The purpose of the author, upon starting out, was to gather in a convenient and permanent form a full and reliable epitome of the history of Newark, from its settlement in May, 1666, to the year 1878; to show what it was as a tender infant, struggling to survive " the thousand natural shocks " that infancy is heir to; what it was as an active, supple-limbed youth in the time of the learned and saintly Burr, the parent-president of Princeton College, Newark's fame-crowned nursling of 1747- '55; what it was when its soil was hallowed by the footsteps of Washington and his illustrious compatriots, and enriched with the blood of many " native here and to the manner born," in the years clustering around 1776; what it was half a century ago, when its population numbered about a thirteenth of what it now is; what its record has been in " times that tried men's souls," and in the "piping times of peace"; what it has done during two hundred and twelve years for the cause of civil and religious liberty - the bed-rock foundation of American institutions; and, finally, to set forth most fully what Newark is now, in the year of grace, 1878. It is for the reader to judge how great or how little has been the success of the author in the direction described.
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The History of Newark, New Jersey
The History of Newark, J. Atkinson
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9
CHAPTER I. 1666 TO 1667.3
CHAPTER II. 1667 TO 1684.16
CHAPTER III. 1684 TO 1736.33
CHAPTER IV. 1736 TO 1775.48
CHAPTER V. 1775 TO 1783.70
CHAPTER VI. 1783 TO 1836.110
CHAPTER VII. 1836 TO 1861.149
CHAPTER VIII. 1861 to 1865.192
CHAPTER IX. 1865 TO 1878.239
OUT of a transient newspaper sketch grew this book. Eight years ago, while preparing for a leading New York journal a somewhat exhaustive article relating to the Old Burying Ground, where
" The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep,"
the author had occasion to search for matter of a local historical character. This led to a double discovery — first, that.no complete History of Newark existed — there were merely a few sketches designed to. make other publications attractive, and an interesting but chiefly non-secular series of " Historical Discourses relating to the First Presbyterian Church," by Rev. J. F. Stearns, D. D.; second, that in the more than bi-century growth of the settlement, there were abundant materials with which to weave a volume, not alone interesting, but instructive and valuable. Subsequent years of labor on the press further revealed the need of such a work, and, in the ember months of 1875, the author resolved to supply the desideratum, so far as his abilities and opportunities would permit. The result is now in the hands of the reader.
The purpose of the author, upon starting out, was to gather in a convenient and permanent form a full and reliable epitome of the history of Newark, from its settlement in May, 1666, to the present time; to show what it was as a tender infant, struggling to survive " the thousand natural shocks " that infancy is heir to; what it was as an active, supple-limbed youth in the time of the learned and saintly Burr, the parent-president of Princeton College, Newark's fame-crowned nursling of 1747— '55; what it was when its soil was hallowed by the footsteps of Washington and his illustrious compatriots, and enriched with the blood of many " native here and to the manner born," in the years clustering around 1776; what it was half a century ago, when its population numbered about a thirteenth of what it now is; what its record has been in " times that tried men's souls," and in the "piping times of peace"; what it has done during two hundred and twelve years for the cause of civil and religious liberty — the bed-rock foundation of American institutions; and, finally, to set forth most fully what Newark is now, in the year of grace, 1878. It is for the reader to judge how great or how little has been the success of the author in the direction described.
It is due to the History of Newark, and it is due to its author, that he should state here that he has had to pursue his labors under circumstances more than difficult — sometimes positively disheartening. In the first place, the exacting demands of a steady connection with two daily newspapers compelled a most desultory prosecution of his task. Nominally, he has been engaged on the History two years and a half; actually, the time devoted to it was about seven months, of (say) ten hours a day. Besides, except as regards the Settlement of the Town, the old Town Book and Dr. Stearns' Discourses, the materials have been hard to obtain and exceedingly difficult to authenticate; frequently impossible, indeed, even when obtained. But, on second thought, these are matters, perhaps, in which the general reader is entirely unconcerned.
Regarding the early history of the place, the author deems it proper to state that there is in his pages no pretense of having obtained any new matter beyond what has already appeared in print, in one form or another. It is the reverse, however, with the later history of Newark — for the period embracing the last hundred years or more, 'flic principal sources of information for the whole work are the Town Book, Stearns' Discourses, Whitehead's East Jersey, Gordon's New Jersey, Smith's New Jersey, Barber's Collections, New Jersey Historical Society Collections, The Long Bill in Chancery, Foster's New Jersey and the Rebellion, Wood's Newark Gazette, the Centinel of Freedom, the New Jersey Eagle, the Newark Daily Advertiser, the Newark Eagle, and the Newark Evening Journal. For valuable assistance in the preparation of the work, the acknowledgements of the author are due and are herewith tendered to Hon. Marcus L. Ward, the venerable Captain Daniel B. Bruen, Daniel T. Clark, Librarian of the New Jersey Historical Society; William E. Layton, Librarian of the Newark Library Association; A. M. Holbrook, Joseph Black and others.
Under even the most favorable circumstances, there would be errors in a work of this kind, and the author is gravely apprehensive that very many are to be met with in the History. At the same time, it is proper to say that the greatest pains possible have been taken to avoid these imperfections, and secure accuracy of dates and facts; but still, as has already been suggested, errors are sure to have crept in— are sure to have stolen past every barrier that care and watchfulness could interpose. Assured at least of the prepossessing form in which the History is presented, it is allowable, perhaps, to paraphrase Pope and say,
" If to its share some minor errors fall, Look on its face and you'll forget them all."
Newark, April, 1878.
AS the mountain rock-spring is to the tiny rivulet, the rivulet to the purling brook, the brook to the sylvan stream, the stream to the broad bosomed and majestic river, and the river to the deep blue sea, so is an individual to a hamlet, a hamlet to a village, a village to a town, a town to a city, a city to a state, a state to a nation, a nation to the world. Each is a part of the grand whole.
The same, relatively, is true of history. The world's history is an aggregation of national histories, just as national histories are aggregated condensations of the histories of states, provinces, cities, counties and townships. American history, — at least that which embraces the rise and progress of the old thirteen Colonies, — may fairly be considered on the ab uno disce omnes principle. That is to say, the story of a part, at all events of an important part, is the story of the whole. To be still more explicit, he who writes the history of New York, New Jersey, or any of the eleven others of the original thirteen States, must, if he properly fulfils his task, write also and simultaneously, the history of the nation. The same rule applies to the purely local historian; so that in undertaking to prepare a history of Newark one has, perforce, to prepare in great measure a history not alone of the state but of the nation. In brief, then, the history of Newark is in no unimportant degree measurably the history of New Jersey and of the Republic.
