Perth Amboy in Middlesex County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Bluﬀ: Witness to History
It was here that a delaying tactic permitted an escape, that a fugitive found protection, that a battle of long ago left a still visible mark. Here, the grandest and most elegant of homes were built overlooking the river and stories told of escape routes.
On September 11, 1776, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Edward Rutledge were in a boat being rowed to the Billop House. They had been sent by the Continental Congress to confer with Admiral Lord Howe and his brother, General William Howe. Although this meeting did not stop the war, British action was delayed while Washington and his troops escaped to New Jersey after the disastrous battle of Long Island.
This watercolor by Baroness Hyde de Neuville shows Perth Amboy and Staten Island on July 28, 1809. The steamboat is the Raritan, built by Robert Fulton in 1808 to carry passengers and cargo between New York and New Brunswick. The large house on the opposite shore is the Billop House, while in the background
Photograph courtesy Louis P. Boor
“Pleasant View,” the Truxton House c. 1912, is seen at left with beach below the Bluff. On July 22, 1804, Aaron Burr, shortly after he mortally wounded Alexander Hamilton, landed on this beach, seeking help from Commodore Thomas Truxton. The Commodore, observing the Sabbath, insisted Burr spend the entire Sunday in Perth Amboy before seeing him off to Philadelphia in the morning.
Stories of tunnels dug from the elegant homes to the beaches below, allowing secret boat escapes, have been told but never verified. The Truxton House was demolished in 1935.
Erected by State of New Jersey Division of Parks & Forestry and National Park System.
Location. 40° 29.971′ N, 74° 16.195′ W. Marker is in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, in Middlesex County. Marker is on Water Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located in a park at the Perth Amboy waterfront. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Water Highway (within shouting distance of this marker); Ambo Point (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Raritan Bay & New York Harbor (about 700 feet away); Kearny Cottage: Historic Home (about 700 feet away); Elizabeth Lawrence (about 800 feet away); Kearny Cottage (about 800 feet away); a different marker also named Kearny Cottage (about 800 feet away); All Shapes, Sizes and Materials (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Perth Amboy.
More about this marker. Several pictures appear on the marker. Baroness Hyde de Neuville’s watercolor painting mentioned above is at the top of the marker. The bottom left of the marker contains an illustration of the Perth Amboy waterfront, courtesy of the New York Library. Photos of damaged tombstones in St. Peter’s churchyard and boaters on the waterfront also appear on the marker. Their captions are listed above.
Also see . . . New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route. National Park Service website. (Submitted on December 4, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Natural Features • War, US Revolutionary •
More. Search the internet for The Bluff: Witness to History.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 4, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,210 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on December 4, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.