PRINCETON BATTLEFIELD STATE PARK
500 Mercer Road, Princeton, Mercer County, NJ 08540-4810
85 acres


Directions:

Located on Mercer Road (Princeton Pike). 1.5 miles south of Princeton University and 3.8 miles north of Interstate 295/95.


History:

During the Revolutionary War, following Washington's victory at the Battle of Trenton (see Washington Crossing State Park), the general followed up with another victory at Princeton.  

The Thomas Clarke House, located at 500 Mercer Street, in Princeton Battlefield Park, commemorates the historic Battle of Princeton, fought on January 3, 1777.  

Thomas Clarke was a Quaker farmer who acquired in 1770, 200 acres of land which had been in the Clarke family since 1696.  He then built the house, in which he lived with his brother, Ezekiel, and their sisters, Hanna and Sara.  After his death in 1802, the house and property were inherited by Ezekiel and the house remained in the Clarke family until 1863, when it was sold to Henry E. Hale.  The last sale was to the State of New Jersey in 1946, which purchased the house and the land surrounding it for a State park.

During the battle, General Hugh Mercer of the Continental Army received seven bayonet wounds in the intense fighting near the house. Refusing to be carried from the field until victory was certain, he was laid under the oak tree which still stand in the park.  He was later carried to the Clarke House where he was cared for by several surgeons as well as by the Clarke family.  After nine days, he died of his wounds on January 12, 1777.  In recognition of his dedication to the freedom of the colonies, Mercer County was later named in his honor.

Princeton Battle Monument

The monument, designed by sculptor Frederick MacMonnies and dedicated by President Harding, is located on park property at Stockton Street and Bayard Street in Princeton.


Trails:

Not much for the naturalist here.  There is a bike path available that goes southeast along the border of the property.  

No nature trails.

They planted some Norway spruce along the driveway.  

The famous Mercer Oak, in the middle of the battlefield, is not far from the spot where General Hugh Mercer fell during the Battle of Princeton.