The Story of Quaker Bridge
The story of Quaker Bridge begins with the need to cross the Batsto or Mullica River at that place in present-day Washington Township. As Leah Blackman explains, that need arose primarily among members of the Society of Friends who attended a yearly meeting at Little Egg Harbor:
As before stated sometime during the youthful age of the meeting house, there was a yearly meeting established at Egg Harbor, which continued for a number of years, and Friends came from distant sections to the yearly meeting at Egg Harbor.
In the year 1772 John Churchman states that there was a large concourse of people at the yearly meeting then held at Little Egg Harbor [now Tuckerton]. Friends who came from the upper section of Burlington county crossed the east branch of Mullica river, at the place now known as Quaker Bridge. After fording the stream they watered and fed their horses, and then sat down in the shade of a venerable and majestic oak tree and partook of the lunch they had brought with them. Fording the stream was not a very pleasant job, especially for people who were dressed in their “meeting garments,” and finally Little Egg Harbor Friends and Friends of the upper section of Burlington county, agreed to meet at the east branch of Mullica river, at the fording place, in order to construct a bridge as a more convenient way of crossing the stream. They met at the appointed time, and the banks of the stream being heavily timbered with large and primitive cedars a number them were cut down and a bridge constructed of them, and thus came about the name of Quaker Bridge, or as formerly called the “Quaker’s Bridge.”
Writing about Quaker Bridge, many historians suggest the reason the Friends constructed the bridge was to eliminate the numerous drowning that occurred there in the past while fording the stream. A careful read of the historical record, however, strongly suggests that these chroniclers confused and conflated stories about the Swimming Over location on the Mullica near Leeds Point with the site of Quaker Bridge. This bridge quickly became an important crossing place over the Mullica in the region. The well-worn bridle path, and former Indian trail, the Quakers used for their annual pilgrimage soon widened to become one of the main roads between Philadelphia (actually, the ferries in present-day Camden) and Tuckerton. During the American War for Independence, it seems logical that privateers used this Tuckerton Road and the Quaker Bridge, among other routes, to move a portion of their booty to the Quaker City, although I have not found any collaborating documentary evidence for such musings. We can also surmise with some certitude that highwaymen like Mulliner, Giberson, Fagan, et al. made regular runs and raids along this road to Tuckerton.
In 1789, the Burlington County Clerk’s Office recorded a road return for this route, making the thoroughfare that passed over the bridge an official county road. The Quaker Bridge rose to greater prominence during the closing years of the eighteenth century when United States postal officials chartered both the Atsion and the Tuckerton Post Office facilities on the same day: 18 August 1797. Newspaper advertisements placed in that year sought contractors to carry the mail:
PROPOSALS For carrying MAILS of the United States on the following Post Roads, will be received at the General Post-Office, in Philadelphia, until the 31st day of July next, inclusive. New Jersey 67. From Philadelphia by Taunton and Atsion to Tuckerton once in two weeks. Leave Philadelphia every other Wednesday by 3 P M, arrive at Tuckerton on Thursday by 6 P M. Leaver Tuckerton every other Tuesday by 6 A M, and arrive at Philadelphia on Wednesday by 9 A M. (Gazette of the United States, 06 June 1797, Page 4)
The issuance of the mail contract to an independent carrier provided the impetus for inauguration of stagecoach operations between Philadelphia and Tuckerton over the Quaker Bridge route, which started operations in the same year as the opening of the two post offices. The stagecoaches and the attendant servicing needs for the horses, the drivers, and the passengers, warranted having taverns situated from two to eight miles apart. It appears for the first year the stage operated, no tavern stood between “Washington” and Bennett’s Tavern in Evesham (now Marlton), which is really too great a distance for the sake of the horses and the comfort of the people. Although stage operators did not stop at every tavern, it was very important to have such facilities properly placed and spaced. During the second year of stagecoach trips, Ephraim Cline opened his stand west of Atsion at Edgepillock. Gradually, other taverns opened along the route, including one at Flyatem, Quaker Bridge, and Mount.
