Thursday, February 18, 2021
Monday, November 9, 2020
Monday, October 26, 2020
On June 19, 2020 – the anniversary of Juneteenth, Wendy O’Sullivan, Superintendent of the Chesapeake Bay National Park Service office, convened a Zoom Call involving eight distinguished Black professionals in her organization. Their goal was to discuss the intersection of race, history, and the outdoors. In her opening remarks, Superintendent O’Sullivan indicated that “…in this historic moment for our society…we need to start talking again….To truly start listening again and openly talking about the history of systemic racism and inequities in America is what we need to do now.”
This conversation continues within families, organizations and classrooms throughout America and in other countries as well and can be a difficult one.
This Zoom call has been made available on You Tube and is accessible by clicking below. We are posting this blog to facilitate similar discussions in homes or outside organizations and classrooms.
The entire video is about ninety minutes in length and consists of the following:
Part 1 – Start to 00:28 minutes – Introductions, personal backgrounds and areas of expertise
Part 2 – 00:28:22 to 01:14:00 – individual experiences in the lives of these participants, and in the Park Service. How have they been impacted by institutional and systemic racism.
Part 3 – 01:14:00 to 01:31:00 – what are recommendations on the question – “what can we do in our work in the NPS to facilitate more equity?”
While the entire video is “…honest, open, thoughtful and inspiring”, Part 2 is relatable to family and classroom discussion. With the assistance of a number of Social Studies Supervisors we have included time-stamped discussion guides for Grades 4-6 and 7-12 for your use. Within each are links to grade appropriate lesson plans. Feel free to adapt the guides as required.
Grades 4 – 6 – Key Vocabulary Terms
Grades 7-12 – Major Points by participant (blank guide plus teacher KEY).
Michael Collins, Educational Volunteer – Cultural Resources Morristown National Historical Park
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzWY5RXYl48&t=3016s – Juneteenth – We Need to Talk – 6/19/2020
The Green Book Lesson Plan - http://northwesthistory.blogspot.com/2019/02/short-lesson-green-book-or-driving.html
The Buffalo Soldiers (7-12)- https://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/for-educators/untold-stories-discussion-guide/
The Buffalo Soldiers (K-6) - http://www.buffalosoldiersonlinemuseum.com/resource-documentation.html
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Founding Father Robert Livingston (1746-1813), of the powerful Livingston family, and inventor Robert Fulton (1765-1815) had contrived to collaborate on steamboat transportation, a method of travel that Livingston had managed to secure a monopoly on in the early nineteenth century from New York state. Livingston used his political influence and family connections in New York to allow for looser monopoly laws, where he served as Chancellor from 1777-1801. Soon after gaining his steamboat license he quickly turned it into a monopoly for steam transport on the waterways in and around New York state.
In 1807, under Fulton’s design and Livingston’s financial input, the first steamboat, North River, made its maiden voyage from Battery Park in Manhattan to Clermont, the Livingston family manse. The 120-mile journey, while proving the validity of steam power, did encounter engine troubles during their 24-hour journey. The next day they steamed trouble free from Clermont to Albany in a record 8 hours. Livingston and Fulton had proven the power of the steamboat to everyone along the Hudson River.
Fulton and Livingston became wealthy through their steamboat ferry and transportation business. For reference, Livingston and Fulton charged $7 per passenger—which added up quickly. As this bonanza accumulated it swiftly generated competitors. However, Livingston, and now Fulton, had a monopoly within New York waters and they successfully sued multiple potential competitors. Robert Livingston would pass away in 1813 leaving just Robert Fulton to manage the partnership (Fulton himself would pass away in 1815).
Enter the Aaron Ogden and Thomas Gibbons partnership. After Ogden had finished serving as Governor of New Jersey in 1813, he sought a second term but lost in his bid for reelection. He turned his full attention to his business interests, especially the lucrative ferry service then existing and sought to form a partnership with fellow Revolutionary War veteran and politician Jonathan Dayton (1760-1824). Dayton’s shares in an already existing partnership which Dayton and Ogden had previously formed had been secretly sold to Thomas Gibbons in 1813. This came as a complete shock to Ogden since Gibbons and he did not have a formal business partnership at that point. Although, they did have a bit of history before Gibbons bought into the partnership with Ogden. They were both part of the upper-class in Elizabeth. Gibbons would ride around town in a luxurious two-horse coach and manage a popular tavern known as Union Hotel while also investing in Elizabeth financial establishments. The two of them did have a bit of a legal background together too, such as in 1803 when Ogden and Gibbons won a land dispute in state court. On a personal note, the two often dined at each other's homes.
