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Joseph W. cn Dally.

Woodbridge and vicinity : the story of a New Jersey township ; embracing the history of Woodbridge, Piscataway, Metuchen and contiguous places, from the earliest times ; the history of the different ecclesiastical bodies ; important official documents relating to the township, etc. online

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Online LibraryJoseph W. cn DallyWoodbridge and vicinity : the story of a New Jersey township ; embracing the history of Woodbridge, Piscataway, Metuchen and contiguous places, from the earliest times ; the history of the different ecclesiastical bodies ; important official documents relating to the township, etc. → online text (page 12 of 34)
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In 1754 a new Cliiirch was built, supposed to be on the site
of the first, which stood for over a hundred years, an honored
temple. It was destroyed by fire in 1858. Fortunately, Mr.
Whitehead made a sketch of it several years before the
building was burned, whicii, through his kindness, we pre-
sent to 01 M" readers.




'* — ^!r^-^i.KW.'\%'i%-^ "*.



It was a plain, unpretending structure which m.xny of our
citizens have seen — a number of whom have a tender rec-
ollection of it as their early sanctuary. But it has gone like
many other pleasant things we knew and loved in childhood,
reminding us that the true temple is "eternal in tiie heavens;"
that we may bear our worship thitlier, to the " iiouse not made
with hands."

In 1764 Rev. Rfjbert McKean, the missionary at Amboy,
was appointed to take charge of the Woodbridge congrega-
tion. Mr. Chandler continued his labors in Elizabethtown,
but brought much misery upon himself as well as general
unpopularity by his Tory sentiments during the Revolution.



THE EPISCOPALIANS. I^I

He fled to England. After the war was over he returned to
his parish; but, being feeble, he did not long minister to his
people. He died June lyih, 1790, aged sixty-four.*

Mr. McKean wrote to the Society April i6th, 1764, that he
devoted one-third of his ministerial services to Woodbridge.
He reports twelve families, comprising fifty persons, as his
congregation, and fourteen communicants.

He died October 17th, 1767, having officiated at Amboy for
four years and at Woodbridge for three. He was highly
esteemed. His brother. Gov. McKean, of Pennsylvania, raised
a monument over his grave.

The Woodbridge congregation was materially affected, some
time previous to this (in 1760), by that malignant visitant, the
small-pox. It was a time of deep affliction, for many estima-
ble citizens fell under t!ie dreadful scourge. Mr. Chandler
was a victim, and, although it did not prove fatal in his case,
he bore the marks of the disease until death.

James Parker had officiated as lay-reader in the Wood-
bridge Church for several years. He wrote a letter to the
Society, dated September 22d, 1764. six years before his death,
in which he complains of the liostility of the "dissenters"
toward the Episcopal Church. Tiiere was hostility on both
sides — of that there can be no doubt. Speaking of his services
as lay-reader Mr. Parker writes thus pleasantly:

"It pleased Providence to have given me abilitv to perform
the service. I freely undertook it, and, as I supposed, to the
general satisfaction of the congregation. I have continued
it as well as my poor ability would permit to the present
lime, and I can say for myself it has been a real pleasure to
me to see any of my endeavors acceptable or any way ap-
parently useful in propagating true religion and piety. I
neither wish nor hope for any other reward in this life, as it
will be more than a compensation if I meet with any in the
next — for though I can trust to the promises of the blessed
Jesus, yet I at best fall far short of my duty. It hath pleased
God to gather and increase the Church here a little, though

the chief of us being old can't hope long to continue: not-
\

* Hatfield, 550.



1^2 WOODIIRIDGK A N n VUINIIV.

withstanding, our children, wc hope, are growing up in the
same path."

What a delightful Christian spirit breathes through these

lines !

Rev. John Preston succeeded Mr. McKean at Amboy and
^YoodbriJge— Mr. Bingley serving as lay-reader at tlie latter
place, in the absence of the minister. On the 6th of Decem-
ber, 1769, the Church Charter was granted, in which are
named as Wardens, Samuel Jaques and Samuel Tingley; as
Vestrymen, David Alston, Thomas Hadden, Joseph Donham,
and Ebenezer Forster.

