Lord Cornbury convenes the first general assembly after the surrender; His

speech, their address, and other prooeedings; Queen Anne's proclamation for

ascertaining the rates of coin; Cornbury dissolves the Assembly, and meets

a new one to his mind; Their proceedings and dissolution; A summary of the

establishment and practice of the council of proprietors of West-Jersey;

Another assembly called; who remonstrate the grievances of the province.


The distinction of the two Provinces East and West-Jersey, being henceforth

as to all matters of government laid aside, and both united in one under

the name of Nova-Caesaria, or New-Jersey; we now enter upon a more uniform

method of proceeding.


Contrary to the expectation of those concerned in the surrender, we soon

find them jointly struggling for the preservation of their privileges

against the encroachments of a governor, who, if his abilities had been

equal to his birth and interest, must be allowed to have been as

formidable an antagonist in that capacity as any that have come to the

colonies; besides being the son of a family that had merited highly in the

revolution, he was first cousin to queen Anne: With such an interest and a

disposition to have studied harmony and concord, instead of listening to

the votaries of faction, and meanly trumpeting their animosities, he had a

fair opportunity of singular service in restoring the public quiet, and

laying a foundation of prosperity to the province; but that, afterwards

became the business of another.


Lord Cornbury arrived in New-Jersey in the month called August, 1703:


Having published his commission at Amboy and Burlington, he returned to his

government of New-York; but soon came back and convened the general

assembly to meet him at Perth-Amboy, the tenth of November.1 They chose

Thomas Gardiner,2 speaker, he was presented and accepted, and then,

conformable to the practice of parliament, made a demand of the particular

privileges of assemblies, as follows:


"That the members with their servants, may be free from arrests or

molestation during the sessions.


"That they have free access to your excellency's person, when occasion



"That they may have liberty of speech, and a favourable construction of

all debates that may arise among them.


"That if any misunderstanding shall happen to arise between the council

and this house, that in such a case a committee of the council may be

appointed to confer with a committee of this house for adjusting and

reconciling all such differences. And,


"That these our requests may be approved of by your excellency and

council, and entered in the council books." The governor, in answer told

them, he granted the three first as the just and undoubted right of the

house; but rejected the fourth as an innovation, and accordingly ordered

an entry of the same in the council books; this done, he made a speech to

the council and general assembly:




"The proprietors of East and West New-Jersey, having upon very mature

consideration, thought fit to surrender to her most sacred majesty the

great queen of England, my mistress, all the powers of government which

they supposed were vested in them; the queen has been pleased to unite

these formerly two provinces now into one, under the name of Nova-Caesaria

or New-Jersey; her majesty has been pleased graciously to honour me with

the trust of this government, and has commanded me to assure you of her

protection upon all occasions; and you may assure yourselves, that under

her auspicious reign, you will enjoy all the liberty, happiness and

satisfaction, that good subjects can wish for; under a most gracious

queen, and the best laws in the universe, I mean the laws of England,

which all the world would be glad to partake of; and none are so happy to

enjoy, but those whose propitious stars have placed under the most happily

constituted monarchy: I will not question, but that you on your parts,

will do all that can be expected from faithful subjects, both for the

satisfaction of the queen, the good and safety of your country; which must

be attended with general satisfaction to all people.


"In order to attain these good ends, I must earnestly recommend it both to

you, gentlemen of her majesty's council, and you gentlemen of the

assembly, to apply yourselves heartily and seriously to the reconciling

the unhappy differences which have happened in this province; that as the

queen has united the two provinces, so the minds of all the people may be

firmly united in the service of the queen, and good of the country; which

are all one, and cannot be separated without danger of destroying both.


"Gentlemen, you are now met in general assembly, on purpose to prepare

such bills to be passed into laws, to be transmitted into England for her

majesty's approbation, as may best conduce to the settling of this

province upon a lasting foundation of happiness and quiet, only I must

recommend it to you, that the bills you shall think fit to offer, may not

be repugnant to the laws of England, but as much as may be, agreeable to



"I must recommend to you, gentlemen, in the wording of your Bills, to

observe the stile of enacting by the governor, council and assembly; and

likewise, that each different matter may be enacted by a different law, to

avoid confusion.


