(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Early Salem County"

(barlu 'Oalem \^ountu 



/ 
By Edson Salisbury Jones, Port Chester. N. Y. 

Gld 3-ort ^Ifshor^ 

C/ke Lefevre and zPled^er Uract 

MPoadwat^ and the cJBradivai^ O^ouse 

^ohn ^enivick* s ifraife 



PAPER READ BEFORE THE SALEM COUNTY HISTORICAL 
SOCIETY. DECEMBER 10. 1907 



Cbarlu C^alem ^ountu 



By Edson Salisbury Jones. Port Chester. N. Y. 

Gld 3-oft &lfs6or^ 

C/he I^efeure and jL ledger *Jract 

Kjjroadivai^ and the Mra^iuai^ ^ouse 

^ohn f.:/'enivLclc s if^aue 



PAPER READ BEFORE THE SALEM COUNTY HISTORICAL 
SOCIETY. DECEMBER 10. 1907 



^ 



SUNBEAM 
PUDLISHIN&COMES 




MAS 21 19) J 






Early Salem County 



In the intitial portion of this paper, 
the situation of a long-lost landmark 
has been clearly established. In the 
remaining sections, one of the largest 
tracts of land possessed by Fenwick's 
grantees has been treated; proofs are 
offered that Broadway was not named 
for Edward Bradway, and that he never 
built a house upon that highway; and 
the location of John Fenwick's grave 
is considered, as well as the movement 
to erect a monument to his memory. , 

Old Fort Elfsborg | 

"V\ hat was the situation and what the 
construction of this fort erected by 
the Swedes in the vicinity of Salem, ■ 
and in what year was it built? Gor- ' 
don, Johnson, Mulford, Hazard and i 
Shourds tell us nothing of its char- 
acter; but its position has been as- \ 
signed to two localities, and the year 
of its erection has been variably stated. 
Several old maps seem to place it near- 
er the mouth of Salem Creek than the 
present projection of land known as 
Elsinborough Point; but judging by the 
shore lines of the Delaware as they 
now are. the latter location would seem j 
to be the more reasonable, in one view, 
because there the river Is narrowest 
until New Castle is reached, and the ^ 
object in erecting this fort was to 
command the stream and govern the 
passage of the Dutch, or any who were 
inimical to the Swedes. It is well 
known, however, that tne shore line 
between Salem Creek and Elsinborough 
Point has been receding for many 
years. At the time this fort was built 
undoubtedly the mouth of the creek 
was much nearer the western shore of 
the river than it is at present. Again, 



the whole vicinity of Elsinborough 
Point is marshy, and for that reason 
not desirable or probable for such a 
structure. Nevertheless, in Johnson's 
opinion, the fort was erected there, for 
in Hazard, 71, we read the following: 

"Some uncertainty exists as to the 
precise location of Fort Elsinborg; It 
has usually been placed upon the creek, 
but upon inquiry in the neighbour- 
hood, and especially of an old resident 
there, the author is led to believe that 
It was situated three or four miles 
below Salem Creek, at a point which 
has long been known as 'Elsinburg 
Fort Point.' So early as November 12, 
1676, 'a conveyance by warrant was 
made of 1000 acres, by John Fenwick, 
to be set out, limited and bounded at 
and near the point heretofore called 
Elsinburg Fort, and hereafter to be 
called Guy's plantation.' There was a 
large body of marsh on both sides of 
a creek then called Fishing Creek; 'on 
the south side of this creek was an 
island of upland, on which, I well re- 
member, were three well-sized trees; 
on this island of upland I understood 
the fort formerly stood, nor have I 
ever heard any Salem county man lo- 
cate it in any other place.' 'This is- 
land was most judiciously selected for 
the erection of a fort, being protected 
by the river on the west; on the north 
by Fishing Creek, turning east and 
south; on the south by an immense ex- 
panse of wild marsh.' " The foot-note 
to this paragraph reads: "For these 
facts I am indebted to the kindness of 
Col. R. G. Johnson, the well-known au- 
thor of a small History of Salem, N. J., 
and one of the oldest inhabitants of 



Salem, who has favoured me with a 
long- letter on the subject." 

Here we have the view of our local 
historian, expressed during the last 
century. In his little book, page 7, he 
conveys the impression that Fort Elfs- 
horg was built in 1631. Now let us 
see what light is to be obtained as to 
the year of erection, character and lo- 
cation of this fort, from men who not 
only saw it but wrote about it during, 
and within a short time after, its con- 
struction. 

On August 16, 1642, Queen Christina 
appointed Johan Printz Governor of 
New Sweden, as the land along the 
Delaware claimed by the Swedes was 
then called. Printz arrived at Fort 
Christina [now Wilmington, Del.] on 
February 15, 1642-3. (Campanius, 70.) 
Andries Hudde was in the employment 
of the Dutch at New Amsterdam [now 
New York], and on October 12, 1645, 
was appointed Commissary for the 
South River, as the Delaware was then 
designated. On October 22. 1646, Hudde 
made "A brief, but true Report of tlie 
Proceedings of Johan Prints, Governor 
of the Swedisli forces at the South- 
River of New-Netherland, also of the 
Garrisons of the aforesaid Swedes, 
found on that river, the first of Novem- 
ber, 1645." The translation of this 
report begins with these words: 

"What regards the garrisons of the 
Swedes on the South-River of New 
Netherland is as follows: 

"At the entrance of this River three 
leagues up from its mouth, on the east 
shore, is a fort called Elsenburgh, us- 
ually garrisoned by 12 men and one 
lieutenant, 4 guns, iron and brass, of 
12 pounds iron (balls), 1 mortar (pots- 
hooft). This Fort is an earthwork and 
was ordered to be erected there by the 
aforesaid Johan Prints, shortly after 
his arrival in that river. By means of 
this fort, the above mentioned Prints 
holds the river locked for himself, so 



that all vessels, no matter to whom 
they belong- or whence they come, are 
compelled to anchor there." (Col. Hist. 
N. Y., 12. 28-9.) 

