History for Chatham New Jersey
Having been part of the New Netherland territory, dating from 1614, New Jersey became a British colony at the fall of New Amsterdam in 1664. The land that would become the two Chathams was part of the Province of East Jersey; the Indian rights to Chatham were purchased in 1680 from members of the Minsi and Lenni Lenape tribes.
They spoke an Algonquin language. They hunted and fished in the area and farmed on the lands of their settlements. The area was well connected with established paths among their settlements, to and from bountiful resources, and to neighboring settlements.
Safe passageways through the valleys, marshes, swamps, and mountains of this portion of the Watchung Mountains connected the area which would become Chatham with other settlements in the area. Except for highways built since the 1970s and a shunpike built to avoid tolls on the roads connecting the colonial settlements of Chatham and Bottle Hill, the roads of the area follow those time proven, long trodden trails made by the Indians. Main Street rises from a shallow crossing of the Passaic River and, after traveling through what became the settlements of Chatham and Bottle Hill (which became Madison), the road follows a westward path that leads to the top of the plateau on which Morristown was founded. By 1710, a settlement had begun just west of the river crossing which would be renamed Chatham in the early 1770s.
In 1773, the colonial settlement near the shallow crossing of the Passaic River was renamed Chatham in honor of Sir William Pitt, an English prime minister and the first Earl of Chatham who was most favorable toward the colonists in issues with the British government. Participation in the revolutionary war was significant by the citizens of Chatham. Nearby Morristown was the military center of the revolution, where the winter headquarters were established twice, and revolutionary troops were active in the entire county area regularly.
Old Mill, from a 1911 postcardThe New Jersey Journal became the second newspaper published in the state. It was edited and printed by Shepard Kollock, who established his press in Chatham during 1779. This paper became a catalyst in the revolution. News of events came directly to the editor from Washington’s headquarters in nearby Morristown, boosting the morale of the troops and their families, and he conducted lively debates about the efforts for independence with those who opposed and supported the cause he championed. Kollock later relocated the paper twice, until 1785, when he established his last publication location in Elizabeth under the same name. That paper is still published, as the Elizabeth Daily Journal, making it the fourth oldest newspaper published continuously in the United States.
Kollock published several books in Chatham also: The United States Almanack, for the Year of our Lord 1780 in 1779; The New-England Primer Improved, for the more easy attaining the true Reading of English, To which is added, the Assembly of Divines, and Mr. Cotton’s Catechism in 1782; and Ebenezer Elmer, Surgeon of the Regiment, An e[u]logy on the late Francis Barber, Esq: Lieutenant Colonel Commandant of the Second New-Jersey Regiment in 1783.
Copyright © 2017 Garden State Multiple Listing Service, L.L.C. All rights reserved.
Notice: The dissemination of listings on this website does not constitute the consent required by N.J.A.C. 11:5.6.1 (n) for the advertisement of listings exclusively for sale by another broker. Any such consent must be obtained in writing from the listing broker.
This information is being provided for Consumers' personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties Consumers may be interested in purchasing.