Phil and Tammy Murphy invite you to visit their mansion built by descendants of slave owner Richard Stockton for the holidays

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7 mins read

TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy was quick to approve the removal of Christopher Columbus statues in New Jersey, but he’s been in denial about the history of the public mansion he calls home as governor, Drumthwacket.

First, Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy announced the return of The Holidays at Drumthwacket, a longstanding tradition of open house tours at the Governor’s official residence in Princeton to celebrate the holiday season. New Jerseyans are invited to attend the open house tours to view the holiday decorations on display. The Drumthwacket Foundation, in partnership with six garden clubs from across New Jersey, have decorated each room using fresh arrangements and greenery to complement the architecture and decor of the historical property. 

Drumthwacket construction started in 1935 on land owned by Charles Smith Olden. The land was originally granted to William Penn in 1680. In 1750, Richard Stockton was given land granted to him by his grandfather, William Penn. There, he built an estate called Morven. It is at Morven and on the current land where Drumthwacket sits where it has been documented that Stockton owned slaves. Eventually Drumthwacket was built a half-mile down the road, on the same Penn family land, which had since been subdived among descendents of Penn and Stockton.

What New Jerseyans might not be told during the tour is that the home was built by descendents of colonial New Jersey slave owner Richard Stockton. A bust of Stockton was even removed from his namesake college, Stockton University back in 2017 because of his connection to slavery in America.

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–The liberal left in America went on a crusade of cancel culture in 2020 and 2021, including the destruction of monuments of slave owners, Civil War generals, and even modern Americans who may, or may not have been racist.  In New Jersey, the liberal left took action against Christopher Columbus.  Murphy went as far as saying he agrees with the need to abolish Columbus Day but said he will leave that choice up to the local towns and mayors.

Later in the year, Murphy abolished the term “Freeholder” for members of the twenty-one county governing bodies, renaming them “commissioners”.  That was because the term “Freeholder” was borne out of the days of slavery when only free white men who held land could serve as elected county “Freeholders”.

Yet, one monument to New Jersey’s dark past in slavery remains…and each night one of America’s most progressive liberal Governors goes to bed inside of it.

The official residence of the Governor of State of New Jersey is a plantation home built by descendents of colonial slave owner Richard Stockton.  Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Stockton’s plantation home. It’s called Drumthwacket.

Richard Stockton’s ownership of slaves has never been in denial.  In fact, Stockton University, which also carries its namesake has also been pardoned and given a pass by cancel culture and America’s most progressive liberal Democrat governor, Phil Murphy.


But still holds Drumthwacket in high regard as some sort of hallowed ground of New Jersey royalty past and present, despite its history, shackled with slavery.

“The holiday season is a wonderful time to celebrate with loved ones and reflect on our blessings,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy, President of the Drumthwacket Foundation. “After a challenging year for all, we are thrilled to open the People’s House and invite everyone to safely tour the beautiful décor and magical holiday displays created by New Jersey’s renowned garden clubs. Phil and I look forward to this tradition every year, and we are grateful that we can once again open Drumthwacket’s doors to share in this joyous season with all New Jerseyans.” 

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“It is difficult to reconcile that while a new nation was founded on principles of liberty and equality almost twenty percent of the population lived in bondage. But that they did so is not in question. Indeed, most of the signers of the Declaration enslaved people,” a biography about Richard Stockton reads on Stockton University’s website. “When he died in 1781, and despite assertions during his lifetime, Stockton did not free the people that he owned.”

“And whereas I have heretofore mentioned to some of my negroe slaves, that upon condition of their good behavior & fidelity, I would in some convenient period grant them their freedom—this I must leave to the discretion of my wife, in whose judgment & prudence I can fully confide,” Stockton wrote about his slaves in his will.


The tours are self-guided and there will be several docents stationed throughout Drumthwacket to answer questions and provide historical information about the property. The open house tours will be held on the following dates:

  • Thursday, December 16, 2021, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 18, 2021, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Monday, December 20, 2021, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Admission and on-site parking are free of charge, but reservations are required to ensure proper social distancing. All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask. To make tour arrangements, visit https://drumthwacket.org/visit/open-houses/.