The Raritan River

Authors: Austin Hong, Noah Hoffman, Kyle Kopcho, Andy Sivas

The Raritan River 

Found online by Austin Hong via Google Images

The Raritan River is a beautiful body of water that empties into the Raritan Bay. It flows for about 16 miles before it hits its estuary which extends the river an additional 14 miles. There is a total of four bridges that span the Raritan. They are the New Jersey Transit Railroad Bridge, Victory Bridge, Edison Bridge, and Driscoll Bridge.

Map of the River’s Location

Found online by Kyle Kopcho via Google Images

       The Raritan Headwaters region is located in north-central New Jersey and is defined by the area of land that drains into the North and South Branches of the Raritan River. The region contains the headwaters of the Raritan, the river which drains to the Raritan Bay and Atlantic Ocean. The drainage basin of the Raritan River covers approximately 1,100 square miles, making it the largest river basin located entirely within the State of New Jersey.

     A significant part of New Jersey’s rich cultural history, the Raritan River has served as a transportation and trade route since pre-colonial times. The Naraticongs, a branch of the Lenape and part of the Iroquois Nation, were the first known settlers of the Raritan Valley. The Dutch and English arrived in 1683 and also made use of the River for its fertile soil and transportation opportunities. The Raritan was crossed by troops during the American Revolution, and a battle was fought close by in 1777. During the Industrial Revolution, the River became home to mills and other factories.

      The first people to settle the Raritan Valley were the Naraticongs, a peace-loving branch of the Lenape who were part of the Iroquois Nation. Numbering about 1,200 the Naraticongs lived mostly along the north side of the river. They roamed the forest to hunt, fished in the river, and planted corn in the fertile valley. In 1683, when the Dutch and English arrived, the Naraticongs met them with friendly advances and a ready sale of land. The Dutch shortened and altered the name of the Naraticongs and named the area Raritan, or “forked river” Other versions of history state that Raritan translate to “where the stream overflows”. The Dutch, English, and French Huguenots were drawn to the area for the same reasons the Lenape Found appealing-the rich, fertile soil and the navigable river. The Dutch also realized they could establish their own church, the Dutch Reformed Church, and live in freedom. These opportunities played a major role in the establishment of the town of Raritan. Raritan became a trading center for neighboring farmers.

      The Raritan River is located within central New Jersey in the United States. The Dutch arrived at the Raritan River in 1683, and started a colony in New Brunswick upon recognizing the unused potential stored in the roots of this area. The land around this body of water was an ideal location for starting a colony. The fertile soil made it a good area for settlement and the river would serve as an excellent means of transportation that could be used for trade. Furthermore, the Raritan River was an important route used for slave trade, and slaves were important resources that were utilized in the establishment of Queens College.


       The Raritan river is one of the largest and most influential landmarks in Rutgers history, as well as the history of New Brunswick. The early colonies that led to the establishment of New Brunswick,and later Rutgers, would not have been able to survive without the aid of the Raritan River. The Raritan allowed easy access for resources and new settlers to come to the New Brunswick area. The Dutch were among the first to use this natural resource and take advantage of New Brunswick’s location, and their effect is still felt to this day. Also, as students at Rutgers University, the river is a part of our community and we want to learn more about this historical landmark.

       From a current geological perspective, the Raritan River’s role today in the New Jersey ecosystem is that of a major river, which contributes to the draining of the central, mountainous areas of New jersey into the Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, this river’s history is celebrated in the Rutgers alma mater for it’s relevance to the establishment of Rutgers and the Dutch involvement with it. The river today is an important geological landmark, but can also be used for recreational purposes. The crew team here at Rutgers rows almost everyday on the water, and oftentimes, when in season, hosts regattas with schools from around the country.

       The Raritan river, as previously stated, was a very important trading route utilized by Dutch and English settlers. Initially, Native-American tribes, like the Iroquois, inhabitedword the banks of the raritan, which is where Rutgers now stands. Essentially, the soil was very fertile and the surrounding ecosystem was conducive to establishing a vibrant community, which included a school. Essentially, Rutgers was founded on the banks of the Old Raritan because the atmosphere was suitable for the construction and maintenance of one of the first schools ever established in the New World. The English and Dutch settlers clearly saw it the same way.