Arthur Thompson, the oldest son of William and Mary (nee Nieukirk) Thompson, born circa 1773. He obtained a position at the Atsion Forge upon reaching the appropriate age. On 11 May 1797, he married Elizabeth Sooy, the eldest daughter of Nicholas and Sarah (nee Sears) Sooy, who operated Washington Tavern. Arthur must have achieved a rather high level of technical acumen at the forge, for on 13 February 1802, he purchased an interest in the ironworks and the lands surrounding from the executors of Drinker and the executors of Lawrence Salter. In 1808, he then acquired a tract of land “bounding Batsto Creek north of the bridge known as Quaker Bridge, formerly the property of the Batsto Iron Works and purchased from J. [Jesse] Richards by Sooy in 1801.” It was on this new parcel that Arthur and Elizabeth Thompson constructed the Quaker Bridge Hotel, otherwise known as Thompson’s Tavern. He must have completed the building in 1809, for he filed his first tavern license application during that year. A small hamlet of several houses soon nucleated around the tavern.
Certainly Arthur had opened his Quaker Bridge Hotel by 22 June 1809, when Sara Thomson passed from Philadelphia to Tuckerton via this route, as recorded in her diary of the trip (original spelling and grammar retained throughout quote):
Thursday, June 22, 1809. Started for Tuckerton the weather very damp—met with a smart Beau in my walk down the Ferry—he immediately joined and escorted us safe over—we bid him adieu—walked up to the house to take our passage the stage as they called it for to me it had more the appearance of an old Jersey wagon such as they go to market in but there was no use in complaining we started, nine passengers in all, the back part of the stage was stuffed full of bags banboxes without number—one poor old man about 80 years of age—the poor soul was cramed in among them to beshure he had a soft seat but the Ban Boxes they where flat enough and there contents wich where principlely Sunday Bonnets for the Tuckerton Bells—stopted at Haddonfield saw Mrs Bolton very much pleased with her—she made many inquires after Mr Wests family—he was very socible. dined at Ever Ham Pewter plates and Wooden spoons Landlady rather short very good peas and pretty good lamb-currant pie sweet with molasses Left Mr Bennet got pretty well in the Pines and heavy sand caught in a thunder storm Lightning one says O, dear, O my O I wish I was with the old man among the Ban Boxes—the stage leeked spoiled my pretty Bonnet blessed the stage and its proprietors and the old ragged curtains, arrived safe through all our troubles at Quaker Bridge, had a very good supper, clames in abundance good coffee very good beds landlady very kind, Charles complained of the rats said they bit his ear could not discover any mark must of drempt it swears he did not started next morning at daylight very pleasant ride after the rain, the driver polite he stopped several times to pick up magnolies water Lily &c arrived at Tuckerton to dine.
More than a year later, an entry dated 10 October 1810 in the Martha Furnace diary records that Jesse Evans was at Quaker Bridge for the day.
The Curly Grass Fern Story
In a letter written to Zaccheus Collins on 9 July 1818, renown botanist John Torrey recounted a trip made in June of the same year with William Cooper to Quaker Bridge:
The principal difficulty was in keeping to the right road. Hundreds of these little roads cross each other in every direction like a labyrinth, so that it is next to a miracle if you hit the right one. We remained two days at Thompson’s Tavern, where we were very [well] entertained. About this time we found a [consider]able number of plants which were new to us, indeed there were few plants but what we found here. The Drosera filiformis and foliosa ? Ell. were abundant, as well as two species of Utricularia, one of which does not appear to be described. What pleased us more than any plant we found was the Schizea. Cooper found the first specimen. It is a singular little plant, and I first doubted whether Pursh had referred it to the right genus, but subsequent examination has convinced me that he is right. The whole of the plant which we saw was confined to a very small space. There is a small patch of it about forty-five yards from the W. end of the bridge, on the left side as you approach it from Philadelphia, and about twelve feet from the road. I have been particular to mention its locality as this is the only spot where we found [it]. We found abundance of the Leiophyllum and Hudsonia, some of them in flower. The latter plant I am inclined to think is a different species from the one which grows on the sea coast. At first sight you are struck with the long peduncled flowers of the one, and the almost sessile flowers of the other. We found two species of Eriocaulon; one common, tall and with large hemispherical head and tuft of short leaves at the base; the other smaller, with long leaves. They are both ten-striate.
