Morris Co. Up



In December 1876 a movement was made to inquire into the necessity for so large county taxation. It resulted in an investigation and reports, from which we take the following account and analysis of county expenditures and taxation for 25 years, signed by John L. Kanouse, David W. Dellicker, William Hillard, George E. Righter and B. C. Guerin, executive committee of the Taxpayers' Association:

Since the close of the late war our State and county taxes have swelled so much that they have become onerous, and the people throughout the State are anxious for relief. We have organized in this county an association of tax-payers, for the purpose of obtaining such relief and guarding against a needless and extravagant expenditure of public money both in State and county. Within ten years past there has been a rapid and alarming increase in our county expenses, and people are wondering where the money goes. All interested and desiring to know the cause would do well to give the items embraced in the following tabular statements a careful investigation:




The chief items of county expense are bridges, pauperism and crime, and litigation. As to the relative amount of these items up to 1866, pauperism stood first, crime and litigation next and bridges last. But suddenly in one year's time there came a change, and in 1869 bridges stood first, next pauperism, and then crime and litigation, and such has continued to be their relative position to the present time. From 1849 to 1855, five years, the average yearly cost of pauperism was $6,690; from 1870 to 1876, five years, the average cost of pauperism was $14,013, showing an increase of $7,323, or 110 per cent. This is for cash expended, and does not include produce of the farm. From 1849 to 1856, six years, the average yearly cost of crime and litigation was $4,513, and from 1869 to 1876, six years, the average yearly cost was $10,985, showing an increase of $6,472—equal to an increase of 149 per cent. in twenty years.

From 1849 to 1856, a period of six years, the yearly average of current expenses of the county was $18,247; from 1869 to 1876, a similar period, the yearly average of current expenses was $81,919, showing an increase of $63,672, equal to an increase of 349 per cent. in twenty years.

From 1849 to 1856, a period of six years, the average yearly taxation for county purposes was $16,500; from 1869 to 1876, a similar period, the average was $75,000, showing an increase in such taxation equal to 354 per cent. in twenty years. Some may think that such large increase in the latter period was owing to the payment of the county war bonds, but not a dollar of the large taxes above stated as raised for county purposes went to pay the war bonds, The tax necessary to pay the county war debt as especially provided by law was raised in addition to that for county purposes. The war debt is paid, but yet our tax bills show an increasing county tax.

An addition of $15,000 to that tax was made in the year 1876; this was necessary to pay an indebtedness of that amount, the result of excessive expenditures in previous years. In 1850 the population of the county was 30,158; in 1875 it was 49,019, showing an increase of 18,861 in twenty-five years; a gain of 63 per cent. From these data it appears that from 1850 to 1876 the increase of population in the county has been 63 per cent.; the increase of pauperism has been in twenty years 110 per cent.; the increase of the cost of crime and litigation to the county, 149 per cent.; the average increase of current expenses has been 349 per cent.; the average increase of taxation for county purposes alone has been 354 per cent.; the average increase of cost for bridges in twenty years was 800 per cent. From 1849 to 1856, a period of six years, there was paid for bridges and freeholders' services in attending to bridges, $20,853, making a yearly average of $3,475; from 1869 to 1876, six years, the corresponding payment was $188,315, making a yearly average of $31,386, and showing an average increase of $27,911, equal to over 800 per cent. increase in twenty years. The records show that (in one year) from 1865 to 1867 the cost of bridges and freeholders' services suddenly increased nearly four times in amount, and that from 1866 to 1876, a period of nine years, the yearly average cost for bridges and freeholders' services has been $29,775. During several years many of the smaller bridges have been constructed of stone and in a permanent manner, and some of the larger of iron, so that the number of bridges in the county requiring attention and repairs must be largely diminished, and labor and materials have gone down in price; and therefore there is reason to believe that, if our freeholders would exercise a wise economy, this item of county expenditures could be reduced at least one-half in amount.

The increased items of expenditure connected with the courts are as follows: In 1867 the pay of jurymen was increased from one to two dollars per day. Prior to 1850 the pay of constables attending court was 75 cents per day; in 1850 it was raised to one dollar per day; in 1869 to two dollars, and mileage five cents per mile. Since 1871 the sheriff has been allowed three dollars per day for attending court; prior to that, nothing. In 1871 an act was passed authorizing the employment of a stenographer for the supreme and circuit courts, and the court of oyer and terminer, at a price not to exceed ten dollars per day; the full price thus allowed by law has always been paid. In 1873 the per diem of common pleas judges was raised from three to five dollars, and the per diem of the crier from two to three dollars. The cost to the county per day for running all the courts, with the attendance of a full panel of jurymen, and ten constables, as now allowed by law, is $157, and is made up as follows:

1 supreme court judge, $5


3 judges of common pleas, $5 each








48 jurymen, $2 each


10 constables, $2 each, and mileage estimated






The cost of holding court of common pleas and orphans' court, without a jury and held by common pleas judges only, is $15 per day; the cost of running the court of quarter sessions in trying criminal cases, and using a part of the jurymen while in attendance on the circuit court, is nothing additional to the county; nor is there any additional cost to the county in running the court of common pleas, trying appeals by jury while jurymen are in attendance at the circuit court or court of oyer and terminer. The cost of running the court for the trial of appeals without a jury, held by common pleas judges only, and attended by one constable, is $17 per day. By reference to the tabular statements herewith presented it will appear that from 1866 to 1872, a period of five years (and after the pay of jurymen had been raised from one to two dollars per day), the average yearly cost of crime and litigation was $10,710; and from 1871 to 1876, a period of four years, the average cost was $10,464, being $246 less than the average of the five preceding years, although in 1873 the per diem of the common pleas judges had been raised from $3 to $5 and increased pay was also allowed to constables. The cost for jurors from 1866 to 1872, five years, averages $4,534; and from 1871 to 1876, four years, it averaged $4,299, showing a decrease in the average of $255, notwithstanding in the latter period there was a large increase of business. So also the average cost for constables in attending court from 1871 to 1876 is less than the average in the five years preceding, and although in three of the five preceding years the pay of constables was less than half of what it was from 1871 to 1876. The increased amount of business before the courts within the last four years would have increased the court expenses had it not been for the fact that, when it could be advantageously done, different branches of the courts were kept running simultaneously, thus economizing time and the use of jurymen, and as a consequence saving largely in cost to the county. So long as there is occasion to administer and enforce law there will be necessity for courts, and the length of time that they must necessarily be kept open will depend upon the amount and nature of the business before them, and the readiness of those engaged in transacting it.

Pauperism, including the maintenance of the pauper and indigent insane at the asylum, constitutes, next to bridges, the largest item of county expenditure. The county poor-house was established in 1838; attached to it is a farm of about 240 acres, a considerable portion of which is in an improved state of cultivation. From 1838 to 1850 an average of 185 persons yearly as inmates received support, and to an average of 38 yearly of persons out of the house relief was given; and for the support and relief thus given in that period of twelve years the average annual outlay in cash was $4,463. The products of the farm during the same time averaged at their estimated value $2,192 yearly, all of which went to the support of the institution and its inmates. From 1850 to 1858 the products of the farm averaged $3,915 annually; since that we find the amount of the estimated value of the farm products reported for only two years—1870 at $4,945, and 1871 at $6,107. From 1861 to 1868 the average yearly expenditure of cash for the support of the poor, in addition to the farm products, was $6,673; and from 1868 to 1876 the average cash expenditure was $8,739, showing an increase of nearly one hundred per cent. since 1850; and so far as we have been able to ascertain there has not been a corresponding increase in the number of inmates at the house, and for years past the rule has been to grant no relief out of the house, except in extreme cases, where the physical condition prevented removal.

From 1861 to 1868 the average annual cost to our county for the support of indigent and pauper lunatics at the asylum was $2,765; and from 1868 to 1876 it was $4,945, showing an increase of 78 per cent. From the opening of the Trenton asylum in 1848 to 1863 the charge per week for such lunatics was $2; from 1863 to 1866 it was $2.35; from 1866 to 1869 it was $3, and since that it has been $3.50 per week. For eight years next prior to 1876 the county paid to the asylum for the support of pauper and indigent lunatics $3.50 per week, the State also paying, in addition, $1 per week; the county being subject to additional charges for clothing, making the direct cost to the county about $4 per week, and the cost to the county and State together fully $5 per week. Considering the appropriations made from time to time to the support of the asylum, and the amount paid for salaries of officials, this cost per week is probably under rather than over estimated. Many years ago, but since the opening of the Trenton asylum, our county sent some pauper lunatics to the asylum at Brattleboro, Vt., and some private patients also from this county were sent there, because they could be properly cared for at $1.25 per week. These are facts presented in the practical lessons of experience, facts which the people cannot afford to ignore if they would intelligently seek to know the causes of the greatly increased public expenditure.

There are other items beside those already mentioned which aggregate from twelve to twenty thousand dollars annually. The principal one is interest and discounts paid for loans, which from 1870 to the present time amount to $39,670, making an annual average of $6,611 for six years past. Of this sum from $1,200 to $2,400 annually has been for discounts for temporary loans. For a number of years the excessive expenses of the county have exhausted the tax within a few months after it has been paid in, and as a consequence the county commences a new year often with a deficiency or a floating debt, or with a very small balance, which has necessitated borrowing largely to meet current expenses and in anticipation of next year's tax. The larger part of this item of interest is for the interest on what is called the surplus revenue and which amounts to over four thousand dollars annually. In 1836 Congress passed an act distributing a surplus of funds in the national treasury among the several States. New Jersey received $764,670, and distributed it to be held in trust by the several counties; Morris county received about $80,000. Of this the county used $14,000 to buy a farm and build a county poor-house; the balance was loaned to individuals on bond and mortgage, and the interest was annually distributed to the townships, and at first was used to pay ordinary expenses. After a few years it was voted generally to the use of the schools, and finally, by law, has been made an annual appropriation to the support of schools. The county, having used the whole of this fund, has been liable for the interest, and thereby this has become an additional item and of large amount in our county tax.

Under the head of work-house and court-house we find an aggregate of expenses which for seven years past has averaged $3,803. This includes cleaning and repairs, charges for water, gas, fuel, medicines and medical attendance for prisoners, and a part of the pay of the keeper of the prison, but does not include any charge for the board of prisoners. Considerable work has been done about the court-house and grounds within two years past, and, as everything seems to be in good condition so far as regards the grounds and buildings, it does seem that if a wise economy should be used this part of the annual expenditure could be reduced nearly or quite $3,000. In 1852 the sheriff was allowed $75, and in 1855 $100, for fuel and light for the court-house; now the county pays for gas alone over $160 per year, and in addition pays for the fuel used in and about the court-house and sheriff's apartments. Formerly the clerk and surrogate furnished their own fuel and light; now the county pays from $50 to $60 annually for gas for these two offices, and also pays for the fuel.