In 1770 much ill-feeling was exhibited between the Episco-
pal and Presbyterian congregations. The Episcopalians made
an effort to obtain possession ot more of the land which had
been set apart lor the support of the Ministry in the settle-
ment of Woodbridge than they at present enjoyed. Mr
Preston did not favor tlie movement just then; so the matter
remained (luiescent until 1774, when a vigorous prosecution
against the Presbyterians in the Courts was inaugurated.
The Revolution, however, checked all legal proceedings.

During the stormy scenes of the war services in the Episco-
pal Church at tliis place were abandoned. Rev. Abraham
Beach was missionary at Piscataway, and complained in 1777
that his Churcli was used as a soldiers' barrack, part of a
regiment occupying it. lie was dreadfully annoyed (so he
writes to the Society) by his horses, sheep, and cattle being
driven off. Under date of May ist, 1777, Mr. Preston writes
to England that his Woodbridge flock is scattered b}' the war,
and he tiiinks tlie mission there is destroyed.

Very little was done toward restoring the services until
iSic. Missionaries occasionally visited the parish, but they
were irregular and infrequent in tlicir visits. In tiic year just
mentioned repairs to the amount of $500 were made to tiie
Church, mostly by contributions from other places. The
Wardens were Daniel Terrill and David Bunn; the Vestry-
men, Barry Strangman, Wm. P. Terrill, Elias Marsh, John
Jaques, James Smith, Alston Bishop, and Edward Mundv.
Thomas Barron was Clerk.* From 1810 to 1830 Rev. James



• Trinity Church Kecord, p. 1



THE EPISCOPALIANS. j-j-,

Chapman, of Perth Amboy, sometimes officiated. Rev.

Fraocis H. Cuming served the parish during 1818 and 1819.

In 1830 the Wardens were William Taylor and Henry Mun-

dy ; the Vestrymen, Geo. A. Hollister, Dr. Matthias Freeman.

Samuel Barron, John Barron, Daniel Terrill. From i8:'o to

1838 Rev. AVm. Douglas ministered at St. James', Piscataway,

and at Trinity, Woodbridge. In 1838 Rev. Frederick Ogilby

was at Trinity, having accepted the Rectorship December 22d

of that year. He continued the pastor until January ist, 1842.

On the 1 2th of January the Rev. Hamble J. Leacock was

called, and he accepted the charge. He served one year.

From 1843 to 1857 the Rev. James Chapman performed mis-

sioraary service in the parish. From 1858 to 1S62 Rev, E. A.

. Hoffman ministered here. Rev. Mr. Chapman died in 1857,

when Rev. Mr. Pierce, rector of St. Paul's Church at Rah-

way, performed an afternoon service at Woodbridge, assisted

by Rev. Wm. R. Earle, at that time a lay-reader, until Mr.

Hoffman came. In 1862 Rev. P. L. Jaques became pastor;

in 1869 Rev. R. C. Mcllvaine succeeded; in 1872 Rev. J. A-

Penniman followed ; in October of the same year Rev. T-

Lewis Banister, the present rector, assumed the pastorate.

In 1836 the Church was whitewashed on the outside and
repaired. Trees were planted in the yard, to beautifv it, in
1839, and a bass viol and a new stove were procured. In the
Summer and Fall of 1842 the building was' "thoroughly
repaired," new seats added and a Vestry-room built.

The burning of the old Church on Sabbath, March 7th,
1858, was followed by a vigorous effort to re-build. The old
timbers were drawn out of the ruins and sold, contributions
were solicited from all quarters, a pastoral letter urging the
need of assistance for the stricken congregation was issued by
Bishop Doane — and all things presaged a speedy resurrection
of Trinity Church. Some wished to have the old site as a
burial-ground /// pcrpetuo^ and to build in the heart of the
village. This was strongly opposed, and, after some discus-
sion, was voted down. On the same site, therefore, rose the
third Episcopal Chvirch, tlie corner-stone of Avhich was laid
July 7th, i860, with appropriate ceremonies. It was fully
completed and duly consecrated on Whitsun-^Monday, May



1^4 wooiM'.Kinc.r. and vkinmiy.