There had been troublesome times for the two of them. Gibbons gave away half his shares in their partnership, which included waterfront property and several sloops, to his daughter Ann; she was married to John M. Trumbull, whose uncle was the famous painter, John Trumbull, of a prominent family in Connecticut. Ogden was not aware of the transfer. Ann and John had been married since 1810. John was the black sheep of the family due to most of his family being successful where he has been living off of his family’s wealth. Trumbull wanted these lucrative shares in order to live up to his name and status as a Trumbull. Even with the shares, he was forced to petition for an act of insolvency to the Connecticut General Assembly in August 1814. Trumbull insisted that Gibbons leave Ann one-third of his estate in his will and wanted Ann to sue her father if he would not. Gibbons would end up rewriting his lease agreement with Ogden to make sure that Trumbull would get less money, however this did make Ogden uneasy. As the year’s progressed, relations between Ogden, Gibbons, and Trumbull were worsened. Trumbull sought to lower the lease rates and Ogden threatened to divide up the business. Gibbons was disgusted by this and demanded Ogden buy him out the business to which Ogden refused. Next, Gibbons would send a petition to the New Jersey legislature that had the purpose to publicly humiliate Ogden by accusing him of cheating Ann Trumbull out of her share of the business.
In addition to picking up passengers between New Brunswick and New York City, Ogden had hoped to petition Livingston and Fulton to pick up supplies on his dock during trips between New Brunswick and New York City. Fulton agreed but asked for a fee that Ogden could never pay. Ogden then petitioned the partnership to give him a license to operate steamboats in New York waters right before 1811. During this time, he was still partnered with Dayton.
To put pressure on Fulton, Ogden went to the New Jersey state legislature to discuss his grievances in January of 1811. As governor, he was uniquely positioned to leverage the legislature. They came to the conclusion, “the citizens of New-Jersey have a full and equal right to navigate and to have and use boats upon all the waters lying between the States of New-Jersey and New-York.”  To combat the New York monopoly legislation, New Jersey agreed that steamboats registered in New York would be seized upon entering New Jersey waters. This was different than New York’s laws due to New Jersey taking heed to the limited federal regulations there were at the time. At the time, states were making intra-state commerce decisions without factoring in the inter-state aspects. Essentially, Ogden was committed to putting a boat in New York waters but not allow a New York boat in New Jersey waters. This was all a result of the loose federal oversight of interstate commerce. After much pressure and tougher laws from the New Jersey legislature, he was steaming his boat into New York waters in defiance of New York law. His first vessel, the Sea Horse, was completed in 1811 and could make nine miles an hour.
Against this backdrop, Ogden and Fulton were still going to court against each other. Ogden would continue to challenge the New York monopoly that Livingston and Fulton had created. In return, they would challenge him on his New Jersey monopoly, each one finding different ways to ferry people back and forth once they reached state waters. Eventually Aaron Ogden and John R. Livingston, heir to Robert Livingston’s share of the company, came to an agreement after battling in the New Jersey state house. Ogden could operate steamboats from Elizabethtown to New York City for ten years starting in May 1814 in exchange for $600 annually and sharing his wharf in New York City. This would later lead to Ogden and the Livingston’s settling out patents and debts for the Livingston-Fulton agreement, which Ogden would benefit from. In 1815, Ogden would purchase a license from the Livingston-Fulton monopoly to operate his steamboats. After being in Trenton in February of 1815, Fulton, on his way back home to New York City stopped in Jersey City to see the construction of his new steamer. To save time he and his party decided to cross the frozen Hudson River by foot. His friend fell through the ice and into the freezing water. Fulton jumped in to save him and as a result he developed pneumonia and ultimately died on February 23, 1815.
Eventually, arguments between Ogden and Gibbons became public. The two partners did not forget each other's past in the Revolution and used it to slander one another—one a patriot and one a loyalist. The two men were bent on discrediting each other. Ogden would have Gibbons arrested on a nonpayment of a note aboard the Sea Horse, Ogden’s own vessel, in a highly public fashion.
Relations between the Trumbull’s and Gibbons were also disintegrating. Thomas Gibbons’ wife, Ann, came back to Elizabethtown to defend her interest. When she arrived, Gibbons, enraged, forced her out of the house. This would lead her seek information on obtaining a divorce from Richard Stockton and Aaron Ogden. They both knew that a divorce procedure would publicly humiliate Gibbons. Gibbons, true to his dueling past, issued a response to Ogden. On July 16th, 1816, Gibbons would post a printed notice on the door of Ogden’s home challenging him to a duel for the interference that he had done to Gibbons' family. Ogden in turn, declined the challenge for a duel, issued a public apology and filed trespassing charges against Gibbons who would escape arrest by a timely vacation to Saratoga Springs, New York. From there he headed to Boston and printed scandalous pamphlets that were designed to destroy the reputation of his enemies; he had fifty copies to distribute to family and friends and would only stop if Ann was to drop her divorce plans, which she agreed to. Gibbons would now focus his anger on Ogden and had the intentions to take him to court over his monopoly rights.
In July of 1817 Gibbons finally started operating his own steamboat business to rival Ogden. He constructed a landing near Elizabethtown and subcontracted to another business to transfer passengers from Staten Island to his vessels before heading to New Jersey ports. He purchased a steamboat by the name of Mouse of the Mountain. Most importantly he hired a young captain by the name of Cornelius Vanderbilt to pilot his ship. The two of them would immediately create a profitable business together.
