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Goodspeed Histories: Choosing Sides in 1856

April 10, 2021

Politics Continued:
Today’s article is the next in my series on Downtown Flemington. It, like the previous article, concerns the political preoccupations of Flemington and Hunterdon County residents during the years leading up to the Civil War, and all because John C. Hopewell decided to join the American Party.

He had lots of company too. Unlike the majority of Hunterdon men, they did not like the Democratic party which had become dominated by the slave states, but found the new Republican party too aggressively anti-slavery. They were moderates who preferred the middle, and yet ended up supporting a party strongly anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic. And the Hunterdon newspapers did their best to stir things up.

Choosing Sides
Once again, my big problem was having too much to write about. I was determined to wrap up the pre-Civil War political scene so I could return to the history of Hopewell’s Hall on Main Street. Well, I have done that, but the result is a longer article than usual. If length is a problem, please let me know. I will try not to make a habit of this.

Indexing Articles
Lately I’ve had some trouble finding earlier articles and knowing where to file recent ones. WordPress tells me I’ve published 541 articles so far. They need categorizing, but I’m finding that the nature of my articles makes them hard to label. Until I get a better arrangement I’ve added a note to the ‘Index of Articles’ stating that it is currently “Under Construction.”

Family Trees: Housel 
John C. Hopewell, who is the focus of my recent and future articles on Flemington, was married to a Housel who does not fit neatly with the Housel family who lived in Old Amwell Township. I hope a descendant can provide the connection.

Family Trees: Cornelius Williamson 

This tree has been updated. I identify it as Cornelius’ tree because his brother had a different and equally complex family, as did the Jacob Williamson family of East Amwell. One of these days . . .

Well, there’s no denying that spring is here now! Enjoy!

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