In 1655, there were published at 
Hoorn, Holland, "Short Historical and 
Journal Notes of Several Voyages" 
made by Capt. David Pietersz de Vries, 
a skillful seaman who had also been 
a master of artillery in Holland's em- 
ploy, and had established a colony on 
the western shore of the Delaware in 
1631. He left that colony, but returned 
to the river on a trading vessel. He 
was thoroughly familiar with the Del- 
aware, and piloted this ship. Under 
date of October, 1643, we read the fol- 
lowing in the translation of this jour- 
nal: 

"The 13th, sailed by Reed Island, and 
came to Verckens-kil, where there was 
a fort constructed by the Swedes, with 
three angles, from which they fired for 
us to strike our fiag. The skipper ask- 
ed me if he should strike it. I answered 
him, 'If I were in a ship belonging to 
myself, I would not strike it because 
I had been a patroon of New Netherland, 
and the Swedes were a people who 
came into our river; but you come here 
by contrary winds and for the purposes 
of trade, and it is therefore proper that 
you should strike.' Then the skipper 
struck his fiag, and there came a small 
skiff from the Swedish fort, with some 
Swedes in it, who inquired of th>3 
skipper with what he was laden. He 
told them with Madeira wine. We 
asked them whether the governor was 
in the fort. They answered, No; that 
he was at the third fort up the river 
[New Gottenberg], to which we sailed, 
and arrived at about four o'clock in 
the afternoon, and went to the gover- 
nor, who welcomed us. He was named 
Captain Prins. • * * The 19th, I 
went with the governor to the Minck- 
quas-kil * * * i staid here at night 
with the governor, who treated me 



well. In the morning • * • I took 
my leave of the governor, who accom- 
panied me on board. We fired a sa- 
lute for him, and thus parted from him; 
weighed anchor, and got under sail, 
and came to the first fort. Let the 
anchor fall again, and went on land to 
the fort, which was not entirely finish- 
ed; it was made after the English plan, 
with three angles close by the river. 
There were lying there six or eight 
brass pieces, twelve-pounders. The 
skipper exchanged here some of his 
wines for beaver-skins. The 20th of 
October, took our departure from the 
last fort, or first in sailing up the 
river, called Elsenburg." (N. Y. Hist. 
Soc. Col., 2d S., 3. 122-3.) 

From these contemporary accounts 
we learn that this fort was begun after 
February, 1643, but had not been com- 
pleted by October 20th of that year; 
that it was an earthwork structure in 
the form of three angles; and that it 
was located close to Delaware River, 
at Verckens Kill, — not on an island 
nearly surrounded by marsh, three or 
four miles below Salem Creek. "Was 
Verckens Kill the "Fishing Creek" of 
Johnson? No: for in the deed from 
William Malster, conveying Windham 
to Roger Milton, the land is described 
as fronting on Virkins Kill alias Salem 
Creek (Salem Deeds, 2. 32); and in Col. 
Hist. N. Y., 12. 610, we see the com- 
mission appointing Malster and five 
others to be overseers or selectmen "In 
Verckens kill or hogg Creeke, common- 
ly called Salem or Swamp Towne, & 
parts adjacent." 

Guy's plantation of 1000 acres, re- 
ferred to in the information given by 
Joiinson to Hazard, stretched along 
Delaware River about two miles, from 
Salem Creek on the north to Locust 
Creek, near present Elsinborough 
Point. At the time of the survey 
(1676), this land, "at and near the point 
heretofore called Elsinburge fort," was 



in Guy's possession by virtue of his 
deed from Fenwick, and was then call- 
ed Guy's Point or plantation. (Salem 
Sur. 1676, p. 45; Fenwick's Sur., 14.) 
Seemingly Locust Creek was Johnson's 
"Fishing Creek;" and what is now call- 
ed Elsinborough Point was known In 
Fenwick's time as Kymball's Point. 
(Salem Deeds, 3. 99.) 

In May, 1654, Printz was succeeded 
by John Rysingh as governor of New 
Sweden, and the first act of the latter 
upon his arrival was to capture Fort 
Casimir (New Castle) from the Dutch. 
In the next year, the Dutch wrested 
this fort from the Swedes, took from 
them Fort Christina and Fort New 
Goitenberg, and drove the Swedes 
from Delaware River. According to 
Governor Rysingh's official report of 
the capture of these strongholds, the 
Dutch in seven ships, with six or seven 
liundred men aboard, arrived in the 
South River on August 30, 1655, "and 
anchored before the Fortress of Elfs- 
borg, which was then dismantled and 
ruinous." (N. Y. Hist. Soc. Col., 2d S.. 
1. 443.) In the Dutch account of the 
expedition, no hint is found that Fort 
Elf.sborg was in a condition to be a 
factor — but the contrary impression is 
conveyed, for in Stuyvesant's letter to 
his Council we read that the Dutch 
ships came to anchor before this fort, 
and remained there three days, during 
which time they arranged their forces 
in five sections, in preparation for the 
attack upon Fort Casimir, to which 
they proceeded. (Col. Hist. N. Y., 12. 
101.) Acrelius tells us that Fort Elfs- 
borg was "abandoned by the Swedes 
and destroyed, as It was almost impos- 
sible to live there on account of the 
gnats (myggor); whence it was for 
some time called Myggenborg." This 
fort was in ruins, therefore, more than 
twenty years before Fenwick's arrival 
in 1675; and in Johnson's time, no 
Salem County man with whom he con- 



versed knew where it had been situat- 
ed. Its site had probably been sub- 
merged many years. 

