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1 8 5 T. 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year One thousand eight 
hundred and fifty-six, by the 


In the Clerk's Office in the District Court of the United States for New Jersey. 













SupeHntendent of New Jersey State Geological Surveij. 


Superintendent of the Geological Survey of the State of New Jersey. 


I have the honor herewith to submit the Final Report 

on the Geology of the County of Cape May. 

With much respect, 

Your obedient servant, 


Assistant State Geologist. 

KuTGERS College, New Brunswick, 
November 24, 1856. 


The following Report, on the Geology of the County of 
Cape May, is made under the authority of an Act of the 
Legislature of the State of New Jersey, passed March 2, 
1854, entitled "An Act to cause a Geological Survey." 
The act requires, "That when the survey of a county 
shall have been completed, it shall be the duty of the 
Governor to require the same to be published." 

In presenting this Report I feel some degree of hesi- 
tation ; for the general survey of the State is yet incom- 
plete, and I cannot flatter myself that all my conclusions 
will remain without modification, when a more extended 
series of facts is brought together; or that my views are 
so comprehensive as not to be extended with longer time 
and further observations. 

The survey was partly made in the summer of 1855, 
and was finished in that of 1856. 

In the geology of the county there is but little variety ; 
its formations are all of the most recent period. A gra- 
dual subsidence of the land, and the changes attending it. 


are perhaps the most interesting features in its geological 

The agricultural resources of the county, and the means 
for their development, have been prominent subjects of 
study; and, in this respect, I feel confident that the results 
will be valuable to the State, and will justify the enlight- 
ened policy which originated and has sustained the survey. 
From the location of the County of Cape May, remote 
from the great lines of travel, it has heretofore been but 
little known in other parts of the State; and, on account 
of its distance from market, its agriculture has not been 
much developed. Its climate is delightful; it has a soil 
which yields generous returns to the cultivator; and its 
resources for fertilizers are almost unequaled. It is sus- 
ceptible of a high degree of agricultural improvement, and 
is now rapidly advancing. Within the last six years the 
q[uantity of its staple agricultural products has increased 
fifty per cent., and the price of land has doubled. When 
the railroads now in process of construction are opened 
through this county, and proper facilities for marketing 
are afforded, the whole area of Cape May will be desirable 
ground for farmers and market gardeners. 

Accompanying the Eeport is the elaborate and beauti- 
fully executed map of the county, by Lieut. E. L. Viele, 
State Topographical Engineer. The importance of this 
map for exhibiting the geography and topography, as well 
as the geology of the county, must commend it to the 
approval of every one. I have colored it in accordance 
w ith the geological descriptions given in the Report. 

Though no specific provision has been made for other 


departments of Natural History than Geology and Mine- 
ralogy, I have thought it would be useful to present cata- 
logues of its zoological and botanical productions; and for 
this purpose have availed myself of the opportunities^ 
which have offered to procure such catalogues, and regret 
that I am not able to present them in every department. 

A catalogue of the birds and of the larger wild animals 
of the county has been contributed by Thomas Beesley, 
Esq. 5 of Dennisville. To persons in the county, the name 
of the contributor will be a sufficient voucher for the full- 
ness and accuracy of the list. 

A catalogue of the fishes found in the vicinity of Bees- 
ley's Point, prepared by Prof. Spencer F. Baird, of the 
Smithsonian Institution, is copied from the Ninth Annual 
Report of that Institution. This list adds much to our 
knowledge of the fishes of the shores of New Jersey; and 
the distinction of Prof. Baird, as an ichthyologist, gives it 
the stamp of authority. 

A catalogue of plants collected at, and near, Beesley's 
Point by Samuel Ashmead, Esq., is inserted. It contains 
but a small proportion of the plants found there; but it 
shows the most common species of flowering plants of that 
part of the State. Mr. Ashmead also furnishes a list of 
the Marine Algae growing in the same neighborhood. He 
" has found a much greater variety of species at Beesley's 
Point than Professor Harvey allots to the New Jersey 
coast." A set of beautifully preserved specimens of all the 
algae, and of part of the phenogamous plants, was pre- 
sented to the State collection by Mr. Ashmead. 

A Sketch of the Early History of the County of Cape 


May has been prepared for this Eeport, by Dr. Maurice 
Beesley, of Dennisville. It embodies the facts which he 
has been years in collecting, and contains a great deal of 
matter which has never before been printed. Intended as 
this work is for general circulation in the county, I think 
this article will increase its importance and usefulness. 




As a district for geological investigation^ the County 
of Cape May presents but few features of interest. It 
has no mines^ no quarries^ no rock formations whatever. 
It has no hills, no bold shores ; nor any railroad or other 
excavations by means of which its geological structure 
can be studied. With an area of 266 square miles, it has 
only 46 square miles of cleared upland. The rest of the 
county is either in forest, or is salt-marsh. 

No remains of animals or of plants, of species different 
from those now living, are known to have been found 
within the limits of the county. 

§ In geographical position, it is the most southerly 
county of the State. The well-known cape, which lies on 
the north side of the outlet of Delaware Bay, is in this 
county, and gives name to it. Its boundaries are as follows : 
Beginning "^ at the mouth of a small creek on the west of 
Stipson's Island, called West Creek; thence up the said 
creek as high as the tide floweth ; thence in a straight line 


to the place where the waters of Mill or Hickman's Creek 
fall into the channel of Tuckahoe River ; thence down this 
and Great Egg Harbor Elvers to the sea; thence along 
the sea-coast to Delaware Bay, and so up the said Bay 
to the place of beginning." 

It is divided into four townships. Lower, Middle, Dennis, 
and Upper. Each reaches entirely across the county from 
the sea-shore to Delaware Bay, or to the Cumberland line ; 
and, beginning at the south end of the county, they stand 
in the order in which they have been named. 

The line between Lower and Middle, as described in 
the order of the Court in 1723, runs ^^from John Tay- 
lor's Branch to the middle main branch of Fishing Creek." 
It is drawn on the map as it is generally received. 

The line between Middle and Upper was described at 
the same time, as running "^ from Thomas Leamiug's 
[Branch?] to a creek called Dennis' (now Sluice) Creek, 
and down it to the Bay." 

Upper (which formerly included ^Hhe residue of the 
county,") was divided by act of the Legislature in 1826 ; 
a new township called Dennis, being set off from the side 
next Middle. The division line runs from the intersection 
of the old County, or Cape May road, with the Cumber- 
land line, southeasterly, a direct course to the head of 
Ludlam's Creek at the Shore road ; thence, down said 
creek to its mouth ; thence, the course of the direct line, 
crossing Ludlam's Sound and Beach to the Atlantic 

§ The areas of the several townships are given in the 



following tables ; in the first, in square miles, and in the 
second, in acres. Under the head of Cleared^ Upland., is 
included all the land which is now free of timber, and 
has been cultivated. With the Wood and Bush-land ^ is 
included all the land now in timber or sprouts— also the 
cedar and timber swamps. The Salt-Marshy includes the 
flat meadows which, when not banked in, are liable to 
be overflowed by high tides; together with the creeks, 
thoroughfares, and inlets which are in them, A few of 
the large Sounds and Bays which lie in the Salt-Marsh 
have been computed and are set down separately. The 
Beaches, are the long and narrow sandy ridges which 
line the whole length of the sea-side, and much of the 
bay-side of the county.* 

Classified Areas of the Townships of Cape May in Square Miles, 





Wood and 






Total of 

Lower . . . 
Middle . . . 
Dennis . . . 
Upper . . . 







Total of County 







* These areas were obtained by carefully copying the Map of the County on tracing 
cloth, and then cutting the cloth in pieces on the lines dividing these several descriptions 
of land, and estimating each separately. The estimate was made by weighing a portion 
of the cloth which would represent a square mile ; weighing the several pieces of the map, 
and then calculating the areas by proportion. 

Within this area was of course included the water of the bays, sounds, and inlets. 
The north line was traced along the borders of Tuckahoe River and Great Egg 



Classified Areas of the Townships in Acres, 


Wood and 




Total of 

60,047 . 

Lower .... 
Middle. . . . 
Dennis . . . . 
Upper . . . . 










Total of County 



, 58,824 , 




The accompanying Map of the county shows the several 
varieties of land referred to in the table, and gives a clearer 
idea of their distribution than any description in words 
possibly can. 

§ A MOST remarkable feature in the topography is the 
large extent of salt-marsh. A strip of it extends the 
whole length of the eastern side of the county, from Bees- 
ley's Point to Cape Maj^j being thirty miles long, and from 
two, to three and a half miles wide. Marshes of a more 
limited width are found along the Bay-shore for ten or 
twelve miles up from the Cape ; and about the mouths of 
Goshen, Dennis, East and West Creeks there is another 
very large body of marsh. It is somewhat triangular in 
form, with a base on the Bay of about five miles, and 
its apex on Dennis Creek, four miles and a half from the 
Bay. On Tuckahoe River, and on Great Cedar Swamp 
Creek, there is another tract of marsh several miles in 

The cleared upland is almost entirely upon the two 
main roads of the county, the sea-shore and the bay-side 
roads; and the wood and bush-lands occupy its central 
portions. Included in the woodlands are several large 



tracts of white cedar swamp, and of hard- wood or iimher 

§ The surface is uniform, and hut little elevated above 
the level of the sea. The salt-marshes, indeed, are nearly 
at the level of high-water mark. The sand beaches are 
usually from 1 to 26 feet high, though some are higher; 
one or two on Seven-mile Beach were found reaching the 
height of 35 feet. The upland, or fast land of the county, 
is also very uniform. The highest ridges in the county 
are not more than 40 feet high, and it is doubtful whether 
any reach that elevation. The highest one measured, 
which was that between the sea-side road and the marsh, 
ten miles up from Cape Island, was a little under that 
height. The ridge called Mount Pleasant, on the road 
between Dennisville and Tuckahoe, is only eight or ten 
feet above the surrounding country, and is probably not 
more than twenty feet above high-water mark."^ The 
slight variation in the surface of the upland will be seen 
from the following table of heights, from the profiles of the 
West Jersey Eailroad.f The line of the road, as sur- 

'!• Tides. — The following table is taken from the Report of the Superintendent of the 
U. S. Coast Survey for 3 854. 

Rise and fall of the tide in feet and tenths. 




Governor's Island, New York Harbor 

Sandy Hook 

Cold Spring Inlet .... 
Cape May Landing .... 


E-g Island Light .... 
Philadelphia, Walnut Street Wharf 





f For the use of these profiles, the Survey is indebted to the kindness of Gen. William 
Cook, Chief Engineer of the Camden and Amboy Railroad Company. 



veyed, was straight from the bridge over Island Creek at 
Cape Island to Dennisville; there it curved slightly to the 
left, and then continued^ on another straight course, to the 
western border of the county, which it crossed near Hoff- 
man's Mill. In the table, the first column gives the miles 
from Cape Island ; the second gives the average elevation 
in feet, of each mile above high tide; the third gives the 
highest ground passed over in each mile; and the fourth 
gives the lowest. 

Miles from 

Average height in 

Greatest height ic 

Least height in 

Cape Island. 




































































































§ This extreme uniformity of surface is a great hindrance 
to the study of the geological structure of the county. 
The slight elevations, which are met with, are generally in 


hillocks rather than in extended ridges ; and the streams, 
which in some countries indicate a general direction for 
the valleys and ridges, are here short. They rise in the 
swamps and higher flat grounds in the central part of 
the county, and run directly towards the ocean or Bay. 
The only valley of much length is that of the Great Cedar 
Swamp, which extends from Delaware Bay to Great Egg 
Harbor, a distance of fifteen miles. Its direction is north- 
east and southwest. In that part of the county, between 
this valley and the Cumberland line, the ridges and 
streams tend to a northeast and southwest direction more 
than to any other; but the difference is not a very marked 

§ The soil and subsoil of the upland is generally a sandy 
loam; in some places so light as to be called a sandy 
soil, and in others with clay enough to make it a loam. 
Gravel is found in all parts of the county, though very 
irregularly deposited. It is coarser and more abundant in 
the northern and northwestern parts. At North Dennis- 
ville, at Petersburg, and on the intervening ridges, all of 
w^hich lie on the northwest margin of the Great Cedar 
Swamp, the gravel is very coarse, and forms a large con- 
stituent of the soil. In the wells, which are generally 
from eight to twenty feet deep, the materials passed 
through are similar to those upon the surface, consisting 
of sand and gravel, with an occasional layer of compact 
clayey loam. At Cape Island there is a bluff bank about 
twelve feet high, and several hundred yards long, which 
gives a short section of the material which forms the 
Island. It is a fine, loamy sand, with some gravel, similar 


to the surface soil of that place. At Town Bank the upland 
comes out to the Bay with a bold shore from fifteen to 
twenty feet high; and the action of the waves has exposed 
its structure very distinctly. It is composed of stratified 
sand and gravely with a little loam in some of the layers. 
The lines of stratification are generally horizontal, though 
a slight inclination, in one direction or the other, is per- 
ceptiJDle at a few points. 

At Congress Hall, Cape Island, a deep well was dug by 
the proprietor of the house, for the purpose of supplying 
it with good w^ater. Jonas Miller, Esq., has kindly fur- 
nished me with the following memoranda of the different 
kinds of earth passed through in digging it. 

1 foot of soil ; 

4 feet of hard, pebbly gravel ; 
10 feet of coarse sand; 
4 feet of clay ; 

2 feet of clay, with crusts of iron ; 

9 feet of white sand, with an abundant supply of water; 

30 feet, whole depth. 

Several Artesian wells have been bored at, and near, 
Cape Island. Two of these, one at the United States 
Hotel, and the other at the Mount Vernon Hotel, have 
been very successful, yielding an abundant supply of 
water. The details of the materials passed through, 
and the depths, are given in the accompanying figures. 

A well bored for Mark Devine, Esq., on the shore at 
the bridge near the light-house, failed of furnishing fresh 

Scale, 16 feet to an inch. 




WATE/i tr/ WL-IL. 

HIGH WA TER mflKl^ l'- 5 



WAT£R I// well "l^j- 


I I' 

cjvi> or ri/B£¥\ M 

«'t//»/>/ y or WATEP ^ -^ 


water at 120 feet. There was no layer of clay found to 
shut off the salt water. For the particulars in regard to 
these wells, the survey is indebted to Mr. J. N. Bolles, 
of Baltimore, a gentleman who has had extensive experi- 
ence in boring Artesian wells in various parts of New 
Jersey, as well as in the adjoining States. The remark 
made by Mr. Bolles, that the gravel in the bottom of the 
well at the Mount Vernon House is like that at Cold 
Spring, should be noticed. Cold Spring, three miles north 
of Cape Island, is noted for a large spring of fresh water 
in the valley just north of the village. There is no 
spring of fresh water on the Cape south of this; and 
it appears to be thought by Mr. Bolles, and others 
have expressed the opinion, that the gravel stratum, in 
which the water comes to the surface at Cold Spring, 
dips to the south, and is eighty or ninety feet below tide- 
level at Cape Island ; and that the water in the Artesian 
wells at the Island is from the same stratum which sup- 
plies the spring at the former place. 1 am sorry to say 
that I have not been able to get any other facts, which 
would throw further light upon this point. 

§ Very few boulders are to be found anywhere in the 
county; none in the southern part. In the vicinity of 
Dennisville, particularly of North Dennisville, they are 
more common than elsewhere. Several of them are in 
sight of the road from Dennis to Port Elizabeth, and within 
one or two miles of the former village. They are found 
among the gravel on the ridges along the northwest border 
of the Great Cedar Swamp ; they are said to be found in 
the gravel beneath the muck of the Cedar Swamp, and a 


few occur on the southeast side of the same swamp near 
Dennisville. These boulders vary from a few pounds up 
to two or three tons. They are mostly of a stratified sili^ 
cious stone, some specimens compact enough to be called 
quartz rock, and others more or less friable like a sand- 
stone. Small boulders of granite rock are occasionally 
met with. 

§ The gravel stones found with the boulders are very 
coarse, and remarkable for the variety in their compo- 
sition. Quartz pebbles are most abundant, but those of 
slate, limestone, and sandstone are common; and those 
containing shells, corals, and other organic remains, are 
frequently met with. These fossils appear to belong to 
the Silurian rocks which are in place in the northwestern 
part of the State, and in New York and Pennsylvania. 
Towards the lower part of the Cape the gravel is not as 
coarse, and is more quartzose in its character; not only 
granular quartz, but impure agate^ chalcedony, &c., being 
common. The strands near the steamboat landing, and at 
Town Bank, are noted localities for transparent quartz 
pebbles. These are much sought after by visitors, and are 
known as Cape May diamonds. The same varieties of 
pebble are also found in the banks and on the upland, but 
being covered with loam, they are not as conspicuous as 
they become after having been washed from the bank, and 
exposed for some time to the roll of the surf. 

§ At Tuckahoe, casts and impressions of the common 
chmi (Venus mercenaiia) are found in cemented gravel. The 
cementing material is oxide of iron, and no traces of the 
lime of the original shell are left. Some of the casts are 


very perfect; and being supposed by many in the vicinity 
to be the fleshy part of the clam petrified^ they are known 
as petrified clams. The locality where they are found 
most abundantly is upon the point of land between the 
two roads which lead from Tuckahoe, the one towards 
Petersburg, and the other towards Dennisville, and 
within a quarter of a mile of the village. They are 
usually within a few inches of the surface. The ground 
is nearly level, and six or eight feet above high water. 

About five miles south of Beesley's Pointj and a short 
distance west of the sea-side road, on land of Mr. Jonathan 
Godfrey, is a locality of shell-marl. It was discovered 
several years since in the roots of a tree which had been 
blown down. It was also found in a water-hole. Mr. 
John Stites and myself, found it on the right of the road 
leading from the sea-side to the upper bridge across Cedar 
Swamp Creek. It was in a swampy hollow, and was 
covered by a foot of decayed leaves and muck, and one 
and a half feet of sand. The marl was a mixture of 
broken shells and blue mud, and only about a foot and a 
half thick. The shells appeared to be those of the oyster ; 
all very much broken. A few specimens of a little snail, 
or periwinkle {Bucciniim ohsoletum) were found. It does 
not appear to be very extensive, as in trials since made in 
the vicinity it was not met with. The ground is several 
feet above tide, and is covered with trees and bushes. 

§ A REMAKKABLE fact in regard to buried stumps at 
Cape Island, was related to me by Dr. S. S. Marcy, of 
that place. It was observed by himself several years 
since. Immediately after a violent easterly storm, w^hich 


had washed the earth out very low on the strand in front 
of the boarding-houses, when the tide was out, he saw a 
large number of stumps upon the sand. They were stand- 
ing upright, and, on examining them carefully, he found 
there was every indication that they were in the spot 
where they grew. They were of medium size ; about as 
thick as trees usually stand in a forest — perhaps a hundred 
of them on an eighth of an acre — some of them were of 
oak. The bark was still on the roots, and the traces of 
the fibrous rootlets were to be seen in the earth around 
them. The next tide again buried them in the sand, and 
they have not since been seen, to the Doctor s knowledge. 
The spot where they stood, was, within the last thirty or 
forty years, covered twelve feet deep by the rich loamy soil 
of Cape Island. 

The farm near the light-house, which is a loamy and 
fertile soil, without any resemblance to the beaches now 
forming from the ocean, is underlaid to some extent, at 
the depth of about two feet, by oyster and clam shells. It 
is common to find them, at that depth, in digging holes for 
fence posts, as I am informed by the Hon. Downes Ed- 
munds. This land is elevated a few feet above tide-level. 



n^HE facts which have been stated^, together with others 
collected in adjacent parts of the State^* become the 
basis for classifying the formations of the county, and 
determining their geological age. The conclusion I have 
arrived at from them, is, that they all belong to the Qua- 
ternary System of the Geologists, and that two formations 
can be distinctly recognized — the Drift and the Alhivium, 

System^ has reference to geological age, and the Qua- 
ternary System is that which has originated in the latest 
or most recent of the geological periods. 

Formation^ has reference to origin, and the Drift Forma- 

''!■" Shells of the common clam and oyster have been found several feet beneath the sur- 
face, in digging wells near the Delaware, in the township of Lower Alloway's Creek, Salem 
County. They were hut little above tide. At Fairton, Cumberland County, on the east of 
the Cohansey, shells have been found near the bottoms of wells; the land there being not 
much elevated above tide. Shells have also been found in wells on Turkey Point, in 
Downe Township, under similar circumstances. They have also been found a little above 
high-water mark, in the clay, at the brickyard in Buckshutem. In the east bank of Mau- 
rice River, a mile above Port Elizabeth, on the Lore property, there is an oyster-bed ex- 
posed by the wearing away of the bank, which is at least ten feet above high-water mark. 
It is in blue mud, and the shells are closely bedded in with their edges upward, just as 
they are in the shell-beds found at the mouths of the creeks, and in the bay. The bank 
is twenty feet high, and about two hundred feet long. The material under the shells is clay 
and sand ; the shells are in a layer of from a foot to a foot and a half thick in blue mud, 
which is stratified in curved strata. The upper part of the bank is sand, and without strati- 
fication. The tide rises there between seven and eight feet. Other beds of shells are found 
on the Manamusking, near Port Elizabeth, Near Leesburg, and also near Heislerville, 
on Ewing's Neck, shells, of the species now common in the Bay, are found in the upland, 
covered with several feet of earth. At May's Landing, Atlantic County, stumps have 
been met in digging wells ', and at Barnegat, in Ocean County, both stumps and shells of 
the common kinds have been found in like situations. 


tion includes those materials — sand^ ^^^y^ gravely and loose 
stone — which have been brought to their, present places 
from sources more or less distant; while the Alluvial For- 
mation includes those sands^ clayS;, loams^ mud^ peat, &C.5 
which have been deposited where they now are, from 
sources comparatively near. 

Of these two formations, the Drift is the oldest. The 
mode of its origin, and the causes which have brought 
its materials to their present places, have been the subject 
of much discussion, and are not yet well understood. The 
Alluvium is still forming, and the modes of its production 
are various, but well known. 

§ The remains of animals and plants which are found 
in the Alluvium are those of species still in existence ; 
and the same is true, of at least a part, of those of the 

The Drift Formation^ in this county, includes very nearly 
all the uplands within its bounds. That part where loose 
stones and boulders are found, is unquestionably of this 
formation ; and the remainder of the upland, which con- 
tains no fossils, which has extensive beds of gravel— the 
gravel containing fragments of rocks which are in place 
considerably north or northwest of this — and, in general, 
which possesses none of those peculiar and distinctive cha- 
racters belonging to the upland of the succeeding forma- 
tion, is, so far as my present knowledge extends^ properly 
classed here. 

The Alluvium includes some limited portions of upland 
not comprehended in the above description of the Drift. 
It is not easy to draw a distinct line of division between 


the Drift and the upland Alluvium, unless there are fossil 
shells, trees, or other organic remains found in them. By 
these means Cape Island, the farm near the light-house, and 
the shell marl near Beesley's Point, which were mentioned 
on p. 27, are easily distinguished as Alluvium. Some 
other points, as Stipson's Island, on which organic remains 
have not been found, can be recognized as being also Allu- 
vium from the quality of their soil, and from the mud and 
brackish water which are found a few feet beneath the 
surface. There are numerous points of land on the edge of 
the fast ground, both on the Bay-shore and on the sea-side, 
which are probably Alluvium; but the lack of other evi- 
dence than the quality of the soil prevents the positive 
decision of the question. These alluvial soils appear to 
have been formed by the washing of the finer sand and 
loam from the higher grounds, and the deposition of 
them in lower situations. 

§ The sand-beaches on the ocean and bay-shores, the 
salt-marshes, and the cedar swamp-bottoms, are also 
alluvial, and they are now in process of formation or 

§ As these changes are of an important character, and 
will aid in making intelligible the descriptions of the 
formations above mentioned, they may be introduced here. 
For many years past it has been a subject of remark 
among the older inhabitants, that the tides came up on the 
uplands higher than formerly, and that the salt grass was 
killing out the fresh grass, or the timber which formerly 
grew on the borders of the upland. Judge Goffe, of East 
Creek, gives it as his opinion that fifty acres, part heavy 


oak timber, and part cultivated land, have thus been lost 
from Stipson's Island within the fifty years since he resided 
there with his father. His opinion is corroborated by Mr. 
James L. Smith, who has resided on the island for the last 
thirty-six years, and has lost many acres of good wheat 
land within that period. Mr. Charles Ludlam, of South 
Dennisville, pointed out to me places now covered with 
salt grass which were formerly upland, and covered with 
trees; he also showed me an island in the marsh, west of 
the bridge, which he thinks has lost two feet of its eleva- 
tion above the marsh since his recollection. 

An island in the meadow of Eichard Leaming, between 
Dennisville and Goshen, had living trees upon it seventy 
years ago. Mr. Albert Peterson sounded the depth of the 
mud on it this summer, and found it to be four and a half 
feet. The bottom of this may be muck, but it has a con- 
siderable depth of marsh mud on top, and high tides run 
over it. 

Mr. Stephen Hand, on the sea-side, ten miles from Cape 
Island, showed me places in the borders of his salt-marsh 
where trees and bushes had grown since he owned the 
land. Mr. Joshua Townsend, near Townsend's Inlet, on 
the sea-side, knows, in his own vicinity, several spots where 
white oak trees grew since his recollection, which are now 
covered with marsh. Mr. Nicholas Godfrey, two miles 
below Beesley's Point, has instances on his own land where 
the timber has been killed out, and salt-marsh taken its 
place since his recollection. Mr. John Stites, Sen., of Bees- 
ley's Point, says the advance of the marsh on the upland 
is unquestioned. Mr. Stephen Young, at the Toll Bridge 


over Cedar Swamp Creek, " knows the salt water comes 
higher on t*he upland than formerly, by the killing of tim- 
ber on the low borders of the upland." Testimony of the 
same sort, to any amount, can be obtained; but the above, 
from different parts of the county, is suflicient. Observa- 
tions on the dying out of timber can easily be made by any 
one who is interested to do so. 

In most of the marsh near the upland, which is shallow, 
fallen timber is found buried ; and the stumps of trees are 
still standing with their roots in the solid ground where 
they grew. The timber found in this condition is of oak, 
gum, magnolia, cedar, pine, and other species, such as are 
now the natural growth of the country. Where they are 
of pine, cedar, or other durable wood, their broken and 
weather-worn trunks are seen projecting above the marsh 
which has overrun the place of their growth. On the land 
side of the beaches, along the sea-shore, large numbers of 
leafless and dead red cedars may be seen . standing in the 
marsh, the indestructibility of the wood keeping the trees 
erect, although the marsh has, in some instances, gathered 
around them to the depth of several feet. Instances of 
this sort were seen on all the beaches ; and they may also 
be seen on the low sandy islands which stand in the marsh 
opposite each of the inlets. It was observed very strikingly 
in the salt-holes on Nummy's Island, which lies in front of 
Hereford Inlet. Cedar stumps and roots were lying in 
many of these holes, and the sandy bottom on which they 
grew was but little under the marsh. Within the last 
fifty years the island is said to have had a considerable 
growth of cedar on it; now there is but a single living tree 


left, and there is every indication that the whole island 
will soon be covered by the marsh. 

The swamps of white cedar, adjoining the marshes, are 
continually encroached upon by the tide ; the timber on 
the borders is gradually being killed by the salt water ; and 
hundreds of acres are to be seen about Dennisville all 
dotted over by cedar stumps, which are still standing 
where they grew, though the salt grass has long since 
taken the place of the living timber. The soft and spongy 
nature of the cedar swamp-bottoms would lead one to sup- 
pose that the mud, with the load upon it, was gradually 
going down, were it not for the fact that these bottoms are 
found far below tide-level, and the muck of which they con- 
sist, extending down to the gravel. The following section, 
from examinations meide in company wdth Dr. Maurice 
Beesley, shows the extent, and some of the effects of this 

The timber and earth of the swamp, it will be seen, ex- 
tend quite down to the hard ground, which is eleven feet 
under the surface of the marsh. In some trials which were 
made in the thoroughfare between Dennis and Goshen Creeks, 
the cedar swamp earth was found at least seventeen feet 
below the level of the marsh ; and some cedar stumps of 
large size are known to be in the bed of Dennis Creek, 
which are covered by seven feet of water at low tide. The 
appearance of these last-mentioned, indicates that they are 
in the spot where they grew. 

Some years since, an outlet was needed from a number 
of tide-ponds near East Creek, into Dennis Creek. For this 
purpose a ditch, ten feet wide and three feet deep, w^as dug 


o fS 

;^ g. w 



across the marsh from the ponds to the creek. Nothing 
but mud and grass roots were met in digging the ditch. 
From the size of the pondSj a large quantity of water neces- 
sarily passed through the ditch at every tide. The noise 
made "by the violent rush of the water gave the name of 
Rociring Ditch to the outlet; and the wear of the banks 
soon changed it from its original narrow dimensions to a 
large channel^ seventy or eighty feet wide, and from one to 
four feet deep at low water ; and, what is very remarkable, 
is, that the whole bottom of the passage is thickly set with 
pine, cedar, and gum stumps. Some of these are laid bare 
at low water, and others are covered with several feet of 
water. They stand upright, and there is every indication 
they are in the spot where they grew. 

Judge Goffe relates, that, in digging a ditch through one 
of the shallow tide-ponds, under the mud were found mag- 
nolia and huckleberry roots ; then four feet of mud, beneath 
which were found large pine stumps; and when the ditch 
came to be worn or dug still lower, white cedar snags were 
found four or five feet under those of pine. The cedar 
snags were standing, and there were four or five feet of 
water on them at low tide. 

§ The wearing away of the shores wherever exposed to 
the action of the tides is not uncommon in other localities ; 
but it is so rapid on most of the shores of this county, that 
it may be fairly considered an efiect of this subsidence. 

On the side towards the Atlantic, the upland is protected 
by the salt-marsh and the beaches; but the beaches them- 
selves are rapidly wearing. Hundreds of acres of flat or 
sloping sands are now to be seen where a few years since 


sand banks from fifteen to thirty feet high were standing, 
and covered with living trees. The rapidity with which 
these wear away is different in different years. Dr. Learn- 
ing, of Seaville, thinks that the Seven-mile Beach, opposite 
his residence, has worn away a hundred yards within the 
last twenty years. Other residents of the county, who are 
familiar with the beaches, think this estimate not a large 

Mr. Ezekiel Stevens says, that from the accounts given 
him by his father, the shore in front of the boarding-houses 
at Cape Island must have worn away nearly a mile since 
the Revolution. Daring the war of that period a militia 
artillery company had its practicing ground here. Their 
gun was placed near- a house which stood just outside the 
present shore line, and their target was set up at the outer 
side of a corn field three quarters of a mile east. Beyond 
this there were sand beaches for nearly or quite a quarter of 
a mile, and then the sea-shore. The whole of this ground 
is now gone, and one of the boarding-houses has been 
moved back twice. The wear has not been as perceptible 
for a few years past, the bank having been protected by a 
covering of cedar brush. 

At Town Bank, on the Bay-shore, where the first settle- 
ment in the county was made in 1691, there has been a 
rapid wear of the shore. In a note made by Aaron Learn- 
ing, in relation to the grave of his grandfather, who was 
buried here in 1694, he says : "In 1734 I saw the graves; 
they were then fifty rods from the Bay, and the sand was 
blown up to them. The town was formerly between them 
and the water. There were still some signs of the ruin of 
the houses." The grave-yard is now all washed away. A 


few years since a skull was picked up on the strand which 
had the appearance of one long buried, and which had 
probably fallen from the bank. At dead low water, the 
marks of three wells can just be distinguished at the same 
place. Nathan C. Price, surveyor at Town Bank, says his 
lines, which run to the shore, are shorter by forty or fifty 
rods than they were in 1776. The Cedar Hummocks at 
Goshen are also wearing away. 

From the Cedar Hummocks to West Creek there are no 
sand beaches, and the salt-marsh is exposed to the direct 
action of the waves. Dennis Creek is said to have lost 
more than a mile of its length within the last sixty or 
seventy years, by the wearing away of the marsh at its 
mouth. Several rods in width of the marsh are sometimes 
worn away during a single storm. Four years since, a 
human body, in :an advanced stage of decomposition, was 
washed up on the shore near the mouth of Dennis Creek. 
It was carried in forty rods from the shore, and buried in 
the marsh. A year ago it was found the shore was worn 
away quite up to the grave, and the coffin was washed out. 

Mr. James L. Smith, of Stipson s Island, who has sur- 
veyed much of the land about Dennisville, says there was 
always a large allowance made by the old surveyors in 
running out the marshes, so that it is difficult to trace their 
lines with accuracy; but that, to the best of his judgment, 
a strip fully three-quarters of a mile wide has been worn 
from the marsh, the whole distance from West Creek to 
Dennis, since the first surveys were made.* 

•■' Numerous facts of the same kind have been collected along the shores of Delaware 
Bay and River, in Salem and Cumberland Counties, and on the sea-side in Atlantic, 
Ocean, Monmouth, and Middlesex Counties. 


There is a common opinion among the watermen along 
the Bay-shorOj that the mouth of Maurice River was for- 
merly down near Fishing Creek, and that East, West, Den- 
nis, and Goshen creeks were its branches. Their reason 
for this opinion, in addition to that derived from the pre- 
sent rapid wear of the shore, is, that a line of oyster-beds 
is found out in the Bay, at different points, between the 
present mouth of Maurice Eiver and Fishing Creek; and 
similar beds extend out from the mouths of the other 
creeks for some distance into the Bay. New beds do not 
form in the Bay now. These beds, near the mouths of the 
creeks, are almost bare at low-water ; that opposite Fishing 
Creek is in twelve feet of water. There is also a tradition, 
derived from the Indians, that trees formerly grew on the 
bank which is now Fishing Creek Shoal. More facts are 
needed to give certainty to this opinion; but it is by no 
means improbable. 

§ The change of level between the land and water has 
produced an effect upon the efficiency of several mills 
which were located on or near tide-water. Mr. Nicholas 
Godfrey had a tide mill on the sea-shore, two miles below 
Beesley's Point. He attended this mill himself for twenty- 
five years, during which time no changes were made in the 
arrangement of the wheel and raceways. He hnows that in 
that time he lost, at least, four inches of head by the in- 
creased height of low water, and says it may have been more. 
The lower mill on West Creek was built fifty-two years 
since. It is a pond mill, and its wheel-pit floor w^as cai;e- 
fully set, so that it might be as low as possible, and not be 
affected by the tide which flows up to it ; and it has not 


been altered since. When first builtj it was only an ex- 
tremely high storm-tide that would stop it ; now^ a com- 
mon perigee tide will stop it; and it is stopped in this way 
perhaps twenty times in a year. Judge GofFe, my informant^ 
is of opinion^ that the tide rises on the wheel fifteen inches 
higher than at first, and he is sure it is not less than twelve 

The saw-mill on Sluice Creek, owned by Mr. Clinton Lud- 
1am, has been built a hundred years. It is a pond mill, 
and from the old papers in Mr. Ludlam's possession, he is 
well satisfied that it was originally located so as to be out 
of the reach of ordinary high tides. Now, such a tide 
would come half way up the mill-dam; and the mill is 
only kept in operation by a dam and sluice some distance 
below. Judging from all the facts, he thinks the tides rise, 
on an average, at least two feet higher than when the mill 
was built. 

These measurements agree in giving the rate of sub- 
sidence as about two feet in a century, or one quarter of 
an inch a year ; a conclusion which was arrived at in my 
Annual Report of last year from observations in other 
counties of the State.* 

The whole amount of this subsidence is not known ; it 

-!• The facts as to the rate of subsidence given last year, were, that below Hancock's 
Bridge, over Alloway's Creek, in Salem County, the sluices in a meadow bank, built about 
the year 1700, are full three feet below low-water mark^ so low that my informant had 
only seen them twice in thirty years. On the opposite bank of the creek is an oak stump 
standing, the roots of which are in hard bottom, and the top of it, where cut off, is about the 
level of high tide. It has been cut by an axe; and, of course, has been cut since the set- 
tlement of the country, or within about one hundred and fifty years. The tides would have 
killed a tree in that location when they were three feet lower than now. A settling of 
three feet in a hundred and fifty years, or a rate of subsidence of about two feet in a cen- 
tury, is shown by these facts. 


must, at leastj equal the whole depth from high- water 
mark to the lowest points at which stumps and roots of 
trees have been found in their places of growth. This, 
from the evidence on p. 34, is seventeen feet, and it may 
be more. 

In this connection it may be interesting to again notice 
the facts mentioned on pp. 27 and 28, of the existence of 
shells of the same species now inhabiting the adjacent bay 
and ocean, at elevations considerably above the present 
tide-level. From this we may fairly infer, that the present 
period of subsidence was preceded by one of elevation, in 
which, what was before the bottom of the sea or bay, was 
carried upward at least twenty -five or thirty feet above 
high-water. And there may have been several alternate 
periods of elevation and depression; of which that, when the 
timber and shells of the Alluvium were buried, must have 
been one of depression. 

In these alternations of elevation and subsidence we may 
find a reasonable explanation of the various phenomena 
connected witlx the upland Alluvium. If we go back to 
the commencement of the period of subsidence preceding 
the present, for our starting point, and assume, as there is 
reason to, that the ground was a little higher than it now 
is, then, as the ground slowly sunk down, the water would 
overflow the upland, killing the timber, and carrying it 
beneath the level of the tide. This subsidence must have 
continued until most, if not all, of the present upland of the 
county was below tide-level. Oysters and other shell-fish 
would of course be found wherever the sea-water extended. 
The action of the waves would wash out the loam and finer 


particles of soil from the most elevated parts^ and deposit 
them in banks and points on the adjacent lower grounds, 
burying beneath them, whatever remains of animals or 
plants might be there* In the succeeding elevations/ these 
points and banks, composed of fine and rich washings, 
have become the most productive soils of the county. The 
shells and other fossils buried beneath them are preserved 
unchanged, while those on or near the surface have decayed 
without leaving any traces, except in cases like that at 
Tuckahoe, when some cementing matter has preserved the 
form of the shell in the more indestructible materials which 
surrounded them. 

§ From what has been said in relation to the advance 
of the salt-marshes on the upland, and to the existence of 
cedar-swamp earth under them in many places, the evi- 
dence is conclusive that these marshes are of very recent 
origin. Quite large portions of them have been formed 
since the first settlement of the county. The marshes 
along Delaware Bay, especially those about Maurice Eiver 
Cove, are well illustrated by the section, across the cedar 
swamp and marsh from the upland in front of Mr. W. S. 
Townsend's to near the mouth of Sluice Creek on Dennis 
Creek."^ In this section it will be seen that the marsh is 
on nearly the same level with the cedar swamp; the 
lowest ground being near the place where the marsh and 
swamp meet, and the surface rising gradually both toward 
the creek and the upland. The bottom on which the 
swamp stands is full of logs and other remains of fallen 
timber, quite down to the sand and gravel w^hich underlies 

* See page 36. 


the whole. This cedar swamp bottom, it will be perceived, 
extends out under the marsh for a considerable distance, 
and, beyond where it is marked as extending, stumps and 
logs are frequently found low down in the mud. 

The marshes on the sea-side are well represented by the 
accompanying Section, from the edge of the upland, opposite 
the stone marking nine miles from Cape Island, to Five-mile 
Beach, two hundred and twenty rods below its northeast 
extremity. The marsh appears to occupy a hollow or valley 
between the mainland and the beach, and to increase in 
depth very gradually from either side towards the middle; 
slight inequalities only being noticed on the bottom. Mr. N. 
C. Price, who constructed this section, says, that in sounding 
the depths, '^ the mud was quite soft until I got within 
about thirty chains of GraSvSy Sound ; then I struck some- 
thing similar to a sand-bar about eighteen inches from tlie 
bottom, and this seemed to rise as I neared the Sound ; 
after driving the rod through this bar, it would pass down 
very easily to the bottom. Upon reaching the Sound, this 
bar was about three or four feet below the bottom of the 
Weater, and very hard to penetrate. Crossing the Sound, I 
found many such bars or layers of sand; sometimes there 
would be three or four, one below the other, with a few feet 
of soft mud between, quite down to the bottom. The rod 
always brought up very fine sand sticking to it after meet- 
ing these bars. Sometimes the mud would be soft near the 
bottom for several feet, and then again only for a few 
inches. When about half a mile from the Five-mile Beach, 
these sand-layers would come almost to the top of the 
marsh ; then, in a direction to the northeast, there would 

V - \ 

^ K 


' \ 


always be an island, with a few trees on it. These layers 
I found until I came to the beach." "From the channel 
of Grassy Sound to twenty rods west of the drain on the 
left, shells were found down below the surface of the mud 
twelve and fifteen feet." No trees or buried timber of any 
kind are found in the deep parts of the marsh ; they are 
not uncommon in the shallow parts near the shores. 

The level of the salt-marshes is nearly that of high- 
water mark; those portions along the creeks, and other 
w^ater-courses, are usually a few inches higher than those 
further back. Where there is no cedar-swamp bottom, the 
marsh is more solid near the passages through which the 
tide flows than at a little distance from them ; the differ- 
ence being due to the greater or less amount of mud in it. 
In many parts of the mar ^sh scarcely any mud is to be 
found, the whole substance consisting of the roots of sedge, 
reeds or flags, which, when dry, is almost as light as hay, 
is very combustible, when consumed leaves very little ash, 
and, when allowed to decay slowly, wastes away to almost 
nothing. The muddy water which comes in with the tide 
deposits the principal part of its sediment near the water- 
courses, where its rapid flow first slackens, and by the time 
it has reached the back part of the marshes it becomes 
clear. The banks which are made by the mud hinder the 
water from draining out completely at low-tide ; and the 
coarse grasses which thrive in such localities continually 
increase, and their matted roots, buoyed up by the water, 
maintain the apparent level of the marsh. This appears 
to have been the mode of growth throughout ; for in sound- 
ing the marshes at different depths, variations in soUdity 


will be found quite to the bottom, just as we now find on 
the surface. In forcing the rod down, much difficulty is 
experienced in piercing the layers of mud, while it will 
drop by its own weight in passing through the layers of 
roots. In sounding for the Dennisville Section, a layer of 
sedge, or other grass roots, was found about four feet under 
the surface, and extending back from the creek a quarter 
of a mile. It was extremely difficult to penetrate, being a 
foot thick, and almost solid, with coarse and strong roots. 
It is represented on the section. 

§ The marsh, as will be perceived, is of variable depth ; 
twenty-seven feet is the deepest found in sounding for the 
section across the marsli near Grassj^ Sound. Mr. John 
Stites, Sen., informs me that the deepest marsh opposite 
Beesley's Point is thirty feet. In sounding across the 
marsh at Tuckahoe for the Delaware and Raritan Bay 
Railroad, the greatest depth found was seventeen feet. 
Near the mouth of Dennis Creek, in putting in a stopping 
across the mouth of a ditch, the piles driven down reached 
the bottom at twenty-nine feet. 

§ The marsh along the sea-shore, and also the smaller 
ones on New England Creek, Cox Hall Creek, Fishing 
Creek, Green Creek, and Dyer's Creek, are all protected 
from the action of the waves by sand-beaches, and appear 
to have formed in quiet water. That about the mouths 
of Goshen, Dennis, East and West creeks, is now exposed 
to the direct action of the waves; but there is reason to 
believe that a sand beach has extended in front of these 
also, and that it has been worn away. 

The Cedar Hummocks at Goshen have evidently been a 


part of this line^ and within fifty years, as I am informed 
by Judge Goffe, the line of beaches between West Creek 
and Maurice Eiver was standing where now there is only a 
low sandy shore. The interval between these two points 
is less than three miles, and I have no doubt the line of 
beaches has extended entirely across at a comparatively 
recent date. 

The marshes on the Bay-shore, and on Tuckahoe and 
Great Egg Harbor rivers, have evidently all been formed 
in the broad and shallow valleys of the streams ; and in 
this respect they have a common character. There is, 
however, no cedar-swamp bottom in those below Goshen. 

The marshes along the sea-shore in this county are only 
part of a long strip of salt-marsh which extends from a 
short distance below Long Branch, in Monmouth County, 
to Cape May, and has the same general features throughout. 
They seem to fill a broad valley which formerly extended 
along the shore. On the side next the upland the marsh 
is shallow, and the fast land meets it at a very gentle slope. 
On the sea-side the marsh is terminated by a ridge, or 
series of parallel ridges of sand beaches. These are not 
quite continuous, being broken at intervals by the occur- 
rence of inlets, through which the sea-water finds entrance 
to the marshes, and the fresh water brought down by the 
streams escapes. The marshes include considerable bodies 
of water, which are known as hays and sounds ; and they 
are traversed in various directions by ihorouglifares^ which 
connect the larger bodies of water, and creeks, which 
branch out from the sounds and thoroughfares, and termi- 
nate in the marsh or upland. 


In this county the marsh extends along its whole sea- 
side, a distance of thirty-two miles. It is from two to three 
miles and a half wide, including the beaches. An in- 
spection of the Map will give a good idea of this line of 
marshes, of the several beaches which bound it on the sea- 
side, and of the inlets and other water-courses by which the 
sea water enters and penetrates the marsh in every direc- 
tion. The tide enters the inlets with a good deal of cur- 
rent, and causes wear and shifting of the channels and 
sand-bars ; and the marsh wears in some places where it is 
most exposed ; but generally there is an increase in the 
marsh surface, and a diminution in the area covered by 
water. The sedge-roots extend out into the water, mud is 
entangled in them, and soon strong sods are formed ; and in 
this way the sounds and bays are continually diminished 
in area. Ditches and narrow passages, if left uncared for 
a few years, become entirely filled up by these roots. Sods 
torn off from the edges of the marsh have been deposited 
in the shallow water in the sounds, where they have taken 
root, and soon became islands of considerable size. Many 
such islands can be pointed out by those who have been 
familiar with the sounds for a long time. ^"^Old pilots say 
they used often to run in the sounds with their boats 
during northeast storms, and that then they were so large 
as to be like bays ; now they find it difficult to get in at 
all." Several old maps which I have seen also represent 
the area of water in the marsh as being greater than it 
is now. 

§ There is a kind of regularity in the arrangement of 
the sounds, in relation to the beaches, which is worthy of 




)— H 





S33yi Q\)3(l\ 


notice. Directly behind each of the beaches, and almost 
opposite its centre, is a large sound or bay; thus, opposite 
Peck's Beach is Peck's Bay; Ludlam's Bay is opposite 
Ludlam's Beach ; Learning's opposite Seven-mile Beach ; 
Grassy Sound behind Five-mile Beach ; Jarvis's Sound op- 
posite Two-mile Beach ; and Cape Island Sound opposite 
Poverty Beach. Each of these sounds is connected by 
thoroughfares with the inlets at both ends of the beach. 
There is another series of sounds opposite the inlets, and 
nearer the upland ; some of the inlets have one, and others 
two. They have thoroughfares connecting them with the 
inlets to which they stand opposite, but are not connected 
with the other sounds by thoroughfares. It would be diffi- 
cult at this time to give a good explanation of the causes 
which have produced this peculiar order, but it is evidently 
in some way connected with the movement of the tides. 

The beaches lie. directly on the borders of the water, and 
in ridges and hills which have a general direction parallel 
with the shore. They are composed of beach-sand, which 
has been drifted or washed up into these long and narrow 
banks. On the side next the water the sand is generally 
bare, and easily moved by the wind ; further in, the ridges 
are covered by timber, and undergo but little change at 
present. The accompanying Sections will help to explain 
some of their peculiarities. 

Section 1 was taken square across Five-mile Beach, 
about two hundred and twenty rods below the northeast 
end. Bearing in mind the distortion of the profile, which 
represents the ridges as five times as high as they really 
are in proportion to their breadth, it sufficiently explains 


itself in most respects. The part called Old Beach is made 
up of parallel ridges^ which extend without breaks almost 
the whole length of the beach. The timber on it is also 
very old. Little or Young Beach has its hills shorter and 
more irregular^ and the timber on it is younger. The 
'^ Savannas' are open^ flat spaces between the parallel ridges 
of Old Beach, In wet seasons these are covered with fresh 
water, and then are called Slashes. They are a little 
higher at the end, so that the water is shut in. Water- 
fowl frequent the slashes in great numbers, and they are 
noted resorts for sportsmen. For the last three years those 
on Five-mile Beach have been mostly dry, and now are 
covered with grass, weeds, and moss. The ridges on Old 
Beach are of about the usual height, but Young Beach is 
much higher in some places. A section across Seven-mile 
Beach would vary but little from this; there are, in some 
places, a greater number of parallel ridges on Old Beach, 
the ridges being lower and wider apart, which are further 
out in the marsh. 

Peck's and Ludlam's Beaches consist of but little except 
the irregular hills of the Young Beach. A trace of the 
parallel ridges may perhaps be recognized on the northeast 
end of Peck's Beach, and on the southwest end of Ludlam's. 
Two-mile Beach is shorter and more curved, but it is 
covered with aged timber. 

The beaches are wearing away by the action of the 
waves; and there are places on Peck's and Ludlam's 
Beaches where the sea has broken entirely over them, and 
spread the sand on the marsh, so that nothing but a sandy 
shore is now left between the ocean and the marsh 

GNVIcin '.^ 



«3iVM H9iH ]W> 



Seven-mile, Five-mile, Two-mile, and Poverty Beaches are 
wearing aw^ay fastest at their southwest extremities ; the 
effect of which is very apparent in the narrowed ends, as 
exhibited on the Map. Poverty Beach, in particular, has 
almost all worn oflf. On an old map of New Jersey, en- 
graved and published by William Eaden, in London, in 
1777, it is called Four-mile Beach, and extends downwards 
from Cold Spring Inlet for that distance ; now it is not a 
half-mile long on the part which has sand banks. 

Section 2 is taken across the beach on the Bay-shore, 
sixty yards south of the steamboat landing. There is the 
same series of parallel ridges of sand to be seen here that 
were in the other section, and equal irregularity in the 
ridges near the water ; but instead of a salt-marsh behind 
it, the last sand ridge lies directly upon the upland. Lilly 
Pond, which is here shown, is somewhat noted from being 
the only fresh-water pond on the Cape, below Cold Spring ; 
it is at high-water mark, and storm tides have occasionally 
driven the sea-water into it. Beaches of this sort are found 
all along the Bay up as far as the Cedar Hummocks, and 
beyond that they formerly existed between West Creek 
and Maurice Kiver ; and they can be traced up the east 
bank of that river to Millville. These beaches are wear- 
ing away on the water side. 

The cedar sivamps of the county are so extensive, and 
the deposits of peaty earth, or muck, which they have 
formed are so great, as to make an important feature in the 
geology of the county. The tree of which these swamps 
are composed, is the white cedar, the Gupressus thuyoides 
of the botanists. It is an evergreen, which thrives best 


in wet ground, and in favorable situations forms dense 
swamps. It is most commonly found on the head-waters 
of streams, and several of those in this county rise in such 
swamps. West Creek, East Creek, Dennis Creek, Great 
Cedar Swamp Creek, and many of their small branches, 
have cedar swamps through their whole lengths. There 
is no cedar on the streams south of those mentioned, ex- 
cept in a few spots of limited extent, where it has been 
planted. The area of these swamps has not been estimated, 
but there must be some thousands of acres. The largest 
is that which lies in the valleys of Dennis and Great Cedar 
Swamp creeks, and is continuous from the upper bridge on 
the former creek, to Dennis ville on the latter. The timber 
which originally covered these swamps has now all been 
cut off, and there is no first growth to be found. Very few 
trees are known which are more than one hundred years 
old, and most of the swamps are now cut off when the tim- 
ber is of about sixty years growth. Formerly, trees of 
great age were found. Mr. Charles Ludlam counted 700 
rings of annual growth in a tree which was alive when cut 
down. Dr. Beesley counted 1080 in a stump ; and Hon. J. 
Diverty found 1000 in a log dug up out of the swamp 
earth. The trees stand very thick upon the ground, and 
the first part 'of their growth is very rapid, but as they get 
larger they are more crowded, and their tops remain small. 
The annual growth is here very little ; the rings near the 
heart of the tree are frequently an eighth of an inch thick, 
while in those near the bark of a large tree they are as thin 
IS paper. The average size of the old trees was from two 
to three feet in diameter; those of four, five, and six, and 



3ven seven feet, were found, but rarely. The accompany- 
ing cut was taken from a sketch of the swamp. It gives 
a correct general impression, though in the thrifty growth 
of trees these trunks are not half tall enough for their 

The soil in which these trees grow is a black peaty earth, 
which, when dry, will burn. It is of various depths. 
Several soundings in the swamp near the Burnt Causeway, 
showed a depth of from two to eight feet ; which was the 
deepest. Soundings in the Great Cedar Swamp near Long 
Bridge showed the gravel bottom to be from six to eight 
feet below the surface. Near Dennisville it has been found 
thirteen feet deep, with no mixture of mud or any foreign 
substance. It is very loose and porous, and always full of 
water. The trees which grow on it have their roots run- 
ning through it in every direction near the surface, but not 
penetrating to the solid ground. Their evergreen leaves 
keep it continually shaded, and cool; and these conditions, 
with the constant presence of water, retard the decay of 
the twigs and leaves which fall every year: and thus there 
is a continual and rapid increase in the amount of this 
peaty soil, or muck. Mr. Charles Ludlam told me, that he 
recently found a log in the swamps which, from its cut 
ends, he was satisfied had lain there ever since the timber 
was last cut off, which was sixty years ago. It was about 
a foot in diameter, and the accumulation of matter on the 
surface since that time was enough to entirely bury it. 
Timber which is buried in the swamp undergoes scarcely 
any change ; trees which are found several feet under the 
surface, and which must have lain there for hundreds of 


years, are as sound as ever they were ; and it would seem 
as if most of the timber which had ever grown in these 
swamps was still preserved in them. Trunks of trees are 
found buried at all depths beneath the surface, quite down 
to the gravel; and so thick, that in many places a number 
of trials will have to be made before a sounding-rod can be 
thrust down without striking against them. Tree after 
tree, from two hundred to one thousand years old, may be 
found lying crossed one under the other in every imagina- 
ble direction, Some of them are partly decayed, as if they 
had died and remained standing for a long time, and then 
been broken down. Others have been blown down, and 
their upturned roots are still to be seen. Some which have 
been blown down, have continued to grow for a long time 
afterwards, as is known by the heart being very much 
above the centre, and by the wood on the under side being 
hard and hoxy. These trunks are found Ij^ing in every 
direction, as if they had fallen at different times, as trees 
would in a forest now. The view of fallen timber which 
is here presented was sketched in the swamp of Mr. Henry 
Ludlam, near Dennisville. The living timber was cut off 
fifty years ago, and the swamp earth being exposed to the 
sun and air, has decayed from around the timber which 
was buried, and thus brought some of the uppermost sticks 
to view. It is not known how many others there may be 
under these, as there is still six feet of the swamp earth 

In this view, if we begin at the left hand, we notice the 
cut end of a small log, which lies across a second ; this 
jtecond has its broken and shivered end resting on a third 


and much larger log ; and this third lies directly across a 
fourth^ which lies with its cut end partly in the water. By 
the side of this fourth log an old and decayed stump is 
shown; from beneath which a fifth log is seen projecting. 
The stump just mentioned must have grown since the fifth 
log fellj and yet its roots aj)pear to run under the third log, 
as if it had grown before the falling of that; while just 
to the left of this stump, and partly behind the third log, 
is a second stump, the roots of which grow over the third 
log, thus showing that it has grown entirely since that 
has been lying in its present position. Both these stumps 
are those of trees from two hundred to four hundred years 
old; and we know not how long since the last one died. 
By looking at these permanent records of the age of the 
swamp, we soon come to reckon the time of its accumulation 
by hundreds, or even thousands of years. And yet this is 
only the last of a succession of such changes which have 
left their permanent marks upon this portion of the 
State ; and all of them only carry us back through the 
last, and what has usually been considered the most in- 
significant, of all the periods of geological time. 






The soils are generally light ; there are none which are 
clayey, and very few which would be designated as heavy 
loams. The term^ sandy loam, would designate almost all 
the soils of the county. Spots are occasionally found 
which are decidedly sandy, but these are not of any con- 
siderable extent. Tracts of loamy soil are also found. 
The varieties of soil run into each other so much, in all 
parts of the county, that it is not possible to give descrip- 
tions which would be of any local value. In most cases, 
the subsoil is similar to the soil, except in the want of 
organic matter. A more tenacious subsoil has been found 
in a few places; as on Stipson's Island, and at Fishing 

For the purpose of showing the character of the culti- 
vated soils, a few specimens, taken from diJEFerent parts of 
the county, have been analyzed.* 

'i- The chemical analyses which accompany this Report have been made in my Laboratory, 
and under my direction, by Mr. Julius Koch. 



















Perox. iron and 

Alumina J . . . 






. 6:951 










Magnesia . . . 








Potash .... 








Sulphuric acid 








Phosphoric acid . 








Organic matter , 








Water .... 















Ammonia . - , 



1. Taken from a back field of Dr. Wales'^ at Tuckahoe. 

2. From a field of Stephen Youngs near the Toll-bridge, 
over Cedar Swamp Creek.* 

3. From a field of John Stites^ Sen., Beesley's Point. 

4. From a field of Joshua Swain, Townsend's Inlet. 

5. From Richard D. Edmunds' field, Cold Spring. 

6. From the farm of James L. Smith, Stipson's Island. 

7. A gravelly loam, from the farm of Peter Corson, 

For the purpose of comparison, analyses of different 
varieties of fertile soils are copied from agricultural works, 
and inserted here : — 

* This soil is a sandy loam, known in Cape May as a hlach sand. The field of one and 
a half acres was manured, in 1854, with twenty loads of barn-yard manure, and three 
hundred pounds of guano; and fifty bushels of wheat were harvested from it in 1855. 



TABLE 11. 

Silica and quartz sand . . 

















Silica and fine clay . . . 



Soluble silica 


Alumina . 


2.0 J 





Oxide of iron 





Oxide of manganese . . . 





























Phosphoric acid .... 







Sulphuric acid ..... 






Carbonic acid ..... 










Organic matter 




1 3.38 







Carbonic acid and loss . . 








1 is a soil from near Gandesheim^ in Brunswick, giving 
luxuriant crops of pulse. 

2. A fertile sandy loam, near Brunswick, producing 
luxuriant crops of lucerne, sainfoin, lupins, poppies, &c. 
1 and 2 from Sprengel. 

3 and 4 are clay soils from near Cirencester, England ; 
analyzed by Dr. Voelcker. 

5 and 6 are loamy soils; (5) by Dr. Anderson, and is 
presumed to be from Scotland ; (6) by Dr. Playfair, and is 
probably an English soil. 

A comparison of these two tables will show the class of 
soils to which those of Cape May belong. Soils containing 
the largest amount of silica and quartz sand are tiie 
lightest, and those containing the largest amount of 
alumina and oxide of iron, or of fine clay, are the heaviest ; 
and in this respect the soils in Table I. must be classed as 
sandy soils, or sandy loams. 


It will be perceived that the proportion of lime is less in 
Table I. than in Table II. 

The soils which have been analyzed have been first dried 
in the open air before commencing the analysis ; and those 
in the second table have undoubtedly been prepared in the 
same way. It will be perceived that the amount of water 
retained in the soils^ after this exposure/ varies^ being least 
in the sandy soils^ more in the loamy, and most in the 
clay soils. This, of itself, is a most important property; 
but it becomes doubly interesting when it is considered 
that the power of absorbing and retaining manures varies 
in somewhat the same ratio. A consideration of this point 
will suggest the importance of improving the texture and 
retentiveness of the soils, by adding clay or mud from the 

The following is an analysis of a soil from the farm 
occupied by Downes Edmunds, Jun., near the Cape May 
Light-house : — 


Silica 87.506 

Alumina. 3.455 

Peroxide of iron * . . 2.882 

Lime 0.967 

Magnesia 0.753 

Potash 0.736 

Sulphuric acid trace. 

Phosphoric acid 0.155 

Chloride of sodium (common salt) 0.139 

Organic matter 2.594 

Water 1.894 

Ammonia 0.091 


Mr. Edmunds says of this soil : " It has been worked for 
the last hundred years, as I am informed on the best au- 
thority, without any vegetable or mineral matter whatever 
being put on it. It has been under cultivation in corn, 
wheat, rye, oats, and potatoes, successfully, every three and 
four years, from the time spoken of until the present. I 
am not aware of its being impoverished by this mode of 
cultivation since my knowledge. I have found the crop 
to be as good the last season as it was the first that I knew 
it. The area of that part of the field so productive is about 
five acres. In many places the soil is shelly; so much so, 
that it requires some skill to manage the plow. The sub- 
soil is deep, with a black sandy mould. I think the shells 
have been in some way the cause of the productiveness of 
this field." 

The analysis of a soil which has been under constant 
cultivation for a hundred years, with a three or four years' 
rotation of field crops only, and which still produces fifty 
bushels or upwards of corn per acre, is worthy of notice. 

The following are analyses of the deposits on the salt- 
marshes. They can hardly be called soils at present, but 
with an improved agriculture they must yet become the 
most valuable and productive in the county ; and they are 
also the repository of vast stores of fertilizing materials for 
improving upland. 





ARSH Mud. 

Soluble silica ..... 






48.383 J 


Insoluble silica (sand) 


Protoxid of iron 




Alumina . 








Magnesia . 








Sulphuric acid . 




Phosphoric acid 




Carbonic acid . 




Common salt 




Organic matter . 


6.270 1 
5.361 J 





Ammonia in 100 part 

s . 



1 was taken from the surface of the marsh opposite 
South Dennisville, last springy and is entirely composed of 
the deposit of last winter. 

2 was taken from the bank of a creek in in Richard C. 
Holmes' meadowj near Cape May C. H. 

3 was sent to me by Charles Ludlam, of Dennisville^ 
and was taken from the bank of Dennis Creek. 

The following is the analysis of a subsoil from the farm 
of Wm. J. Bate, of Fishing Creek. 


Silica 87.468 

Iron and alumina 7.940 

Lime 0.423 

Magnesia 0.647 

Potash 0.610 

Sulphuric acid 0.236 

Phosphoric acid 0.134 

Organic matter 1.760 

Water 1.353 




§ The natural growth of timber on the upland is — 

White Oak Quercus alba. 

Black Oak Quercus tinctoria. 

Red Oak Quei^eus rubra. 

Pin Oak Quercus palustris. 

Peach Oak Quercus phellos. 

Scrub Oak , . . Quercus nigra. 

Chestnut Oak Quercus castanea ? 

Turkey or Spalt Oak Quercus ohkisiloba. 

Yellow Pine Pinus mitis. 

Spruce Pine Pinus inops. 

Red Cedar Juniperus Virginiana, 

Persimmon Diospyros Virginiana, 

Dogwood Cornus jiorida. 

Hickory (White Heart) Carya tomentosa. 

Hickory (Red Heart) Carya alba ? 

Wild Cherry (introduced ?).... Oerasus scrotina. 

Chestnut (introduced ?) Castanea vesca. 

Sassafras Sassafras officinale. 

The original growth of timber on the upland has been 
all cut off. The growth of the young timber is rapid; 
from fifteen to twenty years is long enough for it to get 
sufficient size for fire-wood^ and it is then cut off. An acre 
cut off in this way will yield about as many cords of wood 
as it has been years in growing; thus, a twenty years' 
growth will turn out twenty cords per acre. Last year 
there was cut and sold 15,408 cords of wood in the county. 
Its average price at the landings is about $2.75 a cord. 
With land at a low price, the growing of fire-wood has in 
many cases been found profitable. The greatest drawback 
to this business are the fires, which are too common, and 


which sometimes destroy hundreds of acres of growing 
timber ; and the late frosts^ which frequently do serious 
damage to the young sprouts. 

§ In the timber sioamps^ which are found in the central 
part of the county, there is a heavy growth of 

White Oak Quercus alba. 

Black Oak Quercus coccinea ? 

Beech Fagus ferruginea. 

Sweet Gum Liqiddambar styracifoUa* 

Sour Gum, or Pepperidge Nyssa multijiora. 

Spoonwood . , Magnolia glauca. 

Aspen Populus tremuloides. 

Buttonwood Platanus occidenialis. 

Maple 4 Acer rubrimi. 

Holly Ilex ojpaca. 

Ash Fraximis America^ia. 

Elm TJlmus Amei^icana. 

Yellow Poplar Liriodeiidron. tulipifera. 

The timber in these swamps has been very large and 
fine. The first growth is mostly cut off, but the young 
growth is springing up rapidly. The trees are much taller 
than on the dry upland; some of them are said to be more 
than a hundred feet high. It is reported that many years 
since, a hollow yellow poplar was felled in the swamp on 
the head of Sluice Creek, which was so large that Aaron 
Learning rode into it on horseback, turned, and rode out 

§ The timber on the beaches, though rather short, is 
excellent for building purposes. The red cedar is in much 
demand on account of its durability. 

§ The products of the cedar swamps are quite an im- 
portant item to the industry of this county. The live 


timber^ being all of second growth, is cut when large 
enough to split into rails. Occasionally, a very thrifty 
tree is found large enough to make one or two saw logs ; 
these are sawn into boards. The value of a good cedar 
swamp, of from fifty to seventy years' growth, is from 
$400 to $1,000 an acre; and some acres have yielded con- 
siderably more than that. There were sold from Dennis 
and Upper townships, last year, 315,000 white cedar rails, 
which were worth from $8 to $10 a hundred; and 595,670 
feet of white cedar boards, worth $20 a thousand; being an 
aggregate value of $40,263. 

The cedar logs which are buried in the swamps are also 
mined^ or raised and split into shingles ; and this singular 
branch of industry furnishes profitable occupation to a con- 
siderable number of men. Six hundred and ten thousand 
shingles of this kind were sold last year at $15 a thousand, 
or an aggregate of $9,150. 

In conducting this latter business, a great deal of skill 
and experience is requisite. As many of the trees were 
partly decayed and worthless when they fell, it becomes 
important to judge of the value of the timber before much 
labor is wasted upon it. With an iron rod the shingler 
sounds the swamp until he finds what he judges to be a 
good log; he tries its length and size with this rod; with 
a sharp-cutting spade he digs through the roots and down 
to it ; he next manages to get a chip from it, by the smell 
of which he can tell whether it was a wind/all or a Ireah- 
down; ih.d,i is, whether it was blown down or broken off. 
The former are the best, as they were probably sound 
when they fell. If he judges it worth working, he cuts 


out the matted roots and earth from over it^ and saws it 
off at the ends. This latter operation is easily performed, 
as the mud is very soft, and without any grit. By means 
of levers he then loosens it, when it at once rises and floats 
in the water, which is always very near the level of the 
swamp. The log is then cut into shingle lengths, and split 
into shingles. The logs are sometimes, though rarely, 
worked for thirty feet. The process, as carried on in the 
^wamp, is shown in the cut. 