20tii, iS6i. by the Rt. Rev. W. II. Odenheimer, Bishop of the
Diocese of New Jersey. The Revs. Dr. Ogilby, Hoffman,
Pound, Ilomans, Crews, and Dunn particij)ated. It is a
brick, Gotliic edifice of moderate dimcTisions.

On tiic day of consecration a beautifid paten was presented
to the Churcli, thus inscribed : "The Gift of Christ Church,
Elizabctli, X. J., to Trinity Cliurch, Woodbridge, N. J., Whit-
sun-Monday, i86r."

In 1869, it being one hundred years from the date of the
Church Cliarter, a centennial service was held, on whicli
occasion an elegant cup was given, bearing the following
inscription: "In memoriani. Revo C. Hance to Trinity
Church, Woodbridge, N. J., December 6, 1869." An old cup
is still in possession of the parish authorities, on which is
engraved: ''The Gift of Mary Dennis, Widow, to Trinity
Church in Woodbridge, December ye 25th, 1760."

The following is a correct list of the Wardens and Vestry-
men from 1810 to 1862, the dash between the years indicating
the time of their continuance in office;

WARDENS :

Daniel Terrill, 1810-14; ^^^-^9', ^835-38.

David Bunn, 1810-11. Nathan Bunn. 1812-14.

Wm. P. Terrill, 1S15-18. Elias Marsh, 1815-16.

John Langstaff, 1819. Geo. A. Hollister, 1820-26; '35.

Jas. Jaques, 1827-29. Wm. Taylor, 1830-34; 1839-44.

Henry Mundy, 1830.

Edward Mundy, 1831-34; 1836-38; 1845-49.

Henry Campbell, 1836-37. Rene Pardepus, 1839-42.

Alanson Newton, 1842-58. Charles B. Reed, 1850.

Jotham Coddington, 185 1-6 _^ L^orrain^ Freeman, 1859-62.

VKSTRYMEN ;

Barry Strangman, 1810-13. Wm. P. Terrill, 1810-14.

Elias Marsh, 1810-14. John Jaques, 1810-13.

James Smith, 1810-22. Alston Bishop, t8io-i6.

Edward Mundy, 1810-29. Wm. Hanliam, 1814-17.

James Parker, 1814-15. Thomas Barron, 1814-18.
Frederick Hufrmaster,i8i5-i6. George Bradshaw, 1816-20.

Daniel Terrill, 1816-18. Elias Marsh, 1817-18.



IHE KPISCOPALIANS



135



James E. Parker, 1817-22.
William Herrod, 181 7-18.
Barry Strangman, 1819-21.
William Taylor, 1820-30.
Abel Clarkson, 1821-23.
James M. Brewster, 1823-24.
John Brentnall, 1824.

During 1825 and 1826 no el
Nathan Harned, 1827-29.
- Dr. Matthias Freen^an, 18 27-3 1
John Barron, 1829-31.
Samuel Barron, [830.
Robert Lee, 1830.
James Clarkson, 1831.
Wm. Taylor, 1832.
Joseph Barron, 1835-37.
William Taylor, 1835-38.
James Parker, 1835.
Andrew Bell, 1835.
Geo. A. Hollister, 1836.
John Zellar, 1836.
William E. Fink, 1836.
Rene Pardepus, 1837-38.
Alanson Newton, 1S37-42.
James Jones, 1838.
Geo. A. Hollister, 1838-46.
John M Tufts, 1839-41.
Wm. H. Benton, 1839-54.
Jotham Randolph, 1839-40.
Dennis Mawbey, 1842-50.
Frederick Smith, 1843-52.
Charles B. Reed, 1847-49.
Wm. W. MawT)ey,T85 1-58.
Charles B. Reed, 1852.
James Luckhurst, 1853-55.
John Manning, 1856.
J. H. Campbell, Jr., 1857.
Henry Mawbey, 1858.



William-



1858.



Capt. Forbes, 1817-18.

Wm. P. Terrill, 1817-24.

>lelanj:tl22-" F ree man, 1 819-24.

Samuel Barron, 1820-28.

Charles Young, 1822-23.

David E. Paton, 1823-24.

Wm. HarritJt. 1824.
ections are recorded.

Josiah Dunham, 1827-28.
. James Bunn, 1827.

