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 »
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 »
It has been some time since my last post, so it might help to skim over the previous post before continuing with this one.
The Carolina Constitution of 1669 came out four years after the Concessions and Agreements of the Proprietors of East New Jersey. Undoubtedly, Shaftesbury and Locke were acquainted with it. But when Berkeley and Carteret became the first proprietors of New Jersey in 1664, they probably studied the first Carolina Constitution of 1663 before publishing their Concessions and Agreements. Berkeley and Carteret knew what was happening in Carolina because they were among the eight Lords Proprietors of the colony, so we can assume there was a lot of cross-pollination. Continue reading »
As part of the 17th-century appetite for discovery and learning, attention was turned to the blank spaces on the maps of the world, and the opportunities they offered for increased knowledge, as well as increased riches. The New World colonies caught the attention of Daniel Coxe well before he invested in West New Jersey. Continue reading »