In chapter six of The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment in Early America I wrote about the revolutionary Presbyterians from Cumberland County, New Jersey who congregated at Potter’s Tavern in Bridgeton. These young patriots published The Plain Dealer, a series of essays on topics related to politics, morals, and social life in rural southern New Jersey. The Plain Dealer was only available in the tavern and, as I argued, was part of a rural “public sphere” whose participants were influential in precipitating political resistance to the Crown in this region.
I had the chance to tour Potter’s Tavern during my research for the book, so I was glad to hear that the Cumberland County Historical Society will be opening it to visitors during July. Here is the announcement: