Chapter 06
Morris Co. Up

History of Morris County, New Jersey with Illustrations, and Biographical Sketches of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, 1739-1882; New York: W.W. Munsell & CO., 1882.


THE war left the people of the colonies in a dreadfully impoverished state. Many who had been wealthy when the war broke out were reduced to poverty. Officers and men returned to their homes with very little but the glory of their achievements to console or support them. The money issued by authority of the Continental Congress was so depreciated as to be practically worthless. The pressure from the outside which had kept the colonies united and made the general government respected was now withdrawn, and the sense of having delivered themselves from the control of a powerful foreign nation made men independent in feeling and impatient of restraint. The country was in more danger in 1783 than in 1776, and the posterity of that generation have reason to be more grateful for the good sense of the men of that day, which led them to unite in the formation of a constitution and in agreeing to live by it, than to their courage and self-sacrifice in the struggle with Great Britain, great as that courage and self-sacrifice were. But not only was danger of anarchy and confusion to be dreaded. The war had had a demoralizing effect upon officers and men. The restraints of religion had become irksome, infidelity had made rapid progress and intemperance had greatly increased. It is the universal report of the decade next succeeding the peace that the state of morals and religion which then prevailed was most alarming, and Morris county was no exception to the general rule. It was the day of Paine's "Age of Reason," which found a soil well adapted to it in the minds of men flushed with victory and restive under control. Previous to the war liquors were imported from abroad, and were used in comparative moderation. After the peace distilleries were found established in all parts of the country, and drunkenness prevailed to an extraordinary extent and among all classes of people. Some particular industries had been unduly stimulated, others had been abandoned; and it was several years before business became readjusted and the old order of things resumed.

But the people of Morris county were in many respects fortunate. The enemy had not devastated their fields or burned their dwellings. They had every element of wealth in themselves, and they were not long in turning their attention to developing the resources they possessed. Before the end of the century the county had grown wonderfully. Forges and mills were built or rebuilt on the many streams. Houses of a more comfortable and pretentious style took the place of the log cabins which had been the usual habitations of the people. New lands were cleared and better roads made. In 1794 a great revival of religion swept over the country, to be succeeded by other revivals in 1806 and 1818. Schools were established throughout the country, and high schools at Morristown where young men were fitted for college. Newspapers were published, the first one in Chatham in 1781, called The New Jersey Journal, by Shepherd KOLLOCK, a refugee from Elizabethtown; afterward, in 1797, the Morris County Gazette, and in 1798 the Genius of Liberty, at Morristown.

In 1780 the funeral of Jacob JOHNSON, in Morristown, drew together a large concourse of people, who followed the remains from beyond Speedwell to the old church. In this procession there was but one vehicle, and that was used for carrying the body. All the rest were on foot or on horseback. Dr. JOHNES and the attending physicians, each with a linen scarf around his shoulders, according to the custom of the times, led the procession on horseback.

In the diary of Joseph LEWIS, a wealthy citizen of Morristown, son-in-law of Dr. JOHNES and clerk of the county, is the entry: July 23d 1784--"Robert MORRIS, Esq., set out for Brunswick, being one of the committee appointed to meet committees from other counties to consult and devise some plan for establishing trade and commerce at Amboy." What came of this project is unknown. Elizabethtown no doubt continued to be the shipping point for this county until Newark was made nearer by its better means of communication.

In this same diary, under date of October 3d 1786, Mr. LEWIS says: "I went in company with the court and sundry of our respectable inhabitants to wait on the Chief Justice BREARLY from White tavern to this place. We returned in procession, in the following order, on horseback: 1st, the constables; 2nd, coroners; 3d, sheriff; 4th, chief justice, in his carriage; 5th, judges of the pleas; 6th, justices; 7th, clerks; 8th, citizens." No doubt the members of the procession were all on horseback except the chief justice; and this attention to the judge coming to hold a general jail delivery was intended to impress the people with the majesty of the law.

