People to Meet - City of Burlington Historic District Lincoln, Franklin, Capn. Lawrence, J. F. Cooper, U. S. Grant Where the past is our present to you
Places to SeePeople to Meet
1st things FirstThings to Do
Contact UsReady, Set, Tour
People to Meet
Mayor’s Greetings
Military Masters
Spiritual Leaders
Political Powers
Educator Pioneers
Undying Legends
40+ Historic Sites
Website Site Map

Spiritual Leaders, Burlington NJ

...The exhortatory orations of God’s pulpit-pounding way-pavers...

Any list of pioneering religious figures must include George Keith, M.A., and John Talbot, M.A., two traveling ministers who in 1703 founded New Jersey’s first Episcopalian Church at Old St. Mary’s (Old St. Mary’s Episcopal Church Broad & Wood Streets, 1703, 18 on Map) for the English “Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts”. Talbot became the founder of the parish and the first Bishop on American soil.

Globetrotting Quaker missionary Stephen Grellet (1773-1855)
earned the nickname “The Apostle of Burlington” when, upon reading William Penn’s “No Cross, No Crown”, he converted to Quakerism and then embarked upon a lifetime of traveling and evangelizing the state of New Jersey, the U.S., and Europe. He impressed Pope Pius VII, the King of Prussia, and Alexander I of Russia. He also figured in a Burlington Legend about the Dauphin. His final resting place: Friends Burial Ground, behind 314 High Street, 12 on Map.

< return to top >

Reverend Jonathan O’Dell, of St. Mary’s, worked diligently from the pulpit to convince people that King George III was the rightful ruler of America, until his own expulsion. Mrs. Margaret Hill Morris’s diary tells a Burlington Legend - that she hid the Rev. O’Dell in a secret chamber in Green Bank, until he could be spirited from town.

British Captain C. T. Webb held the first Methodist Service in New Jersey here in the City, 1771.

In 1820 Burlington expatriate Charles McIlvaine became the Episcopal Bishop of Ohio. Earlier, when 17 years of age, Charles founded the first United Sunday School in New Jersey, while living in the McIlvaine House built by his father Joseph McIlvaine.

Bishop George Washington Doane helped found Columbia University, as well as the local St. Mary’s Hall School (now St. Mary’s Hall, Riverbank near Reed St., 31 on map) and Burlington College.

< return to top >

Some of the earliest African American congregations to meet in New Jersey worshipped here. The Bethlehem African Methodist Episcopal Church (213 Pearl Boulevard, built 1855, 44 on map), organized in 1830, is Burlington’s oldest African American institution. Rev. Jeremiah H. Pierce, of the Bethlehem A.M.E. Church, 213 Pearl Street, pressed the famous “Pierce Case” of 1884, achieving the state Supreme Court’s ruling that Burlington’s white schools’ refusal to admit his four children was a violation of the New Jersey School Law of 1881.

Dr. Courtlandt Van Renssalaer, D.D., first pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Burlington, established the Van Renssalaer Seminary in 1853, raised funds for Princeton Seminary all over the country, then was raised to Secretary of the Presbyterian Board of Education. His home on the Riverbank (Stone Cottage, Talbot & Riverbank, 1835, 29 on map) is one of the finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture, designed by architect William Strickland.

< return to top >

The spirit of the past... it’s our present to you. Welcome to the City of Burlington.

Read on, for more famous Burlington People to Meet:
Spiritual Leaders
Military Masters
Political Powerhouses
Educational Pioneers
Undying Legends

 

 

Seal of City of Burlington
City of Burlington
Official Online Resource



Places to See
People to Meet
1st Things First
Things to Do
Contact Us
Ready, Set, Tour


Come experience real American History on our tree-lined, sun-dappled streets.
Over 45 origins of state or national significance... get immersed in “firsts”.
History comes alive as you see and enter the oldest homes, and more.
INSIDE: Maps! Photos! Over 40 Historic Sites dating back over 327 years.
PLUS: Attractions • Fun & Festive Events for Families with Kids • Seniors • Groups

Tour City of Burlington Historic District • Where the past is our present to you
E-mail: info@tourburlington.org • 609-386-0200 or 386-4773 • Home

 


Maps, Directions
Attractions
Dining
Shopping
Accommodations
Events