Woodbridge, the oldest original township in New Jersey, celebrates 350 years of history!
Book review by Kate Knowles-Brindle
WITNESS TO HISTORY THE CUTTER FARM IN FORDS, NEW JERSEY
By Donald Johnstone Peck
I had the great honor of being one of the people asked to review author and historian, Donald Johnstone Peck’s newest book, Witness to History The Cutter Farm in Fords, New Jersey.
As the program manager for Crossroads of the American Revolution, I work with a number of historic sites and societies throughout the national heritage area to promote and preserve Revolutionary War history. Of great importance to us at Crossroads is finding ways to instill community pride and engagement.
Witness to History does just that. It is masterfully written to invoke the imagination of the reader, both young and old, and allow them to envision what life was like in Woodbridge and at the Cutter Farm during the period of the American Revolution. The descriptions along with photographs paint a clear picture of the revolutionary landscape of Woodbridge during that time period. Intertwined with the landscape and events of the period, are the experiences of the residents of the township and the hardships they faced as the war to secure America’s independence and the freedoms we enjoy today were on their doorstep.
Mr. Peck doesn’t just describe the many events related to the American Revolution that took place in and around Woodbridge but compels you to think critically about the past and its relevance to today.
The Cutter Farm is the backdrop for much of the book and is one of those rare historic gems, still in existence today that stands as a tangible reminder of the incredibly rich and deep history of New Jersey’s past.
This book, and others like it, are what I would love to see become part of local schools’ history curriculum as it will not only enlighten students about the history that happened right in their own backyard, but it will instill community pride- something that Crossroads of the American Revolution seeks to do with its partners throughout the national heritage area.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to learn more about the role local communities played in America’s quest for independence. This is the type of book that is easy to read, clearly defines its purpose, and is effective in its delivery.
John F. Kennedy once said, “there is little that is more important for an American citizen to know than the history and traditions of his country. Without such knowledge, he stands uncertain and defenseless before the world, knowing either where he has come from nor where he is going.”
This book does just that.
Author: To learn more about the author and his available books and talks click here
Publisher: American History Press
**Of special note, this year Woodbridge Township celebrates its 350th birthday. Many commemorative events are planned. For more information on that click here.