Monday, October 24, 2016

Quills, Paper, and Ink

We have spent some time decoding and transcribing English Secretary hand and today we are going to take a closer look at the materials used to create those letter forms.

Enter the quill, ink, and laid paper.

In 1576, scribes were utilizing writing tools made from the flight feathers of birds like geese and swans. The hollow barrels of these natural pens were the perfect vessels for delivering ink to paper.

Alphabet sampler, English Secretary hand/ image Sarah Minegar.

Donald Jackson diagram, via RBS course

If you have ever watched a period film, you have probably seen an inaccurate portrayal of a quill, boasting an enormous plume. In reality, a quill wouldn't be so usable with all of its barbs intact; especially those adorned with downy lower barbs which would surely impact writing ability. 

Instead, a scribe would strip the barbs and cut the shaft to a reasonable length (more like a modern day pen). Next, he would prepare the utensil for use as a writing device. 

Gerrit Dou, Scholar Sharpening a Quill, ca. 1630–35, oil on panel, 
25 x 20.5 cm, oval, signed, center right, under quill, “GD” (GD in ligature). 
The Leiden Collection, New York, GD-104/ image


If one had to be patient in making their writing tools, one also had to be patient in preparing their inks. The most commonly used ink from the middle ages to the nineteenth century was iron gall ink, a combination of oak galls, iron sulfate, and gum arabic

Iron gall ink is rather acidic and often compromises the paper it touches. Etching or transference often occurs in areas where this ink was applied heavily to paper. Check out the ink recipe below.

Commonplace book, Late 17th Century, Osborn b115 (59r-58v)
Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library/ 

To read more about inks and the ink making process:



Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Art of Transcription: A Practical Guide

Let's play a game of truth or folly...


You schedule a research appointment at your local library. When you arrive, you are handed a large packet of information about your topic, transcriptions of every manuscript you wish to research, and a full description of the potential resources you may want to study.



The Hollywood research stylings of shows like Who Do You Think You Are? and History Detectives may have introduced the world to the archivist and the special collections repository, but they also speed up and enhance the research process to a misleading degree. As an archivist, I can tell you with certainty that historical manuscripts do not often arrive with background information and they are definitely not transcribed. In fact, often the first mystery a researcher encounters is simply a question of content (i.e. what does the document say?)

Do not fret, you are equipped with paleography decoding skills! Now let’s take a closer look at the transcription process. 

The goal of transcription is to accurately represent the text of a manuscript so it may be studied or quoted in scholarly research. In the research context, the most commonly utilized transcription type is semi-diplomatic transcription—this is just a fancy way of saying the representation of the text will be accurate, honoring the original spelling, punctuation, and line spacing without modernizing the language or manuscript format. Because most contemporary transcriptions are accompanied by a digital image of the artifact itself, a diplomatic transcription, complete with full typographical renderings such as blots, false starts, and letter size is typically unnecessary. A semi-diplomatic transcription provides a fluent and clean rendering of a manuscript’s text, and is ideally accompanied by a reference image of the same artifact.

So where to begin?

1. utilizing a photocopy of the manuscript , number each line


2. prep your notepaper or word processing document with the same number of lines as your manuscript

Keeping your transcription lines aligned with the original manuscript spacing is the key to a successful textual representation of a document. It will also make it easier to transcribe bit by bit without losing your place.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Paleography for Everyone! Cracking the Old Hand Writing Code

Old manuscripts can be mystifying. They are often brittle, nearly impossible to read, and honestly, they sometimes smell funny (yeah!) Occasionally my curator will give me a document so challenging, I feel intimidated even taking a crack at it. It’s not always easy to relate to an artifact centuries old, on a foreign topic, or written in script that hardly passes as legible. I mean, how does one look at this and not feel daunted? ~~~~~~~~~~~>

A few years back, I got some excellent advice from an expert transcriptionist. She told me that deciphering and recording old handwriting is not an exact science and that when doing so you had to give yourself permission to forget what modern letters look like and throw spelling out the window! Now this was a game I could get behind!  

So let’s take a closer look at that 1576 document, signed by Queen Elizabeth I.


First things first, what do you notice?

You’ve located her signature, but you’re asking yourself if this is written in English, right?

It is.

YES, Seriously.

