northern portion, however, is pleasantly Undulating
ami well adapted to the raising of cereals, etc., but the
eastern and southern part-, from Kocktown to float
Hill, arc billy, rough, and in some places almost
mountainous. Still, very much of the surface of these
i icj 'j-cil slopes is cultivated, and found well adapted to
small-fruit culture. "Goal Hill" i- bold and pic-
turesque, and of considerable elevation. It- primitive
rocks outcrop in many places; upon its western face,
near the Delaware River and Canal, are extensive
quarries of sienitic granite and trap, worked for
building purposes, for monuments, and for the Bel-
gian-block pavements. The prevailing rock-formation
is the red shale, which outcrops in many places, in
others covered with a thin coating of alluvium, which
is principally disintegrated shale. The south part of
the township is in many places strewn with bowlders
varying from a few hundred pounds to a- many tons'
The Alexsocken ( 'reek form- a portion of the north
line of West Amwell. In old deeds is found the term
"alia* Socken," which had- to the conclusion thai
the present cognomen is a commingling of the two
word-. This Btream rises in the township and Hows
mainly westerly and southwesterly, emptj ing into the
Delaware at Lambertville. The brooks and rivulets
which swell the Alexsocken in this township are
quite insignificant in volume and length, and flow
Â» On nn old map of it"- province ol N. Â» Janty, pnbllahad In 1777. by
William CadeD, Charing Croaa, from a larroj madÂ« In 1769, tha orthog-
raphy]* Allahhocking. IhlaoraaJK i,.i- almost ai many rati
tagi ai ii laid ^iiuliugs.
principally in a northerly direction. Moore's Creek
crosses the southeast corner of the town, below Goat
Hill, and southwesterly to the Delaware. The reader
is referred to the general chapter upnu the " Physical
Features of Hunterdon County,'' antecedent, in this
work, for much interesting information upon this
The territory embraced by what is now the town-
ship of W'c-t Amwell included the tract- of Winder,
Stevenson, Bull, Wheeler, ('alow, etc The Winder
tract was in the southwest corner of the town-hip,
fronting on the Delaware.
The Thomas Stevenson tract lay east of the Winder
tract in the southern and eastern part of the township.
Neil Grant owned land next north of Winder, and
bordered on the Delaware, as did also the 400 acre- of
Benjamin Field (I~H0j, and the lands of John Head-
To the northward lay Richard Bull's tract, and,
next above, that of Gilbert Wheeler.
In the northwest corner of the township, and ex-
tending over the Alexsocken into Delaware township,
was the tract of John Calow, from George Hutchin-
The central and upper part of West Ainwell was
occupied by the Robert 1 Hinsdale tract, of 1200 ai n -.
The Delaware Indians had a path through tin-
woods from Lambertville, through Mount Airy.
RingOS, and Kcaville. to Newark, upon which line the
old York Road was subsequently laid ; while another
path ran from the banks of the Minse.t north of
Plemington, to the wigwams of the Assunpink, at
Trenton, 'these path- crossed at Ringos. Long
before then- were any settler- in Ainwell these woods
were traversed by the landed proprietors, surveyors,
and " thosi - ling to and fro between the settlements
of the lower Delaware and those of l'.a-t Jersey.
When, therefore, land had been marly all taken up
around those early settlements, attention was directed
to this well-know u and attractive region."J
One of these proprietors, and possibly the first set-
tler of Amwell. was John Reading, father of the Gov-
ernor. Be was a Quaker, and one of those who left
England on a unl of persecution. With hi- wife,
i, emptying Into il>- s.-nit. Branch about two miles* nbovo
naming! but nol no* kn"Â« n by that
i. Di .-. Hot*.
HUNTERDON COUNTY, NEW JERSEY.
Elizabeth, he emigrated to America and settled in
Gloucester, N. J., previous to 1683, as he was a mem-
ber of the council which met at Burlington in that
year. He settled in old Amwell above Lambertville,
in what is now Delaware township, not long after
1703, but in what precise year is not now known.
(See sketches of the Beading family, in histories of
Delaware and Baritan townships.)