To show how elections were conducted in those early days take another quotation from this diary: Tuesday October 10th 1786--" This day I served as clerk of the general election. Judge STILES conducted the election. Colonel HATHAWAY, David TUTTLE, Justice ROSS, William WINDS and Nathaniel TERRY were inspectors, and Will CANFIELD and Henry CANFIELD as clerks: Abraham KITCHEL, Esq., was elected a counselor; Aaron KITCHEL, Esq., Colonel COOKE and Colonel STARKE, assemblymen; Jacob ARNOLD, Esq., sheriff, and Enoch BEACH and Victor KING, coroners." The election of candidates for the State convention to ratify the federal constitution lasted from Tuesday November 27th to Saturday December 1st 1787, and resulted in the election of William WOODHULL, John Jacob FAESCH and General William WINDS.

The death of General WASHINGTON was the most notable event which closed the century. The newspapers of the day were heavily lined and mark the very general evidence of sorrow throughout the land. In every town meetings were held and appropriate addresses made. Rev. John CARLE's address, delivered at Rockaway, December 29th 1799, was printed by Jacob MANN, and a copy is still in existence. The speaker drew a comparison between his subject and Moses, and but echoed the sentiments of his hearers and of other orators in speaking of Washington as "the greatest man that hath graced the present century in any part of the world."

When the war of 1812 broke out the militia of the county was organized in four regiments of infantry and one squadron of cavalry. The regiments of infantry were commanded by Lieutenant-Colonels Silas AXTELL, John SMITH, Joseph JACKSON and Lemuel COBB, and the brigade formed by them was commanded by Brigadier-General John DARCY. Lieutenant-Colonel William CAMPFIELD commanded the squadron of horse. The militia were assembled on the call of the general two or three times each year, and were in a fair state of efficiency. There were three uniformed companies--Captain CARTER's company of riflemen from Madison or Bottle Hill, Captain HALLIDAY's company of Morris rangers, and Captain BRITTIN's fusileers, of Chatham.

On the 15th of May 1812 Captain CARTER'S company paraded on Morris Green, with 250 of the militia, who were assembled for that purpose and were described as a well-disciplined, handsome body of men. Both that company and the rangers stood ready to volunteer their services at a moment's warning. Meantime recruiting was going on for the United States service, and Captain SCOTT of the new establishment had about sixty men and Captain HAZARD, of the new, about thirty enlisted. The Jersey regiment, to which no doubt many Morris county volunteers belonged, numbering in all about 800 men, Lieutenant-Colonel BREARLY commanding, struck its tents at Fort Richmond, on Staten Island, on Tuesday August 18th, and embarked for Albany. It reached the encampment at Greenpoint (Greenbush?), near Albany, "in good health and spirits," on the 22nd, and on November 12th the camp there was broken up and the regiment marched northward to the Canada frontier.

November 16th 1812 Governor Aaron OGDEN, in view of particular instructions addressed to him by the general commanding at New York, called upon all uniformed companies to hold themselves ready on twenty-four hours' notice to take the field. The enemy's fleet threatened the city then, and at intervals afterward during the war. The militia regiments of this State relieved each other in duty at Jersey City, Sandy Hook and the Highlands, in readiness to meet the invader.

In September the third regiment of Morris militia was called into active service and marched to Sandy Hook. It was in the United States service from September 17th to November 30th 1812, when the men were mustered out and returned home. The roster of the field and staff of this regiment was as follows:

Lieutenant-colonel, Joseph JACKSON; majors, Peter KLINE and Daniel FARRAND; adjutant, William McFARLAND; quartermaster, Joseph EDSALL; paymaster, Jonas WADE; surgeon, Reuel HAMPTON; sergeant major, Thomas C. RYERSON; quartermaster sergeant, Isaac WADE.

There were six companies, as follows: Captain John HINCHMAN's company, 81 men; Captain Samuel DEMAREST's, 64 men; Captain Abner DODD's, 61 men; Captain William CORWINE's, 74 men; Captain Stephen BALDWIN's, 70 men; Captain Peter COLE's, 75 men; total, 433 officers and men.

