Thursday, December 31, 2009
The church first congregated in 1712. The original church building built in 1726. Torn down in 1805, and rebuilt in current spot on the property where it is actually standing on early grave sites. According to a church pamphlet:
" The second building of First Church is dedicated 17 August 1806, The building was made of brick: 48 ft by 60 ft, with a tower in front with a 4 by 10 ft spire. The cost was $10,820.00. The interior contained 72 pews on the main floor and 36 pews in the gallery. Forty-six pews were rented for $14.oo per year. The gallery was free, with one side reserved for "people of colour". During this year, First Presbyterian assumed full support of its minister. Up to now, the Trenton Church had shared the services and support of its ministers with the "Country Church " Ewing, NJ (this sister church is in danger of being torn down
and with Maidenhead -- now Lawrenceville, NJ. Salary was set at $800 per year."
Revolutionary War era church members buried in the church yard:
Rev James Armstrong Died 19 Jan 1816, Reverend of First Presb. Trenton and Maidenhead (Lawrence) for 30 years.
Gen John Beatty Died 30 May 1826, Also a medical doctor and member of the legislature.
Dr. Nicholas de Belleville Died 17 Dec 1831.
Alexander Chambers Died 16 Sept. 1798
Ebenezer Cowell Died 4 May 1799
James Ewing Died 23 October 1823
Moore Furman, First Mayor of Trenton appointed in 1792
Abraham Hunt Died 27 October 1821. Trenton Postmaster
The Reverand John Rosbourgh, Chaplain killed in Revolutionary War
William Roscoe Died 9 October 1808
The Reverend Elihu Spencer(Died 27 Dec 1784) and Mrs Joanna Spencer (Died 1 Nov 1791)
Isaac Smith Died 29 August 1807. Chief Justice under the articles of Confederation.
Samuel Tucker, Esq Died 14 January 1789
William Tucker Died 16 Jan 1790
The First Church's first pastor, Rev. Dr. David Cowell is buried under these three stones:
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I went today to the First Presbyterian Church on State Street in Trenton: http://www.old1712.org , as part of Patriots week: http://www.patriotsweek.com/index.html .
They were having on-going tours of the church and graveyard and discussion of the church and its extensive history.
I took some photos of the stones, some of which are lining the front walk and others which are actually in the wall of the church. I went inside the church and the Pastor was talking about some of the historical figures who were members of the church and showing artifacts that are part the church's collection. I asked him about the stones in the path by the front steps and he said that those people are actually buried underneath the building. He was explaining that once when there was a problem with termites and the floor of the church had to be torn up and there were stones under the floor. I think I felt my heart stopped for a moment when he said that. He showed me two child's stones that were small enough to be lifted. The rest unfortunately had to be covered back up again.
** These four stones in the wall of the church are the burial places of Robert, Fransina, Abner and Mary Chambers. The Chambers family 'gave' their name to the Chambersburg section of Trenton.