J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Princeton Battlefield

Last month the American Battlefield Trust (formerly the Civil War Trust and its Campaign 1776 initiative) announced that it had completed the “$4 million purchase of 14.85 acres associated with the 1777 Battle of Princeton.” News of the purchase was picked up by such news outlets as Planet Princeton.

That land had been owned by the Institute for Advanced Study, which had planned to build new housing on it until archeology suggested that it was indeed militarily significant.

The press release announcing the sale looks an awful lot like this Institute press release from December 2016, down to identical sentences. That was when the initial plan for this purchase was announced. Boston 1775 shared the news then.

At that time, the parties hoped to complete the sale by June 2017. But it wasn’t until the following fall that the institute received approval from the local authorities for its revised housing plan with a smaller footprint.

Now at last the purchase is complete. Eventually the American Battlefield Trust will transfer ownership of the land to the state of New Jersey, which owns the Princeton Battlefield Park.

And finally we can look ahead. Last year the American Battlefield Trust “received a federal grant to create a five-year preservation and interpretation plan for the Princeton battlefield, to help prepare the battlefield for its 250th anniversary in 2027.”

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