Here the inquiry may be made, What is History? The answer comes from a most distinguished English historian: "History, at least in its state of ideal perfection," remarks the brilliant Macaulay, "is a compound of poetry and philosophy." The parts of the duty which properly belong to the historian are, according to this same celebrated writer: " To make the past present, to bring the distant near, to place us in the society of a great man, to invest with the reality of human flesh and blood, beings whom we are too much inclined to consider as personified qualities in an allegory, to call up our ancestors before us with all their peculiarities of language, manners and garb, to show us over their houses, to seat us at their tables, to rummage their old-fashioned wardrobes, and to explain the uses of their ponderous furniture."
This, then, being the outline of duty for the local no less than the more ambitious historian, it is at once understood what sort of task is before us.
At first glance it seems easy and simple enough. The second reveals the fact that it is quite the reverse; that the labor is all the more arduous because there is in the scope and bounds of Newark's narrative no eloquent-tongued stone like that inscribed " 1620;" no sanguinary struggles with aboriginal inhabitants; no Wyoming-like massacres; no Boston tea-party; no Lexington-Concord libertyblow; no Bunker Hill halo; no Trenton, or Princeton, or Monmouth, or Morristown field of triumph, or true heroism upon which to expatiate in patriotic and impassioned language. Albeit there is in it no thrilling theme to inspire a great poet or attract a great historian, the history of Newark is far from being "weary, stale, flat and unprofitable" reading. A compilation of facts cannot be otherwise than valuable and interesting when it relates to the growth and progress of a city like Newark, the biccntury plant of a handful of pure-minded, upright, honest, straightforward and sturdy lovers of liberty — liberty of "mind, body and estate." Here is a place which, in a period reaching just beyond two hundred years, and from an obscure and unpretentious hamlet of sixty odd male settlers, has grown up and spread out into a city verging upon 125,000 inhabitants, a population more than ten times greater than that at the present time of Ncwark-on-Trent, the frosty-headed English town after which Newark-on-Passaic was named two hundred and twelve years ago. Furthermore, it has earned the right to rank among the foremost of the world's manufacturing and industrial bee -hives; a monster workshop, whose skilled labor cannot well be surpassed anywhere, at least as regards variety and quality.
But above, back, and beyond the tale of Newark's material growth and progress is a grander story still; a story in which lofty principle, sturdy independence and self-reliance, thoroughbred honesty, true courage, true manhood and true womanhood are blended into a model whole; a story of equal rights and perfect self-government, which seems in these days to be almost Utopian; a story of simple worth and self-sacrificing patriotism, worthy our study in this age of backward progress, as it is sometimes and not always inaptly styled; a story which furnishes in almost every page a model of true American citizenship, such as we might most advantageously emulate; a story which, taken altogether, richly deserves the attention and study alike of the statesman and the philosopher, the Christian and the political scientist and economist, the lettered and the unlettered, the materialist and the sentimentalist, and, finally, the general no less than the local reader. And now to the real work before us — the history of a fair and beautiful city.
It was in the flower month, the merry month of May, 1666, nearly forty-six years subsequent to the landing of the Pilgrims on the wild, barren, and inhospitable shore of New England, that NEWARK was first settled, and by the same Puritan stock, moved hither from what is now the State of Connecticut by an intensified love of civil and religious liberty. It is to be deeply regretted that careful and diligent search on the part of several trustworthy and painstaking writers has failed to discover either the exact date of the landing, or the name or names, or exact number even, of the tiny and fragile crafts which brought hither from Milford the first instalment of liberty-loving New Englanders. The 17th has been celebrated as the anniversary day of the landing, but it is authenticated only that the sturdy and adventurous Pilgrim sons and daughters of the Pilgrim fathers and mothers first set foot on Newark soil, here to abide, somewhere about the middle of the month. The town records give information of the proceedings of meeting, held by "friends from Milford and the neighboring; thereabout," on the 21st of May; but whether that meeting was held on shore or on a vessel lying "near to Elizabeth
town," (which dates its regular settlement some twenty months prior to that of Newark,) is a matter fairly open to question. The one fact established is that a meeting was held somewhere at or near Newark on the date given by the first settlers, and that gives reasonable cause to put faith in the tradition that Newark, so to speak, was probably born on or about the 17th.
Turning from the field of doubt, we resume our inspiriting walk through the field of unquestioned fact, and proceed to consider the causes leading to the exodus from Connecticut and the settlement of Newark, in May, 1666. Imprimis, it is essential to a full and proper understanding of what follows, that a few leading points in English history be recalled.
It was just half a dozen years prior to the date given, that the restoration of the second Charles to the English throne took place. The sweep of the great tidal wave of popular rights and liberties which bore' to immortal fame the name of John Hampden, the proto-Washington; which placed in a most prominent niche of English history one of its most remarkable characters, Oliver Cromwell; which drove the tyrant, Charles I. to the scaffold; which proved to the world then and to all succeeding ages that the "divine right " of kings was and is a myth; and which in acts, if not in words, proclaimed nearly a century and a half earlier than the Declaration of Independence at Philadelphia, that "all men are created free and equal " — kings and princes no more, no less, than peasants and peoples, and that among their inalienable rights endowed of God, were and are " life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; " — all this was fresh in the minds and recollection of the Puritan settlers, just as it is in the mind of all America to-day. It is most forcibly suggested by Mr. Whitehead, in his bi-centennial memoir, as an evidence of the strong root republican ideas had taken among the Connecticut Colonists, that among them the regicides, Whalley and Goffe, sought and found a sure, safe and kindly refuge.
At the period under immediate consideration, Connecticut was divided into two Colonies — Connecticut and New Haven. Within the limits of the latter, the less prosperous of the two, were New Haven (proper), Milford, Branford, Guilford and Stamford. The restoration of kingly rule in the mother country, together with the unification of the two Colonies under royal charter, caused a most disturbing effect on the Colonists, at least on a considerable portion, especially as the charter was obtained without their knowledge and in opposition to their wishes. With reluctance they brought themselves to formally acknowledge the sovereignty of Charles II., but still there were grave fears that his rule would be productive of bitterly distasteful fruits. Although Charles was formally acknowledged King by the Colonists, the fact is beyond controversy that republican ideas, but above all sentiments of uncontrolled liberty of conscience, were strongly rooted amongst them. Some, however, thought it more prudent to bear the ills they had than fly to others they knew not of, but a minority considered it probable that existing ills would be increased rather than diminished as the reign of Charles progressed, and that the better and surer plan would be to find, if possible, some place more congenial to the enjoyment of the fullest liberty of act and conscience.
