The Flag of New York City

David Amiel, Vincent Ren, Raina Vettithanam, Amanda Chan

Flag of New York City

The NYC flag consists of the colors blue, white, and orange. The middle of the flag features the city’s seal, which possesses various symbols, each with their own symbolic representations. There is a native, a sailor with navigational tools, a windmill, flour barrels, beavers, and an eagle. At the bottom of the seal is a date of significance, 1625, which shows when the colony was founded, and at the border are the latin letters spelling out: “Seal of the City of New York.”

Our artifact can be found in the City of New York, and is on display outside all government and public buildings in the city. The flag was adopted by the city in December of 1977, although a variant of the flag exists at the mayoral office, which has five stars placed directly above the seal. The flag features many symbols which demonstrate the intimate connection between New York City and the Dutch. Looking closely at the seal, the beavers inside the coat of arms represent the Dutch East India Company, the first trade company to open trade to the city. Other Dutch influences can be seen inside the seal as well. For example, the windmill fans which divide the seal represent the prosperity of the flour-milling industry, whose prosperity directly affected the economic success of New York City, at the time, the New Netherlands. Furthermore, the figure on the left of the seal is a colonial seaman, which also points to the Dutch’s founding of New Amsterdam; to his right is a native, which represents the original indigenous population.

This intertwining of histories resonates with many people, considering the population of the city. The flag, which is a symbol of the city, and in the past, a source of great pride for its inhabitants, is a reminder of the city, and the country’s, connection to the Dutch. The year 1625, which is printed in the city’s seal, is the year in which New Amsterdam was founded by the Dutch. Although hundreds of years have gone by, the flag is still a present-day reminder of the city’s roots.

We chose this artifact because of its abundance of connections to our inter-woven histories with the colonial Dutch. New York City is close to home for many Rutgers students, and its influence extends well beyond the city’s borders. In investigating the influence that the Dutch had on New York City, the cultural center of our country, we were able to see not only that much of our colonial history and prosperity is due to the Dutch – specifically the Dutch East India Trading Company – but to appreciate the deep connections that exist between our two societies.

External Sources:

NYC Green Book Highlights - City Seal and Flag
The Official New York City Flag

Hugo Grotius and UNCLOS III

1609 Freedom of the Seas and Modern Implications

Jeanne Ryder

United Nations Headquarters

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United Nations Headquarters 40.747538, -73.970778

HugoGrotius-MareLiberum-1609   Mierevelt_grotius_1608

NYC_United Nations Headquarters

What is it?

Mare Liberum written by Hugo Grotius inspired the most successful international organization of our age – the United Nations. At 540 United Nations Plaza in New York, New York, discussions and compromises about international relations can be heard on the daily. This building – so close to home – serves as the headquarters for the entire United Nations, a location that bears great pride for the entire tri-state area. Much of the thanks for this tremendous honor should go to the Dutch jurist, Hugo Grotius. He is generally known as the father of international law, thanks to the legal and philosophical ideas he shared in the several books he published. This post looks closely at his book Mare Liberum and the affects that it had on the development of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This book, published in 1609, birthed the concept of “freedom of the seas” that now dictates international law regarding water passages.

Why is this important?