If you thought your grandmother’s handwriting took you for a ride, hang onto your hats. Meet English Secretary hand. Used primarily in the 16th through the 18th centuries by chanceries and scribes, Secretary hand is a specialized form of script distinguished by its masterful loops and flourishes. In a later post, we’ll discuss how form and function converge at the quill’s tip, but today we will focus on identifying several letter forms in the Secretary alphabet. Before you know it, you'll be on your way to becoming a paleographer. 


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Decoding Shakespeare’s Monarch Web Series

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of perhaps the most celebrated English bard, William Shakespeare. In honor of that milestone, the Folger Shakespeare Library is bringing the First Folio to museums, universities, public libraries, and historical societies around the country. One such lucky repository is our academic partner, Drew University. This is a huge honor for the university and a great compliment to the dedication of Drew Library and Archives staff, teaching faculty, and the resident Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

Elizabeth I, 1576, Lloyd W. Smith Archival Collection.
In honor of this celebration, we wanted to tip our hats to our Drew colleagues and share a little known Morristown treasure. While Morristown NHP doesn’t have an original Shakespearean work, we do have a manuscript signed by Shakespeare’s monarch, Queen Elizabeth I, dated 1576!

During the month of October, we will feature a special online tribute entitled, Decoding Shakespeare’s Monarch This interactive web series will include:

  • Paleography for Everyone! Cracking the Old Hand Writing Code
  • The Art of Transcription: A Practical Guide
  • Quills, Paper, and Ink
  • Understanding Regnal Years
  • Preservation 101: How Light and Humidity Impact Paper
  • The Cursive Learning Curve & Future Historians' Dilemma

& More!

A concurrent temporary exhibit, how to and how ‘naught’ quill station, and interactive pamphlet will also be installed onsite, at our Washington’s Headquarters Unit (info TBA).

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Peter Toth Farewell Recital, Sunday, September 25

Morristown, NJ – Please join Morristown National Historical Park (NHP) at 1 pm on Sunday, September 25th for the final piano recital of the season by acclaimed pianist Peter Toth. The free event will be held in Morristown NHP's Washington’s Headquarters Museum, 30 Washington Place, Morristown, New Jersey.

The recital is part of the continuing celebration of the NPS Centennial. Mr. Toth will play the park’s 1873 Steinway Grandpiano in a program which will feature:

Brahms: Variations on an Original Theme
Bartok: Suite, Op. 14.
Liszt: La lugubre gondola
Liszt: Clothes de Geneve (Bells of Geneva)

Hungarian pianist Peter Toth is one of the most recognized artists of his generation. He has concertized in most countries in Europe, South America, and Asia. His first released CD recording won the Grand Prize of the Hungarian Liszt Society (2006). Mr. Toth is a regular guest artist at various piano festivals and has been member of the American Liszt Society since 2011.

Sunday's recital is the last of the season in a series of six recitals offered by Mr. Toth to celebrate the National Park Service’s Centennial. The National Park Service thanks Mr. Toth for the significant contributions of his time and talent.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Dr. Jude Pfister Debuts Sixth Book

Charting an American Republic, Dr. Pfister's sixth book, is inspired and informed by the Lloyd W. Smith archival and rare book collection held at the Morristown NHP. The book contains numerous images from the Smith collection, while other images come from several other national parks, and as such is a great compliment to the Centennial of the NPS.

With the American revolutionaries in discord following victory at Yorktown and the Paris Peace Treaty of 1783, the proposed federal Constitution of 1787 faced an uncertain future when it was sent to the states for ratification. Sensing an historic moment, three authors—Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay—circulated 85 essays among their fellow statesmen, arguing for a strong federal union.

Next to the Constitution itself, The Federalist papers are the most referenced statement of the Founding Fathers’ intentions in forming the U.S. government. This book takes a fresh look at the papers in the context of the times in which they were created.

Dr. Pfister pictured here with a first edition of the Federalist Papers,
part of the Lloyd W. Smith Rare Book Collection.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Finding Theodosia Exhibit

Interns Hannah Mosier and Amelia Zurcher spent their summer pouring over the Ford Family Papers. Their research of matriarch Theodosia Ford (1741-1824) revealed the story of a rather influential and confident business woman and community leader.

It was hard to choose which manuscripts to exhibit, but Hannah and Amelia have selected a representative sample of Ms. Ford's life and legacy. Their exhibit, Finding Theodosia, is currently on display at the Washington's Headquarters museum building.

>To read about their summer with Theodosia Ford, check out their other posts HERE and HERE.

To print a copy of the accompanying brochure, click images below.

