian society in that town," [town- 
ship.] If the subscription should admit of it, a 
Latin school was to be founded on the plantation. 
Mr. Hale, from whose collections I obtain these 
facts, thinks it " probable that this resulted in 

* Eecords of the Presb. Church. The minutes of the committe*. 
are inserted under the date of the Synod's session of May 24, 1738. 



the purchase of the jDarsonage-farm on the west 
side of the Scotch road, where for so many years 
resided the Rev. John Guild and the Rev. Joseph 
Rue, successively pastors of the First Presbyterian 
Church of Hopewell and Pennington." 

As names help to identify localities, and pre- 
serve other historical traces, I subjoin a list of 
the subscribers to the parsonage : 

Timothy Titus, 
William Lawrence, 
Thomas Burrowes, Jr., 
John Branes, 
Cornelius Anderson, 
Benjamm Severance, 
Francis Yanuoy, 
Jonathan Moore, 
Edmund Palmer, 
Alexander Scott, 
Edward Hunt, 
Thomas Hendrick, 
Robert Akers, 
Peter La Rue, 
John Fidler, 
Andrew Miibourn, 
Roger Woolverton, 
Benjamin Wilcocks, 
Johannes Hendrickson, 
Henry Oxley, 
Roger Parke, 
John Parke, 

Ralph Hunt, 
Joseph Hart, 
Abraham Anderson, 
Bartholomew Anderson, 
Joseph Price, 
Ephraini Titus, 
Robert Blackwell, 
Ralph Hunt, Jr., 
Richard Bryant, 
Jonathan Stout, 
Jonas Wood, 
Thomas Read, 
John Hunt, 
Jonathan Furman, 
Samuel Furman, 
John Carpenter, 
Samuel Hunt, 
]Sratha.niel Moore, 
George Woolsey, 
Jonathan Wright, 
Caleb Carman, 
Elnathan Baldwin. 

The TrentojS" Chuech: The Rev. David 


1 Y 1 4 —1 7 3 8 . 

EQeeetofore tlie principal settlements of Hope- 
well were at some distance from the " Falls of 
tlie Delaware." But now the enterj)rise of Wil- 
liam Trent opened tlie way for the secular and 
ecclesiastical progress of the township in another 
direction. Mr. Trent had come to Pennsylvania 
from Inverness, in Scotland, but belonged to the 
Church of England. He was a merchant in 
Philadelphia, and notwithstanding his unprofes- 
sional occupation, was for many years a Judge 
of the Supreme Court of the State, and Speaker 
of the House of Assembly, and withal is called 
" Colonel."" Mr. Trent, in 1714, bought Mahlon 

* In that iaexhaustible entertainment for the local antiquary, 
" Watson's Annals of Philadelphia," is a history and engraving of the 
house occupied by Col. Trent in Philadelphia from 1*703 to iTog. It is 
the house still standing (1858) at the corner of Second street and Norris' 
alley, and was first inhabited by William Penn ; {Annals, Edition of 185 0. 

William Trent. 53 

Stacy's tract of eiglit liundred acres, on botli 
sides of the Assaupink creek, and some time 
afterwards removed his residence thither. He 
soon fell into the same lines of public life which 
he had left in the sister province, for he repre- 
sented Burlington county in the Legislature of 
1721; was Speaker in 1723; and in the same 
year was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme 
Court. He died, however, in the first year of 
his ofiice, December 25, 1724. 

That " Trent's-town," or " Trent-town," was 
growing to a respectable condition, is indicated 
by the direction of the Governor in 1719, that 
the county courts should be held here, and it 
became the seat of the Supreme Court in 1724. 
As the population thickened, the convenience of 
the people would call for a church within reach 
of a walk ; and it is reasonable to suppose that 
before the time had come for building a new 
church, the Presbyterians in and near the town 
would hold religious meetings there, and might 
even erect some temporary structure which 

Vol. i. 164.) In a Trenton newspaper of 1840 I have marked this 
announcement : " Died at her residence near this city, December 20, 
1840, Mary, widow of Nathan Beakes, in her 79th year — the last person 
that had borne the name of Trent." 

; O* 

54 Church-lot. 

would afterwards be properly regarded as the 
foundation of the new church. In tracing the 
deeds of the lot now occupied by the State-street 
church, there is an appearance of its ha\dng been 
long designed, if not partially used, for church 
purposes. In May, 1684, Mahlon Stacy convey- 
ed to Hugh Standeland sixty acres on the north 
side of the Assanjiink. His heir-at4aw, in 1707, 
conveyed to Joshua Anderson one fiftla of the 
same. This fifth, or twelve acres, Anderson in 
November, 1722, conveyed to Enoch Andrus. 
In April 10, 1727, Andrus conveyed a portion 
of his lot^ — one hundred and fifty feet square — 
for the nominal sum of five shillings, to 

John Porterfield, William Yard, 

Daniel Howell, William Hoff, 

Richard Scudder, John Severns, 

Alexander Lockart, Joseph Yard.* 

The witnesses to the conveyance are John 
Anderson, Francis Giffing, and Daniel Howell, 
Now Enoch Andrus was one of the trustees in 

* The deed is in the possession of our trustees. It is recorded in 
hook AT., p. 108. The grant is described as " a certain piece or lot of 
land lying on the north side of Second street, that goes to the iron-works 
in Trenton, containing in length 150 feet, and in breadth 150 feet; with 
all the mines, minerals, woods, fishings, hawkings, huntings, waters, and 
v>-ater-courses." The iron-works were about a mile eastward of the 

Anderfon's Grant. 55 

the deed of Basse and Revell of 1698-9 for tlie 
Maidenhead church ; five of his eight grantees 
were signers of the call of the first pastor of the 
town church in 1736, which they subscribe as 
" inhabitants of Trenton belonging to the Pres- 
byterian congregation ;" Joshua Anderson was 
an active Presbyterian, living near the town ; 
Lockart was the grantor, Scudder and Howell 
were among the grantees of the country church. 
All this looks as if a church-plot in town may have 
been long in view, although no specific object is 
mentioned in the conveyances. This, indeed, does 
not appear in the deeds until August 24, 1763, 
when Josej^h Yard, sole survivor of the joint 
tenants, conveys the same lot to " the Trustees 
of the Presbyterian Church of Trenton, for the 
special uses and trust following, that is to say, to 
be and remain forever for the use of public wor- 
ship and as a burial-place for the Presbyterian 
congregation of Trenton forever."* The joint 
tenancy was undoubtedly for the purpose of hold- 
ing the lot for the congregation, which was not 
incorporated until 1756. 

* The original is with the trustees ; it is recorded in book AT., p. 114. 
The church first went by the name of " Anderson's Meeting-house." The 
fourth and fifth generations in descent from Enoch Andrus, (Anderson,) 
aii3 now members of the city church. 

56 Church-lot. 

Another portion of the lot was purchased in 
1759. A deed of July 23, of that year, from 
Moore Furman, Sheriff of Hunterdon, conveyed 
to the Trustees a lot described as follows : 

" Being lot No. 3, beginning at the corner of the 
Presbyterian Meeting-house lot of land on the north 
side of the street or road that leads towards the old iron- 
works, and from thence runs along the line of the said 
meeting-house lot north three degrees west, 2 chains and 
14 links to the land of WilUam Morris, Esq., and from 
thence runs along his line N. 81^ E. one chain, 23 links 
to a j)Ost, being a corner of lot No. 4 ; and from thence 
runs along the line of the same S. 3<^ E., two chains and 
14 links to the aforesaid street or road, and from along the 
same one chain and 23 links to the first mentioned corner 
or j)lace of beginning." 

This part of the present grounds was bought 
for ten pounds proclamation money, being sold 
under execution, at the suit of James Hazard 
and Richard Alsop, Executors of Nathaniel 
Hazard, against Benjamin Stevenson, Executor 
of Enoch Anderson.^ The trustees took it " for 
the use and benefit of the said Presbyterian 
Church of Trenton, to bury theii^ dead in, and 
for other public uses of the said Church." I 

* In the present church-porch is a grave-stone, "In memory of Enoch 
Anderson, who departed this hfe April 15th, 1756. Aged 59 years." 
In the church-yard hedge is the grave of " Margaret Anderson; 173 3." 

Date of Church. 57 

From this it appears that the purchase of 1759 
was of a lot about eighty feet front; making 
with the lot of 1727, a front of two hundred and 
thirty-one feet. 

The present dimensions of the lot, as surveyed 
in 1840, are : 

South line, (the front,) 247 feet 9 in. 
Korth " 241 " 

East " 142 " 

West " 126 " 

Over one of the doors of the Church is a 
ma]*ble tablet thus inscribed : 


FOEMED 1712, 

Built 1726, 
Result 1805." 

This memorial was transferred to its present 
place, from the brick church taken down in 
1805 ; and the first two dates were copied from 
a similar inscription found in the stone building 
which preceded the brick. The date of 1712 is 
presumed to apply to the organization of the 
country church. There is more difference of 
opinion about the second line — some supposing 
'p to be the date of the frame church on Lock- 

58 Church of 1726. 

art's ground, which superseded the log building 
first erected. But while the matter is not cer- 
tain, the weight of probability appears to be in 
favor of the supposition that some kind of build- 
ing was erected on the Andrus ground a year 
before he made the formal conveyance of 1727, 
and that this is the explanation of " Built 1726." 
I am strengthened in this conclusion by find- 
ing that sixty-six years ago the tradition of t^ae 
day was to the same eftect. In a note prepared 
April 25, 1792, by the Kev. James F. Armstrong, 
in compliance with the call of the General 
Assembly for historical documents, and in which 
he refers to " Mr. Chambers and Mr. Benjamin 
Yard," as his authorities, is this statement: 

" The first Presbyterian congregation in the county o:f 

Hunterdon was formed in the township of Trenton ; and 

the church called the Old House was built about the yej\r 

1712, where the Rev. Robert Orr, a Scotsman, preach^id 

part of his time during three or four years ; the remaindc er 

of his time he preached at Maidenhead, where a church 

was built about the year 1716. . . . The congregati -on 

of Trenton, in or about the year 1726, built a church in 

the village of Trenton, not as a different congregatio>a, 

but for the convenience of that part of congregation I in 

and near the town." 


In this place may be approjDriately inserted &t 

Stone Church. 


^e^c)Y'^p^ion of the original town^Qrch, furnish- 
Q^ .for this volume by myjfented friend and 
felL^^^ elder, Franci^^i>^strong Ewing, M.D., 
whc^^^^^parture from this life before the publi- 
catii, will call upon me to introduce his name 
anciharacter more fully in a later chapter. The 
enjaving is taken from a drawing made by Dr. 
Eamp from the descriptions of those who remem- 
b' the first church. 


^Ije Olb ^ioite Cljurtlj. 

The old stone church, built in 1^26 — the 
fi;t of the series — stood on the south-west corner 
ot'^he church lot, on the same site as its succes- 

p Stone Church. 



.1 T -'-Tone, but not coverinsr so lardiiT 
sor, the brick^ ' ^ / cl :;e a 

Tx J? X ii^outh on Second street, (n^t.- 
space. It ironted > ^ i r ^ .xow 

State,) standing a little Ijc^it^^ - . ^ n . /the 

street, and having a large flat stone^ oex. ^te 

door. Its front presented in the centre a la' ^|^ie 

door-way, closed by two half-doors, on each shr de 

of which was a pretty large window, squa 

headed, as was the door ; and probably over ij 

door another window, though on this point th ^""i^e 

is a difference of recollection. The stones „i[d 

the building, free of wash or plaster, sho^ Sic^ri 

only their native hue, or that acquired by Y, ^i^^^^ 

exposure to the weather. The roof, with ga .'^-^as 

to the street, was of the curb or double pitj '■'^d 

kind, and was covered with shingles, each ni { ly 

rounded or scalloped. Entering the front /ity oj^r, 

a middle aisle, floored with wood, led tof5 ^^t.s 

the pulpit, which was at the opposite or ^® ^^^ th 

, *6acli<. I' 

end. The first object reached was a setth . ^^hu- 
pied during service by the sexton. Rai^ «>,,^^;rne 
step from the floor, was an inclosed sj)ace wi ith 
desk in front, where stood the minister wl^^'iile 
administering the sacraments or hearing i^hhe 
catechism. Behind and above was the pulpliilt, 
of wood, unpainted, as was all the wood-work -\ a 

the building, except the ceiling, having a soun f|Wl- 


Stone Church. 61 

board over it, fastened against the rear wall. In 
this wall, on each side of the pulpit, was a win- 
dow corresponding to those in front. The pulpit- 
stairs rose from the pastor's pew, which was 
against the rear wall on the east side of the 
pulpit. A gallery ran round the front and two 
sides, the stairs to which rose in the front cor- 
ners. Between the front door and these corner 
stairs were two square pews on each side, of 
unequal size, over the one of which, nearest the 
stairs, was one of the front windows. Before 
these pews was a cross-aisle, leading to the stairs 
and to the side-aisles. These were narrower than 
the middle one, and led to the north wall. All 
the pews against the walls were square, and, like 
all the others, had the usual high, straight backs 
of the time. Sitting in church was not then 
the easy^ cushioned affair of modern days. Two 
square pews against the rear wall ; four on each 
side, the foi'irth from the front being in the 
corner, ahd the four on the front comjDleted the 
number of fourteen. The rest of the floor was 
occupied by narrow pews or slips, opening into 
the side and middle aisles. The ceiling was 
wooden, curved in four ways, (the lines of junc 
tion rising from the corners,) and painted in ; 

1 4 

62 Stone Church. 

sort of clouded style, blue and white, intended 
to represent the sky and clouds, if the childish 
impressions of one of my informants have not 
thus mistaken the mottled results of time and 

'' "While the old church was standing, there 
was a tradition that there was a vault under the 
building, but it was not known where. When 
the house was taken down the vault was discov- 
ered, containing two coffins with plates, and 
other evidences that the bodies were those of 
persons of standing and importance. In the 
brick church, in the floor within the railing 
before the pulpit, was a trap-door, which was 
said to lead to this vault. The vault was covered 
over when the present church was built, and is 
embraced in one of the burial lots in the space 
where the old house stood.* 

'' The old church was rich enougli to own a 
bier, which, except during service ajid when not 
in use, was kept in the middle aisle. Tliere was 
no pulpit Bible ; the pastor's family Bible sup- 
plied its place, being taken to church in the 
morning and carried back after the afternoon 
service. This return being once neglected, and 

* The mysten^ of the vault will be explained in a later chapter. 

Stone Church. 63 

the book being needed in the evening, ' Black 
George,' the minister's boy, was sent to bring 
it. After a long absence he came running back, 
alarmed and agitated, saying he had stumbled 
over the ' pall-bearers,' meaning the bier. There 
was seldom service in the evening, and no provi- 
sion for it ; when needed, two large brass candle- 
sticks, belonging to the pastor's wife, were put 
in requisition to enlighten and decorate the 

" In the yard behind the church stood a fine 
apple-tree, much resorted to for its shade, its 
blossoms, and its fruit, by the children from the 
school-house, which was on the eastern part of 
the same lot. This school was taught by Mr. 
Nicholas Dubois, who united in himself the 
offices of elder, teacher, and chorister ; in which 
last capacity he had a place with his choir in the 

" In the pews of the old church I have describ- 
ed, were gathered every Sabbath, to listen to 
the preachers of the olden time, the princijDal 
families of that day. Of these a few relics still 
linger among us, treasuring u]) the memory of 
others ; while even the names of most of them are 
almost unknown to our present people. There 

64 Stone Church. 

were Hunt and Milnor, the leading merchants of 
their time, whose names were for many years at- 
tached to the corners they respectively occupied, 
(now Norcross' and Britton's.) There was Leake, 
learned in the law, but of extreme simplicity and 
guilelessness ; Smith, eminent as a physician and 
judge ; Belleville, from France, at the head of 
the medical profession, and esteemed by the 
highest authorities in the neighboring cities ; the 
elder Judge Ewing ; and besides these, the Gor- 
dons, Ryalls, Haydens, Calhouns, Yards, Moores, 
Collins, Chambers, Woolseys, and others whose 
names and memories have nearly passed away. 
In another place will be found the names of 
eminent preachers, whose voice at times filled 
the old house. 

" But all things come to an end, and so did the 
old stone church. Ha\dng stood for nearly 
eighty years witnessing the growth of the town 
almost from its beginning, and the stirring events 
of the Revolution, it was at length taken down 
in the year 1804, to make room for its successor. 
On the last Sabbath before its destruction, be- 
sides the installation of two new elders, the com- 
munion was administered. The solemnities of 
that occasion must have been deeply impressive, 

Hubbard. 65 

for tlie language and manner of tlie pastor, and, 
indeed, the whole scene, are still spoken of, by 
some who were present, with strong emotion." 

The Kev. Mr. Armstrong's memorandum, 
already quoted, proceeds to say : " After the 
founding of the two places of worship in the 
township of Trenton, Messrs. Hubbard, Wilson, 
and Morgan, unsettled ministers, preached in suc- 
cession at Trenton and the old house ; but their 
first settled pastor was the Rev. David Cowell." 
Morgan has already been mentioned in connec- 
tion with the other Hopewell churches and with 
Maidenhead. Of Hubbard and Wilson, the 
date and duration of theii* ministries, nothing is 
known beyond Mr. Armstrong's record. It has 
been suggested to me that the first-named person 
may have been the Rev. Jonathan Hubbard, 
(the family name is sometimes spelled Hobart,) 
of Connecticut, who graduated at Yale in 1Y24, 
and died in 1765. He was a fellow collegian 
and townsman of the Rev. Dr. Richard Treat, 
of Abington, Pennsylvania. Dr. Treat was at 
the Synod of 1783, when the Trenton people 
applied for supplies, and the conjecture is that 
he may have obtained the services of Mr. Hub- 


66 Wilfon. 

bard, wlio about tliat time discontinued his con- 
nection witli the cliurcli of Eastbury, Connecticut. 
There was a Eev. John Wilson, who, on Sep- 
tember 19, 1729, according to the minutes of 
the Synod of PhiLadelphia under that date, 
" coming providentially into these parts, signify- 
ing his desire of being admitted as a member of 
the Synod, his credentials being read, and the 
Synod satisfied therewith, was unanimously 
received." He was afterwards employed at 
Newcastle, where some misunderstanding arose 
between his congregation and the Presbytery, 
which was referred to the Synod, (September 
18, 1730,) who "judged that, as far as things ap- 
pear to us, they (the Presbytery) are not charge- 
able with any severity to him, but the contrary." 
There was another Rev. John Wilson, a Presby- 
terian pastor in Chester, New-Hampshire, in 
1734, who died there in 1779, aged seventy-six, 
and is supposed to have been a son of the first 
named.* One of these may have been the Tren- 
ton supply. 

The township of Trenton was set off from 
Hopewell by the Hunterdon County Court of 
Quarter Sessions in March, 1719-20. The new 

* Webster, p. 405. 

Cowell's Call. 67 

township included the country (now Ewing) 
and town churches, so that the name of Hope- 
well did not properly aj^ply to either of the 
parts of the joint congregation affeer that date, 
although from habit the term may have contin- 
ued to be used, especially of the country church. 
The call of the Rev. David Cowell was made on 
behalf of the united Trenton church. • The ori- 
ginal document, in its ample sheet, and well en- 
grossed by a clerkly hand, is before me, and runs 
as follows :* 

" Whereas we the subscribers, inhabitants of Trenton, 
belonging to the Presbyterian congregation, being desir- 
ous to settle a Gospel ministry amongst us, and having had 
the experience of the ministerial abilities, and the blame- 
less life and conversation of the Reverend Mr. David 
Cowell, do hereby unanimously call and desire him to 
settle amongst us, and to take the charge of this congre- 
gation as their minister. And we, the said subscribers, do 
herby promise and oblige ourselves to support the said 
Mr. Cowell with a maintenance, and otherwise to assist 
him as we may to discharge his ministerial function 
amongst us ; as witness our hands the seventh day of 
April, 1736. 

Joseph Higbee, Clotworthy Reed, 

William Hoff, Christopher J. Cowell, 

* For this and other papers I am indebted to Mr, John V, Cowell, 
elder of the Second Churchy Philadelphia, who is a great-nephew of our 


Cowell's Call. 

William Worslee, 
William Reed, 
Joseph Jones, 
Isaac Joeus, 
David Howell, 
Robert Lanning, 
Jonathan Furman, 
William Lartmoor, 
Richard Furman, 
Jacob Anderson, 
Isaac Reeder, 
John Porterfield, 
William Yard, 
Richard Scudder, 
Ralph Hart, 
Charles Clark, 
Cornelius Ringo, 
Samuel Johnson, 
Joseph Yard, 
Ebenezer Prout, 

Richard Green, 
Joseph Green, 
Wilham Green, 
Francis Giffing, 
Samuel Hooker, 
John Scudder, 
Henry Bellergeau, 
Andrew Reed, 
Ralph Smith, 
Arthur Howell, 
Peter Lott, 
James Bell, Jr., 
Eliakim Anderson, 
William Yard, Jr., 
]^eal W. Leviston, 
John Osburn, 
Daniel Bellergeau, 
William Peirson, 
David Dunbar." 

On tlie call is this indorsement : 

" Trenton, April the Yth, 1736. The following persons, 
viz., Richard Scudder, Ralph Hart, Charles Clark, Samuel 
Johnson, Cornelius Ringo, and Joseph Yard, were np- 
23ointed by the Presbyterian congregation present at 
Trenton the day above, to be a committee to present the 
withm-named call to Mr. Cowell, and to discourse with 
him in behalf of the congregation, and his settling 

among us. 

Jos. Yard, Clerk, S." 

Cowell. 69 

There is also on tlie back of tlie call a memo- 
randum by the hand of Mr. Cowell, " Recepi. 
May 1, 1736," denoting the day on which he was 
waited on by the committee. 

Mr. Cowell, although then in the thirty-second 
year of his age, was only four years from college, 
and was still a licentiate. He was born in 
Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1704, and was 
graduated at Harvard in 1732, the seventh 
year of the Presidency of the Rev. Benjamin 
Wadsworth. Mr. Cowell was in college in dis- 
orderly times. In the September of his last year 
a committee of the corporation closed an eight 
months' investigation of the causes of the low 
condition of morals and study. The commence- 
ment had become the occasion of so much dissi- 
pation in the town and neighborhood, that for 
some years about this time it was held on Fri- 
day, and then with a very short public notice, 
so as to allow but the end of the week for its 

I find no record of Mr. CowelPs reception to 
the care of the Presbytery of Philadelphia, nor 
of his licensure. They were probably in the lost 
minutes of 1732-3. On the 20th July, 1736, 

* Quincv's '• History of Harvard University." i. 388-H92. 

yo Cowell. 

the people of Trenton supplicated tlie Presby- 
tery of P]iiladel23liia, to whicli tliey then be- 
longed, for tlie ordination of Mr. Cowell. This 
was granted, and according to appointment, a 
committee of Presbytery met at Trenton on the 
second of November of that year. The commit- 
tee, as present, were the Rev. Messrs. Jedediah 
Andrews, David Evans, Eleazer Wales, and Rich- 
ard Treat. The Rev. William Tennent and Hugh 
Carlile were absent. The Rev. Jonathan Dickin- 
son and John Pierson sat as correspondents, having 
been delegated on other business. In the forenoon 
of the first day Mr. Cdwell was carried through 
his examination in theology. In the afternoon 
he preached his trial sermon from Romans 3 : 25, 
read his exegesis, (" An lex naturse sit sufficiens 
ad salutem,") and was conversed with on personal 
religion and his motives for the ministry. The 
next day was observed by the congregation, ac- 
cording to the Directory, with fasting and 
prayer. At two o'clock the services of ordina- 
nation and installment took place " in the public 
meeting-house at Trenton, in the presence of a 
numerous assembly," Mr. Andrews, of Philadel- 
phia, j)reaching from 2 Timothy 2:2. 

At this Presbyterial meeting an inquiry being 

Signers of Call. yi 

instituted as to what pro^dsion could be made for 
the vacant congregations of Hopewell and Maid- 
enhead, (Pennington and Lawrenceville,) Mr. 
Cowell was appointed to supply the former as 
often as he could, and Mr. Wales the latter. 

Mr. Cowell established his residence in the 
town. He was then, and continued through life, 
unmarried. In May, 1737, he was received in 
Synod, and at that session a supplicatioix coming 
in from Trenton for an appropriation from the 
fund for the assistance of the feebler congrega- 
tions, the sum of ^ve pounds was allowed for the 

I would be glad to give some notice of each 
of the signers of Mr. Co well's call, but find it im- 
possible to collect materials to any extent. 

Cornelius Ringo was of the German family 
which gave name to the village of Kingoes in 
Amwell. Philip Ringo, of Amwell, in 1757 left 
four sons, Albertus, Henry, John, and Cornelius. 
Cornelius died at Maidenhead in 1768. 

Peter Lott was a name of several generations. 
In 1721 one of them died, leaving ^ve children, 
to one of whom, Peter, he bequeathed '' six shil- 
lings" more than to the rest, and made him exe- 
cutor. He was of Hopewell. Peter Lott was a 

72 Porterlield. 

witness before Presbytery in Kev. Mr. Morgan's 
case in 1737. In 1755, Peter Lott, of Trenton, 
had (as appears by his will) a nephew Peter, son 
of his brother Hendrick, and a nephew Peter 
Kappleje, and a third nephew, Peter Schanck. 
He had a brother Mewrice, or Manrice. He de- 
sired " to be buried in Long Island, where my 
father and mother were buried." In 1762 a Pe- 
ter Lott, Jiinioi\ died at South- Amboy, leaving 
sons Peter, Daniel, and Gershom, and a daughter, 
Euth; and in 1764, the legatees of Peter Lott, 
of Middlesex, were his grandson Gershom, and 
his sons Henry, Abram, George, and Charles. 

John PoRTEKFiELD died in 1738. His will, 
dated three years before, describes him " of Tren- 
ton, merchant," and devises a thousand acres on 
the south branch of the Earitan, and other pro- 
perty in East New- Jersey, " late recovered from 
John, Earl of Melfort," one of the noble proprie- 
taries. It mentions his brother, Alexander, of 
Duchall, in Scotland, and a nephew, William 
RoUston, of the shire of Air, and " Boyd Porter- 
field, grandson to my brother." He bequeathed 
to another nephew, William Farquhar, " chirur- 
geon of Brunswick, all my interest in one third 
part of the forge at Trenton." John Kinsey, of 

Scudders. 73 

Philadelphia, Joseph Peace of Trenton, and "Wil- 
liam Farquhar were his executors. 

Fra^^cib GiFFiTiG. A blacksmith of this name 
died at Trenton in 1749. His children were 
John, Martha, and Rebecca. His wife Margaret 
and Joseph Yard were the executors. 

The Bellerjeaus are of French descent, and 
have their representatives still in Trenton. The 
name of Samuel Bellerjeau occurs hereafter, in 
1770. One of the family was a physician. 

Richard Scudder came from Long Island in 
1704, and established himself on a farm on the 
Delaware, about five miles above Trenton, which 
is still possessed by his lineal descendants. His 
children were Hannah, Mary, Richard, John, 
Abigail, Joseph, Samuel, Rebecca, and Joanna, 
all of whom were baptized by the Rev. Jedediah 
Andrews, eight of them, together with himself, 
at one solemnity. He died March 14, 1754, at 
the age of eighty-three. 

His son John, who also signed the call, died 
May 10, 1748, at the age of forty-seven. His 
children were Daniel, Amos, Prudence, Jemima, 
Jedediah, and Ephraim. 

Daniel, the eldest son of John, died June 5, 
1811, aged seventy-five. He was a trustee in 


J4 Andrew Reed. 

IY86 and subsequently. His children were 
Kachel, Keziali, Abner, and Elias. 

Elias, the youngest child, died February 20, 
1811, at the age of forty-four. His children 
were Daniel, John, Jasper Smith, and Abner. 
The third of these is the present Treasurer of 
the city congregation, being of the fifth generation 
of the family. 

Andeew Reed was a merchant in Trenton, 
and is probably the person mentioned in Gover- 
nor Morris's Papers, as having caused an excite- 
ment in 1744, in consequence of his having been 
elected Loan Officer with some informality by 
the Justices of Hunterdon.*'^ He w^as the first 
treasurer of the borough of Trenton upon its in- 
corporation in 1746. He was made a trustee of 
the church by the charter of 1756, and served 
until 1759, when he removed to Am well, 
where he died December 16, 1769. He was the 
father of General Joseph Reed of the Revolution, 
wdio followed him in the trusteeship in 1766. 
Mr. Andrew Reed residedt for some time also in 
Philadelphia, and was a trustee of the Second 
Presbyterian Church in that city. He had a 

* Papers of Lewis Morris, pp. 275, 303, 317. 

Baptisms. y5 

brother Josepli, who died at Am well in 1774, 
wliose will mentions tlie cliildren of liis late ])ro- 
tlier Andrew, namely, Joseph, Boaz, John, Sarah, 
(wife of Charles Pettit,) and Mary. He (Jo- 
seph) left a legacy to Margaret, " the wife of 
Clotworthy Reed, of Trenton," a name which is 
fonnd anion Of the sis^ners of the call. He also 
left thirty pounds to Princeton College, in addi- 
tion to twenty already subscribed, and fifty to 
the united Presbyterian congregations of Amwell, 
directing that his body should be interred in 
"the old English Presbyterian meeting-house 
grave-yard in Amwell," or in any other Presby- 
terian grave-yard nearer which he might be at 
the time of his death. 

In the Register of Baptisms by the Rev. Jede- 
diah Andrews, pastor of the First Church of Phi- 
ladelphia, some of the names of the signers are 
found. August 2, 1711, Mr. Andrews baptized 
in Hopewell, Richard Scudder, and his eight 
children Hannah, Mary, Richard, John, Abigail, 
Joseph, Samuel, and Rebekah. At Maidenhead, 
March 6, 1713, Rebekah, daughter of Ebeistezer 
Prout, and Daniel, son of Robert Lanxh^o. At 
Hopewell, April 21, 1713, Susanna, daughter of 
Richard Scudder, and Alexander, son ot 

76 Governor Morris. 

Charles Claek. At Maidenliead, December 
21, 1713, Abigail, claiigbter of Ralph Hart. At 
Hopewell, July 28, 1714, Eunice, claugliter of 
Ebe^ezer Prout. At Maidenbead, April 17, 
1715, Edward, son of Ralph Hunt. July 13, 
1715, Josepb and Anna, cbildren of Eliakim An- 
derson"; Frances, daughter of Robert Lanning. 
The year 1738 is notable in tbe history of 
New-Jersey, as tbe first in wbicb tbe Province 
bad a Governor exclusively its own. Heretofore 
tbe crown bad united it witb New- York in tbe 
commissions of tbe successive governors ; but 
now Colonel Lewis Morris, a native of Morri- 
sania, in New- York, was appointed for New- 
Jersey alone. Tbe Legislative Assembly of tbe 
Province was accustomed to meet alternately at 
Pertb Amboy and Burlington. Gov. Morris was 
anxious to ^x upon a permanent and more cen- 
tral place for tbe seat of government. In 1740 
be writes : " 1 bave bired Dagwortby's bouse at 
Trenton." In 1742 be negotiates witb Gov. 
Tbomas, of Pennsylvania, for a lease of bis estate 
called Kingsbury — tbe property in tbe lower part 
of Warren (tben King) street, subsequently occu- 
pied by otber provincial governors — and wbicb, 
after a long interval, became tbe executive man- 



sion during tlie incumhency of Governor Price. 
Lewis describes it in 1744, as "about half a 
mile from Trenton ; a very liealtliy and pleasant 
place, parted by a small brook (Assanpink) 
from Trentown, tlie great tliorouglifare between 
York and Pliiladelpliia." He was not able 
to obtain a cliano-e in the seat of o^overnment ; 
but in accommodation to liis bad liealtli tlie 
Legislature was summoned to meet at Trenton, 
and once at least at Kingsbury, in order to be 
dissolved in person by tlie Governor. He died 
there. May 21, 1746. 

Governor Morris belonged to the English 
Church, and while a resident at his estate of 
Tintern, or Tinton, in Monmouth county, w^hen 
President (1700) of Council had recommended 
to the Bishop of London, as necessary " to the 
bringing over to the Church the people in these 
countries," that none but " churchmen" should 
be placed in the high offices — ^that members of 
that Church should have " some peculiar privile- 
ges above others," and that no man should be 
admitted to a great benefice in England who had 
not preached " three years gratis in America." 
But his sectarian zeal had disappeared when he 
made his will : "I forbid any man to be paid for 




preacliing a funeral sermon over me ; those wlio 
survive me will commend or blame mj life as 
tliey think fit, and I am not for paying of any 
man for doing of either ; but if r.ny man, whether 
Churchman or Dissenter, in or not in priest's 
orders, is inclined to say any thing on that occa- 
sion, he may, if my executors think fit to admit 
him to do it.""^^ 

* " The papers of Lewis Morris," vol. iv, of Collections of the Xew- 
Jersey Historical Society, pp. 9, 325, etc. Morris's rent in Trenton was 
sixty pounds, ($160,) the landlord expending £200 "in putting of it 
into repair and building a wing for a kitchen to lodge servants." " The 
lessee might cut his fire-wood, but not of timber-trees." " Our house is 
good," writes the Governor in 1?44, "and not one chimney in it smokes. 
I have not yet got into ploughing and sowing, having but little ground, 
and that but ordinary, and much out of order, but shall try a little at 
it, when I get it into something better fence, which I am doing." 

(!llui})tci| (^fl.urllj. 

Rev. Mk. Co well and Eey. Mr. Te]!^nent. 

Schism of Synod. 


Mr. Cowell's name appears in the minutes of 
Presbytery, first of Philadelphia, afterwards of 
IN^ew-Brunswick, as a punctual attendant down 
to 1746. From that year to 1762 there is a 
hiatus in the records, and there is no means of 
ascertaining what part he took in that judicature 
during the remainder of his life, beyond what 
transpires through the minutes of the Synod. 

It is only from the proceedings of this court 
that we obtain information of a theolos^ical contro- 
versy between Mr. Cowell and the Rev. Gilbert 
Tennent, of the Presbytery of New-Brunswick, 
that is first mentioned in May 1738, at which time 
a large correspondence had already passed be- 
tween them. From the tenor of the proceedings 
in three successive sessions of the Synod, it 
appears that Mr. Tennent suspected Mr, Cowell 

8o Cowell and 

of holding tliat doctrine, or some form of it, 
Tvliicli makes tlie happiness of the individual the 
chief motive of religion. ISTot satisfied with the 
result of the correspondence, Mr. Tennent brought 
the subject to the notice of Synod, May 27, 
1738, with a request for an expression of their 
opinion. The Synod appointed a committee, com- 
posed of Rev. Messrs. J. Dickinson, Pierson, Pem- 
berton, Thomson, Anderson, Boyd, and Treat, 
to converse with the two controvertists together, 
" that they may see whether they so widely dif- 
fer in their sentiments as is supposed ; and if 
they find there be necessity, distinctly to con- 
sider the papers ; that Mr. Tennent and JMr. 
Cowell be both directed to refrain all public dis- 
courses upon this controversy, and all methods 
of spreading it among the populace, until the 
committee have made their report to the Synod; 
and that no other member take notice of and 
divulo:e the affair." The committee findins: that 
the debate was not to be settled by conversa- 
tion, obtained leave to defer their rejDort until 
the next Synod, and the Kev. Mr. Cross was 
added to their number. 

On the second day of the next year s session, 
(May 24, 1739,) the committee were not pre- 

G. Tennent. 8l 

pared to report. Ou the 25t]i the subject was 
again deferred — the Committee being probably 
engaged in private conference with the parties. 
On the 29th the report was presented ; npon 
hearing which the Synod expressed their great 
satisfaction in finding the contending parties fully 
agreed in their sentiments upon the point in con- 
troversy, according to the terms in which the 
overture of the committee had embodied the 
doctrine. The committee preface the theologi- 
cal statement to which they had secured the 
assent of the disjijutants, with this somewhat 
caustic intimation : 

" Though they apprehend that there were some incau- 
tious and unguarded expressions used by both the contend- 
ing parties, yet they have ground to hoi^e that the princi- 
pal controversy betvreen them flows from their not having 
clear ideas of the subject they so earnestly debate about, 
and not from any dangerous errors they entertain." 

The committee then proceeded to harmonize 
the views which each of the polemics took 
of his favorite side of the problem. The sub- 
stance of their statement is, that God has been 
pleased to connect the highest happiness of man 
with the promotion of the divine glory, and 

82 G. Tennent. 

therefore the two designs must never be placed 
in opposition. 

The decision was made at the last sederunt of 
the meetino\ when Mr. Tennent had not much 
time to weigh the terms of the report ; but upon 
the reading of the minutes at the opening of the 
session of 17-iO, he expressed his dissatisfaction 
and asked for a reconsideration of the subject. 
After much debate upon this request, it was 
refused by a great majority. ■^'"' Mr. Tennent's dis- 
position was not towards concession. Neither 
his pen nor voice as yet gave promise of the 
future " Irenicum." x\s Dr. Finley said at his 
fr'^eral, if an end seemed to be attainable, "he 
would not give up the point while one glimpse 
of hope remained." He subsequently alluded 
in the harshest terms to what he conceived to be 
the heretical standing of many of the Synod on 
the point of his controversy with Mr. Cowell. 
" His natural disposition," says Dr. Alexander, 
" appears to have been severe and uncomprom- 
ising ; and he gave strong evidence of being very 
tenacious of all his opinions, and not very toler- 

* Eecords, pp. 138, 142, 143, 146, 149, 150. The proceedings are 
given in Dr. Hodge's Constitutional History. Part L, pp. 235-239, 

The Revival. 83 

ant of those who dissented from his views, as 
appeared by the controversy which he had with 
the Rev. Mr. Co well, of Trenton, and which he 
brought before Synod."* 

Our whole Church was now approaching one 
of the most exciting and tumultuous epochs in 
its history — an epoch signalized by the discord- 
ant epithets of " The Great Revival," and " The 
Great Schism," to which mio^ht be added, as 
their sequel, "The Great Relapse" — the times 
of Edwards, Whitefield, Wesley, Tennents, Dick- 
inson, Blair, Davenport, and the parties, sects, 
and controversies w^ith wdiich their names are 
associated ; times of f^maticism and censoiious- 
ness, yet also of awakening and reformation ; the 
good of which has overbalanced the mischief — 
the Divine wisdom neutralizinsr the foolishness 
of men. A full and candid survey of the period 
from 1740 to 1758, and a discriminatino: view^ of 
what is pure and what spurious in the character 
of a " Revival," may be found in Dr. Hodge's 
volumes on the " Constitutional History of the 
Presbyterian Church." All that pertains to my 
limited purpose may be compressed in a few 

* "Log College," chap. iv. 

84 Whltefield. 

Both in this country and Great Britain, the 
p^ety of the Church, its ministry and haity, was 
in a languid condition. In some parts this was 
accompanied with, or caused by, a looseness in 
doctrinal ojDinion. The first marked symjDtoms 
of improvement appeared at Freehold, New- 
Jersey, in the congregation under the care of the 
Bev. John Tennent, and throughout his brief min- 
istry from 1730 to his death in IT 32. Under the 
itinerating ministry of the Bev. John Bowland, 
in Maidenhead, Hopewell, and Amwell, similar 
effects appeared a few years later, and most con- 
spicuously in 1T40. In Elizabethtown, Newark, 
New-Brunswick, and other parts of New- Jersey, 
as well as in the neighboring Provinces, and in 
Virginia and New-England, the " awakening" 
was remarkably extended and decided. In the 
year 1738, Whitefield first appeared in America, 
and repeated his visits at intervals until his death 
at Newbury j)ort in 1770. His extraordinary 
preaching and inexhaustible enthusiasm served 
to increase and diffuse the relio^ious fervor that 
had already made its appearance, while the 
irrerrularities of his measures, and the marks of 
fanaticism that characterized his lanc:uao:e and 
conduct, excited the mistrust of some of the most 

Synods of 1737-8. 85 

pious and judicious, as to the ultimate effect of 
Lis course. 

It was tlie excitement, botli good and bad, 
attending the movements just referred to, that 
led some of the most zealous ministers to disre- 
gard formalities and regulations which they sup- 
posed were impediments in the way of attempt- 
ing what the times required. In 1737, the 
Synod of Philadelphia, the only Synod and the 
highest court of the Church, prohibited the 
intrusion of the ministers of one presbytery 
within the bounds of another. The main ob- 
ject of this law was to prevent itinerant ministers 
from producing confusion by preaching in par- 
ishes uninvited by the proper minister. Again, 
in 1738, the Synod directed that every candi- 
date for the ministry should present to the Pres- 
bytery to which he applied, a diploma of grad- 
uation, or an equivalent certificate of scholarship 
from a committee of the Synod. In that year 
the Synod had formed out of the Presbyteries 
of New- York and Philadelphia, the Presbytery 
of New-Brunswick. All the churches and minis- 
ters to the north and east of Maidenhead and 
Hopewell, with some others, were united in the 
new Presbytery. On the first day of its consti- 


86 Rowland. 

tutioD, it deliberately disregarded tlie latter rule, 
and licensed a candidate without diploma or cer- 
tificate. The Synod pronounced this act disor- 
derly, and refused to recognize the licentiate. 
In reply, the Presbytery, led by the Eev. Gilbert 
Tenuent, stated their objections to both of the 
above-named rules, as infringing on Presbyterial 
rights and transgressing Synodal authority."^ The 
Synod slightly modified the rule of examination, 
but adhered to its principles. The Presbytery 
persisted in their contumacy, ordained the very 
probationer (Rowland) that they had irregularly 
licensed, and continued to license in the old way. 
The Hopewell family of churches became in- 
volved in the schismatic proceedings. Hopewell 
and Maidenhead, still in the Presbytery of Phi- 
ladelphia, supplicated the new Presbytery for 
Mr. Rowland as their sujDply, which was granted. 
The Presbytery of Philadelphia, which had. 

* Mr. Tennent's warmth was undoubtedly increased by his behef that 
the cautiousness of the Synod in regard to the scholarship of candidates, 
arose from a want of confidence in the accomplishments of the pupils of 
the Neshaminy Academy, established by his father. The arts and 
sciences were not thought to bo as well taught there as the classics. 
Thus, Dr. Alexander remarks that the schism " was actually produced 
by the Log College." (Log College, p. 57.) Rowland was educated 
there, and of course, by the Synod's rule, was subject to examination. 

Hopewell. 87 

tlLrough Mr. Co well, informed Rowland tliat tliey 
adhered to tlie Synod's view of his defective 
standing, and advised liim not to preach at Hope- 
well, now refused to allow him to minister in 
their jurisdiction. Thereupon the people who 
favored Rowland, asked the Philadelphia Pres- 
hjterj to form them into a separate congregation. 
This w^as consented to, provided they would not 
erect a new church without the consent of the other 
part of the congregation to its location.* Upon 
this agreement they were set off. The new con- 
gregation at once asked to be dismissed to the 
more congenial Presbytery of New^-Brunswick. 
The Presbytery insisted upon their first complying 
with the condition on which thev were set off. 
The people complained of this decision to Synod, 

* The old congregation were represented by Enoch Armitage, Thomas 
Eurrowes, Edward Hart, and Timothy Baker ; the "new erection" by- 
Benjamin Stevens, John Anderson, Samuel Hunt, and Joseph Birt. 
"We had the privilege," wrote Rowland, "minister at Hopewell," "of 
Maidenhead meeting-house, [1788.] and my people built a meeting-house 
in Hopewell. There is another town [township] lying contiguous to 
Hopewell, which is called Am well. They petitioned for a part of my time, 
viz., one Sabbath in three." William Tennent writes in October, 1 744 : 
" About four weeks since I gathered a church, and celebrated the Lord's 
Supper at a new erected congregation in the towns of Maidenhead and 
Hopewell." ("Ginies' Collections," ii. 137, 323.) This was a mile west 
of Pennington, and was but a temporary secession, both parties reiiniting 
afterwards in the old church, probably in 1766. 

88 Synods of 1739-41. 

wliicli (1739,) wholly sustained tlie Presbytery, 
and provided for their (the Presbytery's) fixing 
the place of the new house ; but none of the par- 
ties submitted to its judgment. 

Matters became still more complicated as the 
Synod endeavored to compromise the points in 
debate. Gilbert Tennent, with his characteristic 
harshness and uncharitableness, formally attri- 
buted the objectionable rules of the Synod, and 
its adherence to them, to doctrinal unsoundness 
and want of piety. Mr. Blair followed in the 
same strain. Tennent encouraged the schismatic 
tendencies of the Synod's opponents by a bold 
sermon at ISTottingham, exciting the disaffected 
to withdraw from the ministry of those whom he 
condemned. It was fruitful in alienations and 

The Synod met in 1Y41. A ^^olent protest 
against recognizing the Tennent party as mem- 
bers of Synod was read, and then signed by a 
majority. Scenes of disorder ensued. The Pres- 
bytery of New-Brunswick, regarding themselves 
excluded by this unconstitutional measure, with- 
drew in a body from the house. The next day 
it divided itself into the Presbyteries of ISTew- 
Brunswick and Londonderry, and took measures 

1742-1745 89 

for orgauizing a new Synod. In 1742 tlie old 
Synod was occupied with ineifectual plans of re- 
conciliation. In 1743 Mr. Cowell being modera- 
tor, and in 1744, the discussion went on, and no 
union taking place, the disowned members, and 
others who sympathized with them as unjustly 
dealt with, met as the Synod of Kew-York in 
Elizabethtown, September, 1745. In the refer- 
ences to this schism the Synod of Philadelphia 
is called historically the Old Side^ and the other 
Synod, tlie Neio Side. The separation continued 
until 1758.^ 

Through these agitations Mr. Cowell stood by 

* The unhappy personal eflects hngered still longer. Dr. Green was 
ordained in Philadelphia in 178Y, and says : " The arrangements for my 
ordination had been made with a view to mingle, and if possible, to har- 
monize the old side and the new side members of the Presbytery. Por 
although twenty-nine years had elapsed, since in 1758 the rival Synods 
had become united, two Presbyteries of Philadelphia had existed, com- 
posed severally of the litigant parties ; and the aged members of both 
sides had retained something of the old bitter feeliugs towards each 
other." (" Life," p. 154.) 

The church where Dr. Green was ordained and installed had the less 
favorable associations for the purpose mentioned, as it was the one built 
by the exertions of Gilbert Tennent, for a people described by Dr. Frank- 
lin as " originally disciples of Mr. Whitefield." In compliance with the 
philosopher's advice, Tennent "asked of every body ; and he obtained a 
much larger sum than he expected, with which he erected the capacious 
and elegant meeting-house that stands in Arch street." (Franklin's Auto- 
biography; Sparks, i. 168.) 


90 Co well's Side. 

tlie old Synod ; and tliongli after Ms experience 
of Mr. Tennent's qualities as an antagonist, lie 
may not have felt any personal prepossession for 
tlie side on wliicli he was leader, his character- 
istic moderation and self-command were doubt- 
less preserved. According to President Davies, 
perhaps alluding to these times, " in matters of 
debate, and especially of religious controversy, 
he was rather a moderator and compromiser, 
than a party." There is no reason to believe 
that he was carried away, as many were, by their 
admiration of the zeal of Whitefield, to overlook 
the serious perils of the excitement of his "visits. 
Whitefield was, of course, a favorite with the " New 
Side." He was one of those men towards whom 
a broad charity is extended by the humble minds 
who honor in another the zeal in which they re- 
gard themselves to be defective, and overlook 
extravagancies for the sake of the good which 
they hope they will be the means of j^roducing. 
Whitefield's history stands in need of this cha- 
rity, and we should be slow in suspecting those 
men of coldness to a true work of Divine grace, 
who were conscientiously restrained from gi^dng 
their countenance to his methods of procedure. 
In the first year of his American travels 

Whitefield. 91 

"Whitefielcl preaclied at the towns between Plii- 
ladelj)liia and New- York. His own journal of 
]S"ovem"ber 12, 1739, says : " By eight o'clock we 
reached Trent-town in the Jerseys. It being 
dark, we went out of our way a little in the 
woods ; but God sent a guide to direct us aright. 
We had a comfortable refreshment • when we 
reached our inn, and went to bed in peace and 
joy in the Holy Ghost." He left town early 
the next morning. After preaching in the neigh- 
borhood he was brought back to Trenton in the 
same month, by the prospect of a great gathering 
of people to view an execution. " November 21, 
1739. Being strongly desired by many, and 
hearing that a condemned malefactor was to suf- 
fer that week, I went in company with about 
thirty more to Trent-town, and reached thither 
by ^ye in the evening. Here God was pleased 
to humble my soul, and bring my sins to remem- 
brance, so that I could hardly hold up my head. 
However, knowing that God called, I went out, 
trusting in Divine strength, and preached in the 
court-house ; and though I was quite barren and 
dry in the beginning of the discourse, yet God 
enabled me to speak with great sweetness, free- 
dom, and power before I had done. The un- 

92 Whitefield. 

happy criminal seemed hardened, but I hope 
some good was done in the place." 

Whitefield, it appears from this, preached, ac- 
cording to English custom, in the presence of the 
condemned man.^ Mr. Co well improved the same 
occasion by a sermon in his own church, on the 
re|)entance of the dying thief, which looks as if he 
did not offer his pulpit to the eloquent itinerant. 
A letter of Jonathan Arnold, who appears to 
have been an Episcopal minister, perhaps a mis- 
sionary, in Connecticut, dated, " East Chester, 
November 27, 1739," and addressed to Wm. 
Smith, Esq., of New- York, refers to an incident 
of that visit. " When Mr. Whitefield came with 
me from Trenton, we agreed to search and exa- 
mine each other. He had the preference. I 
past his examination till we came to Brunswick, 
after which I was to have the same liberty with 
him. He escaped by turning aside to preach for 
the famous Mr. Tennent." 

In November, 1740, AYhitefield was*here again, 
as his journal speaks of having had at Trenton 
" a long conference with some ministers about 
Mr. Gilbert Tennent's complying with an invita- 

* The custom in Newark as late as 1791. Whitehead's Perth Amhoy, 
p. 319. 

Cowell in Synod. 93 

tion to go and preach in Ngav-Ed gland." It is 
probable that he visited Trenton during his other 
tours in America, from 1744 to 1770. On the 
30th July, 1754, one of his letters says: "To- 
morrow I preach at Newark ; on Wednesday, at 
two in the afternoon, at New-Brunswick, and 
hope to reach Trent-town that night. Could you 
not meet me there quietly, that we might spend 
one evening together V He was advertised in 
the Philadelphia papers to preach at Trenton on 
the 13th and 14th September, 1754. 

Mr. Cowell was an active member of Synod. 
In 1738 he was on a committee to meet at Han- 
over, to adjust a difficulty between two parishes. 
At the same session he was placed on a commit- 
tee of seven to examine candidates for the mi- 
nistry. This committee had charge of the stu- 
dents in the Presbyteries to the north of Phila- 
delphia, and a corresponding one had charge of 
those to the south. In 1743 he was Moderator, 
and elected on the Synod's commission for the 
year. For before the j^resent constitution of our 
Church was adopted, the Synod followed the 
usage of the General Assembly of Scotland, in 
annually appointing a convenient number of its 
members to sit as a commission in the interval 

94 Commiffions. 

of its stated con veniugs, and perform any Synodal 
business that required immediate dispatch."^ The 
Moderator of 1743 was also added to a commit- 
tee to answer a communication from Governor 
Thomas, of Pennsylvania, in regard to a pam- 
phlet by the Rev. Alexander Craighead, which 
the government considered seditious, and which 
the Synod disavowed, both as to its sentiments, 
and as having any jurisdiction over its author.f 
In 1749 the Synod of New- York sent a dele- 
gation to the Synod of PhiladeljDhia, with a pro- 
posal that each Synod should appoint a commis- 
sion to meet and deliberate upon a plan of 
reiinion. This movement towards reconciliation 
was acceded to by the sister Synod, and on the 
25th May they appointed a commission of nine 
members, of whom Mr. Cowell was one. The 
united meeting was appointed to be held in Tren- 
ton on the first Wednesday of the ensuing Octo- 
ber. The meeting took place accordingly on the 

* The sessions of the Commission appear to have been opened as form- 
ally as those of the Synod. I have before me, in a pamphlet, " A Sermon 
preached before the Commission of the Synod at Philadelphia, April 20th, 
1 '735. By E. Pemberton, Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in the City of 
New-York." The dedication " to the Eeverend Commission of the Synod," 
refers to its having been " preached in obedience to your commands." 

I The address to the Governor, signed by Cowell, and the Governor's 
reply, are in the Pennsylvania Gazette of June 9, 1743. 

Conferences. 95 

4tli and otli of October, and Mr. Cowell was cho- 
sen to preside. The negotiations initiated at 
this meeting were prolonged in various shapes 
until May 29, 1755, when a commission of con- 
ference was again appointed by the Synod of 
Philadelphia, and Mr. Cowell was one of its seven 
members. They met in Philadelphia on the same 
afternoon. He was also on a committee of five 
in 1756 to answer a minute then received from 
the other Synod ; and on another committee to 
obtain a charter for the WidoAvs' Fund from the 
Messrs. Penn, the Pennsylvania Proprietors, and 
also on the Synod's Commission and Fund.* In 
May, 1757, another joint conference was held at 
Trenton, of which Mr. Cowell was a member. 
He was on the Commission of the Synod, and 
Committee for the Fund for 175S, in which year 
the two Synods were at length combined under 
the title of the Synod of New-York and Phila- 

At the first meeting of the new Synod (May 
30, 1758) Mr. Cowell and Mr. Guild, (of Penning- 
ton,) were transferred from the Presbytery of 
Philadelphia to that of New-Brunswick, and from 

* The Synod's " Fund " was for such " pious uses " as were desig- 
nated from time to time. 

96 1 760. 

that time tlie respective cburcbes Lave retained 
the connection. The L^st mention of Mr. Cowell's 
name on the Synod's records is under the date 
of May 22, 1760, when, although not present, he 
was placed on a committee to dispose of the fund 
for the relief of poor and pious youth in the Col- 
lege of New-Jersey. 

Note. — It may have been expected that some notice should be found 
in this chapter, of the celebrated case which was before the Supreme 
Court at Trenton, in 1742, in which the Kev. William Tennent was 
arraigned for perjury, on account of the evidence he had given to prove 
that the Rev. John Rowland was far from Hunterdon county when Bell, 
assuming his name, stole a horse. But I trust that an authentic account 
of that whole affair will soon be furnished by a more competent hand, 
and I believe that it will be made to appear that there is no foundation 
for the story of the supernatural mission of witnesses from Maryland to 
Trenton. A paper to this effect, by Mr. Richard S. Field, has already 
appeared in the Proceedings of the Nevj- Jersey Historical Society. (Vol. 
vi. p. 31.) 

^luijjti^r c^liftlt. 

Trenton in 1'748 — Episcopal Churches — Tren- 
ton Na^jes and Places — 1722-1768. 


On tlie sixtli of September, 1746, at the in- 
stance of Governor Morris, Trenton was, by royal 
charter, constituted a borough-town. Thomas 
Cadwalacler was the first Chief-Burgess ; JSTa- 
thaniel Ward, Recorder, with twelve Burgesses. 
But in April, 1750, the inhabitants haviug found 
that the disadvantages of incorporation prepon- 
derated, surrendered the charter through the 
hands of Governor Belcher.* 

For the sake of the impression it may convey 
of what the town Avas at this period, I will here 
make an extract from the journal of a traveller 
who saw it in the year 1748. This writer was 
Peter Kalm, Professor of Economy in the Uni- 
versity of Abo, in Swedish Finland ; who visited 

* The Charter is in book AAA of Commissions, p. 266 : the surrender 
on p. 306. 


98 Profeffor Kalm. 

North America, as a naturalist, under tlie ausj^i- 
ces of tlie Swedish. Eoyal Academy of Sciences. 
It was in honor of his botanical researches that 
Linnseus gave the name of Kalmia to our Laurel. 
Under the date of October 28, 1748, Kalm 
enters his observations as follows : 

" Trenton is a long, narrow town, situate at some dis- 
tance from the river Delaware, on a sanely plain. It 
belongs to I^ew- Jersey, and they reckon it thirty miles from 
Philadelphia. It has two small chm-ches, one for the people 
belonging to the Church of England, the other for the 
Presbyterians. The houses are partly built of stone, 
though most of them are made of wood or planks, com- 
monly two stories higb, together with a cellar below 
the building, and a kitchen under ground, close to the 
cellar. The houses stand at a moderate distance from one 
another. They are commonly built so that the street 
passes along one side of the houses, while gardens of dif- 
ferent dimensions bound the other side. In each garden 
is a draw-well.* The place is reckoned very healthy. 
Our landlord told us that twenty-two years ago, when he 
first settled here, there was hardly more than one house ; 
but from that time Trenton has increased so much that 
there are at present near a hundred houses. The houses 
were, within, divided mto several rooms by the partitions 

* Among the debits of the Treasurer's book, in account with the 
Trenton parsonage, are frequently to be found such items as, " to hoops 
for the well-bucket," "for cleaning the well," " to a rope for the well." 

Kalm. 99 

of boards. The inhabitants of the place carried on a 
small trade with the goods which they got from Philadel- 
phia, but their chief gain consists in the arrival of the 
numerous travellers between that city and New- York ; for 
they are commonly brought by the Trenton yachts from 
Philadelphia to Trenton, or from thence to Philadelphia. 
But from Trenton farther to ISTew-Brunswick, the travel- 
lers go in the wagons which set out every day for that 
place. Several of the inhabitants, however, likewise sub- 
sist on the carriage for all sorts of goods which are every 
day sent in great quantities either from Philadelphia to 
New- York, or from thence to the former place ; for be- 
tween Philadelphia and Trenton all goods go by watei', 
but between Trenton and New-Brunswick they are all 
carried by land, and both these conveniences belong to 
people of this town. 

" For the yachts which go between this place and the 
capital of Pennsylvania, (Philadelphia,) they usually pay a 
shilling and sixpence of Pennsylvania currency per person, 
and every one pays besides for his baggage. Every pass- 
enger must provide meat and drink for himself, or pay 
some settled fare. Between Trenton and New-Bruns- 
wick a person pays 2s. 6d., and the baggage is likewise 
paid for separately. 

" On the road from Trenton to New-Brunswick I never 
saw any j^lace in America, the towns excepted, so well 
peopled. An old man, who lived in the neighborhood, 
and accompanied us for some part of the road, however, 
assured me that he could well remember the time when 
between Trenton and New-Brunswick there were not 

lOO Burnaby. 

above three farms, and lie reckoned it was fifty and some 
odd years ago."* 

Wlien it is said tliat tiie landlord told Kalm 
that in 1Y26 tliere was hardly one house in 
Trenton, either the Swede did not understand 
the Jerseyman, or the host spoke at random ; for 
if as early as 1719 the courts sat in Trenton, it is 
not probable that such a selection would be 
made, seven years before there was " hardly a 

The statistical guesses or reports of travellers 
are not to be relied on, especially if the rej)ort- 
ers do not speak the language of the country. 
The Eev. Andrevv^ Burnaby, an English clergy- 
man, describes Trenton, in 1759, as " containing 
about a hundred houses. It has nothing remark- 
able : there is a Church, (of England,) a Quaker's 
and Presbyterian meeting-house, and barracks 
for three hundred men."f These barracks, which 

* In a letter of ItSO-l, quoted in Whitehead's History of Perth 
Amboy. (p. 155,) the writer remarks that in 1715 "there were but four 
or five liouses in the tliirty miles between Inian's Ferry (Xew-Bruns- 
wick,) and the Falls of Delaware ; but now the wliole way it is almost a 
continued lane of fences and good farmers' houses, and the whole coun- 
try is there settled or settling very thick." 

I Travels through the Middle Settlements in Xorth America, etc., in 
1*759 and 1760. 

Sinclair. loi 

are now in part occupied by tlie " Home for 
Widows," were erected in 1758, simultaneously 
with those at New-Brunswick and Elizabeth- 
town. Elkanah Watson, who was here in 17 Y7, 
says : " Trenton contains about seventy dwellings, 
situate principally on two narrow streets running 
parallel."^ In the travels of the Duke de la 
Kochefoucault Liancourt, in 1795-7, Trenton is 
said to " contain about three hundred houses ; 
most of which are of wood. Those of the high- 
street are somewhat better in structure than the 
rest, yet still but very moderate in their appear. 
ance."f In the same year an English visitor 
says: "Trenton contains about tivo hundred 
houses, together with four churches. The streets 
are ^mmodious, and the houses neatly built." J 
Melish, in 1806-7, makes it " a handsome little 
town, containing about two hundred houses."§ 
The Rev. Mr. Burnaby " went to Sir John Sin- 
clair's, at the Falls of Delaware, about a mile 
above Trenton, a pleasant rural retirement." 
Sir John Sinclair's knighthood was of the order 

* Memoirs, p. 29. 

f Travels; Translated by Newman. London, 1*199, i. 594. 
X Travels through the States of North America, etc., in 1795-7. By 
Isaac Weld, Jr. London, 1799. 
§ Travels, i. 143. 

102 Sinclair. 

known in English heraldry as a Baronetcy of 
Nova Scotia. He was the first occupant of the 
mansion that afterwards belonged to " Lord" 
Stirling, and then to Mr. Kutherford, a short 
distance west of the State House, and on the 
river. The three families were connected. The 
house was subsequently tenanted by Kobert 
Lettis Hooper, and the walls of " the Green- 
House," remained to give name to the site long 
after the dwelling itself had been demolished. 
A correspondent of the Trenton " Federalist," 
of March 30, 1802, states that the first ice-house 
in the State, "in our recollection, was erect- 
ed by Sir John St. Clair, [so written,] about the 
year 1760."''^ 

* There was a Si» John Sk Clair in Braddock's army, who arrived in 
January, 1755; was Lieutenant Colonel of the 2 2d Regiment, and 
Deputy Quarter-Master General for all the forces in America. In IT 6 2 
he was made a full Colonel, On the list of the wounded at the defeat 
(July 9, 1155) he is put down as " Sir John Sinclair, Baronet, Dep. Q. 
M. Gen." (Winthrop Sargent's History of Braddock's Expedition : 
Pennsylvania Historical Society, pp. 136, 143, 285.) The death of 
"Hon. Col. Sir John St. Clair, Bart.," is announced in the newspapers 
of the day, as having taken place at Elizabeth town, December, 1767. 
There was a "Captain Rutherford" with St. Clair in the Expedition. 
From some references and correspondence, it would appear that Sir John 
was a petulant officer. See " Letters and Papers relating to the Pro- 
vincial History of Pennsylvania, " principally from papers of the Shippen 
family, privately printed. Philadelphia : pp. 35-8, 61, 151. In one 
letter Sir John speaks of "Betsey — I mean, Lady St. Clair." 

Epifcopal Church. 103 

I would here enlarge the notices already given 
incidentally of the foundation of the Episcopal 
Church in Trenton and its vicinity. I have 
mentioned the building erected on the ground 
conveyed by Hutchinson in 1Y03, and its occupa- 
tion at intervals, if not jointly, by the Presbyte- 
rians. In Huraphreys' " Historical Account of 
the Gospel Propagation Society," we have the 
following statement : 

"Hopewell and Maidenhead are two neighbouring 
towns, containing a considerable number of families. The 
people of Hopewell showed a very early desire of having 
the Church of England worship settled among them ; and 
in the year 1704 built a church with voluntary contribu- 
tions, though they had no prospect then of having a min- 
ister. The Rev. Mr. May was there some short time, but 
Mr. Talbot, from Burlington, often visited them. This 
church was for ten years vacant. In 1720 the Rev. Mr. 
Harrison was appointed missionary there, with the care of 
Maidenhead, but soon wrote the Society word that he was 
not able to undergo the fatigue of constantly riding 
between two places, and in 1723 he removed to a church 
in Stat en Island." 

In the Society's "Account" for 1706, it is said : 
" Many other public letters were continually sent 
over, by which it appeared that the inhabitants 
of Hopewell and Maidenhead were buildins: a 

104 Epifcopal Church. 

church, and desired a minister and some subsist- 
ence for him." In 1709 Mr. Talbot writes from 
Burlington : •" Poor Hopewell has built a church 
and have had no minister yet.""^ In a manuscript, 
headed, " State of the Church of England in 
America in 1705," probably a copy of some 
English document, it is said that a minister is 
wanted " at Hopewell, between Cross wicks and 
Maidenhead, where they are building" a church ; 
and one " at the Falls, thirty miles above Phila- 
delphia, where a church is building." In collat- 
ing these notices, Hopewell and the Falls would 
seem to indicate different localities ; and if the 
former be the name of the " Old Church" of our 
map, in Chapter Second, the latter may denote 
some other place — perhaps in Pennsylvania — to 
which the general neighborhood title of the 
Falls may have been applied.f 

* In the first edition (1*708) of Oldmixon's British Empire in America, 
it is said there are "but two Church of England ministers in both the 
Provinces" of East and West IsTew-Jersej. 

Tlie most comprehensive account of the denominations existing in the 
middle of the century, which I have seen, is in "A digression concern- 
ing the various sectaries in rehglon, in the British settlements of North 
America," contained in Dr. Douglass' " Summary, Historical and Poli- 
tical." Boston, 1753, vol. ii., pp. 112-157. 

f In a map in Humphreys' Historical Account of the Gospel Propaga- 
gation Society, 1730, I find the following topography : 

Houdln. 10^ 

In 1749 a lottery "for finisliiiig the cliiircli at 
Trenton," was drawn in Pennsylvania. Of the 
Trenton Episcopal church, however, we find 
nothing definite until June, 1750, when the Rev. 
Michael Houdin is reported in the Society's 
Accounts as "invited by the inhabitants of 
Trenton and other places in ISTew- Jersey, to go 
and officiate among them." Upon this he ad- 
dressed a letter to the Society, dated Trenton, 
November 1, 1750, which begins: "Having 
my residence at New-York, I heard of repeat- 
ed comj)laints made by gentlemen and principal 
inhabitants of this place, Allen's Town and Bor- 
den's Town, it being for many years past desti- 
tute of a Church of England minister ; and with- 
out any sort of application of mine, about five 
months ago, some of them were pleased to press 
me by letter to come amongst them. . . . 
When I waited on them I really found they 
were destitute indeed, there not being a minister 
of the Church of Eno^-land nearer than Burliner- 
ton." The Abstracts of the Society for 1753, 

° Hopewell, 
° Maidenhead, 
° Burlington, 
If this was the understanding in 1705, the Hopewell of the manuscript 
could not be so near Trenton as the "Old Church " 

io6 Houdin. 

say : " The Eev. Mr. Houdin, having for some 
years officiated at Trenton and the neighboring 
places in the Province of New- Jersey, among the 
members of the Church of England, upon such 
slender support as they in their poor circumstan- 
ces could afford him," the Society appointed 
him their " itinerant missionary to officiate in 
Trenton and the parts adjacent." 

