Discover Revolutionary New Jersey! 

Your resource for all things Revolutionary New Jersey!
July 2020

Huzzah for Independence!

The first official celebration of Independence Day came along the banks of the Raritan River, just days after the Battle of Monmouth. Having demonstrated to the enemy in a daylong conflict that the Americans were a force to be reckoned with, General George Washington led his 11,000-strong army to New Brunswick to rest. 

For Independence Day, Washington ordered his troops to line the Raritan's edge in a single file from present-day Buccleuch Park to Sonman's Hill, where Douglass College of Rutgers University now stands. Bolstered by an artillery force of more than a dozen cannons, the men then fired their muskets one by one in sequence in a  feu de joie,  or fire of joy. Later, soldiers were issued an extra ration of rum while officers gathered at Ross Hall in Piscataway for a party.

This year's July 4th celebrations look different from years past, but they offer a chance to join in huzzahs wherever you happen to be!

Start Independence Day off with staff and friends of the New Jersey State Park Service as they present an online reading of the Declaration of Independence! On July 4 at 8:00 a.m., travel through time as they present the Declaration in period dress, beginning in the 18th century and concluding in the present day. Launch your 244 year journey from the State Parks Facebook page.  

Join our friends at Morristown National Historical Park and Morris County Tourism online on at 1:00 p.m. on Independence Day for their annual celebration! National Park Service Rangers Tom Winslow and Eric Olson will share history of the Declaration of Independence, followed by a dramatic reading of the full document. Access the fun on Morristown NHP's Facebook page

We'll post more information about Heritage Partners' July 4 events on our Facebook page and events calendar as we receive them.

Follow along with the readers, or start your own tradition at home! The text of the  Declaration of Independence is available on the National Archives website, complete with the list of signers.         
Meet Prime, Our Newest Revolutionary Neighbor

The life of Crossroads' newest Revolutionary Neighbor, Prime, reflects the very personal and complex issues of slavery in New Jersey during the late 18th century.

Enslaved by a supporter of the British Crown, Prime was sold and transported to New York, escaped back to New Jersey and was retaken into slavery. He later served in the Continental Army in hopes of earning his freedom, which ultimately came only through petition to the state legislature, with the help of white men. Read his story on our website.
Next Revolution NJ quarterly update July 15 

Mark your calendar for July 15, the date of the next Revolution NJ quarterly update. This virtual meeting will be held via GoToMeeting from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time, so you can participate via the internet or phone.

Access Code: 977-721-101

Participate to learn the latest about New Jersey's plans for the 250th anniversary of the United States. You're welcome to bring your follow-up questions about the  Visitor Readiness Assessment of New Jersey's Revolutionary-era historic sites. 

New Jersey Historical Commission Chair Maxine Lurie, PhD will also speak on  Exploring the American Revolution in New Jersey and Encountering the Unexpected, with examples of  fighting Quakers, surprising Loyalists who returned and the costs of being a Patriot.
Have questions but can't make it to the meeting? Submit them to   ahead of time. A replay of the meeting will be available following the live discussion.   
Register today for "Linger Longer" Professional Development session 
Crossroads invites you "Creating a 'Linger Longer' Experience," our next Professional Development Session on July 29 at 10 a.m. This virtual session will give you tools and tips on how to engage visitors to your historic site, and ways to provide an experience they'll love to share with friends and rave about in online reviews.
Heritage tourism expert Cheryl Hargrove will share what visitors value today, how to work with neighboring sites and attractions experiences, and engage travelers in important conversations about New Jersey's role in the American Revolution.

Additional speakers will include Jeff Vasser, Executive Director of New Jersey Division of Travel & Tourism; and M ark Nonestied, division head of Middlesex County Division of Historic Sites and History Services.

Each participant will receive 10 Tips for Delivering Valued Heritage Experiences to Travelers to implement now, along with a list of resources to tap for additional information. 
Register today to reserve your space for this free session.
Crossroads Trustees Elect New Board Chair

Crossroads of the American Revolution's Board of Trustees elected Sally Lane as Chair during its June quarterly meeting. 

Lane was a founding trustee of Crossroads and has held  leadership positions at the Trenton Convention and Visitors Bureau, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Trent House Association, Old Barracks Association, and the Advocates for New Jersey History. She returned to the Crossroads board in 2015.
With this election, Lane succeeds Ira Jersey, who has served as board chair for the past two years. He will remain on the board, and we thank him for his leadership and continued contributions.
Meet Crossroads' Summer Intern 

Please join us in welcoming Crossroads' summer intern Ben Hutchison. A resident of Robbinsville and a rising senior at Gettysburg College, he's working toward a Bachelor's degree in History with minors in Public History and Civil War Era Studies. Previously, he was a research assistant at the Civil War Institute and interviewed Vietnam War veterans for Gettysburg's Musselman Library.
Ben is providing research assistance for our Revolutionary Neighbors program to help expand the diversity of 18th century New Jerseyans' experiences reflected in the growing series of profiles. He'll also be researching material for Crossroads' website and future online resources.

Welcome aboard, Ben! We're glad you're with us.
Stay Updated with Crossroads All Month Long

We're working to keep our social media and website updated with the latest information from our Heritage Partners on site and event status during the COVID-19 crisis. We're committed to be your source for rescheduled event dates and site re-openings as we receive them.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for site news, interesting facts and more throughout the season. 
Board of Trustees
Thomas H. Kean, Honorary Chair ● Sally Lane, Chair ● Steve Ayscue ● David Capozzi  
Laura Crowley  ●  Dale Florio  ● Jennifer Godoski ●  Seth Hahn  ● John Hardiman ●  Joshua Henne 
 Ira Jersey ● Jeff Kaszerman  ●  Rocky Peterson  ● Laura Szwak

Crossroads Staff
Janice Selinger, Executive Director ●  Sue Kaufmann, Communications Director 
Amy Osterhout, Program Manager ● Roseann Butterfield, Office Administrator

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