James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 45 of 190)
Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 45 of 190)
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Appropriation ft snrplut rerenne 22&1.34

Total district scl I tax ordered to <«■ raised 9, 106 I i

Total revenno f all onro for schools I

ATerage salary of mull' teachers 3fi 1 1

" " female teachers 'jr.. 17

The school-houses now in the county are gener-
ally of :i good class. Their iiiipi-i >v«-nn'iit i- briefly
Shown by the following statement :

'. ■ I sol I property In 1860 Swi/kki

1876 154,000

The amount since the las, date has somewhat de-
clined, owing to a lower valuation, a - will appear by
tin- report of 1879.
Teachers' institutes have been held annually in

the county for the past ten or twelve years, ami have
been very profitable as means of elevating the standard
of education.

The county superintendents of schools for Sussex
( 'minty since the passage of the act of 1867 have been
the following: Nathaniel Pettit, Newton, 1867-G8;
Edward A. Stiles, Deckertown, 1869-75; Luther
Hill, Andover, 1876-81. Rev. Nathaniel Pcttit be-
came rector of Christ ( 'hureh, Newton, in 1857, and
officiated in thai capacity till 1807.*


Mr. Sides died while in office in 1873; to his report
of that year was appended the following brief but
just tribute to his memory :

" For the first time since the enactment of the Ian
creating the office of county superintendent death lias
entered this corps of school ollieer- and taken one of
their number. licfore .Mr. Stiles could finish his re-
port, which terminates abruptly, he was called to his
eternal home. Sir. Stiles, during bis term of office,
was faithful in the performance of every duty. He
was elected to this office in L869, and the tabular state-
ment given in his brief report -how- what progress
was made in his county in educational matters under

his administration, lie was beloved bj all who knew
him, and hi- dentil occasions profound regret. The
following obituary notice appeared in one of the

Bounty papers :

"'The parents of Mr. Stiles moved from Morris
Oouttty into Vernon town-hip when Iowa- but two
year- old. Nine \ear- later, or in the year 1819, the\
settled on the farm where Mr. Stiles died, and where
he spent the greater part of hi- active year- a- prin-
cipal of Mount Retirement Seminary. This school

• Soo blstora " f Cbrtol Chun b, Newton,

arose from the humblest beginning. In 1838 a half-
dozen of boy- were instructed in a room of the I'arnt-

I -'-. Hut iln- teacher had found hi- calling, and as

he developed with hi- work bis school rapidly in-
ereased to a size and reputation far beyond hi- early

hopes. For many year- there was an average of sev-
enty-five pupils under his tuition, and it wa- in full
vigorwhen he relinquished its control in 1865. The
graduates of this seminary are to be found in every
part of tin- country, many of them tilling high posi-
tions, and all ready to testify to tin- singleness of pur-
pose, the steady devotion to duty, and to the consid-
erate kindness of his supervision, as well a- to the
thorough and practical tone of his instruction. In
1869 he wa- appointed to the superintendence of this
county, and the constant growth in all matters ma-
terial pertaining to the educational system of the

county, the gradual elevation of public sentiment.

the increased efficiency of teachers, all bear witness

to the success of his administration. For i re than

forty years he has been devoted to the work of edu-
cation, and. whether estimated by his capability or
his devotion or ample success, he well deserves the
title of " Educator." He had excellent common
sense and a ni"-t reliable judgment, and behind all

bis word- and action- was a character so far beyond

reproach that his purity of motive wa- never ques-
tioned. Hi- last illness was long and most painful.
but the religion which had been hi- life was hi- -up-
pori in death. The promise did not fail, but once
more the Psalmist'- word wa- verified, and "the end
of the upright man was peace." Retaining hi- fac-
ulties in full vigor and giving counsel as to -el 1

matters up to the final day, at la-t he passed away BO
gently that his watching friends were scarcely aware
ol' hi- departure.'

" At a meeting id' the COUnty superintendent-, held
SOOU after the death of Mr. StileS, the following pre-
amble and resolution were passed:

'"W'io:kkas, Thin association of county school superintendents "t New

Jersey baa heard with deep emotion of too demise of ona of it- niombers,

Mr. i:. A. stii' -, sHi-iiiit. i' . nit v, nnil being deeply Im-

I ill.- ucl Unit in tiiis sTanl '1,'ittii lor tin- tirst time has

ui'l has tukt'ii awayoneof tbaearUaal workers In the

Held; And Wiubbss, we recognise in the death of this co-worker the

ronuyt >' of one who, by iii- nnobtruslTe manners, in- - 1 . ■ ^ * ■ i > derotlon to

duty, inn! bi- genUe nature had commanded "itr admiration and esteem ;

, in- it

u 'JBefeIesd,That we hereby express our slucore oondolenoo with lii-

i unity, and \"' tender them our ot^urnnce thai we regard this

low* a« not their- alone, but ours also.'"


