Home • Camden County News ‘Something for everyone’: History converges with present at Haddonfield Skirmish reenactment

‘Something for everyone’: History converges with present at Haddonfield Skirmish reenactment

This year's festivities feature a peaceful alternative offered by the Haddonfield Friends Meeting.

The Indian King Tavern Museum’s highly anticipated historical reenactment of the Revolutionary War skirmish between the Colonists and the Redcoats returns on Saturday, June 3.

The event is a homage to the battle that took place in what is now Haddonfield and surrounding areas in June of 1778.

“Some of the things that I would highlight about the day and the event is the family friendliness of this event,” said Andrew Lucas, a member of the Skirmish committee, run by the Indian King Tavern Museum. “It celebrates our town, county and region’s contributions to the American Revolution.

“It really has a little something for everyone.”

This year’s Skirmish will feature a smattering of new and returning events from 9  a.m. to 3 p.m. mostly along Kings Highway, including a sword fight, Colonial dance lessons, tours of Greenfield Hall, culinary demonstrations for kids by the Historical Society of Haddonfield and a Colonial auction.

Auctions were often held in Colonial times by ship captains and merchants to move their goods,” said Michelle Hughes, historian for the Indian King Tavern Museum. “The Indian King Tavern Museum will host an auction of Colonial- inspired items as a way to fundraise for the museum.”

Along with the Skirmish reenactment, the Haddonfield Friends Meeting will  sponsor its first Colonial Quakers Day celebration with events beginning at 9 a.m. It is meant as an alternative, peaceful way of recognizing events of the American Revolution.

“Last year we participated in The Skirmish directly, and some of our members were concerned with that participation, because the Skirmish does glorify war to a certain extent and it flies in the face of Quakers’ peace testimony,” said Ty Drago, a Cherry Hill resident and lifelong member of the Friends. “So this year,  we decided to do something separate but on the same day.”

The Friends will also host a farm animal petting zoo, children’s games and  graveyard tours every hour on the half hour, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

To drive home the message about peace, visitors who bring toy weapons will be asked to check them at one of two peace tables before they enter the property  and have them returned upon leaving.

Both Drago and Hughes referenced the dilemma faced by local Quakers when the war ended up on their doorsteps.

As pacifists – refusing to take up arms against their neighbors – some Quakers were thrown in jail for refusing to pick a side,” Hughes explained. “Not all Quakers stayed on the sidelines. Some aided local militias and acted as spies. Others took up arms and were thrown out of their local Quaker meetings.”

“It was by no means a unified voice, and Quakers struggled with it throughout the entire eight years of the war trying to figure out how best to deal with it,” Drago offered. “It’s something Quakers still struggle with.”

In addition to the aforementioned activities, the Friends of the Meeting House will  host 10-minute demonstrations of Quaker meetings for worship every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Haddonfield Friends Meeting House.

“If you walk into a Quaker meeting house, you won’t see crosses or Bibles,” Drago noted. “You won’t see any of those trappings because we don’t consider it a holy space. It is simply a gathering place. And the worship involves sitting in silence and listening for what we call the inner light, that inner peace of God within us all. And if it speaks to you, and you feel moved, you get up and you say something. 

“So we don’t have ministers, we don’t have clergy, we all minister to each other.”

To learn more about Skirmish events, visit https://haddonfieldskirmish.com/

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