Manner of the West-Jersey Government in 1684; Their unsettled state, and

succession of governors; Danger of suffering for want of food in 1687; The

division line run by G. Keith, and agreement between the governors Coxe and

Barclay; Alteration in the manner of locating lands in West-Jersey, and the

method now in use fixed; No person in West-Jersey to purchase from the

Indians, without the consent of the council of proprietors; and

instructions respecting deeds and warrants for taking up lands.


The assembly of West-Jersey at their meeting the 20th of the third month,

this year chose Thomas Olive governor, and chairman or speaker; in both

which capacities the governor now acted; the several branches of the

legislature we have seen doing their business in common together; the

peoples choice the foundation of the whole, whose representatives were

distinctly returned from their respective first, second, third and Salem

tenths, (which were all the tenths yet settled) at their first meetings

they chose the governor, council, commissioners to lay out land, and all

the other officers of government.


Olive had been twice governor of West-Jersey before, and continued on the

last choice in that station for a year past;1 but Byllinge having desisted

from the claims which the assembly and their constituents had thought

unjust, and which had been the cause of their undertaking in opposition to

him to choose the governor, and he in this year sending a fresh commission

to John Skeine to be his deputy,2 the assembly and people submitted to

him, tho' they had before refused William Welsh in that capacity, while

Byllinge continued the claims aforesaid: Skeine died in the twelfth month

1687; but Dr. Daniel Cox, of London, the greatest proprietor of West-

Jersey,3 was the September before appointed to succeed him; he continued

in that station 'till about the year 1690, 4 having appointed Edward

Hunloke his deputy; sometime afterwards a commission was sent to John

Tatham, who being a jacobite; and as such by principle disqualified, him

the assembly rejected; on which the proprietors sent a commission in 1692

to Andrew Hamilton.5 He was accepted and continued governor of West-Jersey,

while it remained under the proprietary jurisdiction, tho' with some

interruption in 1698, of which hereafter; being also some part of the time

governor of both East and West-Jersey, and Pennsylvania.


The year 1686, seems to have been a dangerous one in East-Jersey, if the

law then passed against wearing swords was properly founded: According to

that, several persons had received abuses, and were put in great fear from

quarrels and challenges; to prevent it for the future, none by word or

message, were to make a challenge, upon pain of six months imprisonment

without bail or mainprize, and a ten pound fine; whoever accepted or

concealed the challenge, was also to forfeit ten pounds; no person was to

wear any pocket pistols, skeins, stilladers, daggers or dirks, or other

unusual weapons, upon pain of five pounds forfeiture for the first

offence, and for the second to be committed; and on conviction imprisoned

for six months, and moreover to pay a fine of ten pounds; no planter was

to go arm'd with sword, pistol, or dagger, upon penalty of five pounds.

Officers, civil and military, soldiers in service, and strangers

travelling upon lawful occasions, were excepted. This law for any thing

that appears, is yet in force.


The settlers in both West Jersey, and Pennsylvania, about the year 1687,

were put to difficulties on account of food; their crops having in great

part failed; several families had already spent their last, and were

forced to subsist on what was spared by such of their neighbours as were

better provided; these were few in proportion to the mouths to be filled:

Some nigh the rivers had lived weeks upon fish, others were forced to put

up with herbs; but unexpectedly to many arrived a vessel from New-England

to Philadelphia, laden with corn, which proved an agreeable supply; this

vessel meeting with a good market others soon followed; so that the

settlers were not afterwards exposed to the like necessity for want of



In this year, George Keith, surveyor-general of East-Jersey, by order of

the proprietors there, attempted to run the division line between East and

West-Jersey; pursuant to an award on the terms established in the

quintipartite deed.6 He began with a line from little Egg Harbour, north

by west and three degrees five minutes more westerly, as the compass then

pointed for a part; the line he run sixty miles in length, 'till he fell

upon the corner of Dobie's plantation, on the south branch of Rariton:

This, by order of the council of proprietors of West-Jersey, in or about

the year 1721, was traversed by John Chapman, esteemed a careful surveyor;

upon the computation it appeared, that the line at the time of his

traverse, was north sixteen degrees and forty three minutes west, which

leaves a varation of two degrees and twenty three minutes in that thirty-

four years. The remaining part of Keith's line was from Dobie's plantation,

along the rear of that and other tracts and plantations, as they were

before patented and surveyed in right of the proprietors of the eastern

division of New-Jersey, until it intersects that part of the north branch

of Rariton river, which descends from a fall of water, commonly called and

known by the Indian name of Allamitung then running from that point

intersection up the branch of stream of the fall of Allamitung.