Geo A. Hollister, 1830-34.

Daniel Terrill, 1830.

Orry Rifle, 1831.

H. Barkaloo, 1832-34.

H. ElUvcll, 1832.

Henry Campbell, 1835-39.

Robert Lee, 1835-36.

Joseph Marsh, 1S35.

C. A. Forbes, 1835.

Edward Mundy, 1836-37.

George Jones, 1836-37.

Joseph Marsh, 1837.

Thomas Marsh, 1837.

LeClair, 1837-38.

Isaac Jones, Miller^ 1838-46.]

Frederick Smith, 1839-40.

Capt. C. A. Forbes, 1 839-43. 1

P. B. Pope, 1839-40.

William E. Fink, 1840-58.

John M. Tufts, 1843-44.

Clark, 1843.

Jotham Coddington, 1850.

William Bedman, 1851.

George Lasslett, 1853-62.

Wm. Bedman, 1855.

George Hollister, 1856-58.

Henry W. Holton, 1858.

Milton Arrowsmith, 1858-62.

AVilliam H. Benton, 1859-61.



J2(5 WOODBRIDGK AND VICINITY.

,.n,cs Uloodgood, ,859^-'. Samuel A Meeker .86c-6,
George C. lUnce, .86,-6.. Daniel bhaw, i86,-62.

And here wc close llie story of this useful body of Chns-
tians, earnestly praying that a period of greater sp.r.tual
riunphs and mueh larger financial prosperity may mark the
future career than they have ever enjoyed " m the days wh.eh
are gone."



CHAPTER XIL

Township Officers from 1668 to 1700 — Deputies — Town
Clerks — Constables — Court Officers— Military Of-
ficers — Overseers of Highways — Rate-makers — Rate-
gatherers — Other Officers.

Before entering upon the general history of the town again,
we give lists of the officers from the year 1668 to 1700. These
tables have been taken very carefully from the records. In
what they differ from previous tables Ave are ready to show
good authority.

I. Deputies to the General Assembly.

1669 Robert Dennis — Samuel Moore.

1670-1 John Smith — Samuel Moore.

1672 John Smith — Robert Dennis.

1673 No election.

1674 John Pike — Ephraim Andrews.

1675 Samuel Dennis — Thos. Bloomfield, Jr.

1676 Matthew Bunn — Ephraim Andrews.
1677-79 No elections on record.

1680 Samuel Dennis — John Ilsly.

1681 No election.

1682 Samuel Dennis — Ephraim Andrews.

1683 Samuel Dennis — Samuel Moore.

1684 John Ilsly — John Pike, Jr.

1685 John Ilsly — Capt. J. Bishop.

1686 John Ilsly — Ephraim Andrews.

1687 Ephraim Andrews — Ezekiel Bloomfield.

1688 Samuel Dennis — Samuel Moore.
1689-91 No elections recorded.

1692 Ephraim Andrews — John Ilsly.

1693-4 Thomas Thorp — John Pike.

1695 John Ilsly — Nathaniel Fitz Randolph.

1696-7 John Ilsly — John Pike.



'J



S W03DBR1D0E AM) VICINITV.



169S-9 Samuel Dennis— John Pike.
1700 John Worth — Tliomas Pike.

II. Town Clerks.

-1668 Joshua Pierce.
1669-1688 Samuel Moore.
1688-1692 Samuel Dennis.
1693-1711 Thomas Pike.

III. CoNSr.ADLES.

In the years left blank we find no elections recorded.

669 John Smith.

670 Richard Worth.
671

672 Thomas Bloomfield, Sr.

673-4

675 John Pike, Jr.

676-7

678 Samuel Bacon (see Records, p, 214).

679

680 Samuel Hale.

68t Israel Thornell.