Therefore it was that scarcely before the ink was dry, certifying the allegiance of the Colonists to the English King, the leading spirits of the New Haven Colony began to think of looking for some new abiding place, where they would not be ruled in their civil and religious functions contrary to their customs, desires and aspirations. No inconsiderable spur was given to such thoughts by the domineering and arbitrary attitude assumed by the reconciled royal charterists towards the outspoken New Haven unreconciled minority. This gave quickening and shape to the transplanting idea; may be said, indeed, to have decided the question of establishing elsewhere a new settlement.
It is on record that, as early as November, 1661, the initial step was taken in this direction. Despite the strong feeling of antipathy, the outgrowth of commercial jealousy, which existed between the English and Dutch at that period, it appears the first thoughts of the New Haven leaders were directed to the seeking of a more agreeable and liberal haven under the tri-color of Holland, within the borders of the country occupied by the Dutch. This initial step was the approach by letter of Deputy-Governor Matthew Gilbert, of New Haven, to Governor Petrus Stuyvesant, of New Amsterdam, which letter set forth that " a Companie of Considerable that came into N. E. that they might serve God with a pure conscience and enjoy such liberties and privileges both Ciuill and Ecclesiasticall as might best advantage unto and strengthen them " were, with their "posterities," of whom the Lord had blessed them with great numbers, "desirous to p'vide" for "their outward comfortable subsistence and their souls' welfare," and announcing that they had appointed a committee of four of their trustiest men to proceed to New Amsterdam and confer with Governor Stuyvesant relative to terms upon which they might "begin to plant." At the head of this committee was ROBERT TREAT, a forefather of Newark, whose memory richly deserves to be forever kept green in the loving and grateful recollection of Newark citizens. This committee, which was officially endorsed as a quartette of "true men and noe spies," visited Governor Stuyvesant in due time and received his answer to certain propositions forwarded by the New Havenites, embracing the principles upon which they expected to achieve success in the proposed new settlement, the same providing most fully for the enjoyment of "liberties and priviledges both Ciuill and Ecclesiasticall " — the latter " in the Congregational way." It may be here added that the propositions provided for a nearly complete self-government, an embryo republic in fact, though not in name. The answer treated the propositions in the main most favorably. The negotiation with Governor Stuyvesant was continued for several years at long intervals, but never came to a head, at least under his New Amsterdam rule.
While the New Haven people were procrastinating with Stuyvesant, and getting more and more out of favor with the Connecticut majority, measures were planned in England, and carried out in the New World, which brought things to a climax among the Colonists of Milford and adjacent places.
In March, 1664, Charles, of England, granted to his brother James, Duke of York and Albany, a royal charter for certain lands, now embracing New York and New Jersey. The next month a small fleet was dispatched to dispossess the Dutch at New Amsterdam. In the latter part of August, the same year, this fleet, commanded by Colonel Richard Nicolls, who had already been appointed Governor of the province by the Duke, arrived at New Amsterdam. The Dutch surrendered without any serious resistance, being totally unprepared to stand a siege, and New Amsterdam became New York. Meanwhile, some months prior to the Dutch surrender, the Duke of York transferred to Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, two English courtiers, that portion of land which now constitutes the goodly State of New Jersey. Immediately upon their acquisition of title, these " Lords Proprietors " signed a constitution, which they made public under the title of " The Concessions and Agreement of the Lords Proprietors of Nova Cesarea or New Jersey, to and with all and every of the adventurers and all such as shall settle and plant there." In this document the courtier-owners of New Jersey built better than they knew or dreamt of; for, as the author of " East Jersey under the Proprietors" remarks most justly, it contains "the germ of those republican principles for which the State has ever been distinguished and of many of the institutions which exist at the present time."
"The Concessions" formed a guarantee of liberal encouragement to those disposed to become settlers. They guaranteed the fullest liberty of conscience, provided this liberty was not used " to licentiousness, to the civil injury, or outward disturbance of others;" also the right to choose an assembly of twelve representatives, and, through that assembly, to secure regular taxation, laws for the government of the province, the creation of ports, building of forts, raising of militia, suppression of rebellion, making of war, naturalization of strangers, and the apportionment of land to settlers. In the event of disagreement or dissatisfaction with the conduct of the Governor or Council the right was vested in the freemen to complain directly to the Lords Proprietors through the assembly. The Lords were authorized to appoint as many clergymen as seemed fitting to them and to provide for their maintenance; the privilege being guaranteed at the same time to any person or persons to maintain themselves such clergymen as they might prefer. The Concessions included many other liberal offers and guarantees, the whole covering a roll of parchment some nine feet long, now in possession of the New Jersey Historical Society.
On the very day this document was signed by Berkeley and Carteret, a cousin of the latter, Philip Carteret, was commissioned in England the Governor of New Jersey. Hither he sailed in the good ship "_Philip," accompanied by some thirty persons, and arrived off Elizabethport in August. There he landed and named the place of his settlement Elizabeth, after Sir George's wife, not after "good Queen Bess" as has been erroneously supposed. He found there already settled some four families, holding authority from Colonel Nicolls, the agent of the Duke of York — the transfer of New Jersey having been made subsequent to Nicolls' departure from England, he being therefore ignorant of such transfer. As will subsequently appear, this matter, trivial in itself, proved afterwards a veritable mustard seed of dissension and tedious litigation.
Here we resume the narrative proper of Newark. Without delay upon his arrival, Governor Carteret dispatched messengers to New England to publish the Concessions and induce planters to come and settle in New Jersey. These messengerfs found, as might be expected, willing ears among the men of Milford. The salubrity of the climate, fertility of the soil and excellence generally of the country were duly advertised after the fashion of the time, and the result was the appointment by the Milford men of a committee to visit New Jersey, verify the representations and report thereon. This committee, at the head of which was Robert Treat, proceeded to spy out the land. They first, it seems, turned their footsteps towards a point which is now occupied by the lovely town of Burlington; but were not pleased, and so they returned and conferred with Governor Carteret at Elizabeth. He urged upon them the selection of a site on the Passaic river. They so agreed, and, after a personal examination, returned to Connecticut and reported favorably on a forward movement.