One of the earliest settlers within the present limits
of this township was Emanuel Coryell, for an account
of whom see the history of Lambertville, preceding.
Jonathan Pidcock, a son of Jonathan, the Irish
emigrant who early settled at Neeley's Mills, Bucks
Co., Pa., after his father's death bought property at
the foot of Goat Hill, just below where is now the
rubber-mill, and erected a dwelling, a store, and a
grist-mill. This was prior to 1776. He owned a
number of Durham boats, on which his sons Emanuel
and Charles ran down the river cargoes of flour and
produce, and brought back store merchandise. When
the war broke out his three eldest sons â€” the two just
named and Philip â€” went into the New Jersey militia,
and served through the struggle. John Holcombe's
first purchase was in 1705, of land just north of what
later was the village of Lambertville. On it he built
a stone house, which is still standing, and occupied
by a tenant of one of his descendants. He died in
1743, and his will was proved in " the eighth month"
of that year ; Emanuel Coryell and Benjamin Canby
were witnesses to the document. In it he bequeathed
to his son Richard, with other property, " a farm in
Amwell township," â€” the one he "bought of John
Ways." Richard lived and died in the stone house
erected by his father. In that house Gen. Wash-
ington and his staff found shelter, and Bichard was
their host. He died in the " 12th month, 1783." He
left Â£5 to the Buckingham Meeting, of which he was
a member. His widow rode in his funeral procession
to Buckingham, on horseback. Samuel Holcombe
settled near Mount Airy, on which his son, recently
deceased, lived and died at an advanced age (over
eighty ) . Th e store and dwelling long occupied by him
was an old tavern during the Bevolution, and the
Alexsauken mill, at Mount Airy, is of equal antiquity.
In the previously-given history of Lambertville
will be found an extended account of the Coryell,
Holcombe, and Lambert families, the original settlers
of that part of this township, to which the reader is
Onehundred and thirty years ago Joseph Morehead,
an Irish orphan boy, then scarcely eighteen, might
have been seen moving with a musket on his shoulder,
to Newark, to join the gallant Col. Peter Schuyler,
with whom he subsequently marched to Crown Point
and Ticonderoga, sharing all the hardships of Indian
warfare. Joseph Morehead was born in 1730, and
came from Ireland in 1747. He immediately enlisted
in Schuyler's battalion of New Jersey Volunteers.
Fighting Indians and hunting seems to have princi-
pally engaged his attention until 1770, when he mar-
ried Jude Aten and purchased a house and lot in
Amwell, where he commenced to work at his trade,
that of a weaver. He remained in Amwell until 1778,
and there four of his children were born, â€” John,
Sarah, Elizabeth, and Molly. Joseph Morehead re-
moved with his family, in 1778, to Readington town-
ship, where he purchased what is still known as the
"Morehead farm," near Readington village. (See the
history of Beadington township for a further account
of this family.)
Thomas Wilson, a colored man, was an early resi-
dent of Amwell, and became possessor of considerable
real estate in the townships of Amwell and Hopewell,
viz., a lot in Hopewell, conveyed to him by Joseph
and Sarah Burroughs, Aug. 1, 1802 ;* Lot No. 2, in
Amwell, " adjoining lands of William Atchley, and
the road leading from Harbourtown to Amos Moore's
on the Delaware River," by conveyance from Daniel
Coxe Runyan and Elizabeth, his wife, May 13, 1805 ;
Lot No. 3, in Hopewell, conveyed to him June 16,
1809, by Nathan Price, sheriff of Hunterdon County ;
and lot 4, also in Hopewell, deed dated June 20, 1814.
He paid for these lands in full, and occupied them
during his life. Wilson, however, being a slave at
the time the above deeds were executed and during
his whole life, was unable, in law, to hold the lands
or any interest in them. Therefore, in 1842 (after
AVilson's decease, and subsequent death of Mary, his
wife), â€” there being no children, no relations living,
â€” the Legislature authorized John Dilts, of Hope-
well, to sell the lands at public sale, and to execute
and deliver deeds for the same to the purchasers,
which was to be as valid title as if it had not been
conveyed to Thomas Wilson. f
Another early settler was Peter Fisher, who emi-
grated from Germany, and about 1729 settled on the
land now occupied by Caleb Fisher, west of Ringos.
