Haddonfield, New Jersey

Haddonfield is now well past its three hundredth birthday.

There were a few white settlers between the (now) Hudson and Delaware rivers before William Penn acquired the entire New Jersey area for two Quaker proprietorships, and more of them arrived before the governance of the colony was established in 1676. Elizabeth Haddon, then twenty-one years old, came here in 1701 to take possession of 500 acres her father had bought from the proprietorship of West Jersey. It appears that her father was prevented by illness from coming himself. Many of the settlers in this district were said to be Irish Quakers.

The organization of the town of Haddonfield is generally stated to have taken place in 1701. There is essentially no vacant land left in the suburb now called Borough of Haddonfield. Elizabeth Haddon could scarcely have imagined how much it would change from an oak forest, but forty descendants of hers continue to live here. The proprietorship, now the oldest stockholder corporation in America, continues in operation, and several members of the corporation live in Haddonfield.

Although the proprietorship was founded under King Charles II of England, it survived unchanged after the American Revolutionary War. Part of the explanation may be connected to the fact that the State of New Jersey was founded in the Indian King Tavern of Haddonfield before George Washington was holding off the invasion of British General Howe.

This booklet is organized into two parts: Haddonfield, and New Jersey. Neither can be entirely understood without the other.

George Ross Fisher, III, M.D.
November, 2012.