Michael Houdin, whose name has been usually 
given nearer to its pronunciation, as Udang or 
Eudang, in which latter form it actually appears 
in the first minutes of the Vestry of St. Michael's 
Church, (April 30, 1755,)- — born in France in 
1705 — was originally a priest in the Church of 
Rome and Superior of a Franciscan Convent in 
Montreal. He renounced that faith and entered 
the Episcopal Church in New- York in 1747, and 
thence came to Trenton as the Society's " itiner- 
ant missionary in New- Jersey," on a salary of 
fifty pounds. In 1759 Houdin accompanied 
General Wolfe to Quebec, as his guide ; and in 
October " intreats the Society that his absence 
from his mission may not bring him under dis- 
pleasure, as he was in some measure forced to it, 
in obedience to the commands of Lord Loudon, 


Houdin. 107 

and tlie succeeding commanders, who depended 
mucli on Ills being well acquainted witli that 
country." After the reduction of Quebec, Hou- 
din asked leave to return to his missionary post, 
but General Murray retained him in the army. 
He complained that he had lost much by the 
death of Wolfe, " who promised to remember 
his labor and services." From Canada he ap- 
pears to have been sent as missionary to New- 
Rochelle, Westchester county, JS^ew-York, where 
were many French refugees. He died there in 
October, 1Y66.* The Rev. Mr. Treadwell was the 
successor to Houdin. In May, 1Y69, the Eev. Wil- 
liam Thomson produced to the Vestry the Soci- 
ety's letter appointing him ta the mission of 
"Trenton and Maidenhead," to which the War- 
dens gave their approbation.f 

* Anderson's History of the Colonial Cliurch of England. London, 
3856, vol. iii. Bolton's History of the Episcopal Church in Westchester 
County. New-York, 1855, p. 453-471. O'Callaghan's Documentary 
History of New- York. Vol. iii. 955. 

f In 1732 " the inhabitants of Am well and Hopewell" applied to the 
Society for a Missionary. In 1739, Col. Daniel Coxe made his will, 
devising one hundred acres in Maidenhead, "known as the town-lot, 
for the use of an Episcopal Church erected, or to be hereafter erected, in 
the township of Maidenhead." The minutes of St. Michael's Vestry, of 
1775, mention "the glebe of Maidenhead." 

io8 Names and 

The nearest newspaper offices accessible to 
Trenton for half a century after its foundation, 
were those of Philadelphia. Through all that 
period the want of a local press and the obstacles 
to correspondence, kept the affairs of the town 
in their native obscurity. Such notices and ad- 
vertisements, however, as are found in the Phi- 
ladelphia journals, afford some idea of the popu- 
lation and business of Trenton, and give some 
names of its early inhabitants, not otherwise to 
be found. From a cursory inspection of a series 
of Bradford's WeeMy Mercury^ and Keimer's and 
Franklin's PenU'Sylvania Gazette^ I have made 
the folio wins; miscellaneous notes. A number of 
the names are ^ among the signatures of Mr. 
Cowell's call in 1736. 

November, 1722 — William Yard, of Treuton, advertises 
the escape of a negro servant. 

August, 1V23. — Joseph Peace offers for sale two dwell- 
ing houses belonging to Peter Pummer, near Trent's Mill. 
Inquiry to be made of Mr. Peace, at his residence in Trent- 

September, 1723. — A line of transportation for goods 
and passengers is advertised as running between Trenton 

* In the Philadelphia Library is a series of the Mercury from 1719 to 
1146, and of the Gazette from 1728 to 1174. The latter appeared at first 
under the extraordinary title of The Universal Instructor in all Arts and 
Sciences, and Pennsylvania Gazette. 



and Philadelphia, once a week each way. The agent in 
Trenton was John Woollaud. The office in the city was 
at the celebrated " Crooked Billet." 

March, 1728. — A large stone house, with a good smith- 
shop, to be sold at vendue at the house of "William Hoff. 

December, 1729. — Jolm Severn's stable and seven horses 

October, 1731. — For sale a plantation, adjoining the 
town of Trenton, 130 acres ; also one three miles above 
Trenton, near the ferry above the falls, one mile from 
Yardley's old mill, and three from his new one, 500 acres. 
" Inquire of Capt. James Gould, at Trenton, and be further 

December, 1731. — A bolting-house and store, belonging 
to Benjamin Smith, took fire, " but was seasonably pre- 

June, 1732. — Enoch Anderson, "at the Falls' ferry." 

July, 1732. — Enoch Anderson, Junior, sub. sheriif. 

August, 1732. — The house of Ebenezer Prout, "near 
this place," was struck by lightning. William Pearson 
was hurt, a boy killed. 

September, 1732. — Eliacom [kim] Anderson, "now liv- 
ing at Trenton ferry." 

February, 1732-3. — A fresh carried away the dam of 
the ii'on works, also the dam of the grist-mill, bridge and 

September 19, 1734. — Xotice is given of the establish- 
ment of a post office at Trenton, " where all persons may 
have their letters, if directed for that county ; also where 
they may put in their letters directed to any parts, and 
due care vrill be taken to send them." The postmaster 


no Poll-Office. 

was Andrew Reed, and the office was at the house of Jo- 
seph Keed. 

The first advertisement of uncalled-for letters, 
wLicli I have seen, is under the date March 25, 
1755, and is as follows : 

" A list of letters now in the post office at Trenton. 

William Carnegie, near Kingston^ 
John Clark, (Attorney,) Trenton, 

John Hyde, Hopeioell. 

Joseph Morton, Princetoicn. 

Richard Patterson, Princetovin. 

John Stevens, Rocky Hill. 

Ares Vanderbelt, Maidenhead. 
" Letters not taken np within three months from this 
date will be sent to the General Post Office at Phila- 

September, 1734. — Isaac Harrow, an English smith, has 
lately set up at Trenton a plating and blade-mill, where 
he makes axes, carpenters' and coopers' tools, tanners' and 
skinners' knives, spades, shovels, shears, scythes, mill and 
hand-saws, frying-pans, etc., " likewise all sorts of iron 
plates, fit for bell making or any other use." 

May, 1736. — ApjDlication for a stone house and a lot of 
three quarters of an acre, to be made to Cornelius Riiigo 

Advertifements. 1 1 1 

in Trenton. It " lies in a very convenient part of tlie 
town for any manner of business, being near the mill." 

February, 1737. — There will be a stage- wagon from 
Trenton to Brunswick twice a week and back ; will set 
out from William Atlee's and Thomas Hooton's, in Trenton. 

October, 1737. — Servants absconded from Benjamin 
Smith and Richard Noland. 

N'ovember, 1737. — A Scotch servant-man absconded 
from Mr. Warrell. 

January, 1738. — Servant absconded from Joseph Decow. 

August, 1739. — To be let, the grist-mills at Trenton, with 
two tenements adjoining, now in the tenure of Joseph 

December, 1739. — Andrew Reed receives subscriptions 
in Trenton for Whitefield's Sermons and Journals, to be 
published by Franklm. 

March, 1740. — ^^Yilliam Atlee proposes to continue to 
keep a store with John Dagworthy, Junior, until his part- 
nership with Thomas Hooton is settled. 

May, 1744. — To be sold, by Benjamin Smith, a cornei 
lot ; also a stone house, fronting King street ; sundry lots 
on Queen street. 

September, 1745. — To be sold, " the iron plating works, 
smith's shop, and all the tools and moulds for making fry- 
ing-pans, dripping-pans, etc., said works being now fit for 
use ;" also a good dwelling-house — all of the estate of 
Isaac HajTow, deceased. Apply to Anthony Morris, Phi- 
ladelphia, or William Morris, Trenton. 

January, 1745. — For sale, dwelling, malt-house, brew- 
house, and all utensils, and quarter of acre of land in King 

112 Names and 

street, estate of "William Atlee. Enquire of James Atlee, 
Trenton, or Thomas Hooton, Trenton ferry. 

March, 1746. — Sundry lots offered by William Morris 
and William Morris, Junior, on both sides of Hanover 
street 45 feet front and 147 feet deep. 

October, 1746. — A fair for three days will be held in 
the borough-town of Trenton for cattle of all kinds, goods, 
wares, and merchandise. 

1746. — William Morris, Junior, at his store opposite to 
John Jenkins's, advertises rum by the hogshead, and salt 
by the hundred bushels. 

June, 1748. — Enoch Anderson offers for sale a house 
" fi'onting the street that leads directly to Xew-York," 
also " two lots opposite the Presbyterian meeting-house, 
on one of which is a very good stable." 

April, 1750. — House of William Douglass at Trenton 

1750. — For sale by Benjamin Biles, a " well-accustomed 
tanyard, with vats enough for 800 hides, and dwelling ad- 
joining the tanyard, on the west side of King street, near 
the middle of the town." 

May, 1750. — Thomas Cadwalader offers 900 acres of 
woodland, a mile and a half north of the town, watered by 
fine streams, " one of which the Trenton mills stand on." 
Also a i^lantation of 700 acres, on the Delaware, where 
William Douglass now lives, north of Trenton about two 
miles, adjoining the plantation v/here Mr. Tuite lately 
lived ; also a large corner brick house in Queen street, Jh 
a very public part of the town ; also 25 acres of pasture 
laud in the upper end of Queen street. 

June, 1750. — For sale, plantation, 447 acres, late in pos- 



session of Alexander Lockhart, Esq., between three and 
four miles from Trenton, on Scot's road, and adjoining the 
old Meeting-house lot, and the j^lantation of Charles Clark, 
Esq. Enquire of John Cox, Trenton. 

April, 1751. — John Evans, cooper. 

January, 1752. James Rutherford's house robbed. 

April, 1752. — Elijah Bond's stable and 14 horses, and 
soni# adjoining houses burnt. 

September, 1753. — For sale, Xathaniel Moore's mills 
and plantation, six miles above Trenton, 400 acres ; apply- 
to William Clayton, or William Pidgeon, Trenton. 

1754. — Several men for sale by " Reed and Furman." 

May, 1754. — Tickets in the Lottery in Connecticut for 
the benefit of College of New-Jersey, for sale by Rev. Mr. 
Cowell, and Reed & Furman. 

July, 1754. — Edward Broadfield has removed from Bor- 
dentown to Trenton. 

1756. — The Philadelphia and New- York line. John 
Butler's stage starts on Tuesday from Philadelphia, to 
house of Nathaniel Parker at Trenton Ferry, thence over 
the ferry to house kept by George Moschell, where Francis 
Holman will meet John Butler, and exchange passengers, 
and proceed on Wednesday, through Princeton and New- 
Brunswick, to Perth Amboy, where will be a boat to pro- 
ceed to New- York on Thursday morning. 

1757. — Subscriptions for the JVew Americaii Magazine^ 
about to be published in Philadelphia, may be left with 
Moore Furman, Postmaster of Trenton. 

Apiil 1758 — Andrew Reed, of Trenton, advertises tract 
of 200 acres at Amw^ll, and in Trenton two good stone 
houses, with garden, well, etc., one of which now lets for 


114 Names and 

£8 lOs. per annum, and the otlier, having a cooper's shop 
on the lot, for £12 ; also three lots on the west side of 
King street, 45 by 140. 

April, 1758. — William Douglass, sign of the Wheat- 
sheaf, or at the house of John Cummings, is authorized to 
enlist a regiment of one thousand men for the King's 

Jvily, 1758. — For sale by executors, the seat of Jdfcph 
Warrell, Esq., late deceased, well known by name of Bell- 
ville, on the Delaware, three fourths of a mile from Tren- 
ton, with gardens, orchards, etc. Also a plantation of 
300 acres, within one fourth of a mile of the above, on the 
Delaware, with a patent for ia feiTy. 

May, 1759. — Robert Lettis Hooper has laid out lots 60 
by 181, for a town in IN'ottiugham township, beginning on 
the Delaware at Trenton ferry, running as the road runs 
to the grist mills opposite Trenton, thence down the 
stream of the mills to the Delaware, thence down the river 
to the ferry, being the head of navigation, " where there is a 
considerable trade extended from the city of Philadelj^hia, 
and great parts of the counties of Hunterdon, Morris, Middle- 
sex, Somerset, and Bucks, in Pennsylvania, dehver their 
produce," and rafts of timber, staves, etc., come from 120 
miles up the river. Offered for sale, or on lease for sixty 
years. Apply to advertiser or his sons Robert L. Hooper 
and Jacob Roeters [or Rutters] Hooper, " living at his 
mills opposite to Trenton." 

May, 1764.— Samuel Tucker, Sheriff, will sell that well- 
accustomed tavern, the lot 67 feet on Front street, and 174 
on Market, adjoining lands of WTliiam Morris, Junior, 
Wm. Cleayton, James Smith, and Robert Singer ; house 

Places. 1 15 

35 feet square, having a " genteel assembly-room, with a 
door opening into a fine balcony, fronting Queen street," 
late the property and now in possession of Robert Ruth- 

March, 1765. — For sale a settlement on the river called 
Lamberton, about half a mile below the ferry near Tren- 
ton, with utensils for curing herring and sturgeon. 

March, 1768. — For sale, " Hermitage" on the Delaware, 
one mile from Trenton, 220 acres. Apply to Benjamin 

I Lave taken the trouble of making this collec- 
tion for the sake of the local interest it may pos- 
sess with the inhabitants of Trenton, and to cor- 
roborate what was said in the beginning of the 
chapter as to the probable size of the town in the 
first quarter of the century. 

College of Net7-Jeesey — Cowell, Buee, 

Davies, Finley. 


Of the College of ISTew-Jersey, the Eev. Mr. 
Cowell was so early and active a friend, that 
he may be counted among its founders. The 
College was indeed projected by members of the 
Synod of New- York, as one of the means of 
strengthening themselves after the disruption of 
1741, and not unlikely as a means of remo^^ing 
the taunt connected with the inadequacy of the 
Neshaminy school. But as it was to be esta- 
blished in New-Jersey, and for all that he knew, 
in Trenton or its neighborhood, Mr. Cowell was 
not so bigoted a churchman, as to withhold his 
influence from a scheme which, while it had no 
positive connection with any party, promised 
such important advantages to the religious and 
educational condition of the whole Province."^'* 

* Dr. Green, in his " Notes," overlooked the pastor of Trenton and 
the Rev. Mr. Guild, when he wrote : " la tlie Province of New-Jersey 

Belcher. 117 

He had learned the value of college training 
from his own career at Harvard, and must have 
shared the indignation of the friends of David 
Brainerd against Yale, when he was expelled in 
1742, for saying of one of the tutors, " he has no 
more grace than this chair," which incident is 
said to have had its influence in encouraging a 
new college. 

The College of New-Jersey received its first 
charter in 1746, and was opened with eight pu- 
pils, at Elizabethtown, under President Dickin- 
son, in 1T47. Upon his decease that same year, 
the pupils were removed to Newark, and placed 
under the Rev. Aaron Burr, who had a classical 
school in the town. In 1748 a more enlarged 
charter was obtained. Of the trustees named in 
this instrument, Mr. Cowell was one, and he was 
deputed to wait on Governor Belcher with an 
address from the corporation, acknowledging 
their acceptance of the trust. 

The Governor was res^arded so much in the 
light of a founder of the College, that upon the 
completion of the edifice they formally asked his 
permission to call it Belcher Hall. He declined 

it is not known that there was a single clergyman who belonged to the 
Synod of Philadelphia." (Discourses and Notes, p. 281-2.) 

ii8 Naffau Hall. 

the lionor, professing to " have always been very 
fond of the motto of a late great personage, 'pro- 
desse quam conspici — to be useful rather than 
conspicuous^ — but asked the liberty of naming 
the College Nassau Hall, in memory of William 
HI., " who was a branch of the illustrious house 
of Nassau, and who, under God, was the great 
deliverer of the British nation from those two 
monstrous furies, Popery and Slavery."f Mr. 
Burr was chosen President, and the first class, 
seven in number, was graduated. J At the first 
regular meeting of the trustees after the reorgan- 
ization, Mr. Cowell was placed on committees 
to apply to the Legislature for pecuniary aid, 
and to receive subscriptions in Trenton. From 
the few remains of the correspondence it appears 
that President Burr frequently and familiarly 
consulted with Mr. (Jo well about the affairs of 
the College. In July, 1753, he presses him to 

* This motto of the House of Somers was adopted, probably from the 
G-overnor's answer, by the Cliosophic Society of the College, instituted 
in 1765. It was the theme of the striking oration before the rival so- 
cieties, by the Rev. Baynard R. Hall, D.D., in the commencement week 
of 1852. 

f Dr. Green's " Notes," pp. 274-5. 

X There is a particular report of the first commencement in the Penti' 
sylvania Gazelle, for December 13, 1T4:8. 

Burr. 119 

be at a certain meetiDg of the Board : " Besides 
discharging your duty as a trustee, you might 
consult about providing for your school in the 
best manner. I find myself a great deal in your 
debt as to the article of letters, and, like other 
bankrupts, though I never expect fully to pay, 
yet I would make some attempts, that I may re- 
tain my credit a little longer. I will do my best 
in providing you a schoolmaster, but have some 
fears whether I can quite suit you or me. One 
of the best I must keep for my own use ; one or 
two more that I could recommend are otherwise 
engaged. I have three in my mind, and am a 
little at a loss which to send." The compensa- 
tion offered for a teacher at that time was twenty- 
five pounds and boarding. 

From the allusion in this and other letters, it 
appears that Mr. Cowell was looking for a good 
teacher for Trenton, and that the school referred 
to had a connection with his own parish, or at 
least had been built on the church-grounds, 
and conducted under some general control of the 
coDgregational authorities. 

Some light is thrown upon this enterprise by 
an advertisement which is found in the Philadel- 

120 School Lottery. 

phia newspapers of May, 1^75 3, and which is not 
without interest for other reasons : 

" We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, sons of some 
of the principal famiUes in and about Trenton, being in some 
measure sensible of the advantages of learning, and desir- 
ous that those who are deprived of it through the j^overty 
of their parents, might taste the sweetness of it with our- 
selves, can think of no better or other method for that 
purpose, than the following scheme of a Delaware-Island 
JOottery^ for raising 225 pieces of eight [Spanish dollars] to- 
wards building a house to accommodate an English and 
grammar school, and paying a master to teach such 
children whose parents are unable to pay for schoolmg. 
It is proposed that the house be thirty feet long, twenty 
feet wide, and one story high, and built on the south-east 
corner of the meeting-house yard in Trenton, under the 
direction of Messieurs Benjamin Yard, Alexander Cham- 
bers, and John Chambers, all of Trenton aforesaid. . . . 
The managers are Reynald Hooper, son of Robert Lettis 
Hooper, Esq. ; Joseph Warrell, Junior, son of Joseph 
Warrell, Esq. ; Joseph Reed, Junior, son of Andrew Reed, 
Esq. ; Theophilus Severns, Junior, son of Theophilus Se- 
verns, Esq. ; John Allen, Junior, son of John Allen, Esq. ; 
"William Paxton, son of Joseph Paxton, Esq., deceased ; 
and John Cleayton, son of WiUiam Cleaytou, Esq." 

The drawing was to take place June 11, "on 
Fish Island in the river Delaware, opposite to 
the town of Trenton, and the money raised by 

School-house. 121 

this lottery shall be paid into the haiuls of Moore 
Furman, of Trenton, who is under bond for the 
faithful laying out the money for the uses above. 
. . . And we the Manacrers assure the adven- 
turers upon our honor, that this scheme in all its 
parts shall be as punctually observed as if we 
were under the formalities used in lotteries ; and 
we flatter ourselves, the public, considering our 
laudable design, our age, and our innocence, will 
give credit to this our public declaration." 

The lottery of the innocents was drawn on the 
2d July, 1753, and the building was doubtless 
erected immediately afterwards on the spot indi- 
cated. The minutes of our trustees record that 
in 1765, Alexander Chambers and Benjamin Yard 
were elected by the congregation " Directors of 
the School-House." In a lease of 1800 to the 
" Trenton Academy," the premises are described 
as " a certain brick building, which was erected 
on the lot belonging to the trustees of the said 
church for the purpose of a school-house." The 
lessees added a story to the building, and it con- 
tinued to be used for school and church purposes 
until it was taken out of the way at the erection 
of the present church. 

To return to the College. In 1753 the Eever- 


122 Davies. 

end Samuel Davies and Gilbert Tennent were 
sent to Great Britain to solicit contributions for 
building a suitable edifice for the institution. 
Princeton was selected as its place. It was wliile 
making bis final arrangements for tbe voyage 
that Davies first made his personal acquaintance 
with Cowell. In his journal of September 18, 
1753, Davies writes : " Rode solitary and sad 
from Philadelphia to Trenton. Spent the eve- 
ning with Mr. Cowell, an agreeable gentleman, 
of the Synod of Philadelphia ; but my spirits 
were so exhausted that I was incapable of lively 
conversation, and was ashamed of my blundering 
method of talking." It was a bachelor's home. 
The next evening was enlivened by his visit to 
the family of the gentleman who succeeded Mr. 
Cowell in the pastorship of Trenton. " Rode on 
and came to Mr. Spencer's, at Elizabeth town, 
where I was most kindly received, and my spirit 
cheered by his facetious conversation."* 

* The interestiDg and valuable journal of Davies, from ll53 to IVSS, is 
given entire in Dr. Foote's Sketches of Virginia, first series, chap. xii. 
It adds to my personal interest in this part of the history, to find that it 
was possibly my ancestor, Matthew Clarkson, of Philadelphia, whom Davies 
mentions as a fellow-passecger to London, and certainly it was the great- 
grandfather of my great-grandfather, who is referred to in Davies' journal 
of January 27, 1754, when having preached in Berry street^ Davies says : 

Burr. 1 23 

At various dates in 1754, President Burr writes 
from Newark to Mr. Co well, who was on the 
building committee. " I liked Mr. Worth's [the 
mason] proposals very well on first view, and 
think with you it is necessary to have a meeting 
of the committee, and as many others as can at- 
tend, as soon as may be. . . . Yesterday I 
received letters from Messrs. Tennent and Davies, 
dated April 30, which bring the agreeable news 
that they have Id hand and promises £1400 ster- 
ling." " Let me know if you think I had best 
bring a man with me to Princeton that under- 
stands quarrying." " They ask double the price 
for carting at Princeton to what they do this 
way ; so I believe it would not be best they 
should cart much sand." "We must begin a 
barn, buy a wagon, etc., immediately." " It 
pleases me to find the College lies so much on 
your mind. I have a hundred things to say that 
must be deferred to our meeting, and can only 
add that I am ut semper yours affectionately ." 
" We appointed the committee to meet at Prince- 
ton on the third Tuesday of November, but I fear, 

" When I entered tlie pulpit it filled me with reverence to reflect that I 
stood in the place where Mr. Clarkson, Dr. Owea, Dr. Watts, and others 
had once officiated. " 

124 College. 

things will suffer in meantime. We depended on 
Mr. [John] Brainerd's going to see how things 
went on, but he is sick. I wish your affaii'S 
would admit of your visiting the building ; and 
if you think there is need of it, you may appoint 
our meeting sooner ; but if nothing will suffer, it 
is best the other appointment should stand. . . . 
There should be the utmost care that the founda- 
tion be laid strono;. Vie ousrht to have had a 
man to oversee the work de die in diem, though 
I put great confidence in Mr. Worth. I know 
how much you have the affair at heart." 

The trustees, by a vote on the 29th September, 
1756, directed the removal to Princeton to be 
made "this fall." President Finley, in 1Y64, 
wrote : " In the year lYoY the students, to about 
the number of seventy, removed from Newark." 
President Green, writing in 1822, believed it took 
place in the vacation succeeding the commence- 
ment of 1Y56. Dr. Griffin, at Dr. Macwhorter's 
funeral in 1807, said the removal was in October, 
1Y56, and this is confirmed by a memorandum 
of Nathaniel Fitz Randolph, made in 1758. The 
commencement of 1757 fell on the 26th Septem- 
ber ; President Burr died in Princeton on the 
24th of the same month. Before leaving the 

President Cowell. 125 

town, after the funeral and commencement, the 
trustees elected the Rev. Jonathan Edwards, Sr., 
to the vacant chair. Mr, Edwards not coming 
immediately, the trustees in December appointed 
Mr. Cowell to act as President of the College until 
their next meetincf. " The choice of the said 
Mr. Cowell,'' according to the minutes of the 
trustees, " being made known to him, he was 
pleased to accept of the same, and was qualified 
as the charter directs." UjDon his election it was 
" voted that President Cowell provide, as soon as 
possible, an Usher for the grammar-school." He 
served until February 16, 1Y58, when President 
Edwards took his seat ; but held it scarcely a 
month, falling a victim to the small-pox on the 
22d of March. 

Mr. Davies was elected his successor on the 
19th April, being then but thirty-four years of 
age. Mr. Cowell was appointed an alternate to 
the Rev. Mr. Caleb Smith, to act at the next 
commencement, and was placed on the commit- 
tee to attend to Mr. Davies' removal from Vir- 
ginia, import books from England, and attend to 
the completion of the President's house and 
the College. 

Mr. Cowell had been corresponding with Mr. 

1 26 Davies. 

Davies on other matters, before his election to 
tlie presidency. In a letter of February 20, 
1758, after lamenting tlie loss wliicli tlie College 
and the Cliurcli had suffered in the recent re- 
movals by death of Governor Belcher, President 
Burr, and the Eev. Mr. Davenport, Mr. Davies 
indulges in what he calls a reverie, as follows : 

■' As tlie death of these good men was undoubtedly 
gain to them, may we not modestly conjecture that it will 
also prove an advantage to the world, though we are apt 
to lament them as lost ? I can not conceive of heaven as 
a state of mere enjoyment, without action, or indolent su- 
pine adoration and praise. The happiness agreeable to 
vigorous immortals must consist, one would think, in pro- 
per exercise, suitable to the benevolence of their hearts 
and the extent of their powers. May we not then suppose 
that such devout and benevolent souls as these, v>'hen re- 
leased from the confinement of mortality, and the low labor 
of the present life, are not only advanced to superior de- 
grees of happiness, but placed in a higher sphere of use- 
fulness, employed as the ministers of Providence, not to 
this or that particular church, college, or colony, but to a 
more extensive charge, and perhaps to a more important 
class of beings, so that the public good, as the good of the 
tmiverse of creatures taken collectively, to which the in- 
terests of private persons and inferior communities must 
always be subordinate under a wise administration, may 
be promoted by their removal from us, and from their 
narrow sphere of beneficence in this imperfect world. 

Davies. 127 

And if, when they cease to be useful men^ they commence 
angels^ that is, ministering spirits, we may congratulate 
them and the world upon this more extensive beneficence, 
insead of lamentin^: them as lost to all usefulness. Thus, 
sir, I sometimes permit my imagination to rove ; but I 
must confess, sense prevails against speculation and con- 
jecture, and as an inhabitant of this world I deeply feel 
the loss. Forgive me, dear sir, this reverie, which seems 
to suggest a new thought ; if it should be new to you^ I 
should for that very reason suspect it not to be just. 

" I heartily rejoice in the choice the Trustees have made 
of a successor to Mr. Burr. Mr. Edwards has long been 
very high in my esteem as a man of very great piety, and 
one of the deepest thinkers and greatest divines of the 
iige. May the Lord long continue his life, and his capaci- 
ties for action !" 

Mi\ Davies was much perplexed as to Ms duty, 
when informed of his own election as successor 
of President Edwards. Upon referriDg the mat- 
ter to his Presbytery they recommended his re- 
maining in Virginia, and he yielded to their 
judgment. His later resolution, and the state 
of mind which led to it, are described in a letter 
which he wrote on the 14:th September, 1758, to 
Mr. Cowell, and which, notwithstanding its want 
of direct connection with our narrative, I think 
needs no excuse for its insertion here, especially 
as this ^.orrespondence has not before been edited. 

128 Davies and 

" Though my mind was cahn and serene for some time 
after the decision of the Presbytery, and I acquiesced in 
their judgment as the voice of God, till Mr. Smith [Rev. 
Caleb Smith, of the Committee] was gone, yet to-day my 
anxieties are revived, and I am almost as much at a loss 
as ever what is my duty ; nor can my conscience be easy 
without sending this postscript to my former letter at a 
venture, though I have no other medium of conveyance 
but the post, which is often uncertain and tedious. I can 
honestly declare, sir, I never was so much concerned 
about my own estate as I have been and still am for the 
prosperity of the College. And the very suspicion that I 
may possibly have done it an injury by not accepting the 
honor the Trustees were pleased to confer upon me, causes 
me to appear almost an unpardonable criminal to myself. 
This suspicion haunts me night and day, and I can have 
no ease till I am delivered from it. It received a terrible 
confirmation when I found that though the Presbytery 
could not positively determine, it was my duty to leave 
Virginia and accept the invitation. Yet they were very 
skeptical about it, and wished I could have determined 
the matter for myself. I am also apprehensive the gener- 
ous error of their excessive personal friendship for me, 
and their excessive diffidence of their own abilities to 
manage affairs in a concern of so much difficulty without 
my conduct and assistance, had no small influence uj)on 
their determination. I am Hkewise convinced, that if I 
liad been able to form any previous judgment of my own, 
it would have turned the scale, and theii'S would have 
coincided with mine. 

" I have indeed a very large, important congregation ; 

the College. 129 

and I am so far from having any reason to think they 
are weary of me, that it is an agreeable misfortnne to me, 
that they love me so •well, lint I make no scruples even 
to tell themselves that they are by no means of equal im- 
portance with the College of N'ew-Jersey ; and some of 
them, whose public spirit has the predominancy over pri- 
vate friendship and self-interest, are sensible of it. I am 
sure if I had appeared in the same light to your Board as 
I do to myself, I should have escaped all this perplexity. 
It is the real sentiment of my heart, without aifectation 
of humility, that I am extremely unlit for so important a 
trust, the most important, in my view, that an ecclesiastic 
can sustain in America ; and I have never as much as sus- 
pected that it would be my duty to accept it, except upon 
the supposition of its being a desperate case, if I should 
reject it ; and it is my fear, that it may be so, eoiisicler- 
atis conside7'andis, that makes me so extremely uneasy. 
When I reflect upon such things as these, I am co^istrain- 
cd to send you this answer, though I am afraid out of sea- 
son, that if the Trustees can agree to elect my worthy 
friend, Mr. Finley, with any tolerable degree of cordiality 
and unanimity, I shall be perfectly satisfied, and rejoice in 
the advantageous exchange. But if not, I shall think it 
my duty to accept the offer, if the Trustees judge it pro- 
per to continue or renew my election. 

" If this should come to hand before another election, I 
give you leave, sir, though with trembling hesitation, to 
communicate it to the Board ; if not, I beg you would 
forever conceal it, for the real difficulty of the affair, and 
the natural caution and skepticism of my mind, have given 
my conduct such an appearance of fickleness that I am 

130 Davies and 

quite ashamed of it. My life, sir, I look upon as sacred 
to God and the public ; and the service of God and man- 
kind is not a local thing, in my view. Wheresoever it 
appears to me I may perform it, to the greatest advantage, 
there, I hope, I should choose to fix my residence, whether 
in Hanover, Princeton, or even Lapland or Japan. But 
my anxieties in the present case have proceeded from the 
want of light to determine where the sphere of my useful- 
ness would be the most extensive. 

" If matters should turn out so as to constrain me to 
come to Xassau Hall, I only beg early intelligence of it, 
by Mr. Smith, who intends to revisit Hanover shortly, or 
by post, and I shall prepare for my journey and the 
removal of my family with all possible expedition. The 
honor which you, sir, and the other gentlemen of the 
Trustees, who are in other instances such good judges of 
merit, have done me, is such a strong temj^tation to van- 
ity, as requires no small degree of self-knowledge to resist. 

" I shall always retain a grateful sense of it, and I pray 
God it may have no bad influence upon a heart so deeply 
infected with the uncreaturely vice of j)ride." 

After clispatchiDg this letter, " extorted from 
Mm," as lie said, "by irresistible anxieties," a 
second messenger (Halsey) from tlie Trustees, 
appears to liave intimated to Mr. Davies, that in 
tlie event of his declining the chair, the Rev. 
Samuel Finley would be the choice of the Board, 
and that he was, by some, already j^referred to 
himself. Accordingly, on the 18th October, 

Finley. 131 

Davies writes again to Cowell, to urge Finley's 
election : 

" Since you and a majority of the Trustees have thouglit 
me fit to fill so important a seat, you must also think me in 
some measure fit to judge of the proper qualifications of a 
President ; I therefore beg you would not only believe me 
sincere, but also have some little regard to my judgment, 
when I recommend Mr. Finley, from long and intimate 
acquaintance with him, as the best qualified person in the 
compass of my knowledge in America, for that high trust ; 
and incomparably better qualified than myself. And 
though the want of some superficial accomplishments for 
empty popularity, may keep him in obscurity for some 
little time, his hidden worth, in a few months, or years at 
most, will blaze out to the satisfaction, and even astonish- 
ment of all candid men. A disappointment of this kind wiJl 
certainly be of service to the College ; but as to me, I 
greatly fear I should mortify my friends with a disappoint- 
ment of an opposite nature ; like an inflamed meteor, I 
might cast a glaring light and attract the gaze of man- 
kind for a little while, but the flash would soon be over, 
and leave me in my native obscurity. 

'* I should be glad you would wi'ite to me by post, after 
the next meeting of the Trustees, what choice they shall 
have made ; for though I never expect another applica- 
tion to me, yet I feel myself interested in the welfare of 
the College, and shall be anxious to hear what conclusion 
may be formed upon this important afiair." 

"When the Trustees met in ]N'ovember,(l758,) 

132 College and 

after conferring, and comparing letters, it was 
put to vote whether Mr. Da vies' refusal was to 
be regarded as final. Upon two ballots, tlie 
voters of *' not final" and " non liquet" had the 
majority, but to remove the embarrassment, they 
yielded ; upon which the Rev. Jacob Green, of 
Morris county, father of Dr. Ashbel Green, was 
chosen Vice-President, and the election of Presi- 
dent postponed till the next May. I find these 
particulars in a letter from Mr. Cowell to Mr. 
Davies, dated at Trenton, December 25, 1758, 
to which he adds : 

" If I may be allowed to guess, I think : 

" 1. That yon will be elected next May ; 

" 2. That if you are not, Mr. Finley will not be. 

" I think with you, dear sir, that the College of Xew- 
Jersey ought to be esteemed of as much imjDortance to 
the interests of rehgion and liberty, as any institution of 
the kind in America. I am sensible your leaving Virginia 
is attended with very great difficulties, but I can not 
think your affairs are of equal importance with the Col- 
lege of New-Jersey." 

At the May meeting Messrs. Davies and Fin- 
ley were both nominated. Davies was elected, 
and in July arrived in Princeton. Mr. Cowell's 
interest and activity as a trustee did not abate 

Cowell. 133 

upon the accession of Lis friend and favorite 
candidate ; but scarcely had eighteen months 
elapsed from the President's inauguration, before 
both were in their graves. The last relic of their 
correspondence shows that Mr. Cowell's medical 
skill (for he had studied and on emergencies 
practised medicine) was valued in Princeton. 
Under date of February 15, 1760, Mr. Davies 
writes : 

'' Doctor Scudder has inoculated a number of the stu- 
dents, who are all likely to do well, except one, who was 
taken with the pleurisy about the time of his inoculation, 
and had an inveterate cold for some time before. The 
Doctor's own family and his father-in-law were inoculated 
about the same time, and one of them is so ill that he has 
not been able to give good attendance here. I made an 
explicit reserve of liberty to consult any other physician 
upon the appearance of any other alarming symptom, 
therefore I send for you at the request of many, as well as 
my own motion. I beg you would come immediately, for 
the young man's life is in evident danger, and my dear 
Mrs. Davies is so affected in her mouth, etc., with the 
mercurial and antimonial preparations, that she has been in 
exquisite agony, and stands in great need of immediate 
relief. I long to hear from my promising pupil under 
your care." . 


Mk. Coavell's Death and Burial. 


In June, 1759, Mr. Cowell was present in the 
Presbytery, wliich met at Trenton, but his health 
was probably then failing, as a request was made 
from the congregation, that his pulpit " might be 
supplied at least in part during his illness." He 
was present again at the meeting in Princeton, 
July 25, 1759 ; at which time his friend. Pre- 
sident Davies, was received from Hanover. At 
Baskingridge, October 30 of that year, another 
petition was brought from Trenton, " praying that 
as Mr. Cowell is unable through sickness to attend 
the ministerial function, Mr. Guild might be or- 
dered to supply them every third Sabbath." In 
compliance with this, Mr. Guild, pastor of the 
Hopewell (Pennington) church was directed to 
" supply as much of his time as he can at Trenton." 
Mr. Cowell was present at the meeting of Pres- 

Cowell's Illness. 135 

hytery, held at Nassau Hall, March 11, I'TGO. 
The regular Moderator being absent, Mr. Cowell 
was chosen in his place, and President Davies 
acted as clerk. One of Mr. Cowell's successors, 
William Kirkpatrick, was at this meeting, and 
another, Elihu Spencer, sat as a corresponding 

" Mr. Cowell represented to the Presbytery that he has 
been long indisposed in body, and unable to discharge the 
duties of the pastoral relation to his congregation in Tren- 
ton, and therefore requested that he might be dismissed 
from it ; and the congregation also by their petition, and 
the declaration of their commissioners, intimate their ac- 
quiescence in it. 

" The Presbytery therefore consent to the request, and 
do hereby dismiss Mr. Cowell from said congregation ; 
yet they affectionately recommend it to him that, if it 
should please God to restore him to an ability to exercise 
his ministry, he would preach as often as he can in that 
congregation while vacant, and in other vacancies as he 
shall have opportunity." 

The last session of Presbytery, which Mr. 
Cowell attended, was at Lawrenceville (Maiden- 
head) September 17, 1760, the sixth meeting held 
in that year. On the 28tli of October Messrs. 
Kirkpatrick and Treat were deputed to supply 

136 Cowell's Death, 

Mr. Coweirs decease took place on the first 
day of December, 1760, at his residence in Tren- 
ton. He was in the fifty-seventh year of his age, 
having served the Trenton people in the town 
and country congregations nearly twenty-four 

His beloved friend Davies, who was then in 
the middle of the second year of his presidency 
of INTassau Hal], was called upon to preach in the 
church on the day of the interment. He fulfilled 
this office with great affection and fidelity, and it 
adds interest to the narrative to know that in a 
few weeks afterwards, (February 4, 1761,) tha.t 
most eminent preacher, just past the thirty-sixth 
year of his age, was himself suddenly removed 
by death from the new sphere of usefulness and 
fame, upon which he had entered; so that on 
the page of the Synod's Minutes of May 20, 
IY6I, is found the sentence : " The Presbytery of 
New-Brunswick further report, that it has pleased 
God to remove by death, since our last, the Rev. 
Mr. President Davies and the Rev. Mr. David 

In his fatal illness Mr. Davies remarked, that 
he had been undesignedly led to preach his own 
funeral sermon. He alluded to the fact that he 

and Funeral. 137 

liad delivered a discourse on 'New Year's day 
(ITGI) from the words in Jeremiah, " Thus saith 
the Lord, this year thou shalt die." He took 
this text, however, after having been informed 
that President Burr had preached from it on the 
first day of the year in which he died. Davies' 
sermon at the College on the first day of the 
preceding year, is entitled, " A New- Year's 
Gift." The text of that is : " And that knowing 
the time, that now it is high time to awake out 
of sleep, for now is our salvation nearer than 
when we believed." It is the fifty-ninth in the 
published collection. 

The autograph, from which Davies preached 
at Mr. Cowell's funeral, is now before me. It is 
a sermon on the words from the Epistle to the 
Hebrews, "Let us labor, therefore, to enter into 
that rest," adapted to the occasion by a new in- 
troduction, and by what appears to be an imjDar- 
tial and discriminating estimate of the character 
of the deceased. As these parts of the discourse 
are interesting as relics of the great preacher, as 
well as for their descriptions of a prominent per- 
son in our history, I shall quote them in full. 

The new opening was thus : 

" While death reigns in our world, and spreads its pale 


138 Funeral Sermon 

trophies so often before our eyes, how gloomy and dismal 
would our prospect be, especially at funeral occasions, if 
Jesus had not brought life and immortality to light by the 
Gospel! And how intolerable would be the doubtful 
struggles, the toils and fatigues of life, if we had no pros- 
pect of Rest ! Add an everlasting duration to them, 
and they become too oppressive for human nature. But 
blessed be God, there remaineth a rest for the people of 
God ; a rest that may be obtained by hard labor, though 
lost by unbelief. ' Let us labor, therefore, to enter into 
that rest.' Here heaven is represented under the agree- 
able idea of a time of rest / the way to obtain it pointed 
out, namely, by hard lahoi% and the necessity of laboring 
hard imphed. These are the several topics I now hitend 
to illustrate for the religious improvement of this melan- 
choly occasion." 

Having completed this plan in tlie usual full- 
ness of bis manner, tlie discourse closed with the 
new matter prepared for the day, as follows : 

" What remains of the present hour, I would devote 
more immediately to the memory of the dead. To pro- 
nounce a panegyric on the dead is supposed to be the 
principal design of funeral sermons ; and to praise the 
dead is a debt which envy itself will allow us to discharge. 
But it is not a regard to ancient custom, nor an apprehen- 
sion that the eulogium will not be envied nor disj^uted, 
that excite me at present to take some particular notice of 
the character of our worthy friend, who now lies a pale 
corpse before us. It is rather my desire to concur with 
the sentence of heaven, and to praise the virtue which I 

by Davles. 139 

cheerfully hope has ere now received the approbation of 
the Supreme Judge. It is my full conviction that the 
character of the deceased was in many respects worthy of 
the imitation of the living, and that in recommending it, 
I shall recommend virtue and religion with advantage, as 
exemplified in life. 

" Indeed, it would have relieved me fi'om some anxiety, 
if my worthy friend had nominated some one to this ser- 
vice, whose long acquaintance with him would have en- 
abled him to do justice to his memory, and exhibit a full 
view of his character. During the short time that I have 
been a resident of this Province, he has been my very in- 
timate friend, and I have conversed freely with him in his 
most unguarded hours, when his conversation was the full 
image of his soul. But I had only a general acquaintance 
with him for ten of the years before, and of the earlier 
part of his life I had no personal knowledge, and have re- 
ceived but a very imperfect account from his earlier ac- 
quaintances. But from what I have heard from persons 
of credit, or have known myself, I shall give you the fol- 
lowing general sketch of his character; and as I would by 
no means incur the censure of flattery, or risk the reputa- 
tion of my veracity, you may be assured I fully believe 
myself in the account I give of his character. 

" The Rev. Mr. David Cowell was born at Dorchester, 
in the government of Massachusetts Bay, and educated at 
Harvard College. I am informed by one of "his early 
friends, that the characteristics of his youth were a serious, 
'virtuous, and religious turn of mind, free from the vices 
and vanities of the wild and thoughtless age, and a re- 
markable thirst for knowledge. The study of books was 

140 Character of Cowell 

both his amusement and serious business, while he was 
passing through his course of collegiate education, and 
even before he entered upon it, and I am witness how 
lively a taste for books and knowledge he cherished to the 

'' I am not able to give you an account of the sensations 
and impressions of his mind from divine things in early 
life, which were the beginnings of his religion. But as 
every effect must have an adequate cause, from what I 
have observed in him of the Christian temper, I conclude 
he had been the subject of such impressions. 

" He appeared to me to have a mind steadily and habit- 
ually bent towards God and holiness. If his religion was 
not so warm and passionate as that of some, it was j^erhaps 
proportionally more evenly uniform and rational. He was 
not flighty and visionary, nor yet dull and senseless. His 
religion was not a transient passion, but appeared to be a 
settled temper. 

" Humility and modesty, those gentle virtues, seemed 
to shine in him with a very amiable lustre. Far from be- 
ing fall of liimself, far from taking airs of superiority, or 
giving himself the preference, he often imposed a volun- 
tary silence upon himself, when he could have made an 
agreeable figure in conversation. He was fond of giving 
way to his brethren, with Vv'hom he might justly have 
claimed an equality, and to encourage modest worth in his 
inferiors. ' He was not impudently liberal of unasked ad- 
vice, though very judicious, impartial, and communicative 
when consulted. He had an easy, graceful negligence in 
his carriage, a noble indifference about setting himself off. 
And though his intellectual furniture, his experience and 

by Davies. 14 i 

seniority might have been a strong temptation to the 
usual foible of vanity and self-sufficiency, I never have seen 
any thing in his conduct, that discovered a high estimate 
of his own accomplishments. Indeed, he seemed not to 
know them, though they were so conspicuous that many 
a man has made a very brilliant appearance with a small 
share of them. 

" He had a remarkable command of his passions. No- 
thing boisterous or impetuous, nothing rash or fierce, ap- 
peared in his conduct, even in circumstances that would 
throw many others into a ferment. Had I not been told 
by one who has long and intimately known him, that he 
was capable of a manly resentment wpon proper occasions, 
I sliould have concluded that he was generously insensible 
to personal injuries, for I can not recollect that ever I 
heard him speak a severe word, or discover the least de- 
gree of anger against any man upon earth. He appeared 
calm and unruffled amidst the storms of the world, peace- 
ful and serene amidst the commotion and uproar of human 

" Far from sanguine, prattling forwardness, he was re- 
markably cautious and deliberate ; slow to pronounce, 
slow to determine, and especially to censure,. and therefore 
well guarded against extremes, and the many pernicious 
consequences of precipitant conclusions. 

" In matters of debate, and especially of religious con- 
troversy, he was rather a moderator and compromiser 
than a party. Though he could not be neuter, but judged 
for himself to direct his own conduct, yet he did not aflect 
to impose his sentiments upon others, nor set up his own 
understanding as an universal standard of truth. He 

142 Character of Cowell 

could exercise candor and forbearance without constraint 
or reluctance ; and when he happened to differ in opinion 
from any of his brethren, even themselves could not but 
acknowledge and admire his moderation. 

" His accomplishments as a man of sense and learning 
were very considerable. His judgment was cool, deliber- 
ate, and penetrating. His sentiments were well digested, 
and his taste elegant and refined. He had read not a few 
of the best modern authors, and though he did not often 
plod over the mouldy volumes of antiquity, he was 
no stranger to ancient literature, whether classical, philo- 
sophical, or historical. He could think as well as read, 
and the knowledge he collected from books, was well di- 
gested, and became his own. He had carefully studied the 
Sacred Scriptures, that grand accomplishment for a divine, 
and had a rational theory of the Christian system. 

" He had an easy, natural vein of wit, which rendered 
his conversation extremely agreeable, and which he some- 
times used with great dexterity to exj^ose the rake, the 
fop, the infidel, and the other fools of the human species. 
But never did his humanity allow him to use this keen 
weapon to wound a friend, or the mnocent, whether friend 
or foe. His wit was sacred to the service of virtue, or in- 
nocently volatile and lively to heighten the pleasure of 

" He was a lover of mankind, and delighted in every 
oflice of benevolence. Benevolence appeared to me to be 
his i^redominant virtue, which gave a most amiable cast to 
his whole temper and conduct. Did he ever refuse to 
give relief or pleasure to any of his fellow-creatures, when 

by Da vies. 143 

it was in liis power to do it ? I never had reason to 
think he did. 

" That he might be able to support himself, without op- 
pressing a small congregation, he applied some part of his 
time to the study and practice of physic, in which he made 
no inconsiderable figure. In this he was the friend of the 
poor, and spared neither trouble nor expense to relieve 

" As I never had the happiness to hear him in the sa- 
cred desk, I can say but little of him in his highest cha- 
racter as a minister of the Gospel. But from what I know 
of his disposition, theological knowledge, and other re- 
ligious performances, I doubt not but his sermons were 
judicious, serious, well-composed, and calculated to show 
men the way of salvation. 

" In prayer, I am sure, he appeared humble, solemn, ra- 
tional, and importunate, as a creature, a sinner in the pre- 
sence of God ; without levity, without affectation, without 
Pharisaical self-confidence. 

" In the charter of the College of ll^ew- Jersey, he was 
nominated one of the trustees, and but few invested with 
the same trust, discharged it with so much zeal, diligence, 
and alacrity. His heart was set upon the prosperity of 
the infant institution, and he exerted himself in its service, 
nor did he forget it in his last moments."^ 

" This church has lost a judicious minister of the Gos2:)el, 
and, as we hope, a sincere Christian ; the world has lost 
an inoffensive, useful member of society ; this town an 
agreeable, peaceable, benevolent inhabitant ; the College 

* Mr. Cowell bequeathed fifty pounds to the College. 

144 Epitaph. 

of New- Jersey a father, and I have lost a friend ; and I 
doubt not but public and private sorrow and lamentation 
will be in some measure correspondent, and express the 
greatness of the loss. 

" Let us endeavor, my brethren, to copy his amiable 
character, and make his virtues our own. The character, 
indeed, is not perfect. The friend, the scholar, the min- 
ister, the Christian was still a man ; a man of like pas- 
sions with ourselves ; and, therefore, he undoubtedly had 
his blemishes and infirmities. He is at best but a sinner 
sanctified and saved. However, I shall not describe his 
faults, because I hardly knew them, and because greater 
can be found almost every where. His virtues and graces 
are not so common, and therefore I have exhibited them 
to your view for imitation. 

" With him the dubious conflict of life is over, and we 
hope he has entered into rest, and sweetly fallen asleep 
in Jesus. Let us also labor to enter into that rest, lest 
any of us fall by imbelief " 

Mr. Co well's body was deposited in the church- 
yard at Trenton, and the grave, which is w^ithin 
a few feet of the western wall of the church, is 
designated by a head-stone with the following in- 
scription : 

" Li memory of the 

Born in Dorchester, 1 704. 

Graduated in Harvard College, Cambridge, IST. E., 1732. 

Ordained at Trenton, 1736. 

Died December the 1st, ^tatis sua) 56, 1760. 

Sermons. i^_j 

" A man of penetrating wit ; solid judgment ; strong 
memory ; yet of great modesty, piety, and benevolence.'* 

Mr. Co well was an iudustrions preacher. There 
lies before me a memorandum, kept by him of 
the places and texts of his preaching, from Jmie, 
1735, to October, IToY. In those twenty-two 
years there is seldom a Sabbath without its re- 
cord of service, besides the extra duties of sacra- 
mental seasons and funerals. On a very few 
Sabbaths is the entry of " non valui," (not 
well,) and but one or two " procellosus," 
(stormy.) The only observable blank is from 
April 10 to June 5, 1748, which is accounted for 
by the line, " went to New-England." He fre- 
quently administered the Lord's Supper at Mai- 
denhead and Hopewell. Occasionally he sup- 
plied Fisher's Island, Rocky Hill, Bristol, Bor- 
dentown, Whippany, Elizabethtown, Abington, 
Norrington, Shrewsbury, Neshaminy. The few 
notes of funerals in this little register, may be of 
some chronological use or family interest. 

1736, July 7. Mary Eli. 
1739, January 31, Armitage. 
1739, February 6. George Snow. 

1741, December 26. Mrs. Green. 

1742, January 10. Widow Furman. 


] 46 Funerals. 

1742, April 14. Slack's wife. 
1742, July 11. Hi(?bee. 

1742, September 6. Margaret. 

1743, June 16. Jones's child. 

1744, March 21. Widow Reed. 
1744, December 8. Mr. Yard. 

1746, June 17. Stephen Rose. 

1747, September 22. Mrs. Snow. 
1747, October 21. Mrs. Yard. 
1749, July 30. Hart. 

1749, November 7. Howell's wife. 

1749, December 19. Mr. Griffin. 

1750, July 18. Susan Osborn. 

1750, September 17. Mr. Paxton. 

1751, January 7. Mr. Taylor. 

1752, May 1. John Green. 

1753, January 2. Rose's wife. 

1754, December 1. William Green. 
1756, September 5. Mr. Dagworthy. 

Tlie " vddow Farman" in the list is comme- 
morated by Professor Kalm, who, among other 
instances of American longevity, states, that " on 
January 8, 1742, died in Trenton, Mrs. Sarah 
Furman, a widow, aged ninety-seven years ; leav- 
ing alive at the time of her decease five children, 
sixty-one grand-children, one hundred and eighty- 
two great-grand-children, and twelve great-great 

'•' Kaliu's Travels, vol. ii. 5. 

Funeral Sermon. 147 

The sermon of January Bl, 1739, was preached 
at Pennington, at the interment of the Ekier 
Enoch Armitage, and I quote a passage as a spe- 
cimen of the preacher's style. The text was : 
"]^ow lettest thou tliy servant depart in peace, 
according to thy word." 

" The words of our text Mr. Armitao^e adoDted as his 
own, and desired they might be discoursed upon at his 
funeral. Those most acquainted with him testified his dis- 
position for peace. God had given him by nature a calm 
and quiet spirit, which was his ornament and glory. He 
was not subject to anger-heats and passions, as many others 
are, and this happy natural talent, assisted and improved 
by a religious principle and the love of God, was so bright 
and shining, that his moderation was known to all men 
who had the happiness of an intimate acquaintance with 
him. In his dealings he was strictly just and honest ; to 
those in distress charitable, and ready to help and assist. 
In his conversation he was grave without moroseness, and 
pleasant without levity. From the quickness of his wit, 
and the strength and clearness of his judgment, he was 
ready on all occasions to bring out of the good treasure of 
his heart things new and old. The sum of his religion was 
love to God and his neiglibor, without being rigid and 
contentious for things indiiferent. The government of his 
family was with the greatest economy and religious order. 
His stated times for prayer, both private and secret, his 
times for instructing his family, for taking refreshment, 
and his times for following the works of his calHng, fol- 

148 Armitage. 

lowed one another so constantly by turns, and in the re- 
vohition of such certam 'periods, that they seldom inter- 
fered, much less jostled out each other ; and such a vein 
of religion ran through the whole, that his life was like the 
life of Enoch, whose name he bore, a walking with God. 
If we consider him at church, we shall find he was con- 
stant and devout in attendance upon God's public worship. 
In the management of church affairs, which was early com- 
mitted to him, and continued to the last, he deservedly 
obtained that character of a good steward to be faithful ; 
and as his management was the product of religious prin- 
ciples and a sound judgment, he had the satisfaction to see 
them approved by the wisest men and the best Christians. 
Such a religious, honest, and just walk in his own house, 
and in the house of God, procured to him the esteem of 
persons of all persuasions and all characters. If he was 
maligned by any self-conceited brethren, who run their 
own ways, and give likhig unto nothing but what is framed 
by themselves, and hammered on their anvil, as their 
ignorance was the cause, so that only can plead their ex- 
cuse. A sovereign God gave him such a fiducial sight of 
Christ, and his own interest in him founded on the divine 
promises, that he adopted the words of good old Simeon 
for his own. He made it the business of his life to follow 
peace with all men, and it was his grief his endeavors suc- 
ceeded no better. He desired to die in peace, and to have 
a hopeful prospect of peace after his death. With respect 
to himself, his prayer was eminently answered. When he 
passed through the valley of death, God was with him. 
Death gave one friendly stroke, and it was over — so that 
he rather seemed to conquer, than to be overcome." 

Cowell's Will. 149 

One of the sermons is marked as preached on 
Friday, November 23, lYo9, from the text of the 
crucified thieves, and a note is appended, " Exe- 
cution, Trenton." This was the execution which 
brought Whitefield to Trenton on the 21st of 
November, as already quoted from his journaL 

The only names of ministers that appear as re- 
lieving him in his own pulpit through all those 
years, are Guild, Huston, Leonard, Miller, Phil- 
lips of Boston, Munson of New-England, and 

Mr. Cowell bequeathed fifty pounds to "the 
Presbyterian congregation of Trenton ; the prin- 
cipal to remain good, and the interest thereof to 
be applied for the benefit of the congregation for- 
ever." He left an equal sum to the College of 
New-Jersey. The will was signed only four days 
before his death, " being sick and weak in body, 
but of perfect mind and memory," and was wit- 
nessed by Samuel Tucker, Jr., Arthur Plowell, 
Benjamin Yard, and George Davis. Many of the 
wills recorded at that time have the same reli- 
gious phraseology as that of Mr. Cowell, the testa- 
mentary part of which begins thus : '' Principally 
and first of all I give and recommend my soul 


1^0 Archibald Home. 

into the hands of God that gave it ; and for my 
body, I commit it to the earth, to be buried in a 
Christianly and decent manner, nothing doubt- 
ing but at the general resurrection, I shall re- 
ceive the same again by the mighty power of 
God." It is to be feared that the scriveners' 
pious formulas are not always subscribed by tes- 
tators with as much sincerity, as they doubtless 
were in this good man's case. 

Amono: the few extant manuscripts of Mr. 
Co well is a fragment of notes of a funeral sermon, 
marked as preached April 1, 1744, at the " bury- 
ing of Mr. Home." It contains an expression 
of the preacher's intention " not to make enco- 
miums on the Honorable person to whose re- 
mains we have been paying the last friendly 
office. That is a task to which I am on several 
accounts unequal. Besides, I humbly conceive 
the proper use to be made of instances of mor- 
tality, is to instruct and exhort the living, accord- 
ins: to that of the wise man, Eccles. 7 : 2." 
This defunct was undoubtedly Mr. Archibald 
Home, who was Deputy Secretary of the Pro- 
vince in the time of Governor Morris, and who 
upon his recommendation to the Lords of Trade 
(October 18, 1740) was appointed to a seat in the 

Vault. 1 J I 

Council, made vacant by the death of Robert 
Lettis Hooper."^ 

AVhen the church was taken down in 1805, a 
vault was discovered under the broad aisle, con- 
tainins: the remains of two bodies in their re- 
spective coffins, the " dress and furniture " of 
which, (according to the j)apers of the day,) " and 
the habiliments of the corpses, denoted to have 
been persons of distinction."f A year after the 
discovery, another newspaper made this publica- 
tion : " A gentleman, on whom we can rely, and 
who says he will vouch for the authenticity of his 
statement, informs us, that the name of one of 
the persons found in the vault was Feeeman, a 
man of considerable connections in the West-In- 
dies, who removed to and resided at Blooms- 
bury with his family, and was interred about 
seventy years ago. The other was Aechibald 
Hume, Esquire, a Scotchman of very considerable 
literary acquirements, and brother to the cele- 
brated Sir John Hume, who came over and re- 
sided in Trenton some months after the decease 
of his brother." J 

* The Papers of Le\\n3 Morris. Pp. 122, 13t, 219, 283. 

f Trenton Federalist, April 22, 1805. 

X Trenton True American, April 21, 180C. "Homo," or "Hume,'" is 

152 Home. 

I have seen the will of Archibald Home, which 
was made February 24, 1H3. The device of the 
testator's seal is an adder holding a rose, which 
is the crest of a Home family, in which there are 
several baronets named Sir John ; but I can not 
find any trace of such a resident in Trenton. 
Mr. Archibald Home bequeathed all his property 
to his brother James Home, Esq., of Charleston, 
South-Carolina. His executors were Robert Hun- 
ter Morris, Thomas Cadwalader, and the legatee. 
The witnesses to the will were Joseph Paxton 
and Moreton Appleby. The probate was certi- 
fied October 5, 1Y44, by '' James Home, Secr'y." 
This suggests the conjecture that he was the 
brother reported in the newspaper as " Sir 
John," and that upon removing from Charleston 
to Trenton, upon Archibald's decease, he was put 
into the vacant secretaryship. 

There is a tradition that connects one of the 
bodies in the vault with the family of Governor 
Cosby. I supposed this to be a mistake of the 
name of Cosby for Morris, and that the person 
referred to was Mr. Home, until I found the fol- 

the same family-name. " Isfy father's family is a branch of the Earl 
of Home's or Hume's." {Autobiography of David Hume.) 

Freeman. 153 

lowing item in the Pennsylvania Gazette^ of 
March T-14, 1737-38: 

" We learn from Trenton tliat Thomas Freeman, Es- 
quire, son-in-law to the late Governor Cosby, died there 
on Saturday last after a few hours' illness." 

This would reconcile the tradition w^ith the 
newspaper paragraphs, and appears to identify 
the body. It is part of the old report, that one 
of the interments was by torch-light. Mr. Cow- 
ell's memorandum shows, that Mr. Home's fune- 
ral-sermon was on Sunday, and was a second ser- 
vice on that day. On the removal of the site of 
the church in 1839, the vault was a second time 
examined, before it was carefully closed, but 
neither the inscription nor arms upon the mould- 
ering plate that was found in it, could be deci- 
phered. That could scarcely have been a family- 
vault, in which any connections of such enemies 
as Morris and Cosby w^ould be associated."^ 

* Governor Cosby's wife was a daughter of Lord Halifax. Their eldest 
daughter was married to a younger son of the Duke of Grafton. 

The Fikst Chartee of the Teentoi^ Chuech — 


1T56 — 1760. 

It was during the pastorate of Mr. Co well that 
the first charter of incorporation was obtained, 
and his name stands first among the corporators. 
The date of this instrument is Se|)tember 8, 1Y56. 
It runs in the name of George the Second, through 
the Provincial Governor Belcher, and incor- 

The Rev. David Cowell, 

Charles Clark, 

Andrew Reed, 

Joseph Yard, 

Arthur Howell, 

William Green, 

Alexander Chambers, 

and their successors, by the name of "The 
Trustees of the Presbyterian Church of Trenton." 
The Charter follows the phraseology of others 

Firft Charter. 155 

£:iven to our churclies under tlie same adininistra- 
tloD,''^ ill tlie preambulary acknowledgmeDt tliat 
" the advancement of true relicrion and virtue is 
absolutely necessary for the promotion of the 
peace, order, and prosj^erity of the State, and 
that it is the duty of all Christian Princes and 
Governors, by the law of God, to do all they can 
for the encouragement thereof;" and also that 
" the known loyalty of the petitioners, and the 
Presbyterians in general, to us, their firm aifec- 
tion to our i:)erson and government, and the Pro- 
testant succession in our royal house, gave the 
petitioners hopes of all reasonable indulgence 
and favor within the same colony, where the re- 
ligious rights of mankind are so happily pre- 
served, and where our equal grace and bounty 
to all our Protestant faithful subjects, however 
differing in opinion about lesser matters, has 
hitherto been so sensibly felt and enjoyed." 

Of the lay members of the first Board of 
Trustees I herewith furnish all the information 
within my reach. 

Chaeles Claek came to Trenton from Long 
Island, and occupied a farm in the township near 

* See Murray's *' Elizabetlitowo," p. 62. Stearns's " Newark," p. 193. 

156 Clarks. 

the country cliurcli. Ke is recorded as present 
at every meeting of the Trustees from 1757 to 
1775. On the night of the battle of Trenton, 
December 26, 1776, he met his death by falling 
into the fire of his own hearth. In 1777 his son 
Benjamin was elected a trustee in his place. An- 
other son, Daniel, was in the Board with his 
father from 1766 to 1788. At the annual meet- 
ing of 1777, " Daniel Clark and Benjamin Clark 
informed the Board that their father, Charles 
Clark, Esq., deceased, had left the congregation 
twenty pounds, to be put at interest, the interest 
to be annually applied towards the support of 
their minister. They produced the will of their 
late fither, and paid the twenty pounds to Mr. 
Alexander Chambers, who put the same to in- 
terest to Mr. John Howell at six per cent." 

Benjamin died ISTovember 25, 1785, in his 
fifty-fifth year. The Gazette of the week says : 
'' He served in the magistracy with reputation, 
both before and since the Eevolution. The esti- 
mation he was held in by the neighborhood was 
manifest from the numerous and respectable at- 
tendants on his funeral, and his loss will be sen- 
sibly felt, not only by his family but by the 
Church, and the county in which he lived." 

Reed — Yard— Howell. 1 57 

Of Andeew Eeed, tlie next on the list of 
trustees, I have given all I know in a previous 
chapter. There are stones in the Trenton church- 
yard, marked, Sarah, wife of Andrew Eeed, 
March 15, 1739 ; Ann, daughter of Andrew 
Reed, July 4, 1Y5Y, 8ot. 14; and three infant 
Reeds, Francis, September 12, 1747 ; Thomas, 
February 7, 1754 ; Andrew, Jr., July 7, 1758. 

Joseph Yaed belonged to a family, which ap- 
pears among the earliest settlers of Trenton, and 
spread into numerous branches. It is said that 
there was a doubt whether the name of Yard 
had not a superior claim to that of Trent for the 
new locality. Our trustee came from England 
with his four brothers, Benjamin, "William, John, 
and Jethro. Benjamin was an elder of this 
church in 1765, and it is probably his death 
which is recorded as having taken place in Octo- 
ber, 1808, in his ninety-fourth year. Joseph 
acted as trustee until 1762, and was Clerk of 
the Board. 

Aethur Howell's name appears on the mi- 
nutes of May 8, 1762, for the last time. On the 
sixth of December of that year his will was be- 
fore the surrogate. His "trusty and beloved 


158 Green — Chambers. 

friend Obadiah Howell" was one of liis exe- 

Y/iLLiAM GsEEiq- was in office until 1764. This 
family, like the Howells and Yards, is too rami- 
fied to be traced for any object of the present 

Alexandee Chambees, the last-named corpo- 
rator, belonged to a family Avhich has its fifth and 
sixth generations to represent it at this time. I 
avail myself of a paper prepared by Mr. John S. 
Chambers, to furnish all the information neces- 
sary to my purpose. 

" John Chambers, tlic ancestor of the Chambers family 
of Trenton, came to America from the county of Antrim 
in the north of Ireland, about the year 1730. 

" His tombstone stands near the present church-edifice 
in good preservation, by the inscription on wliich it appears 
that he died September 19th, 1747, at the age of seventy 

" He had several children, of vrhom his son Alexander 
continued to live in Trenton. Alexander was his second 
son, and was born in Ireland in the year 1716. He was 
one of the first trustees named in the Charter of the Pres- 
byterian Church of Trenton, given from the King through 
Gov. Belcher, and held the oflice from September 8th, 
1756, until his death, September 16th, 1798, a period of 
forty-two years, during all which time, as is shown by the 

Chambers. 159 

Trustees' Book of Minutes, his name is recorded as present 
at every meeting of the Board. He was elected Treasurer 
of the Board May 6th, 1766, and performed the duties of 
that office till August 1st, 1796, a period of thirty years, 
when he resigned on account of his advancing age. He 
was also chosen President of the Board on the 5th of May, 
1783, which office he filled till his death, a period of fifteen 

"He was by occupation a turner, spinning-wheel and 
chair-maker. He built the brick house on the corner of 
State and Willow streets, for many years used as a store, 
and known as Chambers' Corner, and carried on store- 
keeping in the old mud house built by his father, which 
stood adjoining. 

