Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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HARDENBERGH, Jacob Rutsen, clergyman, born in Rosendale, Ulster County, New York, in 1738; died in New Brunswick, New Jersey, 30 October, 1790. His ancestor, Johannes, a Prussian by birth, emigrated to this country in the latter part of the 17th century. Jacob was educated at Kingston academy, studied theology under Reverend John Frelinghuysen, and was licensed by the American classis of the Reformed Dutch church in 1758, being the first minister of that church who was not obliged to go to Holland for study, examination, and licensure. Shortly before this he married the widow of his former instructor, who had died suddenly in 1757, and in 1758 succeeded him as pastor of five united congregations near Raritan, New Jersey, where his ministry was very successful. Princeton gave him the degree of D. D. in 1770. During two winters Washington's army was encamped within the bounds of his parish, and the commanding general was often a guest at his house. He was an ardent patriot, and an object of special enmity to his Tory neighbors. The British general offered £100 for his arrest, and he was accustomed to sleep with a loaded musket by his side. On 26 October, 1779, a company of the Queen's rangers, under Colonel Simcoe, burned his church to the ground. Dr. Hardenbergh removed to Rosendale, New York, in 1781, and in 1.785 was elected first president of Queen's (now Rutgers) college, which he had been instrumental in establishing in 1770, but which had not been in active operation, owing to the occupation of New Brunswick by British troops. "He also acted as pastor of the Reformed church in that town Dr. Hardenbergh took an active part in the controversy that resulted in securing" the separation of the Dutch church in this country from that in Holland.
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