"In all laws whereby you shall think fit to grant money, or to impose any

fines or penalties, express mention may be made, that the same is granted

or reserved unto her majesty, her heirs or successors, for the publick use

of this province, and the support of the government thereof.


"Gentlemen, I am farther commanded by the queen, to recommend it to you,

to raise and settle a revenue for defraying the necessary charges of the

government of this province, in order to support the dignity of it.


"I am likewise commanded to recommend to your care, the preparing one or

more bill or bills whereby the right and property of the general

proprietors to the soil of this province may be confirmed to them,

according to their respective titles, together with all quit rents and all

other privileges as are expressed in the conveyances made by the duke of

York; except only the right of government, which remains in the queen.


"Now, Gentlemen, I have acquainted you with some of those things which the

king is desirous to have done: I shall likewise acquaint you, that her

majesty has been graciously pleased to grant to all her subjects in this

province, (except papists) liberty of conscience. I must further inform

you, that the queen has commanded me not to receive any present from the

general assembly of this province; and that no person who may succeed me

in this government, may claim any present for the future; I am commanded

to take care, that her majesty's orders may be entered at large in the

council books, and the books of the general assembly.


"Now, gentlemen, I have no more to offer to you at this time, only I

recommend to you dispatch in the matter before you, and unanimity in your

consultations, as that which will always best and most effectually conduce

to the good of the whole."


The governor's speech being read in the house, produced the following

address, N. C. D.


"May it please your excellency,


"I am commanded by this house, to return your excellency our hearty thanks

for your excellency's many kind expressions to them, contained in your

excellency's speech; and it is our great satisfaction, that her majesty

has been pleased to constitute your excellency our governor.


"We are well assured the proprietors, by their surrender of their rights

to the government of this province, have put us in circumstances much

better than we were in under their administration, they not being able to

protect us from the villainies of wicked men; and haying an entire

dependence on her majesty, that she will protect us in the full enjoyment

of our rights, liberties and properties, do thank your excellency for that

assurance you are pleased to give us of it, and think our stars have been

very propitious in placing us under the government and direction of the

greatest of queens, and the best of laws: And we do entreat your

excellency to believe, that our best endeavours shall not be wanting to

accomplish those things which shall be for the satisfaction of the queen,

the general good of our country, and (if possible) to the universal

satisfaction of all people: With our prayers to the God of Heaven, we

shall join our utmost endeavours, to unite our unhappy differences; and

hope with the assistance of your excellency and council it will not be

impossible to accomplish that blessed work. We shall follow the directions

given in your excellency's speech, with what dispateh the nature of the

things require; and hope, that all our consultations may conduce to the

best and greatest ends.


"Memorandum, that all the members of this house do agree to the subject

matter above written, tho' several of them dissent from some of the

expressions therein contained."


This address presented, the assembly, after regulating elections complained

of; prepared several bills; but one only received the governor's assent:

This related to the purchasing of lands of the Indians, was prepared

pursuant to an article in Cornbury's instructions, and prohibits purchases

or gifts of lands being made or received from the Indians without license

of the proprietors, after the 1st December, 1703, under penalty of

forfeiting forty shillings per acre; it also retrospects and makes void

all Indian bargains, gifts, leases or mortgages, without an English title,

unless covered with a propriety right in six months thereafter. This law

is yet in force.


The governor put an end to this session, December 13, by observing to the

assembly, that the season being far advanced, it was absolutely necessary

to conclude business: That he wished the several bills before himself and

them could have been dispatched; but that the matters contained in them,

were of so great moment, the difficulties so many and the time so short,

that it was impossible to finish: That being now acquainted with the

nature of those difficulties, they should come prepared in the spring to

remove them, and provide such good laws as might effectually ascertain the

rights of the several proprietors, and fully secure every man's property.