It is very interesting to see one of these logs raised. It 
comes up with as much buoyancy as a freshly fallen cedar; 
not being water-logged at all. The bark on the under side 
looks fresh, as if it had lain but a few days ; and what is 
remarkable, the under side of the log is always the 
lightest; the workmen observe that when the log floats 
in the water it always turns over, the side which was 
down coming uppermost. The drawing was taken in a 
swamp which has been worked, for its buried logs, for fifty 
years past ; and the scattering trees which are seen are 
only such as have escaped the workman's axe. The levers, 
spade, and other tools of the shingler are seen, and he is 
in the act of cutting up the floated log. Several holts^ or 
blocks in form for splitting into shingles, are lying on the 
ground in front of him. In the background, a man is 
seen shaving the shingles. The workmen go over the 
same ground again and again, and find new logs each time. 
The buoyancy of the timber remaining, it is probable the 
lower logs rise in the mud when the roots over them are 
cut loose, and the logs which laid upon them are removed. 

These logs are found not only in the swamp, but also 









ii i 

IE '"•«. 

' wm 

iigj-p, ^^ 


out in the salt-marsh, beyond the living timber. Such 
marsh has, however, a cedar swamp bottom, which has 
been overrun by the tide. In the view it will be noticed, 
that while no living timber is to be seen, stumps are pro- 
jecting above the surface of the marsh on all sides. In 
this case, the method of working the timber is the same as 
in the preceding. The drawing was made at high-water, 
and the shingler is seen working at the timber below the 
tide-level. Twenty thousand shingles were taken from a 
small spot near this, the present year. A good idea may 
be obtained from the drawing of the appearance of these 
lands, which are now being changed from timbered swamps 
to salt-marshes. The heaviest part of the business in 
making the shingles is done in the neighborhood of Dennis- 


The leading agricultural products of the county, a,nd, to 
some extent, its agricultural condition and capabilities, 
may be seen from the following statistical table. The 
materials from which it has been made were collected by 
the assessors : Richard D. Edmunds, in Lower Township ; 
Stephen Hand, in Middle; Albert Peterson, in Dennis; 
and Champion Corson, in Upper. In prosecuting the sur- 
vey, it was found that agriculture had advanced very 
rapidly since the United States' Census of 1850, and that 
the returns made at that time would give a very inade- 
quate idea of the present annual produce. Hence the 
preparation of the present table, w^hich, it is gratifying to 
say, shows an increase beyond what was expected. 



Acres of cultivated land. . . 
" Wood and Bush-land 
*' Banked Meadow. 

" Salt Meadow 

Value of cultivated land per 


Number of Horses 

Cattle . 

'' Sheep.. 

'' Hogs.. 


Bushels of Wheat . 




.Sweet Potatoes. . . 

Pounds of Butter sold. 

Tons of Upland Hay cut. . . . 

" Salt Hay cut 

Value of fruit sold in dollars 

Value of market garden prO' 

duce in dollars 


















































748 340 







Total in 











1,773 ] 
16,760 f 


11,227 I 



Total in 





In the area of land cultivated, it will be noticed that 
the amount is considerably less than the area of cleared 
land set down in the table on p. 18. Some of the cleared 
lands are not cultivated ; and the house lots of six acres 
and less were not all included in the returns. There 
are one hundred and eight of this kind in Middle Town- 
^ship. In the same way, the wood and bush-land is not all 
given in, not being attached to farms ; and the salt-marshes 
are by no means all in meadow. The prices of wood and 
bush-land are not given. That of the former is extremely 
variable ; the price of the latter is from two to eight dollars 
an acre, according to quality and location ; the average is 
probably not above five dollars. No comparison can be 



made In the article of butter^ the estimate for this year 
being on the amount solely while in 1850 it was on the 
amount made. 

The population of the county^ according to the State 
Census of 1855^ w^as 6^936.* The comparative ratio of 
agricultural production to population^ in different parts of 
our country, is showai in the following table, mostly taken 
from the Compendium of the United States Census of 





c5 ce 














•^ €^ 






^^ § 







New England 









Middle States 


Southern States 


Southwestern States .... 


Northwestern States .... 







United States 







County of Cape May. . . . 


The larger part of the able-bodied men of the county 
are engaged in other pursuits than agriculture^ such as 

* Population of Cape May 


g to the 

3 State 

Census of 1855 
















Townships and 







Incorporated City, 


























Cape Island 



































wood-chopping, lumbering, or going hyioater ; and yet the 
amount of grain raised is very nearly, if not quite sufficient 
to support the population. This is a very great advance 
on the production of fifteen or twenty years since, when, 
as I am informed by a respectable inhabitant of Lower 
Township, there was not wheat enough raised in that 
township to make a barrel of flour. 

The average crops of wheat, corn, rye, oats, and pota- 
toes, are not very different from those grown in the rest 
of the State, or in the adjoining States. The following 
tabular statement, copied mostly from the Census of 1850, 
gives the average of two or three staple crops per acre. 

Wheat . . . 
Corn .... 
Potatoes . . . 

New York, 



New Jersey. 

Cape May. 













By extra cultivation, large crops, thirty bushels of wheat 
per acre, sixty to eighty of corn, &c., are not uncommonly 

•* A view of the industrial resources of the County would be incomplete without; soniQ 
knowledge of those branches of business which the location and the tastes of the inhabitants 
have largely developed. 

Shipping. — The following is an estimate of the number, tonnage, and value of vessels 
owned in the County. It comprises, however, but little more than half those which are 
sailed from here. Ordinarily, the vessels are held by several shareholders, and it is com- 
mon to have some of the shares held by merchants or others in the large cities. 


Number of vessels 




























Number of men ..••• 

Fisheries. — The waters of the ocean and Bay, as well as the sounds, creeks, and the- 
roughfares, abound in fish, clams, and oysters. Very large quantities of these are taken 



The corn crop of 1855, which is given in the table^ was 
shortened by drought. 

§ The soil is particularly well adapted to the growth of 
truck^ or market garden produce. Early potatoes, tomatoes, 
melons, &c., thrive here. Apples, pears, peaches, black- 
berries, strawberries, cranberries, &c., can be raised in 
abundance, and are very fine. The spring is between one 
and two weeks earlier than in the central part of the 
State ; and for raising early crops this would give very 
great advantage ; but the distance from market, and want 
of proper facilities for conveyance, have discouraged enter- 
prise in this line of business. The results of a few trials 
which have been made will give an indication of what 
might be done under favorable circumstances. 

Early potatoes have been raised by William J. Bate, of 
Fishing Creek, as early as the first were brought from Nor- 
folk and Portsmouth, in Virginia. Two years ago he dug, 
from a field of one and a quarter acres, fifty-one barrels, 
which were sold in Philadelphia market at an average 
price of six dollars a barrel. They were full grown, and 
were dug the 20th of June. 

Early corn was raised by Dr. Wiley, of Cape May C. H., 
this season, which was pulled for market on the 13th and 

for home consumption. Some attempts were made to ascertain the vahie of the fish and 
shell-fish sold. The following are the returns made by the assessors, but they do not con- 
sider them very reliable. It is difficult to get accurate statistics of this branch of business. 


Value of oysters sold 

Value of clams sold 

Value of Pish sold 




















Number of men engaged ... 


14th of July; being as early as any was offered in New 
York market. The only manure used was plaster and 
ashes. With poudrette, or some well-made compost, Dr. W. 
thinks he can get it forward a week earlier. 

Strawberries have been successfully cultivated. Mr. 
Edwin Allen, of New Brunswick, and Mr. Townsend, of 
Town Bank, have in bearing several acres of plants neai 
the latter place. The fruit ripens so early, that the entire 
crop is disposed of in New York by the time the Monmouth 
berries are first offered. 

Cranberries of large size and good flavor grow in the 
swamps, and some attention is being paid to their cultiva- 
tion. Mr. Bate, of Fishing Creek, has set out several 
acres, in a swamp which he cleared up for the purpose. 
From draining off the water too thoroughly, the plants 
suffered at first; but on again filling the swamp with water, 
they thrive. Several smaller patches are known. Mr. 
Townsend Stites, at Beesley's Point, raised eight bushels 
from a patch two rods square. 

Sweet potatoes, mtclons, and tomatoes, early and of supe- 
rior quality, are raised by every one for home consumption; 
but, for want of a market, no attempt is made to raise 
them in large quantities. 

Apples are abundant and very handsome ; fairer, it is 
said by good judges, than those grown farther up the State. 
Pears have had but little attention. Large and vigorous 
trees are common, but the fruit is mostly natural. If the 
fruit should equal the trees, it would be profitable for cul- 
tivation. Peaches are not materially different from other 
parts of the State. In some localities, the trees are healthy 


and long-lived; in others^ two or three crops of fruit are 
all that can be expected from a tree. The native fox- 
grape grows luxuriantly in the woods and on the beaches. 
It is said that a white grape is found on Five-mile Beach 
which is of superior quality. It is thought to be a foreign 
grape, the seeds of which have been thrown up here from 
some wreck.* 

§ Good crops of clover are raised ; but^ as is commonly 
the case in warm climates and on light soils, upland grass 
does not thrive. When sown on good ground it soons runs 
out ; and the open fields, when left, do not become covered 
with a spontaneous growth of rich, soft grass, such as is 
everywhere to be seen in the northern part of the State. 
It is partly on this account, and partly because of the 
worrying of flies and musquitos, that a larger amount of 
stock is not kept. Prom the tables it will be seen that 

'^ Climate. — It is to he regretted that there are so few records of the climate of this 
county. There have been no meteorological registers kept, for any length of time. In 
addition to the facts in regard to the seasons, in the preceding section, I may add the fol- 
lowing note from Dr. S. S. Marcy, of Cape Island : " Our winters embrace every variety 
of cofd and temperate weather. Ice is rarely obtained in this neighborhood more than 
four inches thick, and frequently but three inches; often it is but a short time that it can 
be obtained of this thickness. It is cut from still water in artificial ponds, which are only 
one or two feet deep. So great is the uncertainty of obtaining a supply of ice, that we 
commence filling our ice-houses with ice from two and a half to three inches thick; and 
every team within a distance of six miles is put in requisition for that purpose, with re- 
taining fee, some weeks before the appearance of ice. 

" The lowest temperature observed Here for the last thirty years was 2° above zero. 
This was on the 9th of January, 1856. On the 10th, it was 4° ; and for several days the 
thermometer was as low as 8° or 10°. This will long be remembered as the cold winter 
of 1855-6. In our winters generally, the thermometer does not fall below 14° to 18°, 
though it has been known as low as 8° above. Up to last winter, the latter was thought 
to be the extreme of cold weather here. 

" The mildness of our winters admit of large numbers of cattle being wintered on Seven, 
Five, and Two-mile Beaches, without any provision being made for them by their owners. 
In cold weather, the cattle find shelter in the thickets on the beach." 


the stock is considerably below the average of our country. 
There is no occasion for this deficiency, for any amount 
of fresh meadows and pastures, of the first quality, could 
be obtained by banking-in the salt-marshes. Our great 
staple, Indian corn, also thrives, and for green or dry 
fodder for cattle, is unsurpassed ; sown broadcast or in 
drills, it could be raised so as to be a cheap and excellent 
substitute for grass. There is an inducement to make 
this improvement, especially for dairy purposes. Butter 
commands a price from five to fifteen cents a pound 
higher than in New York market, and there is always a 
demand for it in the county. From the want of cool 
milk-houses, difficulty is experienced in making good 
butter. A convenient plan for obviating this difficulty 
was seen at the residence of Mr. Wm. Few, on the sea- 
side road, three miles below the Court House. Instead 
of a spring house, he has an out-of-door cellar dug to 
the ordinary depth of a well, (nine or ten feet in this 
case), so that the water stands a few inches deep all 
over the bottom. This cellar is planked up at the sides, 
and covered with beams, boards, and earth. The de- 
scent is by a flight of stairs at one end ; and planks sup- 
ported just above the surface of the w^ater, furnish con- 
venient footing about the room. The shelves are placed 
just beneath the surface of the water, so that pans of 
milk or plates of butter set on them, may be kept cool. 
Ventilation is secured by a latticed ventilator in the door 
of the stairway, and another on the opposite end of the 
cellar. To have a supply of fresh and cool water, it may 
be pumped out occasionally, and more allowed to drain in 


from the earth to take its place. The plan works admir- 
ably ; the milk remains sweet long enough for the cream 
to rise perfectly, and the butter is kept cool and hard. 
The whole cost of the cellar was but five dollars, 

Improvement of the Marshes,— By a comparison of the 
statistics of the marshes as given in the tables on pp. 17, 18, 
it will be seen that there is a very large extent still lying 
unimproved. The whole area of the marshes in the 
county, is 58,824 acres. The number of acres from 
which the tide is banked out, is 1,918 ; and the number 
of acres of salt-marsh connected with farms, and in part, 
at least, meadow, is 17,223. The low price of land has 
heretofore prevented the investment of much capital in 
improvements of this sort; but the rapid advances now 
making in the agriculture of the county, cannot but attract 
attention to the opportunities for such improvements, and 
the benefits to be derived from them. 

When the flow of the tide is shut off from the marshes 
by proper banks and sluices, they soon become fresh, and 
are capable of being improved for meadows or for cultiva- 
tion. The marshes, in regard to their improvement, may 
be divided into three kinds. — 1. Those with a mud bot- 
tom, or covered with a thick layer of mud. — 2. Those 
made up mostly of turf and grass roots. — 3. Those which 
have a muck or swamp bottom. 

1. The first kind having already a solid bottom, and 
the elements of fertility in their substance, are easily 
improved. They settle but little, and can at once be 
brought into fresh meadow; or they may be cultivated, 
when they will produce luxuriant crops of corn, wheat, 


oatS; or broom corn. In Salem County^ great value is 
attached to such meadows^ on account of their heavy 
crops of hay and grass seed; in the latter article of 
which^ the Census Eeport of 1850/ under the head of 
Clover and other grass seeds^ sets down to this county 
53^875 bushels — a quantity greater than any of the other 
States produced^ except New York and Pennsylvania. 
In Cumberland County^ enormous crops have been raised 
on some of the banked meadows of Maurice Eiver : — 100 
bushels of oats^ 90 of corn^ 45 of wheat^ and three or four 
tons of hay to the acre are reported. As meadows^ these 
reclaimed marshes are unequalled. 

2. The marshes, which have been mostly raised by the 
growth of grass roots and turf, when the water is drained 
off from them, settle considerably ; and if they are kept 
in bank for a few years, will be found to have their sur- 
face three or four feet below high-w^ater mark. Fresh 
grasses grow in them ; but from the deficiency of mineral 
matter in the soil, or some other cause, the grass is wiry 
and of little value. These marshes are usually away 
from the creeks and other water-courses, and the tide 
reaches them only after it has flowed over the mud-bot- 
tomed marshes, where its current has been checked, and 
its sediment deposited, so that it is comparatively clear. 
These marshes are usually a few inches, or perhaps a foot 
lower than the others; and could be much improved, before 
banking, by cutting ditches, so that the muddy tide-water 
might be carried directly to them before its current is 
checked and the sediment precipitated. After they have 
sunk down by banking and draining, they can be very 


rapidly filled up by opening ditches, and giving a free 
channel to them. Several years ago the marshes on Den- 
nis Creek were banked in, and it is said they sunk three 
feet or more. The bank has since been broken, and now 
they are filled with mud up to high-water mark. I have 
been informed by some owners of marshes, that they can 
lay an inch of mud on their meadows in a year. In the 
settled marshes, they must have filled up at a much more 
rapid rate than this. The settling arises from the decay 
of vegetable matter which has been drained and exposed 
to the action of the air ; and as this decay does not go on 
below the water level, it is probable the marshes which 
have been filled up in the way mentioned above, are per- 
manently improved. 

In places where the tide-water is too clear to form any 
deposit of mud, the marshes may still be improved by 
covering them with a thin layer of clay or loam from the 
upland. An excellent piece of meadow, improved in this 
way, was seen on the farm of Judge Holmes, at Cape May 
Court House. It had received a coating of twenty or 
thirty loads per acre of sandy loam, from an adjacent 

3. The marshes which have muck bottoms are those 
which have been originally swamp, and have been brought 
to the tide-level by the subsidence of the land. A con- 
siderable portion of the marsh on the Bay-shore, and some 
of those which are shallow and near the upland on the 
sea-shore, are of this kind. These marshes do not settle 
as rapidly as those with a turf or peat bottom, and can 
be more easily improved. Dressings of loam or clay will 


benefit them ; but a light coat of lime or ashes will usually 
be sufficient to make them produce clover and fresh 
grasseS;, or to fit them for tillage. 

There is a large area of salt-marsh which is now^ en- 
tirely unimproved^ and at the present price of lands^ it 
would not pay interest on costly improvements; but a 
moderate expense* by which it could be made to produce 
salt-grass suitable for mowing, would be found profitable. 
Salt-hay is in demand in the cities and towns for litter 
and for packing merchandise; and at fair prices, the sup- 
ply is not sufficient to meet it. By proper ditching, open- 
ing the salt-holes to the flow of the tide, and other compa- 
ratively cheap improvements, a growth of grass might be 
produced. Farther up the bay, it has become a regular 
business to cut salt-hay for the city markets. With the 
new adaptation of horse-power to cutting this kind of 
grass, a great facility is added for turning to profit this 
hitherto waste land.* 

* The mud which is brought on the marshes is of much the same character with that 
deposited on a tract of land at the mouth of tho river Humber, on the east coast of Eng- 
land. The mud is there called loarp, and the process of filling up low grounds with it, 
is called loarping. "About 20,000 acres of fine, productive soil, averaging at least two 
feet in thickness, have been thus made by artificial deposition, covering up poor, worth- 
less wastes, and giving a more elevated surface for securing good drainage. Five or six 
hundred acres have been sometimes warped in one piece j but the compartment, as it is 
called, which is banked round and laid open to the river water, is generally of much 
smaller extent, say fifty acres or less, being such a portion as the farmer can conveniently 
spare at a time. 

" The thickness of the warp deposit varies from one to three feet, the land being raised 
to this extent in one, two, or two and a half years. Sometimes the spongy moor subsides 
so much with the weight of solid material thus laid upon it, as to need a second warping 
after a few years ,• but once is generally sufficient. 

" A sluice having been erected in the bank of the river, and a main drain cut from it 
to the land which is to be warped, (this drain being sufficiently large, say of three times 


Improvement of tJie Beaches, — In the early part of the re- 
port, the rapid wearing away of the beaches was alluded to. 
This wear has been much increased by cutting off the 
timber, so as to leave the sand loose and exposed to the 
full force of the wind. The value of these beaches is 
not very great; but it might be much increased by 
favoring the growth of timber on them; and they are 

the area of the sluice, so as to prevent any considerable resistance to the flow of water), 
an embankment is thrown np all around the intended compartment. The dimensions 
of the embankment are commonly two or three feet wide at the top, with a slope of fifteen 
to eighteen inches horizontal to one foot perpendicular ,• the altitude varying according 
to the level of the surface. Of course the actual levels of the ground and of the river- 
water must be ascertained, in order to determine the height of the embankments ; but 
this may decrease as they recede inland from the river, because the water does not 
rise so high in the compartment as in the stream, owing to the ebb-tide commencing 
before high-water mark is felt in the warping ground. When the water is to be admitted, 
the doors of the sluice — which point outward, so as when self-acting to exclude the tide — 
are held open by rods and staples attached for the purpose, the thick-water flowing ra- 
pidly in carries the mud in suspension until arived at the point where it begins to expand 
in a quieter current, and then lets it fall slowly upon the surface it inundates. The warp- 
ing drain is prolonged to the farther side of the compartment, say along one side, and the 
deposition there begun ; the water passing very slowly back over the ground, and escaping 
again into the drain at the turn of the tide by a tunnel laid for the purpose on the near 
side of the compartment. When the farther side has received a sufficient coating, the 
water is admitted through an aperture cut in the bank at a less advanced position, and 

so on, until the water gradually shuts itself out Great care and judgment are 

required in guiding the currents of water from the inlets, so as to insure an equal distribu- 
tion of the warp, both as to quality and to the final uniform level of the surface. . . . 
The water having flowed over the ground again into the drain — minus much of its earthy 
matter — returns to the river, scouring out in its passage any deposit that may be accumu- 
lated in the drain. . . . The water is not shut up in the compartment; the deposition 
commences directly it has got free from its restraint in the drain, and it is run off as 
quickly as the tide will allow, in order to make room for another flowing, 

*^ The expense is a very variable item, depending upon various conditions. With the 
cost of large drains and other works included, it would probably be from £12 to £20 per 
acre; while on lands adjacent to the public warping drains, it would be much less than 
half that sum. The improvement, however, is very valuable, as it converts most worth- 
less moors into firm, dry, and prolific land, worth £60 to £100 per acre, and commanding 
a rental of 50^, to 6O5., or even much more." — " Cyc, of Agr; Art, Warping" 


of importance in protecting the marshes behind them and 
the main land. In some foreign countries, forests have 
been cultivated for the purposes of fixing such loose sands. 
Boussingault^ in his "Rural Economy/' p. 237^ says : — 

" It is a problem of the highest importance^ in many 
instances, to fix permanently masses of sand blown up 
from the sea, by covering them with productive planta- 
tions. This problem was studied and successfully resolved 
by M. Bremontier, a French engineer. Aware that cer- 
tain plants thrive in the sands of downs, he saw that they 
alone were capable of staying their progress and consolidat- 
ing them. The grand object was to get plants to grow in 
moving sand, and to protect them from the violent winds 
which blow off the ocean, until their roots had got firm 
hold of the soil. 

" Downs do not bound the ocean like sea-beaches. From 
the base of the first hillocks to the line which marks the 
extreme height of spring-tides, there is always a level over 
which the sand sweeps w^ithout pausing. It was upon 
this level space that Bremontier sowed his first belt of 
pine and furze seeds, ^heltering it by means of green 
branches fixed by forked pegs to the ground, and in such 
a way that the wind should have least hold upon them, 
viz : by turning the lopped extremity toward the wind. 
Experience has shown that by proceeding thus, fix and 
furze seeds not only germinate, but that the young plants 
grow with such rapidity, that by-and-by they form a thick 
belt a yard or more in height. Success is now certain. 
The plantation, so far advanced, arrests the sand as it 
comes from the bed of the sea, nud forms an effectual bar- 


rier to the other belts that are made to succeed it toward 
the interior. When the trees are five or six years of age, 
a new plantation is made contiguous to the first, and more 
inland, from 200 to 300 feet in breadth; and so the pro- 
cess is carried on until the summits of the hillocks are 
gradually attained. 

^' It was by proceeding in this way that Bremen tier suc- 
ceeded in covering the barren sands of the Arrachon basin 
with useful trees. Begun in 1787, the plantations in 1809 
covered a surface of between 9,000 and 10,000 acres. The 
success of these plantations surpassed all expectations ; in 
sixteen years, the pine trees were from thirty-five to forty 
feet in height." 

As a matter of profit, the raising of pines on such lands 
is entered upon in some parts of Massachusetts — the 
French or Sea-side pine {Finns maritima) being preferred 
to our Yellow pine, on account of its standing the sea-air 
better, and being a more rapid grower. 

The cultivation of pine has succeeded well on the up- 
lands of this county. It makes an average growth of 
about a cord a year on old fields which grow up to pine. 
Mr. J. Diverty sowed a field with pine many years since. 
The growth was rapid, and in thirty years it yielded from 
thirty to thirty-five cords of wood per acre. 

Beach sands are fixed in many places by holding them 
together by means of the creeping and matted roots of 
some varieties of beach grass, which are cultivated for the 
purpose. In the Report of the Patent Office for 1854, it is 
mentioned that among the seeds imported were the sand or 
Sea-side Lyme Grass {Elymus anenarius)^ and the Sea-Reed, 



{Arundo arenaria) from Holland. They are of no use for 
fodder. " The object of importing the seeds of these 
grasses was^ to sow them on such jDarts of our coasts as 
may be threatened^ or are suffering injury from the sea, 
particularly on beaches or sand-hills which are liable to 
changes from abrasion or drifting winds. The world- 
renowned dikes of Holland owe much of their strength 
and durability to the protection afforded by these remark- 
able plants." 

The timber swamps of the county contain the best of its 
arable lands. Though flat, they are sufficiently elevated 
to be drained without difficulty, and need only a little 
enterprise and skill to fit them for farming purposes. 
Being out of sight of the sea or Bay, they have not suited 
the maritime tastes of the inhabitants ; and requiring a 
small investment in draining, they have been passed by 
for lands which could be brought into cultivation with less 


It would be out of place here to enumerate the various 
means of improving the soil ; and I shall only undertake 
to point out some of the sources from which fertilizers may 
be obtained. The proper and liberal use of manure lies at 
the foundation of successful farming ; and he who avails 
himself of all the means within his reach for enriching the 
soil, is laying the sure foundation for success in his calling. 
Farm-yard Manure, — The most important source of 
manure for every farmer should be the farm-yard; and 
when the fertility of the soil is to be kept up mainly from 


thiS; every effort should be made to increase its amount. 
For this purpose an adequate amount of stock should be 
kept; in which respect there is now a deficiency as com- 
pared with our country generally, as shown in the table 
on p. 85. The stock should be furnished with a liberal 
amount of food; and their stalls, pens, or yards kept well 
littered with hay, straw, weeds, leaves, or other vegetable 
matter. Any desired amount of salt-grass and sedge, for 
this purpose, can always be obtained from the salt-marshes. 
The manure of the farm, thus increased, should be kept 
from waste. It may be plowed in green in the spring, 
or it may be kept for the fall crops; in the latter case, its 
decomposition should be regulated by composting with 
muck or earth, so as to allow none of its gases to escape 
into the air. 

The supplies of manure may be greatly increased from 
various sources, such as sea-weed., mitch^ marsli mitd^ Mng 
crdbs^ fisli^ shell-fish^ and shells. 

Sea-weed. — This substance is thrown up on the shores in 
immense quantities at some seasons. Dr. S. S. Marcy, of 
Cape Island, says that he has known two thousand wagon 
loads to come ashore in a single tide, on a mile of Poverty 
Beach. It is equally abundant at other places on the sea 
and Bay-shore. It has been used to some extent, but not 
at all in proportion to its value; and the mode in which it 
has been used, by throwing it into piles to decay or dry 
up, is extremely wasteful. Sea-weeds differ from land 
plants in decaying much more rapidly; and, when mixed 
with soil into a compost, they soon crumble down into a 
black earth, in which little or no trace of the plant can be 


perceived. They are remarkable, also, for their large per- 
centage of ash, containing, when dried, about twice as 
much as the dry land-grasses. The components of the 
ash, too, are those most generally found in vegetable ashes. 
The following is the average of analyses of the ash of 
several species of sea-weeds, taken from " Morton's Cyclo- 
pedia of Agriculture." 

Analysis of the Ash of Sea-ioeed, 

Potash 17.50 

Soda 12.70 

Lime 7.39 

Magnesia 9.89 

Chloride of sodium 16.56 

Chloride of potassium 0.93 

Iodide of sodium 0.95 

Phosphate of lime 7.24 

Oxide of iron 0.24 

Sulphuric acid 24.76 

Silica 1.82 

Percentage of ash in weed dried at 212° Fah. 16.46 

Common sea-weed contains from seventy-five to eighty- 
five per cent, of water; it is also said to contain, when dry, 
two per cent, of nitrogen. When exposed to the air it 
loses about half its water; the remainder, amounting to 
not far from forty per cent., is retained with great perti- 
nacity. " The organic, or combustible portion, principally 
consists of a peculiar mucilaginous substance and of nitro- 
genized compounds, which latter are the cause of the rapid 
decay to which sea-weed is subject. 

Sea-weed is more valuable as a green manure than any 

a 1 


other vegetable substance, whether occurrmg naturally or 
cultivated for the purpose of being employed for the im- 
provement of land. 

" When used by itself in a fresh state, it is advisable to 
plow it in at once. The decomposition then proceeds in 
the soil ; and this acts as an excellent absorber for the 
ammonia which is gradually given off during decay. There 
can be no objection to its application in the form of a com- 
post I and when there is a command of vegetable refuse 
matters, peat mould, and similar substances, which cannot 
be economically applied in any other form than that of a 
compost, the addition of sea-weed will be found a most 
valuable means to hasten the decomposition, and materially 
to improve the fertilizing qualities of the compost. 

^^ Sea-weed produces very powerful fertilizing effects 
when applied in a fresh state upon grass land ; and mixed 
with lime or shell sand, it has also been used with advan- 
tage as a top-dressing for young wheat and potatoes. The 
addition of sea-weed to barn-yard manure hastens its de- 
composition in a remarkable manner, and considerably 
improves its quality." — Gyc. Agr. 

" The saline and other inorganic matters which are con- 
tained in the sea-weed we lay upon our fields, is a ijositive 
addition to the land. If we plow in a green crop where it 
grew, we restore to the soil the same saline matter only 
which the plants have already taken from it during their 
growth, while the addition of sea-weed imparts to it an 
entirely new supply. It brings back from the sea a 
portion of that which the rivers are constantly carrying 
into it; and is thus valuable in restoring, in some mea- 


sure, what rains and crops are constantly removing from 
the land. 

'* Sea-weed is collected along most of our rocky coasts^ and 
is seldom neglected by the farmers on the borders of the 
sea. In the Isle of Thanet it is sometimes cast ashore 
by one tide, and carried off by the next ; so that after a 
storm the teams of the farmers may be seen at work, even 
during the night, in collecting the weed, and carrying it 
beyond the reach of the sea. In that locality, it is said to 
have doubled or tripled the produce of the land. On the 
Lothian coasts, a right of way to the sea for the collection 
of sea-ware increases the value of the land from 25Ǥ. to SOs. 
an acre. In the Western Isles it is extensively collected, 
and employed as a manure; and on the northeast coast of 
Ireland, the farming fishermen go out in their boats and 
hook it up from considerable depths in the sea. 

" In the Western Islands, one cart-load of farm-yard 
manure is considered equal in immediate effect, — upon the 
first crop that is, — to 2 J of fresh sea-weed, or to II after it 
has stood two months in a heap. 

'' Sea-weed is said to be less suited to clay soils; while 
barren sand has been brought into the state of a fine loam 
by the constant application of sea-weed alone for a long 
series of jeeiYs"— Johnstons Ag, Chem, 

Swamp Earthy or Muck, — This valuable fertilizer, the 
product of the decay of leaves, twigs, and other vegetable 
matters, is found in great abundance. The localities are 
so numerous, and the deposits so commonly noticed and 
so well known, that it has not been thought necessary to 
collect a list of them. Generally they are found in all 


the timber swamps in the central parts of the county, on 
the heads of the streams where there are no cedar swamps, 
in ponds, and in the meadows above where the tide flows. 
The timber swamp on the head of Johnson's Branch, be- 
longing to Mr. J. S. Nixon, contains several hundred acres 
of soil covered with from one to two feet of muck. It 
is abundant in the timber swamp on the head of Sluice 
Creek. The cranberry patch of Mr. Bate, at Fishing 
Creek, is a pond filled up with leaves, wood, and decayed 
vegetable matter. Some of the head streams of Fishing 
Creek have muck deposits to a great extent along their 
courses. The deposit of shell-marl, near Beesley's Point, 
is covered with the same substance. There is an exten- 
sive deposit of this material on the high, swampy ground 
south of Tuckahoe ; but it is not necessary to enunaerate 
more. It is so generally found, that there are few farms 
in the county to which this material is not accessible. 
It has not been much used by the farmers, though it is 
highly prized as an addition to the supplies from the barn- 
yard, wherever there is an improved agriculture. 

By itself, in the open air, or when mixed in the soil, 
it decays very slowly, and its effects on growing crops are 
not satisfactory. But if its decay can be hastened, its 
fertilizing powers are very plainly seen. It is the practice 
of many good farmers to compost it with barn-yard ma- 
nure, in the proportion of two or three loads of muck to 
one of the manure. The pile is made by putting down a 
layer of muck about six inches thick, then a layer of ma- 
nure of half that thickness, then another of muck six 
inches thick, and so on till the heap is as high as con- 


venient; the whole should be covered with the muck. 
This is allowed to heat moderately^ and ferment together^, 
and turned over once or twice in the course of the season. 
In this way, the whole mass is thought to become as valu- 
able as an equal weight of farm-yard manure. 

It is recommended, where sea-weed is convenient, to use 
that substance, mixing the muck with from a sixth to a 
quarter of its bulk of fresh sea-weed ; the rapid decay of 
this last will gradually reduce the entire heap into a ferti- 
lizing mass. 

Where barn-yard manure is not to be had conveniently, 
the muck may be composted with lime, using from one to 
five bushels of lime to a cord of muck. The action in this 
case seems to be reciprocal ; the muck is made valuable, 
and the lime is in a better form for applying to the soil, 
than when in its caustic and pure state. Johnson says, 
'' such a compost is especially adapted to the lightest and 
driest soils, and to such as are poorest in vegetable matter. 
In this form, lime has imparted an unexpected fertility, 
even to the white and barren sands of the Landes^ in 
France ; and upon the dry hills of Derbyshire, it has pro- 
duced an almost equal benefit." 