In the year named he purchased, for Â£54, 200 acres,
in what is now West Amwell, of Thomas Eman. This
was a part of the Benjamin Field tract, located at and
near Bingos, which passed through the hands succes-
sively of Field, Marmaduke Horsman, John Arney,
his son Joseph, and Eman, to Fisher.J Upon that
plantation Peter Fisher lived and died, and there his
descendants, down to Caleb F., have resided. On
this farm, not far from the present dwelling, and on
the site of the old one, formerly stood an Indian wig-
wam. At the foot of the hill, near the present dwell-
ing of Charles Wilson, was an old Indian burial-
place, visible to this day.
Peter Fisher was married in Germany ; his wife's
name is not known. His sons, as named in his will,
were Anthony, William, Christopher, and Jacob. In
a sketch of the family by the late James J. Fisher
* Kecordctl in Book G, fol. 403, Hunterdon County, clerk's office,
t Acts of Assembly, 1812, pp. 64, 05.
X The release for the surplus, after surveying, twenty-oight acres, wae .
occur the additional names of Peter and John. They
ii> 11 â€” t have deceased before their father, which would
explain the omission of their names in the will,
which bears date " Lmwell, .1 i 19, 1775." An-
thony (Tunis) and William were bis executors. All
the sons, except William, settled in West Amwell;
he located in East Amwell. Jacob, the youngest, pi -
mained on the old homestead. ' Ine of the daughters
married a Bellis ; another, a Kuhl.
Jacob Fisher married Sarah Hoppock, of Am well,
and had children,â€” Anthony, Peter, Jacob, Annie,
Mary, and Sarah. Peter married Annie Hunk, ami
lirst in Delaware town-hip, and later near
Clinton; of his descendants a granddaughter only is
now living in this township. Anthony married, re-
moved to Philadelphia, and died without issue.
Jacob, another - f Jacob, married Anna Cham-
berlain, and to them were born Sarah, Maria, John
< '.. < laleb !â€¢'.. and Lucretia, the latter dj ing in infancy.
Jacob died Sept. 24, 1813, aged nearlj thirty-four
years; Anna, his wife, died Feb. 6, L8S5, aged nearly
seventy-two years. Sarah married Gideon Quick (see
sketch of Quick family); Maria became the wife of
John II. Larison, ami had lour cliilcln n. â€” CirorL'r,
Jacob I-'.. Lucretia Ann, and Abraru W., all livingex-
cept the last named; John 0. married, first, Cornelia
Maria Skillman, ami had Jacob, Thomas deci ased .
Mary, Martha, t lornelia, and, second, married Adaline
Chamberlain, by whom In- had three children,- Jean-
nie, James 0., and one deceased. A -ketch of Caleb
!â– '. Fisher ma] I"' found in the biographical depart-
ment iii the close of this township history.
One of the oldest living residents of this township
i- Uriah Akers, born Nov. 30, 1803, in a house then
standing about a mile i a-t of the borough, but which
was long since torn down. Hi- father, who took the
place as a renter of Esq. John Coryell, died in a house
iit the loot of Goat 1 1 ill which has since disappeared ;
the house erected on it- site is ow 1 by the heirs of
Samuel Ege, and occupied by John La'nyer. \h-
n. Lkare died in February, 1844. His wife, Mary,
was a daughter of Elijah Hole be, of Holcombe's
[aland; she died in Indiana, where oi f her daugh-
ti i resided, and whither -he went after her husband's
death. Joseph Akers, in Lambertville, Bon of the
above, is the onlj survivor living in this township of
all Uriah's brothers or sisters. His sister Cordelia
married successively Sol Price and Christopher
in West Amwell, then ved to Indiana, where
she married, for her third husband, a Mr. Ballard.