There is another item in the list of expenses which recently has appeared in larger proportion, and that is printing. By an act passed in 1865 the boards of chosen freeholders were required to publish a copy of the county collector's account with the items in detail. The propriety of that requirement will hardly be questioned, as undoubtedly it is proper and necessary that the people who pay taxes should know how their money is expended. The cost to the county in 1874 for printing was $1,124.45, which amount included the printing of the collector's quarterly reports and all blanks required by the clerk's and surrogate's offices, as well as the advertising of bridges. The printing of the last quarterly report of the county receipts and disbursements, which was done in five papers (three in Morristown, one at Dover, and one at Boonton) cost $54 for each, or $270 for all. The rate at which this work appears to have been charged is the same as fixed in an act passed in 1876 providing for the publication of laws in newspapers, 60 cents per hundred words, under which such publication costs the State over $68,000. At that rate the publication of these quarterly reports of the county collector alone will cost the county from $700 to $1,000 per year, subject to vary in amount with the length of such report. In 1864 publishing the laws cost only about $4 per newspaper column, but the printing of the last quarterly report, which occupied less than four columns as it appeared in the newspaper, and for which $54 was paid to each paper, cost about $14 per column. In 1864 labor and material were at extremely high prices; now there is a great reduction, and the purchasing power of a dollar has fully doubled.

Another matter deserving of notice is the prison and work-house. In 1866, 1867 and 1869 the county paid 30 cents per day for boarding prisoners; since that the price has been 35 cents. The work-house was established twenty-five years ago, and certain rules and regulations for its government were adopted by the board of freeholders. Its history shows that only for a brief period from the commencement were these rules enforced. Their non-observance seems to have been less a tax upon the time and attention of the keeper, and hence, by the suffrance of the board of freeholders, these rules and regulations fell into disuse. About two years ago the board of freeholders abolished work and discharged the keeper; since that but little work save the breaking of a few stones has been done. As a consequence, there being no work, the prisoners, averaging generally from twelve to twenty-five and sometimes more, have been allowed to congregate in the common hall, and in idleness to amuse themselves almost as they saw fit. As might have been expected, the result has been that the work-house has become a school of vice, tending not to reform but to confirm criminals. The keeper had been paid $600 a year for attending to the duties of his office, and one of those duties was to keep the prison record. For about four years that record had not been written up. The board of freeholders appoint a committee on court-house and work-house, whose special duty it is to look after the condition of the court-house and prison. For several years past it appears it has been the practice to allow that committee $240 per year for their services, and sometimes a little extra. Yet such to-day is the condition of our county work-house—a place of idleness and a school of vice, instead of a prison where a proper reformatory influence is exerted over the inmates. It is but just to the sheriff and present keeper to say that the want of employment for the prisoners is no fault of theirs. The condition of the court-house and grounds and the prison, as regards cleanliness, is far better than it has been for years, and the cleaning and painting have been mostly done by the labor of the prisoners. From June 1st 1874 to January 1st 1875 (seven months) 226 commitments were made for drunkenness, vagrancy, and disorderly conduct, and that the aggregate of days of confinement of those thus committed was 1,499, which at 35 cents per day amounts to $524.65, which is equal within a fraction to $75 per month; and it appears that 210 of these 226 commitments were made by magistrates in Morristown alone. Moreover the record shows that the same names appear frequently among the commitments, and some repeatedly in the same year, and for a similar offense, drunkenness or disorderly conduct. This class of offenders seem to regard the prison as a pleasant place for them, a place of refuge from the overpowering influence of their bad habits, an asylum, where in idleness they can be safe and enabled to recruit their wasted strength, being bountifully fed upon a plain but wholesome and substantial diet at the public expense; and when the short term of their confinement is ended they go forth to enter upon another debauch. This is the way in which the present management of our prison and work-house is operating to encourage vagrancy and drunkeness at the public expense. Vagrancy is incipient criminality, and therefore it is fair to infer that the present method of conducting our prisons, without employment for the prisoners, has been the means of adding hundreds of dollars to our county expense, and in connection with the increased price allowed for board of prisoners has caused an addition to our county tax of from $600 to $1,000 per year.

The foregoing facts and statements, carefully collected and compiled from the county records, are presented to the people as proper subjects for study and reflection. They show in a condensed form why the people have been so heavily taxed, and for what purposes their money has been expended. Let it not escape attention that in the six years next preceding 1876 the county paid for the support of pauperism, including indigent and pauper lunatics, $83,586.19; for crime and litigation $65,812.63; for bridges and freeholders' services in attending to bridges, $118,316; for interest on permanent and temporary loans as hereinbefore explained, $39,944.26; and for miscellaneous items $113,859.17; making a total in six years of $491,518.25, nearly half a million dollars. In the same time the people were taxed $450,000 for such purposes, and yet owing to the excessive expenditures in the same period a debt of over $40,000 was incurred. Of this sum about $15,000 was a floating debt, and the balance a permanent debt to the surplus revenue fund. This great increase in expenses is not confined to any one particular part, but extends to every department of the county administration, and appears to enter in a greater or less degree into almost every item of expenditure.

The following statement by Judge Kanouse exhibits some of the chief items of county expenses from 1876 to 1880, inclusive:

The above statement clearly shows that within the past six years the prison has been overcrowded. Many of the prisoners were "tramps." There are other items beside the 35 cents per day for meals that add to the cost of keeping the prisoners. The record of 1876 shows for tobacco $107.40, tea $61.24, shoes $82.50, clothing $151.68, medicines, etc., making a total of court-house and jail expenses of $4.241; the cost per week for each prisoner being fully $3.50 that year.

