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There will be a living history reenactment of a colonial encapment on the grounds of the historic First Presbyterian Church on Broad Street in Elizabeth on Saturday, March 29th. The members of Colonel Matthias Ogden’s First New Jersey Regiment will encamp and train from 11 am until 4 pm. Visitors can learn about 18th century life with demonstrations and discussions about colonial life in New Jeresy.

The First New Jersey Regiment was formed in 1673 in Piscataway to protect the citizens from Indians who came down from Pennsylvania and New York that summer. All of New Jersey’s regular organized military forces were formed as offshoots of this First Regiment which fought in 1775, led by Colonel William Alexander, for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. The members of the regiment wore “Jersey Blues,” which were blue coats with red lapels and cuffs. 

The First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth, New Jersey is a historic church on Broad Street. It was founded in 1783 by James Odgen and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The final resting place of the First Regiment’s commander Colonel Matthias Ogden, who led the regiment from 1777-1783, is at the Church. A member of Ogden’s family will read an original letter written to Matthias from his younger sister in 1779.


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