After we left Quaker Bridge, we fared pretty hard. Some places called taverns that we put up at were not fit for an Arab. At a place called the Ten-mile Hollow or Hell-Hollow we expected to sleep in the woods, for it was with difficulty that we persuaded them to take us in. This was the most miserable place ever saw; they were too poor to use candles. No butter, sugar, etc. A little sour stuff, which I believe they called rye bread, but which was half sawdust, and a little warm water and molasses, were all we had for breakfast. For supper I could not see what we had, for we ate in the dark. From this place until we reached Monmouth we found scarcely a single plant in flower.
A specimen of the Schizea (Curly Grass Fern) referred to in the letter can be found in the collection of the Torrey Botanical Club in New York, reportedly collected by Frederick Pursh and J. Leconte, while on a trip with Dr. C.W. Eddy and C. Whitlow. Pursh claimed full credit for the find, despite being reportedly accompanied by Leconte. While various reference to this discovery carry dates of 1805 and 1808, it seems more likely that discovery occurred in 1811 based on an 1812 letter from Dr. Muhlenberg to Zaccheus Collins in which Muhlenberg writes that the Schizea was “…discovered last year by Mr. Pursh and Dr. Eddy.” The year 1811 fits much better with when Thompson opened his Quaker Bridge Hotel than does 1805 or 1808.
The rather scathing statement about Frederick Pursh pushing aside Leconte and taking full credit for discovering the Curly Grass Fern appears to be in keeping with the man’s character. A January 1818 review, published in The American Monthly Magazine and Critical Review, of Pursh’s two-volume work, Flora Americae Setentrionalis or a Systematic Arrangement and Description of the Plants of North America &c. parses no words in casting great aspersions on Pursh and his apparent scurrilous behavior. Here are some quotes from that review:
…The writer of this article knew him [Pursh] in 1804, while he was Mr. Hamilton’s botanical gardener, and he appeared to be intelligent and zealous in his profession, but not equal to the task undertaken; the same opinion is entertained by those who knew him in New-York, at a later period, when he had charge of the Elgin garden.
…Moreover, the new genera Diphryllum, Phyllepidum, Shultzia, Odeneetis, Tsotria, &c. and PURSHIA, dedicated to himself!! Published by C.S. Rafinesque, in the Medical Repository of New-York, 1808, No. 44, of which Mr. Pursh must have had knowledge, and has willfully omitted for some purpose which can only be guessed at. He has introduced in his Flora many of the naturalized plants, which form an important feature in the botany of every country, but has omitted as many more, since he has neglected the following naturalized genera [list omitted for space] and many more, most of which are enumerated by Rafinesque, in a dissertation on the naturalized plants of the U.S. in the Medical Repository, for 1811, No. 56.
…It is hardly to be supposed that he was ignorant of so many additions to American Botany, of which a great proportion had been published in New-York, while he was in that city or its neighborhood…. These omissions are therefore unaccountable, unless we suppose that Mr. Pursh has omitted them in order to set off with more advantage his own discoveries, or rather to hide those which he has copied or stolen from them, that he might not be compelled to disclose the sources from which he derived such plagiaries.
We are sorry to be compelled to tax this author with such despicable motives; but we do not perceive any other to which it might be ascribed, and we have abundant proof that he has concealed circumstances relating to some of the new plants, which he has taken the liberty to describe as his own, while he knew well that the first discovery, and even publication did not belong to him; he has even in some instances dared to publish them again under the very same names given them by the original discoverers, while sometimes he has concealed his pilfering under different names.
It will be necessary to notice such of those daring attempts as we have been able to detect.
