James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

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prietary government to avoid a collision with the

fl See Allilione's "Dictionary of Authors" for a full sketch of liis life
and writings.
** Kant Jersey under the Proprietors, p. 141.



province of New York, whose Governor, Dongan, re-
frained from any open act of hostility until 1685,
when William Dyre was appointed collector of the

The Duke of York was now (lt>8. r >), by the death of
Charles IL, raised to the throne as James II., and,
notwithstanding he had thrice conveyed and con-
firmed to others all the right-, powers, and privileges
he had in New Jersey, he resolved to extend his royal
prerogative over it in order to increase his revenues,
The proprietaries in England were not silent under
this arbitrary action of the sovereign. In a j»i-t i t i< . n
to the king in council they specified some of the en-
croachments of Dongan, in relation to the seizure of
vessels trading to New Jersey, as calculated to " over-
throw one of the must hopeful colonics in America."
In a remonstrance subsequently presented to the king
they reminded him that they had not received the
province as a gratuity, hut had ex pen led for it twelve
thousand pounds ; that under his own confirmation of
their title and assurance of protection they had 6 ml
thither several hundreds of people from Scotland, hut

as yet had received no returns; and that, notwithstand-
ing all these guarantees, their rights had been < iolated
by the Governor of New York. They signified their
willingness to submit to an imposition of thi
customs that were levied in New York, ami among
other prayers requested that a customs officer might
be appointed at Perth Amboy.* The last request was
the only one granted, as it promised additional rev-
enue and did not conflict with the designs he then

hail in view.

(in the Uth of April, liWfi, the Assembly met for
the first time at the new seat of government, Perth
Amboy. Lawriewas succeeded by Lord Neill Camp-
bell, in the same year. His council was composed of
Gawen Lawrie, Bdaj. John Barry, of Bergen, Isaac
Kingsland, of New Barbadoes, ('apt. Andrew Hamil-
ton, of Amboy, Richard Townly, of Elizabethtown,
Samuel Winder, of Chcescipiakc. David Mudie ami
John Johnson, of Amboy, ami Thomas Codrington,
of Etaritan. In 1687, Lord Campbell returned to

Scotland, leaving Andrew Hamilton as his substitute.
Under the operations of the- writ of quo w irranio, i-
sued in 1686 against the proprietors by the order of

King James, the king's pliant too]. Andros, commis-
sioned as Governor over all New England, proceeded

to extend his sway not only over that country, hut

over New Jersey, and, finding the king immovable in
this determination, " the proprietaries of Bast Jereej
considered it advisable to abandon the hopeless con-
test for their previously-conceded privileges, and by
facilitating the king's design obtain his guarantee to
respect their right to the soil. The\ consequently

made a formal surrender of their patent on thi-. eon-
dition in April, 1688." The quo warranto pro.
stayed so fir as atl'ected East Jer-cy ; and, as the pro

' East Joint")- under the Proprietorial pp. 141-146.

prietaries of West Jersey also entered into tin- ar-
rangement, a new commission was directed to Andros,
annexing both provinces to his government, together
with New York,— Governor Dongan being thus su-
perseded, — with Francis Nicholson a- his lieutenant.
'Phis made hut little if any change in the government
of Bast Jejrsey, as Andros wisely continued all their

Officers in their place-.

In August, 1689, Eamilton left for Europe, and Un-
people of East Jersey were I, ft to the guardianship of
their county ami town officers from that time until
1692. "These, however, possessed ample powers to
meet nil common emergencies, and without any pro-
sure from abroad, or attempted exercise of any dis-
puted prerogative within the province by the agents
id" the pr iprietaries, tie- authority of these local mag-
istrate- appear- to have been respected and the peace
of the community preserved. "t Bancroft asserts that
during this period East Jersey had no government
whatever ; but this is disputed by Whitehead and
others, whose opinions are supported by a refer
the various charters and local regulations.

Aft.r the death of Governor Barclay, in 1090, the
proprietaries appointed John Latham, and. in 1691,
Col. Joseph Dudley, as Governor, but the people
"scrupled to obey both," although the reason is not

given. Perth Amhoy. the new capital, had grown to
be an important village, and from thence the new set-
tlers spread westward, entering upon the unbroken
interior and establishing themselves on the hanks of
the Raritan, soon becoming sufficiently numerous to

call for tl recti'. n of a new county; hence Som-

cr-et wa- - toff from Middlesex in 1688, with a some-
what larger territory than it has at present.

