James Caldwell, Rev. (1734 - 1781)

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Birthplace: Cub Creek, Charlotte County, Virginia, American Colonies [present United States]
Death: Died in Elizabethtown Point, New Jersey
Managed by: Kathryn Montgomery Mahoney
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About James Caldwell, Rev.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Caldwell_(clergyman)

James Caldwell (April 1734 – November 24, 1781) was a Presbyterian minister who played a prominent part in the American Revolution.

He was born in Cub Creek in Charlotte County, Virginia, the seventh son of John and Margaret Caldwell, who were Scots-Irish settlers. He graduated from the College of New Jersey (which later became Princeton University) in 1759 and, though he inherited 500 acres (2.0 km2) in Cub Creek, became pastor of the Presbyterian church in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. He was an active partisan on the side of the Patriots, and was known as the "soldier parson". His church and his house were burned by Loyalists in 1780.

While Caldwell was stationed with the army in Morristown, his wife Hannah was killed by British gunfire under disputed circumstances during the Battle of Connecticut Farms in what is now Union Township, an act which Union County immortalizes on their county seal to this day.[1] His wife had been at home with their baby and a 3 year old toddler. As the British moved into Connecticut Farms, Hannah Caldwell was shot through a window or wall as she sat with her children on a bed.

Caldwell, who fought in the Battle of Springfield, was killed on November 24, 1781, by an American sentry in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, when he refused to have a package inspected. The sentry, James Morgan, was hanged for murder on January 29, 1782 in Westfield, New Jersey, amid rumors that he had been bribed to kill the chaplain. There were nine orphaned children of Hannah and James Caldwell, all of whom were raised by friends of the family.

A monument to him in Elizabeth, New Jersey was dedicated in 1846.

Three towns, known collectively as The Caldwells are named for James Caldwell: Caldwell, North Caldwell, and West Caldwell. James Caldwell High School in West Caldwell also carries his name, as does James Caldwell Elementary School in Springfield, New Jersey.

from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Caldwell_%28clergyman%29 -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Caldwell_(clergyman)

James Caldwell (April 1734 – November 24, 1781) was a Presbyterian minister who played a prominent part in the American Revolution.


He was born in Cub Creek in Charlotte County, Virginia, the seventh son of John and Margaret Caldwell, who were Scots-Irish settlers. He graduated from the College of New Jersey (which later became Princeton University) in 1759 and, though he inherited 500 acres (2.0 km2) in Cub Creek, became pastor of the Presbyterian church in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. He was an active partisan on the side of the Patriots, and was known as the "soldier parson". His church and his house were burned by Loyalists in 1780.


While Caldwell was stationed with the army in Morristown, his wife Hannah was killed by British gunfire under disputed circumstances during the Battle of Connecticut Farms in what is now Union Township. His wife had been at home with their baby and a 3 year old toddler. As the British moved into Connecticut Farms, Hannah Caldwell was shot through a window or wall as she sat with her children on a bed.


Caldwell, who fought in the Battle of Springfield, was killed by an American sentry in Elizabethtown, New Jersey when he refused to have a package inspected. The sentry, James Morgan, was hanged for murder on January 29, 1782 in Westfield, New Jersey, amid rumors that he had been bribed to kill the chaplain. There were nine orphaned children of Hannah and James Caldwell, all of whom were raised by friends of the family.


A monument to him in Elizabeth, New Jersey was dedicated in 1846.


Three towns, known collectively as The Caldwells are named for James Caldwell: Caldwell, North Caldwell, and West Caldwell. James Caldwell High School in West Caldwell also carries his name, as does James Caldwell Elementary School in Springfield, New Jersey.

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The Rev. James Caldwell, pastor of the First Presbyterian church in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, was descended of a Huguenot family, and born in Virginia. Shortly after the settlement of Mr. Caldwell at Elizabethtown, the war broke out; and inheriting from his ancestors a feeling of opposition to tyranny, he warmly espoused the cause of his country. He acted as chaplain of those portions of the American army that successively occupied New Jersey; joined Colonel Dayton's regiment, and accompanied the Jersey brigade to the northern lines. He was stationed some time at Johnstown, New York, and was afterwards appointed assistant commissary to the army; stood high in the confidence of Washington; and by his eloquent and patriotic appeals, contributed greatly in times of despondency to excite and sustain the drooping spirits of the soldiers. All the influence commanded by his character and talents - his energy, and his unbounded popularity in the community - was devoted to the cause of American freedom.

This zeal and activity did not fail to render him obnoxious to the enemy, and no effort was spared to do him injury. A price was set upon his head; and it is said that while preaching the gospel of peace to his people, he was often forced to lay his loaded pistols by his side in the pulpit. On account of the predatory incursions of the British, he was compelled to leave his home, for a temporary residence at Springfield, New Jersey. The parsonage, thus deserted, and the church in which he preached, were used as a hospital for the sick and wounded of the American army. It's bell sounded the alarm through the town on the approach of the enemy; the weary soldiers often slept upon its floor, and ate their hurried and scanty meals from the seats of the pews; so that worshippers on the Sabbath were not unfrequently compelled to stand through the service. Even of this shelter the British and tories, who cherished implacable enmity towards the pastor of the church, determined to deprive the soldiers; it was burnt, with the parsonage, on the night of January 25th, 1780. Finding the situation at Springfield inconvenient, and the distance too great from his church, Mr. Caldwell again removed to "Connecticut Farms," four miles from Elizabethtown. It was during his residence at this place that the British troops from New York, under the command of the Hessian General Knyphausen, landed at Elizabethtown, before daylight, on the seventh of June. Their march into the interior was marked by cruelty and devastation. Several houses were fired, and the inhabitants left destitute of provisions or shelter. When informed of the enemy's approach, Mr. Caldwell put his elder children into a baggage wagon in his possession as commissary, and sent them to some of his friends for protection. Three of the younger ones - Josiah Flint, Elias Boudinot, and Maria, an infant about eight months old, remained with their mother in the house. Mr. Caldwell had no fears for the safety of his wife and young family; for he believed it impossible that resentment could be extended to a mother watching over her little ones. He had that morning taken an early breakfast, intending to join the force collecting to oppose the enemy. Having in vain endeavored to persuade his wife to go with him, he returned to make a last effort to induce her to change her determination; but she remained firm. She handed him a cup of coffee, which he drank as he sat on horseback. Seeing the gleam of British arms at a distance, he put spurs to his horse, and in a few moments was out of sight. The nurse also remained, and a little girl named Abigail Lennington, a soldier's daughter, whom Mr. Caldwell had taken into his family. She is still living at Elizabethtown. Immediately after the tragedy she, with the nurse, gave deposition as to the facts before a magistrate. James was a Chaplain in the Revolution, and assistant Commissary general. One of the heroes in the revolution,at the battle of Springfield, he brought hymnals and shouted "Give them Watts!" James was shot on November 24, 1781 and died from his injuries.

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James Caldwell, Rev.'s Timeline

1734
April, 1734
Cub Creek, Charlotte County, Virginia, American Colonies [present United States]
1763
March 14, 1763
Age 28
of, Morris Plains, Morris, New Jersey, USA
1764
January 23, 1764
Age 29
Newark, Essex, NJ
1767
1767
Age 32
1781
November 24, 1781
Age 47
Elizabethtown Point, New Jersey
????
Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, United States