First Reformed Dutch Church

Authors: Jinhyung An, Julian Esposito, and Jennifer Gololobov

The original church which was in the shape of an octagon and served settlers as a fort against Indian attack.The east wall of the current building incorporates several carved stones from the first church building that was originally constructed on this site. These stones bear the monogram of several of the founding families. The Gothic arch fanlight over the three doors, and the fenestration of the tower: door-window-oculus-window—a pattern that is found in many other Reformed churches in the state.

Cemetery First Reformed Dutch Church, Hackensack, New Jersey

Ken Lund via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Cemetery First Reformed Dutch Church, Hackensack, New Jersey

Ken Lund via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

First Reformed Dutch Church is located in Hackensack, New Jersey, where it sits in the churchyard of the church by the same name; however, the current building is not the original building. The current building was constructed in 1791. This church is adjacent to the Hackensack Green, which was originally church land and is one of the oldest public squares in New Jersey. This church was established by Dutch settlers in 1686, but the first building on-site was constructed in 1696. The congregation was made up of 33 congregants. The church shows the influence of the Dutch in religion; the Dutch brought over their Protestant traditions and architectural style. This church also acts as a precursor to the founding of other Dutch Reformed churches in Bergen County and throughout New Jersey. In addition, the building and original congregation represented the establishment of Protestantism as the dominant faith of the region. This church does not have much of recent connection with Rutgers University; however, when the church was first established, Minister John Henry Goetschius and members of the congregation were leaders in the founding of Queen’s College, present day Rutgers University. This church shows the Dutch influence on religion in New Jersey. It set the basic plan for the most of the early Dutch Reformed churches in Bergen County and elsewhere in the state, especially the Gothic arch fanlight over the three doors, and the fenestration of the tower: door-window-oculus-window pattern that is found in many other Dutch Reformed churches in the state. First Reformed Dutch Church has survived to this day and still attended. Many people today see their faith as important to them, in a personal and communal sense. The graves of the church signify its enduring history, both old and modern; some of the graves are very old, placed there around the time of Dutch settlement in the area. Others come from the Victorian era, and there are even some that are relatively new, shaped form granite or marble. Veterans from several wars are buried there, including the Revolutionary War and Civil War.

First Reformed Dutch Church in Hackensack, NJ

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First Reformed Dutch Church in Hackensack, NJ 40.879483, -74.042535


Anne Frank from Amsterdam to Manhattan

By Jennifer Valentovic, Libby Wu, and Jay Hung

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Space where Frank hid and wrote her diary.


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Anne Frank Center

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Anne Frank Center 40.713110, -74.009783
Anne Frank House

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Anne Frank House 52.375310, 4.884091


Our artifact is Anne Frank because of her relationship between The Netherlands and America. Her legacy has traveled from her hiding space in Amsterdam to the Anne Frank center in Manhattan.  Otto Frank, her father, started the Anne Frank foundation in 1959, which created the center in 1977. Using “innovative education programs and exhibitions, the Center uses Anne Frank as a role model for today. Her insights and courage continue to inspire students, educators and citizens more than 60 years after her diary was first published,” (About the Anne Frank Center).  Furthermore, her legacy lives on beyond Manhattan because of her diary “The Diary of a Young Girl” that is now read throughout America and the world.

Frank and her family emigrated to Amsterdam in 1933 from Frankfurt, Germany after the Nazis gained control of Germany ( She enjoyed her time here in Amsterdam attending school, dating Dutch boys, and making friends, but once Germany invaded the Netherlands in 1940 this soon changed. She hid with her family in the secret annex, where she wrote in her diary about her daily life until she was eventually found by the Nazis and killed at Bergen Belsen concentration camp ( Frank is just one of the millions of Jews who were killed during the Holocaust, and her story represents the people who looked to Amsterdam for refuge during this tragic time.


