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William Green House Excavation and Preservation Project

Not many are aware that we have our own archaeological site on campus – the William Green House, located behind Townhouses South. Professor of Anthropology Dr. George Leader presented his case at Anthropology Day regarding whether or not George Washington stepped foot in the William Green Farmhouse during the Revolutionary War. He explained that on Christmas Eve 1776, Washington’s Light Horse cavalry split into two groups to attack the British, which occupied Trenton. Evidence indicates that skirmishes occured up and down Pennington Road, and statements from winter 1777 show that Washington’s Light Horse billeted at the farm house. TCNJ purchased the house in 1960 and it was closed up shortly afterwards. Excavations occured from 1989-1995, and artifacts such as metal, shell, cork, pig teeth, and ceramic samples were discovered, revealing trade deals dating back to the 1700s. However, before field notes and artifact samples from these excavations were published, the professor in charge retired. Today, Dr. Leader is re-opening the examination after receiving permits and administration permission to start work at the Green House. His course Archaeological Field Methods (ANT 370) culminates in student archival research on the grounds. One goal is to compile a paper about the house’s history, including the genealogy of the house owners as well as any new artifacts discovered.

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