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King Nummy sold tribe’s land to settlers, forcing them to move

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No separation between church and state in early Cape May

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Bizarre History of Cape May | Cape May Gazette

The Bizarre History of Cape May with Jacob Schaad Jr.

Bizarre History of Cape May: Easter parade tradition continues in Cape May

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Wednesday, April 09, 2014 09:02 am

The Easter Parade has a long history of commemorating the holiday, some with good intentions, others with commerce in mind.

These parades do not include the usual fire engines or marching bands or floats carrying young women wearing crowns. Instead, they feature adults and children strolling in the finest of clothes. Irving Berlin described it in his “Easter Parade” song as “In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it, you’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade.”

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Bizarre History: Tourists weren't fooled by cold snap on April 1, 1923

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Friday, March 21, 2014 11:00 pm

It’s common during Easter time that tourism officials sit back and take a look at what has been, at what is now and at what they hope will be.

Easter, of course, is not the official opening of the tourism season. Some designate the grand opening as Memorial Day and others say it is the Fourth of July. There are still others who contend there is no such thing because Cape May County is open for tourism much of the year; well, maybe not in January when many locals evacuate to Florida.

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No separation between church and state in early Cape May

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Sunday, March 16, 2014 12:00 am

The freedoms for which colonists fought in the American Revolution were abused even in religion as far back as 1721 in the territory now known as Cape May, Lower and Middle townships.

People who were non-believers were often scorned and sometimes subjected to physical punishment if they did not abide by the laws of God. There was little separation between church and state then, as shown by the legislature governing this area. It introduced a bill that would punish those who “denied the doctrine of the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the inspiration of Holy Scriptures, etc.”

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King Nummy sold tribe’s land to settlers, forcing them to move

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Saturday, March 08, 2014 04:01 pm

If you can’t find Thomas Nummie in your history books, try King Nummy instead.

Probably in keeping with the European tradition, there were several American Indians called kings riding around in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the 17th century. Trenton had its King Teddyuscung, Hackensack its King Oratam and Pennsylvania King Tamany. There is no record of a King Elvis, however.

King Nummy was no dummy. Somewhere along the line the one-time Thomas Numee became head of the Unalachtigo Tribe, a branch of the Lenni-Lenape. Part of his territory included what is now Rio Grande in Middle Township, Town Bank in Lower Township and Cape May. Still unsettled, the land and its waters from ocean to bay were ripe for real estate transactions. Nummy was right in the middle of the deals, sometimes with the Dutch who were there before the English.

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Bizarre History of Cape May: Early cape preacher lost much, but not his faith

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Wednesday, February 26, 2014 04:35 pm

Fifty-five years after the Cold Spring Presbyterian Church was founded, a pastor arrived who has become an important part of Colonial history for his missionary work with American Indians and for his attempts to convert them to Christianity.

The Rev. John Brainerd, who filled a vacancy at the now 300-year-old church during the winter of 1769-1770, has gone down in history as having given his days and nights to the temporal and spiritual good of the American Indians.

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Bizarre History of Cape May: Two local churches have prevailed for centuries

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Friday, February 21, 2014 06:44 pm

While the Cold Spring Presbyterian Church proudly celebrates its 300th anniversary this year it could look back to almost two years ago when the Baptist Church of Cape May Court House marked its 300th birthday and established the claim to be the oldest church in Cape May County.

The Baptists, who celebrated their milestone by publishing a glossy 168-page coffee table book of text and photos about their history, started their local church on June 24, 1712. Two years later, about ten miles to the south in Lower Township, came the Cold Spring Presbyterian Church, its precise date of charter clouded by the passage of time.

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Bizarre History of Cape May: Emancipation came for one Cape May County slave in 1790

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Saturday, February 15, 2014 08:45 am

Before, during and after the Civil War the people of Cape May and thereabouts spoke and acted on the subject of freedom, some of them enthusiastically, others equivocally. How to handle the freedoms was a big topic of conversation in the chambers of government and on the southern-influenced plantations of what was then called Cape Island.

The big issue, of course, was slavery. In 1790, some 14 years after the United States won its freedom from the United Kingdom, there were advocates for the abolition of slavery, but they nevertheless kept slaves under their ownership, selling and buying them just as they did cattle and real estate. The first American census in that year showed there were 141 slaves in Cape May County.

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Bizarre History of Cape May: Was Goody Garlick a witch, and did she come to Cape May?

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Saturday, February 08, 2014 03:00 pm

Conflicts occasionally arise in reviewing the facts of history, as in the case of whether Abe Lincoln did or did not visit Cape Island on July 31, 1849 before it became Cape May.

A new issue of far less significance but of fascinating interest has developed in the research of the cape’s history that flashes back to the late 17th century. The protagonist is a woman identified as Elizabeth Garlick who, one account says, came to the cape with her husband years after things got hot for her in Long Island where she could have been burned at the stakes for practicing witchcraft.

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Bizarre History of Cape May: 23rd president made Cape May his ‘summer White House’

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Thursday, January 23, 2014 04:36 pm

He never ranked among the 10 best presidents, not even close, but if they had a social network in the Cape May area in those times Benjamin Harrison would have reached near the top for his local popularity during his summer visits there.

It was an image contrary to the cold and unfriendly personality attributed to him in Washington, D.C., but then, some people, especially the Chamber of Commerce, will say Cape May has a tendency to change personalities, once its visitors enjoy the sunny days and the cool breezes from the ocean.

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Bizarre History of Cape May: Cape May Lighthouse continues to shine despite past troubles

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Written by Jacob Schaad Jr. Thursday, January 16, 2014 12:00 am

 “And God said ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”

The people who built the first lighthouse in colonial America may or may not have been inspired by that Biblical quotation, but the words have appropriately lived on in the story telling of the lighthouses of Cape May County, especially the one in Lower Township which is called the Cape May Lighthouse.

“Let there be light,” said someone of lesser authority than the originator in Boston in 1716, and soon there on the island of Little Brewster there was light for the ships at sea in the form of the first lighthouse in the new nation-to-be.

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