Page 14 - June 23, 2021
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{ 14 }  SNJ Today  |  JUNE 23, 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                                             JUNE 23, 2021  |   { 15 }
             GOULDTOWN                                     Continued from cover

     rests. Located in what was once a colony
     described as stretching north from
     Bridgeton to Salem and south and east
     to the waters of the Delaware on land
     purchased by Fenwick from John Lord
     Berkely in 1675, Gouldtown became a
     farming community formed by several
     principal families, including the Goulds,
     the Pierces and the Murrays.
        The missing details from Roth’s
     account are provided by the web-
     site, which identifies that “the Murrays
     came here from Cape May and claim a
     Lenape Indian ancestry. Othniel Murray
     married a Swede named Katherine.” It
     also explains that “Anthony and Richard   Gould, Gold and Goold, was born
     Pierce came here from the West Indies   between 1700 and 1705. While relatively
     on a merchant ship and stayed. They   nothing is known of his early life, his
     paid the passage of two Dutch women   will “shows that he had accumulated
     who became their wives.” And the site   considerable property, which is still in
     informs us that the town was founded   the hands of his descendants, who have
     by Benjamin Gould, “the youngest of   added to it. The inventory of his personal
     five children by Elizabeth Fenwick   property, consisting of cattle, sheep, oxen
     Adams, and a man of color named Gould.   and the like, aggregated £148…which was
     Elizabeth Adams was the granddaughter   quite a sum for those days.”
     of John Fenwick…”                      The Stewards’ book also explains
        Ebony magazine wrote in its February   that “Gouldtown is comprised in two
     1952 issue, “The union [of Adams and   sections—following the two family
     Gould] caused a scandal which rocked   names of Gould and Pierce, which were
     the area for miles around and inflamed   always known by their separate names,
     Fenwick with shame and rage.” It is   Gouldtown and Piercetown, but both
     reported that Fenwick, in his will, denied   known comprehensively as Gouldtown.”
     his granddaughter any inheritance of his   The article refers to
     estate. “Intermarriage between Negroes   the Gould and Pierce families as “the two
     and whites in those days was rare,”   main branches of the community” who
     Ebony noted, and “the couple were sub-  “followed separate paths of development.
     jected to scorn and ridicule but remained   The Goulds were stolid, conservative,
     together as man and wife and raised chil-  and for nearly a century, teetotalers,
     dren who became the first of a long line   while the Pierces were long noted for
     of hardy farmers.”                   their gaiety, love of music, dancing and   is no section of our County more highly   from great great-aunts and -uncles, some
        “Gouldtown Traces History Back to   generous drinking.”                honored than is Gouldtown, from which   of them people close to a hundred…” In
     First Intermarriage,” reads the headline   As Roth’s novel notes, children in   men have gone forth to become widely   their history of Gouldtown, the Stewards
     of an article from an unidentified news-  Gouldtown were “catechized in the   known and honored. Bishop Benjamin   find it “remarkable, too, for the known
     paper posted on, and it   schoolhouse by the Presbyterians –   F. Lee was for some time…President of   longevity of its people, who do not begin
     identifies Elizabeth’s husband as a coach-  where they also learned to spell and   Wilberforce University at Wilberforce,   to grow old, as is often said, until they
     man, but notes that his Christian name   read…” Education was a priority and   Ohio, of which he is now a member of   come to three-score years, and a number
     “cannot be found in the public records   the Stewards’ book reveals that “Judge   the Advisory Board.         of whom have reached the century mark,
     or ancient family histories of Gouldtown.   [Lucius] Elmer, a distinguished Supreme   Another is Theophilus G. Steward,   one of whom (Ebenezer Pierce Bishop)
     He is the one Gould in the history of the   Court Jurist of New Jersey… and his son   who, for many years was chaplain of the   is still living, at this writing, who is one
     area about whom very little is known.   were accustomed, on Sunday afternoons   United States Army and now…ably fills a   hundred and six years old, and one of
     But there was one son, Benjamin Gould,   to meet in a schoolhouse and catechize   professorship at Wilberforce University.   whom (Mrs. Lydia Gould Sheppard) was
     who married a Finnish woman.”        the children of Gouldtown, in the neigh-  Yet another is Theodore Gould, who is a   buried in the year nineteen hundred and
        We’re told by William Steward and   borhood, in the years following the   member of the Philadelphia Conference   eleven, at the age of one hundred and
     Rev. Theophilus G. Steward in their 1913   Revolution.”                   of his church…”                     two…” n
     book Gouldtown: A Very Remarkable      The Stewards also offer evidence of   The Human Stain contains a descrip-
     Settlement of Ancient Date, Roth’s source   the achievements of the town’s educa-  tion of how a character “learned the   This series will continue next week
     for his novel’s history, that Benjamin,   tion process, quoting from an unidenti-  maze of family history,” hearing it repeat-  in the the author’s “Jersey Reflections”
     whose surname was alternately spelled   fied local newspaper of the time: “There   edly “from great-aunts and great-uncles,   column.
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