In September, Pi'. 1 ! Andrew Hamilton, who had
been appointed Governor, arrived in Jersey, "and
was received in a manner that removed every impedi-
ment to the re-establishment of the proprietary gov-
ernment."! IP- appointed John Barclay receiver-
and surveyor-general, and Thomas Gordon resident

secretary, tin the 14th of the month he selected as

his council Capt l-aae Kingsland, Capt. Andrew
Bowne, John [nians, of Raritan River. David Mudie. 5
.lame- Dundas, John Etoyce, of Etoycefield, Samuel
Dennis, John Bishop, and Lewis Morris. September
28th a General Assembly convened at Perth Amhoy.

at which the laws passed -ul.-e pient to [682 were,
with a few exceptions, re-enacted and other- amended.
An act was also passed authorizing a special tax of
four hundred pound- to lighten the burden of New

York in the war between England and France, the

frontier settlements being milch exposed to expedi-
tions from Canada. 'Phis action must have been
prompted by a sense of duty, as East Jersey had no
danger to apprehend from the French, ami certainly

at this time had no unu-ual regard for the interests

t n.i.l. |

( 111. Imr.l IlKrt.hunir ruccmxl«l Muillt- Id 16K.



of New York. In 1696 similar projects for the relief
of New York found little favor.*

From 1692 to 1696 a more quiet condition of affairs
prevailed than had existed for years, but dissensions
were not yet at an end. Considerable agitation pre-
vailed concerning the payment of quit-rents, but no
adjustment of the matter was arrived at. The first
judicial decision respecting land titles was obtained
in 1695, the judgment being in favor of the party
claiming under the proprietary grants. This was ren-
dered of non-effect by the reversal of the king in
council on account of a technical informality in the

In 1697 the proprietaries in England appointed
Jeremiah Basse to succeed Governor Hamilton, and
much dissatisfaction was felt and expressed in both
Jerseys when it was found he had not received the
royal approbation, but only the support of the pro-
prietors. For that reason he postponed calling the
Assembly together, but rather sought to make friends
from among the opponents of that body. It was not
until Feb. 21, 1699, that he convened the Assembly.
Basse's first court was held in May, 1698, the record
of which bears this entry :

" Lewis Morris, Esq., came in opon Court and demanded by what au-
thorise tliey kept Court. The Court declared by y° Kings Authoritie.
He denied it & being asked, Who was dissatiistied besides himself, he said,
One and all. The court commanding y° said Mori is to be taken in cus-
tody, Col. Richard Townley, Andrew Hampton, both of Elimbethtowii,
it three or four more, cried one and all, and y° said Lewis Morris said he
would fain see who dui"st lay bold on him — and when a Constable by
order of y e Court laid hold on him, he, iu y° face of y° Court, resisted."!

Soon after (1699) followed the passage of a bill by
the Assembly excluding from that body " any pro-
prietor or representative of one." This was the out-
come of the opposition of George WillocksJ to a bill
before the Assembly, which was passed, and a writ
issued by the Governor for the election of a member
of Assembly in his stead. Thus were the proprietary
interests endangered. The unjust action and harass-
ing proceedings of New York in relation to the trade
of the province formed another source of trouble.
Governor Bellamont, of New York, tried to obstruct
the foreign trade of East Jersey, and even forbade the
printing in New York of proclamations which Gov-
ernor Basse was anxious to distribute, making known
the establishment of the ports of Perth Amboy and
Burlington. Bellamont also published a proclama-
tion, based upon an order he had obtained from the
Crown, denying the right of the proprietors of East
and West Jersey to the privilege of ports. Governor
Basse resisted with much spirit. He put a cargo on
board the ship " Hester," lying at Perth Amboy, and
it was about to sail, when Bellamont sent down an
armed force, seized the vessel and brought her to the

* Whitehead: East Jersey under the Proprietaries, p. 191.

t East Jersey Records. I'or this contempt the court fined him fifty
pounds, and ordered him "to be committed to prison till paid." — \'ew
Jvrtty Colonial Document*.

I He was agent for the proprietors to collect quit-rents and arrearages,
and also a member of Assembly.

city; and, as Basse refused to have her cleared from
New York, she was condemned in the Court of Ad-
miralty. These difficulties continued until 1700,
when Basse's claim for damages came before the
Court of King's Bench, resulting in an award to
Basse and the thorough establishment of the right of
East Jersey to the privileges of a port.

