ROCKINGHAM, WASHINGTON'S HEADQUARTERS
Route 518, Franklin Township, Hunterdon County
Rockingham was the headquarters of General Washington in 1783 while he attended sessions of the Continental Congress which were then meeting in Princeton. Washington wrote his "Farewell Orders to the Armies of the United States" from this house. Constructed in 1734, by John Berrien, a New Jersey Superior Court Justice, it is owned by the State of New Jersey. For further information call (609) 921-8835. Hours: Wednesday 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, Sunday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm.
Delaware and Raritan Canal
1764 -- before this date the Rockingham house built.
1783 -- from August 24, 1783 to November 10, 1783 -- Congress leases Rockingham for Washington's stay there. Washington wrote his famous Farewell Address and then delivered it to his assembled staff from the Rockingham balcony. The widow of Judge John Berrien (who died before the Revolution) was his hostess. The judge was a Princeton university trustee and Supreme Court Justice of the State. 205
There was a time when the D & R was the greatest inland avenue of water traffic in the United states. It was seen as superior to the Erie Canal. At its height there was an unending procession of barges moving from Bordentown to New Brunswick. The locks were always full. 202
1802 -- Rockingham purchased by Frederick Cruser.
1819 -- Mrs. Berrien dies at age 95.
1823 -- the legislature order a survey for a possible canal.
1830 -- an act approving construction of a canal passes. At about the same time the Camden and Amboy Railroad, later the Pennsylvania, got a charter.
Engineer Canvass White drew up the plans and Irish immigrants dug the canal. One huge boulder is now used as a marker on the site of the Battle of Bound Brook, April 13, 1777. 203
1830 -- Rockingham sold to David H. Mount.
1834 -- the canal finished; it went back of Princeton, up along the Millstone to the turn below Bound Brook. Governor Peter Vroom was towed on a barge from Bordentown to Lambertville for a banquet. 202-203
1846 -- 600 boats at work. Profits were cut by the enlargement of the canal.
1850 -- two severe storms damage the canal.
1859 -- the peak with 1400 boats carrying almost 200 tons.
1869 -- miners go on strike effecting coal shipments. When it was over a drought dried up much of the canal water. Then a flood came. Management leased the canal to the Pennsylvania and Reading Railroad. Then the railroad took over coal carrying from the canal with the purchase of the Camden and Amboy Railroad. 204
1872 -- Rockingham goes to Martin Howell. They leased it to the Rocky Hill Quarry Company who quartered laborers in the house.
1897 -- Rockingham saved by Washington's Rocky Hill Headquarters Association. 206-207
Blackwell's had a large grist mill, fulling mill, store and several dwellings. A bridge crossed the Millstone River at Blackwells. Peter Schenck ground flour here in 1776.
Griggstown, five miles below Kingston and nine miles south of Somerville. It contained a store, a tavern and some half dozen dwellings. It also had a grist mill and a very short-lived copper mine. Along the D & R Canal above the bridge at Griggstown is the house in which Revolutionary War spy John Honeyman lived with his family for some years.
Rocky Hill had a grist and saw mill, a woollen manufactory, two stores, two taverns and about 15 dwellings.
Millstone had been more important. Millstone was Somerset Court House, the County seat, when Colonel John Graves Simcoe and his raiders set fire to the Court House thereby destroying it in 1779. Hessians hung up the wife of John van Dofren by her hell in an attempt to get information out of her as regards food stuffs. 250
Simcoe's raid was by the Queen's American Rangers. Simcoe wanted to capture Governor Livingston. He had 80 riders. 271
Beck, Henry Charlton. 1984 from 1934 original. The Jersey Midlands. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.