Manuscript Group 377, Joseph Bloomfield (1753-1823), Revolutionary War soldier and Governor of NewJersey Papers, 1774-1809


Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

Manuscript Group 377,
Joseph Bloomfield (1753-1823), Revolutionary War soldier and Governor of New

1774-1809, 0.3 linear feet / 1 box

Call Number: MG 377



A collection
including a journal, correspondence, and signed documents of Joseph
Bloomfield, a Revolutionary War officer and Governor of New
Jersey.  “Journal; kept whilst in the Continental-Service: Began the
8th of February, 1776, and ended the 23d day of July following by Joseph
Bloomfield Captain in the 3d New Jersey Regiment.”  Includes “A
Report of Captain Bloomfield’s Company in Camp on the German Flats June 20th,
1776.”  Among Bloomfield’s correspondents are Silas Dickerson, Ebenezer
Elmer, Andrew Hunter, Jonathan Rhea, Thomas Ritchie, and
Ebenezer Tucker.

Joseph Bloomfield was born in Woodbridge,
New Jersey in 1753.  He studied law until the beginning of the American
Revolution when he became a captain in the Third New Jersey Regiment of
Foot.  By the end of the American Revolution, Bloomfield attained the rank
of major and in 1794, he led the United States Army against the Whiskey
Insurrection near Pittsburgh.  In 1812, he was named Brigadier-General in
the United States Army and was stationed along the border of Canada.

After the American Revolution, Bloomfield
was admitted to the bar and later became attorney general of the state of New
Jersey.  In 1783, he was appointed register of the Court of Admiralty and,
in 1793, he was chosen as a trustee of Princeton College and held that office
until his death. Bloomfield was also Governor of New Jersey from 1801-1812, a
representative in congress from 1817 until 1821, and an active member of the New
Jersey Society for the Abolition of Slavery.

He married Mary McIlvaine (1752-1818),the
daughter of Dr. William McIlvaine, and after her death, he married Isabella
Ramsey (1779-1871), the daughter of John Ramsey.  He died in Burlington,
New Jersey on October 3, 1823.


Major E.M. Woodward and John F. Hagemen. History
of Burlington and Mercer Counties, New Jersey with Biographical sketches of many
of their Pioneers and Prominent Men
(Philadelphia, Pa.: Everts and Peak,


The source of this collection is
unknown.  Manuscript Group 164, Joseph Bloomfield (1753-1823) Journal was
added to this collection at the time of processing.

and Content Note:

This collection mainly consists of the
journal and correspondence of Joseph Bloomfield dating from 1774-1809.  The
journal dates from February 6, 1776 until July 23, 1776, when Bloomfield was a
captain in the Third New Jersey Regiment of Foot.  It largely discusses the
daily life of a soldier and describes marches, news, and camp routine.
Bloomfield also notes unusual occurrences such as that on May 7, 1776,
“This day we met a noted Tory of this country who for want of tar and
feathers, we daubed with clay mud and leaves and then dunked him, making him
acknowledge the supremacy of the Congress.”  Another unusual event
took place on May 19, 1776, “The night we could frequently hear the Indian
Warriors yell the War hoop (sic)….”  And still another on May 25,
1776, “This morning we were informed Independancy (sic) is declared by the
Congress which greatly pleased our Regiment.”  On June 7, 1776,
Bloomfield lists the officers in the regiment.  In his entry for July 12,
1776, he describes a duel that took place between an officer of the regiment and
a volunteer.
The correspondence mainly consists of
letters written to and from Bloomfield regarding politics and his legal
cases.  The correspondence is arranged by recipient and then by date.
The letters are from Ebenezer Elmer (fl. 1776-1802), a veteran of the Third New
Jersey Regiment of Foot; Ebenezer Tucker (fl. 1774); Andrew Hunter (fl. 1792);
and Jonathan Rhea (fl. 1787).  Joseph Bloomfield’s license to practice
law is also included in this collection.

For more information on Joseph Bloomfield
and the Third New Jersey Regiment of Foot see:

Manuscript Group 38, Ebenezer Elmer (fl.
1776-1785) Papers

Manuscript Group 94,
Elias Dayton (1737-1807) Papers

Manuscript Group 216,
Captain Thomas Patterson’s 2nd Company, 3rd New Jersey Continental Regiment
Account book

Manuscript Group 379, Jonathan Dayton
(1760-1824) Papers

Item List:

Folder Title Dates
1 Journal 1776
2 Letter: To
Silas Dickerson
3 Letter: To
Ebenezer Elmer
4 Letter: To
Ebenezer Elmer
5 Letter: To
Peter Gordon
6 Letter: From
Andrew Hunter to Joseph Bloomfield
7 Letter: To
Jonathan Rhea
8 Letter: To
Thomas Ritchie
9 Letter: From
Ebenezer Tucker to Joseph Bloomfield
10 Letter: From
Joseph Bloomfield to (?)
11 License to
practice law
12 Memo: John
13 Promissory
14 Committee
Report on Bills to be Issued
n. d.


Processed by James Lewis, May 2001 as part of the “Farm to City”
project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records


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