The Dutch have influenced American legal proceedings in a plethora of ways – from the original Democratic roots of the Mayflower Compact to the corporate laws surrounding modern day capitalism. The Dutch were generally more progressive than their surrounding countries – especially during the Dutch Golden Age that characterized the 17th century. It was during this Dutch cultural peak that Hugo Grotius first elaborated on his ideas of open sea territories. As he claims, “Every nation is free to travel to every other nation, and to trade with it” (Grotius 7). Grotius later served as a counsel for the Dutch East India Company in their legal trouble with Portugal following the seizure of the Santa Catarina ship, putting his ideas to the test. Clearly they survived the case, and even outlived time as his principles are executed everyday on the open seas. His revolutionary ideas about border endings transcended basic trading laws to serve as a guide for the multi-governmental organization we know as the United Nations today. Grotius did not believe in the claiming of water for two of the following reasons: “First, it is not susceptible of occupation; and second its common use is destined for all men. For the same reasons the sea is common to all, because it is so limitless that it cannot become a possession of any one, and because it is adapted for the use of all, whether we consider it from the point of view of navigation or of fisheries” (Grotius 28). In the 1920s, national claims in waters was brought to the table of the League of Nations (first attempt of international law) as nations (including the Netherlands) wished to extend borders to include mineral resources, protect fish stocks and control pollution. Several nations met at the Hague in Holland to discuss the matter – where Dutch jurist Cornelius van Bynkershoek’s “cannon shot rule” was used to make borders extend 3 nautical miles into the water. The Dutch are inseparable from both American politics and the universal politics we see today. It is no coincidence that 2 of the 6 hosting cities of the UN are Dutch and American. Actually, the Hague was considered for the headquarters of the UN but John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s 8.5 million dollar donation to purchase the land in Manhattan swayed the architects. Instead the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court remain in the Hague today, since the Netherlands philosophical and legal developments were crucial in the foundation of international relations. Today, Dutch and American government officials are crucial for the carrying out of compromises between nations in the UN, thanks to the originally Dutch principles that have been carried over into the American political system. Open seas are especially important today considering problems like the GPGP (Great Pacific Garbage Patch) and the lack of responsibility for oceanic pollution. UNCLOS is working hard to find a solution, but would never have been able to do so without Hugo Grotius’s Mare Liberum. 

Works Consulted

David Armitage, “Introduction”. In: Hugo Grotius (2004) The Free Sea, Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, pp. xxii–xxiii.

Grotius, The Freedom of the Seas.

“Lake Success: A Reluctant Host to the United Nations”Newsday (New York). Archived from the original on May 23, 2006

Tullio Scovazzi lecture entitled The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and Beyond in the Lecture Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law Accessed April 11, 2016.

The Rutgers History Lesson

Section 11- Chris Kay, Neven Abdo, Kedar Trivedi

“The Rutgers History Lesson”

Lyrics for “The Rutgers History Lesson”

In seventeen and sixty six
On the banks of the old Raritan
A Dutchman’s college in the sticks
Oh, then began.
The Revolution came,
With a boom, boom, boom,
And a zoom, zoom, zoom,
With a boom, and a zoom, and a boom.
But all through the shot and shell
The Dutchmen, they fought like—well
The old Queens flag on high shall fly forevermore.

In eighteen hundred sixty nine
From a place with a mild bid to fame
Came twenty five Tigers in their prime
To play a game.
And football then was born,
With a punt, punt, punt,
And a grunt, grunt, grunt,
With a punt, and a grunt, and a punt.
But although the Princeton yell
Resounded as loud as—well
The old Queens flag on high shall fly forevermore.

In nineteen hundred and eighteen
Just a mile or a bit more from Queens
An institution we esteem
Came on the scene.
Oh Douglass C we hail,
With a mm, mm, mm,
And an oh, oh, oh,
With an mm, and an oh, and an mm.
But when the last truth we tell
The rest may all go to—well
The old Queens flag on high shall fly forevermore.

Background for “The Rutgers History Lesson”

The “Rutgers History Lesson” isn’t the most straight-forward monument to Rutgers’ Dutch Heritage.  This is because it is a song and not a tangible artifact.  But our group felt that once one took a step back from the obvious, the song actually managed to capture the essence of Rutgers and its heritage better than any static object.  The song was written for the Glee Club to serve as a memorial to several of Rutgers’ most celebrated moments.  It recounts the school’s founding as a Dutch seminary, it’s small but important role in the Revolution, the first collegiate football game, and the founding of our women’s college on Douglas Campus.  Our group selected this song as our “object” because it captured the full spectrum of the Rutgers’ experience.  Some songs, like our Alma Mater, give only a brief slice of our history; this piece provides a fuller picture and we saw that as something worth directing more attention towards.  Additionally, this song helps remind everyone within the Rutgers’ community of just how rich our history is.  There are few schools who can list off as long or successful a resume as ours and such history shouldn’t go unappreciated.  The beauty of this song is that it allows everyone to have that moment of appreciation.  Unfortunately our group was unable to find who wrote the “The Rutgers History Lesson” or when they might have written it but we do know that the Rutgers Glee Club performed the song for their record The Bells Must Ring which was released in 1998.  “The Rutgers History Lesson” is an even more perfect song to represent our heritage this year as we celebrate our 250 year anniversary because, as we’ve said already, the song encapsulates some of our proudest accomplishments.