In one or two localities, it was noticed that the muck 
was charged with sulphate of iron (copperas) sufficient to 
give it a decidedly inky taste. For such kinds of muck, 
lime is absolutely necessary; or else they will be injurious 
to the soil, if used in any considerable quantity.* 

§ No reference has been made in the preceding para- 
graphs to the immense deposits of cedar swamp- earth, 

•'••" I have met with no formations of peat, sucli as is formed in wet and mossy meadows. 


which cover several thousand acres of land, and are from 
four to twelve or more feet thick. I have no knowledge 
in relation to the fertilizing properties of this substance. 
There is a common impression that muck or mould, from 
the decay of the leaves and wood of trees yielding turpen- 
tine, is not valuable. Its great quantity, however, and its 
importance, if it can be made available for manure, have 
led me to some chemical examinations of it. 

The cedar swamp-earth is, in appearance, like the muck 
from other sources. It is combustible ; when dry, burning 
with a bright flame, and a good deal of smoke. The 
amount of ashes left is quite small, only 3.35 per cent, of 
the dried earth. The following is the analysis of this ash. 

As7i of Cedar Swamp-earth — Analysis, 

Silica, 54.427 

Peroxide of iron and alumina, ...... 16.620 

Lime, 11.042 

Magnesia, 3.920 

Potash, 4.24.9 

Sulphuric acid, 3.111 

Phosphoric acid, 5.436 

Chloride of sodium, (Salt), 0.987 


An examination was made for nitrogen and ammonia ; 
but the result obtained was so large, that I have not been 
willing to publish it, without the trial of another specimen ; 
and a second specimen sent to me has been lost on the 
way, so that I cannot now verify it. 

Kmg crabs, or Horse-feet — The Bay-shore of this county 
is remarkable for the immense numbers of this animal, (the 
Polyphemus occidentalism or Limitlus polypliemus of the na- 


turalists) which frequent it. At the season for depositing 
their eggs, which is in the latter part of May and in June, 
they come on shore in ahnost incredible numbers. The 
whole strand for many miles is covered with them — some- 
times two or three deep. Mr. Thos. P. Hughes, of Town 
Bank, says that on his shore of one hundred rods, he could 
get 100,000 in a week ; 750,000 were taken on about a half 
mile of the strand, a year since; and this year, 1,200,000, 
were taken on about a mile. They deposit their eggs, and 
then leave the shore entirely, till the same season next 
year. But little, if any thing, is known of their habits 
or localities during the interval. The number of eggs is 
very great. They are so thick along the shore, that they 
can be shovelled up and collected by the wagon load. 
Great numbers are thus gathered and carried away to feed 
chickens. Wlien they hatch, the sand is fairly alive with 
the little creatures. A year or two since, a vessel took in 
a load of sand on the shore, and in two or three days, so 
many of these young king crabs appeared in it, that they 
were obliged to throw the whole overboard. 

Hogs eat the crabs with great avidity; and it is the 
common practice along all our shores, to gather them for 
that purpose, in the proper season. It is common also to 
gather them into pens, and allow them to putrefy, and 
form a kind of compound, to be used as manure. Other 
persons have composted them for the same purpose. For 
the raising of wheat, they have been very successfully 
used. On land which w^ould not grow wheat at all up to 
that time, crops of twenty, twenty-five, and even thirty 
bushels to the acre, have been raised by the use of these 


crabs composted with earth. It has been thought by some 
that they mjure the ground for the succeeding crops of 
corn or grass, and that they promoted the growth of sorrel. 
Many persons, however, have continued their use for 
years in succession, wdth success. Mr. Wm. J. Bate, of 
Fishing Creek, uses them every year, and with the best 
effects, in compost, on early potatoes. A remarkably fine 
and thrifty young orchard of his, has been manured princi- 
pally with crabs, in their raw state. Mr. Springer, of 
Dyer's Creek, has used them for a number of years, com- 
posting them with saw-dust, coal-pit bottoms, mud, and 
barn-yard manure. With a compost of 7000 crabs, twenty 
loads of mud, two coal bottoms, seven or eight loads of old 
hay and manure, applied on six acres of sandy loam, he 
raised 1514 bushels of wheat. On another field, where 
the crop, succeeding that manured with crabs, did not look 
thrifty, he sowed a light dressing of quick lime. The crop 
immediately began to improve, and turned out to be an 
excellent one. Mr. Levi Corson, of Dyer's Creek, has an 
acre and a half of sandy loam, on which he has raised all 
the corn and wheat needed for the use of his family, con- 
sisting of himself and wife, for the last fifteen years. He 
has it in two fields, and raises corn in one, and wheat in 
the other, every year, giving each field a two years' rota- 
tion. Occasionally, he has plowed in the wheat stubble, 
and raised a crop of buckwheat, thus getting three crops 
from the same ground in two years. The straw and 
stalks have all been taken off the field, and the only ma- 
nure that has been applied, has been a compost of 2000 
crabs, with eight or nine loads of sods from the fence cor- 


ners^ each year. The compost was all put on the wheat; 
no manure being used on the corn. The sorrel grew very 
rank in the corn ; but by a diligent use of the hoe, it was 
kept down. His first crop of wheat on 90 rods of ground, 
was 16 bushels, weighing 65 pounds to the bushel ; and 
his wheat has usually yielded at the rate of from 25 to 30 
bushels an acre. His corn crop has been at the rate of 
from 30 to 50 bushels an acre. Two years ago, he stopped 
gathering crabs, and has used lime ; but his crops are not 
as heavy as before. He thought they were falling off 
while using crabs; but his neighbor says they had not 
fallen off more than was due to the variation in seasons. 

It is presumed these cases are sufficient to show the 
value of this manure. In regard to the methods of apply- 
ing the crabs, there is room for much improvement. Allow- 
ing them to lie in piles, and decompose by themselves, is 
very wasteful ; and the composts which are usually made 
have by far too small a quantity of absorbent material 
added, as is evident from the escape of the gases from the 
heaps, as well as from the results of experience in making 
composts in other localities. The crabs, when alive, weigh 
three or four pounds, and when thoroughly dried they 
average nearly, if not quite, a pound each. To save all 
the gases which will escape from them in the course of 
their decay, not less than five times their weight of muck, 
sods, loam, or other absorbent material, should be used; 
and a much larger quantity would not be injurious. 

The abundance of these crabs has suggested the plan of 
drying and grinding them for use as a concentrated ma- 
nure ; and Messrs. Ingham and Beesley have erected a mill 


at Goshen for this purpose. They dry the crabs, grind 
them as fine as possible, and mix them with a small quan- 
tity of some deodorizing material. The material, thus pre- 
pared, is put up in bags, and sold under the name of 
cancerine. Its price is from $25 to |30 a ton at the works. 
Several hundred tons were manufactured and sold last 
year ; and an increased quantity will be made the present 

It was applied on wheat last year; but the winter was 
so severe that all the wheat crops were injured, and the 
reports on the action of the cancerine were very contra- 
dictory. Some, who tried it side by side with guano and 
barn-yard manure, asserting that it is by no means equal 
to them; others claim that it is fully equal; and others 
still that it is superior to either. The manufacturers' cir- 
cular shows very favorable reports from many thrifty and 
observing farmers. It has met with universal approval 
from those who have used it on summer crops, this season; 
corn, potatoes, &c., being greatly benefitted by it. 

Analysis of Cancerine. 

Water 9.321 

Organic matter 70.867 

Lime 4.358 

Phosphoric acid 2.714 

Sulphuric acid 5.170 

Alkaline salts 3.687 

Sand 3.883 

Ammonia, 10.750 per cent. 

The specimen analyzed was sent to me by Mr. Ingham, 
one of the proprietors of the manufiictory. It appears to 


be almost pure crab^ there being scarcely any charcoal or 
other absorbent material in it. The slight loss which may 
have been in the analysis is involved in the organic matter. 
The ammonia was determined by an ultimate analysis. It 
does not exist in the cancerine^ ready formed, but the 
nitrogen^, from which ammonia is generated, is in it ; and in 
accordance with the common practice of chemists, the 
amount of ammonia which the nitrogen will produce, is 

Another specimen of the crab shells, unmixed with other 
matter, and only dried in the air, gave 10.78 per cent, of 
ammonia. Two other specimens of the cancerine gave 9.22 
and 9.77 per cent, of ammonia. The phosphoric acid in the 
last two was 3.87 and 4.24 per cent. The analy.sis of the 
single specimen is retained rather than the average of the 
three, as it is understood to be the intention of the manu- 
facturers to send the dried and ground crab material into 
market without the addition of deodorizers or absorbents. 

The establishment of this manufactory has been the 
subject of much interest. The increasing use of concen- 
trated manures, the continued reports of their early ex- 
haustion, and their enhanced price, has drawn the atten- 
tion of the public to other sources of supply ; and every 
honest attempt to meet this want should meet with public 
encouragement. The agricultural value of the cancerine, 
and its price compared with that of Peruvian guano, may 
be estimated. The following table gives the highest, the 
lowest, and the average composition of thirty-two well 
authenticated specimens of Peruvian guano. It is copied 
from " Morton s Cyclopedia of Agriculture." 






Water . . . ..... . . 

Organic matter, and salts of 
ammonia ....... 



■ 58.82 












Earthy phosphates 

Alkaline salts 

Ammonia yielded by 100 parts . 




Prof. Way, an eminent agricultural chemist^ in England, 
and some in our own country, have computed the value 
of guano from the amount of ammonia and phosphates, or 
phosphoric acid it contains; considering the other ingre- 
dients as of little comparative value. The phosphates are 
allowed, by them, to be worth about one eighth, and phos- 
phoric acid one fourth as much as ammonia. Taking 
these valuations as the basis of calculation, the ammonia, 
and one eighth of the phosphates of the Peruvian guano, 
amount to 20.42, or are equivalent to that percentage of 
ammonia ; the ammonia, and one fourth of the phosphoric 
acid in the cancerine, are in the same way equivalent to 
11.43 per cent, of ammonia; and the values of the two will 
be as the numbers 20.42 and 11.43; or when guano is 
worth $60 per ton, as it is now, the cancerine is worth 

An analysis of guano was made in my Laboratory for 
the purpose of comparing it with the cancerine. The 
sample was obtained by taking small quantities of guano 
from each of a large number of bags in the storehouse of a 
merchant, and mixing them carefully. It was said to be 
an average quality of guano. 



Water 13.914 

Sand 1.962 

Lime 10.264 

Potash and soda 5.874 

Phosphoric acid 10.155 

Organic matter, and salts not estimated 57.831 

Ammonia in 100 parts 14.793 

This analysis was made by the same method which 
was pursued in analyzing the cancerine. If we calculate 
its value according to the principles given in the preceding 
page, it will be to the cancerine as 17*33 to 11.43; or 
when guano is worth $60 a ton, cancerine is worth |39.57. 

Not having its ammonia ready formed, the cancerine 
may not be quite as quick in its action as guano; but in 
turn it is neither volatile nor soluble, and so not liable to 
loss from exposure to air and water; and it appears to be 
more lasting in its effects. 

The amount of the material (cancerine) which can be 
produced annually is not yet known. There is so little 
knowledge of the habits of the king crab, that no judgment 
can be formed as to the effect that will be produced on a 
coming year's supply by the destruction of great numbers 
of those which come to the shores to lay their eggs. If 
the number is not materially diminished, the manufacture 
could be extended so as to produce many thousand tons 
every year. 

Fish for Manure, — The ocean and Delaware Bay, adja- 
cent to this county, as well as the bays and sounds in the 
salt-marshes, contain immense quantities of fish, which 


might be profitably caught for manure. Sharks, of which 
there are several species, are abundant in the Bay. A 
fishery for them has been carried on in Delaware Bay, 
opposite Fishing Creek, the past season. The main object 
was the shark-liver oil ; but the bodies of the sharks have 
furnished the material for a very rich compost heap, the 
worth of which will go far towards paying the expenses of 
the fishery. Over five hundred were caught at that place 
the present season. Of the average amount of oil I am 
not informed, but one large fish yielded nine and a half 
gallons of good oil. 

The moss-bonker (the Alosa menTiaden^ or Glupea menhaden) 
or, as it is sometimes called, bony-fish, menhaden, and other 
names, is an abundant fish in all the waters of this part of 
the State. It is frequently seen in immense shoals, fairly 
blackening the surface of the w^ater for many miles. It is 
easily caught, and in large quantities at once. Mr. John 
Stites, Sen., of Beesley's Point, with his brother, some years 
since, caught, in a ninety fathom net, thirty two-horse wagon 
loads, at four hauls; taking fourteen of the loads at a single 
haul. Last summer, in a trip through the sounds from 
Beesley's Point to Cape Island, we passed through water 
filled with these fishes. Many of them swam so near the 
surface that their back fins projected above it ; and the 
appearance of the water was entirely changed by the slight 
ripple they made in moving. They were most abundant 
then in the vicinity of Hereford Inlet ; but they are found 
near all the shores; and the only limit to the amount 
which can be taken is in the ability to take care of them 
when caught. 


The value of these fish for manure is well known; but 
the best methods of applying them has not been at all 
understood. They have been usually spread upon the 
surface, or very incompletely covered with earth in the 
compost heap or the field ; so that in their decay they 
have filled the air with their odor^ and generated swarms 
of flies. Their cheapness, and their efficiency as manure, 
are strongly in their favor, and enable them to maintain 
their ground in spite of these objections. By composting 
them with muck, or other vegetable matter, in sufficient 
quantity, these offensive products could be avoided, and 
the whole of the fertilizing properties of the fish retained. 
The amount of absorbent material necessary to mix with 
them I do not know. It is said that in Cambridgeshire, 
England, a compost of one barrel of fish refuse to four or 
five cart-loads of earth, is approved by the farmers. And 
it is probable that from five to ten times as much of the 
absorbent as of the fish should be used. 

A correspondent of the '^ Country Gentleman," Vol. 5, 
p. 152, writing from Worcester County, Mass., says : " In 
all the towns on the North Shore, fish are extensively used 
as a manure. Most of the fish caught at this season are 
for salting; and the refuse, which is very considerable, 
consisting of heads, backbones, &c., when mixed with 
muck, and allowed to ferment for a few months, makes an 
excellent fertilizer. For corn, potatoes, and turnips, he 
has used it in this way with great success. It appears to 
ameliorate the effects of drouth." 

These fishes are used all along the New Jersey shore. 
A common way of applying them on corn, is to plow the 


corn, turning the furrow away from the hill, and then to 
deposit a fish in the furrow on each side of the hill, and, 
after a day or two, to turn the furrow back to the hill 
again, and cover the fish. In this way they carry the corn 
through to maturity, and good crops are gathered from the 
poorest and lightest soils in the State. 

Dr. Dekay, in the " Natural History of New York," says 
of this fish that, ^^ although it is seldom eaten, as it is dry, 
without flavor, and full of bones, yet it is one of the most 
valuable fish found within our waters. Its use as a manure 
is well known in the counties of Suffolk, King's, and 
Queen's, where it is a source of great wealth to the farmer 
who lives upon the sea-coast. They are used in various 
ways : for Indian corn, two or three are thrown on a hill ; 
for wheat, they are thrown broadcast on the field, and 
plowed under — although it is not uncommon to put them 
in layers alternately with common mould, and, when 
decomposed, spread it like any other compost. Its effects 
in renovating old grass-fields, when spread over with these 
fish at the rate of about two thousand to the acre, are very 
remarkable." . . . 

'' They appear on the shores of Long Island about the 
beginning of June, in immense scholes ; and, as they fre- 
quently swim with a part of the head above or near the 
surface of the water, they are readily seen and captured. 
They are commonly sold on the spot at the rate of two 
dollars the wagon load, containing about a thousand fish. 
The largest haul I remember to have heard of, was through 
the surf at Bridgehampton, at the east end of the island. 
Eighty-four wagon loads, or, in other words, 84,000 of 
these fish were taken at a single haul." 


Sixty wagon loads, of at least 2,500 fish each, were 
taken at one haul in Rarifcan Bay this season. 

Notwithstanding the large quantity of these fishes, their 
quick decay, their bulk, and the large quantity of water 
they contain, render it impossible to get the advantage of 
them in their fresh state, far from the shore. About four- 
fifths of their weight is water ; they yield about two per 
eent. of oil; and analysis, it is said, show^s them to contain 
not far from two per cent, of nitrogen. 

The oil is supposed to be of no value to the farmer. If 
they could be freed from it, and from the water, and then 
pulverized, they would make a valuable manure, and one 
w^hich would bear the cost of transportation to considerable 
distances. A good deal of attention has been directed to 
this subject, and many experiments tried; some, appa- 
rently, with success. 

S. B. Halliday, Esq., in a letter published in the 
*^ Country Gentleman," Vol. 6, p. 250, describes the process 
used in making fish-guano at an establishment near Bristol, 
R. I. : " The oil is taken from the fish by cooking with 
steam; and with some chemical combinations the remains 
are converted into two varieties of guano. One kind is 
prepared somewhat as follows : the remains, after cooking, 
is a soft mass of flesh and bones, and after being chemically 
treated and partially dried, it is put into an oven and tho- 
roughly baked, and then ground fine. 

" The company have fixed its price lower, some ten dol- 
lars a ton, than Peruvian guano is sold at." 

An article written for the ^^ Country Gentleman," Vol. 8, 
p. 43, by Prof. S, W. Johnson, of Yale College, contains 


valuable matter in relation to the manufacture of fish ma- 
nure. He says the method of De Molen, a Frenchman, 
"consists merely in boiling or steaming the fish until they 
are disintegrated to a pasty mass; then pressing them to 
separate the oil, which is itself economized ; then drying 
the cake left after this operation in a current of hot air; 
and finally grinding it to powder. Pettit's patent process 
involves the use of sulphuric acid, which is added to the 
fresh fish, and has the same effect as steam in destroying 
their consistence. After treatment with sulphuric acid, 
the mass is pressed and dried as before. 

" De Molen has at present an establishment on the island 
Kerpon, near the Straits of Belle Isle, which was fitted up 
to employ one hundred and fifty w^orkmen, and sends yearly 
to France large quantities of Tangrum^ as the product is 
called. This name seems to be applied to the manure pre- 
pared from herrings, or herring refuse. 

" At Concarneau (Finisterre) is also a large manufactory 
offish-manure, in which, in 1854, the labor of six men and 
ten children produced daily, for two hundred days in the 
year, eight to ten thousand pounds of dry manure, from 
thirty-six to forty thousand pounds of fish, or fish-refuse. 
About half the supply of the raw material is the refuse of 
the Sardine fisheries. Arrangements are making to in- 
crease the product to eight thousand tons yearly. This 
manure is sold at $35 a ton. It is represented to contain 
twelve per cent, of nitrogen, equal to fourteen and a half 
of ammonia, and six per cent, of phosphoric acid; and is 
considered nmch cheaper than Peruvian guano. 

"According to an article in the ^Practical Mechanic's 


Journal/ Nov. 1853, the cost of making fifty tons of fish- 
manure by Pettit's patent method is as follows : — 

100 tons fish, ^t £2 per ton ... . £200 

Sulphuric acid 17 10s. 

Labor 25 

Total £242 10s. 

" The cost of one ton is therefore £4 ITs., not including 
interest or capital invested, wear and tear, &c. The price 
paid for fish is the chief expense of the manufacture 3 and 
when reduced one half or more, as it can be in some locali- 
ties, we see how promising this manufacture is. It is to 
be considered too, that the fresh fish yield, when steamed, 
two and two and a half per cent, of oil, the value of which 
must be deducted from the cost of the fish manure. 

" A company has recently been formed at Christiana, in 
Norway, with the object of making fish manure. Samples 
of their first products have been analyzed by Dr. Stock- 
hardt, and contained about ten per cent, of nitrogen, and 
eight per cent, of phosphates of lime and magnesia. 

" On the coast of the North Sea, in Oldenburgh, an 
excellent manure is made from a kind of small sea crab 
that is caught there in large quantities. The crabs are 
simply dried and ground. . . . This manure, called Granat 
Guano, from the name of the crab, contains 11.23 per cent, 
of nitrogen, and 5.23 per cent, phosphates of lime and 

The amount of material which can be obtained from the 
waters for the manufacture of manure, it is impossible to 
estimate 3 but the quantities of fish drawn from them, for 
ordinary consumption, is enormous. Poole, in the ^^ Statistics 


of British Commerce/' says the aggregate weight of herrings 
caught each season has been estimated to average 500,000 
tons in weight. In the Compendium of the United States 
Census of 1850^ the annual product of the Massachusetts 
fisheries is set down at 215,170 quintals of codfish ; 2865468 
barrels of mackerel; 1,250 barrels of herring ; and 187,157 
barrels of oil and bones. And of the moss-bonkers, which are 
caught only for manure, Connecticut is set down as having 
taken 86,946,000 fish; and Rhode Island, 187,000 barrels. 
The number of these caught on the shores of New Jersey 
has not been estimated; but a friend who has inquired into 
the matter, informs me that 100,000 barrels could be de- 
livered, at a single point on the shore, in one season. 

For several years past the price of these fishes, on the 
shores of Earitan Bay, has ranged from five to eight cents 
a bushel. The weight of a bushel is about eighty pounds. 
Since the above was written I have received some of 
these fishes for analysis. They were caught in Raritan 
Bay, in the latter part of October. The weight of the five 
fishes sent was 4 pounds 44 ounces. These fishes are a 
little fatter and heavier at this season than in the summer. 
Three-quarters of a pound is about their average w^eight. 
They were several days on the road ; and Mr. Charles 
Sears, who sent them, found it necessary to add something 
to keep them from spoiling; and accordingly added four 
ounces of sulphuric acid. They were received in good 

The oil was first separated from the fish by adding w^ater 
to them, as they were received, and boiling until the flesh 
was reduced to a pulp. The oil was then skimmed off, 


and purified from water and other substances by ether. It 
then weighed 2.66 ounces; which is equivalent to 3.914 
per cent, of the original weight of the fish. 

The substance of the fish remaining was then strained 
out and carefully dried in an air-bath at a temperature of 
290° Fah. ; when the dry mass was found to weigh 11.8 
ounces. On account of the solvent power of the sulphuric 
acid^ which was added to the fish, it was thought proper to 
separate all the mineral matters from the fluid in which 
the fish had been boiled, and add them to the dried fish; 
excluding, of course, the sulphuric acid. These weighed 
1.1 ounces; and added to the weight of the dried fish given 
above, 11.8 ounces, made, for the whole w^eight of the dried 
matter 12.9 ounces; which is equivalent to 18.936 per cent, 
of the original weight of the fish. There was still left in 
the fluid some animal matter, which could not be satisfac- 
torily separated, and was left out. 

The water in the fish was 77.15 per cent., as ascertained 
by deducting the percentages of oil and dry matter from 

The nitrogen in the dried fish was ascertained by ulti- 
mate analysis to be 7.762 per cent., which is equivalent to 
9.282 per cent, of ammonia. 

The mineral substances contained in the fish were freed 
from the organic matter by burning, and then separated 
from each other by the ordinary processes of analysis. 

Analysis of the Fresh Fish. 

Water 77.150 

Oil 3.914 

Dried fish 18.936 



Analysis of the Dried Fish, 

Lime 8.670 

Magnesia 0.670 

Potash 1.545 

Soda 1.019 

Phosphoric acid . 7.784 

Chlorine 678 

Silicic acid 1.333 

Organic matter and loss 78.301 


Shell-fish for Manure, — There are great quantities of 
mussels in the creeks and thoroughfares of the marshes. 
They are usually attached to sods and roots in the banks^ 
entirely covering the surface of such objects. They could 
be very easily and cheaply collected^ by detaching them 
from the sods, by the use of a sharp spade^ and loading 
them directly into boats. The animal matter and the 
lime of their thin shells are both valuable for manure, and 
could be advantageously used. 

The value of mussel beds for manure is given in an arti- 
cle from Essex County, Mass., published in the " Country 
Gentleman," Yol. 7, p. 155. " Thousands of cords of mussel 
beds are annually taken from the bed of the streams bor- 
dering on the sea, and used on grounds cultivated. I have 
repeatedly witnessed the value of this fertilizer in the 
growing of carrots and onions. The very best crops of 
carrots I saw the last season, more than thirty-four tons to 
the acre, had no other fertilizer applied to the land. For 
the last thirty years I have known it applied to lands on 
which onions have been grown, with a product varying 
from three hundred to six hundred bushels to the acre. It 


sells, delivered several miles from where it is dug^ at four 
or five dollars the cord. It is usually gathered in the 
winter months, taken to the shore in scows or gondolas, 
and thence to the fields where it is to be used. Sometimes 
it is laid in a pile of several cords together, and, after it 
has been exposed to the frosts of winter, distributed from 
four to eight cords to the acre. At other times it is laid 
out in heaps of a few bushels only, which remain for a 
time exposed to the frost. What is the chemical effect of 
this exposure I am not advised, but it is generally under- 
stood to be improved by being thus exposed before it is 

^^ Mussels and star fish (five fingers)," says a writer in 
the '' Agricultural Gazette," " have long been an established 
manure in the neighborhood of Faversham, Kent. They 
are procured by dredging. The mussels sell at sixteen 
shillings sterling per wagon, and five fingers at twenty- 
one shillings." 

Marsh mud, — The mud exposed in the banks of the 
creeks, and also that which is deposited on the marshes 
by the tide, has long been known to possess fertilizing 
properties, and has been used to a limited extent as a 

The mud has been used very successfully by Mr. R. C. 
Holmes. He has had it dug out and exposed to the frost 
for one, or sometimes for two winters, so that it might be 
slacked down fine, and the salt leached out by the rains. 
He uses it in compost with lime — one bushel of stone lime 
to twenty of mud ; also composted with barn-yard manure. 
Its effects have been tested on wheat, corn, and grass, to 


his satisfaction. Mr. Joshua Swain has also used the mud 
from the salt-marshes, and finds it to be a valuable and 
lasting manure. Mr. Joshua Townsend has used it com- 
posted with lime, with decidedly beneficial effects. Mr. 
Coombs, at Port Elizabeth, Cumberland County, has used 
mud from the fresh marshes of Maurice Eiver, with very 
striking results. His soil is a very poor and light sand — 
so poor, that with ordinary cultivation, it does not yield 
more than ten bushels of corn to the acre. By the appli- 
cation of from sixty to eighty loads of mud, to the acre, 
it is made a permanently retentive soil, which, with good 
cultivation, yields fifty bushels of corn, or twenty bushels 
of wheat to the acre. Mr. Providence Ludlara, of Hopewell 
Township, Cumberland County, has used the mud from the 
fresh marshes on the Cohansey, for a number of years past. 
His compost heap consisted of 300 loads of mud, with 475 
bushels of lime. With this compost and ordinary barn- 
yard manure, he raises very fine crops of corn, potatoes, 
wheat, and grass. Other instances might be mentioned; 
but these are sufficient to show the practical effect of 
these muddy deposits, and to confirm the conclusions 
which could be drawn from their chemical composition. 

In using this deposit from the salt-marshes, it should be 
dug one, or, if possible, two years before using. The frosts 
of winter cause the clayey lumps to slack down to a fine 
mellow consistencj^ ; and the rains leach out any salt that 
may be retained from the sea-water. It may then be 
spread directly upon the soil ; but its best effects will be 
produced by composting with lime or barn-yard manure. 
Its value upon the light soils of this county will be found 


greater even than what is due to the fertilizing substances 
it contains ; acting by the clay it contains to make them 
withstand drought better, to be more retentive of manures, 
and to favor the growth of wheat and grass. 

Shell-marl and Shells. — There are no extensive deposits 
of shell-marl in the county ; one small one has been men- 
tioned on p. 27, as occurring below Beesley's Point. This 
consists of 41 per cent, of crumbled shells, probably of the 
oyster, and the remaining 59 per cent., of a bluish mud, 
like that of the present oyster beds. It is probable that 
as the county is more cleared up, other deposits of this 
kind will be found. For applying to the soil, it only needs 
exposure to the weather long enough to slake fine, when 
it can be spread upon the surface. Both the lime and the 
mud are valuable fertilizers. 

The deposits of recent shells of the clam and oyster, are 
very common, and in some places, very large. At Beesley's 
Point, I saw a large pile of broken clam shells ; no others 
were mixed with them, and there were no whole shells; 
the fragments were quite small.* They are just in the 
borders of the marsh. A number of other piles of shells, 
of the same kind, are known along the shore. Large piles 
of oyster shells are found in different places along the 
borders of the creeks and the upland. Oyster shells are 
also found in great quantities in the bottoms of some of 
the creeks and bays. They also form solid beds of con- 
siderable thickness and extent in Delaware Bay, opposite 
the mouths of Dennis and other creeks which run into 

^' They are supposed to be the remains of clam shells, broken up by the Indians, in mak- 
ing wampum. 


Maurice River Cove. On some of the fields, it has been 
observed that the soil was mixed with great quantities of 
shells, probably left there by the Indians. The soil in 
these spots is always good. 

Shells may be used to improve the soil, in their natural 
state ; and by applying them in large quantities, they will 
be found beneficial. They may, however, be used with 
better economy, by grinding them in an iron mill, or under 
an edge mill. The most common way of using them is 
to burn them into quick lime. This is best done in kilns 
constructed for the purpose ; but for agricultural use, it is 
very frequently more convenient to burn them in a pile 
with wood. By constructing a hollow square of logs, and 
filling it with alternate layers of wood, brush, or chips, and 
shells, and then firing the pile, the shells will be burned 
into lime. If too little wood is used, they will only scale 
and crack in pieces ; but if a sufficiency is used, they will 
slake into a fine powder. A large portion of the supply 
of lime for the county might be obtained in this way, at 
a cheap rate. The mode of using lime, its effect upon the 
soil, and its great importance in good husbandry, are too 
well known to need repeating here. 


Clay suitable for making bricks is found in some places, 
but it is not abundant. A thin streak of tough, light blue 
clay can be seen near the edge of the water, at Beesley's 
Point, which would make bricks ; but it does not promise 
to be sufficiently abundant to pay for working. The same 
layer can be traced further up Great Egg Harbor and 


Tuckalioe River^ past Tuckahoe, to Marsh all ville, where 
it has been used for making bricks. Clay has also been 
dug and used quite extensively for brick making, by Peter 
Corson, Esq., at Petersburg, The clay is seen at other 
places to the southwest of Petersburg, along the Great 
Cedar Swamp Valley, but has not been worked. I do not 
know that there has been any attempt at brick making in 
the county, except the above. There is some clay near 
Cresse Town, but it has not been worked. 

Some of the clay at Petersburg is nearly white. Fire 
bricks were made from it by Mr. Corson, some years since. 
White clay is also found on the borders of the cedar 
swamp, on the land of W". S. Townsend, Esq., at Dennis- 
ville. There is also white clay found near Eavst Creek, 
on the land of Mr. Dan Bishop, as I am informed by Judge 
GofFe, who tested it by boring, some years since. He 
thinks the layer is four feet thick. 

A kind of concrete brick has been made from gravel, 
which promises to be a cheap and durable building mate- 
rial. The bricks, or rather blocks, for they are of large 
size, are made by mixing the gravel with lime and water, 
and then forming them in moulds. They harden by ex- 
posure to the sun and air, and are not burned. The 
gravel used may have sand in it, without injury; but 
it must be free from loam. Good stone lime should be 
used, in the proportion of one bushel of lime to twelve of 

In making the bricks, the gravel is laid on a common 
mortar bed; and the lime, which has been previously 
slaked and made into a thin putty in a lime trough, is 


then run on the gravel, and the whole worked up into 
mortar. The mortar is then shoveled into the moulds, 
worked a little with the edge of the shovel, and struck off 
at the top. In ten or fifteen minutes, the mortar will 
have set, so that the moulds can be taken off. In a short 
time, the bricks are dry enough to handle, when they can 
be piled up and allowed to dry thoroughly. The moulds 
for the bricks are made by taking two long side pieces, as 
wide as it is intended to have the thickness of the bricks ; 
these are set on their edges, as far apart as is needed for 
the length of the bricks; and the space between the side 
pieces is divided up by partitions set at intervals, equal to 
the breadth of bricks desired. No bottom is needed, 
smooth earth answering for that purpose. The sizes are 
varied to suit circumstances ; the length in general being 
equal to the thickness of the wall to be built; the breadth 
half the length, and the thickness one-third the length. 
Other sizes, however, may be adopted, and they can be 
made of any pattern. They are laid in mortar similar to 
that from which the bricks are made, and the outside of 
the building is roughcast with the same. 

These bricks should be made early in the season, so that 
they may become thoroughly dried before the winters 
frost ; and in laying them up, great care is needed to get a 
solid foundation ; for the bricks are not very strong the 
first year or two after they are made, and any irregularity 
in setthng would cause the walls to crack. 

The bricks were selling in Bridgeton, last year, for twenty 
dollars a thousand; each one was 12 by 9 by 6 inches, or 
between seven and eight times as large as a common red 


brick. Tlie cost of laying and mortar is about ten dollars 
a thousand, which is not half so much as a red brick wall 
of the same dimensions would cost. The above are cash 
prices, and show something of the saving which is effected 
by them ; but, in addition to this, most of the labor of 
making and laying is such as every farmer can command 
without the outlay of money. 

