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Thursday, May 26, 2011

May 25th


Born this day in 1680,Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh, founder of Haddonfield, New Jersey.
Born in England to a wealthy Quaker family. To be free of religious persecution, Haddon's father bought 500 acres of property in the New World. Due to illness he was unable to claim his land. Instead of loosing the land he sent his daughter Elizabeth to take his place. So in 1701, at the of age 21, Elizabeth set sail for the New World. Landing in Philadelphia she made her way to her father's land which she named in his honor, Haddonfield.
Elizabeth relationship with the local Unalachtico Lenape tribe was one of respect and she welcomed the opportunity of learning their ways and customs. Especially when it came to learning how to use native plants for medical use. Which Elizabeth described as sophisticated used a board range of plants. And one must understand that when Elizabeth first landed in the New World it was a wilderness. People were living in caves along the river.
Another piece of business Elizabeth took care was marriage. After meeting John Estaugh, a Quaker minister, Elizabeth made a marriage proposal which he accepted and they were married in 1702. And their courtship inspired Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem, Elizabeth, from the collection Tales of a Wayside Inn

In 1713, Elizabeth and John built a three story brick mansion, called New Haddonfield Plantation Behind their home Elizabeth built The Brew House, this is where Elizabeth dried herbs and made salve for healing. Both John and Elizabeth held the position helping the sick. This information the Native Unalachtico Tribe taught her went to good use.

In 1721, Elizabeth's father gifted an acre of land to the building of the Friend Quaker Meetinghouse and burial ground. This assured a growing community. Elizabeth was also the Women's Quaker clerk for fifty years.
For fifty years Elizabeth was doctor, clerk and a woman who took her position as founder of a township as one of yes nurturer, but so much more as it seems she held out her hand to all peoples living Native and immigrant like herself.

One of Elizabeth's deepest concerns was that of the relationship with the Unalachtico Tribe, whom were forced to leave their homeland. But, not by the Quaker Friends.