James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 4 of 190)
Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 4 of 190)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Brook ; thence down the said Bound Brook to the place where it empties •
itself into tho Raritan River; thence down tho Raritan River to the
place where tho road crosseth the said river at Inian's Ferry; from thence
along the said old road which leads by Jedediah Higgins' house towards
the Falls of tho Delaware, until it intersects the division-line to tho South
Branch of the Raritan River, where it first began."

In 1747 an act was passed erecting the southern
part of the county of Salem into a separate county,
thus altering the bounds of Cumberland County, as
follows :

" Beginning in tho county of Salem, at the mouth of Stow Creek, and
running up tho same unto John Bick's mills, within tho county hereby
erected ; then continuing still up Stow Creek Branch to tho house where
Hugh Dunn now dwells, leaving tho said Hugh Dunn's within the new

* liobiiw appears to be tho correct spelling, as in the former act.



INDIAN 0CCI.TATFON— THE ORIGINAL PEOPLE.



17



oonnty; and from the said Hugh Dnnn*Bl seapon a straight line to

Nathan Shaw's house, within the now county; end then on Ibe northeast

m • ■ r> t i I ii Intorsecls the Pllesgrovc i , in Bnlem County; theiiM

■long tin' mid lino till it Intersects tlio Una which divides theoonntlct of

Qlouceeter and sal. n. , then running southeastward down til" ster line

in tu the boundary of Capo May Couoty; then bonnded bj Cape May
Oonnty to Delaware Bay; and up the Delaware Bay t.. Ihi
beginning.' 1

\i the time ol lixin- the original boundary-line
between .Morris ami Somerset Counties, upon the
erection of the latter, the division-line between the
saiil counties was to be from the Palls of Allamatunk
to the Passaic River, but, not mentioning what count
of where to lix upon said river, it remained uncertain,
very prejudicial to the inhabitants, and a great ob-
stacle to the officers of the counties in the discharge

of their duties. Hence, to obviate the difficulty, an

acl was passed, March 28, 1849, beginning the di-
vision-line between the said Somerset and Morris

• '"Until'- :tl a fall of water run uly called Allania-

tunk Palls, as in the previous act, and from thence on

a straight line, before recited, in a ''nww ra«t and by

north, as the i ijiass now points," to the main branch

of Passaic River; and so down the said river as the
above-recited act directs.

III. COUNTIES IX NORTIIWESTERN NEW JERSEY.
I 're viiius to March ii, 1713, the people of the west-
ern division of New Jersey attended the several courts
held in Burlington. But.it being very inconvenient
tor most of the inhabitants, on account of the dis-
tance and difficulties of traveling tit thai early day
ami the expense necessarily incurred, therefore, to re-
move these inconveniences, an act was passed by the
General Assembly. March II, 1714, in the thirteenth
year of the reign of Queen Anne, erecting the county
Of Hunterdon, to wit :
"That all and singular of tholandannd npper parts of the- siii.l western

'MviKi i the province "t New Jersey, lying northwvd or situate nboTe

But brook or rlvnlel commonly called Aasaupinck, I rected i i » t. • a

' Ij named, and from henceforth !■• be called, the Count] "I Hunter-
don; and thesald brook or rivulet coi nly known and colli

II he the bonndory-llne between the county of Burlington and
tlin Niia ."in.i.v of Huntonion."

I be count? was to have and enj '. all tb. pin Ii

lions, rights, liberties, privileges, and immunities

whatsoever which any oilier county or province en-
joyed, excepting only the choice of a representative
in the General Assembly; which liberty was sus-
pended until Her Majesty's pleasure was further
known therein. This suspension la-ted until Feb, 10,
I7l'.s. when King G ge, by bis instruction to Wil-
liam Burnet, the i lovernor, was pleased to declare his
royal pleasure thai the count] of Hunterdon should
for the future have the choice of two representatives
to serve in the General Assembly. The right of
Salem township was suspended and given to Hunter-
don, which elected two representatives in lieu of
those from the former municipality.

