Without New Jersey's Watchung Mountains and the towns around Morristown, would the American Revolution have succeeded? Would George Washington's army have survived?
New Jersey's esteemed historian John T. Cunningham explores the harsh
circumstances and geography of this region during the War of Independence. It is an account of American history that has been overlooked and overshadowed until now. But this "geological fortress" Washington and the Continental Army's winter quarters for four years may well be the place where America survived.
In The Uncertain Revolution, John T. Cunningham tells the story of those forgotten winters in Middlebrook and Morristown and of their critical importance to the course of the war. Geographically, the mountains made an excellent defensive position, hiding from the British the disarray of the American army and the horrific conditions. Reports of the strength and numbers of American troops fluctuated wildly as Washington and his officers tried to stave off desertion and mutiny. Washington's army survived a small pox epidemic at Morristown, a season of short supplies at Middlebrook, the most brutal winter of the war in 177980, and the war's most dire mutiny on New Year's Day 1781. There's drama including the catandmouse game played with the unpredictable British general, George Clinton, and treachery with one of his favorite officers, Benedict Arnold. There's also the fierce performance of the New Jersey militia in defense of their homes and farms.
In The Uncertain Revolution Cunningham makes the case for the importance of Morristown and the mountainsto an understanding of the war itself. And just as the history of those harsh winters has long been neglected, so were the physical places over time. The soldiers huts in the mountains at Jockey Hollow disintegrated, and the houses that had served as Washington's headquarters were almost lost to neglect and development. The author's account of their reclamation and eventual incorporation into the America's first National Historical Park in 1933 is a fitting conclusion to his story of Washington in the Watchungs.
|Publisher:||Down The Shore Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
Well known in the state's schools, his extensive program of New Jersey studies features the noted text, You, New Jersey and The World.
One of the founders of the New Jersey Historical Commission, he has served as its chair, and was also president of the New Jersey Historical Society. Rutgers University, in bestowing an honorary degree on Mr. Cunningham, called him "Mr. Jersey." The New York Times said: "He helped to give New Jersey legitimacy."
With years of experience as a reporter on a major New Jersey newspaper, Mr. Cunningham considers himself to be a historian who approaches his writing with a journalist's quest for truth combined with a style accessible to all readers.