Mr. Hill was born in Green township, in this
COUnly, in March, 1884. lie wa- a pupil of Mr.

Stales at Mount Retirement Seminary, in Wantage,
previous to hi- entering the public -eh. ml- a- teacher.
After teaching at Springdale, Susses i '".. he , ,
in mercantile business, which he pursued till 1^7::.

when he taught the public school tit Andover up to

the lime ..I' hi- appointment a- county superintendent,






In his " Centennial Address," Mr. Edsall gives the
names of the first lawyers who practiced at the Sus-
sex bar as follows :

"The names of the lawyers who first practiced in
our courts were Bernardus Lagrange, John Smith,
Abraham Cottnam, John De Hart, William Pidgeon,
Jasper Smith, and Aaron Doud. None of these prac-
titioners resided in our county except Doud, who
acted as deputy to De Hart while the latter held the
office of county clerk. De Hart belonged to Eliza-
bethtown, and there, I believe, he remained, notwith-
standing his official position in Sussex. The attorney-
general of the province, Cortlandt Skinner, attended
our courts pretty regularly. In his absence Aaron
Doud or Jasper Smith acted for him. This Skinner
was a zealous royalist, and became a brigadier-general
under Sir Henry Clinton in the war of the Revolu-
tion, in which position he rendered himself forever
infamous by his attempts to procure the kidnapping
of William Livingston, the first republican Governor
of New Jersey. About the time the court-house was
completed in this town, Thomas Anderson, a young
lawyer, who studied under Abraham Cottnam, of
Trenton, came to Newton and settled here perma-
nently, and proved himself a useful and patriotic
citizen. Robert Ogden, Jr., another man of merit
and public spirit, subsequently became a resident of
Sussex and a practitioner in our courts. Judges
Neville, Saltar, and Read, of the Supreme Court,
attended in this county when it was necessary to hold
Courts of Oyer and Terminer, and the county paid
their bills for food, lodging, and drink, the latter
item being by no means the smallest in the ' account

"I mention this last matter in no invidious spirit.
It was the custom in those days for judges to imbibe
strong drink ; and the records of our county show
frequent instances wherein the court adjourned to
meet at the tavern for no other purpose than to
moisten their judicial clay with milk-punch or rum-
toddy. Excess, however, appears to have been re-
garded as disgraceful, especially by men in au-

The lawyers mentioned above were probably all
who practiced in the county till after the Revolution.
During the early part of that period Chief Justice
Morris held a term of Oyer and Terminer at Newton,
and had occasion to write Governor Livingston the
following letter:

"Newton, June 14, 1777.
"Sib,— Enclosed Your Excellency 1ms a lint of the convictions and the
judgments thereon at this very tedious, find I would liavo said prema-
ture, court, if the council had not thought expedient on mature deliber-
ation to have appointed it. I had the pleasure to find Mr. Justice

, Symmes here at my arrival, and confess, if I had supposed the council
would have spared him for the business, I would not have traveled post
! over the mountains, through the rain and late into the night, on so very
short notice.

"Judges young in office, and not appointed for their legal erudition;

