The definitive biography of Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh has arrived. For nearly 300 years scores of writers and poets have told the tale of the courageous, romantic, unmarried Quaker woman who almost single-handedly founded the town of Haddonfield. With each account and with each retelling her personality and accomplishments grew more exaggerated, leading some to question the true history of our beloved founder.
Such was the curiosity of Haddonfield’s own Elizabeth “Betty” Lyons. In the late 1960’s as a volunteer with the Historical Society and with the help of her brother she began to research the historical rather than legendary figure. Over the next 40 years what began as a curiosity developed into a passion. She traveled to England and the West Indies visiting libraries and historic sites, and unearthed much previously undiscovered information about Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh. Her goal was to publish a biography in 2013 for the 300th anniversary celebration, but with her untimely death in 2008 the project remained unfinished.
With the intent of completing Betty’s goal, the Society contacted Jeffery Dorwart, Professor Emeritus of History at Rutgers Camden and accomplished author of many works of local history, and attained his interest in the project. Though based in part on Betty’s unfinished manuscript, his rewriting and extensive new research have resulted in an original biographic work, and with the editing help of Kathy Tassini and Doug Rauschenberger, has produced “Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh, 1680-1762, Building the Quaker Community of Haddonfield, New Jersey, 1701-1762”.
The book takes a step back from the Elizabeth legend and examines her world, a complex mileau of Quaker family, religious, social, business and economic factors in colonial West Jersey and Philadelphia regions.
To commemorate its release the Historical Society of Haddonfield will host a Book Launch Reception at Greenfield Hall (343 Kings Hwy East) on Sunday Dec 8, from 1pm to 3pm. Author Jeffery Dorwart will be present to inscribe each copy and answer questions. Admission is free and the beautifully bound hardcover books are only $25 – a perfect gift for the holidays and a wonderful addition to every library collection. Refreshments will be available, so please help us celebrate this proud achievement and mark this moment in Haddonfield history. For details please call the Historical Society of Haddonfield 856.429.7375 or visit the website www.haddonfieldhistory.org.