History of Elizabeth, New Jersey

Human character is the product of all time. It is the growth, not of a single life, but of ages. Its form and shape, in the individual and in the community, are de- rived, not more from the present, than the past. What we are, body, soul, and spirit, is owing, in a great degree, to agencies that have been at work from the beginning.

The cast of a man's immediate progenitors determines, to a great extent, his own. The rank and standing of the domestic circle, in which his early days glide on so noiselessly and yet so swiftly, affect, for all time, his whole being. The social community in which the child is led up to man; the humble school-house in which his mind is brought into form and symmetry; the sanctuary, whither his youthful steps are bent on the Sabbath-day, with its songs of praise, its humble prayers, and its solemn exhortations; the long-established customs of the place and age; the peculiar traits of the population, sparse or dense, rural or urban; the prevalent handicrafts, trades and pursuits of the locality; every passing event, and every occurrence and influence by which individual sentiment and public opinion are affected; all these serve, more or less powerfully, to shape the character and determine the destiny of the child, the boy, the man.

To know a people, to understand their peculiarities, we must know their history, their parentage, their origin; must learn from what race, nationality, tribe and family, they are descended; when and by whom their settlement, town, or city, was founded; the aims and plans of the founders; through what changes, social, industrial, political and religious, they prosecuted their design; what relations they sustained to other communities, near or remote; what were the special characteristics, aspects and tendencies of the times; whatever, in short, may have served, in the course of their history, to affect, more or less directly, their fortunes and their destiny.

To promote, in some humble measure, this laudable design, in respect to one of the thriving communities in the older parts of this land, this volume was written. It was undertaken, at the solicitation of the author's townsmen, to whose generous consideration, with aU its imperfections, it is now commended. A native of Elizabeth, and a descendant of several of its worthy founders, it has been to him a labor of love, to gather up these memorials of its past, and give them a permanent form. These materials he has been gathering, some of them, for more than a score of years; not without a vague thought, that the day would come, when he might give them form and order. Laid aside, at length, by serious disease, from the exhausting activities of a laborious profession, the requisite leisure was found by the author, for the accomplishment of his long-cherished desire, of which he gladly availed himself.

 

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I.
A.D. 1609-1664 17

CHAPTER II.
A.D. 1664-1665 27

CHAPTER III.
A.D. 1665-1666 48

CHAPTER IV.
A.D. 1666 53

CHAPTER V.
A.D. 1666 68

CHAPTER VI.
A.D. 1666-1669 115

CHAPTER VII.
A.D. 1670-1673 131

CHAPTER VIII.
A.D. 1673-1674 154

CHAPTER IX.
A.D. 1674-1681 178

CHAPTER X.
A.D. 1664-1682 198

CHAPTER XI.
A.D. 1682-1686 210

CHAPTER XII.
A.D. 1686-1702 232

CHAPTER XIII.
A.D. 1682-1707 280

CHAPTER XIV.
A.D. 1702-1740 302

CHAPTER XV.
A.D. 1706-1747 326

CHAPTER XVI.
AD. 1708-1747 355

CHAPTER XVII.
A.D. 1740-1764 363

CHAPTER XVIII.
A.D. 1747-1760 393

CHAPTER XIX.
A.D. 1764-1776 403

CHAPTER XX.
A.D. 1776-1777 432

CHAPTER XXI.
A.D. 1777-1780 461

CHAPTER XXII.
A.D. 1790-1793 486

CHAPTER XXIII.
A.D. 1760-1780 513

CHAPTER XXIV.
A.D. 1747-1790 537

CHAPTER XXV.
A.D. 1783-1795 552

CHAPTER XXVI.
A.D. 1725-1795 564

CHAPTER XXVII.
A.D. 1762-1804 591

CHAPTER XXVIII.
A.D. 1790-1888 614

CHAPTER XXIX.
A.D. 1785-1856 627

CHAPTER XXX.
A.D. 1801-1844 647

CHAPTER XXXI.
A.D. 1804-1868 666

CHAPTER XXXII.
A.D. 1865-1868 685

 

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The territory now occupied by Elizabeth, in New Jersey, was formerly the abode of savage tribes, unknown to fame. Whence they came, and how long they had dwelt on these shores, are questions that neither authentic history nor plausible tradition pretends to answer. They have long since passed away, without memorial. Another, and a very different, population have taken their place, possessed their lands, and made the wilderness, in which they dwelt and roamed, a fruitful field. The history of the town dates back to. the coming of these new settlers the era of its occupation by civilized and cultivated humanity.