Memorial honoring the patriotic dead,
especially Hannah White Arnett
Source: First Presbyterian Church Burial Grounds,
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Courtesy, Penny Colman Collection
Click on image to enlarge.
This memorial “honoring the patriotic dead of many wars, . .
. especially a noble woman Hannah White Arnett” was erected in 1938 in the
cemetery of the First Presbyterian Church, Elizabeth, New Jersey, by the Boudinot Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.
was honored for preventing a group of Elizabethtown (now Elizabeth) men from
proclaiming their loyalty to Great Britain in exchange for “protection
of life and property.” Arnett overheard the men who were meeting in her
house discussing the offer. Storming into the meeting, she called them traitors
and cowards. Her husband Isaac tried to get her to leave the room, but she
continued to berate the men and announced that she would leave her husband
if he deserted the Revolutionary cause. Finally the men refused the offer.
White and Isaac and three of their children who died in infancy are buried in
Another marker on the cemetery wall that is now to worn too read
originally read in part, “Near here rests Hannah White Arnett . .
. Her patriotic words, uttered in the dark days of 1776, summoned discouraged
men to keep Elizabethtown loyal to the cause of American independence.”
Arnett’s deed was publicized many years after her death by Mary Smith Lockwood, who
helped found the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in 1890.
Although for many years, the DAR refused admission to some groups of women,
including Jews and African Americans whose descendants fought in the American
Revolution, it has played an important role in preserving and promoting
various aspects of women’s history.