Maria, who married Aaron Holcombe, resides ill
Iowa. These are all that are living; those deceased
were named Daniel, Leah, and Ruth, the latter being
the \\ ife of Samuel Skillman.
i riah \ker- married, in 1880, Elizabeth Clauson,
daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Nailor] Clauson,
who :ii the time of their death were living at the foot
Of Bell-mont. The children horn to them were: 1,
Thomas, 1831 ; died in 1882. 2, Mary Elizabeth, L882;
living in Lambertville, the wife of Edward Leonard.
::. Camille, 1834; married George, son of Daniel and
Mary i Ronsafer) Moore, and lives at Trenton. 4, Ab-
ner, 1 -::r. ; mm iii Maryland. 5, Joanna, 1837 ; died in
1838; 6, Ruth, 1839; died in 1855. 7. Sarah
arine, 1840; married John Coffee; is a widow,
in"; in Lambertville. 8, Lavinia, 1842; living in
Lambertville, unmarried. '.', Charlotte, 1844; mar-
ried Elwood Kitchen, and resides in Trillion. 10,
Emma M., 1847; wife of Ely Green, of Trenton.
11, Louisa, 1849; died In infancy. 12, Uriah, 1851 ;
died at Fori Preble, Portland, in 1873. 13, Samuel
H., 1853; died in 1866. Uriah Akers, Si., and his
w ife are now I A ing on ( loat Hill.
Among other prominent early families maybe men-
tioned the Phillips, the Wyckoffe, and the Abbotts.
The lir-i named was quite numerous in this section in
. daj -. I lapt. John Phillips was a soldier in
the Revolution, in which struggle his company did
good service. He lived on the Rocktown road, about
a mile from that village, on the place now owned by
Robert Fisher. Hannah Phillips is a granddaughter
of Capt. John.
The Wyckotl- lived near Rocktown, and John kept
the hotel then, as did also Daniel, his son. The
family burial-ground is on the Robert Fisher farm.
John WyckofF died Sept. 30, 1831.
Bi ajamin and Nelson Abbott, in the south part of
the township, are the only ones now owning land in
this section out of a once numerous family. John
Abbott, lather of the above, was twice married, â€” first
in Ann Schenck, and subsequently to Margaret Boor-
eam. At the time of his death he lived on a lot now
owned by Baxter \-in. For a time heresided on the
Wesley Drake farm. His children were John S.,
Nelson, and Joseph by his first marriage, and Ann
s., William. Benjamin, and Isaac W. bj his aecond.
Another old residenter was John James, who died
iii an advanced age at Pennington in L880. Heowned
tract of land east of Jonathan L. Phillips'.
.None of his children are living.
George Peterman commenced the tanning and cur-
business at the "Prime Hope tannery" in the
spring of 1828. This tannery had previously
occupied bj I Sornelius < loryell.
in 1826â€” fifty-four yean ago the following mer-
chants wen- trading at Lambertville: S. D. >v J. D.
Stryker, Knowles A t '". ; .lame- B. Bowen, boots and
shoes ; John s, udder & < !o., proprietors of the I
Distillery. It may be interesting to note the market-
prices of that date. Tiny are given by the E
as follows :
Bi n. I
Bore, " 2.0
I plÂ« .fiO
1 I 1
HUNTERDON COUNTY, NEW JERSEY.
Mustard seed 4.00
John Lambert was postmaster of Lambertville in
1827. He died Feb. 6, 1828, and was succeeded by
William Garrison. We give the following letter-list
of Jan. 7, 1828: "Miss Rachel Phillips, Philip
Young, William Rittenhouse, Mrs. Ann Bacon, Cath-
arine Smith, William Case, Samuel Hensel, Philip
Purson, John K. Large, Tunis Quick, Jared S. Stout,
Christopher Cool, Joseph Palmer."
â€¢ The first storehouse was built by Emanuel Coryell,
near the residence of Griffith Williams. There was a
bridge over the river in 1812 or 1814, and a few years
later (1817) the first church edifice was erected, â€” that
of the Presbyterians. At the foot of Goat Hill, near
the rubber-mill, stood an old stone tavern, one of the
first, if not the very first, erected in the town. Its
roof sloped on one side so as to reach the ground, and
the massive chimney was at one corner of the build-
ing. Among other old buildings that survived those
early days until recently is the " Old Red Tavern,"
near Smith's mills, and recently occupied as a dwell-
ing, and the old Krewson house, in the rear of Cor-
win's shops ; both are torn down.
