Joseph F. (Joseph Fulford) Folsom.

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the British Government might make good the damages
done by their armies, a commission was appointed by the
New Jersey Legislature to gather data and push the
project. Jacob Ward made claims for damages sus-
tained in 1776 to the amount of £162 6s. 6d., and when
the bill is perused it may reveal that the oxen, cart and
furniture carried off were charged up.

Much light has been shed upon British depredations
in Bloomfield by the "First Report of the Public Record
Commission of New Jersey," published in 1899 by the
Legislature of New Jersey. The compilers were Gen-
eral William S. Stryker, Henry Haines and William
Nelson. In this pamphlet are listed by towns the names
of those property owners who like Jacob Ward filed
claims with the commission. These claims now on file at
Trenton not only indicate the routes taken by the British
marauders, and thus confirm many old traditions, but
they accurately inform posterity as to who suffered
losses during the war, and thus help to confirm and
localize many scattered traditions. The claims are gen-
erally stated to be made for damages to property plun-
dered or taken away by "the British Army or their ad-
herents." Much of the plundering was done by the
adherents, or "cowboys," who followed the army. They
got their name from rounding up and driving off the
cattle of the inhabitants.


The claimants classified as inhabitants of Wardsesson,
Essex Count}', were, with the amounts claimed, as fol-
lows : Abel Freeman, 1776, £12 ; Abel Ward, 1776,
£17 18s. 6d.; Widow Dorcas Lindlj, £13 17s. lOd. ;
Thomas Pierson, 1776, £300; John Davis, 1776, £60
19s. ; Joseph Davis, 1776-1781, £36 4s. ; widow of John
Morris, £54 ; widow of Jabez Baldwin, £28 8s. ; Stephen
Ward, 1776, £39 17s. ; Lawrence Ward, 1776, £15 8s. ;
John Garrabrant, 1776, £20 8s. ; James McGinnis,
1777-1778, £4; Samuel McChesney, 1776, £7; Moses
Sharp, £17 10s. ; Nicholas Garrabrant, 1776, £42 ; John
Campbell, £10 14s. 6d. ; Ephraim Morris, 1781, £100
12s.; Jacob Ward, 1776, £29 10s.; Daniel Dodd,
£11 19s.; Joshua Dodd, 1776, £22 3s. ; David Baldwin,
£12 17s.

Ephraim Morris's claim was made for damages in
1781. Evidently the raids of 1776 were confined to the
lower section of the community. The British probably
came up by the Newtown road, now Belleville Avenue,
and worked as far south on the Newark road as the
Second River. James McGinnis, who lived on the old
road near that river nearly opposite the Daniel Dodd
house, was apparently not visited in 1776. His claims
are for damages in 1777 and 1778. Daniel Dodd's
claim is undated. The absence of the date 1776 on
any of the Baldwin and Morris claims seems to indicate
that the pillagers did not go far above the junction
of the present Belleville Avenue and Broad Street. Ac-
cording to the classification of these names it seems
clearly shown that tlie whole section from old Watsesson
Mill to Morris Neighborhood had become known at the
time of the Revolution as Wardsesson. Usage for
obvious reasons hud corrupted the original Indian name


into one that paid its respects to the numerically domi-
nant family of the community.

James Hoyt, in his "First Church of Orange," men-
tions a tradition that one James Jones of Bloomfield
and his family were intercepted by the Hessians just as
he was about to start for the mountains with his effects
on a wagon. The whole outfit was captured, and the
family sent as prisoners to New York. They after-
wards went to Nova Scotia, which would seem to indi-
cate that the British gave them land there.

Hoyt speaks also of Cornelius Jones, a brother of
James, as having fled at the approach of the enemy, and
to have found on his return that his house was plun-
dered, and his hogs and cattle carried oflF by the Hessians.
This latter item is confirmed by the claim of Cornelius
Jones of Orange, on record at Trenton, for £129 Is. for
losses during the war.