In 1818, Gibbons and Vanderbilt would start to run direct services to New York City on Gibbons’ steamboat the Bellona to cut even more into Ogden’s profits. This would cause Ogden to file a motion in the New York courts for operating in New York waters on October 20th, 1818. Gibbons had planned exactly for this to open a pathway to the U.S Court of Appeals and then to the Supreme Court. Gibbons would be given the opportunity by John R. Livingston to join in on their monopoly, but Gibbons would not want it, he would rather go to court against Ogden. Chancellor Kent of New York ruled in favor of Ogden and barred Gibbons from operating in New York waters on May 3, 1819. Chancellor Kent had been hearing steamboat cases since the days of Livingston and Fulton and was well acquainted with the case law. He served as Chief Justice of the New York Supreme court from 1804-1814 and then Chancellor from 1814-1823. He was very influential in the path the New York steamboat monopoly had taken. That path opened the way for Gibbons bringing the case to the Supreme Court as Gibbons did have a federal coasting license. Interesting enough, during this time Gibbons and Ogden came to an uneasy truce where Ogden would ferry passengers from New York to Elizabethtown and then Gibbons would ferry them to New Brunswick.
Once again, Ogden and Gibbons would find themselves in court together—on opposite sides. Gibbons would be contesting Ogden’s monopoly rights in the New York courts and presenting that his federal coasting license was valid for commerce in New York waters, but New York did not interpret it that way. Rather, they held state laws were greater than federal laws when it came to commerce. Finally, in September of 1821, Gibbons' appeal reached the Supreme Court but was dismissed since the 1819 case of Gibbons v. Ogden never reached a verdict by Chancellor Kent. By this time Gibbons had brought Daniel Webster on as his attorney for the case. On January 17, 1822 Gibbons would be met with defeat in the New York courts. Now the Supreme Court could take up Gibbons v. Ogden.
A lot would happen between January 1822 and February 1824 when the Supreme Court was finally able to take up the case. Chief Justice John Marshall’s court had ruled on a number of landmark cases previous to this, with the most memorable of them being McCulloch v. Maryland in 1819.
On February 4, 1824, a large crowd gathered in the courtroom as the case Gibbons v. Ogden was finally being heard. Webster, Gibbons’ attorney, opened his argument by asking if New York had the right to create a monopoly? Would this conflict with federal laws? He also said that the framers of the Constitution never meant to give states the power to regulate commerce. Ogden’s attorneys, Samuel Southard and Joseph Hopkinson, argued that the Tenth Amendment allowed state laws to be struck down only if they were totally contradictory to federal interests and that the monopoly did not violate any federal commerce power. Oakley also said that the framers meant to regulate trade for taxation purposes, not to control travel and commerce between states. The oral arguments would go on for days until February 9. Both Gibbons’ and Ogden’s attorneys had produced every major argument that could be mustered. This was very much an argument of states’ rights on Ogden’s behalf.  During this time in the Republic, the Supreme Court was in a period where State’s Rights were being argued and decided upon—usually to the disadvantage of the states. Gibbons saw his ownership of a federal coasting license as a way to bring the matter to the Supreme Court as an issue of federalism.
On March 2nd, Chief Justice Marshall issued a verdict on the case. Marshall would cite Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution which states Congress has the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, several states, and Indian tribes. He also went on to define commerce as commercial intercourse between nations and parts of nations, thus navigation would be commerce. That would pertain to both cargo and passengers. He ruled that Gibbons’ federal coasting license permitted him to operate his boats in New York waters. Ogden was defeated after trying so hard to bust a monopoly and then join in on it.
|The Mansion at Florham, Fairleigh Dickinson University.|
|Mead Hall, Drew University.|
Thursday, April 30, 2020
|There are no known illustrations of Daniel Shays. |
This rendition is from Bickerstaff’s
Genuine Boston Almanac (Boston) - 1787.
Captain Shays’ image appears on the left.
Saturday, March 21, 2020
Effective immediately, all Morristown National Historical Park site locations and grounds are closed.
Morristown National Historical Park (NHP), in response to State of New Jersey’s Executive Order 107 issued on March 21st directing all residents to stay at home until further notice to curb the spread of COVID-19, is announcing that all park gates providing access to the grounds and trails at Jockey Hollow Area (including restroom facilities), Fort Nonsense Area, and the New Jersey Brigade/Cross Estate Area are closed until the Executive Order is lifted.
Washington’s Headquarters Museum and the Ford Mansion remain closed.
Jockey Hollow Visitor Center and Wick House remain closed.
All visitor access gates to the Jockey Hollow Area and restrooms will remain closed.
All visitor access gates to Fort Nonsense Area will remain closed.
All visitor access gates to the New Jersey Brigade/Cross Estate Area will remain closed.
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Morristown NHP is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor COVID-19. The National Park Service (NPS) encourages all visitors to park lands to adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors and employees. #covid19 #nj #coronavirus #parkclosure #morristownnhpclosed #stayathomeorder #stayhomesavelives .
Please check our park website for the latest updates: www.nps.gov/morr and stay tuned for virtual museum features next week! .
[Image Description: This post features a closeup image of a skeleton keyhole at the historic Ford Mansion. Sarah Minegar].
Friday, March 13, 2020