|Dec 4||The Brunswick Boys||Joanne Rajoppi|
|January 8 2014||The Sport of Curling||Neil Sullivan|
|March 5 2014||Sicily||Bruce Long|
|April 2 2014||The Hyksos and the Exodus||Sam Mahmoud|
The Brunswick Boys by Joanne Rajoppi
The Brunswick Boys in the Great Rebellion
Union County Clerk and author, Joanne Hamilton Rajoppi will present her book, “New Brunswick and the Civil War: The Brunswick Boys in the Great Rebellion,” at the First Wednesday Luncheon of the Westfield Historical Society. The slide/lecture program will be held at noon, Wednesday, December 4th at the Echo Lake Country Club, 515 Springfield Avenue, Westfield.
By the 1860’s, New Brunswick had become the transportation and manufacturing center of New Jersey. As the Civil War approached, many of the young men in New Brunswick became anxious to enlist as a unit and join the Union army. A mixture of patriotism, a longing to earn more money and adventure lured these “Brunswick Boys” – close friends and co-workers, to enlist. Among them was seventeen year old John P. Hamilton, Ms. Rajoppi’s great/grandfather. He, and others his age, had been working long hours, at low pay, at a rubber factory in New Brunswick. It was his letters to his mother that prompted Ms. Rajoppi to write her book. These letters offer insights into every day life in New Jersey during the war – New Brunswick’s factory system, as well as its education and medicine. They also reveal their struggles to survive amidst battles and close encounters with death, that so many soldiers faced, as well as their difficult transition back to civilian life. The letters of John P. Hamilton to his mother covered a period of three years – from June 1861 through June 1864.
Ms. Rajoppi has been the Union County Clerk since 1995. A lover of history, especially New Jersey history, she has been the chairperson for many historical programs over the years. She is a trustee in the Union County Historical Society and currently chairs the county’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Exhibit.
All those wishing to attend the luncheon may make a reservation by calling 908-233-2930 by noon Monday, Dec. 2. The cost of the luncheon is $25 for members and $30 for non-members.