Now came the decisive moment, the casting of the die. Now came the day, the hour for action — for sundering of friendships, ties, associations — all those growths, affiliations and surroundings of life-long location — of birth, of marrying and intermarrying, and of social and business intercourse. Despite the powerful incentives impelling a complete change of base and living operations, it must have required the courage of stout hearts and strong heads to tear up the roots of a generation or more and move off anew into the unknown and untried wilderness, there to begin again the battle of life — and all, or nearly all, for a matter of conscience sake. But the men of 1666, like those of 1776, were men indeed, fit stuff for pioneers, paviors on life's roadway for their own and the welfare of future generations. And so, as has already been stated, these noble sons of not more noble sires came and saw and conquered the difficulties thrown in their way by hostile circumstances.
In the spring of 1666 the men of Milford moved, to the number of some thirty persons. According to tradition the first of the Milfordites to set foot on Newark shore was Elizabeth Swaine, a fair young girl in her nineteenth year, the daughter of Captain Samuel Swaine, and the affianced bride of Josiah Ward, whose gallantry secured for her the honor of first landing — so that woman's proper rights to positions of honor and distinction in Newark are not the growth of yesterday. Ere the emigrants had completed their landing unexpected opposition came up. The Indians appeared and warned them off, declaring that they had not yet renounced their ownership of the soil. This caused some delay, but an interview with Governor Carteret, and a conference with Perro, the representative of Oraton, the aged chief of the Hackensack Indians, removed the difficulty, and the settlement was fully effected. It seems that in the original agreement with the Governor a clear title was to be given the settlers to the land; that the Indian claim was to be satisfied by the Governor. Through Treat's omission to present a letter from the Governor to the Indian Chief, this was not secured; hence the temporary interference.
To the high credit of the forefathers of Newark, and as strong proof of their innate love of honor, justice and fair dealing, be it said that they of their own resources fully satisfied the demands of the Indians. They purchased a title to the land direct from the aboriginal owners. The negotiators for the settlers were, in the first stages of the negotiations, Captain Treat and Samuel Edsal, and, in the final settlement, Obadiah Bruen, Michah Tompkins, John Brown and Robert Denison; those for the Indians being, Wapamuck, Harish, Captamin, Sessom, Mamustome, Peter, Wamesane, Weckaprokikan, Cacknakque and Parawae. John Capteen, a Hollander, acted as interpreter. The witnesses to the bill of sale, which bears date of July 11th, 1667, were Samuel Edsal, Edward Burrowes, Richard Fletcher (whites), and Classe and Pierwine (Indians). The reader who realizes how valuable every inch of ground within the city limits is in our day will, doubtless, be surprised to learn that all this vast extent of city territory and most of what is now the county of Essex cost the settlers goods valued at, as Gordon estimates, about £130 or, say, $750 in United States money. The territory extended to the top of Watchung Mountain, " about seven or eight miles from Pesayak Towne." The consideration given the Indians was " fifty double hands of powder, one hundred bars of lead, twenty axes, twenty coates, ten guns, twenty pistols, ten swords, ten kettles, four blankets, four barrels of beer, two pair of breeathes, fifty knives, twenty hoes, eight hundred and fifty fathoms of wampum, two ankers of liquor (say 32 gallons), or something equivalent, and three troopers' coates."
In this connection the following transcripts from the oft quoted Long Bill in Chancery (No. 9, page 177), are interesting and suggestive:
ROBERT TREAT'S TESTIMONY.
The testimony of Mr. Robert Treat, of Milford, in New England, aged about sixty-four years; being one of the company that first settled at Newark; upon discourse and treatise with the Governor, Capt. Philip Carteret, Esq. I expected that the said Governor would have cleared the plantation from all claims and incumbrances, and given quiet possession which he promised that he would do. But no sooner was the company present, got on the place and landed some of their goods, I with others was by some Hackensack Indians warned off the ground, and seem'd troubled and angry that we landed [any] of our goods there, tho' first we told them we had the Governor's order; but they replied, the land was theirs, and it was unpurchased; and thereupon we put our goods on board the vessels again, and acquainted the Governor with the matter, and he could not say it was bought of them Indians, and I with most of the company were minded to depart; but the said Governor with other gentlemen were loth to let us go, and advised and encouraged us to go to the Indians, and directed us to one John Capteen, as I think he called him, a Dutch Man, that was a good Indian interpreter, to go with us; and I with some others and said John Capteen, went up to Hackensack to treat with the Saga .... and other Indian proprietors of the land lying on the west of Pasaick river, about purchasing of said lands, and one Perro laid Claim to the said Pasaick lands, which is now called Newark; and the result of our Treaty was that we obtained of a Body of said Indians to give us a Meeting at Pasaick; and soon after they came all the Proprietors, viz; Perro, and his kindred, with the Sagamores that were able to travel; Oraton being very old, but approved of Perro's acting; and then we acted by the Advice, Order and Approbation of the said Governor, (who was troubled for our sakes), and also of our interpreter, (viz: Mr. Edsal ), the said Governor approving of them, and was willing and approved that we should purchase a Tract of Land for a Township. And at that Meeting with the Indian Proprietors, we did agree and bargain with the said Indians for a Tract of the said Land on the west of Pasaick River to a place called the Head of the Cove, by the said Governor's Order and Allowance, and upon information thereof seemed glad of it; and I with others solicited the Governor to pay for our purchase to the Indians; which he refused and would not disburse anything unless I would Reimburse him again; and a Bill of Sale was made, wherein the purchase of said Land will at large appear. And I can and do testify, that the said Indians were duly paid for it, according to Bill wherein we became debtors to the Indians, and not the Governor as I judge; and if any Deed or former Purchase could have been found or made to appear to us in the Day of it, we should not have given ourselves that Trouble and charge; and Perro affirmed that he had not sold his Land to any before this time; and not long after, by a Committee from each Town, the Bounds was first settled between the two Towns at the Head of the Cove.
Col. Robert Treat personally appeared before me and gave in his testimony upon oath to the Truths of the above said Testimony.
March 13, '87, '88. Ric. Bryan.
SAMUEL EDSALL'S AFFIDAVIT.