If Governor Basse met with opposition from the
people at first, he found it greatly increased as months
passed. Indeed, there were serious apprehensions of
an insurrection under the leadership of Willocks and
Morris. Nor were matters improved by the action of
the citizens of Perth Amboy in returning Lewis Morris
to the seat in the Assembly declared vacant by the
dismissal of Willocks. Although both were cited to
appear before the court at its October term, — which
citation they refused to obey, — and although both the
Council and Assembly became involved in this vex-
atious issue, it does not appear that they were tried,
for every month brought greater anarchy, until Basse's
government was openly defied. Aug. 19, 1699, Gover-
nor Hamilton was reinstated, notwithstanding Basse's
efforts to prevent it; but he did not arrive in the
province until December, prior to which time Basse
had sailed for England. Hamilton's course being one
of pacification,^ his authority was at first generally
submitted to ; but this was not to last long, for there
was still a numerous party who held a deep-rooted
aversion to the proprietary government, no matter by
whom represented. The majority of the Assembly
were of this class, and when Hamilton dissolved the
Assembly, May 31st, the day after it first convened,
"the validity of his commission was for the first time
openly called in question. Tumultuous and seditious
meetings were subsequently held, the justices ap-
pointed by him were assaulted while sitting in open
court by bodies of armed men, the sheriffs were at-
tacked and wounded when in the discharge of their
duties, and every exertion made to seduce those peace-
ably disposed from their allegiance to the government ;
so that this period became known in after-years as
' the Revolution.' "|| Of this critical time Whitehead
says, —

"A crisis had evidently arrived in the affairs of the province which
the proprietors were not prepared to encounter successfully. As a body
they had become so numorous. so scattered,— some in England, some in
Scotland, and some in America,— and so divided iu interests, that unan-
imity in council could scarcely be expected; and yet the inhabitants
were pursuing such a system of measures as required tho utmost wisdom
to project, with equal firmnoss and union to administer, such remedies
as could alone lead to tho re-establishment of peace and regularity:
without these necessary qualities to control their opponents, but one re-
sult could be anticipated."^

In the years 1701 and 1702 there occurred many
dissensions and disturbances in both the east and west

g Ho wisely restored Morris to the Council.

|| Bill in Chancery ; East Jersey under the Proprietaries.

fi East Jersey tinder the Proprietaries, p. 218.



provinces, but the proprietors, finally wearied of con-
tending with one another, and with the people, drew
up :m instrument whereby they surrendered their
right of government to the Crown,* which was ac-
cepted by Queen Anne, April 17, 17112. This was
the end of proprietary government in New Jersej ;
thenceforward, until I77ii. ii was under royal rule.

The queen consolidated both Jerseys into one prov-
ince, and commissioned Lord Cornbury as Governor
ofboth Xew York and New Jersey. In tli is capacity
he acted from L708 until 17<i8, when, giving heed to
the grievous complaints made against him by the peo-
ple, the queen revoked his commission. He was suc-
ceeded by .Inhn, Lord Lovelace, but his death (which

occurred .May 5, 1709) threw the government into the
bands of Lieutenant-Governor Ingoldsby. Governor
Hunter's administration commenced in 1710; in 1720
he resigned in favor of William Unmet. Afterwards
officiated John Montgomery, 1727 to 1731; William
Cosby, 1731 to 1736; John Anderson, also in 1736;
John Hamilton, 173G to 1738. In the summer of the
last-named year a commission arrived to Lewis .Mor-
ris as Governor of New Jersey, separate from New
York ; be served until his death, in 1746. He was
followed successively by President Hamilton, 1746;
John Beading, 1746; Jonathan Belcher, 1747 ; John
Reading, 17">7 ; Francis Bernard, L758 ; Thomas

B 6, I7i'.0; Josiah Hardy, 1761; and William

Franklin, son of Benjamin Franklin, in 1763, — the
last royal Governor, he bring deposed, arretted, and
sent a prisoner to Connecticut in 177b.

Jersey I '^ ■ !■ ox i.t i Dw umonts,
erelgnty ol Bast 1
a Ornutoo, Edward Antill,
imuw Lam 1 , Ptiul Dominique,

•See Smith'.* "New Jersey," pp, 500 '-T:'., and "Grants anil Conces-
sions,'* PP' MS COO, for Bome <>f the doc ts connected with tl e-

goUatlous, and many others are In the Nev
The proprietaries "h>> -i>:i...<l away thesoi
Peter Sonniaim, Joseph Ormston, Churli

G ge Will... u, Francis II.. k, Sir Th

Boberl Kitchcll, Joseph B [sbank, Edward Rtchier, Mkhacl Watts,

Clemen! Pfumscrad, Boberl Burnot, Miles r"ostor, .l..iui Johnston, Mich-
ael Bnwdon, Julm Barclay, David l.v.ll. Th as Warn*, Thomas Gor-
don, Tliomai BarHr, Thomtu Cooper, Qllberl Uolliaon, Blchard Basel, and