The “Secret Annex” in which Anne Frank hid during the years before she was sent to Bergen-Belsen during the Nazi regime was located above and behind the office of Otto Frank at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam. The space behind the office was the perfect place to hide, especially after a movable bookcase was built in front of the entryway to the space in August of 1942. The Frank family, along with four other Jewish people, started hiding in the annex in July of 1942 and four of Otto’s loyal employees agreed to help them hide and provide them with the supplies that they needed in order to survive.  A diary that Anne Frank kept during her time in hiding details her life and he struggles she faced. It has now become an inspiration to many people in America because for most, her diary is the first exposure that they have to the unfairness of her situation and that of the many Jewish people and other people that were considered “undesirable”.

We decided to choose this artifact because of how relevant it is to our modern lives and to the culture in America today. Anne Frank is now well known in the entire world, let alone America, and is one of the more recognizable historical figures. There are many monuments and ways to remember her story today, such as the Anne Frank Center located in New York City that is directly associated with the “Anne Frank House” where she hid. Her diary is often used as teaching material in many of our schools, and is used to “educate young people and communities and communities in North America about the dangers of intolerance, antisemitism, racism and discrimination, and to inspire the next generation to build a world based on equal rights and mutual respect.” (Anne Frank Center)

Bibliography/Works Cited

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The Grave of Reverend John Henry Livingston

By Vanessa Gao, Timothy Reilly, April Rickle, and Paul Shin

John Henry Livingston earned his Doctorate in theology at Utrecht University.  He then returned to the United States, where he was born, and became the leader of the Reformed Church in New York City.  The story of John Henry Livingston represents that of an American with Dutch ancestry, who returned to his ancestral homeland for educational purposes, only to return to the place of his birth and become a successful pastor.

Livingston was the fourth president and professor theology at Queen’s College, what is now known as Rutgers University. He was also the most influential reverend at the First Reformed Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Livingston started as the reverend for the Church, but was offered presidency at Queens College in 1807. He did not accept this offer until 1810, and then continued to serve until his death in 1825.

After Livingston accepted presidency, Queens College was forced to close because of financial problems. He continued to teach theology at the theology school, while also raising funds to help reopen Queens College. Livingston died on January 25, 1825 and was then buried at the First Reformed Church at 9 Bayard Street New Brunswick, New Jersey. Queens College was reopened 10 months later.

Livingston’s grave is particularly special because of the over ground stone grave. This stone grave was erected to emphasize his dignity, and was funded by the church. This artifact, the grave, is the last remnant of one of the earliest presidents of our university.  As a student at this university, it is important to understand the history of important figures that helped shape our universities past. We must be respectful to ancestors of this church and commemorate their contributions to the creation of Rutgers University.

Interested parties may get there by taking the EE bus to Patterson street, and then walking down Neilson to the corner of Bayard.

Reverend John Henry Livingston's Grave

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Reverend John Henry Livingston\'s Grave 40.495057, -74.442349

Livingston’s grave consists of two parts- a gravestone, and a box grave. The gravestone itself is not as fancy as one might imagine; it stands to the left of the box grave, and the stone cut inscription has weathered over the years to the point that it is nearly illegible.


The box grave, which once had Livingston’s name carved into it, is similarly worn due to the fact that its inscription has lied face-up, exposed to the wind and rain, for so many years. The point of the box grave, Reverend Hartmut Kramer-Mills told us, was to emphasize the dignity of the person buried below. Though the body is interred in the ground, a stone box is erected over it as a secondary monument. In recent years, a violent storm knocked a tree branch onto the box tomb, breaking its face. Though the tomb was repaired, the mortar has evaporated, leaving deep cracks in the stone.


Though the tombs are slowly falling into disrepair, one may still find the full inscriptions on this website, along with a description of Livingston’s life. Though he has been gone for nearly 200 years, Livingston will live on in memory as a man “with dignified appearance, extensive erudition, almost unrivalled [sic] talents as a sacred orator and professor, were blended manners polished, candid and attractive, all ennobled by the entire devotion to his Savior” (Stanton).

Works Cited

Frusciano, Thomas J. “John Henry Livingston.” John Henry Livingston. Rutgers University. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

Stanton, Shirley. “Find A Grave – Millions of Cemetery Records and Online Memorials.” Find A Grave – Millions of Cemetery Records and Online Memorials. Find a Grave, 7 Sept. 2013. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

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