The exploit of a company of young patriots from the
vicinity of Newtown, in the eastern section of the town,
is related in Barber and Howe's "Historical Collections
of New Jersey." These men, Captains John Kidney
and Henry Jaroleman, with Jacob Garlaw and Halmach
Jaroleman, according to the story, sledded over the
meadows to Bergen Heights, and captured a British
officer and some refugees who with others were having
a dance in a school-house. They carried them to Morris-
town jail. Some manuscript notes among the papers of
the late Dr. Joseph A. Davis contain information ad-
ditional to the above story. The name of John Winner
precedes the others, making the party of adventurers
five instead of four. Winner, or properly Winne, lived
in the 1766 house built by his father, Morta Winne.
The refugees were under the command of Thomas Ward,


and when Captain Kidney peeped into the school-house
window he saw a Captain McMichael, whom he cap-
tured and carried to Morristown with the rest of the
prisoners. The school-house in these notes is stated to
have been at Bergen Point.

Mark W. Ball of Newark has added other incidents
to the story. Mr. Ball heard from the lips of Richard
Kidney, a son of Captain John, that McMichael was the
only prisoner taken, and that he was brought to Kid-
ney's stone house at the corner of the present Belleville
Avenue and Willett Street, and there kept guarded over
night in the second story. In the morning he took
breakfast with the family, and was then taken to Mor-
ristown and turned over to the military authorities. In
making the capture Kidney first secured the solitary sen-
tinel and tied him to a tree. He then placed the fence
rails against the windows to prevent the refugees from
discovering how small was the attacking force. Then
giving orders aloud he commanded Captain McMichael
to come out personally and surrender. The school-house
was in Bergen village, near by the old church and
graveyard, in what is now Jersey City Heights. The
party no doubt went by way of Schuyler's road, now the
Belleville Turnpike, and crossed the Hackensack on the
ice, A picture of Kidney's house, with its two stories,
appears in Hulin's "Real and Ideal Bloomfield." It
was later called the Wakcly house. The facts, as given
by Mr. Ball, had long been lost, and they make the old
Wakely house to have been one of our most historic
buildings. It is to be regretted it is destroyed. The
revised story is also nearer to reason, and we are inclined
to think that Barber and Howe romanced when it came
to the number of prisoners. It always looked like an


impossibility for the Kidney party to have carried away
a group of prisoners on a wood sled and get to Morris-
town before morning. Mr. Ball and the Davis papers
agree in making the capture one prisoner, and in being
altogether reasonable in the details. There are reasons
for supposing that this adventure occurred in 1779.
That winter is said to have been very cold, and the
Hackensack requires continued cold weather near the
zero mark to freeze tight enough to carry a team. That
winter the Americans were encamped at Morristown.

Other traditions have reference to the visits of Wash-
ington and the American forces. It is affirmed that
Washington passed through the town, probably on his
way to or from Morristown, and that with a party of
officers he stopped at the door of Joseph Davis's house,
opposite the present Baptist church, and asked direc-
tions or other information. This house is very old. Its
owner was one of the principal men of the village in
those days. Deacon Davis is also mentioned among
those who made claims for damages, his bill footing up
£36 4s. for losses in the years 1776 and 1781.

In his article in Shaw's "History of Essex and Hud-
son Counties," Dr. Knox relates a similar tradition con-
cerning the Joseph Davis house. Washington, it was
said, came to the place looking for entertainment.
Finding that General Henry Knox of the artillery and
some sick soldiers had already been accommodated he
passed on to the Farrand house beyond Franklin Hill.
Dr. Knox thought that probably this incident occurred
during the retreat across the State in 1776, and as-
sumed that Washington's army had come down from
Acquackanonck over two parallel roads. Even had
this been the case it is not probable that Washington


personally would have come by the roundabout way.
He would have pushed by the direct road to Newark,
where he knew accommodations awaited him. The British
were too close at his heels to allow for any detours, at
least for the commander-in-chief.

Another house where Washington visited, according
to family traditions, was the Moses Farrand house men-
tioned above. Here an old table was shown for decades
at which the great general is said to have taken a meal,
or something of the kind. It was said that Mr. Farrand
had to be guarded at one time by American soldiers, and
that the Hessians were about the house at one time.

Anotlier Farrand family tradition states that during
the Revolution a soldier was killed by the discharge of
his own nmsket while attempting to climb the fence near
the Farrand house. This story is confirmed by the
account, given years ago by Jasper King, of the march
through Bloomfield in the winter of 1779 of General
Anthony Wayne's troops. Wayne had been encamped
at the present Forest Hill, in the vicinity of the Second
River, and had been ordered to remove to Morristown.
The soldier, it is said, climbed the fence to see if the
British were coming, which seems to have been a rather
foolish move anyway looked at. Jasper King's story
may be found in Hines's "Woodside."

