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Morven, a National & Historic Landmark, is a five-acre estate in the middle of Princeton, New Jersey. Exhibits, instructional activities, and one-off events are just some of the ways in which the old New Jersey Governor’s Mansion presents the state’s extensive cultural history.

Morven has been occupied by influential New Jersey and American figures for almost 250 years. Morven, New Jersey, had a significant part in the history of both New Jersey and the United States, as it was the home of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and five New Jersey governors.

Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, erected Morven in the 1750s on land that William Penn had given to his family in 1701. Native people lived here long before Europeans arrived. Over the course of more than 12,000 years, indigenous peoples called the Mid-Atlantic home. Morven’s five acres have yielded artifacts related to Lenni-Lenape tool production, according to archaeologists. 

The Stockton family’s first two generations were prosperous lawyers who held slaves. According to documents, by the time the third generation of Stocktons acquired Morven in 1840, slavery had long since been abolished on the estate. Free African Americans first took their place, followed by Europeans like those from Ireland and Germany. Morven’s servants continued to work here into the 20th century.

Before chairman of Johnson & Johnson from (1928 -1944), General Robert Wood Johnson,

leased Morven in the early 20th century, four more generations of the Stockton family lived there. After he left office, five more New Jersey governors also called Morven their official residence.

Morven underwent substantial repair and archaeological inquiry when the Governor’s Mansion was moved in 1982. In 2004, Morven reopened to the public as a museum and garden.

The 1999 start date for the substantial reconstruction of Morven was predicated on an unparalleled public and private partnership, a thorough search of relevant documents, and archaeological excavation.

The 18th-century horse chestnut walk and the colonial renaissance garden were both rebuilt as part of the initiative. Historic elements, including as the world-famous parquet floors, were re-installed, and the buildings were painted their original hues and stripped of 20th-century additions.

The museum’s nine-zone environmental system, along with its security, lighting, fire suppression, and handicap-accessibility systems, allow it to conform to the highest standards in the museum business.

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