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of the division; how sir George Carteret assured his highness (he being duke of York) that he chose the least part, because near unto his government of NewYork. It is likewise well known, and can be attested by diverse, that sir George Carteret did value his share, tho’ by him acknowledged not half so large as the other; yet abundantly preferable, upon the account of its being well settled with a sober and industrious people, which would invite others to come there, Whereas the other was a desart, and so little esteemed for some time, that land in East-Jersey sold ordinarily eight, and often ten times the value which was given for land in West-Jersey: It had the advantage of seven fair towns, inhabited by 3500 people; as appears by a list I have: They well accommodated with corn and flock, able to supply at easy rates, new-comers with corn and cattle; which cost the first settlers of WestJersey a third more: Besides the neighbourhood of New-York, a place of great trade, where they could be readily supplied with whatsoever cloaths, utensils, &c. they wanted.
I flattered myself with hopes, that Mr. Penn, a per: son of great ability and interest among the proprietors of New Jersey, and who hath often professed a great kindness for the inhabitants of West-Jersey, would have afforded me some assistance, and moderated at the least the violence of the current, upon the pretended agreement; but he hath frustrated my expectation, by complying with them in all things, and signed with the rest; which I confess was extremely surpriz'ing to me; and will, I doubt not, appear a little strange to divers amongst you: I could not imagine any considerate indifferent person could approve so unreasonable and surreptitious an award: But I perceive, that which most influenced him, is a persuasion that the division ought to be equal in quantity, and is confirmed therein by a passage in Mr. Byllinge's commission for settling bounds; wherein he uses the word equal; and is persuaded, being herein influenced by Mr. Keith's false map, of which I have sent you a copy, that Mr. Reid's proposal is very fair and an exact equal division of the country. I do not herein charge Mr. Penn with any fault, who I believe acts according to his convictions; but I only acquaint you herewith, that you may understand your own misfortune; for had not Mr. Penn embraced our interest, we should probably have made a more speedy and advantageous agreement; the proprietors being mightily fortified by his countenance and authority, to adhere to the late award, only as a great argument of their moderation and justice : They have made an order signed likewise by Mr. Penn, that if upon a new survey, it appears this agreement give them the greater moiety, they will refund so much as may reduce it to an exact quantity. It was a great defect on your part, to agree upon a division either with New-York or East-Jersey, until you had a most exact survey of the country; they of New York and East Jersey, have in this respect, exercised the highest prudence, knowing the whole country to a little, and thereby have both overreached you. I have seen their draughts, than which nothing can be more exact; but they dare not yet print them, till they have adjusted the affair with you, lest their own maps should rise up witness against them: And considering how curiously and diversely Rariton south, and Passaick river are branched, I judge their country, quantity for quantity, double the value of ours: I never yet saw any maps of West-Jersey, in the least comparable to these of East-Jersey: I have sent you a pattern of one part of their country, tho’ they have a draught of every parcel, and ten times more large and particular than this. I do therefore make it my serious advice, and earnest request, that you will, with all speed, cause a very particular map to be made of your country; I do not mean of every propriety or plantation, but a true account of the length, with a note, if any part of the country be extraordinary barren; where those barrens are, and of what extent: I had almost forgot to tell you a pretty policy of Mr. Keith and John Reid, I suppose by direction from some of their superiors: The draughts they produce for division, are not in the least according to truth, nor according to those they sent their proprietors, whereof I having been two years of East Jersey, have most certain knowledge, and exact copies of their own draughts, to compare them; but in those maps they produce for division, they make our country towards the sea and bay, near double the bigness it really bears, and their own almost half as little as really it is; thence arguing for the reasonableness of addition unto the true line; and indeed that which they pretend an equal division, to say nothing of its exceeding ours, generally speaking in goodness; it is above a fifth part greater in quantity, so that having received upon all hands, so unfair dealings, I declare it unto you all, as my opinion and advice; and if I have any authority among you, I intreat and require, that you treat not with them any further about any accommodation, nor own that pretended to be already made; but stand by the letter of the agreement between sir George Carteret and Mr. Byllinge, viz. That the line be run directly from the east side of Little Egg-Harbour, unto the most northerly branch of Delaware river, in forty one degrees and forty minutes: And I question not, but we shall bring them to more reasonable terms than any they have hitherto proposed; at least no pains nor cost shall be wanting on my part; and I have the concurrence of all our proprietors, Mr. Penn excepted, whom I could any ways meet with or consult: And whereas I am very credibly informed that the proprietors of East-Jersey, have ordered lands to be taken
up in divers places near the new pretended line of partition; that having possession, upon a review that may have a more spacious claim; if any attempt of this nature be made, I do not only protest against it, but request and desire that all the inhabitants of WestJersey do the same; and at the same time, the surveyor of West-Jersey, or his deputy, do immediately take up in my name, all that land which is westerly of the Mill-Stone and Rariton river, which was not actually in their possession of East-Jersey, at the time of their pretended award between Mr. Emley and Reid: You will better understand my mind by the inclosed map, which is a copy exactly drawn from one of their originals; and we favour them very much in going no further, (for according to strictness, our line runs within three miles of Perth city) and by allowing them that great tract of most excellent land, from thence to the meeting of Millstone and Rariton river. I shall add one thing more, which seemeth to me of the greatest consequence: I beseech you let there be no animosity or indignation, severe censure, or spightful reflections, on those who gave their consent unto the award made by Emley: For my part, I am fully satisfied in the honesty and fairness of their intentions; but the best of men may be overreached by cunning designing persons; forget what's past, and live together as becomes christians, and neighbours and countrymen. As I have taken care that the publick shall not suffer by their act, so I shall likewise endeavour to secure them from any trouble, only they cannot act in conjunction with the rest of the proprietors; concerning which I shall give them particular instructions; in the interim, I remain your most affectionate friend,
Part of a letter, without signature, to the Proprietors
of East Jersey in England, relating to the dividing line between East and West Jersey.
(From draft in New Jersey Hist. Soc. Library-Papers on West Jersey Line,
Bundle 6, No. 1.11
To WILLIAM DOCKWRA & COMPANY:
Ye hade last inclosed of Surveyors journall & returne of his running the line from Egg harbour so farre as to Rariton river conforme to the award wee obtained at Doctor Greenlands upon the bond of Arbitration entered into by the deputy Govern"s of east and west Jersey & the Com’ittee of the Councill of each province, a Coppy of wch bond & award yee have long ere now by Lord Neil Campbel
Since the line was run by of Surveyor some of the proprietars of west Jersey have purchased land of the Indians, within our line, and particularly Thomas Budde, and the deputy Governo' of this province having notice yt Thomas Budde hade lately passed through to New York, to buy some goods for paying the indians as the price of the said land within o' line, resolved. ? .cause way-lay him upon his returne, wch accordingly was done, and by a warrant directed to the Sherriff he was taken up at John Inians, he locked himself up two or three days & wold not Surrender pretending he was in his own province, and Some other west Jersey men came under pretence to visit him, but as Seemed to rescue him, wch obliged the deputy Governo' to order to the Sheriff a Stronger guard (and this putts the Country to trouble and the proprietars to expense) After five dayes attendance he was brought before the deputy Governo' who told him he was informed against as a person, who contrary to
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-- -The draft from which this was taken is almost illegible from age and peculiar chirography. No date is attached to it, but from its contents it is supposed to have been written in 1687 or early in 1688. ED.