Upon the original running this line, the western proprietors thought too

much of their best lands were surveyed to the eastward; and were uneasy

with it. In the fall 1688, the governors of East and West-Jersey, on

behalf of each division, entered into the following agreement:


"London, September 5, 1688.


"It is agreed this day, by Dr. Daniel Coxe, governor of the province of

West-Jersey, on behalf of himself, and all the rest of the proprietors of

that province, on the one part; and Robert Barclay, governor of the

province of East-Jersey, on behalf of himself and all the rest of the

proprietors of that province, on the other part; as followeth, viz. For

the final determination of all differences, concerning the deed of

partition; and all other disputes and controversies about dividing the

lands, and settling the bounds between East and West-Jersey.


"1. The line of partition run strait from little Egg-Harbour, to the most

westerly corner of John Dobie's plantation, as it stands on the south

branch of Rariton river, shall be the bounds so far between East and West-

Jersey, and shall not be altered; but remain as it stands, on a printed

draught of the proprietors lands, surveyed in East-Jersey, and drawn by

John Reid, and since printed here.


"2. From thence to run along the back of the adjoining plantations, until

it comes to James Dundass his plantation; and from thence, at the most

north westerly part thereof, a line to lye down with a line on the back of

those plantations, and so to run north eastward, 'till it touch the north

branch of Rariton river, as it is struck upon the map already; but saving

the plantations already laid out, to be within the line, if they happen to

stand a little more westerly than that line is marked. "3. From the north

end of the line, where it touches Rariton north branch; thence forward the

largest stream or current of water belonging to the said north branch,

shall be the bound or partition; and so continuing along the same, unto

the north end thereof, for the bounds so far.


"4. From the said north end of the branch, a short strait line to run to

touch the nearest part of Passaick river; and so following the course of

that river, continuing Poquanick river, so long as it runs northerly or

north westerly; those rivers still to be the bounds between both

provinces; and if Poqnanick river do not run far enough to the latitude of

forty one degrees; then from the said river, a straight line to be run

northward to the latitude; and that to be the utmost north partition point,

and from the said point in a strait line due east to the partition point on

Hudson's river, between East-Jersey and New-York: Provided always, that

all plantations and tracts of land, laid out and surveyed, before this

agreement arrives in East-Jersey, shall remain to the parties concerned;

and the partition shall so run as to include them within East-Jersey



"Lastly, Dr. Coxe doth covenant and promise, to make good the agreements

above written, and warrant the title and quiet possession of all the lands

so to be appropriated to the proprietors of East-Jersey, according to the

limits and bounds abovementioned, against all persons that shall or may

pretend, or claim any interest to any of the said lands, as West-Jersey

proprietors: And Robert Barclay doth covenant and promise, to make good

the agreement above written, and warrant the title and quiet possession of

lands, so to be appropriated, to the proprietors of West-Jersey, according

to the limits and bounds abovementioned, against all persons that shall or

may pretend or claim any interest to any of the said lands, as East-Jersey

proprietors: For performance of all and every the respective articles and

covenants herein mentioned; they do mutually bind themselves, each to the

other, in the sum of five thousand pounds, to be well and truly paid on

the breach of any of the clauses and covenants, herein before mentioned.

