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Crosswicks, New Jersey Revolutionary War Sites
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Revolutionary War New Jersey
Friends Meeting House
Crosswicks, NJ

Friends Meeting House

Crosswicks Friends Meeting House
15 Front St.
Map / Directions to Crosswicks Friends Meeting House

The Crosswicks Friends (Quaker) Meeting House was built in 1773. It was the third meeting house built at this location. The first was built of logs in 1693. [1]

On December 29, 1776, about 2,100 American Troops under General John Cadwalader stayed in and around this Meeting House. About 1 a.m. on January 2, 1777, Cadwalader received a letter from General George Washington, delivered by Dr. Benjamin Rush. The letter contained orders to march to Trenton to join other American forces there.  Cadwalader rose from bed and put his troops on march towards Trenton, where they arrived at about 7 a.m.. Later that day, the Second Battle of Trenton was fought. [2]

In June 23, 1778, five days before the Battle of Monmouth, there was a skirmish here. During the fighting, the house was hit by three cannonballs. One of these hit the brick wall, leaving an imprint. This cannonball was saved and later mortared into the wall at the site of the imprint, as seen in the photo on the left.  [3]

There is a plaque in front of the Meeting House with information about the history of the building, including its Revolutionary War use. It describes the difficult experience of the Quakers, with their pacifist beliefs, living in an area affected by fighting. The sign states, "During the Revolutionary War, the meetinghouse was occupied at various times by both Colonial and British forces, though meetings for worship were still held. Use as a wartime barracks was a challenge to the Quakers, as it was in such contradiction to [Quaker] peace testimony." [4]

Revolutionary War New Jersey

Source Notes:

1. ^ "Crosswicks Quaker Meeting / Religious Society of Friends" plaque in front of the meeting house.

2. ^ • William S. Stryker, The Battles of Trenton and Princeton (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin and Company, 1898) pages 253-254.          Available to be read at the Internet Archive here

• Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Rush, A Memorial Containing Travels Through Life or Sundry Incidents in the Life of Dr. Benjamin Rush ("Published privately for the benefits of his Descendants," Philadelphia: Louis Alexander Biddle, 1905) Pages 94-96.         
Available to be read at the Internet Archive here

3. ^ Joseph S. Middleton, "Friends and Their Meeting-Houses at Crosswicks NJ," in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography Vol. XXVII (Philadelphia: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1903) page 340 - 345
Available to be read at Google Books here
 ▸ This article, written in 1903, states that there were "shot three cannon-balls into the meeting-house, two through the roof, and one into the brick wall, the imprint of which is yet visible. This last mentioned ball is now in the possession of Margaret B. Ellis; it measures three inches in diameter and weighs three and one-half pounds."
So the cannon-ball must have been mortared into the wall where the imprint was at some time after 1903.

• This skirmish occurred during the march of British and Hessian forces across New Jersey in June 1778, after they abandoned Philadelphia, and before the Battle of Monmouth. Other locations associated with this march can be found in Camden, Haddonfield, Mount Laurel, Moorestown and Mount Holly.

4. ^ "Crosswicks Quaker Meeting / Religious Society of Friends" plaque in front of the meeting house.