It has been awhile since I’ve written anything about the chronology of early West Jersey, but I’m glad I waited, for I just recently got my hands on a PhD. Dissertation by Frederick R. Black that has opened my eyes to events in the 1690s and solved some mysteries for me. It is entitled The Last Lords Proprietors of West Jersey; The West Jersey Society, 1692-1702, and is available from Rutgers Library, Special Collections, through inter-library loan. I can’t recommend it enough. Continue reading »
Coxe’s Letter to the West Jersey Proprietors
In 1689, affected by the uncertainty of the times, the West Jersey Proprietors wrote to Daniel Coxe that they would proclaim him governor if he would just provide his own writ of quo warranto. They “stressed the urgency of the situation” but Coxe, who also felt the uncertainty of the times, delayed his answer for several months (Stellhorn and Birkner 1982, 28-29). Continue reading »
Once again, Jerseyman has caught me by surprise. He has published a fascinating post relating to early maneuvering before the first Quaker settlers arrived in the Delaware River.
The blog is “History–Now and Then,” by “Jerseyman” and the post in question is The Best Laid Schemes o’Mice an’ Men, Gang aft Agley
Under instructions from the Quaker trustees, James Wasse and Richard Guy had a survey made by Richard Hancock, which was published by John Thornton and Robert Green and titled “A Mapp of Virginia Mary-land, New-Jarsey, New-York & New England,” probably around 1677 or 1678. It showed three designated areas for settlement, one being at “Bethlem” which became Gloucester, another called Antioch where Salem was located, and the third was 5000 acres at the Falls.
The Council of Proprietors’ Other Business
During their meetings held in 1688 and 1689, the Council of Proprietors was setting up rules for how surveys would be obtained, and naming registrars for Burlington and Gloucester counties, who were Samuel Jennings and John Reading, respectively (Council of WJ Proprietors 1688). They did not act for Salem County because it was still under John Fenwick’s control. But there were other matters to attend to. Continue reading »
This is what I wrote in a previous post (dated July 14, 2010).
It is not clear whether any records were actually turned over, or if they were, what happened to them. While the directive of the Dominion of New England was in effect, New Jerseyans may have tried to avoid compliance. What I do not know is whether John Skene was ordered to deliver the papers to Boston himself or just hold onto them.
At the time of writing, I had not yet visited the State Archives and taken a close look at the Minutes of the Council of West Jersey Proprietors. Those minutes did shed some light on this problem of record-keeping, but first I want to say a few words about my visit to the Archives. Continue reading »
The Burlington Court Book is full of fascinating cases that shed light on what life was like in early West New Jersey. One of those cases [pg 75-80] jumped out at me, because it involves the daughter of one of the first proprietors to purchase tracts in Hunterdon County. Continue reading »
When Daniel Coxe began investing in land in the English colonies, he hired explorers and corresponded with them eagerly. He also corresponded with colonial governors and with the principle Indian traders. This activity became more focused in the years after he sold his proprietorship of West New Jersey. It would be fascinating to read these letters; I assume they are tucked away somewhere in England. Continue reading »
The Courts Carry On
After a long digression to write about the life of Dr. Daniel Coxe before he became governor of West New Jersey in 1687, I am returning to my chronology to study the events of 1688 et seq., beginning with the Burlington Court session of February 1688, in which the list of those present began with “Daniell Coxe Esq. Governour.” Continue reading »