In witness whereof, they have interchangeably set their hands and seals,

the day and year first above written.7


"Sealed and delivered in the presence of




Notwithstanding this agreement, and that the parties have at several times

seemed desirous the line should be properly run out and fixed; the

necessary preliminaries could never yet be sufficiently settled; those of

East-Jersey being thought by the western proprietors to have the advantage

in every step hitherto taken; while they on the contrary, have not been

wanting to alledge their reasons.8 In order to keep the transactions

relative to the division line together, we are necessarily brought forward

in course of time, with respect to the manner of locating the proprietors

lands in West-Jersey; the divisions and sub-divisions of shares had

multiplied demands, and introduced a necessity for other measures than had

been hitherto in practice; accordingly in 1687, the proprietors found it

expedient to enter into the following agreement:


"Whereas by experience it hath been found, that the concerns particularly

relating to the proprietors of the province of West New-Jersey, by reason

of the great difficulty of getting them together, upon several emergent

occasions, have been greatly detrimental not only to the carrying on and

progress of the same necessary and publick concerns, but also very

chargeable and burthensome to the said proprietors, especially those of

them who live at a great distance; and also complained of by the members

of the general assembly, as taking up a great part of their time, in an

affair particularly relating to the proprietors; and finding that the

affair touching the publick concerns of the said proprietors, may be

carried on with far less charge and burthen to the whole, and with more

effect by such number of persons, as by the proprietors shall be esteemed

fit and qualified on their behalf, to transact and agitate their publick

affairs as proprietors: We therefore, underwritten proprietors of the

province aforesaid, being met together at Burlington, in the same

province, this fourteenth day of the twelfth month, anno 1687, by a

general appointment of the same proprietors; do therefore unanimously

agree together as followeth, (viz.) That eleven proprietors within the

said province, shall be yearly and every year, nominated, elected and

chosen, by and amongst the said proprietors, to be commissioners and

trustees at a day certain; six whereof in the county of Burlington, and

five within the county of Gloucester, in the province aforesaid; who shall

be, and are impower'd to act and plead in all such affairs, as do, and

shall generally concern the body of the said proprietors of the same

province, as fully and effectually as if the whole body of the same

proprietors were together, and should personally do, and conclude the

same; which act and acts, thing and things, by the same commissioners and

trustees for the time being, so from time to time to be done and performed

as aforesaid, we the said proprietors do hereby ratify, establish and

confirm; and we do hereby nominate and appoint our trusty friends Samuel

Jenings, Thomas Olive, William Biddle, Elias Farre, Mahlon Stacy, Francis

Davenport, Andrew Robeson, William Royden, John Reading, William Cooper,

and John Wills, commissioners and trustees for the year next ensuing, to

do, act and officiate in the affairs aforesaid, until the tenth day of the

second month, anno domini 1688; and we do hereby agree and appoint, that

each and every of the said commissioners and trustees now elected and

chosen, and from time to time hereafter to be elected and chosen, shall

have and be allowed two shillings per day, for each and every day they

shall be concerned to act in the affair aforesaid; the same to be paid by

the proprietors of the province proportionably to their respective shares

of the said province. In testimony whereof, we the proprietors of the

province aforesaid, have to this instrument, in this and the schedule

hereunto affixed, put our hands, dated the fourteenth day of the twelfth

month called February, anno domini 1687."


"At a meeting of the proprietors at Burlington, this sixth of the seventh

month, in the year 1688; it is agreed, that five of the commissioners

shall be a quorum in all their meetings, and shall have power to act in as

full manner as if the whole number of eleven were present; and it is

further agreed, that the said commissioners shall meet at least once a

quarter, the day after each quarter sessions.


"Thomas Hutchison, Christopher Wetherill, Thomas Butcher, John Pancoast,

Henry Grubb, John Tatham, Thomas Barton, John Wooleton, Robert Turner,

Thomas Budd, George Hutchinson, John Dayes, John Shinn, Henry Wood, John

Kay, Thomas Matthews, Thomas Sharp, Isaac Marriot, Bernard Devonish,

Samuel Oldale, Thomas French, Percival Towle, Francis Collins, Thomas

Gardiner, Daniel Wills, William Meyers, Anthony Elton, John Hugg, Richard

Herritage, William Bate, William Alberson."