"He died SejDt. 16th, 1798, at the age of eighty-two, and 
lies buried near his father in the church-yard. The first 
bequest in his will is in these words : 

" ' Item. I give unto the Presbyterian Church in Tren- 
ton, Thirty Pounds, to be put at interest, and the interest 
to go towards the support of a minister, said Thirty 
Pounds to be paid to the Trustees one year after my de- 


" Alexander Chambers left several children. Two of 
the sons, John and Alexander, remained in Trenton. 
John carried on the trade of his father at his own shop at 
the head of town in Warren street. Alexander converted 
the brick house built by his father on the corner of State 
and Willow streets into a store, and carried on an exten- 
sive business for many years. He was the first to estab- 
lish Bloomsbury as a port for sloops, and built a wharf and 
storehouse there about the year 1803 ; the transportation 

1 6o Chambers. 

business having been previously conducted at Lamberton, 
about a mile below. 

" On the Vth of August, 1799, about a year after the 
death of his father, he was chosen a trustee, and so con- 
tinued till his death in 1824, a period of twenty-five years. 
John S. Chambers, son of the last-mentioned John Chambers, 
was chosen a trustee ISTovember 24th, 1823, and so con- 
tinued till his death in November, 1834, a period of eleven 
years ; for the last two of which he was also President of 
the Board, having been elected to that office October 13th, 

To tills I may add tliat tlie son of the last- 
named, who furnishes this paper, is the present 
Clerk of the Board. There was a John Cham- 
bers in the eldership in 1760-4. My correspond- 
ent says : 

" I have not yet ascertained who the elder, John Cham- 
bers, was. It is evident from the dates he could not have 
been the ancestor who first came over, as I at first sup- 

According to the terms of the charter, the 
seven trustees were to hold their office until the 
first Tuesday of June, 1757, when and thereafter 
the trustees were to be elected by " the Minister, 
Elders, and Deacons of the said Presbyterian 
Church and Congregation." This unpopular 
feature of ecclesiastical corporations passed away 

Officers. 161 

in due time, together with the loyalty to the 
house of Hanover ; but the minister, elders, and 
deacons continued, until after the indejiendence, to 
elect the trustees, of whom the minister himself 
was usually one, and also President of the Board. 
As such, he was constituted by the charter keeper 
of the books, seal, and all papers of the corpo- 
ration."^ In 1760 the pastor w^as Treasurer as 
well as President. 

In 1760, June 12, John Chambers, John Hen- 
drickson, and Stephen Rose were " chosen 
elders," and on the same day is this entry on the 
trustees' minutes: " Memorandum, that it is 
agreed by the congregation now met, that the 
Presbyterian Congregation of Trenton shall an- 
nnally meet on the first Tuesday in June to 
choose elders, and that then the minister, elders, 
and deacons shall proceed to the choice of trus- 
tees of said Presbyterian church." From this 
provision, and occasional subsequent records, it 
seems that there was for a time a departure from 
the principle of our church, that the lay-elder- 
ship, like the clerical, is perpetual, and is not 
open, even as to the exercise of the office, to re- 

* The original Ciiarter is still preserved.- It is recorded in Book Q, 
p. 163, State House. 


i62 Officers. 

peated elections, as is the custom of our sister 
Presbyterian Churcli, tlie Keformecl Dutch. It 
must be remembered that this was nearly thirty 
years before the constitution of our American 
Church was framed. 

In 1760 the name of Moore Furman appears in 
the Board in the place of Andrew Eeed. In 
1762, Obadiah Howell filled the vacancy made 
by the death of Mr. Cowell. A personal notice 
of Mr. Furman will come in more appropriately 
under a later date. Obadiah Howell was a 
trustee until 1770. He lived on a farm which is 
still in the family, on the Scotch road on the 
borders of Trenton. 

Ministry of tiie Key. Williai\i Kirkpatrick 

— His History. 


Soon after the Eev. Mr. Cowell's withdrawal 
from the pastorate, and before his decease, the 
attention of the people, perhaps at his suggestion, 
was turned towards Mr. William Kirkpatrick 
as his successor. 

Neither the place nor time of Mr. Kirkpatrick'e 
birth is known. Judging from his age, as given 
without dates on his grave-stone, he was born 
about 1720. He probably had not a liberal edu- 
cation at the usual age, as he was at least thirty 
years old when he took his Bachelor's degree at 
Princeton. This was with the class of 1757, a 
year noted in the college history as that in which 
it was removed from Newark to Princeton, and 
in which its distinguished President Aaron Burr 
died. Among his class-mates were the young men 
afterwards eminent as Governor Joseph Eeed, of 

164 Kirkpatrick apxd 

Pennsylvania, and the Eev. Alexander Mac- 
wliorter, D.D., and in the class next below his 
were John V. and William Tennent, sons of the 
Eev. William Tennent, Jr. It was in the March of 
that year that the College was blessed (according 
to the language of Gilbert Tennent) with " an 
extraordinary appearance of the divine power 
and presence there."^ In the next year, (June 
13 and 14, 1758,) at the meeting of the Presby- 
tery of New-Brunswick, which was the first after 
the union of the Synods of New- York and Phila- 
delphia, and when Messrs. Cowell and Guild had 
been transferred to it from the Presbytery of 
Philadelphia, Kirkpatrickf and Macwhorter were 
taken under trials as candidates for the ministry. 
Upon their preliminary examination the Pres- 
bytery pronounced themselves " well pleased that 
they can with so great freedom encourage them 
in their design." The theme for Kirkpatrick's 
exegesis was " an certitudo subjectiva salutis sit 
de essentia fidei justificantis :" his trial text was 

* Preface to Sermons. Rev. Wm. Tennent, of Freehold, wrote an ac- 
coiint of the state of things to Dr. Finley, which is printed in Dr. Alex- 
ander's "Log College," pp. 36T-9. In that letter ho mentions that 
both of his sons, John and WilHam, were partakers " of the shower of 

f His name is written Kiilpatrick in the earlier minutes. 

Macwhorter. 165 

Rom. 3 : 28. On tlie 25tli of the next month, 
the Presbytery met at Princeton, when no other 
business was attended to but the hearing and ap- 
proving of the compositions of the two candidates, 
and giviug them texts for further exercises. 
These were heard on the 15th August, at Prince- 
ton ; Kirkpatrick's second trial text was Philip- 
pians 4:5; and the course of trials being com- 
pleted, they were licensed, and both of them 
were immediately sent out to supply vacant con- 
gregations till the Fall Presbytery. Kirkpatrick's 
appointments were to Oxford, Forks of Delaware, 
Greenwich, Bethlehem, Kingwood, and wher- 
ever else he should find opportunity. In Octo- 
ber he was appointed to the same circuit, with 
Shrewsbury added to the places named. 

In the early part of 1759 he wrote the follow- 
ing letter to Dr. Bellamy, of Connecticut r"^ 

"l^ewark, Feb. 12, 1759. 

"Rev. anb woethy Sir : I think, if I remember right, I 
came under a promise of writing to you, which, if made, 
I am now about to fulfill. 

" I remember we had some conversation about George's 
Town on Kenuebeck river when I was with you. I have 
since seen a man who once Uvedon the spot, who seems to 

* In tLG manuscript collections of the Presbyterian Historical Society, 

i66 Letter to Bellamy. 

be an intelligent, sober man, and his account of that people 
discourages from thoughts of settling there. He says they 
are a remarkably contentious, brawling, difficult people, and 
that no minister can have any comfort, or be long useful with 
them. I have had an invitation from the Presbytery ot 
'New Castle, (of which Mr. Finley is a member,) to come 
under their care, and settle among them, should Providence 
oiDcn a way for it. Likewise I have had a probationary 
call from a place under the care of our own Presbytery, 
(viz., N'ew-Brunswick.) And another of the same kind 
from a congregation near Elizabethtown in York Presby- 
tery bounds. I have not yet seen my way clear to accept 
of an invitation from any of these places, but continue to 
itinerate among the small vacancies towards the frontiers 
of this Province. If any door of more extensive usefulness 
opens with you, I would be very glad if you would 
take care to inform me ; my inclinations lead me much to 
New-England. If you can send a letter to this place from 
whence I write, or to Mr. Hazard's in ISTew-York, dii'ected 
to me at Princeton, it will soon come to hand. However 
the matter stands, I would be very glad of a letter from 
you, at least before the sitting of our Presbytery, (the 
third week in June.) 

" I am lately informed that some of the trustees of our 
College have sent a messenger yesterday to Mr. Davies, a 
third time to invite him to the Presidentship of om* Col- 
lege, after two former denials^-we wait the event. Mr. 
Green presides 2^0 temjwre, I have lately heard from 
good Mr. Finley that he is well, 

" Religion is here at a low ebb. Truth is fallen in the 
streets, and equity can not enter. Christians fallen from 

Calls. 167 

their first love, and vice triumphaut. A spirit of cTeadness 

prevails. How long, Lord, liow long? 

" But being in great hurry, I can not add anymore, but 

salutations to Mrs. Bellamy, best respects to Mr. Wells and 

Mr. Day, with aflectionate duty and regard to yourself 


" Rev. sii', your unworthy son and servant, 

"Wm. Kirkpateick." 

Ill June, 1759, tlie united congregations of 
Bethleliem and Kingwood broiiglit a call for 
Mr. Kirkpatrick. There was also a request or 
'^supplication," as suck petitions were called, 
from tke people of Tokikan (or Tekicken or Tini- 
cum) tkat ke skould supply tkeir pulpit. But 
tke Synod, wkick in tkose days often exercised 
wkat are now considered Presbyterial preroga- 
tives, kad, in its sessions a montk before, made 
otker arrangements for tke Presbytery's proba- 
tioner.*"* It " ordered, tkat Messrs. Macwkorter, 
Kirkpatrick, and Latta, take a journey to Vir- 
C'inia and Carolina, as soon as tkey can tkis sum- 

* Presbyteries would act for Sessions, too. Thus in October, 1156, a 
request was presented by Jacob Eeeder, a member of Hopewell and 
Maidenbead congregations, "that for the sake of the conveniency of his 
family, the Presbytery would please to dismiss him from the aforesaid 
congregation, (which yet he professed a regard to,) that he may join Tvith 
Am well ; and the Presbytery taking mto consideration said request, judge 
it to be reasonable, and grant it." 

i68 Ordinations. 

mer, or ensuing fall, and spend some months in 
those parts f and the Synod " further consider- 
ing the destitute condition of Hanover^ and the 
uncertainty of their being supplied, if suppliers 
are left to their own discretion, respecting the 
time of their going to Virginia," directed that 
Kirkpatrick should be at Hanover by the third 
Sabbath of July, to be followed by the two other 
licentiates in September and November; and 
their respective Presbyteries were counselled to 
"take care that these gentlemen fulfill this ap- 
pointment, and neither prescribe nor allow them 
employment in our bounds, so as to disappoint 
this our good intention." The direction of 
their work was to lie with the Presbytery of 
Hanover, which belonged to the same Synod. 
Deferring to the superior authority, the Presby- 
tery took no order upon the Tohikan supplica- 
tion, but directed their two probationers to sup- 
ply vacancies as far as they could before their 
journey South. 

In view of their mission, the Presbytery de- 
termined to hasten their ordination. They gave 
to Kirkpatrick for his trial sermon the text, 
" The poor have the Gospel preached to them ;" 
and for a Latin exegesis, the perseverance of the 

Calls. 169 

saints.'^ These were presented at Cranbury, 
July 4, 1759, and both Kirkpatrick and Mac- 
whorter were ordained on that day. After all, 
none of the three fulfilled the Synod's appoint- 
ment ; but whatever were their reasons, (Mac- 
whorter's was his call to Newark,) they were 
admitted to be sufficient by the Synod, at their 
annual meeting in 17 GO. Mr. Kirkpatrick, in 
the mean time, had declined the Bethlehem and 
Kin^rwood call ; and had received one from 
Hanover, Virginia. 

The Trenton congregation now first signified 
their inclination to him. On the day (March 11, 
1Y60) on which the Presbytery released Mr. 
Cowell from that charge, they were petitioned to 

* A second exegesis used to be required of candidates, besides the 
one given for licensure. The Minutes of the Presbytery of New-Bruns- 
wick for October, 1761, providing trials for certain licentiates in view of 
ordination, state " that these three young gentlemen represented to the 
Presbytery their great fatigue and continued hurry in riding from place 
to place, and begged to be excused from making exegeses, as usual be- 
fore ordination, and these their requests were granted." In the last cen- 
tury a branch of trial was sometimes introduced, which would scarcely 
be considered reverent now. In the licensure of Charles Tennent, by the 
Presbytery of Philadelphia in 1136, record is made of "a previous test 
of his ability in iwayery The examinations on scholarship were more spe- 
cific than with us ; for example, Latta and Anderson, at one sederunt, 
were examined on " Logic, Pneumatics, and Ontology." (Second Pres- 
bytery of Philadelphia, 1*765.) 


1 70 Chaplaincy 

send Mr. Kirkpatrick to supply the pulpit, and 
he was accordingly directed to preach there " as 
many Sabbaths as may consist with his other 
obligations betvreen this and the next Presby- 

But another and different kind of field was invit- 
ing him. The French war, though near its close, 
was still calling out the loyal colonists to the fron- 
tiers. Kirkpatrick, through his associations with 
Hanover Presbytery, may have caught the mar- 
tial spirit of sucli sermons of Davies, as the one 
we read "on the curse of cowardice,*' preached 
" at a general muster. May 8, 1Y58, with a view 
to raise a company for Captain Samuel Meredith," 
or the one " preached to Captain Overton's inde- 
pendent company of volunteers." But in the 
French and Revolutionary wars our clergymen 
required no special stimulus to accompany the 
troops, at least as chaplains. All v\^e know of 
Kirkpatrick's engagement is derived from this 
entry on the minutes of his Synod, May 21, 
1^60 : 

'-' 'Tis allowed that Messrs. Alexander McDowel and 
Hector Alison go as chaplains to the Pennsylvania forces, 
and that Mr. Kirkpatrick go with the Xew-Jersey forces, 
the ensuing campaign." 

Supplications. 1 7 1 

That liis absence was not expected to Le long, 
is intimated by the recommendation subjoined 
by tlie Synod, *' that Mr. Kirkpatrick pay a visit 
to the people of Windham on his return." If he 
went at the time mentioned, he was back in sea- 
son for the meeting of Presbytery in Princeton, 
February 8, 1761, at which he was clerk. 

Supplications were made to Presbytery from 
^'arious quarters for his services as a supply, or as 
a candidate for settlement; and on the 28th 
April, 17G1, a regular call was presented from 
the Trenton congregation. No further order was 
taken in resrard to it at that meetiuof, but it was 
probably with a view of affording an opportunity 
of making up his mind, that the Presbytery ap- 
pointed Mr. Parkhurst, a new licentiate, to sup- 
ply four Sabbaths at Trenton, and deferred giv^- 
ing Kirkpatrick any appointment till the meet- 
ing in the intervals of the next Synod. 

At that Synod (May, 1761) we find Mr. Kirk- 
patrick one of a committee of nine to whom was 
referred the consideration of what vras to be done 
for the better support of John Brainerd, who had 
left Newark at the solicitation of the Indians, made 
destitute by the death of his brother David, and 
had become his successor in the mission. Cross- 

172 Crofswicks. 

wicks, a pLace hallowed in tlie memory of tlie 
w^liole Cliurch by these associations, is but eight 
miles from Trenton, and Mr. Kirkpatrick appears 
to have had the leading of the business devolved 
on him, as, though last-named on the committee, 
the overture, urging an addition to the missionary 
force as well as the funds, is minuted as comins^ 
from him. The Synod, however, concluded that 
as, after all their inquiry, no new missionary pre- 
sented himself, they could do no more than direct 
a hundred and fifty pounds to be raised for Mr. 
Brain erd for the ensuing year. Two years after 
this, (May, 1763,) w^hen the Synod appointed 
Messrs. Brainerd and Beatty to visit " the dis- 
tressed frontier inhabitants and to report their 
distresses," and also what opportunities were 
opened for the Gospel among the Indian nations, 
Mr. Kirkpatrick was made the alternate of either 
who misfht fail. 

Between the hours occupied by the Synod at 
the session of 1761, the Presbytery had a special 
meeting, in the proceedings of which Mr. Kirk- 
patrick was an interested party. The minutes, 
drawn probably by his own hand, as he was 
clerk, are thus : 

"Applications were made from ElizabethtowD, Brims- 

Trenton Call. 173 

wick, and Deerfield for the labors of Mr. Kirkpatrick till 
our next Fall Presbytery. The Presbytery conclude to 
leave the disposal of his time entirely to himself, as he is 
supposed to be best acquainted with the necessity of 
these vacancies ; and the Presbytery advise these vacan- 
cies not to insist upon his tarrying long among them, un- 
less they design to put in a call for him; as they declare 
this to be their design, and he appears disposed [fa- 

It would seem from this, though there is no re- 
cord to the eflfect, that the Trenton call had not 
been accepted. Neither was it declined. From 
the complexion of the proceedings all through 
these years, and from the subsequent transactions, 
I should judge that Mr. Kirkpatrick preferred 
Trenton, but that the congregation were so back- 
ward on the point of salary or other arrange- 
ments, that he held the matter in suspense. Per- 
haps the minute last copied was ingeniously 
worded by himself so as to suggest motives ^ to 
the people of Trenton to be more in earnest, if 
they wished their call to be preferred above the 
others that v/ere coming in at every Presbytery. 
That that people supposed they had a special 
claim upon him, is seen in the tenor of the pro- 
ceedings of a special meeting summoned for Au- 


I74 Kirkpatrick 

gust 11, 1761, at Trenton, to dispose of a fresh 

"A call wasbronglit inby Capt. Samuel Morris and Capt. 
AYm. Craighead, commissioners from the congregation of 
Hanover, in Virginia, soliciting the settlement of Mr. 
Kirkpatrick among them as their minister, which was 
objected to by the congregation of Trenton ; and the 
Presbytery, having deliberately heard and matm'ely con- 
sidered the arguments and reasons offered by both parties, 
and having likewise had a declaration by Mr. Kirkpatrick 
of his sentiments and mclmations relative to the case, came 
to the following conclusion, namely, that, although they 
would gladly concur vrith the congregation of Hanover in 
their call, yet as they can not think it their duty to ap- 
point Mr. Kirkpatrick contrary to his own inclination and 
judgment to settle among them, they judge that it is in- 
expedient to present him the said call." 

It appears, therefore, that he continued to 
serve the Trenton congregation without install- 
ment ; but took his share with the other mem- 
bers of the Presbytery and Synod in giving an 
occasional Sabbath to the numerous vacancies in 
their extended bounds.. Among the j^laces thus 
visited by him from time to time were Mount 
Holly, Hard wick, Smithfield, Springfield, Black- 
river, Burlington, Bristol, Amwell, Williams- 
burgh, (Virginia,) Second Church Philadelphia, 

and Presbytery. I75 

Boiindbrook, Teliicken. At one time, (November 
2, 1763,) the Presbytery of Philadelpliia, being 
applied to by the Kev. Gilbert Tennent for a sup- 
ply for his pulpit during a winter, on account of his 
ill-health, the Presbytery advised the congrega- 
tion to ask the Presbytery of New-Brunswick, 
to alio w Messrs. Kirkpatrick and Enoch Green to 
supply them as much as they can. 

Towards the end of the year (1761) commis- 
sioners from the Trenton congregation aj)pear to 
have proposed to the Presbytery some advance 
on the amount of salary previously offered to 
Mr. Kirkpatrick. The Presbytery expressed their 
stratification at the exertion made to this end, 

O 7 

but pronounced the '' medium proposed " to be 
insufficient. As the commissioners, however, had 
given their reason to hope that a still further ef- 
fort would be made for " said medium's being in- 
creased," Presbytery advised Mr. Kirkpatrick to 
officiate among them until the next Spring 

At this meeting (December 1, 1761) President 
Finley was received from the Presbytery of New- 
castle, and he and Mr. Kirkpatrick vf ere deputed 
to draw up and present an address to Governor 

176 Parsonage 

Handy, on Lis accession to tlie administration of 
the Province. 

In the spring (April 20, 1762) no better pro- 
posals were received from Trenton. The Pres- 
bytery confessed great embarrassment as to their 
course, but finally gave their unanimous advice 
to Mr. Kirkpatrick to accept the call. He com- 
plied with the advice, ])ut no direction was given 
for installment. 

An important measure, however, was taken by 
the congregation, immediately after this meeting, 
tovv^ards encouraging the permanent settlement 
of their minister. This was the purchase of a 
parsonage. The people bought a lot on the 
north side of Hanover street, which runs in the 
rear of the church, sixty-five feet front, and about 
one hundred and sixteen feet in depth, containing 
twenty-eight perches of land, on which was a 
dwelling-house. This property v/as conveyed to 
tlie trustees by deed of Stacy Beaks, and his 
mother Mary Beaks, a widovr. May B, 1762, for 
the consideration of two hundred and seventy 
pounds, proclamation money, " to be and remain 
for a parsonage for the Presbyterian congregation 
of Trenton forever, and the use, benefit, and profits 
thereof to be held and enjoyed by the Presby- 

Calls. 177 

terian minister of TrentoD, that sliall be regularly 
called by the Presbyterian congregation of Tren- 
ton, and approved by the Presbytery of New- 

May, 1763, brought another trial of the strength 
of Kirkpatrick's attachment to Trenton. This was 
in the shape of a petition from the congregation 
of Huntington, Long Island, that he should be al- 
lowed to settle there as the assistant or colleague 
of the Rev. Mr. Prime, who was disabled by age 
and infirmities for the pa'storal service. The de- 
cision on this application was deferred till June, 
when he was allowed to relieve Mr. Prime for two 
Sabbaths in July. This was followed in August 
by an aj)plication in person by Dr. Zophar Piatt, 
on behalf of the Huntington congregation. To 
this oral call the Presbytery objected that it was 
too informal and indefinite ; there was no liberty 
from the Presbytery of Suffolk, no mention of the 
capacity in which Kirkpatrick was desired, whe- 
ther as stated supply, sole pastor, or colleague. 
Moreover, the Trenton difiiculty existed here also ; 
" the Presbytery look upon the proposed medi- 
um of support to be insufiicient," and therefore 
could not encourage Mr. Kirkpatrick to make a 
change. Immediately afterwards, however, upon 

178 Harker. 

a petition from Loudon county, Virginia, for a 
candidate or supply, Kirkpatrick, among others, 
was directed to " pay a visit there as soon as pos- 
sible, and tarry a number of Sabbaths at discre- 
tion." The Rev. Messrs. McKnight, Hait, Ten- 
nents Senior and Junior, and Guild were ap- 
pointed to supply his pulpit ^ve Sabbaths. 

The Synod of 1763 brought to a final issue a 
series of investisrations into certain erroneous 
opinions of the Eev. Samuel Harker, and of con- 
ferences with him, which had occupied some por- 
tion of their attention at every meeting since 
that of 1758, when the case was first brought to 
tlie Synod's notice by the Presbytery of JVew- 
Brunswick, of which he was a member. Finding 
him the more mischievous and obstinate for their 
forbearance, the Synod pronounced him disquali- 
fied from exercising his ministry. This decision 
coming to the Presbytery, they directed Mr. 
Kirkpatrick to go as soon as possible to Mr. Har- 
ker's congregation, [Blackriver,] "warn them not 
to receive his doctrines, or receive his ministra- 
tions, vindicate the conduct of the Synod, signify 
the paternal care of the Presbytery over them, 
and inquire whether they are resolved to abide 
under our care; that if so, we may order them 

Presbytery, 1763. 179 

supplies." At the uext meeting Kirkpatrick re- 
ported that lie had fulfilled his appointment, and 
that the cono;re2:ation were in such a confused 
and divided state, they were unable to form a 

At the October meetins: of 1TG3 the Trenton 
congregation is again before Presbytery with 
an application for the installment of their favorite 
minister, now in the fourth year of his service as 
their supply. He declined to accede to the pro- 
position ; but no clew is given to his reasons be- 
yond the statement, " that he could not in the 
present situation of affairs." At the same time 
he crave no intimation of withdrawing; from the 
place, or of a willingness to yield to any of the 
numerous invitations that had come to him from 
other quartei's. The Court was perplexed. They 
declared they could advise neither the people 
nor their called minister to proceed any further 
towards the installation, but rather inclined to 
the opinion that by mutual consent both parties 
should allow " things by a natural and easy clian- 
nel to return to their former state and situation." 
What follows in the minute does not help to 
throw light upon the difficulties of the case. " If 
this advice be complied with by the said parties, 

1 8o Trustees. 

the Presbytery foresee, that a congregation will 
become a vacancy of whom they had entertained 
hopes that they might have been happily and 
permanently settled, which is to them a very dis- 
agreeable prospect. But if this should finally be 
the event, the Presbyter}^ do recommend it to 
the people to pay off the arrears to Mr. Ivirk- 
patrick in proportion to what they have hitherto 
done ; and in the j^resent exigence of affairs do 
advise Mr. Kirkpatrick to supply the congrega- 
tion of Trenton at discretion, as much as he and 
they may agree upon till our next Presbytery." 

The charter of the congregation, as we have 
before seen, vested in the Minister, Elders, and 
Deacons the power of electing trustees. As long 
as Mr. Cowell lived after the charter was re- 
ceived, he was one of the trustees. There was 
no election in 1761. In 1762-3 the Trustees 
were all laymen. But in 1764 Mr. Kirkpatrick 
was elected Trustee and Clerk of the Board ; an 
evidence that his relation was not considered that 
of a transient supply. In those times a formal 
installment was sometimes dispensed with as un- 
essential to the constitution of the pastoral con- 
nection. In 1736 the Presbytery ratified a de- 
cision of their commission, (for Presbytery as 
well as Synod Scit in those days in interims by 

Calls. 181 

commission,) that the Rev. William Tenuent was 
to be considered "tlie proper Gospel minister 
and pastor" of the congregation of Neshaminy, 
though he had never been regularly installed, on 
the ground that he had accepted their call ; that 
in the preamble of their subscription for his sa- 
lary, they had spoken of him as their minister ; 
that the body of them once owned him as such 
when the question was openly proposed to them 
in the church, and that he had for ten years car- 
ried on all parts of the Gospel ministry without 
opposition. An aj^peal from this decision was car- 
ried to Synod in the same year, but the Presby- 
tery was sustained ; the Synodal decision declar- 
ing, that though the omission of a formal install- 
ment was not to be justified, it v/as far from nulli- 
fying the pastoral relation." 

The people of Huntington, not discouraged by 
previous failures, and having repaired the infor- 
malities of the ye^r before, renewed their appli- 
cation for Mr. Kirkpatrick at the October session 
of 1764. At this time his position in Trenton, as 
inferred from the Records, takes a more definite 
phase. The congregation aj)peared by their repre- 
sentatives, and expressed their opinion that Mr. 

*" Records," p. 125. 

i82 Kirkpatrick 

Kirkpatrick should be either installed or dis- 
missed ; but " earnestly desired the former." On 
the other hand, a paper was presented with the 
signatures of fifteen members of the congrega- 
tion, charging their minister with using the people 
ill, especially in his delays about a permanent 
settlement, and concluding with a disavowal on 
their part, of any further obligations to him as 
their pastor, or for his future maintenance. 

The Presbytery considered these allegations 
and pronounced them groundless. They likewise 
assured the malcontents that the obligations be- 
tween the congregation and Kirkpatrick re- 
mained in force " while he continues their regular 
minister." They proceeded to say that in the 
present confusion the way was not clear for the 
installment, and deferred final action in the pre- 
mises till their next meeting, which was to be 
held in a few weeks in Trenton. Meanwhile 
Mr. Kirkpatrick was at liberty, to spend two or 
three Sabbaths in Huntington. 

Accordingly on the 4th December, after or- 
daining Mr. James Lyon as a minister to Nova 
Scotia, it was determined, when the parties had 
been fully heard, first, that the opposition of 
some of the congregation to the settlement of the 

and Presbytery. 183 

pastor was witlioiit just cause ; secondly, that 
there was no satisfactory evidence that he could 
be duly supported in the execution of his office, 
if settled ; thirdly, that the way is not clear for 
the installment ; fourthly, that Kirkpatrick was 
under no obligation to settle in the place ; fifthly, 
that as the body of the congregation were in his 
favor, he might supply them for the present sea- 
son ; sixthly, that he should be paid his salary 
and arrears ; seventhly, that he should have li- 
berty to preach for vacant congregations ; and 
eighthly, if he should wish to leave the bounds of 
the Presbytery, Dr. Finley was authorized to give 
him the usual certificate. 

From all this, it appears that no advance or 
change in the position of affairs was accom- 
plished, and Mr. Kirkpatrick retained his place. 

In the Synod as well as in the Presbytery, the 
minister of Trenton was a punctual and active mem- 
ber. He was often clerk, and his name is found in 
connection with much of the prominent business. 
In the S3mod of 1763, he was on the committees 
for the education of pious students at Princeton, 
and for the direction and support of missionaries 
on the frontiers, and seems to have been gene- 
rally in request as a practical worker in the 

1 84 Trenton 

financial and judicial transactions of Churcli 
courts. On one occasion he is recorded as hav- 
ing left town without leave : but it was for the 
two tedious days, in which the roll of Synod 
w^as called, that each member might express his 
opinion on the question, whether a candidate 
should be required to narrate his religious expe- 
rience before a judicature, as a ground of decid- 
ing upon his reception.^ 

New^-Brunswick and Metuchin, White Clay 
Creek and Christiana Creek and Walkill, ap- 
plied to Presbytery in 1765, for the services of 
Kirkpatrick, with a view to settlement, or as a 
supply ; but without resulting in any change. 

In April, 1766, there came once more a formal 
call from Trenton, and at the same time one 
from Am well. The former of these is spoken of 
in the course of the proceedings, as his " re-settle- 
ment," probably meaning a renewed effort for 
his settlement, as his w^ork as pastor, in every 
thing but the name, had been continued with- 
out suspension. Both congregations made their 
plea^ before the Presbytery. It would seem 
from the Minutes, that, after both the minister 

* a 

Records," p. 31t-8. 

and Amwell. 18; 

and people of Trenton, had signified their assent 
that the Amwell call should be prosecuted, both 
were disposed to retract, when the time of sepa- 
ration approached ; for this is the deliverance : 

" That there was some degree of nnprudence on the part 
of Mr. Kirkpatrick, or the people of Trenton, or both, in 
proceedmg so far in their call, without the advice of Pres- 
bytery, and that^ after they had jointly and severally given 
encouragement to the people of Amwell to invite him 
amono; them. 

" As the above congregations are places of importance, 
and equally dear to the Presbytery, and said congrega- 
tions, together with Mr. Kirkpatrick, have submitted the 
final determination of the aflair to the Presbytery, they 
do therefore judge, upon the whole, that it is most expe- 
dient for Mr. Kirkpatrick to accept the call from Am- 

But neither was this the close of this pro- 
tracted business. Mr. Kirkpatrick's dilemma was 
not relieved by the decision he had invoked. 
The matter went on undecided for another 
month, when a new influence interposed. The 
Synod met in May, in New-York. In the course 
of their meetings, the Presbytery held a session. 
At this, two members of the Presbytery of Phi- 
ladelphia — the Kev. Andrew Hunter, and Wil- 
liam Eamsey — were present, and in their capa- 


i86 Trenton 

city as corres^pondents, urged the re-consideration 
of tlie vote in April. They apprehended the 
most serions consequences to the interests of reli- 
2:ion in Trenton, if Kirkpatrick shonld be re- 
moved. They pleaded, that from the hapj^y 
union of " all societies " in the last call, and the 
extraordinary exertions that had been made in 
view of its acceptance, a happy prospect opened 
-of " an important congregation being gathered 
there," if he was settled among them. " But if 
not, that the hearts of the people would be so sunk 
and discouraged, that they would be effectually 
prevented from future applications, especially 
considering the unhappy prejudices they have 
contracted against the Presbytery, for the afore- 
said judgment." " It was therefore earnestly 
overtured by these brethren," (and Mr. Kirk- 
patrick, if not the reporter, was the recorder of 
their language,) " that the matter should be re- 
viewed, in order to prevent the ruin of that grow- 
ing society, which, on account of its situation, 
etc., is really important ; and the rather, as the 
number of ministers present at said determina- 
tion, was but small." 

The subject being thus opened afresh, the 
Presbytery, at six o'clock in the morning of the 

and Amwell. 187 

following day, resumed tlie discussion, and con- 
sented to adjourn to tlie next month at Trenton, 
and there re-consider their decision. The con- 
gregations of Amwell and Trenton were to be 
notified of the opportunity of being heard. 

On the 24th June, the parties were again pre- 
sent; and the judicatory, perhaps tired of the 
subject, turned the whole responsibility upon the 
candidate, by putting both calls into his hands, 
and requiring him to make his own choice. 
Thus constrained, Kirkpatrick decided for Am- 
well, and the Presbytery immediately appointed 
the second Wednesday of the following August 
for his installment there, which was accomplished. 

Kirkpatrick had but a short career left. In 1 7 6 7 
he was elected a Trustee of the College of New- Jer- 
sey. He was among the supplies for Trenton for 
that year. He w^as Stated Clerk of Presbytery, 
and Clerk of Synod, a member of the Commission 
of Synod, one of the Synod's deputation to meet 
the Consociated Churches of Connecticut at Xew- 
Haven in September, for a plan of union, in view 
of the prospect of the establishment of Diocesan 
Episcopacy in America by the Church of Eng- 
land.^^ In 1768 he supplied ' Sabbaths in 

* The Convention had annual sessions alternately in New- Jersey and 
Connecticut, until 11 7G. See Minutes by Pr. Field. 

i88 Last years 

Trenton ; is again on the Synod's commission ; 
a delegate to tlie General Convention or 
Union meeting witli the Connecticut Consocia- 
tion at Elizabethtown ; in May a correspondent 
for the Presbytery with the Kev. Job Prudden 
in Connecticut ; and in October for the Synod 
with ministers of Dublin, according to a system 
of intercourse with foreign churches. In 1769 
he was Moderator of the Synod in Philadelphia, 
and a member of the Presbytery's committee to 
draft a memorial to obtain funds for the College 
at Princeton. This memorial is recorded on the 
minutes. Amonsf its statements is this : " It is 
with pleasure they observe some very eminent 
departments of a civil nature already filled with 
the sons of this College, and that in the year 
1767 not fewer than eighty of them were minis- 
ters dispersed through the several colonies ; since 
which time there has been a considerable addi- 
tion." In the archives of the Assembly is a 
copy of this memorial in a printed folio-sheet, 
signed by Mr. Kirkpatrick as Moderatoi'. There 
is also preserved in the same collection, and in 
the same form, with his signature as clerk, the 
Synod's circular of 1767, recommending congre- 
gations to provide glebes for their pastors — a 
greater care for widows, orphans, and the poor 

and Death. 189 

— tlie avoidance of law-snits — tlie aj)pointment 
of masters to teacli the catechism and psalmody 
— the disuse of spirituous liquors at funerals — and 
the establishment in each congregation of a so- 
ciety for the reformation of morals. 

In 1769 Kirkpatrick was Loth Treasurer and 
Clerk of Presbytery. On the 15th of June of 
that year his 'familiar name appears for the last 
time amons: its livins: members. He died in 
Amwell on the eighth of September, not yet forty- 
three years of age. His body was buried in 
front of the pulpit of the First Church of Am- 
well or " Old House '' between the villasres of 
Eingoes and Reaville. The church has been 
since taken down, and a new one built at Rea- 
ville, but the tomb remains in its first position, 
and is thus inscribed. 

" Here lieth the body of tlie 

Late Pastor of this church, 
Who died in the 43d year of his age. 
Reader, vrouldst thou know his character for thy good ? 
Think what a Man, a Christian, a Minister of the Gospel? 

a Friend, a Husband, a Father, a Master should be ; 

For in imitating this pattern (if justly drawn) thou shalt 

imitate him, and witli him shalt with distinguished 

honor attain to the resurrection of the just." 

Kjo ■ Hannah Kirkpatrick. 


Xear him " (says a correspondent of T/ie Preshy- 
terian) lie the " remains of a daughter who survived him, 
and whose name is found on the records of Amwell First 
Church as a member in full communion. We give the in- 
scription on her tombstone. 

" In memory of 
Hanxah, daughter of the late Rev. William Kirkpatrick, 

Pastor of this church, 
Who died August 7th, 1786, in the nineteenth 

year of her age. 

The dust beneath 
Proclaims this solemn truth : 

The young are fading, 
Frail's the bloom of youth ; 

Life's a short dream, 
A false and empty show, 

And all is 
Fleeting vanity below. 

reader ! speak, 
Can you believe too soon, 

The fairest morn of life 
Will not insure the noon." 

" Mrs. Margaret Kirkpatrick, his widow, was after- 
wards married to the Rev. John Warford, who having 
been called by the Amwell j^eople April 3, 1776, was or- 
dained and installed their pastor. The man of God, who 
is the subject of this sketch, fulfilled his course in about 
eleven years ; but short as that course was, it left an abid- 
ing impression in the region where he closed his labors. 
Testimony to this effect has been frequently given to the 
writer by a highly intelligent parishioner, who was born in 

Recollections. ' 191 

1760, and lived to euter his ninety-first year. There is 
now Uving [185 7] a venerable mother in Israel, aged 
ninety-seven, who, though only eight or nine years old at 
the time, has a distinct recollection of Mr. Kirkpatrick's 
personal appearance. She describes him as being above 
the ordinary size, but not corpulent ; grave, dignified, and 
commanding in his aspect, and of most engaging address. 
But by no survivor was he more loved and revered than 
by a slave, whom he owned to the time of his death, i^ew- 
Jersey being then a slaveholding State. This slave lived 
to be about one hundred years of age. To old Cato his 
master was the model of a man and a Christian minister, 
and but for his greater love to the Lord Jesus Christ, his 
profound veneration and deep-rooted afiection might have 
been looked upon as idolatry."* 

I am sorry to find, not only in the Eecorcls of 
our Trustees, but of the Presbytery, that there 
was both before and after Mr. Kirkpatrick's 
death, some irregularity and delay in the dis- 
charge of his salary. Insufficiency of stipend and 
unpunctuality in receiving it, have long been 
amonp* the trials of pastors, especially of those 

* The name of the Rev. Jacob Kirkpatrick, D.D., is so much identified 
with the churches of Amwell, where he is now [1858] actively passing 
the forty-eighth year of his pastorate, that it will meet a natural inquiry 
to state, that Dr. Kirkpatrick does not know that he has any family con- 
nection with his predecessor and namesake. 

192 Salary. 

settled in rural districts where tlic people, accus- 
tomed to maintain their own families from their ^ 
farms, or by barter, have an inadequate idea of 
the necessity of money to those who have nothing 
else to live upon. In the times of which I am 
writing, these evils frequently engaged the at- 
tention of the Presbytery, and for a while re- 
ports of such delinquencies were statedly called 
for and acted upon. In regard to Mr. Kirk- 
patrick's case, inasmuch as the subject stands 
upon the Records, it ought to be said that ac- 
cording to the church-books, it appears that 
there was a difficulty in determining the claims 
for arrears due on the last six months' salary, 
and that the committee of the Trustees, ap- 
pointed for the purpose, could not get access 
to the accounts of Mr. Kirkpatrick, so as to 
ascertain what amount, or whether in fact any re- 
mained unpaid. The subject was dismissed from 
Presbytery with the conclusion, " that all has 
been done that can conveniently be done relating 
^"^^o the Trenton arrears." One source of the diffi- 

1 Q 

^ulty probably was, that the salary was collected 

•.jy a committee in each church, who may have 

handed their collections to the minister without 

Minute. 193 

the agency of tlie treasurer. Thus in March, 
1765 is a minute in the Trustees' book: 

" Appointed to collect the six months' salary for Mr. 
Kirkpatrick : 

*' In town : John Ely, Hezekiah Howell. 
" In the country : Isaac Green, Richard Palmer." 

Trustees — Tkenton and Maidenhead. 

1T64— 1769. 

Fro:m Mr. Cowell's death, until Mr. Kirkpat- 
rick's removal, tke Trenton Board of Trustees re- 
mained unckanged, at tke annual elections, except 
tkat in 1762 the name of Obadiak Howell ap- 
pears in the place of Mr. Cowell's ; in 1764, the 
names of Mr. Kirkpatrick, James Cumin es, and 
Abraham Hunt, come in the places of Arthur How- 
ell, Joseph Yard, and Moore Furman; in 1766, 
the names of Joseph Reed, Jr., Samuel Tucker, 
and Daniel Clark, succeed those of Mr, Kirk- 
patrick, William Green, and James Cumines. In 
1764, John Chambers, John HendricksoD, and 
Joseph Green, were elected Elders; in 1765, 
Benjamin Yard, Hezekiah Howell, and William 
Tucker were elected, apparently to succeed them. 

James Cumestes, or Cumine, or Cumins, died 
February 21, 1770, aged sixty-six. He be- 
queathed ten pounds to the Trustees, to be in- 

Abraham Hunt. 195 

vested for the support of the pastor. This was 
not payable until the death of his wife, at which 
time the rest of his property was to be divided 
among James, William, Samuel, and Joseph, 
sons of William Cumines, of Nottingham, Chester 
county, Pennsylvania. A Mrs. Jean Cumins 
signed the call of Mr. Spencer, in 1769. 

Abraham Hunt was, for many years, the 
most prominent and opulent merchant of the 
town. He was in the Board from 1764 till his 
death, at the age of eighty-one, October 27, 1821, 
a space of fifty-seven He was regular in 
his attendance at the meetings, down to 1818. 
In that year he made his will, bequeathing one 
hundred dollars to this church, and the same 
amount to the Episcopal. Mr. Hunt was Post- 
master of Trenton, both before and after the 
Kevolution. His grandson, Mr. Wesley Hunt, has 
in his possession o;Qe of his commissions, dated 
January 10, 1764, by which "Benjamin Frank- 
lin and John Foxcroft, Postmasters-General of all 
his Majesty's Provinces and Dominions in the con- 
tinent of North- America," appoint Abraham 
Hunt, Deputy Postmaster in Trenton, for three 
years; and another, dated October 13, 1775, 
also for three years, from " Benjamin Franklin, 

196 Jofeph Reed. 

Postmaster-General of all the United Colonies on 
the continent of North- America." 

The tradition is now on record, that Colonel 
Rahl was spending a late evening at Mr. Hunt's 
house, in Christmas festivities, the day before the 
battle of Trenton, in which he fell, and that his 
hilarity caused him to leave unopened a note 
that warned him of the approach of Washing- 
ton's army."^ Mr. Hunt was the father of Pear- 
son, Wilson, John W., and Theodore Hunt. Of 
his first wife, Theodosia, who died March 4, 1784, 
at the age of thirty-nine, her tomb-stone declares : 
"Such was the cheerful, uninterrupted benevo- 
lence of her heart, such was the gentleness and 
purity of her manners, that she never made an 
enemy, nor ever lost a friend. To know her 
once, was to love her forever." His second wife 
was Mary Dag worthy, who died April 4, 1814, 
in her sixty-sixth year. 

Joseph Reed, Jr., is well known in American 
history, in connection with the public positions 
enumerated in the title of the two volumes of 
his " Life and Correspondence," as " Military Se- 
cretary of Washington at Cambridge, Adjutant- 

* LossiDg'g Field-Book of the Revolution. 

Jofeph Reed. 197 

General of tlie Continental Army, Member of the 
Conerress of the United States, and President of 
the Executive Council of Pennsylvania.""' He 
was also (1777) elected Chief- Justice of Penn- 
sylvania, but declined the office. Mr. "Reed was 
born at Trenton, August 27, 1741. Of his father, 
Andrew Keed, who was one of the original Cor- 
porators and Trustees, I have already made men- 
tion. Joseph Reed graduated at Princeton, in 
1757 ; studied law with Richard Stockton, and 
was admitted to the bar in 1763. He then went 
to London, and prosecuted his professional stu- 
dies in the Middle Temple, until 1765, when he 
returned and commenced practice in Trenton. 
According to a letter of 1766, his family in Tren- 
ton, at that time, consisted of himself, his father, 
sister, two brothers, his half-sister, (Mrs. Charles 
Pet tit,) and her three children. In the same 
year he writes : " There are sixteen courts which 
I am obliged to attend from home, oftentimes 
near a whole week at each, besides attending the 
assizes once a year through the whole province, 

* Life and Correspondence of Joseph Reed, by his grandson William 
B. Reed, 2 vols., 1847. Memoir of the same, by Professor Henry Reed, 
in Sparks' American Biography, vol. viii. The Life of Esther de Berdt, 
[Mrs. Joseph Reed,] by W. B. Reed ; privately printed. 


198 Jol'eph Reed. 

which contains thirteen counties." His dwelling, 
according to an advertisement of the property, 
in 1779, was near the market-house, having 
nearly two acres of ground attached to it, ex- 
tending two hundred feet on Market street, and 
commanding a beautiful view of the Delaware, 
including the Falls. 

In 1770, Mr. Reed re- visited London, and was 
married to a daughter of Denys de Berdt, after 
which he took up his residence in Philadelphia, 
and his j)ublic life thenceforward was identified 
with his adopted State. 

Mr. Reed was a Trustee of the congregation 
from 1766 to 1769. On his removal to Phila- 
delphia, he attended the Pine Street (third Pres- 
byterian) Church. His biographer says : He " was 
firmly attached to the Presbyterian Church, in 
which he had been educated." In one of his pub- 
lications, he said of it : " When I am convinced 
of its errors, or ashamed of its character, I may 
perhaps change it ; till then I shall not blush 
at a connection with a people, who, in this great 
controversy, are not second to any in vigorous 
exertions and general contributions, and to whom 
we are so eminently indebted for our deliverance 
from the thraldom of Great Britain." 

Jofeph Reed. 199 

In the Pennsylvania Packet of April 22,1779, 
is an address, presented to President Reed, from 
the officers of the Scots' Presbyterian Church of 
Philadelphia, applauding his administration. The 
Pine Street congregation, for whom Mr. Reed 
had acted as counsel, in settling a difference 
about property with the Market Street, or First 
Church, presented him with a pew. It was to the 
pastor of Pine Street, that the direction of Mr. 
Reed's will referred in saying : " If I am of con- 
sequence enough for a funeral sermon, I desire it 
may be preached by my old friend and instructor, 
Mr. Duffield, in Arch street, the next Sunday 
after my funeral." 

When John Adams was attending Congress in 
Philadelphia, he often attended the Arch and 
Pine Street churches with Mr. Reed. Thus in 
his Diary of 1774: "September 10, [which was 
Saturday, and preparatory to the communion.] 
Rambled in the evening with Jo. Reed, and fell 
into Mr. Sproat's meeting, [Arch street,] where 
we heard Mr. Spence preach. September 11. 
Mr. Reed was so kind as to wait on us to Mr. 
Sproat's meeting." "October 24, 1775. Heard Mr. 
Smith, of Pequea. This was at Duffield's meet- 
ing," Mr. Adams pronounced Sproat to be "to- 


200 Samuel Tucker. 

tally destitute of the genius and eloquence of 

Colonel Reed vvas witli General Cadwalader's 
division when Washington crossed the Delaware, 
in 1777. In 1782, he was one of the professional 
representatives of Pennsylvania, before the Com- 
missioners of Cono^ress, who met at Trenton to 
decide the dispute between that State and Con- 
necticut, in regard to the Wyoming lands. In 
one of his letters he writes of having received a 
letter " under cover of Mr. Spencer," then the 
pastor at Trenton. He was a Trustee of the 
College of New- Jersey, from 1781 until his death. 
In 1783, visiting England for his health, he was 
associated with Dr. Witherspoon, who went out 
in the same vessel, on a mission to obtain sub- 
scriptions Ibr the College abroad. Ee died in 
Philadelphia, March 5, 1785. 

Samuel Tuckee served in the Trusteeship 
from 1766 to 1788, and for most of the time was 
Clerk of the Board. He held many public sta- 
tions. He had been Sheriff of Hunterdon, and 
when as a member of the Provincial Assembly 
of 1769, he took an active part in the investiga- 

♦ Life and Works of John Adams, vol. ii. In 1 7 1 T, Mr. Adams boarded 
•with the family of Mr. Sproafc. 

Samuel Tucker. 20i 

tion of alleged professional abuses of lawyers, 
there was a recrimination in regard to his own 
fee-bills as Sheriff.* He was President of the 
Provincial Congress of New-Jersey, which sat in 
Trenton from October 4 to 28, 1YY5, and offi- 
cially signed the Constitution which it framed, 
July 2, 1776. On the 4th September of that 
great year, he was appointed a Justice of the 
Supreme Court. He was also for a time Treas- 
urer of the new State, and in that relation 
there will be occasion to introduce his name 
hereafter. In 1776 he was Chairman of the 
Provincial Committee of Safety, but in the sub- 
sequent panic he took advantage of the offer of 
British protection.f Perhaps some of this weak- 
ness was attributable to the family connection of 
Mr. Tucker — his vnfe being an English lady. It 
is said, that Mr. Tucker and John Hart (after- 
wards a signer of the Declaration) were compe- 
titors for the Assembly, in 1768 ; Tucker was 
supported by the Episcopalians, Methodists, and 
Baptists, Hart by the Presbyterians. "During 
the first and second days of election, Hart was 

* Field's Provincial Courts of New- Jersey, p. 169. 
f Journal of Assembly of New- Jersey, Dec. 17, 1717, Sedgwick's 
Life of Governor Livingston, p. 194. 

202 Mr. and Mrs. Tucker. 

ahead, but on tlie third, one Judge Brae, coming 
up with a strong reserve of Church of England 
men, secured Tucker's return." ^ 

Mr. Tucker died in 1789. By his will he left 
fifty pounds to " the Trustees of the Presbyterian 
Church of Trenton and Lamberton," as it is 
named in the will, to distinguish the town from 
the country church ; the interest was to be paid 
annually " to the minister, to attend divine ser- 
vice in the Presbyterian Church in Trenton, to- 
wards his support." He left thirty pounds to 
the Episcopal Church. His will made judicious 
provision for the emancipation of his slaves, either 
immediate or at a conditional time; as, upon 
learning a trade, adding a legacy of money to 
that of liberty. 

Mrs. Tucker's maiden name was Gould.f In 
1766 she inherited from Elizabeth Gould, of 
Exeter, Devonshire, (perhaps her mother,) some 
property, which, by her own will, in 1787, she 
bequeathed to her nieces, White and Murga- 

* Sedgwick's Livingston, p. 143. 

] There was a "Captain Gould" in Trenton, in 1725, with whom 
Thomas Chalkley, the Quaker minister, lodged — " who treated me very 
politely." A brook, running through the meadows, near the old ceme- 
tery where the Tuckers were buried, is called Gould's or Gold's run. 

Epitaphs. 203 

Mr. aud Mrs. Tucker were buried in the old 
grave-yard described already as lying inclosed 
but desolate, in the midst of cultivated fields. 
The two large stones that cover their graves, are 
the only ones in the little inclosure that remain 
unmutilated. The inscriptions are as follows ; 

1 . " Underneath this stone lie the remains of Samtjel 
Tucker, Esq., who departed this life, the 14th day of 
January, 1789, aged 67 years, 3 months, and 19 days. 

" Though in the dust I lay my head, 

Yet, gracious God, thou wilt not leave 
My soul forever with the dead. 

Nor lose thy children in the grave." 

2. "In memory of Elizabeth Tucker, the wife of Sam- 
uel Tucker, Esq., of Trenton, and daughter of James and 
Ann Gould, who departed this life on Sunday, the 13th 
day of May, 1787, aged 57 years, 8 months, and 14 days. 

" This life's a dream, an empty show, 
But the bright world to which I go 
Hath joys substantial and sincere ; 
When shall I wake and find me there ? 
Then burst the chains with sweet surprise. 
And in my Saviour's image risa" 

At the meeting of Presbytery, in the fall of 
the year in which Mr. Kirkpatrick left Trenton, 
the congregation applied for supplies, " and in 
particular for the Eev. Mr. McKnight, in case of 

204 Charles McKnIght. 

his dismission from his present charge, which they 
inform us, they have heard is probable." This 
was the Rev. Charles McKnight, who was the pas- 
tor of Allentown, but who at the same meeting 
was, at his request, dismissed from that charge. 
At that time also, a call for him was presented 
from Shrewsbury, Shark River, and Middletown 
Point, which he subsequently accepted. 

The people next turned their attention to Mr. 
Jonathan Edwards, son of the eminent President 
of Princeton College, and himself afterwards dis- 
tinguished as President of Union College, at 
Schenectady. Mr. Edwards graduated at Prince- 
ton, after his father's death, and in 1767 was 
employed there as Tutor. He had been licensed 
by the Litchfield Congregational Association, in 
17S6 ; but in April, 1767, he applied to be taken 
under the care of the Presbytery of New-Bruns- 
wick, which was done, and among the vacancies 
assigned to him was Trenton, which he was 
directed to supply for three Sabbaths. On the 
20th October, 1767, a call was brought for him 
from the congregation. As Mr. Edwards was 
not present, the matter was deferred, but " in the 
mean time the Presbytery can not help express- 
ing their pleasure to see such a harmony among 

Jonathan Edwards. 205 

said people in the call aforesaid, and that they 
have exerted themselves so far for the support 
of the Gospel; and we assure said people, we 
will concur with them in their prosecution of said 
call ; and we appoint Mr. Edwards, to supply at 
Trenton as much as he can do, till our spring 

The exertion, for which the people are com^ 
mended, refers to a subscription for the support 
of the pastor elect, which accompanied the call, 
and the lack of which — added perhaps to the 
want of the same unanimity in the people — had 
been the main cause of preventing the installment 
of their late minister. The application, however, 
was ineffectual, and on the 19th April, 1768, the 
entry is : 

" Mr. Edwards, having been chosen a Professor of Lan- 
guages, etc., in the College of IsTew- Jersey, and being now 
employed as a Tutor there, could not see it to be his duty 
to break his connections with the College aforesaid ; and 
therefore, as he would not accept the call from Trenton, 
it was returned." * 

* Mr. Edwards, on the 20tli AprD, 11Q8, was appointed to supply at 
Allentown and New-Brunswick at discretion ; and this is the last time 
his name appears in the records of the Presbytery. He did not accept 
the Professorship, and on January 5, IT 69, was ordained over the Con- 
gregational Church of White Haven, Conn. It may be doubted whetlier 


2o6 Trenton. 

The College was often looked to for ministers. 
Just before callina' Mr. Edwards, Trenton was 
one of three vacant congregations tliat applied 
for Mr. James Thompson, a recent licentiate, to 
sujiply them statedly; ''but Mr. Thompson's 
connections with the College of New- Jersey as 
a Tutor, so embarrass him, that it appears inex- 
pedient to the Presbytery to lay him under any 
positive appointment ; but only recommend it to 
him to supply as much as he can at these places, 
at discretion." (Minute of June 23, 1767.) 

In the year 17^9, the two congregations of 
Trenton united with the Maidenhead congi'e- 
gation in an arrangement, by which one pastor 
could serve the three societies. There must have 
been some strong necessity, financial or other- 
wise, for a measure that would reduce the share 
of each congregation from one half of a minister's 

his coming under tlie care of tlie Presbytery meant more than asking to 
be employed by them dming his continuance in the College ; but the 
Minute of April, 1*767, is, " Being desirous to be taken under the care of 
this Presbytery, we do gladly receive him according to his desire." In 
1807, there was a case of this kind: "Mr. Enoch Burt, a licentiate of 
the Southern New-Hampshire Association, appeared in Presbytery, and 
being asked whether he was wilhng to accept of appointments to preach 
in our vacant churches the ensuing summer, answered in the affirmative. 
The Committee of Supplies was directed to take notice of the same." 

and Maidenhead. 207 

care to one third. The iirst evidence of the 
nnion is in a minute of October 18 : 

" A petition was brought into the Presbytery, from the 
congregations of Trenton and Maidenhead, signed by the 
respective elders, requesting them to invite the Reverend 
Mr. Spencer, a member of the Presbytery of Newcastle, 
to settle among them : which the Presbytery unanimously 
complied with." 

The Reverend Eliiiu Spencer, D.D.— His 

Previous History. 


Elihu Spencer, thus introduced into our his- 
tory, Avas a son of Isaac and Mary (Selden) 
Spencer, and ^vas horn in East-Haddam, Con- 
necticut, February 12, 1721. He entered Yale 
College in 1742, and commenced Bachelor of 
Arts in 1746, in the class with President Stiles 
and John Brainerd. The families of Spencer 
and Brainerd were doubly connected, for Han- 
nah Spencer, a sister of Dr. Spencer's grandfather, 
was the grandmother of David and John Brain- 
erd ; and their sistei', Martha Brainerd, was the 
wife of General Joseph Spencer, brother of Elihu. 
In the Life of David Brainerd, President Ed- 
wards relates that when David was on his death- 
bed, his youngest brother, Israel, came to see 
him ; " but this meeting," he says, " was attend- 
ed with sorrow, as his brother brought him the 

Brainerd and Spencer. 209 

sorrowful tidings of liis sister Spencer's deatli at 
Haddam. A peculiarly tender affection and 
mucli religions intimacy had long subsisted be- 
tween Mr. Brainerd and bis sister, and be used 
to make ber bouse bis borne, wbeuever be went 
to Haddam, bis native place." 

Mr. Spencer bad entered college witb tbe de- 
sign of preparation for tbe ministry, and soon 
after bis licensure be was cbosen by tbe Ameri- 
can Correspondents, or Commissioners, of tbe 
Scottish Society for propagating tbe Gospel in 
New-England and parts adjacent, as a suitable 
missionary to tbe Indian tribes. At tbis time 
David Brainerd w^as tbe most prominent evangel- 
ist among tbe Indians, and it was partly owing 
to bis favorable opinion tbat young Spencer was 
engaged for tbe same work. Under date of 
September, 1747, in tbe Life of Brainerd, it is 
said tbat, " Brainerd having now, witb much de- 
bberation, considered tbe subject referred to him 
by tbe Commissioners, wrote them about tbis 
time, recommending two young gentlemen of bis 
acquaintance, Mr. Elibu Spencer, of East»Had- 
dam, and Mr. Job Strong, of Northampton, as 
suitable missionaries to tbe Six Nations. The 
Commissioners on the receipt of tbis letter, cheer- 


210 Spencer and Strong. 

fully and unanimously agreed to accept of and 
employ tlie persons whom he liad recommended." 
But upon David's death, in l'r47, his brother 
John became the principal agent of the Society, 
and it was with him that Mr. Sjoencer and Mr. 
Job Strong spent a winter (1748) in studying 
Indian languages, and otherwise availing them- 
selves of the Brainerd experience. Jonathan 
Edwards was himself an active friend of the 
Indians, and after his removal from Northamp- 
ton, in 1750, accepted, at the same time, a call to 
the church at Stockbridge, and an appointment 
of the Boston Commissioners as missionary to 
the Indians living in that part of Massachusetts 
Bay. Spencer passed a summer with Edwards, 
and accompanied him to Albany to witness a 
treaty with the aborigines, many of whom spent 
their winters about Stockbridge, and the rest of 
the year near Schoharie, beyond Albany. What 
it was to travel from Stockbridge to Albany a 
century ago, may be learned from the Rev. 
Gideon Hawley's narrative of such a journey in 
1753.* Mr. Hawley was a teacher and minister 
of the Indians, under Edwards' instructions, and 

* Iq Massachusetts Historical Collections, and in the Documentaiy 
History of New-York, (vol. iii, p. 1033.) 

Indian Miflion. 211 

says of the great metaphysician : " To Indians 
he was a very plain and practical preacher ; upon 
no occasion did he display any metaphysical 
knowledge in the pulj)it." 

Thus prepared, Spencer was ordained in Bos- 
ton, September 14, 1Y48, and went to the Onei- 
da tribe — the chief of the Six Nations of the 
Mohawks, or Iroquois. His station was at Ono- 
quaqua, (afterwards Unadilla,) at the head of 
the Susquehannah, one hundred and seventy, 
miles south-west of Albany, and one hundred 
and thirty beyond any white settlement. One of 
the results of his mission was a vocabulary of the 
Oneida language, which he prepared. Hawley 
says he " could not surmount the obstacles he met 
with." These obstacles are indefinitely described 
elsewhere, as difficulties connected with his in- 
terpreter, and other causes frustrating his useful- 
ness. He soon withdrew from the mission, and 
gfoino^ to Elizabethtow^n he received a call from 
the Presbyterian Church left vacant by the 
death of President Dickinson. Having accepted 
the call he was received by the Presbytery of 
New- York, and installed February 7, 1749. Re- 
cording that date in his family Bible, he writes : 
^' This day was installed E. Spencei*, and took 

2 1 2 Spencer. 

tlie great charge (onus liumeris angelorum for- 
midandum) of the ministry in Elizabethtown ; 
^etatis su?e 28. The Lord help me." Mr. Spen- 
cer gave part of his time to Shrewsbury. In 
1848 two men were living in that town, one 
in his ninety-seventh, the other in his eighty- 
ninth year, who remembered Mr. Spencer, and. 
showed the house he occupied on his visits.^ 
He took his place in Synod, September, 1T50, 
at their meeting at Newark, and was placed 
on a committee of -Q.Ye for drafting proposals 
for a reiinion with the Synod of Philadelphia. 
He was often on the commission for the interim. 
In 1753 he was on a committee to settle diffi- 
culties in w^hat was then our onlv church in the 
city of New-York ; the subject of discord being 
the introduction of Watts's Psalms, the use of 
anthems, and prayer at burials.f In 1753, 
Spencer was appointed to take his part in sup- 
plying Mr. Tennent's pulpit in Philadelphia, 
during his absence in Europe for the College, the 

* Letter of the Rev. Rufus Taylor, of Shrewsbury, to the Rev. Dr. 
Miller. In October, 1750, Mr. Spencer was married to a daughter of 
John Eaton, of Eatontown, in the neighborhood of Shrewsbury. 

f See " Alexander Gumming," in Dr. Sprague's Annals, vol. i. 462. 
"Records," Sept. 2G, 1754. 

Da vies. 213 

Synod directing at the same time tliat, "Mr. 
Spencer's congregation be supplied in liis absence 
the whole of the time, at the request of his ex- 
cellency, the Governor," (Belcher.) 

When Mr. Davies was preparing for his voyage 
with Tennent, in September, 1753, he saw much 
of Spencer. After passing a night at his house 
in Elizabethtown, and proceeding the next day 
to Newark, Davies writes in his journal : "The 
Governor insisted that I should preach for Mr. 
Spencer next Sunday come se'nnight, that he 
might have an opportunity of hearing me." On 
the following Saturday he " sailed to Elizabeth- 
town : was pleased with the company of my 
brother Mr. Spencer, and Mr. James Brown." 
The next day Davies preached ; and on Tuesday 
returned to Philadelphia to meet the Synod, in 
company with Messrs. Spencer, Brainerd, and 
Brown, " and spent the time in pleasing conver- 
sation, principally on the affairs of the Indians." 

At the Synod of October, 1755, various peti- 
tions having been presented from North- Caro- 
lina, " setting forth their distressing circumstan- 
ces for want of a preached Gospel among them," 
the Synod resolved to extend what relief was in 
their power, and appointed Mr, Spencer with Mr. 

214 Spencer and Bralnerd. 

John Brainerd to take a journey thither before 
winter, and supply the vacant congregations for 
six months, or as long as they should think neces- 
sary. This is a specimen of the manner in which 
Synods then exercised their authority over set- 
tled ministers, and of the manner in which con- 
gregations yielded to the necessity which called 
for the missionary services of their pastors. No 
objection from any of these quarters prevented a 
comjDliance with the Synod's direction ; the en- 
try of September, 1756, being that "the diffi- 
culties and dangers of the times rendered it in 
a great degree impracticable for Messrs. Spencer 
and Brainerd to answer the end of their appoint- 
ment to the southward, and for that reason said 
appointments were not fulfilled.'' The difficulties 
were those which arose from the French and In- 
dian incursions. At the same session '' the Sy- 
nod agree that an address be prepared and pre- 
sented to Lord Loudoun, Commander in Chief 
of all His Majesty's forces in JNTorth-America, 
and they do appoint Messrs. Aaron Burr, Elihu 
Speucer, David Bostwick, and Caleb Smith, or 
some one of them, to prepare and present it, in 
the name of this Synod, on the first proper op- 

Chaplaincy. 215 

In 1756 iMr. Spencer was released from Eliza- 
bethtown, having accepted an invitation from 
the church at Jamaica, Long Island, in the Pres- 
bytery of Suffolk, vacant by the removal of Mr. 
Bostwick to New-Yoik. After a ministry of 
about two years there, as stated supply, he em- 
braced an offer from Governor Delancey, of New- 
York, of a chaplaincy to the troops of the Prov- 
ince then detailing for the French war. The 
Synod made provision for the Jamaica pulpit, 
" in case Mr. Spencer shall go out as chaplain 
with the New- York forces." I do not know the 
nature or duration of his services in this connec- 
tion, but " Jamaica, July 2, 1759," is the date 
of a published letter of his to Dr. (afterwards 
President) Ezra Stiles, on " the state of the dis- 
senting interest in the Middle Colonies of Amer- 
ica ;" and " Shrewsbury, November 3," of the 
same year, is the date of a postscript added to it. 
In May, 1761, he was received by the Presby- 
tery of New-Brunswick from the Suffolk Presby- 
tery, and was clerk at another meeting in the 
same month in Princeton, and in Auofust in 
Trenton. In October he was appointed to sup- 
jAj three Sabbaths at Amboy Southward, Mid- 
dletown Point, and neighboring places ; in April, 

2i6 Spencer. 

1762, the same places, "as much as he can;" 
in October, 1762, and May, 1763, one fourth of 
his 'time at South- Amboy ; and in Aj)ril, 1764, 
four Sabbaths along the sea-shore towards Egg 
Harbor. 1 

The day on which the Synod of New- York 
provided for Mr. Spencers absence with the I 
army, (May 27, 1758,) w\as the last but one of ' 
the separation or schism. The two bodies as- 
sembled in Philadelphia, May 29, and constitut- 
ed " The Synod of New- York and Philadelphia." | 
The number of our ministers in all the Colonies 
was then nearly one hundred. Mr. Spencer first 
appeared in the new organization in May of the 
next year, when he was again put on the Synod- 
al Commission. In the session of 1761 he was 
Moderator, and was added by the house to a 
committee appointed to devise means for obtain- 
ing funds to support John Brainerdin his Indian 
mission. As has been already stated in the no- 
tice of his predecessor, it was Mr. Kirkpatrick 
who reported an overture from this committee, 
upon which it was determined to raise one hun- 
dred and fifty pounds for the maintenance of Mr. 
Brainerd another year. Mr. Spencer opened the 
sessions of 1762, in the First Church, Philadel- 

Mission in Carolina. 217 

phia, with a sermon from Acts 20 : 28. The 
matter of tlie Rev. Mr. Barker's heretical opin- 
ions, the issue of which has been mentioned in 
the course of our notice of Mr. Kirkpatrick, 
came before this meeting, in consequence of 
Harker's having, " without the approbation of 
the Synod, printed a book containing his prin- 
ciples," and Mr. Spencer was first on a committee 
to examine and report on the publication, which 
was next year condemned. 

