1765 - Revolution

"As the vessel passed Gloucester Point all the ships in the harbor hoisted their Colours to half Mast. All the bells began to ring until evening Mourning the approaching Lost of Liberty."

The Royal Charlotte carried Stamped Papers for Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

( His Majesty's Yacht Royal Charlotte was originally named HMY Royal Caroline )

The STAMP ACT of 1765

5th of October 1765

The HMY Royal Charlotte along with the Man of War HMS Sardine sails up the River Delaware and passes Gloucester on it's way to Philadelphia.

November - December 1773

The Tea ship POLLY.

Gloucester Town had a front row seat to a well known event involving the tea ship POLLY.

The tea ship Polly under Captain Ayres arrives in the Delaware River.

A committee of Philadelphian's stop the vessel off of Gloucester Point (PA) asking Captain Ayres not to land his ship or face the destruction of it's "detested Tea"; as well as, possible harm to his vessel and crew.

( Tar and Feathering was planned )

The Polly stayed at Gloucester Point while Captain Ayres proceeded with the committee to Philadelphia.

Captain Ayres having made port in Philadelphia before surely was known to the merchants and agreed, wisely not to bring his vessel into Philadelphia.

His ship was resupplied and left with it's cargo of "Detested Tea".

Unable to off load the tea anywhere else in British North America, the Poly return to England.

The Boston Tea Party took place on December 16, 1773.

Philadelphia's Broadside side was dated November 27, 1773

You can see the broadside by clicking on the link for the Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/resource/rbpe.14303100/

July 18th 1774

Support for Boston and appointment of a committee related to the First Continental Congress.

At the Gloucester County Court-House in Gloucester Town:

( southwest corner of King and Market Streets)

"At a general meeting of the magistrates, lawyers, freeholders, and other respectable inhabitants of the county of Gloucester, in New Jersey, held at the Court-House in the said county, July 18, 1774, the following resolutions were read, maturely considered, and unanimously agreed to; the third only excepted.


Joseph Ellis of Gloucester Town turns over funds raised by Gloucester County for the relief of Boston. Ellis having already fought in the French and Indian War, would go on the become a General in the NJ Militia.

May 18th 1775

"A deadly enemy to Liberty lurks here"

Gloucester County instructions given to the Committee related to the Second Continental Congress. There is great distrust of the New Jersey's Royal Governor and those who in the Legislature.

Click on image or hyperlink to view the full document at the Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/resource/rbpe.09906600/

1777 - Quakers Jailed at Gloucester

Elizabeth Drinker's Diary

Elizabeth's husband, Henry Drinker travels to Gloucester Town to visit two jailed Quakers, Mark Miller and Thomas Redman.

Both had refused the oaths of loyalty to the new New Jersey state government. Quakers called it the “Test”. Refusing would lead to fines and imprisonment.

Starting in January 1777, John Redman and Mark Miller were imprisoned in the Gloucester County goal (jail) at Gloucester Town for eight weeks.

Redman and Miller were Quakers and were imprisoned for eight weeks due their stance of not supporting the Revolution; as well as, for refusing take a pledge of loyalty to the State of New Jersey.

The Quakers throughout the area would come to Gloucester Town to support Redman and Miller during their eight weeks imprisonment.

The jail was in poor condition, it did not have glass in the windows, it had no furniture or bed.

Sheriff Joseph Ellis who lived only a few hundred feet away from the court house was a former Quaker would visit these men. He would take them to his house for dinner and would have them stay the night, returning them to the jail after breakfast.

When they finally went on trial, they were fined but refused to pay the fine. At such time Sheriff Joseph Ellis announced that the fine had been paid.

It's believed that Ellis had paid the fine.

21st of November 1777 - Diary of Elizabeth Drinker

“The Amricans had set their whole Fleet on fier”

“I was awaken'd this Morning befor 5 o'clock by the loud fireing of Cannon, my Head Aching very badly; All our Family was up but little Molly, --and a fire made in the Parlor, more then an hour before day-all our Neighbours were also up, and I believe most in Town- The Amricans had set their whole Fleet on fier, except one Small vesel and some of the Gondelows, which past by the City in the Night; the fireing was from the Delaware who lay at Coopers Point, on the Gondelows, which they did not return; Billy counted 8 different Vessels on fire at once in sight, one lay near the Jersey shore, opposite our House; we heard the explosion of 4 of 'em when they blew up, which shook our Windows greatly-We had a fair sight of the blazeing Fleet, from our upper Windows."