A mere glance at the average number of prisoners as presented in the foregoing statement will not give a correct idea of the whole number of commitments to the prison during a year. We are unable to find a clear statement for each year of such commitments, either in a carefully kept prison record or otherwise. But we do find in the minutes of the board of freeholders a specific statement for the year from May 1st 1874 to May 1st 1875, giving the whole number of commitments for that year as 507; males 480, females 27; 391 for drunkenness, 35 for larceny, 56 for assaults and 25 for other offenses. In that year it will be seen the amount paid for boarding prisoners was $1,687.20, about one-third of what it was annually for three years prior to November 1878, and about one-half of what it was for three years prior to November 1881. This furnishes a criterion for determining at least the approximate numbers of commitments each year during the past six years. The number thus indicated seems almost incredible, yet the figures lead irresistibly to the conclusion, large as it may appear. A large majority of the commitments were for short terms, and were of the vagrant class. The only remedy provided by the laws of the State for vagrancy is the county jail or work-house, and yet, strange as it may seem, the remedy appears to increase and aggravate the evil. To many the reason is obvious. The management of the prison for seven years past appears to have been such as to render it a favorite place of resort for the tramp—a "hotel," so to speak, "where, at the public expense, he is housed, lodged and fed and in many cases clothed in comfort superior to the family of the honest laborer, and allowed to spend his time in idleness and vicious association, which is his chief delight." By this state of affairs the ends of justice are defeated and the law rendered powerless in effecting its object. Such are some of the results of experience in this county as presented in the history of its financial affairs, which it would be well for the people to seriously consider. In the opinion of many an effectual remedy may be found in the enforcement of hard work and solitary confinement. Experience in the State of Connecticut proves this. The control and management of the prison by law is vested in the board of freeholders. The present indications are that in view of the circumstances a system of labor and solitary confinement will be adopted and carried into effect.

Early in the year 1881 a movement was made with a view to better the moral condition of the inmates of the county poor-house, and more especially to provide for the better care and training of the children committed to that institution, it being evident to those who had looked into the matter that the depraving influences surrounding the children there are calculated to train them to be paupers and criminals. The public are indebted to the Rev. John P. Appleton, of the Protestant Episcopal church at Boonton, for his disinterested and energetic efforts in this behalf. In furtherance of this object at a public meeting called at Morristown, and which was addressed by Rev. H. C. Potter, D. D., of New York, a society was organized called "The Charities Aid Association," of which A. B. Hull was chosen president and Rev. J. P. Appleton secretary, and other officers were appointed. This meeting was attended by a number of prominent gentlemen and quite a large number of intelligent and influential ladies from different sections of the county, all manifesting a deep interest in the object.

As an offshoot of this "Charities Aid Association" we have "The Morris County Children's Home," incorporated December 6th 1881, which is to be located in a commodious house rented for the purpose at Parsippany; the object being to furnish a temporary home for destitute children who have become a public charge, where they can be properly cared for, trained and educated. The county is authorized to pay $1.50 per week for each child toward their support. This sum paid by the county will not be sufficient, and the institution will be in part dependent on voluntary contribution.



In 1497 Sebastian Cabot, sailing under the English flag, discovered and touched upon various places along the shores of what is now the United States (Hakluyt's Voyages). It is from this first visit that the English title to the country was derived. It was afterward visited and to some extent settled by the Dutch and Swedes, but without recognized title.

March 12th 1664 Charles II. of England granted to his brother James, Duke of York, all the lands between the west side of the Connecticut River and the east side of Delaware Bay, together with the right of government.—Leaming and Spicer's Grants, Concessions, etc., page 3.

June 24th 1664 James Duke of York conveyed to John Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret that part of the above grant which lies between the Hudson and the Delaware and south of a straight line drawn from 41ø north latitude on the Hudson to 41ø 40' on the Delaware.—Leaming and Spicer, page 8.

July 30th 1673 New York and New Jersey were taken by the Dutch.—Whitehead's "East Jersey under the Proprietors," page 73.

February 9th 1674 New York and New Jersey were restored to the English.—Whitehead's "East Jersey under the Proprietors," page 77.

June 29th 1674 Charles II. renewed his grant to James Duke of York.—Leaming and Spicer, page 41.

July 29th 1674 James Duke of York renewed his grant to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret.—Leaming and Spicer, page 46.

July 1st 1676 the "quintipartite deed" was executed. By this deed the province was divided into East and West Jersey. East Jersey was confirmed to Sir George Carteret, and the partition line was described.—Leaming and Spicer, page 61.

February 1st and 2nd 1683 the widow and other executors of Sir George Carteret sold East Jersey to William Penn and eleven others, and within the same year twelve other proprietors were joined to the above.—Whitehead's "East Jersey under the Proprietors," page 103.

March 14th 1683 James Duke of York confirmed the title to East Jersey to the twenty-four proprietors.—Leaming and Spicer, page 141.

November 23d 1683 Charles II., by letter to the governor and council of East Jersey, recognized the proprietors' right to the soil and government.—Leaming and Spicer, page 151.

August 1st 1684 a board of commissioners comprising all the proprietaries in the province was organized.—Whitehead's "East Jersey under the Proprietors," page 141.

November 13th 1684 the first meeting of the council of proprietors was held, and semi-annual meetings of this body are still held regularly.—Gordon's History of New Jersey, page 67.

April 15th 1702 the proprietors surrendered the powers of government to the queen.—Leaming and Spicer, page 609.

April 15th 1783 the treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United States of America (Art. 6) established the title to all property not previously confiscated, in the owners and possessors.

