freehold boro scudderScudder Descendants Visits Historic Sites

PHOTO: Freehold Mayor Nolan Higgins, Councilwoman Sharon Shutzer and borough historian Kevin Coyne present David T. Fisher, Weisbaden, Germany, with the resolution designating the borough hall meeting room as the Nathanial Scudder Room, honoring Fisher's Revolutionary War ancestor and former Freehold resident.

FREEHOLD, NJ – David T. Fisher, the eighth generation grandson of Freehold Revolutionary War hero Nathaniel Scudder, paid a visit to Borough Hall Wednesday and saw first hand how the borough has honored his ancestor, the former borough resident, Congressman, military officer and physician.

Mayor Nolan Higgins welcomed Fisher, who lives in Wiesbaden, Germany, to the borough and introduced him to borough historian Kevin Coyne, Councilwoman Sharon Shutzer, Barbara Wagner, president of the borough’s Historic Preservation Commission, and Muriel J. Smith, a former member of borough commission and now a member of the Monmouth County Historical Commission.

Nolan presented Fisher with a copy of the resolution the Mayor and Council adopted last year designating the government meeting room at Boro Hall as Scudder Hall to honor the Revolutionary War hero. Scudder, who was killed in Shrewsbury by Loyalists four days before the end of the Revolution, was the only member of Congress to be killed during the war, and is buried at Tennent Church cemetery.

Last year, Higgins requested the borough Historic Preservation Commission design a fitting memorial for Scudder Hall. Preservation Commission member Nelson Kuperberg, a professional architect and designer, designed a wall of glass commemorating Scudder’s role in the Battle of Monmouth and the first Continental Congress. The Mayor and Council authorized the installation and officially dedicated it last year.

Fisher, who was raised in New York state, is Head of Business Development for Personal TEC, in the Wiesbaden office, and is also Director of the Princeton German Summer Work Program and chair of the Princeton Alumni Association of Germany. Both he and Nathanial Scudder, as well as numerous other Scudders throughout the eight generations since the 18th century, have attended Princeton.   Fisher noted his paternal grandmother’s maiden name was Scudder and she was “an enthusiastic member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.”

Accompanied by his wife, the Fishers are visiting family members in New Jersey, including Kathy and Michael Pippen of Columbus. He related how the Scudders first came to the new world during the Puritan migration to New England in the 1630s when English and Barbados settlers came in family groups in search of religious freedom. From there, generations migrated to other parts of the colonies. Fisher also noted he first learned of his famous Revolutionary era grandfather when reading a paragraph about him in a Princeton alumni book about alumni from the fourth graduating class in 1748, while the college was still located in Newark. Since then, he has conducted massive research on his ancestor and has visited historic sites, museums and libraries in search of all the information he can gather. Fisher is in the process of writing a historical novel about Nathanial Scudder and his wife, Isabella, and hopes to have it in print by 2017.

The Fishers have also promised future visits to his ancestor’s former hometown, and are sharing information about Nathanial Scudder for the borough’s archives.