In response to Egbert T. Bush’s article on Buchanan’s Tavern

Where was Buchanan’s Tavern? Recently,1 I found the first tavern where I didn’t expect it, on the west side of Route 579 near the intersection with Route 523. Most people think it was on the east side of the road, where the Miceks now have a small farm. They are right—there was a Buchanan’s tavern there, but it was the second Buchanan’s Tavern, and here is the rest of the story.

John Buchanan, the original tavern owner, died on December 24, 1818, at the age of 78. At least three of his children pre-deceased him, including his son John Buchanan Jr., who died on January 19, 1818 at the age of 46, leaving a widow and 9 children. (Just like the confusing John Robins, there were three generations of John Buchanans, since John Buchanan Jr. also had a son John, born in 1800.)2 Buchanan’s two daughters also died before he did. Margaret, wife of Johann Mathias Case, died in 1808. Sarah, wife of Peter Case, appears to have died before 1796, since she was not mentioned in her husband’s estate records.

Five children of John Buchanan Sr. survived him. Sons Philip and Asher were mentioned in the estate records, but disappear after that, probably having moved west. Son George married into the Fulper family and died in 1826. The remaining two sons, Samuel the eldest and Archibald the youngest, were named to administer the estate.

Archibald Buchanan

On July 29, 1811, Archibald Buchanan married Delilah Sutton, daughter of Amos Sutton (1765-1828) and Jane Robins (1765-1834). The Sutton family had been living on a large property south of the Buchanans since the 1740s. Jane Robins was the daughter of John Robins (ii) and Elizabeth Taylor. So, this marriage brought together two well-established families from the neighborhood. Two years later, Buchanan purchased a lot of 16+ acres across the road from his father’s tavern lot,3 Soon afterwards, in 1813, Archibald Buchanan applied for a tavern license.4 His father stopped applying for licenses that year, so there continued to be one active tavern at this location.

Two years later, in 1815, Archibald Buchanan bought from the estate of John Rake dec’d a woodlot of 6.5 acres for $102.48 per acre, a very high price for woodland.5 But then, he also paid a very high price for his new tavern lot ($3500). Being a young man just setting up housekeeping, it is curious that he had so much money to spend.

In any case, Archibald Buchanan was well-established in his own tavern business by the time his father died in 1818. Archibald and Samuel Buchanan, as administrators, gave an account of John Buchanan’s estate, which included receipts for sums paid to the three other surviving children of John Buchanan: Philip, George and Asher R. Buchanan.

On January 23, 1819, Archibald and Samuel Buchanan petitioned the Orphans Court for permission to divide the real estate of John Buchanan among his several heirs. The Court appointed commissioners to determine if this was feasible. They were William Bishop, Edward Welsted and John G. Trimmer. After viewing the property, the commissioners decided that dividing it would be detrimental to its value, so the Court ordered that it be sold at public vendue and the proceeds divided among the heirs.

In addition to the 60-acre tavern lot near Rte 523, John Buchanan also owned a 100-acre lot further north on Route 579, opposite the old Lazy K. Because he died intestate, his widow Azubah (or “Zuba”) was entitled to a third of the whole estate and the surviving children to the remaining two-thirds. Azubah Buchanan had to bid on her own home in order to keep it. The sale was held on April 13, 1819, and she bid $69.95 per acre, to be paid in three installments. But she was not really out of pocket, since the proceeds were distributed among the heirs, including herself. The other tract of 100 acres was offered for sale on April 17th, when John’s son Samuel bid $23 per acre. If there was any question about which tract of land was the tavern lot, these sales should banish doubt. Clearly the 60-acre tract was far more valuable.

I have wondered about this Samuel Buchanan. Generally, the administrator of an estate, as Samuel Buchanan was, cannot bid on the property when it is offered for public sale. But in this case, court-appointed Commissioners were in charge of the sale, rather than the administrators, so that must have made it all right. I had considered that perhaps the brother of John Buchanan, also named Samuel, might still be alive at this time, but given the advanced age of John Buchanan when he died, I think it doubtful. It will always be a question though, since no estate is recorded for John’s brother, Samuel Buchanan.

