Tom Pyle, Patriots’ Week committee member and event presenter, is our guest contributor this week. If you would like to be a guest contributor and write a post for our website, send an e-mail to

By: Tom Pyle

The year-end holiday interlude between Christmas and New Year’s is normally a quiet time. But this year, from December 26th through 31st, Trenton will be whooping things up with its annual celebration of “Patriots’ Week”, a seven-day extravaganza of historical and cultural events for all New Jerseyans. Programs include tours, exhibitions, plays, films, lectures, songfests, and more—all free to the public! Learn the truth about Hessian mercenaries. Hear of the proud legacy of Afro-American soldiers in the Revolution. Watch the documentary premier about John Hart, signer of the Declaration of Independence from Hopewell. Attend a lecture about David Brearley, signer of the Constitution from Trenton. See the colorful splendor of Masonic culture at the Masonic Temple Museum. Partake of re-enactments of the Battles of Trenton in the streets where they happened. And much more.

Learn about it all HERE.

Patriots Week is sponsored by the City of Trenton, Trenton Downtown Association, Old Barracks Museum, TD Bank, NJ Manufacturers, NJ Historical Commission, Crossroads of the American Revolution, Hunter Research, Trenton Historical Society,, Princeton Battlefield Society. & Washington Crossing Park Association.


David Brearley: The Most Important Founding Father That We Don't Know

A native of Trenton, where his remains repose today, David Brearley (1745-1790) is a forgotten Founding Father. Unsung in our present time, Brearley was the Founding Father who addressed and answered very significant constitutional questions, such as:

·      How is an American President elected?

·      What are the minimum criteria for a President?

·      Who replaces a President if he dies?

·      How long is a Presidential term of office?

·      By what process can a President be removed from office?

·      How many Senators represent each state?

·      When is “judicial review”?

·      Who appoints Supreme Court Justices?

David Brearley stood at the center of several epic American moments during his brief but eventful life. In 1777 and 1778, he led American soldiers at the Battles of Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth. In 1779, he was installed, age 34, as New Jersey Chief Justice. He presided over the landmark 1780 New Jersey case of Holmes v. Walton which established the concept of “judicial review”. His 1783 Trenton Decree peacefully ended a shooting war between two new American states. In 1786 he was elected first Grandmaster of New Jersey Freemasons. In 1787 he signed the Constitution—and shaped the American presidency. In 1789, he was appointed New Jersey’s first Federal District Court judge.

Today unheralded for what he was—Revolutionary War solider, jurist, statesman, citizen servant, significant church layman, Masonic leader—David Brearley silently reposes in an obscure, overgrown Trenton churchyard. Today unknown to most Americans, David Brearley is nevertheless one of the most important Founding Fathers that we need to know better.

Learn more about this extraordinary patriot at a free Patriots’ Week public lecture:

“Bro. David Brearley: The Most Important Founding Father That We Don’t Know” Friday, Dec. 29, 4 pm, Masonic Temple, 100 Barrack St., Trenton, NJ.


The Princeton Battlefield Society is a dedicated group of modern-day citizen patriots working hard to preserve, protect, improve, and educate about the Princeton Battlefield and the epic history associated with it. PBS hosts events, tours, restorations, celebrations, and seminars at the Battlefield and in the community. It also advocates for further enhancement of the Battlefield and its surroundings. With its partner, the Civil War Trust, PBS in 2017 came to agreement with the Institute for Advanced Study to acquire 14 acres of additional land for the park, the very land on which Gen. Washington mounted his victorious countercharge on that fateful day.

With this wonderful new land acquisition, the Princeton Battlefield Society has big plans, for more education, programs, and even the long term development of a visitors’ center, in time for the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Princeton in 2027. We welcome all to join with us in our exciting and important work to advance this most exquisite national heritage site right in the heart of New Jersey, the Cockpit of the Revolution.

For more information, please visit our website. Also, contact Mr. Roger Williams, Secretary and Chair, Marketing and Publicity Committee, Princeton Battlefield Society,

Tom Pyle, Princeton resident, amateur historian, and member of Mercer Lodge No. 50 F. & A. M. in Trenton, is completing a biography about David Brearley.

More from New Jersey 101.5:

Sign up for the Newsletter

Get the best of delivered to your inbox every day.