Charles Conrad Abbott, Archaeologist and Naturalist

Charles Conrad Abbott
Charles Conrad Abbott (1843-1919) was educated at the Trenton Academy and obtained his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania. He never practiced medicine, however, and instead engaged in archaeology and natural history.

Abbott made his home along the bluff overlooking the marshlands south of Trenton and it was here that he unearthed man-made implements in the "glacial gravels" of the marsh. In The Stone Age in New Jersey, published in 1872, and Primitive Industry: or, Illustrations of the Handiwork, in stone, bone and clay, of the Native Races of the Northern Atlantic Seaboard of America, published in 1881, he noted that a cache of stone axes had been unearthed during the excavation of the receiving vault at Riverview Cemetery in 1859 and elsewhere along the bluff about the same time.

As "assistant in the field" of Harvard University's Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, his collection of stone implements was placed in the museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and added to yearly until it reached some 20,000 specimens. The journal Science observed at the time that it was "one of the most important series of its kind ever brought together, and one which archaeologists will consult for all time to come."

James Francis Armstrong, Revolutionary War Soldier, Chaplain

Ledger marking the grave of
James Francis Armstrong (1750-1816)

James Francis Armstrong was born on April 3, 1750, in West Nottingham, Maryland. His father, an elder in the Presbyterian church, sent him to the academy of Rev. John Blair at Fagg's Manor near New Londonderry, Pennsylvania, for his preparatory education. He subsequently entered the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) from which he graduated in 1773, then pursued theological study under the college's president, Rev. Dr. John Witherspoon.

He was accepted as a candidate for the ministry by the Presbytery of New Brunswick at the beginning of the American Revolution, but the presence of British troops near the town necessitated his examination being transferred to the Presbytery of New Castle. Even so, he took up a musket and joined as a private in the First Regiment, Hunterdon County, New Jersey Militia, but was shortly thereafter ordained a minister and appointed a chaplain assigned to the Continental Army's Second Brigade, Maryland. He served to the end of the war.

Armstrong was minister to the church at Elizabethtown in 1782 and 1783, and it was there that he met and married Susannah Livingston, the service being conducted by Witherspoon. He became pastor for thirty years of the First Presbyterian Church in Trenton in 1786.