Gov. Phil Murphy has announced a $25 million investment toward New Jersey’s Revolutionary War historic sites in preparation for the United States’ semiquincentennial anniversary.
The semiquincentennial anniversary, which will take place in 2026, will mark the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the nation’s 250th year of independence.
“New Jersey’s contribution to our nation’s independence is undeniable. From the battlefields where the tide of the American Revolution turned, to the many other sites where our nation’s identity was forged, New Jersey was arguably more deeply involved in the cause of independence than any other state,” Murphy was quoted as saying in a Nov. 29 press release from his office.
“As we celebrate our nation’s 250th anniversary, it is important that our historic sites are prepared to welcome the hundreds of thousands of visitors who will undoubtedly travel from around the world to witness these sites in person on such a momentous occasion. This investment will allow us to revitalize our historic sites and make sure we are prepared when they come,” Murphy said.
According to the press release, the $25 million investment from federal American Rescue Plan funds will be allocated to the New Jersey Department of the Treasury and distributed to Revolution NJ, in partnership with the New Jersey Historical Commission and Crossroads of the American Revolution, to help in the restoration of the following Revolutionary War sites:
Washington Crossing State Park; Trenton’s Old Barracks; Battle Monument in Trenton; Princeton Battlefield State Park; Monmouth Battlefield State Park; Proprietary House in Perth Amboy; the Indian King Tavern in Haddonfield; Wallace House in Somerville; Boxwood Hall in Elizabeth; and Rockingham in Kingston.
“The second reading of the Declaration of Independence in New Brunswick, the Battle of Monmouth and the Crossing of the Delaware … which was pivotal in turning the tide of the war; New Jersey was indeed the crossroads of the American Revolution. I’m proud of my work on the Semiquincentennial Commission and passing the American Rescue Plan to ensure New Jersey’s contributions are recognized during the upcoming celebrations and that New Jersey received the funding it needs to tell its story,” said U.S. Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ).
“New Jersey’s role in the American Revolution is unquestionably significant,” said state Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “The battles of Trenton and Princeton singularly re-energized the fledgling effort at perhaps the most crucial point of the war.
“This sizable $25 million investment in capital upgrades across 10 critical state-owned sites marks a big step in the leveraging the full civic and economic potential of our state’s consequential revolutionary war history, not just in preparation for 2026, but for the years that lie ahead,” he said.
“New Jersey has a wealth of historic sites, many of which are located in Mercer County where the ‘Ten Crucial Days’ of the American Revolution unfolded,” Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes said.
“This investment allowing for much-needed improvements to our state’s historic treasures will help spotlight for the rest of the country the central role New Jersey played in America’s fight for independence,” Hughes said.
“Hopewell Township played an important role in the rich history of the founding of our country. With the 250th anniversary upcoming, this investment is critical to making New Jersey, and Hopewell Township, a heritage tourism destination. We are grateful to Gov. Murphy for his leadership in ensuring that our historic sites keep their proper place in American history for the next generation,” Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning said.
“Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area is grateful for public funding for these key visitor readiness projects at sites which will serve as the initial core for Revolutionary War heritage tourism. … As the fundraising arm of RevolutionNJ, Crossroads will be working to secure the participation of private donors to build on this crucial investment – to bring vital economic activity to our local communities by supporting and sustaining heritage tourism in New Jersey for the 250th anniversary and beyond,” said Carrie Fellows, executive director, Crossroads of the American Revolution Association.
“This significant investment will greatly improve the visitor experience, allowing visitors to learn about, marvel and cherish New Jersey’s treasured history and contributions to our country’s founding,” said John Cecil, assistant commissioner for New Jersey’s State Parks, Forests and Historic Sites.