682 Matthew Moore.

683 Isaac Tappen.

684 Samuel Smith.

685 Ezekiel Bloomfield.

686 Nath'l P^itz Randolph— Obadiah Ayers.

687 John Warlock— John Allen.

688 Daniel Robins — Franci:, Walker.

689 Elisha Parker — Robert Wright.

690 Thonuas Thorp — Thomas Pike.

691 John Conger —Gawen Lockhart.

692 Matthew Moore, Jr. — John Coddington.

693 Samuel Moore — Noah Bishop.

694 Daniel Thorp — William Ellison.

695 John Robison — Jose])h Rolf.

696 Thomas Collier — Richard vSkinner.

697 John Mores — John Compton — Stephen Tuttle.
69S Joseph Thorp — John Ilsly, Jr.

699 William Mores — Obadiah Ayers.

700 Peter Elstone — Samuel Dennis, Jr.



TOWNSHIP OFFICERS. r^9

IV". Township CouRr.

1 . Presidents :

1669-71 John Pike.
1672-74 Samuel Moore.
1675-85 John Pike.
1686-7 Samuel Dennis.*
1688 -1700 Capt. John Bishop.

2. Assistant Justices.

1669-70 John Bishop, Sr, — Stephen Kent, Sr. — S. Moore.

167 1 John Smith — J. Bishop, Sr. — J. Martin — S. Moore.

1672 John Smith — John Pike — John Bishop, Sr,
1673-4 No record; the Justices of 1672 doubtless served.

1675 J. Bishop, Sr. — Thos. Bloomfield, Sr. — S. Kent, Sr.

— Samuel Moore.

1676-9 No record.

16S0 Ephraim Andrews — John Ilsly — J. Bishop, Jr.

168 1 Samuel Moore.

1682 E. Andrews — Sam'l Bacon — J. Ilsly — J. Bishop, Sr.

1683 Capt. John Bishop — Sam'l Dennis — Sam'l Hale.
1684-6 No record.

1687 Capt. J. Bishop — S. Hale — E. Andrews. .

168S John Ilsly— Nath'l Fitz Randolph.

1689-91 No record.

1692 N. Fitz Randolph — J. Ilsly — Samuel Hale — S.

Dennis.

1693 J. Ilsly — E. Andrews — N. Fitz Randolph.
1694-1700 No record.

3. Marshals or Sergeants of the Court.

1670 Richard Worth.

167 1-2 Samuel Hale. /

i673~5 ^^o record.

1676 Samuel Moore — Samuel Dennis. f
1677-S1 No record.

16S2-S5 Joshua Bradley.

* We are not positive that Mr. Dennis held this position in 16SG-T, but judge so from tli9
minutes of the " Governor and Council," p. 143.

t In 1676 Samuel Moore was chosen Marshal, and, shortly after, Mr. Dennis was elected Ser
geant. The latter title was ustd ever after.



I40



W(JODl!RIDGE AND VICINITY.



1686 No record.

1687 Thomas Collier.
1688-91 No record.

1692 Samuel Mors — Daniel Robbins.*

1693 Thomas Collier.
1693-4 John Bloomfield.

1695 Isaac Tappen, or Toppan.

xdcft-i Abraham Tappen, or Toppan.

1697 William Stone.

1698-1700 No record.

4. Clerks of tJie Court.
1672-5 Jonathan Dunham.
1676-87 Samuel Moore.
1688-92 Samuel Dennis.
1693 Thomas Pike.

V. Military Officers.



Lieutenants .
Samuel Moore.
John Bishop.



Ensigns.



John Bishop.
Jonathan Bishop.



Captains.

1675 John Pike.

1676 John Pike.
1677-81 John Pike.
1682-97 John Bishopjr. Samuel Hale.

The Sergeant was one of the military officers, but as he
served the Township Court as its Marshal, we have placed
him in the list of Court officials.

VI. Overseers of the Highways.
1699 Robert Dennis, Thos. Bloomfield, Sr., Joshua Pierce,

Samuel Moore.

1670 R. Dennis, T. Bloomfield, Sr., S. Moore, J. Martin.

167 1 Jonathan Dunham, Thos. Bloomfield, Jr.
1672-9 No record. *

1680 Samuel Dennis, Daniel Robbins.

1681 '3 No record.

1682 Israel Thornell, Ezekiel Bloomfield, Isaac Tappen,

Marmaduke Potter.
1684 Capt. Bishop, Sam'l Smith, Eph.Andrews, I. Thornell.

* Mors served till March, when Eobbins was appointed.



TOWNSHIP OFFICERS. I^I

16S5-7 No record.