The Battle of Gloucester took place on

November 25th 1777.

It was no more than a skirmish and militarily was not significant, but politically was important due to the presence of the marquis de Lafayette. This would be the first time the young Frenchman would lead American troops in battle. Much was made of the fact that British & Hessian forces were led by British General Lord Cornwallis.

The Affair at Gloucester would be used by George Washington to place Lafayette in command of an larger American Army; with the hope of a gaining greater support for the American cause from the French nation.

More information can be found at the following links:

Battle of Gloucester: https://www.smore.com/zujvx

The Camden County Historical Society:

"Living in A War Zone Camden County, New Jersey 1777-1778"


Facebook Site:


Events along the Delaware River leading up to the Battle of Gloucester - NJ and thereafter.

11 Sep. 1777 - Battle of Brandywine results in the British Army capturing Philadelphia.

20 Sep. 1777 - Battle of Paoli, British surprise attack on American encampment.

02 Oct. 1777 - Fort Billingsport below Ft. Mercer in NJ falls to the British

04 Oct. 1777 - Battle of Germantown took place on "Cliveden" the Chew Family home.

22 Oct. 1777 - 900 Hessian fail in their attack Fort Mercer at Red Bank.

17 Oct. 1777 - British General Burgoyne surrenders 5,800 troops at Saratoga NY.

15 Nov. 1777 - Fort Mifflin on the west side of the Delaware River falls to the British.

16 Nov. 1777 - Lord General Cornwallis crosses from Chester PA to Ft. Billingsport NJ.

18 Nov. 1777 - Fort Mercer on the east side of the Delaware River falls to the British.

21 Nov. 1777 - Rebel fleet was burned off Gloucester Point near Big Timber Creek.

23 Nov. 1777 - British Army in Woodbury NJ begins move north toward the Big Timber Creek.

24 Nov. 1777 - British Army cross Big Timber Creek & camps south of Little Timber Creek.

25 Nov. 1777 - British Army cross the Little Timber Creek and camp in Gloucester Town.

26 Nov. 1777 - British Army continue to cross at Gloucester Town NJ to Philadelphia PA.

27 Nov. 1777 - British Army complete crossing at Gloucester Town NJ to Philadelphia PA.

27 Nov. 1777 - British Navy on the Delaware River cannon bombarded Gloucester Town.

28 Nov. 1777 - British Army takes up winter quarter in Philadelphia until 18 June 1778.

19 Dec. 1777 - Washington selects Valley Forge PA as the winter encampment of his Army.

1777 - 1778 - British Troops continue incursions into NJ foraging throughout the winter.

5 Apr. 1778 - Abercrombie leads 500 British grenadiers in a landing at Gloucester Town.

18 Jun. 1778 - British Army leaves Philadelphia for New York City.

18 Jun. 1778 - Nearly 11,000 British Troops land at Gloucester Town NJ march out at 10 AM.

28 Jun. 1778 - Battle of Monmouth.

French to English translation from map description of the action at Gloucester

25 November 1777

"Map of the Action of Gloucester, between an American Party of about 350 men under General LaFayette,

and a party of troops of Lord Cornwallis, command by that General after his Raid (Red Bank) in the Jersies.

25 November 25 1777"

a. The English position, 5,000 men at Gloucester

b. Baggage of the Enemy, passing to and from Philadelphia.

c. The enemy post opposite Sand Point; from which their position was reconnoitered.

d. Broken bridge.

e. 400 Hessian advance post, with two cannons, which were first to be attacked.

f. American rifleman, who began the attack.

g. Supporting militia.

h. Parties placed in the road so that the flank might not be turned.

i. Point where the English and the Hessians were chased, and where they held their ground, sustained by an English detachment commanded by Cornwallis.

k. Chasseurs sent on the flanks of the enemy.

i. Point where the English and the Hessians were chased, and where they held their ground, sustained by an English detachment commanded by Cornwallis.

l. Point where the English and Hessians were repulsed after a lively resistance and where night ended the fighting (nearly a mile from Gloucester).

m. Haddonfield Road, where the American were and where they returned after having assured their advantages.

