Sunday, February 17, 2008

South Jersey's Revolutionary Heritage Trail


When the Revolutionary War reinactors failed to cross the Delaware on Christmas day, blaming high winds, strong tides and ice, someone dryly noted, "If that happened in 1776, we'd all be speaking English now."

So instead of being rulled by the English, we have a Congress in Washington D.C., which in all it's wisdom is considering a bill to allocate $10 million to establish a New Jersey "Crossroads of the Revolution Heritage Trail" that hopes to attract hundreds of millions of "heritage tourism" dollars.

What a great idea, except that all of the designated historic sites that will get the money, all 210 in 18 counties are all in North Jersey, with one exception (Indian King Tavern, Haddonfield), totally ignoring the many great patriots and significant battles fought below Trenton.

While it's a great idea, why keep it all in North Jersey? Why not spread it around, educate people about what happened during the Revolution in South Jersey, and encourage people to come here too, as well as to Trenton and Morrestown and Princeton.

We have Cape May, where the first naval casuality of the revoution occured, the heroic widow of Mt. Holly, the Battle of Chestnut Neck and the Salem cattle drive, that fed the troops at Valley Forge.

Why can't these local communities get a piece of that federal money to promote their revolutionary roots?

The bill to establish the NJ Crossroads of the Revolution - North Jersey Heritage Trail, is currently being held up in House and Senate Committees, but it should get a good hearing, and with the backing of the US Park Service, should be passed in the next Congressional session.

The NJ Revolutionary Trail however, must be extended to include South Jersey, or there will be another revolt on hand.

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