Military Masters, Burlington NJ
...The gallant young sea captain spat his final furious words of defiance,
Captain James Lawrence grew up in Burlington
(Capn. James Lawrence House, 38 on map). He became the naval war hero in the War of 1812. Commanding the 48-gun frigate U.S.S. Chesapeake off Boston Harbor, on June 13, 1813 he accepted the challenge of British Captain Phillip B. V. Broke aboard H.M.S. Shannon. Battle was joined, and in 15 minutes it became apparent that Lawrences rookie sailors lacked considerable experience. After taking a terrible battering at the hands of some of the best-trained sailors in the British Navy, the Chesapeake was boarded and Captain Lawrence, who had been mortally wounded, shouted to his men, Tell the men to fire faster and not to give up the ship; fight her till she sinks!. His valiant officers all obeyed, until all had been killed or wounded, to a man, and his ship captured. He died four days later. His words moved a group of women who sewed them onto a flag, paraphrased as, Dont Give Up the Ship. Presented to Commander Oliver H. Perry of the U.S.S. Lawrence, a ship named for James, those colors flew during Perrys Battle of Lake Erie rout of an entire squadron of British ships, and the phrase was made the motto of the U.S. Navy. There have been six American vessels commissioned in Capt. Lawrences honor. Today, the words fly from the flag masts at Riverfront Promenade, near the great anchor, where High Street meets the Delaware River.
A Captain of the Continental Army,
Joseph Bloomfield, was made mayor of Burlington in 1795. From 1801 to 1812 Governor of New Jersey , he became a Brigadier General and led men into military action in the War of 1812. Bloomfield was President of the first Society for the Abolition of Slavery, 1783. From 1817 to 1821 he served as Congressman (see Birch-Bloomfield House, 415 High Street, 34 on map).
A Burlington battalion Major, one John Larzalere, also became Mayor a score of years later.
Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant
took his family here in 1864 to avoid the wars physical conflict. Mrs. Grant and her children lived at 309 Wood Street until the conclusion of the war in 1865. Grant visited his family prior to his victories at the Battles of the Wilderness. On April 14, 1865, Grant twice declined invitations from President Abraham Lincoln and his First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln to attend a play at the Ford Theatre that night, in order that Grant might honor his wifes wishes to get back home to Burlington to be with their children. They took the train from Washington D.C., and a contemporary account states an assassin was foiled by the locked door of Grants railcar. At midnight the Grants disembarked in Philadelphia. They ate in Bloodgoods Hotel with plans to ferry to Camden and continue to Burlington. Receiving the telegram that president Abraham Lincoln had been shot, the stunned General swore his wife to silence, and they crossed the Delaware for the carriage ride to Burlington. By 6:00 AM Grant had dashed back to Philadelphia in time to board the special train waiting to take him back to Washington.
General E. Burd Grubb (see Grubb Estate, on the riverbank)
fought valiantly at the battles of the Peninsula, dashing not once but twice on horseback through shot and shell for orders. At Bull Run, he saved mortally wounded General Taylor from falling into enemy hands. At Chancellorsville he had his horse shot from beneath him. Heading up his regiment at Fredericksburg, once again his horse is shot from beneath him. He advanced then on foot, first and foremost, and was last to leave the field in the magnificent and disastrous charge on Salem Church. After the War, he was awarded the Ambassadorship to Spain. A fine marble bust of Genl. Grubb is on display at the Library Company of Burlington (23 W. Union St., 25 on map) where you can marvel at his noble mustache.
Some 400 veterans of Americas Civil War are buried in the City of Burlington, notably next to the Bethlehem AME Church (213 Pearl Blvd., 44 on map); Broad Street Methodist where lies Oliver Cromwell, African American Revolutionary War soldier and others; Friends Burial Ground (behind 341 High St., 12 on map); and St. Marys Churchyard behind W. Broad St. (18, 19 on map). See the special tour Graveyard Shift for more on the resting places of heroes.
Bravery... a proud part of our past... and its our present to you. Welcome to the City of Burlington.