Death of Archibald Buchanan

Gravestone of Archibald Buchanan, Sutton Family Cemetery, 1819
Gravestone of Archibald Buchanan, Sutton Family Cemetery, 1819

Archibald Buchanan did not complete his duties as administrator of his father’s estate. He died an untimely death, at the age of 29, on April 20, 1819. This had to have been from an accident or some fatal disease, like typhoid. He was buried in the small family cemetery located on the Sutton family property, now part of the Robins Hill development.6 His gravestone (with doubtful rhyming) reads:

Archibald Buchanan | who departed this life
April 20th A.D. 1819 | in the 29th year | of his age

Dear friends farewell I go to dwell | With Jesus Christ on high; | There for to sing Praise to my king; | Thro’ all eternity.

Comparing Inventories

Since both John and Archibald Buchanan were tavern keepers, and both died within a few months of each other, it is intriguing to compare their inventories, keeping in mind, of course, that John died when he was 78, and Archibald was only 29 years old.

John Buchanan’s Inventory

The Inventory was taken on January 1, 1819, by John G. Trimmer & Isaac Huffman, Buchanan’s neighbor.7

Livestock:  four cows $87;  four young cattle $43;  two horses and one colt $115;  five sheep $11;  four swine $11.00;  and two Hives of Bees $4.50, for a total of $271.50.  Grass & Grain:  Hay in the barracks $45; Hay in the meadow $19; Straw in Barn $6; Corn Stalks $7; Potatoes $15; Corn in the Crib $30; Wheat, Rye, Buckweat & oats $33.65; Cedar Shingles & Grass seed $3.30; Green Grain in the ground $30, amounting to $188.95.  Farm Implements: 2 Laddles [ladders?] $2; Waggon Plough and other implements of Husbandry $70.30; for a total of $72.30.  Sal[t] Meat $46; Household goods $321.07; Weaving Loom and Tackling $16; for a total of $386.57.  Notes against Cornelius Lake, Amos Sutton, Peter Dilts, William Sine, Jeremiah Geary, Peter Geary, George Trout, Bartholomew Vancamp, Josiah Rounsaville, William Dilts, Andrew Dilts, John Jewell, and Henry Rounsaville. Book account $109.95.

Inventory total $2409.77. In addition, an old stove $2; 2 negroes not appraised, harrows, hoes, lye tub and barrel $1.50; 25 Gallons of whisky [no value given].

This inventory shows that Buchanan was both a serious farmer and a weaver. The 25 gallons of whiskey is the only hint that he was also a tavern keeper. Why on earth the “2 negroes” were lumped together with harrow, hoes and a lye tub is beyond understanding. Perhaps they were “not appraised” because they were not meant to be counted as property.  Given Buchanan’s age, I suspect the ‘Negroes” began as slaves and were nearly as old as Buchanan when he died. The most likely people to own slaves in Amwell Township were millers and tavernkeepers.

Archibald Buchanan’s Inventory

Archibald Buchanan’s Inventory was taken on April 30, 1819 by William Bishop and Isaac Huffman, who had also done John Buchanan’s inventory.8

Personal Items:  Purse & Apparel $83.63; Gun and Shot bag $6; One Silver watch $8; totals $97.63.  Household:  Furniture $71; six beds and bedding $95; chairs, tables, stands $ cupboard $35.50; Sundries in the corner cupboard $10.50; kitchen furniture $13.50; tubs empty casks, dicer [?] oil & rum in the celler $37.75; pickled and smoked meat $33; One cythe  shovel and tongs and kitchen furniture $6.75; Sundries of Grain and bags &c. in Chamber $43.75; Spining wheels real and sundries $7.37; Sheets and Table Cloths $13.25’ Set of Books $4; for a total of $371.37.  Livestock:  two horses $67; two cows and one heifer $42;  two hogs $12, amounting to $121. Farm Implements:  two Setts of one horse harness & two Saddles $27.25; Tow [?] one horse waggons Plow harrow &c. $57.50; one stove and two ades [adzes?] $8.25;  cutting box and barn furniture $2.65;  for a total of $95.65.  Grain in the ground $70.  Barr furniture and Liquor $10.51.  “Obligation” $402.12. Amount brought forward $766.21. Amount [total] $1173.38.

The inventories reflect the fact that John Buchanan was an 18th century man, and his son Archibald was a post-Revolutionary War man. John Buchanan was far wealthier than his son when he died, but this is to be expected. The most striking difference is the amount of personal possessions (household goods, cash, apparel, silver watch) that Archibald owned, while his father had far more livestock and crops, and a considerable amount lent at interest. It is also interesting that Archibald’s inventory mentioned “barr furniture,” while John’s only mentioned 25 barrels of whiskey.

Delilah Buchanan

Personal Note: I have long been interested in Delilah Buchanan and was glad to get a chance to piece together her life. Turns out I got more than I bargained for. 

After Archibald Buchanan died, his wife Delilah had to take over management of her husband’s tavern business, while raising their four young children, the eldest of whom was about 6 years old, and the youngest—daughter Harriet—about one and a half.

On May 7, 1819, Delilah Buchanan accomplished two important things. First, she and her father, Amos Sutton, were named administrators of her husband’s estate, with sureties Robert and Jacob Godown.9 On the same day, she was granted guardianship of her children, who were all under the age of 14. The guardianship of Amos S., Lucretia and Harriet Buchanan was to end when the youngest of them reached the age of 14. That would be Harriet, who would be 14 in 1831. The guardianship required a bond of $4000, and was witnessed by the Surrogate, Joseph Bonnell.10

It should be noted that as the widow of a man who died intestate, Delilah Buchanan was only entitled to a third of his estate, which only consisted of the tavern lot, wood lot, and personal property (see inventory above). As administrator of the estate and guardian of the children, she had effective control over the property, but not outright ownership of it.

One final piece of business was to apply for a tavern license in her own name, which she did this same month.11

On May 9, 1820, Delilah Buchanan purchased the 60-acre farm on which the widow Azubah Lake Buchanan was living.12 She paid $4253 for it, which was what Azubah Buchanan had paid at the public sale on April 13th. It didn’t take long for this heavy burden to become just too heavy to carry.

In 1821, a public sale of the real estate of Jacob Rake deceased was held “at the house of Delilah Buchanan,” which is a dead give-away that she was running a tavern that year. Her application for a tavern license for 1821 stated she wished to continue at “old Buchanan’s Stand.”13

Unknown Woman, 1830s, painted by Milton Hopkins
Unknown Woman, 1830s, painted by Milton Hopkins

I have included this picture to show what a woman living in Delilah Buchanan’s time might have looked like. 

Delilah Buchanan and her father Amos Sutton were still administering the estate of Archibald Buchanan in 1825, when an advertisement in the Hunterdon Gazette announced that the Orphans Court would hear accounts on August 5, 1825, including that of Delilah Rea, late Delilah Buchannan, and Amos Sutton, Administrators of Archibald Buchannan, deceased. Delilah Rea? Yes, she had remarried.

Delilah Sutton Buchanan and Isaac Rea of Franklin Township were married by Rev. Bartolette on February 28, 1822 in what had to be a Baptist Church, although I cannot be sure which one; quite possibly the one at Locktown.14 They had two children, Alexander and Mary.15 In 1823 and 1824 it was Isaac Rea who applied for a tavern license, not Delilah Buchanan.16

Delilah Buchanan Loses Custody of Her Children

By 1823, Delilah and Isaac Rea were having trouble paying the amount owed to Azubah Buchanan; so much trouble that in February 1823, Azubah Buchanan sued Isaac Rea and Delilah his wife for the remaining amount owed to her for her 60-acre farm, being $1,375.94. The court ruled in her favor.17 Since the Rea’s did not have that amount on hand, the court ordered a writ of fieri facias, requiring the Sheriff to levy on their goods, chattels and real estate and hold a public sale, which was done in October 1823. The goods consisted of 4 cows, 1 yoke of oxen, 2 horses, 2 waggons & harness, 4 beds & bedding, 3 tables, 12 chairs; also a farm in the township of Amwell containing 70 acres more or less with the appurtenances adjoining lands of Samuel Buchanan, Isaac Huffman, & others, together with all the residue of the goods and chattels lands and tenements of the said defendants valued of 50 cents.18 This “farm of 70 acres” must have been the 60-acre old tavern lot, Azubah’s home, plus perhaps a ten-acre woodlot. Strangely enough, there is no evidence that the farm was put up for public sale, which suggests that some other arrangement was arrived at. The farm remained in Delilah’s possession. But this matter was not yet resolved. In August 1824, Azubah Buchanan again took Delilah and Isaac Rea to court, this time for a debt of $2070.59, considerably more than the previous amount.19

Things just went from bad to worse. In the August term of the Court of Common Pleas, she and her father Amos Sutton were sued by Henry Trimmer, as administrators of Archibald Buchanan deceased, for a debt of $1000, together with court costs of $3.92.20 Since they could not pay this debt, the Court granted another writ of fieri facias on Amos Sutton & Delilah Rea, late Delilah Buchanan, adm’s of Archibald Buchanan dec’d. On February 13, 1826, the Sheriff reported to the Court that Amos Sutton and Delilah Rea had no goods of their own on which to levy, but he could levy on the goods of Archibald Buchanan dec’d, which he did, listing “horses, cattle, sheep, hogs, plows, harrows, waggon, green grain, stills, kettles, beds, bedding and all the residue of the goods & chattels of the defendants.”

Not long after this, Delilah Buchanan’s guardianship of her children was challenged, and given over to a Flemington man, one Charles Bonnell. This must have come after the Orphans Court had heard the account of Isaac and Delilah Rea, given on June 9, 1825. On December 8, 1826, Charles Bonnell and Gabriel Hoff gave a Guardians Bond for $2000, which was approved by the court.21

I am guessing that Bonnell charged Delilah and Isaac Rea for the upkeep of the children and their home, and the Reas disputed the amount, since the matter was handed over to arbitrators (Edward Welsted, William Nixon and Isaac Huffman). As a result, on January 26, 1827, the Reas “as late guardians of the children of Archibald Buchanan dec’d, became bound to Charles Bonnell in the amount of $1000, and in February, the arbitrators changed the amount to $555.10,22 which may not have been paid, since Bonnell took the Reas to court in May 1827.23 Meanwhile, the Reas were also paying off the debt owned to Henry Trimmer; they got help from Azubah Buchanan, who paid $260.49 to Trimmer on March 12, 1827, on a bond of $300.24 The Bonnell case was continued in October 1827, when Andrew Miller confessed judgment on behalf of his clients for the amount of $579.15 with costs.25

Although I have found no record of this, Delilah Buchanan must have gotten matters straightened out, for on March 22, 1828, she petitioned to reclaim guardianship of her children, Lucretia, Harriet and Archibald Jr., all minors. Surprisingly, the sureties for her bond were her mother-in-law Azubah Buchanan, who signed her mark, and her brother Jonas Sutton.26 One week later, on March 31st, Charles Bonnell on behalf of those same children sued Delilah Rea and Isaac Rea over their accounting of estate of the Archibald Buchanan dec’d.27

Delilah’s father Amos Sutton died on April 6, 1828, at the age of 63. He is buried in the Sutton Family Burying Ground. He was survived by ten children, and his wife Jane, who died in 1834.

Isaac Rea Goes to Gaol

While Delilah Buchanan Rea was struggling to keep up with her legal troubles, her husband Isaac Rea had troubles of his own. In December 1825, the court seized his rights in his father’s farm in Franklin Twp. and offered them for public sale on January 5, 1826. They were “seized as the property of Isaac Rea, junior, survivor, &c. and taken in execution” at the suit of the executors of Joseph Bonnell, Esq. deceased. Apparently, Isaac Rea Jr. did not pay his attorney’s bill, always a big mistake.