"We have seen that Dr. Macwhorter was asso- 
ciated with Mr. Kirkpatrick in college; that 
they were candidates and licentiates together, 
and with Mr. Latta were commissioned to itin- 
erate in Virginia and North - Carolina. The 
same excellent man was also connected with 
Mr. Spencer on another important mission. The 
Synod meeting in Elizabethtown in May, 1764, 
learning that many congregations in the South, 
particularly in North-Carolina, needed a proper 
organization, deputed Messrs. Spencer and Mac- 
whorter to visit that region, as general overseers 
and counsellors for the welfare of the Church. 
They were to form and regulate congregations, 
adjust their bounds, ordain elders, administer the 
sacraments, instruct the people in discipline, 


2i8 Carolina. 

direct them how to obtain the stated ministry, 
and do all things which their inchoate or feeble 
condition required ; not failing to assure the peo- 
ple every where of the Synod's interest in them, 
as the highest judicatory of the Church, and its 
readiness to do all in its power for their assist- 
ance. Under the date of May 16, 1Y65, we have 
the Synod's record as follows : " Messrs. Spencer 
and Macwhorter fulfilled their mission to the 
southward. Mr. Macwhorter's pulpit was suj^- 
plied during his absence, and the Presbytery of 
Brunswick were satisfied with the care taken to 
supply Mr. Spencer's people." Mr. Macwhorter 
contracted a disease during this journey, from 
which he did not fully recover for two years. 
A journal of this apostolic tour would be of 
o^reat interest and value. The influence of two 
ministers of such piety, prudence, and talents 
must have been as happy as it was welcome. 
The efi:ects of their visit are partly developed in 
the proceedings of their Presbyteries and Synod 
after their return. In Synod a committee, at 
the head of which were Doctors Alison and Fin- 
ley, were appointed to converse with the two 
missionaries, not only with reference to their ex- 
penses, which Synod had assumed, but "for the 

Carolina. 219 

settlement of Gospel ministers in Carolina." At 
a meeting lield by the Presbytery during the 
same session of Synod at which they made their 
report a call was presented for Mr. Spencer from 
the people of Hawfields, Eno, and Little Run, 
in North-Carolina ; but " upon the whole he de- 
clared he could not see his way clear to accept 
of it, and returned it to the commissioner." Im- 
mediately another call was presented from 
Cather's (afterwards Thyatira) and Fourth- 
Creek settlements, in JSTorth-Carolina, for Mr. 
Spencer, and to this he returned the same un- 
favorable answer.^ It appears that the same 
calls were introduced into Synod by the commit- 
tee for overtures, who also reported a supplica- 
tion for supplies from the inhabitants between 
the Yadkin and Catawba rivers ; " particularly 
for the removal of Mr, Spencer and Mr. Mac- 

* The Church at Hawfields became distinguished in the rehgious his- 
tory of North-Carolina, in the end of the last century and the beginning 
of the present, by the efficient ministries of its successive pastors, James 
McGready and William D. Paisley, The latter died in Greensborough, 
March, 1857, in his 87 th year. "The first camp-meeting held in the 
South was held at Hawfields, in October, 1802, and grew out of the 
necessity of the case." "Fourth-Creek Church was organized by Mr. 
Elihu Spencer, and embraced the inhabitants between the South-Yadkin 
and the Catawba rivers." Foote's North-Carolina, chap. xvi. xxiv., 
where will also be found a history of the churches of the Haw and p]no. 

220 Carolina. 

wliorter to settle among tliem ;" two other sup- 
plications for supplies from Betliel and Poplar 
Tent, in Mecklenburg county ; tlie same from 
ISFew-Proviclence and Six-mile Spring ; a call for 
Macwliorter from Hopewell and Centre con- 
gregations ; and suj)plications from Long-lanes, 
in Soutli-Carolina. The Synod proceeded to 
meet, as far as was in tlieir power, the numer- 
ous opj)ortunities opened through their judi- 
cious measures, by appointing six ministers to 
visit North-Carolina, and each of them to tarry 
half a year in the most destitute neighborhoods. 
Next year Sugar Creek, Fishing Creek, Bethel, 
the Jersey Settlement, Centre congregation. Pop- 
lar Tent, and Eocky River united in a petition 
" for one or more of the Pev. Messrs. Spencer, 
Lewis, Macwhorter, and James Caldwell to be 
sent there, promising that the sum of eighty 
pounds be paid by any of these congregations in 
w^hich he shall choose to spend half of his time, 
and another eighty pounds by the vacant con- 
gregations he shall supj^ly." The record pro- 
ceeds : '' This petition being read, the several 
gentlemen mentioned in it were interrogated 
whether they would comply with this request, to 
which each of them returned a negative answer." 

Carolina. 22t 

Petitions for supplies were poured in at the same 
meeting from various sections of Virginia, tlie 
Carolinas, and Georgia, but all tlie Synod could 
do was to nominate seven ministers to make 
journeys throughout those districts, as their 
other engagements would permit. 

In his notes on this mission of the Synod, Mr. 
Foote, after mentioning that the report of the 
two deputies has not been preserved, remarks : 

" We are not left at a loss for the names of part of the 
congregations whose bounds they adjusted, as in that 
(1765) and the succeeding year, calls were sent in for 
pastors from Steele Creek,* Providence, Hopewell, Centre, 
Rocky River, and Poplar Tent, Avhich entirely surround- 
ed Sugar Creek, besides those in Rowan and Iredell. 
These seven congregations were in Mecklenburg, except 
a part of Centre which lay in Rowan, (now Iredell,) and 
in their extensive bounds comprehended almost the entire 
county." " This mission was fulfilled to such entire sat- 
isfaction, that these gentlemen were importuned to settle 
in Carolina ; and Mr. Macwhorter was ultimately chosen 
President of the College erected at Charlotte. From the 
term of this visit we may consider the bounds of the old 
churches in Orange and Concord Presbyteries as settled, 

* " It is probable that the church on Steele Creek was organized by 
Messrs. Spencer and Macwhorter." Foote, chap, sxviii. The same is 
said of Poplar Tent. Chap, xxx. It was called Tant from the temporary- 
shelter used before a church was built. 11. 

222 Spencer and Rodgers. 

and the sessions as generally duly organized. Previous 
to this, the settlements acted independently in their reli- 
gious matters."'^ 

lu January, 1765, tlie Rev. John Rodgers, the 
pastor at the town of St. George's, Delaware, 
accejDted a call from the first church in the city 
of New- York. Both Mr. Rods^ers and the con- 
giegation appear to have considered Mr. Spen- 
cer as a desirable successor ; for in Synod on the 
20th of May, 1765, "at the request of the Rev. 
Mr. Rodgers, and of the congregation of St. 
George's, Mr. Spencer is apj)ointed to suj)ply 
tha.t congregation four weeks before Mr. Rodg- 
ers removes from them." In the following Sep- 
tember, the proper steps having been first taken 
in the Presbytery of Lancaster, to which St. 
George's belonged, that congregation and Ajdo- 
quiminey,f which was connected with it under 
Mr. Rodgers, presented their call, and upon Mr. 
Spencer's expressing his acceptance, he was trans- 
ferred from New-Brunswick to Newcastle — the 

* Foote : North-Carolina, ch. xiv. xxiv. 

f "Apoquiminey is the corporate name of the Forest Church, now 
called Middletown. It is not to be confounded with the old church of 
Apoquiminey from which it broke off in the great revival, and which is 
now called Drawjers." MS. letter of late Rev. C. Webster, 1848. 

Finley's Death. 223 

bounds of Newcastle and Donegal Laving been 
changed for a single year, and the names of Lan- 
caster and Carlisle substituted, but the original 
ones being now restored. On the seventh Jan- 
uary, 1Y66, Spencer was received by Newcastle, 
and took his seat, together witli Mr. Valentine 
Dushane as the elder of St. George's. On the 
seventeenth of the following April he was install- 
ed over the united congregations. 

Mr. Spencer was one of the witnesses of the 
serene and haj^py close of the life of President 
Finley, which took place in Philadelphia, July 
IT, 1766. On the day before that event, Mr. 
Spencer said to him : " I have come to see you 
confirm by facts the Gospel you have been 
preaching." In reply to his friend's inquiries, 
the dying minister said he felt full of triumph : 
" I triumph through. Christ. Nothing clips my 
wings but the thoughts of my dissolution being 
prolonged. Oh ! that it were to-night ! My very 
soul thirsts for eternal rest." Mr. Spencer asked 
him what he saw in the future to excite such 
strong desires. " I see," said he, " the eternal 
love and goodness of God ; I see the fullness of 
the Mediator. I see the love of Jesus. Oh ! to be 
dissolved, and to be with him ! I long to be 

224 Presbytery of 

clotlied with tlie complete righteousness of 
Christ." At his request Mr. Spencer prayed: 
" Pray to God," said he, " to preserve me from 
evil — to keep me from dishonoring his great 
name in this critical hour, and to supj)ort me 
with Lis presence in my passage through the 
valley of the shadow of death." 

The Rev. Mr. Dubois, the present Clerk of the 
Presbytery of Newcastle, has kindly furnished 
me with the annexed notes from the books in his 

"Between April 16, 1766, and March 22, 1769, there 
are a number of long minutes, the substance of which is 
that overtures were made to have the con2:re2:ations of 
Drawyers and Pencader united wdth St. George's and the 
Forest; that the Presbytery seeing that this would re- 
quire too much labor for one minister, agreed to it on con- 
dition that they would procure an associate pastor, to 
which they all consented. But either a suitable associate 
could not be found, or the plan did not work well, and 
accordingly, at the suggestion of Drawyers and Pencader 
that ' the said union was not for the edification of the 
Church,' and ' the people of St. George's and the Forest 
makmg no objection against having said union dissolved,' 
it was dissolved, March 22, 1769. 

" The same day — ' A petition, by a representative from 
the Forest congregation, under the care of the Rev. Mr. 
Spencer, was made to the Presbytery, requesting that 

Newcastle. 225 

they would confirm a line lately drawn between them and 
the congregation of St. George's, and also give the people 
of the Forest congregation leave, according to terms stip- 
ulated in their subscription for the Rev. Mr. Spencer, to 
try to raise their subscription, in order to obtain more of 
the labors of their minister ; the Presbytery grant the 
petition, so far that the Forest congregation may trj^ their 
strength, according to said line, and that both they and 
St. George's lay their subscriptions before this Presbytery 
at their next meeting, at which time the Presbytery will 
more fully judge of, and settle the whole affair.' " 

" This is not referred to again, and seems not to have 
been done, but soon after comes this minute : 

" Oct. 19, 1769. ' The Rev. Elihu Spencer informs the 
Presbytery that the i)lace where he now lives does not 
agree with his own and his family's constitution, so that 
his health has been much impaired, and, should he con- 
tinue there, is likely to be wholly destroyed ; therefore he 
is under the disagreeable necessity of requesting a dissolu- 
tion of his pastoral relation to the congregations of St. 
George's and the Forest. A commissioner from St. 
George's agrees with Mr. Spencer resj^ecting the neces- 
sity of his request; upon the whole, the Presbytery judge 
that they have clearness to dissoWe Mr. Spencer's pastoral 
relation to the aforesaid congregations, and hereby do 
dissolve it.' 

" After this he was not present at any of the meetings, 
and I can find no mention of him, until at a meeting in 
Philadelphia, during the sessions of the Synod, he was 
present, and this minute occurs : 

" May 16, 1771. *Mr. Spencer, having removed out of 

226 Call to Trenton. 

the bounds of this Presbytery into the bounds of the 
Presbytery of Xew-Brunswick, requests a dismission from 
us in order to join them, which is granted.' " 

In a Pliilaclelpliia newspaper of the clay, it is 
mentioned that Mi\ Spencer preached at the 
funeral of the wife of the Rev. Joseph Mont- 
gomery, of Kent county, Maryland, March, 1769, 
in the Presbyterian church, Georgetown. 

It was on the eighteenth October, 1769 — 
the day before his separation from Delaware — 
that the congregations of Trenton and Maiden- 
head obtained permission from their Presbytery 
to call Mr. Spencer ; and although he was not 
dismissed by Newcastle, nor received by New- 
Brunswick, until the spring of 1771, he was 
elected a Trustee of the Trenton church and 
President of the Board, May 7, 1770. His sal- 
ary was fixed to begin from October 17, 1769, 
which was probably the time of his taking 
charge of the congregation. 

Until his actual reception in Presbytery he is 
only " requested" to open a subscription for the 
college in Trenton, Hopewell, and Cranbury. 
After that he is " ordered" to do it. From the 
year 1752, till his death, Mr. Spencer was a 
Trustee of the College of New- Jersey. He was 

James F. Wilson. 227 

on the committee in tlie first year of Jiis office to 
negotiate witli the people of Princeton in view 
of establishing the College there. The short 
distance between Princeton and Trenton, and 
his relation to the College, often secured, as in 
the case of his predecessor, Cowell, and succes- 
sor, Armstrong, exchanges of pulpit services. 
The record of one such visit is preserved in the 
blessing it was instrumental in bringing to a 
student who became an eminent minister. This 
was James Feuilleteau Wilson, who was a mem- 
ber of the College in 17 1 2, when there was a 
general awakening on the subject of religion 
among the students. Wilson for some time de- 
cidedly, and even rudely, resisted every effort to 
draw his attention to his spiritual condition, and 
was the more averse in consequence of his pre- 
judices as a member of the Church of England. 
But it was one evening while Mr. Spencer was 
preaching in the College Hall, that his con- 
science became deeply, and for a time, hopeless- 
ly affected. After gaining relief, he became an 
humble, zealous Christian. Upon his graduation, 
in 1773, he went to London, where his father 
resided, intending to take orders in the English 
Church, but farther reflection and inquiry led 

228 James F. Wilson. 

him to return to Princeton, and to the study of 
theology under Dr. Witherspoon. After the in- 
terruption of his course by the war, during part 
of which time he studied and practised medicine, 
he was licensed by the Presbytery of Orange, 
and became pastor of Fourth Creek (the church 
established by Mr. Spencer) and Concord, in 
North-Carolina. He died in 1804. Two of his 
sons were in the ministry."^ 

* Foote's North-Carolina, chap. xxv. 


De. Spencer's Congeegation. 

1769— 1773. 

The town and country congregations of Tren- 
ton still j)reserved their nnion. The people of 
Maidenhead had their distinct corporation, but 
shared the services of the same pastor with Tren- 
ton. Each of the Trenton houses had its own 
spiritual officers. Thus May 6, I'T'Tl, Samuel 
Hill and Ebenezer Co well were chosen " Elders 
for the town ;" Jacob Carle, John Howell, and 
Timothy Hendrickson, " for the old house," and 
Benjamin Smith " a deacon for Trenton." The 
Trustees acted for both. Thus, at the meeting 
just mentioned, it was " ordered by the Board 
that the Treasurer pay eight pounds out of the 
interest due on the fifty pounds left to the con- 
gregation by the Bev. Mr. Cowell, deceased, to 
the Bev. Mr. Spencer, to make uj) the Old 
House subscription for the year 1^770, and that 
the members belonging to Trenton meeting- 


230 Agreement. 

house Lave liberty to apply the like sum out of 
the interest aforesaid, on the like occasion." 

The subjoined document will show the rela- 
tion in which Mr. S^^encer stood to the three con- 
gregations. The signatures will serve to record 
the names of the heads of the families in the 
town charge as they existed in November, 1769, 
and a few years afterwards. 

" Whereas it is mutually agreed between tlie townships 
of Trenton and Maidenhead, to raise one hundred and 
fifty pounds as the annual salary of the Kev. Mr. Elihu 
S2:)encer, during such time as he shall be and remain as their 
settled minister, and to preach one Sabbath in the town 
meeting-house, one Sabbath in Maidenhead meeting-house, 
and every third Sabbath at the old house in the upper 
part of the township of Trenton, and so to continue one 
third part of the time at each meeting-house ; and, where- 
as, the congregation belonging to each of the meeting- 
houses aforesaid, have agreed to raise by way of subscrip- 
tion, the sum of fifty pounds, as their part and share of 
the annual salary aforesaid, we, the subscribers, being de- 
sirous to encourage and support the ministry of the Gospel, 
and as members of, and belonging to the meeting-house in 
the town-spot of Trenton, do hereby severally promise and 
engage to pay unto the Trustees of the Presbyterian con- 
gregation of Trenton the sums by us herein resj^ectively 
subscribed ; to be paid half-yearly, in two equal payments 
during each and every year the said Mr. Spencer shall be 
and remain their settled minister, and preach alternately 



one third jiart of his time at each house as aforesaid. In 
testimony Avhereof we have hereunto set our hands with 
the several sums subscribed this eighteenth day of No- 
vember, Anno Dom., 1V69 : 

Samuel Tacker. 
Alexander Chambers, 
Benjamm Smith, 
John Chambers, 
Ebenezer Cowell, 
William Tucker, 
Benjamin Yard, 
Elijah Bond, 
William Bryant, 
A. [Abigail] Coxe, 
Archibald Wm. Yard, 
David Pinkerton, 
James Paxton, 
Abraham Cottnam, 
Hezekiah Howell, 
Isaac Decow, 
Micajah How, 
Mrs. [Jean] Cumin es, 
Dunlap Adams, 
Joseph Higbee, 
Hannah Merseilles, 
Isaac Smith, 
Isaac Pearson, (17V0,) 
Daniel Coxe, 
John Wigton, 
David Bright, 

Samuel Bellerjeau, 

Richard Collier, 

Richard Tennent, 

William Reeder, 

Samuel Ellis, 

James Wilson, 

William Smith, 

Robert Booth, 

Elizabeth Bell, 

George Brown, 

Godfrey Wimei', 

Lott Dunbar, 

Hugh Campbell, 

John Reeder, 

Wilham Yon Yeghter, 

Samuel Anderson, 

Richard Howell, 

Benjamin Woolsey, 

James Mathis 

William Pido-eon, 

George Creed, (June, 1770,) 

R. L. Hooper, (Sept. 1770,) 

Jeremiah Anderson, 

Samuel Hill, 

Robert Singer, (Sept. 1771,) 

Job Moore, (1770,) 

232 Carle. 

John Courtnay, (1771,) John Cknm, 

John Chambers, Jr., Henry Drake, 

John Ely, James Ashmoor, 

Lewis Case, John Fitch, 

Abraham Hunt, (1772,) Mrs. Livesey, 

Craghead Ryle, (1773,) Joseph Brittain, 

Joseph Cknm, Samuel Henry, 

Andrew Wilson, Andrew Reed, 

Hugh Runyon, John Yard, 

John James, Stephen Lowrey." 

The Trustees at tlie date of this agreement 
were Charles Clark, Alexander Chambers, Abra- 
ham Hunt, JosejDh Keed, Jr., Samuel Tucker, 
Obadiah Howell, and Daniel Clark. 

Of the names thus brouGfht before us, which 
have not already been the subject of notice, I 
proceed to give such particulars as I have been 
able to find, and as are consistent with the gen- 
eral purpose. 

Jacob Caele (elder in 1771) died on his farm 
in 1800. He left sons, John and Israel; a grand- 
son, Jacob ; daughters, Hannah, wife of Aaron 
Vancleve, and Elizabeth, wife of John Van Ma- 
ter. In a minute of the Trustees, March 31, 1787, 
it was " agreed that Mr. Jacob Carle, or his son, 
Captain Israel Carle, attend Mr. Armstrong to 
the Presbytery." In the church-porch is a stone 

Cowells — Tuckers. 233 

marking tlie deatli of Eliza, wife of Israel Carle, 
Marcli 12, 1790, aged 29 years. Carle is a 
Huguenot name ; Jean Carle "was minister of the 
French Protestant church in the city of New- 
York in 1763.'' 

Benjamin Smith's name will be commemorat- 
ed in a future chapter. 

* Ebenezer Co well was a brother of the j^astor, 
and his residuary legatee. He was chosen an 
elder for the town church, May 6, 1771. In 
1782-4 he was a member of the " Committee of 
the West-Jersey Proprietors," with Joseph Reed, 
Jr., Jonathan D. Sergeant, Clement Eiddle, and 
Daniel Ellis. He died May 4, 1799. His wife 
Sarah died in 1774. His children were John, 
Ebenezer, Joseph, Robert, Eunice, and Sarah, 
(Bowlsby.) The eldest of these was a physician, 
and died in 1789. A "Robert Cowell" died 
very suddenly, July 5, 1808 ; and a " Joseph 
Cowell" died September 30, 1808, aged 63 ; and 
at Broadway, Warren county, July 30, 1829, 
died, " Eunice Cowell, at an advanced age, form- 
erly of Trenton." 

AYiLLiAM Tucker was brother of Samuel 

* Documentary History, vol. iii. p. 489. 

234 Bond. 

Tucker, the trustee, and died January 16, 1Y90 ; 
aged 55. His wife's name was Mercy ; liis sons 
William and Ellet; his daughter Mary, who 
was married to James B. Machett, a native of 
Trenton, and a member of the congregation. 
Mrs. Machett died at St. Charles, Missouri, July 
20, 1833, in her 71st year ; Mr. Machett, at the 
same place, August 1, 1833, in his 80th year. 

Elijah Bois'd was probably an Episcopalian, 
but one of a number who had pews in the Pres- 
byterian Church as w^ell as their own. By his 
will, proved in 178G, he bequeathed ^ve hun- 
dred pounds to St. Michael's Church, the interest 
of which was to be paid to the minister, in addi- 
tion to his salary, provided one should be ap- 
pointed and should officiate within seven years 
after his decease. 

In the Trenton Gazette of June, 1784, Elijah 
Bond advertises at public sale a farm on which 
Major Willian Trent had lately resided, within 
two miles of Trenton, and containing about seven 
hundred acres. This property is in the vicinity 
of Lamberton, and was purchased by Barnt De 
Klyn, and in November, 1785, the mansion was 
destroyed by fire. It is not much out of place 
in this connection to mention that Mr. De Klyn,* 

Bryant. 235 

wlio was a member of our cliurcli, was of a 
Huguenot family, born in Boston, October 31, 
1745, and died on bis farm, September 1, 1824. 
A daughter of Mr. De Klyn — the widow of 
General John Beatty — is among the living mem- 
bers of our church. In October, 1857, this ven- 
erable lady, " as a memorial of love to this 
church," presented a valuable silver flagon, in- 
herited from her parents, which, according to her 
desire, the session accepted for the use of the 
communion-table, and to be kept without alter- 

WiLLiA:\r Beyais^t was a physician, and in his 
more advanced years, associated with him in 
practice the well-remembered Dr. Belleville. 
Dr. Bryant was a son of Captain William Bry- 
ant, of Perth Amboy, whose tombstone in that 
town records that he made fifty-five voyages be- 
tween New-York and London, and died in 1772, 
at the ao^e of 88. His wife survived him. " It 
is presumed," says Mr. Whitehead, "that they 
left tyj(o children — one son. Dr. William Bryant, 
who was living at Trenton in 1776, and thence 
supplied his mother's wants ; and one daughter, 
Mary, who crossed the Atlantic with her father 
in early life, and resided some time in London, 

236 Yards — Coxes. 

wliere slie became acquainted with the Eev. Dr. 
Watts, under whose instructions she received 
those religious impressions which in after life 
' brought forth fruit abundantly,' being eminent 
for her piety and benevolence. She became the 
wife of the Hon. Wm. Peartree Smith, of New- 
York, and subsequently of New-Jersey — a scho- 
lar a,nd a Christian."^ 

Archibald William Yard was one of the sons 
of Joseph Yard the Trustee, He died March 8, 
1810, at the age of Y8. BEN"JA]\riT^, another sub- 
scriber, was Joseph's brother. 

Mrs. Abigail Coxe and Daniel Coxe were of 
the family of that name which was one of the 
earliest and most respectable among the large 
land-owners. Their more immediate membership 
was with the Church of England, and their loy- 
alty to the mother-country survived the Kevolu- 
tion. In the case of Coxe vs. Gulick, in 1829, it 
was contended that on the third July, 1776, Daniel 
Coxe, residing in Trenton, was a subject of Great 
Britain, that he withdrew from the State in 
1777, at the time of his decease lived under the 

* History of Perth Amboj, p. 145. 

Pinkerton — Paxton. 237 

British Government, and never acknowledged 
allegiance to New- Jersey."^ 

David Pinkerton is supj)osed to have died in 
1781, leaving a family of children named David, 
Jane, Ann, John, Samuel, Joseph, William, and 
Mary, to whom, with his wdfe, he bequeathed his 
" shop-goods, cows and horses," dwelling-house and 
lot, " with my two orchard lots and meadow lot, 
and my little farm where Joseph Roberts lives. . . 
I thus take my leave of a troublesome world." 
The witnesses of his will were three of his co- 
signers in the congregation — Howe, Moore, and 
Woolsey. Another of them, Decow, was an ex- 
ecutor, and a fifth, Paxton, was the Surrogate 
before whom it was brought to probate. Mr. 
Pinkerton's son and namesake w^as a clerk in the 
Trenton Bank, and is remembered for his passion 
for fishing in the Delaware after bank-hours. 
The only stone in our yard that bears the name 
of Pinkerton is that of a child (John) who died 
February 9, 1769. In August, 1794, there was 
a John Pinkerton, Jr., " intending shortly to re- 
move to Philadelphia." 

Joseph Paxton was the Surrogate just named. 

* Halsted's Reports, v. 328. Sabine's American Loyalists, p. 232. 
Whitehead's Perth Amboy, p. 201. Field's Provincial Courts, p. 185. 

238 Cottnam. 

In the portico of tlie cliurcli are meniorials of 
Paxtons, namely : Joseph Paxton, who died Sept. 
15, 1Y50; aged 48. (The Kev. Mr. Cowell was 
one of his executors.) Jane PaxtoD, June 1, 1768 ; ' 
27 years. Children of Paxtons 1Y47-8. 

Abraham Cottnam was a magistrate. In 
April, 1778, his executors (Robert Hoops, his son- 
in-law, and George Cottnam, his son,) advertise 
for the recovery of his dockets, taken from the 
o:Sce of Ebenezer Cowell, Esq., when the enemy 
were in Trenton. They offer for sale what had 
probably been the testator's residence, " Dows- 
dale, near Trenton, on the Hopewell road." 
His will, which was proved in February, 
1776, directs his body to be "laid in Trenton 
church-yard, as near to my first wife and child- 
dren as may be convenient, .... with as 
little expense as possible, consistent with de- 
cency." Robert Lettis Hooper and Benjamin 
Smith were two of the witnesses of his will, and 
Hon. Daniel Coxe was an executor. He desired 
and entreated his friend, William Pidgeon, Esq., 
to assist the executors vf ith his advice. His wife 
was a daughter of Joseph Warrell, Sen. He gave 
to his son, Warrell Cottnam, all his law-books, 
including those which he claimed under the will 

Warrells. 239 

of Joseph Warrell, Esq., tlie elder, and to the 
same " his mother's family-pedigree roll by her 
mother's side, being of the Bradshaw family." 

The senior Warrell here alluded to, was Attor- 
ney General in the administration of Governor 
Morris, and died in 1758. He left his own pedi- 
gree-roll to his son, his wife's to Mrs. Cottnam. 
David Cowell and Peter Kemble were witnesses 
to the will. 

Joseph Warrell, Jr., died in Trenton in 1775. 
His will directed that his body be bmied as near 
as possible to his parents, in the Trenton church- 
yard, but if he should happen to die a consid- 
erable distance from Trenton, " I will that by 
no means my estate shall be put to the expense 
of a conveyance thither." His grave is in our 
ground, near the church, and is thus inscribed : 

" In the memory of Josepli "Warrell, Esq., who departed 
this life March 6th, 1775 ; aged 36 years. This stone is 
erected, not from pomp, or pageantry, but from true 

" For other thoughts employ the widowed wife ; 
The best of husbands, loved in private life, 
Bids her with tears to raise this humble stone, 
That holds his ashes, and expects her own." 

240 Howell — Decow — How. 

Hezekiah Howell. " An aged and respect- 
able inhabitant," of tliis name, died October 15, 

Isaac Decow was for a time the High Sheriff 
of Hunterdon. Isaac Decow, Alderman, died 
Jnne, 1795, and was buried in the Friends' Meet- 
ing ground. PerhajDs it was an ancestor of the 
family, of whom Dr. Franklin's Autobiography 
makes mention, when he says that among the 
principal people of JS'ew-Jersey, with whom he 
made acquaintance in 1727, when he was print- 
ing paper-money for the Province, was " Isaac 
Decow, the Surveyor General, ... a shrewd, 
sagacious old man, who told me that he began 
for himself when young by wheeling clay for the 
brick-makers, learned to write after he was of 
age, carried the chain for surveyors, who taught 
him surveying, and he had noAv by his industry 
acquired a good estate; ' and,' said he, 'I fore- 
see that you will soon work this man [Keimer] 
out of his business, and make a fortune in it at 
Philadelphia.' He had then not the least inti- 
mation of my intention to set up there or any 

Mica J AH How was the second who bore the 
name of the old prophet. The first, a shoe- 

Higbee. 241 

maker, died in 1*740, wlio had a son Samuel, and 
a kinsman, Israel Hewlings. Of tliis family was 
the Rev. Thomas Yardley How, for a time Rec- 
tor of Grace Church, (Episcopal,) New-York, 
who had a share in the celebrated church contro- 
versy with Hobart, Linn, Beasley, Mason, Miller, 
and others in the early part of the present century. 
The Trenton newspaper of January 14, 1Y99, an- 
nounces the death of Micajah How, Esq., formerly 
Sheriff of the county of Hunterdon, and one of 
the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of the 
County. In July, 1807, Dr. William Innesly, of 
Chester county, Pennsylvania, was married to 
"Mary, daughter of the late Micajah How, Esq., 
of this place." January 1, 1831, died, " Mary, 
wife of Dr. Inslee^ and daughter of Micajah 
How, Esq., deceased, formerly of Trenton." 

Six of the subscribers seem to have lived in 
the same neighborhood in February, 1772, as at 
that time a fire broke out in the house of Dun- 
lap Adams, and spread to those of Merseilles, 
Cumiugs, Moore, Pinkerton, and How. 

Joseph Higbee died in 1796, at the age of 
seventy-six. Another of the name died Decem- 
ber 12, 1829, in his sixty-fifth year. 

Merseilles is a French family which has had 


242 Merseilles. 

its representatives witli us for a century. Peter 
Mersellis — as the name is on his grave-— died 
June 25, 17G4, set. forty-three. He was a carpenter. 
His wife was Hannah, and he had a son Edin, Eden, 
Edon, Edow, or Edo, according to the whim of the 
scrivener or copyist — perhaps, after all, a French 
termination attempted in English, like Eudaug 
and Udang for Houdin, the rector of St. 
Michael's.^" Edin or Edo Merseilles' will was 
proved in April, 1800 ; he was then residing in 
Prekness, Bergen county, and his wife's name is 
given as Aurenche and Arreanche. He left sons 
Peter, Edo, Cornelius, John, and Garret. His 
sisters were Rachel, Mary, and Elizabeth. His 
daughters, Anna, Caty, Arreanche, and Jenny : 
a oTandsou, Adrian Van Houten. An Eden 
Merseilles, merchant, died at Bridgeton, January 
13, 1808, in his forty-ninth year. " He had been in 
business longer than any other person in town." 
Henry Marsd^s was a brev>^er in Trenton until 
his death, in 1753. His will mentions a sister 
Catherine, and brothers Peter and John. There 

* None of these blunders are so remarkable as one upon a marble now 
standing in Northampton, Massachusetts, on the grave of a " daughter 
of the Rev. Jonathan Edwards, President of Prenceia College, New- 
Jersej." Nor does this equal a professed quotation from a ^-ermon of 
Edward Irving, in a work of Mr. Wilks, London, 1854, where the Pres- 
byterial exegesis is called an *' ecce Jcsum^'' ! 

Isaac Smith. 243 

was a John Merseloiis^ of Hopewell, whose will, 
in 1784, requires that fifteen geese should be 
kept on the farm to supply feathers for the beds 
which he bequeathed to his daughters. He had 
a son, John Holder. 

Isaac S:\riTH was at first a ph^^siciau, and per- 
haps never wholly relinquished the profession ; 
but at a time v/hen the constitution of the high- 
est judiciary department of the State allowed of 
lay-judges, Mr. Smith was placed on the Supreme 
Court bench, (February 15, 1777.) Hence, 
when he was elected a trustee of the congrega- 
tion, Marcli 12, 1788, his name is entered as 
"Doctor Isaac Smith, Esc[uire." His titles might 
have been extended ; for he was Colonel-Com- 
mandant of the militia in the neighborhood of 
Trenton in the campaign of 1776. He was the 
first President of the Trenton Banking Company, 
having been elected to that post on the institu- 
tion of the Bank, February 13, 1805, and con- 
tinued in it until his deatk. He served eighteen 
years on the bench, " during whick time," ac- 
cording to his obituary, " ke was also elected by 
tke suffrages of tke people of New-Jersey, at a 
general State election, to tke konorable station 
of a member of tke House of Representatives of 

244 Smiths. 

the United States, where his high character for 
political wisdom and tried integrity was known 
and duly appreciated by all his co-patriots, and 
particularly by the illustrious "Washington and 
Adams, with whom he enjoyed the intimacy of 
particular friendshijD." His epitaph is : 

"Isaac Smith, Esq., died August 29th, 180V, in the 
sixty-eighth year of his age. With integrity and honest 
intentions, as a physician and a judge, to the best of his 
abiUty, he distributed health and justice to his fellow-men, 
and died in hopes of mercy through a Redeemer." 

Of his wife, who died in 1801, the comprehen- 
sive character is graven on an adjoining stone : 

" She was what a woman ought to be." 

It appears by other inscriptions that three sons 
preceded their pa^rents to the grave : Edward, lost 
at sea, in 1791, at the age of twenty-five ; John 
Pennington, in 1797 ; and Charles, Lieutenant of 
the first United States Kegiment, in 1800, aged 
thirty-two. One of the bec[uests of Dr. Smith's will 
was as follows : " To the Trustees of the Presby- 
terian Church in the city of Trenton, one hun- 
dred dollars, with the interest that may arise 
thereon, to be applied towards building a new 
church ; and provided, also, that they keep the 

Bellerjeaus and others. 245 

tombstones of myself and family in good repair. 
I liave no descendants to perform tliis duty.'- 
His executors were Lydia Imlay of Trenton, 
Kichard Stockton of Princeton, and Edward 
Pennington of Philadelphia. 

Samuel Belleejeau was a nephew of Samuel 
Tucker. His wife was Achsah ; daughters, Han- 
nah Gee and Sarah Brearley ; sons, Henry, Ben- 
jamin, John, Samuel, Thomas, and Daniel. He 
died July 8, 1795, at the age of fifty-six, and his 
grave-stone is one of those that pave the portico 
of the present church. 

Godfrey Wimer. I find no more than that a 
person of this name died in ISTottingham town- 
ship, June 5, 1801. 

Bell. The only traces of this family are in 
the church-yard : James Bell, (probably the 
signer of Mr. Cowell's call,) September 10, 
1747 ; age, seventy. John Bell, November 10, 
1788 ; age, forty-six. 

Vo:^ or Vait Vegkten and Vegute occur fre- 
cpiently in the Dutch churches of Somerset 
county, as commemorated in the " Pastor's Me- 
morial " of the llev. Dr. Messier, of Somerville, 

WooLSEY has long been a highly respectable 


246 Mathis — Pidgeon. 

family in the township and town. Benjamin was 
elected elder in 1797, but declined. Dr. Jeremiah 
Woolsey, " formerly of Trenton," died in Cincin- 
nati, February 9, IS 34, in his sixty-fifth year. 

Mathis, sometimes Mathias, and probably 
also Mathews. The house of Captain James 
Mathis, deceased, at Lamberton, was advertised 
for sale in 1796. 

Wn^LTAM PiDGEOiT, already named in the no- 
tice of Mr. Cottnam, died at Stafford, Monmouth 
county, January 5, 1780. Elizabeth Cottnam 
appears in his will, among his relatives. He left 
fifty pounds to the Methodist Society of Trenton, 
" for the repair of their meeting-house." He also 
put three thousand pounds at the discretionary 
disposal of his executors, for charitable purposes, 
and " for the relief of my negroes as they may 
merit it." To the registration of his will is ap- 
pended this paragraph : " Note, that the within 
named William Pidgeon was so burnt by getting 
out of his house when on fire, that he could not 
hold a pen to write his name, but a mark as above, 
and escaped in his shirt." From the testimony 
before the Surrogate, and from the newspapers, 
it appears that two children of Captain Isaac An- 
drews, two men-servants, and a hired man, were 

Creed — Hooper. 247 

burnt to death at this time, and that the Sre was 
the cause of the fatal illness of Pidgeon himself. 

Geoege Creed was a physician. He removed 
to New-Jersey from Jamaica, Long Island, of 
which town William Creed was one of the pa- 
tentees in 1686. Dr. Creed was born in Jamaica, 
October 1, 1735, and resided for some time in 
Flemington, before coming to Trenton. He 
married Susanna Coleman, of Maidenhead, in 
1762, who died in Trenton, September 24,1835, 
in her ninety-fourth year. Dr. Creed died sud- 
denly, of apoplexy, on a visit to Jamaica, about the 
year 1775. His daughter, Mrs. Abigail Creed 
Eyall, still survives, (1859,) in the ninety-first year 
of her age, having been a communicant of our 
church for about sixty-three years. 

Robert Lettis Hooper. The first person of 
this name was Chief- Justice of the Province from 
1724 to 1728, and again from 1729 till his 
death in 1739. In an advertisement of February 
18, 1752, occurs the name of "Robert Lettis 
Hooper, now living at Trenton ;" and that of his 
son, Reynald, is in the lottery j)rospectus of 1753, 
copied in our Sixth Chapter. Robert L. Hooper, 
Jr.^ had a store in Philadelphia, in December, 
1762; was Deputy Quarter Master General in 

248 Hoopers. 

1778 ; and was a Judge of the Common Pleas of 
Hunterdon in 1784. Kobert Lettis Hooper died 
April 25, 1785, in his seventy-seventh year, and 
was buried in the Episcopal ground in Trenton. 
In Aicgu-st^ of the same year, the death of a 
stranger (Ebenezer Erskine) is announced " at 
the seat of Eobert Lettis Hooper, near Trenton," 
and Mr. Hooper was one of his acting executors. 
A paper of Xovember 7, 1785, says : "Since our 
last the Hon. Robert Lettis Hooper, Esq., has 
been elected Vice-President of the Legislative 
council, in the room of John Cleves Symmes, 
appointed to Congress." In 1796, " Died at 
Belville, near Trenton, Mrs. Elizabeth, wife of 
Robert L. Hooper, Esq." July 30, 1797, died 
" the Hon. Robert Lettice [so spelled sometimes] 
Hooper, formerly Vice-President of this State, 
in his sixty-seventh year." Soon afterwards is 
advertised for sale " that elegant seat called Bel- 
ville, late the residence of R. L. Hooper," on the 
Delaware, and containing one hundred acres. 
Belville was the Sinclair and Rutherford country- 
seat already mentioned. It is advertised in Sep- 
tember, 1806, by John Rutherford, as " the sum- 
mer residence of the subscriber in the city of 
Trenton," having three hundred and tliirty 

Singer — Cluims. 249 

acres on botli sides of the river, and one of the 
lots between the new street and Colhoun's Lane, 
including " Prospect Hill." This exhausts my 
memoranda of this name in the list of the con- 
tributors to Mr. Spencer's salary. 

Robert Singer was at one time connected in 
merchandise with Bernard Hanlon, and at an- 
other in the auction business with Francis Witt. 
Witt kept a public house ; at one time " the 
Blazing Star," at another, " an ordinary at the 
sign of Dr. Franklin, near the market." The 
Trustees sometimes held their meetings at his 

John Clunn lived in Lamberton. In August, 
1781, the Gazette mentions the death of the 
widow of John Clunn, aged eighty-three, " and in 
the evening of the same day, the w^eather being 
very warm, her remains were interred in the 
(Episcopal) church burying-place." 

Joseph Clunn ap^^ears in the Be volution as 
" Captain in the State Begiment." In 1785 
" Captain Clunn" kept an inn which bore the 
sign of Alexander the Great. In the Episcopal 
ground are the graves of Joseph Clunn, Sen., 
who died in 1798, aged fifty-nine; and of John 
H. Clunn, 1798, aged twenty-eight. In the 

250 John Fitch. 

Presbyterian ground is the grave of Amey 
Clunn, December 12, 1834 ; aged seventy-six. 

John Fitch is one of the historical names of 
America, in connection with the invention or 
introduction of navigation by steam. He was a 
native of Connecticut, where his father was '' a 
most strenuous Presbyterian." In May, 1769, 
he came to Trenton, and Matthew Clunn, a tin- 
man, employed him in the manufacture of brass 
buttons. He also picked up some knowledge of 
the watchmaker's trade. Clunn's next door 
neicrhbor was James AVilson, a silversmith, who 
employed Fitch as a sort of apprentice ; but in 
a short course of time Wilson ftiiled, and became 
Fitch's journeyman. One of his biographers says : 

" His skill and perseverance soon enabled him to master 
the difficulties of his calling, and money began to flow in- 
to his pockets. When the war of the American Revolution 
commenced, he was w^ell established, doing an extensive 
business. The faculty of acquiring property appears to 
have been in him as strong as his disposition to spend 
it when acquired. His shop and its contents were esti- 
mated at three thousand dollars when the British army 
entered the village of Trenton. The troops were attract- 
ed to it, because he had large contracts for the repair of 
American arms. They proceeded to burn the establish- 
ment, and destroy the tools and all his visible property." 

John Fitch. 251 

When the first military company was formed 
at Trenton, in support of the Revolution, Fitch 
was one of the lieutenants, and had that rank 
in the cantonment at Valley Forge. The Com- 
mittee of Safety afterwards made him their gun- 
smith, or armorer, and he was expelled from the 
"Methodist Society" for working at that busi- 
ness on the Sabbath. He had a quarrel with 
Alexander Chambers, in the Commissary de- 
partment, and with John Yard, about military 
rank. When the enemy entered Trenton, in 
December, 1776, Fitch removed to Bucks county. 
He attended the Presbyterian church of ISTe- 
shamony, of which the Rev. Nathaniel Irwin 
was for many years the minister, and who ap- 
pears to have taken much notice of his ingenuity. 
It was on his return afoot from that church, 
lame with rheumatism, that the passing of vehi- 
cles caused him to feel the contrast with his own 
difficult locomotion, and suggested the idea of 
"gaining a force by steam," that would relieve 
pedestrians of their disadvantage.* After mak- 

* " I do certify that I was returning with John Fitch from the Ne- 
shaminey meeting, some time in Agril, 1*785, as near I can recollect the 
time, when a gentleman and his wife passed by us in a riding-chair ; he 
immediately grew inattentive to what I said. Some time after he in- 

2C2 John Fitch. 

ing the first draft of a steam-power, Mr. Irwin 
showed him, in " Martin's Philosophy," that the 
steam-engine had been already invented, and 
that the desideratum was to apply it to naviga- 
tion. It was to the Neshamony pastor that Fitch 
addressed his autobiography, which was deposit- 
ed under seal in the Philadelphia library, with in- 
junctions that it was not to be opened until thirty 
years after the inventor's death. Stacy Potts 
was one of the company formed to assist Fitch 
in his experiments, and he, with Isaac Smith, 
Robert Pearson, Jr., Samuel Tucker, Abraham 
Hunt, and Rensselaer Williams,"^ John and 
Charles Clunn, and others of Trenton, gave their 
names to the application to the Legislature of 
1790, whicli obtained for him fourteen years' ex- 

formed me that at that instant the first idea of a steamboat struck his 
mind. Ja^ies Ogilbee." (Fitch's Pamphlet, Philadelphia, 1788; re- 
printed in Documentary History of New- York, vol. ii.) 

* Rensselaer Williams was a Justice of the Peace. In 1781 he was 
Librarian of the " Trenton Library Company." He was one of the found- 
ers, in that year, of the " Trenton School Company," or Academy. He 
■was found dead in the street, opposite the State House, December, 1796. 
His grave is ia the Episcopal ground, where his age is given at sixty- 
four. Adjoining it is the grave of Rensselaer WUliams, Jr., who died at 
»♦ the house of Abraham Hunt, in 1801 ; aged thirty-three years. He was 
in mercantile business in Cooperstown, New^-Tork. 

Fitch's Map and Boat. 253 

elusive privilege on tliis side of tlie Delaware. 
His boat Perseverance made several ti'ips be- 
tween Philadelphia and Trenton in that year.'^' 

Fitch visited the Western States, and was for 
some time in captivity among the Indians. In 
Collins's Trenton Gazette^ of July, 1785, is the 
followino: advertisement : 

" John Fitcli liaiiag traversed the country north-west of 
the Ohio, in the several capacities of a captive, a surveyor, 
and a traveller, as the result of his labors and remarks has 
completed, and now wishes to sell, a new, accurate Map of 
that country, generally distinguished by the Ten i^ew 
States, including Kentucky, which opens immense sources 
of wealth and advantageous speculation to the citizens 
of the United States, and therefore is an object of general 
attention. Having performed the engraving and printing 
himself, he is enabled to sell at the very small price of a 
French crown. 

* It was one of Fitch's or Rumsey's experiments that j'ranklin wrote 
of in Philadelphia, October, 1788 : " We have no philosophical news 
here at present, except that a boat, moved by a steam-engine, rows itself 
against tide in our river, and it is apprehended the construction may 
be so simplified and improved, as to become generally useful." (Sparks's 
Franklin, x. 363.) I have seen a letter of Fitch to Stacy Potts, Philadel- 
phia, July 28, 1786, in which he expresses the greatest satisfaction in 
his prospects. " We have now tried every part, and reduced it to as cer- 
tain a thing as can be, that we shall not come short of ten miles per 
hour, if not twelve or fourteen. I will say fourteen in theory and ten in 




254 John Fitch. 

" IsT. B. — They are also to be sold by Enos Kelsey, in 
Princeton, and by tlie printer hereof." 

It is said that this map, projected and engrav- 
ed by himself, was printed also by him in a 
Bucks county cider-press. In May, 1785, he 
wrote to his patron, Potts, from Bucks, that his 
map is so far formed that he " shall want paper 
for it thirty inches by twenty-three, and would 
wish to see you on the occasion, but am so en- 
gaged that I can not sj)are the time to go over 
to Trenton." 

In ISTovember, 1785, Fitch gave to the Gov- 
ernor of Virginia (Patrick Henry) a bond for 
three hundred and iifty pounds, " conditioned for 
exhibitiuij: his steamboat" on the waters of that 
State, " when he receives subscriptions for one 
thousand of his maps, at Qs. Sd. each. 

From the Methodists and Presbyterians, Fitch 
went over to the Universalists. One of his bio- 
graphers says he was "a drinking man" in 
his later years, " but it is believed he was not a 
drunkard." Another says he was " a man of 
extremely temperate habits for that time." The 
latter writer attributes his death to " gradual 
suicide" by the use of spirituous liquors, and says 

Wilson — Smith. 255 

that he '' foretold the length of time that his con- 
stitution would survive, by a mathematical ratio 
of debility."^* But the version of the other, and 
latest author, is that being ill, he purposely made 
one dose of twelve opium pills, which had 
been directed to be taken at intervals.f He 
died at Bardstown, Kentucky, in IYO8. " Will 
a delay of half a century," asks his biograplier 
of 1847, '' in rendering public justice to the 
watch-maker and gunsmith of Trenton, weaken 
the obligations of his countrymen to admire his 
genius ?" 

James Wilson was probably the silversmith 
mentioned in the preceding article. His father 
had prospered in Perth Amboy; and AYilson, 
having some patrimony, neglected his trade and 
became intemperate. It was upon his becoming 
involved in some responsibility in Wilson's busi- 
ness, that Fitch undertook to pay the debt, by 
taking his tools, when the master and journey- 
man exchanged places. 

WiLLiA^r Smith was the name of the landlord 

* Memoir by Charles Whittlesey, in Sparks's Library of Americari 
Biography, vol. svi. 184t. 

f Life, drawn from his Autobiography in the Philadelphia Library : 
by Thompson Westcott, 185*7. 

256 Brittain. 

of whom Fitcli hired a room in Trenton where 
he cairied on the manufacture of silver and brass 
"buttons for peddling. The only place in which 
I find the name is in an inscription in the grave- 
yard, the age of the suljject of which is rather 
too youns: for a subscriber in 1770. 

" In affectionate remembrance, from a bereft consort 
and fatherless offspring of 'William Smith, who died April 
11th, 1799, aged forty years." 

Joseph Beittai]^ was a shoemaker, and a man 
of property. He was the principal owner of the 
lot on which the State House is built. In Jan- 
nary, 1792, he conveyed two and a quarter acres 
to the Commissioners of the State for the nom- 
inal price of iive shillings, and in February, of 
the same year, three quarters of an acre for six- 
ty-seven pounds and ten shillings.^ Mr. Brit- 
tain was a member of this church from 1809 to 
1813, w^hen his connection ceased in consequence 
of his havins: embraced doctrines too much at 
variance wdth those of our communion for his 
comfortable continuance. 

* On the same day William Keeder (which name is also among the 
signatures) conveyed one quarter of an acre for the same purpose, at the 
price of sixty-two pounds ten shillings ; and George Ely half an acre for 
one hundred and twenty pounds. 


Samuel Henky was a large owner of real 
estate in Trenton and elsewhere. He devised to 
his cliildren extensive tracts in Nottingham and 
Trenton, including '' the old iron- works," and in 
Pennsylvania. His children (mentioned indivi- 
dually as son or daughter of " Mary Ogilbee") 
were George, Samuel, Frances, and Mary. He 
left a property in Trenton to Maiy Yard, daugh- 
ter of William Yard, on condition of her keeping 
it as a comfortable home for his children during 
their minority ; making special reference to the 
vacations of his sons when they should be students 
at Princeton College. Their names, however, are 
not on the Catalogue. Mr. Henry had a brother 
Alexander in Ireland, whose son Arthur H. is pro- 
minent as the first legatee in his will, but is dis- 
posed of Yfith ^ve shillings. He left a contingent 
legacy of three hundred pounds " to the Trustees 
or managers of the English Church in Trenton, for 
the maintenance and support of an orthodox min- 
ister." In the yard of that church are the tomb- 
stones of Samuel Henry, January 9, 1795, twenty- 
four years ; Samuel Henry, May 10, 1781, sixty- 
seven years; George Henry, October 23, 1846, 
seventy-six years. The wives of George Henry 
and Aaron D. Woodruff, Attorney General, were 

258 Runyon — Lowrey. 

sisters — Mary and Grace, claiigliters of Thomas 
Lowrey. Tliere is a fourtli stone in tlie group, 
marked Mrs. Mary Henry, January 23, 1804; 
twenty-nine years. There died in Bloomsbury, 
January 5, 1832, " Katy Willis, a native of 
Africa, aeed one hundred and twelve years. 
She was formerly a domestic in the family of 
Samuel Henry, Sen., of Trenton." 

Hugh Runyoi^, or Runyan, built one of the 
few good houses now standing in Lamberton, 
lately of the estate of John E. Smith, probably 
included in fifty acres in Nottingham township, 
which Runyon conveyed to Elijah Bond in 1777. 
He removed to King wood, and died there. I 
have seen a deed of 1799, in which he conveyed 
land to his son, Daniel C. Runyon, of Nottingham. 

Stephen Loweey married Sarah, daughter of 
the Rev. Mr. Spencer. He had been a merchant 
in Maryland, but after his marriage in Trenton 
resided there, and for some time, at least, at the 
parsonage ; as there are advertisements of " Ste- 
phen Lowrey, at the Rev. Mr. Spencer's," ofi:er- 
iug " the highest price for loan office bills on 
the Commissioners in France." He appears also 
to have been connected with the Commissariat 
Department in the Revolution ; as in November, 

Unity. 259 

1YY9, he offered a reward of a tliousand dollars 
(Continental currency) for nine barrels of ilonr 
stolen from " the Continental store-house at 
Trenton." Mrs. LoAyrey's grave is next to that 
of her fiither. Elsewhere in the church-yard is a 
stone marked Thomas Lowrey, Jr., March 11, 
1803; age, thirty-one. 

Of this sort was the congregation to which 
Mr. Spencer came to minister. At a time when 
neither the Episcopalians nor Presbyterians 
were strong enough to maintain pastors for the 
exclusive service of their town churches, a num- 
ber were accustomed to hold pews in both, that 
they might have the opportunity of worship in 
one or the other place every Lord's day. There 
seems to have been no difficulty even in holding- 
offices alternately in both. Of the subscribers 
to the agreement when Mr. Spencer was called, 
the names of Pidgeon, Bond, Coxe, Hooper, 
Cottnam, How, Decow, Singer, Witt, Clunn, and 
Adams are to be found amons^ the Wardens and 
Vestrymen of St. Michael's between 1755 and 
1783. From July 7, 1776, to January 4, 1783, 
that church was not opened at all for divine 

Dk. Spencer's Ministey. — Revolutionaky 
Incidents in Trenton. 

ms— 1780. 

In the year 1773 there appears to have "been 
a rearraDgement of the pew-holding, probably 
in consequence of some addition to the number 
of pews. A meeting of the congregation took 
place on the seventeenth May, '' for regulating 
and granting seats and pews in the meeting- 
house." Certain pews — from one to twenty-four 
— are directed to be '' numbered," and they are 
"rated," from £1 106". in the gallery, to £3 106*, 
below. It was ordered that 

"Every person, or persons, entitled to a pew by 
original purchase or grant, be continued in their right, 
on his or their paying their annual subscription or rate, 
in proportion to the size of the pew such person may pos- 
sess ; not inider forty shillings, nor exceeding three pounds 
ten shillings." " William Patterson made application for 
one half of any pew below stairs." " James Peak applied 

Spencer. 261 

for one half of Mr. Piclgcon's pew in the gallery : in case 
Mr. Pidgeon should give it up, he would give iifteen shil- 
lings per annum for the half." 

There is no record to show wlien, if at all, Mr. 
Spencer was installed in Trenton. At his recep- 
tion by tlie Presbytery, in 17Y1, it was without 
the mention of any particular charge. One 
cause that prevented this, may have been the 
confusion and uncertainty arising out of tlie 
state of public affairs in colonies approaching a 
revolution. His patriotic sj)irit may have fore- 
tliousrht that he should be called, if not like his 
co-presbyter, Witherspoon, to the public councils, 
yet to a return to liis chaplaincy in the army. In 
1775 such, an opportunity of serving both his 
country and Church was presented, and it ori- 
ginated in the impressions made during his mis- 
sionary visit to North-Carolina."^ In December 
of that year a sjoecial meeting of the Presbytery 
was summoned at Princeton, to hear an applica- 
tion from him. He then stated that in conse- 
quence of a resolution of Congress, he had been 

* The Provincial Congress of New- Jersey, which sat from October 
4tli to 28th, ]715, had their daily sessions opened with prayer. Mr. 
Spencer was the first to officiate as chaplain. 

262 Patriotic MifTion 

invited by tlie vlelegates of l^ortli-Carolina to 
take a journey tliitlier, "and preach and con- 
verse for some time among those people, as their 
case is extremely critical." Dr. Witherspoon 
was Moderator of the meeting ; and the minute 
is that " the Presbytery most cheerfully acquiesce 
with the motion, and appoint Mr. Spencer to 
comply with the request ; and appoint supplies 
for his several cono^resrations durins: his absence ; 
and ordered that the Moderator furnish Mr. 
Spencer with proper testimonials to the churches 
of Christ in North-Carolina." 

In the Journal of the Continental Confess, of 
December 20, 1775, is this minute: 

" Resolved, That orders be dra^va on the Treasurers, 
in flwor of the Rev. Mr. Ehliii Spencer and the Rev. Mr. 
Alexander Mncwhorter, who have undertaken to go to 
l!^orth-Caroliua, for the sum of one hundred and twenty 
dollars each, being three months' advance, they to be 

The late Mrs. Biddle, of Carlisle, Pennsyl- 
vania, a daughter of Dr. Spencer, who survived 
him until 1S58, gave to me in 1841 the follow- 
ing memorandum of this mission : 

" In the beginning of the Revolutionary contest my 

to the South. 263 

father and Dr. Macwhorter, of Newark, were appointed 
by Congress to visit the more remote parts of Virginia, 
Georgia, IsTorth and Soutli-Carolina, for the purpose of in- 
forming the settlers there, who were at the time exceed- 
ingly ignorant, of the cause of the Revolution and the neces- 
sity of standing forth in defense of their right and country. 
This circumstance made my father very obnoxious to the 
British, who suifered his library with all the writings of 
his whole life to be burnt and entirely destroyed." 

A daughter of Mrs. Bid die has since written 
to me thiit she has frequently heard her mother 
relate the incidents of that period, and their seri- 
ous consequences to the zealous advocate of In- 
dependence, after his return to Trenton, which 
was soon in the centre of warfare. His inter- 
ference was considered rebellion, and the author- 
ities of the royal government offered a rev/ard 
of a hundred guineas for his head. 

*' This was known," says my correspondent, " to the 
American officers, and one of them (I think General Mer- 
cer) sent a messenger to him in the night to say that the 
British army were near, and that he must fly for his life. 
My mother was about nine years old, and recollects per- 
fectly the panic and flight in the middle of the night. 
They went to St. George's, in Delaware, where they were 
treated with the utmost kindness and affection. My 
grandfather preached there until it was safe to return to 

264 Loffes. 

Trenton. On tlie return of the family they found their 
furniture, books, and j^apers destroyed, and the house 
itself so much injured that it was scarcely habitable. My 
mother has often told me that her father was so discour- 
aged by the loss of his papers, that from that time he 
never wrote another sermon ; preaching merely from 
short notes." 

In 1781 the Legislature of Xew- Jersey ap- 
pointed Commissioners to '' procure an estimate 
of the damages sustained by the inhabitants 
of this State from the waste and spoil com- 
mitted by the trooj)s in the service of the 
enemy, or their adherents." Peter Gordon, 
Sidney Berry, and Joseph Phillips were the 
Commissioners for Hunterdon county. From 
their report we can ascertain minutely the loss 
suffered by Dr. Spencer, and also that of the 
Church corporation. In the return of the former 
are given, " five hundred and twenty-four panel 
fence, four rails with post ;" " one hundred and 
sixty-seven panel of red cedar post and rail- 
fence, good as new;" agricultural implements, 
wheat in the stalk and in the ground, cattle, fur- 
niture, maps, clothing, china, glass, three spin- 
ning-wheels, provisions ; " stable totally destroy- 
ed." To this inventory Dr. Spencer adds : 

Lofses. 265 

" A large chest and barrel of books, packed close, but 
the particular volumes I can not remember or fully recol- 
lect. Araons: them were all the school-books and classics 
in Greek and Latin ; a large collection of Hebrew books, 
French dictionary, grammar, and Bible, and several other 
books in French ; Pool's Annotations on the Bible, Bates' 
Works m large folio, AVillard's Works, with his Body of 
Divinity ; six large volumes of Caryl upon J ob ; Pope's, 
Swift's, and Addison's Works ; Mr. Edwards's Works, of 
Northampton, with a number of mathematical and philo- 
sophical books ; Dr. Witherspoon's Works, a good many 
of Wall's Works, several volumes of Doddridge's Works, 
besides his Family Expositor, and a great number of vol- 
umes on different subjects, which I can not recollect. The 
estimate of these books I leave to the discretion of the Com- 
missioners, not being able to give a more particular 
account, but beg leave to say, I have always estimated 
the loss of the library to be one hundred pounds at the 

His affidavit was made September 6, 1783. 
Putting the books at eighty pounds, the total 
of the Commissioners' appraisement was £oSl 
17s. 9d. 

The parsonage was used by the Hessians for 
an hospital. The communion plate was plun- 
dered. The particulars of the loss sustained are 
given as follows : 

" An inventory of damages done to the Presbyterian 


266 Damages. 

Ohurcli in Trenton, and public property destroyed by the 
enemy in December, 1776 : 

" 303 feet of board fence three feet high, 45 

romid posts and rails, which was romid the 

11 panel post and 4 rail fence, . . 

140 panes glass, .... 
Large gates, hooks, and hinges, 
A silk damask curtain and hangings, 
A silver can Vv'ith two handles, and large plate, 
Damages done to the parsonage house whilst an 

Hessian hospital, (app'd by Miss Axford,) . 
1400 feet of boards stript oiFthe stable, 
310 feet board fence, five feet high, 40 posts 

and rails, rounds the parsonage garden, . 
2 large front gates, hooks, and hinges, 
1 well-curb, bucket, and chain, . 
1 table-cloth and about ten yards diaper, 

£80 10 

" Alexander Chambers being duly sworn, deposes and 
says, that the within inventory is just and true, to the 
best of his knowledge, and that no pay or compensation 
hath been received for the same or any part thereof. 

" In behalf of the congregation, 

" Alexander Chambeks, Trustee." 

*' Sworn this seventh day of September, 1782, 

" Jos. Phillips." 

On the second January, 1777, Cornwallis en- 





1 8 










16 4 





Rosborough. 267 

tered Trenton. One of tlie members of our 
Presbytery was a victim to the barbarity of tlie 
troops under bis command. This was the Eev. 
eTohn Rosborough, pastor of Allentowu, Pennsyl- 
vania, who was received as a candidate May 2?, 
1Y62 ; licensed a probationer, August 16, 17G3, 
and ordained December 11, 1764. He was 
Moderator of the Presbytery in 1776. Accord- 
ing to the report made to Synod, he was " bar- 
barously murdered by the enemy at Trenton on 
January second." In a letter to Richard Henry 
Lee, of January 14, Dr. Rush wrote : " The sav- 
ages [Hessians] murdered a clergyman, a chap- 
lain to a battalion of militia, in cold blood, at 
Trenton, after he had surrendered himself and 
begged for mercy. His name was Rosborough."* 
It ought, however, to be mentioned that before 
he was commissioned as chaplain, Mr. Rosborough 
had united with his neighbors in forming a com- 
pany to recruit Washington's forces on their re- 
treat through New-Jersey, and from a sentence 
in a letter to his vrife, a few days before his 
capture, it seems probable that he was even then 
'' ridins: with a French fasee sluno: at his back." 

* Memoirs of R. IT. Lee, vol. ii, 1 Go. 

268 Rosborough's death. 

The particulars of the outrage are given by 
Dr. Sprague as follows : 

" Mr. Rosborough proceeded with his company to 
Trenton ; and, as he was going towards the river in 
search of his horse, he was met "by a company of Hessians 
imder British command. He immediately gave himself 
up as a prisoner, but begged, for the sake of his wife and 
children, that they would spare his life. He quickly 
found, however, that his request was to be denied, and 
that the bloody deed Avas to be performed without de- 
lay. He instantly knelt down, and, in imitation of his 
blessed Master, prayed for the forgiveness of his murder- 
ers, and scarcely had this prayer passed from his lips be- 
fore a deadly weapon pierced his body, and he lay strug- 
gling in death. They tben took his watch, and part of 
his clothing, and left him weltering in his blood. The 
wretched creature who had committed the act, or had had 
a principal part in it, vrent immediately after, with the 
fury of a madman, into one of the hotels in Trenton, and 
profanely boasted to the woman who kept it, that he had 
killed a rebel minister, and showed her his watch ; but he 
added that it was too bad he should have been praying 
for them when they vrere murdering him. A young man 
by the name of John Hayes, of Mr. Rosborough's congre- 
jzation, took char ore of the corpse, and buried it the next 
day in an obscure place in Trenton. The Rev. George 
Duffield, of Philadelphia, having heard of the sad event, 
took measures to have the body removed to the church- 
yard for its final interment."* 

* Annals, vol. iii. 254. I am sorry to say that there is no trace of tlio 

chaplain's grave in onr grounds. 

Dullield. 269 

Mr. (afterwards Dr.) Daffield, mentioned in 
this extract, was one of tlie cliaplains of the 
First Cono:ress. He would occasionally leave 
his conoTeo^ation for a short time to serve as a 
missionary to the troops when they were within 
easy reach. It was probably during such an 
errand as this that he became acquainted with 
Mr. Rosborough's death ; for, according to the 
annalist just quoted : 

"He Yras with the army in their battles and retreat 
through Jersey, and was ahiiost the very last man that cross- 
ed the bridge over the stream immediately south of Trenton, 
before it was cut down by order of the American General. 
For this preservation he was indebted to a Quaker friend, 
whom he had essentially aided in his hour of trial — though 
of politics opposed to his own — and whose deliverance lie 
had been the means of securing. The British officers had 
put a price upon his head, and were particularly anxious 
to destroy him, because of the influence he exerted among 
the soldiers of the American army. After the retreat from 
Princeton, he had retired to a private house in Trenton to 
seek repose, and was not aware that the American army 
had taken up their line of march, and had nearly all crossed 
the bridge, until his Quaker friend sought him out and 
gave him the alarm, just in time for him to escape, before 
the bridge was destroyed by the retreating army of 

* Aonalf, vol iii. 191. From the same authority I find that the Rev. 


270 Rahl. 

From the "blanks in the minutes of the Trus- 
tees, it appears that there was no meeting of the 
Board in 1T76. In that eventful year the 
Presbytery hehi five sessions : at Boundbrook in 
April, at Philadelphia (during Synod) in May, 
at Princeton in June, (to receive Mr. Armstrong 
as a candidate,) at Am well in July, at Basking- 
I'idsre in October. The State was the seat of 
w^ar. In the beginning of December Washing- 
ton and a large body of troops were at Trenton. 
Later in the month a brigade of three Hessian 
regiments, one of them Colonel Rahl's, was sta- 
tioned here. The Colonel kept the town in 
commotion, even before he thought of being 

" The cannon," said one of his lieutenants in his jour- 
nal, " must be drawn forth every day from their proper 
places, and paraded about the town, seemingly only to 
make a stir and uproar. There was a church [the Episco- 
pal] close by his quarters, surrounded by palings ; the of- 
iicer on guard must march round and round it, with his 
men and musicians, looking like a Catholic procession, 
wanting" only the cross, and the banners, and chaunting 

Mr. Macwhorter was in the camp of Washington, opposite Trenton, at 
the time of the battle of 1776: and that Wilham Paxton (afterwards 
D.D.) was in the ranks on that occasion, iii. 210, rjr>4. 

