Lincoln Park, New Jersey Revolutionary War Sites
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REVOLUTIONARY WAR SITES IN LINCOLN PARK, NEW JERSEY

John Dods Tavern
JOHN DODS TAVERN
John Dods Tavern
Lincoln Park NJ Revolutionary War Sites

John Dods Tavern
8 Chapel Hill Rd.
Now used as the office of dentist Jeffrey Falduto
Map / Directions to John Dods Tavern

John Dods Tavern, which is now the office of dentist Jeffrey Falduto, was built circa 1770. [1]   The tavern is mentioned in several letters written to General Washington as a reference point for directions.

The following are three excerpts of letters from August 1781 that mention the tavern. At the time, American troops, and French troops under General Rochambeau were moving south towards Yorktown, Virginia. In these letters, American officers discuss the path through New Jersey, using Dodd's Tavern as a landmark. As is often the case with writings from the 18th century, the spelling is inconsistent. Sometimes the tavern's name is spelled "Dods," and sometimes "Dodds," and other words are misspelled. These have been left uncorrected. Emphasis on the name of the tavern in the quotes has been added; the emphasis did not appear in the original letters.

On August 21, 1781, Quarter-Master General Timothy Pickering wrote to General Washington: [2]

"I have sent a person to examine the roads on the routes mentioned by Genl hand, & urged his returning as soon as possible. I have sent an express to go with him as far as Ogden's iron works (without crossing the Ramapough) to bring back his report whether that route be practicable for carriages. The inspector of the roads will then proceed as far as the two Bridges & return by Dods thro' Pompton Plains to the Yellow House, from whence he is to go down to see the condition of the road to Ogden's iron works & the bridge there - to go back to the Yellow House & return hither in the common road."

On August 27, 1781, Washington's aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman wrote to Colonel Philip Van Cortlandt from Chatham: [3]

"His Excellency desires me to inform you that he found the Road by Ogdens Iron Works difficult for the Boats, he therefore wishes you to keep upon the Road from Pompton to Morris Town untill you come to a place known by the name of Dodds Tavern, you there turn to the left and proceed to the Fork of Passaic; from thence you will take the same Road upon which the Artillery moved to this place [Chatham]; it is by the way of Colonel Cooks."

On August 28, 1781, Colonel Van Cortlandt in Pompton wrote to General Washington at his headquarters at Chatham, in a correspondence about the best route for him to march to Trenton. From Trenton, they would move on south to Yorktown. [4]

"If your Excellency should think proper to direct my Rout through Troy an Express may meet me where the road turns of at Dodds Tavern tomorrow morning at Nine Oclock."
(Van Cortlandt apparently did reach Dods tavern the following day, and wrote Washington a letter from here.)

Washington, Rochambeau and their troops arrived in Yorktown on September 28, 1781.  Several weeks later, on October 19, British General Cornwallis surrendered at the last major battle of the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Yorktown.

Lincoln Park New Jersey - Revolutionary War Sites

Source Notes:

1. ^  Circa 1770 date from the Morris County Heritage Commission sign in front of the building.

2. ^  Robert A. Selig, Ph. D, The Washington - Rochambeau Revolutionary Route in the State of New Jersey, 1781 - 1783, An Historical and Architectural Survey, Volume I (Project Funding Provided by New Jersey Historic Trust Department of Community Affairs / State of New Jersey. Carl E. Nittinger - Project Director, 2006) p. 168.    Available as a PDF at the New Jersey Historic Trust website

A note on page 9 of the survey states, "The vast majority of the Timothy Pickering Papers, 29 linear feet, is located in the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston and is available on 69 reels of microfilm. Frederick S. Allis, Jr., ed. Timothy Pickering Papers, 1758-1829 published a guide to these papers. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1966. Microfilm. 69 reels guide. Distributed by University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI."
I myself have not seen these papers, and so I am using the survey as my source. At this time, the Massachusetts Historical Society has not put the Timothy Pickering Papers online, although their website does have a Guide to the Microfilm Edition.

3. ^  Robert A. Selig, Ph. D, The Washington - Rochambeau Revolutionary Route in the State of New Jersey, 1781 - 1783, An Historical and Architectural Survey, Volume I (Project Funding Provided by New Jersey Historic Trust Department of Community Affairs / State of New Jersey. Carl E. Nittinger - Project Director, 2006) p. 168.    Available as a PDF at the New Jersey Historic Trust website

4. ^  Robert A. Selig, Ph. D, The Washington - Rochambeau Revolutionary Route in the State of New Jersey, 1781 - 1783, An Historical and Architectural Survey, Volume I (Project Funding Provided by New Jersey Historic Trust Department of Community Affairs / State of New Jersey. Carl E. Nittinger - Project Director, 2006) p. 190 (Quoted letter) and p. 196 (Van Cortlandt at Dods Tavern on August 29).    Available as a PDF at the New Jersey Historic Trust website

In a footnote in the survey, Selig notes that this letter was "Quoted in Jacob Judd, ed., Correspondence of the Van Cortlandt Family of Cortlandt Manor 1748-1800 (Tarrytown, 1977), p. 241."

Lincoln Park, NJ Historic Sites

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This website, its text and photographs are © 2009 -2017 Al Frazza. All rights reserved.