An instrument of the same form and date, signed in Gloucester county, by:

Woolla Dalbo, William Cooper, William Alberson, John Ladd, John Hugg, jun.,

John Wills, Thomas Sharp, John Rambo, Robert Zane, James Atkinson, Francis

Collins, Thomas Thackera, John Hugg. Indorsed on the back side:


"We the within subscribers, do approve of, ratify and confirm the persons

within mentioned, to serve as our representatives for the year ensuing,

with these alterations following, viz. instead of Mahlon Stacy and Francis

Davenport, that John Tatham and George Hutchinson, be elected and serve in

their stead; and in place of William Cooper, Thomas Gardiner, jun. is

elected to serve in his stead; and that instead of eleven trustees, there

shall be but nine for the year ensuing; five of which shall make a quorum:

All which is consented to, concluded, and agreed upon, this first of the

first month, at Gloucester, anno 1688, by the proprietors within



On this agreement with some little variations afterwards, is founded the

present constitution of the council of proprietors of West-Jersey; the

following minutes, being some of their first proceedings thereafter, shows

their method and practice for some time after the establishment of the

said constitution.


"At a meeting of several proprietors of West-Jersey, at Burlington, on the

sixth day of the seventh month, anno domini 1688.


"It was then and there debated, and being put to the vote, agreed by the

proprietors then present, that every proprietor, and every person

interested in proprieties, shall pay to the use of Daniel Coxe, to any

person appointed to receive it, as a reimbursement for the money laid out

by him, in the Indian purchase lately made in the lower counties, the sum

of twelve shillings and six pence for every thousand acres, and so

proportionably to be taken up out of that purchase; the first year to begin

the first day of April last past, and from that time twelve months, to

advance eighteen pence upon every year ensuing, until the time that the

money aforesaid to be paid for; the land to be laid out within the bounds

of the same purchase, as consideration for the monies disbursed by the

said Daniel Coxe in the said Indian purchase of the whole tract, which,

by the surveyor Andrew Robeson, is computed to be three hundred thousand

acres of good land, capable and worthy of improvements; which money being

paid, the party so paying shall be acquitted of all other payments on the

consideration aforesaid.


"2. That the surveyor for the time being, be engaged not to set out any

land within the limits of this Indian purchase, until the money

abovementioned be paid and secured as abovesaid.


"3. And it is further agreed that for the land taken up by order of the

said Dr. Coxe, above the falls of Delaware, every proprietor taking up any

part thereof, shall pay to Dr. Coxe, or his order, the sum of twenty-five

shillings per thousand acres, and two shillings and six pence yearly

consideration, 'till the money be paid."


"At a meeting of the council of proprietors, being nominated, elected and

constituted by the proprietors of the province of West-Jersey, to

negotiate their affairs for the year ensuing, held at Burlington, the

eighteenth day of September, anno domini, 1688.


"Elected, Thomas Olive, Andrew Robeson, Samuel Jenings, Francis Davenport,

William Biddle, Mahlon Stacy, William Roydon, William Cooper and John

Reading; five of which shall make a quorum. "Present at this meeting,

these persons; Thomas Olive, Andrew Robeson, Samuel Jenings, William

Biddle, Francis Davenport, William Roydon, William Cooper. Thomas Olive,



"Imprimis, It is agreed, ordered and concluded by authority of the council

abovesaid, That Samuel Jenings be, and is hereby appointed commissioner,

to examine all deeds, taking a minute of the same, and issue warrants to

the surveyor general, for the surveying and taking up of lands; keeping a

record of the same, and this for the inhabitants within the county of

Burlington, or to any others as occasion shall require.


"2. It is likewise agreed and ordered, that John Reading shall perform the

same service, for the inhabitants within the county of Gloucester; and to

all others as occasion shall require.


"3. And it is ordered and appointed, that for the support of their

service, every warrant for land under one hundred acres, shall pay the sum

of one shilling; and one hundred acres and above, under one thousand,

shall pay the sum of eighteen pence; and one thousand acres and upwards,

shall pay the sum of two shillings and six pence.


