To My History-Addicted Readers:
I’ve tried very hard to avoid involving readers in my efforts to preserve historically significant artifacts and land parcels. This, however, is my second exception, with a plea to help preserve the USS Monitor a few years ago being my first.
General Washington and President Lincoln, vital figures by all measure, yet they were not alone. They did not charge with bayonet or fire a musket. These two icons were leaders, but those they led are largely unknown. I’m a member of The Civil War Trust. As such, I try to do my modest part to preserve the memories of those whose names will never be well known. I do this by helping preserve the places where they sacrificed themselves for “…an experiment in self-rule”, or by cleaning-up neglected graves of heroes from the time of our nation’s birth. I find myself asking for help in this instance because the obstacles have become difficult to overcome without reinforcements.
The Princeton Battlefield, the site of an engagement in 1777 that gave Gen. Washington’s surprise attack at Trenton the value it now bears, is threatened by land development. What makes this situation more disheartening is that the land development is being funded by an institution of learning of high repute. When academia denounces the historical significance of an event by minimizing the cultural value of the land, we are ripe for academic in-fighting. If the Institute of Advanced Studies has amassed it’s scholars in support of it’s plans to develop the land of Princeton Battlefield, then I thought I should gather the support of History-loving fanatics who try to understand today by studying yesterday.
Please distribute this message to members of your inner-circle who share the same interest in History that you do. I’m providing a link to a Washington Post article about this preservation battle as well as a link to sign a letter of protest that will be delivered to the Institute of Advanced Studies. Additional links are provided for the geeks amongst us who can’t have enough US History. If we all ask one or more additional persons to do the same, we can witness an improbable victory- albeit not as significant as the one that took place in Princeton, 239 years ago.
The Civil War Trust Protest Letter Form: https://secure3.convio.net/cwpt/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=201
Gen. Washington’s Letters to Congress on the New Jersey Campaign: http://www.memory.loc.gov/ammem/gwhtml/1777.html
An Overview of the Princeton Battle: http://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/the-revolutionary-war/ten-facts-about-the-revolutionary-war/10-facts-about-the-battle-of-princeton/
My apologies for adding another task to everyone’s To Do list.