Battle of Trenton. 271 

choristers. The hautboys — he could never have enough 
of them."* 

On tlie twenty-sixtli was tlie famous battle. 
Rabl was carried mortally wounded to his quar- 
ters in Warren streetf — tlie residence of Stacy 
Potts. J 

The journal of his Lieutenant, as translated in 
Mr. Irving's work, says : 

" He died on the following evening, and lies buried in 
this place which he has rendered so famous, in the grave- 

* Irving's Life of Washington, ch. xliii. 

f Then King street, as the present Greene was Queen. The former 
was also famiharly called Front, and the latter Back street. The "Fed- 
eral Post or Trenton Weekly Mercury," was printed in 1788, by Que- 
quelle and Wilson, " on the north side of Front St., opposite the Eng- 
lish Church," the neighborhood of Rahl's death. 

:|: This house is advertised for rent in the Trerdon Gazeiie, December, 
1784, where it is said to have been lately occupied by the President of 
Congress. It was provided for his use by James Evving, Moore Furman, 
and Conrad Kotts, by the direction of the Legislature, (August 25, 1784) 
The lease, which is before me, stipulates also for " the hay-house nearly 
full of very good hay, with the stables on each side thereof, together with 
a tenplate stove belonging to the front part of the said house," but "re- 
serving the use of the road as it now goes to the tan-yard, and so much 
of the lot as Samuel Phillips may have occasion for, adjoining his shop." 
The lease was for one year from October 30, 1784, at one hundred and 
fifty pounds in gold or silver, (four hundred dollars.) The house was 
the residence of Stacy Potts, and not a tavern, as is stated in Lossing's 
♦'Field Book." It was taken down in 1857. 

2^2 Battle of Trenton. 

yard of the Presbyterian Church. Sleep well ! dear com- 
mander ! The Americans will hereafter set up a stone 
above thy grave with this inscription : 

" Hier liegt der Oberst Rahl, 
Mit ihm ist alles all !"* 

The first mention of celebrating the anniver- 
sary of the battle of Trenton which I have found 
is in 1806, December 26, when the Trenton 
Light Infantry had a parade and a dinner, and 
in the evening the Eev. Mr. Stamford preached 
in the Baptist Church, from the text, " I was 
free-born." The observance afterwards degene- 
rated into an annual sham-fight. 

Mr. Spencer was present at the election of 
Trustees of the congregation, September 2, 1111^ 
" at the house of Mr. John Chambers." He at- 
tended the sessions of Synod and Presbytery in 
Philadelphia, May, 1776, and of Presbytery, at 
Amwell, July 31, on vvKich day he presided and 
preached at the ordination of Mr. Warford, and 
his installment over the congregation of Amwell. 
In April, 1782, this minute is found : 

* " Here lies Colonel Eahl ; all is over with bim." The Americans 
have delayed the fulfillment of the prediction until it has become impos- 
sible to identify the " hier'' for the epitaph. 

Lois of Papers. 273 

" The Presbytery thinks it proper here to note, that the 
trouble occasioned by the war has been the general rea- 
son why the members of Presbytery have attended with 
so little punctuaUty for a number of years past — this 
State having been either the seat of war, or contiguous to 
it, since the year 1776." 

To the ravages of war is probably owing the 
order of the Trustees in August, 1780, that " a 
subscription be opened in town and country for 
repairing the parsonage-house, which at present 
is in a ruinous condition." A committee of 1792, 
to search for missing records, reported " that 
none were to be found, and that there is much 
reason to believe that those minutes were lost 
during the late Revolution, among the papers of 
Dr. Spencer and Mr. Halsey." And in their 
reply, through the Rev. Mr. Armstrong, to the 
requisition of the General Assembly for histori- 
cal materials, the Presbytery of April, 1793, 
report : " They labor under peculiar difficulties, 
in this respect, from the extent of the ravages of 
the enemy in the State of New-Jersey during the 
late war. The minutes of the Presbytery have 
been lost with the papers of the late Dr. Spen- 
cer, down to a late date." As early as 1779, Mr. 
Spencer himself. 

274 Mr. Tucker's 

"As Standing Clerk, is requested to collect all the 
papers belonging to this Presbytery, from the several 
members or others in whose hands they may have been 
heretofore deposited ; to be complied with by our next 

Nine years after Spencerls death, 

" Mr. Woodhull informed the Presbvterv that the old 
minutes, [prior to 1771,] so long searched for in vain, 
were known to be in the possession of Mr. Warford, of the 
Presbytery of Albany, and it was ordered that Mr. Wood- 
hull take suitable measures to procure them," (September 
18, 1793.) 

As a further illustration of tlie hazards of 
ecclesiastical records of tlie times, and a proba- 
ble explanation of the fate of many documents of 
the Trenton congregation, I produce the sub- 
stance of an affidavit presented to the New- Jer- 
sey Legislature, in February, 1777, by Samuel 
Tucker, who was both a Trustee and Clerk of the 
Board. As Treasurer of the State he had a large 
amount of the paper currency, and other valuable 
public property in his custody. Hearing that 
the British army under Howe was likely to pass 
through Trenton, he removed his effects to the 
house of John Abbott, fiYQ miles off. Howe 
arrived in Trenton December 8, 1776, and next 

Adventures. 275 

day Lieutenant General Abercrombie sent Lieu- 
tenant Hackshaw witli a detachment to Abbott's 
under the guidance of one Mary Pointing, where 
they captured Tucker's property and carried it to 
New-Brunswick. On the 14th December, Tucker, 
on his way to Trenton, was met near Crosswicks by 
a party of horsemen, w^ho took him prisoner, and 
detained him until a protection was obtained 
from the Hessian Colonel Rahl. He lost all the 
papers, public and private, which were thus re- 
moved. This statement of Tucker's was the 
cause of a controversy between him and Govern- 
or Livingston, (who wrote under the signature 
of " Scipio,") in the New- Jersey Gazette of 1784. 

I suppose they were our pastor and trustee 
whose names occur in the diary of John Adams, 
September 19, 17YY, when Congress were with- 
drawing from Philadelphia on the approach of 
the enemy. He says : " We rode to Trenton, 
where we dined. Drank tea at Mr. Spencer's ; 
lodged at Mr. S. Tucker's, at his kind invitation." 

The journal of the next day may have its local 
interest for some of ray readers : 

"20tli. Breakfasted at Mrs. J. B. Smith's. The old 
gentleman, his son Thomas, the loan officer, were here, 
and Mi*s. Smith's little son and two dauQ-hters. An ele- 

276 John Adams. 

gant breakfast we had, of fine Hyson, loaf-sugar, and 
coffee, etc. Dined at Williams's, the sign of the Green 
Tree ; drank tea with Mr. Thomson [Charles Thomson ?] 
and his lady at Mrs. Jackson's ; walked with Mr. Duane 
to General Dickinson's house, and took a look at his farm 
and gardens, and his green-house, which is a scene of 
desolation ; the floor of the green-house is dug up by the 
Hessians in search for money. Slept again at Tucker's." 

Mr. Adams's first sio-lit of Trenton was in Au- 
gust, 1774, when his diary records : 

" Rode to Trenton [from Princeton, where he heard 
Dr. TVitherspoon preach] to breakfast. At AYilliams's the 
tavern at Trenton ferry, we saw four very large black- 
walnut trees, standing in a row behind the house."^ The 
town of Trenton is a pretty village. It appears to be the 
largest town we have seen in the Jerseys. We then cross- 
ed the ferry over the Delaware river to the province of 

* Williams's tavern is also mentioned by the Marquis de Chastellux, 
at the time of whose visit an addition seems to have been made to the 
emblems of its sign ; for he says it represented a beaver at work "with 
his teeth to bring down a large tree, and had the motto ^'Ferseverando.^^ 
{Travels in North- America^ 1780-2.) The tree, beaver, and legend con- 
stituted one of the devices printed on the Continental currency of 1776 ; 
the money which fell so much below the promise on its face, that in the 
Trenton advertisements of 1780 may be found ofiers of a thousand dol- 
lars reward for an absconding servant — fifteen hundred for a stolen 
mare — ten thousand for the detection of the incendiary of a barn. The 
subscription of the Weekly Gazette, of that year, was fourteen dollars by 
the quarter. 

Debow's Complaint. 277 

In the Presbytery of August, 1776, a singular 
complaint was presented against Mr. Spencer, 
arising out of his visit to North-Carolina. Mr. 
John Debow, who had iust been called to Eno 
and Hawfields, submitted a letter from the Pres- 
bytery of Orange, in North-Carolina, complain- 
ing that Mr. Spencer had baptized a child of the 
Eev. Mr. Lisle, a minister from Scotland, who, 
without joining the Presbytery, was preaching 
in some of their vacant congregations, and gath- 
ering a nevv^ parish out of them. The minutes 
proceed to narrate that, 

" After diligent inquiry of Mr. Debow, concerning what 
he knew of the life and conversation of Mr. Lisle, and hav- 
ing received all the light he was able to give them, the Pres- 
bytery judge that Mr. Lisle hath a right to Church priv- 
ileges, and that Mr. Spencer, in baptizing his child, has 
done no more than what the laws of charity and church- 
fellowship required of him, and that the complaint against 
him is without foundation." 

The States were divided into three military 
departments. The middle department com- 
prised New- York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, 
the lower counties on the Delaware, (now the 

State of Delaware,) and Maryland. In October, 


278 Committe 

1776, William Shippen, Jr., was directed to pro- 
vide and superintend an hospital for tlie army 
in ISTew- Jersey, and on October 20, 1777, 

" Congress proceeded to the election of a chaplain for 
the hospital in the middle department, and the ballots be- 
ing taken, the Rev. Eliliu Spencer was elected." 

In May, 1780, Mr. Spencer was aiSicted by the 
death of his daughter, Mrs. Sarah Lowrey, in 
her twenty-fifth year. She was buried from her 
father's house. She was one of the ladies of 
Trenton who sympathized in the measures which 
originated in Pennsylvania, for the relief of the 
suffering troops by raising contributions to add 
to their slender wages. Active measures were 
taken here on the fourth of July of that year, to 
effect this object. A general committee was then 
appointed, composed of Mrs. Coxe, Mrs. Dickin- 
son, Mrs. Furman, and Miss Cadwalader, and an- 
other committee for each county. That for 
Hunterdon consisted of " Mrs. Vice-President 
Stevens, Mrs. Judge Smith, Mrs. Charles Coxe, 
Mrs. E. Stevens, Mrs Hanna, Mrs. T. Towrey, 
Mrs. J. Sexton, Mrs. B. Vancleve, Mrs. Colonel 
Berry, Mrs. Doctor Burnet." Mrs. Moore Fur- 
man was Treasure]', and Miss Mary Dagworthy, 

of Ladies. 279 

Secretary. A letter is preserved in Washing- 
ton's correspondence, from Miss Dagworthy, dat- 
ed at Trenton, July 17, 1780, whicli transmitted 
to tlie Chief the sum of 815,488 — allowiug for 
the depreciated currency, actually about §390.* 

* Sparkfe's "Writings of "Washiugton, vol. vii. Qo. 

Close of De. Spexcek's Ministry — His Death. 

ITSO— 1Y84. • 

Throughout the years of Mr. Spencer's 
ministry in Trenton lie was a prominent mem- 
ber of the different church-courts, and often 
served as Moderator, Clerk, Treasurer, and Com- 
mittee-man. AYhen the Synod (1769) regarded 
the College of New-Jersey so much of a church 
institution as to divide themselves into commit- 
tees for collecting donations from all parts of 
their territory, Mr. Spencer and Mr. McDowell 
had Chester and parts of Lancaster county, in 
Pennsylvania, assigned to them. In 1770 and 
the ^ve consecutive years Spencer w^as a delegate 
from the Synod to the Congregational and Pres- 
byterian Convention which met alternately in 
Connecticut and JSTew-Jersey. He was frequent- 
ly called to take part in collecting and disburs- 
ing the Students' Fund, and Widows' Fund, and 

Doctor's Degree. 281 

was an official visitor of Mr. BrainercVs Indian 
School. In the absence of the Moderator he 
opened the Synod of 1782 with a sermon. His 
name then appears for the first time v/ith the 
title of Doctor of Divinity, which degree was 
given him by the University of Pennsylvania, in 
March, 1782, at the same time with the Rev. 
William White, who was afterwards so distin- 
guished as a Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal 

In 1782 Dr. Spencer was associated with Dr. 
Witherspoon and Joseph Montgomery, in a 
committee " to prepare an address to the Minis- 
ter of France, cono^ratulatinsf him on the birth of 
a Dauphin, son and heir to the crown of his 
royal master ; expressing the pleasure the Synod 
feel on this happy event.^f The last office 
assigned to him by the Synod was in 1784, the 

* In the minutes of the Trustees of the University, Mr. Spencer is 
called Elisha. The same mistake is made in the first edition of Thomp- 
son's History of Long Island, where also his great-grandfather Jared is 
called Gerard. 

f The Minister was the Chevalier de la Luzerne. The Dauphin was 
son of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette, and died in childhood. The 
birth was formally announced to Congress, and by Congress to the G-ov- 
ernors of the States. It was celebrated in Trenton, May 24, 1782, when 
the "town artillery paraded at the market-place," and a dinner was at- 
tended by the officers of the State at " the French Arms." 

282 Minutes of 

year of his deatli, when lie was made one of the 
committee of conference and correspondence with, 
the Synod of the Reformed Dutch Church. 

There being extant no record of the proceed- 
ings of the Session during Dr. Spencer's minis- 
try, nor any registry of the communicants of 
that period, it is not in my power to furnish such. 
statistics as might show the progress of the three 
churches in those relations. The minutes of the 
Trustees have been preserved, but are meager in 
their details. The following persons were mem- 
bers of the Board during Dr, Spencer's incum- 
bency : 

Charles Clark, Obadiah Howell, 

Alexander Chambers, Daniel Clark 

Abraham Hunt, Joseph Tindal, 

Joseph Reed Jr., Nathaniel Furman,* 

Samuel Tucker, Moore Furman. 

These Trustees served for the country and town 
congregations, but not for Maidenhead. Their 
meetings were held in town, and either at the 
church or parsonage. Mr. Chambers was uni- 

* Mr. FuRiiAN was in the Board from 1780 to 1788. I suppose that 
it is his death which is published as haviag taken place April 27, 1831, 
in his eighty-eighth year. Mr. Tindal's is an old and respectable fami- 
ly. The other Trustees are spoken of in detail in other chapters. 

Trustees. 283 

formly chosen Treasurer, Mr. Tucker, Clerk, and 
Mr. Spencer, President, until May, 1783, when 
he ceased to be a Trustee, and Mr. Chambers 
was both President and Treasurer. The pro- 
ceedin were not of much greater importance 
than to build " a shed between the parsonage- 
house and the stable, out of the six pounds rent 
put at interest ;'' " to repair the roof of the sta- 
ble," " to rent out and agree for the several pews 
that at this time are vacant, and get the two 
long seats made into four small pews, and rent 
them out also ;" to order " that all the pews shall 
pay the annual assessment as they may be stat- 
ed — not under forty shillings per annum the 

The heirs of Daniel Howell and Joseph Green 
claimed a right to the pews " built by their an- 
cestors, v/ithout being liable to pay the annual 
assessment ;" on this question the yeas and nays 
were called at two different meetings, and both 
times the claim was refused by the casting vote 
of the President. The salary accounts of the 
two churches were separate : " Ordered, that the 
Treasurer do pay the Eev. Mr. Spencer fifty-five 
shillings towards the deficiency of his salary for 
last year for Trenton, and fifteen shillings towards 

284 Nev/ Charter. 

the salary for the last year for the old meet- 
iDg-hoLise." There were " collectors" for each 

On the sixth of June, 1Y81, it was resolved, 

" To petition the Legislature to confirm by law the char- 
ter granted by Governor Belcher ; a memorial was accord- 
ingly drawn and signed by the President and all the Trus- 
tees. The President being desired, readily agreed to wait 
on the Legislature, and took with him the original charter 
to lay before them." 

On the twenty-fifth March, 1782, 

" The President informed the Board that agreeably to 
the order of this Board, of the sixth of June, 1781, he 
waited on the Legislature, and took with him the original 
charter, which he has since returned to the Clerk, which 
was laid before the Board this day, and that the Legisla- 
ture told him they did not think proper to take the same 
into their consideration at present." 

I do not find any note of this application in the 
Journals of either branch of the Legislature, On 
the seventh June, 1781, an act incorporating the 
Second Presbyterian Church of Newark, which 
had passed the Assembly, was brought into the 
Council, and after a second reading, was postponed 
until the next sitting ; immediately after which it 

Legacies. 285 

was " Ordered that Mr. FreliDghuysen and Mr. 
Caldwell be a committee to prepare and bring in 
a bill upon a general plan for incorporating reli- 
gious societies." On tlie next day, a petition 
from the Baptist Churcli of Pittsgrove, Salem 
county, was read, " praying a law to incorporate 
them as well as all other religious societies," which 
was referred to yesterday's committee. The 
general law was not passed until March 16, 
1786, when it was adopted under the title of 
" an act to incorporate certain persons as trus- 
tees in every religious society or congregation in 
this State, for transacting the temporal concerns 

As the Treasurer was directed in 1771 to 
fund and loan any sums that might come into his 
hands, it looks as if there were occasionally some 
receipts beyond the pew-rents, of which there 
was certainly no surplus for investment. Seve- 
ral small legacies were realized besides those 
already mentioned. By the will of Jethro Yard, 
proved February 16, 1761, seven pounds were 
left " to the Presbyterian Congregation of Tren- 
ton, to be paid to the overseers of the poor of 
said town." In 1780, John Howell, one of the 
executors of his brother Daniel, gave notice that 

280 Public Occasions. 

the testator had given twenty pounds for the 
use of the congregation."^^ 

Dr. Spencer's name is usually found in connec- 
tion with such patriotic demoustrations of his 
times as were consistent with his profession. 
When the surrender of Cornwallis was celebrat- 
ed in Trenton, October 27, 1781, the Governor, 
Council, Assembly, and citizens, went in proces- 
sion to the Presbyterian Church, vv^here Dr. 
Spencer delivered a discourse. On the fifteenth 
April, 1783, similar ceremonies were observed 
upon the conclusion of peace v/ith Great Britain. 
The Governor, Vice-President of the State, Mem- 
bers of the Legislature, Judges, and other pub- 
lic officers met at Williams's hotel ; the Trustees, 
teachers, and students of the Academy joined 
them there, and proceeded to the Court-house, 
where the Governor's proclamation of the cessa- 
tion of hostilities was read. At noon divine 
service w^as attended, when a discourse was deliv- 

* Daniel Howell's will was proved in 1118; the legacy was payable 
in two years. He was brother of Hezekiah, John, Abigail, Eunice, 
(Phillip?,) and Phebe, (PhOlips.) His children were Ehoda, Sarah, and 
Elizabeth. A relative of his, David Howell, died in 1785, leaving three 
daughters — Prudence, Patience, Charity. 

Jethro Yard, (as I gather from his will,) was a carpenter. He was 
a son of William Yard. 

Dr. Spencer's Death. 287 

ered by Dr. Spencer. Public dinners followed 
at Witt's, Williams's and Cape's hotels. A few 
days afterwards, when the Governor (Living- 
ston) was about to leave the capital for his resi- 
dence at Elizabethtown, Dr. Spencer's name was 
at the head of a committee of citizens who pre- 
sented him a valedictory address."^ 

Dr. Spencer preached at the opening of Pres- 
bytery at Freehold, October 21, 1783. Pie was 
present in that court for the last time, in Pen- 
nington, June 15, 1784, when he was appointed 
to preach at the ordination and installment of Mr. 
William Boyd, at Bedminster, on the nineteenth 
October. This proved to be within a few weeks 
of his decease, but his failure to take the part 
assigned to him was not owiug to his final ill- 
ness, for that was an inflammatory fever of a few 
days' continuance. He died December 27, 1784, 
in the full support of the Christian hope. His 
remains lie on the western side of the church- 
yard under a tomb inscribed as follows : 

* Mr. Jefferson, in his Autobiography, says : "I left home on the six- 
teenth of October, [1783,] arrived at Trenton, ivTiere Congress was sit- 
ting, on the third of November, and took my seat on the fourth, on which 
day Congress adjourned, to meet at Aunapohs on the tv/enty-sixth." 
This statement has been followed by his biographers. Tucker and Ean- 
dall, but Congress was sitting at Princeton, not Trenton. 

288 Epitaphs. 

" Beneath this stone lies the body of the Rev. Elihu 
Spencer, D.D., Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in 
Trenton, and one of the Trustees of the College of New- 
Jersey, who departed this life on the tw^enty-seventh "of 
December, 1'784, in the sixty-fourth year of his age. 

"Possessed of fine genius, of great vivacity, of emi- 
nent and active piety, his merits as a minister and as a man 
stand above the reach of flattery. 

" Having long edified the Church by his talents and ex- 
ample, and finished his course with joy, he fell asleep full 
of faith, and waiting for the hope of all saints. 

" Mrs. Joanna Spencee, 
"Relict of the above, died November 1st, 1791, aged 
sixty-three years. 

" From her many virtues she lived beloved and died 
lamented. The cheerful patience with which she bore a 
painful and tedious disease threw a lustre on the last 
scenes of her life, and evinces that with true piety death 
loses its terrors." 

The late J3r. Miller declares that the eulogy 
of Spencer's epitaph is not exaggerated : 

" His piety was ardent, his manners polished, attractive, 
and full of engaging vivacity ; his public spirit and activ- 
ity in doing good indefatigable, and his character as a 
preacher singularly prompt, popular, and impressive. To 
all this may be added that in the various relations of life 
he was peculiarly amiable, exemplary, and beloved." 

The venerable father who wrote these sen- 

Dr. Spencer's Family. 289 

tences was connected by marriage with Dr. 
Spencer's family ; for tlie widow of Dr. Miller is 
the granddaughter of Dr. Spencer, by the mar- 
riage of the Hon. Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant 
to Margaret Spencer. The late Hon. John Ser- 
geant, the Hon. Thomas Sergeant, and the late 
Elihn Spencer Sergeant, Esq., of Philadelphia, 
were children of the same marriage. Dr. Spen- 
cer's ancestors came from England to Massa- 
chusetts early in the seventeenth century. Of the 
^ve brothers who established the family there, 
one was a forefather of the late Chief-Justice 
Ambrose Spencer, of New- York; from another 
brother was descended, in the seventh generation, 
the late Eev. Ichabod Smith Spencer, D.D., of 
Brooklyn ; and General Joseph Spencer, whose 
name often occurs in the Eevolutionary history, 
was an elder brother of our pastor. 

Dr. Spencer bequeathed to his -^ve survivino* 
daughters, and the children of a deceased one, 
three thousand acres of land in Saltash, Vermont 
and to his son, John Eaton, one thousand acres 
in Woodstock, Vermont. There still remaics 
in the possession of his descendants a lot of 
ground in the city of Trenton, which has in the 
lapse of time become more valuable than all the 
Vermont acres. 23 

290 Governor Livingston, 


GovEKXOR William Liyixgstox resided three years 
in Trenton, and was, undoubtedly, a regular attendant 
on Dr. Spencer's ministry. His j^reyious life had brought 
hini into prominence as an ecclesiastical controvertist. 
His ancestors were of the Dutch Church in ^^ew-York, 
but the Governor had early united with the party which, 
for the sake of having English preaching, had merged into 
the Presbyterians. The dispute, which arose in 1751, be- 
tween the adherents of the Church of England and the 
other churches in reference, at first, to the claims of the 
former to have the College (then King's, now Columbia,) 
which was founded in that year, under their control, was 
warmly espoused by Mr. Livingston in defense of those 
who were threatened with exclusion. He wrote largely 
and vehemently for his side in "The Independent Reflec- 
tor" and " The Watch-tower." He entered into the sub- 
sequent controversy on the attempt to establish the Eng- 
lish episcopacy in America, and in 1768 pubhshed a let- 
ter to the Bishop of LlandaiF, which was rej)rinted in 
London. His opposition, it should be noted, was not to 
the liberty of any church, but to the proposal to establish 
a particular denomination in the Colonies, as in England. 
Mr. Livingston must have departed from his habits in 
those days, if he were not punctual in his pew at Trenton ; 
for, according to his biographer : 

"Actively engaged during the week, in discharging the 
duties of a laborious profession, [the law,] or in an angry 

Dr. Cowell. 291 

warfare in defense of his civil and religious rights, three 
times on every Sabbath, surrounded by his numerous fami- 
ly, he went up to that church, [Wall Street,] formerly 
contemned and oppressed, but for which his exertions had 
procured respect ; of which he was one of the brightest 
ornaments and chief supports."* 

In his first address to the Legislature, as Governor, (Sep- 
tember 13, 1*776,) Mr. Livingston had used the expres- 
sion, " setting our faces like a flint against that dissolute- 
ness of manners and political corruption which will ever be 
the reproach of any people." From this phrase and the 
religious tone of the whole passage, the Governor was for 
some time nicknamed " Doctor Flint." This gave rise to 
an amusing contreUm^js at a dinner-table in New- York, 
when Fislier Ames, addressing Livingston, said uncon- 
sciously : '•^Doctor Flinty is the town of Trenton well or 
ill-disposed to the new Constitution ? "f 


Li December, 1783, died Dayid Cowell, M.D., who 
has been mentioned in a previous chapter as a student in 
Princeton College at the time of the death of his uncle, 
the pastor, who bequeathed him an annuity of twenty 
pounds for three years. Upon his graduation, in 1763, 
he studied medicine in Philadelphia, took his degree and 
came to Trenton, where he practised until his death. For 
two years he was senior physician and surgeon in military 
hospitals. Dr. Cowell undertook to draft an outline of 
his will while sufleriug under an attack of quinsy, and 

* Sedgwick's Memoir of Livingston, chap. iv. 
f Sedgwick, chap. vii. 

292 Dr. Cowell's Will. 

Yv'itliin a few hours of its fatal termination. Unable to 
articulate, be bastened to make a rougb outline of bis in- 
tentions, wbicb be doubtless boped to bave bad put into 
form by anotber band ; but be was compelled, by tbe 
force of tbe disease, to bave tbe paper copied in tbe in- 
complete terms in wbicb be bad drat^m it. It began : " I, 
Doctor David Co well, being of sound judgment, but not 
able to talk mucb." One of tbe first items was, "my 
negro man, Adam, and tbe wbole aiiair to tbe Presbyte- 
rian Congregation." In equally brief and informal pbrases 
stood a bundred pounds to "tbe Grammar Scbool in 
Trenton" — tbe same amount to tbe Colleofe of New-Jer- 
sey, and "to tbe Congress of tbe United States of Ameri- 
ca, one bundred pounds, if tbey settle tbemselves at Lam- 
berton."* He appointed Major William Trent one of bis 
executors, and made Jobn Trent, probably a son of tbe 
Major, bis residuary legatee. As be drew towards tbe 
close of bis painful task be tbrows in tbe burried remark : 
" Had not I been on many public matters, it's likely I 
sbould bad a more particular will before tbis time." By 
tbe time tbe copy was ready for bis signature, be must 
bave felt unable to write, for it was subscribed by bis 
" mark." But baving tbe pen in band, be seems to bave 
made a last effort, and baving made tbe customary 
cross between bis Christian and surname, scribbled tbe in- 
coherent or illesjible sentence : " But I believe I am not 
quite so clear to me as my own D. C. our connection is 

* I hope to find room in an Appendix to this volume, for a notice, 
somewhat in detail, of the proceedings of Congress that had reference to 
making Trenton or its vicinity the national capital. 

Adam. 293 

now dissolved." Ebenezer Cowell, Jr., entered a caveat 
against the probate of the will, but after taking evidence, 
the Siirroorate admitted it. The documents of the Trustees 
do not discover whether the legacy of the negro became 
available. " The whole aifair" appended to it was prob- 
ably a law-point ; for in the Neio Jersey Gazette of 1780, 
there are inserted, first, an advertisement by Dr. Cowell, 
of a negro man to be sold, or exchanged for a boy ; and 
immediately under it, another, cautioning all persons 
against making any such purchase or exchange, as the 
man was entitled to his freedom, and ending with an ex- 
pression of his hope for 

" That freedom, justice, and protection which I am en- 
titled to by the laws of the State, although I am a negro. 


These missives are followed by the Doctor, with a denial 
of Adam's averment; and this by a rejoinder in Adam's 
name, which in turn is answered by Cowell, who alleges 
that the negro is acting under the instigation of two very 
respectable citizens, whom he names. 

The New-Jersey Gazette of the week announces Dr. 
Cowbell's death as having taken place early in the morning 
of December 18, 1783, and his burial on the following day, 
in the Presbyterian church-yard, attended by the " Trus- 
tees, tutors, and students of the Academy in procession, 
and a very large concourse of respectable inhabitants." 
An address was made at the grave by the Rev. Dr. Spen- 
cer. After mentioning the legacy to the Government, the 
Gazette adds : " The above is the first legacy we recollect 
to have been given to the United States, and is respect- 


294 Cowells. 

able for a person of moderate fortune." In the same 
paper Dr. John Cowell advertises that he has been pre- 
vailed upon by the friends of his deceased brother to 
establish himself in Trenton as a physician. But he had a 
short time, as his gravestone marks^ his death " January 
30, 1789, in the thirtieth year of his age." 

The Rey. James Feakcis Ar:\istrong — Pre- 
vious History a^d Settlemei^t. 


Dr. Spexcer's successor in tlie Trenton 
cliurclies was the Rev. James Feais^cis Aem- 
STEOxa, and the liistory of liis pastorate will be 
introduced by a sketch of his previous life. 

Mr. Armstrong was born in West-Notting- 
ham, Maryland, April 3, 1Y50. His father, 
Francis Armstroner, was an elder of the church 
in that place. Part of his education was receiv- 
ed at Pequea, but his chief training was at the 
celebrated school founded by the Rev. Samuel 
Blair, at Fagg's Manor, or New-Londonderry, 
Chester county, Pennsylvania, where President 
Davies, Dr. Rodgers, and Dr. Finley had preced- 
ed him as pupils. When Mr. Armstrong w^as in 
the school it was under the Rev. John Blaii^, a 
younger brother of its founder, afterwards chosen 

296 At College. 

as Vice-President and Professor of Theology in 
Princeton College. 

In tlie autumn of 1Y71, Armstrong entered 
tlie junior class at Princeton, and had the ad- 
vantage of residing in the family of President 
Witherspoon. Several of his classmates are 
now known from the public stations they were 
called to fill; such as Governor Henry Lee of 
Virginia, Governor Morgan Lewis of New- York, 
Governor Aaron Ogden of Kew- Jersey, President 
Dunlapof Jefferson College, President Macknight 
of Dickinson, President John Blair Smith of 
Hampden Sidney and Union, and President Wil- 
liam Graham of Liberty Hall, (Washington Col- 
lege,) Virginia. Aaron Burr, the unworthy son of 
the Princeton President, was one of his contempo- 
raries in College. Of the twenty-nine graduates of 
Mr. Armstrong's class, all but three became clergy- 
men. He himself had the ministry in view when 
he entered college, and accordingly, upon his grad- 
uation in the autumn of 1773, he commenced a 
theological course under Dr. Witherspoon. On 
the sixth June, 1776, he was recognized by the 
Presbytery of ISTew-Brunswick as a candidate for 
the ministry. It was not easy at that period of 
American history for Presbyteries to assemble in 

A Candidate. 297 

full number, and the only members present at 
tills meeting:, wbicli was held in Princeton, were 
President Witberspoon, Eev. William Tennent, 
Rev. Elibu Spencer, and Mr. Baldwin, an elder 
of tbe Princeton Cbnrcb. The subject assigned 
for Mr. Armstrong's exegesis was, " De veritate 
Christiance religionist"' and 1 Timotby 1:15 tbe 
text for a sermon. On tbe first of tbe following 
August, at Amwell, tbose exercises were beard 
and sustained. His trials were continued at 
Baskingridge in October, wben be passed tbe ex- 
amination on scbolarsbip and tbeology, and was 
directed to prepare a sermon on Eomans 12 : 2, 
to be delivered at tbe next meeting, wbicb was 
appointed to be beld in Shrewsbury, in Decem- 
ber." But great events happened between tbe 

* A candidate who had been examined wilh Mr. ArmstroDg, up to 
this point, was not so successful ; and for the sake of illustrating the 
proper care of a Presbytery in the matter of licensure, and the manner 
in which it is performed, I copy the minute in this case : 

"The Presbytery then proceeded to consider Mr. W.'a examination 
and sermon ; and after the most mature deliberation are unanimously of 
opinion that they can not sustain either his examination or his sermon as 
parts of trial, inasmuch as in his examination, although he manifested a 
competent skill in the languages, yet he appeared almost wholly unac- 
quainted with several of the most important of the liberal arts and scien- 
ces, and also greatly deficient in his knowledge of divinity ; and although 
his sermon contained some jast and pious sentiments, yet there appeared 
in it such confusion in the arrangement of the thoughts, such obscurity in 

298 The War. 

June and the December of 17 76. Accorclins: to 
the minutes, the " appointment could not be ful- 
filled, as the enemy were on their march through 
this State." Another minute of the same session 
(April 23, 1777) postpones the prosecution of a 
plan for the education of poor and pious youth, 
on account of '' the great difficulties of the times, 
arising from the ravages of the British army 
within our bounds." In consequence of this con- 
fusion, the regularity of Mr. Armstrong's pro- 
gress as a candidate was interrupted, and acting 
upon the best advice, he was transferred to an- 

expressioD, and inaccuracy in many of the sentiments, that they can not 
consider it as an evidence of his capacity to be useful as a public teacher 
in the Church of Christ. 

"Therefore the Presbytery agreed to recommend to Mr. W., if he 
choose to prosecute his trials further with a view to the Gospel ministry, 
that he apply himself diligently to the study of logic, natural and moral 
philosophy, and divinity, for one year from this time, as in these branches 
he appeared to be most deficient; also that he study composition with 
care, and labor to acquire a more clear and perspicuous method of com- 
municating his ideas. And as they entertain a favorable opinion of 
Mr. W., for his modest, decent, and humble deportment, will always be 
ready to give him all due encouragement, provided he make such im- 
provement in the above articles as shall remove the difficulties that now 
lie in the way of their admitting him into the ministry." 

The candidate probably withdrew from this Presbytery ; but he must 
have found some way to licensure, as in 1784 the Presbytery of New- 
castle began to call him to account for neglecting to preach, and in 1785 
dropped him as their probationer, on evidence that he had devoted him- 
self to a secular life. 

A Probationer. 299 

other Presbytery, in tlie manner stated as fol- 
lows : 

" The Presbytery [of Kew-Brunswick] is informed by 
one of the members present, that in November last, about 
the time that the British army made an irruption into 
New-Jersey, Dr. Witherspoou gave Mr. Armstrong a let- 
ter of introduction to the Presbytery of Newcastle, in- 
forming them of the progress he had made in his trials, 
and of the difficulties in the way of the Presbytery's meet- 
ing to receive his popular sermon in December last, ac- 
cording to appointment ; in consequence of which letter 
the Presbytery of Newcastle admitted him to finish his 
trials before them, and licensed him to preach as a candi- 
date for the Gospel ministry." 

He received his license as a probationer in 
January, 17 77. 

Even before that date (which was the month 
of the battle of Princeton) the war h ad apjDroach- 
ed so near the region of his residence, that Mr. 
Armstrong thought it to be his duty to unite 
with its armed defenders, and took a musket in 
a company of volunteers commanded by Peter 
Gordon, Esq., afterwards an elder with him in 
the session of the Trenton Church. This was, jDro- 
bably, only for an emergency ; but he felt that 
his patriotic ardor could be indulged in a better 
consistency with his duties as a Christian minis- 

goo Ordination. 

ter, by serving as a cliaplain in tlie American 
army. With that view the Newcastle Presby- 
tery admitted him to ordination in Januar}^, 
1778. When this was reported to the Synod in 
May, the higher court hesitated about approving 
an ordination which appeared to be sine titulo^ 
that is, before his being called to some parti- 
cular charge. The misapprehension arose from 
the absence of the official records ; upon the pro- 
duction of which, in May, 1779, (when Mr. Arm- 
strong took his seat,) the Synod made this min- 
ute : 

" By the report now made by the Newcastle Presby- 
tery, it appears that there was a mistake m the report of 
last year respecting Mr. Armstrong's ordination ; that he 
was not ordained sine tltulo, but in consequence of his 
having accepted a chaplaincy in the army."* 

* "Sine titulo," "ia retentis," "pro re cata," "sederunt," " non 
liquet," "nemine contradicente," "ad futuram rei memoriam," "inter- 
loquitur," "pro tanto," "in defenso," "in hoec verba," " de novo," 
and other Latin substitutes for plain English, (sometimes even " Janitor" 
for Sexton,) are freely used in the ecclesiastical records of the last cen- 
tury. The old Presbyteries and Synods used to date their sessions in 
Latin : " Die Jovis,^^ " Die Saturni,'^ " Fast Ilerid. Stssione 5ta. Precib'os 
peraciis.^^ They habitually employed the learned tongue to say that 
after prayer the members named took their seats. Some of the Xew- 
Brunswick clerks ventured on writing "present after prayer," and 
"present as before," but in April, 1198, this innovation was checked by 
the fcUowing direction : " Resolved, that tlie Presbytery in future, for 

Chaplaincy. 301 

The Newcastle records, as furnish ed nie by 
their obliging clerk, the Eev. Mr. Duhois, are as 
follows : 

" December 2, lYv 7, Mr. James Armstrong, a probation- 
er of this Presbytery, being chosen chaplain for General 
Sullivan's brigade or division, applied for ordination to 
the work of the Gospel ministry, having produced a certi- 
ficate of his moral conduct frq^n General Sullivan. The 
Presbytery, after examining Mr. Armstrong at some 
length upon experimental and systematic divinity, were 
satisfied with his answers, and having had a good report 
of his labors, appointed Mr. Armstrong to deliver a 
discourse at our next meeting, with a view to his ordi- 

The ordination took place at Pequea, the 
place of his early education, January 14, l'r'78, 
and the official record of it gives these particu- 
lars : 

the sake of greater uniformity, make use of the old technical terms ubi 
-post preces sederunt, in recording the first session of their meetings, and 
at any subsequent session, post preces sederunt qui supray It was, 
however, considered lawful to give only the initials of the formula, and 
many a clerk spent more time and room in an elaborate execution of the 
capitals U. P. P. S. and U. P. P. S. Q. S., than would have answered for 
the words in fall. The act of the Presbytery was, perhaps, a testi- 
mony against the course adopted by the Synod of 1795, when it " Resolv- 
ed, that the Synod will discontinue the use of Latin terms in their records 
to express the opening of their session, and their attendance on prayer, 
and that the same in future be expressed in English." 




" Mr. Armstrong Imviiig accepted the Westminster 
Confession of Faith and Catechisms, as received in onr 
Church, as th.e confession of his faith, and the Directory 
for Discipline, Worship, and Government as the plan for 
substance constituted by Christ ; and given satisfactory 
answers respecting his views in entering upon the Gospel 
ministry, and to other questions, the Presbytery conclude 
that we have clearness to set him apart to the work of the 
ministry. And, accordingly, after a sermon preached, 
suitable to the occasion, by the Rev. Mr. Robert Smith, 
he was solemnly set apart to the Gospel ministry, with 
fasting, prayer, and imposition of hands. The charge was 
given by the Rev. Mr. Foster, and Mr. Armstrong now 
becomes a member of Presbytery, and having received 
the right-hand of fellowship, takes his seat." 

In consequence of the unsettled life into whicli 
he was thrown by the duties of the chaplaincy, 
and by other incidents of the state of the coun- 
try, it was not in Mr. Armstrong's power to 
maintain the punctual corresjiondence with his 
Presbytery, recjuired of all its members. In 
1Y84 official inquiry was made of him on this 
account, and his reasons were received as satis- 
factory. He retained his connection with the 
ISTewcastle Presbytery until his dismission to that 
of Kew-Prunswick, April 26, 1786. 

The minute of his appointment appears in the 
Journal of Congress, of July 17, 1778 : 

On a Campaign. 303 

" 111 consequence of a recommendation, resolved, that 
the Rev. James Francis Armstrong be appointed chaplain 
of the Second Brigade of Maryland forces." 

Before receiving: Lis commission lie bad accom- 
paniecl the troops on tlie Southern campaign, 
and probably remained in the service until the 
decisive victory of Yorktown, October, 1781. 
During this period Mr. Armstrong communicat- 
ed to the New- Jersey delegates in Congress his 
observations of current events, and from a few 
of those addressed to the Hon. Wm. Churchill 
Houston, I introduce ?ome passages, showing at 
once a glowing and intelligent interest in the 
cause of his country, and a strong abhorrence of 
the evils of the raost justifiable war. 

" WllcocJc's Iron WorJcs^ Deep Miver^ ITortli- Carolina^ 
July 8, 1*780. We have marched five hmidred miles from 
Philadelphia, ignorant as the Hottentot of the situation or 
numbers of the enemy. Though it was long known that 
we were marching to the assistance of the South, not the 
least provision was made to hasten or encourage our 
march. Wagons to transport the baggage, and provi- 
sions to subsist the troops, have both been w^anting. We 
have for some time depended upon the precarious and 
cruel practice of impressing horses from post to post. 
We have also been driven to the disao-reeable alternative 
of permitting the men to murmur and languish for the 

304 Letters during 

want of meat, or seizing cattle on the march; not know- 
ing whose property they were imless the owners came to 
camp to comjilain of the injury. Horrid war ! Heaven's 
greatest curse to mankind ! We are told things will grow 
better, the further we proceed south ; but the hope must 
be precariously founded which depends upon the com- 
plaisance of Gen. Lord Cornwallis. I would not write 
such plain truths, did you not know that I am not given 
to despondency ; and I have the same providence to call 
forth my hopes, which exerted itself so miraculously when 
Howe was in IsTew-Jersey." 

'''' River Peedee^ Masque's Ferry ^ August 3, 1780. "What 
the troops, officers, as well as privates have suifered is be- 
yond description. The corporal of Gen. Gift's guard has 
returned for the second time to-day from the commissary's 
w^ithout being able to draw any provisions, and declares 
to me that for seven days they have only drawn two 
days' beef, but not a particle of meal or flour. The eye of 
the most rigid justice must wink at plunder in such cir- 
cumstances ; and such is the scarcity which reigns upon 
the Peedee, that provisions can not be obtained even by 
unjustifiable methods. Ai^ples have been the only sup- 
j)ort of the troops for several days at a time. Indeed I 
thought it impossible for human nature to have subsisted 
so long as I have known it to do upon green fruit. For- 
tunately green corn has succeeded apples, but, without 
some less precarious and more substantial supplies, the 
effect must be dreadful. The hopes of final success never 
forsake me for a moment, but every thing discouraging 
dwells around our little army. We have not much, I be- 
lieve, to fear from the enemy, but troops must be more or 
less than men who can long endure what we now suffer." 

the Campaign. 305 

He wrote as follows of the panic then prevail- 
ing in tlie Southern States, and the injury done 
to the American cause by the conduct of the 

militia : 

" The march of Howe througli Jersey spread not half 
the terror which has been inspired by our defeats at the 
South. Those who escaped spread universal terror. All 
was conquered, ruined, undone ! Even the dominion of 
Virginia must fail ! And, by the by, had Clinton entered 
it with his army, they must have made a temporary sub- 
mission, at least until our array could have marched to 
their assistance. "We scarcely meet a man who has not 
taken the oath of allegiance to his majesty of Britain, or 
given his parole that he would be neuter, and give him- 
self up a prisoner when called upon. The common peo- 
ple of the Carolinas are not to blame. Looking upon 
every thing as lost, what could they do ? The appearance 
of an army with lenity would, in a short time, have called 
all such to the American standard, vrere they not pre- 
vented by the militia, vv'ho take them prisoners, use them 
unmercifully, plunder and destroy their effects, and leave 
their helpless women and children in the utmost distress ; 
so that many of them have left their families and carried 
off their negroes and cattle, some to the enemy and 
some to escape the route of our army. We have passed 
whole neighborhoods deserted by the inhabitants, and the 
few who remain trembling alive from the horrid accounts 
w^hich have been spread of our army as a number of ban- 
ditti, plundering all before them, and hanging forty or 


306 Letters during 

fifty at a tiroe of those wlio Lad taken the oath to the 
King : though false, very laughable." 

A letter dated at Hillsborough, tlie head- 
quarters '^of the army, October 16, 1Y80, is re- 
sumed after a few lines, on the thirty-first of the 
same month. The explanation of the interval 
fixes the beginning of the disorder which afflict- 
ed Mr. Armstrong during the remainder of his 

" The blank between the dates has been filled up with 
the most violent pains through my bones. To what spe- 
cies they belong, I can find no one wise enough to inform 
me. They have at times been so violent, that insensibil- 
ity by the use of opium has been my only resource for 
rest. They seem to be pretty well removed, but an at- 
tempt to ride on horseback has once or twice brought 
them back again, which makes me unwilling to renew the 
experiment until their light flying parties comj^letely take 
themselves off." 

"1 am highly delighted," he remarks to his 
correspondent, " with your sentiments on uni- 
versal liberty. They have long been mine. I 
was instructed in them before I could reason." 

The last letter of the campaign which is ex- 
tant, is dated at Charlotte, December 8, 1780, 
when Gen. Greene had just taken the chief com- 
mand. In it he says : 

the Campaign. 307 

" There is not a single department of our army which 
has, for some time past, maintained the least regularity, 
unless we are permitted to call it regular confusion. 
Think then what must be the situation of our present 
Commander in Chief, with few regulars, and those in such 
circumstances as often to stagger my faith whether deser- 
tion be a crime, especially in a person of no more refined 
sentiments than a soldier of the common level, and with 
militia whose conduct has been one cause of our common 
disasters. The Y\'ant of provision, which lays the founda- 
tion for the distressing necessity of permitting the troops 
often to cater for themselves, has prostrated every idea of 
discipline, and given the reins to the most licentious conduct. 
An unremitting supply of food alone can restrain, and in 
time correct our dangerous manners. Gen. Greene has 
already taken measures which promise every thing. The 
heads of the Roanoke, Dan, Catawba, and the Rocky 
river, which have hitherto been considered as useless in 
the creation, are to transport our provisions from Vir- 

" I have made an observation since I came South which 
I did not advert to before. The inhabitants of a State 
necessary for its defense in time of war, or even on a sud- 
den invasion, must treble or quadruple the number im- 
mediately necessary for the field. Without establishing 
this proportion, when those necessary to cultivate the 
land, the timorous, the disaflected, and delinquents of all 
orders, whom it is out of the power of government to 
bring to the field, are laid aside, no coimtry can defend 
itself This appears to me to be the condition of Virginia 
and North-Carolina, unless the blacks are called in to their 


Wm. C. Houston. 

assistance. I really pity the gentlemen of Virginia, of en- 
larged and liberal minds. They are as good theoretic 
politicians as any on the continent ; but when they meet 
in Assembly and make the best laws in the world for the 
defense of a State, there are not white subjects sufficient 
in the State for the laws to operate upon."* 

We find Mr. Armstrons: returned to Xew- 
Jersey in 1782, as in the June of tliat year he 

* "^"iLLiAM CnuRCHn-L HOUSTON, Mr. Armstrong's correspondent, and 
afterwards a parishioner in Trenton, was a native of South-Carolina. 
After the age of twenty-one he entered Princeton College as a Freshman : 
while himself a student he assisted in teaching the Grammar-School. 
He graduated 1768. In 11Q9, being then Master of the School, he was 
elected Senior Tutor of College, and in 1171, Professor of Mathematics 
and Natural Philosophy. He resigned the chair 1783, at which time 
he was also Treasurer of the Trustees. Two years before his resignation 
he had been, after the requisite course of study, admitted to the bar. He 
removed to Trenton, and had a large practice, notwithstanding his rigid 
adherence to the determination that he would never undertake a cause 
which he did not believe to be just. Mr. Houston held several public 
ofiBces, such as Receiver of Continental taxes, (1782-5,) and Clerk of the 
Supreme Court, (1781-8.) He was five times (first in 17*79) elected to 
the Congresses of the Confederation. He was one of the three delegates 
of New-Jersey to the body of Commissioners which met at Annapolis, 
(1786,) which resulted in suggesting the Convention which formed iLe 
Constitution. He was appointed a member of that Convention, but de- 
clining health seems to have prevented his attendance. In 1788 he left 
Trenton to try the benefit of his native climate, but before he reached 
Philadelphia illness compelled him to stop, and he died at an inn in the 
village of Frank ford. His body was taken for burial to the ground of 
the Second Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. For most of these 
particulars I am indebted to a notice commuaicated by my friend, Wil- 
liam C. Alexander, Esq., to the Neiv-YorJc Observe?' of March 18, 1858. 

Call to Trenton. 309 

began to supply the cliurcli of Elizabethtown, 
made vacant by the assassination of the Kev. 
James Caldwell. In the month of August he 
was married, by Dr. Witherspoon, to Susannah 
Livingston, a daughter of Robert James Living- 
ston, whose widow, Mrs. Armstrong's mother, 
was residing at Princeton for the education of her 
sons, three of whom, William Smith, Peter K., 
and Maturiu, graduated at that College. Mr. 
Armstrouo:'s service at Elizabethtown was ter- 
minated in 1783, by an illness which recjuired. 
him to suspend his labors. 

LTpon Dr. Spencer's death in Trenton, in De- 
cember 1Y84, Mr. Armstrong preached his fune- 
ral sermon, and afterwards frequently supplied 
the vacant pulpit. At a meeting of the Trustees^ 
October 17, 1785, they " agreed to present a call 
to the Presbytery at Pennington, to-morrow for 
the Rev. Mr. Armstrong to settle in this congre- 
gation, and appointed Mr. Benjamin Smith [one 
of the elders] to present the call to the Presby- 
tery." It is probable that there had been a pre- 
vious election by the congregation, at which the 
Trustees were empowered to take the regular 
steps for effecting the call. The minutes of the 
meetins: at Pennino^toa were never recorded. 

310 Transferred to 

When tlie Presbytery met in Trenton,"^ April 
25, 1786, Mr. Armstrong being present as a cor- 
responding member, it is recordedt : 

" On the call offered to the Rev. Mr. Armstrong at tlie 
last meeting of Presbytery, Mr. A. informed the Presby- 
tery that several steps have been taken towards obtain- 
ing his dismission from the Presbytery of Newcastle, and 
preparing the way for his settlement in the congregation 
of Trenton ; and that he hoped soon to give his final 

On the day he made this statement the New- 
castle Presbytery complied with his request, and 
on the seventeenth October, his name appears 
among the members of the New-Brunswick Pres- 
bytery, without any preceding ] ecord of his form- 
al reception. The question of the call being up : 

" Mr. Armstrong being not yet prepared to accept this 
call from the congregation of Trenton, requested longer 
time to consider the matter, which was granted." 

The iniDediment seems to have been indefinite- 
ness as to the salary. Mr. Armstrong was, how- 

* For several years the Presbytery met at Xew-B runs wick, Prince- 
ton, and Trenton in rotation. The efforts to repeal the rule were not 
successful until April, 1801. 

New Brunswick Presbytery. 311 

ever, considered so far committed to the congre- 
gation that as early as February 14, 1786, bis 
name appears in tbeir minutes as present as " tbe 
minister," wbo, according to tbe cbarter, was unit- 
ed witb " tbe eMers and deacons" in tbe election 
of Trustees.'''* It was not until April 26,l78Y,tbat, 

" The congregation of Trenton having informed Pres- 
bytery of the sum annexed to their call, presented to Mr. 
Armstrong some time ago, and having given written obli- 
gation for his support, Mr. Armstrong accepted of their 


Tbere is no record of tbe installation. 

From tbe earliest date of bis residence bere, 
tbe cburcb was open for tbe commemoration of 
tbe national anniversary, and otber acknowledg- 
ments of tbe divine providence in public affairs. 
In tbe Gazette of July, 1786, it is publisbed tbat 
on tbe fourtb instant tbe inbabitants at eleven 
o'clock attended tbe Presbyterian Cburcb, wbere 
tbey beard " an animated address by tbe Rev. 
Mr. Armstrong ; after wbicb tbey met at tbe 

* The business meetings were not always held in sacred place?. This 
one was " at the house of Francis Witt, in Trenton." At the next stat- 
ed meeting of the Trustees, " the weather being severe, they adjourned 
to the house of Francis Witt, inn-keeper." At other times the place 
was " the house of Henry Drake, inn-keeper." 

312 Salary. 

house of Mr. Drake, partook of a cold collation, 
and retired to their several employments." 

In August, 1786, a subscription of one hun- 
dred pounds was directed to be undertaken for the 
repairing of the parsonage for the new pastor.* 
Two thirds of the sum were assessed on the town 
church, and the other third on the country church, 
and in this proportion the two divisions of the 
congregation were to receive tlie Sabbath servi- 
ces of their minister. The salary was two hun- 
dlred pounds, payable in the same ratio. In April, 
I'-YS'T, "the old house congregation" informed 
tL-e Board of Trustees that they could not raise 
their ij^rd of the salary for only a third of the 
pastor's tiiii^^e ; whereupon the town congregation 
offered to p^^ay one hundred and fifty pounds sal- 
j'y, and hav e the exclusive services of the minis- 
ter. In the- following October a motion was 
made in t^^e Board, 

'V'By Mr. William Burrouglis, Mr. Jolin Howell, and 
]^.»Ir. Ebenezer Rose, for a separation ; and that we join 
with the country part to give up the present charter, and 
endeavor to get each a separate charter, and divide the 
property belonging to the present congregation ; which 
was postponed for further consideration." 

* The actual cost exceeded the estimate by seventy-five pounds. 

New Charter. 313 

When the Board met, March 12, 1788, 

" The gentlemen of the country j^art of the congrega- 
tion agree to give their answer on Wednesday next, the 
nineteenth instant, what they can and will do with the 
town part." 

On that day, it being reported to tlie Board 
that " fifty pounds can not be raised in the coun- 
try part of tlie congregation belonging to the 
Old House," a new modification was su2:o*ested, 
namely, that " the congregation of Trenton" 
should pay the pastor one hundred dollars year- 
ly for one half of his time, and consent '' that he 
may dispose of the other half between Maiden- 
head and the Old House, as he and they may 

By an Act of March 16, 1786, the Legislature 
of New-Jersey changed the law of corporations 
(which had hitherto required a special applica- 
tion for each new charter) so that any Christian 
society, numbering at least thirty families, upon 
the election of trustees, and their qualification by 
oath, and the filing of a certificate to that effect 
with the County Clerk, should, by that process, be 
admitted to be fully incorporated. The town part 


3i4 Seal. 

of the Trenton con^Te^ation soon took aclvantao^e 
of this provision to obtain a charter to supersede 
that of George II. ; and for which they had inef- 
fectually applied to the Legislature of 1Y81, 
through Dr. Spencer. The congregation met 
May 4, 1Y88 ; " haviug previously agreed to ad- 
mit and receive the inhabitants of Lamberton, 
and those between that and Trenton, who may 
at any time join said congregation, as entitled to 
all the rights and privileges of their Act of In- 
corporation ;" and elected as their Trustees, 
Alexander Chambers, Samuel Tucker, Abraham 
Hunt, Moore Furman, Isaac Smith, Bernard 
Hanlon, and Hugh Eunyon. The corporate 
title assumed was, " The Trustees of the Presby- 
terian Church of Trenton." The device adopted 
for the seal (1790) was an open Bible with a 
burning lamp suspended over it, and the motto, 
" Light to my path." Around the edge is, 
" Presbyterian Church of Trenton." 

In September, 1788, "the Board of Trustees 
from the countrv," met with the town Board, 
for the purpose of an equitable division of the 
bonds and other securities of the old corporation ; 
and in April, 1790, the town church bought the 

Parsonage. 815 

third of the parsonage of their late co-partners? 
for one hundred pounds/''' 

On the twenty-third April, 1790, the congre- 
gation were called together in reference to a 
proposal from the Maidenhead church ; the re- 
sult of which is seen in the proceedings of the 
Presbytery of the twenty-eighth April : 

" A call from the congregation of Maidenhead, in due 
form, signed by their Trustees, stipulating the payment of 
one hundred pounds in gold or silver, in half-yearly pay- 
ments, for half of the ministerial labors of the Rev James 
F. Armstrong, accompanied with a certificate from the 
congregation of Trenton, of their willingness that he 
should accept of it, was laid before Presbytery, and the 
Presbytery having presented the said call to Mr. Arm- 
strong, he declared his acceptance thereof." 

This arrauo^ement continued until 1806 ; the 
pastor residing in Trenton and giving his attend^ 
ance on the Lord's day alternately at the two 

* The parsonage deeds may be found in Book AT. 103, 106. The 
Trustees of "the First Presbyterian Church of Trenton," which was the 
title taken by the country church upon the separation, w^ere Daniel 
Scudder, John Howell, Ebenezer Rose, Timothy Howell, William Green, 
James Burroughs, and Benjamin Johnston. Mr. Kirkpatrick was 
probably the first occupant of the parsonage. In l'768-'70, " Mrs. S^rah 
Trent" was credited for the rent. The Rev. Dr. How (1816-21) was the 
last of the pastors who resided in it before it was sold. 

3l6 Erfkines. 

churclies. In assenting to the plan, the Trenont 
people stipulated for " the privilege of present- 
ing a call at some future time to Mr. Armstrong 
for the whole of his labor, if Providence should 
continue him in this part of his vineyard." 


In August, 1785, the Trenton Gazette announced the 
death of '' Ebexezer Eeskine, nephew to the late Robert 
Erskme." He died " at the seat of Robert Lettis Hooper, 
near Trenton, and was hiterred in the Presbyterian 
ground." In his will, made in his last illness, he describes 
himself as " late of the city of Glasgow, in Scotland." 
" Being weak in his hand, he had not strength to write 
his Christian name," but after a legacy to a poor boy at 
the Iron Works in Newfoundland, Morris county, he be- 
queathed his property to his sister, ^N'ancy Erskine, of 
Edinburgh. Mr. Hooper and Samuel W. Stockton were 
his executors. 

The will of the uncle, Robert Erskine, is somewhat of 
an autobiography. It was made in iSTew-York, Ring- 
wood, and Philadelphia in 1776-9, and proved at Glou- 
cester, iS". J., November 21, 1780. It begins: "I, Rob- 
ert Erskine, son of the Rev. Ralph Erskine, author of the 
Gospel Sonnets, etc., by the providence of God at present 
in America for the purpose of directing, conducting, and 
taking charge of several Iron Works, and other lands and 
property belonging to gentlemen in England, who style 

Erlkines. 317 

themselves the Proprietors of the New-York and New- 
Jersey Iron Works." It further transpires through his 
w^ill, that the testator, having sunk his patrimony in his 
London trade, became a surveyor and engineer, and was 
the author of several inventions, especially of a centrifugal 
engine, of the success of which he was so sanguine as to 
leave detailed directions how his widow" should share the 
profits with his old creditors. Mr. Hooper was connected 
with these Iron Works. Advertisements in 1782-3, 
signed by him, in behalf of " the American lihigwood 
Company," in Bergen county, refer to Ebenezer Erskine 
as on the premises at Ringwood, and to Robert Erskine 
as " the late agent for said Company." 

In the Trenton Gazette of October 18, 1780, is this 
notice : " Died the second instant, at his house at 
Ringwood, Robert Erskine, F.R.S., and Geographer to 
the Army of the IJnited States, in the forty-sixth year of 
his age." Some of the military maps in Mr. Irving's Life 
of Washington give credit for their origin to Mr. Erskine's 
manuscripts, which are now in the possession of the New- 
York Historical Society. 

The memoir prefixed to the two great folios of the 
Glasgow edition (1764) of the Rev. Ralph Erskine's 
Works, opens thus : " The Rev. Mr. Henry Erskine, the 
author's father, was amongst the younger of the thirty - 
three children of Ralph Erskine, of Shielfield." The cele- 
brated sonnetteer had three sons in the ministry : " his 
only son now in life is Robert, a merchant in London," 
wdio died in New-Jersey, as stated above. Lord Camp- 
bell, (himself a son of the celebrated Presbyterian divine, 
Dr. George Campbell, of Aberdeen.) in his Life of Lord 

3i8 Erfkines. 

Chancellor Erskine, says : " The Earl's [Buchan, the 
Chancellor's father] great -grandfather had suffered in the 
Covenanting cause in the preceding century ; and those 
pious men, Ralph and Ebenezer Erskine, who had recently 
seceded from the establishment, and whose sentiments 
have been adopted and acted upon by the Free Church of 
Scotland, were his ' far-away cousins.' " {Lives of the 
Lord Chancellors^ chap, clxxvi.) 

The General Assembly — New Constitution of 

THE Church — !N"otes. 

1T85— 1790. 

Mr. Armstrong was active, both in Synod and 
Presbytery, in the measures which resulted in 
the formation of the General Assembly. 

In the year 1785 the Synod of New- York and 
Philadelphia was the Supreme Judicatory or 
Court of our whole Church in the United States. 
It comprised fourteen Presbyteries ; namely, 
Suffolk, Dutchess, New-York, New-Brunswick, 
First Philadelphia, Second Philadelphia, New- 
castle, Donegal, Lewes or Leweston, Hanover, 
Abington, Orange, Redstone, and South-Caro- 
lina. Every minister and one ruling elder from 
each session were then, as now, entitled to seats 
in the Synod ; but the list shows how distant 
were the extremes of its bounds, and the roll of 
that year's session in the central city of Phila- 
delphia, shows how this distance prevented a full 

320 The General 

representation ; for on the first day there were 
thirty ministers present and sixty-eight absent, 
not counting six entire Presbyteries Vv^ithoiit a 
single commissioner. There were only six elders ; 
and during the session no more ^han twelve of 
both orders dropped in. The overture was there- 
fore timely which was then presented, proposing 
a division of the existing Synod into several, and 
the formation of a new delegated body, as a 
General Synod, Council, or Assembly, out of the 
whole. The subject being deferred until the 
session of IY86, a resolution was in that year 
j)assed in favor of the overture, and a committee 
appointed to report a plan of division. Their 
report recommended a new arrangement of the 
bounds of the Presbyteries and the formation of 
four Synods, to be subordinate to a General As- 
sembly. The proposed alterations in the Pres- 
byteries were adopted, and the remaining sug- 
gestions postponed for another year. At the 
same session a committee was raised to digest a 
system of government and discipline, which was 
to be printed and distributed among the Presby- 
teries for their opinion. This pamphlet was in- 
troduced into the New-Brunswick Presbytery 
April 25, 1 787, when it was referred for examina- 

Afsembly. 321 

tion to Dr. Witberspoon and Mr. Armstrong, 
together with James Ewing, Esq., an elder of the 
Trenton Church, and Mr. Longs treet, an elder of 
the Princeton Church, to report in the next 
month ; but the elders not attending the com- 
mittee, the clerical members did not offer any 
report. On the seventeenth May, 1787, the com- 
mittee of Synod reported the draught of the 
government and discipline, and it was daily dis- 
cussed by paragraphs until the twenty-eighth, 
when a thousand copies of the work, as amend- 
ed, were ordered to be distributed before final 
action. The same committee were directed to 
revise the Westminster ''Directory for Public 
"Worship," and add it to the printed volume to 
be submitted to the judgment of the churches. 

The last meeting held by the Synod of New- 
York and Philadelphia was opened in Philadel- 
phia, May 21, 1788. Mr. Armstrong was Clerk, 
and was one of a committee to select and pub- 
lish the most important proceedings of the two 
closing sessions of the Synod, with certain statis- 
tics of the churches. On the twenty-third the 
draught of the new system came up for consider- 
ation, and on the twenty-sixth it was completed. 
On the twenty-eighth it was ratified and adopt- 

322 Standards. 

ed as " the Constitution of the Presbyterian 
Chiircli in Am erica." A correct coj)y was order- 
ed to be printed, together with the " Westmins- 
ter Confession of Faith, as making a part of the 

The Synod proceeded to consider the draught 
of the " Directory for the Worship of God," con- 
tained, like the basis of the parts ah-eady adopt- 
ed, in the standard books of the Church of Scot- 
land, and after revision this was adopted. The 
Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms 
were then sanctioned as they stood, excepting a 
slight amendment of the former on a point re- 
ferring to civil government, and were ordered to 
be inserted in the same volume with the confes- 
sion, form of government, and discipline — the 
whole to be considered " as the standard of our 
doctrine, government, discipline, and worship." 

Dr. Duffield, Mr. Armstrong, and Mr. Ashbel 
Green^ were made the committee to superintend 
the publication of the whole work. Mr. Arm- 

* This name has become so venerable and familiar that it strikes one 
with surprise to find that in the sermon preached by Provost Ewiag at 
his ordination and installment, (May 15, 1787,) it is given both on the 
title page and in the resolution of the corporation of the Second Church 
calling for its publication, as Ashhald Green. 

New Synod. 323 

strong was also associated at this time with Dr. 
Witberspoon, Dr. S. S. Smith, and others on a 
delegation to the convention, with corresponding 
delegates from the Synods of the Associate Ee- 
formed and the Reformed Dutch Churches, which 
had been already holding several conferences with 
a view to some systematic intercourse of those 
three Presbyterian bodies. 

On the twenty-ninth day of May the Synod 
was dissolved. It had then one hundred and 
seventy-seven ministers, eleven jDrobationers, and 
four hundred and nineteen congregations. Fif- 
teen ministers and twenty-six congregations were 
in the Presbytery of New-Brunswick. 

By the new arrangement the Presbyteries of 
Dutchess, Suffolk, New- York, and New-Bruns- 
wick constituted the " Synod of New- York and 
New-Jersey." It held its first meeting in New- 
York, October 29, 1788, when Mr. Armstrong 
was one of the clerks. The Synod taking "into 
consideration the distressed state of the peo|)le 
of the Presbyterian denomination on the fron- 
tiers," resolved to send missionaries among them 
the next summer, and appointed Dr. Macwhorter 
and Mr. Armstrong to spend three months in 
this service. For satisfactory reasons the first 

324 Firfl General 

appointment was not carried into effect, but for 
several sessions an annual delegation of mission- 
aries was made. In 1794 the Synod resolved to 
establisli " a standino^ and continued mission on 
the frontiers of New- York,'' and Mr. Armstrong, 
who was the Moderator of that year, was by the 
house placed upon a committee to initiate it.* 

The three other Synods into which the parent 
body was divided were named Philadelphia, Vir- 
ginia, and the Carollnas. " The General Assem- 
bly of the Presbyterian Church in the United 
States of America," which was the style given 
to the chief judicatory, was required to be com- 
posed of delegates from each Presbytery, in pro- 
portion to their numbers. The first Assembly 
met in the Second Church (Arch Street) of 
Philadelphia, on " the third Thursday of May," 
(twenty-first,) 1789. 