These may Certify whom it may concern, That in the Year of our Lord 1666, or thereabouts, by Order of Governor Philip Carteret, and upon the Request of Inhabitants of Newark, I did for them purchase from the Hackinsack Indians, a Parcel of Land lying and being on the west side of the Kill Van Coll, beginning at the Mouth of a certain Creek named Waweayack, upon the Bay Side; and from thence running up the said Creek to the Head of a Cove, and from thence westward to the foot of the Mountain called by the Indians Watchung; thence running along the said foot of the Mountain, until it meets by an East Line unto a small River coming from the Hills into Pasaick River named Jantacack; from thence running down Pasaick River and Arthur Cull Bay till it meets with the mouth of Waweayack as above said. I do further Certify, That I was employed by Governor Stuyvesand to go to Hackinsack with his Secretary Van Ruyven, to purchase all the Land on the West side of Hackinsack River, from above the Hackinsack Fort till we came so low as Workhoven s Purchase, where the Sackamaker of Staten Island met us with the Hackinsack Indians; and did declare that the right of the Hackinsack Indians did reach so far as the Point now called Thomas Young's Point, and all the Land below that to the Raritan River he had sold to Workhoven. I do further certify, that upon claim of an Indian named Brandgat I did purchase for Eli~. Town Inhabitants, that Tract of Land running Westward from Thomas Youngs' Point, along Bracket's Brook, and from thence Northerly to the head of the Cove called Waweayack.
Whereas you desire to know how many of the Indians are living mentioned in your Purchase; I cannot inform you, having not seen any of them a long time. This is the substance of what I can testify; as Witness my Hand this 5th day of March, 1687, 8.
Jurat Coram me, Isaac Kingsland.
March 13th, 1678, eleven years later, the town limits were extended west to the top of the mountain by a deed from two other Indians, the price paid for the extension being "two Guns, three Coates, and thirteen horns (cans) of Rum." Here is the official document in full describing this latter purchase, copied from the official record at Perth Amboy under this heading:
" Indian deed of sale and confirmation to the Town of Newark. Entered 18th of March (E. J. records, Lib. 1, vol. 107.")
" Whereas, in the original deed of sale made by the Indians to the inhabitants of the town of Newark, bearing date the eleventh day of July, 1667, it is said, to the foot of the Great Mountain, called Watchung, alias Atchunk, wee, Winocksop and Shenocktor, Indians and owners of the said Great Mountaine, for and in consideration of two Guns, three Coates, and thirteen horns of Rum, to us in hand paid, the receipt whereof wee doo hereby acknowledge, doo covenant and declare to and with John Ward and Mr. Thomas Johnson, Justices of the peace of the said town of Newark, before the Right Hon'ble Philip Carteret, Esq., Governor of the Province of New Jersey, and the other witnesses here under-written, that it is meane, agreed, and intended that their bounds shall reach orgoeto the top of the said great Mountaine, and that wee the said Indians will marke out the same to remaine to them the said inhabitants of Newark, their heires or Assigns for ever. In witness whereof wee the s'd Indians have hereunto sett our hands and seales the 13th of March, 1667.8.
Winocksop x his mark (sigil)
Shenocktor x his mark (sigil)
Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of
James Bollen, Secretary, Hendrick Drogestradt Samuel Harrison This acknowledged before me the day and year above written.
Almost, if not quite, as soon as the Milford emigrants had settled themselves and their goods on shore, an agreement was entered into between Captain Treat for the Milford people, and Samuel Swaine for the people of Branford and Guilford, looking to the early coming of a considerable number of the latter, the united Colonists to be settlers on an equal footing. This agreement, which is still preserved among the Town Records, sets forth the " desire " of the Colonists " to be of one heart and consent, through God's blessing, with one hand they may endeavor the carrying on of spiritual concernments as also of spiritual affairs, according to God and a godly government." It bears date, as by Swaine's signature, of May 24th, 1666, thus giving assurance that the date of the landing must be about as already stated. Pursuant to the agreement signed by Treat and Swaine on behalf of their respective townsfolk, twenty-three heads of Branford families signified their willingness to form the Town union proposed. They accordingly signed the following document, copied from the Town Records:
At a meeting Touching the Intended design of many of the inhabitants of Branford, the following was subscribed: —
Deut. 1: 13 1st. That none shall be admitted freemen or free Burgesses within our
Exod. 18:21 Town upon Passaick River, in the Province of New Jersey, but such
Deut. 17: 15 Planters as are members of some or other of the congregational churches
Nor shall any But such be chosen to any Magistracy or to Carry-on any part of said Civil Judicature, or as deputies or assistants to have power to Vote In establishing Laws, and making Jerem. 30:21 or Repealing them, or to any Chief Military Trust or Office. Nor shall any But such Church Members have any Vote in any such election; Tho' all others admitted to Be planters have Right to their proper Inheritance, and do and shall enjoy all other Civil Liberties and Privileges, according to all Laws, Orders Grants which are or hereafter shall be made for this town.
2d. We shall with Care and Diligence provide for the maintenance of the purity of Religion professed in the Congregational Churches. Whereunto subscribed the Inhabitants of Branford —
JASPER CRANE, RICHARD HARRISON,
ABRA. PIERSON, EBENEZER CAMFIELD,
SAM'L SWAINE, JOHN WARD, SENIOR,
LAURANCE WARD, ED. BALL,
THOMAS BLATCHLY, JOHN HARRISON,
SAMUEL PLUM, JOHN CRANE,
JOSIAH WARD, THOS. HUNTINGTON,
SAMUEL ROSE, DELIVERED CRANE,
THOMAS PIERSON, AARON BLATCHLY,
JOHN WARD, RICHARD LAURANCE,
JOHN CATLING, JOHN JOHNSON,
THOMAS L. LYON.
The four Scriptural references in the foregoing arc as follows: —
" Take ye wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you."— Deut. 1: 13.
" Moreover thou shall provide out of all the people, able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness: and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens." — Exodus 18: 21.
"Thou shall in anywise set him King over thee whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set King over thee; thou mayest not set a stranger over thee which is not thy brother." — Deut. 17: 15.
' And their nobles shall be of themselves and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them." — Jer. 30:21.
On the principle, perhaps, that the last shall be first and the first last, it was not till the 24th of June, 1667, that the primal settlers, those from Milford, signed the " Fundamental Agreements " above transcribed.
It may occur to the reader that there appears to be a strong dash of what is sometimes thoughtlessly or sneeringly called the old Puritan blue-light selfishness in Newark's first charter, as set forth above. Granted, that the instrument of self-government excluded from a share in that government those who, were not of "one heart and one mind " with the settlers in church matters; but the judicious, before rendering judgment on the charter work of the Fathers of the town, likewise upon the Fathers themselves, will consider the times, the manners, the people, the place and the circumstances generally surrounding the settlers and the settlement. These being properly and justly considered, it seems scarcely possible that anything but praise, yes, high praise, can righteously be given the patriarchs of " our towne on Passaick." They came hither from Connecticut "with malice towards none, with charity for all." They planted for themselves and their posterities, not for the strangers that might come within their gates. In providing for self-government, they drew fundamental precepts from the inspired Word; and who that can put himself in their place will say the provision was not complete? One thing there is upon which all must agree. There was nothing false, nothing pharisaical about the Puritan settlers. They were brave and honest enough to say exactly what they meant and what they desired. Judged by their recorded declarations, there was no Joseph Surface, no Uriah Heep, no Pecksniff amongst them; nor was there an olive branch in their words, with a sword in their hearts. They left no door open for one to come in and afterwards to be civilly, socially, or politically crucified secretly, because of conscience sake.