That it was an earthwork, thrown up 
in the form of three angles — like points 
of a star, has been proved herein by 
the testimony of eye-witnesses; but in 
a paper recently read before an His- 
torical Society in this State, and print- 
ed in a local newspaper, we find the 
following erroneous description of it: 

"The fort was constructed of huge 
logs hewn from the heavy timbers sur- 
rounding the site, and doubtless had 
the additions usual to that class of 
works, a deep mote, high embankments 
and strong lines of palisades, the latter 
chiefly to guard 9,gainst the incursions 
of Indians." 

In the newspaper print, there is an 
accompanying illustration of this fort 
(as the author imagined it), which 
shows a log building, rectangular in 
^hape, and with a gable roof surmount- 
ed by a cupola. Seemingly the struc- 
ture is placed upon a plot of ground, 
also rectangular, and raised above the 
surrounding land, such plot being em- 
banked with horizontal logs. A sen- 
try is seen, near one corner of the 
building; another is walking his beat 
between it and the shore-line, along 
which tall grass grows; not far from 
the fort is a large log house; and with- 
in a stone-throw of the shore appears 
the stern of a ship flying a Swedish 
man-of-war flag. This wholly mislead- 
ing picture needs only a band of men- 
acing Indians in the distance to com- 
plete it; for there is abundant proof 
that the Swedes and aborigines were 
very friendly. 

Before dropping the subject of earlj)- 
defences in this vicinity, it is well that 
an error in Johnson, 54, be corrected. 
In his version of Mary Fenwick's let- 
ter of February 7, 1678-9, we read with 
relation to Mrs. L,efe\^re — "I found she 
had some design to make a fool upon 



the view, and to have thy concurrence 
therein; but I do not understand the 
design, so must leave it to thy discre- 
tion and address." Johnson's expres- 
sion, "fool upon the view," is non- 
sense. The words in the original let- 
ter are "fort upon the river." So Mrs. 
Lefevre had an ambition to fortify Sa- 
lem County. 

The Lefevre and Pledger Tract 

This section of land, comprising 6000 
acres, was the first in this vicinity to 
be occupied by any of Fenwick's gran- 
tees, and its owners had seated them- 
selves upon it before Fenwick's arrival 
(Salem Sur. 1676, pp. 45-6 >. though it 
was not surveyed until November 12, 
1676 (Fenwick's Sur., 15). According to 
N. J. Arch. 1. 414, this tract was known 
as "Packagomack" — an Indian name, 
thought to have meant land lying low 
along an inland body of water. It was 
bounded north by Mannington Creek 
and the lower portion of Swedes Run; 
west by Salem Creek; south by the 
lower part of Fenwick Creek, by Keas- 
bey's Creek — early called Great Mill 
Creek, to a stream flowing northerly 
into it and named Smith's Creek in the 
survey of Smithfield (but later called 
Mill Hollow Creek), and by a line run- 
ning from the latter stream due east 
for nearly a mile, where it turned 
south; southeast by Alio ways Creek; 
and easterly by a line starting on this 
creek, about half way between Quinton 
and Alloway, and extending east of 
north to Swedes Run, which it touched 
about three-quarters of a mile east of 
the confluence of that stream and Lime- 
stone Run. This tract was divided into 
six lots by Its owners. 

The first lot was nearest to Salem 
Creek, and comprised 900 acres, called 
Lefevre's Chase, which Lefevre, Sr.. 
conveyed to his son in 1687. (Salem 
Deeds, 4. 44.) Lefevre, Jr., sold 100 
acres in the north end of it to Jonathan 
Beere, in 1688; 200 acres in the middle 



portion to James Barrett, in 1690; and 
the remaining- 600 acres, in the south 
end, to Rothro Morris, in 1700. (Salem 
Deeds, 4. 75; 5. 118; 7. 12.) 

The second lot adjoined the first, on 
the east, and was owned by Pledger. 
In the southerly section of it was his 
"Netherland Farm," which he devised 
to his son, John. The northerly por- 
tion was Quiettitty, or Sandyburr 
Wood, comprising- 500 acres, which 
Pledger, Sr., conveyed to Christopher 
Saunders August 10, 1680, and Saunders 
gave to Jonathan Beere and wife in 
1686. (Salem Deeds, 7. 196; 3. 224.) 