But Isaac Rea was also sued for debt by Samuel D. Stryker. For that he was arrested and confined to “gaol” as an insolvent debtor. Interestingly, he got the Court of Common Pleas to have him released, but Stryker, represented by Nathaniel Saxton, appealed to the N.J. Supreme Court and in May 1830 they ordered that the Court of Common Pleas had acted incorrectly and Rea should be sent back to “gaol.”28

By this time, Delilah and Isaac Rea were definitely separated, for in 1830, “Dalilah” Buchanan was counted in the census for Amwell Township as head of household, in her 30s, with four children; no one else was living with her.29

Detail of 1828 Map of New Jersey “Compiled under the Patronage of the Legislature of Said State by Thomas Gordon.”
Detail of 1828 Map of New Jersey “Compiled under the Patronage of the Legislature of Said State by Thomas Gordon.”

Buchanan’s Tavern was never referred to as Rea’s Tavern, even though Isaac Rea got the licenses in 1823 and 1824. I was hoping the tavern license applications would give me a clue as to when Isaac Rea and Delilah Buchanan parted company, but sadly, there is a gap in the minutes of the Court of Common Pleas for tavern licenses; none were recorded in the Minutes for 1825-26 and 1828-32. In 1827 neither Isaac Rea nor Delilah Buchanan applied for a license, but Jonas Sutton, Delilah’s 23-year-old brother, did. The next year, Jonas Sutton signed on as a surety for Delilah in her application to recover guardianship of her children.

Delilah Buchanan’s petition for the year 1829 can be found in the County Archives (#1328), in which she wrote that she was “desirous of continuing her Tavern at the old stand in Amwell and being furnished with all things necessary for the purpose as heretofore, prays your indulgence at this time & begs your honorable body will grant her a license for the ensuing year.” Several citizens, who were acquainted with Mrs. Buchanan and thought her a suitable person to run an inn or tavern, and who also felt that a tavern was necessary in that location, signed the application in her support. They were Wm. Bishop, Jonas Sutton, William Sine, Jacob Moore, Jacob Godown, Isaac Rounsavell, William Sergeant, George Opdycke, George Crons, Benjamin Horn, John Hoppock, George Trout, Joseph Housel and Josiah Prall.

Another item indicating that the marriage did not last is an advertisement in the Gazette for another public sale, to be held in January 1830 at “the house of Delilah Buchanan, innkeeper in the township of Amwell”–no mention of Isaac Rea.

In May of 1830, the Hunterdon Gazette announced that members of the Fifth Troop of Cavalry of the Hunterdon Squadron were to meet at Delilah Buchanan’s Tavern in Amwell, completely equipped for drill. This was a branch of the Hunterdon Militia, something akin to our National Guard. They liked to gather at a place that was centrally located, had enough space for their drills and could supply the necessary refreshments.

Isaac Rea continued to appear in court papers, many involving “sundry creditors,” at least up until 1838, but what became of him I cannot say. He may have moved west, either literally or figuratively. In those days ‘moving west’ or ‘going west’ was sometimes used to mean dead or disappeared.

In 1831, it was announced in the Gazette that taxes for Amwell Township would be collected at Delilah Buchanan’s. This happened again in 1834. The Collector gave a list of important taverns in the Township where he would be available to receive payments. Buchanan’s Tavern was a landmark, no more clearly demonstrated than in the description of the boundary between the new townships of Raritan and Delaware in 1838. It was to run along the Old York Road until it intersected with the road running from Trenton to Quakertown (Route 579), “by way of Ringoes and Buchanan’s Tavern.”

Beginning of the End

Delilah Buchanan got more than she bargained for when she allowed her daughter Harriet to marry a man ten years her elder. Harriet was only 16 years old when she married a neighbor, Asher Trout, who was then 26 years old. Asher Trout was born on August 27, 1807 to John Trout and Annie Besson.30 But his father John died when Asher was only one year old, so he was raised by his uncle George Trout, who also married Asher’s mother, the widow Annie Besson Trout, in 1811. This George Trout owned the large farm just south of the old John Robins tract described in previous posts.

