The HISTORY of the CITY of NEWARK, NEW JERSEY

THE NEW HAVEN THEOCRACY

From the History of the City of Newark, NJ, published in 1913
by the Lewis Historical Publishing Co., NY:

    The Pilgrim Fathers, the first of the Puritans to migrate, had left England and first went to Holland. They did not want to loose their identity as English and Puritans. For these reasons, the Pilgrim Fathers came to America. The Pilgrims never proposed, however, to separate themselves completely from England and they intended to support the laws of the mother country, actively when they believed in them and passively when they did not. In the New Haven Colony, however, the founders asked for nothing from England. They were to get their laws and ordinances, their whole theory and practical working scheme of government, from the Bible. They chose seven men who, besides having supreme charge of the affairs of the church, had also the highest civic functions. These "seven Pillars" chose the first governor and four deputies to assist him, while they themselves acted as magistrates. There were no juries, because the mosaic law made no mention of any.

PURITAN INTOLERANCE

From the History of the City of Newark, NJ, published in 1913
by the Lewis Historical Publishing Co., NY:

    The Puritans had fled from intolerance, but no sooner did they have freedom to follow their own devices, than they drew up the most drastic of laws and enforced them with grim harshness. So they erected their colony, the chief towns being New Haven and Milford on one side of New Haven harbor. This was to be the last attempt but one of the Puritans in America to build up a theocracy. It was to take nearly 30 years to prove that a Kingdom of God on earth, an "Isle of Innocence", could not be made to work in the New Haven Colony; after which the final attempt was to be made by people of these four towns, in Newark.

PERSECUTION OF THE QUAKERS

From the History of the City of Newark, NJ, published in 1913
by the Lewis Historical Publishing Co., NY:

    The possibility of the coming of Quakers roused the New Haven Colony to a pitch of intense excitement and caused the enactment of laws that well serve to illustrate the severity of the government. The persecution of Quakers in the New Haven Colony was nearly as harsh and intolerant as in Massachusetts. (Quote) These anti-Quaker laws were put into operation in 1658. On the other hand, the Colony of Conn. was becoming even more liberal. She kept her skirts quite clean of severe practices, persecuting no sect, although striving to preserve the purity of her church. These condition in the neighboring colony served to aggravate the discontent in New Haven. A new generation was arising which could not see things in the stern, hard light of its fathers.

NEW HAVEN COLONY MERGED WITH CONNECTICUT

From the History of the City of Newark, NJ, published in 1913
by the Lewis Historical Publishing Co., NY:

    In 1662, the New Haven Colony was merged with Connecticut by the King's orders. New Haven's theocracy vanished then and there, and those of the latter colony who could not in conscience subscribe to the scheme of government in operation in the former, determined to depart; and thus Newark came to be. King Charles II had never looked upon the New Haven Colony with kindly eyes. Some of its founders and their fathers were among the fiercest of his royal father's foes; they were among the iron men who fought with Cromwell. Moreover, they had long harbored two of the regicides, the judges who pronounced sentence of death upon Charles I. The son, no doubt, took grim pleasure in wiping their establishment out of existence. The new Connecticut, while refusing longer to recognize church membership as a necessary qualification for citizenship, was not permitting those who were not church members a voice in the making of laws that governed the church. This jeopardized the purity of the Church, according to the New Haven view, and it was to them an unendurable condition; to accept it would have meant a sacrifice of conscience.

PASTOR ABRAHAM PIERSON'S ACTIVITIES

From the History of the City of Newark, NJ, published in 1913
by the Lewis Historical Publishing Co., NY:

    1640 -- the spiritual leader of a company of Puritans that left Lynn, Massachusetts and founded Southampton, Long Island, to organize a church. Southold was also a Puritan organization.

    1644 -- Southampton was annexed to Connecticut. This so displeased Pastor Pierson that he removed to the town of Branford in the New Haven Colony.

    In Branford, Pastor Pierson, with the few followers from Southampton, with the people of Branford and others from the town of Wethersfield, founded the church society, which later was transferred to Newark. This city's original church organization, the First Presbyterian, as it is known today, is therefore about 20 years older than the city itself.

WHY DID SO MANY OF THE NEW HAVEN COLONY
LEAVE IN 1666 TO ESTABLISH WHAT WE NOW
KNOW AS NEWARK, NEW JERSEY?

From David Sadler

    I seem to recall that they came from Branford, CT as a result of a dispute amongst Congregational Church members at Branford. They were lead by Rev. Abraham Pierson and it occurred around 1660 if I remember correctly. I can't recall the details of the dispute. The book, "Early History of Branford" by the Branford Historical Society contains much about the Newark migration. Before you all go running for your Atlases, Branford is located just East of New Haven.

From Beverly Crifasi

    Pierson was certainly a leader of the dissenters in the Colony of New Haven, but he had a lot of company! Robert Treat's role cannot be minimized either, since it was his leadership and role as negotiator that facilitated the legal agreements related to the founding of the NJ colonies.

From David L. Gallit, Ph.D.

    "In 1665 New Haven and CT were merged into one colony. The new constitution allowed baptism of children irrespective of parents' church membership This was displeasing to the strict members of New Haven; the Puritan practices permitting this ordinance only for children of 'the elect.' HAT p. 3.

From Beverly Crifasi

    I have been reading this discussion with interest, because when I first learned that my ancestors had settled first in CT and NY and then in NJ I was very curious as to why they would impose such additional hardship. The baptism issue above is certainly an accurate stating of a specific argument, however, other sources suggest that it is only one example of their discontent, with discontent being too weak a word to describe the events they and their parents had lived through in the 17th century. Virtually every history of NJ, particularly those that emphasize the founding of Newark, seem to begin with a refresher course in English history. In his history of Newark, Atkinson describes the fact that some years before the founding of Newark, James I, King of England (1603-1625) imposed his beliefs in the divine rights of kings in general (and himself in particular) upon the population of England. Probably the most relevant for us are his views on religion. He was antagonistic when dealing with Catholics, but when it came to "Separatists" (i.e., Congregationalists and Presbyterians- our Puritan ancestors) he practically waged war. He tried to insist on worship using his forms and rituals and he vowed that they would either conform or he would "harry them out of the land." In this respect he largely got his way, as our ancestors who fled to Holland would attest. James was barely tolerated by his peers. Lockward states that the King of France said of James, "He was the wisest fool in Christendom." (p. 6)

    James son, Charles I (1600-1649) who succeded him in 1625, was even more of a spendthrift and vehemently opposed to the Puritans as well. He was sympathetic to the Catholics, however, which did not endear him to the Puritan-dominated Parliament. He dissolved Parliament three times, because of his disagreements with them regarding his tremendous financial problems, ruling without one from 1629 to 1640. The continuing financial problems caused him to call a Long Parliament in 1640. Parliament tried to control him by limiting his powers, provoking a Civil War in 1642. Although this war was called the Puritan Revolution, it was really a constitutional conflict over the role of Parliament and the "divine rights" of kings. Charles I was defeated in battle and captured in 1647. While in captivity he was so obnoxious and duplicitous that he was tried and executed (beheaded) in 1649. Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) refused the crown and was Lord Protector of the Commonwealth. Although he tried to rule through Parliament, he was essentially a dictator, though benevolent in many respects. (Not to be forgotten, however, were his brutal overthrows of Scotland and Ireland.) Cromwell as Lord Protector tended to suppress problems rather than solve them and he was in continual conflict with Puritan politicians were not particularly cooperative with him. The government crumbled with his death, although his son Richard suceeded him as Lord Protector. A military coup overthrew Richard in 1659 and the monarchy was restored in 1660, when Charles II took the throne. Charles II was sympathetic to the Catholics, which made him distrusted by the Puritans, but his opposition to the Puritans was more political than religious.

    Several of our ancestors were either executed or fled as regicides (Axtelle, Harrison and, of course Whalley and Goffe, who were hidden by more of our ancestors in the Colony of New Haven.) The Colony of New Haven included New Haven proper, Branford, Guilford, Stamford and Milford, CT as well as Southampton, Long Island. Connecticut was a colony that was separate from the New Haven Colony. Many of our ancestors were living in Southampton expressly to avoid rule by the CT colony. They had established theocracies in which only members of their Puritan churches had the right to vote or reside in the towns.

    (Although we learned as children that the Pilgrims sought religious freedom by coming to America, they sought to deny it to others.) Extremely harsh laws regarding Quakers and other undesirables were enacted and enforced in the New Haven Colony, which was always more strict than the CT colony. The restoration of the Charles II to the English throne was a defeat to the republican hopes of the Puritans in England. In New Haven and CT, however, it preceded the unification of the two colonies under the royal charter. This was done without their knowledge and in direct opposition to their expressed wishes. While they formally acknowledge Charles II as King, the Colonists were very disturbed at this series of events.

    "Therefore it was that scarcely before the ink was dry, certifying the allegiance of the Colonists to the English King, the leading spirits of the New Haven Colony began to think of looking for some new abiding place, where they would not be ruled in their civil and religious functions contrary to their customs, desires and aspirations. No inconsiderable spur was given to such thoughts by the domineering and arbitrary attitude assumed by the reconciled royal charterists towards the outspoken New Haven unreconciled minority. . . Despite the strong feeling of antipathy, the outgrowth of commercial jealousy, which existed between the English and the Dutch at that period, it appears the first thoughts of the New Haven leaders were directed to the seeking of a more agreeable and liberal haven under the tri-color of Holland, within the borders of the country occupied by the Dutch." (Atkinson, p. 9)

    This is really not so surprising, since the English Pilgrims had earlier fled to Holland during the reign of Charles I. Robert Treat (yet another ancestor) negotiated with Peter Stuyvesant for several years, during which time the CT. and New Haven factions grew more estranged. Then, in 1664, Charles II was kind enough to give James, Duke of York and Albany (his brother) the land in NY and NJ ruled by the Dutch. James then transferred what is now NJ to the Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. They, in turn, signed a constitution, called, "The Concessions and Agreement of the Lords Proprietors of Nova Caesarea or New Jersey, to and with all of the adventurers and all such as shall settle and plant there." The ideals and rights espoused and granted in the Concessions was perfect for the dissenters in CT and New Haven. It provided "liberty of conscience" as long as it was not used "to licentiousness, to the civil injury, or outward disturbance of others." The Concessions also allowed settlers the right to choose an assembly of twelve representatives who would deal with taxes, laws, forts and militias, land apportionment, naturalization of immigrants and right of appeal of the Governor's or Council's action to the Lords Proprietor through assembly. Not bad for circa 1665! (BTW, some of the NJ Proprietors are also our ancestors.) Publishing the Concessions was specifically intended to attract settlers to NJ and it was successful. After considerable debate, the anti-royalists of Branford, Guilford, New Haven and Milford signed various declarations and started over again in NJ. Some of the inhabitants of Long Island, more than a little chagrined that after leaving the shores of CT for LI to escape the government of the Colony of CT, the Colony of New Haven had been merged with the Colony of CT and they were under that government again.

    The entire life span of our immigrant ancestors and their parents had been spent during this succession of conflicts and civil war. They had learned that they could leave their homes and successfully begin again. They esteemed the principles of theocracy, abhorring the notion of their government being influenced by citizens who did not share their religious beliefs. The example of the conflict over baptism is a good illustration of that. Delays in the successful completion of Treat's negotiations with the Dutch had lead to Milford eventually acknowledging the unification of the two colonies in 1665, but Branford never backed down.

    Sources:

    "The History of Newark, New Jersey, Being a Narrative of Its Rise and Progress, From the Settlement in May, 1666, by Emigrants from Connecticut, to the Present Time." Joseph Atkinson, Thomas Moran et al., Newark, NJ: William B. Guild, 1878

    "A Puritan Heritage." Lynn G. Lockward, Caldwell, NJ, 1955

EARLY EFFORTS FOR A NEW SETTLEMENT

From the History of the City of Newark, NJ, published in 1913
by the Lewis Historical Publishing Co., NY:

    Robert Treat and Jasper Crane went to New Amsterdam to see Governor Peter Stuyvesant regarding a place of settlement as early as 1661. This expedition was thwarted.

ENGLISH CONQUEST OF DUTCH TERRITORY

From the History of the City of Newark, NJ, published in 1913
by the Lewis Historical Publishing Co., NY:

    The English captured New Amsterdam and King Charles II gave New Netherlands, the land between the Connecticut and Delaware rivers, including certain territories on Long Island, to his brother, James, Duke of York. The Duke executed deeds of lease and release to two of the staunchest defenders of the crown, Lord John Berkeley, Baron of Stutton, and Sir George Carteret of Saltrum in Devon, of all New Jersey, including Staton Island. It was named Nova Caesar, or New Jersey.

THE LORD PROPRIETOR'S "CONCESSIONS"

From the History of the City of Newark, NJ, published in 1913
by the Lewis Historical Publishing Co., NY:

    The two new English owners knew that they must have colonists, and they set about with ingenuity and cleverness to get them. They undoubtedly knew of the troubled conditions in some of the New England settlements, especially of the situation in the recently absorbed New Haven Colony and, while they zealously sought colonists at home, they also proceeded to make known to the Puritans and others in their country what they had to offer in the way of settling places, what they would take for them, and what restrictions would be put upon the holdings. They did this by means of a printed announcement, whose title was: "The Concession and Agreement of the Lords Proprietors of the Province of New Caesarea or New Jersey, to and with all and every of the Adventurers and all such as shall settle and plant there." These Concessions were fair, for the times, and frank on the face, and the people saw in them something of that which we of today are fond of calling the "square deal." Unhappily, the "Concessions" did not prove so inviolable as the first settlers hoped. The New Haven men who were now shortly to found Newark under this new government were to set up the last Puritan theocracy under far less favorable conditions than they had known in New England. There they had been surrounded with those of their own religious belief and under a government of their own making. Here they were to share the right to exercise the liberty of conscience with all other decent folk, subject to the whims of that very government from whose tyranny they had fled.

THE THREE EPOCHS OF ENGLISH GOVERNMENT IN NEW JERSEY

From the History of the City of Newark, NJ, published in 1913
by the Lewis Historical Publishing Co., NY:

    1664-1674: Government of all the territory by one group of proprietors.
    1674-1702: By two groups, (91) Berkeley, (2) Carteret.
    1702-1776: By the Crown. (Proprietors surrendered their rights.)

PREPARATIONS FOR THE SETTLEMENT

    1665, August -- the first governor of New Jersey, Philip Carteret, a fourth cousin of the Lord Proprietor of that name, arrived with a great company; established himself at Elizabethtown.

SELECTING THE TOWN SITE

From the History of the City of Newark, NJ, published in 1913
by the Lewis Historical Publishing Co., NY:

    The committee, from the recent New Haven Colony, composed of Robert Treat and John Gregory, were sent to confer with Governor Carteret at Elizabethtown. They were Pilgrims going into strange lands to rear a community around their church and to worship God according to their own ideals. The first Puritans who came to America, the Pilgrim Fathers, had started from Holland with the intention of location much further south than they did; it is believed they proposed to make their homes upon the Delaware River. But wind and waves were against the Mayflower, and forced her to make landing at Plymouth, after two or three ineffectual efforts to cruise southward to a milder climate. As it had been intended to first set up Puritan ideals on or near the Delaware, the Newark Colonizers seem to have felt that it might be that God intended them to proceed as the Puritan pioneers of over 40 years before had striven to do and failed. They chose a site near Elizabethtown, proceeding up the bay and into the Passaic and it has been said, selected the best spot in New Jersey for a town.

THE COMING OF THE PIONEERS, MAY 1666

From the History of the City of Newark, NJ, published in 1913
by the Lewis Historical Publishing Co., NY:

    The colonizers deliberated upon their plans throughout the winter, and the first group of settlers left New Haven Bay some time before the middle of May, 1666. They came in at least two vessels, possible it may have taken more of the small craft then used to transport them and their goods. The journey was short, for those days, and no particular hardship attended it, since it was over inland waters and at a gentle time of the year. Two days, three at the most, must have seen the Pilgrims finding their way up the Kill van Kull from New York Bay, toward Elizabethtown Point, where a few humble houses announced the headquarters of the government of the new colony. The pioneer settlers were headed by their master-mind, Robert Treat, called "Captain" from the very beginning of the negotiations with Governor Carteret. With him were heads of several families from Milford and adjacent plantations.