William Dockwra. Thn f these those in Italics— we i the

twenty-four who nineteen years previous had received the grant fruni

thoDul fY.uk. And 11 wassaid in I7.v> thai rixty-fonr yoara aftoi

the grant to the twenty-four (1740 therews cendantof

tl... whole nuthbei onjoylng u a f<>..t "I land in East Jersey" exi

right of the Ponns and t\o> ..r thred small plantations occupied by the

Hartshoi oee and Wai at . n refli tinn which should " abal ir ardor

In the punull >.r lands and wealth, aud make us tiiink ourselvi
hut tenants In oon i" the blessings which ii .inh pi I

' ..r.f'..ir detail "/ th*

1 grant*, I othtr rights of a Ilia Inert

Dtgttttd In order, AVu fort, r i„i..ii, : , Samuel Parser, 17110." This little

work, containing many i..i -t i ntc remarks reapocUng men and tilings

In New Joi ley, Is ... the Phil ulelphla Library, th ly copj over seen

■r by the writer.— JSust Jsrssy andsr (As IV ;

', p. 220.



Previous to the aci of the General Assembly of

1700 erecting and defining the boundaries of the old

counties of New Jersej , eighl bad been formed. These
were Monmouth, Essex, and Salem, in 1675 ; Glouces-
ter, in 1077; Middlesex, in 1682; Somerset, in 1688;
i 'ape May, in 1692; and Burlington, in 1604.

may be called the Original Counties Under the proprie-
tary government. In 1702 the proprietor- surren-
dered their charter to Queen Anne, and the royal
government was extended over East and West Jersey,

united in one province. After the brief and inglorious
administration of Lord Cornbury, the provincial gov-
ernment was organized under John, Lord Lovelace,
Baron of Hurley, and the Legislature convened li r- 1

atBergenand then at Burlington. Nothing, however,
was done by the firs! tour Assemblies towards organ-
izing the civil divisions of the province.

n.— COUNTIES defined by the act of 17011.

In the eighth year of the reign of Queen Anne, the
fifth Assembly, held at Burlington, passed an act di-
viding and ascertaining the boundaries of all the coun-
ties in the province, a- follows :

In the eastern division, the county of Bergen should
begin at Constable's Hook, and so run up along the
bay and Hudson River to the partition-point between
New York, and so to run along the partition-line be-
tween the provinces and the division-line of the east-
ern and western divisions of this province to l'e.pia-

aoefc River; and so to run down the said Pequanock
River and Passaic River to the Sound, and bo to fol-
low the Sound to Constable's Hook, where ii began.

Kssex began at the mouth of the Itahway River
where it falls into the Sound, and ran up -aid ri\er to
Robinson's Branch; thence west to the division-line
between the eastern and western divisions, and go to
follow the said division-line to the Pequanock River,

where it meets the Passaic RWerj thence down the
Passaic River tO the bay Sound; thence down the
Sound to where it began.

The county of Somerset began where Bound Brook
empties itself into the Raritan River; thence down
the stream of Raritan to the mouth ofa brook known

by the name of Lawrence'- I'.rook ; thence running
up the said Lawrence's I'.rook to Cranberry I'.rook;

from thence south forty-four degree-, westerly to Sau-
pinck Brook, to the said division-line of the easterly
and westerly divisions aforesaid, and so to follow the
-aid di\ ision-line to the limits of the aforesaid county
of Essex ; thence east along the line of Essex < lounty
to Green I'.rook and Bound Brook to where it began.

Middlesex County began at the mouth of (he Creek
that part- the land- of ge Willocks and what



were formerly Capt. Andrew Brown's ; thence along
the said Capt. Andrew's line to the rear of said land ;
thence upon a direct course to Warne's bridge, on the
brook "where Thomas Smith did formerly live;"
thence upon a direct course to the southeast corner of
Barclay tract of land that lies near Matchaponix;
thence to the most southernmost part of said tract of
land in Middlesex County ; thence upon a direct line
to Saupinck bridge on the high-road, including Wil-
liam Jones, William Story, Thomas Buchanan, and
John Guyberson, in Monmouth County; thence along
the said road to Aaron Robin's land ; thence westerly
along the said Robin's land and James Lawrence's
line to the line of the eastern and western divisions
aforesaid, including Robin's and Lawrence's, in Mon-
mouth County; thence northerly along the said line
to Saupinck Brook, being part of the bounds of said
Somerset County; thence following the lines of the
said Somerset and Essex Counties, and so to the
Sound ; and thence down the Sound to Amboy Point;
and from thence down the creek to where it first

