Joseph Bloomfield

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Joseph Bloomfield
4th Governor of New Jersey
In office
October 29, 1803 – October 29, 1812
Preceded byJohn Lambert (acting)
Succeeded byAaron Ogden
In office
October 31, 1801 – October 28, 1802
Preceded byRichard Howell
Succeeded byJohn Lambert (acting)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's At-large district
In office
March 4, 1817 – March 3, 1821
Preceded byEzra Baker
Succeeded byGeorge Cassedy
Mayor of Burlington, New Jersey
In office
Preceded byBowes Reed
Succeeded byJames Sterling
Personal details
Born(1753-10-18)October 18, 1753
Woodbridge, Province of New Jersey, British America
DiedOctober 3, 1823(1823-10-03) (aged 69)
Burlington, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
Spouse(s)Mary McIlvaine (1752–1818)
Isabella Ramsey (1779–1871)

Joseph Bloomfield (October 18, 1753 – October 3, 1823) was the fourth governor of New Jersey. He also served two terms in the United States House of Representatives from 1817 to 1821.

The township of Bloomfield, New Jersey is named for him.


Joseph Bloomfield was born in Woodbridge in the Province of New Jersey to Moses Bloomfield, a physician, and Sarah Ogden on October 18, 1753. Moses Bloomfield was a surgeon and an abolitionist.

Education and military service[edit]

Coat of Arms of Joseph Bloomfield

Joseph was educated at Reverend Enoch Green's school in Deerfield Township, New Jersey, where Green was the pastor of the local Presbyterian Church. Bloomfield studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1775 and began his law practice in Bridgeton, New Jersey. He entered the Continental Army as captain of the 3rd New Jersey Regiment on February 9, 1776. He attained the rank of major on November 28, 1776, and was appointed judge advocate of the northern army. He was wounded at the Battle of Brandywine in September 1777. He resigned from the Continental Army on October 28, 1778, after he was elected clerk of the New Jersey General Assembly.

In 1794, Bloomfield led Federal and New Jersey state troops to put down the Whiskey Rebellion, a popular uprising conducted by Appalachian settlers who resisted the excise tax on liquor and distilled drinks, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From 1795 to 1800 he served as Mayor of Burlington, New Jersey.[1]

At the start of the War of 1812 Bloomfield was commissioned as a brigadier general in the United States Army on March 13, 1812. He served until June 15, 1815, along the Canada–US border.


Joseph married Mary McIlvaine (1752–1818), the daughter of William McIlvaine (1722–1770), a physician from Burlington, New Jersey. Her brother, Col. Joseph McIlvaine (1749–1787), was the father of Joseph McIlvaine (1769–1826), United States Senator from New Jersey.[2] They had no children.

After the death of his first wife, he married Isabella Ramsey (1779–1871), the daughter of John Ramsey.

Public life[edit]

At the close of the Revolutionary War, Bloomfield became one of the founding members of The Society of the Cincinnati in the state of New Jersey,[3][4] and served as the State Society's president from 1808 until his death in 1823.[5]

He practiced law in Burlington, New Jersey and was the registrar of the admiralty court from 1779 to 1783. He served as the New Jersey Attorney General from 1783 to 1792 and as a trustee of Princeton College from 1793 until his death. He was elected Governor of New Jersey as a Democratic-Republican and served in office from 1801 to 1802 and from 1803 to 1812.

In 1814, Bloomfield was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society.[6]


Bloomfield was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Fifteenth United States Congress and reelected to the Sixteenth Congress from March 4, 1817, through March 3, 1821, where he represented New Jersey's At-large congressional district. Bloomfield ran for, but was not elected to, the Seventeenth Congress.

Legacy and death[edit]

In 1796, what had been known as the Old First Church was formed and was named the Presbyterian Society of Bloomfield in honor of Joseph Bloomfield. When the Township of Bloomfield was formed, the name was taken from the name of the church.[7]

Bloomfield died in Burlington, New Jersey on October 3, 1823, and was buried in Saint Mary's Episcopal Churchyard in Burlington.[8]


  1. ^ Joseph Bloomfield, Burlington City, N.J. Accessed July 1, 2011. "Born in 1753, Joseph Bloomfield reached the rank of Captain in the Revolutionary War, then served as New Jersey state attorney general and chief justice of the New Jersey Vice-Admiralty Court. He moved to Burlington upon marrying Mary McIlvaine, and took up residence in a mansion on High Street which had been built about 1750.... Bloomfield served as Mayor of Burlington from 1795 to 1800, the second mayor under the Act of Incorporation of 1784."
  2. ^ Frank Charles McElvain (1999). A History of the McElvain-McIlvaine Family Line. p. 379. ISBN 9780967229300.
  3. ^ Metcalf, Bryce (1938). Original Members and Other Officers Eligible to the Society of the Cincinnati, 1783-1938: With the Institution, Rules of Admission, and Lists of the Officers of the General and State Societies Strasburg, VA: Shenandoah Publishing House, Inc., p. 55.
  4. ^ "Officers Represented in the Society of the Cincinnati". The American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  5. ^ "Joseph Bloomfield | The Society of the Cincinnati in the State of New Jersey". Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  6. ^ American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
  7. ^ Bloomfield, New Jersey – A Brief History Archived June 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Bloomfield Presbyterian Church. Accessed August 21, 2007.
  8. ^ St. Mary's Churchyard at The Political Graveyard. Accessed August 21, 2007.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by New Jersey Attorney General
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of New Jersey
October 31, 1801 – October 28, 1802
Succeeded by
John Lambert
Acting Governor
Preceded by
John Lambert
Acting Governor
Governor of New Jersey
October 29, 1803 – October 29, 1812
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1817 – March 3, 1821
Ephraim Bateman
Succeeded by