* The region of Xew-Tork around the Cayuga and Seneca lakes was 
named, sixty years since, "the north-western frontiers" of our Church. 
In 1798 Mr. George Scott, of the Presbytery of New-Brunswick, was 
sent to that region to " itinerate for at least five months as a missioner." 
The minutes of 1805 contain an interesting historical document in a 
" general report concerning those districts within the jurisdiction of the 
Synod of New- York and New-Jersey, which most particularly require 
the labors of missionaries and the distribution of pious tracts among the 

Afsembly. 325 

Tlie first ratio of representation in the Gene- 
ral Assembly was one minister and one elder, 
where a Presbytery consisted of not more than 
six ministers ; double the number where it con- 
sisted of more than six, but not more than 
twelve, and so on. New-Brunswick, consisting 
of fifteen ministers, was entitled to three com- 
missioners of each order, and their first repre- 
sentatives in the Assembly were Dr. Wither- 
sjDOon, Dr. S. S. Smith, and Mr. Armstrong, with 
elders John Bayard of New-Brunswick, John 
Carle of Baskingridge, and Nehemiah Dunham 
of Bethlehem. 

Mr. Armstrong's associations with the Presi- 
dents Witherspoon and S. Stanhope Smith were 
those of neighbors and strong personal friends. 
The names of the three constantly occur on the 
same committees of the ecclesiastical bodies of 
which they were fellow-members. The ancient 
custom of making a formal acknowledgment of 
the civil authority was continued, for some time 
after the Eepublic was founded; and in 1790 
the three friends were part of a delegation of 
Presbytery to present a congratulatory address 
to Governor Patterson on his accession. In 1799 
Smith, Hunter, and Armstrong were appointed 


326 Trenton 

to report on a recommendation from the superior 
judicatories favoring tlie formation of societies 
to aid tlie civil magistrate in the suppression of 
vice. The next year a majority of the commit- 
tee reported adversely to the proposition, on the 
ground that the civil and religious institutions of 
our republic being totally separate, the best way 
left for ecclesiastical bodies and men to aid the 
laws is fidelity in pastoral duties and in strength- 
ening moral and religious principles by the ex- 
tension of religious knowledge. Mr. Armstrong- 
entered his dissent, not from the principles of the 
report, but because he regarded it as contraven- 
ing the recommendations of Synod and Assem- 

In the classical Academy which was founded 
by the " Trenton School Company" in 1781, Mr. 
Armstrono' took an active interest. In 1786 he 


furnished the trustees with a draught of laws for 
the government of the schools. In June, 1787, 
he was engaged, on a salary, to take the general 
superintendence of the Academy, giving direc- 
tion to the studies and discipline, attending in 
person as occasion required, and employing a 
master. This plan was relinquished in Septem- 
ber, 1788, but resumed in March, 1789, and con- 

Academy. 327 

tinued until Ms resignation in January, 1791. 
Upon his withdrawal the Trustees granted him 
the privilege of sending two of his children to 
the school ; and in the newspaper of January 6, 
1797, is printed an oration delivered at a late 
public examination of the Academy by his son, 
Eobert Livingston Armstrong. 


"TAe Trenton School Compo.ny'''' originated in a meet- 
ing of citizens, held February 10, lYSl. The original 
capital was seven hundred and twenty dollars, divided into 
thirty-six shares. Part of the lot still occupied by the 
Academy in Hanover (then Fourth) street was purchased, 
and a stone building erected, one story of which was 
occupied in 1782. The next year it wa? enlarged, and the 
endowment increased. In 17 85 it was incorporated, and 
in 1794 its funds were aided by a lottery. In 1800 the 
girls' school of the Academy was removed to the school- 
house belonging to the Presbyterian Church. The gram- 
mar-school attained a high reputation under a succession 
of able masters. The public quarterly examinations were 
usually closed with exercises in speaking in the church. 
JThe newspapers tell of the " crowded and polite audi- 
ences" which attended, usually including the Governor, 
Legislature, and distinguished strangers. Among the 
latter, in 1784, were the President of Congress, the Baron 

328 Isaac Collins. 

Steuben, and members of the Congress and Legislature. 
A fall history of the Academy down to 1847 may be 
found in ten successive numbers of the &tate Gazette of 
April and May of that year. 


One of the most useful and worthy citizens of Trenton 
in this part of its annals was Isaac Collins, a member of 
the Society of Friends, and an enterprising printer. He 
came from Burlington to Trenton in ITYS, and resided 
here until his removal to Xew-York in 1786. His wife, 
Rachel Budd, was great-grandaughter of Mahlon Stacy, 
the original proprietor of the land. Mr. ColUns was one 
of the active founders of the Academy, and although nine 
of his children were pupils, he would not take adA^antage 
of his rio'ht as a stockholder to have them instructed 
without further charge. It is a remarkable fact in the 
history of his family of fourteen children, that after the 
death of one in infancy, there was no mortality for the 
space of fifty years. His eldest daughter (still surviving, 
1859) was the wife of Stephen Grellet, whose singular 
career as a convert from the faith of Rome and the posi- 
tion of body-guard of Louis XVI., to a devoted Quaker 
minister and missionary, has been commemorated in a 
printed discourse by Dr. Van Rensselaer. The first news- 
paper in this State, *' the Xew- Jersey Gazette," was 
issued by Mr. Collins at Burlington, December 5, 1777. 
It was tben transferred to Trenton, and published there 
from February 25, 1778, to November 27, 1786, (except- 
ing a suspension of nearly five months in 1783,) when 

Collins's Gazette. 329 

it was discontinued. Mr. Collins was the conductor as 
well as proprietor of the paper. Indeed the title of 
editor had not then superseded that of " the printer." 

Collins's paper was established to counteract the anti- 
republican tendency of Rivington's " Royal Gazette" in 
New- York. Governor Livingston was a correspondent of 
the Trenton Gazette as long as it remained in Collins's 

The publication of the entire Bible was, at that period, 
so adventurous an undertaking for the x\merican press 
that it was necessary to secure extraordinary encourage- 
ment in advance ; and the first edition of the Scriptures, 
that of John Aitken, was recommended to the country by 
a resolution of Congress. This was on September 12, 
1782, just five years after the report of a committee on a 
memorial had stated that to import types and print and 
bind thirty thousand coj^ies would cost £10,272 IO5., and 
therefore recommended the importation of twenty thou- 
sand Bibles, which was adopted. 

In 1788 Isaac Collins issued proposals to print a quarto 
edition of the Bible in nine hundred and eighty-four pages, 

* Sedgwick's Life of LivingstoD, ch. vii. viii. The Legislature (Dec. 9, 
1717,) exempted Mr. Collins "and any number of men, not exceeding 
four, to be employed by him at his printing office," from militia service 
during the time they were occupied in printing the laws or the weekly 
newspaper. The pacific but courageous printer vindicated the liberty of 
the press by refusing to give the name of a political correspondent (1779) 
on the demand of the Legislative Council. "In any other case, not in- 
compatible with good conscience, or the welfare, of my country, I shall 
think myself happy in having it in my power to oblige you." {Selections 
from Corres])ondence of Executive^ 1776-86 published ly Legislature in 
184.8, p. 199.) 


330 Collins's 

at the price of " four Spanish dollars, one dollars to be 
paid at the time of subscribing." The Synod of New- 
York and New-Jersey (Nov. 3, 1788,) earnestly recom- 
mended the undertaking, and appointed Dr. Witherspoon, 
President S. S. Smith, and Mr. Armstrong, to concur with 
committees of any other denominations, or of our own 
Synods, to revise the sheets, and, if necessary, to assist in 
selecting a standard edition. This committee was author- 
ized to agree with Mr. Collins to append Ostervald's 
Notes, if not inconsistent with the wishes of other than 
Calvinistic subscribers. In 1789 the General Assembly 
appointed a committee of sixteen (on which was Mr. Arm- 
strong) to lay Mr. Collins's proposals before their respect- 
ive Presbyteries, and to recommend that subscriptions 
be solicited in each congregation, and report the number 
to the next Assembly. The recommendation was reiter- 
ated in 1790 and in 1791. 

Thus sustained, the quarto edition (five thousand copies) 
was published in 1791.* Ostervald's " Practical Observa- 
tions," which added one hundred and seventy pages of 
matter, were furnished to special subscribers, Collins's 
Bible was so carefully revised that it is still a standard. 

* The American historiographer of printing makes no mention of this 
edition, but speaks only of Collins's odo.vo New Testament of 1788, and 
Bible of 1793-4. {Tliomas's History, ii. 124.) Collins printed in Trenton 
two thousand copies of Sewel's History of the Quakers, of neariy a 
thousand pages folio; Ramsay's South- Carolina, two volumes, and other 
large works. 

In 1848 the surviving family of Mr. Collins printed for private use a 
memoir of their venerated parents, for the help of which I am indebted 
to my friend, Isaac Collins, of Philadelphia. See also Blake's Biogru' 
phiccU Dictionary, I3t?i, edition. 

Bible. 331 

Himself and his children read all the proofs ; and it is 
stated in the Preface of a subsequent edition, after men- 
tioning the names of several clergymen who assisted the 
publisher in 1791, "some of these persons, James F. 
Armstrong in particular, being near the press, assisted also 
in reading and correcting the proof-sheets." 

As an instance of the weight which the most incidental 
acts of the Assembly carried at that early period of its exist- 
ence, I would allude to a letter to the Moderator of 1790 
from the Rev. David Rice, often called the Presbyterian 
pioneer, or Apostle of Kentucky, in which he states that 
having received from Mr. Armstrong, as Clerk of the As 
sembly, a notification of the action in reference to the Col- 
lins Bible, he had procured the calling of a special meeting 
of the Transylvania Presbytery, " that Ave might be in a 
capacity to obey the order of the General Assembly." 
" Such is our dispersed situation," that it was some weeks 
before the meeting could convene. " After two days' 
dehberation on the subject," they found that a com- 
pliance was impracticable, and on Mr. Rice was devolved 
the office of explaining the cause of the delinquency. One 
of the difficulties was that of sending a messenger to Phil- 
adelphia in time for the Assembly, to carry the advanced 
subscription money ; " the want of horses sufficient for so 
long a journey, or of other necessaries, laid an effectual 
bar in our way."* 

There was a paper-mill in Trenton before the time of 
the publication of Collins's Bible. In December, 1788, it 
was advertised by its proprietors, Stacy Potts and John 

* Green and Hazard MSS. 

332 Rags. 

Reynolds, as " now nearly completed." The manufac- 
turers issued earnest appeals for rags ; in one of their 
publications, presenting " to the consideration of those 
mothers who have children going to school, the present 
great scarcity of that useful article, without which their 
going to school would avail them but little." In January, 
1789, "the Federal Post, or the Trenton Weekly Mer- 
cury," printed by Quequelle and Wilson, was obliged to 
have its size reduced " on account of the scarcity of demy 

Public Occasions m Tre:^ton — Notes. 


The twenty-first of April, 1789, was a me- 
morable clay in the history of Trenton. On his 
journey from Mount Vernon to New- York, for 
the purpose of being inaugurated as the first 
President of the United States, General Wash- 
ington rode through the town, and was received 
at the Assanpink bridge in the manner which 
has become too familiar to require repetition 
here."^ In the procession of matrons who met 
the President, was the wife of Mr. Armstrong ; 
and one of " the white-robed choir" who sang 
the ode was their daughter, afterwards the wife 
of Chief Justice Ewing. Washington's note 

* Marshall's Life of Washington, vol v. ch. 3. Sparks's Writings of 
Washington, vol. xii. p. 150. Irving's Washington, vol. iv. chap. 3*7. 
Mr. Irving says of the incident at Trenton : " We question whether 
any of these testimonials of a nation's gratitude afifected Washington 
more sensibly than those he received at Trenton," 

334 ^i^^ Company. 

acknowledging the compliment was first deliver- 
ed to Mr. Armstrong, and read to a company of 
ladies at tlie lionse of Juds^e Smitli. Tlie auto- 
graph is nov/ in possession of the family, who 
also preserve the relics of the arch or arbor under 
which the illustrious traveller was received. 

It was formerly required that the names of all 
persons duly proposed as candidates for Con- 
gress, should be advertised by the authority of 
the Governor. In the list of 1792 is the name 
of Mr. Armstrong ; but from what nomination 
or whether with his consent, I have no informa- 

On the seventeenth June, 1795, Mr. Arm- 
strong preached in BaskiDgridge, at the ordina- 
tion of Robert Finley and Hollolvay W. Hunt, 
when the former was installed minister of that 
congregation. In August of that year we find 
Mr. Armstrong taking a prominent j^art in a pub- 
lic meeting in reference to an expression of popu- 
lar opinion on the recent treaty between the 
United States and Great Britain. There were, 
indeed, fev^^ objects of public interest, whether 
political or philanthropical, with which his name 
was not found connected. It even stands on the 
roll of the "Union Fire Company," (instituted 

Library Company. 335 

February 8, 1747,) which included the most re- 
spectable citizens among its working members. 
The few minutes that are extant (1785-94) show 
that the clergyman's membership was more than 

When the " Trenton Library Company" was 
founded, in May, 1797, Mr. Armstrong was im- 
mediately among its supporters and directors. 
The same interest was evinced by him in the 
" Christian Circulating Library," established by 
the excellent Daniel Fenton, in 1811. 

The third General Assembly (1791) began to 
take measures, through the Presbyteries, for col- 
lecting materials for a history of our Church in 
North-America. The New-Brunswick Presby- 
tery directed each of its pastors to furnish the 
history of his own parish, and assigned that of 
the vacant congregations to committees. Mr. 
Armstrong was appointed the collector for Am- 

* " Ordered, that Mr. Armstrong, Mr. Singer, and Mr. Taylor work 
the large engine in time of fire, and that Conrad Kotts and Isaac Barnes 
work the small engine." " Ordered, that Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Tay- 
lor be a committee to have good trail ropes put to both engines, and a 
necessary harness for one horse for the large engine." The members 
being at one time required to give account whether they had done their 
duty, it is entered that "Mr. Armstrong, ladder-man No. 1, attended, 
and brought forward his ladder and hook to the late fire."' 

336 Hiftory. 

In 1Y92 Dr. "Witherspoon and three others 
were appointed to write the history of the Pres- 
bytery ; in April, 1793, (before the discovery of 
the old minutes,) Mr. Armstrong reported that, 
" either through inattention in the first minis- 
ters and congregations, or the loss of records 
during the Avar, no documents are to be found 
from which to furnish materials respecting the 
first formation of congregations, or the early set- 
tlement of ministers." The order, however, was 
renewed, and the historical committee continued. 
In 1801— 

" The Presbyteries of ISTew-Brnnswick and Ohio report- 
ed that, agreeably to order, they had drawn up histories 
of their respective Presbyteries, which were produced and 
laid on the table."* 

On the eleventh of May, 1794, Mr. Armstrong 
preached at the first opening of the new church at 
Flemington. In 1797 he was on the Assembly's 
delegation to the General Association of Con- 
necticut, which met at Windham ; and again in 
1806 to the same body at Wethersfield. 

The enthusiasm of the Revolutionary soldier 

* I have looked in vain for the New-Brunswick history in the archives 
of the Assembly. 

Fourth of July. 337 

and chaplain was never wanting on the public 
occasions which appealed to it. The New- Jersey- 
branch of the Society of the Cincinnati, of which 
Mr. Armstrong was a member, (and for a time 
Secretary,) usually made it a part of their cele- 
bration of the Fourth of July to hear the Decla- 
ration read at his Church, in connection with 
devotional services. On the anniversary of 1794, 
according to the Gazette of the week, that Soci- 
ety proceeded to the Church, 

" where an elegant and well-adaj^ted discourse was de- 
livered by the Rev. James F. Armstrong, in which the 
citizen, the soldier, and his brethren of the Cincinnati 
were addressed in a strain truly animated and pathetic, 
as the friends of freedom, of government, and of neu- 

A fast-day was observed, by appointment of 
President Adams, in May 1798, on account of 
the warlike aspect of our relations with the 
French Kepublic. The Trenton pastor appears 
to have aroused his audience on the occasion to 
a mode of response not common in our churches. 
According to the newspaper report, the sermon, 

" while it deprecated the miseries of war, yet unequi- 
vocally showed that our existence and prosperity as a 
nation, depended, under God, on the union of our citizens, 


338 Responses. 

and their full confidence in the measures adopted by our 
government ; to which all the congregation, rising with 
him, said. Amen ! " 

A few montlis later there was a still more vo- 
ciferous demonstration in the same place. I take 
the account of it from " The Federalist and 
ISTew-Jersey Gazette" of July 9, 1798: 

" "We should do injustice to the Rev. Mr. Armstrong, 
orator of the day, [Fourth of July,] were we to pass in 
silence the universal approbation with which was received 
his animated, patriotic, and elegant address, delivered 
before the Order of Cincinnati, and the most crowded audi- 
ence we ever remember to have seen on any former occa- 
sion in this place. One circumstance demands our pecu- 
liar attention : the orator, in closing his address, observed 
in substance, that as in defense of the American Revolu- 
tion they had pledged their honors, their lives and for- 
tunes, to defend the American cause, it might be expect- 
ed that the Government would again solicit their aid to 
preserve and defend her from tributary vassalage ; and 
then called on his brethren of the Society again to join 
him in pledging their sacred honors, lives, and fortunes 
to defend the government and laws of their country. 
With animated firmness and glow of patriotism the orator 
then pronounced, ' I resolve to live and die free y ' to 
which the whole Society, as with one voice, made the re- 
sponse ; and three animated cheers heightened the scene 
of sublimity and grandeur, far better to be conceived than 
expressed." , 

Ill health. 339 

It appears from another column that the Cin- 
cinnati repeated the emphatic sentence after the 
orator, and that " the whole military and audi- 
ence" joined in the cheers, and afterwards in 
singing the chorus of " Hail Columbia." 

Two days after this celebration Mr. Armstrong, 
with Generals Dayton, Bloomfield, Beatty, and 
Giles, as a committee of the Cincinnati, presented 
to President Adams, in Philadelphia, an address 
appropriate to the politics of the day.* 

In 1799 and several subsequent years Mr. 
Armstrong's health was so much impaired that 
he was obliged to ask for supplies for his two 
pulpits. There were intervals in which he was 
able to officiate, but during the remainder of his 
life he suffered severely from the rheumatic dis- 
order contracted during his service in the camp, 
and he was frequently deprived of the free use of 
his limbs. Among those often appointed in these 
emergencies were President Smith, Dr. John 
Woodhull, Geo. Spafford Woodhull, Robert Fin- 

* At that time, and for many years, the custom obtained in Trenton 
of adorning the windows and fronts of the houses on the Fourth of July 
with flowers and evergreens, instead of the former practice of ilhimina- 
tion. It was also a custom to spend the evening at the State House, 
where the usual entertainments of an evening party were provided by 
the ladieF. 

340 Death of Washington. 

ley, Andrew Hunter, David Comfort, Samuel 
Snowden, Matthew L. Perrine, Joseph Rue, John 
Hanna. In a written exhortation sent to the 
people during one of these illnesses, Mr. Arm- 
strono- after enumeratino; some of the reasons for 
their gratitude, said : 

" Added to this, if variety of faithful jDreaching is to be 
esteemed an advantage, you have enjoyed it in a signal 
degree. Though I am bold to say that no congregations 
were less nesrlected in the stated administrations of the 
Gospel ordinances while I was well, so also during the 
many years of sickness and inability to preach, you have 
enjoyed the abundant labors of love and of friendship of 
my brethren in the ministry, with all that variety of faith- 
ful preaching with which the best-informed mind or the 
most curious ear could wish to be indulged. Paul has 
planted — ApoUos watered." 

The newspaper of Monday, December 30, 
1799, preserves another instance of a communi- 
cation made by Mr. Armstrong to the people on 
one of the Sabbaths in which he must have pecu- 
liarly lamented his inability to be in the pulpit : 

"The Rev. Mr. Hunter, who officiated yesterday for 
Mr. Armstrong, after reading the President's proclama- 
tion respecting the general mourning for the death of 

Dr. Hunter. 341 

General Washington, gave the intimation, in substance as 
follows, by the particular request of Mr. Armstrong •• * 

" ' Your pastor desu-es me to say on the present mourn- 
ful occasion, that while one sentiment — to mourn the 
death and honor the memory of General Washington — 
penetrates every breast, the proclamation which you have 
just heard read, he doubts not, will be duly attended to ; 
yet believing, as he does, that he but anticipates the 
wishes of those for whom the intimation is given, Mr. 
Armstrong requests the female part of his audience in the 
city of Trenton and Maidenhead, as a testimony of respect 
for, and condolence with Mrs. Washington, to wear for 
three months, during their attendance on divine service, 
such badges of mourning as their discretion may direct.' "f 

* The Rev. Andrew Hunter, D.D., (already mentioned on p. 185,) 
"was a personal friend, and in the pulpit a frequent assistant, of Mr. Arm- 
strong. He graduated at Princeton 1772 ; was chaplain in the Revolu- 
tionary army ; taught a classical school at Woodbury ; cultivated a farm 
on the Delaware near Trenton ; was professor of Mathematics and As- 
tronomy in Princeton, 1804-8 ; head of an Academy in Bordentown, 
1809 ; afterwards a chaplain in the "Washington Navy Yard, and died 
in Burlington, February 24, 1823. His second wife was Mary, a daugh- 
ter of Richard Stockton, signer of the Declaration. Dr. Hunter had an 
uncle who was also the Rev. Andrew Hunter, and was pastor in Cumber- 
land county, N. J., (about 1746-1760.) He married Ann, a cousin of 
Richard Stockton, the signer. He died in 1775. His widow was buried 
in the Trenton church-yard, October, 1800, and the funeral sermon was 
by President Smith. 

f In this year the national offices were removed to Trenton for some 
weeks, in consequence of the prevaleace of the yellow fever in Philadel- 
phia. The Secretary of the Navy urged the President (Adams) to fol- 
low his Cabinet, remarking that "the officers are all now at this place, 


34^ Politics. 

Mr. Armstrong's ill health now often inter- 
rupted Ms habitual punctuality at the church 
courts ; but he continued to take an active part 
in their work whenever present. He was one of a 
committee that endeavored in vain from 1803 to 
1812, to obtain a charter of incorporation for the 
Presbytery — a measure that was desirable in 
consequence of two legacies (Miller's and Patter- 
son's) that had been left to the Education Fund."^ 

and not badly accommodated." The President was reluctant to come. 
He had written in 1797 of the " painful experience" by which he had 
learned that Congress could not find " even tolerable accommodation" 
here. However, he promised to go by the middle of October, submis- 
sively assuring his correspondent, " I can and will put up with my pri- 
vate secretary and two domestics only, at the first tavern or first private 
house I can find." He arrived on the tenth, and on the next day was 
greeted with fire-works. He found " the inhabitants of Trenton wrought 
up to a pitch of political enthusiasm that surprised him," in the expecta- 
tion that Louis XVIII. would be soon restored to the throne of France. 
{Works of John Adanvs, vols. ii. vii. ix.) Adams had at this time a con- 
ference of six days with Hamilton and other members of his Cabinet be- 
fore they could agree on the French business. {RandaWs Life of Jeffer- 
son, vol. iL 496-8.) 

* Three columns of the "True American," of Trenton, for November 
23, 1807, are filled with the Presbytery's petition to the Legislature of 
that year, in which the two objections to former applications are ably 
met, namely, that the incorporation would endanger civil liberty, and 
that it would be granting an exclusive privilege. The political prejudi- 
ces of the times had probably more to do with the refusal than these 
pleas. The democratic newspapers of the day contain many bitter 
articles against the Presbyterian clergy, who were generally Washing- 

Mr. Armstrong, Moderator. 343 

la 1805 lie was appointed to receive from the 
Assembly's Committee of Missions the Presby- 
tery's share of certain books and tracts for dis- 
tribution on the seaboard of the State, and in 
the counties of Sussex, Morris, and Hunterdon. 
In June, 1804, he preached at the installation of 
the Kev. Henry Kollock in Princeton, and in 
1810 presided at the ordination and installation 
of the Rev. William C. Schenck in the same 
church. He sat as a Commissioner in most of 
the General Assemblies from the first in 1789 to 
that of 1815. In 1804 he was elected to the 
chair of Moderator, and, according to rule, open- 
ed the sessions of the following year with a ser- 
mon. The text was John 14 : 16. He also 
preached the sermon at the opening of the 
Assembly of 1806, in consequence of the absence 
of Dr. Richards, the last Moderator. On that 
occasion his text was John 3 : 16, 1^7. 

Mr. Armstrong was elected a Trustee of the 
College of New- Jersey in 1799, and Dr. Miller 
observed at his funeral that, " few of the mem- 
bers of that Board, as long as he enjoyed a toler- 

ton Federalists. Among other delinquencies they were charged with 
omitting to pray for President Jefferson. In February, 1813, the Pres- 
bytery received a charter for ten years. 

344 Mock Funeral. 

able share of health, were more punctual in their 
attendance on its meetings, or more ardent in 
their zeal for the interests of the institution." 


A public commemoration of the death of Washington 
was observed in Trenton on the fourteenth January, 1800. 
By invitation of the Governor and Mayor, with the Rev. 
Messrs. Hunter, "Waddell, and Armstrong, on behalf of 
the citizens, President Smith delivered the oration, and it 
was published. The late Dr. Johnston, of Newburgh, 
who was then in college, relates in his Autobiography 
(edited by Dr. Carnahan, 1856) that a large number of 
students walked from Princeton to hear the oration. A 
procession was formed opposite the Episcopal Church, 
from which a bier was carried, preceded by the clergy, 
and all passed to the State House, where the ceremonies 
were performed. At a certain stanza in one of the elegiac 
songs, " eight beautiful girls, of about ten years of age, 
dressed in white robes and black sashes, with baskets on 
their arms filled with sjorigs of cypress, rose from behind 
the speaker's seat," and strewed the cypress on the mock 


Some idea of the appearance and condition of Trenton 
at the date of this chapter may be formed from the obser- 
vations of passing travellers. 

Brilsot — Wansey. 345 

Brissot, the Girondist, who died by the guillotine in 

1793, was here in 1788. " The taverns," he writes, "are 
much dearer on this road than in Massachusetts and Con- 
necticut. I paid at Trenton for a dinner Ss. 6cl money 
of Pennsylvania. We passed the ferry from Trenton at 
seven in the morning. The Delaware, which separates 
Pennsylvania from ISTew-Jersey, is a superb river. The 
prospect from the middle of the river is charming. On 
the right you see mills and manufactories ; on the left two 
charming little towns which overlook the water. The 
borders of this river are still in their wild state. In the 
forests which cover them there are some enormous trees. 
There are likewise some houses, but they are not equal, 
in point of simple elegance, to those of Massachusetts."* 

In 1794 an EngHsh tourist says of our town: "The 
houses join each other, and form regular streets, very 
much like some of the small towns in Devonshire. The 
town has a very good market, which is well supplied with 
butcher's meat, fish, and poultry. Many good shops are 
to be seen there, in general with seats on each side the 
entrance, and a step or two up into each house." The 
market prices on the day of this visit were, beef Scl., mut- 
ton 4c/., veal 4c?. " This was dearer than common on two 
accounts ; the great quantity lately bought up for expor- 
tation upon taking off the embargo, and the Assembly of 
the State being then sitting at Trenton. Land here sells, 
of the best kind, at about ten pounds [twenty-seven dol- 
lars] an acre."! 

* Nouveau Voyage dans les Etats-unis, fait en 1188. J. P. Brissot de 
Warville. i. 148. 
f Journal of an Excursion to the United States in the summer of 

1794, by Henry TVansey, F.A.S. A Wiltshire clothier. 

34^ Rochefoucault — Michaux. 

The Duke de la Rochefoucault, about the same time, 
makes this entry in his journal : " About a quarter of a 
mile beyond Trenton is the passage over the Delaware by 
a ferry, which, though ten stage-coaches daily pass in it, 
is such that it would be reckoned a very bad ferry in 
Europe. On the farther side of the river the retrospect 
to Trenton is, in a considerable degree, pleasing. The 
ground between that town and the Delaware is smooth, 
sloping, decorated with the flowers and verdure of a fine 
meadow. In the environs of the town, too, are a number 
of handsome villas which greatly enrich the landscape."* 

The celebrated French naturalist, F. A. Michaux, son 
of A. Michaux, sent over by Louis XVI. for botanical re- 
search, passing in 1802, gives us this paragraph : "Among 
the other small towns by the roadside, Trenton seemed 
worthy of attention. Its situation upon the Delaware, the 
beautiful tract of country that surrounds it, must render 
it a most delightful place of abode."t 

* Travels in 1795-Y, vol, i. 549. In April, 1795, Peter Howell ad- 
vertised a "two-horse coachee" to leave Trenton for Philadelphia 
every Wednesday and Saturday, at eleven o'clock. Fare for a passen- 
ger, 125. Qd. ; fourteen pounds of baggage allowed. 

\ Travels of Francois Andre Michaux. By act of March 3, 1786, the 
Legislature granted Andre, the traveller's father, permission to hold 
land, not exceeding two hundred acres, in any part of the State for a 
botanical garden. There is a Memoir of Francois (who was the author 
of the "North American Sylva") in the Transactions of the American 
PliHosoplikal Society, vol. si. Three years before the above-mentioned 
act, the French Consul for New-Jersey offered in the King's name all 
kinds of seeds whenever a botanical garden should be established. The 
Legislature (Dec. 10, 1783) made the ingenious reply that as soon as 
they estabhshed such a garden they should be glad to receive the seeds. 

SutclIfF— Castiglioni. 347 

The situation of the town seems to have something that 
takes the French eye. In 1805 General Moreau establish- 
ed his residence on the opposite bank of the river, and 
Joseph Bonaparte was disappointed in the purchase of a 
site adjoining (now in) the town, before he settled a few 
miles below.* It may have been the reputation of the 
river scenery that gave the hint to the wits of Salmagundi, 
in the journal of an imaginary traveller : " Trenton — 
built above the head of navigation, to encourage com- 
merce — capital of the State — only wants a castle, a bay, 
a mountain, a sea, and a volcano, to bear a strong resem- 
blance to the bay of Naples."f 

An Englishman found nothing to remark of Trenton in 
1805, than an exemplification of what he calls the Ameri- 
can "predilection for wearing boots." "At Trenton I 
was entertained with the sight of a company of journey- 
men tailors, at the work-board, all booted as if ready for 
mounting a horse."J; 

An Italian savant, crossing the State, takes time only to 
say : "Although Trentown is not very large, nor very pop- 
ulous, it is to be regarded as the capital, where the Council 
and the Assembly convene."§ 

* Moreau's mansion was burnt down on Christmas day, 1811. The 
stable is now a manufactory. Upon his first arrival the General resided 
•' at the seat of Mr. Le Guen, at Morrisville." By virtue of an act of 
Legislature (March 5, 1816) the estate of one hundred and five acres 
was sold by Moreau's executor, three years after his fall at Dresden. 

f Salmagundi, by Irving, Paulding, etc. 1807. 

:}: Travels in some parts of North-America in 1804-6, by Robert 

%Viaggio negli Staii Uniti^ 1785-7. Da Luigi Castiglioni, Milan, 1790. 

348 Rutherford and 


In the Trenton newspaper of July, 1*799, is an advertise- 
ment by Mr. Armstrong, relative to a suit in the English 
courts, the latest report of the progress of which is given 
as follows in the London papers of May, 1856 : 


Before 'Vice- Chancellor Kindersly. 


"About the middle of last century there lived in the 
north of Ireland a family of the name of Rutherford. Be- 
tween the sons a quarrel arose, and the father, conceiving 
that the younger, Robert, was in fault, chastised him. 
Robert Rutherford thereupon quitted his father's house, 
and shortly afterwards enlisted in Ligonier's troop of 
Black Horse. After a time he came to England, but he 
soon quitted the Kingdom and settled at the village of 
Trenton, in the United States, where he opened a tavern, 
which he called ' The Ligonier or Black Horse.' In the 
course of his migrations he had married, and the year 
1770 found him settled at Trenton, at the ' Black Horse,' 
with a family consisting of one son and four daughters. 
About that period there one day drove up to the tavern, 
in a carriage and four, an English officer, by name Colonel 
Fortescue. Colonel Fortescue dined at the tavern, and 
after dinner had a conversation in private with one of 
Rutherford's daughters. Within two hours after this con- 
versation Frances Mary Rutherford had, notwithstanding 
her sister's entreaties, quitted her father's house in com- 
pany with Colonel Fortescue. With him she went to 

Fortescue. 349 

Paris, where after a few years he died, leaving her, it is 
supposed, a considerable sum of money. On his death she 
quitted Paris and came to England ; and here she married 
a gentleman of considerable property, named Shard. In 
1798 Mrs. Shard had a great desire to discover what had 
become of her father's family, whom she had quitted near- 
ly thirty years previously, and through her confidential 
solicitor inquiries were made of Mr. Armstrong, the Pres- 
byterian minister at Trenton. The inquiries were fruit- 
less — her brother and all her sisters were dead ; it appear- 
ed hopeless to expect to find a Rutherford, and the mat- 
ter was dropped. Mr. Shard died in the year 1806, and 
in 1819 Mrs. Shard died a widow, childless and intestate. 
No next of kin appearing, the Crown took possession of 
the property. In 1823 an attempt was made to set up a 
document as the will of Mrs. Shard, but it was declared a 
forgery. In 1846 the present plaintiff made a claim to the 
property, setting up that claim through a Mrs. Davies, 
who was alleged to be first cousin of the deceased. It 
turned out that Mrs. Davies was not first cousin ; but fur- 
ther evidence having been procured, the claim was again 
made, through the same Mrs. Davies, who was now 
alleged to be a second cousin of the deceased. 

The Vice Chancellor now delivered judgment, and 
came to the conclusion that as between the Crown and 
the claunant the latter made out a case. It was sufiicient- 
ly proved that Mrs. Davies was a second cousin of the 
deceased Mrs. Shard ; but as it did not follow that there 
might not be a still nearer relative than the claimant in 
existence, and as the evidence on this latter point was not 
conclusive, the matter must go back to chambers for fur- 
ther inquiries." 28 

350 Thomas Paine. 


Public morals were in such a low state in Trenton in 
1804, that on the third of August a public meeting was 
held to consider measures for reform. Intemperance, 
obscenity, noisy assemblages on the Lord's day, brawling, 
fighting, and throwing stones in the streets were named 
among the signs of disorder. The causes assigned were 
the unlicensed selling of spirituous liquors, especially on 
Sunday, and " the relaxation of discipline in family govern- 
ment." In August 1806, Stacy Potts, the Mayor, pub- 
licly solicits Christians of all denominations, who as par- 
ents, guardians, masters or mistresses have charge of the 
young, to restrain them from vice and temptation. The 
same officer made a similar apj)eal to " the serious and 
prudent inhabitants of Trenton," in April 1810, and 
trusts that the public authorities may be so assisted by 
the citizens " that religious people abroad may no longer 
be deterred from jDlacing their children ai^prentices in this 
city, lest they become contaminated with the vicious 
habits which have too much prevailed among the rising 
generation in the city of Trenton." 


Half a century ago, as now, political animosity was 
ready to take any handle to create prejudice against an 
opponent. Thomas Paine was a strong partisan of Jeffer- 
son. Having rode up (Feb. 28, 1803) from his residence 
in Bordentown to Trenton, to take the stage for N"ew- 
York, the proprietors of both the stage offices, being 
Federalists, refused with strong oaths to give a seat to an 

Mrs. Washington. 35'! 

infidel. When he set out in his own chaise, accompanied 
by Col. Kirkbride, a mob surrounded him with insulting 
music, and he had difficulty in getting out of town. The 
author of " Common-sense " showed neither fear nor 
anger, and " calmly observed that such conduct had no 
tendency to hurt his feelings or injure his fame, but rather 
gratified the one and contributed to the other." 

Mr. Lyell, the geologist, gives a better account of the 
temper of Trenton politicians as he saw it in the proces- 
sions of October, 1841. {Travels^ 1841-2, vol. i. p. 82.) 


The incidental reference to Mrs. Washington on p. 341, 
may recall a record in the Trenton newspaper of Decem- 
ber 29, 1779: "Yesterday Mrs. Washington passed 
through this town on her way from Virginia to Head 
Quarters at Morris-Town ; when the Virginia troops pre- 
sent (induced through respect) formed and received her 
as she passed, in a becoming manner," 

The New Brick Chuech — ISTotes. 


The Trenton congregation, wliich had so long 
felt obliq'ed to associate itself witli one or other 
of its neighbors for the support of a pastor, at 
length found itself able to assume an indepen- 
dent position. According to the understanding 
which was had with the Maidenhead Church, 
when Mr, Armstrong divided his care between 
it and Trenton, he became the exclusive pastor 
of the latter in October, 1806. About the same 
time that congregation accomplished the erection 
of a neYi house of worship. 

The stone building then in use was nearly 
eighty years old. The want of a better edifice 
had long been felt. In 1769 there v\\as a sub- 
scription for repairs. It v/as probably with a 
view to rebuildinn^ or enlarsrement thcit the Trus- 
tees, in 1773, proposed to the vestry of the 
Episcopal Church a joint application to the Le- 

Lotteries. 353 

gislature for a lottery. The vestry appointed a 
committee of conference on the lottery, " and to 
be managers thereof,"^ but the project seems to 
have dropped until 1791, (Nov. 18-23,) when 
" an act to empower the Trustees of the Presby- 
terian Church, and the minister, wardens, and 
vestry of the Episcopal Church in Trenton to 
have a lottery for the purpose therein noticed," 
after passing the Council and being ordered to a 
third readinsr in the House, was lost. Another 
experiment in this line was attempted in Decem- 
ber, 1793, when the Trustees appointed a com- 
mittee to unite with the Episcopalians in a lot- 
tery for the benefit of the two congregations ; 
but nothing further is said on the subject. 
However unequivocal the immorality of such 
an expedient may seem to us, the lottery has been 
a frequent resource of churches, as well as other 
institutions, even less than sixty years ago. At 
the same meeting in which the last lottery sug- 
gestion was made, Maskell Ewing and Alexander 
Chambers were appointed " to take about a sub- 
scription paper for the purpose of raising money 
to build a new Presbyterian Church in Trenton." 

* Minutes of Vestry of St. Michael's, February 28, 17*73. 

354 Corner-stones. 

In 1796 the price of building materials was so 
high that the design was abandoned. It was 
not until May, 1804, that the successful measures 
were taken. The building was now represented 
to be " in so ruinous a state that it can not long 
continue to accommodate those who worship 
there, in a comfortable manner." The subscrip- 
tion was headed by four names giving two hun- 
dred dollars each. By the twenty-fourth August 
nearly four thousand dollars had been subscribed, 
and it was determined to build in the ensuing 
spring." The corner-stone was laid April 15, 
1805 ; the old house having been first taken 
down. The newspaper of the time has this 

reijort : 


" On the fifleenth instant were laid tlie corner-stones of 
tlie foundation of a new Presbyterian Chnrch in this 
city. The Elders, Trustees, and Managers of the building, 
with a respectable number of the citizens attending, an 
appropriate prayer was made by the Rev. Mr. Armstrong, 
i-ninister of the congregation. The scene was solemn, im- 

* Moore Parman and Aaron D. Woodruff were appointed to obtain a 
plan ; Benj. Smith, John Chambers, and Peter Gordon were the Building 
Committee or " Managers." It v/as determined that the size should be 
forty-eight by sixty feet, in the clear ; with a projection or tower in 
front of four by ten, with a cupola. The four largest contributors were 
Abraham Hunt, Benj. Smith, Alex. Chambers, and Moore Purman. 

Dedication. 355 

pressive, and affecting. A plate of copper, inscribed 
April, 1805, with the minister's name, was laid between 
two large stones at the foundation of the south-east cor- 
ner. The foundation, though much more extensive, is 
laid nearly on the site of the old church, which stood 
about eighty years." 

While the building was in progress, Mr. Arm- 
strong preached on every alternate Sabbath in 
the Ej^iscopal Church, the rector of which (Dr. 
Waddell) had a second charge at Bristol, as Mr. 
Armstrong had at Maidenhead. 

The new Church was opened for its sacred 
uses August 17, 1806. The pastor conducted 
the services in the morning, and President S. S. 
Smith in the afternoon.'^ 

The pastor preached from part of Solomon's 
prayer at the dedication of the temple : 1 Kings 
8 : 22, 23, 27-30. At the next public service in 
which he officiated, he preached on the conduct 
becoming worshippers in the house of God, from 

Hebrews 10 : 25 and Job 13:11. This subiect 


* From the Trenton "Federalist" of Monday, August 11, 1806: 
"yoiice. Divine service v^ill be performed for the first time in the 
new Presbyterian Church in this place, next Lord's day. Service will 
begin at eleven o'clock in the forenoon and three in the afternoon. Col- 
lections will be raised after each service, to be appropriated for the ex-. 
penditures incurred in finishing the house." 

35^ Mr. Armstrong's 

was pursued in a third discourse on public wor- 
ship as a duty to God, to society, to ourselves. ' 
For the services of the dedication Mr. Armstrong 
pre]3ared a prayer ; and in the belief that on its 
own account, as well as for its historical associa- 
tions, it will be read with interest and benefit by 
the people who worship in a house, which, 
though not the same as the one then dedicated, 
was included in the references of its supplica- 
tions, I here insert it : 


" Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty. There is no 
God like thee in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who 
keej)est covenant with thy servants that walk before thee 
with all their heart. Thou art our God, and we would 
praise thee ; our fathers' God, and we would exalt thee. 

" Thou art the God who hearest prayer. Where shall 
we go but to thee, who art the way, the truth, and the 

" We adore thee for all the mercies and benefits which 
thou hast conferred on us through our lives. But espe- 
cially we adore thee for the everlasting Gospel, and those 
gracious privileges to which we are called in thy Church 
on earth, and m thy Church in heaven. We adore thee 
that'thy Church is founded on the rock Christ Jesus, and 
that the gates of hell shall never be able to prevail against 
it. We adore thee for the promise of thy presence to thy 

Prayer. 357 

Churcli and people, that where two or three are met 
together in thy name, thou wilt be with them to bless 
them. We adore thee, O Lord, that when the place 
where our fathers had long worshipped was decaying with 
age, and the congregation of thy people needed room and 
accommodation in thy house, thou didst put it into our 
hearts to build a house for thy worship and service, and 
where thy people may meet and enjoy thy presence. We 
adore thee that thou hast permitted us to meet to set it 
apart, and dedicate it to the Lord our God by preach- 
ing, prayer, and praise. 

"And now, O Lord, our God, we thus offer this house 
to thee ; that thy people may here meet for purposes of 
reading, preaching, and hearing thy word ; of prayer and 
praise ; of fasting and thanksgiving ; of the administra- 
tion of baptism and the Lord's supper, agreeably to the 
word of God and the constitution of our Church. 

" And now, O Lord, make this house continue to be 
the habitation of the God of Jacob forever ; a place where 
prayer shall be ever made to thee, and where Gospel 
worship shall be fixed and stated as long as it shall last 
for this purpose ; and that there never may fail a people 
and a congregation to worship thee in this place through- 
out all generations. 

" We pray that thou wilt be pleased to give su ccess to 
the labors of the ministers of the Gospel in this place ; 
accompanying the means of grace with divine power and 
energy, making the administration of the Gospel effectual 
to convince and convert, establish and sanctify thy people. 

" And now, O Lord, our God, make it good for us that 
we have built a house for thy worship. But as the most 

358 Mr. Armstrong's 

sumptuous works of our liands can not communicate any 
holiness to the worshipper, make it good for us to draw 
near to God in the assembling of ourselves together at all 
commanded, fixed, and proper times in this place. Enable 
us, thy people of this congregation, and all who may 
worship with us in this place, collectively and individual- 
ly, to dedicate ourselves unto the Lord ; to present our 
souls, and our bodies, and our spirits unto the Lord as 
living sacrifices, holy and acceptable, which is our reason- 
able service ; to consecrate our time, our talents, our 
privileges, and opportunities, with all we have and. are, to 
thy service ; that each of us, and each of our families, 
with all who are near and dear to us, may prepare an 
habitation in our hearts and. souls for God, and that our 
bodies may be the temples of the Holy Ghost. 

" And we do most earnestly pray that all our ofienses 
may be blotted out ; that we may be washed in the blood 
of Christ ; that the vows and ofierings, the prayers and 
the praises which we and our jDosterity ofier up now, and 
in all future time, may be accepted through the merits 
and intercession of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, 
and made effectual for our and their salvation. 

"Let thy grace and thy Spirit, O Lord our God, be 
with us to direct, assist, and strengthen us in all the 
prayers and supplications that we now and in future may 
off*er in this place. Be graciously pleased to vouchsafe us 
thy presence herein continually. Hearken, O Lord, to 
the prayers and suppHcations of me thy servant, and of 
these thy people, in all times and in all circumstances, and 
in all places where we may pray in, or as towards this 
place ; and when thou hearest answer us in mercy. 

Prayer. 359 

" If we sin — for no man liveth and sinnetli not — and 
turn and repent, hear and forgive our sins, O Lord ! 

" If the love of thy people wax cold ; if our grace lan- 
guish, faint, and be ready to expire, give renewed faith, 
grace, and love. 

"Hear us, O Lord, if we pray to be delivered from 
drought, famine, war, pestilence, disease, or death. 

" Hear us, O Lord, if we pray to be delivered from 
blasting, mildew, and whatsoever might threaten to pre- 
vent or destroy the harvest. 

" Hear us, O Lord, when we pray for all schools, col- 
leges, and seminaries of learning ; 

" For our nation and country ; 

" For all who bear rule and authority over us ; 

" For peace and prosperity ; 

" For all missionaries and missionary labors throughout 
the world ; that the Jews may be gathered, and the full- 
ness of the Gentiles may come in ; that the land of Ethi- 
opia and the heathen may be given for an inheritance, 
and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession to 
Christ Jesus. 

" Hear, O Lord, and hasten the time when all the fami- 
lies of the earth shall be blessed in Christ our Lord, and 
when his knowledge and his righteousness shall cover the 
earth as the waters cover the sea. 

" Now, therefore, arise, O Lord God, into thy resting 
place, thou and the ark of thy strength. Let thy f)riests, 
O Lord, be clothed with righteousness, the ministers of 
thy religion with salvation. Let thy saints shout for joy, 
and thy people rejoice in goodness. 

"Blessed be the Lord God — Father, Son, and Holy 

360 Church of 1806. 

Ghost. As he was with our fathers, so let him be mth us. 
Let him not leave us nor forsake us ; and incline our 
hearts to do all things according to his holy will. 

" Pray for the peace of Jerusalem ; peace be within 
these walls, prosperity within this place. For my breth- 
ren and companions' sakes I will now say, peace be within 
thee. Because of the house of the Lord our God, I will 
seek thy good. 

" The Lord bless thee and keep thee ! 

*' The Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be 
gracious unto thee. 

" The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give 
thee peace. 

" And in testimony of the sincerity of our desii'es, and 
in humble hope of being heard, let all the people say, 

A sketch of the new Church was made from 
memory, by the late Dr. F. A. Ewing, who wrote 
of it: 

" Elevation seemed to be the great object to be attain- 
ed, and so the walls were carried up to a height which 
would now be thought excessive. Its galleries were sup- 
ported on lofty columns, and in consequence its pulpit 
was so hicrh. as sometimes to threaten dizziness to the 
preacher's head. Above the gallery the vaulted ceiling 
afforded almost room enough for another church. It had 
its tower, its belfry and bell, still sweet and melodious,* 

* From a Trenton newspaper of July 29, 180T : 

" On Saturday, the twentieth instant, was hung in the steeple of the 

Church of 1806. 361 

its spire, which, had it been proportioned in height to the 
tower supporting it, would have ascended needle-like 
almost to the clouds. With all its architectural defects, 
however, it was a fine old building, well adapted to the 
purposes of speaking and hearing ; filled an important 
office, both to the congregation and on public occasions ; 
stood for years the chief landmark to miles of surround- 
ing country, and at last resisted sternly the efforts of its 
destroyers. Its site, on the south-west corner of the 
grave-yard, is well defined by the old graves and tombs 
which clustered close to its northern and eastern sides, 
and is the only part of the ground divided into burial- 

Alas! before this manuscript could be brought 
to the use for which it was prepared, the body of 
its accomplished writer was occupying a grave 
in the very part of the church-yard described in 
its closing sentence. 

The building was of brick, and cost ten thou- 
sand eight hundred and twenty dollars. It had 
seventy-two pews on the floor, divided by two 
aisles, and thirty-six in the gallery. Forty-six 
were put at the annual rent of twelve dollars ; 

New Presbyterian Church in Trentoa, a new bell, weighing four hun- 
dred and seventy-eight pounds, cast by George Hedderly, bell-founder 
and bell-hanger of the city of Philadelphia, which does its founder much 
credit, both for the neatness of its casting and its melodious tone. 

" B. Smith. 

^» ) 

B. Smith, ) ^^ „ 

P. Gordon, C ^^^^gers." 


Church of 1806. 

eighteen larger ones at fourteen dollars. The 
gallery pews were free, and one side was reserv- 
ed for colored person s.^'"" 

* The salary was eight hundred dollars. Mr. Armstrong was suc- 
ceeded in Maidenhead by the Rev. Isaac Y. Brown, at whose ordination 
and iDStallation (June 10, 1S07) he gave both the charges. 

Mafkell Ewing. 363 


Maskell Ewixg, named in this chapter, belonged to 
what is now the wide-spread family of Ewing in New- 
Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Maryland. Thomas Mas- 
kell, of England, married Bythia Parsons in Connecticut, 
in 1658. Thomas Stathem, of England, married Ruth 
Udell, in New-England, in 1671. Maskell's son married 
Stathem's daughter. Their daughter was married in 
1720 to Thomas Ewing, who had recently come to Green- 
wich, West-Jersey, from Ireland. Their eldest son was 
Maskell, (1721,) who was at different times. Justice of the 
Peace, Clerk and Surrogate of Cumberland county. Sheriff, 
and Judge of the Pleas, and died in 1796. One of his ten 
children was the Maskell Ewino^ of Trenton. He was 
born January 30, 1758 ; in his youth he assisted his father 
in the clerkship in Greenwich, and before he was twenty- 
one was elected Clerk of the State Assembly. This 
brought him to Trenton, and he filled the office for twenty 
years. He was for a time Recorder of the city, and also 
read law in the office of William C. Houston. In 1803 he 
removed to Philadelphia, and in 1805 to a farm in Dela- 
ware county, Pennsylvania. He represented that county 
in the State Senate for six years. He died on a visit to 
Greenwich, August 26, 1825. His son Maskell was born 
in 1806, was a lieutenant in the army, and has died within 
a few years. 

Among the branches of the Ewing stock was the 
family of the Rev. John Ewing, D.D., Provost of the 

364 Moore Furman. 

University of Pennsylvania, (1779-1803,) and pastor of 
the First Church of Philadelphia. On our session records 
of September 17, 1808, are the names of " Margaret and 
Amelia, daughters of the late Rev. Dr. Ewing," as then 
admitted to their first communion, and May 6, 1808, 
" Mrs. Dr. Ewing" to the same. 


Xot lono; after the establishment of the con srre oration in 
their new house, two of the oldest Trustees, both corpo- 
rators of 1788, wxre removed by death, namely, Mooee 
FcKMAN and Isaac Smith. A notice of Mr. Smith has 
already been given. 

Mr. Furmax was one of the successful merchants of 
Trenton. In the Revolution he served as a Deputy Quar- 
ter-Master General. He was the first Mayor of Trenton, 
by appointment of the Legislature, upon its incorpora- 
tion, in 1792. 

Mr. Furman was elected a Trustee June 12, 1760, and 
Treasurer in 1762. Soon after that year he removed to 
Pittstown, and afterwards to Philadelphia. He returned 
to Trenton, and was reelected to the Board in 1783, and 
continued in it until his death, March 16, 1808, in his 
eightieth year. His grave-stone is in the porch of the 
present church. 

Though so long connected with the temporal afiairs of 
the congregation, Mr. Furman was not a communicant 
until Xovember 1, 1806. He made a written request of 
Mr. Armstrong that in case he should be called to ofiiciate 
at his funeral he w^ould speak from the words: "Into 
thine hand I commit my spirit : thou hast redeemed me, 

Peter Hunt. 365 

O Lord God of truth." (Psalm 31.) This request was 
fiiithfiilly followed in the body of the discourse, to which 
the Pastor added as follows : 

" This congregation well know his long and faithful 
services as a zealous supporter and Trustee of the con- 
cerns and interests of this Church. In the revolution he 
was known as a faithful friend of his country, and was in- 
trusted by government and the Commander-in-Chief of 
our revolutionary army — whose friendship was honor in- 
deed — in offices and in departments the most profitable and 
the most important. When bending beneath the load of 
years and infirmities, how did it gladden his soul and ap- 
pear to renew his life, to see this edifice rising from the 
ruins of the old one and consecrated to the service of his 
God ! And did you not see him, shortly after its conse- 
cration, as a disciple of his Redeemer recognizing his bap- 
tismal vows, and in that most solemn transaction of our 
holy religion, stretching his trembling hands to receive 
the symbols of the body and blood of our Lord and 
Saviour, and in that act express the sentiment of the 
words selected by himself for the use of this mournful 
occasion : ' Into thine hand I commit my spirit : thou hast 
redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.' " 


One of the Trustees elected to supply the vacancies 
made by the death of Moore Furman and Isaac Smith 
was Peter Hunt, whose wife was a daughter of Mr. Fur- 
man. Mr. Hunt had a large store-house at Lamberton 
when it was the depot for the trade of Trenton, and at 


366 Peter Hunt. 

the time of his death was in partnership with Philip F. 
Howell. He resided on the estate now occupied by his 
son, Lieut. W. E. Hunt, of the navy. General Hunt (he 
was Adjutant General) died at Charleston, S. C, March 
11, 1810, at the age of forty-two, having spent the winter 
there on account of his health. The Rev. Dr. Hollings- 
head had a highly satisfactory conversation with him on the 
day of his death, when he said : " He had no reluctance nor 
hesitation to submit to all the will of God in the article of 
death ; freely committed his soul into the hands of his 
Redeemer, and left his surviving family to the care of a 
holy and gracious Providence."* He was buried, with 
military honors, at Charleston, after services in the Circu- 
lar Church, and there is a cenotaph commemorating him 
in our church-porch.f 


The newspapers of the day record the burial, in the 
Presbyterian ground, of William Roscoe, who died Oct. 
9, 1805, in his seventy-third year, " a first cousin of, and 
brought up by the celebrated Wm. Roscoe, of Liver- 
pool, author of the Life of Leo X., etc. In the Revolu- 
tion he was express-rider to Governor Livingston, and for 
many years Sergeant-at-arms to the Court of Chancery." 

* Letter from Dr. H. in Trenton "True American," March 26, 1810. 

f Jonathan Doan (now v/ritten Doane) having contracted to erect a 
State Prison at Trenton, Messrs. Hunt and Furman (1797) conveyed the 
ground on which the jail (now the arsenal) was built. The measurement 
was more than eight and one quarter acres ; the consideration £369 Is, 

Theological Seminaey — Mr. Armsteoi^g's 

Death — ISTotes. 


Mr. Armstrot^g Lad the happiness of seeing 
the first Theological School of our Church estab- 
lished within ten miles of Trenton, and in the 
village so much associated with the earlier scenes 
of his academical and domestic life. He was in 
the General Assembly of 1810, which agreed 
upon the policy of one central institution ; and 
in that of 1813, which established it at Prince- 
ton. With Dr. Alexander and Dr. Miller, the 
first Professors, his intercourse was intimate dur- 
ing the few years of life that remained to him 
after their coming into the neighborhood, and 
both of them frequently supplied his pulpit dur- 
ing his protracted infirmity. It was an addition- 
al mark of providential favor that he lived to 
see the first fruits of the Seminary, and to give 

368 Minutes of Seffion. 

his voice for tlie licensiDg of its earliest gradu- 
ates. The last time he appeared in Presbytery 
was at the session of April, 1815, which was 
held in Trenton. On that occasion Messrs. 
Weed, Parmele, Stanton, and Kobertsou, of the 
first class, were licensed.* 

The records of each Session are annually re- 
viewed by a committee of Presbytery. In the 
meeting of April, 1813, the committee, (Drs. 
Woodhull and Alexander,) reporting favorably 
on the Trenton minutes, add, 

" That in one particular especially, the utmost care and 
attention have been paid to the purity and edification of 
the Church, and to guard against errors in doctrine and 

This commendation refers to an act of the ses- 
sion excluding from church privileges a member 
who had adopted, and was promulgating the 
Universalist heresy, vilifying the communion to 

* Dr. Wm. A. McDowell's name is first in the catalogue of Alumoi, 
having been licensed in 1813 by the New-Brunswick Presbytery, but he 
had entered in an advanced stage of his studies. The first three students 
■were Wm, Blair, John Covert, and Henry Blatchford. The Presbytery 
of April, 1813, which sat in Trenton, received both Drs. Green and 
Alexander, from Philadelphia ; the former having b^en elected President 
of Princeton College in 1812. 

Anniverfaries. 369 

which he belonged, and refusing to attend its 
worship. In April, 1816, the general approval 
of the book was qualified by some exceptions as 
to the summary measures pursued by the session 
in suspending one of their own number, upon his 
declining to take their advice to discontinue his 
service as an elder. Upon this exception the 
session reversed their judgment, and the elder 
withdrew from the exercise of his office ; but he 
appears afterwards to have been reinstated. 

When the New-Jersey Bible Society was or- 
ganized in 1810, Mr. Armstrong was elected a 
manager. In 1813 the anniversary of the Society 
was held in his church, when Dr. Wharton, the 
Episcopal minister of Burlington, preached, and 
the Bev. Wm. H. Wilmer, of Virginia, read the 
liturgy. This courtesy was extended in conse- 
quence of the Episcopal Church being under 

On the anniversary of Independence, in 1808, 
Mr. Armstrong was again the orator at the cele- 
bration by the Cincinnati, and citizens. He act- 
ed as chaplain on that day in 1812, when the 
"Washington Benevolent Society of Trenton," 
made their first public appearance, and the con- 
course in the church was swelled by the mem- 

370 Meffages. 

bers of a political convention opposed to tlie war, 
whicli was then meetins: in the towD."^ 

The suflPering, and incapacity of freely moving 
his limbs, produced by his tedious disease, were 
now depriving Mr. Armstrong of the prospect of 
ever resuming his pastoral duties. The mere 
ascending into the pulpit cost the most painful 
exertion. He suppressed, as far as possible, the 
exhibition of his anguish, that he might perform 
the work in which he delio:hted ; and althouo:h 
the act of writing must have been peculiarly dis- 
tressing to his distorted hands, I have seen more 
than one discourse from his pen, indorsed as 
prej)ared to be read to the congregation by a 
substitute, when too ill to leave his house. One 
of these (not dated) begins thus : 

" Unable, through the dispensation of Divine Providence, 
to address you in public, I embrace the only means in my 
power to convey a portion of that instruction which, I 
trust, has often been administered to our mutual edifica- 

* January 18, 1806, a public dinner was given in Trenton to Capt. 
(afterwards Commodore) Bainbridge, upon his return from Barbary. The 
Commodore's family were of this locality and church. Edmund Bain- 
bridge was an elder from the united churches of Trenton and Maiden- 
head in the Presbytery of October, 1794. John Bainbridge was one of 
the grantees in the church-deed of 1698, (page 30,) and that name 13 
still visible on a tombstone in a deserted burying-place in Lamberton» 
marked — " Died 1732 ; aged seventy-five years." 

David Bifliop. 371 

tion. During the space of many years I have not for any 
whole day been free from pain. Reduced at times to 
the borders of the grave, and reviving, contrary to all 
human expectation, I have ardently desired to address 
you as one rising from the dead. A person on the verge 
of two worlds, contemplating the dread realities of eter- 
nity, standing equal chances to be the next hour an in- 
habitant of time or eternity, must have most impressive 
sentiments from the relations which they bear to each 
other. In these moments, and under these impressions, I 
have wished for strength and opportunity, if it were but 
for once, to appear in the assemblies of the people of God, 
as I was wont to do. But on a conscientious review of 
the matter and the manner of my public instructions, I 
am constrained to ask Avhat could I do more than I have 
done ? All I could hope for would be that your sympa- 
thy, excited by my long and painful affliction, and heighten- 
ed by an unexpected restoration to health, might, through 
the aids of divine grace, awaken a more lively attention, 
and give a more impressive solemnity to eternal things." 

This touching preface was followed by an 
earnest and tender apj^lication of the lessons of 
our Lord's parable of the fig-tree that remained 
unfruitful after years of faithful culture. 

In Aj^ril, 1815, the congregation authorized 
the session to engage an assistant minister, and 
they chose Mr. David Bishop, a licentiate, and at 
that time a teacher in the Trenton Academy — 

372 Laft Service. 

afterwards pastor in Easton. In the summer of 
that year Mr. Armstrong performed his last 
public service, and many still remember an af- 
fecting incident connected with it. Though 
emaciated and worn down by pain, there was 
no reason at that time to suppose that he might 
not yet, as for years past, make his way to the 
pulpit and assist in the services. But on that 
Sabbath it was noticed that the only psalm used 
in the singing was the third part of the seventy- 
first ; the first half (or to the " pause") being 
sung at the beginning, and the remainder at the 
close of the devotional exercises. His text was 
"Woe unto me if I preach not the Gospel." 
There could not have been many unmoved 
hearts as the feeble pastor, verging on three- 
score and ten, read — 

" The land of silence and of deatli 
Attends my next remove ; 
Oh ! may these poor remains of breath, 
Teach the wide world thy love. 

" By long experience have I known 
Thy sovereign power to save ; 
At thy command I venture down 
Securely to the grave. 

Mr. Armftrong's Death. 373 

*' When I lie buried deep in dust, 
My flesh shall be thy care ; 
These withered limbs with thee I trust, 
To raise them strong: and fair." 


In a few months this faith was realized, and 
he entered on his rest, January 19, 1816, in the 
sixty-sixth year of his age, the thirty-eighth of 
his ministry, and (counting from the date of his 
call) the thirty-first of his pastorship. 

On the twenty-second the remains of the de- 
ceased pastor were followed to the church by a 
large concourse, and, before they were commit- 
ted to the earth, an instructive discourse was de- 
livered by the Rev. Dr. Miller. The preacher 
closed as follows : 

" With respect to the character and the success of his 
labors among you, my brethren, there needs no testi- 
mony from me. You have seen him for nearly thirty 
years going in and out before you, laboring with assiduity, 
and during a great part of the time under the pressure oi 
disease, for your spiritual welfare. You have seen him 
addressing you with affectionate earnestness, when his en- 
feebled frame was scarcely able to maintain an erect pos- 
ture in the pulpit. You have heard him lamenting, in the 
tenderest terms, his inability to serve you in a more 
active manner. And you have seen him manifesting with 
frequency his earnest desire to promote vour best in- 


374 Funeral Sermon. 

terest, even when weakness compelled him to be absent 
from the solemn assembly. 

" But why enlarge on these topics before those who 
knew him so well ? or why dwell upon points of excel- 
lence in his character which all acknowledged ? The 
warmth of his friendship ; his peculiar urbanity ; his do- 
mestic virtues ; his attachment to evangelical truth ; his 
decided friendliness to vital piety; his punctuality, as 
long as he had strength to go abroad, in attending on the 
judicatories of the Church ; these, among the many ex- 
cellent traits of character exhibited by the pastor of whom 
you have just taken leave, will no doubt be remembered 
with respect and with mournful pleasure, for a long time 
to come. 

" More than once have I witnessed, during his weak- 
ness and decline, not only the anxious exercises of one 
who watched over the interests of his own soul with a 
sacred jealousy, but also the aflectionate aspirations of his 
heart for the eternal welfare of his family and flock. 
Farewell! afflicted, beloved man, farewell ! We shall see 
thee again ; see thee, we trust, no more the pale victim of 
weakness, disease, and death, but in the image and the 
train of our blessed Master, and in all the immortal youth, 
and health, and lustre of his glorified family. May it 
then, oh ! may it then appear that all thine anxious 
prayers and all thine indefatigable labors for the spiritual 
benefit of those who were so dear to thine heart, have 
not been in vain in the Lord."* 

* Mrs. Armstrong survived her husband until February 13, 1851, 
when she peacefully and triumphantly departed, in the ninety-third year 
of her age. I had the privilege of the friendship of this most estimable 

Epitaph. 375 

The epitaph on the tomb of Mr. Armstrong, 
in the church-yard, was written by President S. 
Stanhope Smith. 

" Sacred to the memory of the Reverend James Fran- 
cis Armsteong, thirty years pastor of the church at 
Trentdn, in union with the chm-ch at Maidenhead. Born 
in Maryland, of pious parents, he received the elements of 
his classical education under the Rev. John Blair ; finish- 
ed his collegiate studies in the College of New-Jersey, 
under the Rev. Dr. Witherspoon, and w^as licensed to 
preach the Gospel in the year 1777. An ardent patriot, 
he served through the war of Independence as a chaplain. 
In 1790 he was chosen a Trustee of the College of N"ew- 
Jersey. A w^arm and constant friend, a devout Christian, 
a tender husband and parent ; steady in his attendance on 
the judicatories of the Church ; throughout his life he was 
distinguished as a fervent and affectionate minister of the 
Gospel, and resigned his soul to his Creator and Redeemer 
on the nineteenth of January, 1816. 'Blessed are the 
dead who die in the Lord. Amen : even so come Lord 
Jesus.' " 

lady for ten years after becoming pastor of the church, and the discourse 
deUvered on the Sabbath after her funeral has been published under the 
title of " The Divine Promise to Old Age." One of the daughters of 
Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong, was the wife of Chief Justice Ewiug, who died 
in Trenton, July 4, 181G, Their son, Robert L. Armstrong, a member of 
the bar at Woodbury, died in Trenton, September 22, 1836. 

376 Communicants. 



For the years of Mr. Armstrong's pastorate before 
1806, there is no official record of statistics. In a memo- 
randum made by him, he says that when he first came to 
Trenton " the nmnber of communicants did not exceed 
perhaps eight or nine in that church, exclusive of Maiden- 
head. The numbers increased slowly and gradually. At 
every communion season, which was twice a year, a few 
were added ; generally of such as had been under serious 
impression for some time before admission." 

In 1806 the whole number of communicants in Trenton 
was sixty-eight. Two only of these are known to be sur- 
viving in 1859. At the two communions of 1808 seven- 
teen persons made their first profession at one, and thir- 
teen at the other. In 1809 seventeen more were received. 
Among the manuscripts of Mr. Armstrong is a series of 
sermons on the divine being, attributes, and perfections, 
marked by him as having been preached "just before so 
many were added to the church in 1808 and 1809." In 
1810 the whole number of communicants was one hun- 
dred and twenty-four; in 1815, one hundred and eleven. 


I throw into this note some miscellaneous items collect- 
ed from the books of the Treasurer and Trustees at the 
close of the last century. 

