The cover art is compelling, even if people mistake the bloody figure getting speared for the father of the country. In reality, the man getting the sharp end of the bayonet is Brigadier General Hugh Mercer at the Battle of Princeton which took place in early January 1777. The British soldiers also mistook Mercer for Washington whom they stabbed seven times and left to die. Mercer, a physician, lingered horribly, succumbing Jan. 12, 1777.
Selecting that graphic image was considered controversial by two of the contributors. Lurie said she solicited the input of graduate students to determine if the cover art was too brutal.
“That is what the revolution was like in New Jersey,” said Lurie. “It was bloody.
“It does make people stop and look,” said Lurie with the heart of a true Jersey marketer.
Rutgers University Press, which publishes the text and lists it at $27.95, maintains the book provides the findings of archaeologists and political, social and economic historians who look in an updated and down-to-earth way at the evolution of the state from prehistoric developments to its Native American heritage and complex colonial history.