This exhibit by:

Hannah Mosier, Syracuse University, &
Amelia Zurcher, The College of New Jersey

Monday, August 29, 2016

NPS Centennial Exhibit for the Statehouse Rotunda

Interns and CR staff at the installation of the Park Centennial exhibit, in Trenton.
As part of his summer project, Zachary coordinated an NPS Centennial exhibit for the Statehouse Rotunda, at Trenton. This exhibit featured NJ park sites, and Morristown contributed the papers of two historical governors, William Paterson and Thomas Randolph. 

This exhibit will run through October 2016.

Check out Zachary's posts on Thomas Randolph < and William Patterson <

or click to enlarge brochures below

Thursday, August 25, 2016


You look fabulous!




Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Checking in with the Interns: Zachary

William Paterson ledger, LWS collection.
The reputation of Irish-born William Paterson (1745-1806) could be most attributed to his contribution to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. His contribution was known as the “Paterson Plan” or the “New Jersey Plan”. The result of this contribution, and one Great Compromise, was the US senate, a platform in which every state was represented equally. Outside of this formidable contribution to US history, what was known about William Paterson was kept by avid historians and the alumni of the university named after him in Wayne, NJ. While William Paterson’s contribution to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was the culmination of his political career, the future governor of New Jersey started both his legal and political careers in his studies at Princeton University, known then as The College of New Jersey. During his years as a student Paterson took up the study of law. In 1769 he would pass the bar and in 1793 Paterson would become an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. However, the beginning of his career was what would shape the man who would become the 2nd governor of New Jersey. His study of law and his apprenticeship under Richard Stockton, a future representative of New Jersey at the signing of The Declaration of Independence, would be the catalyst for William Paterson’s life in politics and law.

Within the archives at the Morristown National Historical Park, specifically the Lloyd W. Smith Collection, there was a single ledger, or notebook, that belonged to William Paterson during his early years studying law. The third page of the notebook presented the date of November 29th, 1763. When this date was compared to the fact that William Paterson completed his undergraduate degree in 1963, the idea that this notebook was used in the first year of his graduate studies was reinforced. Through the examination of the notebook the influences, his studies, and his thought process of a young William Paterson could be observed. While the ledger gave us an insight into the brain of William Paterson the notebook also allowed us view an approach to law in New Jersey in the 1760s.

By examining this ledger it was obvious that William Paterson took his studies very seriously. There were no doodles, no off topic thoughts, and there were no scribblings. Paterson laid out his notes in a very orderly fashion. He would mark out the topic of the lecture. Some of the law topics that we saw in the ledger were Pleas, Estate Law, Mortgage Law, and Indictments. He also specified which law book he was studying by identifying the author in the margins. Three of the authors he mentioned are Bacon, Coke, and Adams. Furthermore, Paterson’s attention to detail was exemplified by his styles of note taking. He was able to seemingly switch style from standard listing, to quoting and making direct references to his material, to a Question and Answer format. By doing do he was able to mold his notes to get the most possible information out of them. One tool Paterson liked to use throughout his ledger was the hand with pointing finger symbol in the margin of the page. Presumably Paterson used this symbol to mark key information or an area of study he wanted to revisit later to get a better understand its meaning. The many styles, forms, and tools William Paterson used in his law school notebook identified him as a young scholar with serious interest in the study of law.

Paterson’s notes covered two areas that really stick out to the modern reader. Paterson first peculiar focus was on the study of Law during the existence of Ancient Rome. Paterson both examined the Roman law and compared it with the law of his day. According to William Paterson’s notes it could be argued that he believed Ancient Rome was the first to have had a distinguishable set of private and public laws. Another revealing detail of Paterson’s notebook was the talk of slaves and women through the law of the time period. The details became exceedingly odd, in comparison with the present views of United States law, while discussing estate and fortune law. The language Paterson uses to describe the position of both women and slaves in relation to the estate would be off putting if used in a courtroom today.

William Paterson’s notebook allowed us to explore both the culture of the 18th century as well as the development of a bright young scholar who would ultimately have an everlasting effect on New Jersey and the United States. The notebook, as an artifact, was rare because of the ledger was from so early on in his life. However, you would not be able to that the author was only a young adult at the time of the note taking because of how straightforward and serious the lay out of the notebook was. The attention to detail, the seriousness of the note taking process, and the depth of the notes were evidence that William Paterson was heading to a life of importance. His importance would be nationally and locally, as a politician and as a lawyer.