MorrisCounty was taken from Hunterdon by acl of
the General Assembly passed Match 15, L788, The
boundaries are thus set forth in the acl i



"That iiIIiiikI singular the uuidannd upper parta of the wvl-l Hunterdon
County, lying t.> the northward nnd eastward, situate and lying lothe

eastward of a well-known place In Ihecountj of Hu rdon, being a fall

of water in part of the Worth Branch "f the Rarftan River, called in the
Indian langnage, or known by ihe name of, Mlamarnnk, to Ihenorth*
eastward .•! the northeast end or perl .>f Ihe lands known as Ihe New

lety lands, along the line thereof crossing the Bout!
<.f the aforesaid Raritan River, nnd extending westerly toacerl
mnrkedwlth Uieletters I. M., itandlng <.n tl"- north ildeofa brook
eroptj Inc. Iteell Into the said Sooth Branch, by an old Indian path t" Ihe
northward "f a line t" be run northwest from Ihe said tree t

of tin- Delaw River, called Hnsconetcongv and so down the add

the Delaware Hlver; all which said lands,
ward, northward, and not Ihweetward of thenbovi boundaries,!

Into a c it v, nii.l it Is hereby erected Into a connty, named, and from

rUt i" becalled, tforris Count] ; and ihall |u»rt

and from henceforth separate and divide Ihe same f Hunterdon

i Sounty."

Up to this time Trenton had been the place for the
Iran-action of all public business by the people living
in what tire now Hunterdon, Mercer. Morris, Su88t \.
and Warren Counties, and the expense ami inconve-
nience of going there to attend courts and for other
public purposes led tu a petition from the people re-
siding in the upper portion of Hunterdon to have the
new connty of Morris erected. I'pon its organization
courts were established at Morristown, which con-
tinued t" be the -eat of justice for tile lie.pl. of

Northwestern New Jersey till the county was divided
and Susses < '.unity organized.

Sussex County was erected from the upper pari of

Morris County by an act of the General Assembly
passed June s, | ;.",:;, with boundaries OS follows:

"That nil and singular thelandsand npper partaof Horris Oonnty,
northwest ..f tfusoonetcoug River, beginning al the mouth of . — * * . t i Ivor
where it empties lotell Into the Delaware R]ver,and running np said
Uui Dnetcong River to the head of the Great Pond; from tl...
east to the linos tlmt divide tl..' provincoof Neu Jersey; tln-nco along
the said line t.. tin. Delaware River aforesaid : thence iluwn iho name to
tin- mouth ..f tin- Miw "tii'tcone. the place nf beginning, and I
Musconotcong River, n. t.,r a- the county ..f Hunterdon bounds it. -hall
I..- tl... boundary-line between that connty an. I the county "f Sussex."

Such remained the bounds of Sussex < lounty till it
was reduced i" it- present dimensions by the detach-
ment of Warren ( '•unity in 1S24. After the erection
of Sussex County, from dune, 1.753, to Dec. 9, 177ii,

Hunterdon, Morris, and Susses united in sending a
representative to the < reneral Assembly. At the last-
mentioned date an act I passed by the ( reneral Assem-
bly May in. 1768) received Hi- Majesty's approval,
allow iter each inty to send a representative.



' HAP I ER II I.