From "Historic Newark: A Collection of Facts & Traditions"
published in 1916 by the Fidelity Trust Co., NJ:

    After long days on rough waters thirty Connecticut families sailed up "ye Pesayak river" in the month of May, 1666. Like many other settlers in other colonies, they sought civil and religious liberty. This, they knew, would be theirs when they had reared their homes in the wilderness which they approached, where then wolves and bears ranged and where Indian trails were the only highways. Captain Robert Treat may have stood that May day in the bow of his fragile craft and scanned the Jersey shores for a favorable landing-place. Josiah Ward may have drawn nearer to the side of Elizabeth Swaine, his affianced bride, and whispered of the house he would build in the Jersey wilderness. beautiful Elizabeth Swaine of nineteen summers, as she listened, may have gazed into the clear waters of the rippling "Pesayak," and afterward raised her eyes to the swaying tree-tops bending over the land where her new wild home was to be. There is a story, told and retold so many times it has become traditional, that this Elizabeth Swine was the first of the party to set foot on Jersey soil -- that she was gallantly assisted to shore by her betrothed.

REFUSED POSSESSION BY THE INDIANS

From the "History of the City of Newark, NJ"
published in 1913 by the Lewis Historical Publishing Co., NY:

    Capt. Treat did not have the letter of consent from Governor Carteret and the Indians refused to let them settle. The settlers replaced their goods upon their vessels and headed for Elizabethtown Point, and Treat and others of the leaders were soon in conference with Carteret. The conference seems to have closed with the settlers resolving to arrange matters with the Indians themselves, as Carteret then and there refused to pay the red men, the Hackensacks, anything for the territory that was to be Newark. A company of Indians met the settlers on the ground. We would lose sight of one of the most significant lessons to be learned from all Newark's early history if we failed to note that the settlers paid the Indians for every foot of land; that it was a straightforward business transaction, carried out with quite as much exactitude as if the sellers had not been untutored savages. While the agreement to sell was made by the Indians in May, 1666, the bill of sale was not signed until Jul 11, 1667, when practically all of those who are of right called the founders were on the ground. The original owners of the soil received goods valued at about $700.00 for the greater part of what is now Essex County. The deed of sale was not signed until the following year. The purchase price was assessed upon each family, not only those who first came, but all who arrived in the next year who were entitled to be considered among the "associates", or makers of the original settlement. It is reckoned that the 30 families in the first group of settlers from Milford and neighboring plantations had a combined wealth (real and personal) of about $64,000, an average of over $2,000 for each family, no mean sum indeed for the time.

From "Historic Newark: A Collection of Facts & Traditions"
published in 1916 by the Fidelity Trust Co., NJ:

    The little band, directed by Robert Treat, gathered that May day with ever intention and favorable prospect of settling at once to work in the laying out of land which had been granted them by Philip Carteret. Whatever progress, however, they may have made was peremptorily stopped by the appearance of Hackensack Indians, who virtually said:

    "You trespass on our land. These shores belong to us. From the Pesayak to Watchung they are ours. In the forests are our game; in the streams, our fish. Our feet for untold moons have trod yonder trails that you behold. No one shall sell this land, the domain of the Hackensacks."

    Negotiations were opened with the Indians, and a title purchased from them July 11, 1667. Territory extending from the summit of Watchung Mountain, now Orange Mountain, "about seven or eight miles from Pesayak Town," was purchased for "fifty double hands of powder, one hundred barrs of lead, twenty Axes, twenty Coates, ten Guns, twenty pistolls, ten kettles, ten Swords, four blankets, four barrells of beere, ten paire of breeches, fifty knives, twenty bowes, eight hundred and fifty fathem of wampem, two Ankors of Licquers, or something equivalent and three troopers Coates." Tradition says that an illuminated miniature of an English queen played an important part in the purchase. This miniature was sent by the daughter of Micah Tompkins, one of the first settlers, to the squaw of an Indian chief, and it influenced Perro, the Indian, to transfer his land, so rich in game, to the settlers. Other tracts were later bought by the settlers from the Indians. One of these, owned by Winnocksop and Shenoctos, ran west to the foot of the Watchung Mountain. The Indian sold this for "two guns, three coats, and thirteen kans of rum."

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