History of Middlesex County, New Jersey


It is now nearly half a century since the publication of a history of Middlesex, one of the most historic and progressive counties of New Jersey. The present work is designed to be at once a well digested resume of its former history, but more particularly a continuation down to the present time, and covering a period of phenomenal development along all the many lines which go to make up the complex community of today.

The value of the work rests in larger degree upon the intelligent labors of Messrs. John P. Wall and Harold E. Pickersgill, who out of their abundant local knowledge have not only provided much of the matter assembled upon its pages, but have otherwise abundantly aided the field editors, Messrs. Frank R. Holmes and Peter K. Edgar, in pointing out most useful sources of information. Of especial value are various historical papers contributed by residents who are recognized as entire masters of the subjects upon which they treat, and among whom may be named Mr. H. Brewster Willis, on Public Education; Mr. Adrian Lyon, on the Board of Proprietors ; President W. H. S. Demarest, on Rutgers College; Dr. D. C. English, on the Medical Fraternity; Dr. Fred B. Kilmer, on Christ Church.

The genealogical and personal memoirs have been pre- pared with all due care from such data as were accessible, and in each case has been submitted to the immediate subject or to his proper representative for verification as to fact. It is believed that the work, in all its features, will prove a real addition to the mass of annals concerning the people of the historic region under consideration, and that without it, much valuable information therein contained would be irretrievably lost, owing to the passing away of many custodians of records and the disappearance of such material.


Table of Contents

CHAPTER I — The Leni-Lenapes — Indian rights to the land, and how disposed of I
CHAPTER II — Occupation by the Dutch — Character of the Immigrants from Holland 7
CHAPTER III — Coming of the English — Title of the Duke of York and his land conveyances to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret 11
CHAPTER IV — Settlement of the Raritan Valley — Woodbridge and Piscataway — Settlers at New Brunswick and Perth Amboy 19
CHAPTER V — The East Jersey Proprietors — Acts passed by the General Assembly 27
CHAPTER VI — The Proprietary and Colonial Governors — Franklin the last 39
CHAPTER VII — Organization of Middlesex County — Changes of Boundaries 49
CHAPTER VIII — East and West Jersey — The final division 57
CHAPTER IX — The early Courts — Crimes and Misdemeanors 63
CHAPTER X — Study of the Soil — Mineral products 69
CHAPTER XI — Transportation — The Indian trails — First roads and ferries — Water transportation — Stage wagons — Steamboats and railroads 73
CHAPTER XII — Revolutionary days — Home life of the people — The dawn of the Revolution — Occupation by British troops 81
CHAPTER XIII — Middlesex men in the Revolutionary War — Notable names — Roster of State troops 97
CHAPTER XIV — After the War — Organization of State government 113
CHAPTER XV — First half of the Nineteenth Century— Political contests 117
CHAPTER XVI — War between the States — Middlesex men bear a splendid part 129
CHAPTER XVII — Finale— The Spanish-American War — The political land - slide of 1920 165
CHAPTER XVIII — Visitors, Natives and Residents — Washington and Lafayette — Other notables 171
CHAPTER XIX — Institutions of higher education — Rutgers College — Theo- logical Seminary of the Reformed Church — Academies and Private Schools 185
CHAPTER XX — Public Education — Thirty-three years' growth of Public Schools 203
CHAPTER XXI — The Press — First newspapers — Later journals 229
CHAPTER XXII — Bench and Bar — Early lawyers and jurists — Notable trials 233
CHAPTER XXIII — The Medical Fraternity — Pioneer physicians — First Medical Society — Various professional bodies — Founders of County and State Medical Societies — Prominent Deceased Physicians — Hospitals and Clinics 243
CHAPTER XXIV — Manufacturing Industries — At Perth Amboy and New Brunswick 271
CHAPTER XXV — City of New Brunswick — Settlement — During the Revolution — Early Industries and Merchants — Development of City to its present proportions 279
CHAPTER XXVI — City of New Brunswick, concluded — Notable Characters 347
CHAPTER XXVII — Perth Amboy — Settlement — Old Buildings — In the Revolution — The City of today 361
CHAPTER XXVIII — City of South Amboy 397
CHAPTER XXIX — Woodbridge and Piscataway Townships 401
CHAPTER XXX — North Brunswick, East Brunswick and South Brunswick Townships 423
CHAPTER XXXI — Monroe, Madison, Raritan and Cranbury Townships 437
CHAPTER XXXII — Boroughs of Middlesex County 455
APPENDIX — Military Rolls 483


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VOLUME II - Biographical


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VOLUME III - Biographical


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When Henry Hudson, in the employ of the Dutch East India Company, sailed up the broad waters of what was then known as the Great North River, now named for its discoverer, he found on its banks Aborigines occupants. They were members of the Algonquin family, and by writers on Indian antiquities have been considered as branches of the general Delaware nation known as the Leni-Lenapes, which in the Red Men's language means "original people," a title they had adopted under the claim that they were descended from the most ancient of Indian ancestry. This claim was admitted by other tribal organizations, who accorded to the Leni-Lenapes the title of "grandfather," or a people whose ancestry antedated their own.