This blog post by Zachary De Leon, Kean University.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Celebrate the National Park Service Centennial

Cake and Community

Blue Morel Restaurant Executive Chef Bobby Varua
Helps Morristown Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service

2 pmThursday, August 25, 2016


Morristown, NJ – Please join Morristown National Historical Park (NHP) as it celebrates the exact 100th anniversary of the National Park Service on Thursday, August 25, 2016.

Festivities begin at  2 pm in Morristown NHP’s Washington’s Headquarters Museum, 30 Washington Place, Morristown, New Jersey. Admission is free.

Blue Morel Restaurant Executive Chef Bobby Varua will present to the park and visitors a specially designed and created  birthday cake that honors the National Park Service's 100th anniversary.

Following the cake-cutting, Chief of Interpretation Vanessa Smiley will present a short program in the museum auditorium on the history of the National Park Service.

Morristown NHP Chief of Cultural Resources Dr. Jude Pfister notes “This once-in-a-lifetime celebration is a way for us in the National Park Service to work with the community and say thank-you to the public." Dr. Pfister invites everyone to this special event. Come, meet Chef Bobby and the park staff, and join us for community, cake, and good cheer as we wish the National Park Service happy birthday.


And in the tradition of Cake and Community; From our photo archives, Mildred Ward's 1972, 
Ford Mansion cake. Morristown recently celebrated 83 years as the first 
National Historical Park in the National Park Service. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Checking in with the Interns: Zachary

Theodore F. Randolph
Researching Theodore F. Randolph, the 22nd Governor of New Jersey, through the Internet and the artifacts we have at MNHP was quite an interesting task. What was really intriguing were the artifact given to MNHP from the Washington Association of New Jersey (WANJ), a group that started the preservation of historical artifacts in New Jersey, especially that of George Washington’s time in Morristown during the American Revolutionary War. Most of the artifact about the company, such as their records and notes, were where I found much of the information about Governor Randolph and his part in the association. He was their first President and one of their biggest funders until the time of his death in 1883. Without Governor Randolph it appears the WANJ would have lack both leadership and unity at the beginning of their association.
Official WANJ Stock, signed by Randolph
Newspaper clipping 

from the Newark Advertiser, 
advertising WANJ stock.

The project I was doing on Governor Randolph involved looking at the man himself, his involvement in the WANJ, and the WANJ’s connection to the Morristown National Historical Park. What I found was a laundry list of notes of the WANJ meetings as well as many other records of Governor Randolph and the other founders of the association. Governor Randolph political career was quite prolific according to my findings. Prior to his Governorship, he also represented New Jersey in many other government offices. As for his involvement with the WANJ, Theodore F. Randolph was there first president and one of their largest funders. One of the pieces that caught my eye, while researching the records of the WANJ, was a Newspaper add of sorts, which offered stock in the association a $100 a share and a membership, written by Governor Randolph. It appeared that in the need for funds at the beginning of the WANJ Randolph decided that allowing new members to be added to the association, with the purchase of stock, would create revenue for them. It would in fact work out and get the funds needed for the WANJ. Another interesting piece was the record of a transaction, which Governor Randolph and the other founding members had with the Attorney General of New Jersey. In this transaction a deal was struck that would allow the WANJ to receive money from the New Jersey government each year in order to sustain the preservation of their historical artifacts. Governor Randolph and the WANJ put it rigorous work to protect their venture of preserving such artifacts and it would pay off.

The hard work done by Theodore Randolph and the other members would be a building block in the future of historical preservation in New Jersey. Their efforts would lead to a government run parks and museum system in New Jersey, such as MNHP. Without Randolph the WANJ would have had a much more difficult time succeeding in the early stages of their association, which could have been detrimental to what I am doing today.

This post by Zachary De Leon, Kean University

Friday, July 29, 2016

Assistance from Washington Association of New Jersey Reopens Fort Nonsense

Morristown, NJ – The National Park Service at Morristown National Historical Park (NHP) is pleased to announce that its Fort Nonsense area is now reopened due to assistance from the Washington Association of New Jersey. Fort Nonsense had been closed since the severe thunderstorm that hit the Morristown, New Jersey area on Thursday, July 14, 2016. The storm caused significant tree-damage at Fort Nonsense, including many fallen trees and limbs that made the area inaccessible and unsafe.

Morristown NHP’s staff immediately responded and worked days on tree cleanup and removal, but the amount of damage and size of the fallen trees required greater resources of manpower and equipment than the park has at its disposal.

