The Reverend John Witherspoon was a signatory of the Declaration of Independence, a Presbyterian minister, a president of Princeton University, and an American patriot. He emigrated to the Anglo-American colony of New Jersey in 1768 from Scotland at the urging of another signer of the Declaration of Independence, Richard Stockton. Witherspoon was the only ordained clergyman and college president to sign the Declaration.
The Rev. Witherspoon built Tusculum on 60 acres in Princeton, New Jersey in 1773, the same year the British Parliament passed the Tea Act prompting the Boston Tea Party. Three years later, in 1776, Witherspoon signed the Declaration of Independence chartering the course towards the formation of the United States of America.
Today, Tusculum and 23 acres of the original estate are for sale by private owners, the Moores.
I can not think of a more worthy site that commemorates New Jersey's central role in forging the pathway towards the independence we have enjoyed in these United States for over two centuries now.
The restoration of Tusculum to its original glory as well as its inclusion into the public trust would be an act of truly inestimable value. It could serve as a reminder of the sacrifice our forefathers made to win our freedom as well as serve as a beacon of hope and liberty for all the world and its people.
I urge the State of New Jersey, the Township of Princeton, Mercer County, and such private interests as may be deemed appropriate to consider ways of purchasing (through floating bonds) this significant site of our state and national heritage for the cultural and intellectual enrichment of our people and future generations of Americans.
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