Bridge to our Past 1694-2010 317 Years as Burlington County
Origins • Recognized by the Lenni Lenape Indians as an idyllic habitation long before the arrival of Europeans, the transformation of the landscape begins with colonization by Quakers who arrived in 1677 and 1678 by way of the Delaware River, eventually moving inland via the Pennsauken, Rancocas and Crosswicks tributaries.
Burlington County’s Original 8 Constabularies* (divided on Nov. 6, 1688) A – Northampton B – Eversham C – Chester D – Wellingborrow E – Burlington F – Mansfield G – Chesterfield H – Springfield * Under jurisdiction of a Constable These 8 “Constabularies,” covering 819 square miles, eventually morphed into the 40 governmental entities that exist today, with a population of 450,000. (The population doubled in the 50 years since 1960, when it was 224,499)
Note that in 1872, Little Egg Harbor Twp. was a part of Burlington County. It became a part of Ocean County on March 30, 1891. 1872 Map
Concessions and Agreements of West Jersey 1676-1677 Office of Surveyor General, Broad St., Burlington; Concessions moved to Trenton, Dec. 7, 2005
Burlington County Courthouse, High Street, Mount Holly The 1755 County Bell hangs in the belfry of this historic Court House. The County Seat was moved from Burlington City to Mt. Holly in 1795 County Court House Broad & High, Burlington until 1795 County Court House, High Street, Mt.Holly – beginning 1796
Military Matters • Ironically, although Burlington County was founded by Quakers, who opposed war, its history is peppered by an unusually high number of military occupations, connections and heroes. • One cannot tell the story of the county without including people and relationships with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, World Wars I and II and all subsequent wars.
In the Revolutionary War, Burlington County played an essential role in the success of Washington’s Crossing the Delaware in 1776 and in the evacuation of Philadelphia by the British in June of 1778.
THE HESSIAN PRESENCE IN 1776 Trenton: General Rall Bordentown: Gen. von Donop Rising Sun: (Mansfield Square) White Horse: (Columbus) As Washington planned to cross the Delaware (Battle of Trenton) in December, 1776, the plan was to lure the Hessians south, precipitating the Battles of Petticoat Bridge and Iron Works Hill in Burlington County.
The Blue Anchor Inn Corner of High and Broad Streets Burlington The Blue Anchor Tavern was established in 1750 and was one of the most popular gathering places in South Jersey. British and American troops used it during the war. Here, Governor William Livingston officially declared New Jersey independent of Great Britain on July 2, 1776. On July 3, 1776, The Declaration of Independence was read from the steps of the Blue Anchor Inn to the residents of the City of Burlington. It was later known as the Belden House and the Metropolitan Inn. It was recently rehabilitated and has retail space – now used as the Burlington Tourist Center - on the lower level and 16 affordable housing apartments on the upper levels. It is an example of “adaptive reuse” to preserve the historic architecture of this building.
Ship Shield Marker Site of Green Bank Mansion Riverbank, Burlington City Home of Royal Governor William Franklin Truncated V.F.W. building in the background occupies the eighteenth century site of the mansion
A marker at the near left corner of the intersection of Beverly Rancocas Rd. and Kennedy Way states that at the pinnacle of the rise stood, in Revolutionary times, a mansion called Franklin Park, the private residence of William Franklin, the illegitimate son of Benjamin, and the last Royal Governor of New Jersey. As much a loyalist as his father a patriot, Franklin was imprisoned in Burlington in 1776 and chose exile to England when American independence was won.
June 19 – 23, 1778 British Retreat from Philadelphia to Raritan Bay and NY via Burlington County– intercepted by Washington at Monmouth Courthouse on June 28th, 1778. Approaching Burlington County the British split into two columns at the former Ellisburg Circle (Rt. 70 & Rt. 41 – Kings Highway) before rejoining at Mt. Holly. Gen. Henry Clinton thru Evesham, Mt. Laurel, and Eayrestown Gen. von Knyphausen & Hessians thru Moorestown and Hainesport. From Mt. Holly they proceeded thru Springfield and Mansfield into Chesterfield and on into Monmouth Co.
Capt. James Lawrence 1781-1813 Birthplace of Capt. Lawrence
“Don’t Give Up the Ship” The battle between the Chesapeake and Shannon, depicted off Boston Light on June 1, 1813. Halifax Citadel Museum Lawrence was seriously wounded; died of his wounds four days later.
The City of BeverlyBurlington County’s Main Link with the Civil War • Mustering-in City • Camp Cadwallader • Army Hospital • Military Cemetery Because the city served as a river and railroad transportation nexus, the government designated Beverly as a Civil War “mustering-in city.” The 10th, 23rd, 24th, 25th and 34th New Jersey Regiments mustered-in at Beverly.
The 23rd New Jersey Volunteers came from Burlington County and served in the Civil War from September 1862 to June 1863. In April, 1863, Colonel Grubb unveiled a blue flag with the coat of arms of the state of New Jersey to the Yahoos – a gift from the children in the Sunday schools of Burlington County that many members of the regiment attended (“The Sunday School Army”).
Congress created Camp Dix, a 50 sq. mi. military facility named after Federal Secretary of the Treasury and Civil War General, John Adams Dix. • Camp Dix: Established in June, 1917 • Became Fort Dix on March 8, 1939 • October 1, 2009: Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst
Between World Wars, Camp Dix served as a processing center for young men in the Civilian Conservation Corps as they awaited assignments throughout Burlington County and surrounding areas.