It is stated by a recent writer of local reminiscences
that Lambertville was first known as " Bungtown."
This is traditional, and has no verification in history.
Pidcock's (or Prime Hope) mills, down the river,
and the Alexsockin mill at Mount Airy, were in ex-
istence before the Revolution.
Prime Hope went down at the time the " feeder"
was being built. Andrew Larison's mill, two and a
half miles east, purchased prior to 1830 ; he ran it
until his death, in 1861, and then it became the prop-
erty of his sons, Benjamin and Andrew, who sold to
Joseph Roniine; it was burned down about 1870.
Flaxseed oil was made there prior to 1843.
Capt. James Thackenthall's mill, at foot of Mount
Airy hill, is an old grist-mill ; about twelve years ago
he became its possessor, and has since operated it.
Isaac Matthews had a small oil-mill half a mile
below Larison's mill, since burned down.
As the history of neither of the civil divisions framed
out of the territory of Amwell as it existed prior to
1838 can give a fair view of the township in the early
days (and an attempt to so treat it would involve a
repetition of the same l'acts and statements in eacli of
them), it is here attempted to throw together some
matters which the author desires to place on record
in these pages.
From 1709-14, Amwell was one of the three towns
which constituted the county of Burlington. The act
of March 15, 1713-14, setting off Hunterdon County,
made the Assunpink the southern boundary and left
Amwell one of the four towns which lay to the north
of it. Its southern boundary has been but little, if
any, altered since that date, but on the north almost
every succeeding decade has witnessed a loss of terri-
tory by the formation of new towns. Thus, before
1753, Reading, Kingwood, Lebanon, and Bethlehem
were erected. Thenceforward, until 1838, it existed
as a tract of country about twelve miles square,
bounded by the Delaware River on the west, by the
"South Branch" on the east, by the Hopewell town-
ship line on the south, and by the present southern
line of Kingwood, Franklin, and Readington town-
ships on the north.
In 1785, when Flemington became the county-seat,
it was in Amwell township, and so remained until
1838, in which year it was divided into three parts
(Raritan, Delaware, and Amwell) ; in 1846 the lower
third part, then known as Amwell, was erected into
two townships, each retaining the old name with the
distinctive appellation of " East" and " West."
EARLY RECORDS OF OLD AMWELL.
The officers of Amwell township for 1723, as appears
by the court records, etc., at Flemington, were George
Green and Samuel Cook, Freeholders ; Samuel Green,
" 'Sessor" ; John Knowles, Collector ; Daniel Howell
and Thomas Windor, Commissioners of Highways.
In 1724, George Green and John Holcombe were
the chosen freeholders; 1725, David Howell and
Daniel Robins, Freeholders; John Manners, '"Ses-
sor" ; John Holcombe, Collector ; Jacob Stull and
Henry Ketcham, Commissioners of Highwaj's ; John
Holcombe and Jerome Vanorst, Overseers of the
Poor. March 14, 1726, John Holcombe and Duncan
Oliphant, Freeholders; Daniel Sebring and David
Stout, Commissioners of Highways ; Samuel Green,
Assessor ; John Holcombe, Collector.
In July, 1727, it was " ordered by the court that
the officers of Amwell stand as they were last year,"
and in March, 1728, the court made a similar order.
It would appear from this that the court appointed
the officers of Amwell township at that time,* and
continued to do so until about 1734.
Officers appointed March 11, 1729, for Amwell:
John Manners, Assessor; Samuel Green, Collector;
John Knowles, Overseer of the Poor ; Resolve Wal-
dron and Henry Ketcham, Surveyors of the Roads ;
William Miller, Constable.
In May, 1730, the Court of Hunterdon County ap-
pointed the following officers for Amwell: Henry
Ketcham and George Fox, Surveyors of the Roads ;
John Manners, Assessor; Peter Lomas, Collector;
David Stout, Sr., Overseer of the Poor ; Samuel Fur-
In March, 1734, occurs the first mention of a town-
meeting being held in Amwell and officers chosen.