INDIAN OCCUPATION-THE ORIGINAL
PEOPLE

[.—GENERAL TRIBAL DIVISIONS.
When the tirst white explorers penetrated into the
valleys of the Delaware and Hudson Rivers they

found these, with all the cuiiitry lyiitir bet ween them,
a- well a- the entire area DOW Comprised in tie S

of New York and Pennsylvania, peopled by aborig-



IS



SUSSEX AND WARREN COUNTIES, NEW JERSEY.



inal tribes of the Algonquin stock, and embraced in
two nations, or groups of nations, called by Eu-
ropeans the Iroquois and the Delawares, the former
having been so named by the French and the latter
by the English. The language spoken by both these
people was the Algonquin, but differed materially in
dialect. The nation to which the whites gave the
name of Delawares was known in the Indian tongue
as the Lenni LenapS, or simply the Lenape ; the
Iroquois were in the same tongue called the Mengwe,
which name became corrupted by the more ignorant
white men into Mingoes, which last term was adopted
to some extent by the Delawares in its contemptuous
application to their Mengwe neighbors, between
whom and themselves feelings of detestation and
hatred existed to no small degree.

The Mengwe or Iroquois inhabited the territory ex-
tending from the shores of Lake Erie to those of
Champlain and the Hudson River, and from the head-
waters of the Delaware, Susquehanna, and Allegany
Rivers northward to Lake Ontario, and they even oc-
cupied a large scope of country north of the St. Law-
rence, thus holding not only the whole of the State of
New York, but a part of Canada, which vast territory
they figuratively styled their " long council-house,"
within which the place of kindling the grand council-
fire was Onondaga, not far from the present city of Syra^
cuse, and at that place, upon occasion, representatives
of all the Mengwe tribes met together in solemn de-
liberative council. These tribes consisted of the Mo-
hawks, Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, and Oneidas,
who collectively formed an offensive and defensive
confederation, which has usually been known in Eng-
lish annals as that of the Five Nations.*

The Mohawks occupied the country nearest the
Hudson River, and held the post of honor as the
guardians of the eastern entrance of the " long
house." The Senecas, who were the most numerous,
energetic, and warlike of the five tribes, defended the
western portal of the "house," while the Cayugas
were the guardians of the southern border of the
Iroquois domain, — the frontier of the Susquehanna
and Delaware valleys. The Oneida tribe was located
along the shores of Oneida Lake, and the Onondagas,
occupying a large territory in the central portion of
the present State of New York, kept watch over
the council-place and fire of the banded Mengwe.
II.— THE LEAGUE OP THE IROQUOIS.

The league of the Iroquois nations had been formed
— at a date which no Indian chronology could satis-
factorily establish — for the purpose of mutual defense
against the Lenapfi and other tribes contiguous to
them; and by means of this confederation, which
they kept up in good faith and in perfect mutual ac-

* At a later period — soon after the commencement of the eighteenth
century — the Tuscaroras, having been almost entirely subjugated and
driven away from their hunting-grounds in the Oarollnas, migrated
northward and wore received into tho Iroquois confederacy, which
from that time became known as the Six Nations.



cord, they were not only enabled successfully to repel
all encroachments upon their own territory, but after
a time to invade that of other nations, and to carry
the terror of their arms southward to the Cape Fear
and Tennessee Rivers, westward beyond Lake Michi-
gan, and eastward to the shores of the Connecticut.

III.— THE DELAWARES OR LENNI LENAPE.

The Delawares — the Indian people with which this
history has principally to deal — occupied a domain
extending along the sea-shore from the Chesapeake to
the country bordering Long Island Sound. Back from
the coast it reached beyond the Susquehanna valley
to the foot of the Allegheny Mountains, and on the
north it joined the southern frontier of their domi-
neering neighbors, the hated and dreaded Mengwe or
Iroquois. This domain, of course, included not only
the counties of Sussex and Warren, but all of the
State of New Jersey.