August 12th 1814 General James J. WILSON, in command at the seacoast, accepted the service of the three volunteer uniformed companies, together with 185 officers and men who were to be taken from the other militia. The militia of Morris and Sussex were to be formed into one regiment, and this regiment was to be one of three commanded by Brigadier-General William COLFAX. Agreeably to orders of the governor of the State the three uniformed companies marched off on Saturday morning, September 3d, for Harsimus, near Paulus Hook, where they were to be stationed for a time. In the notice of their leaving it is added, "The greatest cheerfulness and animation prevailed among them, and they appeared to entertain a just sense of the nature of the duties required of them and of the honor of performing those duties with resolution and firmness."

The following are the rolls of these three companies, which formed part of Colonel John FRELINGHUYSEN's regiment:

Captain William BRITTIN's company, which was in the United States service from September 1st 1814 to December 3d 1814: Captain, William BRITTIN; lieutenant, Elijah WARD (appointed quartermaster September 7th); ensign, Lewis CARTER; sergeants--Ichabod BRUEN, William THOMPSON, Joseph DAY, Alexander BRUEN; corporals--Caleb C. BRUEN, Elias DONNINGTON, Richard R. ELLIOT, Charles TOWNLEY 3d; drummer, Jonathan MILLER; privates--John T. MUCHMORE, Alva BONNEL (Joel BONNEL went as his substitute), Seth CROWELL, Samuel M. CRANE, William CARTER, Aaron De HART, Israel DAY, Stephen FREEMAN, Eleazer B. GUNNING, John PIERSON, John C. PRICE, Stephen PARCEL, Aaron F. ROSS, John ROLL, Joseph ROBERTSON.

Roll of Captain Samuel HALLIDAY's Morris rangers, which company was in the service of the United States from the 1st of September to the 2nd of December 1814: Captain, Samuel HALLIDAY; lieutenant, Benjamin LINDSLEY jr.; ensign, Joseph M. LINDSLEY; sergeants--Matthew G. LINDSLEY, William H. WETMORE, Joseph BYRAM jr., Bernard McCORMAC; corporals--Stephen SNEDEN, William DALRYMPLE, Samuel P. HULL, Stephen C. AYERS (John ODELL substitute); drummer, Stephen JAMES; fifer, Silas OGDEN; privates--Samuel BEERS, Jerry COLWELL, David CUTTER, Charles M. DAY, Benjamin DENTON, Peter DOREMUS, Stephen P. FREEMAN, Lewis FREEMAN, Sylvester R. GUERIN, Horatio G. HOPKINS, Luther Y. HOWELL, Ezekiel HILL, John HAND, Joseph M. JOHNSON, Abraham LUDLOW, David LINDSLEY, Ira LINDSLEY (David BEERS substitute), Moses LINDSLEY, Roswell LOMIS, Lewis MARCH, John MEEKER, John NESTOR jr., David NESTOR, Elijah OLIVER, Byram PRUDDEN, Maltby G. PIERSON, Eleazer M. PIERSON, Jabez RODGERS, Ezra SCOTT, Ebenezer STIBBINS, Peregrine SANFORD, Seth C. SCHENCK, Charles VAIL, Isaac M. WOOLEY.

Roll of Captain CARTER's riflemen, who were in the United States service from September 1st to December 2nd 1814: Captain, Luke CARTER; lieutenants--David W. HALSTEAD, William BREWSTER (discharged September 19th 1814), Charles CARTER; sergeants--Benjamin F. FOSTER, Elijah CANFIELD, Harvey HOPPING, David TOMPKINS; corporals--Calvin SAYRES, Samuel HEDGES, John B. MILLER, Moses BALDWIN; musicians--Daniel BREWSTER, Luther SMITH; privates--Lewis BAKER, Cyrus HALL, Squire BURNET, William CANFIELD (died October 3d 1814), Mahlon CARTER, Ellis COOK, Samuel CORY, Moses CONDIT, John DIXON, John FAIRCHILD, Clark FREEMAN, John FRENCH, Thomas GENUNG, Elam GENUNG, Whitfield HOPPING, Robert W. HALSTEAD, Aaron M. JACOBUS, Jacob OGDEN, Richard RIKEMAN, Joseph SMITHSON, John SIMPSON, Ephraim C. SIMPSON, William TUCKER (deserted), Stephen C. WOODRUFF, John GLOVER.

