A People Harassed and Exhausted (Paperback)
The First Hunterdon Militia Regiment of New Jersey containing the men from today's Trenton, Ewing Township, Hopewell Township, and Lawrence Township was continually called on to defend the state throughout the period 1775-1783. This is their story, told for the first time, describing the mental and physical challenges associated with fighting a war for independence while also trying to survive economically as farmers, craftsmen, and merchants. Their individual and group stories help us understand many things about the lives of ordinary people during the war and explore many questions, including the following: Why did George Washington describe the New Jersey militiamen and their families as "a people harassed and exhausted?" Why did New Jersey Governor William Livingston describe the militia laws as placing "a disproportionate burden on the willing?" What was the purpose of the militia? Who was required to be in the militia and who could volunteer? Why, since the law required it, did some militiamen not own their own musket and other equipment? Why did so many militiamen who supported the cause of independence refuse to turn out for active duty? What roles did militiamen play in battles such as Trenton, Princeton, Monmouth, and Springfield? What did militiamen do in-between the major battles? How did the British occupation of New York City and Staten Island from 1776 to 1783 complicate the lives of militiamen living along the Delaware River in western New Jersey? Drawing on many primary sources that often allow the militiamen to tell their stories, this story helps us understand how the American Revolution was experienced in the Mid-Atlantic States.
About the Author
William L. Kidder, universally known as Larry, was born in California and raised in California, Indiana, New York, and New Jersey. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Larry is a retired high school history teacher who taught for forty years in both public and private schools. He considers teaching to be both his vocation and avocation. During his 32 years of teaching at The Hun School of Princeton he enjoyed designing courses that gave his students the opportunity to develop the thinking, research, and writing skills that result from "doing history" and not just learning facts for a test. Larry served four years of active duty in the US Navy and was assigned to the US Navy Research and Development Unit, Vietnam and then the destroyer USS Brownson (DD868) homeported in Newport, Rhode Island. In the 1980s he was the lead researcher and writer for the creation of the Admiral Arleigh Burke National Destroyermen's Museum aboard the destroyer museum ship USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD850) at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts. For the past twenty-five years, Larry has been a volunteer at the Howell Living History Farm, part of the Mercer County Park System, in Hopewell, New Jersey. For varying lengths of time he has volunteered as an historian, interpreter, webmaster, and draft horse teamster This interest led to the writing of his first book, The Pleasant Valley School Story: A Story of Education and Community in Rural New Jersey, which won the 2013 Scholarship and Artistry Award presented by the Country School Association of America. This book tells the story of the local schoolhouse that is now part of the Howell Living History Farm and is also a case study of a rural school in central New Jersey from the early 19th to the mid-20th century. Active in historical societies in Ewing, Hopewell, and Lawrence townships, Larry has given a number of talks on local history to a variety of civic groups. He is an avid member of the Association for Living History, Farm, and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM), the Washington's Crossing Roundtable of the American Revolution, and the New Jersey Living History Advisory Council. He can be contacted by email at email@example.com.