The old Thomas Cadmus homestead, still standing on
Washington Avenue, west of Toney's Brook, and called
to-day "Washington's headquarters," gets its reputation
from a single tradition. The story is that Hermanns
Cadmus, whose father Thomas owned the place, was
taken on Washington's knee in cherry time, and that he
was about four years old at the time. A modern critic
has scouted this cherry-tree story. He has said that






when Washington was in Bloomfield it was bleak No-
vember, and presumably only canned fruit obtainable.
Nevertheless, Hermanus Cadmus, born December 7,
1774, told the late John Oakes this personal experience
with Washington and Mr. Oakes told it to the writer.
The critic evidently thinks only of Washington's re-
treat in the fall of 1776, and forgets that he must have
passed through this locality a number of times.

There is reason to suppose that Washington could
have been in Bloomfield when cherries were ripe in 1780.
Hermanus Cadmus would have been five years old at that
time. After the engagement at Springfield the British
left the State. Washington soon began to move his
troops toward the Hudson. He was at Whippany on
June 25th, and two days later he arrived at Ramapo.
On the evening of June 25th, or the next morning, he
could have been at the Cadmus house and right in the
midst of cherry-picking. One road from Whippany to
Ramapo ran through Hanover, Livingston, Orange,
Bloomfield and Passaic. Washington could have come
from Orange by way of Washington Avenue and would
pass by the Cadmus house, and would naturally have
halted for a visit. There is no good reason, however,
to doubt the several traditions concernina: Washington's
visits to Bloomfield, and there are many reasons for
supposing them true. No doubt he passed through the
neighborhood a number of times as he journeyed back
and forth between the Hudson and Morristown during
the war period.

During the war members of the Orange church, of
which Rev. Jedidiah Chapman was the patriotic pastor,
made donations of clothing and other necessities to the
American army. Many of these members resided here in


Bloomfield. In March, 1778, a very large donation was
sent to the army encamped near Princeton. When the
army was at Morristown suppHes were sometimes pur-
chased in Bloomfield, and the farmers carted hay to the

Among the veterans of the Revolution in Bloomfield
was Captain John Smith, of Cranetown, a tall, soldiei'ly
man, who used to walk down to the Bloomfield Presby-
terian church in the early years of the century carrying,
in warm weather, his coat on his arm, and sometimes his
shoes in his hand, only replacing them before approach-
ing the church. He was a veteran of the war.

There was also Lieutenant Dodd, who fought at Mon-
mouth, and his son is said to have been a drummer boy
at the same battle. This son, Isaac Dodd, kept the old
Bloomfield tavern in the early years of this century, and
used to relate this anecdote of the war. He was a drum-
mer boy with a detachment of militia stationed at New-
ark in 1780, at the time when the British made a raid
on that place from Staten Island, and succeeded in get-
ting their men into the heart of the town. They fired
their six-pounder up Broad Street and drove the militia
out, and the boy, running with the rest, threw his drum
into a convenient pigsty for safety. He found it there
the next day.

Another resident of Bloomfield, John Collins, was at
the storming of Stony Point. He was a native of the
north of Ireland. He enlisted from Pennsylvania in
the Continental Army, and after the war settled at
Bloomfield. Pie was the father of Thomas Collins.


By Joseph F. Folsom

After the war was over the people of Wardsesson,
like all other Americans, settled down to the vari-
ous vocations of life. They farmed their moderate
holdings of land, and in winter carried on the work of
their trades. Most everybody had a trade of some kind,
whether millwright, tailor or shoemaker. There were
also professional men, as doctors, lawyers, and school-
masters. The minister had not yet been located among
them. Cider made from Harrison and Canfield apples
was a profitable commodity.

The citizens had a share in the town and county
offices. They were elected overseers of highways, pound-
keepers, assessors, and freeholders. New people began
to make homes in the town. An additional school was
built, the one on Watsesson, or Franklin Hill, not suffic-
ing for the growing population.

