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Historic Buccleuch Mansion New Brunswick, New Jersey



One of New Brunswick’s oldest and most historic landmarks, this fine 18th century mansion is a large two-and-a-half story house, with a grand central hall entry.  Today there are 16 rooms but the main house originally contained 12 rooms with a separate kitchen building.  The house had several owners between 1739 and 1911 when it was deeded to the City of New Brunswick, along with 79 acres of parkland, by its last occupant and owner, Anthony Dey. It contains a remarkable collection of American decorative arts, furnishings, textiles, and numerous other objects that span the 172 years that it was used as a home.  Originally a classic Georgian style residence, it has had Federal, Italianate, and Greek Revival renovations over the years.  The hallway interior is notable for its colorful hand-painted DuFour of Macon wallpaper that features a landscape of familiar monuments of Paris. This house was built circa 1739 by a wealthy Englishman, Anthony White.  It was ideally situated on a hill overlooking the busy colonial port of Raritan Landing.  The grounds originally included a working farm and formal garden. Today, the style and artifacts of the house are a reflection of almost two centuries as a home to several notable New Brunswick families.

 

 

Portrait of Anthony White

In 1739, Anthony White married Elizabeth Morris, daughter of Royal Governor Lewis Morris, and built the house for his bride.  It was known for a time as “White House Farm”. His son, Brigadier General Anthony Walton White, was born here in his family’s home in 1750.  The son remained in New Brunswick until the outbreak of the American War of Independence.  Despite his family’s loyalty to the English crown, General White served initially as a cavalry officer in the Continental army, fighting under General Lafayette, and was later sent into Pennsylvania by Secretary of War Anthony Wayne to help disperse the Whiskey Rebels.   
During a period of ration shortages, he used his personal wealth to feed and equip his soldiers. 
As a consequence of this generosity and of failed investments, General White lost his inheritance and died in
New Brunswick in bankruptcy in 1803.
New Brunswick, during the American Revolution, was situated directly in the path of the British and American armies as they criss-crossed the state.  During the winter of 1776-1777, the city was occupied for six months by the British field army under General Charles Cornwallis.  It was during this period that the home was surrendered to and occupied by the British. Signs of saber and musket marks from the occupation can still be seen on the floors and banisters. 
British General James Grant is remembered by Joseph Scott to have used the White House as his headquarters, presumably told so by his father Moses Scott.

It is reported that General George Washington visited New Brunswick on at least five occasions.  Stories were told by the families who inhabited the house, of visits to this house by many dignitaries including General Washington, Alexander Hamilton, General Horatio Gates, John Hancock, and Brigadier General Thaddeus Kosciusko. 

Around 1774, the home was sold to an English army officer, General William Burton.    Burton was a nephew of Bartholomas Burton, a Governor of the Bank of England.  There are scant details of his stay at this house.  But in 1783, the Commissioners for Forfeited Estates, refers to him in an advertisement as “The Famous House and Lands, late the property of William Burton, formerly in the occupancy of Anthony White”.  The house was then sold to John Bergen who immediately sold it to Colonel Charles Stewart, who kept the house until 1798.  An outstanding citizen, Stewart was a member of the First Provincial Congress, 1776; Colonel of the First Regiment of Minute Men, 1776; Commissary-General on Washington’s staff; and member of the Continental Congress, 1784-1785.  In 1798 the house was sold by Colonel Stewart to John Garnett, who held it until his death in 1820.  Garnett was a native of England and was a reputable man of science.  Among many numerous mathematics and scientific articles that he authored, he edited and published in New Brunswick the “Nautical Almanac and the Astronomical Ephemeris”. 
He died at his home of 22 years in May, 1820.

The mansion was last purchased in 1821 by Colonel Joseph Warren Scott and was home to his extended family for the next 90 years. Joseph Warren Scott was the fifth owner of the house. He purchased the house and named it “Buccleuch Mansion” in honor of his family’s ancestral home in Scotland.
 An accomplished and eloquent lawyer, he conducted his large law practice from the house and his office is preserved much as he left it. 
Colonel Scott’s father, Moses Scott, (born in 1738) moved to New Brunswick before the Revolutionary War and practiced medicine for many years.  A close friend of General Washington, he held several commissions as Surgeon for the Continental Army.   Joseph Warren Scott, the only son of eight children, was born in 1778.  He was appointed to the NJ Society of the Society of Cincinnati as the representative of his father. The Scott family lived in the home until 1911 when it was deeded to the City of New Brunswick by his grandson Anthony Dey as a memorial to Colonel Joseph Warren Scott.  

The Dey family also gave the city 79 acres of parkland with the stipulation that it would be used by the city in perpetuity for a public park –“a resting place for the weary, a life giving, healthy resort for all”.   Anthony Dey and his wife were the last residents to occupy Buccleuch Mansion.  Anthony died in October 1912. 
The mansion opened to the public as a museum in 1915. 

 

 

By designation of Mr. Dey, the mansion’s interior and furnishings are maintained by the Jersey Blue Chapter – National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.  Their mission is to provide access to one of New Brunswick’s rich historical resources and to assist visitors in understanding the history of the house and its occupants. 
The interior of the home underwent a major restoration in 1986. 
The exterior and Buccleuch Park are maintained by the City of New Brunswi
ck
.

Exhibitions and public programs are scheduled throughout the year.  There is no admission charge.  For information on the museum hours and availability of tours, please contact the Curator, Jersey Blue Chapter, DAR:

NOTE:  Buccleuch Mansion is currently closed for restoration.  The Jersey Blue Chapter will be unable to conduct it’s normal tours until this restoration is complete.

Write us:
Buccleuch Mansion
c/o Jersey Blue Chapter NSDAR
P.O. Box 27
New Brunswick, NJ 08903

Send email:
jerseybluedar@comcast.net

Directions:
Buccleuch Mansion is located in Buccleuch Park, New Brunswick, NJ between Easton Avenue and George Street.

 


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