The regiment of militia which went to the Hook at about the same time was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel John SEWARD, and was in the United States service from about September 1st 1814 to December 9th 1814. The following is a roster of the field and staff:

Lieutenant-colonel, John SEWARD; majors--Jonathan BROWN, John L. ANDERSON, Benjamin ROSENKRANS; adjutant, Ebenezer F. SMITH; paymaster, David THOMPSON jr.; surgeon, Hampton DUNHAM; surgeon's mate, Timothy S. JOHNES; sergeant major, Richard REED; quartermaster sergeants--Jonas L. WILLIS, Nathaniel O. CONDIT (appointed quartermaster September 13th 1814); drum major, William FOUNTAIN; fifer, John S. SMITH; waiters--Israel SEWARD, waiter to the colonel; Benjamin AYRES, waiter to the surgeon; Matto DERBE, waiter to the surgeon's mate.

There were fourteen companies, which were in service as follows--the precise dates of their musters in and out not being the same: Captains William VLIET and Benjaman COLEMAN's company, September 9th to December 6th; Captain Joseph BUDD's, September 9th to December 5th; the companies of Captains Vancleve MOORE, Robert PERRINE, Charles SOUTH, John S. DARCY, Thomas TEASDALE and George BEARDSLEE, from September 6th to December 5th; Captain Alexander READING's, September 8th to December 5th; Captain Abraham WEBB's, September 3d to December 4th; Captain Daniel KILBURN's, September 1st to December 5th; Captain William DRUM's, September 3d to December 6th; Captain William SWAZE's, September 8th to December 7th.

On Sunday the 11th of September the uniformed companies of General COLFAX's brigade, numbering 1,200 men, paraded and marched to "high ground" to hear Rev. Dr. Stephen GROVER, of Caldwell, preach to them. About the 20th the brigade removed from Paulus Hook to the heights of Navesink, where and at Sandy Hook it remained until the last of November, when the men were paid off and ordered home. They arrived in Morristown Saturday evening December 7th 1814, and HALLIDAY's Rangers paraded on the 8th and were given a public dinner.

A singular incident of this war was the volunteering on the part of about four hundred citizens of Washington, Chester, Mendham and Morris to labor a day on the fortifications of New York. In the New York Gazette of September 10th 1814 is this acknowledgment of their service: "We have the satisfaction again to notice the distinguished and practical patriotism of our sister State New Jersey. Between four and five hundred men from Morris county, some from a distance of nearly fifty miles, headed by their revered pastors, were at work yesterday on the fortifications of Harlem. Such exalted and distinguished patriotism deserves to be and will be held in grateful remembrance by the citizens of New York, and recorded in the pages of history, to the immortal honor of the people of that State."

The war, as might have been expected, stimulated certain manufactures, our commerce with foreign nations being almost entirely cut off. The Mount Hope furnace was started up, and Dr. Charles M. GRAHAM advertised December 30th 1812 that the Hibernia furnace would be thereafter conducted by him. Matthias DENMAN, Abraham WOOLEY and Samuel ADAMS had been previously his partners in its operation. He also advertises thirty-five casks of New Jersey made copperas of the first quality, at the Hibernia store, for cash or grain at New York prices. The copperas was manufactured at the copperas mine near Green Pond, where Job ALLEN during the Revolutionary war carried on the business. The end of the war put an end to this industry and it never was revived.

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