Skip to main content

Full text of "The history of Cape May County, New Jersey : from the aboriginal times to the present day"

See other formats

[if kliiiJY^ -;■■■'■ ::/'"':': ' ■■ 



Cape lay County, 













Lewis Townsend Stevens. 


Lkwiis T. Stkvkns, Flbi.i.sher. ^ 

1897. '->' , 

Vvto - ' '" 

Entered according to act of Congress, in 1897, by 
In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. D. C. 





'The History of Cape May County" is the resuk of many 
years of research, and the author hopes that it will meet with 
the approbation of the public. Some ten years ago the au- 
thor began the keeping of a scrap book of Cape May county 
history, among other things, and this constant- accumulation 
of facts resulted, al^out a year ago. in a determination on the 
part of the author to prepare a history of the county, which 
would portray its gradual development and the progress of 
its people from the earliest times. The cause which led to 
its preparation principally was the fact that no history had 
ever before been published, excepting the sketch of Dr. 
IMaurrce Beesley. in 1857. which contained only fifty printed 

The information obtained for this volume was largely sup- 
plemented from the collections of the Xew York Historical 
Society, the Xew Jersey Historical Society and the Pennsyl- 
vania Historical Society. Many facts were gathered also 
from the articles of Francis H. Lee. Esq.. of Trenton, and 
the author has also been aided in his work by Colonel J. 
Granville Leach, of Philadelphia; County Clerk Edward L. 
Rice, and Mr. Aaron Leaming. The diaries of Aaron Lea- 
rning the first, of Aaron Leaming the second, and of Jacob 
Spicer the second have been perused and liberal extracts 
made from the same. The work of Dr. Beesley has been 
Avoven into this volume and proper credit given to hii;> 
for every fact for which he is responsible. 

The county of Cape May has a most honorable history 
and the one aim of the author has been to tell the facts as he 
finds them and yet try to keep away from the dryness which 
characterizes such works. There may be errors in the vol- 
ume, but the author has been very careful in the verification 
of dates and names. The dififerent ways of spelling family 
names is caused by the literal copying of the records from 
which they are taken. 

If this volume serves to preserve to the people the history 
of the countv, the author will feel that he has been repaid 
for his efiforts. LEWLS T. STEVENS. 

Cape May, May 15, 1897. 


By Theophilus T. Price, M. D. 

Tune: '"Dearest May."' 
(Revised l)y the author for this work.) 
Dear land of, my nativity! 

And scene of childhood's play, 
I fondly sing my love to thee 

In humble, fervent lay. 
Let others roam who have a mind; 

With thee Fd rather stay, 
For many ties there arc that bind 

]\Iy heart to thee. Cape May. 


Cape May! Cape May! 

My thoughts to thee will stray 
With fond delight, in memories bright, 
W^ien I am far away. 

Thy sunny skies look down serene 

Where warbling woodlands lay; 
And fertile fields stretch out between 

The ocean and the bay. 
And health on every breeze is borne 

That o'er thee takes its way; 
And plenty pours her teeming horn 

Into thy lap, Cape May. 

Ihy daughttrs' praiee truth gladly sptaks, 

While fond emotions rise; 
The glow of beauty gilds their cheeks 

And sparkles in their eyes; 
And hearts of love and tenderne.^.> 

Within their bosoms play; 
Their virtues fair adorn and bless 

Thy happy homes, Cape May! 

Thy sons, a generous patriot band. 

Hospitable and brave, 
Love loyally their native land. 

Their homes, and circling wave; 
Bold are their hearts where duty lies, 

Or honor points the way; 
And noble, honest men arise. 

Thy proudest boast, Cape May! 

I love to breathe thy healthful air; 

I love thy sky and sea; 
I love thee, for my friends are here, 

And all that's dear to me. 
I love thee, for thou art my home. 

And wheresoe'er I stray 
The golden chain of memory 

Still binds me to Cape IMay! 

Chorus: Cape- May! Cape May! etc. 


Chapter I — The Indians and the D-iitch Explorers.... 9 

Chapter II — Pioneers and Whaling 23 

Chapter III — The Settlers and Their Xew Homes.... 36 
Cha])ter I\' — Life Early in the Eighteenth Century... 59 
Chapter \' — Development of Religious Denominations 70 
Chapter \'l — Maritime Tendencies and Cattle Owning 79 

