I read recently that whatever is on your mind when you’re falling asleep or washing the dishes or taking a walk is probably what is most important to you, and until you resolve whatever you are pondering, you can’t focus well on anything else. My particular distraction was moving my history office from Washington, DC to Sergeantsville, NJ. I simply could not think of anything else until the move was made. Now that I’ve arrived and unpacked, and have only some filing to do, my thoughts are returning to West New Jersey. Continue reading »
West New Jersey
Articles related to West New Jersey History and Genealogy
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 »
Coxe and His Whale Fisheries
One of the subjects Daniel Coxe was particularly interested in was the whaling industry.This interest may have been sparked twenty-two years before he became governor. 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 »
What a mystery these things are. Whilst looking for something else, I came across this explanation, given by Chief Justice Andrew Kirkpatrick for how they work. See if it makes sense to you:
“The Proprietors of New Jersey are tenants in common of the soil. Their mode of securing the common right is by issuing warrants from time to time to the respective Proprietors, according to their respective and several rights, authorizing them to survey and appropriate in severalty the quantities therein contained. Such warrant does not convey a title to the Proprietor; he had that before. It only authorizes him to sever so much from the common stock, and operates as a release to testify such severance. This is manifestly the case when the Proprietor locates for himself. When, instead of locating for himself, he sells his warrant to another, that other becomes a tenant in common with all the Proprietors pro tanto, and in the same manner he proceeds to convert his common into a several right. It is true that the survey made in pursuance of this warrant must be inspected by the Surveyor-General, approved by the Board, and registered in their books; but all this is for the sake of security, order and regularity only, and is by no means the passing of the title. It proves that the title has passed, but it is not the means of passing it.”
If ever there was a case where armchair research fails to deliver, this must be it. To properly understand who Dr. Daniel Coxe was, I need to go to London. But that isn’t going to happen any time soon. I must make do with what I can get my hands on, and believe me, it is not enough. Not even Samuel Pepys can help me, for he was no longer writing his diary by this time. Continue reading »