Monday, October 26, 2015

The 233rd Anniversary of the Massacre at Long Beach Island

If you have ever visited the Barnegat Lighthouse on Long Beach Island, you have seen this monument. Massacre at Long Beach.


There is another reference along Central Avenue at 19th St. in Barnegat Light as you drive along the 18 miles point to point of Long Beach Island....


and again on Bayview Avenue in Barnegat around 20th.


Andrew Steelman was only 21 years old, if I have my calculations correct from ancestry. He was active in the American Revolution aboard the privateer Alligator. The Continental Navy had 64 ships and 1,697 privateers. You can read more about the privateers at this website usmm.org/revolution. His mother was Sarah Somers and his father Frederick Steelman. It is hard to imagine such brutality happened here. Of particular interest on the usmm.org/revolution website is the story of James Forten Sr. an African American Privateer. He is buried in Eden Cemetery in Collingdale, Delaware County. There is always a connection to Philadelphia or Delaware County when I stumble across historical events.I must make a correction here as I have stumbled across more in depth information I can't say Mr.Forten is buried in Eden Cemetery, he died before the cemetery was established but there is a memorial to him there.  His body may have been moved there at a later date. I have not come across that information yet.


Drive off the island just over and you can more traces of this notorious Captain John Bacon's footsteps. This posting is on Route 9 by the Baptist Church.


You can then take Route 9 or get on the Parkway and take the Port Republic exit, I think it is 48 if you are headed south on the parkway.  This collection of monuments is located at US 9 and Route 575. This interesting area tells a whole other story of the American Revolution, I never read about in history books. It is fascinating and Andrew Steelman led me here to The Battle at Chestnut Neck.




Through Internet searching I found the following website colrichardsommers.com it is such a great website full of historical details and videos of lectures that will tell you all you want to know about Chestnut Neck and how this area served in the founding of our country. Fascinating things happened tucked back there in the Great Bay. When New York and Philadelphia were shutdown, they were able to get supplies to Valley Forge.



Capt. Andrew Steelman listed as (Murdered while POW at Long Beach Island).
 


We of course gained a few of these vessels from capturing them from the British. Otherwise the Continental Army issued Letters of Marque to privately owned armed merchant ships and gave them permission to prey on any enemy ship. Privateers played a big part in disarming the British and also helped in getting supplies for our troops.



















Two months a one day later, about 10 miles outside Long Beach Island at Cedar Bridge Tavern, the final chapter, they got John Bacon.


The Cedar Bridge Tavern still stands on Old Halfway Road and there are plans to restore it. Each December there is an event to commemorate the last documented land engagement of the American Revolution.



While searching the Internet I found this website colrichardsommer.com.  Check it out it is full of tons of interesting facts.

I also found that there is a Steelman Creek Burial Ground Marker inside Estell Manor Park in Atlantic County, relatives of Andrew Steelman are buried there and a Col.Richard Somers sign on Shore Rd. in Somers Point.

Ever since I have been going to Long Beach Island, Andy's Place sits at the end of the island in Barnegat, it is probably just a coincidence but I think it is a nice tribute too.


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