A few good dwellings have been built of this material in 
the county. The residences of Messrs. Wescott and Whi- 
taker, at Tuckahoe, have been standhig some years, and 
are liked by their owners. The house of Dr. Wiley, at 
Cape May C. H., is also built of this material. It has been 
standing two years, and is as solid and substantial, in every 
respect, as if built of stone. Other buildings of the same 
material have been put up the past season. Bricks of this 
vsort have been used about Bridgeton, Cumberland County, 
for eight or ten years, and are found to stand well, growing 
harder and stronger every year. In Norristown, Pennsyl- 
vania, they have been used for eighteen years past, with 
entire success. 

There is an abundance of material for making such 
bricks ; and the experience already gained in their use is 
so satisfactory, that they can, with confidence, be recom- 
mended for economy, comfort, and durability. For the 
foundations of the buildings, stone, or burned brick should 
be used ; or else gravel brick, in which hydraulic cement 
has been used instead of lime. 

§ The red or brown stone which is found in many parts 
of southern New Jersey, is almost unknown in Cape May. 
A few specimens have been dug out of a field on the farm 


of Judge Goffe, at East Creek ; but I have not seen or 
heard of any others. 

§ There are large quantities of beautiful washed pebbles 
and gravel on the shore of Delaware Bay, in Lower Town- 
ship. It is in considerable demand for graveling tarred or 
pitched roofs. Two thousand tons have been sent to Phila- 
delphia, for this purpose, the past year, from the strand 
below the steamboat landing. 

Wells and Springs, — Water is found everywhere on the 
upland at a moderate depth beneath the surface ; the ave- 
rage being not above fifteen feet. The supply of water in 
such wells, though not very abundant, is sufficient for ordi- 
nary purposes of household use. By sinking the wells a 
few feet deeper, the supply is much increased, both in con- 
stancy and amount. Generally, the water is good, but in 
some localities it is brackish. The brackish water, as far 
as I have observed, or been able to learn, is confined to 
the alluvial uplands of the county. 

The well at Congress Hall, on Cape Island, which was 
mentioned on page 22 as being thirty feet deep, is twelve 
feet in diameter. It yields an abundant supply of water, 
ninety hogsheads a day being pumped from it. The water 
is good, and soft enough for washing. 

The Artesian well at the United States Hotel is ninety- 
five feet deep, and eight inches bore. The water rises to 
within about seven feet of the surface, and is but little 
lowered even by hard pumping. The water is abundant, 
and is said to be soft. 

The Artesian well at the Mount Vernon House is eighty- 
one feet deep, and eight inches in diameter. The water in 


it rises twenty inches above the marsh. It will supply 
sixty gallons of water a minute; and continued pumping 
at that rate will not reduce the head more than nine feet 
below the marsh. 

§ In digging a well to supply the steam-engine at the 
Cancerine manufactory in Goshen, w^ater was reached within 
a few feet of the surface, but was found to be salt ; much 
Salter than sea water, the owners judged. The salt in- 
crusted the boiler, and much difficulty was experienced on 
that account during the whole of last year. It has since 
been found that of the water in the well, that which is near 
the surface is fresh, and the salt water lies under it. After 
learning this, a large and shallow well was dug, and the 
supply for the boiler was drawn from near the surface of 
the water in the well. The plan is entirely successful ; no 
salt scale forming in the boiler. 

There are some very fine springs of fresh water at Cold 
Spring, in Low^er Township. These springs are in a valley 
near the village. They issue below the tide-level ; and the 
flow of water is so copious, that even when overflowed by 
sea water, the fresh water can be obtained by sinking a 
proper vessel down through the salt water to the opening 
of the spring. 

The springs at Cold Spring have been mentioned on 
page 25. There are a number of others of the same cha- 
racter, in the edge of the marsh between Cold Spring and 
Beesley's Point. They are generally small. 

A few springs have been noticed which precipitated 
oxide of iron, when the \yater came to the surface. One, 
in the cedar swamp, just below Johnson's saw-mill at North 


Dennisville^ was remarkable for the abundant reddish pre- 
cipitate which covered the mud and sticks about it. 

There are no springs on the beaches, but fresh water is 
found in the slashes on the old beaches ; and it can be found 
at any time in the sand in the protected hollows between 
the sand hills, by digging holes two or three feet deep. 

Salt, — The manufacture of this useful article might be 
carried on to some extent with profit. It was made on the 
shore during the war of 1812, but on the return of peace, 
the manufacture was abandoned. The flat sands near the 
beaches furnished the supply of brine. It was procured by 
digging holes in these sands, and allowing the brine to 
drain into them. It was so strong that a barrel of it would 
make a bushel of salt. The brine was evaporated by 
heating in iron kettles. 

There are hundreds of acres of these flat sands on the 
back of the beaches. They appear to have been made by 
the waves, which have at some time broken over and 
washed away portions of the beach spreading out and 
depositing the sand in an even layer on the surface of the 
marsh. The sea water, with which the sands are wet, is 
concentrated by the heat of the sun, until it becomes almost 
saturated brine. Last August, in company with Mr. Thos. 
Beesley, I visited the sands on Peck's Beach for the pur- 
pose of examining them, and bringing away a specimen 
of the brine. It had rained the day before, and parts of 
the sands were entirely covered with fresh water ; and yet, 
by scraping a hole ten or twelve inches deep, we obtained 
a supply of pretty strong brine. On testing, it proves to 
have a specific gravity of 1.128, and to contain 15.11 per 


cent, of common salt. The value of it may be estimated 
by comparing it with some other brines from which salt is 
made : — 

Specific gravity. Percentage of salt. 

Saturated brine 1.205 25.00 

Sea-water 1.030 3.00 

Brine from Onondaga, N. Y 1.130 15.50 

Brine from Kanawha, Va 1.073 7.25 

The English Liverpool salt is made from saturated brine, 
by artificial heat. Thirty million bushels are made an- 
nually, which, at the works, can be sold for five cents a 
bushel, and yield the manufacturer a fair profit. 

The Turk's Island, St. Ube's, and most other varieties of 
coarse packing salt, are made from sea-water by the heat 
of the sun. This is of course most rapidly made in hot 
countries ; but in the vicinity of Marseilles, in France, 
which is the most northerly point of which I have informa- 
tion, where it is made from the waters of the Mediterra- 
nean, 10,500,000 bushels w^ere made in 1851, which, at 
nine cents a bushel, paid a fair profit. It is sometimes 
sold as low as five or six cents a bushel. 

The brine of Onondaga is obtained from wells, and is 
principally evaporated by artificial heat. Six million 

bushels of salt are annually made from this brine. It sells 

at the works for from twelve to twenty cents a bushel. 

Salt is also made from the same brine by solar heat, and is 

sold at nearly the same prices. 

The Kanawha brines are also obtained from w^ells, and 

the salt is made by artificial heat. Three million bushels 

are made annually. The price at the works is about 

sixteen ceiits a bushel. 


The prices mentioned above are much below those at 
which salt is sold in our markets ; a difference due to the 
expenses of transportation, and the cost of bags or casks 
used in packing it. 

Sea Bailiing.^ — Cape May has acquired a very high repu- 
tation as a resort for sea bathing. The entire length of 
the county, from Beesley's Point to the extremity of the 
Cape, is adapted to this purpose ; but from the peculiar 
location of Cape Island, at a point where the upland comes 
directly out upon the sea-shore, it has received nearly all 
the visitors. 

The excellencies claimed for Cape Island, as a resort for 
sea bathing, are, "that it has a rolling surf, safe at all 
times, and with easy access from the shore and the board- 
ing-houses. The bottom is clean, hard, and sandy. There 
is a cool and refreshing sea-breeze every afternoon. It has 
a delightful surrounding country of well cultivated land. 
The location is proverbially healthy .f The temperature 
of the place, during the bathing season, is from 75° Fah. 
to 95"^, at noon. At 90° the heat is not oppressive, and 
during the evenings, in consequence of the sea-breeze, 
woolen clothing is not uncomfortable. 

The season for sea bathing commences about the 20th 
of June, and closes the 1st of September. A very small 
number of visitors is found there at either of those times ; 
but, in the course of the season, it is estimated that as 

* Eor the facts under this head I am indebted to Dr. Samuel S. Marcy, of Cape Island. 

f Morse, in his Geography, edition of 1819, says this county is so healthy that no regu- 
lar bred physician has ever settled there. Several have come in since that time. There are 
now eight in the county. It is perhaps worthy of note that no lawyer has ever resided 


many as twenty thousand persons visit the place ; and, 
during a portion of the time, there are as many as five 
thousand at once — or/ including children and servants, six 

There are twenty-four public boarding-houses, varying 
in their capacity to accommodate boarders from fifty to five 
hundred each. 

Beesley's Point, on Great Egg Harbor, has two public 
and several private boarding-houses; and is a pleasant 
resort for sea bathing. The beach is about two miles from 
the Point. Sail-boats, provided by the keepers of the 
houses, are used to convey boarders to the bathing ground. 
Those who enjoy sailing, or the sports of fishing and hunt- 
ing, find this a delightful location. The whole shore, from 
one end of the county to the other, is much resorted to by 

" The character of the bathing ground opposite Beesley's 
Point, and also along the beaches extending to the point 
of the Cape, is good ; but near, and immediately at the 
Island, the shore becomes more steep, or less flat ground 
between high and low-water mark; consequently, the surf 
approaches nearer the main land, and a stronger current 
of the tide — particularly the under-current, or under-tow, 
as it is termed — which, at near low water, with the wind 
north or northeast, is of such strength as to make it dan- 
gerous for persons venturing out so far as to lose a firm 
foothold. Most of the accidents that have happened to 
bathers here, have arisen from want of knowledge, or 
inattention to this fact." 





By Thomas Beesley, Esq. 

Latin Names. 


Procyon LOTOR, 

Mephitis Americana, 
putorius vison, 

mustela pusilla, 
Ltjtra canadensis, 

Ytjlpes fulvus, 
vulpes virginianus, 
Lynotjs rufus, 
sciurtjs leucotis, 
sciurus vulpinus, 
sciurus hudsonicus, 
sciurus striatus, 
Pteromys VOLUCELLA, 
Fiber zibethicus, 
Lepus nanus, 
Cervus virginianus. 

English Names. 

American Opossum. Common in woods 
and thickets adjacent to the farms. 

American Black Bear. The Bear is quite 
plentiful at certain periods, particularly 
in the dense cedar swamps in the upper 
part of the county, where five have been 
killed the present autumn. 

Baccoon. Common in the swamps and on 
the beaches. 

Skunk. Not rare. 

Mink. It is numerous in some portions of 
the county 

Weasel. Common. 

Otter. The Otter is by no means rare ; but 
on account of its cunning and shyness, is 
seldom captured. 

Bed Fox. Seldom taken. 

Gray Fox. Common. 

Wild Cat. Rare. 

Gray Squirrel. 

Fox Squirrel. 

Bed Squirrel. 

Ground Squirrel. 

Flying Squirrel. 

Musk Bat. Yery numerous. 

Gray Babbit. Common. 

Deer. There are still a few remaining in 
the northern part of the county. 

JSTot very abnndant. 

By Thomas Beesley, Esq. 

The names of the birds are as given in '' Wilson's* Ornithology." 
Species marked by a * preceding the name, breed in the county. 


ORDER, I. RAP ACES, Birds of Prey. 

Latin Names. English Names. 

^VuLTTjR ATJRA, Turkey Buzzard, or Vulture, 


*Ealco leucocephaltjs, 

White-headed or Bald Eagle. 

^Falco lineatus, 

Bed-shouldered Hawk. 

^Falco borealis, 

Bed-tailed Hawk. 

Falco peregrinus, 

Peregrine Falcon, or Duck Hawk. 


Falco columbarius, 

Pigeon Hawk. 

Falco sparverius, 

American Sparrow Hawk. 

Falco cooperi, 

Gooper^s Havjk. 

Falco sancti-johannis, 

Black Hawk. ------ 


Falco euscus, 

Sharp-shinned Hawk. 

* Falco cyanetjs, 

Marsh, or Mouse Hawk. 

*Falco haliaetus, 

Fish Hawk, or Osprey. 

family STRiaiNJE, Owls. 


Barred Owl. 

Strix NYCTEA, 

Snowy Owl. ------- 


Strix acadica, 

Acadian, or Little Owl. - - - 


* Strix otus, 

Long-eared Owl. 


'^ Wilson made a number of visits to this county in the pursuit of his favorite science. 
He is still remembered by some of the older inhabitants ,• and the interest which he 
awakened in the study of Ornithology has never ceased. The field for the Ornithologist 
is a remarkably rich one. A citizen of the county says: "If birds in their choice of a 
residence are gifted in determining what is the fairest, and what is best, there can be no 
question but that the County of Cape May is among the most attractive portions of the 
earth ; for here they congregate in as great a variety and abundance as upon any other 
portion of, at least, the civilized globe." 




Latin Names. English Names. 

*Caprimulgus virginianus, Night Hawk. 
*Caprimulgus vooiferuS; Whip-poor- Will 

*HiRUNDO PELASGIA, Chimney Swallow, 

*HiRUNDO PURPUREA, Purple Martin. 

*HiRUNDO RUSTiOA, Bam Swallow, 

^HiRUNDO RiPARiA, Bank Swallow. 

*HiRUNDO BicoLOR, White-helUed Swallow. 

*Alcedo alcyon, Belted King-fisher. • - - - Rare 


^MusciCAPA CRINITA, Grested Fly-catcher. 

*MusciOAPA TYRANNUS, Tyrant Fly-catcher, or King-Urd. 

*MusciCAPA FUSCA, Pcwit Fly-catchcr. 

*MusciCAPA viRENS, Pewcc Fly -Catcher. 

'^MusciCAPA RUTiciLLA, American Redstart. - . - - Rare. 

*MusciCAPA c^RULEA, Bluc-gray Fly-catcher. 

*MusciCAPA OANTATRix, White-eyed Fly-catcher. 

*MusciCAPA oucuLLATA, Hooded Fly-catcher. 

*MusciCAPA OLiVACBA, Bed-eyed Fly-catcher. 

Lanius borealis, Great American Shrike. - - - Rare. 


*TuRDUS MUSTELINUS, Wood Thrush. Rare. 

*TuRDUS RUFUS, Brown Thrush. 

TuRDus soLiTARius, Hermit Thrush. ----- Rare. 

*TuRDUs POLYGLOTTUS, MocMng Bird. Rare. 

*TuRDUS FELivox, Gat Bird. 

Alauda rupA; Brown Lark. - Rare. 




Latin Names. English Names. 

* Sylvia coronata, Yellow-rump Warbler, 

* Sylvia striata, Black-poll Warbler. 

* Sylvia viRENS, Black-throated Green Warbler. 
Sylvia maritima. Cape May Warbler, - - - - Rare. 

* Sylvia chrysoptera, Golden-winged Warbler, - - - Rare. 
Sylvia autumnalis, Autmnnal Warbler. - - - - Rare. 

* Sylvia citrinella, Blue-eyed Yellow Warbler. 
'''Sylvia solitaria, Blue-winged Yellow Warbler, 
'''Sylvia pustlla, Blue Yellow-back Warbler. - - Rare. 
'''Sylvia vermivora, Worm-eating Warbler. - - - Rare. 
'''Sylvia petechia, Yellow Bed-poll Warbler. - - Rare. 
'"Sylvia varia, Black and White Creeper. 

Sylvia pennsylvaniga. Chestnut-sided Warbler. - - - Rare. 

Sylvia Philadelphia, Mourning Warbler. - - - - Rare. 

Sylvia blackburnia, Blackburnian Warbler. - - - Rare. 

Troglodytes ludovicianus, Carolina Wren. Rare. 

'"Troglodytes ^don, House Wren. 

Troglodytes hyemalis, Winter Wren. Rare. 

'"Troglodytes paltjstris, Marsh Wren. 

Troglodytes bewickii, Beivick^s Wren. Rare. 

'"Sylvia sialis, Bluebird. 

'"Sylvia regulus, Golden-crested Wren. - - - - Rare. 

'"Sylvia calendula, Buby-crowned Wren. - - - - Rare. 

family CERTHIADiE. 

Certhia eamiliaris, Brown Creeper. Rare. 

'"Parus bicolor. Crested Titmouse. 

'"Parls atricapillus. Black-cap Titmouse. 

amily VIREONIN^. 
'"YiREO FLAViFRONS, Ycllow-throated Yireo. 

'"YiREO GiLVUS, Warbling Vireo. 

'"Yireo noveboraoensis. White-eyed Vireo. 




Latin Names. English Names. 

^PiPRA POLYGLOTTA, Yellow-hreasted Ghat. - - - - Eare. 

*Ampelis AMERICANA, Cedar Bird. 


Alaudra alpestris, Shore Lark. 


Fringilla iliac a, Fox-colored Sparrow. 

'''Fringilla melodia, Song Sparrow. 

* Fringilla pennsylvanica, White-throated Sparrow. 

*Fringilla pusilla, Field Sparrow. 

'^^ Fringilla socialis, Chipping Sparrow. 

'''Fringilla CxInadensts, Tree Sparrow. 

^Fringilla hyemalis, Snow Bird. 

'''Fringilla maritima, Sea-side Finch. 

'''Fringilla caud acuta, Sharp-tailed Finch. 

Fringilla paltjstris, Swamp Sparrow. Rare. 

Fringilla purpurea. Purple Finch. ------ Rare. 

Emberiza nivalis, Snow Bunting. - - - ' - - - Rare. 

^Fringilla cyanea, Indigo Bird. Rare. 

'''Fringilla tristis, American Goldfinch. 
"'Emberiza ERYTHROPTHALM A, Swamp Bohin, or Towhe Bunting. 

"'LoxiA carpinalis, Cardinal Grosbeak, or Bed Bird. 

'"Tanagra iESTiVA, Summer Bed Bird. - - - - Rare. 

Tanagra rubra. Scarlet Tanager. Rare. 


"' Icterus Baltimore, Baltimore Oriole. 

"'Icterus spurius, Orchard Oriole. 

Icterus agripennts, Boh-o^-Link. Rare. 

"'Icterus pecoris, Coiv Blackbird. 

"'Icterus phoeniceus, Bed-winged Blackbird. 

"'Gracula quiscala. Purple Grakle, or Grow Blackbird. 

Gracula ferruginea, Busty Grakle. - Rare. 

"'Alauda magna, Meadow Lark. 




Latin Names. 


English Names. 


Fish Crow. 
Blue Jay. 


White-hreasted Nuthatch. - 
Red-bellied Nuthatch. - - 
Brown-headed Nuthatch, 

Humming Bird, 


Pileated Woodpecker. - - 
Golden-winged Woodpecker. 
Hairy Woodpecker. - - 
Downy Woodpecker. - - 
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker. 
Red-bellied Woodpecker. - 


^Trochilus colubris, 

Pious pileatus, 

Pious auratus, 

Pious villosus, 

Pious pubescens, 

Pious varius, 

Pious carolinus, 

*Pious ERYTHROCEPHALUS, Red-hcadcd Woodpecker. 

'^CucuLUS CAROLINENSIS, Yellow-biUed Cuckoo. 







CoLUMBA MiGRATORiA, Wild, ov Passcnger Pigeon. 


Turtle Dove. 

*Perdix virginianus, Common Quail, or Partridge, 

*Tetrao umbellus, Pheasant^ or Ruffed Grouse, 






Latin Names. English Name. 

Ftjlica AMERICANA, American Goot. ------ Rare. 

*Ralltjs CREPITANS, Clapper Bail, or Mud Hen. 

*R,ALLUS VIRGINIANUS, Virginia Hail Rare. 

Rallus CAROLINES, Sora Bail Rare. 

^ .^ Black Bail. ------- Rare. 


Ardea herodias, Great Blue Heron. 

Ardea ocoidentalis, Great White Heron. - - - - Rare. 

'''Ardea candidissima, Snovjy Heron. 

'^Ardea nycticorax, Night Heron, or Qua Bird. 

Ardea centiginosa, American Bittern. 

^Ardea virescens. Green Heron, 

Ardea ccerulea, Blue Crane. - - Rare. 

A.RDEA EXiLis, Lcast Bittern. Rare. 


Charadritjs marmoratus, Golden B lover. Rare. 

*Charadrius melodus, Biping Blover. 

Charadrius helveticus, Black-hellied Blover. 

^Charadrius vocieerus, Kildeer Blover. 

* Charadritjs wilsonius, Wilson's Blover. - - - - - Rare. 

Charadritjs rubidtjs, Buddy Blover. Rare. 

Charadrius calidris, Sanderling Blover. 

Tringa hiatictjla, Bing Blover. 

Tringa interpres, Turnstone. 

*HiEMATOPTJS ostralegtjs, American Oyster-catcher. - - Rare. 

Tringa cinerea, Ash-colored Sandpiper. - - - Rare. 

Tringa alpina, Bed-hacked Sandpiper. 

Tringa semipalmata, Semi-palmated Sandpiper, 



Latin Names. 

Tringa bartramia, 

Tringa , 

Tringa pusilla, 
Tringa ciNCLUs, 
Tringa solitaria, 
* Tringa macularia, 
^scolopax semipalmata, 
scolopax elayipes, 
scolopax vooiperus, 
istumenius longirostris, 




Englisli Names. 

Bartrani's Sandpiper. - - - - Rare. 
Brown-backed Sandpiper, 
lAttle, or Least Sandpiper, 

Solitary Sandpiper, - - - - Kare. 

Spotted Sandpiper. 

Semi-palmated Snipe, 

Yellow-legged Snipe, 

Tell-tale Snipe, 

Long-hilled Curlew. 

Esquimaux Curlew. 

Straight-hilled Curlew. 

Hudsonian Godwit, - - - - Rare. 

English Snipe. 

American Woodcock. 

Bohin, or Bed-hreasted Snipe. 



Phalaropus hyperboreus, Bed Fhalarope. Rare. 


Anser canadensis, Canada Goose. 

Anser berniola, Brent Goose. Rare. 

Anas boschas, Mallard Buck. Rare. 

*Anas obsoura, Black Duck. 

Anas perspicillata, Surf Duck. 

Anas eusoa, Velvet Duck. 

Anas albeola, Buffel-headed Duck, 

Anas valisneria, Canvass-hack Duck. - - - - Rare. 

Anas eerina, Bed-headed Duck. ----- Rare. 

Anas marilla, Scaup, or Blue-hill Duck. 

"^Anas sponsa, Wood, or Summer Duck. - - - Rare. 

Anas acuta, Sprig-tail Duck, Rare. 

Anas olypeata, Shoveller Duck. Rare. 



Latin Names. 

Anas rubidus, 
Anas americanus, 
Anas glacialis, 
Anas clangtjla, 
Mergus cucullatus, 
Mergus merganser, 

English Names. 

Ruddy Duck. - Kare. 

Common American Widgeon. 
South-southerly, or Old Wife. - Eare. 

Golden-eye, or Whistle Duck. 
Hooded Merganser, or Hairy-headed Duck 


Phalaorocorax carbo, Cormorant. 


'''Sterna hirtjndo, 
* Sterna minuta, 
Sterna plumbea, 
Sterna aranea, 
Sterna fuliginosa, 
Larus zonorhynchus, 
*Lartjs atrioilla, 
Larus Bonapartii, 

Colymbtjs glacialis, 
colymbus aroticus, 
podiceps cristatus, 
podiceps rubricollis, 


Sheerwater. Rare. 

Great Tern. 

Lesser, or Least Tern. 

Short-tail Tern. ------ Rare. 

Marsh Tern. Rare. 

Sooty Tern. ------- Rare. 

American Winter Gull. 

Black-headed Gull. 

Bonaparte'' s Gull. Rare. 


Great Northern Diver, or Loon. Rare. 

Black-throated Diver. - - - - Rare. 

Crested Grebe, or Water Witch. Rare. 

Bed-necked Grebe. ----- Rare. 





Catalogue of FisJies, copied from a " Report on the Fishes observed on 
the Coasts of Neio Jersey and Long Island, during the summer of 
1854. By Spencer F. Baird, Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian 
Institution." From the Ninth Annual Beport of the Smithsonian 
Institution for 1854. 

Almost all the species mentioned here were taken at Beesley's Point. 

In this Catalogue no species have been introduced except those which 
were actually caught, and carefully examined; though "many others, 
doubtless, are to be found in the same region." — Prof Baird, 

Latin Names. English Names. 

Labrax lineatus, Cuv. and Yal., Bock-fish, Striped Bass. 

Labrax mxjcronatus, Cuv. and Yal., White Perch. 

Centropristes NIGRICANS, Cuv. and Yal., Black Bass, Sea Bass, 

PoMOTis OBESijs, Girard. 

PoMOTis CH^TODON, Baird, 

Centrarchus POMOTIS, Baird, 

Aphredoderus sayanus, Lesueur. 

Sphyr^na borealis, De Kay, 

Prionotus pilatus, Storer, 

Aoanthocottus virginianus, Girard 


Gasterosteus quadracus, Mitch., 

Leiostomus obliquus, De Kay, 

Otolithus REGALis, Cuv. and Yal., 

Banded Sun-fish, 
Bass Sun-fish. 

Northern Barracuda. 
Flying Fish. 
The common Sculpin. 
The Lafayette. 
Weak Fish, Squeteague, Blue Fish. 

The Silver Perch. 
The King Fish. 
The Banded Drum. 

TJmbrina alburntjs, Cuv. and Yal., 



Pagrus argyrops, Cuv. and Yal, The Big Porgee. 


Cybium maculatum, Cuv. and Yal., Spotted Cybium, Spanish Mackerel. 

Ltchia CAROLINA, De Kay. 



Latin Names. English Names. 

LiCHiA SPiNOSA, Baird, The Spinous Dory. 

Caranx CHRYSOS, Cuv. & YaL , TheYellow Garanx, Yellow Mackerel. 
Argyreiostjs capillariS; De Kay, The Hair-finned Dory. 
Temnodon saltator, Cu. & YaL, Blue Fish, Horse Mackerel, Skip Jack. 

Harvest Fish. 

The Silver side, Sand Smelt. 

The White Mullet. 

The Variegated Goby. 

Toad-fish, Oyster-fish. 

Peprilus triacanthuS; Ouv., 

Atherinopsis notatus, Girard, 

Mtjgil albula, Linn., 

GoBius alepodotus, Bosc, 

Batraohus variegatus, Les., 

Taxjtoga AMERICANA, Cuv. and YaL, Tautog, the Black-fish 

AiLTJRiOHTHYS MARiNUS, B. and G., Sea Gat-fish. 

Leucosomus americanus, Girard, 

Catostomus gibbostjs, Les., 

Melanxjra pygm^^a, Agass., 



Hydrargira plavula, Storer. 
Hydrargira ltjoi^, Baird. 
Cyprinodon ovinus, YaL 
Cyprinodon parvus, B. and G. 

Esox EASCiATTJS, Be Kay, 
Esox RETiouLATUS, Les., 

Dace, Wind-fish, Shiner 
The Horned Sucker, Ghuhsucker. 

Short-hilled Pike. 

Belone trunoata, Les., 
Saxjrus mexicanus, Cuv. 
Engraulis vittata, B. and G., 
Alosa menhaden, Mitch., 
Alosa mattowaca. Be Kay. 
Alosa teres, Be Kay. 
Chatoessus signiper. Be Kay, 
Platessa ocellaris. Be Kay, 

The Bill-fish, Sea Pike, Silver Garfish, djc. 

The Anchovy. 
Moss Bonker, Bony-fish, Hard-head. 

Thread Herring. 

The Long-toothed Flounder. 
Platessa plana, Storer, The New York Flat-fish, Winter Flounder, 
Rhombus maculatus, Girard, The Spotted Turbot. 

AcHiRUS MOLLIS, Cuv., The New York Sole. 



Latin Names. 

Anguilla tenuirostris, De Kay, 
Conger occidentalis, De Kay, 
Ophidium MARGINATUM, De Kay. 
Syngnathus viridescens, De Kay, 


Tetraodon txjrgidus, Mitch., 
Cargharius o^ruleus, De Kay, 
MusTELTJS CANis, De Kay, 
Zyg^na tiburo, Yal., 
Pastinaoa hastata, De Kay, 

English Names. 

The Common Eel. 
The Conger Eel, 

The Green Fipe-fish, 

The Spot' striped Balloon-fish, 


The Small Blue Shark. 

The Mound-fish, Dog Shark. 

The Whip Sting Bay. 




List of Plants collected at and in the vicinity of Beesley^s Point. 
By Samuel Ashmead, Esq. 

Oe those marked ^, specimens were presented to the State Collection 

Achillea milleeolitjm, Lin. 


Agrostema githago, Lam. 
*Aletrts earinosa, Lin. 
^Anagallis arvensis, Lin. 
Anemone nemorosa, Lin. 
Apios tuberosa, Moench. 
^Aquilegia canadensis, Lin. 
Arabis lyrata, Lin. 


-^A. PAUPEROULA, Michx. 


^A. STANS, Michx. 
Azalea nudielora, Lin. 
^A. YiscosA, Lin. 

^Chimaphila maculata, Pursh. 


^Clethra alnieolia, Lin. 
^Coreopsis trichosperma, Michx. 


Calelile maritima, Scop. 
^Calystegia sepium, K. Br. 

Datura stramonium, Lin. 
"^Desmodium viridiflorum, Beck. 
Decodon yerticillatum. Ell. 


*Draba yerna, Lin. 
^Drosera rotundifolia, Linn. 
*D. longifolia, Lin. 
^Delphinium cOi^soLiuA, Lin 

*Baptisia tinctoria, R. Br. 
BiDENS bipinnata, Lin. 
"^Bacoharis halimipolia. 

Calopogon pulchellus, R. Br. 
Capsella BURSA-PASTORis, Moench. 
* Cassia cham^crista, Lin. 


*C. nictitans, Lin. 
^Ceanothus amerioanus, Lin. 

^Elodea yirginica, Nutt. 
Erigeron bellidifolium, Muhl. 
'^EUPATORIUM perfoliatum, Lin. 
E. RESiNOSUM, Torr. 
Euphorbia hypericifolia, Lin. 


'^Eryngium yirginianum, Lam, 



Fragaria virginiana, Ehrh. 

Gaultheria prooumbens, Lin. 
Geranium carolinianum, Lin. 


*Gerardia purpurea, Lin. 


Gnaphalium purpureum, Lin. 
*G. polycephalum, Mx. 
*Gratiola aurea, MuhL 

'^Helenium autumn ale, Lin. 
^Helianthemum canabense, Mx. 
"^ Hibiscus virginiana. 
*H. MOSCHEUTOS, T. and G. 
Hieracium scabrum, Mx. 
H. venosum, Lin. 


'''Hypericum canadense, Lin. 
"^H. corymbosum, MuU. 


Inula helenium, Lin. 
Iris versicolor, Lin. 

Kalmia angustieolia, Lin. 
K. latieolia, Lin. 
Krigia yirginioa, "Wild. 

Lespebeza hirta, Ell. 

^L. VTOLACEA ; var, Angustieolia, 

Leucanthemum vulgare, Lam. 


*L. canadensis, Dumont. 


Lychnis githago, Lam. 
^Lycopus virginicus, Lin. 
L. sinuatus. Ell. 
*Lysimachia stricta, Ait. 


^Linum virginianum, Lin. 

Magnolia glauca, Lin. 
Medeola virginica, Lin. 
Mentha viridis, Linn. 



^Orontium aquaticum, Lin. 


Ornithogalum umbellatum, Lin. 
Opuntia vulgaris, Mill. 

'''Panax trifolium, Lin. 
Pedicularis canadensis, Lin. 
^Phaseolus helvolus, Lin. 
Phlox pilosa, Lin. 



'^'Physalis yiscosa, Lin. ^Sium latifolium, Lin. 

"^Platantheua ciliaris, Lindley. '-^Smilax rottjndifolta, Lin. 
*PoGONiA ophioglOssoides, ISFuttalL "^Sarracenia purpurea. 


"^Prinos lavigatis, Pursh. 
^Prunella vulgaris, Lin. 


"^PycnanthemUxMLinifolium, Pursh. Teucrium yirginicum. 

* Specularia PEREOLTATA, AlplK D . C. 
'''Spiranthes gracilis, Bigelow. 
Stachys aspera, Mx. 
Statice limonium. 
*Salsola kali. 

Teooma radicans, Juss. 


*Rhexia virginica, Lin. 
Rhus toxicodendron, Lin. 


R. viLLOSus, Ait. 


Sabbatia angularis, Ph. 
*S. stellaris. Ph. 


S. GRACILIS, Salisb. 

Samolus valerandi, Lin. 

^Saponaria officinalis, Lin. 

* Scutellaria integrifolia, Lin. ^Y. palmata, Lin. 

"^^Sericooarpus conyzoides, Nees. "^Y. pedata, Lin. 

^-S. soLiDAGENOus, ISTees. "^Y. lanceolata. 

'^Salicornia herbacea. '^Y. sagittate, Ait. 


^Tephrosia virgintana, Pers. 
'^'Thalictrum dioicum, Lin. 
Thaspium barbinode, Nutt. 
"^Trichostema dichotomum, Lin. 
"^Trientalis americanum, Ph. 

^Yaccinium macrooarpon. Ait. 
Y. stamineum, Lin. 