associates but reputable farmers, doctors, or shopkeepers; young officers,

no counsel nor clerk, for want of timely notice, which was not even given

to the sheriff; and this in a disaffected country, both witnesses and

criminals to be collected from all parts of the State. Thus circumstanced

; was a court of the highest expectation ever held in New Jersey ; a court

i for the trial of a number of state criminals, some for high treason, a

crime so little known to New Jersey that perhaps the first lawyer in it

would not know how to enter a judgment under our Constitution. It

would make an excellent paragraph in Gaine's 'Veritable Mercury;' no

i other printer could venture to publish it. In England, where treasons

i and rebellions are from immemorial usage become familiar terms, twelve

j learned judges from the first courts iu the world, the members of privy

| council, and the first gentlemen in the kingdom would have been sent

1 on such an errand, and attended by old and experienced officers and the

'■ ablest counsel at the bar, witnesses prepared, criminals to try, and season-

: able notice given. But there the law is systematically administered, and

j the ministers of it have settled forms of practice under an old constitu-

I tion well understood. And here we have a new-modeled government,

incomplete in all parts, young in practice, and contingencies unprovided


" Seriously, sir, with due submission to the council, I should have
thought that for a court of such consequence, the members of the council
j and some of the bar ought to have been joined in the commission and
j requested to attend. We have sat with great patience, and have now
closed the third week. Had it not been for the negligence or villainy of
a rascally jailer, in suffering John Eddy, the only person indicted for
high treason, to escape yesterday morning, I flatter myself we should have
; acquitted ourselves with tolerable success, and I hope have given satis-
] faction to the good people. This escape has given me much uneasiness,
as I fear it will be undeservedly attributed to the inattention of the court.
If the jailer was not privy to the escape, which did not appear, he is per-
haps too severely punished. The court, in fixing his punishment, had a
retrospective eye to past abuses of this sort, and thought an early ex-
ample of severity would be likely to prevent them in the future. He
appears to be a young, simple fellow, unacquaiuted with the duties of his
office, and not fully instructed by the sheriff, who has been almost daily
cautioned on the subject. This jailer's case is recommended to the mercy
of Tour Excellency and Council, at such season as you shall judge ex-
pedient to examine it. Mr. Attorney-General will inform you of the
particular demerits of the other convicts ; some of them may hereafter be
entitled to partial pardons; I wish I could say they were at this time.
The little time the members of the court had for considering the com-
mission after my arrival hurried us into a matter which, on further con-
sideration, I confess I am not satisfied with ; I mean the short time be-
tween the teste and return of the precipe for the grand jury. In Eng-
land, I observe, fifteen days was ordered, on mature deliberation of all
the judges acting under the special commission of 174G. What the prac-
tice has been iu New Jersey we do not know, as the clerk has none of
the former circuit papers. If we have erred, it is partly chargeable to
the council for appointing the court so shortly after issuing the commis-
sion, and they are bound to get the Legislature to cure it. Had I half
an hour's time for thinking of the matter it should have been otherwise.
" In your letter notifying mo of this court, you observe that my not
attending the court at Burlington had given uneasiness. Whatever pri-
vate individuals might have thought, I am persuaded no member of the
Legislature had the least right to expect my attendance. Two hundred
miles a day is rather hard traveling ; and even that would not have done,
unless they supposed me possessed of the spirit of divination. I accepted
my present office to manifest my resolution to serve my country. I mean
to do the duty of it while I hold it, according to my best judgment.
Whenever the Legislature think they can fill it more advantageously,
the tenure of my commission shall not disappoint them.

"The court rose without adjournment, as it was not supposed they
would have occasion to Bit again, unless Eddy should be taken. If this
should ho the case, I hope one of the other justices will be able to attend ;
I fear I shall not. I wish tho Legislature, beforo another court Bits,
would take under consideration the judgment in high treason, old indict-
ments at the suit of the king, and some other difficulties in former prac-
tice, which tho attorney-general will mention to you.

"I have tho honor, etc.,

" Hoij't Mourns.
"Govkiinor Livingston."



To understand some of tlie difficulties referred (0
in this letter, it most be remembered that at this time,
and lor many years after, grand and petit jurors were
summoned by virtue of venires directed to the sheriff

for that purpose. Courts of Oyer and Terminer were
held by virtue of special commissions issued by tin
Governor and Council, in pursuance of the authority
Contained in the commission from the king. The
constitution of 177<> gave no Buch express power, and
doubts were entertained whether the new Governor
and Council could exercise it. They did do it. how-
ever, holding it to be justified by the act passed soon
after the meeting of the first Legislature, which pro-
rided that the several courts of the State should be
confirmed, established, and continued with the like
powers under the present government as before the
promulgation of the Declaration of Independence.

Charles Pettit, who was a lawyer and had been the
deputy clerk of the old Council and of the Supreme
Court, writes to Governor Livingston, June 15, 1777:
" Von will receive herewith a draught of a commis-
sion of Oyer and Terminer, which I have made from
one of the old forms; it is a translation as literal as
the change of style will admit. 1 send also, by way
of cover, tin- draught of the late commission for Sus-
sex; so that you may have an opportunity of com-
paring them. ( In further consideration (although I

have had no opportunity of examining 1 ks), lam

better satisiied that the Courts of Oyer and Terminer
may be legally held under such commission, if it
were only by virtue of tin 1 :iet for reviving and estab-
lishing tin UltS of justice. The only doubt that

remain- is the appointment of assistant justices to
those of the Supreme Court, as it may be said they
ought to be elected by the Council and Assembly;

if so, it might be well at their next meeting to eleel

a >et of associates lor each county."

