James Schureman was active in the Revolutionary War and helped organize a New Brunswick-area militia. In 1776, he volunteered for a dangerous mission to engage the British. His leadership and eloquent oratory inspired others to join him in what came to be known as the Battle of Long Island. Eventually the British captured and held him in the New York Sugar House Prison. He drugged the guards, broke through a wall, and escaped to rejoin the army in Morristown. After distinguished military service, Schureman began an equally memorable career in public service. This included a year as the New Jersey delegate to the Continental Congress from 1786–87 and a term in the first federal Congress from 1789–91. He served two additional Congressional terms from 1797–99 and from 1813–15, and a Senate term from 1799–1801. He also served as New Brunswick mayor from 1801–13. He owned a farm and was a founder of, and active participant in, the New Jersey Agricultural Society. He was equally generous with his time to Queen’s College, where he served as trustee from 1782 until his death in 1824.