Asher Trout and Harriet Buchanan married on October 24, 1833. On February 17, 1834 Delilah Buchanan, sold them the 60-acre lot that had been the home of John and Azubah Buchanan for $3000. This was directly across the road from Delilah Buchanan’s tavern.31 On the same day, Asher Trout gave her a receipt for $175, as guardian of the heirs of Archable Buchannan dec’d “in full of the money that has come to the hands of said Guardian for the share of Harriet Trout formerly Hariet Buchannan of the Real Estates of John Buchannan dec’d.”32

Azubah Buchanan was still alive at this time. On April 1, 1834, Azubah Buchanan quit claimed to Asher Trout for $500 all her dower right in the 60.8 acres sold to Delilah Buchanan in 1820. What is especially interesting is Azubah’s statement that the property was “where sd Trout and sd Buchanan now live, adjoining Isaac Hoffman & others, the same that my late husband John Buchanan dec’d owned during his lifetime.”33 But by 1840, Azubah Buchanan was not living with Asher and Harriet Trout when the census was taken, nor was she living with Delilah Buchanan, or any of her Lake siblings. Her whereabouts are a mystery to me. She did not die until September 10, 1847, age 71.

Asher Trout was not all that happy with his mother-in-law, and in March 1835 he disputed the amounts that she claimed in an account she submitted for the guardianship, which was supposed to have expired in 1831. What triggered this was news that she had advertised the tavern lot for sale, to be held on March 31st, and that she intended to leave the State of New Jersey.34 A copy of Mrs. Buchanan’s account was included with the complaint, and listed repairs to the house and a shed, and to the fences on the Flemington Road and the Trenton Road, and also construction of a saddler and shoemaking shop. Asher Trout took issue with most of her claims, and stated that she was still holding onto property belonging to her daughter.

In August, the Orphans Court named Commissioners (William Bishop, Henry Trimmer and Adam C. Davis) to divide the real estate for the benefit of the heirs, but they decided to simply put the tavern lot and the woodlot of 6.85 acres up for sale at public auction.35  On October 13, 1835, an advertisement appeared in the Hunterdon Gazette, which read:

Commissioners’ Sale. By virtue of an order of the Orphan’s Court of the county of Hunterdon, Will be Sold, at Public Vendue, At the house of Jacob Buchanan, innkeeper, in the township of Amwell, on Saturday the 12th day of December next, between the hours of 12 and 5 o’clock P. M. of that day – That valuable TAVERN STAND, generally called  BUCHANAN’S  TAVERN,

Together with 16 acres of highly cultivated land attached thereto, situate in the township of Amwell aforesaid, in an angle of the roads leading from Flemington to Sergeantville [sic], and from Quakertown to Ringoes, and adjoins lands of Asher Trout, Joseph Housel and others. The house is large and commodious, the stables and other buildings (including a new saddler’s shop) are in good repair, and sufficiently large for the accommodation of a country tavern. There is likewise on the premises a thrifty young apple orchard, containing more than 100 trees.

Also at the same time and place, a LOT OF WOODLAND containing 7 acres, situate in said township, and on the road leading from Buchanan’s to Sergeantville, & adjoins lands of Acker Moore, Henry Trimmer, Asher Williamson and others. Conditions made known at the sale, by William Bishop, Henry Trimmer and Adams C. Davis, Comm’ers, dated 10 Oct 1835.

It appears from this that Delilah Buchanan had handed over the innkeeping work to her nephew Jacob Fulper Buchanan, but his name only appeared as such in 1835. Other announcements after this year simply say Buchanan’s Tavern, until 1837, when Delilah Buchanan’s name appears again.

The Tavern was offered for sale on December 12, 1835, but not enough bidders were present, so it was postponed to December 26th, when Delilah Buchanan purchased the properties for $2,178.36

Thereafter, meetings and sales were held at either Buchanan’s Tavern or the house of Delilah Buchanan. One of the more interesting ones was held on November 9, 1836. It was a  meeting of the Democratic Republicans of Amwell Twp. to recommend reform of the Caucus system.37

It appears that by 1846, Delilah Buchanan had really had enough of the tavern business. She was 56 years old. On March 31, 1846, Delilah Buchanan sold her tavern lot of 16 acres 30 perches for $3000 to her son-in-law Asher Trout.[#. Deed 86-027] What is especially curious about this is that she kept the personal property for herself. On April 1, 1846, Delilah Buchanan published this advertisement in the Hunterdon Gazette:

“Public Sale of Personal Property. The subscriber intending to relinquish house-keeping, will sell at Public Vendue, on Tuesday, the 7th day of April, inst., at her residence (Buchanan’s Tavern), her entire stock of Household Goods, such as Tables, Chairs, Stands, stoves, looking-glasses, cupboards, carpets, 1 eight day clock, beds, 2 cows, 2 wagons, plough and harrow, sleigh, whiskey, cider, grain by the bushel, green grain in the ground, potatoes by the bushel, hay, hogs, poultry, &c. Sale positive; to commence at 10 o’clock, A. M., when conditions will be made known, and attendance given by Delilah Buchanan. Buchanans’-Ville, April 1, 1846.”

Please note that Delilah’s home was at “Buchanans’-Ville.” That is the only instance I have seen of this identifier. When the Court of Common Pleas accepted petitions for tavern licenses in May 1846, Asher Trout’s name was on the list; Delilah Buchanan’s was not.38 The place was no longer Buchanan’s Tavern; it was Trout’s Tavern.

Azubah Lake Buchanan died on September 10, 1847, at the age of 81. I cannot say where she was buried. Following her death, in November 1847, a final resolution of the estate of her husband was made, distributing cash reserved to Azubah Buchanan during her lifetime to the heirs. The Commissioners reported there were six children:  Samuel (now dead, but has living children), John Jr. (now dead, has living children), George (now dead, but has children Jacob T. Buchanan and Amy Buchanan), Archibald (now dead, has children still living), Margaret (wife of John Case, now deceased, has children still living), Sarah (wife of Peter Case). Said moneys to be divided into six equal shares for each child and their survivors. 39

In 1850, when the census was taken, Asher Trout was listed as age 42, a tavern and hotel keeper, living with Harriet, age 32 and children Ann B. 15, John 11, Archabel 13, Mary 9, and Amies? 3.40 Delilah Buchanan was missing from the census, and had probably died before this year. There was no obituary for her in either the Gazette or the Democrat, which is surprising. She was probably buried next to husband Archibald in the Sutton burying ground, but her stone has been lost or buried under earth. Her husband’s uncle, Samuel Buchanan, got an obit in 1846: ”Died In Raritan township on the 19th inst., Mr. Samuel Buchanan, aged about 80 years.”

Asher Trout did not long remain a tavern keeper. In 1853, his wife Harriet died, and by the 1860 census, he was strictly a farmer. On July 7, 1866, he made it official, by selling the 16-acre lot to his nephew Asa Robbins.41 By 1870, Asher Trout was living in Princes Anne Co., Maryland, with his son Archibald Trout. He died there at the age of 90. The days of Buchanan’s Tavern had finally come to an end.

Correction, 5/6/2013:  Originally I had written that Charles Bonnell was an attorney. He was a member of a very prominent Flemington family, but as far as I know, he was not an attorney.

Comment on Philip and Asher Buchanan, 5/6/2013:  Jim Buchanan has informed me that these two were children of John Buchanan Jr., not John Sr. According to the Buchanan file at the HCHS, they were born about 1804 and in 1818. I was fooled by the fact that they had given receipts to the administrators of John Sr.’s estate. Mr. Bush was also fooled, and presumed they were children of John Sr. The estate papers were certainly ambiguous on the subject.

Addendum, 10/6/2017:  This item appeared in the Democrat-Advertiser for April 4, 1901:

“Anderson Bray is among the few persons living who saw the two men, Carter and Parks, on their way from Trenton to Belvidere, where they were hung for the murder of the Castner family in the early forties. They were guarded by a troop of twenty-four horsemen. They were also on horseback and handcuffed together. They made a short halt, at what was then known as Buchanan’s tavern, on the Trenton road, three miles west of Flemington, now the residence of Asa Robbins.”


