South River, New Jersey is a small borough located in Middlesex County. Though it is a relatively small area, South River has a rich history that dates back to the colonial era. In this article, we will discuss seven historical events that have taken place near South River.
1. Battle of Monmouth (1778)
The Battle of Monmouth was a major engagement that occurred during the American Revolutionary War. The battle took place on June 28, 1778, in present-day Monmouth County, about 20 miles southwest of South River. The Continental Army, led by General George Washington, engaged the British Army, commanded by General Sir Henry Clinton. The battle ended in a stalemate, but it was a significant moment in the history of the American Revolution.
2. Molly Pitcher (1778)
During the Battle of Monmouth, a woman named Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley, also known as Molly Pitcher, became famous for delivering water to American troops on the battlefield. When her husband was wounded, she took his place as a gunner, loading and firing a cannon. A statue of Molly Pitcher now stands in Monmouth Battlefield State Park, which is only a few miles from South River.
3. Raritan Landing (late 18th century)
Raritan Landing was a port on the Raritan River that was vital to the development of New Jersey in the late 18th century. The landing was located on the boundary between East Brunswick and South River and served as a transportation hub for merchants and farmers. It was a major center for commerce, shipping, and travel in the region.
4. James Monroe's Visit (1817)
James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States, visited South River in 1817. During his visit, he was welcomed by residents and local leaders. Monroe traveled from New Brunswick to South River as part of his tour of the northern states.
5. Emancipation Proclamation (1863)
The Emancipation Proclamation was a presidential proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the Confederate states "are, and henceforward shall be free." The announcement triggered celebrations in many cities and towns across the country, including South River.
6. Flood of 1884
In 1884, South River experienced a devastating flood that was caused by the overflowing of the Raritan River. The flood was one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the town, and it had a significant impact on the community. Many homes, businesses, and farms were destroyed, and several lives were lost.
7. Harry Houdini (early 20th century)
Harry Houdini, the famous magician and escape artist, lived in neighboring city New Brunswick for a time in the early 20th century. He frequently performed in nearby towns, including South River, where he once performed a water torture trick. Houdini's visits to South River were significant in the town's cultural history.
In conclusion, South River has a rich history with many significant events happening nearby. From the American Revolution to the visit of a US president, each of these events has shaped the town and given it a unique identity. South River's history is a testament to the resilience and perseverance of its people, and it is something to be proud of.
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