During this last spring, a party visit- 
ed what was supposed by its members 
to have been Quiettitty, which has been 
referred to as an Indian village, and 
'the first seat of John Pledger in Fen- 
wick's Colony." The writer under- 
stands that the visitors believed this 
place was situated on the south side of 
Mannington Creek, to the east of the 
thoroughfare running southerly from 
th« Salem-Woodstown road to Quinton. 
Such a location for the Quiettitty of 
record is erroneous, and makes it a 
part of the 544 acres sold by Pledger to 
AVilliam and Joan Braithwaite in 1689, 
^shich latter land was in the fourth 
lot. Quiettitty was an Indian name, 
the meaning of which is thought to 
have been a place where bushes grew 
along the bank of a stream. The rec- 
ords do not disclose it as an aborigine 
village. The ownership of Quiettitty 
was early in dispute between Michael 
Barron and Lefevre and Pledger, and 
a suit for the possession of it was de- 
cided against Barron, on appeal to the 
New Castle Court. Barron alleged that 
he had a grant from Governor Carteret 
long before the division of the Prov- 
ince; that under it he had purchased 
from the Indians, in 1671, 600 acres 
called "Quiettetting;" that for several 
\ ears he had made improvements and 
a beginning of settlement upon it, but 



was hindered by Fenwick's threats. 
Lefevre and Pledger claimed the land 
as included in their 6000 acres. The 
Judges at New Castle decided that 
Barron had forfeited his right to Quiet- 
titty by not settling upon it within a 
proper time. In this suit, Christopher 
Saunders deposed that, in the fall of 
1679, he had built a small house on the 
land by Pledger's order. (Printed New 
Castle Rec, 336, 387-8.) The record 
shows that this was the first house 
erected at Quiettitty; and it was con- 
structed four and a half years after 
Pledger's coming. It is certain that 
Pledger did not first reside there, for 
we know that he seated himself at 
Bereton Fields, and he is called of the 
latter place at all times when his dom- 
icile is specifically named. 

The bounds of Quiettitty clearly 
prove that it was a part of the second 
lot, and its situation is further defined 
by other deeds. In the conveyance by 
Lefevre, Jr., to Beere of the 100 acres 
at the north end of the Chase, the land 
sold bordered the south side of Man- 
nington Creek for 40 perche.'^; adjoined 
Saunders' land on the west; and was 
bounded south by Puddle Dock Creek. 
Now, Puddle Dock Ci'eek flows westerly 
into Salem Creek, on the north side of 
"Denn's Island." Consequently, Quiet- 
titty lay west of the present Salem- 
Sharptown road — not east of the Sa- 
lem-Woodstown highway. In 1692-3, 
Beere sold the 600 acres, comprising 
both of these parcels, to Bartholomew 
Wyatt (Salem Deeds. 5. 239). and the 
deed states that all the land was "at 
Quiettitty," thereby making the amount 
efU'Hl tliat claimetl by Barron. 

The third lot adjoined the second on 
the east, was owned by Lefevre, and 
tl'e line between the two ran south 
across the lower portion of Myhoppin- 
ies Creek. In 1680. Lefevre sold 4 0O 
aires in the northeast part to William 
Rumsey: in 1693, conveyed 400 acres in 



8 



the northwest portion to Roger Carary; 
anr". in 1696 sold 200 acres in the south- 
erly part to widow Joan Braithwaite. 
(Salem Deeds, 2. 15; 5. 275; 6. 44.) The 
widow's portion of this third lot was 
bounded southerly by Hollybourne 
Creek (the upper part of Fenwick 
Creek, flowing west), and in her will 
she refers to it as "Hollybourne Pas- 
ture." 

Hollybourne, Lefevre's plantation of 
200 acres, where he resided, lay south 
of Hollybourne Creek, between Acton 
station and Penton. In 1696 he sold it 
to Joseph Pledger. 

The fourth lot was owned by Pledger. 
It lay between the third lot and the 
easterly line of the whole tract. 0^t 
of the westerly portion of this lot, and 
bordering Limestone Run, Pledger sold 
544 acres to William and Joan Braith- 
waite in 1689. (Salem Deeds, 5. 15.) 
The remainder of the fourth lot Pledger 
devised to his son, John. 

The fifth lot was in the southeast ' 
corner of the main tract, south of the , 
fourth lot. It was owned by Lefevre. 
and known as Petersfield. In 1679, he j 
agreed to sell 300, acres of the easterly ] 
poi'tion to George Provo. to be called 
Provo's Holt, but it passed to William 
Willis. In 1690-1, Lefevre conveyed 700 i 
acres in the westerly part to John Wor- i 
lidge and wife, who sold 600 acres of | 
it to William Kenton in 1693. Kenton's ! 
widow married Hugh Middleton, and j 
in 1698 he received a conveyance of i 
this land from Kenton's son. (Salem 
S'lr 1. 8-9; Fenwick's Sur., 30; Salem' 
Deeds, 5. 105, 293; 6. 238.) 

The sixth lot was situated west of 
the fifth, and in Quakct Neck, between 
Fenwick and Keasoey's Creeks. Of 
this lot, 800 acres in the easterly part 
was Pledger's plantation, called Bere- 
ton Fields, the northerly portion of 
which bounded Hollybourne on th^ 
west. This plantation Pledger devised 
to his ? )n, "^oseph, together with the | 



remainder of the sixth lot. Joseph de- 
vised all his land to his wife, Mary, 
who subsequently married Hugh Mid- 
dleton. Middleton devised the 800 
acres called Bereton Fields, where he 
dwelt, to his son, John, who died under 
age, whereby his sister, Mary, became 
possessed of the land. Mary married 
Benjamin Vining. Vining devised 
"Barrenton House" and the 800 acres 
where he resided, to his son, John. The 
description of this land in Vining's will 
shows that its south line was coinci- 
dent with the north line of Smithfield, 
from which it extended northerly. 