Pictured here is Pannekoeken Huis located in Minneapolis, MN. This eatery serves authentic Dutch dishes including the delicious pannekoeken. Image source: Pannekoken Huis

Pancakes can be found almost anywhere where breakfast food can be served. The Dutch Pannekoeken is slightly different than the modified American pancakes, and the Pannekoeken Huis in St. Louis Park, Minnesota is continuing the Dutch tradition by serving traditional Pannekoeken for breakfast and dinner in flavors anywhere from Caramel Apple and Upside Down Cake, to Shepherd’s Pie and Meat and Vegetable.

They are found very frequently around the United States because people like pannekoeken and pancakes. As people migrated into the Americas, they brought their foods and recipes with them. This led to the insertion of the pancake into American culture, and the different ingredients available led to the creation of the American pancake, as opposed to the original pannekoek.


Institutions like the Pannekoeken Huis in Minnesota are helping to preserve the traditional Dutch idea of the original pancake. Throughout the United States and different parts of the world, varying cultures and people have their own personal representation of the pancake. Its versatility allows for it to adapt to different cooking styles and personal tastes while still keeping the general idea of the “pancake”.


Image source: Meaningful Mama

Pancakes have transcended over time to incorporate themselves in American cuisine. This dish shows the integration of different cultures into the society we know today. There are many subtle ways in which Dutch influences are part of our lives and this is one. Fortunately, the great history of the pannekoeken is continued through Rutgers in the serving of the pancake in the dining halls of Rutgers.


We picked pancakes, or as the Dutch say, pannekoeken, because they are a main staple of American breakfast food and can be found in diners and homes across the country. When eating pancakes there’s usually little thought as to where they come from, and it’s interesting that one of our most beloved breakfast foods originated from the Dutch.

This is the original pannekoeken found in a restaurant in the Netherlands. You can see the syrup used for the dish, along with powdered sugar. Image source: Walking on Travels

Pancakes, both as a food and an artifact, have survived the test of time due to their deliciousness and versatility in eating, as they can be eaten as a breakfast food, or even for lunch and dinner as is traditionally done in the Netherlands.



Pannekoeken Recipe:


  • 250 g flour (sieved)
  • 5 g salt
  • 1 egg
  • 10 g yeast
  • 4,5 dl milk
  • about 40 g butter (for in the pan)
  • Any additional ingredients

Rest of recipe can be found here

Map of IHOP


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IHOP 40.510539, -74.485143


“History of the Pancake.” My Old Dutch Pancake House, n.d. Web. <>.
“Pannekoeken Huis.” Pannekoeken Huis. Pannekoeken Huis, n.d. Web. <>.
“Pannenkoeken – Amsterdam, Netherlands | Local Food Guide.” Pannenkoeken – Amsterdam, Netherlands | Local Food Guide. Eat Your World, n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2016. <>.
“Where Did Pancakes Originate From?” Luka Malgaj, 03 Nov. 2009. Web. <>.

Spuyten Duyvil: The Duyvil’s in the Details

The Henry Hudson Bridge overlooking the Harlem River in front of the Spuyten Duyvil Metro-North train station. Photo from

In Dutch, “Spuyten Duyvil,” the most-accepted spelling these days, can be pronounced two ways; one pronunciation can be translated as “devil’s whirlpool” and the other can be translated as “spite the devil.” Spuyten Duyvil is an upper middle class neighborhood of the Bronx, New York City, located in the upper Northwest corner of the the Bronx and New York City as a whole. The neighborhood is located where the Harlem River branches off from the Hudson River, directly across from Manhattan Island and what is today the Inwood neighborhood. Today its area has many other traces of the Dutch including the Harlem River, the Hudson River, and the Henry Hudson Bridge, named after the explorer sent by the Dutch to settle the region. Other Dutch neighborhoods are also close by such as Manhattan and Yonkers to the North.  We picked this neighborhood because one of our group’s members, Trevor, passed by the Spuyten Duyvil train station on his way to Poughkeepsie and instantly recognized the name’s Dutch origins.

