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Chapter History

General David Forman

The General David Forman Chapter was organized on January 15th of 1896 with Mrs. John Moses as the first Regent. General David Forman was her ancestor and thus the name was chosen for the chapter. The chapter was originally limited to thirty members. They supported the Old Barracks in Trenton along with other Trenton chapters and they wrote the legislation in support of the State of New Jersey purchasing the site in 1912.

General David Forman was born November 3, 1745, in Monmouth County, New Jersey, to Joseph Forman and Elizabeth Lee. His father, Joseph, was a ship owner. David studied at Princeton University and then rallied to the patriot cause. He was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of a New Jersey State Regiment. He was promoted to Colonel of the regiment in 1776 during the New Jersey/New York Campaign.

At the time of the Battle of Trenton and the Battle of Princeton, his regiment was waging war against Monmouth County Loyalists. The Tories of Monmouth County took up arms in such large numbers that on November 24, 1776, Washington sent a regiment under David Forman to suppress them.

David Forman

The regiment also maintained an important lookout post at Sandy Hook, giving them the ability to keep General Washington aware of British naval movements. Forman became known to the Loyalists of Monmouth County as "Devil David." In Monmouth County the American Revolution became a bitter civil war.

David Forman testified against General Charles Lee at Lee's court martial. In January, 1777, the Continental Congress asked him to raise what became known as Forman's Additional Continental Regiment and made him a Continental Army Colonel.

Monmouth Battlefield Monument

         General David Forman

Penelope Hart of Hopewell

The members of the Penelope Hart Chapter were originally from Hopewell, Pennington, and the surrounding small towns. Penelope Hart herself was from Hopewell and her husband was a cousin of Declaration of Independence signer John Hart. Margaret J. O'Connell, Pennington's eighth-grade history teacher and unofficial historian of Pennington, in her book, Pennington Profile, A Capsule of State and Nation, said this about Penelope Hart:

'Ralph Hart was a cousin of John Hart so he, too, was of importance to the enemy since he might be forced to divulge John's whereabouts. Penelope, wife of Ralph, was also hounded in the hope that she would reveal the hiding place of either her husband or his cousin. She successfully avoided capture by dressing in disguise, avoiding all public roads, and never permitting herself to sleep in the same house on two consecutive nights.'

In her book entitled, Hopewell Valley Heritage,  Alice Blackwell Lewis said of Penelope Anderson Hart:

"This Penelope Anderson married Ralph Hart, becoming his second wife. Ralph Hart was a cousin of John Hart, the signer of the Declaration of Independence. This Ralph Hart became a target for British soldiers who were anxious to capture some of the family of the Signer, in order that they might be compelled to divulge the hiding place of that important man. So it was that Penelope Hart became a heroine by disguising herself in men's clothing whenever the British were in the neighborhood. It was she who never walked in the public road, nor remained two nights in succession in the same house. She was required to carry water and food to her lonely husband, but more often the need was to carry these things to the hunted Signer, John Hart. This patriotic man survived many hardships because of the brave woman who put fear aside and came to his aid when others would not have dared venture out because of the lurking enemy, always ready to capture any suspicious person.

As the Revolutionary War drew to a close, Penelope Hart's husband died leaving his estate to her and their four daughters. His will was dated December 3, 1782. The daughters were Jerusha, Hannah, Elizabeth and Mary. The 122 acre farm where they lived was situated three miles above Pennington on the great road to Amwell.

The buildings on this property consisted of a large convenient dwelling house, a frame barn and other outbuildings.

It is stated that the youngest daughter, Mary, was only ten years old at the time of her father's death.  So this brave woman, Penelope Hart, granddaughter of Cornelius Anderson, lived on to share the joy and burden of raising and helping her growing daughters. The heroine of Old Hopewell is honored today, as her name was given to the Pennington Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. That group was organized in 1929 and the name given was: 'Penelope Hart Chapter DAR.'"

The Penelope Hart Chapter was organized in 1929 with original members: Mrs. Robert S. Chevrier, Miss Lucy A. Farnum, Mrs. Harold G. Houghton, Mrs. William B. Kents, Mrs. Walter K. Liscombe, Mrs. A. Chapin McLean, Mrs. Charles F. Stout, Mrs. Walter A. Vannoy, and Mrs. William P. Walter.

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