CHAP. XVIII.

 

Memorial of the West-Jersey proprietors residing in England, to the lords

commissioners for trade anel plantations; The lieutenant governor, with

some of the council, address the queen; The last meeting of assembly,

under Cornbury's administration; They continue their complaints; Samuel

Jenings's death and character.

 

The foregoing proceedings being by connection necessary together, has

delayed the following memorial a little out of course as to strict order

of time: The western proprietors residing in England, had much resented

Cornbury's treatment of the inhabitants, especially in relation to the

three members being kept out of the assembly, by which he gained a

majority devoted to his measures; and thus they complain:

 

"To the right honourable the lords commissioners for trade and plantations.

 

"The humble memorial of the proprietors of the Western division of the

province of New-Jersey, in America.

 

"We humbly acknowledge your lordships great justice, in making the terms

of our surrender of government, part of the lord Cornbury's instructions

relating to the said province; and heartily with his excellency had given

us occasion of acknowledging his due observation of the instruction,

instead of troubling your lordships with a complaint of his breach of

them, which we are fully assured from undoubted testimonies his excellency

has made in the following instances; and tho' he endeavours to palliate

his proceedings there, by frequently and publickly asserting, that your

lordships consented to no terms upon our surrender; yet were that as great

a truth as it is a mistake, and those instructions had been only of grace

and favour, we conceive him to be obliged, and ourselves intituled to his

punctual observation of them.

 

"It is one of the terms consented to by your lordships, and one of his

excellency's instructions from your lordships; that the general assembly

shall consist of four and twenty representatives; two to be chosen by the

inhabitants, housholders of the city or town of Perth-Amboy; two by the

inhabitants, housholders of the city or town of Burlington; ten to be

chosen by the freeholders of the eastern, and ten by the freeholders of

the western division; in which election, every elector is to have one

hundred acres of freehold land in his own right, within the division for

which he shall choose; and every person elected is to have one thousand

acres of freehold land in his own right, within the division for which he

shall be chosen.

 

"This instruction, which we relied on as the chief security of our estates

in that province, his excellency has not only violated, but has totally

destroyed that part of our constitution; and in such a manner as will

render all assemblies a meer piece of formality, and only the tools of

a governor's arbitrary pleasure.

 

"For setting which proceeding in a due light, we must crave leave to lay

before you lordships the account we have received of it from our agent,

and other reputable persons of that province.

 

"An assembly having been called and chosen, in the year 1703, pursuant to

your lordships instructions, prepared bllls for settling the rights of the

proprietors and planters, and for raising a revenue of thirteen hundred

pounds per annum, for three years, (which they knew was the utmost the

country could bear) for the support of the government; but his excellency

requiring a greater sum, several persons, our constant enemies and

invaders of our proprieties, and who therefore opposed the bill for

settling our rights, undertook to procure an assembly more obedient to

his excellency's demands; and by that and other arguments, which out of

regard to his honour, we choose to wave the mention of; prevailed upon

him to dissolve that assembly, and to call another to sit in November last;

the writs were issued, and the election directed to be made, in such haste,

that in one of the writs the qualifications of the persons to be elected

was omitted, and the sheriff of one county not sworn 'till three days

before the election, and many of the towns had not any (much less due)

notice of the day of election; but passing by these, and many other illegal

artifices used by those undertakers, to obtain an assembly to their own

humour; we shall insist only upon one grand instance, which is not to be

parrallel'd in any of her majesty's plantations, and could not have been

attempted without his excellency's encouragement, nor put in practice

without his concurrence.

 

"When this assembly was met, and attended his excellency in council, in

order to be sworn, Mr. Revell and Mr. Leeds, (two of the governor's

council, and of the undertakers to procure such an assembly as they had

promised) suspecting the strength of their party, objected against three

of the members, returned, as persons not having each, one thousand acres

of land, and therefore unqualified to serve in the assembly; though these

persons had such estates in land, and were generally known to have so, and

at the time of their election had convinced Revell and Leeds, who opposed

them under that pretence, of the truth of it; and this objection was not

examinable or determinable by his excellency or his council, or otherwise

than in the house of representatives, who are the only proper judges of

their own members; yet his excellency, upon this bare suggestion of Revel

and Leeds, refused to swear these members, and excluded them from sitting

to serve their country; this attempt was seconded by another trick of

Revell and Leeds, who immediately sent the following note to the house of

representatives.

 

" 'To the honourable the house of representatives.

 

" 'Gentlemen,

 

" 'We underwritten, supposing we had good reason to charge three of the

persons returned to serve as representatives in this general assembly; but

upon due consideration find it difficult to come to a true determination

thereof, until we can by further enquiry find the truth of what we have

been informed of; we therefore humbly desire fourteen days time further,

that we may be able more fully to inform this house therein, which we

humbly suppose at present cannot reasonably be expected from us; we

subscribe ourselves your humble supplicants,

" 'THOMAS REVELL.

" 'DANIEL LEEDS.' "

" 'Nov.15, 1704.' "

 

"The counties for which they were chosen to serve expressed a great

dissatisfaction at the exclusion of their members; and these and several

other representatives deliver'd an address to his excellency, for having

them admitted to their right; which met with no other reception, than

being called a piece of insolence and ill manners.

 

"By this exclusion of three members, and the contempt of the address for

their admission, the undertakers gained a majority by one in the house of

representatives, who adjourned the hearing of this case, until they had

reaped the fruits of their iniquity, and accomplished the ends for which

it was contrived; for whilst this case was depending, a bill for taking

away the qualifications of electors and the elected; and placing the

right of choosing and being chosen in the freeholders generally, without

any express value of their estates was prepared and pass'd, wherein there

is this remarkable and self condemning declaration of his excellency's

proceedings, viz. that representatives met in general assembly are and

shall be the judges of the qualifications of their own members.

 

"After this and one other act, which we shall hereafter take notice of in

its proper place, were passed, a day of hearing was allowed to the three

excluded members, and notice of it given to Revell and Leeds, who would

not vouchsafe to appear, but having already obtained their ends,

graciously signified by a message, their mistake in their objection to

those members.

 

"The house proceeded in the inquiry, and by deeds and other authentick

proofs, was so fully satisfied of the estates of the excluded members, and

that Revell and Leeds had been convinced thereof, at the time of their

elections, that the house unanimously declared them duly qualified, and

sent two of their body to acquaint his excellency of it, and to pray they

might be sworn; but his excellency, whether out of a desire of assuming

the glory of his arbitrary proceeding wholly to himself, or of making the

country sensible that notwithstanding the act so lately passed, declaring

the house judges of their own members; he was resolved to exercise that

power for the future; or for what other reason we know not, told those

messengers he must be satisfied of their qualifications, as well as the

house; and still keeps them out of the assembly.

 

"This we conceive to be the assuming a negative voice to the freeholders

election of their representatives; and such an invasion of the rights of

the assembly, as will, if tolerated or connived at, place the whole

legislature in the governor; for if he can, at his pleasure, reject

three representatives, he may reject all, and make what laws he thinks fit

without the formality of an assembly; but if this notorious violation of

our constitution had not been made by him, and the assembly had

consisted of it's full proportion of duly elected members; we conceive,

and are advised, that his excellency had no authority, nor any probable

colour from his instructions for passing this act; for though the

instruction relating to the election of general assembies, allows an

alteration by act of assembly, of the number of the representatives, and

the manner of their being elected; it leaves no power to the general

assembly to alter the qualifications of the electors or elected; which was

intended to be a standing and unalterable part of the constitution, as most

agreeable to the constitution of England, where the electors of knights of

the counties must have a certain fixed freehold; and the elected are

generally the principal landed men of their respective counties; but the

alteration now made, was intended to put the election of representatives

into the meanest of the people, who being impatient of any superiors,

will never fail to choose such from amongst themselves, as may oppress

us, and destroy our rights.

 

"It is another term of our surrender, and an instruction to his

excellency, that no act should be made to lay a tax upon unprofitable

lands; but his excellency has encouragd and assented to a bill in this last

assembly, for taxing (without distinction) all lands belonging to the

inhabitants there, and to all others not inhabiting there who have settled

any plantations, either by tenants, servants or negroes; it is objection

enough to this act, that there is no other colony in America wherin

uncultivated lands are taxed; and as this act was intended, so none more

effectual could have been contrived, to prejudice the country in general,

or the proprietors in particular; for if any man who has a thousand or

more acres of land, which he can neither manure nor sell (as most of the

first planters have) he must pay a tax for this land, which may eat up the

greatest part of the profit of what he can and does cultivate; or he must

desert the whole; and if we, who have great tracts of land of many

thousand acres to sell, lett or settle but a few acres to maintain our

agents or servants, we must pay a tax for all the residue which yields us

nothing: In consequence of this act several persons who had agreed with

our agent for lands, have renounced their bargains, and removed into other

countries, where they can purchase great tracts of land, preserve them for

their posterity to settle on and we, unless relieved from this oppression,

must deliver up our lands or our purses: This tax is imposed by the act

passed in the assembly for raising a revenue of two thousand pounds per

annum, for two years, for the support of her majesty's government within

that province; and we have great reason to believe it to be part of the

return promised by the undertakers to his excellency, for his dissolving

the former assembly, and curtailing the last of three members.

 

"It is another term of our surrender, and an instruction to his

excellency, that the surveyors and other persons appointed by us, for

surveying and recording the surveys of land granted and sold by us, shall

be permitted to execute their trusts; but his excellency has taken upon

him, even contrary to the advice of his council, to appoint fees for

patenting lands; which has created an opinion in the people, that the

power of granting lands is in him, has lessened the credit of our title to

lands, and encouraged the planters to dispute our right.

 

"His excellency has ordered all publick books, records and papers, to be

delivered by our late secretary to Mr. Bass, our great debtor, and

therefore our avowed enemy, and has carried our records of deeds and

conveyances out of the province; by this method the proprietors of both

the divisions are deprived of all means to justify their past

administration of the evidences of their grants of lands to the purchasers

under them, (all the surveys and patents being recorded in those books)

and will destroy the office of our register, or at least will disable him

to perform his duty in some cases; which by acts of general assembly he is

obliged to do.

 

"It is a further term of our surrender, and instructions to his

excellency, that all officers be appointed by advice of the council; but

his excellency has constituted several officers without such advice, and

particularly a sheriff of Burlington, who was therefore suspended by order

of council, and yet continued to act under his lordship's appointment.

 

"We are further informed, that his excellency hath put several mean and

contemptible persons into the commission of the peace, particularly one

***** whom he knew to be under prosecution for felony; and has given

commissions in the militia to others, who have no estate in the province,

and therefore are not like to be zealous in the defence of it.

 

"It is matter of some wonder to us, that after so many acts of despotic

power, his excellency did not assume to himself, or obtain from the last

assembly, an authority of licencing any persons to purchase lands from the

Indians; but condescends to apply to your lordships, for an alteration of

his instructions in that particular; there wants only the breach of this

instruction to compleat the ruin of our interests in New-Jersey, and we

humbly hope your lordships will not enable him to give that finishing

stroke: This instruction, founded upon the right which the crown of

England claims by the law of nations, to all countries discovered by

English subjects, was intended to assert that right against the pretences

of many planters, who set up the Indians title in competition with it; and

if that right be taken from the grantees of the crown, all patents and

grants of the whole main land of North-America, have been only royal

frauds, under the sanction of the great seal of England, and no man will

ever after purchase lands under that title.

 

"His excellency was lately so fully satisfied of the policy and

reasonableness of asserting this right to the crown and its grantees, that

in the year 1703, he recommended, and assented to an act of assembly,

for restraining all persons besides the proprietors, from purchasing lands

from the Indians, under great penalties; and for vacating all such

purchases formerly made, unless the purchasers took a fresh grant from

the proprietors; of which act we humbly pray your lordships perusal.

 

"We are purchasers for ready money, under a grant from king Charles the

second, and are willing to sell our lands and the Indians title to it, at

reasonable rates, according to the goodness of the soil and situation and

ought not to be compelled to accept a quit-rent (much less a quit-rent to

be let by other persons than ourselves as his excellency proposes) instead

of selling for ready money; nor ought our properties to be at the disposal

of a governor: Tis not the want of a power in the planters to purchase

lands from the Indians, but the taxing of uncultivated lands, and

overturning the constitution for assembly-men, that has occasioned those

persons mentioned by his excellency, to remove to Pennsylvania and other

colonies.