The principal tribes composing the Lenni Lenape or
Delaware nation were those of the Unamis or Turtle,
the Unalachtgo or Turkey, and the Minsi or Wolf.
The latter, which was by far the most powerful and
warlike of all these tribes, occupied the most northerly
portion of the country of the Lenape and kept guard
along the Iroquois border, from whence their domain
extended southward to the Musconetcongt Mountains,
about the northern boundary of the present county of
Hunterdon. The Unamis and Unalachtgo branches
of the LenapS or Delaware nation (comprising the
tribes of Assanpinks, Matas, Shackamaxons, Chiche-
quaas, Raritans, Nanticokes, Tuteloes, and many
others) inhabited the country between that of the
Minsi and the sea-coast, embracing the present coun-
ties of Hunterdon and Somerset and all that part of
the State of New Jersey south of their northern
boundaries. The tribes who occupied and roamed
over the counties of Sussex and Warren, then, were
those of the Turkey and Wolf branches of the Lenni
Lenape nation, but the possessions and boundaries of
each cannot be clearly defined.

The Indian name of the Delaware nation, Lenni
Lenapfi, signifies, in their tongue, "the original peo-
ple," — a title which they had adopted under the
claim that they were descended from the most ancient

■f "The Wolf, commonly called the Minsi, which wo nave corrupted into
Monsoys, had chosen to live back of the other two tribes, and formed a
kind of bulwark for their protection, watching the motions of the Meng-
we and being at hand to afford aid in case of a rupture with them. The
Minsi wore considered the most warlike and active branch of the Lenap6.
They extended their settlements from the Minisink, a place named after
them, where thoy had their council-seat and fire, quite up to the Hudson
on the east, and to the wost and south far beyond tho Susquehanna.
Their northern boundaries were supposed originally to bo the heads of
tho great rivers Susquehanna and Delaware, and their southern that
ridge of hills known in New Joraey by the namo of Muskauecuiu, and
in Pennsylvania by those of Lehigh. Conewago, etc. Within this
boundary wore their principal settlements ; and even ns late as the year
1742 they had a town with a peach-orchard on tho tract of land where
Nazareth, in Ponnsylvanio, has si nee been built, another on the Lehigh,
and others beyond tho Blue Ridge, besides many family settlements here
ami there scattered." — History, Maimers, and Canton™ of tlie Indian Na-
tion* who once inhabited Pennsylvania, by lieu. John lJeekewelder,



INDIAN OCCUPATION— TIIK ORIGINAL PEOPLE.



19



of all Indian ancestry. Tins claim was admitted by
the Wyandots, Miamis, and more than twenty other
aboriginal nations, who accorded to the Lenape the

title ii f iirtiii'li'iilh , ", or ii people whose anoc-strv ante-
dated their nun. The Rev. John Heckewelder, in his
" History of the Manners and ( lustoms of the Indian
Nations," says of the Delaware nation, —

"They will not adroit that the whites are superior heings. Thoy say
tliiit the hair of their heads, tlnir features, and Ihe various colors ol
their eyes evince tlmt they are not, like thomsolves, Leuni Lenapi, — an
original people, a rare nl men tlml !m- .-vet...! iimi li;in-nl frum the be-
ginning of time : i.ui tlmt tlnv mi' a mixed race, ami thorefore a trouble-

ton in. Wborevsr thoy may be, the Great Spirit knowing the wlck-

t-ilnos* uf their iliH|i.isiiii.ii, iniiii'l it iii'L-i-Hsary to give them a Great
Book, and taught them bow to reodil tlmt tiny might know and ob-
serve whal Be wished them to do and what to abstain from, lint they —
tin- liiiliiuiH — have mi need of any such book to lit them know the will
of th.ir Maker : they find it ongravod mi their own hearts; they have
hml sufficient discernment given to tbem t>. distinguish good from evil,
and bj following thai guide they are miro not to err."