Standing imaginatively before these men of 1666, would it not be well for us of two centuries later to pause and consider whether we have any real cause to boast about our progress, our advancement, our enlightenment and our broad and cultivated Christian charity? When we examine their honesty of word, their purity of conscience, their innate love of the right, according to their light, surely we of the present age may wisely and prudently clip the wings of our vanity, cease our boasting, step a few paces to the rear, and meekly uncover in presence of these typical lovers of civil and religious liberty — these prototypes of true republican self-governors!
While, as we have seen, the first settlers planned their township government with an eye mainly to their own views and desires, it is nevertheless clear that they anticipated accessions of strangers to their community. Wherefore they embodied in their " Fundamental Agreements " the following equitable and characteristic provisions:
" Item, it is agreed upon that in case any shall come into us or rise up amongst us that shall willingly or willfully disturb us in our Peace and Settlements, and especially that would subvert us from the Religion and Worship of God. and cannot or will not keep their opinions to themselves, or be reclaimed after due time and means of conviction and reclaiming hath been used; it is unanimously agreed upon and consented unto, as a Fundamental Agreement and Order that all [such] persons so ill-disposed and affected, shall, after notice given them from the town, quietly depart the Place seasonably, the Town allowing them valuable consideration for their Lands or Houses as indifferent men shall price them, or else leave them to make the best of them to any Man the Township shall approve of."
How Newark came by its name is a subject of deep interest. The first impulse of the first settlers — the Milford people — was to call the new settlement Milford, and Milford it was called until the arrival of the Branford people. Then, upon a formal organization of the town government, Milford was dropped and NEWARK substituted. The substitute appears to have been agreed upon in honor of Rev. ABRAHAM PlERSON, the first Pastoral Shepherd of the place, who came from Newark-on-Trent to the Western World, and who, although second on the list of the Branford emigrants, was second to none in the esteem and reverence of the entire community. The original etymology, as Dr. Stearns explains, was not NEW-ARK, as some have supposed, but NEW-WORK. It was written New-Work and New-Worke by Robert Treat and other early settlers. It is so written in the old "Towne Book" still preserved. Here it may appropriately be added that the Newark to which we owe our name, and which was the home and laboring field of the distinguished and godly Pierson, dates its establishment somewhere about the year 1105. There a royal castle was built. It was known as the " New-Work." In it died, in 1216, King John of Runnymede memory. Newark-on-Trent is now, in its 773d year, a town of some 12,000 inhabitants. In the respect of population, if in no other, what a contrast the Newark-on-Passaic offers now to the Newark-on-Trent!
In drawing this chapter to a close — a chapter fully reviewing the settlement, the causes leading thereto, the seeking and the finding of a place where civil and religious liberty could be fully enjoyed, and the men, manners, times and prevalent characteristics of the period revolving around 1666, together with the names and character of the founders of Newark — it remains but to be said that, as regards community self-government, Utopia was as nearly realized as before or since. A government was established in the wilderness the fundamental principles of which were drawn from the Mosaic Law. The history of Newark in 1666 and for some time after, was simply a repetition of the history of " God's chosen people " away down the centuries before the coming of the Messiah, back even to the days of the Pharaohs. Cotton Mather, speaking of Pastor Pierson and his object in founding a settlement at Southampton, long prior to the establishment of Newark, said he (Pierson) tried to "make it become what Paradise was called, an Island of the Innocent!" The same aim and object that carried the reverend Pierson to Southampton, brought him and his flock to Newark. That the ideal was not realized in either place is no evidence that it was not as nearly approached here as the weakness of human nature has permitted anywhere.
It may be added, in conclusion, that the idea elaborated in the foregoing pages, that of founding and permanently establishing a community of Christians whose whole rule and governance would be purely biblical in principle, and religiously exclusive in fact, was probably last attempted here in Newark.
IN the preceding chapter the reader is given what is intended to be a just and impartial general idea of the settlement and the settlers. It is now proposed to enter the field of personalities — to show more fully and particularly what manner of men they were who laid the foundations of Newark; who organized, guided and governed it during the infancy of its existence; also, what character of community they formed and established.
While it is not to be denied that Abraham Pierson was the Abraham, indeed, of the brave little band of " exiles for conscience sake," the evidence is conclusive that the leader of the leaders, the captain of the heroic company, was ROBERT TREAT. Although Rev. Dr. Stearns, with natural love and reverence for his own holy profession, gives priority of consideration to Pastor Pierson, he nevertheless speaks of Treat as " the flower and pride of the whole company." This Treat was, beyond doubt. He was born in England. As early as 1640 he was at Milford, Connecticut, filling the position of town clerk. Early in life he developed decided capacity for leadership, both in civil and military matters. As we have already seen, he was the avant-courier of the emigrants; the leading selector of Newark as a place of settlement, and the guide hither of the Milford people. In establishing and laying out the town he was among the most active and energetic. More than any other settler he is justly entitled to be remembered as THE FOUNDER OF Newark. During its first years he served the town as clerk and magistrate, likewise as its deputy in the early New Jersey Assembly. To none more than to Treat is the Newark of to-day indebted for the natural beauty of its location, the order of its original plan, and the width and attractiveness of its leading thoroughfares, more especially Broad street. He remained in Newark after its settlement only some six years, returning to Connecticut in 1672. It seems likely that his old New England associates induced his return on the ground of his ability to fill a larger field of usefulness in the mother colony. Be that as it may, we find that upon his return he was chosen to the magistracy of the Province, and that in 1675 " Major Treat was dismissed from the church of Christ at Newark," and commended to the church at Milford. In evidence of the esteem in which he was held by his fellow settlers of Newark, the town records tell that when the town was parcelled into lots, he was given first choice by universal consent, and, besides, two extra acres or lots in recognition of his services in negotiating for the settlement. In Connecticut he became more than ever a man of mark. Besides taking a commanding military position in early colonial Indian warfare, Treat served the Colony for thirty-two years as Deputy Governor and Governor. It is traditionally related that at the " Battle of Bloody Brook," between the Indians and the Colonists, Major Treat commanded the latter, and behaved heroically. It is said that in the action: " He that commanded our forces then and now us, (the Colonial Legislature,) made no less than seventeen fair shots at the enemy, and was thereby as oft a mark for them." It is added, on the same authority, that he received a ball through his hat-brim, and was the last man to leave the fort at dusk the evening of the day of battle. When Sir Edmund Andros attempted to wrest from Connecticut her original charter, and the people suddenly extinguished the lights in the Assembly Chamber, so that Captain Wadsworth might be enabled to slip out and secrete the almost sacred document— as he did in the Charter Oak — Governor Treat was in the chair. As Governor he was elected annually from 1683 until 1698. He died July 12, 1710, full of years and honors, he was in his 85th year. Trumbull, the Connecticut historian, justly says of this remarkable man: " Few men have sustained a fairer character or rendered the public more important services. He was an excellent military officer; a man of singular courage and resolution, tempered with caution and prudence. His administration of government was with wisdom, firmness and integrity. He was esteemed, courageous, wise and pious. He was exceedingly beloved and venerated by the people in general, and especially by his neighbors at Milford where he resided." He was twice married, his first wife being Jane Tapp, a daughter of one of the " seven pillars " of the Milford church. Like brave men generally, Treat appears to have been exceedingly timid and backward in the presence of the fair sex. That is to say, he was extremely backward in coming to the main point — a proposal of marriage. There is good authority for saying that once, while familiarly dancing his future wife, on his knee, as was permissible by their disparity of age and long intimacy, the damsel brought her lover to a prompt decision by the suggestive expostulation: "Robert, be still that; I had rather be Treatted than trotted."