The proprietors' right of property in lands above water is unquestioned, but their right in lands under water has been the subject of much discussion and litigation. The decision adverse to their rights in the case of Martin v. Waddell, 16 Peters, page 367, by the majority of the judges of the United States Supreme Court, has been accepted by many persons as a final settlement of the question. But the opinion of the respectable minority of that court was so strongly in favor of the rights of the proprietors that there seems good ground for a re-examination of the whole case, or if not of the whole at least of some peculiar parts included in it.

The original grant to the proprietors was in consideration of a competent sum of money, and, in addition to all the lands in the described boundaries, gave "all rivers, mines, minerals, woods, fishings, hawkings, huntings and fowlings, and all other royalties, profits, commodities and hereditaments whatsoever," etc.

In 1687 the proprietors of East Jersey say they "bought it with their money, having paid above twelve thousand pounds for it, and are notwithstanding forced to buy every acre over again at a considerable rate from the Indians."—New Jersey Archives, Vol. I., page 535.

This title gave the purchasers rights in all the lands and general property in the province, and also in the government. The right of government was exercised till 1702, when it was surrendered to the queen. The whole property was subject to the rights of its Indian owners, and the grant from the king gave the proprietors the exclusive privilege of purchasing from the Indians. See William Penn and others on this subject. (Gordon's New Jersey, pages 40, 41.) This privilege, though contested in the earliest provincial courts, was always sustained, and at the session of the first Legislature after the proprietors' surrender of the government the law first enacted was that "for regulating the purchasing of lands from the Indians." (Neville, page 1.) This law forbade with heavy penalty any persons purchasing lands from the Indians except by authority of the proprietors; declared all such purchases previously made illegal, and required the possessors to take title from the proprietors within six months thereafter.

The Indians highly valued their rights of fishing, as the references to them in their deeds of sale show, and the immense quantities of shells piled in heaps at all convenient places along the shores bear witness that they improved these rights to great profit. There are a hundred acres or more of land at South Amboy which are covered from six to eighteen inches deep by these Indian shell deposits. The soil about Communipaw is full of them, and they can be seen along all the creeks and bays from South Amboy to Cape May.

The proprietors purchased all these rights of the Indians, and paid satisfactory prices for them. The purchases were generally made in tracts of a few square miles each, until nearly the whole State was covered by their deeds. Many of these deeds are recorded in the proprietors' books and in the secretary of state's office. At an assembly of all the Indian tribes of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, held at Easton, Pennsylvania, October 8th-26th 1758, two deeds were executed by the Indians and their attorneys. One of these, by the Delawares, was for all the land south of a line drawn from Sandy Hook up the Raritan River and its north branch to the Alamtong (Lamington) Falls, and from thence to the Delaware River at the Paoqualin Mountain (Water Gap). In this the boundary along tidewater is low water mark. The other deed, executed by the Minisink and Pompton Indians, was for all that part of the State lying north of the above-mentioned division line and terminated at the north by a straight line drawn across the country from the mouth of Tappan Creek, in latitude 41ø north, on the Hudson, to Cochecton, in latitude 41ø 40' north, on the Delaware. These deeds were executed and the purchases made by the governor and council for the proprietors, at their expense. (See Directions, etc., Leaming and Spicer, page 37. The deeds in Book 12, pages 85 and 89, secretary of state's office.) In 1832 Bartholomew S. Calvin, a Delaware chief and representing that tribe, memorialized the Legislature for certain fisheries in the southern tract, which he said had never been sold by the Indians. The Legislature did not acknowledge the legality of his claim, but in sheer compassion gave him $2,000 and received a deed of release from all further claims. This, as Gordon says in his History of New Jersey (page 65), was done on "principles of justice, humanity and sound policy. No pecuniary benefit resulted directly to the treasury, as she [the State] possessed in her own right not a single acre of the soil. This by every title, legal and equitable, was fully vested in the proprietaries respectively of East and West Jersey."

When the proprietors in 1702 surrendered the right of government to the crown it was distinctly expressed by the English Board of Trade, who had the matter in hand at that time, that the proprietors only desired to secure their rights in such things as are matters of property. (Leaming and Spicer, page 607). In the discussions between the proprietors and the British Board of Trade respecting the surrender (Leaming and Spicer, page 590), the proprietors ask that "all lands, goods and chattels of felons, felons of themselves, deodands, fugitives, persons outlawed and put in exigent, waifs, estrays, treasures trove, mines and minerals, royal mines, wrecks, royal fish that shall be forfeited, found or taken within East Jersey or by the inhabitants thereof within the seas adjacent, remain to the proprietors, with all other privileges and advantages as amply as in the grant and confirmation to them of the 14th March 1683." The answer of the Board of Trade is: "This article may be reasonable except as to the goods and chattels of traytors, fugitives, and persons outlawed, which is matter of state; nor can right accruing to the proprietors from the seas adjacent be well circumscribed. The grant also of 1683 ought to be duly considered, and such particulars therein as are proper may be allowed of without such a general and undetermined reference."

And, after accepting the surrender, Queen Anne in her instructions to Lord Cornbury, the first royal governor, directed him to secure the rights of the proprietors by proper legislation. Section 36 of the instructions is:

"Our will and pleasure is that, for the better quieting the minds of our good subjects, inhabitants of our said province, and for the purpose of settling the properties and possessions of all persons concerned therein (either as general proprietors of the soil under the first original grant of said province made by the late King Charles II. to the late Duke of York, or as particular purchasers of any parcels of land from the said general proprietors), you shall propose to said General Assembly of our said province the passing of such act or acts whereby the right and property of the said general proprietors to the soil of said province may be confirmed to them according to their respective rights and title; together with all such quit rents as have been reserved or are or shall become due to the said general proprietors from the inhabitants of our said province; and all such privileges as are expressed in the conveyances made by the said Duke of York, excepting only the right of government, which remains in us. And you are further to take care that by the said act or acts so to be passed the particular titles and estates of all the inhabitants of that province and other purchasers claiming under the said general proprietors be confirmed and settled, as of right does appertain, under such obligations as shall tend to the best and speediest settlement or cultivation of the same; provided always that you do not consent to any act or acts to lay any tax on lands that lie unprofitable."

