Settlements in the Jerseys.—When the Jerseys passed into the hands of Carteret and Berkeley, there were two settled areas, one of Dutch origin about Bergen, Hoboken, and Wiehawken, the other of Dutch, Swedish, and Finnish settlements on the Delaware. When Nicolls came to New York he was not aware that part of the province had been granted to others. He immediately sought to bring in settlers; about two hundred people, descendants of New Englanders, moved from Long Island to the neighborhood of what was later known as Elizabethtown. Others, most of whom were Quakers, settled at Middletown and Shrewsbury under a special grant from Nicolls.
Government in East New Jersey.—In 1665 Philip Carteret, probably a brother of the proprietor, arrived with a governor's commission. With him were about thirty persons, most of whom were French people from the Island of Jersey. Elizabethtown was made the capital. Carteret brought with him a plan of government, which provided that the governor was to choose a council of not less than six, nor more than twelve members. The freemen were to choose twelve representatives, who were to join with the governor and council in law-making. When local divisions were established each division was to elect a representative to an assembly, which would then take the place of the twelve. The assembly could pass laws subject to certain restrictions, create local divisions, incorporate towns, erect forts, provide for a militia, wage war, naturalize foreigners, and perform many other acts. Religious liberty and property rights were carefully protected. The enforcement of laws, appointment of officers, and pardoning power were left in the hands of the governor and council.
Difficulties with New Englanders.—During 1666 many families from the Connecticut Valley migrated to East New Jersey, most of them settling on the Passaic River, Bradford and Guilford being founded. Newark was also settled. The settlers drew up a form of government copied from New Haven, which restricted the franchise to membership in the Congregational church. In April, 1668, the first assembly was called by Carteret, but the people from Middletown and Shrewsbury did not send delegates. To a session held in October these towns sent representatives, but they were not allowed to sit in the meeting. A quarrel ensued between the governor and assembly, which soon adjourned and did not convene again for seven years. In 1670, when Carteret attempted to collect quit-rents, the settlers refused to pay, and for two years the colony was in turmoil. Middletown and Shrewsbury, acting under their original patent from Nicolls, set up an independent government, but the governor refused to recognize it and was sustained by the proprietors, who, however, granted some concessions, whereupon the difficulties subsided.
The Delaware River Region. (From Fisher, The Quaker Colonies, in the Series, "The Chronicles of America," Yale University Press).
The Quakers in West New Jersey.—In 1672 George Fox, the founder of the Quaker sect, crossed New Jersey and visited the Quakers in the eastern part. To this visit Penn's interest in the region may be traced. In 1674 Berkeley disposed of his share of the colony to two Quakers, Edward Byllynge and John Fenwick, this transaction being due to a desire on the part of the Society of Friends to establish an independent colony. Byllynge and Fenwick became involved in a dispute over property rights, and William Penn was made arbiter. Penn awarded one-tenth to Fenwick, who, after considerable litigation, accepted it. Byllynge shortly afterward conveyed his holdings to Penn, Lawrie, and Lucas, who soon acquired Fenwick's interests. In 1676 Carteret and the Quaker proprietors fixed the line of demarcation between East and West New Jersey. It was to run from the most southwardly point of the east side of Little Egg Harbor to the point where the Delaware River crossed the forty-first parallel. The Quaker migration to West New Jersey began in 1675, when Fenwick led a group to Salem. In 1677 two hundred and thirty more settled at Burlington. During the next two years eight hundred arrived, and by 1681 nearly fourteen hundred had come to the colony. In every case title to the soil was obtained by purchase from the Indians.
Government of West New Jersey.—The original Burlington colonists brought with them a body of laws which have been described as "the broadest, sanest, and most equitable charter draughted for any body of colonists up to that time." No doubt Penn played the principal rôle in the draughting. It provided for a board of commissioners to be appointed by the proprietors and an assembly chosen by the people, which was to have full rights of making laws if they were not contrary to the charter or the laws of England. The charter provided for public trials by jury and assured the right of petition. Capital punishment was prohibited.
Trouble with the Duke of York.—After the expulsion of the Dutch in 1674, the Duke of York attempted to regain control of the Jerseys and refused to recognize the validity of Berkeley's sale to Byllynge. When Andros became governor of New York he attempted to assert the authority of James over the Jerseys, but the courts refused to uphold the claims of the Duke, and in 1680 he finally gave up the struggle.
Later history of West New Jersey.—In 1680 Byllynge obtained a title to West New Jersey from the Duke of York and the charter of 1677 was put into effect, with the exception that the executive was vested in a single person instead of in commissioners. In 1687 Byllynge died and Daniel Coxe, a London merchant, acquired his properties. Burlington was made the capital, and Coxe bent his efforts to make it a commercial center. In 1688 the colony was placed under the jurisdiction of Andros as a part of the northern administrative unit which included New York and New England, but Coxe was restored to his rights after the dethronement of James, though he soon sold out to the West New Jersey Society.
Later history of East New Jersey.—In 1682 Philip Carteret resigned, and the board of trustees who controlled the estate of Sir George Carteret sold East New Jersey to William Penn and eleven other Quakers. Shortly afterwards twelve others were taken into the company, several of whom were Scotch Presbyterians. In 1683 the twenty-four men received a deed from the Duke of York. Under these proprietors the colony prospered, and population increased rapidly. In 1688 the province came under royal jurisdiction and it was annexed to New York, but after the revolution it was restored to the proprietors.
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