 

"May it please your lordships,

 

"The usage we have received from his excellency, is so contrary to the

terms of our surrender of government, to the assurances we had from your

lordships, of the due observance of them, and to the plain instructions

given by your lordships to his excellency; that we humbly hope, it will

not be thought any immodesty or want of duty in us, to protest, as we

protest against all the proceedings of the last assembly, wherein by the

arbitrary exclusion of three members without any just exception, the

country was not duly represented, and to beg your lordships intercession

with her majesty, that the acts passed in that assembly may not be

confirmed by her royal assent.

 

"We further pray, that colonel Lewis Morris, who has been a second time

suspended from his place in council, by his excellency, only for using the

freedom which every member of the council is entitled to, and ought to

exercise, of opposing any bill brought before them, if he conceives it

prejudicial to the interest either of the country in general, or of any

particular persons, may be restored; and that your lordships will please

to place in the room of such as are dead, some of the persons following,

viz. Mr. Miles Foster, Mr. Richard Townley, Mr. Hugh Huddy, Mr. William

Hall and Mr. John Harrison, who are men of known integrity and estates;

and as a further security of ou estates there, and that no persons may at

any time be admitted of the governors council, or to be in the commission

of the peace, or of the militia, but such who have real estates in the

province suitable to their stations, and who reside there.

 

"Signed by Thomas Lane, Paul Dominique, John Bridges, Rob. Mitchel, Tho.

Burrow, Fra. Mitchel, Eben. Jones, Jos. Broosbank, John Norton, Jo.

Bennet, E. Richier, Tho. Skinner, Rich. Greenaway, Jos. Collins, Cha.

Mitchel, Jos. Micklethwait, Tho. Lewes, Wm. Snelling." Two days after

Cornbury had refused to receive the assembly's reply, he sent for them,

and though several important bills were unfinish'd, adjournd the house

to the spring next year: Not receiving the reply in form, he escaped the

necessity of attempting to clear up what he could not do with justice or

equity: Some of the glaring facts still confirm'd the truth of the charges

against him, he thought he had a more effectual way of dealing; that was,

to lodge a complaint with the queen; aecordingly by an underhand artifice,

his trusty friend the lieut. governor Ingoldsby, with some of the council,

signed and privately transmitted an address, as follows:

 

"To the Queen's most excellent majesty.

 

"The humble address of the lieutenant governor and council of Nova-

Caesaria or New-Jersey, in America.

 

"May it please your majesty;

 

"We the lieutenant governor and council of your majesty's province of Nova-

Caesaria or New-Jersey, having seriously and deliberately taken into

consideration the proceedings of the present assembly or representative

body of this province, thought our selves bound, both in duty and

conscience, to testify to your majesty, our dislike and abhorrence of the

same; being very sensible, that the unaccountable humours and pernicious

designs of some particular men, have put them upon so many irregularities,

with intention only to occasion divisions and distractions, to the

disturbance of the great and weighty affairs which both your majesty's

honour and dignity as well as the peace and welfare of the country

required; their high encroachments upon your majesty's prerogative royal;

notorious violations of the rights and liberties of the subjects; manifest

interruptions of justice, and most unmannerly treatment of his excellency

the lord Cornbury, would have induced us sooner to have discharged our

duty to your majesty, in giving a full representation of the unhappy

circumstances of this your majesty's province and government; had we not

been in hopes that his excellency the lord Cornbury's full and ample

answer to a most scandalous libel, called the remonstrance of the assembly

of Nova Casaria or New-Jersey, which was delivered to the governor by the

assembly at Burlington in May last, would have opened the eyes of the

assembly, and brought them back to their reason and duty; but finding that

those few turbulent and uneasy spirits in the assembly, have still been

able to influence and amuse the judgments of many well-meaning men in that

body; as appears by another late scandalous and infamous libel, called,

'The reply of the house of representatives of the province of New-Jersey,

to an answer made by his excellency Edward viscount Cornbury, governor of

the said province, to the humble remonstrance of the aforesaid house:'

We are now obliged humbly to represent to your majesty, the true cause,

which we conceive may lead to the remedy of these confusions.