Yerbascum thapsus, Lin. 
"^Y. blattaria, Lin. 
^Yerbena angustifolta, Mx. 
^Yernonia noveboracensis. Wild. 
Yiburnum acerifolium, Liin. 
*Y. NUDUM ; var. Claytoni, Gray. 


Y. cucullata, Ait. 




Catalogue of Marine AlgcB, discovered at Beesley^s Point during the 
Summer of 1855. By Samuel Ashmead, Esq. 

The limited number of the species of marine AlgcB at Beesley^s Point 
must be attributed to the want of a suitable place, or foothold for deve- 
lopment, as the climate and the water, it would seem, supply all the 
other conditions favorable to their growth. 

The following catalogue, embracing five Melanosperms, nineteen 
E-HODOSPERMS, and six Chlorosperms, are all that I have as yet been 
able to detect. A more careful search may probably supply a few more 

In the classification, and names of the species, I have followed that 
eminent Algologist, Hon. Wm. H. Harvey, in his ^^ Nereis Boreali- 
Americana,^^ published by the Smithsonian Institute at Washington. 

Fucus VESicuLOSUS, Lin. Yery common between tide marks, on the 
shores of the Bays and the thoroughfares ; not unfrequently attached to 
sods by a root penetrating several inches into the soil, throwing off 
numerous lateral shoots, having the appearance of undeveloped fronds, 
forming a strong hold-fast, and affording an interesting illustration of 
the modification of a discoid root, where local circumstances are unfa- 
vorable to such expansions. It is, however, more frequently found ad- 
hering by a conical disc to mussels (Modiolo plicatula), which, at high 
water, unable to resist the buoyancy of the full-grown plant with its in- 
flated vesicles, are, by degrees, wrested from their place of growth and 
jast upon the shore to perish, whence the Fucus, together with other ma- 
rine plants, are carried away by the inhabitants for manure. 

Stilophora rhizodes, J. Ag. Rather rare; on old shells, &c., near 
low-water mark. The few specimens which I obtained are fertile, of 
vigorous growth, and densely covered with wart-like fructification. 


EcTOCARPUS LiTTOEALis, Lyugh. Very abundant m the Bays, on 
various submerged substances. Also fringing the steep banks of the 
thoroughfares between tide marks. Disappearing in July. 

EcTOCARPUS STLicuLOSUS, Lyugb, Occurs sparingly on the shores of 
Little Bay, on Fucus vesiculosus. 

EcTOCARPUS viRiDis, Harv. Common in the Bays, on Zosteim marina, 
&c. Disappearing in July. 

Chondria dasyphylla, Ag, Plentiful in Little Bay, and on '^ Bond's 
Bar,'' growing in large tufts on the sandy mud, to which it is attached 
by a fibrous root. 

Chondria Baileyana, Mont Common with the above. 

PoLYSiPHONiA Olneyi, Havv. Rare, on Zostera marina in '' Little 

PoLYSiPHONiA. Harveyi, Bailey. Yery abundant in the Bays, and on 
Bond's Bar; on Zostera marina. 

Polysiphonia VARiEGATA, Ag. Ycry common, on Zostera marina, 
also attached to the mud by a fibrous root. 

Polysiphonia nigrescens, Grev. I collected fine specimens of this 
most valuable plant, in fruit, in the month of May. It occurs in great 
abundance in Little, Bay, attached to the bottom by a fibrous root. 

Champia parvula, Harv. Plentiful in Little Bay, on Zostera 

Grinellia Americana, Harv, Of this beautiful plant I only found a 
solitary perfect specimen. It was growing in the Grreat Egg Harbor Bay 
near the shore, attached to the bottom by a somewhat fibrous root. 

Gracilaria multipartita, J. Ag. Plentiful, particularly fine on 
planted oysters in Little Bay. 

Solieria chorbalis, J. Ag. Yery common on all the shores. There 
can be no doubt but this bushy plant will grow and flourish in the coves 


of Little Bay, and other sheltered situations, without a foothold; for I 
have rarely found it attached to the bottom. 

Chylocladia Baileyana, Harv. Frequent on Zoster a marina, Ulva 

latissima, &c. 

Spyridida filamentosa, Rarv . Particularly abundant and vigorous 
in the Bays ; where, sheltered from the winds and waves, like the Solieria 
chordalis, it will luxuriate without the slightest attachment to the bottom. 

Ceramitjm ktjbrum, Ag, This plant, in all its perplexing varieties, is 
found on Zoster a marina, rather abundantly. 

Ceramium diaphanum, Both. Occurs sparingly associated with the 

Ceramium fastigiatum, Harv. In dense tufts, on Zostera marina, 
rather rare. 

Callithamnion byssoideum, Am. Frequent on Zostera marina, also 
attached to old shells in Great Egg Harbor Bay. 

Callithamnion polyspernum, Ag. Kare, on old shells in Great Egg 
Harbor Bay. 

Gelidum corneum, var. y. pinnatum, Orev. I obtained two or three 
specimens of this plant in Little Bay, on old shells, near low-water mark. 

Bryopsis plumosa, Ag. Not common ; attached to old shells and 
other submerged substances on the shore of Great Egg Harbor Bay. 

Cladophora ealoata, Harv. Occurs plentiful in Little Bay. 

Enteromorpha compressa, Grev. Yery common very where ; in- 
festing the small pebbles on Great Egg Harbor Bay. 

Enteromorpha intestinalis, Link. Abundant in Little Bay, and on 
Bond's Bar. Frequently found floating in large quantities in the Bays. 

Ulva latissima, Linn. Common with the above. 

Porphyra vulgaris, Ag. Yery rare. I have obtained but two or 
three specimens of this Alga, on Zostera marina in Little Bay. 

Cast of Yenns Me 



left Yal-v-e. 

J Queen, Uaf 

T. SmcWs Hi, TiiL^ 

Fossils mentioned on jpage 27 of this volume^ 



This is clearly the common clam sold in our markets: the cast gives the 
characters of the recent shell in the most perfect degree ; even the subordi- 
nate or second muscular impressions are seen above the principal ones, — 
marked in the drawings, a. a. 



This little shell is abundant everywhere on the coast, living more com- 
monly on the muddy fiats of the bays and creeks, preferring, apparently, 
situations sheltered from the surf of the open sea. It is known from Florida 
to Maine. 








The difficulties to be encountered in making a historical sketch, 
of the County of Cape May, are perhaps as great,, if not greater, 
than will be found in any other county of our State. Isolated as 
it was in early times from the upper districts of the Province, and 
with a sparse population, we find no material to consult, except a 
meagre court record; hence the inquirer is compelled to seek from 
musty manuscripts and books in other places, a goodly portion of 
the little that has escaped oblivion, in the vista of years gone by, 
and that little must necessarily be made up of scraps and fragments 
which owe their interest, if any they have, more to their intrinsic 
worth, than to the skill bestowed upon their arrangement. 

Order cannot come out of chaos ; and any attempt to make a con- 
nected history, with the resources at hand, would end in disappoint- 
ment. Being partially surrounded by water, without a roadstead 
or harbor to invite the hardy pioneers who first visited the Delaware, 
to sojourn and rest upon her shores, she was passed by to more 
inviting regions, on its waters above, where ships could find refuge 
from winds and storms ; and man, in his inherent thirst for dominion 
and power, could secure the virgin soil of the country, in extent 


and proportions, and upon terms so inconsiderable, as to fill up the 
full measure of his desires, and gratify his ambitious and venture- 
some propensities. 

After the most careful investigation and patient research in the 
State and County archives, and the early as well as the more recent 
chronicles of our past history, we find no data to prove that Cape May 
was positively inhabited until the year 1686, when Caleb Carman 
was appointed, by the Legislature, a justice of the peace, and Jona- 
than Pine, constable.'^ 

These were independent appointments, as Cape May was not 
under the jurisdiction of the Salem Tenth. This simple fact, how- 
ever, that the appointment of a justice and constable for the place, 
was necessary, goes to prove that there were inhabitants here at 
this time; yet whence they came, in what number, or how long 
they sojourned, are inquiries that will most probably ever remain in 
mystery and doubt. Fenwick made his entry into " New Salem," 
in 1675, and soon after extinguished the Indian title from the Dela- 
ware to Prince Maurice River.f He made no claim and exercised 
no dominion over Cape May ; and we have nothing to show at the 
time of his arrival, that the country from Salem to the sea-shore 
was other than one primeval and unbroken forest, with ample na- 
tural productions by sea and land, to make it the happy home 
of the red man, where he could roam, free and unmolested, in the 
enjoyment of privileges and blessings, which the strong arm of 
destiny soon usurped and converted to ulterior purposes. 

Gordon, in his history of New Jersey, says : " Emigrants from New 
Haven settled on the left shores of the Delaware so early as 1640, 
some of whose descendants may probably be found in Salem, Cum- 
berland, and Cape May counties." 

As far as regards Cape May, we have no tradition of any such 
settlement. History tells us that Hudson, in the Half-Moon, en- 
tered the Delaware Bay, the 28th August, 1609, "but finding the 

* Learning & Spicer's collection. f Johnson's Salem, p. 13. 


water shoal, and the channel impeded by bars of sand, he did not 
venture to explore it." 

On the 5th of May, 1630, " a purchase of sixteen miles square, 
was made at Cape May, for Samuel Godyu and Samuel Bloemart, 
of nine resident Chiefs. This tract was purchased by Peter Heyser, 
Skipper of the ship Whale, and Giles Coster, commissary. It was 
probably the first purchase of the natives within the limits of New 
Jersey ; at least it is the first upon record, and was made for and 
in behalf of the Dutch West India Company.'"^ 

The renowned Capt. Cornelius Jacobese Mey, visited our shores, 
and explored Delaware Bay in 1623, and to him the County of Cape 
May is indebted for a name. He built Fort Nassau, at Timber 
Creek, the site of which is now unknown.f 

David Pieterson de Vries was the next pioneer to the New World. 
He entered Delaware Bay in 1631, and first landed at Hoorekill, 
near Cape Henlopen. He left a colony there; but on his re- 
turn the succeeding year, found they had been massacred by the 
savages. " Finding the whale fishery unsuccessful, he hastened his 
departure, and, with the other colonists, proceeded to Holland by 
the way of Fort Amsterdam," (New York). Thus, says Gordon, " at 
the expiration of twenty years from the discovery of the Delaware 
by Hudson, not a single European remained upon its shores." De 
Vries, in his journal, says, " March 29th, 1633, found that our peo- 
ple has caught seven whales ; we could have done more if we had 
good harpoons, for they had struck seventeen fish and only saved 

'' An immense flight of wild pigeons in April, obscuring the sky. 
The 14th, sailed over to Cape May, where the coast trended E. N. B. 
and S. W. Came at evening to the mouth of Egg Harbor ; found 
between Cape May and Egg Harbor a slight sand beach, full of 
small, low sand hills. Egg Harbor is a little river or kill, and in- 
side the land is broken, and within the bay are several small is- 

* Mulford*s N. J. p. 58 ,* & Gordon. f Mickle's Reminiseenees. 



lands. Somewhere further up, in the same direction, is a beautiful 
high wood." This was probably Somer's or Beesley's Point, clothed 
in its primitive growth of timber. 

About 1641, Cape May was again purchased by Swedish agents, 
a short time before the arrival of the Swedish , governor, Printz, 
at Tinicum. This conveyance included all lands from Cape May 
to Narriticon, or Raccoon Creek.* 

Campanius, a Swedish minister, who resided in New Sweden, on 
the banks of the Delaware, from the year 1642 to 48, says, page 46, 
'' Cape May lies in latitude 38° 30'. To the south of it, there are 
three sand banks, parallel to each other, and it is not safe to sail 
between them. The safest course is to steer between them and 
Cape May, between Cape May and Cape Henlopen." But for this 
account, these sand-banks could only have existed in the imagina- 
tion, as there have been none there within the memory of man. 

Johnson in his sketch of Salem, says : '^ The Baptist church at Cape 
May took its origin from a vessel which put in there from England, 
in 1675." He evidently obtained this from '-Benedict's History 
of the Baptists," who makes the same assertion, viz : '' The founda- 
tion of this church was laid in the year 1675, when a company of 
emigrants arrived from England, some of whom settled at Cape 
May. Amongst these were two Baptists, George Taylor and 
Philip Hill." 

It is most likely, as Mr. Benedict gives us no references for the 
above statements, that an error has been made in the date, as no 
record of the church here is to be found prior to 1711 ; and, as 
before stated, no fact to prove that our county was inhabited until 

The first will and inventory on file in the Secretary's office, at 
Trenton, from Cape May, is that of John Story, dated the 28th 
of the ninth month, 1687. He was a Friend, and left his personal 
estate, amounting to £110, to his wife, having no heirs. The next 

«- Mickle, p. 83. 


were those of Abraham Weston, November 24th, 1687, and John 
Briggs, in 1690. In April, May, and June, 1691, John Worlidge 
and John Budd, from Burlington, came down the bay in a vessel,''' and 
laid a number of proprietary rights, commencing at Cohansey, and 
so on to Cape May. They set off the larger proportion of this county, 
consisting of 95,000 acres, to Dr. Daniel Ooxe, of London, who had 
large proprietary rights in West Jersey. This was the first actual 
proprietary survey made in the county. In the copy of the ori- 
ginal draft of these surveys, and of the county of Cape May, made 
by David Jameison, in 1713, from another made by Lewis Morris, 
in 1706, (which draft is now in my possession, and was presented 
by William Griffith, Esq., of Burlington, to Thomas Beesley, of 
Cape May, in 1812,) Egg Island, near the mouth of Maurice River, 
is laid off to Thomas Budd, for three hundred acres. Since this 
survey was made, the attrition of the waters has destroyed almost 
every vestige of it — scarcely enough remaining to mark the spot 
of its former magnitude. Upon this map likewise is laid down 
Cape May Town, at Town Bank on the Bay shore, the residence 
of the whalers, consisting of a number of dwellings; and a short 
distance above it we find Dr. Coxe's Hall, with a spire, on Coxehall 
Creek, a name yet retained by the inhabitants. As no other build- 
ings or improvements are noted upon this map, than those above 
mentioned, it is to be presumed there were but few, if any, existing 
except them, at this day. The only attraction then was the whale 
fishery ; and the small town of fifteen or twenty houses marked upon 
this map, upon the shore of Town Bank in close contiguity, would 
lead us to infer that those adventurous spirits, who came for that 
purpose, preferred in the way of their profession to be near each 
other, and to make common stock in their operations of harpoon- 
ing, in which, according to Thomas and others, they seemed to be 
eminently successful. 

*' Dr. Ooxe, in his capacity as proprietor, continued to be ac- 

* J. Townsend's Manuscript. 


tively concerned in the management of business subsequent to tbe 
surrender ; extensive purchases of land were made by him of the 
natives, and these agreements was assented to by the Council of 
Proprietors. These several purchases of the natives were made 
and dated, respectively, on the 30th Maixh, 30th April, and 16th 
May, 1688. They were laid in the southern part of the province? 
including part of the present counties of Cumberland and Cape 
May. Either disheartened by the difficulties he had experienced, or 
tempted by an offer that would cover the disbursements he had made, 
Coxe resolved upon a sale of the w^hole of his interest in this province. 
He accordingly made an agreementj in the year 1691, with a body 
composed of forty-eight persons, designated by the name of the 
'West Jersey Society.' To this company, on the 20th January, 
1692, the whole of the claim of Dr. Coxe, both as to government 
and property, was conveyed, he receiving therefor the sum of 
£9000."'^ This sale opened a new era to the people of Cape May. 
As no land titles had been obtained under the old regime of the 
proprietors, except five conveyances from George Taylor,f as agent 
for Dr. Coxe, the West Jersey Society became a medium through 
which they could select and locate the choice of the lands, at prices 
corresponding with the means and wishes of the purchaser. 

The society, through their agents appointed in the county, con- 
tinued to make sales of land during a period of sixty-four years of 
their having possession ; at the end of which time, in 1756, having 
conveyed a large proportion of their interest, they sold the balance 
to Jacob Spicer the second, for £300. The title is now nearly 

It has been handed down, that Spicer obtained the grant for the 
proprietary right in Cape May, of Dr. Johnson, agent of the So- 
ciety at Perth Amboy, at a time when the influence of the wine 
bottle had usurped the place of reason, or he could not have ob- 
tained it for so inconsiderable a sum as three hundred pounds ; and 

* Mulford, 264, 6. f ^^P® ^^y Records. 


that the Doctor, sensible he had betrayed the trust reposed in him, 
left the society at his death a thousand pounds as a salvo. 

As history throws no light on the original occupiers of the soil, 
conjecture only can be consulted on the subject. It would seem 
probable, in as much as many of the old Swedish names, as recorded 
in Campanius, from K-udman, are still to be found in Cumberland 
and Cape May, that some of the veritable Swedes of Tinicum or 
Christiana might have strayed, or have been driven to our shores. 
When the Dutch governor, Stuyvesant, ascended the Delaware in 
1654, with his seven ships and seven hundred men, and subjected 
the Swedes to his dominion, it would be easy to imagine, in their 
mortification and chagrin at a defeat so bloodless and unexpected, 
that many of them should fly from the arbitrary sway of their 
rulers, and seek an asylum where they could be free to act for them- 
selves, without restraint or coercion from the stubbornness of myn- 
heer, whose victory, though easily obtained, was permanent, as the 
provincial power of New Sweden had perished for ever. 

Master Evelin's letter in Plantagenet's New Albion,* dated 1648, 
says: ''I thought good to write unto you my knowledge, and first 
to describe to you the north side of Delaware unto Hudson's River, 
in Sir Edmund's patent called New Albion, which lieth between 
New England and Maryland, and that ocean sea. I take it to be 
about 160 miles. I find some broken land, isles and inlets, and many 
small isles at Eg Bay ; but going to Delaware Bay by Cape May, 
which is twenty-four miles at most, and is, I understand, very well 
set out and printed in Captain Powell's map of New England, done 
as is told me by a draft I gave to Mr. Daniel, the plotmaster, which 
he Edmund saith you have at home : on that north side (of Cape 
May) about five miles within is a port or rode for any ships, called 
the Nook, and within liveth the king of Kechemeches, having, as I 
suppose, about fifty men. I do account all these Indians to be 
eight hundred, and are in several factions and war against the Sar- 

* Philadelpliia Library. 


quehanncoks, and are all extreame fearful of a gun, naked and un- 
armed against our shot, swords and pikes. I had some bickering 
with some of them, and they are of so little esteem that I durst 
with fifteen men sit down or trade in despite of them. I saw there 
an infinite quantity of bustards, swans, geese and fowl, covering 
the shores, as within the like multitude of pigeons and store of 
turkeys, of which I tried one to weigh forty and six pounds. There 
is much variety and plenty of delicate fresh and sea fish and shell- 
fish, and whales and grampus, elks, deere that bring three young at 
a time." 

He further says, '' Twelve hundred Indians under the Raritan 
kings, on the south side next to Hudson's River, and those come 
down to the ocean about Little Eg Bay, and Sandy Barnegate, 
and about the South Cape two small Kings of forty men a piece 
called Tirans and Tiascons.'' 

It would seem from the above description given by Master Eve- 
lin, that he actually visited this part of the country at that early 
day, and made the circuit of Cape May. 

The name of Egg Bay has been perpetuated with but little vari- 
ation, and the many small isles that he speaks of, yet stand there 
in testimony of his having seen them as stated, in propria persona. 
Now where it was the king of Kechemeches with his fifty men held 
forth, it would be difficult to ascertain : it might have been at Town 
Bank, or Fishing Creek, or further up the cove or "nook," as he 
was pleased to call it. Master Evelin must certainly have the 
credit of being the first white man that explored the interior, as far 
as the seaboard, and his name should be perpetuated as the king 
of pioneers. . . . His account of the great abundance and 
variety of fowl and fish seems within the range of probability, and 
the story of the turkey that weighed forty-six pounds, would have 
less of the " couleur de rose" were it not qualified in the same para- 
graph, with "deere that bring forth three young at a time." And 
what a sight it must have been to see the woods and plains teeming 


with wild animals, the shores and waters with fowl in every variety, 
where they had existed unharmed and unmolested through an un- 
known period of years ; and the magnificent forest, the stately and 
towering cedar swamp, untouched by the axe of the despoiler, all 
reveling in the beauties of Nature in her pristine state, the reali- 
ties of which the imagination, only, can convey an impression, or 
give a foretaste of the charms and novelties of those primeval 

Gabriel Thomas, in his history of West Jersey in 1698, gives us 
the following particulars, viz : '' Prince Maurice River is where the 
Swedes used to kill the geese in great numbers for their feathers 
(only), leaving their carcasses behind them. Cohansey River, by 
which they send great store of cedar to Philadelphia city. Great 
Egg Harbor (up which a ship of two or three hundred tons may 
sail), which runs by the back part of the country into the main sea ; 
I call it back, because the first improvements made by the Christians 
was Delaware river-side. This place is noted for good store of corn, 
horses, cows, sheep, hogs ; the lands thereabouts being much im- 
proved and built upon. Little Egg Harbor Creek, which takes their 
names from the great abundance of Eggs which the swans, geese, 
ducks, and other wild fowls of those rivers lay thereabouts. The 
commodities of Cape May County are oyl and whalebone, of which 
they make prodigious quantities every year ; having mightily ad- 
vanced that great fishery, taking great numbers of whales yearly. 
This county, for the general part of it, is extraordinary good and 
proper for the raising of all sorts of cattell, very plentiful here, as 
cows, horses, sheep, and hogs, &c. Likewise, it is well stored with 
fruits which make very good and pleasant liquors^ such as neigh- 
bouring country before mentioned affords." 

Oldmixon, 1708, says : " The tract of land between this (Cape 
May) and Little Egg Harbor, which divides East and West New 
Jersey, goes by the name of Cape May County. Here are several 
stragling houses on this neck of land, the chief of which is Cox's 


Hall ; but there's yet no Town. Most of the inhabitants are fisher- 
men, there being a whalery at the mouth of the Bay, on this as 
well as the opposite shore." 

Cape May County, by an Act of Assembly on the 12th day of 
November, 1692, was instituted as follows, viz: *' Whereas, this 
Province hath formerly been divided into three counties for the 
better regulation thereof; and whereas Cape May (being a place 
well situated for trade) begins to increase to a considerable number 
of families; and there being no greater encouragement to the settle- 
ment of a place than that there be established therein an order by 
government, and justice duly administered : Be it therefore enacted 
by the Governor, Council, and Representatives in this present As- 
sembly met and assembled, and by the authority of the same, that 
from henceforth Cape May shall be, and is hereby appointed a 
County, the bounds whereof to begin at the utmost flowing of the 
tide in Prince Maurice River, being about twenty miles from the 
mouth of said river, and then by a line running easterly to the most 
northerly point of Great Egg Harbor, and from thence southerly 
along by the sea to the point of Cape May ; thence around Cape 
May, and up Maurice River to the first point mentioned ; and that 
there be nominated and appointed such and so many justices and 
other ofiicers, as at present may be necessary for keeping the peace, 
and trying of small causes under forty shillings. In which circum- 
stance the same county shall remain until it shall appear they are 
capable of being erected into a County Court ; and in case of any 
action, whether civil or criminal, the same to be heard and deter- 
mined at the quarterly sessions in Salem County, with liberty for 
the Justices of the County of Cape May, in conjunction with the 
Justices of Salem County, in every such action in judgment to sit, 
and with them to determine the same." 

The time and place of holding the county elections were likewise 
directed, and the number of representatives that each was entitled 
to : Burlington to have 20, Gloucester 20, Salem 10, and Cape 


May 5 members. Cape May continued to have five members until 
the time of the surrender in 1702, except in the year 1697, when 
she was reduced to one representative. No record, however, of the 
names of the members previous to 1702 has come to light. 

Act of Oct. 3d, 1693 : " Whereas it has been found expedient to 
erect Cape May into a County, the bounds whereof at the last ses- 
sion of this Assembly have been ascertained ; and conceiving it also 
reasonable the inhabitants thereof shall partake of what privilidges 
(under their circumstances) they are capable of, with the rest of the 
counties in this Province, and having (upon enquiry) received satis- 
faction that there is a sufficient number of inhabitants within the 
said county to keep and hold a County Court, in smaller matters 
relating to civil causes : Be it enacted by the Governor, Council, 
and Representatives in Assembly met and assembled, and by au- 
thority thereof, that the inhabitants of the County of Cape May shall 
and may keep and hold four county courts yearly, viz : on the third 
Tuesday of December, 3d March, 3d June, and 3d of September ; 
all which courts the Justices commissioned, and to be commissioned 
in the said county, shall and may hear and try, according to law, all 
civil actions within the said county under the sum of £20." All 
above the sum of £20 were still to be tried at Salem. 

The same Assembly passed the following, viz : 

" Whereas the whaling in Delaware Bay has been in so great a 
measure invaded by strangers and foreigners, that the greatest part 
of oyl and bone received and got by that employ, hath been exported 
out of the Province to the great detriment thereof: Be it enacted, 
that any one killing a whale or whales in Delaware Bay, or on its 
shores, to pay the value of jo of the oyl to the governor of the 

In 1697 all restriction was removed from the courts in civil cases, 
and the same immunities and privileges were granted as were en- 
joyed by the courts within the several counties of the Province. 

In the same year. May 12, 1697, '' An Act for a road to and 
from Cape May" was passed. 


" Whereas the inhabitants of Cape May County do represent 
themselves as under extreme hardship for want of a road from Cape 
May, through their county to Cohansey, in order to their repair to 
Burlington to attend the public service ; Be it enacted by the 
Governor, &c., that George Taylor and John Crafford, be commis- 
sioners appointed to lay out a road from Cape May the most conve- 
nient to lead to Burlington, between this and the 10th day of Sep- 
tember next." 

It was ordered likewise that the expense be borne by the inhabit- 
ants of Cape May until such time as those lands through which the 
road goes are settled. This road, so important to the convenience 
and travel of the people of the county, was not finished till 1707. 
Prior to this the county was completely isolated from the upper 
districts of the State by the extensive bed of cedar swamps and 
marshes stretching from the head-waters of Cedar Swamp Creek to 
the head-waters of Dennis Creek, and no communication could have 
been held with Cohansey or Burlington except by the waters of 
the Delaware, or by horse-paths through the swamps that consti- 
tuted the barrier. 

By the Act of the 21st January, 1710, "^ the county of Cape May 
was reduced to its present bounds, viz : " Beginning at the mouth 
of a small creek on the west side of Stipson's Island, called Jecak's 
Creek; thence up the same as high as the tide floweth; thence 
along the bounds of Salem County to the southernmost main branch 
of Great Egg Harbor River ; thence down the said river to the sea ; 
thence along the sea- coast to Delaware Bay, and so up the said 
Bay to the place of beginning." 

It seems the inhabitants on the western side of Maurice River, 
the Cape May boundary, were without any legal control until 
1707,t when an act was passed annexing the inhabitants between 
the river Tweed, now Back Creek (being the lower bounds of Salem 
County), and the bounds of Cape May County to Salem County. 

'!'" Patterson's Laws. Smith's N. J. 


putting them under its jurisdiction. The act of 1710 extends 
Salem County, and curtails Cape May County, to Stipson's Island, 
or West Creek. 

The first town meeting for public business was held at the house 
of Benjamin Godfrey, on the 7th of February, 1692."^ '' The com- 
missions for Justices and Sheriff were proclaimed, and George 
Taylor was appointed clerk." The first suit on record is for 
assault and battery; ''Oliver Johnson against John Carman," 
The second, John Jarvis is accused by George Taylor of helping 
the Indians to rum. "William Johnson deposeth and saith, that 
he came into the house of the said Jarvis, and he found Indians 
drinking rum, and one of the said Indians gave of the said rum t'o 
the said Johnson, and he drank of it with them. The said Jarvis 
refusing to clear himself, was convicted." 

As early as IGOSjf a ferry was established by law, over Great 
Egg Harbor River, at the place now called Beesley's Point, a proof 
there must have been inhabitants upon both sides of the river, and 
contiguous to it at that period. 

The original settlers, or those who were here previous to the year 
1700, were principally attracted (as the authors heretofore quoted 
mfiiciently corroborate) by the inducements held out by the whale 
fishery ; and Long Island supplied the principal proportion of those 
who came prior to that time. The names of those who were known 
to be whalers,! were Christopher Leamyeng and his son Thomas, 
Csesar Hoskins, Samuel Matthews, Jonathan Osborne, Nathaniel 
Short, Cornelius Skellinks, Henry Stites, Thomas Hand and his 
sons John and George, John and Caleb Carman, John Shaw, 
Thomas Miller, William Stillwell, Humphrey Hewes, William Ma- 
son, John Richardson, Ebenezer Swain, Henry Young; and no 
doubt many others. 

The jaw-bone of a whale, ten feet long, was recently found a few 
rods from the shore at Town Bank, by Thomas P. Hughes, the pro- 

* Cape May Records. f Learning & Spicer's Collection. 

J Secretary's office, Trenton & Cape May records. 


prietor, partly imbedded in the sand, which has probably lain there 
since the time of the whalers. 
First Court. 

At a Court held at Portsmouth (supposed to be Town Bank or 
Cape May Town) on the 20th March, 169B, which is the first of 
which we have any record, the following officers were present, 
viz : — Justices — John Wolredge, Jeremiah Bass,"^ John Jervis, Jo- 
seph Houlden, and Samuel Crowel. Sheriff — Timothy Brandreth. 
Clerk — George Taylor. G-rand Jury — Shamgar Hand, Thomas 
Hand, William Goulden, Samuel Matthews, John Townsend, Wil- 
liam Whitlock, Jacob Dayton, Oliver Johnson, Christopher Leayeman, 
Arthur Cresse, Ezekiel Eldredge, William Jacocks, John Carman, 
Jonathan Pine, Caleb Carman, John Reeves, and Jonathan Foreman. 

"A rule of Court passed, the grand jury shall have their dinner 
allowed them at the county charge ;" a rule that would seem reason- 
able at the present day, when grand jurors have to pay their own 
bills and serve the county gratis. 

" Their charge being given them, the grand jury find it necessary 
that a road be laid out, most convenient for the king and county, 
and so far as one county goeth, we are willing to clear a road for 
travelers to pass." '^ John Townsend and Arthur Cresse appointed 
Assessors; Timothy Brandreth, Collector; Shamgar Hand, Trea- 
surer; Samuel Matthews and William Johnson, Supervisors of the 
Road; and John Somers for Egg Harbor. At same Court, John 
Somers was appointed Constable for Great Egg Harbor." ^' The 
Court likewise orders that no person shall sell liquor without a 
license, and that £40 be raised by tax to defray expenses, with a 
proviso that produce should be taken at 'money price' in payment." 
The above appointment by the Court of John Somers for Supervisor 

-:• This is supposed to be the same Jeremiah Bass who was agent for the West Jersey 
Society in 1694 and 5, for Cape May, at which time he resided at Cohansey, and next year 
at Burlington ; was appointed governor of the State in 1698, and depa.rted for England 
in 1699. [Mulford, 261.] A Jeremiah Bass figured at Salem from 1710 to 1716, as an 
attorney ; and a member of the Legislature from Cape May, from 1717 to 1723 : but whether 
the same, or a relative, is uncertain. 



of the roads and Constable for Great Egg Harbor, confirms the 
opinion advanced by Mickle (page 38) that the County of Glouces- 
ter did not originally reach to the ocean, and that the inhabitants 
of the seaboard, or Great Egg Harbor, were under the jurisdiction 
of Cape May. The act of 1694, however, made them dependent 
upon Gloucester, and that of 1710 extended the County of Glouces- 
ter to the ocean. A passage from Oldmixon, 1708, heretofore 
quoted, that Cape May County extended to Little Egg Harbor at 
that time, is evidently incorrect. 

The following named persons purchased of the Agents of Dr. Cox 
and the West Jersey Society, mostly previous to 1696, some few as 
early as 1689^ the number of acres attached to their respective names, 
viz : — "^^ 


Christopber Leamyeng, 204 

William Jacoks, 340 

Abigail Pine, 200 

Humphrey Hughes, - .206 

Samuel Matthews, 175 

Jonathan Osborne, 110 

Nathaniel Short, 200 

Cassar Hoskins, 250 

Shamgar Hand, 700 

Joseph Weldon, (Whilldin), 150 

Joseph Houlding, 200 

Dorothy Hewit, ?>40 

Thomas Hand, .400 

John Taylor, 220 

John Curwith, 55 

John Shaw, 2 surveys, 315 

Timothy Brandreth, 110 

John Crawford, 380 

Ezekiel Eldridge, 90 

Oliver Russel, 170 

vSamuel Crowell, ..- 226 

John Carman, » . . . .250 

Thomas Gandy, 50 

Caleb Carman,. 250 

'■•- Trenton & Cape May Records. 


