Lead up to Conflict
1765 to 1775
As the county seat of old Gloucester County, Gloucester Town hosted many of the formal meetings, informal gatherings, court hearings; as well as, the county goal (jail).
Leading up to the break with Great Britain and American Independence, Gloucester was witness to some of these events and in 1777 and 1778, war would visit Gloucester Town.
Some of the most famous participants in the American Revolution would fight at Gloucester.
At Gloucester Town, New Jersey, in November 1777, British General Lord Cornwallis and his forces would face American troops under the command of the marquis de Lafayette, Colonel Richard Butler and the Morgan's Riflemen along with Captain Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee and his horse troop.
On June 18, 1778, Gloucester Town would be selected by the British as the location to cross the Delaware River when they evacuated Philadelphia. Nearly 11,000 British & Hessian troops would cross the Delaware River into New Jersey with the goal of reaching New York City.
Ten days later, these same British forces would face the rejuvenated American Army at the Battle of Monmouth Court House, before continuing on to New York City.
Below are some of the events leading up to the break with Great Britain which are tied to Gloucester City's history.
The STAMP ACT of 1765
"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."
HMY Royal Charlotte
On the 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.
The Royal Charlotte carried Stamped Papers for Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
July 11, 1774
"at the Court-house in the town of Gloucester..."
July 18, 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.
ROBERT FRIEND PRICE, Esq; Chairman"
November 23, 1774
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 18, 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.
The last line states:
"Our legislative representatives hold that important trust, not during the will of their constituents; nor for any limited time; but during the Governor's pleasure.
— A deadly enemy to Liberty lurks here!"
( Seems to say they think there is a 'fox in the hen house'.)