The Drosera filiformis was discovered in 1802 by C.S. Rafinesque in a journey to the sea-shore of New-Jersey, in company with Col. Thomas Forrest, communicated in 1803 to Dr. Muhlenberg, to Mr. Hamilton, to whom Mr. Pursh was then gardener, and to Mr. Pursh himself, and published in 1808 in the Medical Repository, in 1809 in the Journal of Botany, &c. nevertheless, Mr. Pursh introduces it in his Flora, in 1814! as a new species, under the same name, stating that he discovered it in the same place, near Tuckerton, in 1805! and without noticing in the least the above circumstances. A plate of that plant, engraved by said Rafinesque, and intended to form a part of a selection of rare American plants, had been sent in 1803 to Dr. Mitchill of New-York, and is now deposited in the Lyceum of natural history of N.Y. together with many other plates of new plants.
…In an excursion to New-Jersey made by Dr. Eddy, Mr. Leconte, and Mr. Pursh, a very rare new species of Schizea was discovered by Dr. Eddy; Mr. Pursh did not find a single specimen; but one was lent to him, with a positive injunction that Dr. Eddy meant to publish that species: however Mr. Pursh has published it under the name of Shizea pusilla as his own discovery.
The reviewer continues with his unrelenting attack for each and every error, omission, and example of pilferage found in Pursh’s book. Hence, any statement concerning the date of discovery for the Curly Grass Fern should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism based on Pursh’s own proclivity for changing the facts and the extant historical record of when the discovery actually occurred. Pursh himself may have backdated the discovery so he could claim the earliest, and thereby the first, harvest of the collected specimen.
The Quaker Bridge Hotel Continued and Stagecoach Operations
In 1817, Arthur petitioned the county court for a renewal of his tavern license. His petition stated that the license was for the house in which he had dwelt for a number of years, “Standing and lying on the main Stage Road leading from Tuckerton to Philadelphia known by the name of Quaker Bridge.” Arthur Thompson met his demise on 21 November 1819 and the family interred his remains at the churchyard cemetery in Green Bank. Elizabeth continued operating the tavern until 1836, when she retired and turned the hotel over to James G. Sears, a probable relative of her mother. Elizabeth died on 4 March 1840 and she lies in repose next to her husband at Green Bank. Thomas Gordon’s 1834 Gazetteer of the State of New Jersey contains an entry for Quaker Bridge:
Quaker Bridge, over Batsto river, Washington t-ship, Burlington co., 6 miles S.E. of Shamong village, and 4 from Atsion Furnace. There is a tavern there.
Regarding the stagecoach operators and cartage of the U.S. mail, Leah Blackman writes the following:
I cannot say how the mail was carried from and to Tuckerton, for some authors persist in saying that Isaac Jenkins was the first stageman between Tuckerton and Philadelphia, and that he commenced the stage business about the year 1816. But certain statements warrant me in believing, that it was before the year 1816 that Jenkins set up staging. James Hughes, of Cape May, was one of the early stage drivers of the Tuckerton stage, and many are inclined to the belief that he was one of the first who acted in that capacity. Isaac Jenkins made one trip a week, leaving Tuckerton on Monday, and returning on Saturday. It took two days’ travel each way.
Isaac Jenkins certainly operated the stage for a time, as attested to by this advertisement from the 18 July 1820 edition of the Philadelphia newspaper called Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser:
In 1828, John D. Thompson, son of Arthur and Elizabeth, purchased the stagecoach line and began running a one-way trip in one day, rather than two, and also carried the mails. By 1840, however, Joseph B. Sapp ran the coach service, as evidenced by this advertisement from the 5 September 1840 edition of the Public Ledger:
Based on the schedule presented in the notice, Sapp retained the single-day one-way trips that Thompson had started. Stagecoach operations continued until rail service to the mid-Jersey coast became available.
