Rebecca and Sarah Stillwell

Rebecca and Sarah Stillwell (HM1QLV)

Location: Marmora, NJ 08223 Cape May County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 17.249', W 74° 37.625'

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Women's Heritage Trail

According to local legend, during the Revolutionary War, Rebecca Stillwell Willetts looked out into the Great Egg Harbor Bay from Golden's Point (now called Beesley's Point). Looking through her father's spyglass, she saw that a British sloop had entered the bay and set out a long boat filled with redcoats heading for the point. Fearing that the British were intent on pillaging stored supplies (consisting of food and clothing) she and her sister Sarah set off to the cannon, located along the water's edge. The women were alone since their father was away buying supplies and Rebecca's husband Captain James Willetts had marched with 50 recruits to answer the call of Governor Livingston's plea to help defend Philadelphia. The cannon had been supplied by the Legislature at the request of the settlers to protect their stores. Rebecca fired a round of cannon grapeshot towards the long boat and the British returned to their sloop and left the bay, its settlers, and their homes unscathed.
The earliest written account of this legend is from the mid-19th century Journal of New Jersey Senator Dr. Reuben Willets, who was the nephew of James and Rebecca Willets.
"The Revolutionary War worked severe hardships on woman as well as men in New Jersey. New Jersey's location between New York and Philadelphia made it the "cockpit" of the Revolution as the military struggled to occupy the two cities. General George Washington moved his army across New Jersey four times during the war years. The encampment of British and Hessian forces, and of the Continental army, brought fear and misery to Jersey residents. During the numerous military engagements, family life and businesses were disrupted, consumer goods were scarce and expensive, and disease took its toll among the civilian as well as military populations. "
Carmela Ascolese Karnoutsos in Past and Promise, Lives of New Jersey Women.
(Inscription below the image in the bottom left) Artist Bill Cassedy; the painting is displayed at the Cape May County Historical & Genealogical Society in Cape May Court House, NJ.
(Inscription in the two boxes on the right) (Top box) Beesley's Point known as Golden's Point in the 18th century, is on the New Jersey Women's Heritage Trail because of the resourcefulness of Revolutionary War Heroines Rebecca and Sarah Stillwell. (Bottom box) The New Jersey Women's Heritage Trail highlights a collection of historic sites located around the state that represent the significant contributions women made to the history of our state. The Heritage Trail brings to life vital role of women in New Jersey's past and present.
Placed ByDepartment of Community Affairs New Jersey Historic Trust-New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, January 29th, 2016 at 1:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 532160 N 4348745
Decimal Degrees39.28748333, -74.62708333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 17.249', W 74° 37.625'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 17' 14.94" N, 74° 37' 37.5" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)609
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 10-98 Harbor Rd, Marmora NJ 08223, US
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