"4. And it is further ordered, that the said Samuel Jenings and John

Reading, shall, upon demand of this council, at any time, deliver into

them a copy of their said minutes by them taken from time to time.


"5. And it is ordered and appointed by the authority aforesaid, that

Andrew Robeson, the surveyor general, shall from time to time, upon demand

of this council, make return to them of all warrants executed by him, that

have not been returned before.


"6. And it is likewise ordered and appointed by this council, That Mahlon

Stacy, John Day, William Wood and John Hollinshead, shall be rangers for

the county of Burlington and upwards; and John Kay, Thomas Sharp and

Israel Helme, jun. shall be rangers for the county of Gloucester, for the

year ensuing.


"7. It is also concluded and ordered, that no person or persons

whatsoever, shall presume to purchase any land from the Indians, without

the consent of this council first obtained, otherwise to be prosecuted as

our common enemy."


The council adjourns until the fourth day of November next:


"At a meeting of the council of proprietors in Burlington, upon the tenth

day of eighth month, anno 1688.


"Present in council, Thomas Olive, president. Andrew Robeson, William

Biddle, Samuel Jenings, William Royden, John Reading.


"Imprimis, whereas John Skene is appointed by the secretary and register

general of the dominion and territories of New-England, to receive the

records, rolls and papers from Thomas Revel and John Reading, who hath

already demanded the same; and the said Thomas Revel and John Reading,

making their application to the council, to know their pleasure therein.


"The council have, and do order, that all records relating to government,

may be delivered according to the secretary's order; but such as relate to

lands they judge to be the proprietors property, and that they ought to

abide and remain with them, and hope the governor is already satisfied



The council adjourns 'till the sixth hour in the morning, on the 11th day:


"The eleventh of the eighth month.


"Agreed and concluded, that all deeds granted only by Edward Byllinge, in

and before the year 1682, shall be adjudged and esteemed insufficient for

the commissioners to grant warrants upon." The form of the commissioners



"A. B. thou art hereby authorized, by the power and order of the council

of proprietors, to be commissioner for the county of - - - - - for the

examining of deeds, and granting warrants, for the taking up of lands

within the province of West-Jersey; well and faithfully in all things

discharging thy said office; and the trust in thee reposed, according to

the instructions herewith sent; to the best of thy skill, and



"Given, under my hand and seal, the &c." Instructions for the

commissioners to observe and follow, in their examining of deeds, and

granting of warrants for the taking up of lands.


"1. Agreed and ordered by the council aforesaid, that the commissioners

grant no warrants, but upon the producing of good deeds, authentic copies,

or an extract of the record of such deed under the register's hand, &c.


"2. That all deeds granted only by Edward Byllinge, in and before the year

1682, shall be accounted insufficient for the commissioners to grant

warrants upon.


"3. That there shall be given a particular warrant for every several

deed, or particular purchase.


"4. That the president of the council for the time being, shall, from

time to time, grant warrants for the commissioners, for the taking up of

their own lands.


"5. That the commissioners shall not direct their warrants to the

surveyor-general for the laying forth of his own lands, but to some other

person, at the discretion of the commissioner that gives forth the warrant.


"6. That every proprietor coming for a warrant, shall first sign to an

iustrument, to be presented to them, for their compliance, to pay his, and

their respective and proportionable share of such incident charge, for the

management of the proprietors affairs; as in the said instrument here

following, may further appear."


The form of the instrument to be signed by the proprietors before they have

warrants granted for the taking up of their lands:


"We the subscribers having taken into consideration the necessity of the

incident charges, that will attend the council of proprietors, in the

employ and concern wherein we have placed, and constituted them, for the

carrying on, and discharging of those inevitable charges that will follow

upon the prosecution of our affairs; we do therefore hereby bind, and

oblige ourselves; each for himself, and not for one another, to comply

with, and pay our proportions respectively of the aforesaid charges, as

our said council shall from time to time give us an account of, and find

needful to be raised: In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands,

the &c."