The names of householders along the main road from
the Second River to the Morris Neighborhood about the
year 1796 appear on an old map reproduced in "The
Church on the Green," by Knox. On the east side going
north were Amos Dodd, Captain John Ogden, Nehemiah
S. Baldwin, Joseph Davis, David Baldwin (near the
school), Ralph Tucker, Joseph Ball, Henry Osborn,
Simeon Riggs, Squire Baldwin, Ichabod Baldwin,
Ephraim Morris. On the west side coming south were
Silas Baldwin, Jesse Baldwin, Joseph Collins's shop,
Nehemiah Baldwin, Zophar Baldwin, James Wharry,
Joseph Dodd, Abraham Jeroleman, Widow Lloyd, Isaac



Dodd (corner of Cranetown road), Isaac Ward, Jacob
Ward, and James McGinnis.

Previous to 1796 the locality now known as Bloom-
field was a community of separated hamlets. Wardsesson
was the district north and south of the Second River.
Doddtown lay toward Orange. Crab Orchard lay north
of the present Old First Church. Newtown was toward
Belleville, on the present Belleville Avenue. Morris
Neighborhood was near the Third River, and still farther
away was the Stone House Plains.

The immediate occasion that brought the scattered
sections of the community into closer relations, and led
to the choice of a comprehensive name, was the proposal,
in 1794, to form a church. Most of the people were
Presbyterians, affiliated either with the First Church at
Newark, or the Second Church of Newark, located at
Orange. It was designed to form a parish and build a
church that would be more convenient for attendants
living in the various sections of the community than
were the older churches. When the name Bloomfield
was chosen it designated not a municipality, but a
parish. Bloomfield, like Orange, was simply a neighbor-
hood of Newark. The new name occurs for the first
time in the Newark Town Records under date of April
8, 1799, when certain citizens of this locality were
elected overseers of highways for "Bloomfield." In
1 806 Bloomfield became one of the three wards of New-
ark, and in 1812 the one time parish, with Belleville
added, became an incorporated town.

The special meeting called to name the parish was
held on October 13, 1796. The proceedings have been
described in a letter written forty-two years afterward
by Isaac Watts Crane, the secretary of the meeting.


Writing from Bridgeton, New Jersey, February 28,
1842, the aged man said in part:

"Some time in the spring of 1797 (correctly October
13, 1796) the trustees of the Presbyterian Society at
Wardsesson, being about to assume a corporate name,
and desirous of having the voice of the people on the
subject, caused public notice to be given of a meeting
at the school-house, near the house of Isaac Dodd, Esq.,
of which meeting Isaac Dodd was chosen (if I recollect
right) chairman, and myself secretary. Several names
were proposed, viz., Jefferson, Randolph, Greenfield,
and Bloomingfield, when I proposed the name of General
Bloomfield. There were present those who had served
under him in the Western expedition of 1794, and who
bore testimony to the benevolence of his character, his
kindness, and his disposition, as the soldier's friend, to
promote the comfort of the troops under his com-
mand. The result was a vote, unanimous, or nearly so,
in favor of the name of Bloomfield, which the trustees
assumed, and a certificate thereof was transmitted to the
clerk of the county to be recorded.

"I wrote General Bloomfield and informed him of this
occurrence by Mr. Abraham Ogden, who was going to
Trenton to attend the supreme court. In my letter I
stated that the society were about building a church. In
his answer he expressed his acknowledgment for the un-
expected honor, and promised to make a visit to the
society on the 5th of July, when he would contribute his
mite to the building of the church. He was engaged
on the 4th to deliver the anniversary address before the
Society of the Cincinnati at Elizabeth Town. On the
5th a very large meeting assembled on the Green, and
^n address was delivered by General B., expressing the


most kindly feelings, which was responded to by myself
on behalf of the society. General B. requested me to
accompany him to the library, and at his request I made
out and furnished him with a catalogue, he wishing, as
he said, to know what it contained, that he might present
it with such as it had not.

"The amount of his donation in books and cash you
must know better than I do. Mrs. B., who accompanied
her husband, presented the society with an elegant gilt

The amount given by the General was $140, and he
presented about 150 volumes. These books, many of
them containing his bookplate, drifted about in various
libraries, including that of the Eucleian Society, and
were last seen in the Temperance Hall, and given to a
mission on Glenwood Avenue about the time the Baptist
Church bought the hall of the Women's Christian Tem-
perance Union.