  • “Natural History.” Raritan Headwaters Association. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.
  • “The History of Raritan.” The Official Website of The Borough of Raritan, NJ ::::. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.
  • “History of the Raritan River.” Raritanrutgersedu. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

Return to home page.


Voorhees Mall

Jenish Patel, Ravi Desai, Kishan Patel

Section 6




Jenish Patel via Google Images CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Voorhees Mall is located at the heart of the College Avenue campus at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The nature like scenery along with the old traditional style lecture halls gives this strip of land a campus atmosphere. On one side sits the new honors college dorms buildings, and on the other sit a few buildings built a long time ago such as the church. During the weekdays of the semesters, students are constantly walking through the Voorhees Mall, taking in the beauty of nature and the sights of the buildings and even the statue of William the silent.

Voorheen Mall, Ritgers University

loading map - please wait...

Voorheen Mall, Ritgers University 40.500095, -74.447340


     For our project we decided to trace Voorhees Mall on the College Ave Campus of Rutgers University. Voorhees Mall is located near downtown New Brunswick, New Jersey. The mall was originally formed in 1903 when a city street by the name of Bleeker Place was closed. After several donations to Rutgers, including what is now known as Voorhees Hall, the grassy mall was named after Ralph and Elizabeth Rodman Voorhees. The sizable donations by the Voorhees show the virtues and selflessness of the Dutch. Originally a $60,000 donation from Mr & Mrs. Voorhees helped build the Ralph Voorhees library which would later become Voorhees Hall. Mrs. Voorhees continued her charitable work by donating an additional $150,000 for enlargements and new equipment in 1907. It is interesting to note that the name “Voorhees” is tied back to a one Steven Coerte. Steven Coerte, his wife, and eight children resided on a farm located near the village of Hees in the Province of Drenthe in north-east Holland around 1660. Under later British rule, he adopted the surname: “Van (before) Voor (village) Hees.” Everyone with the name Voorhees is tied back to him, including Ralph and Elizabeth Rodman Voorhees.

     However, Voorhees Mall is not only connected to Rutgers by location. The Mall was also the site of the annual commencement for Rutgers College. More recently, the Mall was used during Rutgers Day for new and current students to enjoy. We decided on Voorhees Mall because not only are many of our classes there but also because it is where we first fully experienced our University on Rutgers Day. It is amazing to see how an area we walk by everyday can be filled with so much history. Voorhees Mall is also home to some historic sites such as the statue of William the Silent. Voorhees Mall not only provides aesthetically pleasing lush fields and statues but also represents some of our rich Dutch history.


  1. “Voorhees Mall, Site of Commencement, Rich in Rutgers History.” Voorhees Mall, Site of Commencement, Rich in Rutgers History. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.
  2. “Then and Now: A Photographic Study of Rutgers’ College Avenue Campus, Part 2.” Muckgers. N.p., 30 Apr. 2014. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.
  3. “Paths to Historic Rutgers: A Self-Guided Tour.” Rutgers University Libraries: Special Collections and University Archives:. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

Return to home page.

First Reformed Church of New Brunswick

First Reformed Church

Authors: Ariel Gulchin, Ifrah Tariq, Rahma Tayyab, Pooja Shah

Artifact Image: First Reformed Church, New Brunswick, NJ  


9 Bayard St, New Brunswick, NJ, United States

loading map - please wait...

9 Bayard St, New Brunswick, NJ, United States 40.495057, -74.442349

First organized in 1717, the First Reformed Church is a stone building very characteristic of the square architecture of those times. Potentially 400 people could be seated at the church pews. According to the church website, a rather long pew on the south side of the church was once used by city officials. In the middle of the aisle, there would be a rope which, when pulled, would ring the pell and call church-goers to the service. There are also two pillars which would support the roof from the center of the structure.