16S8 John Dennis, Matthew Moore, Samuel Smith.

1689 Capt. Bishop, Ezekiel Bloomfield, E. Andrews.

1690 Nath'l Fitz Randolph, D. Robbins, E. Andrews,

Samuel Dennis.
i69i,'3, '5 No record.
1692 Capt. Bishop, Isaac Tappen, Jos. Bloomfield.

1694 Gawen Lockhart, Thomas Pike.

1696 Capt. Bishop, M. Moore, G. Lockhart, J. Dennis.

1697 '9 No record.

1695 N. Fitz Randolph, G. Lockhart, Noah Bishop, Jo!in

Compton.
1700 Jonathan Bishop, I. Tappen, J. Compton, Wm. Elli-

son, John Ilsly, Jr.

VII. Rate Makers {Assessors).

The years omitted in the table are years in wliich we have
found no elections recorded.

1672 John Smith, Robert Dennis, Samuel Moore.

1674 Jonatlian Dunham, R. Dennis, S. Moore.

1675 John Bishop, Sr., R. Dennis, S. Moore.
1679-S0 Capt. Pike, John Bishop, S. Moore.

1681 Capt. Pike, Capt. Bishop, Jolin Dennis.

1682 Capt. Pike, John Bishop, S. Moore.

1683 J. Pike, Capt. Bishop, Nath'l Fitz Randolph.
1684-5 Sam'l Dennis, J. Pike, Jr., S. Moore.

1685 S. Moore, S. Dennis, Israel Thornell.

16S6 S, Moore, J. Bishop, Ezekiel Bloomfield.

1687 S. Dennis, John Bishop, S. Moore.

1688 Capt. Bishop, S. Dennis, N. Fitz Randolph.

1689 J. Pike, Jr., John Rolf, N. Fitz Randolph.
1691 Capt. Bishop, J. Pike, S. Dennis, Thos. Pike.*'
^^693 John Bishop, S. Dennis, T. Pike.

1694 Jonathan Dunham, E. Andrews, Jonathan Bishop.

1695 Thomas Pike, Benjamin Cromwell.

1696 S. Dennis, B. Cromwell, T. Pike.

1697 B. Cromwell, T. Pike.

1698 B. Cromwell, S. Dennis, T. Pike.
1700 Elisha Parker, Thos. Pike.

* See Records, Fitz E., p. 244.



1^2 WOODBRIDGE AND VICINITY.

VIII. Rate Gatherers {Tax CoIIeiiors),

1670-1 John Bishop, Sr.

1675-9 Samuel Moore.

1680 Israel Thornell, Isaac Tappen.

1681 John Pike, Jr.

1683 S. Moore.

1684 Samuel Hale.

1685 I. Thornell.
1685-6 Ezekiel Bloomfield.

1687 I. Thornell, John Ilsly.

1688 Daniel Robbins.

1689 E. Bloomfield.
1691 Samuel Dennis.
1693-4 E. Bloomfield.

In the year 1695 the Contables were appointed to collect
{.j-jg tax — an arrangement which continued until 1700. The
salary of a Rate Gatherer was 27 shillings in 1684; 15 shil-
lings in 1693; and 30 shillings in 1697.

There were other officers, such as Meat packers, Allowers of
the Town debts, Fence-viewers, Lot-layers, Rangers, etc.
Grand Jurymen were first appointed in Town Meeting April
4th, 167 1. Thomas Bloomfield, Sr., and John Martin were
selected for that year. No other appointments appear to have
been made until 1676, when John Ilsly and Abraham Toppan
were chosen. In 1680 John Pike (Sr.) and Matthew Moore
filled the Grand Jurors' chairs, after which no further mention
of the Grand Jury occurs.

We presume that Ezekiel Bloomfield was keeper of the
Pound for many years, for we read of animals being im-
pounded very often: but up to 1700, Ezekiel, who was elected
to that distinguished position in 1692, is the only man whose
name is used in connection with the office.

Overseers of the Poor were first chosen in 1682. Samuel
Moore and Samuel Dennis were elected at that time, and no
successors were appointed for many years.



CHAPTER XIII.

1700—1707.

