Through petitions to the colonial assembly, citizens objected to the inconvenience and personal cost of housing troops. In many instances, the troops were ill, requiring more than just food and shelter. In 1756, the mayor, recorder and alderman of New Brunswick petitioned the General Assembly for relief of the “difficulties involved in quartering troops in their homes.” In the winter of 1757 over six hundred sick troops were sent to live in private homes between Perth Amboy, Newark and Elizabeth.
The General Assembly voted, in April 1758, to construct five
barracks. The Assembly also appointed
barracks masters for each location. Accommodating 300 soldiers and officers, the original barracks in Perth
Amboy, Elizabeth, New Brunswick and Burlington have all been demolished. However, the barracks at Trenton have been
restored. The New Brunswick barracks
(partially reconstructed here), stood on George Street near Paterson Street.
The reconstructed section of the barracks represents
soldiers quarters. In the Trenton
barracks, there are twenty-four small plastered rooms (about 16 feet square),
each with two windows and an open fireplace. Twelve to sixteen soldiers were assigned to each living unit. Each unit received weekly allotments of
firewood, candles, vinegar, salt, beer or molasses, including other
“necessities.” The living arrangements
at the New Brunswick barracks were most likely similar.