The park’s legislated partner, the Washington Association of New Jersey (WANJ), stepped in and provided over $10,000 for this much-needed work through the Fort Nonsense Endowment Fund, which WANJ manages for the benefit of Fort Nonsense. Washington Association President Eileen Cameron explained, “The Washington Association Board of Directors recognized the scale of the disaster that hit Fort Nonsense and acted to help the park re-open the area as quickly as possible during the height of the visitor season. The partnership the Washington Association has with Morristown National Historical Park allows us to respond immediately with emergency financial support.”

Without these funds, cleanup efforts would have been significantly delayed and Fort Nonsense would have remained closed to the public until resources became available to make the park area safe.

Morristown NHP Superintendent Thomas Ross noted, “The close collaboration between Morristown NHP and the Washington Association of New Jersey has reopened Fort Nonsense for the use and enjoyment of the community and its visitors. It is during challenging times like this that prove just how vital partnerships are to the National Park Service, as is the unwavering support and dedication of the Washington Association to Morristown National Historical Park.”

Morristown NHP and the Washington Association of New Jersey invite the public to visit this historically significant site, learn about its role during the Revolutionary War, enjoy your lunch at the picnic tables, and gaze out across town and towards the New York skyline from the highest point in Morristown.


Morristown National Historical Park preserves, protects, and commemorates the landscapes, structures, features, and museum collections of the Continental Army winter encampments, the headquarters of General George Washington, and related Revolutionary War sites at Morristown, New Jersey for the benefit and inspiration of the public. Morristown NHP also represents a continuum of our nation’s efforts to protect our common heritage: as the very first “national historical park”, the park was also established to commemorate, preserve, and memorialize American history and heritage.

For more information about the park, please call 973-539-2016 ext. 210 or visit our website at

The Washington Association of New Jersey (WANJ), founded in 1874, is one of the oldest historic preservation organizations in the nation. In partnership with Morristown National Historical Park since 1933, WANJ supports the park in its preservation and interpretation goals, and honors the contributions of George Washington and his troops to the cause of American Independence.

For more information about the Washington Association of New Jersey, please call 973-292-1874 or visit

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Checking in with the Interns: Amelia

Theodosia's signature appears on many legal documents.
Morristown Historical National Park is well known for the history of the Ford Mansion as one of Washington’s winter Headquarters during the American Revolutionary War. The Ford family was a very powerful and important family in 18th Century Morris County. Despite the great significance of the Fords in local history, little is known about the woman of the household at this time, Theodosia Ford. She played an integral role in this story, as the major hostess of George Washington and in his army in her husband’s absence. To learn more about the background, personality, and experiences of Mrs. Ford, we have begun a project this summer to better understand her experiences and character. 

Excerpt from an account ledger.
Over the past month, we have read through Morristown’s collection of the Ford Family Papers to identify all references to and records of her. The documents include court records, inventories, personal letters, business letters, receipts, bonds, wills, and financial accounts, which can be used to understand the financial, legal, and social activities and experiences of the Ford family members, including Mrs. Ford. The collection is very interesting, as it gives a glimpse into the daily activities, personal relationships, financial circumstances, legal concerns, and business transactions of the Ford family. Records of this nature usually involve solely the men of the family who would have typically dealt with most of the business, legal, and financial matters. However, Theodosia
Ford’s name appears quite often in the documents, which is telling in itself of her importance. We are working to identify specifically what her role was in the matters of the family and community that made her so relevant in these documents. The mentions of Theodosia Ford in the collection are currently being analyzed and connected to create a more wholesome picture of this important woman.

Manuscript discussing Mrs. Ford's application
for widow's compensation.
Theodosia would have been a very wealthy and influential woman in her local community, as part of the powerful Ford family. She came from another prominent Morristown family headed by her father, Reverend Timothy Johnes. Theodosia Ford held many responsibilities for a woman of her time. With her husband Colonel Jacob Ford Jr. away with the continental army, she assumed the roles of primary host of the house, head of the family, and, upon her husband’s death, owner of the estate. Descriptions of the years of the Ford Mansion as the colonial headquarters demonstrate the major changes that occurred in her daily routine and living arrangements at this time. She experienced many disruptive alarms, was left only two rooms in the house, and largely gave up the control of her home to Mr. and Mrs. Washington. Apart from these great changes, becoming a widow after the war was a whole new life for her as well. Theodosia Ford’s name increasingly appears on more documents after this period, demonstrating her greater involvement in the affairs of the estate, family, and community in the later decades of her life. Theodosia’s estate consisted of twelve acres of land, various family members, and three slaves. As a widow, she received a great deal of money by leasing the lands of her husband’s iron forges. Additionally, she had attempted to apply for half-pay compensation of her husband and father’s deaths in the war, as New Jersey law allowed. However, she had trouble in securing this, because both deaths occurred in other colonies and were thus not considered “state deaths.”
Receipt for shares of Morris Turnpike.