 

"The first is owing to the turbulent, factious, uneasy, and disloyal

pnnciples of two men in that assembly, Mr. Lewis Morris, and Samuel

Jenings, a quaker; men notoriously known to be uneasy under all

government; men never known to be consistent with themselves; men to whom

all the factions and confusions in the government of New-Jersey and

Pennsylvania for many years are wholly owing; men that have had the

confidence to declare in open council, that your majesty's instructions

to your governors in these provinces, shall not oblige or bind them, nor

will they be concluded by them, further than they are warranted by the

law, of which also they will be the judges; and this is done by them, (as

we have all the reason in the world to believe) to encourage not only this

government, but also the rest of your governments in America, to throw

off your majesty's royal prerogative, and consequently to involve all your

dominions in this part of the world, and the honest, good and well-meaning

people in them, in confusion, hoping thereby to obtain their wicked

purposes.

 

"The remedy for all these evils, we most humbly propose, is, that your

majesty will most graciously please to discountenance those wicked

designing men, and shew some dislike to this assembly's proceedings, who

are resolved neither to support this your majesty's government by a

revenue, nor take care to defend it by settling a militia: The last libel,

called "the reply, &c." came out so suddenly, that as yet we have not; had

time to answer it in all its particulars; but do assure your majesty it is

for the most part false in fact, and that part of it which carries any

face of truth, they have been malicious and unjust in not mentioning the

whole truth; which would have fully justified my lord Cornbury's just

conduct.

 

"Thus, having discharged this part of our duty, which we thought at

present incumbent upon us, we beg leave to assure your majesty, that

whenever we shall see the people of this province labour under any thing

like a grievance; we shall, according to our duty, immediately apply to

the governor, with our best advice for the redress of it; and we have no

reason yet to doubt of a ready compliance in him; we shall not be

particular, but crave leave to refer to his excellency's representation of

them to the right honourable the lords commissioners for trade and

plantations.

 

"The strenous asserting of your majesty's prerogative royal, and

vindicating the honour of your governor the lord Cornbury, will in our

humble opinion, be so absolutely necessary at this juncture, that without

your so doing, your majesty will find yourself deceived either in

expectation of a revenue for support of the government, or militia for its

defence.

 

"In hopes your majesty will take these important things into your

consideration, and his excellency the lord Cornbury, with all the members

of your majesty's council, into your royal favour and protection. We shall

conclude with our most fervent prayers to the most high, to lengthen your

days, and encrease your glories; and that ourselves in particular, and all

others in general, who reap the benefit of your majesty's most gentle and

happy government, may be, and ever continue the most loyal and dutiful of

subjects to the most glorious and best of queens.

 

"Rich. Ingololsby, William Pinhorme, R. Mompeson, Thomas Revell, Daniel

Leeds, Daniel Coxe, Richard Townley, Rob. Quarry, William Sandford."

 

On the 5th of the month called May, this year, [1708] the assembly met at

Burlington: Jenings their speaker being indisposed, Thomas Gordon was chose

to sueceed him: They received the speech; and delivered their address the

12th; which containing the old story of grievances, so displeased the

governor, that he immediately adjournd them to the September following, to

meet at Amboy, but in the interval dissolved them and being himself soon

after superseded, he met them no more; the business of the last session

began by his telling them in his speech. It was the great desire he had to

see the service of the queen, and good of the province carried on,

supported and provided for, that induced him to call them together; to

prepare and pass such laws as were proper; and that he might not be

wanting in his duty, he should point out what he thought required their

immediate notice; the first was a bill for support of government; that the

revenue the queen expected was .1500, per annum, to continue 21 years;

next the reviving or re-enacting the militia bill, which was likely soon

to expire; that he had every session since he had been governor,

recommended the passing a bill or bills for confirming the right and

property of the soil of the province to the general proprietors, according

to their respective rights and titles; as also to settle and confirm the

particular titles and estates of all the inhabitants of the province, and

others, claiming under the proprietors; that he was still of opinion, such

a bill would best conduce to the improvement, as well as peace and quiet

of the province; that he had last year recommended the passing of bills

for erecting and repairing prisons and court houses in the different

counties, the building of bridges in places where they were wanting, by

general tax; and as late experience had taught the necessity of settling

the qualifications of jurymen, he desired they would prepare bills for

these purposes; and revive such of the acts of assembly passed in the time

of the proprietary government as would be of use, that they might be

presented for the queen's approbation.