The First Reformed Church is located on 9 Bayard Street in New Brunswick, New Jersey. When Dutch settlers first arrived here, they began to flock to the rich soil by the Raritan and Millstone Rivers and formed farming communities. These deeply Protestant communities began to hold services in their home until the community grew too large to continue in this way; thus the First Reformed Church was established in 1717, and named the “Reformed Dutch Church” of New Brunswick. It was not only built by the Dutch community in New Brunswick, but was also under the ordination of the Reformed Church in America – a Protestant Christian institution that was founded in New York City by Dutch Settlers. This shows the communications between these Dutch settlers towards order, right from the very beginning of their settling here. They seemed to expect to stay for a very long time.The meticulous nature of the Dutch also transferred to their churches, which were particularly known to keep detailed records of their church ceremonies. William Nelson, a presbyterian minister, spoke of dutch churches in the following manner:

“The early Dutch churches as a rule were scrupulously careful to keep and preserve in the church archives registers of baptisms and marriages. The churches of other denominations not only were not so particular, but when records were made they were often regarded as the private property of the pastors, and were carried away by them on their removal to other charges.”

Unfortunately, the Church was caught in the crossfires during the Revolutionary War and was severely damaged as the Dutch settlers that still lived there attempted to hide parts of the church such as the church bell and hid it on the hill by “Old Queens”. After being reformed, to this day the church still acts as a church to many people, providing religious refuge for those who need it.

The Church also has ties to Rutgers University, with three former Queens College Presidents buried at the Church including: Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh, first President of Queens College; Ira Condict, third President of Queens College; and Theodore Frelinghuysen, US Senator and seventh President of Queens College.

We picked this church as our artifact because it shows how the passage of time has not disrupted some core sentiments Dutch settlers had when they came to America, just like it hasn’t disrupted this building. It also shows how there are still similarities between us and the Dutch to this day, and this church is just an example of one religion that we have in common and practice in both places. Regardless of the fact that it is a church, it is also reminiscent that the Dutch claimed parts of this land as their own, and their effects can still be seen today in the forms of buildings, people, and culture.


NELSON, W.. (1904). CHURCH RECORDS IN NEW JERSEY. Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society (1901-1930), 2(4), 173–188. Retrieved from

Return to home page.


netherlands capitalism
Capitalism begins in the Netherlands
capitalism map
Spread of capitalism around the world (Economic freedom in the U.S. and the Netherlands)







John Korn, Jacob Rothberg, Rahmate Islam  (Section 6)

Capitalism is an economic and political system based on private ownership of and investment in capital and production of goods and services for profit. Merchant capitalism, which was prominent in the Netherlands from the 1300s to the 1800s, is the system of trade, finance, shipping and commercialization for profit. This is also referred to as the first modern economy.

Reformation in the Netherlands during the 17th century influenced capitalism. Calvinism countered the denouncement of money-lending by the Catholic Church and instead portrayed wealth as a virtue. It encouraged investment of money by justifying it with the Protestant work ethic, one should work hard and gain wealth now in order to have a better chance in being salvaged later. Speculation plays a big part in capitalism as well, which we see an example of with the Dutch tulip mania (1633-37).

While capitalism does not have the blatant and evident relations to Dutch heritage in America, there are many underlying connections that can be made.  For example, as we spoke about in one of the lectures that we attended, the Dutch economy was very unique.  They needed to make specific adaptations if they wanted to have a functioning and flourishing economy, due to their geographical location.  Through agricultural advancements and techniques, the Dutch were able to successfully maintain a healthy economy even while faced with the challenges that their location presented. In a similar sense, the American economy must constantly adapt to changes in technology, trends, and the surrounding world.

Capitalism speaks to us all here as it dominates the U.S. and encourages advances for economic growth. We have the Business School at Rutgers which concentrates on the capitalistic system we have. Founded in 1929, it teaches students how to work in the capitalistic economy.


loading map - please wait...

Netherlands 52.132633, 5.291266
Rutgers Business School

loading map - please wait...

Rutgers Business School 40.523317, -74.440951

Works Cited


Taeusch, C. F.. “What Is “capitalism”?”. International Journal of Ethics 45.2 (1935): 221–234. Web.

“The Dutch Economy in the Golden Age (16th – 17th Centuries).” EHnet. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2016. <>.

Wallerstein, Immanuel. “Merchant, Dutch, or Historical Capitalism?”. Review (Fernand Braudel Center)20.2 (1997): 243–254. Web


Return to home page.

