The Journey of a VOC Duit

Amy Ho, Gabriel Duque, Joe Terzian, Meg Tsai, Snigdaa Sethuram

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The above pictured coin was found, buried in the ground, by a Rutgers student near the site of an old paper mill in Millburn, NJ, during one of his metal detecting trips. It is an original 1744 East India Company Duit, a copper coin equivalent to a modern penny. Its front (left) boasts the year and the VOC insignia, and the reverse (right) has the coat of arms of Holland, the coin’s place of mintage. These coins were also produced in Utrecht, Zeeland, and West Friesland; each province imprinted its respective coat of arms on the reverse of the coin, much like the unique insignias on the quarter here in the United States of America. Upon further inspection, this coin leads to a rich history of the family who owned the paper mill: ambitious immigrants with high hopes for their descendants.

Samuel Campbell was a Scottish immigrant who entered America with the intention of establishing a bookstore in New York City. The Campbells soon moved to New Jersey around 1785 to inhabit patch of land chartered by King Charles II, suitable for the construction of a paper mill, as well as a larger home for their growing family. The final location the Campbells chose was an area located in northern Elizabethtown (by the Newark mountains), due to its proximity to the Rahway River as well as its resemblance to Samuel’s native Scotland. Pictured below is a map of its location, as well as a modern-day photo of the plot of land they chose to build their home on, and a photo of the same location in 1899. This site is currently part of the South Mountain Reservation.

Samuel Campbell Home Site

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Samuel Campbell Home Site 40.736600, -74.306030


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Samuel built his paper mill across the road from his home, on the banks of the Rahway River.  One of the most important contracts for Samuel Campbell’s paper mill, also known as Thistle Mill, came from the U.S. Treasury Department, for the purpose of producing paper for banknotes during the Revolutionary War. His mill paved the way for the construction of even more mills in the area, and towns grew profitable around them as well. Much like the industrialization of towns leading to an increase in population and gross income much later in America, the creation of these paper mills set certain towns ahead of others. The township of Millburn itself owes its name to the Campbells—Samuel called his factory the “mill on the burn”, because “burn” means “stream” in Scottish terms, and the township adopted the name in 1857. Amazingly, the history of this coin is much richer than that of Samuel’s.

Samuel married Euphemia Duyckinck, a member of an old, well-established Dutch family. Her great-great-great-grandfather, Evert Duyckinck, emigrated to the now United States from Borkel, North Brabant, The Netherlands, sometime around 1646.  The family tree below traces Euphemia’s genealogy back to her great-great-great-grandfather.

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Immediately, he gained alliance with the Dutch Reformed Church in New York City, the very same church that established Rutgers University.  Evert’s descendants maintained this relation to the church, some even serving as ministers in the mid-1700’s, and may have even influenced the creation of our University. This devotion to the Dutch Church included Euphemia, who married Samuel in a Dutch church.

This information has lead us to believe that the Duit belonged to either Euphemia, or a member of her family, and must have been some sort of keepsake to this individual, as the coin would hold no value during the late 1700s when the Campbells lived in their home.

It is amazing how something as small and seemingly insignificant as a coin can tell a story that spans centuries, and it is truly a testament to the widespread and impactful influence of the Dutch on our lives and our University today.


Works Cited

Bidwell, John. American Paper Mills, 1690–1832. 5th ed. Hanover: Dartmouth College, 2013. Print.

“Evert Duyckinck.” Genealogical Society of Bergen County. Ed. Joseph Boyle. Nov. 2015. Web. 1 Apr. 2016. <>.

Lampe, W. Owen. Millburn: Short Hills. Charleston: Arcadia, 1999. Print.

Meisner, Marian K. A History of Millburn Township. Millburn/Short Hills Historical Society, 2002. Millburn Library. Millburn Free Public Library, 3 Sept. 2004. Web. 1 Apr. 2016.<>.

Sym, Jonathan. “Fun Fact: How Did Millburn Get Its Name?” TAPinto. 21 Feb. 2016. Web. 1 Apr. 2016. <>.

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. Vol. 23. New York: New York

Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1892. Ancestral Trackers. Web. 1 Apr. 2016.<>.

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The Henry Guest House

By Dana Slavick, Kruti Sitwala, Chris Bateman, Brooke Enners, and Ryan Zinsky

henry guest

The outside of the building is covered in bricks, however the placement of the stones in the front is more precise than those in the back of the house.  The Henry Guest House has two stories with a cellar below and a front porch in the front, which leads into the hallway.  The House is presently used as a historic site, with plaques of information distrusted around the rooms and kept in pristine condition.