3 December 1777

Future President of the United States John Adams is told of Marquis de Lafayette action at Gloucester.

John Adams is appointed Commissioner at the Court of France, joining Ben Franklin who is already there. In the same letter he is informed about the

"Marquis de Lafayette at the head of about 400 Militia and a detachment from Morgan's Rifles on a Picket of 300 Hessians twice reinforced by British—in which our Troops were successful, killed about 20—wounded more took 14 Prisoners and chased the Enemy about half a Mile."

The actual distance was more like 2.5 miles

Some American reports of the Battle of Gloucester (NJ) make mention that Cornwallis was wounded or killed at Gloucester. Neither proved correct.

Notice that Gloucester is spelled "Gloster"

[ Massachusetts Historical Society ]

Large Force of British Land at Gloucester Town on April 5th 1778

In the early morning hours of April 5th 1778. British Lieutenant Colonel Abercrombie leads 500 British grenadiers across the Delaware River to Gloucester Town, NJ in an attempt to capture American troops at Haddonfield.

An American cavalry sentry rode through Newton Creek alerting the American's at Haddonfield as to the approaching British Troops. The American's moved out of Haddonfield avoiding capture.

The British troops returned to Philadelphia through Cooper’s Ferry and capture a small number of American’s at Coopers Ferry unaware of the British presence at Haddonfield.

Later known as Sir Robert Abercrombie, he would be promoted to full General of the Army, Knight of the Order of the Bath, Governor of Bombay, Commander-in-Chief of the Bombay Army and Commander-in-Chief, India and serve as a member of Parliament.

1828 Jared Sparks interviewed of Lafayette about the "Affair at Gloucester"

In 1828 Jared Sparks interviewed Lafayette, at Lagrange France.

Below is the marquis de Lafayette's account of the "Affair at Gloucester".

Affair at Gloucester

He returned to the army in November, when it was at Whitemarsh. Greene was ordered into the Jerseys to watch the motions of Lord Cornwallis, who had gone over the river with a large body of British and Hessian troops on a foraging excursion. Lafayette accompanied him although he was not yet able to wear a boot on his wounded leg. At his request, Greene gave him permission to reconnoiter Cornwallis’ & make an attack if circumstances would warrant it. He took with him 150 regulars, & 200 ( or 280) militia of New Jersey. He approached Gloucester, where Cornwallis was stationed, and in the act sending his troops across the river. He reconnoiter


personally, and advanced so near the enemy, that he was discovered on a sandy point at the mouth of a creek, which empties into the Delaware at Gloucester. A small detachment of dragoons was sent after to intercept him, which he saw across the creek. His guide was frightened, but he soon became sufficiently collected to direct Lafayette into a back path, which took him out of the reach of the dragoons, before they could advance to the bridge, which they were obligated to cross. He passed within shooting distance of an out post, and knows not how the declined firing at him, except that they supposed the dragoons would certainly take him, as they were in sight. He reached his troops. & led them immediate attack on a body of Hessians in the rear of Cornwallis’ forces. His men made a spirited attack, and the Hessians retreated, leaving several killed. The Americans pushed forward, encountered & drove before them and were going forward without seeming to reflect on differences of numbers, and the hazard they were running. It was soon prudent to withdraw, for Cornwallis’s forces were vastly superior. They were not pursued, however, in retreat. Cornwallis was probably deceived as to their numbers.


Suspecting Greene to be in the rear with all his forces. Lafayette immediately joined Greene, who, as Cornwallis had left the Jerseys, recrossed the Delaware to the main army.

This affair at Gloucester was gallant & successful and much noise. The army had met with so many disasters, & the people had become so much disheartened, that this event was made the most of by Washington and the army, and it had an important influence in raising the spirits and keeping up the courage of the people.

General Stevens left the army about this time, Lafayette was much delighted at being put in command of his division.

The Jared Sparks Collection of American Manuscripts Houghton Library Harvard College / Harvard University

[ Jared Sparks would later go on to the President of Harvard College.]