Religion and Burlington County • From its earliest settlements, religion played an important role in our history. • Because of the Quaker principles of freedom laid out in the Concessions and Agreements, the tolerant atmosphere invited numerous denominations. • To this day, close to two dozen historic Quaker Meeting Houses can be found throughout Burlington County.
The Quaker influence on the history of Burlington County is evidenced by over 20 historic Friends Meeting Houses throughout the county.
Burlington Friends MeetingSite of first anti-slavery tract written in the American colonies in 1688 Document prepared by Francis Daniel Pastorius of Germantown, Pennsylvania. It was read at the yearly meeting of the Delaware Valley Quakers at the Friends Meeting House on this site. That meeting house was replaced by the present structure around 1786. In addition to Indian Chief Ockanickon, black clockmaker Peter Hill (1767-1820) is buried in the burial ground to the rear of the meeting house. He learned the art of clock making from Joseph Hollingshead, Jr. He gained his freedom in 1795 and set up his own shop on High Street. 1678 Structure Current Structure - 1786
Burlington City Friends Meeting and Burial Ground (1783) Successor to the first Meeting House in Burlington, established in 1678.
The John Woolman Memorial – 99 Branch St., Mt. Holly John Woolman: October 19, 1720 – October 7, 1772 Journal published in 1775
Old St. Mary’s Church West Broad St., Burlington The oldest Episcopal Church in New Jersey (1703). The architecture and landscaping of St. Mary’s Church displays the sensibilities of Burlington’s early adherents to the Church of England
Many prominent patriots, politicians and business persons are buried in the historic St. Mary’s Episcopal Cemetery.
One of South Jersey’s oldest synagogues, Temple B’Nai Israel was established 1916. Temple B'nai Israel212 High StreetBurlington, NJ 08016
Valuing Education • From the beginning of the County, people realized that an educated citizenry was essential to preserve our rights and liberties • Even before building places of worship, Quakers built schools. • Education was often the responsibility of the parents
Valuing education… From the 18th century, the citizens and leaders of Burlington County understood the importance and value of education. One-room schoolhouses have existed in our communities since the mid 1700s.
Quakers first established schools in England to provide their children with a "guarded" education, one that protected the children from the influences of the larger society. When Friends arrived in America, they immediately founded schools to educate both boys and girls. Friends schools were founded in Philadelphia in the late 1600s. Believing that spiritual, social, and intellectual growth are closely linked, Friends have always stressed the importance of an education that supports the overall development of the child.
Old Schoolhouse, Mt. Holly - 1759 Brainerd Street Oldest School in New Jersey standing on its original site 35 Brainerd St.
Interior of the Old Mt. Holly Schoolhouse Maintained by the National Society of the Colonial Dames in America in the State of New Jersey
Clara Harlowe Barton 1821-1912 Established first free school in Bordentown between 1852-1853 Founded American Red Cross - 1881
Bishop George Washington Doane, Rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, had an abiding interest in Education.
St. Mary's Hall, now a private educational institution, was established by Episcopal Bishop George Washington Doane in 1837. That first year, the enrollment was 52. The instructors stressed classical studies and a high standard of education. Each semester cost $100 with an added charge of $6.00 for bedding. The building was lighted with whale oil and contains many original portraits and furnishings. This property has been placed on the National Register of Historical Places. St. Mary’s reputation for quality education led parents to demand a similar school for their sons. In 1846 , Bishop Doane opened Burlington College, which operated until 1877.
Four Schools that have been moved and restored Vincentown Tabernacle Georgetown (Mansfield) Georgetown (Mansfield) Medford
Rancocas Valley Regional High School – 1937 Formerly Mount Holly High School 1983 Corner of Ridgeway and Jacksonville Rds., Mt. Holly
Burlington County College – Opened Sept., 1969 at Lenape Regional High School Main Entrance 1971 Pemberton: East Campus - 1970 Pemberton: Parker Center – 1971 – Architect’s Drawing
Mount Laurel Campus College Library Pemberton BCC Willingboro Center BCC Mount Holly Campus
23 West Union St. Burlington
The Library Company of Burlington, 23 West Union St., Burlington. King George II chartered this library in 1757 for founder Thomas Rodman and John Reading. It is the oldest library in continuous operation in New Jersey, and the seventh oldest in the United States. The first patron was William Franklin, son of Benjamin Franklin. Today the library still houses many of its original volumes from the eighteenth century. King George III of England 1738-1820 William Franklin 1731-1813 First Patron
Paintings of the founders of the Library Company of Burlington and other trustees hang from a second-story balcony of the facility. Lydia Watson served as the original librarian. She was required to dress in all white.
In 1923, the Burlington County Library System’s “book truck” was traveling around the county. Green Bank, Washington Township
The Mount Holly Library, 307 High Street, Mt. Holly. King George III first chartered this library in 1765 as the Bridgetown Library and for a time during the nineteenth century the institution also carried the dual namel of The Burlington County Lyceum of History and Natural Science. It is the fifth oldest library in New Jersey. The present Georgian style building dates to 1830 and once served as the mansion of James Langstaff, a wealthy farmer. It became the library’s first permanent home in 1957. King George III of England 1738-1820