 

The assembly in their address on this occasion, declare, they then were,

and always had been ready and desirous to support the government to the

utmost of their poor abilities; that they were heartily sorry for the

misunderstanding between the governor and them; that about twelve months

ago they had humbly represented to him, some of the many grievances their

country laboured under; most of which they were sorry to say, yet

remained, and daily increased; that they found the queen's good subjects

of the province were continually prosecuted by informations, upon

frivolous pretences, which rendered that excellent constitution of grand

juries useless; and if continued, would put it in the power of an attorney

general, to raise his fortune upon the ruin of his country.

 

That they found it a great charge to the country, that juries and evidences

were brought from remote parts of the province, to the supreme courts at

Burlington and Amboy; that it was a great grievance that the practice of

the law was so precarious, that innocent persons were prosecuted upon

informations, and actions brought against several of the queen's subjects,

in which the gentlemen licensed to practice the law, were afraid to appear

for them; or if they appeared, did not discharge their duty to their

clients, for fear of being suspended, without being convict of any crime

deserving it, or reason assigned; as was done at Burlington, in May last,

to the damage of many of the queen's good subjects. That they found the

representatives of this her majesty's province so slighted, and their

commands so little regarded, that the clerk of the crown had refused to

issue a writ for the electing a member wanting in their house; they hoped

he would consider, and remove these and many other inconveniencies and

grievances that the province labor'd under; which would enable them to

exert the utmost of their abilities, in supporting her majesty's

government, and would make them happy under the mild and meek

administration of a great and glorious queen; that they doubted not, were

her majesty rightly informed of the poverty and circumstances of their

country, and that their livelyhoods depended upon the seasons of the year;

their most gracious sovereign would pity their condition, and never expect

the settlement of any support of government, further than from one year to

another.

 

That they found the present militia bill so great a grievance to their

country, they could never think of reviving or re-enacting it, as it now

was; though they were heartily willing to provide for the defence of their

country, which they hoped might be done with greater ease to the people;

that they had been, and still were endeavouring to answer her majesty's

commands, in confirming the right and property of the soil of the province

to the general proprietors, according to their respective rights and

titles; and likewise to confirm and settle the particular titles and

estates of all the inhabitants, and other purchasers, claiming under the

proprietors; but tho' they had several times met in general assembly, they

had not opportunity to perfect it; they acknowledge the favour of being

put in mind of providing prisons, court-houses, and bridges, where such

were wanting, which they should take into consideration.

 

That they had a bill for settling the qualifications of juries, prepared

last sitting at Amboy, and should now present it; and thanking him for

reminding them of reviving their former laws; say, they had before

appointed a committee for that end; but were impeded by Bass, the

secretary, positively refusing to let them have the perusal of them; and

that as they had always used their utmost endeavour in the faithful

service of the queen, and for the benefit of the country; so they should

still continue to do it with all the dispatch they were capable of. Here

we part with lord Cornbury's administration.1

 

