New Jersey Governors and Families Present "Home Videos" to Support Morven Museum & Garden

By: Morven Museum & Garden
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Hughes family at Morven,1964.Ace Alagna(1925-2000)
Hughes family at Morven,1964.Ace Alagna(1925-2000)
PRINCETON, N.J. - July 14, 2020 - PRLog -- Three New Jersey governors and the families of two more are lending their voices to help Morven Museum & Garden, 55 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ overcome strained financial circumstances brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Current Gov. Phil Murphy, past Governors Thomas H. Kean and Christie Todd Whitman, and the families of Governors Brendan Byrne and Richard Hughes are participating in a social media campaign launching Wednesday, July 15, to explain why Morven remains important to New Jersey nearly 300 years after it was built. Helen "Honey" Hughes and Tom Byrne join the former governors talking about the house in which their families lived.

"It's safe to say that thanks to New Jersey's Governors, Morven Museum & Garden stands today," Executive Director Jill Barry said.   "We are honored that several governors and their families have graciously lent their time and talents to help us raise awareness and, hopefully some much-needed funds, to keep Morven, New Jersey's first governors' residence, open and thriving."

Most historic sites celebrate one notable resident, Morven is unique in that it was home to many remarkable people. Built in the 1750s and home to one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Morven is New Jersey's first Governor's Mansion and home to five New Jersey governors, their families and staffs; witnessing nearly 300 years of history.

Some of the anecdotes included in the videos include reminiscences by Tom Byrne of a visit by Princess Grace and Prince Rainier of Monaco and their children, Helen Hughes' recalling President John F. Kennedy's visit, and Governor Tom Kean sharing his love of teaching history, noting that Morven is one of the most important history lessons and must be preserved and "boasted about".

"Governors Whitman and Murphy's videos point out how important Morven is, especially now," Barry added.  Morven underwent a complete reinstallation of its permanent exhibition several years ago and offers a full, rich picture of everyone who lived and worked at Morven, including women, children, three generations of enslaved families, immigrant servants, and later employees.  The Museum will be reopening to the public on Wednesday, July 15.

Full reopening information, including CDC and local health official guidelines which are being followed, are available on Morven's website  Donations may also be made to Morven at this link

Follow Morven on social media:


Instagram: @morvenmuseum

Twitter: @MorvenMuseum

Morven Museum & Garden is located at 55 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ and is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.



Morven's first resident Governor was Walter Edge who personally purchased Morven in 1945 with a proviso that it eventually would be transferred to the State of New Jersey for use as an executive mansion or museum.  The transfer took place in 1954 and Morven served, after renovations, as New Jersey's Governor's residence through 1982.

Governor Christie Todd Whitman's administration in the 1980's paved the way for Morven to become a Museum.  With Governor Whitman's encouragement, Historic Morven, Inc., a friends group, was formed in 1987 and actively manages Morven Museum & Garden today.

"Morven's history is America's history, and we invite the public to experience it through the lens of this National Historic Landmark," Barry noted. Morven is the only NJ home of a signer of the Declaration of Independence and Governor's residence open to the public and extensively interpreted.


For nearly 300 years Morven has played a role in the history of New Jersey and the nation. Originally part of a 5,500-acre tract purchased from William Penn in 1701 by the Stockton family, it is the home of Richard Stockton, a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, and is the only home of a New Jersey signer which is highly interpreted and open regularly to the public. As well as serving as a Stockton homestead for several generations into the 20th century, and home to three generations of enslaved families, Morven was home to the families and household staff of Robert Wood Johnson Jr., and was the first New Jersey Governors' Mansion and home to five New Jersey governors and their families and staffs.

Debra Lampert-Rudman,
Curator of Education and Public Programs


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