IV.— TRADITIONS AMONG THE DELAWARE TRIBES.
Concerning the origin of the Lenape, numerous

and essentially differing traditions were current anion;:
the various tribes. One of these traditions is men-
tioned by Loskiel in his " History of the .Mission of
the United Brethren among the North American In-
dians," as follows:

"Among the Delaware*, those of the Minst or Wolf tribe say tlmt in
tli^ beginning they dwelt in tin- earth nndora hike, and wore fortu-
nately extricated frum thin unpleasant aba le by tin- die wvery whli b one
of their men made of a hole, through which he ascended to tho surface;
mi iviii' Ii, n> he was walking, he found a deer, which ho carried back
with him into his BuhterraneonB habitation ; that tho deer wait eaten,
and ho and his companions round the meal so good that they unani-
mously "leterniini'il i i leave their ilurk aliode and remove to . place
whli.- they could enjoy the light of heaven and havo sncli exoellenl
game in abundance.

"The two other tribes, the Unnmifl "i Tortoise, ami the Unntttclitgos
or Turkey, have much similar notions, hot reject the story of tin' ink.-.
which seems peculiar to the Minsi tribe."

There was another leading tradition current among
tin nations of the Lenapfi, which was to the effect
that, ages before, their ancestors had lived in a far-off
country to the west, beyond great rivers and moan-
tains, and that, in the belief that there existed, away
towards the rising sun, a red man's paradise, — a land
of deer and heaver and salmon, — they had hit their

western home and traveled eastward for many moons,

until they stood on the western shore of tin- Namisi

Sipu i Mississippi), and there they met a numerous

nation, migrating like themselves. They were a stran-
ger tribe, of whose very existence the Lenape! had
been ignorant. They were none Other than the Meng-
we; :iinl this was the first meeting of those two peo-
ples, who afterwards became rivals and enemies, ami
Continued such for centuries, Both were now trav-
elers and bound on the same errand But they found

a lion in their path, for beyond the great river lay tin'
domain of a nation called Ailegewi, who were not
only strong in numbers and brave, but more skilled
than themselves in the arl of war, who had reared

great defenses "f earth inclosing their villages and

strongholds. In the true spirit of military strategy.



they permitted a part of the emigrants to CTOSS tin-
river, and then, having divided their antagonists, fell
Upon them with great fury to annihilate tin in. But
when the Lenape saw this they at once formed an al-
liance, offensive ami defensive, with the- Mengwe.
The main body crossed tin river and attacked the Ai-
legewi with such desperate energy that they defeated
and afterwards drove them into the interior, where
they fought from stronghold to stronghold, till finally,
after a long and bloody war, the Ailegewi were not

only humiliated, hut exterminated, and their country
wa- occupied by the victors. After this both nations

ranged eastward, the Mengwe taking the northern
and the Lenape still keeping the more southern route,

until, after long journeying*, tin- former reached the

Mohicanittuck (Hudson River) and the latter rested
upon the hanks of the Lenape Wihittuck, — the beau-
tiful river now known as the Delaware, — and here
they found that Indian elysium of which they had
dreamed before they left their old homes in the land
of the setting sun.

These and other similar Indian traditions may or
may not have BOme degree of foundation in fact.

Then- are to-day many enthusiastic searchers through
the realms of aboriginal lore who accept them :t» au-
thentic, and who believe that the combined Lenape'
ami Mengwe did destroy a great and comparatively

civilized people, ami that tin- unfortunate Ailegewi
who were tints extinguished were none others than

the mysterious Mound-Builders of the Mississippi

valley. This, however, is hut one of the many profit-

less i jectures which have been indulged in with

reference to that unknown people, and is in no way

pertinent t" this history. All Indian tribes wen- fond
of narrating the long journeys and great deeds of
their forefathers, and of tracing their ancestry back
for centuries, some of them claiming descent from the
great Manitou himself. Missionaries and travelers

among them who were, Or professed to he. familiar

with their language and customs have spoken with
apparent sincerity of Indian chronology running back

to a period before the Christian era, and smiie of the

old enthusiasts claimed that these aborigines were

ii.-. en. hints of the lost trihes of [srael. Bui all the

• In a small, quaint, and now very rnre v.. in me entitled "An Htotorictl
and Country >i W ■-.' hTea I