Here also we part with his opponent S. Jenings; his indisposition continued

about twelve mouths, and then finished his life: His many services have

occasioned him to be often mentioned: His profession of religion was that

of the people called quakers; he was early an approved minister among

them, and so continued to his death; common opinion, apt to limit this

sphere of action, will however allow general rules to have their

exceptions, as instances now and then, though perhaps but rarely, occur,

where variety of talents have united in the same individual, and yet not

interfered; such, the accounts of those times (stripp'd of the local

uncertainties of faction and party) tell us, was the circumstance with

regard to Jenings; that his authority, founded on experienc'd candour,

probity, and abilities, enlarged opportunities, rendered him not in one

capacity or to one society only, but generally useful: It is mentioned,

that he was of an obliging, affectionate disposition, yet of a hasty warm

temper; that he notwithstanding managed it with circumspection and

prudence, so that few occasions escaped to the disadvantage of his

character, or of any cause he engaged in; that he saw the danger to which

his natural impetuosity exposed him; knew his preservation lay in a close

attention to his cooler prospects, and diligently guarding in that spot,

experienced the benefit in many trying events; that his integrity and

fortitude in all statious, were acknowledged; that his judgment was the

rule of his conduct, and by what can now be gathered, this seems to have

been but seldom injudiciously founded; that alive to the more generous

emotions of a mind formd to benevolence and acts of humanity, he was a

friend to the widow, the fatherless and the unhappy; tender,

compassionate, disinterested, and with great opportunities left but a

small estate; that abhorring oppression in every shape, his whole conduct

discover'd a will to relieve and befriend mankind, far above the

littleness of party or sinister views; that his sentiments of right and

liberty, were formed on the revolution establishment, a plan successfully

adapted to the improvement of a new country, or any country; that he was

notwithstanding all this sometimes thought stiff and impracticable, but

chiefly on account of his political attachments; yet that there were

instances, where better knowledge of his principles, and the sincerity

with which he acted, totally effaced those impressions, and left him

friends where none were expected: Much of his time, we have seen, was long

devoted to the publick, with a will to be useful, occasious were not

wanting; West-Jersey and Pennsylvania,2 and New-Jersey after the

surrender, for near twenty eight years successively, were repeated

witnesses of his conduct in various capacities; he studied peace, and the

welfare of mankind; but in some instances met with ungrateful returns; and

tho' his endeavours did not altogether succeed to his mind, he survived

personal accusation, in a great measure, with respect to himself; and as

to the publick, just lived long enough to see it emerging from an

unpromising state of litigation and controversy, to more quiet than had

been known for many years: His three daughters, (who were all the children

he left) intermarried with three brothers, of the name of Stephenson,

whose posterity now reside in New-Jersey and Pennsylvania.3

 

In the latter end of this year [1708] was a new return of members of

assembly; their names were:

 

For the Eastern division:Thomas Gordon, speaker; Thomas Farmer, Elisha

Parker, John Royse, John Harrison, Benjamin Lyon, Gershom Mott, Elisha

Lawrence, John Trent, William Morris, Enoch Machelsen, Eldridge.

 

For the Western division: Thomas Gardiner, Thomas Raper, Hugh Sharp,

Nathaniel Cripps, John Kay, John Kaighn, Richard Johnson, Nathaniel

Breading, Hugh Middleton, John Lewis

 

This assembly met, but upon the new governor's arrival, was dissolved.

 

1 At a council held at Amboy, 28th of March, 1708. The petition of Edward

viscount Cornbury, late governor of this province; setting forth, that he

had due to him, sundry sums of money, for which he desired warrants, to

enable him, if the revenue of this province was not able to pay the same,

he might demand the same of her majesty, was read, and dismissed.

 

"Lord Cornbury, (says a writer, well informd in his character) was no less

obnoxious to the people of New-Jersey, than to those of New-York: The

assembly of that province, impatient of his tyranny, drew up a complaint

against him, which they sent home to the queen.

 

"Her majesty graciously listened to the cries of her injur'd subjects,

divested him of his power, and appointed lord Lovelace in his stead;

declaring, that she would not countenance her nearest relations in

oppressing her people.

 

"As soon as my lord was superceded, his creditors threw him into the

custody of the sheriff of New-York; and he remained there 'till the death

of his father, when succeeding to the earldom of Clarendon, he returned to

England.

 

"We never had a governor so universally detested, nor any who so richly

deserved the publick abhorrence; in spite of his noble descent, his

behaviour was trifling, mean and extravagant.

 

"It was not uncommon for him to dress himself in a woman's habit, and then

to patrole the fort in which be resided; such freaks of low humour exposed

him to the universal contempt of the people; but their indignation was

kindled by his despotick rule, savage bigotry, insatiable avarice and

injustice, not only to the publick, but even his private creditors; for he

left some of the lowest tradesmen in his employment unsatisfied in their

just demands." Hist. of New-York, p. 116. He died in 1723. See notes in

the Art. Law. Hyde, E. of Rochester, Biogr. Brit.

 

2 He lived some years, and bore several important offices in Pennsylvania.

 

3 See various accounts herein, beginning A.D. 1680.