These being the points which would most conduce to the peace and welfare

of the colony, recommended the council and assembly to employ their

serious thoughts, that the most effectual means to attain those desirable

ends might be discovered, and to point out other useful laws, and

concludes with observing, that they would ever find him ready to consent

to all such things as should be for the good of the whole.


In 1704, great inconveniencies were found, by the same coin bearing

different values in the provinces on the continent; to remedy this by one

general medium, queen Anne published her proclamation for ascertaining the

value of foreign coin in America; which seems to claim a place here:


"By the QUEEN.


"A proclamation for settling and ascertaining the current rates of foreign

coins in her majesty's colonies and plantations in America.


"WE having had under our consideration the different rates at which the

same species of foreign coins do pass in our several colonies and

plantations in America, and the inconveniencies thereof; by the indirect

practice of drawing the money from one plantation to another, to the great

prejudice of the trade of our subjects; and being sensible, that the same

cannot be otherwise remedied, than by reducing of all foreign coins to the

same current rate within all our dominions in America; and the principal

officers of our mint having laid before us a table of the value of the

several foreign coins which usually pass in payments in our said

plantations, according to the weight and the assays made of them in our

mint, thereby shewing the just proportion which each coin ought to have to

the other; which is as followeth, viz. Sevill pieces of eight, old plate,

seventeen penny weight, twelve grains, four shillings and six pence;

Sevill pieces of eight, new plate, fourteen penny-weight, three shillings

and seven pence one farthing; Mexico pieces of eight, seventeen penny-

weight twelve grains, four shillings and six pence; pillar pieces of

eight, seventeen penny-weight twelve grains, four shillings and six pence

three farthings; Peru pieces of eight, old plate, seventeen penny-weight

twelve grains, four shillings and five pence or thereabouts; cross dollars,

eighteen penny-weight, four shillings and four pence three farthings;

ducatoons of Flanders, twenty penny-weight and twenty-one grains, five

shillings and six pence; eau's of France or silver Lewis, seventeen

penny-weight twelve grains, four shillings and six pence; crusadoes of

Portugal, eleven penny-weight four grains, two shillings and ten pence one

farthing; the silver pieces of Holland, twelve penny-weight and seven

grains, five shilling and two pence one farthing; old rix dollars of the

empire, eighteen penny-weight and ten grains, four shillings and six

pence; the half, quarters and other parts in proportion to their

denominations; and light pieces in proportion to their weight: We have

therefore thought fit, for remedying the said inconveniencies, by the

advice of our council, to publish and declare, that from and after the

first day of January next ensuing the date hereof; no Sevill, pillar, or

Mexico pieces of eight, though of the full weight of seventeen penny-

weight and a half; shall be accounted, received, taken or paid, within any

of our said colonies or plantations, as well those under proprietors and

charters, as under our immediate commission and government, at above the

rate of six shillings per piece, current money, for the discharge of any

contracts or bargains to be made after the said first day of January next;

the halves, quarters, and other lesser pieces of the same coins, to be

accounted, received, taken, or paid in the same proportion; and the

currency of all pieces of eight of Peru, dollars and other foreign species

of silver coins, whether of the same or baser alloy, shall after the said

first day of January next, stand regulated, according to their weight and

fineness, according and in proportion to the rate before limited and set

for the pieces of Sevill, pillar and Mexico; so that no foreign silver

coin of any sort, be permitted to exceed the same proportion upon any

account whatsoever. And we do hereby require and command all our governors,

lieutenant governors, magistrates, officers, and all other our good

subjects, within our sald colonies and plantations, to observe and obey

our directions herein, as they tender our displeasure: Given at our castle

at Windsor, the eighteenth day of June, 1704, in the third year of our



Cornbury met the assembly at Burlington the 7th of September, and

recommended the preparing a bill to Assembly ascertain the rights of the

general proprietors to ascertain the rights of the general proprietors to

the soil of the province, to settle a fund for support of government; and

a French privateer having committed depredations on the settlers about

Sandy Hook, he thence took occasion to press for a law to establish a

militia, and fix a watch house on the Navesink hills. The house took the

matters into consideration: It does not appear but they intended to make

such provision on those occasions, as suited the circumstances of the

province, yet their proceedings on the whole, were not to his mind; on the

28th therefore, he abruptly sent for and dissolved them, and issued writs

for a new election; to meet at Burlington the 13th of November following:


This election was industriously managed, and a majority of members

procured to his mind; they met at the time, and being divided in the

choice of a speaker, Peter Fretwell and John Bowne, candidates, and the

votes equal, they called upon their clerk, (William Anderson), to give the

casting vote, which he did for Fretwell, who was accordingly placed in the

chair;3 then receiving the speech, they by an address complimented

Cornbury, with going through the affairs of government "with great

diligence and exquisite management, to the admiration of his friends, and

envy of his enemies;" and passed a bill to raise two thousand pounds 4 per

annum, by tax, for support of government, to continue two years.


Several other laws were passed this session, and amongst them one for

establishing a militia, by the unnecessary severity of which, those

conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms in many parts were great



On the 12th of December, the governor adjourn'd them 'till next year, with

more encomiums on their conduct, than many of them got from their

constituents on their return home; during this whole session, they had

tamely suffered the arbitrary practices of Cornbury, to deprive them of

three of their most substantial members, Thomas Gardiner, Thomas Lambert

and Joshua Wright, under pretence of their not owning land enough to

qualify them to sit there, tho' they were known to be men of sufficient

estates; and the same assembly at their next meeting at Amboy, in 1705,

themselves declare, the members had heretofore satisfied the honse of

their being duly qualified to sit in the same; and they were then

admitted, when the purposes of their exclusion were answered: This sitting

was in October and November, but produc'd nothing of much consequence; the

session which followed at the same place in October, 1706, likewise proved

unsuccessful; and now Cornbury again dissolvd the assembly.


In the 11th month this year, the council of proprietors for the western

division, met according to their usual practice; present, William Biddle,

president, Samuel Jenings, George Deacon, John Wills, William Hall,

Christopher Wetherill and John Kay; to this council Cornbury sent an order

to resolve him in certain points proposed to them, which for some reasons,

were at present delayed; but in the spring next year, he sent for the

council of proprietors to attend him in council at Burlington, and there

proposed sundry questions on the same subject, demanding a categorical

answer to each; they soon resolved him by sending 5 a summary of their

constitution and establishment as follows:


"The answer delivered to the governors three questions, delivered to him

by the council of proprietors.


"WHEREAS our governor the lord Cornbury, was pleased at our attending on

him in council the thirteenth day of this instant May, to require answers

to three questions, viz. who was the council of proprietors the last year;

and who are chosen for this year, and to have the names of them? the

second is, what are the powers the said council pretend to have? the

third, by whom constituted?


"And in obedience thereto, we being part of the trustees, or agents

commonly called the council of proprietors, are willing to give all the

satisfaction we are able, in humble answer to his lordships requirings,



"First, the persons chosen for the last year to serve the proprietors as

agents or trustees, were William Biddle, Samuel Jenings, George Deacon,

John Wills, and Christopher Wetherill, for the county of Burlington; and

John Reading, Francis Collings, John Kay and William Hall, of Salem, for

the county of Gloucester, and below; and for this present year 1707,

William Biddle, Samuel Jenings, Lewis Morris, George Deacon, John Wills,

John Kay, John Reading, Thomas Gardiner and William Hall of Salem.


"2. In the year 1677, the first ship that came here from England, which

brought the first inhabitants that came to settle in these remote parts,

by virtue of Byllinge's right, before she sail'd the proprietors being

met together at London, thought it advisable to settle some certain

method how the purchasers of land from Byllinge, &c. should have their

just rights laid forth to them, concluded on a number of persons, viz.