The following-named were elected : Thomas Ketcham,
* The reports of the election of officers for the townships of Trenton,
Hopewell, and Uanovor aro given in the records of 1727, but no mention
of an election in Amwell.
Henry Ivetcham, Freeholders; Sa 1 Green. Asses-
sor; Philip Bingo, Collector ; Rudolph Harley, Con-
Btable; Samuel Bams, Deputy Constable; John Hol-
corahe and Joseph Hixon, Surveyors of the Road
Samuel ' been, Tom aship < llerk.
March, 1736, the assessor and collector were re-
elected, but there was :i change in the other offiÂ© .
viz., .loh ii Reading and Joseph Ilixon, Coi issioners
of Highways; Samuel Stout and Samuel Hall, Free-
holders; Johannis Moor, Constable.
In 171)7 the li-l of officers elected was handed in.
and from that date the name- wen- not entered in thi'
records of the court, hut placed on tile. In the May
term of I7:is the township of Hunterdon appears be-
fore the court by its clerk, who returned a li-t of
Officers elected, which was read, approved, and or-
dered placed on tile, h is evidently a clerical error,
as in no other place, in court or freeholders' records,
is there mention of a township by that name.
\i the May term of court, L738, among the peti-
tions lor keeping puldic-houses which were then
granted wen' the following for Amwell : Joseph
[nalee, Philip Bingo, and John Taylor. Each was
required to enter into a recognizance of Â£2ii, with a
sillily hound in Â£10 more.
In 17-1<> the licensed innkei per- of Amwell wire
Philip Bingo, Nathaniel Parker, George Van Bus-
kirk. Andrew Petit, I'eter Kcsler, and Samuel Flem-
ing. Philip Bingo and Samuel Fleming appear to
have presided over their bostelries for a longtime.
The name of the latter appears as a licensed inn-
keeper ill the curt minutes of the May term. 1756
(with Christian and John Smith as -untie- in 620
each), and again in L768. In the last-named year
William Fleming n as also licensi d.
From an old town-book of the township of Amwell
the following extracts arc taken, Thej will give an
idea of the mat r of conducting and recording the
business of the tovi aship at thai time.
The first entry i- BS follows :
"Atatown-mootlDg "f Hi" Inhabitant! â€¢ . r 1 1 . . â– township of Amwell,
boo io rlcl ii land on the 1 1 1 1 > daj ol Man b Anno
i 1745. The Inhabitants t( and there mot and asaembl
o lod to elect the officers flbiiowini. I fear as the
Aol mi Assembly directs :
"Petoi Prall, Town Clark ;Boberl Kaldrnm, Constable; Benjamin Stout
D iTid), Willi, an Hontgomi ry, 1 1
essor; Andrew i
lector; Daniel Gregg, Joseph Big Ins,]
Bi Hi it It, ii. i : id; William HUson, Johannes Wil-
liamson, Otoi rl rk Bead and Bock Bead j John JewoU, Ovor-
sc.t fur Sumnii l;.Â»u.l; A.luin aii.i. Suiiiin'l Bolcombo, OTarsoars ffor
River Road; Pater Prall, I lerk Hoi th
Uaroh 11, VMS ivoagrcod
with Waltai Cane t.> koop John Buddy in it, drink, washing, and
lodging, and clothing ludlclonl Bor him, and to keep the t Â«>, Indemni-
fied fnon) th.' said John Ilu.l.h Bbl U osning year, (Tor which tlÂ»'
t-;ii.| Walter Oaue to haTi . ( ,.,i,i i,y
. Id ton ii."
April sin, 171.; "Then I i with William Hot
udBonjamli the town
ii i.. in Benjamin Btoul tin- sum ..f Rbui pounds OWs shllUngs and eleven
Bred that there is in the hands of Frecgift
stunt, of last year's account, the ram of one pound ffiveahillli
filve pence, which i ..'.- sccount, and Is yet due
'I'll.- succeeding entry is a record of the next town-
meeting to elect officers, at which the same officers
generally were re-elected, except some changes in
hi erseers of mad-.