In 1836, Jesse Richards attempted to supplant the stagecoach operators after receiving an incorporation charter for the Camden & Egg Harbor Railroad Company. The proposed route of this line would have taken it through Quaker Bridge on its way between Camden and Tuckerton. Other incorporators included Samuel B. Finch, Timothy Pharo, Ebenezer Tucker, and William McCarty. A section of the legislative act, passed 10 March 1836, detailing the railroad’s route states,
That the president and directors of the company be, and they are hereby authorized and invested with all the rights and powers necessary and expedient to survey, lay out and construct a rail road, from some point or place in the county of Gloucester, within the corporate limits of the city of Camden, not exceeding sixty-six feet in width at the surface of the road, with as many sets of tracks and turn-outs as they may deem necessary; thence to or near Quaker Bridge, in Burlington county, thence to or near McCartyville or Wading River, and thence to such a place at or within two miles of the village of Tuckerton as may be fixed on by the president and directors.
Another portion of this same enabling legislation prohibited the use of steam locomotives on the line.
Like many New Jersey railroads incorporated during the mid-1830s, the Panic of 1837 and the ensuing financial malaise ended any hope of building the railroad. Some of the incorporators attempted to revive the charter in 1848 by receiving approval of a legislative act to extend the expiration time for the corporate charter, but between 1836 and 1848, the industrial components of the Pine Barrens had changed dramatically. Four years after this failed attempt to reenergize construction of this all rail route through Quaker Bridge, the Richards family involved itself with another railroad to the coast: the Camden & Atlantic.
Although we do not have any idea of how the Quaker Bridge Hotel appeared to those weary travelers stopping for a meal or a bed, a sale advertisement from the 7 September 1812 edition of the Federalist newspaper for Bodine’s Tavern might provide some clues:
It is unclear at the present time what happened to the Quaker Bridge Hotel. It appears on the 1849 Otley and Whiteford map of Burlington County as the property of William Richards. Two other buildings appear on the same map near the hotel. Likewise the same basic layout of buildings exist on the 1858 Parry, Sykes, and Earl map of the county, but it is unclear whether the tavern still stood at that time or whether the cartographers of the 1858 map merely copied what the previous cartographers had produced nine years earlier. Here is a detail from the 1858 map:
William Richards may have owned the hotel in 1849, but Kirkbride’s New Jersey Business Directory, General Register and Advertising Medium, published in 1850, indicates a William Sinclair operated the tavern. The same directory lists Josiah Smith at Piper’s Corner at the “Sign of the Buck” and Jonathan Cranmer at Mount Tavern. At some time subsequent to the Quaker Bridge tavern opening, Arthur’s brother, Alexander, who had married Jemima(h) Sooy, another daughter of Nicholas and Mary, constructed a tavern at Mount and also began serving travelers along the route between Camden and Tuckerton. I believe that Jemima Sooy Thompson is the source of the name for Jemima Mount and that the nearby hotel also takes its name from this prominence. The Mount Tavern was in operation when Leah Blackman, as a young girl, accompanied her father on a trip to Philadelphia during January 1829. She wrote two accounts of the trip and here is a quote from the first one:
As an illustration of the miseries of travelling in private conveyance over fifty years ago I shall here give a few incidents of a trip I took to Philadelphia when I was twelve years of age. In the winter of the year 1829 and 1830 I went with my father to Philadelphia. As was customary in those days with such travelers as we, we started from home between 2 and 3 o’clock in the morning on a very cold morning in January. My father was very careful in all things and like the slow careful drivers of the period he was careful of his horses, so we jogged on it the dark until just as the sun arose we came to the hotel kept by Alexander Thompson Sr. Here we stopped to give the horses a bite and also to warm ourselves. I got out of the wagon and was shown into the sitting room of the hotel where there was a blazing roaring fire of pitch pine knots on the sample fire place.
In the second version of the story, she states:
In the winter of year 1829 I, then being 12 years of age, went to Philadelphia with my father. He went in his own conveyance and we traveled about as other people did in their own carriages. People of those days, especially farmers, were careful drivers, none of them being of the Jehu class. Father was noted for his carefulness in all things and this being the case he was a careful driver. We as most other such [travelers] eat our breakfasts and started from him about 2 o’clock on a bitter cold morning in January and did not stop anywhere until we reached the Mount Hotel 15 miles from Tuckerton and then the sun was just rising. My feet were extremely cold. I got out of the wagon and went into the hotel where there was a roaring pitch pine fire in the large fireplace, and before this fire I warmed my feet., but afterwards found they were considerably frosted and continued to worry me all winter.
