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FIRST POPULAR ASSEMBLY; CHARTER OF LIBERTIES, ETC. 307
Andros soon perceived that it would be necessary to grant a certain amount of self-government to the discontented colonists, and not only in his letters, but also on his first visit to England, he endeavored to persuade the Duke of York to grant this concession.* The symptoms of determined opposition to the arbitrary levy of taxes under the sole authority of the Duke of York powerfully seconded his request, for this measure had been declared illegal by the verdict of a jury in New York, and English lawyers had also expressed the same opinion.† Penn, who had considerable influence with the Duke of York, also requested the latter to liberalize the government, and therefore, being overwhelmed with fresh petitions from the council, court of assize, and corporation, the Duke of York finally yielded and sent out Thomas Dongan as governor, with power to accede to the wishes of the colonists, and to summon a convention of the representatives of the freeholders.‡
Accordingly, the first popular assembly in the State of New York was held in Fort James, the places represented being Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaerwyck, Esopus, Harlem, New York, Staten Island, Long Island (under the name of Yorkshire
in three districts called "ridings "),
Among the acts passed
by this assembly were a declaration of rights, another confirming trial by jury, and another legalizing the levying of taxes only with the consent of the Assembly. The right to vote for representatives was given to the freeholders, and religious liberty was established. The Assembly also divided New York and its appendages into twelve counties, New York, Richmond, Kings, Queens, Suffolk, Orange, Ulster, Albany, Westchester, Duke's and Cornwall. The fifteen acts which this assembly passed constituted the beginnings of the statute law of New York. One of their acts was entitled "The Charter of Liberties and Privileges granted by his Royal Highness to the Inhabitants of New York and its Dependencies." || In 1684 another session of the assembly was held which resulted very satisfactorily to the colonists.§
But the accession of the Duke of York to the throne of England under the title of James II., interrupted the
* Roberts, New York, vol. i., pp. 186-191; Bancroft, vol. i., p. 582. See also Doyle, Middle Colonies, pp. 163–165.
Brodhead, vol. ii., pp. 385-386; Lamb, City of New York, vol. i., pp. 302–304. On the official system and the effects of the transition from Dutch to English government see Osgood, American Colonies, vol. ii., p. 119 et seq.
flattering prospect which was thus opened to them for redressing their own grievances and of managing their own affairs. A new commission was given to Dongan in 1685 authorizing him with his council to enact laws for the colony, to continue such taxes as had already been imposed, and to levy such additional taxes as he might deem necessary.* He was especially charged to prohibit all printing, as the press was regarded as a dangerous element among the people who were already dissatisfied and discontented. He was also allowed to give revised charters to New York and Albany,† and he bestowed upon Robert Livingston a sort of feudal principality on the Hudson River, which became known as Livingston Manor. In 1688 New York was annexed to New England and placed under the rule of Andros, at that time governor of New England. Andros did not visit New York, but sent a deputy, Francis Nicholson, who continued in office until 1689, when he was transferred to the governorship of Virginia.||
While these events were transpir
ing in New York, New Jersey was established. We have already spoken of the settlements at Swansdale and Pavonia. Gradually other settlements were formed until 1664, when Colonel Nicolls seized New Netherland for the Duke of York, there were Hooboocken, Weehawken, Ahasymes, Bergen, and Gemoenepaen. The Duke of York had ceded to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret all of the territory lying between the Hudson and the Delaware." and the Delaware.* Carteret had been governor of the Island of Jersey, and from this the new province was named Jersey. At this time it contained only a few settlements and inhabitants. The proprietaries, therefore, offered the most favorable terms to settlers, among the inducements being freedom of worship and a colonial assembly having the sole power of taxation and a share in the legislation of the province.† Because of the liberality of these statutes, the beauty of the climate, and the supposed fertility and richness of the soil, Jersey was considered a parɛdise and attracted a large number of settlers. Philip Carteret was appointed governor, much to the disappointment and disgust of Nicolls,
For the document see New Jersey Archives, vol. i., p. 12; Thorpe, Federal and State Constitutions, vol. v., pp. 2533-2535; Leaming and Spicer, Grants and Concessions of New Jersey, pp. 8-11. See also Appendix I. at the end of the present chapter.
See Leaming and Spicer, Grants, Concessions and Original Constitutions of New Jersey, pp. 12-31; Thorpe, Federal and State Constitutions, vol. v., pp. 2538-2544.
TOWNS ESTABLISHED; COLONIAL ENACTMENTS.
who protested that this appointment encroached upon his jurisdiction, though his protest was in vain.*
Elizabeth Town was now estabnow established, some of the settlers undoubtedly coming from Long Island and probably New England,† and inside of two years eight new towns were founded. The Elizabeth Town Association sold much of the territory granted them. On property thus sold, the two hamlets Woodbridge and Piscataqua (now New Brunswick) were formed by people from New Hampshire and Massachusetts.‡ In 1666 plots on the banks of the Passaic River were planted by Connecticut Puritans. First came Milford, then Guilford, and later Branford, all of which soon united to form the plantation of Newark.|| A party of Quakers also settled at Shrewsbury and Middletown under the Monmouth patent from Nicolls, rights also being given them to govern a large tract of territory between Sandy Hook and the Raritan River, which they had purchased from the Navesink Indians.§
* N. J. Archives, p. 20; Bancroft, vol. i., p. 52. Two of the original grantees are described as coming from Jamaica. N. J. Archives, vol. i., P. 18.
Whitehead, Contributions to East Jersey History, pp. 354-401.
See Doyle, English Colonies in America (The Puritan Colonies), vol. ii., p. 125.