Shourds, 473, locates Lefevre on 
Quaker Neck, and says that he "erect- 
ed upon the tract a large brick resi- 
dence in 1707. The building is still 
standing, and is owned at the present 
time [1876] by George Griscom, of 
Salem." Wherever Lefevre built his 
house, he did not erect it in 1707, as 
he was dead ten years earlier, and had 
sold Hollybourne in 1696. Shourds' 
chapter, entitled "Ancient Buildings," 
needs considerable revision. 
Broad^vay and the "Bradvray" House 

Shourds, 35, tells us that "As early 
as 1676 the street now known as Broad- 
way was laid out and called Wharf 
Street, and several town lots were laid 
out and surveyed on said street; one 
for Edward Bradway before his arrival, 
containing sixteen acres, commencing 
near the public wharf at the creek, 
and running up the street a certain dis- 
tance, and from the line of said street 
a northerly course to Fenwick Creek. 
In the year 1691 Edward Bradway built 
on his town lot a large brick house 
which is still standing, for size and ap- 
pearance surpassing any house built 
prior to that date, and for many years 
aftorward. in Salem. * * * In 1693 
the town of Salem was incorporated 
into a borough, and the authorities of 
the town changed the name of Wharf 
Street to Bradway Street, in honor of 



Edward Bradway." What an Imagin- 
ation had this author, and how per- 
sistently did he use fancy's color- 
brush! Or, did he offer us tradition? 

While it is true that, in a few com- 
paratively recent deeds, Wharf Street 
is applied to this thoroughfare between 
the present dock and Market street, it 
is not true that such was the name 
given to it in 1676, or for many years 
afterward. In the early records, we 
find mentions of the "Town Landing;" 
and this name was used for the dock at 
least as late as December 24, 1688. 
(Salem Deeds, 4. 120.) N. J. Arch. 21, 
furnishes abstracts of deeds and sur- 
veys recorded up to 1704; but the index 
of this volume does not disclose "Wharf 
Street." Neither does the index of 
Arch. 23, which extends to 1730. In the 
former volume, this thoroughfare is 
Palled "the highway;" and there is 
every probability that it obtained its 
present name — as did streets in other 
cities, simply and only because it was 
the broad way of the town, and not | 
from the presence in this county of | 
Edward Bradway. 

In September. 1676. six town lots 
were surveyed along the north side of 
this thoroughfare, between it and Fen- 
wick Creek — their frontage upon it ag- i 
gregating about half a mile. Of them, 
tlie one nearest the present dock con- | 
tained 16 acres, was laid out to John 
Smith, and was bounded as follows: j 
Frr)m a stake marked .IS. by the high- 
way, north by east 58 perches to a 
stake by Fenwick's River, or Creek: 
thence east by south 38 perches to a 
white oak mafked RH; thence south 
by west 78 perches to a stake marked 
RH. on the higl^way >thence west by 
north 38 perches to the place of begin- 
ning. Adjoining Smith, on the east. 
\\as the 16 acre lot of Roger Huckings, 
with a frontage of 38 perches; adjoin- 
ing Huckings on the east was the 16 
acre lot of Samuel Nicholson, with a 



frontage of 86 perches; adjolnlngr Nich- 
olson on the east was the 10 acre lot of 
Mark Reeve, with a frontage of 18 
perches; adjoining Reeve on the east 
was the 10 acre lot of Edward Lumley, 
with a frontage of 16 perches; and ad- 
joining Lumley on the east was the" 10 
acre lot of Robert Goulsbury, with a 
frontage of .... perches. (Fenwick's 
Sur., 1, 1, 1; Town Grants, 1, 3; Salem 
Sur., 1. 18.) 

In addition to his 16 acre lot. John 
Smith had 6 acres, which were deeded 
to him by Fenwick in 1679 (Town 
Grants, p. 5), and were bounded as fol- 
lows: From a stake marked JS, by 
the highway to Salem landing, along 
the west [should be east] side of the 
highway to a stake marked JS, by 
Fenwick's River; thence south along 
the west side of his 16 acre lot; thence 
to the place of beginning. These two 
adjoining lots, aggregating 22 acres, 
were sold by John Smith and wife 
Martha, of Alloways Creek, to Sarah 
Cannon, on June 4, 1683. and the deed 
recites the bounds of both lots. (Salem 
Deeds, 2. 137.) Sarah Cannon gave all 
her property to ner daughter, Sarah 
Pile. (Salem Wills, 2. 2.) On April 13. 
1686, William Hall, as attorney for 
Sarah Pile, sold the said 22 acres to 
Samuel Carpenter, who. on the same 
date, assigned this land to William 
Kelly, a weaver. (Salem Deeds, 4. 113 
117.) Kelly retained it until April 2 
1691. when he s Id it to William Hall 
late of Pilesgrove. but then of Man 
nington Creek, and his wife, Elizabeth 
(Salem Deeds. 5. 114.) By August 17 
ir.:t2. \Villiam Hall was an inn-holder 
Salem. (Salem Deeds, 5. 200.) Now. the 
so-called Bradway House stands on a 
part of the 16 acres originally laid out 
to John Smith — title to which has here 
been traced to William Hall. There is 
every reason to believe that this house, 
which bears upon its east gable the 
date. 1691, was built by William Hall, 



lO 



and that he had established it as his 
inn by 1692. His will, dated April 10, 
1713, devised to his son, William, the 
"capitall house" where the testator 
dwelt, with all the lots bought of Wil- 
liam Kelly. Salem records do not show 
that Edward Bradway ever owned a 
house or lot on the north side of Broad- 
way, between the wharf and Market 
Street. 