When the Dutch settled here in the 1600s, they named the creek flowing around the neighborhood “Spuyten Duyvil.” The reason for this name, roughly translating to “devil’s whirlpool,” is due to legends of events happening in the river. According to some, a Dutch messenger was sent to the Spuyten Duyvil neighborhood by way of the creek, but the waters were so turbulent that he was swept away and the river took his life. They say that it was the “Spite of the Devil” that caused the messenger to pass away on his journey. 

The neighborhood began to develop during the later half of the 18th century along with the construction of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad along the Harlem River. Although the larger development came after the Dutch settlers, the name comes from Spuyten Duyvil Creek, named for a Dutch settler Anthony Van Corlaer, who in 1642 died while attempting to swim across the creek. Later in the 17th century, Frederick Philipse, a Dutch immigrant built a toll bridge over the river in this location, furthering the Dutch influence in the area.  

Over 10,000 New Yorkers call this neighborhood home today and millions of riders on Metro-North’s Hudson Line pass through the station on their way to and from jobs in Manhattan and other parts of New York City. Thousands of cars also pass through the neighborhood and over the Harlem River on Route 9A and the Henry Hudson bridge enroute to and from Manhattan.

Spuyten Duyvil

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Spuyten Duyvil 40.881164, -73.915407



“History of the Name Spuyten Duyvil.” The New York Public Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

Haller, Vera. “Spuyten Duyvil, the Bronx, Defined by the Views.” The New York Times. N.p., 3 Sept. 2013. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.

NYC Gov Parks. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.

Group Members: Andrew Hernandez, Trevor Matthews, Angela Feoli, Ryan Divins

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The Architecture of the Kirkpatrick Chapel

By, John, Sanan, Andrew

The Kirkpatrick Chapel was built in memory of Sophia Astley Kirkpatrick, wife of Littleton Kirkpatrick, trustee of Rutgers College. Henry Hardenburgh was the designer of the chapel, Grandson of the first President of Rutgers Jacob Hardenburgh. He went on to have a successful building career, and this was at the forefront of it. The Chapel was first designed to be used as both a library and for education and for worshipping purposes, until another Dutch building was built, Voorhees Hall, and the Chapel expanded it religious space in full. In 1916 around the 150th anniversary Henry Hardenburgh made expansions and renovations to further accommodate Rutgers student worship. He added a new chancel, two properly designed organ chambers, and a new stained glass window named, “Jesus, the teacher of ages” in memory of the first Rutgers President. The Chapel may be in America, but it is certainly Dutch, not just for the historical reasons but especially for its looks.

When we begin to look specifically at the architecture of the Kirkpatrick Chapel, we see the many similarities it has with Churches in The Netherlands. The Kirkpatrick Chapel features a design of tall and high center with two smaller triangles supporting it. This other Church, Grote of St Laurenskerk Rotterdam, was constructed in the Netherlands hundreds of years before the Kirkpatrick Chapel, but still features the same design. A high and tall center, with smaller triangles on the side supporting it. Both churches also include windows that are  elongated in an ovular fashion. The Grote of St Laurenskerk Rotterdam was the first stone Church constructed in the Netherlands. The Kirkpatrick Chapel was also constructed from the finest brownstone.

grote of st laurenskerk rotterdam
grote of St Laurenskerk Rotterdam,

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grote of St Laurenskerk Rotterdam, 51.921435, 4.484906