The partition-line between Burlington and Glouces-
ter Counties began at the mouth of Pensauquin, alias
Cropwell, Creek; thence up the same to the fork;
thence along the southernmost branch thereof— some-
times called Cole's Branch — until it comes to the head
thereof, which is the bounds between Samuel Lipin-
cote's and Isaac Sharp's lands ; thence upon a straight
line to the southernmost bank of Little Egg Harbor's
most southerly inlet; thence along the line of the
sea-coast to the partition-line between East and West
Jersey ; thence along the said line of partition, by
Maidenhead and Hopewell, to the northernmost and
uttermost bounds of the township of Amwell ; thence
by the same to the river Delaware ; thence by the river
Delaware to the first-mentioned station.

The beginning-point of Gloucester County was at
the mouth of Pensauquin Creek ; thence up the same
to the forks thereof; thence along the said bounds of
Burlington County to the sea; thence along the sea-
coast to Great Egg Harbor River; thence up said
river to the forks thereof; thence up the southern-
most and greatest branch of the same to the head
thereof; thence upon a direct line to the head of
Oldman's Creek ; thence down the same to the Dela-
ware River; thence up the Delaware River to the
place of beginning.

Salem County began at the mouth of a creek on
the west side of Stipson's Island, commonly called
Tecak's Creek; thence up the same "as far as high
tide floweth ;" thence upon a direct line to the mouth
of a small creek atTuckahoe, where it comes into the
southernmost branch of the fork of Great Egg Har-
bor River; thence up the said branch to the head
thereof; thence along the bounds of Gloucester
County to Delaware River; thence down the Dela-
ware River and Bay to the place, of beginning.
Cape May County began at the mouth of a small

creek on the west side of Stipson's Island, called
Tecak's Creek ; thence up the said creek " as far as
tide floweth;" thence along the bounds of Salem
County to the southernmost main branch of Great
Egg Harbor River ; thence down the said river to the
sea; thence along the sea-coast to the Delaware Bay,
and so up the said bay to the place of beginning.

This last section subjected Somerset County to the
jurisdiction of the courts and oflicers of Middlesex,
for want of a competent number of inhabitants to
hold courts and supply jurors, and enacted that jurors
might be taken promiscuously from both to either of
the said counties, but was altered on March 11,

In March, 1714, an act was passed by the General
Assembly held at Burlington to alter the bounds be-
tween the counties of Somerset, Middlesex, and Mon-
mouth, making the lines as follows :

"That the boundary-line between Somerset and Middlesex Counties
shall be and begin where the road crosseth the river Raritan at Inian's
Ferry, and run from thence along the said old road to Jedediah Higgins'
house, leading towards the Falls of the Delaware, so far as tho eastern
division of the province extends.

"The boundary-line between Middlesex nnd Monmouth Counties shall
be and begin at the mouth of the creek that parts the land of George
Willcocks and the land that was formerly Capt. Andrew Brown's ; thence
along the said captain's land to the rear of the said land ; thence upon a
direct course to Warne's bridge, on the brook, where Thomas Smith did
formerly live; then upon a direct course to the southeast corner of Bar-
clay's tract of land that lies near Matchaponix ; thence to the most
southernmost part of said tract of land, including the whole tract of land
in Middlesex County; thence upon the direct line to Assanpinck bridge,
on the high-road, including William Jones, William Story, Thomas
Buchanan, and John Guyberson, in Monmouth County; thence along
tho said Aaron Robbins' and James Lawrence's line to the line of the
eastern and western divisions, including the said Robbins'* and Law-
rence's in Monmouth County."

On Nov. 4, 1741, in the fiftieth year of the reign
of George II., an act was passed by the General As-
sembly, convened at Perth Amboy, to annex part of
the county of Essex to the county of Somerset, which
made the boundaries of Somerset as follows,— viz. :

" Beginning at the South Branch of the Raritan River, where the re-
puted division-line between East and \Ve6t Jersey strikes the same ; along
the rear of Raritan lots until it meets with the North Branch of said
river; thonce up tho same to a fall of water commonly called Allama-
tunk ; from thence along the bounds of Morris County to Passaic River;
thence down tho same to the lower corner of William Dockwra's two-
tenths, on the same river; thence on a straight line southeasterly to
the head of Green Brook, and thonce down the said brook to Bound

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 3 of 190)