Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Death of the Fox Inn

The Death of Fox Inn is now a private residence.

In 1768, Washington was appointed as a delegate to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia and managed to fill his need for fox hunting at the Gloucester Hunting Club across the River from Philadelphia in New Jersey near present-day Haddonfield. It was largely because of the social and political connections made while fox hunting that Washington's social prominence rose, and in 1775 Washington was Congress's unanimous choice as commander of the new Continental Army that was to lead the American forces in their fight against the British.

In 1774, one year before Washington was tapped to lead the fledgling Continental Army, William Eldridge began a tavern at 217 Kings Highway (aka County Road 551), in Mount Royal, New Jersey. The tavern was known as Eldridge's Tavern or "The Death of the Fox Inn".

The name is derived from the fact that the hunters of the Gloucester Fox Hunting Club (1766 to 1818) often gathered at the inn after the chase.

Fox hunting shaped several key components of the Revolutionary War. A fox terrier owned by British General Howe was found during the middle of a battle, and was later returned to him by General Washington. Some historians believe this later led Howe to resign when told he must show the American forces no mercy.

After the revolution, it was the members of the Gloucester Fox Hunting Club, meeting at "The Death of the Fox Inn" that engineered Washington's selection as the first President of the United States.

Great nations from tiny fox hunting clubs are borne.

1 comment:

rwefile said...

I lived just down the road across from the Methodist church on Kingshighway back in the 60's & 70's. Reading the history of the Death Of The Fox Inn I discovered that it was owned by the William Eldridge. Now I'm wondering if I'm related to William Eldridge. My grandfather William Eldridge lived on Cohawkin Rd. Clarksboro. It would be nice to find out.

Robert W Eldridge, Locust Grove Ga.