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Showing posts from July, 2012

The Battle of Paulus Hook: Revolutionary War History in Downtown Jersey City

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Just across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan is Paulus Hook, a Jersey City neighborhood that, on August 19, 1779, was the scene of a notable Revolutionary War battle, the Battle of Paulus Hook.



Although today dominated by 19th-century brownstones and new luxury highrises, this area was originally occupied by the Lenape Indians and settled by the Dutch in the 17th century.





At high tide the "hook" became an island, making it an ideal location for a fort.



Such a structure was built there in 1776 by the American Revolutionaries as part of a series of outposts along the Hudson. However, when the British took Manhattan from the Americans in November 1776, the fort in Paulus Hook was abandoned and soon became occupied by the British.



But on the afternoon of August 18, 1779, three years into the war, a young go-getter by the name of Henry Lee III aka "Light Horse Harry" led a raid on the fort that exemplified the audacity of the Revolutionary cause. Lee, had graduate…