Miscellaneous. 377 

The windows of the church appear to have been ex- 
posed to extraordinary casualties, as there are constant 
entries of payments for glazing, and sometimes subscrip- 
tions for that object. Evening services were only occa- 
sional, as we learn from such entries as, '' 1786, March 
18, paid for candles when Mr. Woodhull preached in the 
evening, 25. 6(i." There were collections on every Sab- 
bath ; their amount varied from 25. 4:d. to £1 155. 2d. 
That the old prescriptive coin was freely used on these 
occasions is revealed in such entries as, " By old coppers ;" 
" to amount of old coppers on hand that won't pass." The 
collections were sometimes for other than church pur- 
poses. "1788, collection for Rev. Samson Occom."* 
" 1789, collection raised for a poor traveller, 275. 6f?.'' 
In 1792, £2 Is. 6d. were collected " for Lutherans to build 
a church at Fort Pitt." In 1806, five mahogany "poles 
and [velvet] bags for collecting at church," were provid- 
ed, according to a fashion long since superseded by boxes. 
For several years there is an invariable charge of I5. Qd. 
for " sweeping meeting-house," every fortnight. The 
supplies for the pulpit, and the expense of their horses, 
seem to have been regularly paid. " 1779, paid Rev. Mr. 
Grant, as a sujjply, being a young man unsettled, £l 2s. 
6c?." 1785, " Supply one day and a half, 455." " Half a 
day, 155." The office of Deacon was performed by the 
pastor and elders at their discretion, out of funds in the 

* Occom was a Mohegan (Connecticut) Indian, and the first of his race 
educated by Dr. Wheelock at Lebanon. In 1766 he collected more than 
£1000 in England for the Wheelock School. His agency is mentioned 
in the celebrated case of Dartmouth College : Wheaton's Eeports, vol. 
iv. See Sprague's Annals, vol. iii. 192. 


378 Mifcellaneous. 

Treasurer's hands. " Paid Mr. Armstrong for a sick wo- 
man at Mr. Morrice's." " Shirt for ." " Re- 
lieving: her distress." " Paid Bell that was scalded." 
" Seth Babbitt, a stranger that was in distress, being cast- 
away, as he said." Fuel was often distributed. Decem- 
ber 20, 1799: "Bill for sundries to put the pulpit in 
mourning for G. Washington, and Mrs. Emerson for put- 
ting it on." The expenses of Presbytery were sometimes 
borne by the church treasury. " To Presbytery's ex- 
penses at Mr. Witt's," one of the hotels, means probably 
the keeping of their horses ; but I must not conceal that 
in 1792 there is this charge, "for beer at Presbytery, 
4:S. 10c?." In the same year the other congregation were 
more liberal in their entertainment, as appears by this 
entry : " Bought of Abraham Hunt, for the use of the con- 
gregation when Presbytery sat in Maidenhead, 

" 8 gal. Lisbon wine at Is. 6c?., , . . £3 
5 " spirits, 95., 2 5 

£5 5 

Ten years before — "half gallon of rum." The last, 
we may suppose, was for the use of workmen about the 
church, according to the custom then universal. In build- 
ing the church of 1805, "spirits" were bought for this 
purpose by the barrel. The churches were sometimes re- 
paid for this branch of their expenditures; as in 1798, 
Mr. Bond, (probably a magistrate) divided between the 
Presbyterian and Episcopal churches a fine collected by 
him from some unlicensed vender of SjDirituous liquors. 

In ISTovember, 1786, the purchase of "an elegant, large 
Bible for the use of the Trenton Church," was authorized. 

Notes. 379 

The sexton's fee for digging a grave, inviting to the fune- 
ral, and tolling the bell, was fixed at two dollars. In 1799 
it was increased to three dollars and a half As late as 
1842 it was the custom for the sextons to go from house 
to house, and make verbal notice of funerals at the 
doors. There were not then, as now, three daily news- 
papers to supersede the necessity of publishing notices of 
this kind from the pulpit or otherwise. 

The Trustees appear to have jDrovided for the convey- 
ance of the pastor to the places of the meeting of the Pres- 
bytery. At one time it was " agreed that Mr. Jacob Carle 
or his son, Capt. Israel Carle [neither elder nor Trustee] 
attend Mr. Armstrong to the Presbytery." At another 
time (1787) James Ewing, Esq., [then in no church office,] 
was designated to this service. There may have been 
that deficiency of acting elders (at least in the town) at 
this time, to which Mr. Armstrong refers in a note of 
1813, in which he speaks of his having had charge of the 
charity-fund: " I am inclined to believe before there were 
any elders in the congregation." The expenses of the 
session in attending judicatories were paid by the Trus- 

The j^ew-rents in town were received by a collector an- 
nually appointed by the Trustees out of their own num- 
ber, or from the congregation. Delinquents were some- 
times threatened with the last resort. In 1788 it was 
ordered, " that no horses or other creatures be put in the 
grave-yard." It is presumed that this was a prohibition 
against hitching the animals there on the Sabbath, or pas- 
turing them at any time. The sexton, however, had 
" leave to pasture sheep in the grave-yard." 

380 Potter's Field. 

In 1*788, "the present meeting taking into considera- 
tion the great defect in public worship in the congrega- 
tion, by want of a regular clerk, and Mr. John Friend, a 
member of the congregation, having voluntarily offered 
himself steadily to supply that office, the congregation ac- 
cepted of his offer and desire the Trustees to make any 
agreement they may think proper with ,^said Friend on 
that subject." 

In 1799, (at a congregational meeting,) " whereas ap- 
plications are often making for the burial of strangers in 
the ground belonging to this congregation, by which 
means it is filling up very fast, therefore it is ordered that 
no stranger be permitted to be buried in said ground 
hereafter, without paying what may be agreed upon by 
the Trustees of said church ; and for relief in the premises 
it is agreed that proposals he made to the other societies 
of Christians in this place, and to the inhabitants in gen- 
eral, to open and promote subscriptions for the purpose of 
purchasing a piece of ground for a Potter's field." The 
Trenton " Potter's field" is on the IsTew-Brunswick road, 
and was probably purchased by the town about 1802. 
One of the graves is designated as follows : " Sacred to 
the memory of Judy, wife of William Field ; faithful and 
favorite Christian servants of the late Robert Finley, 
D.D., of Baskingridge, New- Jersey. Erected 1839." 

In 1*799 the Trustees " ordered that the minutes and 
proceedings of the congregation and Trustees be read by 
the minister or clerk of the church the next Sabbath, or 
as soon as convenient after their meetings, in order that 
it be generally known how the business of the Society is 

Dubois. 381 

Some precedence seems to have been accorded to the 
Governor of the State. He was allowed the first choice 
of a pew in the new church of 1806. The incumbent at 
that time was Joseph Bloomfield, known by the titles 
both of Governor and General. He resided in Trenton 
during the successive terms of his administration, (1801- 
12.) Mrs. Bloomfield was a communicant of the church, 
and her nei^hew, Bishop McBvaine, remembers the visits 
of his childhood to the then new, but now demolished 

In the earlier part of Mr. Armstrong's ministry he con- 
formed to the custom, then common in our pulpits, of 
wearing a gown and bands. The practice seems to have 
fallen gradually into disuse, more from its inconveniences 
than from any rise of scruples. The variety of English 
academical gowns seems to have been known in our State 
as late as 1800, for in that year a Burlington tailor adver- 
tises in the Trenton Gazette : " D.D., M.A., and other 
clerical robes made correctly." 


In 1815 the church lost one of its ruling elders. His 
epitaph is : 

" In memory of Nicholas Dubois, many years teacher 
of the Young Ladies' Academy, and an elder of the Pres- 
byterian Church of this place. Died November 4, 1815. 
An. 83t. forty-four. A man amiable, pious, and exem- 
plary ; a teacher, able, zealous, and faithful ; an elder 
ardently devoted to the welfare of his Father's flock." 

382 The Firft 


The interval between Mr. Armstrong and bis successor 
is marked in our history by the commencement of the 
Sunday-school of the church. The earliest school of this 
description was instituted by members of the Society of 
Friends, for the instruction of colored persons. It was 
called the " Trenton First-day School," and the primary 
meeting of the Society was called for " the second second- 
day of the second month," 1809. This failed, as it would 
appear, from want of means to pay a teacher ; and in 
May, 1811, a society of all denominations foraied " a first- 
day, or Sunday-school, for the instruction of the poor of 
all descriptions and colors." I am indebted to John M. 
Sherrerd, Esq., of Belvidere, for the following interesting 
memoranda as to the introduction of the more strictly re- 
ligious, or church Sunday-school : 

" While a student of law in the office of the late Chief 
Justice Ewing, in the winter of 1 815-16, 1 became a mem- 
ber of the Trenton church, under the preaching of Dr. 
Alexander, who chiefly supplied the pulj)it after the death 
of Mr. Armstrong. There was some awakening among 
the churches in that winter. We held a union prayer- 
meeting, weekly, for some time, and at one of these it 
was mooted whether we might not do good by starting a 
Sunday-school. Several of us had read about such schools 
in England, and heard that they had been begun in Phila- 
deljDhia, but none of us had ever seen one.* Our j)rayer- 

* The '-Narrative" of the General Assembly of 1811 mentions the 
establishment of a Sabbath-school for poor children in New-Brunswick. 

Sunday-Schools. 383 

meeting was composed of about a dozen young men who 
had just united with the different churches, and a few others 
who were seriously disposed. I recollect the names of Ger- 
shom Mott, John French, and Mr. Bowen, Baptists ; John 
Probasco, a Methodist ; Lewis Evans, who was brought 
up a Friend. At first I was the only Presbyterian, but 
others soon joined me. I was appointed to visit the 
schools in Philadelphia, and accordingly spent a Sabbath 
there, during which I visited the old Arch Street, Christ 
Church, and St. John's Schools, which were all I could 
find. The teachers furnished me with all the desired in- 
formation, and gave me specimens of tickets, cards, books, 
etc. On my return we determined to make the experi- 
ment, and obtained the use of the old school-room over 
the market-house on Mill Hill, which then stood nearly 
opposite the present Mercer court-house, and eight o'clock 
on the next Sunday morning found us assembled there — 
six teachers and twenty-six scholars. 

" We kept up our weekly prayer-meeting at different 
places, in the Baptist, Presbyterian, and Methodist con- 
nection — chiefly in the first two. Every Sunday the 
school was dismissed in time to attend the three churches, 
on alternate days, each teacher accompanying his class and 
occupying a part of the gallery. We seldom failed of 
having a word of encouragement from the officiating min- 
ister, and I well remember the address of Dr. Alexander, 
the first Sabbath we met in the Presbyterian Church. At 
the end of three months, the room becoming too small for 
us, we formed a school in each of the three churches, and 
each soon became as large as the original one. The Pres- 
byterian was held in the school-building on your church- 

384 Sunday-Schools. 

lot. The others in the Baptist Church and Trenton 
Academy. I continued there about nine months, and 
until I left Trenton, during which time we kept up our 
union prayer-meeting, and the visits of all the schools al- 
ternately at the different churches on Sunday mornings. 
Towards the last they almost filled the gallery of each 
church. After the separation on Mill Hill female teachers, 
for the first time, took part. We followed the old plan of 
each scholar committing as much as he could during the 
week — receiving tickets, redeemed, at a certain number, 
with books. One factory boy, I remember, who, although 
twelve hours at work daily, committed so many verses 
that I could not hear him in school-hours, but took the 
time for it after church." 

From a document in a Trenton newspaper (August 8, 
1817) it appears that the three schools mentioned by Mr. 
Sherrerd were organized under the title of " The Trenton 
and Lamberton Sunday Free-School Association." The date 
of its beginning is there given as March 9, 1816. "From 
April to October the school consisted of ninety scholars. 
On the twenty-seventh October it wasdivided into three." 
" It is with peculiar pleasure the Association notice those 
two nurseries of mercy, the Female and African Sunday- 
schools, which have arisen since the establishment of their 
own." A column of a newspaper of Oct. 4, 1819, is occu- 
pied with a report of the " Trenton Sabbath-day School," 
which opens with saying, " Nine months have now elapsed 
since, by the exertions of a few gentlemen, this school was 
founded." The report is signed by James C. How, after- 
wards the Rev. Mr. How, of Delaware, a brother of the 
Presbyterian pastor. In February, 1821, the same Socie- 

Teachers. 385 

ty reports that it had four schools, the boys', the gh'ls', the 
African, and one at Morris ville. The last school had, in 
November, 1819, eleven teachers and one hundred and 
sixteen scholars. The " Female Tract Society" furnish- 
ed tracts monthly to the schools, and the " Juvenile Dorcas 
Society" supplied clothing to the children. 

Six female members of our congregation (Ellen Bur- 
ro wes, Mary Ann Tucker, Mary A. Howell, Hannah E. 
Howell, Eliza R. Chambers, and Hannah Hayden) origin- 
ated "The Female Sabbath Association," Oct. 4, 1816. 
To these were soon added Sarah M. Stockton, (afterwards 
wife of Rev. W. J. Armstrong,) Rosetta C. Hyer, Jai^e 
Lowry, Eliza C. Palmer, Lydia Middleton, (afterwards 
wife of Rev. Henry Woodward,) Ellen E. Burrowes, (Mrs. 
Stacy G. Potts,) Catherine Schenck, Mary Creed, Abigail 
Ryall, Juliette Rice,* Susan Armstrong, Anna Jackson, 
(wife of Rev. Jos. Sanford.f) The session granted the use 
of the gallery of the church, as a place of teaching. The 
school was opened Oct. 20, and was held for an hour and 
a half in the afternoon. A boys' school was afterwards 
formed, of which Mr. James C. How was the first Super- 
intendent. There are eight hundred and twenty-two 
names on the roll of female pupils from 1822 to 1839. 

* Miss Rice maintained her active interest in the School until her 
death in May, 1855, She served the general cause as a writer. Two of 
her books, " Alice and her Mother," and " Olive Smith," were published 
by the American S. S. Union ; three others, " Consideration, or the 
Golden Rule," "Florence Patterson," and "Maria Bradford," by the 
Massachusetts S. S. Society. 

f Miss Jackson's name and Trenton associations frequently occur in 
the Memoir of Mr. Sanford, by Dr. Baird, pp. 28, 63, G6, 86, 97, 118, 121. 


386 Benjamin Smith. 


Ill tlie minutes of the Trustees, March 19, 1814, is this 
entry : 

" Benjamin Smith, Esq., who has for a long time been 
a Trustee and President of the Board, as also Treasurer 
for the church, all which offices he has filled with faithful- 
ness, but expecting shortly to remove to Elizabethtown, 
and make that his final place of abode, begged for said 
reason to resign his trusteeship." 

Mr. Smith was elected " a Deacon for Trenton," May 
6, 1777, and was an elder in 1806, and probably for some 
years before. He died in Elizabethtown, October 23, 
1824, and a sermon was preached at his funeral by his 
pastor, the Rev. Dr. John McDowell, from the words : 
" Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the 
place where thine honor dwelleth." This text had been 
selected by himself for the purpose, and his will directed 
the same to be inscribed on his tomb. By the kmdness 
of Dr. McDowell I am enabled to present a copy of the 
statements in the funeral discourse, which show how ap- 
plicable was its inspired motto. 

" Our departed friend loved the house of the Lord, and 
he has told the speaker that this evidence has often en- 
couraged and comforted his soul, when he could get hold 
of scarcely any other. His conduct in this respect corre- 
sponded with his profession. Through a long life he 
manifested that he loved the Lord's house. It was tauo^ht 
him, I have understood, from his childhood. At an early 
age he became the subject of serious impressions, and 

The Smith Scholarfhip. 387 

hopefully of divine grace. He was first received into this 
church under the ministry of the Rev. James Caldwell, in 
the year 1765, when he was about eighteen years old. 
He afterwards removed to Trenton, and connected him- 
self with that church, where he spent most of his days. 
There he long acted in the office of ruling elder. During 
the latter part of the time of his residence in Trenton, the 
congregation erected a new house of worship. In this he 
took a deep and active interest. Pie bestowed much of 
his time, contributed liberally of his means, and went 
abroad soliciting aid for its completion. About ten years 
since he i-emoved to this town, and in the decline of life 
agam connected himself with this church. He was soon 
elected a ruling elder, which office he executed with 
fidelity until his decease, in the seventy-ninth year of his 
age. He manifested his love to the house of God by his 
constant attendance on its worship until his last short ill- 
ness ; and he manifested it in his will, by leaving a be- 
quest for the support of its worship, and remembering 
other conoTesrations in the town. His last words w^ere : 
' Welcome sweet day of rest.' 

5 5? 

Araon^r the lesjacies of Mr. Smith's will was one of 
twenty-five hundred dollars for the endowment of a scho- 
larship in the Theological Seminary at Princeton, which 
was realized in 1839, upon the decease of his widow. It 
stands the twenty-sixth on the list of scholarships, and 
bears the name of its founder. 

Samuel B. How, D.D.-— William J. Aemsteo^^g, 
D.D. — The Rev. Joh:n" Smith. — Notes. 


O]^ the nineteenth of August, 1816, the con- 
gregation met and elected for their pastor the 
Kev. Samuel Blanchaed How. 

Mr. (now Dr.) How, a native of Burlington, 
graduated in the University of Pennsylvania, 
(1811 ;) was tutor for a short time in Dickinson 
College ; then a master of the Grammar School 
of his University ; was licensed by the Presby- 
tery of Philadelphia in 1813 ; then passed a ses- 
sion at the Princeton Seminary, and on ISTovem- 
ber 10, 1814, was ordained and installed pastor 
at Solebury, Bucks county. 

Mr. How ^as installed over the Trenton con- 
gregation December 17, 1816, on which occasion 
Dr. Miller presided. Dr. Alexander ])reachecl, 
(2 Cor. 3 : 16.) Dr. Miller gave the charge to 
the pastor, and the E,ev. I. V. Brown the charge 
to the congregation. This pastorship was hap- 

Dr. How. 389 

pily and usefully continued until April, 1821, 
when a call from the First Church of New- 
Brunswick was laid before the Presbytery, and 
he was installed in that city in the following 
June.^'* The additions to the communion of the 
church in these five years were fifty-six on their 
first profession, and thirty on certificates from 
other churches. 

Dr. How was followed by the late William 
Jessup Ap.mstrojs^g, D.D., son of the Kev. Dr. 
Amzi Armstrong:, of Mendham and Bloomfield. 
Mr. Armstrong graduated at Princeton College 
in 1816 ; studied theology under his father, and 
for a year in the Piinceton Seminary ; and upon 
his licensure in 1819 (by the Presbytery of Jer- 
sey) entered on two years' service of the Board 
of Missions in Virginia, in the course of which 
he founded the Presbyterian Church in Char- 
lottesville. Mr. Armstrong returned to ^ew- 
Jersey in 1821, and on the twenty-eighth Sep- 
tember he w^as unanimously elected pastor of 
Trenton. On the twenty-seventh November the 

* In October, 1823, Dr. How became pastor of the Independent Pres- 
byterian Church of Savannah; in 1830 President of Dickinson College ; 
and subsequently returned to New-Brunswick upon a call- to take the 
pastoral charge of the First Reformed Dutch Church in that city, which 

position he still occupies. 


390 Dr. W. J. Armftrong. 

Presbytery of New-Brunswick, meeting in Tren- 
ton, the session was opened, according to a cus- 
tom tlien prevailing, witli Mr. Armstrong's trial 
sermon for ordination. On the next day, 
too^ether with Charles rlodo^e and Peter O. Stud- 
diford, he was ordained, and himself installed."^ 
At this service Dr. Miller presided ; E-ev. George 
8. Woodhull preached, (2 Tim. 4:12;) Eev. E. 
F. Cooley gave the charge to tlie ministers, and 
Pev. D. Comfort that to the congregation. The 
date of Mr. Armstrong's actual entrance upon the 
duties of the pastorate is October 20, 1821. 

During his short residence of about two and a 
half years, fifty-three new communicants were 
received on their profession, and fourteen on cer- 

While residinof here Mr. Armstrono^ was mar- 
ried to Sarah Milnor, daughter of Lucius Hora- 
tio Stockton. 

When Dr. John H. Rice w^as called to relin- 
quish the church at Richmond, Vii'ginia, he re- 

* It is pleasant thus to meet with names, now well known, while 
in the uncertainties of their novitiate. Mr. Armstrong preached at the 
•ordination of " C. C. Beatty," in 1822; and at the same meeting of 
Presbytery trials were assigned to "Mr. Albert Barnes." "Mr. Francis 
McFarland" preached his trial sermon, and was ordained. "Messrs. 
Robert Baird and John Breckinridge" were licensed. 

Dr. Armftrong. 391 

commended Mr. Armstrong: as Lis successor, and 
a call from that congregation was put into his 
hands February 3, 1824 — the same day on which 
one of bis successors in Trenton (James W. Alex- 
ander) was received by the Presbytery as a can- 
didate for the ministry. At the following April 
meeting the j)astor read to the Presbytery a 
statement he had previously made to the Tren- 
ton parish, of the reasons of his favorable inclina- 
tion to the Richmond call. The Rev. Jared D. 
Fyler (then residing in Trenton) and Joshua 
Anderson, one of the elders, presented a written 
statement of the views of the people, expressive 
of their reluctant submission to the wishes of 
their pastor in the matter, and accordingly the 
dissolution took place. 

Dr. Armstrong remained ten years in Rich- 
mond, v/hen he en tred the service of the Amer- 
ican Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mis- 
sions, first as agent, then as secretary ; and it 
was on his passage from Boston to New- York, on 
tlie business of the Board, that he was wrecked 
in the steamboat Atlantic, November 2Y, 1846. 
The last scene of that catastrophe of which there 
is any account, presents him reading the Gospel, 
praying with, exhorting, and comforting his fel- 

392 Dr. Armftrong. 

low-passengers, so long as the fatal event was 

The characteristics of Dr. Armstrong's preach- 
ing have been stated by two good judges. The 
Rev. Dr. James W. Alexander wrote to the com- 
piler of his Memoir : 

" While he was at Trenton I often listened to his ser- 
mons, and there was no man whom at that day I heard 
with more impression. His sermons were carefully pre- 
pared, and were pronounced with a degree of w^armth 
and emotion which are quite unusual. My recollection is 
vivid of his appeals to the heart, as being of a high order. 
When at a later period I was called to labor among the 
same people, I found that he had left that good name which 
is ' better than precious ointment.' There were manifest 
tokens of his faithfulness in public and in private." 

Mr. Theodore Frelinghuyseu, now President of 
Rutgers College, then a member of the bar, says 
in a letter in 1851 : 

" I very often enjoyed the privilege of hearing him 
while he was a stated minister at Trenton, and the im- 
pression made upon my mind, deep and unfading, was 
that of uncommon earnestness, sincerity, and power. He 
commenced in his calm and solemn manner ; he rose with 
his subject ; his mind kindled and his heart warmed as he 
discoursed ; and towards the conclusion he poured his 

Rev. John Smith. 393 

whole soul into it, as if he thought he might never speak 
again, and as if some impenitent friend before him might 
never hear ao-ain the voice of warninsr and the invitations 
of mercy."* 

The Kqv. J. C. Smith, of Washington City, 
says : " One of our own elders knew him as a pas- 
tor in Trenton, and he blesses God that through 
him he was converted to God."f 

The congregation was without a settled pastor 
for about twenty months, when having united in 
the choice of the Eev. Jopin Smith, of Connecti- 
cut, that minister began to supply the pulpit 
regularly in December, 1825. He was not re- 
ceived by the Presbytery until the following Feb- 
ruary ; and on the eighth March he was both or- 
dained and installed in Trenton. In that service 
Dr. Carnahan presided. Dr. Hodge preached, 

* Memoir and Sermons, edited by Eev. Hollis Read, 1853, pp. 31 
and 104. A visitor in Trenton thus wrote, November 4, 1822 : " I 
heard Mr. Armstrong preach a most eloquent sermon yesterday morning. 

He is one of my favorites. At night Mr. L , the Methodist, a very 

good preacher ; the coolest Methodist I ever heard. The Trentonians 
say that the Presbyterians have got the Methodist preacher, and the 
Methodists the Presbyterian." 

•{■ The excellent man here referred to, was Mr. John Voorhees, who 
was admitted to the communion in Trenton in April, 1822 ; and elected 
a ruling elder in 1829. He emphatically discharged the duties of his 
office " well," until the removal of his residence to Washington, in 1843, 
where he died October 28, 1849. 

394 Lalor. 

(1 Cor. 1:21,) and both tlie charges were given 
by the Kev. E. F. Cooley. Mr. Smith was a na- 
tive of Wethersfield ; a graduate of Yale College 
(1821) and of the Andover Theological Semina- 
ry, and a licentiate of the Congregational Associ- 
tion of East-Fairfield. 

Mr. Smith continued in this charge less than 
three years, but in that time fifty-nine persons 
made their first profession. Twenty-six of these 
were received at the communion of April, 1827 ; 
two of whom afterwards entered the ministry, 
namely, Mr. George Ely, pastor of Nottingham 
and Dutch-Neck, who died August 14, 1856, and 
George Burrowes, D.D., pastor of Kirkwood, in 
Maryland ; Professor in Lafayette College, and 
now pastor in Newtown, Pennsylvania. One of 
eleven new communicants in April, 1828, is com- 
memorated in the following inscrij)tion in our 
church-vard : 

" Here lie tlie remains of jEREiiiAH D. Lalor, who de- 
parted this life March 8th, A.D. 1845, aged thirty-two 
years. To those who knew him the remembrance of his 
virtues is the highest eulogy of his character. He had de- 
voted himself to the service of God in the ministry of re- 
conciliation, and when just u2:>on the threshold of the 
sacred office was removed by death from the brightest 

Rev. John Smith. 395 

prospects of usefulness, to serve his Maker iii another 

Some confusion was created during Mr. Smith's 
ministry by the indiscreet, however sincere, zeal 
in what they called the cause of Christ, of two or 
three superserviceable ministers and candidates, 
who wished to introduce those measures for the 
promotion of the work of a pastor, that had, 
then at least, the apology of being too new to 
have taught their warning lessons. An attempt 
was made to form a distinct congregation, and 
separate meetings were held for a time, and 
even a small building erected, which was j^ut 
into connection with the German Reformed 
Church ; but the Presbyterians gradually return- 
ed, and no effort was made, or probably design- 
ed, to produce a schism. Mr. Smith, however, 
in August, 1828, requested a dissolution of the 
pastoral relatiou, which was granted by the Pres- 
bytery, and in February of the next year he was 
detacbed from that body and took charge of a 
Congregational Church in Exeter, ]N"ew-Hamp- 
shire. He has since exercised his ministry in 
Stamford and other towns of Connecticut, and 
larsre numbers have become united with the 
churches he has served. "While resident in 

39^) Societies. 

Trenton. Mr. Smitli was married to a dauofliter 
of the late Aaron D. Woodruff, Attorney Gen- 
eral of tlie State. 


Durinsj Dr. How's residence in Trenton several useful 
public enterprises were undertaken, in wliicii he, together 
with the other ministers of the town, participated. In 
January, 1817, he was of the committee (with Colonels 
Beatty, Bayard, and Frelinghuysen, and Mr. Wm. Coxe) 
to prepare a constitution for the ]*^ew-Jersey Colonization 
Society, then formed. In 1820, the Presbyterian and 
Episcopal clergymen were associated with Samuel L. 
Southard, George Sherman, Charles Ewing, and other 
philanthropic citizens, in encouraging the institution 
of a Savings Bank. The same persons were active in 
founding the Apj^rentices' Library in April, 1821, and 
Mr. Ewing delivered a discourse in the Presbyterian 
Church on the last day of that year, in view of the open- 
ing of the Library on the following day. In 1816 " The 
Female Tract Society of Trenton" began the useful minis- 
try which it still continues. In 1822 the ladies of the con- 
gregation formed a " Missionary and Education Society," 
which met once a fortnight to provide clothing for theolo- 
gical students and for children at mission stations. 
Whilst the work of the hands was going on, one of the 

Aaron D. Woodruff. 397 

ladies read missionary intelligence. Two associations for 
the circulation of the Scriptures were formed in 1824 ; in 
May " The Aj^prentices' Bible Society," of which Wm. 
P. Sherman was Secretary, and in August " The Bible 
Society of Delaware Falls, Auxiliary to the American 
Bible Society." The latter was organized in the State 
House, and among the speakers were the late Rev. Dr. 
JVIilnor, of New- York, and " Mr. Bethune, a theological 

On the twenty-fourth June, 1817, died Aaron Dickin- 
son Woodruff, who had been a Trustee from May 4, 
1789. He was born September 12, 1762; delivered the 
Valedictory at the Princeton Commencement of 1779; 
was admitted to the bar 1784 ; was made Attorney Gen- 
eral of the State in 1793, and annually reelected, except 
in 1811, until his death. He also served in the Legisla- 
ture, and was influential in having Trenton selected for 
the State capital. He was buried in the Trenton church- 
yard, where his epitaph records that, 

" For twenty-four years he filled the important station 
of Attorney-General with incorruptible integrity. Ad- 
verse to legal subtleties, his professional knowledge was 
exerted in the cause of truth and justice. The native be- 
nevolence of his heart made him a patron of the poor, a 
defender of the fatherless ; it exulted in the joys, or par- 
ticipated in the sorrows of his friends." 

Mr. Woodruff's successor was Samuel L. Soutkaed, 
who signed the triple oath required by the charter, (of 
allegiance to the State, to the United States, and of fideli- 


398 Lucius H. Stockton. 

ty as a trustee,) May 11, 1818. Until called from Tren- 
ton, in 1823, to the cabinet of President Monroe, he was 
one of the most punctual and active officers of the congre- 
gation. He was a Manager and Vice-President of the 
" Education Society of the Presbytery of Xew-Bruns- 
wick," formed in 1819, and a Vice-President in the Board 
of Trustees of the Theological Seminary at Princeton. 
Mr. Southard's public life as Legislator, Judge, Attorney- 
General, and Governor in his own State, and as Senator, 
Secretary of the Navy, and President of the Senate at 
Washington, needs no record here. He died in Frede- 
ricksburg, A^irginia, June 26, 1842, at the age of fifty-five. 
The name of Lucius Horatio Stockto:n^ having occur- 
red in this chapter, it deserves commemoration as that of 
a prominent member of the congregation and church. 
He was a son of Richard Stockton, the signer of the De- 
claration of Independence, and a nephew of Ehas Boudi- 
not. Mr. L. H. Stockton was for some time District -At- 
torney of Xew-Jersey, and his nomination to be Secretary 
of War, within a few weeks (Jan. 1801) of the close of 
the administration of President Adams, was one of the 
causes of umbrage to Mr. Jefferson. He died at Trenton, 
May 26, 1835. Mr. Stockton was eccentric, and a very 
earnest politician, but did not deserve to be called " a 
crazy, fanatical young man," as Wolcott wrote.* In a 
long series of articles in the Trenton Federalist of 1803, 

* Gibbs's Federal Administrations, ii. 468. In Mr. Jeremiah Evarts's 
journal, of April 18, 1827, he mentions a meeting in the Theological Sem- 
inary at Princeton on the subject of Foreign Missions, when Dr. Alex- 
ander " was followed by Mr. Stockton, a lawyer of TrentoD, -who spoke 
with great feeling." {Ti-acy's Life of Evarts.) 

Samuel W. Stockton. 399 

Mr. L. H. Stockton defends himself and his deceased uncle, 
Samuel Witham Stocktois^, from attacks in the Demo- 
cratic True American. Mr. S. W. Stockton went to 
Europe in 1774, and was Secretary of the American Com. 
mission to the courts of Austria and Prussia. He nego- 
tiated a treaty with Holland, and returned to Kew-Jersey 
in 1779, where he held various public offices. In 1792 he 
was an Alderman of Trenton ; in 1794 Secretary of State ; 
and his monument in our church-yard records that he 
died June 27, 1795, (in his forty-third year,) in conse- 
quence of being " thrown from his chaise."* The Rev. 
James F. Armstrong, who was " long on the most friendly 
and intimate terms with him," preached at his funeral from 
1 Sam. 20 : 3. 

While Dr. How was pastor another of the prominent 
citizens of Trenton and members of this church was re- 
moved by death. Samuel Leake was born in Cumber- 
land county, Nov. 2, 1747. He received his prej^aratory 
training in the two celebrated schools of Fagg's Manor 
and Pequea. The Rev. John Blair, Dr. R. Smith, and 
Enoch Green gave him certificates, 1767-9, of proficiency 
in different branches, and of his high religious charac- 
ter. After teaching three years in iSTewcastle, he received 
(May 1772) testimonials from Thomas McKean and George 
Read, (two of the three Delaware signers of the Declara- 
tion of Independence,) George Monro, John Thompson, 

* Not many steps from this monument are those of two brothers, 
(Douglass and Philip P. Howell,) on one of which it is said that the de- 
ceased "lost his life by a fall from his horse," (1801,) and on the other 
that the deceased was "thrown from hid gig, and died in a few minutes," 

400 Samuel Leake. 

and the Rev. Joseph Montgomery. He then entered 
Princeton College, and took his Bachelor's degree in 
September, 1774. In the following March President 
Withers230on gave a written certificate of his qualifications 
to teach Greek, Latin, and mathematics, to which he ap- 
pended : " I must also add that he gave particular atten- 
tion to the English language while here, and is probably 
better acquainted with its structure, propriety, and force 
than most of his years and standing in this country." 

Mr. Leak, however, did not resume the employment of 
teaching, but entered upon the study of the law, first with 
Richard Howell, Esq., afterwards Governor of the State, 
and then with Charles Pettit, Esq., of Burlington, and 
with their certificates, and that of Thomas McKean, (af- 
terwards Governor of Pennsylvania,) he was licensed as an 
attorney in November, 1776. He began practice in Salem, 
but in October, 1785, removed to Trenton, where he pur- 
sued his profession so successfully as to be able to retire 
before he was enfeebled by age. He paid unusual atten- 
tion to the students in his oflice ; regularly devoting one 
hour every day to their examination. I have before me 
an example of his systematic ways, in a document engross- 
ed in a large hand, beginning thus : 

" I. Be it remembered that Samuel Leake, on Sunday, 
the thirteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord one 
thousand eight hundred and eleven, in the Presbyterian 
Church in Trenton, received the Lord's Supper ; James 
F. Armstrong then being mmister of the Gospel, and ad- 
ministering the Supper in that church." 

Epitaph. 401 

Entries in the same form, with the proper dates, follow 
as to each of the semi-annual communions until October 1, 
1815, when the record is that, "Dr. Miller preached the 
Action Sermon ; Dr. Alexander administered the ordiance, 
Mr. Armstrong was sick and absent." The paper con- 
tinues to make a formal register of each attendance at the 
Lord's supper until it closes with that on January 2, 1820, 
two months before his decease. He prepared similar docu- 
ments for each of his daughters as they became communi- 
cants. Mr. Leake died on the eighth of March, 1820, in 
his seventy-third year. The Supreme Court being in ses- 
sion at the time, the bar not only resolved to attend the 
funeral, but recommended to their brethren throughout 
the State to wear the customary badge of respect. His 
epitaph is as follows : 

"Sacred to the memory of Samuel Leake, Esquire, 
Sergeant at Law. Died eighth March, A.D. 1820. A.E. 
V2. Educated to the Bar he attained the highest degree 
of eminence ; Distinguished for candor, integrity, zeal 
for his chents, and profound knowledge of jurisprudence, 
he fulfilled the duties of his station with singular useful- 
ness, ' without fear and without reproach.' Deeply versed 
in human literature, and devoutly studious of the words 
of sacred truth ; he lived the life of a Christian, and died 
the death of the righteous." 


In the term of Dr. Armstronof's ministrv the session and 
church were painfully concerned with a public affair in 


402 Gordon — Hayden. 

which one of their members was implicated. Peter Gor- 
Dox, Esq., (who was elected an elder in March, 1797, and 
a Trustee in September, 1804,) after eighteen years' tenure 
of the office of State Treasurer, was found to be in default. 
While the matter was in course of investigation by the 
Legislature (1821-2) Mr. Gordon voluntarily withdrew 
from the communion, and from his place in the session, 
but was restored in June, 1825, and the next month took 
a certificate of dismission to New-York. 


During the time of the Rev. John Smith, two of the 
elders of the church died. 

Benjamin Hayden was in the session in September, 
1806 — how long previously to that date can not be ascer- 
tained. He was also a Trustee from September, 1811, tiU 
his death, which took place February 28, 1827, in his 
seventy-fourth year. This venerable and excellent man 
left a son of the same name, who died a member of this 
church, April 11, 1858, in his eighty-fifth year. 

John Beatty was a son of the Rev. Charles Beatty, the 
successor of Wm. Tennent, at Neshamony. His mother 
was a daughter of Governor Reading, and his grand- 
mother was of the family of Clinton, so distinguished in 
the history of New-York. Mr. Beatty was a native of 
Bucks county; graduated at Princeton 1769; was educated 
in medicine under Dr. Rush, but entered the army of the 
Revolution, where he soon became a Lieutenant Colonel. 
He was among the captured at Fort Washington, on the 
Hudson, and afterwards rose to the rank of Major, and 

General Beatty. 403 

was Commissary General of prisoners.* After the 
peace he practised medicine in Princeton, and was Secre- 
tary of the New- Jersey Medical Society; but in 1783 and 
other years was in Congress; in 1789 was Speaker of the 
State Assembly; and from 1795 to 1805 was Secretary of 
State. From May, 1815, until his death, he was Presi- 
dent of the Trenton Banking Company. He was Presi- 
dent of the company which built the noble bridge that 
unites Trenton to his native county in Pennsylvania.! 
General Beatty was a Trustee of the church from 1799 to 
1804, and again from 1822 till his death. He was received 
to the communion May, 1808; ordained to the eldership 
September, 1817, at the same time with James Ewing. 
Robert McISTeely, and Joshua Anderson. Chief Justice 
Ewing wrote his epitaph : 

" Sacred to the memory of General John Beatty ; born 

* Major Beatty is mentioned by "Washington in a letter of May, 1*788, 
and there are letters from the Commander in Chief to him, of 1779, in 
Sparks's Writings of Washington^ v. 393, vi. 295, 351. 

f The foundation stone of the first pier was laid by General Beatty, 
May 21, 1804, and on the thirtieth January, 1806, the completion of the 
bridge was formally celebrated with a procession, an address by the 
President, and a dinner. The Duke of Saxe-Weimar (1825) was " sorry 
for the great hurry" in which he had to take the boat for Philadelphia, 
" because I should have liked to have examined Trenton; it is a very 
handsome place. . . . There is, moreover, at Trenton a remarkable bridge 
crossing the Delaware. It consists of five great suspended wooden 
arches, which rest upon two stone abutments and three stone piers. The 
difference between this bridge and others consists in this, that in com- 
mon bridges the road runs over the tangent, but in this bridge the 
roads form the segment of the arch." (Travels through North-America^ 
vol. i. 136.) 

404 Summerfield. 

December 10, 1749 : died May 30, 1826. Educated as a 
physician, he became early distinguished for benevolence, 
assiduity, and skill. In the war of Independence, in im- 
portant military stations, he faithfully served his country. 
By the public A^oice he was called to the discharge of emi- 
nent ci\dl offices. In the State and national Legislatures 
repeatedly a representative, always active and influential. 
For many years a ruling elder of this church. In every 
walk of life amiable, honorable, and useful. He crowned 
the virtues of the man, the patriotism of the soldier, and 
the sagacity of the statesman by the pure piety and sin- 
cere relio'ion of the devout and humble Christian." 

Colonel Erkuries Beatty, of Princeton, was a brother of 
Gen. Beatty, and father of C. C. Beatty, D.D., of Steu- 


In the summer of 1821 the Rev. John Summerfield, the 
English Methodist preacher whose visit to this country 
produced an impression still vividly retained by many of 
his hearers, passed a few days in Trenton, and occupied 
the Presbyterian pulpit for two successive evenings. Ab- 
stracts of both his sermons are given by his latest biogra- 
pher, who was one of the large audience that crowded the 
church. He says : '' Mr. Summerfield received the most 
marked attention from every class during his brief stay in 
Trenton ; and though suffering all the while from sickness, 
(for he was attacked the day after his arrival,) he strove to 
entertain and edify the various company that sought his 
society." "^ Neio Life of S>ummerfield^ by WilUam W. 
Willett." Philadelphia, 1857. 

James Ewing. 405 

The most notable public event of 1824 was the visit of 
General Lafayette to the United States. In his tour he ar- 
rived in Trenton on Saturday, the twenty-fifth of Sep- 
tember. Next morning he attended public worship in our 
church ; afterwards* he visited Joseph Bonaparte at Bor- 
dentown, and returned to spend the night. He break- 
fasted here again July 16, 1825. 

President Monroe, (who was wounded in the battle of 
Trenton,) on his tour of 1817, arrived here on Saturday, 
June seventh, and attended worship the next day in the 
Presbyterian Church. 


James Ewing, father of the Chief Justice, and the tenth 
child of Thomas and Mary Ewing, (p. 363,) first came to 
Trenton as a representative of Cumberland county, in the 
Legislature in 1774, and removed his residence there in 
1779. He was afterwards, under Congress, Auditor of 
Public Accounts, Commissioner of the Continental Loan 
Office for N"ew-Jersey, and Agent for Pensions. He was 
Mayor of Trenton, 1797-1803. For some years he was a 
partner of Isaac Collins (p. 328) in merchandise, and there 
is a letter of condolence from him to Mr. Collins, on the 
death of his wife, in the Memoir of Mr. C. He was one 
of the founders of the Library and the Academy. He 
was a corporator, commissioner, and secretary of the 
Society incorporated March 15, 1796, to make the Assan- 
pink navigable from the " Trenton Mills " to *' the place 
where it intersects the stage road from Burlington to 

* " Apres I'office divin que nous entendimes dans I'eglise Presbyte- 
rienne." Levassmfs Lafayeiie en VAmerique. 

4o6 Jofeph Lancafter. 

Amboy ;" and doubtless was in the company wbo on the 
third February, 1797, descended the creek in the boat 
Ho23e, from '' Davidstown," where the upper lock was 
situated, to Trenton, in three hours, and so opened one 
half of the proposed line of navigation.* Mr. Ewing was 
elected a Trustee of the church September 5, 1808, and 
ordained an elder September 21, 1817. He continued in 
both offices until his death, which took place October 23, 
1823. In accordance with his known objections to the 
practice, no stone was placed to mark the spot of his in- 
terment, which was in our church-vard. 


It may be placed among the miscellaneous items of 
1828, that on the fourteenth July the church was struck 
with lightning ; but the conductor answered its purpose 
so well that no mischief was done beyond the shattering 
of a few panes of glass. 

In October, 1827, the celebrated Joseph Lancaster 
established his residence here, and opened a school. In 
the next year a girls' school was taught by Mrs. Lancas- 
ter. For a quarter the public schools were under their 
joint direction. Their contract was to teach eighty child- 
ren for one year, and supply books and stationery, for two 
hundred and seventy-fiye dollars. 

In October, 1828, the Synod, meeting in Trenton, unit- 
ed in a general convention, which assembled in the church, 

^ It may have been a revival of this scheme that was contemplated in 
November, 1814, when a public meeting was called to form an associa- 
tion " to supply the town with fire-wood by water." 

Mrs. Mary Dunbar. 407 

Chief Justice Kirkpatrick presiding, and the present Chief 
Justice Green being Secretary. A project for raising forty 
thousand dollars in two years, for erecting school-houses 
and supplying teachers and missionaries through the 
State, was recommended, as were also the objects of the 
" General Sabbath Union," the American Temperance 
Society, and the Sunday-school enterprise. In Novem- 
ber, 1817, a convention met at Trenton and formed a State 
Society for the supjjression of vice and the promotion of 
good morals, principally by aiding the civil authorities in 
executing the laws, and by diffusing a knowledge of the . 
statutes and their penalties. 

immjr:m^ — 


Copy of an inscription on a stone in the pavement of 
the church-porch : 

" To 2^erpetuate the memory and the modest worth of 
Mrs. Mart Du^stbar, this marble is placed over her grave, 
a tribute of the grateful and affectionate remembrance of 
her pupils, whom for three successive generations as school- 
mistress she had taught in this city. Ever attentive to 
the pious nurture of her pupils in private, and to the du- 
ties of religion in public, she closed an exemplary and 
useful life, December 9, A.D. 1808 : aged 1Q years." 

James W. Alexander, D.D. — John W. Yeo- 
MANS, D.D. — John Hall, D.D. 


The successor of Mr. Smith was the Rev. 
James Waddel Alexander ; who graduated at 
the Princeton College in 1820 ; entered the 
Seminary 1821 ; was licensed 1825 ; installed at 
Charlotte Court House, Virginia, 1827, and over 
the Trenton Church, February 11, 1829. On 
the last occasion Dr. A. Alexander presided. Dr. 
Miller preached, (Matt. 4:19,) Kev. Eli F. Cooley 
and Henry Perkins gave the charges. 

The services of this pastorship began January 
10, 1829, and terminated, October 31, 1832 ; 
during which period iifty-one new communicants 
were received, and thirty others on certificate. 
Dr. Alexander having complied with a request 
which I made of all the ex-pastors surviving at 
the time of preparing this volume, for such remi- 
niscences of their residence here as would come 

Dr. Alexander's Letter. 409 

witliin the scope of my work, I gladly incorporate 
his letter in this stage of the narrative.^^ 

"I^EW-YoRK, February 10, 1859. 

" My Dear Friexd : Tlie retrospect of my ministe- 
rial life brings to view so many defects, and such unfruit- 
fulness, that I have never been able to take pleasure in 
numbering up sermons preached, visits made, and mem- 
bers added ; nor have I any anniversary or autobiographi- 
cal discourses to which I could refer. At your request, 
however, I can not refuse to give you a few reminiscences 
of my connection with the church of which you are the 

"A great intimacy subsisted between my father and our 
predecessor, the Rev. James F. Armstkoxg, and the 
friendship between their respective descendants continues 
to this day. Mr. Armstrong had been the friend of With- 
er spoon, Smith, and KoUock. He was laid aside from 
preaching, by a disabling and distressing rheumatism, be- 
fore I ever entered his delightful and hospitable house — 
rich in good books, good talk, and good cheer — where old 

* The ruling elders during Mr. Alexander's term were : 1. Nathaniel 
BURROWES ; first an elder in Pennington, and received into the Trenton 
session December 24, 1815, His monument is inscribed : " A memorial 
of Nathaniel Burrowes, who died January 29, 1839, aged seventy-one 
years. An elder of the Presbyterian Church for forty years." 2. Egbert 
McNeely, who came to Trenton in 1791, was ordained to the elder- 
ship 1817; died January 27, 1852, in his eighty-fifth year. He was for 
eighteen successive years annually elected Mayor of Trenton. 3. John 
VoORHEES, who is mentioned in the preceding chapter. 4, Samuel 
Brearley, elected with Mr. A^oorhees in 1829, and died May 27, 1848- 


4io Reminiscences. 

and young were alike made welcome and happy. Bat 
this brought me acquainted with Trenton, with that fami- 
ly, and especially with Chief Justice Ewixg, by whose 
means and influence, more than any other, I was after- 
wards led to settlement among them. The family of Mr., 
afterwards Judge, Ewing, was the home of my childhood 
and youth ; vvhich led that distinguished and excellent 
man to look upon my early performances in the pulpit 
with undue partiality. By him, and by»the late General 
Samuel R. Hamilto^s^, who was a Princeton man, my 
name was broug-ht before the con o;r eolation, and I was in- 
stalled as their pastor, by a committee of Presbytery, on 
the eleventh day of February, 1829. I had, however, be- 
gun my labors with them on the tenth of January, when I 
preached from 1 Cor. 11 : 28. My strictly pastoral labors 
ended on the last day of October, 1832, when I preached 
from Ezekiel 16 : 61, 62 ; though I continued to supply 
the pulpit until the end of the year. My term of settle- 
ment may therefore be called four years. The records 
of the Church-session will show the number of accessions 
to the communion of the church ; these were few. There 
was nothing like a revival of religion during my contin- 
uance with them, and it was cause of painful thought 
to me that my labors were so little owned to the awaken- 
ing of sinners. IsTeither am I aware that there was any 
remarkable addition to the number of hearers. But the 
people were forbearing and affectionate towards their 
young and inexperienced minister, who for most of the 
time was feeble in health, and was subjected, as you know, 
to some unusual afflictions in regard to his early children. 
" In those days we worshipped in the old church, which 

Elders. 411 

was sufficiently capacious, with one of the old-time high 
pulpits. The congregation had been trained to habits of 
remarkable punctuality and attention. Notwithstanding 
some inroads of new measures during the previous period, 
under the labors of a so-called Evangelist, the church was 
as sound and staid a Presbyterian body as I have ever 
seen. It comprised some excellent and experienced 
Christians, and among these the valued elders whose 
names you have recorded. Good Mr. Mcl^eely was slow 
but sure ; an upright man, of more kindness than appear- 
ed at first ; of little vivacity, and no leaning towards risks 
or innovation. Mr. Voorhees and Mr. Samuel Brearlcy 
came later into the session ; both, in my judgment, judi- 
cious and godly men. Mrs. Armstroxg, the venerable 
relict of the pastor first named, does not belong particu- 
larly to my part of the narrative, except that she chose to 
treat me with the regard of a mother for a son. She was 
then in health and strength, and lived to exhibit a digni- 
fied, serene, and beautiful old age. Having come of a 
distinguished family, the Livingstons of ISTew-Tork, she 
never ceased to gather around her fireside some of the 
most elegant and cultivated society. Her conversation, 
though quiet, was instructive, turning often upon the 
heroes of the Revolution. She was, I think, at Princeton 
during the battle ; indeed she was a native of that town. 
From that excellent family I received support and encour- 
agement of the most useful and delicate kind, during a time 
of manifold trials. My term of seiwice was marked by no 
striking external events, no great enlargement, excitement, 
or disaster. The longsuffering of God was great towards a 

412 James Pollock. 

timid and often disheartened servant, who remembers the 
period with mingled thankfulness and humiliation. 

" At this time the Trenton church contained some ex- 
cellent specimens of solid, instructed, old school Presby- 
terianism. I shall never forget the lessons which it was 
my privilege to receive from aged and experienced Christ- 
ians, who must often have looked with wonder and pity 
on the young minister who undertook the responsible task 
of guiding them. The dying scenes which a pastor be- 
holds in his early years make a deep impression ; and I 
recall some which were very edifying, and which attested 
the power of the doctrines which had been inculcated. 
Among my most valued parishioners was a man in humble 
life, who has lately gone to his rest, I mean James Pol- 
lock. At a later day he was most wisely made an elder. 
At that time he lived in a small house on Mill Hill, and 
worked as a dyer in one of the woollen-factories on the 
Assanpink. His figure was somewhat bent, and his hands 
were always blue, from the colors used in his trade. But 
his eye was piercing and eloquent ; his countenance would 
shine like a lantern from the light within ; and the flame 
of his strong and impassioned thought made his discourse 
as interesting as I ever heard from any man. He had the 
texts of Scripture, as many Scotchmen have, at his finger" 
ends, and could adduce and apply passages in a most un- 
expected manner. _ The great Scottish writers were fami- 
liar to him. I think his favorite uninspired volume was 
Rutherford's " Christ Dying and Drawing Sinners to 
Himself." I lent him CaMn's Institutes, which he re- 
turned with expressions of high admiration for 3Ir. Caul- 

Pollock. 413 

vin. His acquaintance with the reformation history of 
his native land, in both its great periods, was remarkable, 
being such as would have done credit to any learned 
clergyman. Unlike many who resembled him in attain- 
ment, Mr. Pollock was inwardly and deeply affected by 
the truths which he knew. His speech was alu^ays sea- 
soned with salt, and I deemed it a means of grace to 
listen to his ardent and continuous discourse. He was 
certainly a great talker, but without assumption or any 
wearying of competent hearers. His dialect was broad, 
w^est-country Scotch, for he was from Beith, in Ayrshire; 
and while I was resident his sense of the peculiarity kept 
him from praying in the meetings, though none could 
otherwise have been more acceptable. Having from my 
childhood been used to Scotch Presbyterians, and know- 
ino- how some of the narrower amoncj them will stickle for 
every pin of the covenanted tabernacle, and every shred 
and token, as if ordained in the decalogue, I was both 
surprised and delighted to observe how large-minded Mr. 
Pollock was, in respect to every improvement, however 
diiferent from the ways of his youth. I have witnessed 
his faith during grievous illnesses, and I rejoice to know 
that he was enabled to give a clear dying testimony for 
the Redeemer whom he loved. Such are the men who 
are the glory of our Presbyterian churches. 

" During the term of my incumbency it is remarkable 
that the two persons who had most influence in congre- 
gational aftairs were not communicants, though they were 
closely connected with all that occurred in the church ; 
these were Chief Justice Ewixg and Mr. Southard, after- 
wards Secretary of the [N'avy. It deserves to be noted, 


4H Chief-Juftice Ewing. 

among the traits of a Presbyteriauism which is passing 
away, that Judge Ewing, as a baptized member of the 
chm'cli, always pleaded his rights, and once in a public 
meeting declared himself amenable to the discipline of 
chm-ch courts. (Discipline, chajx i. § 6 page 456.) There 
is good reason to believe that he was a subject of renew- 
ing grace long before his last illness in 1832. During this 
brief period of suffering he made a distinct and touching 
avowal of his faith in Christ. 

" Judge Ewmg is justly reckoned among the greatest 
ornaments of the Xew- Jersey bar. His acquaintance with 
his own department of knowledge was both extensive and 
profound, closely resembling that of the English black- 
letter lawyers, who at this moment have as many imita- 
tors at the IS^ew-Jersey bar as any where in America. He 
was eminently conservative in Church and State ; punctu- 
al in adherence to rule and precedent, incapable of being 
led into any vagaries, sound in judgment, tenacious of 
opinion, indefatigable in labor, and incorruptibly honest 
and honorable, so as to be proverbially cited all over the 
State. In a very remarkable degree he kept himself 
abreast of the general hterature of the day, and was even 
lavish in regard to the purchase of books. He was a truly 
elegant gentleman, of the old school ; an instructive and 
agreeable companion, and a hospitable entertainer. He 
deserves to be named in any record of the church, for I 
am persuaded that there was no human being to whom its 
interests were more dear. As the warm and condescend- 
ing friend of my boyhood and youth, he has a grateful 
tribute from my revering affection. 

" In one particular the people of Trenton were more 

Dr. F. A. Ewing. 415 

observant of our Form of Government (see chap, xxi.) than 
is common. When from anv cause there was no one to 
preach, the service was nevertheless carried on by the 
elders, according to the book, and a sermon was read. 
The reader on these occasions was always Mr. Ewing, and 
the discourse which he selected was always one of Wither- 
sj^oon's ; the choice in both cases being significant. I 
have often been led to consider how much better this is, 
for instance in country congregations, than the rambling 
away to hear some ignorant haranguer, perhaps of an 
erroneous sect, or the listening to a frothy exhortation 
from some zealous and forward brother, without gifts and 
without authority. 

" The name of Dr. Feaxcis A. Ewixg, son of the Chief 
Justice, naturally occurs to our thoughts here. Space is 
not allowed for that extended notice which mio-ht else- 
where be proper, for the Doctor's was a character well de- 
serving close study. Though a professional man by title, 
he was in fact and of choice much more a man of letters 
and a recluse student of science. His attainments were 
large and accurate, though made in an irregular way, and 
though he never seemed to others to be studying at all. 
In the classical languages, in French, in the natural scien- 
ces, and in all that concerns elegant literature and the fine 
arts, he was singularly full and accurate. In matters of 
taste he was cultivated, correct, and almost fastidious. 
Music was his delight, and he was equally versed in the 
science and the art. It was after the term of my pastor- 
ship that he developed his skill as an organist, but at a 
much earlier day he devoted himself for years to the gra- 
tuitous instruction of the choir ; and though I have heard 

4i6 Samuel L. Southard. 

many noted precentors, I can remember none who had 
greater power of adaptation and expression. Though his 
own voice was slender and uninviting, he long made his 
influence felt in rendering all that was musical subservient 
to the spirit of worship. 

" Dr. Ewing professed his foith in Christ during my 
years of ministry. His early religious exercises were very 
deep and searching, and the change of his affections and 
purposes was marked. He had peculiarities of tem- 
per and habit which kept him much aloof from general 
society, and thus abridged his influence. His likes and 
dislikes were strong, and if he had more readily believed 
the good will of others towards himself, he would have 
been more useful and more happy. I should sin against 
truth if I did not say that towards me he was for forty 
years a warm, forbearing, tender, and at times most effi- 
cient friend. I have been with him at junctures when it 
was impossible not to detect, through all his extraordina- 
ry reserve, the workings of a heart agitated and swayed 
by gracious principle. 

" Samuel L. Southaed was also a member of the con- 
gregation, and a friend of all that promised its good. 
More sprightly and versatile than Mr. Ewing, he resembled 
a tropical tree of rapid growth. Few men ever attained 
earlier celebrity in Xew- Jersey. This perhaps tended to 
produce a certain character which showed itself in good- 
natured egotism. Mr. Southard was a man of genius and 
eloquence, who made great impressions on a first inter- 
view, or by a single argument. He loved society, and 
shone in company. His entertainments will be long re- 
membered by the associates of his youth. It is not my 

Elders. 417 

province to speak of his great efforts at the bar ; he was 
always named after Stockton, Johnson, and Ewiug, and 
with Frehnghuysen, Williamson, Wood and their coevals. 
Having been bred under the discipline of Dr. Finley, at 
Baskingridge, he was thoroughly versed in Presbyterian 
doctrine and ways ; loving and preferring this branch of 
the Church to the day of his death. Defection from its 
ranks gave him sincere grief, as I am ready more largely 
to attest, if need be. In those days of his prime, Mr. 
Southard was greatly under the salutary influence of 
the Chief Justice, who was his Mentor ; I think he felt 
the loss of this great man in some important points. So 
earnestly and even tenderly did he yield himself to divine 
impressions, that his friends confidently expected that he 
would become a communicant. During this period he 
was an ardent advocate of the Temperance Society, then 
in its early stage. I remember attending a meeting at 
Lawrenceville, in company with my learned friend, the 
present Chief Justice, where Mr. Southard, following Mr. 
Frelinghuysen, made an impassioned address in favor of 
abstinence and the pledge. In regard to religious things, 
the change to Washington did not tend to increased 
solemnity or zeal. I have been informed that Mr. South- 
ard felt the deep impression of divine truth at the close 
of his days. As a young minister, I received from him 
the affectionate forbearance of an elder brother, and I 
shall always cherish his memory with love. 

" Before closing this hurried letter of reminiscences, let 
me note that the ruling elders during my day were 
Robert McISTeely, Nathaniel Burrowes, John Voorhees, 
and Samuel Brearley, all good and believing men, and all 

41 8 The Rices. 

gone to the other world. The Trustees were Messrs. 
Rose, Chambers, Ewing, Burroughs, and Fish ; of whom 
likewise all are gone, except my esteemed friends, Messrs. 
Burroughs and Fish. 

" Before taking my pen from the paper, let it be per- 
mitted to me to give expression to a feeling of personal 
regard to the late Mrs. Rice and her family, under whose 
roof my years of early ministry in Trenton were passed. 
She was a woman of a meek and quiet spirit, and was 
honored and beloved, during a long life, for the benignity 
of her temper and the kindliness of her words. Juliette 
Rice, her daughter, was a person who in some circum- 
stances would have become distinguished. To sincere 
piety she added more than usual cultivation, delicacy of 
taste, refinement of manners, and a balance of good quali- 
ties which elevated her to a place among the most accom- 
plished and even the exclusive. Under the disadvantage of 
a deafness almost total, and a pulmonary disease which 
slowly wasted her away, she manifested a sweet, uncom- 
plaining disposition, and a steady faith in Christ. Amidst 
the kindnesses of these good people I spent the first months 
of my married life, and welcomed the tender mercies of 
God in our first-born son, long since taken to be with the 

"Thus I end my rambling letter, (which, by-the-by, is 
only the last article of an epistolary series extending 
through forty years.) and am, as always, 

" Your faithful friend, 

" James W. Alexaxdee. 

" The Rev. Dr. Hall." 

Dr. Yeomans. 419 

For neai'ly two years after Mr. Alexander's 
removal tlie pulpit was siij)plied by transient 
ministers. Amono: tliose who were most fre- 
quently engaged were tlie Rev. Asahel Nettle- 
ton and Truman Osborn. The minutes of Pres- 
bytery for 1834 and 1835 show that efforts were 
then proposed by some of the congregation for 
enlarging the means of religious instruction, 
either by employing an Evangelist or the erec- 
tion of a Free Church. An " Evan^^elical Socie- 
ty" had been formed which sustained Mr. Os- 
born as a missionary in Trenton, Morrisville, and 
Millham, but after his departure, and the settle- 
ment of a pastor, things gradually returned to 
their old channel. 

On the sixteenth March, 1834, the Rev. 
Symmes C. Henry, of Cranbury, was chosen 
pastor, but he declined the call. On the sixth 
of June following, the Rev. John William Yeo- 
mans was elected, being then pastor of a Con^n^e- 
gational Church in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. 
Dr. Yeomans is a graduate of "Williams College, 
(1824,) and of the Andover Seminary. He was 
duly received by Presbytery, and on the seventh 
October, 1834, was installed. In that service 
the Rev. David Comfort presided, the Rev. J. 

420 Church of 1840. 

W. Alexander preached, (from 1 Cor. 11 : 1,) 
and Drs. B. H. Kice and A. Alexander gave the 
charges. The actual ministry of Dr. Yeomans 
is to be dated from September 11, 1834, to June 
1, 1841, when he entered on the Presidency of 
Lafayette College, Pennsylvania. To his energy 
and influence not less than to the enterprise of 
the congregation is owing the erection of the 
commodious church which is now occupied by 
the cou2:re2:ation. The corner-stone of the new 
building was laid May 2, 1839, and services were 
held for the first time on the Lord's day, Jan- 
uary 19, ISIO."^' On the afternoon of that day 
Dr. How preached, and Dr. A. Alexander admin- 
istered the Lord's Supper. On that occasion also 
three elders and three deacons were ordained.f In 
the evening the Eev. J. W. Alexander j^reached. 

"** The preceding structures stood upon the western part of the church 
lot. The present one was placed in the central part. The dimensions 
are one hundred and four feet length ; sixty-two feet breadth ; steeple one 
hundred and twenty feet. Dr. Yeomans' dedication sermon was published. 
For the very accurate and artistic sketch of the church from which the 
frontispiece was engraved, I am indebted to the kindness of Mr. J. 
Fletcher Street, of the Normal School. 

f The elders were James Pollock, Aarox A. Hutchinsox, and 
Fraxcis a. Ewing, M.D. The deacons were Johx A. Hutches'sox, 
Bexjamin S. Disbrow, and Joseph G. Brearlet, 

In the year 1836 Thomas J. Stryker and Stacy G. Potts were 
elected and ordained elders. 

Rev. Dr. Webfter. 421 

In the April of 1837 a church was organized 
by a committee of Presbytery in Bloomsbury, 
then a suburb of Trenton, and the place of wor- 
ship was the building erected by those who fol- 
lowed the Rev. Wm. Boswell in his secession 
from the regular Baptist denomination, and 
which was vacated upon his death in 1833. 
This mission was diligently conducted for a year 
by the Rev. Charles Webster,''^* beginning on the 
second Sabbath of 1837, and was then suspend- 
ed until the present " Second Church " of Tren- 
ton was formed there. 

Dr. Yeomans had a seat in the General As- 
sembly of 1837, when the decisive acts were 
adopted which resulted in the division familiarly 
known as the Old School and New School — the 
latter portion forming a distinct organization. 
]N^o disturbance was produced in the Trenton 
congregation by this revolution ; with entire 
unity it remained in the ancient fraternity of 

* "I preached in the church," says Mr. Webster in a letter written at 
my request, "in the morning and evening; in the afternoon attended 
the Sabbath-school. Once a month I took my turn of preaching in the 
State prison and visiting the cells. One evening in the week I lectured 
at private houses in Bloomsbury, Lamberton, or Mill Hill, and occasion- 
ally at Morrisville (on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware) in the 


422 Dr. Yeomans' Letter. 

tlie cliurclies of the New-Brunswick Presbytery. 
In tlie letter written at my solicitation, Dr. Yeo- 
mans, after mentioning separately tlie elders 
already introduced in this chapter as composing 
the session of his time, thus proceeds : 

" As then constituted, the session was in all respects the 
most interesting one I have ever known. It was a great 
pleasure and benefit to be with them in our frequent 
meetings, (sometimes held every week.) I remember 
those brethren with grateful respect and love, and for 
their services in the Church can commend them, as I have 
always done, for an example. 

" The erection of the new house of worship was an in- 
teresting occasion for that congregation. The whole pro- 
cess was conducted in a manner and spirit unusually com- 
mendable. The congregation felt the awakening enter- 
prise of their venerable city, and the moment the business 
of the place showed signs of revival, they were ready to 
conduct the motion into their measures for religious 
improvement. The building of the church fairly led the 
way to the construction of tasteful architecture in the 
place. The Court-House was built at the same time, but 
the draft of the Church helped to determine the form of 
that ; and the row of cottages beyond the canal, and some 
other handsome dwellings which followed in the course of 
improvement, were built by the men who came there to 
build the church. 

" I shall never forget the cordial and earnest way the 

Reminiscences. 423 

Trustees and others of the congregation, and indeed the 
whole body, engaged in the work. I have scarcely 
known a people who resolved to appropriate so much to 
the erection of a house of worship in proportion to their 
means at the time. They went through the work with- 
out one case of personal disaffection arising out of their 
proceedings, and their zeal and labor have since proved a 
great blessing to them and to others. It is also a gratifi- 
cation to remember the harmony and energy with which, 
when they got ready, they paid off the debt ; and with 
what liberality they have supported their minister, and 
contributed to the extension of Christian influence in their 
growing and important city. I consider the history of 
that house of worship, from first to last, a very great 
credit to the conoTCg-ation. 

" We had during my ministry there no occasion which 
was signalized as a revival. The accessions to full com- 
munion were, if I rightly remember, more or less at every 
sacramental celebration of the Supper. Sometimes, per- 
haps the records will show, twenty or thirty in a year ; 
perhaps even on a single occasion twenty.* 

" It was probably one of the defects in my labors there, 
that they were attended with so few striking results. 
But many are far more decisive than I am inclined to be, 
in aiming at the kind of awakenmgs which are frequent 
in some parts of the Church, and pubUshed with so much 
avidity in the papers. But the fact in the history of my 
ministry in Trenton is as stated above. The duties of the 

* The total additions to the communion in Dr. Teomans' pastorate 
were seventy-two on examination, eighty-five on certificate. 