William Mason, 150 

Henry Stites, 200 

Cornelius Skellinks, 134 

John Richardson, 124 

Arthur Cresse, 350 

Peter Causon, 400 

John Causon, 300 

John Townsend, 640 

Wm. Golden & Rem Garretson, ..1016 

"William Johnson, 436 

John Page, 125 

John Parsons, « 315 

William Smith, 130 

George Taylor, 175 

Dennis Lynch, 300 

William Whitlock, 500 

Jacob Spicer, 2 surveys, 1000 

Benjamin Godfrey, 210 

Randal Hewit, 140 

Elizabeth Carman, 300 

John Reeves, 100 

Benjamin Hand, 373 

James Stanfieid, 100 



Some few of the above loca,tions were made on the sea-shore ; but 
the larger proportion of them in the lower part of the county. In 
addition to those who located land previous to 1700, on the fore- 
going page, the following-named persons had resided, and were then 
residing in the county, many of whom possessed land by secondary 

Thomas Leamyeng 
Alexander Humphries 
John Briggs 
Abraham Hand 
Shamgar Hand, Jr. 
Benjamin Hand, Jr. 
Daniel Johnson 
Oliver Johnson 
William Harwood 
Jacob Dayton 
Eichard Ha 
Jonathan Crossle 
William Lake 
Theirs Raynor 
Thomas Matthews 
William Stillwell 
John Cresse 
Morris Raynor 
Joshua Howell 
Arthur Cresse, Jr. 
William Blackburry 
Daniel Carman 
Joseph Knight 
John Stillwell 
John Else 
John Steele 

Thomas Hand 
Joseph Ludlam, Sen. 
Anthony Ludlam 
Jonathan Pine 
John Wolredge 
John Jervis 
Jonathan Foreman 
Thomas Goodwin 
Jonathan High 
Edward Howell 
George Crawford 
Joseph Badcock 
William Dean 
Richard Jones 
John Howell 
Thomas Stanford 

George Noble 
John Wolly 
Peter Cartwright 
Abraham Smith 

John Hubard 

Thomas Miller 

Robert Crosby 

John Fish 

Lubbart Gilberson 

Edward Marshall 

*■ state and County Records. 


James Cresse 

Thomas Bancroft 

William Simpkins 

Edward Summis 

Thomas Goodwin 

Henry Gray 

Thomas Clifton 

Abraham Weston 

Joshua Carman 

Thomas Going 

William Duboldy 

Jonathan Edmunds 

James Marshall 

Nicholas Martineau 

John Baily 

John Garlick 

William Richardson 

Samuel Matthews, Jr. 

Thomas Foster 

William Shaw 

Thomas Hewit 

Robert French 

George Taylor, Jr. 

Jeremiah Miller 

John Dennis 

Zebulon Sharp 

Isaac Hand 

William Sharwood 

Daniel Hand 

John Story 

Jeremiah Hand 

Richard Townsend 

Joseph Hand 

Robert Townsend 

The following is from the manuscript of Thomas Learning, one 
of the early pioneers, who died in 1723, aged 49 years. 

"In July, 1674, I was born in Southampton on Long Island. 
When I was eighteen years of age (1692) I came to Cape May, 
and that winter had a sore fit of the fever and flux. The next summer 
I went to Philadelphia with my father Christopher, who was lame 
with a withered hand, which held him till his death. The winter 
following, I went a whaling, and we got eight whales ; and five of 
them we drove to the Hoarkills, and w^e went there to cut them up, 
and staid a month. The 1st day of May we came home to Cape 
May, and my father was very sick, and the third day, 1695, de- 
parted this life at the house of Shamgar Hand. Then I went to 
Long Island, staid that summer, and in the winter I went a whaling 
again, and got an old cow and a calf. In 1696, I went to whaling 
again, and made a great voyage; and in 1697, I worked for John 
Reeves all summer, and in the "winter, went to whaling again. In 


1698, worked for John Crawford and on my own land ; and that 
winter had a sore fit of sickness at Henry Stites' ; and in the year 
1700, I lived at my own plantation and worked for Peter Corson. 
I was married in 1701 ; and 1703 I went to Cohansie, and fetched 
brother Aaron. In 1706, I built my house. Samuel Matthews 
took a horse from me worth £7, because I could not train. In 
1707, we made the county road." 

According to the same author, in the winter of 1713-14, the 
county came near being depopulated '' by a grievous sickness," 
which carried off between forty and fifty of the inhabitants. " The 
disease came on with pain in the side, breast, and sometimes in the 
back, navel, tooth, eye, hand, feet, legs, or ear." Amongst the 
victims were Nicholas Stillwell, Arthur Cresses, Sen. and Jr., Reu- 
ben Swain, Richard Smith, Samuel Garretson, Cornelius Hand, 
Joseph Hewit, William Shaw,"^ John Reeves, Richard Fortesque, 
John Stillwell, James Garretson, Return Hand, John Foreman, 
Jededlah Hughes, John Matthews, Daniel Wells, and over twenty 
others." It can scarcely be conjectured from the above recital of 
symptoms, what the true character of the disease could have been. 
It was a severe retribution in a population of some two or three 
hundred ; and Providence alone, who saw proper to afflict, can solve 
the mystery. 

From second Aaron Learning's manuscript: — 
" My father's father, Christopher Leaming, was an Englishman, 
and came to America iti 1670, and landed near or at Boston ; thence 
to East Hampton. There he lived till about the year 1691, and 
then leaving his family at Long Island, he came himself to Cape 
May, w^hich, at that time, was a new county, and beginning to settle 
very fast, and seemed to promise good advantages to the adven- 
turers. Here he went to whaling in the proper season, and at other 
times worked at the cooper's trade, which was his occupation, and 
good at the time by reason of the great number of whales caught in 

«- Aaron Leaming first, afterward married his widow. 


those days, made the demand and pay for casks certain. He died 
of a pleurisie in 1696. His remains were interred at the place 
called Cape May Town, was situated next above now New England 
Town Creek, and contained about thirteen houses; but, on the 
failure of the whale fishery in Delaware Bay, it dwindled into com- 
mon farms, and the grave-yard is on the plantation now owned by 
Ebenezer Newton. At the first settlement of the county, the chief 
whaling was in Delaw^are Bay, and that occasioned the town to be 
built there ; but there has not been one house in that town since 
my remembrance. In 1734 I saw the graves; Samuel Eldredge 
showed them to me. They were then about fifty rods from the 
Bay, and the sand was blown to them. The town was between 
them and the water. There were then some signs of the ruin of 
the houses. I never saw any East India tea till 1735. It was the 
Presbyterian parsons, the followers of Whitefield, that brought it into 
use at Cape May, about the year 1744-5-6; and now it im- 
poverisheth the country." 

'' Aaron Leaming (the first), of the County of Cape May, departed 
this life at Philadelphia, of a pleurisie, on the 20th June, 1746, 
about five o'clock in the afternoon. He was born at Sag, near East- 
hampton, on Long Island, Oct. 12th, 1687, being the son of Chris- 
topher Leamyeng (as he spelt his name), an Englishman, and Hester 
his wife, whose maiden name was Burnet, and was born in New 
England. Christopher Leamyeng owned a lot at Easthampton, but 
he came to Cape May, being a cooper, and stayed several years and 
worked at his trade: and about 1695-6. he died at Cape May, and 
his land fell to Thomas Leamyeng, his eldest son; the rest was left 

Aaron Leaming was bound to Collins, a shoemaker in Connecticut, 
but did not serve his time out, and came into the Jerseys at about 
sixteen years of age, very poor, helpless, and friendless: embraced 
the Quaker religion, lived a time at Salem, came to Cape May while 
yet a boy (in 1703), settled at Goshen, raised cattle, bought a 


shallop and went by water, gathered a considerable estate, but more 
knowledge than money. The 12th day of October, 1714, married 
Lydia Shaw, widow of William Shaw,"^ and daughter of John Par- 
sons. By her he had four children, Aaron, Jeremiah, Matthias, and 
Elizabeth. He was first a justice of the peace at Cape May. In 
1723 he was made Glerk of Cape May ; and in October, 1727, he 
was chosen assemblyman, and served in that post till July, 1744. 
He was universally confessed to have had a superior knowledge ; he 
amassed large possessions, and did more for his children than any 
Cape May man has ever done. He left a clear estate, and was 
buried in the church-yard in Philadelphia. At Salem and Alloway's 
Creek he became acquainted with Sarah Hall, an aged Quaker lady, 
mother of Clement Hall. She herself was an eminent laAvyer for 
those times, and had a large collection of books, and very rich, and 
took delight in my father on account of his sprightly wit and 
genius, and his uncommon fondness for the law, which he read in 
her library, though a boy, and very small of his age (for he was a 
little man), and could not write ; for the Presbyterians of New 
England had taken no other care of his education than to send Mm 
to meeting.'' 

Aaron Learning, the author of the foregoing manuscript relating 
to his father and grandfather, was one of the most prominent and 
influential men the county ever produced. The family lost nothing 
in caste through him. He was a heavy land operator, and a member 
of the Legislature for thirty years. From the manuscript he left 
behind him, which is quite voluminous, it would appear he was a 
man of great industry and much natural good sense, well educated 
for the times, and withal a little tinged with aristocracy; a trait of 
character not unexceptionable under the royal prerogative. No 
man ever received greater honors from the county, and none, per- 
haps, better deserved them. The Legislature selected him, and 
Jacob Spicer second of our county, to compile the laws of the State, 

'!• William Shaw died in the epidemic of 1713. 


known as '' Learning and Spicer's Collection," a trust they executed 
to the satisfaction of the State and the people. He was born in 
1716, and died in 1783. 

Another of the earl}^ settlers was William Golden. He emigrated 
to Cape May in or about 1691. He was an Irishman, and espoused 
the cause of James against William and Mary, and fought as an 
officer in the battle of the Boyne, in 1690. xis he soon after came 
to America, he was most likely one of those stubborn Jacobite 
Catholics that William, in his clemency, gave permission to flee the 
country, or abide the just indignation of the Protestant authority 
for the part he took in said battle to promote its downfall. He, 
with Rem Garretson, located 1,016 acres of land at Egg Harbor, 
noW' Beesley's Point. He was one of the justices of the Court, and 
occupied other prominent stations. He died about 1715, leaving 
but few descendants ; one of whom, his great grandson. Rem G. 
Golding, now past eighty years old, lives near the first and original 
location, and has in his possession at the present time the sword 
with which his ancestor fought, and the epaulette which he wore at 
the battle of the Boyne. 

Benedict, in his history of the Baptists, says of Nathaniel Jen- 
kins, who was a Baptist minister, and a member of the Legislature 
from 1723 to 1733, he '' became the pastor of the church in Cape 
May in 1712. Mr. Jenkins was a Welchman, born in Cardigan- 
shire in 1678, arrived in America in 1710, and two years after 
settled at Cape May. He was a man of good parts, and tolerable 
education, and quitted himself with honor in the Loan office whereof 
he was trustee, and also in the Assembly, particularly in 1721 (3 ?), 
when a bill was brought in to punish such as denied the doctrine of 
the Trinity, the Divinity of Christ, the inspiration of the Holy 
Scriptures, &c. In opposition to which Mr. Jenkins stood up, and 
with the w^armth and action of a Welchman said : ' I believe the 
doctrines in question as much as the promoter of that ill-designed 
bill, but will never consent to oppose the opposers with law, or with 


any weapon save that of argument.' Accordingly the bill was sup- 
pressed, to the great mortification of those who wanted to raise in 
New Jersey the spirit which so raged in ITew England." 

Col. Jacob Spicer was in the county as early as 1691. He was a 
member of the Legislature fourteen years, from 1709 to 1723, and 
Surrogate from 1723 to 1741 ; and for many years a justice of the 
Court. It is believed he came over with William Penn, and settled 
in the upper part of Gloucester a while previous to coming here."^ 
Born in 1668 ; died, 1741. 

His son, Jacob Spicer, deserves a more particular notice. He 
was born in 1716. We have nothing to guide us in relation, to his 
early days, or until he became a member of the Legislature in 
1744, which station he occupied for a period of twenty-one years ; 
the first in ^connection with Henry Young, Esq., and afterwards, 
until his demise, with Aaron Leaming (second) Esq. ; being almost a 
moiety of the time he lived. He bore a prominent part in the pro- 
ceedings and business of the House, as the journals of those days 
fully prove, and received the appointment in connection with Aaron 
Leaming second to revise the laws of the State ; and " Leaming and 
Spicer's Collection," the result of their labor, is well known at this 
day as a faithful exposition of the statutes. f He was a man of 
exemplary habits, strong and vigorous imagination, and strictly 
faithful in his business relations with his fellow-men, being punc- 
tilious to the uttermost farthing, as his diary and accounts fully 
attest. He carried system into all the ramifications of business ; 
nothing too small to escape the scrutiny of his active mind, nothing 
so large that it did not intuitively embrace. He married Judith 
Hughes, daughter of Humphrey Hughes, Esq., who died in 1747 ; 
and in 1751 he married Deborah Leaming, widow of Christopher 

* J. Townsend's manuscript. 

t I am more particular to reiterate the fact of his being concerned with Aaron Leaming 
in the work of compiling the laws, as Mickle, in his Eeminiscences, claims the credit of it 
for Jacob Spicer, of Mullica Hill ; which is no doubt an error, as I have the most indubi- 
table eyidence to the contrary. 


Learning. The written marriage agreement which he entered into 
with the said Deborah Learning, before consummating matrimony, 
is indicative of much sound sense and discriminating judgment. In 
1756 he purchased the interest of the '^ West Jersey Society" in 
the County of Cape May, constituting what has since been known 
as the. Vacant Right. In 1762 he made his will of thirty-nine 
pages, the most lengthy and elaborate testamentary document on 
record in this or perhaps any other State. He left four children, 
Sarah, Sylvia, Judith, and Jacob ; and it would be curious and in- 
teresting to trace their descendants down to the present day, whose 
goodly numbers, on the side of the daughter, are still mostly in the 
home and county of their ancestor; yet, upon the male side, the 
name of Spicer has nearly run out, and will soon, in this county, be 
among the things that were. He died in 1765, aged about forty- 
nine years, and was buried by the side of his father, in his family 
ground at Cold Spring; a spot now overgrown with large forest 

Henry Stites, ancestor of all in the county of that name, came to the 
county about or in the year 1691. He located two hundred acres of 
land, including the place now belonging to the heirs of Eli Townsend. 
He made his mark, yet he afterwards acquired the art of writing, 
and was justice of the court for a long series of years, being noted 
such in 1746. He left a son Richard, who resided at Cape Island, 
and he a son John, from whom the Lower Township Stites' have 
descended. His son Isaiah, who died in 1767, and from whom the 
Stites' of the Upper, and part of the Middle Township have de- 
scended, lived on the places now occupied by his grandsons John 
and Townsend Stites, at Beesley's Point. The Middle Township 
Stites', below the Court House, are descendants of Benjamin Stites, 
who was probably a brother of Henry, and was in the county in 

Nicholas Stillwell, who was a member of the Legislature from 
1769 to 1771, was a son of John Stillwell, of Town Bank. He 


purcliased, in 1748, of Joseph Golden, the plantation at Beesley's 
Point, now owned by Capt. John S. Chattin. After his death, in 
1772, the place fell to his son, Capt. Nicholas Stillwell, who after- 
wards sold to Thomas Borden, who sold, in 1803, to Thomas Bees- 
ley, who resided on the premises until 1816, and on an adjoining 
property until his death in 1849. 

Capt. Nicholas Stillwell, son of the above, was an efficient officer 
of the Revolution. Capt. Moses Griffing, who married Sarah, a 
sister of Capt. Stillwell, was taken prisoner by the British towards 
the close of the war, and placed in the famous, or rather infamous 
New Jersey prison ship ; that undying stigma upon the name and 
fame of Britain, where the dying, the dead, the famished and famish- 
ing, were promiscuously huddled together. A truthful, yet romantic 
story could be told of his young wife, who, upon hearing of his un- 
fortunate imprisonment, true to her plighted vows, and actuated by 
a heroism which woman's love only can inspire, resolved to visit 
him and solicit his release, though one hundred miles distant 
through woods and wilds, marauders and tories, or die in the attempt. 
She made the camp of Washington in her route, who put under her 
charge a British officer ot equal rank with her husband. She 
reached New York in safety, and after a long and painful suspense 
Sir Henry Clinton yielded to her importunities; her husband was 
exchanged, and both made happy."^ 

John Willets was the son of Hope Willets, and was born here in 
1688, married Martha Corson in 1716, left three sons, Isaac, James, 
and Jacob. He was Judge of the Court many years, a member of 
the Legislature in 1743, and was living in 1763. 

Among those who deserve a passing notice as one of Cape May's 
favorite sons, was Nicholas Willets, a grandson of John. In 1802 
he took up the profession of surveying, which he practiced with 
great success, and obtained the confidence and respect of all who 
knew him, by the sprightly and urbane deportment which he ever 

*- Letter from Jared Griffing to Dr. R. Willets, 1834 


manifested, together with stern integrity and strict impartiality in 
his various business relations with his fellow man. It will be seen 
he was a member of the Legislature nine years, and closed a life of 
general usefulness in the year 1825, aged about fifty-six years. 

These biographical sketches of the pioneers of Cape May, might 
be extended much further, if the space allotted to the purpose 
would permit. I must therefore close with the following notices : — 
Joseph Ludlam was here in 1692, and made purchases of land on 
the sea-side, at Ludlam 's Run, upon which he afterwards resided; 
and likewise purchased, in 1720, of Jacob Spicer, a large tract in 
Dennis's Neck. He left four sons : Anthony (who settled upon the 
South Dennis property, which is yet owned in part by his descend- 
ants), Joseph, Isaac, and Samuel, from whom all the Ludlams of 
the county have descended. He died in 1761, aged eighty-six years. "^ 
John and Peter Corson came about the same time, 1692. The 
second generation was Peter, Jr., John, Jr., Christian, and Jacob. 
Peter represented the county in the Assembly in 1707. This 
family, all of whom are descendants of Peter and John, numbered 
in the county, at the census of 1850, 295 souls ; 253 of whom belong 
to the Upper Township, 6 to Dennis, 26 to the Middle, and 10 to 
the Lower Township. 

The Hand family was well represented amongst the early settlers, 
there being eleven persons of that name previous to 1700. 

John Townsend, the ancestor of all of that name now in the 
county, and of many in Philadelphia and elsewhere, came from 
Long Island by w^ay of Egg Harbor, In or previous to 1691. He 
traveled down the sea-shore until he found a spot to suit him, where 
he cleared land, built a cabin and a grist-mill, and in 1696 located 
six hundred and fifty acres of land. Capt. Thompson Vangilder 
?iow owns the mill site, and a part of the adjacent property, for- 
merly John Townsend's, upon which he resides. He left three sons, 
Richard, Robert, and Sylvanus. He was sheriff of the county five 

*' A. Leaming^s Memoirs. 


years, and departed this life in 1722. It will be seen by the county 
records and list of officers, that his descendants have acted a promi- 
nent part in the county, through the several generations that have 
passed away since 1691. 

Henry Young came about the year 1713. He served the county 
as Judge of the Court for many years, and was a member of the 
Legislature ten years. Judge Young was an extensive landholder. 
Deputy Surveyor, and was Judge of the Court from 1722 till his 
death in 1767. He was Surrogate from 1743 to 1768. He was a 
surveyor and scrivener ; and no one, of those times, was more highly 
respected, or acted a more prominent and useful part. All of the 
name now in the county have descended from him. 

Jonathan Swain and Richard Swain, of Long Island, were here 
in 1706, and soon after their father, Ebenezer Swain, came to 
Cape May, and followed whaling; Jonathan being a cooper for 
them. Their immediate descendants were Zebulon, 1721 ; Elemuel, 
1724 ; Reuben, who died in the epidemic of 1713 ; and Silas, 1733. 
There was a Capt. Silas Swain in 1778, from whom has descended 
Joshua Swain, recently deceased, who held many important trusts 
in the county, as sheriff, member of the Legislature nine years, 
and a member of the convention to draft the new Constitution in 

Cape May has never had the honor of but one representative 
in Congress, and he was the Hon. Thomas H. Hughes, from 1829 
to 1833. He was likewise a member of the Legislature nine years. 

In the Upper Township, William Goldens, Sen. and Jr., Rem 
Garretson, John and Peter Corson, John Willets, John Hubbard, 
and soon after Henry Young, were the pioneers, and at a later day 
John Mackey at Tuckahoe, and Abraham and John Vangilder at 
Petersburgh. In Dennis, being a part of the old Upper precinct, 
we find on the seaboard Joseph Ludlam, John Townsend, Robert 
Richards and Sylvanus Townsend, sons of John, Benjamin God- 
frey, and John Reeves, who were among the earliest settlers. 


Dennisville was settled upon the south side of the creek, in or 
about 1726, by Anthony Ludlam, and some few years afterwards 
the north side by his brother Joseph, both being sons of Joseph 
Ludlam, of Ludlam's Run, sea-side. David Johnson was here in 
1765, and owned at the time of his death, in 1805, a large scope 
of land on the north side of Dennis Creek. James Stephenson 
purchased of Jacob Spicer, in the year 1748, the property now 
owned and occupied by his grandson Enoch, now aged over eighty- 
five years. East and West Creek were settled by Joseph Savage 
and John Goff, the last of whom was here as early as 1710. He 
had a son John, and his numerous descendants now occupy that 
portion of the county. 

In the Middle Township, we may name on the seaboard, in the 
order in which they resided, Thomas Learning, John Reeves, Henry 
Stites, Shamgar Hand, Samuel Matthews, and John Parsons. Wil- 
liam and Benjamin Johnson, Yelverson Crowell, and Aaron Learn- 
ing, first, were first at Goshen, the latter with the ostensible object 
of raising stock. 

Cape May Court House has been the county seat since 1745. 
Daniel Hand presented the county with an acre of land, as a site 
for the county buildings erected at that time. But little improve- 
ment was made until within the present century, the last twenty- 
five years having concentrated a sufficiency of inhabitants to build 
up a village of its present extent and proportions, embellished by 
the county, with a new and commodious Court House, and by the 
people, with two beautiful new churches, one for the Baptist and an- 
other for the Methodist persuasion. 

In the Lower ToAvnship, the greater proportion of those who lo- 
cated land (see list) were congregated, some at New England, some 
at Town Bank, and others at Cold Spring, and on the sea-shore 
above and below\ 

Cape Island was owned previous to 1700 by Thomas Hand, (who 
bought of William Jacocks,) Randal Hewit, and Humphrey Hughes. 


Few settlements, and but little alteration occurred with Cape Island 
until recently. 

Thomas H. Hughes, Jonas C. Miller, R. S. Ludlam, and the 
Messrs. McMakin, were among the first to venture the experiment 
of erecting large and commodious boarding-houses, who were fol- 
lowed by a host of others, and an impetus was given to the enter- 
prise, that has built up a city where a few years ago corn grew and 
verdure flourished. 

As a watering-place it stands among the most favored on the 
coast, and the shore and bathing grounds are perhaps unrivaled. 

In 1689, as noted in deeds to William Jacocks and Humphrey 
Hughes, the distance from the sea across the island to the creek 
was 265 perches. As the deed calls for a line of marked trees, it 
must have been on the upland, at which place the distance has been 
greatly reduced by the inroads of the sea since that time. 

In l'^56 Jacob Spicer advertised to barter goods for all kinds 
of produce and commodities, and among the rest particularly de- 
signated wampum. He offered a reward of £6 to the person that 
should manufacture the most wampum ; and advertised, '' I design 
to give all due encouragement to the people's industry, nui only by 
accepting cattle, sheep, and staple commodities in a course of barter, 
but also a large quantity of mittens will be taken, and indeed a 
clam shell formed in wampum, a yarn-thrum, a goose-quill, a horse 
hair, a hog's bristle, or a grain of mustard seed, if tendered, shall 
not escape my reward, being greatly desirous to encourage industry^ 
as it is one of the most principal expedients under the favor of 
Heaven, that can revive our drooping circumstances at this time of 
uncommon, but great and general burden." 

In another place he advertises for a thousand pounds of woolen 
stockings, to supply the army then in w^ar with the French. He 
succeeded in procuring a quantity of the wampum, and before send- 
ing it off to Albany and a market, weighed a shot-bag full of silver 
coin and the same shot-bag full of wampum, and found the latter 


most valuable by ten per cent. The black wampum was most 
esteemed by the Indians, the white being of little value. 

Thompson, in his history of Long Island, page 60, says : " The 
immense quantity which was manufactured here may account for 
the fact, that in the most extensive shell banks left by the 
Indians, it is rare to find a whole shell ; having all been broken in 
the process of making the wampum." This curious fact applies 
especially to Cape May, where large deposits of shells are to be 
seen, mostly contiguous to the bays and sounds ; yet it is rare to 
see a piece larger than a shilling, and those mostly the white part 
of the shell, the black having been selected for wampum. 

Of the aborigines of Cape May little seems to be known. It 
has been argued they were very inconsiderable at the advent of 
the Europeans."^ Plantagenet in 1648, f speaks of a tribe of 
Indians near Cape May, called Kechemeches, who mustered about 
fifty men. The same author estimates the whole number in West 
Jersey at eight hundred ; and Oldmixon, in 1708, computes that 
" they had been reduced to one quarter of that number." It can- 
not be denied by any one who will view the seaboard of our county, 
that they were very numerous at one time here, which is evidenced 
by town plats, extensive and numberless shell banks, arrow heads, 
stone hatchets, burying grounds, and other remains existing with us. 
One of those burying grounds is on the farm formerly Joshua Gar- 
retson's, near Beesley's Point, which was first discovered by the 
plowman. The bones (1826) were much decomposed, and some of 
the tibia or leg bones bore unmistakable evidences of syphilis, one 
of the fruits presented them by their Christian civilizers. A skull 
was exhumed which must have belonged to one of great age, as the 
sutures were entirely obliterated, and the tables firmly cemented toge- 
ther. From the superciliary ridges, which were well developed, the 
frontal bone receded almost on a direct line to the place of the occipi- 
tal and parietal sutures, leaving no forehead, and had the appearance 

-'■ Gordon, p. 62 f Master Evelin's Letter. 


of having been done by artificial means, as practiced at present on 
the Columbia among the Flat Heads. A jaw-bone of huge dimen- 
sions was likewise found, which was coveted bj the observer ; but 
the superstitions of the owner of the soil believing it was sacrile- 
gious, and that he would be visited by the just indignation of 
Heaven if he suffered any of tlie teeth to be removed, prevailed on 
us to return it again to its mother earth. 

In 1630, when sixteen miles square was purchased of nine Indian 
chiefs, it would infer their numbers must have been considerable, 
or so numerous a list of chiefs could not have been found on a spot 
so limited. Yet, in 1692, we find them reduced to fractional parts, 
and besotted with rum."^ 

A tradition is related bv some of the oldest inhabitants, that in 
the early part of the eighteenth century, the remnant of Indians 
remaining in the county, feeling themselves aggrieved in various 
ways by the presence of the whites, held a council in the evening 
in the woods back of Gravelly Run, at which they decided to emir 
grate ; which determination they carried into effect the same night. 
Whither they went no one knew, nor were they heard from after- 
wards. In less than fifty years from the first settlement of the 
county, the aborigines had bid a final adieu to their ocean haunts 
and fishing grounds. 

Less than two centuries ago Cape May, as well as most other 
parts of our State, was a wilderness ; her fields and lawns were 
dense and forbidding forests ; the stately Indian roved over her 
domain in his native dignity and grandeur, lord of the soil, and 
master of himself and actions, with few wants and numberless faci- 
lities for supplying them. Civilization, his bane and dire enemy, 
smote him in a vital part ; he dwindled before it as the reed before 
the flame ; and was soon destroyed by its influences, or compelled to 
emigrate to other regions to prolong for a while the doom affixecl to 
his name and nation. 

* Court Records and Proud's Pennbylvania. 


The following (synopsis of an) Indian deed, and believed to be 
the only one that has been handed down, w'as found among the 
papers of Jacob Spicer, and is now in the possession of Charles 
Ludlam, Esq., of Dennisville. 

It w^as given January 1st, 1687, by Panktoe to John Dennis, for 
a tract of land near Cape Island, viz. : '' Beginning from the creek 
and so running up into the woodland, along by Carman's line to a 
white oak tree, at the head of the swamp, and running with marked 
trees to a white oak by a pond joining to Jonathan Pine's bounds. 
All the land and marsh lying and between the bounds above men- 
tioned and Cape Island." 

The witnesses were Abiah Edwards and John Carman. Pank- 
toe's mark bore a striking resemblance to a Chinese character. 

In 1758, the commissioners appointed by the legislature, of 
whom Jacob Spicer of our county was one, for the purpose of ex- 
tinguishing the Indian title in the State, by special treaty, met at 
Crosswicks, and afterwards at Easton, and among the lists of land 
claimed by the Indians were the following tracts in Cape May and 
Egg Harbor. " One claimed by Isaac Still, from the mouth of the 
Great Egg Harbor River to the head branches thereof, on the east 
side, so to the road that leads to Great Egg Harbor ; so along the 
road to the seaside, except Tuckahoe, and the Somers, Steelman, 
and Scull places." 

'' Jacob Mullis claims the pine lands on Edge Pillock Branch 
and Goshen Neck Branch, where Benjamin Springer and George 
Marpole's mill stands, and all the land between the head branches 
of those creeks, to where the waters join or meet." 

''Abraham Logues claims the cedar swamp on the east side of 
Tuckahoe Branch, which John Champion and Peter Campbell have 
or had in possession." 

" Also, Stuypson's island, near Delaware River."* 

•'' Smith's New Jersey. 


"At a court of the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, holden 
at the house of Robert Townsend, on the 2d day of April, 1723 : 

" Justices Presenf.—Jacob Spicer, (first), Humphrey Hughes, Ro- 
bert Townsend, John Hand, Henry Young, William Smith, 

'"- The county divided into precincts, excepting the Cedar Swamp ; 
the Lower precinct, being from John Taylor's branch to the middle 
main branch of Fishing Creek, and so down ye said branch and 
creek to the mouth thereof." 

" Middle precinct, to be from the aforesaid John Taylor's branch 
to Thomas Learning's, and from thence to a creek called Dennis 
Creek, and so down the said creek to the bay shore, along the bay 
to Fishing Creek." 

'' The Upper precinct, to be the residue of the said county, ex- 
cepting the Cedar Swamp,^^ which is to be at the general charge of 
the county." 

In the year 1826, Dennis township was set off from the Upper 
township by a line from Ludlam's Run to the county line, near Lud- 
lam's Bridge. 

Previous to the year 1745, the courts were held for the most part 
in private dwellings. At this date, however, a new house had been 
constructed upon the lot still occupied for the purpose, and the first 
Court held in it ; '' On the third Tuesday of May, 1745, the follow- 
ing officers and jurors were present : 

" Justices Present. — Henry Young, Henry Stites, Ebenezer Swain, 
Nathaniel Foster — Jacob Hughes, Sheriff; Elijah Hughes, Clerh. 

'-'- Gfrand Jurors. — John Leonard, John Scull, Noah Garrison, 
Peter Corson, Joseph Corson, George HoUingshead, Clement Da- 
niels, Benjamin Johnson, Jeremiah Hand, Thomas Buck, Joseph 
Badcock, Isaiah Stites, Joseph Edwards, James Godfrey, Thomas 

-'■Meaning the Long Bridge road over the Cedar Swamp, so essential to the people at 
that time as thr only road off the Cape^ and was always a county road until 1790^ when the 
road over Dennis Creek, which is likewise a county road, was made where it now exists. 

The toll-bridge over Cedar Swamp Creek, at Petersburgh, was built in 1762, which 
opened a more direct communication with the upper part of the county. 


Smith, Isaac Townsend, Ananias Osborne, Robert Cresse, and 
Thomas Hewitt." 

From Thomas Chalkley's journal, a traveling Friend from Eng- 
land, dated 2nd month, 1726, it appeared to have been a wilderness 
between Cohansey and Cape May. 

''From Cohansey I went through the wilderness over Maurice 
River, accompanied by James Daniel, through a miry, boggy way, 
in which we saw no house for about forty miles, except at the ferry ; 
and that night we got to Richard Townsend's, at Cape May, where 
we were kindly received. Next day we had a meeting at Rebecca 
Garretson's, and the day after a pretty large one at Richard Town- 
send's, and then went down to the Cape, and had a meeting at John 
Page's ; and next day another at Aaron Leaming's ; and several ex- 
pressed their satisfaction with those meetings, I lodged two nights 
at Jacob Spicer's, my wife's brother. From Cape May, we traveled 
along the sea-coast to Egg Harbor. We swam our horses over Egg 
Harbor River, and went over ourselves in canoes ; and afterward 
had a meeting at Richard Sumers, which was a large one as could 
be expected, considering the people live at such distance from each 

Jacob Spicer, in his Diary, gives us the following estimate of the 
resources and consumption of the county, in the year 1758. 

^' And as my family consists of twelve in number, including my- 
self, it amounts to each individual c£7 3s. %^d. annual consumption 
of foreign produce and manufacture. But perhaps the populace in 
general may not live at a proportionate expense with my family, I'll 
only suppose their foreign consumption may stand at <£4 to an indi- 
vidual, as the county consisted of 1100 souls in the year 1746, since 
which time it has increased ; then the consumption of this county 
of foreign manufacture and produce, will stand at ^4400 annually, 
near one half of which will be linens. 