[n September, 1777, an act was passed making the
punishment for treason the same a- that for murder, —
that is, hanging instead of quartering, — and that all
persons who had committed the crime before duly 2,
177<>, might be proceeded against and punished a- if

the crime were ) unit led against the State ; and that

all indictments found in the name of the king should
be prosecuted as if in the nam. of the Slat.-. Another
act was passed specially authorizing the Governor
and Council to constitute and appoint by commission
Courts of Oyer and Terminer, under which com-
missions for that purpose continued to be issued until

17!>4, when an act was passed constituting these courts
substantially as they are now held.

from this period jurisprudences, court-, and trials
assumed a more systematic and settled form, anil the

profession of the law became fixed ami orderly. We

give below a list of those who have participated in
this honorable profession in Sussei < '.unity, from the
advent of the first lawyer to tie- present t ime. includ-
ing the dates of their admi - ion, both as attorneys ami

as counselors.


Thomas Andenwn,* dato of admission not known.
Robert Ogdan, Jr.,* called to lergeanfeat-hMi May, 1780.
i, April term, 1796; September torm, 1799.
William T. An I. i- id, September term, 1801; September term, 1843.

TIimiiiii City i >n, IVI.oiury term. 1-11 ; May I. oil, 1-17.

Alnheua GooUn,* November term, 1820; September term, 1824.
Daniel Balnea, 4 November term, 1823; November term. 1826.
Wbttfleld S. Johnson,* May term, 1828; May term, 1- 12.

David Tli. .iiii-iii, t November term, 1833; November term, 1836.

Holier! lIuiinll.T., February term, 1836; February term, 1839.

Martin Ryenon,* November term, 1836 ; November term, 1839.

Cyrus S. Loport,* September term, 1838.

Levi Shepherd,* May term, 1838; September term, 1M2.

Daniel S. Andorson.t September term, 1841.

Samuel Fowler, Jr.,* February term, 1842.

Henry 0. Fowler,* September term, 184:1.

George M. Ryorson.t September term, 1834; not in practice.

John l.inn.; November term, 1844; October term, 1848.

Benin i Hamilton, Jr.,* February term, 1845.

Robert T. Shiner,* February term, 184r..

Thomas N. M .-Carter,* October term, 1S45 ; January term, 1849.
Manning M. Kunpp,* July term, 1846; January term, 1850.
H.-iny ". Ryenon,* April torm, 1S47; February torm, 1866.

Sai I II. Potter,- Junnary term, 1h4'.1; November term, 1854.

Michael R Kemblo.t January term, 1849.

Andrew ,1. It. .gem,* June term, 1852.

Thomas Anderson,* February term, 1856.

.1.1 .1. I. SA.iw.e.f February term, 1858; not in practice.

\\ Ilium K. Skinner,* November term, lSOO; November term, 1864.

Joseph Cult,; February term, 1861.

Alfred Ackcrson,* Juno term, 1861.

Thomas Kuya.t February term, 1803; February term, 1-7:.

Ellas M. Wbite.J June term, 1864.

Lewis Von lllitrc.m.t June term, 1865 ; Juno term, 1868.

William H, Morrow, t November term, 1865; February term, 1869.

Dawson « 'oodrutT.t June term, I860.

Levi i- .1. Mnrtin.t February term, 1867.

.lam.- I). Howell.*

William S. Loport,* February term, 1SC7; Juno term, 1870.

William U. I'orriuc,t November term, 1867.

Lewis Cocbrnn.t November term, 1868; February term, 1872.

Martin Rosenkrans.t June term, 1870; Juue term, 1873.

Walter I. Ross,* June term, 1870.

Robert T. .b.bnsoii.t September torm, 1870.

Charles J, Roe, June term, 1873; Juno term, 1876.

Thomas M. Kaya,t June term, 1873.

Charles M. Woodruff,*/ November torm, 1873.

Wlnnold It. Counen,*, Novembor term, 1876.

TtieodoM Siiii..iis..n,| February term, 1-7.

Robert I.. Lawrence^ Noromber term, 1876,

'11 1 K. Iieiinis.f N..\etul.er term, ls7'*.

Allen It. Shay, I February term, 1S77; June term, 1880.
Charles D, Thompson,*/ June term, 1*77-. June term, 1880.

Henry Hust I June term, ts77 . June term, 1880

A. Watson SUx'kt»ower,t Noveml-.-r term, ls77.
David 11. ll.t/.l.t February term, 1880.
William M. Smith,} Jnne term, 1878.