Precisely when Alexander Thompson removed from Mount Tavern is unknown, but Cranmer died while still seized of the property. An advertisement in the 22 August 1869 edition of the New Jersey Mirror[/] indicates the Burlington County Court of Common Pleas ordered Cranmer’s property sold:
By virtue of an Order of Sale, made by Joseph L. Morton, Esq., one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of the County of Burlington, the subscribers will sell at Public Vendue, on SATURDAY, the Eleventh of September next, between the hours of 12 and 5 o’clock in the afternoon of said day, at the Hotel of William Davis, in Mount Holly, all that Farm and Tract of Land, Whereof Jonathan Crammer died seized, situate in the Township of Washington, County of Burlington, on the road from Quaker Bridge to Tuckerton, and known as “The Mount Tavern Property,” containing about THREE HUNDRED & TWENTY ACRES! Of which about 100 acres are Arable land, the remainder in young Timber.—The Improvements consist of a very large and substantial Frame Dwelling House, Barn, Crib-house, Wagon-house, Horse-sheds, &c. This is a very desirable Property, and is worthy the attention of persons wishing to make a profitable investment of their money. Sale to commence at 2 o’clock, P. M. Conditions at Sale. RICHARD B. NAYLOR, CHARLES N. LAMB, GEORGE DEACON, Commissioners. Aug. 10, 1869.
Here is how the Mount Tavern area appeared on the 1858 Burlington County map:
Murder in Quaker Bridge?
Despite the small stature of Quaker Bridge in the geography of New Jersey, the hamlet did make news during 1854 about a possible murder. The following article appeared in the 22 August 1854 issue of the Trenton State Gazette:
Some time since we published a letter from Port-au-Prince, stating that a German, named John Muller, had confessed to the American Consul that he had murdered a man about six months ago in Burlington county. Yesterday (Monday) we published a brief account of his arrival at Philadelphia and examination by G.S. Cannon, Esq., Prosecutor of the Pleas of Burlington, but as it contained many errors we publish below the correct account of the examination.
Mr. Cannon, having been telegraphed for, went to Philadelphia and had an interview with the prisoner. The latter repeated his confession, which was in substance as follows: In February last he was at work at wood chopping at a place called Quaker Bridge, in Washington Township, Burlington county. His employer was Squire [William H.] Sooy. It seems that there was a German living in the neighborhood named John Meyer, who treated his wife very badly. She had left her husband on one or two occasions, but the latter had forced her to return and again live with him. Her case excited the commiseration of the prisoner and a fellow workman named Gottleib Mulheiser and the two agreed to give the woman some money to assist her in getting away from her husband.
This, Muller says, they did, and the woman went away on the stage. Meyer and the prisoner worked together in a shanty in the pines, and for some reason Meyer suspected their agency in the disappearance of his wife. The husband went to their cabin, broke open the door, and demanded his wife. A squabble took place between the parties and the two friends were more than a match for the infuriated man. This fight was not attended with any serious results. Several other affrays growing out of the same cause occurred at subsequent periods. Finally, one day some time afterwards, Muller and Meyer met at a cabin kept as a store by Squire Sooy, the old quarrel was revived and Meyer struck the prisoner over the head with a small stick. The blow was not a serious one. The parties clenched, and the prisoner struck his adversary several severe blows about the temple with his fist, Meyer fell and appeared to be dying, when Muller became frightened, went to his own cabin, got his clothes and money, and eloped to New York, from whence he sailed to London. There was no person present at the time of the final fight.
In London the prisoner met with a man named Charles Brown, whom he had known in Burlington county. Brown told him that Meyer was found dead, and that Mulheiser had been arrested on the charge of murdering him, and that he was then in prison. From London Muller went to Port-au-Prince, and while there he suffered great anguish of mind at the reflection that his friend was imprisoned for an offence of which he was entirely innocent. Muller accordingly determined to make a confession, which he put in execution and requested the American Consul to send him to the United States for trial.