Chapter \ II — Ancient Loans and Taxes 90 

Chapter VIII — The Religious Controversies 98 

Chapter IX — West Jersey Society Rights 106 

Chapter X — Jacob Spicer and His Sayings 1 16 

Cnapter XI — Aaron Leaming and His Times 132 

Chapter XH — John Hatton, the Tory 143 

Chapter XIII — Preparations for War 171 

Chapter XIV — The Revolution Begins 183 

Chapter XV — Cape May Patriots 195 

Chapter X\''I — The Ending and Independence 208 

Chapter XVII — The County in 1800 224 

Chapter XVIII— The War' of .1812 233 

Chapter XIX — Progress After the War 248 

Chapter X^X — Xoted Men of a Generation 267 

Chapter XXI — The Decade Before the Rebellion .... 280 

Chapter XXII — Opening of the Civil War 301 

Chapter XXII — First Xew Jersey Cavalry 316 

Chapter X.XIV — The Enlistments of 1862 328 

Chapter XX\' — The Campaigns of 1864 and 1865. . . .344 

Chapter XXVI — Life Following the Rebellion 355 

Chapter XXVII — Fifteen Years of Prosperity 375 

Chapter XX\TII — Distinguished Visitors 393 

Chapter XXIX — Cape Island 405 

Chapter XXX — Cape .May City 429 

■Cha[.ter XXXI— The Boroughs 445 

Appendix A — Members of the Legislature 450 

Appendix B — Boards of Freeholders 453 

Appendix C — County Oflficials 463 

Appendix E — Municipal Officers 472 

Appendix D — Postmasters 465 

Appendix F — Table of Population 480 


Page 43 — For "Thomas Caesar Hoskins" read "Thomas 
Pland, Caesar Hoskins." 

Page 206 — For "Daniel Ganetson" read "Daniel Garret- 

Pag-e 338 — For "Willoby Snyder" read "Willoby Souder." 

Page 360 — For "Miss Emma T. Brooks" read "Miss Enmia 
T. Sutton." 

Page 393 — For "thunpike" read "shunpike." 

Page 423— For "Mashel" read "Maskel." 


Gold Spriiia; rn'sbyterian f niiinli Frontispiece 

M;q> o.t' Cape ^Iny County 177 

Townseiid Cloat of Anns 37 

Steamboat l.aiulins". Ca]»o May I'oint, in 1859 189 

Cou^rass Hall. Ctipe Island, in 1X59 211 

The Cfli-lton. Capo May Point 23o 

President Harrison's Cotlane, Cai)e May Point 245 

Maiin' \illa, Cape May 251 

Josdna Townsond 254 

The Jail of 1829 257 

Sev. Moses Williamson 261 

Jonathan Hand 268 

James L. Smith 270 

Jose))h S. Leach 280 

The Courl House 283 

Jesse H. 1 )iverty 288 

Dr. Ala nriee Beeslev 289 

William S. Hoo|)er 291 

Geor^je W. Smith 313 

Heary W. Sa wver 319 

William J. Sewell 347 

Joaathan F. I;eaming . 353 

Clerk's and .Surrogate's Oftices 357 

Thomas U. Brooks 860 

Kiehard R. Ijeamins; 367 

Dr. Alexander Young 368 

Joseph E. Huyhes . . '. 369 

William T. Stoveas H76 

Waters B. Miller 878 

A If i-ed Cooper 381 

Thomas E. I aidlam 388 

T'-r. Walter S. Learning 390 

Enarene C. Cole ^^91 

Dr. Anna M. Ha nd 897 

The .Fail of 1S94 399 

Ed"Mind L. P.oss 400 

AQd'-<'\v J. Tomlin 401 

The .Syn v>'ogne. Woodbine 402 

Aaron' \"' ' "^iid 403 

Rohei-t E. Hand 404 Baptist Chu- < h. Cape May 421 

Dr. James Me^aay 480 

Joseph Q. ^A'illiams 482 

Frederiek J Melvin 435 

James M. E. Hildreth 441 




The first inhaljirants of what is now the county of Cape 
May, as far as history teaches us, were the red men of the 
forest. These aborigines were of that great tribe of the Al- 
gonquins, which had their first home about Ottawa, Canada^ 
and being of a roaming and nomadic disposition, more so 
than most other famihes, they naturahy cared httie for agri- 
cultural pursuits and wandered over the country and were 
found east of the ^Mississippi River, through all the I.iiddle, 
Northerii Central and New England States. Of all the 
tribes who were most unfortunate were the Algonquins. 
Disease took thousands of them away and the greec'y set- 
tlers killed them off like birds. The branch of the Algon- 
quins w^hich inhabited New Jersey were the Lenni-Lenapes.. 
who happily were treated honorably and ])aid for their land 
by the settlers the prices demanded by their chi^. fs. In- 
dians, as all know, are fond of game and during the hunt- 
ing season Cape iMay had its share of the inhabitants of the 
forest. Birds of varieties abounded. \\'iii=on, the ornithol- 
ogist, who did most of his writing and studying at Beesley's 
Point, said, "If birds are good judges of excellence in cli- 
mate. Cape May has the finest climate in the United States, 
for it has the greatest variety of birds." 

The last king of the Lenni-Lenapes, Kirig Nummy, is 
buried on Nummy Island near Plereford Inlet, and it is said 
that all Indians left the county after the ceremony of burial 
and journeyed to Indiana, settling on the banks of th°- 
Wabash river. 