Joseph Helmsly, William Emly, John Penford, Benjamin Scott, Daniel Wills,

Thomas Olive and Robert Stacy, as should be called commissioners, and they

were first impowered to purchase what land they could from the Indians,

and then to inspect all rights, as any lands were claimed, and when

satisfied therein, to order the laying it out accordingly; which

commissioners when arrived here, did forthwith make several purchases of

land, and acted as aforesaid, for some time, 'till some of them being not

longer able to struggle with such hunger, and many other great hardships

as were then met withal, return'd again for England; so for preventing

confusion among the people, the assembly took the trouble of it on them;

this continued in practice 'till about the year 1687; then the assembly

having much other business, and being not able to spend their time and

money abroad, would not longer be troubled with that business, as was

wholly belonging to the proprietors, and so threw it out of the house, and

told the proprietors they might choose a convenient number of persons of

themselves, to transact their own business: Accordingly the 14th day of

February, the same year, the proprietors met at Burlington, and then and

there chose and elected eleven persons of themselves, to act for the

whole, for the next ensuing year; but then finding that so many and at

such distances being hard to be got together, they next year chose but

nine, and accordingly signed instruments for the confirming that

constitution, of which his lordship has a copy; and the same methods have

been every year since practised to this present year 1707; and in all this

time no inconveniencies hath arisen from it, but on the contrary, much

ease and advantage to the proprietors; as by a further declaration of many

other of the proprietors under their hands, is ready to be proved.


"Now as to the powers of those as are now and have all along been, they

are the same with the first that came over from England in the year 1677;

that is to say, to purchase land of the Indians, with the consent and

advice of the said proprietors as chose them, and to inspect the rights

of every man as shall claim any land, so that the same may be surveyed

to him or them; and for the more easy and speedy settling of the province,

commissioners have been appointed in each county, to inspect all rights as

aforesaid; the said agents, trustees or council, also to choose a

recorder, a surveyor general and rangers in each county, to range for the

benefit of the said general proprietors, and to appoint persons to prevent

the wasting and destroying of the proprietors timber, upon their

unsurveyed lands, &c.


"The proprietors residing in England, have had knowledge of a committee of

the agents or trustees of the proprietors here, who were to act and

negotiate their affairs by their agents, from time to time, acting in

conjunction with them, as Adlord Boud, John Tatham, agents to doctor Coxe;

and when Jeremiah Bass was agent, he acted with them also; after him, when

our late governor Hamilton was made agent, he acted as one of the said

agents, trustees or council for several years, and was president of the

same; and now Lewis Morris as agent to the society, is one of the said

trustees or council; and not only the agents of the agents of the

proprietors at home, but any proprietor now hath, and have had liberty,

to come and meet with the said agents, trustees or council, when he or

they pleased.


"Lastly, as to the constitution of the said agents, trustees or committee,

and by whom constituted; it is on certain days in the county of Burlington

and Gloucester, yearly and every year, they are chosen by the proprietors:

The above is as good an account as we that are present are able to give,

in answer to what was required of us by his lordship, and pray it may find

acceptance as such; but if any further thing may seem needful to be

answered, we humbly pray it may for this time be suspended, 'till the

whole can be got together."


The writs for a new assembly were returnable to Burlington, the 5th of

April, 1707. In this Assembly it soon appeared, Cornbury had not the

success in elections as in the last choice; his conduct was arbitrary, and

the people dissatisfied; the assembly chose Samuel Jenings, speaker,6

received the governor's speech, and soon after resolved into a committee

of the whole house to consider grievances; this committee continued

sitting from day to day, 'till at length they agreed upon fifteen

resolves, and by petition to the queen laid them before her, on the 8th of

the month called May, they also remonstrated their grievances to the

governor, as follows:


"May it please the governor,


"WE, her majesty's loyal subjects, the representatives of the province of

New-Jersey, are heartily sorry, that instead of raising such a revenue as

is by the governor (as we suppose by the queen's directions) required of

us, we are obliged to lay before him the unhappy circumstances of this

province: it is a talk we undertake not of choice, but necessity, and have

therefore reason to hope, that what we say may meet with a more favourable



"We pray the governor to be assured, it is our misfortune extorts this

procedure from us, and that we should betray the trust reposed in us by

our country, did we not endeavour to obtain relief.


"The governor encourages us to hope he will not be deaf to our entreaties,

nor by his denial render our attempts for the best ends fruitless.


