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BELGIANS   IN   AMERICA Belgian settlements by State  

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  Belgians Settlements in NEW-JERSEY at the time of the Civil War


Pierre Malou, who had been a general in the Belgian Army, was a resident of Princeton from 1795 to 1799 : towards the end of the eighteenth century, the advance of the French Revolution forced several Walloon families to emigrate to America. Among them were men of wealth and those who had held prominent positions in their own country. They settled in Cherry Valley in New Jersey. One of them was Peter Malou, who was born in Ypres, West Flanders, October 9, 1758. 

When the Brabant Revolution broke out Malou assumed a prominent role in the struggle for the rights of his fellow citizens. After the victory at Turnhout, he was called to the direction of the war department. The time seemed propitious for complete independence such as Holland was enjoying and the delegates from the various provinces declared their independence in January, 1790. They drew up the " Treaty of Union of the Belgian United States." But this was to be short-lived, for in December of the same year the Austrian army invaded and subjugated the Netherlands once more."

Not long after this the Revolution crossed the border from France. Peter Malou was one of the committee who went to Paris to plead the cause of his fellow-citizens before the Convention. In this the committee failed. Belgium was simply annexed by the new government. He then went to Holland with his family; as the Revolution advanced he moved to Hamburg. It was from that city he emigrated with the other Walloons in 1795.

He bought five hundred acres of land and erected a magnificent home in Cherry Valley, not far from Princeton, to which he intended to bring his family. But his plans were in vain for his wife died on the return voyage. His brother-in-law took care of his two sons, the oldest of whom was only fourteen at the time. He returned to Europe, became a lay brother of the Society of Jesus; afterwards he studied theology, and was later raised to the priesthood, came to America again and was stationed in Madison. Father Pierre Malou died at New York on 13 October, 1827, and is buried under St. Peter's Church in Barclay Street.

Source : Catholic Encyclopedia
              The contribution of Belgium to the  Catholic church in America