51 West Broad Street Bridgeton,
Tavern keeper Matthew Potter Jr. came to Bridgeton from Philadelphia and opened the tavern in 1773. It became a favorite meeting place for the local young men just before the Revolutionary War. Today, it is one of New Jersey’s most significant historical shrines and is an excellent example of the type of frame houses built in the state during the 17th and 18th century.
It was here that the Plain Dealer, Cumberland County’s pioneer newspaper, was published for the purpose of supporting the drive for American liberty from the crown rule. The fact that Matthew Potter gave a home to the Plain Dealer placed him in personal danger, risking a charge of treason during this time.
The distinguished historian John T. Cunningham said that the fact the Plain Dealer appeared every Tuesday morning probably made it New Jersey’s first regular “newspaper.”
There were sundry topics in this weekly manuscript that were contributed by members of a Bridgeton Literary Association. Some of the leading citizens who wrote articles included Dr. Jonathan Elmer, Dr. Lewis Howell, Richard Howell, Ebenezer Elmer, Joseph Bloomfield and Thomas Harris Jr. (Note: Richard Howell and Joseph Bloomfield later became governors of New Jersey.)