Section 37 is: "You shall not permit any other person or persons besides the said general proprietors or their agents to purchase any lands whatever from the Indians within the limits of their grant."

That everything which was matter of property still remained with the proprietors is evident from the act of the Legislature in relation to settling the partition line between New York and New Jersey, which was passed February 23d 1764 (Allison, New Jersey Laws, page 265, Chap. 397), and which is entitled "An Act for subjecting the estates of the general Proprietors of the Eastern Division of this Colony to the indemnification of this province from any expense in running the line between New Jersey and New York." In running this boundary the proprietors were subject to an expense of œ7,000, and a loss of more than 342,000 acres of land which they had purchased of the Indians, and they received no indication from the State that this loss was of any public importance.

It is only within comparatively recent times that the productive value of lands under water and the advantages pertaining to them have come to be appreciated in East Jersey. But as long ago as 1756 Jacob Spicer, of Cape May, purchased from the proprietors' agent all the rights of the West Jersey proprietors in Cape May county. These rights consisted mainly of the natural privileges—that is, the rights of fishing, fowling, etc., in the sounds, bays, creeks, and thoroughfares which border the shores of the county. These rights-were afterward sold to the inhabitants of the four townships of that county, and the following is a brief of their title and legislative action on it: First Deed.—West Jersey Society to Jacob Spicer sen., dated August 2nd 1756, for all their lands, etc., in Cape May county. Second.—Jacob Spicer sen. to his son Jacob Spicer jr., dated May 6th 1762, devising all his rights to the shell, scale and fin fisheries in said county. Third.—Deeds of lease and release, dated August 3d 1795, between Jacob Spicer jr. of the first part, Franklin Davenport of the second part, and John Lawrence jr. of the third part, for the same in order to cause proceedings in court of chancery whereby a common recovery of the said common or fisheries might be had in the supreme court, confirming Spicer's title. In the supreme court of New Jersey in September 1795 such recovery was had, and Spicer held the estate therein in fee simple. Fourth Deed.—Jacob Spicer and wife to one hundred and twenty-two (by name) inhabitants of the Lower township, dated November 9th 1795. The Legislature passed acts February 5th 1813 and February 26th 1839 incorporating said owners in each township for 25 years, and extending 20 years, granting them corporation powers to make by-laws and regulations as to the management and use of said fisheries, impose penalties on tresspassers, etc. Also an act March 23d 1859 extending the term 20 years longer, the owners thus holding by legislative grant and judgment of New Jersey supreme court in addition to or in confirmation of the title from Spicer. An act was passed in March 1879 extending 20 years longer all fisheries whose charter expired that year.

The fisheries along the Delaware are all held under grants from the proprietors, and they extend to the middle of the river. They are of great value. The right in them is recognized in our State laws, and the title has never been questioned until the recent sale of some of the shore by the riparian commissioners has tresspassed on the fisheries, and a case has been made up in regard to the ownership, which is now awaiting trial before the United States district court.

The right to hold oyster lands as the property of the original proprietors has been contested in several cases before our State courts, and has been decided against them (Arnold v. Mundy, I Halstead, page 1); but the Legislature by its acts has recognized the rights of individual property in these oyster beds, as in the case of Shark River, where individual owners hold leases from the county of Monmouth for lands under water which are planted with oysters; and the common sense and practice of the people all along the seashore, and the bays, creeks and sounds of salt water recognize the rights of property in grounds planted with oysters, and such grounds are respected as individual property and considered of great value.

The council of proprietors has in many instances made grants of land under water, and persons taking title from them still hold possession.

The practice of the proprietors from the beginning has been to sell any land which parties desiring to purchase would improve; considering that sales of this kind, if the conditions of sale were fulfilled, would enhance the value of those lands which remain unsold. This is expressly stated in the grants and concessions, and it is further made a condition in those early grants of headlands and patents which require only the yearly payment of a half penny an acre, or in some cases much less. ("That if any plantation so granted shall, by the space of three years, be neglected to be planted with a sufficient number of servants, as is before mentioned, that then it shall and may be lawful for us otherwise to dispose thereof in whole or in part, this grant notwithstanding."—Leaming and Spicer, page 25.) And it evidently was for the protection of the proprietors in their unimproved or then unproductive lands that the clause was inserted in the instructions to Lord Cornbury, that he should "not consent to any act or acts to lay any tax upon lands that lie unprofitable." This agreement still holds, and lands that have never been sold, or if sold have never been improved according to conditions of rent, still belong to the proprietors. Such lands are now coming to be in demand, at considerable prices. The oyster grounds in the navigable waters, and the mud flats bare at low tide or covered by water too shallow for navigation, are in some cases of great productive or prospective value. The ownership of all these by the successors of the original owners, from whom they purchased them, is just and equitable. The demand for them for useful purposes is now so immediate that we think it is due to the proprietors and to the State to have the titles fully investigated and the questions at issue settled.


The following account of the services of the 11th N. J. volunteers is from a letter by Major Thomas J. Halsey, of that regiment, to Hon. Edmund D. Halsey:

The first engagement was that in front of Fredericksburg, in which the regiment lost two men only; but we had been under fire and the regiment stood up to its work.

