Abraham Van Riper – Godwinville, NJ

The following is from Passaic County Historical Society Web Site by Annita Zalenski—geocities.com/pchslc Abraham Van Riper was a life long resident and gave a speech. Ridgewood is in Bergen County,NJ

The Naming of Godwinville
(In 1828)
(Ridgewood, NJ)
by Edward Graf

Reprinted from Short Sketches on Passaic County History, 1935,
byEdward Graf, Treasurer PCHS

The ceremony of naming this village, in Bergen County about four miles north of Paterson,
was performed in the following manner. On the morning of January first, 1828, the persons
particularly interested in the cotton industries, established at that time in the neighborhood,
proceeded from Paterson with a number of friends to that place where they met a number of
its inhabitants assembled on the same occasion, who had prepared a splendid Liberty pole.
This pole was borne to the corner of the road, near the store of David Lydacker by the
unanimous assistance of the company present. After being decorated by an elegant Gilded
Liberty Cap, presented by General Abraham Godwin, at the signal given by a discharge
from a six-pounder, it was raised amidst the cheers of the surrounding multitude. The flag
of the United States, also presented as above, was then hoisted to the top of the pole under
a discharge of canon and cheering of the assembled citizens. After this they formed and
marched to the new cotton factory of Messrs, Munn and Whitehead, where an excellent
collation was provided by the proprietors of the respective cotton establishments in the
vicinity, of which the whole party partook, and fared most sumptuously.

Abraham Van Rypen, one of the oldest inhabitants then addressed his neighbors in the
following words:

Friends and fellow citizens – as one of the oldest residents of
this neighborhood, I take the liberty on this occasion of
welcoming among us the gentlemen who have availed
themselves of our water powers and established manufacturies,
destined, I trust and at no very far distant day, to make them
rich and happy – give employment to the industrious and clothe
and feed the needy. Already do we see and feel the good effects
of their genius and enterprise. Out property has risen in value,
our recently vacant houses have become tenanted, and many
new ones erected and erecting, giving to what was, as it were
yesterday a wilderness, the appearance of a thriving village.
Permit me therefore to give it a name whereby it may be
perpetuated and handed down to posterity.

In commemoration of one of the few that now remain of that

worthy band, who breasted the storm of war in defense of our
liberties and independence, and which enable us at this day to
sit down under our own vine and fig tree, and to enjoy
uninterruptedly such happy festivity as we have on the present
occasion the pleasure of partaking and to testify our respect for
the Revolutionary Patriot whose company we now have the
pleasure to enjoy; I propose to you for this place the name of

The above was received with unabounded applause and General Godwin being present
made the following brief reply:

Fellow citizens, with sentiments of unfeigned gratitude, I rise
to tender to you my sincere acknowledgement for the flattering
compliments you have paid me, and the honor conferred in
selecting my name, in preference to any other, wherewith to
perpetuate your village. My sincere wish is, that it may be a
rising prosperous and happy one and that its general
characteristic may be that of industry and honesty, and genuine
republican principles and by pursuing strictly the last three
qualifications, I have no doubt of your obtaining the former
ones; and that it may be the case with each and all of you,
permit me to reiterate my ardent solicitude.

This reply was also received with marked approbation. The company then again formed
procession and returned to the Pole and after appending to the same in handsomely painted
letters the newly acquired name of the village, it being about sunset, the flag was lowered
until another discharge of cannon and the company retired to their respective places of
abode, apparently well pleased with the proceedings of the day.