424 Calls. 

pulpit, thougli very imperfect, were performed with very 
few interruptions through the period ; and the excellent 
spirit and active cooperation of the session were a great 
help to the efficacy of the divine ordinances. 

"Among the signs of imjDrovement which appeared 
during that term, was that of increased attention to the 
baptism and religious training of children. The subject, 
when brought up in public instruction and private conver- 
sation, appeared acceptable and j)rofitable. In following 
up the labors of Brother Alexander there, I recollect no 
evidence of imi^rovement with more interest than that. 
As to general progress, the growing activity and intelli- 
gence of the leading members of the congregation, to- 
gether with the increase of their number, would enable 
any discerning observer to foresee the progress made 
there since, under the incitements of a growing popula- 
tion, and of expanding business, and the impulse and guid- 
ance of a faithful and effective ministry." 

On tlie third May, 1841, the congregation 
unanimously resolved to recall Dr. Alexander, 
who was still in the professorship in the College 
at Princeton, to which he had been transferred 
from his charge in Trenton ; but upon being 
assured that it would not be in his power to 
comj^ly, it was prosecuted no further. A new 
election on the last day of May resulted in the 
choice of Mr. John Hall, of Philadelphia, who 
immediately took charge of the congregation, 

Present Statiftics. 425 

and was both ordained and installed August 11, 
1841. The Eev. Dr. Cooley presided, Dr. Yeo- 
mans preached, (Ephesians 4 : 11,'^) Dr. J. W. 
Alexander and Dr. S. C. Henry gave the charges. 

The incidents of the last eighteen years' his- 
tory of the Church in Trenton must be despatch- 
ed in a few particulars. 

The statistics are as follows : 

Communicants received on examination, . . 217 

" " by certificate, . . 262 

Present number of communicants, . . . 312 

Infants baptized, ...... 290 

Adults " 114 

Funerals, 335 

Marriages, . . . . . . . .216 

The Brick Church, already spoken of as once 
occupied by Mr. Boswell's congregation, was 
purchased, refitted, and opened for public wor. 
ship with a sermon by Professor Albert B. Dod, 
July 24, 1842. The Second Presbyterian Church 
was organized there November 15, 1842, and 
the Rev. Baynard R. Hall was its first stated 
supply. The Rev. Daniel Deruelle, of Pennsyl- 

* The substance of the sermon (on " the pastoral ofSce") appeared in 
the Biblical Eejpertory for January, 1842. 


426 Second Church. 

vania, was installed its pastor May 21, 1843. In 
September of the same year a small lecture- 
room was built adjoining that church. Mr. 
Deruelle's pastoral relation was dissolved Feb- 
ruary 1, 1848, and on the ninth October the 
Rev. Ansley D. White, of Indiana, was installed. 
In 1851 the church was enlarged to twice its 
original size, and was reopened September 27. 
In 1857 a spacious building was erected, of two 
stories, for a lecture-room and Sunday-schools. 
The church was organized with eleven members 
from the First Church ; the present number of 
communicants is two hundred and sixty-five. 

In the year 1846 there remained a debt of 
six thousand seven hundred dollars for the build.- 
ing of the First Church. By a general subscrip- 
tion in the cono:reo:ation at the close of that 
year, the entire sum was at once obtained, and 
all obligations cancelled. 

In April, 1849, thirteen communicants of the 
First Church, and four from other churches, 
were organized as the Third Church. Twenty- 
five others from the parent body were soon 
afterwards added. The new congregation first 
met for public worship June 17, 1849. The 
Kev. Theodore L. Cuvler was installed pastor 

Third Church. 427 

October 3, 1849, and their house of worship 
was opened November 7, 1850. Mr. Cuyler re- 
signed the charge April 27, 1853, and the Rev. 
Jacob Kirkpatrick, Jr., was ordained, and in- 
stalled November 3, 1853. The decline of his 
health compelled his resignation February 2, 
1858. The communicants then numbered about 
two hundred. A parsonage was provided dur- 
ing Mr. Kirkpatrick's incumbency. On the 
eighth of February, 1859, the Rev. Henry B. 
Chapin, of Ohio, was installed as pastor. 

A mission chapel, built (at the cost of twenty- 
two hundred dollars) in the northern extrem- 
ity of the city, on ground given by Mr. John 
S. Chambers, was opened for religious services 
January 8, 1854, and a Sunday-school organ- 
ized. Worship was conducted on the after- 
noons of the Sabbath by the pastor of the First 
Church, with occasional assistance, until May, 
1856, when Mr. John H. Sargent served statedly 
as the chaplain for one year. No successor has 
yet been found. 

In 1853 the First Church was extensively im- 
proved by the building of an iron fence and lay- 
ing a stone pavement along the entire front of the 
lot, introducing gas, painting the interior walls, 

428 Fourth Church. 

and other repairs, at a cost of thirty-four hundred 
dollars, mostly defrayed by jDrivate subscription. 
While the work was in progress, the congrega- 
tion worshipped with the Third Church, then 
without a pastor. 

On the sixth November, 1858, the Foueth 
Church was organized, with a few members from 
the First, and sixty from the Third Church. On 
the twenty-fifth February, 1859, the Rev. En- 
WAED D. Yeomans, son of Dr. John W. Yeo- 
mans, was installed their pastor. 

The followino: rulino: elders have been elected 
and ordained, in the First Church, during the 
present pastorate : 

Samuel Roberts, ) t 1 ^ 1 o ^ r. 

Jonathan Fisk, [ J=*°"^'7 16, 1846. 

George S. Green, ) y /. lo^o 
Augustus G. Richey, [ ^^"^^ ^' ^^'^' 


N^iCHOLAs Jacques E^^iaxuel de Belleville was born 
at Metz, France, in 1753; studied medicine under his 
father ; passed seven years in the schools and hosj^itals of 
Paris,* and came to Trenton under the circumstances re- 

* Dr. Belleville was in Paris iu llli, when Louis XYI. came to the 
throne, and used to tell of his hearing the populace cry, (in allusion to 

Dr. Belleville. 429 

lated in the following note furnished to me by Philemon 
Dickinson, Esq., as heard from the Doctor's lips : 

" He happened to be, in the spring of 1777, on a visit 
to a gentleman, an acquaintance of his father, who lived 
in the south of France, whither he usually repaired in the 
winter season, on account of the delicate state of his health. 
He there met and was introduced to Count Pulaski, who 
had just come from Italy, where he had been obliged 
to take refuge on account of the active part he bore in 
the well-known attempt to restore the liberties of Poland. 

" The Count was then on the eve of his departure for 
this country, and having taken a liking for the Doctor, 
invited him to accompany him. For some time he hesi- 
tated, by reason of his want of money, but the gentleman 
at whose house he was, when informed of this fact, told 
him if a hundred guineas would be sufficient for his pur- 
pose he would supply him, and that his father could re- 
imburse him. He further supplied him with every thing 
necessary for the voyage, and on the last day of May, 
1777, he left Paris, and embarked at ISTantes on the ninth 
of June, for the United States. 

" The vessel in which he sailed was a sloop-of-war, 
mounting fourteen guns, with a crew of one hundred and 
five men. She had on board about sixteen hundred stand 
of arms for the American troops. On the twenty-sec- 
ond July they arrived in Massachusetts, and the first 
town he entered was Salem, where he staid some days 
and afterwards went to Boston. 

the tradition of Henry lYtli's wish that every peasant might have a fowl 
for his pot-pie,) '■^ Poule-au-pot ! x>oule-au-pot P"* 

430 Dr. Belleville. 

" He attended the Count, in the capacity of surgeon, in 
the different parts of the country to which he went for 
the purpose of recruiting a legion, which the Count was 
authorized to raise by the Provincial Congress. 

" Pulaski remained some time at Trenton for that pur- 
pose, where Belleyille became acquainted with Dr. Bry- 
ant, a physician of eminence, who took a fancy to him, 
treated him kindly, and endeavored to jDcrsuade him to 
give up the army and settle in Trenton ; offering to do all 
in his power to introduce him into practice. Dr. Belle- 
ville, however, attended Pulaski to the South, and while 
stationed there he received a pressing letter fi'om his friend. 
Dr. Bryant, repeating his offer, and urging his leaving the 
army ; representing the improbability of his succeeding 
there so well as by settling down to the practice of his 
profession. This letter he showed to Pulaski, who told 
him it was not his wish to stand in the way of his advance- 
ment, and if he thought he could do better, to accept the 
offer of Dr. Bryant. He did so, and in the fall of 1778 
took up his residence in Trenton, where he remained until 
his death." 

Dr. Belleville was eminent in his profession, and highly 
esteemed for his social qualities. He was sometimes called 
to attend the exiled King of Spain at Bordentown, and 
was his almoner on at least one occasion, (February 5, 
1831,) when the Female Benevolent Society of Trenton 
acknowledged fifty dollars " from the Count de Survil- 
liers, by Dr. Belleville." Mrs. Belleville was a communi- 
cant ; the Doctor was a pew-holder and occasional attend- 
ant, but was too fond of his elegant edition of Voltaire to 

Chief- Justice Ewine. 431 


relish the Gospel. He was buried in our church-yarcl, and 
one of his pupils, Dr. F. A. Ewing, in addition to a dis- 
criminating obituary in the State Gazette of Dec. 24, 
1831, furnished the inscription for his tomb : 

" This stone covers the remains of Dr. Nicholas Belle- 
ville. Born and educated in France ; for fifty-four years 
an inhabitant of this city. A patriot warmly attached to 
the principles of liberty ; a physician eminently learned 
and successful ; a man of scrupulous and unblemished in- 
tegrity. On the seventeenth day of December, A.D. 
1831, at the age of seventy-nine years, he closed a life 
of honor and usefulness ; by all respected, esteemed, 


For a more extended notice 01 Chief Justice Charles 
Ewing, than I can find room for now, I must refer to the 
eulogy, pronounced in the church at the united request of 
the Council of Trenton and the bench and bar of the State, 
by his intimate friend. Governor Southard, and to the 
memoir furnished by the same hand to Longacre's " Na- 
tional Portrait Gallery."* He was born July 8, 1780; 
prepared for college at the Trenton Academy, when it 
was under Mr. Armstrong's direction ; took the first honor 
at Princeton College at his graduation in 1798; read law 
under Mr. Leake, (p. 399,) and was admitted to the bar 
in 1802. The next year he was married to a daughter of the 
Rev. James F. Armstrong. He was appointed Chief Justice 

* There is also an extended notice of his character in an address by 
Lucius H. Stockton, published in the New-Jersey Gazette, Sept. 15, 1832^ 

432 Epitaph. 

in October, 1824, and reappointed in 1831. He died of 
cholera, August 5, 1832. Mr. Ewing was a jDunctual and 
leading member of the board of Trustees, and of the con- 
gregation, from his election, April, 1814, till his sudden 
death. Mr. Southard declared in his public discourse that 
he was in the habit of holding up the entire character of 
the Chief Justice as a model for aspirants after profession- 
al honors, and said that " his exposition of the system of 
jury-trial, before the Literary and Philosophical Society 
of New- Jersey, [Jan. 28, 1826,] is the most finished and 
beautiful exhibition of its merits which is to be found, in 
the same compass, in our language." He drew his friend's 
character in the following terms, as they are now read on 
his monument : 

" Beneath this marble rest the mortal remains of 
Charles Ewixg, LL.D., Chief Justice of the State of 

" In intellect, vigorous and discriminating. In indus- 
try, assiduous and persevering. In integrity, pure and 
incorruptible. In manners, affable, dignified, and polish- 
ed. In morals, spotless. A profound jurist and upright 
magistrate. An accomplished scholar, and patron of lite- 
rature and science. The advocate and supporter of be- 
nevolent institutions. He won, in an eminent degree, the 
respect, the love, and confidence of his fellow-citizens. 
Happy in his domestic relation, home was the theatre of 
his most endearing virtues, and the sphere in which he 
loved to move. He reverenced the doctrines and prac- 
tised the precepts of the Christian religion. In the vigor 
of his mental and bodily powers, surrounded by blessings, 
cheered by the approbation of his fellow-men, with an ex- 

Boswell — Allison. 433 

tended prospect of service and usefulness before him, lie 
"Was attacked with a violent disease, which suddenly ter- 
minated his life on the fifth day of August, A.D. 1832, in 
the 53d year of his age." 


The Rev. Wm. Boswell had been for sixteen years pas- 
tor of the Baptist congregation of Trenton and Lamber- 
ton, when (1823) he issued an address to its members, on 
account of his adoption of some new tenets, which leaned 
to Swedenborgianism. His address was answered by a 
longer letter from the Rev. John Burtt, (first editor of 
" The Presbyterian " in Philadelphia,) who was then 
preaching in Trenton. Mr. Boswell died June 10, 1833, 
at the age of fifty-seven. His grave is in the rear 
of the building where he last preached — now the Second 
Presbyterian Church. Near to it is that of another prom- 
ment Baptist minister, the Rev. Buegess Allison, D.D., 
who died on a visit to Trenton, February, 20, 1827. 

The First Baptist Church of Lamberton was opened 
November 26, 1803; when the sermon was preached by 
Dr. Staughton. 

Mr. Bosw^ell's was called " The Reformed General Bap- 
tist Meeting-House." It was built (of brick) in eleven 
weeks, and was opened October 19, 1823. The dimen- 
sions were fifty-four feet by forty. 


Thomas Wilsox, an intelligent colored man, was re- 
ceived to our communion on certificate from New- York, 
November, 1839. He was a shoemaker, but was bent 


4 '^4 Wilson — Lowry. 

upon becoming qualified as a missionary in Liberia. For 
this purpose lie removed to Easton, and studied under 
the direction of his late pastor, the President of the 
College. He sailed for Africa, as a missionary of our 
Board, in April, 1843. His wife and infant died soon 
after their arrival, and a second child not long after- 
wards. Wilson's station was Sinoe, where he opened a 
day-school and Sunday-school, and preached every week. 
In 1845 he opened a small building as a church, and under- 
took to teach a school of native children in a neighboring 
town, and an evening school of adult colonists. He per- 
severed manfully through great hardships till September 
8, 1846, when he died of an illness of a few days. In the 
•artless language of one of his children who sent me the 
intelligence : " I hope he is resting, for when he did labor 
he labored hard, and suffered much from want of food 
and clothing." The Annual Report of the Board in the 
next year, says : " His death is a great loss to the Church 
and to Africa. His experience and knowledge, his indus- 
try and perseverance, fitted him for usefulness in this im- 
portant sphere of labor." 

Another colored member of our church, Elymas P. 
RoGEES, was ordained by our Presbytery March 6, 1845, 
and is now pastor of a large congregation in Xewark. 


By the will of Miss Jaxe Lowey, who died Novem- 
ber, 1851, the sum of two hundred dollars and her pew 
were bequeathed for the benefit of the poor of the church. 
By the will of Mr. James Brearley, who also died Novem- 
ber, 1851, the sum of five hundred dollars was left to the 
Trustees, without specific directions. 


History of the Pkoposal to make Trenton the Capital of the 

United States. 

In the notice of Doctor Cowell's will, on page 292, it was stated 
that one of his legacies was to the United States, in case Congress 
should make Lamberton — then a precinct of Trenton — the seat of 
the National Government. Although this gives the subject a very- 
slender connection with the title of this volume, I depend on the 
local interest it possesses, to make acceptable what I have digested 
from the Journals of the Congress of the Confederation. 

The Congresses before the Constitution held their sessions in 
different places, but principally in Philadelphia and New- York. 
In June, 1783, preparation was begun to select what was called a 
" permanent residence" for Congress, by appointing the first 
Monday of the following October, to take into consideration such 
offers as might be made from the places that aspired to that dis- 
tinction. In the same month in which the resolution was passed 
by Congress, the Legislature of New-Jersey agreed to offer to 
yield to the United States, jurisdiction over any district to the ex- 
tent of twenty miles square, and to grant £30,000 in specie for 
the purchase of lands and the erection of buildings. 

On the sixth of October, 1783, the question was taken, " In 
which State buildings shall be provided and erected for the resi- 
dence of Congress ; beginning with New-Hampshire, and proceed- 
ing in the order in which they stand." Upon this vote all the 
States were successively negatived. On the next day a motion 
was made by Mr. Gerry, " That buildings for the use of Congress 

43^^ Capital of 

be erected on the banks of the Delaware, near Trenton, or of the 
Potomac near Georgetown, provided a suitable district can be pro- 
cured on one of the rivers aforesaid, for a federal town." By 
amendment the names of the towns were stricken out, and the 
rivers left ; and it was finally resolved on that day, first, that the 
federal town should be erected on the banks of the Delaware ; and 
then, that the site should be "near the falls," that is, near Tren- 
ton on the New-Jersey side, or in Pennsylvania on the opposite. 
A committee of five was appointed to view the respective situa- 
tions, and report. 

The question of locality how became a subject of agitation be- 
tween the North and the South. On the day after the appoint- 
ment of the Committee, a motion was made to reconsider the pro- 
ceedings, " in order to fix on some other place that shall be more 
central, more favorable to the Union, and shall approach nearer to 
that justice which is due to the Southern States." This failed. 
On the tenth, a motion of Mr. Williamson, of North- Carolina, 
was unsuccessful, which proposed that the present Congress 
(then in session at Princeton) should adjourn at once to Philadel- 
phia, sit there till June, and then adjourn to Trenton. A motion 
of Mr. Duane, of New- York, also failed, which called for an imme- 
diate adjournment to Trenton. On the eleventh, Mr. Ellery, of 
Rhode Island, moved for an adjournment to Annapolis till June, 
and then to meet at Trenton, The latter clause was stricken out, 
and the words, " for the place of their temporary residence," were 
joined to "Annapolis ;" but the amended motion was lost.* 

The selection of Trenton, or its immediate vicinity, seemed now 
to be most probable ; but the minority against the Delaware loca- 
tion was so large and influential, that Mr. Gerry proposed as a 
compromise that Congress should have two residences, to be occu- 

* " Trenton was next proposed, on which question the votes were divided by the 
river Delaware." " The vicinity of its falls is to become the future seat of the Feder- 
al Government, unless a conversion of some of the Eastern States can be effected." 
Madison to Randolph, October 13, 17SS. Madison Papers, vol. i. 576.) 

the United States. ^ 437 

pied alternately ; the one to be on the Delaware, as already 
determined, and the other on the Potomac, at or near George- 
town. On the twentieth, Mr. Gerry further proposed, that 
until the buildings on the Delaware and Potomac were pre- 
pared, the residence of Congress should be alternately in Trenton 
and Annapolis. On the twenty-first, Mr. Gerry's entire motion 
was adopted.* 

In December, 1783, Congress met at Annapolis, and the ques- 
tion of the Federal city was reopened. Mr. Jefferson and Mr. 
Monroe endeavored to have Alexandria substituted for George- 
town, as the Southern capital, but Virginia was the only State 
that voted aye.t 

Congress met in Trenton, November 1, I78i. On the tenth 
December, South-Carolina moved that : " It is expedient for Con 
gross to adjourn from their present residence." This was nega- 
tived on the eleventh, and on the twentieth it was resolved to 
take measures for procuring suitable buildings for national pur- 
poses, and a sum, not exceeding $100,000, was appropriated for 
that object. It was also determined to be inexpedient to erect 
such buildings at more than one place at that time. Mr. Pinck- 
ney made an unsuccessful motion to have the arrangements for 
alternate sessions at Trenton and Annapolis repealed, and on the 
twenty-third December an ordinance was introduced, providing 
for the appointment of three commissioners, to lay out a district of 
not less than two, nor exceeding three miles square, on the banks 
of either side of the Delaware, not lower than Lamberton, nor 
more than six miles above it, for a Federal town. 

The whole discussion was renewed on a motion for the appro- 

* This act was the occasion of one of Judge Francis Hopkinson's humorous publica- 
tions, in which, under the title of " Intelligence Extraordinary," he described the 
new mechanism of government as a pendulum vibrating between Annapolis and 
Trenton. {Hopkinson's Works, vol. i. 178.) 

t August 22, 1784, a memorial was presented to the New-Jersey Senate from John 
Cox and others, citizens of New-Jersey and Pennsylvania, praying that the ten miles 
square might be laid out on the Delaware, and furnishing the draft of such a tract. 


438 Capital of 

priation. An effort was made to substitute Georgetown for Lam- 
berton, but the ordinance was finally adopted that the Commis- 
sioners, without delay, should have the Federal city laid out in 
some district not more than eight miles above or below the lower 
falls of the Delaware ; and enter into contracts for erecting and 
completing, "in an elegant manner," a Capitol, houses for the 
President of Congress, and principal officers of the government, 
with a " due regard to the accommodatipn of the States with lots 
for houses for the use of their delegates respectively," and that 
Congress should hold its sessions in New- York until the public 
buildings were ready for their reception. The immediate outlay 
of the Commissioners was not to exceed $100,000. Congress ad- 
journed on the day after the decision, after acknowledging the 
attentions of the Legislature of the State, and the exertions of the 
inhabitants of the town in providing the members with accommo- 

The order of the day for February 8, 1785, was to elect Com- 
missioners under the ordinance of December 23, 1784. Various 
efforts were made by the Southern delegates to delay the progress 
of the measure, but the majority persevered, and Philip Schuyler, 
Philemon Dickinson, and Robert Morris were elected Commission- 
ers, and upon Mr. Schuyler's declining, John Brown was put in 
his place. None of these were members of Congress. Mr. Dick- 
inson was an inhabitant of Trenton, and Mr. Morris had an estate 
on the opposite side of the Delaware, now the town of Morrisville.f 

* The lanrlholders near the falls were not insensible to their opportunity. In the 
New-Jersey Gazette of May, 17S5, and many following months, Joseph Higbee offers 
for sale " a valuable tract of land, containing three hundred acres, situate within 
three miles of Trenton, in the county of Burlington and township of Nottingham, 
and within a mile of Lamberton, where it is expected the Federal town will be built." 

t Washington foresaw the disadvantages of Lamberton. On the day of the above 
resolution, he wrote from Mount Vernon, to the President of Congress, in a private 
letter : " Ey the time your Federal buildings on the banks of the Delaware, along the 
point of a triangle, are fit for the reception of Congress, it will be found that they 
^re very improperly placed for the seat of the empire, and will have to undergo a 
second erection in a more convenient one." ( Writings, vol. ix. 95.) 

the United States. 439 


When the first appropriation to tlie Commissioners was called 

for by the Committee of Supplies, (April 5, 1Y85,) — "Federal 

buildings, $30,000" — Mr. Grayson, of Virginia, moved its refusal, 

but he was overruled. Then, on motion of j\Ir. Pinckney, that 

vote was reconsidered, and the report was recommitted. Here 

the matter rested until the twenty-second September, when the 

appropriation of $30,000 coming before the house, Mr. Gerry 

loved to make it the whole sum of $100,000, but none of the 

'^States except Massachusetts and New-Jersey voted for it ; upon 

rwhich, on motion of Mr. Hardy, of Virginia, the item was en- 

Vtirely stricken out of the bill, which was a virtual repeal of the 


'^ The question of location was not revived after this until May 
^10, 1787, when Mr. Lee, of Virginia, moved that the Treasury 
•Board take measures for erecting public buildings, for the accom- 
jjmodation of CongTess, at Georgetown on the Potomac. This was 

J In a few months (September, 1787) the Constitution of the 
XTnited States was adopted, and the Congress of the Confederation 
'g3xpired. The Constitution contained a provision implying that the 
'^eat of Government should be placed in a district " not exceeding 
jten miles square," which should be ceded to the exclusive legisla- 
tion of Congress. Offers came in from all quarters. The Convention 
■,t)f New-Jersey, which ratified the Constitution, recommended to 
ithe Legislature to enter into the competition for the Capital, which 
'^hey did by a vote, September 9, 1788, offering the requisite ter- 

j} In September, 1789, Mr. Boudinot, in the House of Representa 
■'^ives, once more proposed "the banks of either side of the river 
iPelaware, not more than eight miles above or below the lower 
■ialls," but it failed by a vote of four to forty-six ; and so Dr. 
'^IJowell's legacy to the United States lapsed. 
I I may close the history by stating that the main question was 
.iifinally settled by a compromise between the North and the South. 

440 Deed oi 

The Northern States being anxious for the assumption of the debts 
of the several States by the General Government, and the Southern 
States being opposed to that measure, and the two sections being 
in like manner on opposite sides as to the locality of the Capital, 
there was a mutual bargaining of votes. The scheme is said to 
have originated with Robert Morris and Alexander Hamilton, 
(Secretary of the Treasury,) and consummated at the dinner-table 
of Mr, Jefferson (Secretary of State) by Messrs. White* and Lee 
of Virginia, who agreed to change their votes on the assumptior' 
question, in consideration of Morris and Hamilton undertaking tc 
effect a corresponding change in the Northern votes for the Capi- 
tal ; accordingly, the Assumption measure passed the House by a 
vote of thirty-four to twenty-eight, and the Potomac site bj' 
thirty-two to twenty-nine.f In July, 1790, it was determined t( 
have the seat of Government on the Potomac, and in 1791, "Wash- 
ington selected the spot which now bears his name. According to 
the terms of the act, Congress remained in Philadelphia until De- 
cember, 1800. J 



To all people to whom these Presents shall come : 
The Honorable Jeremiah Basse, Esq., Governor of the Province 
of East and West-Jersey, and Thomas Revel, of the town and- 


* " With a revulsion of stomach almost convulsive," says JeflFerson in his Ana. I 
t HUdretli's United States, vol iv. 210-21G. Mr. Jefferson said in ISIS that he| 
was " most ignorantly and innocently made to hold the candle" in this game, (Ana.,j 
Works, vol. ix. p. 92 ;) and again, " I was duped into it by the Secretary of the Trea-i 
sury, and made a tool for forwarding his schemes, and of all the errors of my politi- 
Cil life, this has occasioned me the deepest regret." (Letter quoted inHildreth, vol. 
iv. 363.) 

X " We are to remove before the first of December to Philadelphia, and, if we livej 
so long, in ten years to the Indian place with the long name on the Potomac.*'! 
[Conococheague.] {Oliver Wbleotf, July 23, 1T90. Gihhs' Federal Administra- 
tions^ ch. il) 

Bafse and Revel. 441 

county of Burlington, in the Province of West New-Jersey, 
Gentleman, Agents for the Honorable the "West-Jersey Society in 
England, send greeting : 

Know ye that we, the said Jeremiah Basse and Thomas Revel, 
(as agents as aforesaid,) for the accommodation and service of the 
inhabitants of the township of Maidenhead, within the liberties or 
precincts of the said county of Burlington, and the inhabitants 
I near adjacent, (being purchasers of the said Society's lands there,) 
' or the erecting of a meeting-houSe, and for burying-ground and 
, fcSchool-house, and land suitable for the same, for and in considera- 
-cion of five shillings to them, the said agents, or one of them in 
Ipand paid for the use of the said Society by Ralph Hunt and' 
{John Bainbridge, of Maidenhead aforesaid, as well for themselves 
^a,s by the appointment and on the behalf of the rest of the inhab- 
i'.tants of said township, at or before the sealing hereof, whereof 
rind wherewith the said agents do hereby acknowledge themselves 
-fully satisfied and paid on behalf aforesaid, they, the said Jeremiah 
(Basse and Thomas Revel, have given, granted, and sold, aliened, 
•bnfeoffed, and confirmed, and by these presents, on behalf of the 
paid Society, do fully and absolutely give, grant, and sell, alien, 
■enfeoif, and confirm unto the said Ralph Hunt, and John Bain- 
Ibridge, and Johannes Laurenson, Wm. Hixson, John Bryerly, 
jSamuel Hunt, Theoph. Phillips, Jonathan Davis, Thos. Smith, 
«cXasper Smith, Thos. Coleman, Benjamin Hardin, Wm. Akers, 
^Robert Lannen, Philip Phillips, Joshua Andris, Samuel Davis, 
^i:lnathan Davis, Enoch Andris, Cornelius Andris, James Price, 
»Vohn Runion, Thos. Runion, Hezekiah Benham, Benjamin Maple, 
"jLawrence Updike, Joseph Sackett, and Edward Hunt, all of Maid- 
( enhead aforesaid, one hundred acres of land, already taken up, 
Ijaid forth, and surveyed, within said Society's tract of land above 
t^he falls, commonly called the fifteen thousand acres, in the town- 
ship of Maidenhead aforesaid, for the use aforesaid ; together with 
.'rill and every the ways, easements, profits, commodities, hercdita- 
■ ments, and appurtenances to the said one hundred acres of land 

442 Deed. 

belonging or appertaining, and all the estate, liglit, title, interest, 
possession, property, claim, and demand whatsoever, as well of 
the said Jeremiah Basse and Thomas Revel (as agents as afore- 
said) as of the said Society in law and equity, and either of them 
of, in, or unto the said one hundred acres of land and granted 
premises belonging or appertaining ; and the reversion and rever- 
sions, remainder and remainders of the same and of every part 
thereof To have and to hold the said one hundred acres of land 
aid granted premises, and every part and parcel thereof, with the 
appurtenances, unto the aforesaid persons particularly mentioned, 
and to their heirs and successors forever, as well to the only pro 
per use and behoof of them the said persons particularly mentioned 
as abovesaid, as to all and every other, the inhabitants of thc'i 
said township aforesaid, and parts adjacent, who are or shall - 
be purchasers of the aforesaid Society's lands, and to the heirs,' 1 
assigns, and successors of them and every of them forevermore ■^ . 
to be holden for, by, and under the quit rents thereout issuing' 
unto our Sovereign Lord, the King, and his heirs and successors, 
and the arrears thereof, (if any be.) 

In witness whereof the said Jeremiah Basse and Thomas Revel, 
in the name and on the behalf of the said Society, have hereuntoj 
set their hands and seals the eighteenth day of March, Anno Dom.j 
169f, Annoq. R. R. Gulielm. tertii Angl. etc., undecimo. 

J. Basse, (L.S.) 

Thos. Revel. (L.S.) 

Sealed and delivered in the presence of 

Jxo. Tatham, 

Nath. Cortland, Justice. 1 

Joseph Revel. 

A true copy of a deed recorded in liber B, No. 2, page 655. 

Thos. S. Allison, '• 

Sec. of State. |; 

It will be seen from the above that the name of Blnathan Davu}. 


was omitted on p. 80. ' 

Trenton and Falls. 443 


Page 24. Smith's language, when he mentions the death of 

Wm. Trent, Dec. 29, 1T24, is : "Being a large trader at Trenton , 

w\ n that place was laid out for a town, it from him took its 

If lat J, being before significantly called Little-Worth." (History 

( f New-Jersey, chap, xxii.) 

In 1726 the Legislature granted to James, son of ^Ym. Trent 
the exclusive use of the Delaware for a ferry, " two miles above 
and two below the falls." 

Smith's History, under date of 1765, says : " The courts are 
.held at Trenton, a place of concourse and lively trade. It stands 
;at the head of the tide, and in a high, pleasant situation. The in- 
habitants have a public library. Of places of worship, [in Hun- 
terdon county,] the Presbyterians are nine, the Low Dutch do. 
one, German do. one. Episcopalians three, Quakers two. Baptists 

In a letter from Wm. Franklin (afterwards Governor) to his 
father, Burlington, June 10, 1767, he says : " Governor Went- 
worth [of New-Hampshire] visited me on his journey home, and 
lay a night at my house. I next morning accompanied him as 
far as Trenton Falls, where we spent the day a fishing, and 
supped together." {FranMhCs Correspoiidence., ly Duane, p 35.) 

" The first falls in Delaware river in Trent Town are opposite 
to the forty-seventh mile of this divisional line" — that is, Law- 
rence's line between East and West-Jersey, run in 1743, and start- 
Ino- from Little Egg Harbor. {Douglass' Summary, ii. 282.) 

Page 27. The statement at the beginning of this page would 
be more exact by inserting, that by act of Assembly Jan. 22, 
1709-10, Burlington county was made to include Maidenhead, 
Hopewell, and Amwell. The portion of Trenton, now above the 
Assanpink, was then in Hopewell. Hunterdon county, as set off 
in March, 1713-14, included what are now the counties of Morrit*, 

444 Notes. 

Sussex, Warren, and Hunterdon, and the present townships of 
Trenton, Ewing, Lawrence, and Hopewell, in Mercer county. 

Pages 30 and 870. The inscription on Bainbridge's grave 
stands thus : 

"In memory of 


lohn Banbridge who di'd Febry. 
the 14^^^- 1732. In y" 75^^^ Year of his Age." 

The first i in his name was inserted after the name had been 
cut. The family name in England had another variety, as is 
found in an epigram quoted in Bayle's Dictionary, beginning — 

" Doctor Banibridge came from Cambridge." {Art. on John 
Bairibridge ; 5(?7Vi 1582.) 

Page 33. Kichard Eayre. This is probably the same family 
that has since been better known as Eyres and Eyre. In our 
church-yard is the grave of " Sophia, relict of Capt. Richard 
Eyres, formerly of Philadelphia ;" February 9, 1801 : aged 60. 

Page 51. For " «?if? Pennington" read "«^ Pennington." 

Page 66. "A letter from the people of Trenton, desiring care 
to be taken to procure a minister for them, was read ; but nothing 
was or could be done to purpose about it at that time." Minutes 
of Presbytery of PMladelpTiia., September 19, 1734. 

Page 76. In a letter of Gov. Belcher, June 8, 1751, it is said 
that " Mr. Thomas's interest in Trenton had been bought by 
Robert Lettice Hooper, for £2900 sterling — thought a good sale." 
( WhitelieacVs Analytical Index^ p 273.) 

Page 83. For the records and documents relative to the Schism, 
see Baird's Assembly's Digest^ pp. 592-617. (Second edition.) 

Pages 95 and 280. The "Analytical Index" gives the heads 
of several communications that passed between Governor Franklin 
and the royal authority in England, in reference to a petition of 
the Presbyterian clergy in New-Jersey, for a charter for the 
Widows' Fund. See Index under dates of May 11, 1772, Feb. 
27, April 10, June 2, Oct. 18, 1773. The charter was granted. 

Notes. 445 

Page 111. Wm. Morris and Richard Salter were Justices of 
the Peace at Trenton. Gov. Belcher (Dec. 1755) disapproved of 
their course in committing a number of Susquehannah and Dela- 
war3 Indians to jail, as they belonged to Pennsylvania. An. 
Ifidex, p. 830. See also p. 280. Nov. 2. Saltar was the name of 
the Treasurer of the State who, in October, 1803, was seized in 
his house in Trenton, and robbed of the public funds to the amount 
of eleven thousand dollars. 

Page 163. The date of 1757, as that of the removal of the Col- 
lege, is incorrect. The explanation is on page 124. 

Page 171. " Trenton, June 21, 1761," is the date of a letter, 
from John Brainerd to the Rev. Enoch Green, written "in a 
minute or two, as I passed through town" — ^printed in the Presby- 
tericm Magazine^ Oct. 1852. 

Page 200. The Commissioners held their court at Trenton 
from November 12th to December 30th, 1782. Their decision, 
which was in favor of Pennsylvania, is known as " the Trenton 
decree." (ITollister^s History of the Lackawanna Valley^ p. 59.) 
The Commissioners were TVm. Whipple, Welcome Arnold, David 
Brearley, William C. Houston, and Cyrus Griffin. The Agents for 
Pennsylvania were Joseph Reed, Wm. Bradford, James AVilson, and 
Jona. D. Sergeant. Those for Connecticut were Eliphalet Dyer, 
Jesse Root, and Wm. Samuel Johnson. Henry Osborne was 

Page 223. May 30, 1766, Mr. Spencer, as Moderator, signed 
the Synod's Pastoral Letter upon the repeal of the Stamp Act. 
The letter is given in Baird's Digest^ p. 836. 

Pages 229 and 231. The name of Samuel Hill is in the grave- 
yard ; "born September 14. 1716: Died May 5. 1785." An 
adjoining stone is marked "Smith Hill: Died January 9. 1822, 
aged 71 years." 

Page 338. The result of the experience of such uses of the 
Church as are related on this and other pages, was given by Mr. 
Armstrong in his sermon at the opening of the new church in 


] 1 6 Officers (){ 

1806. The position taken by him in the annexed paragraph is 
now an established rule of our Trustees. " I know," said the 
preacher, " that superstition has often conferred upon churches 
a degree of sanctity which can only belong to the object of all reli- 
gious worship. But I know also that in the attempt to wipe out 
this vestige of superstition, too many have swept away with it 
that respect and veneration which we ought to cultivate for places 
where God has promised his presence to his people. The use of i 
churches, for purposes not immediately connected with religious 
exercises, though innocent in itself, must have a tendency to 
weaken our respect and veneration for them. Civil, political, or 
literary scenes and exhibitions, mingled at intervals, though not 
on the Lord's day, will more or less weaken a sense of that serious- 
ness and solemnity which is associated with a house set apart for 
the worship of God. Nothing, therefore, but urgent and unavoid- 
able necessity should open the doors of our sanctuaries for exer- 
cises which are not immediately subservient to the purposes of reli- 
gion or devotion." 

Page 425. Add to the statistics that in the time included, 262 
communicants were dismissed by certificate. 



1161-66 . 
:» 32 1-24 . 
1829-33 . 

David Co well. 

William Kirkpatrick, (Supply.) 

Elihu Spencer. 

James F. Armstrong. 

Samuel B. How. 

William J. Armstrong. 

John Smith. 

James W. Alexander. 

John W. Yeomans. 

1841- .... John Hall. 

Trenton Church. 



1760 John Chambers, 

1806 Nicholas Dubois.f 

John HendricksoQ, 

1815 Nathaniel Burrowes. 

Stephen Rose. 

1817 JohnBeatty, 

1764 Joseph Green. 

James Ewing, 

1765 Benjamin Yard, 

Robert McNeely, 

Hezekiah Howell, 

Joshua S. Anderson.:}: 

William Tucker. 

1829 John Voorhees, 

1771 Samuel Hill, ) *' Elders 
Ebenezer Co well. ^ for town.' 

Samuel Brearley. 

'1836 Thomas J. Stryker, 

Jacob Carle, 

Stacy G. Potts. 

John Howell, 

" For the 

1840 James Pollock, 

Timothy Hen- 

Old House." 

Francis A. Ewing, 


Aaron A. Hutchinson, 

Benjamin Smith. " Deacon 

John A. Hutchinson, ") 

for Trenton.' 

' Benj. S. Disbrow, >■ ^^^' 

1777 Wm. Green, ) 

Joseph Green, f beacon?. 

Joseph G. Brearley. ) ^^^^' 
1846 Samuel Roberts, 

1782 John Howell. Deacon. 

Joseph G. Brearley, 

1787 Alexander Chambers, 

Jonathan Fisk, 

Jacob Carle, 

Stanhope S. Cooley, ) Dea- 
B. Wesley Titus. ) con? 

Isaac Smith, 

Benjamin Smith, 
Nathaniel Furman, 

1856 Andrew R. Titus, ) 

William J. Owens j^^^^°^^- 

Ogden Woodruff.* 

1858 George S. Green, 

1797 Peter Gordon. 

Augustus G. Richey. 

1806 Benjamin Hayd 


* After several years' service, Mr. Woodrufif was, at his own request, excused from 
acting ; but at the wish of the Session he resumed his place Jan. 1, 1S09. There was 
another suspension of his services in 1S15-1G, but he again took his seat and acted 
until his death, Nov. 4, 1821. 

t Time of election is uncertain, 

X Mr. Anderson's name appears in the Records of Session until 1828; after this he 
removed to Philadelphia, where he resided for some years, but returned to Trenton , 
and died here in June, 1S40, in his sixtieth year. 


Officers of" Trenton, Ewing, 


n56 David Cowell, 1789 

Charles Clark. 

Andrew Reed, 

Arthur Howell, 1799 

Joseph Yard, 

William Green, 

Alexander Chambers. 180-4 

17 GO Moore Furman, vice Reed. 1808 
1762 Obadiah Howell, v. Cowell. 
1764 Wm. Kirkpatrick, J v.A.How- 1811 

James Cumine, > ell, Yard, 

Abraliam Hunt. 3 and Fur- 1818 

[man. 1822 
1766 Joseph Reed, Jr., ^ v. Cumine, 1823 

Samuel Tucker, > Kirkpa- 1825 

Daniel Clark. 3 trick, and 


1770 Elihu Spencer, v. Reed. 

1771 Joseph Tindal, v. 0. Howell. 
1777 Benjamin Clark, v. C. Clark. 
1780 Nathaniel Furman ?;. Tindal. 
1783 Moore Furman, v. Spencer. 
1786 Daniel Scudder, v. B. Clark. 

1788 Isaac Smith, v. M. Furman. 1838 
1788 Bernard Hanlon, ^ v. D, Clark, 
Hugh Runyon, > N". Furman, 
Moore Furman, ) & Scudder, 1856 

Aaron D. "Woodruff, 
Benjamin Smith, 

I V. Tuck- 
\ er, and 
V. Hanlon, 
& A. Cham- 
bers, Sen. 


John Beatty, 
Alex. Chambers, 


Peter Gordon, v. Beatty. 
James Ewing, \ v. I. Smith & 
Peter Hunt, ) M. Furman. 
Benj. Hayden, v. P. Hunt. 
Charles Ewing, v. B. Smith. 
S. L. Southard, v. Woodruff. 
John Beatty, v. A. Hunt. 
John S. Chambers, v. J. Ewing. 
Amos Hartley, ^ v. Gordon, 
Ebenezer P. Rose, > Southard, 
Benjamin Fish, ) and A. 

Charles Burroughs, v. Hartley. 
Henry W. Green, ^ v. C. Ew- 
Armitage Green, v ing, Hay- 
Thos. J. Stryker. ) den, and 


Sam'l R. Hamilton 
X. J. Maynard, 

) b( 

Geo. S. Green, 
Wm. G. Cook. 

bers and 
V. A. Green 
& Maynard. 


(or trexton first church,) ses'ce separaton from town church. 

1789-1821 Joseph Rue. 1858-A. P. DeYeuve. 

1823-1858 Eli F. Cooley. 

Lawrenceville and Pennington. 449 


(since separation.) 

1807-28 Isaac Y. Brown. 1836-48 Joseph Mahon. 

1830-35 Henry Axtell. 1851- Abraham Gosman. 


(or first church of HOPEWELL.) 

1731-85 John Guild. 1826-38 Benjamin Ogden. 

1785-1826 Joseph Rue. 1838- George Hale. 


(fro3i the beginning 

Enoch Armitage, 
Reuben Armitage, 
Ephraim Titus, 
Thomas Baldwin, 
Joseph Titus, (Sen.,) 
Nathan Hunt, 
John Smith, 
Abraham Pittenger, 
John Hunt, 
John Muirheid, 
John Carpenter, 
Jesse Christopher, 
Nathaniel Burro wes, 
Charles "Welling, 
Stephen Burro wes, 
Jacob Hoff, 
Israel Hart, 
John Hoflf, 


to the present time.) 

Enos Titus, 
Daniel G. Howell, 
Aaron Hart, 
Enoch Ketcham, 
Theophilus Furman, 
Joab Titus, 
Edmund Roberts, 
Isaac Welling, 
Joseph Titus, 
Nathaniel R. Titus, 
John Guild Muirheid, 
Azariah Hunt, 
John Smith Hunt, 
Benjamin S. Holt, 
John Ellis Burd, 
Enoch Armitage Titus, 
"Wilson Black well. 


Titus Hart, 
Solomon Titus, 
Edmund Roberts, (Sen.,) 

John Davison, 
Jacob Hoff, 
Daniel G. Howell, 


Officers of Pennington 

Aaron Hart, 
Enoch Ketcham, 
Eenjamin Hoffj 
Andrew Titus, 
Reuben Titus, 

Daniel H. Hart, 
George Woolsey, 
James Burroughs, 
Jonathan Smith Hart. 


The earliest record of a meeting of the congregation of "The 
First Presbyterian Church of Hopewell," bears date September 
30th, 1786 ; when the seven following were elected Trustees, 
namely : 

John "Welling, Jr., 
John Smith, 
John Price Hunt, 
Amos Moore, 

Stephen Burro wes, Jr. 

Nathaniel Hart, 

Dr. Hezekiah Stiles Woodrufif, 

Subsequently, at various times, those named below have been 
elected : 

Henry Baker, 
John Muirheid, 
John Yancleve, 
Ephraim "Woolsey, (Sen ,) 
Enoch Hunt, 
Stephen Titus, 
Jesse Hunt, 
Jesse Moore, 
Stephen Hunt, 
John Carpenter, 
James Stevenson, 
Enoch Ketcham, 
Edmund Roberts, 
Charles "Welling, 
George Muirheid, 
Samuel Moore, 

Aaron Hart, 
Josiah Hart, 
Andrew Titus, 
Joseph Titus, 
John Guild Muirheid, 
Garret J. Schenck, 
Christopher L, 'Wynkoop, 
George Woolsey, 
Asa Hunt, 
Stephen B. Smith, 
"William D. Blackwell, , 
Jonathan S. Hart, 
George R. Cook, 
Ephraim Woolsey, 
John Ellis Burd. 

and Titusville. 



The Presbyterian congregation of Titusville was formed by a 
colony from the Pennington Church, consisting of thirty-five 
families, with eighty-five church-members. The church was 
organized on the tenth of January, 1844. The first pastor, the 
Eev. Garret Van Artsdalen, was ordained and installed May 22d, 
1844. His pastoral relation was dissolved February 3d, 1852. 
On the fourteenth of September, 1852, the Rev. Jesse B. Davis 
was installed pastor, and still continues. 

The names of the ofiicers of this church and congregation are as 
follows : 


Joseph Titus, 
Edmund Roberts, 
Theophilus Hunt, 

John TV. Burroughs, 
John Welling, 
Theodore HofF. 


Isaac S. Nevius. 


Joseph Titus, 
Theodore Hoff, 
John Welling, 

Philip T. Hunt, 
John Johnson, 
Isaac Parley. 


At the end of the fifth volume of the Records of the Presbytery 
of New-Brunswick, is " A Catalogue of Ministers and Candidates 
who have been members of, or belong to, the Presbytery since 
the time of its first constitution, August 8, 1738." This Cata- 
logue is arranged to give to each name the dates of license, ordina- 
tion, and reception by Presbytery, from whence received, the 
pastoral charge, changes of charge, date of dismission, to what 
body dismissed, date of death, and miscellaneous items. The 


First Members 

Catalogue continued to February 1, 1859, numbers about five 
hundred and eighty. The " Candidates" on the list appear to be 
only such as were in due time licensed by this Presbytery. I 
wish I had room for the entire document, but must be satisfied 
with transcribing the first one hundred and seventeen names, 
(which embrace all to the year 1800,) with the date of ordination 
as far as given. The first five were the original members from the 
Presbytery of New- York : 

Gilbert Tennent, 
John Cross, 
Eleazar Wales, 
"William Tennent, 
Samuel Blair, 
John Rowland, 1739, 
James McCrea, 1741, 
Wm. Robinson, 1741, 
James Campbell, 1742, 
Samuel Finley, 1742, 
Wm. Tennent, Sen., 
Richard Treat, 
Samuel Sackett, 1742, 
David Youngs, 1742, 
Charles McKnight, 1744, 
Charles Beatty, 1743, 
Wm. Dean, 
Joseph Lamb, 
Andrew Hunter, 1746, 
Daniel Lawrence, 1747, 
James Davenport, 
Job Pruddeo, 1757, 
Thomas Lewis, 
John Campbell, 1750, 
Timothy Allen, 
Benjamin Chesnut, 1751, 
Israel Reed, 1750, 

Samuel Kennedy, 1751, 
John Todd, 1751, 
Eliab Byram, 
Samuel Harker, 1752, 
Henry Martin, 
Conradus Wortz, 1752, 
Benjamin Hait, 1755, 
Jeremiah Halsey, 1767, 
David Cowell, 
John Guild, 

Wm. Kirkpatrick, 1759, 
Alex. Macwhorter, 1759, 
Samuel Davies, 
John Carmichael, 
John Clark, 1761, 
John Hanna, 1761, 
Wm. Mills, 1762, 
James Caldwell, 1760, 
James Hunt, 1760, 
Joseph Treat, 1762, 
Amos Thompson, 1763, 
Samuel Parkhurst, 1762, 
Thomas Smith, 
Elihu Spencer, 
Wm. Tennent. Jr., 1762, 
Enoch Green, 1762, 
Jacob Ker, 1763, 

of New-BrunswiciC Presbytery. 453 

James LyoQ, 1764, 
Nathan Ker, 1763, 
David Caldwell, 1TG4, 
John Rosbrough, 1764, 
Francis Peppard, 
Simon "Williams, 
Alexander Mitchel, 
Jonathan Edwards, Jr, 
James Thompson, 
John Blair, 

Jacob Vanartsdalen, 17*71, 
John "Witherspoon, 1745, 
John Simpson, 
Wm. Schenck, 1771, 
Alexander McLean, 
Caleb Wallace, 
Moses Allen, 
John Debow, 1775, 
Oliver Reese, 
James Gourlay, 
Philip Stockton, 1778, 
Hugh White, 
John Warford, 1776, 
George Faitoute, 1779, 
John Woodhull, 1770, 
Samuel S. Smith, 
Peter Willson, 1784, 
Joseph Rue, 1784, 
Joseph Clark, 1784, 


Wm. Boyd, 1784. 

Ira Condict, 1787. 

James Muir, 

Asa Dunham, 1787, 

Walter Monteith, 1786, 

James F. Armstrong, 

Ashbel Green, 

Thomas Grant, 1791, 

Daniel [or Darius] 0. Gillct, 

Gilbert T. Snowden, 1790, 

Adam Ramsay, 

Cyrus Gildersleeve, 1792, 

John J. Carle, 

Charles D. Green, 

Stephen Yoorhees, 

Samuel F. Snowden, 1795, 

David Barclay, 1794, 

Thomas Hickman, 

Robert Finley, 1795, 

Hollo way Hunt, 1795, 

Robert Russell, 

Joseph Caldwell, 

George Scott, 1798, 

Wm. B. Sloan, 1789, 

Andrew Hunter, 

Geo. Spafford Woodhull, 1798, 

Ebenezer Grant, 1800, 

David Comfort, 1800, 

M, Lerue Perrine, 1800, 

John Cornell, 1800, 

Nathaniel Harris. 



» ♦ » 

-Academy, 121, 326, 32t 

"Adam," 292 

Adams' Life and Works, 199, 2 to, 

339, 341 
Aitken's Bible, 329 
Akers, 30 
Alexander, A.. 367, 383, 388, 401, 

408, 420 
Alexander, J. W., 391, 392, 408, 420, 

Allison, 433 
Amwell, 184, IST, 189 
Anderson, (or Andris,) Joshua, 30, 

Anderson, Cornelius, 30, 35 
EUakim, 76, 
Enoch, 80, 36, 54, 56 
History of Colonial 

Church, 107 
Andrews, Jedediah, 31, 73, 75 
Arch Street Church, 89 
Armitage, E., 43, 44, 49, 87, 109, 

112, 147 
Armitage, R., 43 
Armstrong, J. F., 58, 295, 409 
" " Mrs., 347, 411 

" W. J., 389 
Arnold, 92 
Assanpink, 24 

" Navigation, 405 

Bailey's Travels, 23 
Bainbridge, 30, 370, 444 
Baird, 385, 390 

" Digest, 444, 415 

Baldwin, 43 
Bancroft's History, 18 
Bank, 243, 403 
Barclay, 19 
Barnes, 390 
Barracks, 101 
Basse's Deed, 29, 55, 440 
Battle of Trenton, 243, 403 
Bayle's Dictionary, 444 
Beakes, 53, 176 
Beatty, John, 235, 402 
" C. C, 390, 404 
" Erkuries, 404 
Belcher, 117, 213 
Bell, 245 
Bellamy, 165 
Bellerjeau, 73, 245 
Belville, 248 
Belleville, 64, 428 
Bethune, 397 
Bible Printing, 329 

" Societies, 22, 397 
Biddle, 262 
Bishop, 371 
Blairs, 295 

Blake's Biog. Dictionary, 330 
Bloomfield, 381 
Bolton's History, 107 
Bonaparte, 347, 430 
Bond, 113, 234 
Bonham, 30 
Boswell, 421, 433 
Boyd, 20, 287 
Braduer, 41 
Brainerd, 171, 208, 415 

ii Index to Subjects, and to Books cited. 

Brearley, 409, 411, 420, 434 
Bridge, 403 
Brissot's Travels, 345 
Brittain, 256 
Brown, I. V., 362 
Bryant, 235, 430 
Bryerly, 30 

Burnaby's Travels, 100, 101 
Burr, 117, 123, 163 
Burroughs, 35, 36 
Burro wes, 394, 409 
Burt, 206 

Cadwalader, 9V, 112 

Call, 67 

Campaign, Southern, 303 

Campbell's "Chancellors," 318 

Candidates, 297 

Carle, 229, 232 

Carnahan, 393 

Capital, U. S., 292, 435 

Castiglioni, 347 

"Cato," 191 

Chalkley's Journal, 202 

Chambers Family, 121, 158, 160, 

Chapin, 427 
Chaplaincies, 170, 215, 267, 278, 

300, 303 
Charter, 154, 284, 313 
Chastellux, Travels, 276 
Cincinnati, The, 337, 338 
Clarks, 76, 155, 156 
Clarkson, 122 
Cleayton, 35 
Cliosophic Society, 118 
Clunns, 249 
Coleman, 30 
College of Xew-Jersey, 116, 121, 

188, 280 
Collins, 328 
Commission, 93 
Congress, Journals of, 262, 278, 

Constitution, 322 
Convention. 187 
Cooley, 24, 390, 408, 425 
Coppers, 377 

Corner-stone, 354 
Cornwallis, 266, 286 
Corn well, 43 
Cosby, 152 
Cottnam, 238, 248 
Cowell, Rev. D., 67 

" Dr., 291 

" Ebenezer, 233, 238 

" John, 294 
Coxe, 236 
Craighead, 94 
Cranbury, 34 
Creed, Dr., 247 
Crookshank's History, 15 
Cumines, 194 
Cujler, 426 

Dagworthy, 35, 76, 111, 146, 196 

Damages, 264 

Dauphin, 281 

Davies, 90, 122, 126, 128, 131, 133, 

137, 170, 213 
Davis, 30, 33, 36 
Deane, 36 
Debow, 277 
Decow, 240 
Dedication, 355 
Deeds, 29, 33, 35, 55, 440 
Deklyn, 234 
Delaware Falls, 22, 443 
Deruelle, 426 
Dickinson, M., 43, 47 

" P., 429, 438 

Dockwra, 11 
Dod, 425 

Douglass's Summary, 23, 104, 444 
Dubois, 63, 224, 301, 384 
Dufiaeld, 269 
Dunbar, 407 
Dutch Colonists, 9 

East- Jersey Presbytery, 49 
Eayre, 33, 444 
•' Ecce Jesum," 242 
Edmundson's Travels, 20 
Edwards, Sr., 125, 210 
" Jr., 204 ■ 

Index to Subjects, and to Books cited. iii 

Edwards' Life of Brainerd, 208, 

Ely, 394 

Episcopal Church, 103. 290 
Epitaphs, 20, 144, 189, 190, 203 

239, 244, 256. 288. 375, 386, 

394, 397, 401, 40S, 407, 409, 

Erskines, 248, 316 

" Works, 317 

Evans, 41 
Everiit, 43 
Ewing Church, 28, 35, 37, 448 

'• Jame?, 405 

" Charles, 396, 413, 431 

" Fraijcis A., 59, 360, 415. i 

420, 431 
Ewing, John, 363 

" Sermon, 322 
Maskell, 363 
Examinations, 297 
Execution, 91, 149 
Exegesis, 169, 242 

Ealls of Delaware, 22, 62, 443 
Farley, 36 
Fast -day, 337 
Field's Miuutes, 187 

" Provincial Courts, 201, 237 

" on Tennent, 96 
Finley, 82, 129, 131, 175, 183. 223, 

334, 380 
Fire Company, 334 
Fitch, 250 
Flemington, 336 
"Flint, Dr.," 291 
Foote's North-Carolina, 219, 221, 

Foote's Virginia, 122, 213 
Fortescue. 348 
Fourth Church, 428 
Franklin's Life and "Wriiings, 89, 

240, 253 
Franklin's CorrespondeLce, 443 
Freeman, 151, lf>3 
Frelinghuysen. 392 
Funerals, 145 

Furraan, 43, 113, 146, 162. 194. 
282, 364 

General Assembly, 319 

Gibbs's Federsl Administrations, 
398, 440 

Giffing, 73 

Gillies's Collections, 87 

Gordon, 264, 299, 402 

Gospel Propagation Society, His- 
tory, 103 

Gospel Propagation Society; ab- 
stracts, 105 

Gould, 109, 202 

Gowns, 381 

Grave-yard, 34, 370, 379 

Green, 158 

" Dr. A.. 89, 322, 368 

'* His Auto-memoir, 89 

" Notes and Discourses, 116. 


Grellet, 328 

Griffin Funeral Sermon by, 124 

Guild, 51, 95, 134 

Hale, 29, 44, 46. 
Hall, 424, 425 

" B. R. H.'s Oration, 118 
Halsted's Reports. 237 
Hamilton, 410 
Hanlon, 249 
Hardin, 30 
Harker, 178, 217 
Hart, 31, 76, 201 
Hayden, 402 
Heath, 33 

Henry, 257, 419, 425 
Heston, or Hasten, 33 
Higbee, 241, 438 
Hildreth's History, 10, 440 
Hill, 229, 231, 445 
History, Church, 335 

*' Documentary of N. Y., 107, 

210, 23.3, 252. 
Historical Collections of N. J.. 78, 

Historical " Penn., 10'.^ 

*• Mass., 210 

iv Index to Subjects, and to Books cited. 

Hixon, 30 
Hodge, 390, 393 

" ' liistory, 82, 83 
HoUister's History, 445 
Home, or Hume, 150, 151 
Hook, 12 

Hooper, 102. 114, 247. 316, 444 
Hopewell, 26, 28, 32 
HopkinsoD's Works, 437 
Hospitul 278 
Houdin, 105, 242 
Houston, 303, 308, 445 
How, 240, 384. 388, 420 
Howell, 36, 157, 158, 162. 194. 

240, 286 
Hubbard, 65 

Humphrey's History, 103, 104 
Hunt, 30, 43. 76, 195, 365 
Hunter, 185. 341 
ilunterdon, 27, 444 
Hutchinson, 33, 420 

Ice House, 102 

Incorporation of Presbytery, 342 

Indian Missions, 211 

Irish Colonists, 9, 17 

Irving's Life of Washington, 271, 

Irwin, 251 

Jefferson's Life and Works, 287, 440 
Randall's, 287. 342 
Tucker's, 287 

Jersey. East, 9 

Johnston's Autobiography, 344 

July Fourth, 337 

Kalm's Travels 23, 97, 146 

Kent, 44 

Kmgsbury, 76 

Kirkpatrick, 135, 163, 190. 191, 

KoUock. 343, 409 I 

Ladies' Committee, 278 
Lafayette, 404 
Lalor, 394 
Lancaster, 406 

Lanning, or Lannen, 30, 75 

Latin, 300 

Lawrenceville, 27, 28, 32 

Lawrenson, 30 

Lawrie, 11 

Leake, 64. 399 

Legacies, 149, 156, 159, 194. 196, 

202, 244, 285, 286, 292, 434 
Levasseur's Travels, 405 
Lee, Memoirs of R. H., 267 
Library, 335 
Lightning, 406 
Littlewortb, 24, 443 
Livingston, 275, 287, 290, 309, 329 
Lock art, 35 
Log College, by Alexander, 83. 86, 

Longacre'a Gallery, 431 
Lossing's Field Book, 196, 271 
Lott, 71 

Lotterie.s 105, 113, 120,353 
Lowrey, 258, 278 
Lowry, 434 
Ly ell's Travels, 351 
Lyon, 182 

Macaulay's History, 11, 13 
Macwhorter, 164. 167. 169. 217. 

McDowell, 386 
McKnight, 203 
McNeely, 409, 411 
Madison Papers, 436 
Maidenhead, 26, 27, 31 
Map. 26 
Maple, 30 

Marshall's Washington, 332 
Mather, 46 

Mathis, or Mathias, 246 
Meditations, 44 
Medium, 175 
Melish's Travels, 101 
Merseilles, 241 
Messler's Memorial, 245 
Michael's, St., 33. 34, 103, 106, 

107, 259 
Michaux, 346 
MiUer, 288, 367, 373, 390, 401, 408 

Index to Subjects, and to Books cited. 

Monroe, 406 
Montgomery, 226 
Moore, 42 
Moreau, 347 
Morgan, 45 
Morris, 29, 76, 438 

" Papers of Lewis, 29, 74, 
78, 151 
Murray's Elizabethtown, 155 

Nassau Hall, 1 1 7 
Neshamony, 19, 86, 181, 251 
New- Jersey, 9, 70 

" Legislature. 201, 284, 

302, 329 
New-Jersey Executive Correspoud- 

ence, 329 
Neltleton, 419 
Newspapers, 108 
North-Carolina, 167, 213, iil7, 221, 

Nottingham Sermon, 88 

Occom, 377 

Officers, 446 

" Old Church," 26, 33 

Old and New Sides, 89 

Oldmixon's History, 11, 12, 104 

Orme's Life of Baxter, 14 

Orr, 41 

Osborn, 419 

Paine, 350 
Paper mill, 331 

Parsonages, 32, 50, 176, 312, 316 
Pastors, 446, 448, 449, 451 
Paxlon, 237, 270 
Pemberton's Serraou, 94 
Pennington, 28, 42, 449 
Persecution, 13 
Pettit, 197 
Pews, 260 

Philadelphia Churches, 19, 89, 199 
" Newspapers, 93. 94, 

108, 118, 120, 153, 199 
PhiUips, 30 
Pidgeon, 238, 246 
Pine Street, 198, 199 

Pinkerton, 237 

Poem, 38 

Pollock, 412, 420 

Porterfield, 64, 72 

Post Office, 109 

Potter's field, 380 

Potts, 250, 254, 350 

Prayer, 356 

Prenceta, 242 

Presbyterian Magazine, 46, 445 

Presbytery, Members of, ^51 

Presbyteries, 40, 48, 49. 85 88 

Price, 30 

Priest's Travels, 22 

Proprietors, 10 

Prout, 36, 75, 109, 429 

Puritans, 9 

Quakers, 9, 10 
Quincy's History, 69 

Hah), 196, 270 

Ramsey, 185 

Read's Memoir, 393 

Records of Presbyterian Church, 

41, 49, 50, 82, 181, 184, 212 
Reed, 36, 74, 75, 110, 111, 113, 

157, 163, 196, 445 
Reed, Life and Correspondence, 197 

" Memoir, 197 

" Mrs., Life of, 197 
Reeder, 35, 256 
Revel, 29, 440 
Revival, 83 
Riddel, 14, 15 
Rice, 331, 385, 418 
Riker's Annals, 35, 36 
Ringo, 42, 71, 110 
Rochefoucault's Travels, 101. 346 
Rodgers, 222 
Rogers, 434 
Rosborough, 267 
Roscoe, 366 

Rowland, 84, 86, 87, 96 
Rue, 51 
Ruuyon, 30, 258 

vi Index to Subjects, and to Books cited. 

Rutherford, 346 
Ryall, 247 

Sabine's Loyalists, 237 

Sacket, 80, '36, 40 

St. George's, 222 

Salary, 173, 175, 191, 205, 230, 

Salmagundi, 347 ! 

Sanford's Life, 385 
Sargent, 427 

'• History, 102 
Saxc-"Weiraar's Travels, 4(i3 
Schism, 83 
School, 120 
Scot, 13 

Scot's Model, 15 
Scotch Colonists, 9 
Scudder, 35, 73, 74, 75 
Seal, 314 

Second Church, 421 
Sedgwick's Life of Livingston, 201, 

202, 291,329 
Sergeant, 289 

Settlement of New-Jersey, 9 
Severos, or Severance, or Siferons, 

Shard, 349 

Sherman, 396, 397 

Sherrerd, 382 

Shippen Papers, 102 

Sinclair, or St. Clair, 101, 102 

Singer, 249 

Smith, 30. 32, 36, 42, 64, 243, 255, 
386, 393 

Smith's History, 24, 443 

Southard, 397, 416, 431 

Sparks's Library, 255, (See Frank- 
lin and Washington) 

Spencer, 122. 135. 207, 208, 445 

Sprague's Annals. 212. 268, 269. 377 

Sproat, 199 

Stacy. 24, 54 

Standards, 322 

Stamford, 272 

Staughion, 433 

Stearns's Newark, 165 

Stirling, 102 

Stockton, 390, 398, 399 
Stone Church, 59 
Strong, 209 
Siuddiford, 390 
Sammerfield, 404 
Sunday- Schools, 382 
SutclifTs Travels, 347 
Synods, 89, 95, 216, 313 

Tennents, 43, 79, 84, 96, 122, 169 
" Sermons, 164 

Tennent Church, 20 

Theological Seminary, 367 

Third Church, 426 

Thomas's History of Printing, 330 

Thompson, 206 ' 

" Long Island, 281 

Tindal, 282 

Tinicum, (Tohikan,) 167 

Tracy's Life of Evarts, 398 

Trent, 35, 52, 443 

Trenton, 29, 53, 66, 73, 97, 98, 108 
Decree, 445 
Newspapers passim 

Trustee.^, 154, 180, 447 

Tucker, 34, 200, 203, 234, 274 

"Udang," 106 

Ulster, 17 

Union Fire Company, 334 

Updike, 30 

" U. P. P. S. Q. S.," 301 

Van Vleck, 47 
Vault, Qi, 151 
Von Veghten, 245 
Voorhees, 393, 409, 411 

Waddell, 355 

"Wansey's Travels, -^3, 345 
Warford. 190, 272 
Warrell, 111, 114. 239 
Washingtjn, 333, 341, 344. 378 
Mrs., 341, 351 
Writings, 279. 333, 

403, 438 
Washington Benevolent Society, 


Index to Subjects, and to Books cited. vii 

•Vatson's Anuals, 52 

" Memoirs, 101 

Webster, 222, 421 

" History, 66 

Weld's Travels, 101 
Westcott's Life of Fitch, 255 
Wharton. 369 
Wheaton's Reports, 277 
While, 281, 426 
Whiteiield, 84 

" Journal?, 91, 92 

Whitehead's East-Jersey, 16 
" Perth Amboy, 92, 



Whitehead's Analytical Index, 444 

Whittlesey's Life of Fitch, 255 

Widows' Fund, 95, 280, 444 

Willett's Life of Summertield, 404 

Williams, 252 

Wilson, 66, 227, 255, 433 

Wimer. 245 

Witt 249 

Wod row's History, 14 

Woodruff, 396, 397 

Woolsey, 46, 245 

Yard, 40. US, 121, 151, 157, 23'6 

Yale College, 43. 46, 

Yeomans, 419, 422, 425, 428 



JUL ;h1 1931