Edward Bradway, a bargeman or 
lighterman, of St. Paul, Shadwell, co. 
Middlesex, England, bought of Fenwick 
1000 acres on May 6, 1675; and on June 
23d, following, purchased a second 1000 
acres of John Edridge. (Salem No. 1, 
pp. 52, 110.) Bradway, his wife, his 
daughters Mary and Susannah, and 
three servants arrived in Salem in 
7 mo. [September], 1677.- (Meeting Rec.) 
The first land laid out to him, as far 
as the records disclose, was his tract 
of 984 acres on the south side of Allo- 
ways Creek. Next was surveyed to him 
his 984 acres on Stow Creek. Each 
purchaser of 1,000 acres had a right to 
a town lot of 16 acres in Salem, and 
Bradway had two there; but the rec- 
ords do not designate him as ever a 
resident of Salem, though undoubtedly 
he first lived there, as in the Meeting 
Records a minute is found showing 
that a committee of four was appointed 
on 12 mo. 2d, 1679 LFebruary 2, 1679- 
80], to view his house, and see if it 
were suitable for a meeting-house. As 
early as June 6, 1680, he was of Alio- > 
ways Creek (Salem Deeds, 5. 311); and | 
such was his specified abode at all 
later times. The records do not show j 
when his two town lots were surveyed, \ 
but neither of them was on Broadway, as 
clearly evidenced by the bounds named 
in the conveyances of them. The 16 
acre lot secured by virtue of his p;ur- 
chase from Fenwick was sold by Brad- 
way to Richard' Wilkinson, December 
23, 1680. On three sides, it was bound- 
ed by marsh, and the fourth side was 



not said to be on any highway. (Salem 
Deeds, 3. 22.) The other 16 acre lot 
he conveyed to his daughter, Mary 
Cooper, widow, on February 1, 1692-3. 
This lot then had a house upon it; 
was on a street running north-north- 
west; and was bounded as follows: 
From a red oak marked CW, by a 
highway, southwest by the southeast 
side of Christopher White's plantation 
80 perches, to a tree marked CW; 
thence east-southeast, by the marsh 
side, 16 perches to a tree marked EB; 
thence northeast 80 perches to a stake 
marked EB, by the wayside; thence 
north-northwest down the highway 48 
perches to place of beginning. (Salem 
Deeds, 5. 288.) There was a street 
named for Edward Bradway — and prob- 
ably this lot was upon it, which ap- 
pears of record as Bradways, Brada- 
ways, Broadwayes, and Broadawayes 
street (once, in 1689, as "Edward Brad- 
awayes street"), but no part of it is 
specified as running substantially east 
and west, as does present Broadway be- 
tween the wharf and Market Street. 
Upon this Bradway's Street, under its 
various spellings, Christopher Saun- 
ders had a 14 acre lot in 1679, which he 
sold to Jonathan Beere in 1686; Rich- 
ard Robinson had a 10 acre lot in 1679, 
which passed to Edward Lumley in 
1686-7; Joseph White had a 10 acre lot 
in 1684-5, which had been in the tenure 
of Charles Bagley; and Richard John- 
son had a 10 acre lot at the same time, 
wh:ch had formerly belonged to Henry 
Jcntngs, and adjoined that of Joseph 
White. The bounds of these various 
lot-j prove that the sti'eet upon which 
they were located had a corner in its 
cuirse, to which it ran northwesterly 
in one direction and southwesterly in 
the other. A portion, at least, of this 
highway retained its name as late as 
De«ember 10, 1737, for on that date a 
public road, forty-five feet wide, was 
lalJ. out "from the line of Mannington, 



on Keasby's Dam, to the main street 
in Salem," the survey of which road 
retds as follows: "Beginning at the 
Old Creek at the aforesaid Dam, and 
run west 33 rods, 10 links, to a stake 
corner; thence north 49 degrees west, 
3S rods to a street called Bradway's 
Street; and thence south 50 de- 
grees 30 minutes west, 98 rods, 20 
links, to the main street, on Penny Hill, 
v/hieh said road we do order to be 
opened on or by the first day of May 
nf'Xi. and at the same time we do va- 
cate the private road heretofore laid 
one fiom the aforesaid Dam." (Original 
poper in Salem Co. Hist. Soc. Archives.) 
E\ 'nf ntly the Bradway Street here 
named was not a part of Broadway, but 
wa.^ the northerly portion of present 
Johnson Street. 

JOHN FENWICK'S GRAVE 

The attention of the writer has been 
called to a movement for the erection 
oi a monument to mark John Fen- 
wick's last resting-place, as stated in 
an article printed last May in one of 
the county papers. Laudable as such 
a project is, we are met by the fact 
that no real proof has been presented 
as to the location of the grave. All 
the information we have concerning the 
matter is hearsay, or tradition, the true 
value of which is always uncertain un- 
less it can be unquestionably proved, 
for much hearsay has been found badly 
awry, when determined and proper ef- 
forts have been made to substantiate it. 

As evidence that Fenwick was inter- 
red in a certain locality, the statement 
of the late Robert G. Johnson is offer- 
ed. On page 36 of his brochure, we 
read that Fenwick died "at his planta- 
tion in Upper Marmington, which he 
called Fenwick's grove, • • • and 
was buried in the family burying 
ground about two hundred yards from 
the main road leading towards the 
poor house, and near the line of that 
farm. I believe there is nothing at 



II 



this time [1839] to mark the place 
where the remains of that adventurous 
and great man lie, except a thicket of 
briars and brambles." 