Gov. Treat left Newark a rich legacy in the persons of several estimable children. His son John, who married Sarah Tichenor, was a Justice of the Peace under Cornbury; represented Essex County in the Assembly when it was necessary that members should, along with other requirements, own 1,000 acres of land or £500 in personal estate; was, in 1712, Presiding Judge of the local Court; and, in 1731, held the military title of major, like his distinguished father. The. Governor's daughter Mary became the wife of Deacon Azariah Crane, who left his " silver bole' to be used by " the church in Newark forever," and who appears to have outlived all the original settlers. Governor Treat's " home-lott " was occupied by his daughter's descendants until the beginning of the present century. On a portion of it now stands a noble monument not only to Robert Treat but to all the original settlers — the First Presbyterian Church of Newark. Though the name of Treat is extinct in Newark, and almost entirely so in the State of New Jersey, the Governor's descendants are numerous and representative of the best citizenship and highest reputation. In New England and the West the Treats number not a few distinguished men in public as well as in private life.
Rev. Abraham Pierson, the spiritual shepherd of the flock, appears to have been a man of God, in the truest sense of the term. He was a native of Yorkshire, England, was a graduate of Cambridge (in 1632), was "ordained episcopally," as it is said, and preached in the town of Newark, England, some years before he left the Old for the New World. He arrived in Boston in the year 1639, and joined the church there. A year later he was ordained pastor of the Congregational Church at Lynn. Four years afterwards he removed to Branford, where was organized the church of which he was pastor twenty three years, until his removal to Newark with the Branford settlers, in the Fall of 1666. Mr. Pierson, while at Branford, was distinguished as a zealous and successful missionary among the New England Indians. The better to carry on the work of christianizing the "children of the forest," he acquired a knowledge of their language, and compiled for their advantage a catechism in the Indian tongue. This work was printed in 1660, at a cost of £40. Mr. Pierson's missionary labors were under the auspices of the Commissioners for the New England Colonies, organized at New Haven, in 1643, in conjunction with a Society in England to promote Christianity in New England. For his services, Mr. Pierson received from the Mission Society a yearly salary, graded periodically from ,£15 to £20, then £30, and, for some unknown reason, then back to £15. The work of his life was mainly accomplished before Newark was settled, though the "Godly-learned man," as Governor Winthrop, his friend and admirer, called him, did his full measure of work for his Master and his fellow-men during the evening portion of his life in Newark. In the nature of the primal government of Newark— a perfect union of church and state — the pastor was the nominal, if not the actual, ruler in temporal as well as spiritual concerns. While, no doubt, he exercised strong influence in matters not strictly spiritual, it nevertheless nowhere appears that he administered his dual office otherwise than to continue increasingly the love and affection his people bore him. That he was a man of decided ability as a preacher, is manifest from what Cotton Mather says. " 'Tis reported Pliny," writes Mather, "but perhaps 'tis but a Plinyism, that there is a fish called Lucerna, whose tongue doth shine like a torch. If it be a fable, yet let the tongue of a minister be the moral of that fable. Now, such an illuminating tongue was that of our Pierson. Wherever he came he shone." It is evident, also, that Mr. Pierson was a studious as well as a prudent man. He had a library of 440 volumes — an exceedingly large one for his period and the place and circumstances of his abode. His estate was valued, when he came to Newark, at £644, some £16 less than that of Robert Treat's, the man of largest substance among the settlers. At the time of Mr. Pierson's death his estate was worth about £822. A solid mark of the esteem in which he was held was the generosity of his treatment by the settlers. Upon his arrival in Newark — the cost of his transportation from Branford being borne by the people — he was allotted, together with his proportion of land in common with the other settlers, eighty pounds to erect a house — a sum at that time sufficient to pay for building a residence of more than ordinary elegance and accommodations. He was also given the cost of " digging and finishing of his well." His salary was £80, annually. As already stated, Mr. Pierson was far advanced in years in 1666. Six years later, according to a vote of the town taken in meeting held March 4th, 1672, it was agreed to call in an assistant pastor, the choice falling on Mr. Abraham Pierson, junior, the pious and talented son of the first pastor. A short time prior to this, the elder Pierson began setting his house in order for the final removal to an abode not made with hands. He made his will August 10th, 1671, and breathed his last just seven years later, lacking one day, on August 9th, 1678, leaving behind him " the character of a pious and prudent man — a true child of Abraham — and now safely lodged in Abraham's bosom." The exact place of his sepulcher, like the exact place of his birth, is unknown. It may here be remarked that some years ago, the late Samuel H. Congar, the indefatigable Newark genealogist, informed the author that the venerable Pierson was buried in a portion of the "Old Burying Ground," just in the rear of what is now a fire engine house, the sacred spot being occupied by the city as a stable for its fire department horses! It is to be sincerely hoped, for the sake of common decency, the respect the living owe the illustrious, dead, and the honor and credit of Newark, that Mr. Congar was in error — that the memory of the earliest pastoral shepherd is spared this sort of monumental desecration, and posterity the odium of such shameful neglect.
