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Joseph Bloomfield
painting by Charles Willson Peale
4th Governor of New Jersey

In office
October 29, 1803 – October 29, 1812
Preceded by John Lambert
as Acting Governor
Succeeded by Aaron Ogden

In office
October 31, 1801 – November 15, 1802
Preceded by Richard Howell
Succeeded by John Lambert
as Acting Governor
Personal details
Born (1753-10-18)October 18, 1753
Woodbridge Township, New Jersey
Died October 3, 1823(1823-10-03) (aged 69)
Burlington, New Jersey
Political party Democratic-Republican
Spouse(s) Mary McIlvaine (1752–1818)
Isabella Ramsey (1779–1871)
Religion Presbyterian

Joseph Bloomfield (October 18, 1753 – October 3, 1823) was the fourth Governor of New Jersey. The township of Bloomfield, New Jersey is named for him.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Joseph Bloomfield was born in Woodbridge Township, New Jersey to Moses Bloomfield, a physician, and Sarah Ogden. Moses Bloomfield was a surgeon and an abolitionist.

Education and military service[edit | edit source]

Joseph was educated at Reverend Enoch Green’s school in Deerfield Township, New Jersey, where Enoch was the pastor of the local Presbyterian Church. Bloomfield studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1775 and began his law practice in Bridgeton, New Jersey. He entered the Continental Army as captain of the 3rd New Jersey Regiment on February 9, 1776. He attained the rank of major on November 28, 1776, and was appointed judge advocate of the northern army. He was wounded at the Battle of Brandywine in September 1777. He resigned from the Continental Army on October 28, 1778, after he was elected clerk of the New Jersey General Assembly.

In 1794, he led Federal and New Jersey state troops to put down the Whiskey Rebellion, a popular uprising conducted by Appalachian settlers who resisted the excise tax on liquor and distilled drinks, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From 1795 to 1800 he served as Mayor of Burlington, New Jersey.[1]

At the start of the War of 1812 he was commissioned as a brigadier general in the United States Army on March 13, 1812. He served until June 15, 1815 along the Canadian border.

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Joseph married Mary McIlvaine (1752–1818), the daughter of William McIlvaine (1722–1770), a physician from Burlington, New Jersey. Her brother, Col. Joseph McIlvaine (1749–1787), was the father of Joseph McIlvaine (1769–1826), United States Senator from New Jersey.[2] They had no children.

After the death of his first wife, he married Isabella Ramsey (1779–1871), the daughter of John Ramsey.

Public life[edit | edit source]

He practiced law in Burlington, New Jersey and was the registrar of the admiralty court from 1779 to 1783. He served as the New Jersey Attorney General from 1783 to 1792 and as a trustee of Princeton College from 1793 until his death. He was elected Governor of New Jersey as a Democratic-Republican and served in office from 1801–1802 and from 1803–1812.

Bloomfield was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Fifteenth United States Congress and reelected to the Sixteenth Congress from March 4, 1817 through March 3, 1821, where he represented New Jersey's At-large congressional district. Bloomfield ran for, but was not elected to, the Seventeenth Congress.

In 1796, what had been known as the Old First Church was formed and was named the Presbyterian Society of Bloomfield in honor of Joseph Bloomfield. When the Township of Bloomfield was formed, the name was taken from the name of the church.[3]

Death[edit | edit source]

Bloomfield died in Burlington, New Jersey on October 3, 1823, and was buried in Saint Mary's Episcopal Churchyard in Burlington.[4]

Further reading[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Joseph Bloomfield, Burlington City, N.J. Accessed July 1, 2011. "Born in 1753, Joseph Bloomfield reached the rank of Captain in the Revolutionary War, then served as New Jersey state attorney general and chief justice of the New Jersey Vice-Admiralty Court. He moved to Burlington upon marrying Mary McIlvaine, and took up residence in a mansion on High Street which had been built about 1750.... Bloomfield served as Mayor of Burlington from 1795 to 1800, the second mayor under the Act of Incorporation of 1784."
  2. Frank Charles McElvain (1999). A History of the McElvain-McIlvaine Family Line. p. 379. http://books.google.com/books?id=Y840AAAAMAAJ. 
  3. Bloomfield, New Jersey – A Brief History, Bloomfield Presbyterian Church. Accessed August 21, 2007.
  4. St. Mary's Churchyard at The Political Graveyard. Accessed August 21, 2007.

External links[edit | edit source]

Legal offices
Preceded by
William Paterson (judge)
New Jersey Attorney General
Succeeded by
Aaron Woodruff
Political offices
Preceded by
Richard Howell
Governor of New Jersey
October 31, 1801 – October 28, 1802
Succeeded by
John Lambert
Acting Governor
Preceded by
John Lambert
Acting Governor
Governor of New Jersey
October 29, 1803 – October 29, 1812
Succeeded by
Aaron Ogden
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ezra Baker
Ephraim Bateman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 3rd congressional district

March 4, 1817 – March 3, 1821
Ephraim Bateman
Succeeded by
Ephraim Bateman
George Cassedy
Lewis Condict
George Holcombe
James Matlack
Samuel Swan

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