November 25 - Elizabethtown, New Jersey - The popular and capable Rev. James Caldwell, Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Elizabethtown, NJ was shot and killed by a watchman at Elizabethtown Point. It is believed that the churchhouse where he and his congregants met was also burned at that same time. Caldwell had been watched and pursued by the authorities for some time due to his involvements in anti-governmental activities. He was known for his outspoken position against the escalating encroachment of personal rights and the unfair taxation by the government. Oddly enough, there was also a reward posted for his capture. It is reported by those close to the deceased that he carried two loaded handguns at all times for his own personal protection. Whether he had a permit to carry any weapon is currently unknown.
It has been confirmed that Hannah Caldwell, found shot to death last year, was indeed the wife of Rev. Caldwell. Her body had been found at Connecticut Farms, a place frequented by the couple.
- Elizabethtown, New Jersey, November 24, 1781
Yes, these events are real. Rev. Caldwell reportedly carried everywhere he went as the Crown had issued a warrant and a bounty for his arrest and his life was in constant danger. He preached often about Rightful Liberty and the oppression of Americans by the British Crown. He was not afraid to call names and point out the evil of things being done. At one point, he joined the fighting at Springfield, NJ and upon, "...seeing the firing of the companies slacken for want of wadding, he galloped to the Presbyterian meeting-house nearby, and, rushing in, ran from pew to pew, filling his arms with hymnbooks. Hastening back with these into battle, he scattered them about in every direction, saying, as he itched one here and another there, 'Now, boys, put Watts into them.'"
Rev. Caldwell was a Chaplain in his State's brigade which became a part of the Continental army.
Not only was he targeted for elimination but so were his wife and his son. The British murdered the two of them as well. *** NOTE *** She was murdered well over year before the Reverend - June 24, 1780.
Evil knows no bounds when it meets opposition.
Pledging one's life, treasure and sacred honor has meaning.
(all information and quotes taken from: "The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States", by Benjamin F. Morris)