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Talk on controversial colonial governor of NJ - Wed. Dec. 3rd, 5 p.m.

December 3, 2014
Portrait of an Unidentified Woman, ca. 1700-1725, by an unidentified artist.

Portrait of an Unidentified Woman, ca. 1700-1725, by an unidentified artist. Image provided by the New York Historical Society. The person in this portrait was identified by art historians as Lord Cornbury. This view is now disputed.

Update - December 3, 2014:  Please be advised that the lecture has been moved to the Remigio U. Pane Room on the first floor of Alexander Library.

Before there were North/South Jersey rivalries, the fault lines lay between and within the East Jersey and West Jersey colonies. And before the financial and sexual scandals of recent New Jersey governors, there was the tumultuous tenure of Edward Hyde, Lord Cornbury, the first royal governor of New Jersey.

Members of the Rutgers community, the general public, and fans of history and political intrigue are invited to attend a talk by Dr. Patricia Bonomi about Lord Cornbury, who was appointed in 1701 by Anne, Queen of England, to govern the newly united New Jersey colony. His critics in the colony accused him of corruption, cronyism, and cross-dressing. Lord Cornbury was recalled in 1708.

This talk will be held on Wednesday December 3rd, beginning at 5:00 pm, in the Remigio U. Pane Room, first floor, Alexander Library, and will be followed by a light reception.

Patricia Bonomi is the award-winning author of The Lord Cornbury Scandal (1998), Under the Cope of Heaven: Religion, Society, and Politics in Colonial America (2003), and A Factious People: Politics and Society in Colonial New York (2014). Bonomi challenges the earlier views of Lord Cornbury and asserts that, despite his powerful and very vocal dissenters, Lord Cornbury successfully united the two former colonies and created a solid foundation for the future state.     

This event is the culmination of the Rutgers University Libraries' celebration of the 350th anniversary of New Jersey and the last of a series of programs to highlight Special Collections and University Archives fall exhibition, New Jersey Before the Revolution: Land and People. This exhibition can be viewed in the galleries on the main and lower levels of Alexander Library. For more information about the exhibition, which will run through January 16, 2015, please see:

Copies of Dr. Bonomi's books will be available for purchase at the December 3rd event and may be signed by the author.

For more information on this event, and to RSVP, send an email to or call 848.932.7505.