"The Stock article of the county is about. £1200 

There is at least ten boats belonging to the county which carry oysters ; 
and admit they make three trips fall and three trips spring, each, and 
carry 100 bushels each trip, that makes 6000 bushels at what they 

neat 2^. per bushel, 600 

There is 14 pilots, which at dS30 per annum, 420 

Mitten article for the present year, 500 

Cedar posts, 300 

White Cedar lumbar, 500 

Add for boards, 200 

Pork and gammons, 200 

Deer skins and venison hams, 120 

Furs and feathers, LOO 

Hides and tallow, 12U 

Flax seed, neats' tongues, bees^ wax, and myrtle, 80 

Tar, 60 

Coal, 30 


Annual consumption of county, £4400 

Add public taxes, 160 

For a Presbyterian minister, 60 

For a Baptist minister, 40 

Education of youth, . 90 

Doctor for man and beast, 100 



In arear £420, to be paid by some uncertain fund, or left as a debt.^^ 

It appears by the above statement, the mitten article of trade 
in 1758 amounted to the sum of .£500, which was quite a reward 
to the female industry of the county. The manner in which the 
mitten trade was first established, is related in a letter from Dr. 
Franklin to Benjamin Vaughan, dated Passy, July 26th, 1748, '' on 
the benefits and evils of luxury." 

''The skipper of the shallop employed between Cape May and 
Philadelphia, had done us some service, for which he refused to be 


paid. My wife, understanding lie had a daughter, sent her a pre- 
sent of a new-fashioned cap. Three years afterward, this skipper 
being at my house with an old farmer of Cape May, his passenger, 
he mentioned the cap and how much his daughter had been pleased 
with it; but, said he, 'it proved a dear cap to our congregation/ 
How so ? ' When my daughter appeared with it at meeting, it was 
so much admired, that all the girls resolved to get such caps from 
Philadelphia ; and my wife and I computed that the whole would 
not have cost less than one hundred pounds.' ' True,' said the far- 
mer, ' but you do not tell all the story. I think the cap was never- 
theless an advantage to us; for it was the first thing that put our 
girls upon knitting worsted mittens for sale at Philadelphia, that 
they might have wherewithal to buy caps and ribbons there ; and 
you know that that industry has continued, and is likely to continue 
and increase to a much greater value, and answer better purposes.' 
Upon the whole, I was more reconciled to this little piece of luxury, 
since not only the girls were made happier by having fine caps, but 
Philadelphians by the supply of warm mittens. "^^ 

"March 13th, 1761. — The election of Eepresentatives began; 
and on the 14th, it was ended, when the poll was : — 

" Jacob Spicer, 72 ; Aaron Learning, 112 ; Joseph Corson, 41. 
Whole amount of votes polled, 225. Spicer and Learning elected."! 

In the year 1752, an association of a large number of persons 
was formed for the purpose of purchasing of the West Jersey So- 
ciety their interest in the county, having particular regard to the 
Natural Privileges. These privileges, consisting of fishing and 
fowling and all the articles of luxury and use obtained from the 
bays and sounds, were held in high estimation ; and it was difficult 
to name a valuation upon a right so endeared to the people as this. 
This association being slow and cautious in its movements was no 
doubt astounded, in the year 1756, to find that Jacob Spicer, upon 
his own responsibility, had superceded them, and had purchased 

^' Franklin's Works, 2nd Vol., page 577. f A Learning's Memoirs. 



the right of the Society, through their acknowledged agent, Dr. 
Johnson, of Perth Amhoy, not only in the Natural Privileges, but in 
the unlocated land in the whole county. Spicer, although he did 
not attempt or desire to prevent the people from using and occupy- 
ing these privileges as they had heretofore done, received for his 
share in the transaction a large amount of obloquy and hostile feel- 
ing, which required all the energy and moral courage he possessed 
to encounter. He was publicly arraigned by the people ; the follow- 
ing account being from his own pen. 

" Went to hear myself arraigned by Mr. Aaron Learning and 
others before the Public, at the Presbyterian Meeting-house, for buy- 
ing the Society's Estate at Gape May, and at same time desired to 
know whether I would sell or not. I said not. He then threatened 
ine with a suit in chancery to compel me to abide by the first asso- 
ciation, though the people had declined it, arid many of the original 
subscribers had dashed out their names. I proposed to abide the 
suit, and told him he might commence it. If I should see a bargain 
to my advantage, then I told the people I should be inclined to sell 
them the natural privileges, if I should advance myself equally 
otherwise ; but upon no other footing whatever, of which I would 
be the judge. "^ 

The following is Aaron Learning's version of the affair. 
'- March 26th, 1761. — About forty people met at the Presbyte- 
rian Meeting-house to ask Mr. Spicer if he purchased the Society's 
reversions at Cape May for himself or for the people. He answers 
he bought it for himself; and upon asking him whether he will 
release to the people, he refuses, and openly sets up his claim to the 
oysters, to Basses' titles, and other deficient titles, and to a resurvey, 
whereupon the people broke up in great confusion, as they have been 
for some considerable time past."f 

Jacob Spicer, at his death in 1765, left these privileges which 
seemed to be so exciting to the people, to his son Jacob, who, about 

*•> Spicer's Diary. f A Learning's Memoirs. 


the year 1795, conveyed by deed to a company or association of 
persons, his entire right to the natural privileges, which were used 
and viewed as a hona fide estate, and the Legislature passed acts 
of incorporation, giving them plenary powers to defend themselves 
from foreign and domestic aggression, thus virtually acknowledging 
the validity of their title.. Previous to the year 1840, a suit was 
instituted in East Jersey, the result of which was favorable to the 
proprietors ; but on an appeal to the United States' Supreme Court 
from the Circuit below, the decision was reversed, confirming the 
right of the State to all the immunities and privileges of the water 
thereof, barring out the proprietary claims altogether, and establish- 
ing the principle that the State possessed the right as the guardian 
and for the use of the whole people, in opposition to the claims of 
individuals or associations, however instituted or empowered. 

In June following he offered them his whole landed estate and 
the natural privileges in the county, excepting his farm in Cold 
Spring Neck, and a right for his family in the privileges, for £7000, 
which offer was declined."^ 

He further states : '' Mr. James Godfrey, in behalf of the Upper 
Precinct, applied to me to purchase the natural privileges in that 
precinct. I told him I should be glad to gratify that precinct, and 
please myself also ; and could I see a prospect of making a good 
foreign purchase, and thereby exchange a storm for a calm to equal 
advantage to my posterity, I should think it advisable ; and in that 
case, if I sold, I should by all means give the public a preference, 
but at present did not incline to sell. I remarked to him this 
was a delicate affair, that I did not know well how to conduct 
myself, for I was willing to please the people, and at the same 
time to do my posterity justice, and steer clear of reflection. Re- 
collecting that old Mr. George Taylor, to the best of my memory, 
obtained a grant for the Five-Mile Beach and the Two-Mile Beach, 
and, if I mistake not, the cedar-swamps and pines for his own use, 

*!' Spicer's Diary. 


and his son John Taylor reconveyed it for about £9, to buy his 
wife Margery a calico gown, for which he was derided for his 

In the contest of our forefathers for independence, nothing praise- 
worthy can be said of the other counties of the State, that would 
not apply to Cape May. She Avas ever ready to meet the demands 
made upon her by the Legislature and the necessities of the times^ 
whether that demand was for money or men. Being exposed, in 
having a lengthened water frontier, to the attacks and incursions 
of the enemy, it was necessary to keep in readiness a flotilla of 
boats and privateers, which were owned, manned, and armed by the 
people, and were successful in defending the coast against the 
British as well as refugees. Many prizes and prisoners were taken, 
which stand announced in the papers of the day as credible to the 
parties concerned.* Acts of valor and daring might be related of 
this band of boatmen, which would not discredit the name of a 
Somers, or brush a laurel from the brow of their compatriots in 
arms. The women Avere formed into committees, for the purpose 
of preparing clothing for the army ; and acts of chivalry and forti- 
tude were performed by them, which were equally worthy of their 
fame and the cause they served. To record a single deserving 
act, would do injustice to a part ; and to give a place to all who 
signalized themselves, would swell this sketch beyond its prescribed 

Of those who served in a civil capacity, no one perhaps deserved 
better of his country than Jesse Hand. He was a member of the 
Provincial Congress of 1775 and 1776, which, on the 21st of June, 
in the latter year, at Burlington, resolved a new State .ij;overn- 
ment should be formed. He was likewise a member of Council 
in '79, '80, '82 and '83. He was selected by the county in con- 
junction with Jacob Eldridge and Matthew Whillden, to meet the 
convention at Trenton, on the second Tuesdaj^ of December, 1787, 

-'•• Collins' Gazette, State Library. 


to ratif}^ the Constitution of the United States, which was unani- 
mously adopted on the lOth, when the members went in solemn 
procession to the Court House, where the ratification was publicly 
read to the people, New Jersey being the third State to ratify. He 
was entrusted by the Legislature with another important trust, viz : 
that of a member of the Committee of Public Safety from '77 to '81. 
The duties of this committee were arduous and responsible.* 

He created great astonishment with the people, when he pre- 
sented to their wondering eyes the first top-carriage (an old-fash- 
ioned chair) that was ever brought into the county. The horse- 
cart was the favorite vehicle in those times, whether for family 
visiting, or going-to-meeting purposes; and any innovation upon 
these usages, or those of their ancestors, was looked upon with 
jealousy and distrust. 

Elijah Hughes was a member of the Provincial Congress in 1776, 
and was one of the committee of ten, appointed on the 24th of June, 
to prepare a Constitution, which was adopted and confirmed on the 
2d day of July, two days before the Declaration of Independence.t 

Those who first located lands in the county, were particular to 
select such portions as were contiguous to the waters of the bay 
or ocean ; hence the sea-shore and bay-shore were first settled upon, 
evidently for the purpose of being within reach of the oysters, fish, 
and clams, abounding in our waters. Thus we find the whole sea- 
shore from Beesley's Point to Cape Island, a continuous line of 
farms and settlements, regardless of the quality of the soil ; whilst 
the interior portion, and considered by some much the better part, 
remains to this day unimproved and uncultivated. 

Between the years of 1740 and '50, the cedar-swamps of the county 
were mostly located ; and the amount of lumber since taken from 
them is incalculable, not only as an article of trade, but to supply 
the home demand for fencing and building materials in the county. 
Large portions of these swamps have been worked a second, and 

* Minutes of Committee. f Gordon. 


some a third time, since located. At the present time, there is 
not an acre of original growth of swamp standing, having all passed 
away before the resistless sway of the speculator or the consumer. 
The annual growth is sufficient to fill our wharves yearly wdth 
many thousands of rails and sawed lumber. 

It was not until recently, within the present century, that cord- 
wood became a staple article of trade. Many thousand cords are 
annually shipped from the county, in return for goods and produce 
of various descriptions, of which flour and corn were formerly the 
niost heavy articles. 

The failure in some measure of wood and lumber, and the im- 
provements progressing in all parts of our State in agricultural 
pursuits, have prompted our farmers to keep pace with, the era of 
progression, so much so that the corn and wheat now raised in the 
county, fall but little short of a supply; and when the grand desi- 
deratum shall have been achieved, of supplying our own wants in 
the great staple of corn and flour, it will be a proud day for Cape 
May, and her people will be stimulated to greater exertions, from 
which corresponding rewards and benefits may arise. 

Being partially surrounded by water, inducements were extended 
to her sons at an early day to engage in maritime pursuits. As 
early as 1698, Richard Harvo owned a sloop ; and in 1705, Gov. 
Oornbury granted a license to Oapt. Jacob Spicer, of the sloop 
Adventure, owned by John and Richard Townsend, burden sixteen 
ton?. The license privileged her to run between Cape May, Phila- 
delphia, and Burlington; and in 1706, Dennis Lynch built and 
owned the sloop Necessity. About the year 1760, there Avere nu- 
merous boats trading from the county to Oyster Bay, L. I., and 
Rhode Island and Connecticut, carrying cedar lumber mostly ; and 
others to Philadelphia, with oysters and produce of various kinds. 
Spicer shipped considerable quantities of corn, which he purchased 
of the people in the way of trade and cash, and forwarded to a 



market. He owned a vessel which he occasionally sent to the West 

It is supposed at the present time, that about one-fifth of the entire 
male population are engaged in this pursuit ; and a more hardy and 
adventurous band never sailed from any port ; no sea or ocean 
where commerce floats a sail, they do not visit if duty calls. 

The Pilots of Cape Island are likewise renowned for their skill 
and enterprise in the way of their profession. They brave 
the tempest and the storm to relieve the mariner in distress, or to 
conduct the steamer, the ship, or the barque to the haven of her 
destination. There were fourteen pilots at the Cape in 1658 : at 
the present time their numbers are about trebled, being thirty-five 
in 1850. 

The population'^ of Cape May, at different periods since the year 
1726, was as follows, viz. : 




Free Colored. 




































The population meets with an unceasing annual drain in the way 
of emigration. Numerous families, every spring and fall, sell off 
their lands and effects to seek a home in the far West. Illinois has 
heretofore been the State that has held out most inducements to 
the emigrant, and there are at present located in the favored county 
of Sangamon, in that State, some sixty or seventy families, which 
have removed from this county within a few years past, most of 

•••• Spicer's Diary. 

f Manuscript proceedings of Assembly, State Library, and Census Reports. 


whom, be it said, are blessed with prosperity and happiness. Many 
of her people are to be found in the other free States of the West. 
Peter Fretwell, the first member from the county after the sur- 
render, and the first on record that ever represented her, belonged 
to Burlington. He w^as a Friend and a cotemporary of Samuel 
Jennings, as the record of the monthly meeting there attests, and 
came over in the ship Shield, in 1678,* with Mahlon Stacy, Thomas 
Revel, and others. It is curious that he, a non-resident, should 
have been selected to represent the county in the Assembly for a 
period of twelve years ; yet such is the fact, and I cannot find that 
Jacob Huling, who was a member in 1716, or Jeremiah Bass, from 
1717 to 1723, ever resided permanently here. The balance of the 
list of representatives were all legitimately Cape May men, and 
taken in a body were the bone and sinew of the county. Of some 
of those ancient worthies in the list we know^ but little, except that 
they held important offices of trust and responsibility. Others 
among them seemed to live more for posterity than themselves, by 
inditing almost daily the passing events of the times, and they are 
consequently better known and appreciated. Their writings at that 
day might have seemed to possess but little attraction, yet they 
have become interesting through age, and valuable as links in the 
chain which connects our early history with the reminiscences and 
associations of times more recent ; and to carry out this con- 
nection, it will be the duty of some faithful chronicler to unite the 
history of those times and the present, which is so rapidly giving 
place to the succeeding generation, by a descriptive and truthful 
account, more full and complete, as the data and material incident 
to later times are more abundant and illustrative. The troubles, 
perplexities, and trials the members of Assembly endured previous 
to the Revolution, in visiting the seat of government at Amboy and 
Burlington, to attend the public service, cannot in this age of rail- 
roads and steam be appreciated or realized. A single illustration 

*' Smith's New Jersey. 


will suffice for all. Aaron Learning gives an account of his journey 
to Amboy in 1759, on horseback, as follows :^ 

^' March 3d. Set out from home; lodged at Tarkil; arrived at 
Philadelphia on the 5th. On the 6th, rid to Burlington. 7th. 
Extreme cold; rid to Orosswicks, and joined company with Mr. 
Miller; rid to Cranberry, where we overtook Messrs. Hancock, 
Smith, and Clement, (of Salem) who had laid up all day by reason 
of the cold. 8th. Got to Amboy. 17th. Had the honor to dine 
with his excellency governor Bernard, with more of the members 
of the house. It was a plentiful table, but nothing very extraor- 
dinary. The cheese he said was a Gloucestershire cheese ; was a 
present to him, and said that it weighed 105 pounds when he first 
had it. He says its the collected milk of a whole village that 
makes these cheeses, each one measuring in their milk, and taking 
its value in cheese. 

"19th. Left Amboy for home. 20th. Rid to Cranberry, and 
lodged at Dr. Stites'. 25th. Arrived home." 

In July, 1761, he attended the Assembly at Burlington on the 
6th, and broke up on the 8th, and says : " July 9th. I set out home- 
ward. 11th. Got home, having been extremely unwell, occasioned 
by the excessive heat. Almost ever since I went away, the 5th, 
6th, 7th, and 8th, were the hottest days by abundance that ever I 
was acquainted with." 

" Sept. 3d. A rain fell five inches on a level. The lower end of 
Cape May has been so dry that there will not be but one-third of a 
crop of corn — here it is wet enough the whole season." 

" 14th. Went a fishing, and caught thirty-nine sheepshead." 
It has not been necessary to enter into any disquisition of the 
soil, productions, geological aspect of the county, or the general 
statistics thereof, which are so ably set forth in the report, to which 
this is but an accompaniment. 

In justice to this sketch of Cape May, in which an attempt has 

^' A. Learning's Memoirs. 


been made to elucidate her early history, by collecting a few relics 
and incidents of men and things, from the scattered fragments that 
have survived oblivion since her first settlement, it will be proper to 
state, the space allotted for the purpose is insufficient to enter into 
a more extended detail, or to embody but a small portion of the 
material that years of inquiry and research have accumulated. 
A history of the rise and progress of the different religious deno- 
minations, and the numerous new and beautiful churches they have 
erected in later years, would of itself form an interesting sketch, 
yet it is necessarily postponed. The author has, therefore, sought 
to give such portions of it, for the most part, as relate to the ear- 
lier times, believing they would be of more particular interest, and 
more gratifying to the generality of readers than those of a more 
recent date. 

As no system, as said before, could be observed in the arrange- 
ment, except in the way of chronology, it is submitted in a form 
imperfect and diversified, which will be better described in the lan- 
guage of the poet : 

" Various ; that tlae mind 
Of desultory man, studious of change, 
And pleased with novelty, may be indulged." 





A List of the Members of the Legislature, from the first record of them 
after the surrender of the Government in Queen Anne^s reign in 1702 
to the present time. 



17U2 to 1707 

1707 to 1708 

1708 to 1709 

1709 to 1716 

1716 to 1717 

1717 to 1723 

1723 to 1733 

1733 to 1740 

1740 to 1743 

1743 to 1744 

1744 to 1745 

1745 to 1769 

1769 to 1771 

1771 to 1773 

1773 to 1776 

Jonathan Hand, 

1776 to 1778 

Jonathan Jenkins, 

1778 to 1779 

Jesse Hand, 

1779 to 1780 

Jesse Hand, 

1780 to 1781 

Elijah Hughes, 

1781 to 1782 

Jesse Hand, 

1782 to 1783 

Jesse Hand, 

1783 to 1784 

Jeremiah Eldredge, 

1784 to 1785 

Elijah Hughes, 

1785 to 1786 

Jeremiah Eldredge, 

1786 to 1787 

Jeremiah Eldredge, 

1787 to 1788 

Jeremiah Eldredge, 

1788 to 1789 

Jeremiah Eldredge, 

1789 to 1790 

Jeremiah Eldredge, 

1790 to 1791 

Jeremiah Eldredge, 

1791 to 1792 

Jeremiah Eldredge, 

1792 to 1793 

Jeremiah Eldredge, 

1793 to 1794 

Matthew Whillden, 

1794 to 1795 


Peter Fretwell. 

Peter Corson. 

Ezekiel Eldredge. 

Jacob Spicer, Peter Fretwell. 

Jacob Spicer, Jacob Huling. 

Jacob Spicer, Jeremiah Bass. 

Humphrey Hughes, Nathaniel Jenkins, 

Aaron Learning 1st, Henry Young. 

Aaron Leaming, Aaron Learning, Jun. 

Aaron Leaming, John Willets. 

Henry Young, Jacob Spicer 2d. 

Aaron Leaming 2d, Jacob Spicer 2d. 

Aaron Leaming 2d, Nicholas Stillwell. 

Aaron Leaming 2d, Jonathan Hand. 

Eli Eldredge, Jonathan Hand. 

Eli Eldredge, Joseph Savage, Hugh Hay- 

Eli Eldredge, Kichard Townsend. 

Henry Y. Townsend, James Whillden, 
Jonathan Leaming. 

Joseph Hildreth, Jeremiah Eldredge, Mat- 
thew Whillden. 

Richard Townsend. 

Matthew Whillden, John Baker, Elijah 

John Baker, Joseph Hildreth. 

Elijah Townsend, Levi Eldredge. 

Elijah Townsend, John Baker, Nezer Swain. 

Matthew Whillden, John Baker, Elijah 

Matthew Whillden, Richard Townsend, 
Elijah Townsend. 

Matthew Whillden, 
Elijah Townsend. 

Eli Townsend, Nezer Swain, 

Richard Townsend, 

Richard Townsend, Matthew Whillden, 

Elijah Townsend. 

Richard Townsend, 

Elijah Townsend. 

Richard Townsend, 

Ebenezer Newton. 

David Johnson, Richard Townsend. 

Richard Townsend, 
Elijah Town- 
Nezer Swain, Elijah 

Matthew Whillden, 
Matthew Whillden, 





Matthew Whillden, 

Parmenas CorsoD, 

Parmenas Corson, 
Parmenas Corson, 
John Townsend, 
Parmenas Corson, 
Ebenezer Newton, 
Parmenas Corson, 
William Eldredge, 
Matthew Whillden, 
Ebenezer Newton, 
Joseph Ealkenburge, 
Matthew Whillden, 
Matthew Whillden, 
Nathaniel Holmes, 
Joseph Ealkenburge, 
Joseph Ealkenburge, 
Eurman Learning, 
Joshua Swain, 
Thomas H. Hughes, 
Thomas H. Hughes, 
Thomas H. Hughes, 
Joshua Swain, 
Thomas H. Hughes, 
Joshua Swain, 
Israel Townsend, 
Israel Townsend, 
Joshua Townsend, 
Jeremiah Learning, 
Richard Thompson, 
Amos Corson, 
Thomas P. Hughes, 
Maurice Beesley, 


Reuben Willets, 
Reuben Willets, 
James L. Smith, 
James L. Smith, 
Enoch Edmunds, 
Enoch Edmunds, 
Joshua Swain, Jr, 
Joshua Swain, Jr. 
Joshua Swain, Jr. 
Jesse H. Diverty. 


1795 to 1796 

1796 to 1797 

1797 to 1798 

1798 to 1799 

1799 to 1801 
1801 to 1803 

1803 to 1804 

1804 to 1805 

1805 to 1806 

1806 to 1807 

1807 to 1808 

1808 to 1809 

1809 to 1810 

1810 to 1811 

1811 to 1812 

1812 to 1813 

1813 to 1814 

1814 to 1815 

1815 to 1819 
1819 to 1821 

1821 to 1822 

1822 to 1823 

1823 to 1824 

1824 to 1825 

1825 to 1827 
1827 to 1829 

1829 to 1830 

1830 to 1833 
1833 to 1835 
1835 to 1837 
1837 to 1839 
1839 to 1841 
1841 to 1843 

Richard Townsend, Reuben Townsend, 

Eleazer Hand. 
Abijah Smith, Elijah and Richard Town- 
Persons Learning, (3 members till this year.) 
Elijah Townsend. 

Abijah Smith. 

Persons Leaming. 

Joseph Ealkenburge 

Matthew Whilldin. 

Thomas Hughes. 

Nicholas Willets. 

Thomas H. Hughes. 

Nicholas Willets. 

Thomas H. Hughes. 

Joseph Ealkenburge. 

Nicholas Willets. 

Thomas H. Hughes. 

Joshua Swain. 

Robert H. Holmes. 

Nicholas Willets. 

Joshua Townsend. 

Nicholas Willets. 

Joshua Townsend. 

Israel Townsend. 

Israel Townsend. 

Israel Townsend. 

Joshua Townsend. 

Jeremiah Leaming. 

Jeremiah Leaming. 

Richard Thompson. 

Amos Corson. 

Thomas P. Hughes. 

Maurice Beesley. 

Reuben Willets. 

1844 to 

1845 to 

1846 to 
1848 to 

1850 to 

1851 to 

1852 to 

1853 to 

1854 to 

1855 to 


John Stites. 
Samuel Townsend. 
Richard S. Ludlam. 
Nathaniel Holmes, Jr. 
Mackey Williams. 
Joshua Swain, Jr. 
Waters B. Miller. 
Jesse H. Diverty. 
Jesse H. Diverty. 
Downs Edmunds, Jr. 




A List of the Sheriffs from 1693 to the present time. 

Timothy Brandreth ....1603 to 1695 

John Townsend 1695 to 1697 

Ezekiel Eldredge 1697 to 1700 

Edward Howell 1700 to 1701 

Cgesar Hoskins 1701 to 1704 

John Taylor ...,,, 1704 to 1705 

Joseph Whilldin 1705 to 1708 

Humphrey Hughes ....1708 to 1711 

John Townsend 1711 to 1713 

Richard Downs 1713 to 1715 

Robert Townsend 1715 to 1721 

Richard Townsend 1721 to 1722 

Henry Young 1722 to 1723 

Richard Downs 1723 to 1740 

Constant Hughes 1740 to 1744 

Jacob Hughes 1744 to 1745 

Jeremiah Hand 1745 to 1751 

John Shaw .1751 to 1754 

Thomas Smith 1754 to 1757 

Jeremiah Hand 1757 to 1760 

Ebenezer Johnson 1760 to 1763 

Henry Hand 1763 to 1765 

Svlvanus Townsend 1765 to 1768 

Danield Hand 1768 to 1771 

Eli Eldredge 1771 to 1774 

Henry Y. Townsend 1774 to 1777 

Isaiah Stites 1777 to 1780 

Richard Townsend 1780 to 1781 

Nathaniel Hand 1781 to 1782 

Daniel Garretson 1782 to 1783 

Jonathan Hildreth 1783 to 1784 

Benjamin Taylor 1784 to 1787 

PhiliD Hand .1787 to 1788 

Henry Stites 1788 to 1791 

Eleazer Hand 1791 to 1796 

Jacob Godfrey 1796 to 1798 

Jeremiah Hand 1798 to 1801 

Thomas H. Hughes 1801 to 1804 

^ Joseph Hildreth 1804 to 1807 

Cresse Townsend 1807 to 1808 

Jacob Hughes 1808 to 1809 

Joshua Swain 1809 to 1812 

Aaron Learning.. (3rd). .1812 to 1815 

Spicer Hughes 1815 to 1818 

David Townsend 1818 to 1821 

Spicer Hughes 1821 to 1824 

Swain Townsend 1824 to 1827 

Thomas P. Hughes 1827 to 1830 

Richard Thompson 1880 to 1833 

Ludlam Pierson 1833 to 1834 

Joshua Swain, Jr 1834 to 1835 

Samuel Matthews 1835 to 1838 

Samuel Snringer 1838 to 1841 

Thomas Vangilder 1841 to 1844 

Enoch Edmunds .1844 to 1847 

Peter Souder 1847 to 1850 

Thomas Hewitt 1850 to 1853 

Elva Corson 1853 to 1856 

William S. Hooper 1856 to 1859 

A List of the Clerks from 1693 to the present time. 

George Taylor 1693 to 1697 

Timothy Brandreth 1697 to 1705 

John Taylor 1705 to 1730 

Aaron Leaming, 1st 1730 to 1740 

Elijah Hughes/Senr.... 1740 to 1762 

Elijah Hughes, Jr 1762 to 1768 

Jeremiah Eldredge 1768 to 1777 

Jonathan Jenkins 1777 to 1779 

Eli Eldredge 1779 to 1802 

Jeremiah Hand 1802 to 1804 

Abijah Smith 1804 to 1824 

Richard Thompson 1824 to 1830 

Levy Foster 1830 to 1833 

Jonathan Hand, Senr. . .1833 to 1834 

Jacob G. Smith 1834 to 1835 

Swain Townsend 1835 to 1840 

Jonathan Hand, Jr 1840 to 1860 


A List of the Surrogates from the first appointment, in 1723, to the 
present time. Previous to this, all busiyiess in the Prerogative Court 
was transacted at Burlington. 

Jacob Spicer, 1st 1723 to 1741 

Henry Young 1741 to 1768 

Elijah Hughes, Jr 1768 to 1787 

Jesse Hand 1787 to 1793 

Jeremiah Eldredge. ... .1693 to 1796 

Ebenezer Newton 1796 to 1802 

Aaron Eldredge 1802 to 1803 

Jehu Townsend 1803 to 1831 

Humphrey Leaming 1831 to 1852 

Elijah Townsend, Jr 1852 to 


Topographical Department of the State Survey^ 

May 1st, 1856. 
Dr. Wm. Kitchell, 

Supt. of N. J. State Geol. Survey. 

Dear Sir : 

I transmit herewith, for the purpose of the geological in- 
vestigations, the Topographical Map of the County of Cape May, 
constructed upon a scale of 3 o^ooj or about two inches to the mile, 
which is the scale upon which the field-work is executed. The 
engraved Map will be drawn upon a scale of eoo^^? or about one 
inch to the mile. The principles upon which the survey is con- 
ducted, and the details of the field-work, are fully set forth in the 
last annual report of progress. It is proper, however, to state, with 
reference to this Map, that while endeavoring to keep pace with 
the geological investigations, I have failed to complete the triangu- 
lation of the southern portion of the State, for the reason that the 
face of the country is so remarkably uniform, tliat it would have 
exhausted the greater portion of the funds at my disposal to erect 
the necessary stations for taking observations. The alternative 
therefore presented itself of relying upon such assistance as could 
be derived from the secondary triangulation and plain-table work 
of the Coast Survey, or of deferring for the present the topography 
of that section of the State. The former course has been adopted 
for the obvious reason that, without the topography, the geology 
could not be satisfactorily described. Moreover, the peculiar shape 


and geograpMcal position of the county were favorable to such a 
course ; as being long and narrow, and surrounded on three sides 
by water, there was little chance for error in laying down its topo- 
graphy entirely with the plane-table. That portion already sur- 
veyed by the general government, has simply been revised without 
going over all its details. 

It is presumed that the characters used in delineating the topo- 
graphy will be comprehended without explanation. The salt 
meadow can be readily distinguished from the upland; the culti- 
vated land from the wooded ; and the cedar swamps from the dry 

In submitting this Map to the citizens of the county, I beg to 
express the hope that it will meet their expectations ; and I will 
add the conviction that, coupled with Professor Cook's Geological 
Report, it will be of great value not only to them but to every 
citizen of the State. 

Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 



Agricultaral products, 83. 

Alluvium, 30 

Analysis of Cancerine, 109. 

" Cedar Swamp Earth, 105. 

Fish, 120. 
Guano, 111. 
" Marsh mud, 14 

Seaweed, 100. 
Soils, 70, 12. 
Sub-soil, 1L 
Area of county, 17. 
Artesian wells, 22. 

Ashmead's, Samuel, lists of Plants and Algae, 149, 152. 
Eaird's, Professor S. P., list of Pishes, 146. 
Beaches, 50. 

13eaches, improvement of, 95. 
Beach grass, 97. 

Beesley's, Dr.Maurice, Early History of Cape May, 159 
Beesley's, Thomas, lists of Wild Animals and Birds, 137, 138. 
Boulders, 25. 
Boundaries, 15. 
Building materials, 125. 
Ckpe Island, 21, 38. 
Cedar Swamps, 57. 
Clay, 126. 
Climate, 89. 
Concrete bricks, 126. 

Cook's, Q. H., Letter accompanying Keport, 7. 
County Clerks, 205. 
Drift, 30. 
Elevation, 42. 
Elevation of surface, 19. 

210 INDEX, 

Economical Geology, 69. 

Fisheries, 86, 

Forests, 15. 

Formation, 29. 

Fossils, 26, 21, 29. 

Geological Survey, Act relating to, 9, 

Geology, 29. 

Gravel, 26, 129. 

HalPs, Professor James, Names of Fossils, 156o 

History of Cape May, 15 1. 


View of tlie Beach near Cape May— FrontLspieceo 
Diagram of Artesian Weils, 23. 
Section across Cedar Swamp and Salt Marsh, 35. 
'' Salt Marsh, 45. 
'' '' Five -mile Beach, 52. 

'' " Beach near Steamboat Landing, 56, 

View in Cedar Swamp, 59. 
Tiew of fallen timber in Cedar Swamp, 63. 
Making shingles from bnried timber, 19. 
Mining buried timber, 82, 
Figures of Yenus Mercenaria, 156. 
Indians, 165, 118. 
Introduction, 9. 

KitchelPs, Dr. William, Dedication of Work, 3, 
List of Wild Animals, 131. 
" Birds, 138. 
'' Fishes, 146. 
" Plants, 149. 
'' Marine Algee, 152, 
Lumber, 16. 

Manures, Farm-yard, 99. 
Fish, 112. 
^' King-crabs or Horse-feet, 105, 
'' Marsh-mud, 122. 
*' Muck or Swamp earth, 102. 
Sea-weed, 99. 
Shell-fish, 121. 
Shell-marl, 124. 
Market Gardening, 81. 
Marshes, improvement of, 91. 
Members of the Legislature, 203, 

INDEX. 211 

Milk-liouse, 90. 

Mills, subsidence of, 40. 

Part I., 13. 

Part II., 6t. 

Physical features, 18. 

Pines, planting of, 9Y. 

Population, 85. 

Proprietary Rights, 163. 

Salt, 131. 

Salt-marshes, 43. 

Sancl-stone, 128. 

Sea-bathing, 133. 

Settlers, list of, 1Y3. 

Sheriffs, list of, 205. 

Shingles, It. 

Shipping, 86. 

Soils, 69. 

Soil, improvement of, 98. 

Springs, 129. 

Subsidence, 31. 

System, 29. 

Tides, 19. 

Timber Swamps, T6. 

Town Bank, 22, 38. 

Yiele's, Lieut., Letter respecting Map, 20t. 

Warping, 94. 

Wells, 22, 129.