The council adjourns 'till the 7th hour in the morning, being the 12th day

of October, Anno 1688.


"The 12th day of the 8th month.


"The council being met, they ordered the writing of a letter to the

governor, to request the secretary to permit the records of lands to rest

in the same hands they have formerly been; forasmuch as they conceive they

properly belong to the proprietors.


"The council likewise order another letter to the secretary, to signify

the receipt of his warrant, by Thomas Revell and John Reading, for the

delivery of all records, rolls, &c. and do desire the secretary, that

the records of lands may still remain in the said Thomas Revell and John

Reading's hands: But for other records that relate to government, may be

disposed of according as he shall appoint."


We have before given a summary of some of the first laws published in the

eastern and western divisions, while under proprietary management; from

that time forward, 'till the surrender of the government, many others were

passed in both; but being either framed to particular occasions, or

afterwards in part repealed or supplied, and most of them of no great

public concernment now, further repetition of them here was thought



In the year 1691, Dr. Coxe conveyed the government of West-Jersey and

territories, to the West Jersey Society, consisting of the following

persons: Sir Thomas Lane, knt., Michael Watts, Edward Harrison, Thomas

Skinner, James St. Johns, Nicholas Hayward, Mordecai Abbot, Nicholas

Battersby, Robert Curtis, John Jurin, Richard Bramhall, Robert Mitchell,

Charles Mitchell, James Boddington, John Gunston, Arthur Shallet, John

Lamb, William Wightman, Joseph Brooksbank, William Thompson, Henry

Harrington, John Love, Thomas Phipps, Isaac Cocks, John Sweetable, Thomas

Bromfield, John Norton, Robert Hackshaw, John Bridges, Joseph Paise,

Edward Richier, William Dunk, Edward Habberdfield, John Alberson, Edward

West, Edward Paunceford, Obadiah Burnet, Francis Michel, Benjamin Steele,

John Slaney, Nehemiah Erwing, John Wilcocks, Richard Mayo, Jonah

Netteeway, William Brooks, Tracey Pauncefort, Joseph Allen, and Richard



1 His salary was twenty pounds a year.


2 Skein's salary beside the fees, was said to be thirty bushels of rye.


3 He own'd twenty-two shares of propriety.


4 Governor Coxe soon after his appointment to that station, wrote the

following letter to the council of proprietors of West-Jersey:


"After Mr. Bylling's decease, his heirs were greatly ignorant of his

concerns relating unto West-Jersey, and therefore resolved to sell his

interest both in government and property; and that they had begun to treat

with a person who would probably have made the condition of the

proprietors and inhabitants very uneasy: I and another of the chief

proprietors having together a very great share of the country, applied

ourselves for advice unto the lawyers, being assured by the most eminent

that however Bylling's concessions might in conscience bind him during his

life; they were not always obligatory to a purchaser or successor, because

said concessions were made before his right of government was granted; we

thereupon consulted with several proprietors and others, well wishers to

your colony, amongst whom it was agreed and resolved to be for the good of

your country, and our own security, that one amongst us should purchase

from the heirs of Mr. Byllinge, all his, and their interest in property

and government; and because my proportion of land was greater, or that they

apprehended me capable of serving them, or to have more money at command,

or because they had ever preceived me to be zealous and active to promote

the good of the province: I was earnestly pressed and requested to make a

purchase of the government and properties annexed thereunto wherewith

having complied, that I might demonstrate the disenterestedness of my

undertaking; and that I did primarily propose the welfare and benefit of

the people, and prefer it to my private advantage. I did many times

proffer Mr. Penn, Mr. Ford and others, who pretend to understand most of

your minds what was for your good, and to be as it were kind of trustees

for you: That if they would contrive any method, whereby the government

might be legally and severally invested in the proprietors, or people

without a governor; or if they would find any person more fit to discharge

the office of government, or who might prove more acceptable to the people

than myself; I was willing to consign or reconvey all my estate, power,

authority as I had received it and upon the same condition, not desiring

the least advance beyond what they all know I had disbursed; but not

finding any proposal to meet with any other return, than an invitation to

proceed, and good wishes that I might therein prove successful; and

finding that all the proprietors in or near London, whom I could convene,

were greatly satisfied with my conduct, encourageing me to expect they

would meet with like acceptance from the proprietors and inhabitants of

West-Jersey: I thereupon thought fit to recommunicate unto you the whole

transaction of this affair; as likewise what I expect from you the

proprietors and inhabitants of West-Jersey; and what you may reciprocally

challenge from me: I do therefore hereby give you to understand, that

whereas all the gentlemen of the law, who have been hitherto consulted, do

unanimously agree that the government of the province of West New-Jersey,

is legally in me as full as Pennsylvania in Mr. Penn, or East Jersey in

the proprietors there: I thereupon assumed the tide of governor and lay

claim to the powers and authority thereunto annexed, and I am resolved by

the assistance of Almighty God, to exercise the jurisdiction by his royal

highness, his last deed or grant unto me conveved, with all integrity and

faithfulness and diligence for the benefit and welfare of those, over whom

divine providence hath constituted me (under our sovereign) superintendant

or chief overseer; always prefering publick emolument, before my own

private advantage ; and may I succeed in my undertakings, well or ill,

according as I pursue or violate this resolution and engagement; and I am

contented this my declaration be recorded, that it may continually

reproach and condemn me if I ever recede therefrom. And whereas Mr.

Byllinge, in his former concessions, hath given his consent, and ratified

diverse laws in the said grant, stiled fundamentals; the first concerning

liberty of conscience, the second, that no person shall be deprived of

life, limb, estate, property, privilege, freedom, franchises, without a

due trial and judgment, passed by a jury of twelve good and lawful men in

the neighbourhood; the person excepting, if he please, against thirty-

five, without any reason rendred, and more if he assign a just cause: I

hereby declare, that I do in my heart highly approve the said fundamental

laws and concessions, and am ready to confirm them; and withall, I do

faithfully promise, that to the utmost of my ability, I will cause them to

be most inviolably observed, as also those three furdamentals after

mentioned. If your assembly shall desire the continuance of them, and

that it appears, nothing is therein contained contrary to the laws of

England, which extend to our colony; by the breach whereof, we inevitably

expose ourselves unto the forfeiture of our charter, which, next to the

blessing of God, and protection of our prince, is our greatest comfort and

security; and that you may all become fully satisfied: I do not intend to

arrogate unto myself any absolute despotic power. I have thought fit to

add, that whereas it is generally acknowledged by all intelligent

disinterested persons, the government of England by a sovereign prince,

upon weighty considerations of making or repealing laws, levying taxes,

consulting with his parliament, is the best of constitutions, and diverse

of our English plantations, having in imitation hereof joined with the

governor and assembly or parliament: I do hereby declare my full and free

approbation of such constitution in your province, and I shall confer upon

your assembly, all the powers and privileges consistent with the ends

of good government, the redressing grievances, and promoting the peace and

prosperity of the province; and I make my request you would with all

convenient speed, transmit unto me your proposals, both in order unto the

establishing a regular and durable method of convening assemblies, and

what power you desire should be intrusted with them: And because

assemblies have been hitherto convened only annually, except upon some

solemn urgent occasion, it hath been customary for the governor or his

deputy, to act in affairs of importance during the recess of assemblies,

with the advice of a council, I would desire you to give me to understand,

how you expect and desire such council shall be chosen; whether you will

acquiesce in tthe governor's nomination, or whether you desire the

assembly should have any share in their election, also in case of

succession upon decease or misbehaviour; and whether the council shall be

annual, biennial or triennial, or during life; if understanding, faithful

and diligent in discharging of their trust: I shall in all these, and any

other particulars, which shall manifestly appear to make for publick

utility, not only have a great deference for your opinion and advice, but

readily comply with all your just reasonable expectation and requests.

