Venturing east out of New Jersey’s capital city of Trenton, you will enter the Township of Hamilton. This 40-square-mile township is the state’s 9th-largest municipality, and within it, you’ll experience plenty of fascinating New Jersey history. One of the most prominent pieces in Hamilton’s historical collection is the John Abbott II House (circa 1730), located on Kuser Road right alongside Veteran’s Park. Let’s travel back in time.
It’s the winter of 1776. The temperature has cooled, but the Revolutionary War is heating up. British forces are closing in on Trenton, and word of this impending danger has reached the State Treasurer, Samuel Tucker. Knowing he has little time to protect the state’s finances, he gathers the public money he’s responsible for and travels to the home of John Abbott. There, the state’s money (as well as some of Tucker’s personal valuables) will be safe from the British. Or will it?
After arriving in Trenton, the British were informed of this hiding place by a loyalist named Mary Pointing. You could say that she pointed the British right to the money. A detachment of troops about five hundred strong left Trenton to raid the Abbott home. The Abbotts weren’t about to let the British win — so they stashed the money in tubs and filled them with dishes and broken housewares. While searching the home, the soldiers had no interest in the buckets full of rubbish and overlooked them entirely. Victory!
This riveting story (and many others) can be heard by visiting the John Abbott II House in person! Tours are held every Saturday and Sunday between noon and 5:00 PM.