The Indian grant and Nicoll's confirmation are in N. J. Archives, vol. i., pp. 14–19. Carteret's confirmation of the patent in 1672 is in vol. i., p. 88. See also Fiske, Dutch and Quaker Colonies. vol. ii., pp. 10-16; Leaming and Spicer, Grants and Concessions, p. 662.
For two years after Carteret's arrival, the various townships existed separately and enjoyed only such political life as lay in those municipal institutions which they had brought with them from England. Probably the first corporate organization was that of Newark, where the colonists combined to carry out "spiritual concernments, as also civil and town affairs," it being decided at that time that only church members should enjoy civic rights.* Soon, however, the townships seem to have taken concerted action, and in 1667 we find that Middletown and Shrewsbury held a joint meeting at which certain laws were passed.† It was not long before an agitation was begun for the formation of a general government for all the townships, and Carteret also felt the necessity of calling a general assembly of freeholders to meet at Elizabeth Town.‡
In May, 1668, this assembly convened, the governor and his council of six constituting the upper chamber, and the eight delegates or burgesses, the lower chamber.|| Swearing, drunkenness and fornication were made penal offences; tippling or walking abroad after nine at night were pun
310 CARTERET DEPOSED; RESTORED WITH ADDITIONAL POWERS.
ishable; the death penalty was to be meted out to a child over sixteen who should curse or strike a parent; imprudent marriages were forbidden; all sales of houses were to be registered; all deputies absenting themselves from meetings were to be fined four shillings for every day of absence; every male over sixteen was to purchase a gun and ammunition; a body of militia was organized; and taxes were levied - £5 for each town - which, however, Middletown and Shrewsbury refused to pay, though there is no record of the basis of this refusal.*
Under the concessions, no quitrents were to be levied for five years, and until 1670 the affairs of the community drifted along with comparative smoothness, but in that year the governor attempted to collect the first rent which was due the proprietor a penny per acre - and the call was met with a furious burst of anger from almost all the settlers, finally breaking out into open insurrection under James Carteret, a younger son of Sir George.† The concessions also provided that an assembly should be held at the beginning of each year, but Philip Carteret failed to call one and the settlers at Newark, Elizabeth Town, Bergen, Woodbridge, and Piscataqua elected representatives to a separate assembly. The concessions further provided
Leaming and Spicer, p. 89.
See Philip Carteret's proclamation. N. J. Archives, vol. i., p. 89.
that the deputies might elect a president, if the governor had absented himself from a meeting of the assembly, and the newly elected insurgent assembly upon convening took it upon themselves to interpret the concessions as giving them power to elect not a chairman, but a governor. They accordingly, at the present time, deposed Philip Carteret and elected James Carteret in his place.*
After being deposed, Philip Carteret went to England to lay his case before the proprietors, who unhesitatingly supported him and sent him back with additional powers and new instructions.† Thus the rule of James Carteret was of short duration. Special privileges were also given to Middletown and Shrewsbury, because they did not participate in the insurrection.‡
In 1673 the colony again came under Dutch control and its government was much changed. Each town was to name six men for the office of Schepen, of whom the Dutch governor and his council were to choose three. All the towns collectively were to name two men, one of whom was to be chosen Schout, and a secretary was to be chosen in the same manner.|| In September an order was issued
GRANTS TO FENWICK AND BYLLINGE.
defining the altered constitution of New Jersey." The Reformed religion was to be maintained; the Schepens of each township had jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases, except on appeal, in which event they were to be decided by the Schout and Schepens of the whole colony; the supreme council were to nominate new officers; but no provision was made for a general legislative legislative assembly.+
The treaty of Westminster, however, turned the province again into English possession, and early in 1674 Philip Carteret reappeared in the colony with his new instructions, which practically reaffirmed the ground taken by the proprietors in their dispute with the colonists three years previously. All patents granted by Nicolls were declared void, except those of 500 acres which were not located so as to infringe upon the rights of other inhabitants. The adherents of James Carteret were also treated with wise moderation, they being required only formally to ask pardon from the governor and to indemnify those who had suffered by the insurrection. The Assembly then passed an act annulling all contracts made for revolutionary purposes and prohibiting the use of such language as might revive differences.||
*N. J. Archives, vol. i., pp. 135-137.
See the resumé in Doyle, Middle Colonies, pp. 297-298.
Doyle, pp. 298–299.
|| Leaming and Spicer, Grants and Concessions, P. 110.
Shortly after the province had been taken by the English, Berkeley, one of the proprietors, by a deed dated February 10, 1674, disposed of his share of New Jersey to John Fenwick, to be held in trust for Edward Byllinge, of whom William Penn later became one of the assignees." Fenwick, however, retained a onetenth interest, but further complicated matters by mortgaging this share, which involved a further subdivision. In 1675 Fenwick sailed from England with a band of colonists and selected as a site for his settlement a strip of land on the west side of the peninsula opposite the Swedish colony at Newcastle, Delaware. Before leaving England, Fenwick lost the title-deeds, and as he had an imperfect map of the property granted him, his grants of land to the colonists were later subjected to a large series of disputes. Upon landing, Fenwick laid out two towns Cohansick and Salem - but soon afterward became involved in a dispute with Andros of New York regarding control of the territory. Fenwick was arrested, was unable to prove his rights because of the loss of his title-deeds, was fined £40, and for some time kept in custody, though later released upon his pledge to exercise no authority in New Jersey.‡
Leaming and Spicer, Grants and Concessions, p. 64; N. J. Archives, p. 209; Doyle, Middle Colonies, pp. 146 et seq., 299.
† N. Y. Archives, vol. i., p. 233.
See N. J. Archives, vol. i., pp. 189-190, 235239; N. Y. Col. Docs., vol. xii.