As there are Dutch chapels with similar exteriors as that of the Kirkpatrick Chapel in New Jersey, there are also Dutch chapels with almost identical interiors as that of the Kirkpatrick Chapel as well. An example of such a chapel is the Dimnent Chapel located in Holland. Like many Dutch chapels and holy areas, there are large rows of seats for subscribed worshipers, although what significantly links the interiors of the Dimnent Chapel and the Kirkpatrick Chapel, are the large stained glass windows and the tent-like architectural design of both chapels. In terms of the windows, both chapels sport numerous stain glass windows – one large window in the front, and numerous smaller ones on the sides, all with significant religious or important figures designed into them. The general interior shape of both chapels are similar as well, as both chapels are substantially smaller in size than most Dutch chapels, with inclined ceilings and beams. Even the ceiling framing and support are visually linked, as in both chapels, they are wooden, and tread the direction of the ceiling to the side walls. Although there are many similarities between the interior designs of the Dimnent Chapel and the Kirkpatrick Chapel, it is evidently apparent that the Kirkpatrick Chapel contains large white beams used to support the weight of the ceiling and the secondary wall linings while the Dimnent Chapel, does not.

dimnent chapel

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dimnent chapel 48.216038, 16.378984

Works Cited


Castello Plan

Castello Plan

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Castello Plan 43.819447, 11.228183

By: Lauren Weissman, Alec Meacham, Nareena Imam, Huiwen Guan

1660 Map of New Amsterdam (New York City):


Interactive Map

What is It?

Our artifact is a 1660 map called The Castello Plan. While the original is lost, it was last seen in 1916 in Villa di Castello when it was redrawn. The map shows Manhattan in the 17th century, a time when Wall Street was literally a wall built to section off the Dutch from the natives. While there are several street names that sound familiar to us today, such as Broadway, Wall Street, and Pearl Street, there are also a series of canals that are unfamiliar to us today. Reminiscent of life back in the Netherlands, the Dutch built these canals for easy transportation of goods in and out of the city. And even though the original map is lost, there is a popular 20th century copy currently on display in the New York Public Library.

1660 vs Today:


Our artifact is the Castello Plan, a 1660 redraft of an original Dutch map of New Amsterdam. It is one of the earliest known maps of Manhattan created by Jacques Cortelyou (ca. 1625 – 1693), a surveyor in the New Amsterdam. While the original survey has since been lost, a copy was created in 1665 by an anonymous individual. Presently, it is located in Italy, in a collection of Dutch maps that belonged to Cosimo de’ Medici III, who acquired it during a trip to Holland in 1669 from the cartographer Johannes Blaeu, who put it into an atlas.

Created only four years before the city would be renamed New York, the Castello Plan represents the progress towards colonization which the Dutch made between the years 1609, when Henry Hudson first discovered the region, and 1660. The infrastructure of the rising city is shown as seen in the layout of the streets but also included are elements of Dutch design and architecture as seen in the buildings and the inclusion of numerous gardens within the city walls, showing evidence of Dutch traces in horticulture in New York.

We chose to feature this artifact because of our connection with New York City, due to its proximity to New Jersey. It is a city we have been exposed to for years, and may have even walked past or seen things outlined in the Castello Plan. Previously, we did not consider the impact the Dutch had on New York because of the amount of time that has elapsed since they were here. However, this artifact shows us that we should be more aware of the Dutch presence, because it is deeply embedded in the history of the city.

As one of the earliest known maps of New York City, the Castello Plan is a symbol of how entwined the histories of America and the Dutch are. There is evidence that places relevant to residents even now have Dutch influences, such as buildings that still line the streets drawn carefully in the map. Documents along with the Castello Plan record the owners of buildings and what they did, showing that even back then New Amsterdam already had the diverse culture characteristic of modern day New York City.

Works Cited:

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Wall Street- Roland Lucas, Cecilia Salazar, and Nicholas Botte Section 9

For our Dutch artifact we chose Wall Street. It is located in Manhattan, New York and we picked this because of its historical significance as a part of New York City (formerly New Amsterdam) and its relevance in our society as a dominating topic in political, economic, and social discourse. Wall Street, as it has grown into the financial and business center of the global economy, has taken on an identity that many Americans associate with wealth and power. However, many people today view Wall Street in a negative light because of the involvement of the banks and financial organizations in the recent financial meltdown along with the nefarious and speculative practices that have occurred.