Dutch Influence at Rutgers University

Nishitha Kambhaladinne, Natasha Khatri, Ayesha Misra, Sushma Mannimala – Section 6

Portrait of Cornelis Claesz. Anslo, 1641 from Zimmerli Art Museum
Portrait of Cornelis Claesz. Anslo, 1641 from Zimmerli Art Museum

A Physical Description of the Painting:
This painting is called Portrait of Cornelis Claesz Anslo. He was a Dutch Mennonite preacher who was also a cloth merchant in the mid 1600s. The painting was initially made to only be admired by Anslo’s close family and friends. It was etched onto Japanese paper. Anslo lived in Amsterdam for his whole life, where Rembrandt painted this portrait of him. Rembrandt was known to draw and etch people of the Mennonite church quite often. Rembrandt depicted the merchant’s success through his rich attire. Rembrandt’s paintings are all a part of the Dutch Golden Age, because of how his work influenced Dutch history and culture.

Zimmerli Art Museum

loading map - please wait...

Zimmerli Art Museum 40.499989, -74.445881


This painting, Portrait of Cornelis Claesz Anslo, is located in the Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers University. The painting was brought from the Netherlands to America at Rutgers University because of the relationship between the Dutch and Americans, and the influence of Dutch culture in America, specifically on Rutgers campus. The date of when the object was placed there is unknown. It was given to Rutgers University by the estate of Raymond V. Carpenter. This painting was created by Rembrandt van Rijn, a painter who is considered to be one of the greatest painters in Dutch History.

This is related to the Dutch because it was created by the Dutch artist Rembrandt. It signifies the importance of art in Dutch culture. In the lecture by Dean Jones, she goes through how art allowed the Dutch to develop their culture and capture it. Many of the paintings by Dutch artists are portraits because they believe in capturing reality. Many of the paintings discussed by Dean Jones follow this pattern of candid paintings. This influenced many American painters to adopt self portraits and made this a more popular theme in America. Many American-Dutch artists use these techniques today to maintain their culture.

This painting is connected to Rutgers because it was gifted to Rutgers to be placed in the Zimmerli Museum on campus. It adds to the enormous amount of Dutch history and culture in the Rutgers and New Brunswick area. Henry Rutgers himself was of Dutch descent so since the very beginning of Rutgers history, it was already being influenced by the Netherlands. Putting this painting on campus continues and expands on the never ending history.

We picked this object because it is located on campus in the Zimmerli Art Museum and is related to Dutch history. Some of us have seen this painting when we visited the museum. It is available for anyone to see and is free to the public. Today, people can look at this painting and realize how art was at the heart of Dutch culture. It shows that Dutch artists took time to replicate nature as best as they could and it was important for them to get their message across.

Rembrandt expresses the importance of capturing nature in each of his paintings. He believes that “ in paintings the greatest and most natural movement has [to be] expressed, which is also the main reason why they [take] so long to execute” (Rembrandt). He stresses the importance of working on the art to capture each detail and making it as close to nature as possible. The portrait was meant to capture the essence of Cornelis Claesz. He was a rich and powerful man who always had a stern expression. The point of the painting was to emulate his personality through the painting. Most of Rembrandt’s works were relevant to the city of Amsterdam and surrounding towns of Holland,“as both a flourishing artistic center and a cosmopolitan, polyglot community in which a variety of religious faiths were tolerated.” The man in the painting was a Mennonite preacher who believed in religious tolerance. This painting envelops the Dutch culture on campus and gives insight into the values of the Dutch.

Works Cited

“Cornelis Claesz Anslo.” Norton Simon Museum. Norton Simon Museum, 2016. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

“The Mennonite Minister Cornelis Claesz.” Web Gallery of Art. Web Gallery of Art, Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

Rembrandt. Digital image. Zimmerli Art Museum. Rutgers University, Web. 6 Apr. 2016.

“Rembrandt Quotes.” Rembrandt. N.p., 03 Apr. 2004. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

Fowler, David J. “Benevolent Patriot: Henry Rutgers, 1745-1830.” Rutgers University Libraries: Special Collections and University Archives:. Rutgers University, n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

Dickey, Stephanie S. “Contemporary Explorations in the Culture of the Low Countries.” Google Books. Metropolitan Museum of Art, n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.