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George Sykes
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George Sykes was born near Sykesville, Burlington Co., N.J., on Sept. 20, 1802. He became a famous authority upon the metes and bounds of the cedar swamps and barren wastes in Burlington, Ocean, and Monmouth Counties, and no important case where the title to land was in dispute was tried without his being called as a witness. His knowledge of the early settlement and old families of Burlington County was also extensive; and in local affairs, involving the examination of ancient facts, he was looked upon almost as an oracle. He was a Democrat in politics, though not an ardent politician, and from 184348 represented the Second New Jersey District in Congress. He was an early and earnest supporter of the bill appropriating funds for the construction of Professor Morse's experimental line of telegraph from Washington to Baltimore. He was on board the ill-fated "Princeton" in 1844, when the "Peacemaker" gun burst upon her and killed Secretaries Upshur and Gilmer and other notable persons. Mr. Sykes was standing near Governor Gilmer, and while helping to raise him upon a mattress the secretary died. In 1847 he was named for Governor of New Jersey, and was the second choice of the Democratic Convention of that year. He represented the First Assembly District of Burlington County in the State Legislature in 1877, 1878, and 1879, where he was a useful and valuable member. He never solicited a man for his vote, and never asked any one to pay him for his services, always depending upon them to hand in his dues. He was very popular throughout the county, and his demise was greatly lamented. He passed away on Feb. 25, 1880.
Added by: Joseph Lehe
5/11/2006
 
 

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