Wall Street dates back to the Dutch colonial times in Manhattan. The name of this renowned street actually comes from the wall of the Dutch settlement because “in the 17th century the wall formed the northern boundary of the New Amsterdam settlement erected for defensive purposes,” ( Protection was important to the settlers as a potential war was threatening to erupt between the English and the Dutch. The wall was built around the year 1685 by the Dutch settlers, led by Peter Stuyvesant and the Dutch West India Company. Wall Street tells the story of the earliest Dutch settlers in Manhattan, and how they were innovative in the actual construction of the wall. Interestingly, Wall Street also created a natural split of socioeconomic classes as well. Local merchants of New Amsterdam became split into two groups: auctioneers and dealers. Also, Wall Street was a popular place where slave owners were able to rent out their slaves by the day, week, or month. Overall, the early economic innovation of Wall Street created by the Dutch shows how Wall Street, has been a major center for economic activity for many centuries. Now, Wall Street is the busiest financial area in the entire world. This relates to the history of how the Dutch settlers made this area extremely busy and lively back in the 1600s. While Wall Street is not directly connected to Rutgers, it has become an incredibly popular area for college graduates to seek employment and Rutgers sends many graduates and alumni to this historic financial center.

Wall Street

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Wall Street 40.900020, -74.358215

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 1.25.23 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-06 at 1.36.43 PM



The Gravesite of Charlotte and Theodore Frelinghuysen

Section 5


This is the tombstone of Charlotte Mercer Frelinghuysen (1784-1809), who was the wife of Theodore Frelinghuysen (1787-1862). It is a grey granite tombstone, which probably used to look pristine before years of wear and tear affected its appearance. The tombstone now looks worn down and many of the words engraved onto it have faded, making them unreadable. It has even begun to sink into the ground, so much so that parts of the name do no show. We were saddened by the dilapidated state of this gravesite, as Reverend Kramer-Mills pointed out how we should provide better care and upkeep for the final resting places of these influential Rutgers figures. Unfortunately, we were unable to find Theodore’s grave.

We chose to use the tombstone of Theodore Frelinghuysen as our artifact after our class walking tour of the First Reformed Church Cemetery, in New Brunswick, NJ. Theodore Frelinghuysen was the seventh president of Rutgers College, Queens college at the time, and this cemetery is where many Rutgers presidents have been buried. Charlotte died and was buried here in 1809, while Theodore died in 1862. The First Reformed Church was central to Rutgers during Theodore Frelinghuysen’s time as it was used for commencement and other large gatherings at the time.  The church was world renowned and being buried in it cemetery was and still is a tremendous honor.  This artifact is directly related to the history of Rutgers because, as previously stated, Theodore was a president here. Theodore carried on the Dutch traditions of his great-grandfather, who was a minister and theologian of the Dutch Reformed Church, an influence in the founding of Queen’s College, and a leader in the First Great Awakening.  He also led Rutgers during a period of reformation in the country following the war of 1812 when changes came to the way the country handled finances and domestic politics.  Much of his great-grandfather’s history influenced his roles in politics both in the state assembly and as president of the university. Remnants of Frelinghuysen’s legacy can be seen throughout the campus today, in places such as Frelinghuysen Hall on College Avenue.

We picked the tombstones of Charlotte and Theodore Frelinghuysen because, upon recognized the name of the tomb, we instantly became intrigued. This object spoke to us because we all live next to Frelinghuysen Hall, making the artifact relevant in our everyday lives.

Gravesite of Charlotte and Theodore Frelinghuysen

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Gravesite of Charlotte and Theodore Frelinghuysen 40.495031, -74.442180


“Charlotte Mercer Frelinghuysen (1784 – 1809) – Find A Grave Memorial.” Charlotte Mercer Frelinghuysen (1784 – 1809) – Find A Grave Memorial. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

“Theodore Frelinghuysen (1787 – 1862) – Find A Grave Memorial.” Theodore Frelinghuysen (1787 – 1862) – Find A Grave Memorial. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

Reverend Kramer-Mills, 30 Apr. 2016

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