Our next engagement was the hard fought battle of Chancellorsville. We were then in the 1st brigade, 2nd division, 3d corps. The regiment went into that fight on the afternoon of May 2nd 1863. After fighting until dark put an end to the contest we lay on our arms all night.

On the morning of the 3d the contest was renewed, and it was a most terrific fight. My company (E) suffered terribly. I took into the fight 54 men; seven were killed outright and twenty wounded, of whom two died from the effects of their wounds. I was shot through the thigh about 9 o'clock, and was carried to the rear by three of my men, one of whom—Sergeant James McDavit, of Dover—was shot through the head and fell dead by my side; and Lieutenant E. E. Newberry was shot through the leg. The regiment did splendid work, losing 157 killed and wounded.

At the battle of Gettysburg, the record shows, the 11th put in good work, as every field officer and all the captains but one were killed or wounded. Captain D. B. Logan, a most splendid officer, from old Morris, was killed in the fight.

Having sufficiently recovered from my wound, I joined the regiment in August at Beal's Station, and, finding myself the senior officer, took command until Colonel McAllister's return.

The next battle was at Locust Grove, on the 27th of November 1863. We had a hard fight. The Excelsior brigade on our right and the 26th Pennsylvania on our left gave way, being hard pressed, and the 11th, being left alone, had to follow suit.

We then went into winter quarters, and I was sent to Trenton on recruiting service. I rejoined the regiment in April following.

On the morning of May 4th 1864 the grand old Army of the Potomac, under Grant, took up the line of march to find Lee and a battle. It did not take us long to find him, ready for a fight, and we had plenty of it. On the 5th we struck the enemy on the Brock road. On the 6th the fighting was terrible. At 4 o'clock in the afternoon Lee massed his forces and tried to break the center; but it was of no use, as our boys were behind works. We punished him most terribly. Many of our men shot over 100 rounds of ammunition apiece.

It was a series of fights from that time on until we arrived in front of Petersburg, in which the 11th regiment was in every engagement. On the 16th of June we had a hard fight, keeping it up until 2 o'clock next morning. The firing was incessant. In that engagement Captain Layton of Jersey City was killed, and many of our men were killed or wounded. On the 21st the regiment was sent to the skirmish line and remained on the line all night. On the 22nd we had a hard fight with General Birney in command (General Hancock being unwell). By some oversight there was a gap on our left, through which General Mahone brought his division, completely flanking us, capturing 1,600 prisoners, among which number I found myself. I thus remained in the sunny south until the next March, when I was exchanged. I rejoined the regiment near Appomattox, and had the extreme satisfaction of heading the regiment in the march through the city of Richmond on our way home.

Below is a list of the Morris county men in Company E of the 11th regiment who were killed or died from disease:

Sergeant James McDavit, William H. Sweet and Daniel Talmadge, killed at Chancellorsville; Sergeant E. Sturtevant, Thomas Tinney and Jacob Miller, killed at Gettysburg; Joshua Beach, wounded and taken prisoner at Locust Grove, and died in prison; Isaac Odell, Columbus Shauger and Cyrus Talmadge, died of disease.

It will be seen from the above that the company lost ten men by bullets and disease of the 63 that went from Morris county.

I can truly say that all the men but three or four acted their part well and did splendid service. Company E was the finest company in the regiment, and I was proud of it.

The 11th did its full share in the glorious cause in which we were engaged, and New Jersey may well feel proud of her gallant sons, as they stand second to none.



The youngest village in Morris county—Butler—is situated in Pequannock township, on the Pequannock River and on the line of the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad. It was until recently that portion of the village of Bloomingdale located in Morris county.

Butler has about 1,100 inhabitants, and has grown up around the factory of the Rubber Comb and Jewelry Company, which gives employment to about 800 persons, two-thirds of whom are men, the remainder women and children. This factory, a view of which is given herewith, is the largest hard rubber factory in the world, its buildings covering an area of upward of four acres in its present incomplete condition; additions being in the course of erection as we go to press.

The "Newbrough Hard Rubber Company" constructed the nucleus of these works some years ago; also the large raceway, nearly two miles long, which now supplies the works with water sufficient to drive two large turbine wheels, which, together with a two hundred horse power engine, give the power for the vast quantity of machinery employed.

"The Union Vulcanite Company," which succeeded the Newbrough, made very few if any improvements, and in December 1876 the Rubber Comb and Jewelry Company became possessors of the factory, consisting at that time of one one-story building 50 by 200 feet. It was at this time that S. S. Sonneborn, one of the most experienced rubber manufacturers of this country, whose experience as a practical manufacturer extends now over a period of a quarter of a century, entered the abandoned factory. Surrounding himself with able scientific assistants, whom he had met and been associated with in Europe, and being himself a model of energy and industry, he soon resurrected the manufacture of hard rubber at this place, and became a powerful competitor to the then larger manufacturers.

Among the more prominent of Mr. Sonneborn's assistants might be mentioned William Kiel and J. P. Lange.

The buzz of the water wheel and the clatter of machinery were again heard in the quiet mountain valley and served to attract people from the neighborhood. Just at this time some factories near by, giving employment to large numbers of hands, had suspended operations, and the roads leading to "the rubber works" were thronged with sturdy men seeking a new field for their labors, a new home. The number of hands in the factory soon increased from 60 to upward of 200; houses began to spring up; the factory grew daily; its products became known and were sought in the market, and thrift and general prosperity were everywhere apparent.