Johnson was mistaken in manv 
things, one of which was the location 
of Fort Elfsborg, in the erroneous sit- 
uation of which no Salem County man 
with whom he conversed on the sub- 
ject had disagreed. He knew that his 
statements were not wholly accurate, 
for on page 170 we find the following 
confession: 

"I am aware that the sketch which I 
have given you of the historical events 
thus detailed through a long series of 
years, embracing a period of four* gen- 
erations of mankind, must necessarily 
be imperfect, especially as I have been 
obliged to draw largely upon memory, 
in comparison to the documents whicn 
I possess, for the information derived 
from many of those, my near and dear 
friends, who have long since gone to 
their silent tombs." 

This author was born in 1771. It is 
in no degree probable that he became 
interested in history before his four- 
teenth year (1785). If at such early 
age he heard a statement as to the 
place of Fenwick's interment, it was 
one hundred and two years after the 
burial; and, for aught we know, It was 
many years later. He could have had 
no personal knowledge of the matter. 
What he said as to the situation of 
the grave must have been what he re- 
membered to have heard; or what he 
thought he remembered concerning it, 
or his own conclusions, based upon we 
know not what. At best, his evidence 
is purely hearsay. 

\\'hat and where is the proof that 
Fenwick had any "family burying 
ground?" The only members of his 
family who came to Salem were his 
three daughters; and each of their h]is- 
band.s had h's separate estate. Ann 
Hedge outlived her father more than 



12 



twenty-three years. Elizabeth Adams 
was alive February 12, 1682-3 (Salem 
Deeds, 2.19), but was not named in her 
father's will. Priscilla Champneys died 
soon after arrival, while Fenwick was 
residing- in Salem. We have no evi- 
dence as to where Priscilla and Eliz- 
abeth were buried; nor do we know of 
the decease of any of Fenwick's grand- 
children prior to his demise, or where 
they were interred when they passed 
away. 

The late Thomas Shoiirds has also 
been cited for the location of the 
grave. On page 12 of nis book, pub- 
lished in 1876, we find the following: 

"JoTin Fenwick was elected one of 
the members of that oody [the Legis- 
lature] from Salem county, in the fall 
of 1683, but being unwell, he left his 
home in Salem and went to Samuel 
Hedge's, his son-in-law, in Upper Man- 
nington, there to be cared for by his 
favorite daughter, Ann Hedge, in his last 
aays, for he died a short time after- 
wards at an age of 65 years. He re- 
quested before his death to be buried 
in the Sharp's family burying-ground, 
which was complied with. The said 
ground was formerly a part of the 
Salem County Almshouse farm, but 
now belongs to Elmer Reeve. If the 
ground could be designated where the 
grave-yard was, although the exact 
spot where Fenwick lays could not, it 
would be a grateful deed for his 
descendants and the citizens of this 
county to assist in erecting a monu- 
ment to his memory there on the spot 
where the grave-yard was." 

No author so unreliable as Shourds 
has ever written of Salem County, or 
its families. His mistakes were legion. 
In Leaming and Spicer, 457, we find 
John Fenwick's name among the mem- 
bers of the Legislature in May, 1683 — 
the spring of that year. Fenwick's 
will announces that he signed it on his 
sick bed at Fenwick's Grove, and that 



he requested to be buried in that place. 
This plantation of 3,000 acres he leased 
to Mary White on August 2, 1683, for 
twenty-one years, and devised to his 
grandson, Fenwick Adams, when the 
latter should be of age, who was to 
live there provided he behaved peace- 
ably to Mary White. Upon it was lo- 
cated the manor house, in whicii the 
executors were to have liberty to hold 
courts, and where were household 
goods and books. It is evident, from 
the will, that this was not Samuel 
Hedge's domicile. 

No person named Sharp resided with- 
in the limits of Salem County earlier 
than 1704, when Isaac Sharp married 
Margaret Braithwaite (Meeting Rec), 
and is said to have established his 
liome at "Blessington," now Sharptown, 
about two miles north of the alleged 
location of the graveyard. One of their 
descendants has informed the writer 
that the land which included the burial- 
place was bought by Joseph Sharp, son 
of Isaac, about 1750 — nearly seventy 
years after Fenwick's death; and a 
mortgage executed by Joseph, in 1769. 
shows that he purchased property in 
the vicinity in 1752. 

In 1876, Shourds did not know where 
his "Sharp's family burying-ground" 
was located, as his language clearly 
shows; yet, ten years later — without 
any evidence that he had obtained proof 
in the meantime, he is said to have 
agreed with Samuel Kelty upon the 
place where Fenwick was interred- 
These two men, with Dr. Joseph Hedge 
Thompson, went to the alleged spot in 
1886 — two hundred and three years 
after Fenwick's demise; and, in 
Thompson's report of the visit, the 
following statement appears: "Every 
vestige of the sacred purpose to which 
this ground was devoted has long 
since been effaced, and crops are an- 
nually gathered from" it. According to 
another portion of this report, the 



13 



Sharp graveyard was without the 
bounds of Fenwick's Grove, in Dr. 
Thompson's estimation, for he remark- 
ed that Fenwick requested to be In- 
terred on the Grove land, "but foi- 
some unknown reason his wish was not 
complied with and his remains were 
deposited in the burying ground of the 
Sharp family." This report adopted 
Shourds' view that Fenwick passed 
his last days at the house of Samuel 
Hedge. 