"We may not perchance rightly apprehend all the causes of our sufferings,

but have reason to think some of them are very much owing to the governors

long absence from this province, which renders it very difficult to apply

to him in some cases which may need a present help.


"It were to be wished the affairs of New-York would admit the governor

oftener to attend those of New-Jersey, he had not then been unacquainted

with our grievances; and we are inclined to believe they would not have

grown to so great a number.


"It is therefore, in the first place, humbly presented to the governor's

consideration, that some persons under sentence of death for murder, have

not only remained 'till this time unexecuted, (they being condemned not

long after lord Cornbury's accession to this government) but often have

been suffered to go at large; it's possible the governor has not been

informed, that one of those persons is a woman who murdered her own child;

another of them a woman who poisoned her husband: The keeping of them so

long has been a very great charge, and how far it's a reflection on the

publick administration, to suffer such wretches to pass with impunity, we

dare not say; but sure the blood of those innocents cries aloud for

vengeance, and just Heaven will not fail to pour it down upon our already

miserable country, if they are not made to suffer according to their



"Secondly, we think it a great hardship, that persons accused for any

crime, should be obliged to pay court fees, notwithstanding the jury have

not found the bill against them; they are men generally chose out of the

neighbourhood, and should be the most substantial inhabitants, who cannot

well be supposed to be ignorant of the character of the person accused,

nor want as good information as may be had; when therefore they do not

find the bill, it is very reasonable to suppose the accused person

innocent, and consequently no fees due from him; we pray therefore, that

the governor will give his assent to an act of assembly to prevent the

like for the future; otherwise no person can be safe from the practices of

designing men, or the wicked effects of a vindictive temper.


"Thirdly, the only office for probate of wills being in Burlington, it

must be very expensive and inconvenient for persons who live remote to

attend it, especially for the whole Eastern division; we therefore pray the

governor will assent to an act to settle such an office in each county, or

at least in each division of this province, and that the officers be men of

good estates, and known integrity in the said county or division.


"Fourthly, that the secretary's office is not also kept at Amboy, but

that all the Eastern division are forced to come to Burlington, that have

any business at said office, is a grievance which we hope the governor

will take care to redress; it seeming inconsistent with the present

constitution of government established by the queen, which doth not

admit one of the divisions of this province to enjoy more privileges than

the other; we therefore entreat the governor not to take it amiss, that we

desire his assent to an act to be passd to oblige the secretary to keep the

office at both places


"Fifthly, the granting of patents to cart goods on the road from

Burlington to Amboy, for a certain number of years, and prohibiting

others, we think to be a grievance that is contrary to the statute 21 Jac.

1. c. 3. against monopolies; and being so, we doubt not, will easily induce

the governor to assent to an act to prevent all such grants for the future;

they being destructive to that freedom which trade and commerce ought

to have.


"Sixthly, the establishing fees by any other power or authority than by

the governor, council and representatives met in general asssembly, we

take to be a great grievance, directly repugnant to Magna Charta, and

contrary to the queen's express instructions in the governor's nstructions,

which says, 'You are to take care, that no man's life, member, freehold or

goods, be taken away or harmed in our province, under your government,

otherwise than by established and known laws, not repugnant to, but as

near as much as may be, agreeable to the laws of England;' we therefore

pray, that the governor will assent to an act to be pass'd to settle fees;

without which we think no more can be legally demanded, than the persons

concerned by agreement oblige themselves to pay.


"Seventhly, the governor putting the former publick records of the Eastern

division of this province into the hands of Peter Sonmans, pretended agent

to the proprietors, one that does not reside in the province, nor has not

given security for the well and true keeping of them, as is by the queen

directed, and kept them so that her majesty's subjects cannot have

recourse to them; and their being carried out of the division, is a great

and crying grievance: They are the only evidences that one half of this

province has to prove the titles to their estates, and this house is

humbly of opinion, they ought to be so kept, that persons may have

recourse to them; and in the hands of such of whose fidelity there is no

reason to doubt; this being a thing so reasonable, encourages us to

request the governor to assent to an act to be passed to put them in

proper hands for the future, that the country may not be under the same

disappointments they now are.


