485 Locust Island Rd.,
Hancocks Bridge, NJ 08038
Revolutionary war massacre site of at least 10 civilians and militia by British Troops (Queen's Rangers, Tories and Hessians). Pattern end Brick home built in 1734 by William & Sarah Hancock. There is no relation to John Hancock, signer of The Delaration of Independence.
The winter of 1777 found George Washington and his Army encamped at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The British occupied Philadelphia. Both armies needed food and supplies.
In February of 1778, General Washington ordered General Anthony Wayne to forage for food, cattle and horses in South Jersey.
A month later, Sir General William Howe dispatched 1500 British troops and loyalists under General Charles Mawhood to do the same. Mawhood's foraging activities met with considerable resistance from the Salem County militia and local patriots.
Repulsed at the Battle of Quinton's Bridge, a key transportation link to the fertile fields of Cumberland and Salem Counties, the British were frustrated and angry with the people of Salem County for their support of the Continental Army.
On March 20, 1778, Mawhood issued the following mandate to his British troops to "spare no one - put all to death - give no quarters's.
At approximately five in the morning of March 21, 1778, these orders were carried out. With local Tories (British Loyalists) and their slaves acting as guides, Major John Graves Simcoe and approximately 300 troops attacked the Hancock House where they knew the local militia was stationed.
Everyone inside was bayoneted without a shot being fired. Among the 10 killed and five wounded, was Judge William Hancock. He died several days later.