Here are my continued thoughts on the secondary reading I am doing for my current project on Presbyterians and the American Revolution. (For additional entries in this series click here).
In my attempts to better understand the place of the College of New Jersey in the American Revolutionary War I recently finished David Hackett Fischer’s Washington’s Crossing and William Stryker’s The Battles of Trenton and Princeton. Despite the fact that Stryker’s book is over 100 years old, I found it to be very useful. The narrative was compelling and his gathering of primary sources (mostly letters and lists of soldiers) at the end of the book saved me some time tracking them down individually.
Neither author extends his treatment of the college’s role in the battle beyond the classic institutional histories of Princeton (MacLean and Wertenbaker), but their work did provide me with some important background to the New Jersey military history of 1775-1776. I hope to have a chapter in the manuscript on Presbyterians–both ministers and laypersons–in the midst of the military conflict.