A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

History: Thanksgiving Celebrated in Matawan, 1871

Matawan's Thanksgiving festivities in 1871 were reported in considerable detail in the 2 Dec 1871 edition of The Matawan Journal. Events began Wednesday evening with a Literary Society gathering. "There were familiar faces whose presence, as visitors, told of reunions around many hearth-stones, and there were strangers who had become the sons-in-law or had married the sons of some of our honored citizens. A part of the literary exercises of the evening partook of a thanksgiving nature."

This was followed on Thursday by an ecumenical service run by the ministers from the Baptist, Presbyterian, and Methodist churches. The service was held at the Methodist Church, which was located on Main Street about where the Dollar Store sits today.

The Presbyterian minister, J Henry Kaufman, delivered a sermon on the need for the churched to check corrupt political power. "If the men who hold political power are impure, the streams of influence will become corrupt.  So it has been in profane and sacred history, and with such examples before us, let us take warning. The great preservative is the intelligence and purity of the people, and the duty of moral and religious men is to see that the ignorant are educated. And our magistrates should be wise, God-fearing, and eschewing covetousness."


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