A. Lewis U *..: Novembet ohm. 1878.

1 i.u.i. Shepherd,! .inn.- term, 1880.

Two in the above list — viz., Robert Ogden, Jr.,
and 11.. u. Daniel Haines— were called to the dcirree
of sergcant-at-law, the former in May, 1780, and the

latter in September, 1887.

\ BRS am> .11 DOES.

UoliKltT Oijukv, Jit., whose name appear- second
in the list of the Sn-sex bar, was a great-grandSOD of

Jonathan I Igden, one of the original associates of the

• Deceased. t Present members. J Removed.



Elizabethtown purchase, who died in 1732, at the age
of eighty-six. He had a son named Robert Ogden,
and his son Robert, the father of Robert Ogden, Jr.,
and of Col. Aaron Ogden, the Governor of New Jer-
sey in 1812, resided at the old borough of Elizabeth-
town, where he filled several offices of honor and
trust, among others that of surrogate for the county
of Essex. He was a member of the Council, and
several years Speaker of the House of Assembly.
Being appointed one of the delegates from the Legis-
lature of New Jersey to the convention which met in
New York in 1765 to protest against the Stamp Act,
he, with the chairman of the convention, refused to
sign the protest and petition to the king and Parlia-
ment, upon the ground that it ought to be transmitted
to the Provincial Assembly, and be presented to the
government of Great Britain through them. This so
displeased his constituents that he resigned his seat
in the Assembly, saying, in his address delivered on
that occasion, " I trust Providence will in due time
make the rectitude of my heart and my inviolable
affection for my country appear in a fair light to the
world, and that my sole aim was the happiness of
New Jersey."

When the war of the Revolution commenced he
took a firm part on the side of freedom, and was one
of the committee of vigilance for his town. His sons
were all ardent Whigs. Matthias was appointed
lieutenant-colonel of the First Regiment in the New
Jersey Line in December, 1775, was wounded in
storming the Heights of Quebec, and was distin-
guished throughout the war as colonel of the regi-
ment and brigadier-general by brevet. His son
Aaron, born at Elizabethtown in 1756, graduated at
Princeton in 1773, before he had attained the age of
seventeen, and became an assistant to Mr. Francis
Barber, who was teacher of a celebrated grammar
school at which Judge Brockholts and Alexander
Hamilton were pupils. In the spring of 1777 both
pupils and teacher entered the army. Aaron Ogden
was appointed lieutenant and paymaster in the First
New Jersey Regiment, and continued in the service
till the close of the war, as aide-de-camp, captain,
and brigade major and inspector. This last-named
officer (now abolished) was during the Revolutionary
war, and long afterwards, the most important of the
staff-officers of the brigade.

"In the winter of 1776-77, while Maj. Ogden was
sleeping in the same room with Gen. Maxwell at
Elizabethtown, they were informed that one of the
pickets had heard the rowing of the boats of the
British, who were coming over from Staten Island to
surprise them in the night. Ogden volunteered to
reconnoitre, and, approaching a house near the mead-
ows, he observed a light. Slackening his pace, the
night being very dark, he found himself all at once
surrounded by British soldiers and within reach of a
sentinel, who ordered him to dismount. Determined
at all hazards to alarm his troops, be immediately

wheeled and put spurs to his horse, expecting a shot ;
he received from another sentinel a thrust of a bayo-
net into his chest. He had strength, however, to
reach the garrison, about two miles distant, and give
the alarm. Gen. Maxwell's remark was, 'The pitcher
that goes oftenest clown the well will come up broken
at last.' By proper attention and care at his home he
recovered from this wound, which was a very danger-
ous one. His timely alarm prevented the enemy from
doing any mischief."

A complete account of the brilliant services of Col.
Ogden in the Revolution would require more space
than we have at command. " When the war ended
he was among those who, after they had borne the
toils, the perils, and the sacrifices of a long and at
times apparently a desperate conflict, laid down their
arms and retired, most of them to private life and to

" Towards the close of the Revolution, Robert Og-
den, Sr., removed to Sparta, in the county of Sussex,
where he owned large tracts of land, and where he
continued a life of usefulness to both Church and
State until the year 1787, when he died at the full
age of threescore and ten."* Mr. Edsall, in his
" Centennial Address," makes the date of the arrival
of Mr. Ogden at Sparta " about 1765," and that of
his son, Robert Ogden, Jr., at the Sussex bar, "some
time subsequently" to the first occupation of the
court-house, which was during the May term, 1765.
As to the senior Robert Ogden the date of settlement

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 45 of 190)