On the occasion of General Bloomfield's visit a big
supply of apple butter was necessary for the feast. The
only kettle large enough for the purpose was owned by
Isaac Dodd. Many years afterward this brass utensil
was purchased at auction by Mark W. Ball for ten dol-
lars, and is still preserved at Newark. The new owner
had the top of this historic relic cut down and refinished
at Joseph B. Harvey's tin shop because it had become
somewhat perforated through long use.

The course of events beginning in 1794 with the defi-
nite agitation for a local church, and terminating in
1800 with the completion of the "church on the Green,"
has recently been clearly and chronologically written by
Amzi Dodd. It may be read in the "Register and
Directory" of the First Presbyterian Church, published


in 1906. Judge Dodd has carefully gone over the pre-
viously printed historical sketches, and has added con-
siderable data obtained through his own researches. The
result is the best ordered sketch yet published of the
period in question. The space here allowed permits
only the barest outline.

Previous to 1794 there were religious meetings held
which resulted in definite proposals to form at Wardses-
son a local church. The promoters of the enterprise in-
cluded members of the Newark and of the Orange
churches. More attended at Orange because it was
nearer. Ephraim Morris on May 7, 1794, appeared
before the Presbytery of New York and requested on
behalf of the Wardsesson people that authority be
granted for the organization of a church.

The Presbytery appointed a committee to confer with
committees from the Newark, Orange and Wardsesson
congregations. The conference favored a new church
society, and as a result a petition signed by ninety-eight
persons, "heads of families and inhabitants of Wardses-
son, Crane Town, New Town and Stone House Plains,
requesting to be organized as the Third Presbyterian
Congregation in the Township of Newark," was pre-
sented to the Presbytery on July 23, 1794. The re-
quest, which was presented by delegates Ephraim Mor-
ris, Joseph Davis, John Dodd and Stephen Fordham,
was granted.

Following this action the new society began, April
30, 1795, to engage preachers to act as temporary sup-
plies. The services were held most frequently in the
house of Joseph Davis, and at times in the Franklin
school-house on Watsesson Hill. Trustees were elected
October 24, 1796. On October 27, 1796, a subscription



was begun to raise funds for a building. On the same
date a deed was made by Joseph Davis and his wife, con-
veying for eight pounds "That lot of land called the
church lot in Bloomfield adjoining the east side of the
Green, being one hundred and twenty feet in front and
rear, and extending eighty feet deep; the northeast
corner of said lot being distant four chains and sixty
links from the south side of the New Town road, the
whole containing twenty-two hundredths of an acre."

On May 18, 1797, the corner-stone was laid. During
the summer of 1799 worship was held in the then un-
finished church. The Presbytery of New York voted
preaching supplies for the Bloomfield church on October
3, 1799, but after that date the records of that presby-
tery cease to make mention of the new organization
which since 1794 it had fostered. There was a reason.
The Rev. Abel Jackson, a member of the Associate
Presbytery of Morris County, became pastor of the new
church in December, 1799, and finally carried it over to
that body. It was not, however, all done in a day. Elder
Simeon Baldwin was delegated on May 28, 1800, to
attend the New York Presbytery and request that body
to install Pastor Jackson some convenient time in the
fall. There was a hitch or delay somewhere, for at a
church meeting on October 25, 1800, Deacon Isaac
Dodd was instructed to attend a meeting of the Morris
County Presbytery, and ask that body to install their
pastor. The installation occurred October 29, 1800.
Ten years later, on November 8, 1810, the same Presby-
tery dissolved Mr. Jackson's pastorate, and then the
Bloomfield church, never having been entirely at home
in the "Associate" body, soon swung back into more
regular Presbytcrianism by uniting with the new Presby-







tery of Jersey, which had been previously a part of the
New York body.

The "Associate" Presbytery was a seceding body
formed at Hanover, N. J., Morris County, May 3,
1780, by ministers Jacob Green of Hanover, Joseph
Grover of Parsippany, Amzi Lewis of Warwick, N. Y.,
and Ebenezer Bradford of Madison. It was formed
professedly in the interest of ecclesiastical independence,
and admitted both Presbyterian and Congregational
churches. There were similar associations elsewhere.
The Morris County organization was ahead of its times,
but lasted upwards of forty years. One of its fruits is
a fund still in existence providing help for students for
the ministry. The fund is under the control of the
"Society of Morris County for the Promotion of Learn-
ing and Religion."

Rev. Abel Jackson, the first pastor of the Bloomfield,
church, was evidently a man of strong personality and

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