"These, governor, are some of the grievances this province complains of;

and which their representatives desire may be redressed; but there are

others of a higher nature, and attended with worse consequences; they

cannot be just to the governor, themselves, or their country, should they

conceal them: We did expect when the government of the Jersies was

surrendered, to feel the benign influences of the queen's mild government,

under her more immediate administration, and to be protected in the full

enjoyment of our liberties and properties, the last of which we thought

ourselves something more secure in than some of the neighbouring

plantations; and had an entire dependance that her majesty's royal bounty

and goodness would never be wanting to make us easy and happy, even beyond

our wishes: It is our misfortune, that we must say, the success has not

answered the expectation, and the queen's subjects here have felt the

reverse of what they had most reason to hope; that greatest and best of

princes is, without all peradventure, ignorant of our pressures, or we had

long since had relief; she is too good to continue even the deserved

sufferings of the miserable, and has more of Heaven in her than to hear

the cry of those that groan under oppression, and the unkind effects of

mistaken power, to whom we owe our miseries; and what they are, the sequel



"In the first place, the governor has prohibited the proprietors agents,

commonly called the council of proprietors, from granting any warrants for

taking up of land in the Western division of this province: We cannot see

by what law or reason any man's property can be disposed of by the

governor without his consent: The proprietors when they surrendered their

government, did not part with their soil, and may manage it as they think

fit, and are not to take directions from any person whatsoever, how and

when to do it; if any persons concerned be grieved, the laws are open, by

which disputes in property are decided; and he doubtless will not be left

remediless. We are very sorry the governor gives us occasion to say, it is

a great encroachment on the proprietors liberties; but we are not suprised

at it, when a greater encroachment on our liberties lead the way to it,

and that was the governor's refusing to swear or attest three members of

the last assembly upon the groundless suggestions of Thomas Revel and

Daniel Leeds, two members of the queen's council, by which they were kept

out of the assembly: We are too sensibly touch'd with that procedure, not

to know what must be the unavoidable consequences of a governor's refusing

to swear which of the members of an assembly he thinks fit; but to take

upon himself the power of judging of the qualifications of assembly-men,

and to keep them out of the house (as the governor did the aforesaid three

members nigh eleven months 'till he was satisfied in that point) after the

house had declared them qualified; is so great a violation of the

liberties of the people, so great a breach of the privileges of the house

of representatives, so much assuming to himself a negative voice to the

freeholders election of their representatives, that the governor is

entreated to pardon us, if this is a different treatment from what we

expected: It is not the effects of passionate heats, the transports of

vindictive tempers; but the serious resentments of a house of

representatives, for a notorious violation of the liberties of the people,

to whom they could not be just, nor answer the trust reposed in them,

should they decline letting the governor know they are extremely

dissatisfied at so unkind a treatment, especially when its causes and

effects conspire to render it so disagreeable.


"It is notoriously known, that many considerable sums of money have been

raised to procure the dissolution of the first assembly, to get clear of

the proprietors quit-rents, and to obtain such officers as the

contributors should approve of; this house has great reason to believe,

the money so gathered was given to lord Cornbury, and did induce him

to dissolve the then assembly, and by his own authority keep three members

out of the next assembly, and put so many mean and mercenary men into

office; by which corrupt practice, men of the best estates are severely

harrassed, her majesty's good subjects in this province so impoverished,

that they are not able to give that support to her majesty's government as

is desired, or as they would be otherwise inclined to do; and we cannot

but be very uneasy when we find by these new methods of government, our

liberties and properties so much shaken, that no man can say he is master

of either, but holds them as tenant by courtesy and at will, and may be

stript of them at pleasure: Liberty is too valuable a thing to be easily

parted with, and when such mean inducements procure such violent

endeavours to tear it from us, we must take leave to say, they have

neither heads, hearts, nor souls, that are not moved with the miseries of

their country, and are not forward with their utmost power lawfully to

redress them.


