Brief history of Chatham Morris County, New Jersey

The first thought of compiling this history of Chatham was prompted by the assembling of certain facts concerning the town for use in composing a community drama entitled "Amanda Minton's Dream." After the writing of this play by Mr. H. T. Strong and myself, and the successful rendition of it by "The Chatham Players," I set about to amplify the brief data assembled and to put that which I found in readable form. Urgent requests were made by many of the citizens of the town that the material collected be published. When the History of Morris County was undertaken in 1913 by the Lewis Historical Publishing Co., Mr. Chas. M. Lum was chosen as one of the editorial staff, and it was in response to Mr. Lum's request that this brief sketch was written for that publication. After the manuscript was finally accepted many of the citizens of the town expressed the desire to have the material bound in a separate pamphlet. This was found feasible at a small expense on the publishing side, and in consequence this history of the town is submitted.


Table of Contents

Geological Story 1
Indian Occupation 2
Early Settlement 4
Revolutionary Period 10
The War of 1812 Visit from Lafayette 26
Churches 26
The Public Schools 30
Travel 34
Hotels, Stores and Post Offices 35
Chatham Fish and Game Protective Association-Chatham Wheelmen 38
Industries 38
Bobilation Day 41
Doctors and Lawyers 41
Slavery 44
Civil War 45
Modern Growth 47
Officials of the Borough of Chatham, 1913 49


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The history of Chatham may be considered under seven divisions, as follows: Geological story, Indian occupation, early settlement, Revolutionary period, community development. Civil War period, and modern growth.

While the geological story of a locality is popularly not deemed a part of its history, yet it seems permissible to include such consideration when the record is especially noteworthy. Consequently, since the vicinity of Chatham has had a most remarkable geological career, it has been concluded wise both from the point of interest and of information to make it a part of this brief treatment.