A look into New Jersey & Pennsylvania taverns in Colonial times

New Jersey's state seal was designed by Pierre Eugene du Simitiere a Swiss born Artist. This is the same artist who originally drafted the United States Great Seal along with other designs signifying America’s new independence. The New Jersey Seal was presented in May, 1777, to the Legislature, which was then meeting in the Indian King Tavern in Haddonfield. This Tavern reportedly served as a Masonic lodge at times.

Throughout 1777, the Indian King Tavern, with its huge second-floor meeting hall, served as a major political and administrative center for the Continental war effort. The Council and General Assembly of New Jersey -- the state's main government body -- was forced to evacuate its offices in the battle-ravaged Trenton and temporarily relocate to the Indian King. It was here that the Declaration of Independence was formally read into the minutes of the New Jersey Assembly. And it was here -- with Hugh Creighton and staff serving up great tankards of ale for toasting afterward -- that the Assembly enacted the law that officially changed New Jersey from a colony into a state and adopted that State's Great Seal.”
The three plows in the shield honor the state's agricultural tradition. The helmet above the shield faces forward, an attitude denoting sovereignty and thus particularly fitting for one of the first governments created under the notion that the state itself is the sovereign. The crest above the helmet is a horse's head. (Levins)

The supporting female figures are Liberty and Ceres, the Roman goddess of grain, symbolizing abundance. Liberty, on the viewer's left, carries the liberty cap on her staff. Ceres holds a cornucopia filled with harvested produce. Although the Seal's major elements have kept their relative positions for more than 200 years, there have been a number of lesser changes. The staff that Liberty now holds with her right hand she once held in the crook of her left arm. While the female figures now face straight ahead, they at one time looked away from the shield. The cornucopia that Ceres now holds upright was once inverted, its open end upon the ground. The Seal was redesigned in accordance with Joint Resolution 8 of the Laws of 1928. It was then that the year of statehood, 1776, first appeared in Arabic figures.

The bronze medallion of Pennsylvania’s R.W. Grand Master Marvin A. Cunningham, Sr., commemorates the 200th anniversary of the time in 1802 when the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, the oldest Masonic jurisdiction in North America, first owned its own building. From its earliest days as a Provincial Grand Lodge in 1731 until it acquired its own building, meetings were held in various places, first in taverns and inns, then in meeting houses. The 2002 commemorative piece reflects Pennsylvania's Masonic history, showing all the places where Grand Lodge has held its meetings. The 12 meeting places preceding the present Masonic Temple are depicted on the reverse of the four-inch diameter medallion like the numbers on a clock dial, starting with the oldest, Tun Tavern at the bottom and progressing clockwise. Today's Masonic Temple is in the center. Shown in very detailed bronze relief, they are:

1773-1748: Indian King Tavern and 1749-1754: Royal Standard Tavern -- Both taverns were located on High St. (now Market St.) below Third, at the corner of Biddle's Alley. The Indian King Tavern was at Market and Bank Streets, to the right of the First Presbyterian Church, and the Royal Standard, at Market near Second St. was to the left

1786- On December 18th, in White Hall Tavern in the City of New Brunswick, New Jersey Hon. David Brearley, Chief Justice of the State of New Jersey, was elected Grand Master unanimously and placed in charge of the mysteries of the craft (Shaw, Everts & Peck)

1800-1802: The State House (Independence Hall) -- The lodge room was on the second floor of The State House on the south side of Chestnut St., between Fifth and Sixth Streets.

1. Levins, H.

2. Shaw, W.; Everts & Peck (1884) History of Essex and Hudson Counties, New Jersey