The Mercer Oak

The Mercer Oak (HM6JL)

Location: Princeton, NJ 08540 Mercer County
Country: United States of America

N 40° 19.906', W 74° 40.585'

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The Mercer Oak was named for Brigadier General Hugh Mercer, who fought and was mortally wounded in the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777. The white oak is believed to have been here at the time of the American Revolution.

A legend says that Mercer was bayoneted and was laid beneath this tree, refusing to leave the battle until victory was secured. He was actually wounded just uphill, behind enemy lines. Later recovered by his aids, Mercer was carried to the Thomas Clarke House, where he died nine days later. Besides the tree, this county and the nearby roadway are among the many things named in his honor.

Mercer (1725-77), born in Scotland, studied medicine at Aberdeen. As an assistant surgeon to the Scottish Jacobite Army he was present at their defeat by the English on Culloden Moor in 1746. Settling in Pennsylvania in 1747, Mercer served the English Provincial Army in the French and Indian War, attaining the rank of colonel. Moving to Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1761 he married, purchased Washington's boyhood farm, and practiced medicine. As the Revolution began Mercer was named colonel of the 3rd Virginia regiment in 1775 and in 1776 became brigadier general under Washington.

Collapsing of old age on March 3, 2000, the Mercer Oak continues to be a well-recognized symbol of Princeton Township, of Mercer County, the New Jersey Green Acres Program, and other entities. An offspring donated by Louise Morse, started in 1981 from an acorn of the Mercer Oak, was plated next to the old stump in 2001.

Created by Chris Wang BSA Troop 88, Princeton, NJ - 1998
HM NumberHM6JL
Placed ByState of New Jersey, Division of Parks and Forestry
Marker Condition
7 out of 10 (1 reports)
Date Added Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 6:52am PDT -07:00
Photo Credits: [1] DAWN ENGLER  
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 527486 N 4464631
Decimal Degrees40.33176667, -74.67641667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 19.906', W 74° 40.585'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 19' 54.36" N, 74° 40' 35.10" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)201, 609, 732, 908
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 453-499 Mercer St, Princeton NJ 08540, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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I Saw The Marker

Located in Princeton Battlefield State Park. When I worked for the State, we attempted to cut some dead limbs off the tree. The musket balls kicked back the chainsaw blades. The old tree has fallen, but a new one planted in it's place.

Oct 10, 2015 at 8:48am PDT by babybago

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