The prisoner is but 23 years of age. He says he first came to this country about three years ago, and that he worked for Squire Sooy a year before the fatal event.
Mr. Cannon has sent the sheriff down to Washington township, to gather such facts as may bear upon the case, and we shall probably know more of it in a few days.— At present Mr. Cannon has no knowledge that such a murder was committed, and it seems probable that Meyer may have recovered after Muller fled.
An article in the 31 August 1854 issue of the New Jersey Mirror provides us with the outcome of the investigation and ultimately what happened to John Muller and the other men involved:
We stated in our last paper that Sheriff Pancoast had gone down to Washington township, to obtain from William H. Sooy, Esq., what information he could relative to John Muller, the self-accused murderer, and his victim, John Meyer. Mr. Sooy has no recollection of Muller ever working for him–but as he has had so many Germans in his employ, and they frequently pronouncing their names so entirely different from what Americans would, it is not unlikely that Muller may have been among the number, and more particularly from the fact that he seems to be well acquainted with the individuals and transactions connected with that locality. Mr. S. states that Meyer and Mullheiser worked for him, and both of them left the neighborhood about a year ago. The cause of their leaving was the difficulties that existed between them. Meyer, it was alleged, ill-treated his wife, and Mulheiser interfered to prevent such conduct. This caused considerable jealousy on the part of Meyer and he determined to have revenge. For the purpose of punishing Mulheiser, perhaps intending to kill him, he one day, armed himself with a gun and knife, and proceeding to his cabin, broke open the door, when Mullheiser seeing the formidable appearance of his antagonist, jumped out of the window and fled. He immediately procured a warrant for Meyer and had him arrested. A number of the workmen then stepped in as peacemakers and succeeded in settling the difficulty between them. They both, however, left the premises soon after. Meyer visited the place a month or two ago, and Mr. Sooy thinks he is now employed at Jackson Glass Works. Mullheiser had been at work for Mrs. S. sometime, and when he desired to leave, there was upwards of a hundred dollars coming to him. It not being convenient to pay the full amount, Mr. S. gave him his note for sixty dollars. Nothing further was heard of Mullheiser, until about three weeks ago, when he came back and obtained the money for his note. He stated that he had been at work on the Erie railroad. Such is the substance of the information obtained by Sheriff Pancoast. Mr. S. says that Muller, the prisoner, may have been concerned in the difficulties in question, but he has no recollection of any such person, neither has he his name upon his books.–Many persons are of the opinion that, being familiar with the quarrels between Meyer and Mullheiser, he invented the story of the murder for the purpose of getting a free passage back to the United States. DEATH OF THE PRISONER. All further proceedings in the case are stayed by the death of the prisoner. As was feared at the time of his committal to prison in Philadelphia, the attack of typhoid fever with which he was then suffering, has proved fatal. He died on Tuesday morning. A short time before his death, he conversed freely with Mr. Farquhar, one of the Prison Inspectors, and related to him something of his past history. It seems that after his escape from a Russian vessel at Port-au-Prince, he lay in the woods two weeks before he applied to the American Consul. It was at this time that he contracted the disease which terminated his life. He stated that his parents reside in New York. He had a Bible, which he always kept at his side.
There is a story about Quaker Bridge that appear in Cornelius Weygandt’s book, Down Jersey, but I will not reproduce it here for fear of infringing on the copyright. I would recommend you read the story as in some ways in mimic the information just preceding this paragraph. Also, Arthur D. Pierce’s work, Iron in the Pines: The Story of New Jersey’s Ghost Towns and Bog Iron contains an entire chapter titled, “Quaker Bridge to Washington.” In this section of his book, he tells the tale of the white stag that saved the lives of those in the stagecoach from certain death when the Quaker Bridge washed out. Again, the current copyright on Pierce’s book prohibits me from providing the story in this Quaker Bridge article.