She contributed to the advancement of her community by investing in the building of the Morris Turnpike Road. Respect and love shown by those that knew her are demonstrated throughout many affectionate letters from family and friends in her old age and after her death. The admiration of this woman was further shown when Timothy Ford named a daughter Theodosia, presumably after his mother. The documents clearly show Mrs. Ford as greatly involved in community, business, and legal affairs as well as greatly loved in her personal relationships. It is fascinating getting to work with these materials to uncover information and begin painting a portrait of Theodosia Ford, a woman who played such a major role in Morristown history.

This post by Amelia Zurcher, The College of New Jersey.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Checking in with the Interns: Hannah

Notes from the 1803 Canfield et al. vs.
Ford et al. case, naming Theodosia Ford as a defendant.

I have been assigned to work on a project to find out more about Theodosia Ford (1741 – 1824), the matriarch of the Ford family who owned the Ford Mansion. Under the supervision of Dr. Pfister, Head Curator of Morristown NHP, fellow intern Amelia and I have gone through twenty-five boxes of the Ford Family Papers, which were obtained for the Park in the 1970s by the Washington Association. These documents cover the years between 1738 and 1904, a huge amount of time which encompasses the majority of American history.

Amelia and I went through these papers, box by box, folder by folder, scanning for any mentions of Theodosia’s name. It is amazing to be able to handle primary documents from the 18th and 19th century, and being able to do this has helped to illustrate the context in which the papers were written. We ended up finding quite a bit of material, and are now working to compile a finding aid for any future researchers who are interested in the Fords, as well as putting together a small display that will go in the upstairs museum for park visitors. Theodosia Ford was extremely involved in her family’s business affairs, which was significant for a woman of her time. Of all the artifacts that we looked at, my favorite were the day and account books kept by Gabriel and Henry, the son and grandson, respectively, of Theodosia. These records are so organized and specific that it is fascinating to read them and provides incredible insight for how they lived daily.

This has been a fabulous introduction to the depth of New Jersey’s history, as well as a wonderful opportunity to practice professional and academic researching skills. Along the way, we’ve also learned about the process of curating and maintaining Morristown’s extensive collection. There are still so many items and documents in the collection that can be explored and presented to the public. It is my hope that our notes will be useful to people in the future, and that they can add their findings as well.

This post by Hannah-Abigail Mosier, Syracuse University. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Meet VIP Walter Gilligan

If you visit Washington's Headquarters Museum on a Wednesday, you're likely to meet one of our wonderful park volunteers. Walter Gilligan (center) enjoys leading Ford Mansion tours and imparting his passion for Revolutionary War history to others. This Rockaway resident has been a VIP (Volunteer in the Park) for four years.

Gilligan told the Morristown Patch, “I’m a history buff, I like history and I enjoy telling people many things they don’t know.” 

Read more here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Welcome Summer Interns

Hailing from three fine universities, this summer's cultural resource interns were up for an intensive archival immersion.

College of New Jersey rising senior, Amelia Zurcher, is a history major with special interests in Colonial Mid-Atlantic American history. Amelia will be working with intern Hannah-Abigail to scour the Ford Family papers for evidence of Theodosia Ford's activities. You may have seen Amelia around our Jockey Hollow unit, as she has volunteered with the Herb Society of America, at the Wick House garden.

Rising senior, Hannah-Abigail Mosier, is studying public relations, women's and gender studies, and policy studies at Syracuse University. Collaborating with Amelia to research Theodosia Ford, Hannah-Abigail is looking forward to piecing together a more comprehensive picture of women's lives during the American Revolution. She is especially interested in Ford's role as matriarch.

Kean University rising senior, Zachary DeLeon, is has an affinity for 18th and 19th century American history. He will put his history major to good use this summer as he contributes to an exhibit for the NPS Centennial, hosted at the State House Rotunda, in Trenton. For his part, he will research the papers of William Paterson and Thomas Randolph, showcasing Morristown's fine representation of New Jersey historical governors.