- Thus having without reserve or disguise, declared unto you my sentiments

concerning government, I proceed to affairs of another nature; but of

little less moment: It is the fixed persuasion of diverse intelligent

persons, that your province bath deeply suffered, and is stinted in its

growth for want of ascertaining its limits, and fixing a boundary between

it, East Jersey, and New-York; that thereupon a subdivision might be made

of the country, into one hundred proprietaries, as was originally agreed,

thereby appropriating unto every good purchaser his portion in specialty;

I have inclosed an account of my transactions with the proprietors of East

Jersey, many of whom being persons before well affected unto me, I have

highly disobliged, upon my refusal to comply with their claim, upon the

last pretended agreement; all which, and much more, if like occasion

should require, I shall readily conflict with, and chearfully undergo, for

the good of our little, yet unto me, dear community, which I shall love,

cherish, and endeavour to support and maintain, as if they were members of

my own private family: Lastly, I do confirm all those persons who were

appointed by Mr. Byllinge, or chosen by the people in their respective

places and employments, until I further learn from you the state of your

colony, unless by some new advice and very extraordinary motives I should

be obliged to make an alteration, which should it happen, you may all rest

assured, I shall have a tender regard unto your welfare and satisfaction:

And now, nothing remains besides our supplicating with united minds, the

all wise God, to grant us the wisdom which is pure and peaceable, to

enable us methodically to order our affairs with discretion; that we may

act, industriously, regularly, chearfully, in the several stations and

employments his divine providence hath allotted us, considering we are one

body, and members one of another; that no injury can happen to a part

which will not redound in some to the hurt of the whole: For my own

particular, I can appeal unto the searcher of hearts, that I do sincerely

and primarily design the prosperity of your province, in its peace,

security and plenty; and that it may be so settled, as that you may not

only live happily during my administration, but that it may not be in the

power of any future governor, deriving from me, even to hinder the due

execution, much less to repeal those laudable constitutions, which with

your advice and assistance I hope to establish: And on your parts, I

expect and promise myself a ready compliance with whatever shall be

proposed for the publick good: That instead of factions and divisions,

there be a generous emulation amongst you, who shall promote the welfare

of our community: That you be mutually tenderly affectioned one towards

the other; and though you may differ in opinions, concerning things of

lesser moment, yet continue united in affection, as being servants to the

same God, subject to the same prince, and having one common interest;

often remembering, that by unanimity and concord, diverse nations have

been advanced from contemptible beginnings, unto great wealth and power;

whereas by discord, mighty empires have been broken and ruined, without

the accession of external force: That the God of peace and love would

unite, preserve and prosper you, is the frequent, fervent, and shall

continue to be, the constant request, of your most affectionate friend,


"September the 5th, 1687."


5 His salary in 1695 and 1696, was two hundred pounds a year as governor

of West-Jersey; but the salary in both East and West-Jersey seems in some

periods, to have been rather occasional: In the latter province in 1697,

provision was made for two hundred pounds by a law with the following



"Being sensible of the many great services done by our present governor,

Col. Andrew Hamilton, since his accession to the administration of the

government of this province; and taken also into our consideration, the

great charge that must attend any person in that cost, and how little hath

yet been done by us answerable to his merit and station; we find ourselves

obliged in point of gratitude, and in testimony of our affection to him,

and as a demonstration thereof, to offer as is hereafter expressed; and

pray our governor's acceptance thereof from a poor people, whose good-will

and regard to him is not to be measured by the value of our offering, but

integrity of the offerers." The salary of the governor of East-Jersey in

1694, 1695, and 1696, was one hundred and fifty pounds per annum.


6 See the act reciting this deed, Vol. I. of laws, p. 63, &c.


7 See the consent of many western proprietors, to the agreement made with

East-Jersey, in the line of division by Dr. Daniel Coxe. Revell's book. B.

Secretary's office, Burlington, p. 233.


8 To trace the proceedings relating to this line minutely, will be a task

proper for those immediately concerned; they are voluminous: To give an

account of some more of the steps hitherto taken, a few papers are added

in the appendix. Vid. appendix, numb. IV., V., VI., VII.


9 Vid. the instrument, Revell's Book, B. Secretary's office, Burlington,

p. 298.