"We conclude, by advising the governor to consider what it is that

principally engages the affections of a people, and he will find no other

artifice needful than to let them be unmolested in the enjoyment of what

belongs to them of right; and a wise man that despises not his own

happiness, will earnestly labour to regain their love.

"By order of the house,

"Samuel Jenings, speaker."


By this remonstrance may be seen much of the history of the times, and that

tho' things were carried to arbitrary lengths, there were not wanting in

the province, men of discernment to see and lament the unhappy situation

of their country, and of spirit to oppose it's greatest enemies; several

such were in this assembly, the speaker in particular,7 had very early

known New-Jersey, had lived thro' many changes and commotions, to see

great alterations in it; much concerned in publick transactions, he knew

what belonged to a public character; he had governed the western part of

the Province for several years, with integrity and reputation; saw the

advantages of a just confidence, and that it could not be acquired another

way; that though the office was in itself respectable, it was the honest

execution of it according to its dignity, that produced the intended

service, and secured the approbation of a kind but watchful mistress; for

such queen Anne was accounted to her governors. Jenings was also

undaunted, and lord Cornbury on his part, exacted the utmost decorum;

while as speaker he was delivering the remonstrance, the latter frequently

interrupted him with a stop, what's that, &c. at the same time putting on

a countenance of authority and sternness, with intention to confound him;

with due submission, yet firmness, whenever interrupted, he calmly desired

leave to read the passages over again, and did it with an additional

emphasis upon those most complaining; so that on the second reading they

became more observable than before;8 he at length got through; when the

governor told the house, to attend him again on saturday next, at 11

oclock, to receive his answer; he did not get ready 'till the twelfth,

when sending for the house, he delivered his answer.


1 The names of the first members of council after the surrender are in

lord Cornbury's instructions. The first representatives were: For the

eastern Division: Obadiah Bown, Jedediah Allen, Michael Howden, Peter Van

Este, John Reid, John Harrison, Cornelius Tunison, Richard Hartshorne,

Col. Richard Townly For the western Division: Thomas Lambert, William

Biddle, William Stevenson, Restore Lippincott, John Kay, John Hugg, jun.,

Joseph Cooper, William Hall, John Mason, John Smith For the town of

Burlington: Peter Fretwell, Thomas Gardiner. City of Perth-Amboy: Thomas

Gordon, Miles Forster.


2 Son of him whose death is mentioned before.


3 The members of this assembly were:


For the Eastern division: John Bown, Richard Hartshorne, Richard Salter,

Obadiah Bown, Anthony Woodward, John Tunison, John Lawrence, Jasper Crane,

Peter Vaneste, Thomas Gordon, John Barclay, John Royse.


For the Western division: Restore Lippincott, John Hugg, John Kay, John

Smith, William Hall, John Mason, Thomas Bryan, Robert Wheeler, Peter

Fretwell, Thomas Lambert, Thomas Gardiner, Joshua Wright.


4 The lieutenant governor Ingoldsby received 600 l. out of the sum.


5 It was delivered to Cornbury in council, the 30th, the proprietors then

present, were, Samuel Jenings, William Hall, Thomas Gardiner, John Wills,

John Kay, Christopher Wetherill and Lewis Morris; with the answer they

delivered to the governor and council, two papers containing the names of

several of the proprietors, declaring their approbation of the council,

and one Indian deed.


6 The members now were,


For the Eastern division: John Harrison, Lewis Morris, Elisha Parker,

Thomas Farmer, Jasper Crane, Daniel Price, John Bown, William Lawrence,

William Morris, Enoch Mackelson, John Royce, Thomas Gordon.


For the Western division: Peter Canson, William Hall, Richard Johnson,

John Thomson, Bartholomew Wyatt, John Wills, Thomas Bryan, Samuel Jenings,

Thomas Gardiner, John Kay, Philip Rawle.


7 Lewis Morris, also now distinguished himself with great activity in

behalf of privilege, and had a large share in the whole conduct of this

assembly; of him more hereafter.


8 After the house was gone, Cornbury with some emotion, told those with

him, that Jenings had impudence enough to face the D-l.