Henry Guest House

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Henry Guest House 40.491302, -74.445513

More about this house:

The Henry Guest house is located at 60 Livingston Ave because in 1760 Henry Guest worked at a tannery nearby and also served as an Alderman for the city. In the 1700’s the Henry Guest House was located in the outskirts of town and considered “out in the country” but the location was convenient for Henry and his lifestyle.  Henry Crow sold the two-acre plot of land in NewBrunswick to Henry Guest. Five years later, Henry Guest built the two-story house. The outside of the house was covered in Bricks and Henry carved his name and the date on a brick above the front porch, which can still be seen today. This house is also connected to the Dutch. Henry Guest’s baptism took place in the Dutch Reformed Church in Hackensack on 25 June 1727.  While building the house, Henry Guest laid down tiles imported from Holland in two of the cellar rooms. The Dutch tiles were there in 1925 until the building was a short distance to it’s present location.  It is now a mystery if the original Dutch tiles are still present in the house.  This house is even connected to Rutgers! In 1843 the Henry Guest House was purchased by a Rutgers Latin and Greek professor, Reverend John Proudfit. Today the Henry Guest house serves as a historic site and museum that reminds us of the Dutch culture and heritage of New Brunswick

Why did we pick the Henry Guest House?

We chose the Henry Guest House as our object because we were able to get a first-hand look at the house during the walking tours and it’s history is extremely interesting.  Who knew a piece of Dutch history was located so close to Rutgers?


” If his descendants would only keep a roof on it, the house would stand till Gabriel blew his trumpet.” – Henry Guest


Digital Archive.” Digital Archive. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2016. <>.

“History of the Henry Guest House.” History of the Henry Guest House. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2016. <>.

“Who Was Henry Guest?” Who Was Henry Guest? N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2016. <>.



Kusakabe Taro

Section 1

Andreas Kauderer, Kristine Claire Dela Cruz, Matthew Habel, Nicholas Petriello, Arjun Sreeram

The Dutch scope of influence was immense and spanned across the entire globe. Whether for religious reason or trade, it was in the best interest of the Dutch to maintain these connections. One such example is the relationship between the Dutch and the Japanese, with the presence of Japanese students at Rutgers emphasizing this connection through a scholarly notion that still exists in Rutgers today…the international student.

Willow Grove Cemetery

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Willow Grove Cemetery 40.490826, -74.444062

Our objects is located in the Willow Grove Cemetery in New Brunswick, behind the public library.  In memory of Kusakabe Taro, one of the first Japanese students to attend Rutgers, the university bought the plot in Willow Grove to commemorate Taro’s legacy.  His obelisk was placed there after Taro’s death from tuberculosis on April 12, 1870 at twenty-five.  Subsequent obelisks and tombstones were installed on the same plot up until 1886.  Rutgers originally bought the plot.  In 1977, Dr. Yuko Ohtake made a donation of $2000 to restore the graves from deterioration. Additional donations were given by other citizens from Taro’s hometown of Fukui, Japan, a sister city of New Brunswick.

The gravesite is a small, square plot of land in Willow Grove Cemetery surrounded by railings on all four sides with its own mini entrance at the front. One headstone sits outside of the enclosure, which contains the names of the seven deceased Japanese students including Kusakabe Taro. At the other of the square plot stand five white pillars engraved with Japanese characters. In the middle, there is another tall pillar, a short square headstone, and a rounded headstone, which was for a deceased infant named Saburo Takagi.

This artifact tells a story from the global network of Dutch trade and settling, through which Kusakabe Taro was encouraged by the Dutch Church to travel to the United States in order to study at Rutgers. Kusakabe’s unfortunate death actually strengthened the connection between Rutgers and Fukui, as it was a motive to purchase a plot of land dedicated for his burial. Since this time, the gravesite has been the burial site for eight Japanese citizens who died in the area, and a yearly ceremony is held to remember these academic adventurers. We chose this monument both because of the powerful story it tells, and its role in present day Rutgers where it is actively commemorated.

WM Elliot Griffis described Kusakabe as a “‘passionate pilgrim’”, whose passion and hard work we can credit today with helping to start a great relationship with Japan. Nowadays the effects of the first steps of Kusakabe and others in America has led to other Universities diversifying, and a sister cities tie between New Brunswick and Fukui. However, for Rutgers personally, it has led to great relations with Universities in Japan, specifically in Fukui, of which former Rutgers president McCormick once said, “Rutgers cherishes its place in the special Sister City relationship between Fukui and New Brunswick … Fukui will always be a part of the history of Rutgers University. I hope that Rutgers will always be celebrated by the people of Fukui as well.”


“Hidden New Jersey.” : The Japanese at Willow Grove Cemetery: Revealing New Jersey’s Role in Modernizing a Nation. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

“Japanese Student.” Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

“Rutgers Commemorates First Encounter between New Brunswick and Fukui, Japan.” Rutgers Commemorates First Encounter between New Brunswick and Fukui, Japan. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

“Willow Grove Cemetery : History.” Willow Grove Cemetery : History. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.


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