William Stuard, a colored man, is 
also brought forward in support of the 
situation of Fenwick's grave; but his 
testimony amounts only to statements 
that on the farm of Elmer Reeve there 
were gravestones in 1848, which were 
removed by the owner of the land dur- 
ing the following two or three years, 
when the ground was plowed up. 
"There was talk at that time of putting 
a monument to Fenwick's grave," he 
said, "but they did not know exactly 
which it was." This was nearly forty 
years before Shourds' and Kelty's ami- 
cable agreement; and more than one 
hundred and sixty-five years after Fen- 
wick's decease. Not one of the stones 
referred to bv this witness was iden- 
tified as that of any named person. 

John B. Reeve, son of Elmer, is quot- 
ed as remembering "when a boy see- 
ing these gravestones carted from this 
graveyard, » * * and that these, 
with quoit stones gathered from the 
farm, were sold for masony." This 
witness also "often heard his father 
refer to Fenwick's burial in the old 
graveyard." We are not told when 
Elmer Reeve listened to the allegation, 
or who uttered it. 

I^astly, the statement of Mrs. Clark 
Pettit is cited, who "reports that her 
father often referred to the spot, tell- 
ing her that his grandfather, who was 
born in 1750, and lived to the age of 
81 years, used to point out to him 
when a boy, this location as the place 



where John Fenwick was buried, des- 
ignating the same site as that fixed up- 
on by Messrs. Thompson, Shourds and 
Kelty;" and Phyllis Moore agreed with 
these gentlemen. If we assume that 
Mrs. Pettit's great-grandfather, at the 
early age of fourteen, was told where 
Fenwick was said to hav€ been buried, 
it would have been eighty-one years 
after the interment; and it may have 
been much later. As Mrs. Pettit's father 
was born in 1815, he would hardly have 
heard of the matter until about one 
hundred and forty-five years after 
Fenwiok's death. 

Nothing is commoner than mistakes 
in dates, names and localities. Erron- 
eous associations of individuals with 
places are very frequent. Memory 
plays us all many tricks. What ori- 
ginally were only conjectures, are often 
later asserted to have been stated as 
f?cts. Remarks but a few days, or 
weeks, old are wonderfully changed in 
passing from mouth to mouth, as we 
all know. What, then, is to be said 
as to the accuracy of attempted repe- 
titions during a century and more? 
No one has ever claimed that a stone 
had marked Fenwick's grave, or that 
anything had designated it, as far as 
we are aware. Burial places on pri- 
vate property were abundant in the 
olden time. In 1764, when we have 
assumed that the elder Mr. Austin, as 
a boy. may have heard where Fenwick's 
remains were said to have been de- 
posited, there is no probability that 
an>^ one was alive, who, even as a 
child, had attended the obsequies. It 
is quite possible that the alleged sit- 
uation of the grave was based upon 
the statement of some one person, 
whose memory of what he had heard 
in the matter was badly awry — whose 
association of name and place was 
wrong; or who stated as a fact what 
had been merely conjecture. 



M 

A well-known author, of much ex- 
perience with hearsay evidence in con- 
nection with local history, has remark- 
ed: "Sometimes very old people assert 
th:ng-s as facts, which they verily be- 
lieve and have often told, only because 
their extreme age has destroyed the 
power of accurate discrimination — they 
confound things ; and yet they seem so sure 
and so plausible that we are constrained to 
believe them, until subsequent official 
or written data of the true time and 
circumstances disclose the truth. * 

* * If these never come to light to 
contradict the former assertion, the 
oft repeated tale goes down to pos- 
terity unmolested forever. In this 
manner the oldest persons in Philadel- 
phia had all a false cause assigned for 
the name of 'Arch street,' and it was 
only the records of the courts which 
set me right." ("Watson's Annals of 
Phila., 2. 14.) 

While, at present, we may not be 
able to offer good evidence that Fen- 
wick's interment did not take place in 
what came to be known as the Sharp 
graveyard, we can deny that any prop- 
er proof has been presented that this 
was the spot, for all is hearsay con- 
cerning it. Further, this is not the 
only location tliat has been claimed as 
that where Fenwick was buried, for it 
has been asserted that his sepulcher 
was the top of Big Mannington Hill. 
These rival sites are nearly a mile 
apart. 

Fenwick's earliest residence in New 
Jersey was in Salem Town. Later, he 
built his manor house in Fenwick's 



Grove, on land which he located under 
John Ashfield's assignment to him of 
1677. There is every probability that 
this house was his residence during the 
last years of his life; and that within 
five hundred feet of it ne was buried. 
Unquestionably define the position of 
this manor house, and we have the 
probable vicinity of his grave; but to- 
ward which of the thirty-two points 
of the compass from this dwelling, or 
just how far from it, his body was de- 
posited, there is only the barest possi- 
bility that any one will ever be able 
to prove. Why, then, under the condi- 
tions which have been stated, should 
an attempt be made to erect a monu- 
ment purporting even approximately to 
mark the grave? Delusions as to Sa- 
lem County history are far too abund- 
ant. Why run the risk of perpetuating 
one in a matter of this importance? 

The real object of this movement is 
to honor the man. No place is so suit- 
able for that purpose as the city of 
Salem — ^for within its boundaries the 
colonists first established themselves; 
Salem was Fenwick's and their head- 
quarters; it has always been the county 
seat; its population is three times that 
of the largest borough or township 
within the county. Here, a memorial 
will be viewed by thousands, while 
comparatively few will ever see it on 
any spot in Upper Mannington. Let 
the citizens of the county unite upon 
Salem, which is pre-eminently the 
proper historical location for a monu- 
ment to John Fenwick's memory. The 
site of his grave is unknown. 




014 208 609 8 4