In July 1879 Richard Butler, late of the firm Howard, Sanger & Co., was made president of the Rubber Comb and Jewelry Company and manager of the New York office, while the treasurer, Mr. Sonneborn, remained in charge of the factory. Although numerous and important additions had been made to the factory prior to this time, the largest improvements were now undertaken. Besides enlarging the works to facilitate the production of the goods, which were now in great demand, the company began to improve the land in the immediate vicinity, large tracts of which had been purchased by them. Streets were laid out and a number of dwelling houses erected, which were rented to the employes at low rates. One street is shown in the cut. The last house on this street was finished on the day of the death of Sanford R. Gifford, the gifted American artist, and, as a tribute to his memory and a compliment to his personal friend and executor Mr. Butler, the street was named by Mr. Sonneborn "Gifford street." The artist had visited the place only a short time prior to his death, and was so charmed with the beautiful mountain scenery that he looked forward with great pleasure to the time when he would return and add bits of the picturesque landscape to his collection. Alas! his hopes were not realized; and as his works remain a monument to his industry and his devotion to the art he loved, so does Gifford street betoken the appreciation of his friends and their sorrow at his untimely end.

About this time Messrs. Howell & Noble, of Morristown, who are large land-owners here, erected a number of dwellings, a large store, public hall and hotel, laid out streets, and did much toward the improvement of the village.

Up to this time all mail matter for the factory and the village of which it was the center still came to a post-office situated in another county, viz. Bloomingdale, Passaic county. The necessity for a new post-office became greater daily, and in July 1881 the Hon. Thomas L. James, postmaster general, in answer to the petition of the residents of the Morris county portion of Bloomingdale, established a new post-office, appointing Edward J. Lewi, the proprietor of the largest store in the place, postmaster, and, in recognition of the fact that to the Rubber Comb and Jewelry Company was due the growth of the place, named the office "Butler" after Richard Butler, president of the company.

Shortly after this action on the part of the government a meeting of the property owners of the place was held at the Park Hotel, on which occasion the residents received official notice of that action. A resolution was unanimously carried endorsing this step and asking the Midland Railroad Company of New Jersey (now the New York, Susquehanna and Western) to change the name of the station to Butler, to conform to the name of the post-office. Thus the Morris county portion of Bloomingdale and the station on the line of the railroad became "Butler."

There is probably no important branch of manufacture of which the public has less information than in regard to the making of hard rubber; for that reason it will not be amiss to give here a sketch of the interesting process by which a comb, a pipe stem, a delicately chased pistol-stock or a surgical instrument is produced. These articles and hundreds of others are being manufactured here, since hard rubber has become a necessity in trade and the household. It has superseded dark woods, bone and ivory, in articles which can thus be produced at a much lower figure and are more durable and ornamental. As a material for scientific instruments, particularly electrical and surgical, and for telephone appliances, it has become absolutely indispensable, its insulating properties, flexibility and withal its comparative cheapness making it preferable to any other material.

The crude material, the sap of the rubber tree, is found in the largest quantities in South and Central America and Africa. Having been cured and hardened, it is shipped and comes to the factory in bales and cases, and, after being thoroughly cleansed of all impurities by a system of grinding on slowly revolving rollers which run in water, it is mixed with sulphur and other ingredients, which, when the mass is vulcanized, harden and blacken. After these ingredients have, by repeated passages through the cylinders, been thoroughly incorporated with the rubber, the whole, a soft putty-like mass, is calendered and becomes a sheet of grayish color and of a doughey nature. This sheet is then plated, i. e., it is incased in sheets of very thin tin foil, which are pressed firmly on the soft mass in order to expel all particles of air and moisture. The tin foil used for this purpose is made of the very best metal and is all rolled here, three pairs of rollers of huge size being used for that purpose. The "plated sheets" are then cut into strips of various sizes, according to what is to be made of them. If a comb is to be made, the rubber, sandwiched between the tin, is pressed in the desired shape by the toggle press, five of which are in constant operation. The mould, consisting of two plates, closes on the compound, forcing out between the edges the surplus matter, and forming in a moment of time a solid comb of correct shape and thickness, and without a possible flaw. The power of these presses is calculated at 1,000,000 pounds to the square inch. The rubber now, although pressed into shape, is still a soft, useless mass; the principal step toward its becoming a black, hard body must yet be taken, viz. the vulcanization. This is done by exposure to a temperature of about 275ø in steam-heated cylinders. After about twelve hours the moulded mass is taken from the vulcanizer transformed. The tin is stripped off, and the soft, putty-like mass has become a hard black comb—without teeth. The process of making rubber combs from the plate thus produced is very much the same as that for horn, bone or other hard material. The automatic sawing and cutting machines, the processes of grinding, rubbing and polishing are each interesting to the visitor of these various departments, which contain labor-saving machinery of the latest and most perfect patterns.

All the paper boxes, of which great quantities are used daily, are made in the company's own box factory, where about fifty hands are employed.

The turning-room, where telephones, syringes and countless articles useful and ornamental are made, gives employment to about fifty experienced rubber turners, and the work in this department is known throughout the country for its superior character.


The excellent water facilities have attracted other manufacturers to this place, most prominent among them being the firm Demarest & Russell, manufacturers of "excelsior." The factory is situated on the Pequannock River, about one mile from the station and post-office of Butler. The machines used to cut the poplar, basswood and whitewood into the various grades of excelsior are run by water exclusively, a 30-inch turbine wheel giving the power.

The demand for this article, which is used extensively for bedding, upholstering and packing, has become so great that Messrs. Demarest & Russell have been compelled to build additions to their factory, which now gives employment to sixteen men, which number will be considerably increased when the additions now in course of erection are completed.

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