104 HISTORY OF THE COLONIES. [BOOK I.
§ 115. New-Jersey, as we have already seen, was a part of the
granted to the Duke of York, and was by him granted, in June, 1664, to Lord
Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, with all the rights, royalties, and
powers of government, which he himself possessed.1 The proprietors, for
the better settlement of the territory, agreed in February, 1664-1665 upon
a constitution or concession of government, which was so much relished,
that the eastern part of the province soon contained a considerable
population. By this constitution it was provided, that the executive
government should be administered by a governor and council, who should
have the appointment of officers; and that there should be a legislative or
general assembly, to be composed of the governor and council, and deputies,
chosen by the people. The general assembly were to have power to make all
laws for the government of the province, so that "the same be consonant to
reason, and as near as may be conveniently agreeable to the laws and
customs of his majesty's realm of England;" to constitute courts; to levy
taxes; to erect manors, and ports, and incorporations.2 The registry of
title deeds of land and the granting thereof, as a bounty to planters, were
also provided for. Liberty of conscience was allowed, and a freedom from
molestation guaranteed on account of any difference in opinion or practice
in matters of religious
1 1 Chalm. Ann. 613; Smith's New-York, p. 31 [11.]; Smith's N.
Jersey,60;Marsh.Colon.177 to 180;2 Doug.Summ.220,&c.231,267,&c.
2 Smith's New-Jersey, 6, Appx. 512; 1 Chalm. Annals, 614.
CH. XI.] NEW-JERSEY. 105
concernments, so always that the civil peace was not disturbed. But the
general assembly were to be at liberty to appoint ministers and establish
their maintenance, giving liberty to others to maintain what ministers they
pleased. Every inhabitant was bound to swear or subscribe allegiance to
the king; and the general assembly might grant naturalization.1
§ 116. This constitution continued until the province was
1676, between the proprietors. By that division East New-Jersey was
assigned to Carteret; and West New-Jersey to William Penn and others, who
had purchased of Lord Berkeley.2 Carteret then explained and confirmed the
former concessions for the territory thus exclusively belonging to himself.
The proprietors also of West Jersey drew up another set of concessions for
the settlers within that territory. They contain very ample privileges to
the people. It was declare, that the common law, or fundamental rights and
privileges of West New-Jersey, therein stated, are to be the foundation of
government, not alterable by the legislature. Among these fundamentals
were the following, "that no man, nor number of men upon earth, hath power
or authority to rule over men's consciences in religious matters;"3 that no
person shall be any ways called in question, or in the least punished, or
either, for the sake of his opinion, judgment, faith, or worship towards
God in matters of religion; that there shall be a trial by jury in civil
and criminal cases; that there shall be a general assembly of
representatives of the people, who shall have power to provide for the
proper administration of the government;
1 Smith's New-Jersey, 512, 514.
106 HISTORY OF THE COLONIES. [BOOK I.
2 Smith's New-Jersey, 61,79,80,87; 1 Chalm. Ann. 617.
3 Smith's New.Jersey, 80, App. 521, &c.
and to make laws, so "that the same be, as near as may be conveniently,
agreeable to the primitive, ancient, and fundamental laws of England."1
§ 117. Whether these concessions became the general law of
seems involved in some obscurity. There were many difficulties and
contests for jurisdiction between the governors of the Duke of York and the
proprietors of the Jerscys; and these were not settled, until after the
Duke, in 1580,2 finally surrendered all right to both by letters patent
granted to the respective proprietors.3 In 16&1, the governor of the
proprietors of West Jersey, with the consent of the general assembly, made
a frame of government embracing some of the fundamentals in the former
concessions.4 There was to be a governor and council, and a general
assembly of representatives of the people. The general assembly had the
power to make laws, to levy taxes, and to appoint officers. Liberty of
conscience was allowed, and no persons rendered incapable of office in
respect of their faith and worship. West Jersey continued to be governed
in this manner until the surrender of the proprietary government, in 1702.5
§ 118. Carteret died in 1679, and being sole proprietor of
by his will he ordered it to be sold for payment of his debts; and it was
accordingly sold to William Penn and eleven others, who were called the
Twelve Proprietors. They afterwards took twelve more into the proprietary
ship; and to the twenty-four thus formed, the Duke of York, in March, 1682,
1 Smith's New-Jersey, 80, App. 521, &c.
CH. XI.] NEW-JERSEY. 107
2 Chalmers says, in 1680. p. 619.--Smith says in 1678, p. 111.
3 Smith's New-Jersey, 110,111; 1 Chalm. Ann. 619, 626.
4 Smith's New-Jersey, 126.
5 Smith's New-Jersey, 154.
third and last grant of East Jersey.1 Very serious dissensions soon arose
between the two provinces themselves, as well as between them and New-York;
which banished moderation from their councils, and threatened the most
serious calamities. A quo warranto was ordered by the crown in 1686, to be
issued against both provinces. East Jersey immediately offered to be
annexed to West Jersey, and to submit to a governor appointed by the crown.
Soon afterwards the crown ordered the Jerseys to be annexed to NewEngland;
and the proprietors of East Jersey made a formal surrender of its patent,
praying only for a new grant, securing their right of soil. Before this
request could be granted, the revolution of 1688 took place, and they
passed under the allegiance of a new sovereign.2
§ 119. From this period both of the provinces were in a great
confusion, and distraction; and remained so, until the proprietors of both
made a formal surrender of all their powers of government, but not of their
lands, to Queen Anne, in April, 1702. The Queen immediately reunited both
provinces into one province; and by commission appointed a governor over
them. He was thereby authorized to govern with the assistance of a
council, and to call general assemblies of representatives of the people to
be chosen by the freeholders, who were required to take the oath of
allegiance and supremacy, and the test provided by the acts of Parliament.
The general assembly, with the consent of the governor and council, were
authorized to make laws and ordinances for the welfare of the people "not
1 Smith's New-Jersey, 157; 1 Chalmers's Annals, 620, 621, Marshall's
108 HISTORY OF THE COLONIES. [BOOK I.
2 1 Chalm. Ann. 621, 622; Smith's New-Jersey, 209, 210, 211, &c.
repugnant, but, as near as may be, agreeable unto the laws and statutes of
this our kingdom of England;" which laws were, however, to be subject to
the approbation or dissent of the crown.1 The governor with the consent of
the council was to erect courts of justice; to appoint judges and other
officers; to collate to churches and benefices; and to command the military
force. Liberty of conscience was allowed to all persons but Papists.
§ 120. From this time to the American Revolution the province was
governed without any charter under royal commissions, substantially in the
manner pointed out in the first. The people always strenuously contended
for the rights and privileges guaranteed to them by the former concessions;
and many struggles occurred from time to time between their
representatives, and the royal governors on this subject.2
1 Smith's New-Jersey, 220 to 230, 231 to 261.
2 Smith's New-Jersey, ch.14, and particularly p. 265, &c. p. 269, &c.
275, 292, 304.