Hoviu ni.ii' Public* till now, by Gabriel Ti too, London, 1606," and

dedicated "Ti< the IliKlu Hoi rable sir. I. .In, Moor, Sir Thou

Knights ami Aldermen ->f the city of 1. Ion, and t.. tho raal <.f the

Worthy Hemboraofthe West Joiiey Proprietors^" ia found the following,

In relbronoe to tbi -ill.- iir.t inhabitants "f

•a, being supposed to bo part of thi Tendis*

I in their

mething In their Practices and Worship; for e> |
Ponstlranla tndlani ronton and

... I limit-
they gal iii the whole year, i i I ol D
whom tin y must p! vvlll be-

tull ih.. m. .ui.l great Injuries will be dona thorn. Whan they bury thatr
Dead, tiny pal Into tin. Qround with than

kenaol their Lova and MIectton), with other Thinp,
hay shall have Occasion fur (ham in the other. World."



20



SUSSEX AND WARREN COUNTIES, NEW JERSEY.



traditions of the Indians were so clouded and involved
in improbability and so interwoven with superstition,
and the speculations of antiquarian writers have almost
uniformly been so baseless and chimerical, that the
whole subject of Indian origin may be dismissed as
profitless.

V.— TOTEMS OR TRIBAL BADGES OF THE INDIANS.
The Indians, from the earliest times, considered
themselves in a manner connected with certain ani-
mals, as is evident from various customs preserved
among them, and from the fact that, both collectively
and individually, they assumed the names of such
animals. Loskiel says, —

"It might indeed be supposed that those animals' names which they
have given to their several tribes were mere badges of distinction, or
' coats-of-arms, 1 as Pyrlaeus calls them; but if we pay attention to tbe
reasons which they give for those denominations, the idea of a supposed
family connection is easily discernible. The Tortoise — or, as they are
commonly called, the Turtle — tribe, among the Lenape, claim a supe-
riority anil ascendancy over (he others, because their relation, the great
Tortoise, a fabled monster, the Atlas of their my thology, bears, according
to their traditions, this great island on his back,* and also because he is
amphibious and can live both on land and in the water, which neither
of the heads of the other tribes can do. The merits of the Turkey, which
gives its name to the second tribe, are that he is stationary and always
remains with or about them. As to the Wolf, after which the third tribe
is named, he is a rambler by nature, running from one place to another
in quest of his prey ; yet they consider him as their benefactor, as it was
by his means that the Indians got out of the interior of the earth. It
was he, they believe, who by tbe appointment of the Great Spirit killed
the deer which the Mousey found who first discovered the way to the
surface of the earth, and which allured them to come out of their damp
and dark residence. For that reason the wolf is to be honored and his
name to be preserved forever among them.

"These animals 1 names, it is true, they all use as national badges, in
order to distinguish their tribes from each other at home and abroad. In
this point of view Mr. Pyrlaeus was right in considering them as ' coats-
of-arms. 1 The Turtle warrior draws, either with a coal or with paint,
here and there on the trees along the war-path, the whole animal, car-
rying a gun with tbe muzzle projecting forward ; and if he leaves a mark
at tbe place where he has made a stroke on his enemy, it will be the
picture of a Tortoise. Those of the Turkey tribe paint only one foot of a
turkey, and the Wolf tribe sometimes a wolf at large with one foot and
leg raised up to serve as a hand, in which the animal also carries a gun
with the muzzle forward. They, however, do not generally use the word
' wolf when speaking of their tribe, but call themselves P'duk-sit, which
means round foot, that animal having a round foot, like a dog."

VI.— INDIAN POPULATION IN NEW JERSEY.
It does not appear that the Indians inhabiting
New Jersey were very numerous. In an old pub-
lication entitled "A Description of New Albion,"
and dated a.d. 1648, it is found stated that the
native people in this section were governed by about
twenty kings ; but the insignificance of the power
of those " kings" may be inferred by the accom-



Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 4 of 190)