Kearny Cottage: Historic Home
The “Cottage” was the birthplace and much-loved home of Commodore Lawrence Kearny (1789-1868). When the Commodore’s son, James Lawrence Kearny, died in 1921, the property was sold and the house was scheduled for demolition, interested citizens persuaded city officials to move the house to city-owned land near the water’s edge.
Keeping Track of the Kearny Family
The Kearnys were loyalists of Irish descent who returned to Perth Amboy after the American Revolution and built the “Cottage.” Michael Kearny came to Perth Amboy around 1720 from Cork Ireland. His son, Michael Kearny, built the Cottage. Michael Kearny married Elizabeth Lawrence. They had eight sons.
Lawrence Kearny, the youngest, became Captain and then a Commander in the U.S. Navy. Commodore Lawrence Kearny died here in 1868. James Lawrence Kearny was Commodore Kearny’ son, the
(Inscription next to the image on the bottom left)
Elizabeth Lawrence Kearny of Burlington, using her pen name, “Madam Scribberus” became a well-known poet in her time. She encouraged her half brother, Captain James Lawrence, to write. He is famous for his dying words “Tell the men to fire faster and not to give up the ship: fight her till she sinks!” uttered on board the U.S. frigate Chesapeake, during the War of 1812.
(Inscription under the image in the upper center)
The modest frame house, begun in 1781 and enlarged in the early 1800s, housed three generations of the Kearny family. This photograph shows the “Cottage” at its original site-High Street, about 1900. When the house was moved in the 1920s, the addition was torn down.
(Inscription beside the image in the lower center)
Commodore Lawrence Kearny was commander of the East Indian Squadron in 1842 during the Opium Wars in China and was responsible for initiating the “Open Door” trade with China. In 1843 he established close ties with the Sandwich Islands, which eventually led to their becoming the 50th state—Hawaii.
(Inscription under the image in the lower right)
The Constellation, Kearny’s flagship, shown in 1799 when under the command of Captain Thomas Truxton another Perth Amboy resident.
Location. 40° 30.044′ N, 74° 16.324′ W. Marker is in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, in Middlesex County. Marker is on Catalpa Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 63 Catalpa Avenue, Perth Amboy NJ 08861, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Elizabeth Lawrence (here, next to this marker); Kearny Cottage (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Kearny Cottage (a few steps from this marker); The Bluff: Witness to History (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Water Highway (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ambo Point (approx. 0.2 miles away); Governor’s House (approx. ¼ mile away); Proprietary House (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Perth Amboy.
Categories. • Arts, Letters, Music • War of 1812 •
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 16, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 148 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 16, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.