Provincial Difficulties — Cornfield Landing — Metuchex
— Pound at Rahway — Dividing the Commons — Bound-
ary BETWEEN WoODBRIDGE AND AmBOY ARREARS IN

Taxes — Fulling Mill — First Town Committee — Park-
er's Grist Mill — John Pike Swindled — The Eight
Divisions of Land — Ancient Woodbridge Described.
The year 1700 was an eventful one in East Jersey. The
authority of the Governor was set at naught, as was shown in
a previous chapter, and tumult prevailed. The Assemblv
which met in May was almost immediately dissolved because
the Deputies demanded that Gov. Hamilton should present
credentials from the King of England But his commission
was given by the Pi-oprietors. As the m:ijority of the people
were dissatisfied with Proprietary rule, the Deputies refused
to acknowledge Hamilton's authority from any such source >
The following minute shows tliat the Governor was popular
in this town :

"At a Publick Town Meeting May ye 6th 1700. By a free
Vote of the freeholders freemen and Jnhabitants of this town,
and corporation of Woodbridge, (three persons only Ex-
cepted) it was given in Charge to our Representatives that
they Do in General Assembly, who are to Sett the Last thirs-
day of this Jnstant May, acknowledge Coll: Hamilton to Be
our present Lawful! Governor."

But the May Assembly broke up in disorder. Riots were
general. As we have elsewhere stated, the Woodbridge jail
was violently opened during the previous year ; besides the
" King's Store," in the same place, was pillaged.* We pre-
sume this "store" was the magazine — the mob, doubtless,



Gov. and Council, •>. 227.



1^4 WOODBRIDGE AND VICINITY.

replenishing their powder-horns and pouches with the stolen
treasure. The Government threatened tlie rioters with dire-
ful penalties; but it was too weak to inflict much punishment,
for it was not respected.

Notwithstanding the commotions whicli preva"iled, the
Woodbridge people continued to devote themselves to the
improvement of the town. In the same meeting in which the
Deputies v/ere instructed to adhere to Gov. Hamilton, an
order was issued for laying out a " Convenient Highway to
the Cornfield Landing." It was ''to Run on the Southward
of John Pike his Now Dwelling House and So to Extend
Westward to the Road that Leadeth to Piscataway." The
Cornfield Landing, as bur readers are aware, is to-day v/ell
known as Cutter's Dock.

Metuchen begins to figure in the record in 1701. John
Compton was chosen Surveyor of the Highways in " Ma-
tuching " for that year. Metucheon, an Indian chief, tradition
declares to have inhabited that section between 1650 and 1700.
It is asserted that the v,'arrior is buried on a farm near the
village. Metuchen is, therefore, of Indian etymology, the
meaning of which is "high hill;" and local authority says
that it was a descriptive name given by the tribe of Raritans
because of the undulating character of the country. Hence
the chief who held sway there was called Metucheon, chief of
the rolling land.' -

In the January meeting of the town in 1701, Rahway was
granted the privilege of building a pound. It would seem
singular if the good people of that thriving city should still
be dependent on the fiat of the Woodbridge Town Meeting
for the construction of a pound.

A division of the common land was publicly discussed
during the year, preparatory to which the parsonage and free-
school lands were ordered to be laid out, the committee to do
it being empowered to " Ley out the Same in Such place or
places as they in their Discression Shall Judge Best, Most
Convenient, and Beneficiale for the town in General."

On the loth of March it was voted that the division of the

* See Dr. E. M. Ilunfs pamphlet, " Metuchen,'' p. S.



TOWN MEETINGS. I45

commons should be but sixty acres of good land to each
Freeholder. The Piscataway line was ordered to 'be "re-
newed," from which it would seem that it had at last been
settled by the two corporations, and the long quarrel was
ended. The renewal of the line was rendered necessary by the
transient character of the landmarks. Notched trees, stakes,
and equally unreliable means ot indicating tlie boundary were



Online LibraryJoseph W. cn DallyWoodbridge and vicinity : the story of a New Jersey township ; embracing the history of Woodbridge, Piscataway, Metuchen and contiguous places, from the earliest times ; the history of the different ecclesiastical bodies ; important official documents relating to the township, etc. → online text (page 12 of 34)