  1. Click on the topic Buchanan’s Tavern in the right-hand column for all the articles on this subject.
  2. John Buchanan Jr. was buried in the Opdycke Cemetery near Headquarters, next to his wife Elizabeth Rockafellar; John Buchanan Sr.’s grave cannot be found there, even though he married Sarah Opdycke.
  3. As described in the previous post in this series.
  4. Minutes of the Court of Common Pleas, Hunterdon Co. Clerk’s Office (hereafter CPM), vol. 19 pp. 262-63.
  5. This was Block 25 Lot 47-50 on the Delaware Twp. tax map.
  6. The Sutton Burying Ground will be the subject of a future post.
  7. Inventory Bk 4 p. 375
  8. Inventory Bk 5 p. 14
  9. Amos Sutton might not have been the best person to administer the estate. In 1819, he got into debt and a sale of his property was ordered by the court. Fortunately for him, the purchasers were his sons, John and Jonas Sutton. Unfortunately, they ended up suing their father for debt. I do need more details on this situation.
  10. Guardianship Papers, Hunterdon Co. Surrogate’s Court, file No. 73
  11. CPM 20:379-80. There was no record of tavern license applications in the Minutes of the Court of Common Pleas for 1820 through 1822. Other years were also omitted, for reasons I cannot explain.
  12. Deed 30-626.
  13. Hunterdon Co. Archives, tavern license No. 1328;also No. 1265.
  14. Marriage record Bk 2 p. 209
  15. Some researchers think Isaac Rea was also known as Alexander Rea and under that name married his first wife Mary Stires in 1808. According to a genealogical file at the Hunterdon Co. Historial Society, Alexander Rea was shot by the Molly Maguires, but the circumstances were not given and no sources were provided. Isaac Rea’s brother was named Alexander, but seems to have been a different person.
  16. CPM 22:326; 23:078.
  17. CPM Bk 22 p. 376
  18. CPM Bk 22 p. 383
  19. CPM Bk 23 pp. 95, 105
  20. CPM vol. 23, pp. 256, 344
  21. Guardianship Papers, file No. 73.
  22. Guardianship file No. 73
  23. CPM 23-485; Peter I Clark represented Bonnell while attorney Andrew Miller represented the Rea’s. Miller represented this family in most of their court battles.
  24. Guardianship file No.73
  25. CPM Bk 24 pp. 46, 59. It was not paid, so a writ of fieri facias was issued, but I found no record of a public sale at this time.
  26. Guardianship Papers, file No. 73
  27. Guardianship Papers, file No.73; there was no copy of their account in the Guardianship Papers
  28. Supreme Court of New Jersey  11 N.J.L. 319; 1830 N.J. LEXIS 25.
  29. The only Isaac Rea listed in the census was in his 50s, so that must have been a different Isaac Rea. There was an Alexander Rea living in Kingwood, but he was the brother of the Isaac who married Delilah Buchanan. At least, I think so. This family is somewhat mysterious; it would take a lot of research to find out what happened to Isaac Rea. His court appearances for debt were numerous during 1825-1828, but nothing in the Minutes of the Court of Common Pleas mentioned the dissolution of the marriage of Isaac Rea and Delilah Buchanan.
  30. He was grandson of George Trout and Hannah Lequear, and of John Besson and Margaret Opdycke.
  31. Deed 56-455
  32. Guardianship Papers, file No. 73.
  33. Deed 59-512
  34. Guardianship Papers, file No. 73
  35. Minutes of Orphans Court, Bk 7 pp. 239, 254
  36. Deed 63-253; deed recorded on May 3, 1836. There was no day or month written on the deed. I got the date of sale from the Minutes of the Orphans Court, Bk 7 p. 309.
  37. H.C. Gazette, Nov. 23, 1836
  38. CPM Bk 28 p. 479
  39. Minutes of Orphans Court vol. 9 p. 488. According to this, all three of Archibald Buchanan’s children might still be living, but I have found no records for daughter Lucretia or son Amos.
  40. U.S. Census, Raritan Twp., no. 240-265
  41. Deed 134-650, Trout to Robbins for $6200. Actually, the tract looks like the old 60-acre piece on the west side of 579; the acreage in the deed was illegible.