On the grounds of the Old Barracks in downtown Trenton stands an old faded blue plaque that almost no one pays attention to. It reads: “Brig. Gen. Zebulon Pike, explorer, born near here, 1779. Captured York, Canada, 1813, but killed in attack. Pike’s Peak named for him.”
I have never been to Pike’s Peak, but I have to say, Pike has always piqued (no pun intended, well maybe a little) my curiosity. I love his little-used Old Testament given name. Who was this seemingly forgotten native son of Trenton who went on to a life of adventure in the larger world but has now largely vanished into the mists of time?
One of the first things I encountered in a bit of superficial online digging was some insistent Wikipedia entries that swore Zebulon Montgomery Pike was not even born in Trenton. Wikipedia’s notoriously inaccurate right? What about that sign at the Old Barracks? Don’t always believe what you read (more on this later). [Read more…]