Jasper Crane appears to have borne to the Branford people the same relation that Robert Treat bore to those of Milford. He, too, was brave, wise, energetic and born to leadership. He was an original settler of New Haven, and a leading member of the church there as in Newark, the church there being also the state, and the state the church. In both places he rendered conspicuous services. In Newark he served as magistrate and president of the town court. He also served with Treat as Deputy from Essex County to the Provincial Assembly, being first on the list during the first five or six years of its existence. Before "planting" in Newark, Crane had already aided in establishing several settlements elsewhere, and, hence, was accredited with a spirit akin to restlessness. In 1651, in company with William Tuttle and others, he tried to establish a settlement somewhere on the Delaware, the main object being, as he said, that " the gospel might have been published to the nations, and much good done, not only to the Colonies at present, but to posterity." The attempt failed, however, because — as Crane declared — of the " injustice and violence of the Dutch." The records of the town show that Mr. Crane held a controlling influence in its affairs throughout the first fourteen years of its settlement. His descendants continue to exercise a marked though quiet influence by their worth, character and numbers, not alone in this but in other New Jersey communities. Mr. Crane's " home-lott " included the ground which now represents the northeast corner of High and Market streets, and upon which is now in course of erection a beautiful Episcopal church — St. Paul's — a singular monumental coincidence with the noble use to which part of Treat's "home-lott" has been put.
Samuel Swaine, Micah Tompkins (not Michael, as appears in the " Fundamental Agreements" signatures,) RICHARD LAURENCE and Laurence Ward were likewise men of mark among the settlers. Swaine, who was one of the Branford founders, came from London, England, in the " Elizabeth and Anne," in 1635, and was distinguished among the Newark settlers, as being constantly chosen as an alternate, or " third man," to represent the county in the Assembly. Frequently he represented the community instead of Jasper Crane, who appears to have been of a rather delicate constitution. Swaine was a millwright by trade, and built the mill located near the "Stone Bridge," which gave Mill Creek its name, and which long furnished the people of Newark with the entirety of their breadstuffs. Like Treat, Swaine was possessed of a decided martial taste, and filled the position of lieutenant. Upon Treat's return to Connecticut, Lieutenant Swaine was promoted to the captaincy — the command of the Newark forces. This was in 1673. Tompkins and Laurence both occupied the posts of deacons in the church. It was Tompkins who secreted, sheltered and succored Major-Generals Goffe and Whalley, the regicide judges, upon their flight from England, after the beheading of Charles I. At first they found lodgment in the wilderness, but subsequently took up quarters in the house of Mr. Tompkins, right in the heart of Milford. Here, in absolute concealment, remained for two years the men who had dared to consign to the block the head of Charles, the tyrant. They did not so much as enter the orchard adjoining the house. Mr. Treat is said to have been in the secret. Not so evensome members of the Tompkins family. The house was a two-story building, some twenty feet square. The lower room was built with a stone wall and was set apart as a store room. The room above was constructed of wood and was used as a work-room by the family. The latter, it is recorded, used to spin in the room above, ignorant of the presence below of the judges. During the period of secretion, there was brought from England, as it is related, a ballad satirizing those who had participated prominently in the trial and execution of the king, including Goffe and Whalley. A Milford maiden of decidedly musical tastes learned to sing it, and used sometimes to entertain the Tompkins family with the satirical song while spinning in the room overhead the one occupied by the two judges. They heard it, and were so amused, even though they were themselves sharply satirized, that they frequently requested Mr. Tompkins to set the girls singing the ballad. "The girls," as our authority for the anecdote relates, "knew nothing of the matter, being ignorant of the innocent device, and little thought that they were serenading angels."
Laurence Ward was the first deacon of the First Church, and appears to have been well advanced in years when he came with the settlers from Branford. He died in 1669, leaving a reputation sweet and pure.
It may be said of all the early male settlers of Newark, that each was a man of mark in some one or other respect, even though the education of a man here and there only enabled him to make " his mark" in signing the " Fundamental Agreements." Altogether the band was a collection of picked men; busy bees, and no drones. Small as was the community, it was not without its social leadership; something of a mild type of aristocracy. At the time we are writing of, the prefix Mr. was applied to only eleven persons, namely: Mr. Abraham Pierson, senior, and Mr. Abraham Pierson, junior, Mr. Robert and Mr. Samuel Kitchel, Mr. Jeremiah Peck, Mr. Morris, Mr. Jasper Crane, Mr. Leete, Mr. Matthew Camfield and Mr. Obadiah Bruen. The rest were addressed or spoken of after a fashion most thoroughly democratic.
In order to arrive at a just idea of the character of the community established by such men as we have been describing, it must be remembered that at the time of the settlement there was established only the merest form of government anywhere in New Jersey. A year had scarcely elapsed since the arrival of Governor Carteret from England, and his publication of the Concessions, the first constitution, really, of what is now the State. The instrument guaranteed to settlers the very largest liberty, civil and religious, — " any law, usage or custom in the realm of England, to the contrary notwithstanding." It also authorized, as already stated, the convening of a General Assembly, one branch of which was to be composed of representatives chosen directly by the people in their various locations. The Assembly was empowered to appoint its own time of meeting, to constitute courts, levy taxes, build fortresses, make war, offensive and defensive, naturalize strangers, allot land to settlers, provide for the support of government, and ordain all laws for the general good, not conflicting, however, with those of England, nor in opposition to the Concessions of the Proprietors and their interest. But still there was really no regularly established government. Hence, the settlers of Newark were, from the very first, a law unto themselves. In addition to what the " Fundamental Agreements" provided, the settlers declared that " they will from time to time all submit one to another to be led, ruled and governed by such magistrates and rulers in the town, as shall be annually chosen from the freemen from among themselves, with such orders and laws whilst they are settled here by themselves, as they had in the place whence they came; under such penalties as the magistrates upon the nature of the offence shall determine." Without waiting for any General Assembly to convene they seized time and authority by their forelocks and provided themselves for the establishing of Town Courts. The Town Records show that at a meeting held January 1st, 1668-9, the following item was approved:
"Item. — The Town hath agreed that there shall be two Courts in our town yearly, to hear and try all causes and actions that shall be necessary and desired within our compass and According to our Articles; and that the same shall pass by the verdict of a jury of six men; and one of the times is to be the last fourth day of the week, commonly called Wednesday, in the month of February; and the other is the second Wednesday of the next following month of September."
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