The Lenni-Lenapes were called often the Delawares, and 
were the most influential tribe in this section, as well as the 


most peaceable. The name of the particular tribe inhabiting 
Cape May county, living- at Cape May Point, was the Kech- 
•emeches. The Delaware river was called the Whittuck, and 
the province, now New Jersey, was called Skaakbee, or 
Sheyichbi. The name of Ttickahoe is of Indian origin, and 
Ttieans where deer are shy or difficult to approach. Hunting 
ior deer about the head of that river, which was enjoyed by 
the Indian, was indul.i^od in by the residents of the county 
duitil 1890, since which time very few have been seen there. 
It lias been supposed by many that the number of aborig- 
ines in this State when first visited b}- Europeans was con- 
siderable. That they were very numerous in this county 
there cannot be any doubt, from the great quantities of 
shells found contiguous to the seaboard. Many hundreds 
of bushels are to be seen, in numerous places in one mass, 
and the soil in many places abounds with them and is en- 
riched thereb}'. There is a singular, and perhaps, unac- 
countable fact, respecting these deposits; the shells are, uni- 
versally, so broken that seldom a piece is found larger than 
a shilling. Many Indian relics have been discovered, such 
as isinglass, medals, stone hatchets, arrow heads, earthen- 
ware of a rough description, beads, javelin heads, etc. 

Dr. Maurice Beesley, in his "Sketch of the Early History 
of Cape May" (1857), says of the Indians: 

"Of the aborigines of Cape May little seems to be known. 
It has been argued they were very inconsiderable at the ad- 
vent of the Europeans. Plantagenet in 1648 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 Old- 
mixon, in 1708, computes that 'they had been reduced to 
one-quarter of that number.' It cannot 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 these burying grounds is on the 
farm formerly Joshua Garretson'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 


Ijones 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 together. From the superciliary ridges, 

which were well developed, the frontal bone receded almost 

•on a direct line to the place of the occipital and parietal 

sutures, leaving no forehead, and had the appearance of 

liaving been done by artificial means, as practiced at present 

-on the Columbia among the Flat Heads. A jaw-bone of 

huge dimensions was likewise found, which was coveted by 

the observer; but the superstitions of the owner of the soil 

Tbelieving it was sacrilegious, and that he would be visited 

'by the just indignation of Heaven if he suffered any of the 

teeth to be removed, prevailed on us to return it again to its 

imother earth. 

"In 1630, when sixteen miles square was purchased of 
-jiine Indian chiefs, it would infer their numbers must have 
3been considerable, or so numerous a list of chiefs could not 
Tiave 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 by some of the oldest inhabitants, 
•that in the early part of the eighteenth century the remnant 
•of Indians 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 
ithey decided to emigrate; which determination they carried 
idnto eflfect the same night. Whither they went no one knew, 
nor were they heard from afterwards. 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 

"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 facilities for supplying them. Civili- 
zation, his bane and dire enemy, smote him in a vital part; 
Sie dwindled before it as the reed before the fiame : and was 


soon destroyed by its iiiHuence, or compelled to emigrate 
to other regions to prolong for a while the doom affixed to* 
his name and nation. 

"The following (synopsis of an) Indian deed, and believed 
to be the only one that has been handed down, was found, 
among the papers of Jacob Spicer, and is now in the pos- 
session of Charles Ludlam, Esq., of Dennisville. 

"It was given January ist, 1687, by Panktoe to John- 
Dennis, for a tract of land near Cape Island, viz.: 'Begin- 
ning 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 lands 
and marsh lying and between the bounds above mentioned 
and Cape Island.' 

"The witnesses were Abiah Edwards and John Carman.. 
Panktoe's mark bore a striking resemblance to a Chinese 

It is a boast of the citizens of all X^ew Jersey, and espe- 
cially of the land owners, that not a foot of its soil was ever 
taken by fraud or force from tlie red man. The first Dutch 
settlers purchased theirs, as did the Swedes subsequently, 
and later the English Friends, or Quakers. And the suc- 
ceeding proprietors all pursued the same honorable course. 

During the period of exploration, in the sixteenth cen- 
tury, Cape May's shores were probably seen by many bold 
navigators who did not land. Being partially surrounded 
with water and with lonp", low marshes between the beaches 
and the main land, and possessing no natural harbor for 
vessels, excepting a slight one on the Delaware Bay side,, 
just above the point of the cape, the hardy ocean voyager- 
pressed on to places more promising, where ships could 
ride at anchor and be safe from the wind and storm. 

John Cabot, the loyal Englishman, and son, Sebastian 
Cabot, who made a voyage to America in 1498, may have 
seen Cape May and explored it, because it is recorded that 
he explored the coast of what is now New England and as 
far south as Cape Hatteras. John de Verrazani, a Floren- 
tine navigator, sailing under the flag of France, is also be- 
lieved to have passed Cape May, and is believed to have 


rounded the Cape in the spring- of 1524 in tlie "Dolphin." 
The county was in the territory claiineil l)y \ errazani as 
Is[e\v France. 

Cape May county, the boundary of \vhich has not been 
changed to a very great extent since its organization, is 
bounded on the north by the Tuckahoe river, which rises in 
the great cedar swamp in the northern part of the county, 
and which inter-locks with Dennis creek, the latter empty- 
ing into the Delaware Bay. This cedar swamp in which 
they rise stretches for seventeen miles across the county. 
That portion of the land north of the Tuckahoe river was 
first known as Gloucester county, but became Atlantic 
county when the latter political division was formed. 

Being a level county, with an alluvial formation, and with 
the unpromising beaches along the ocean side, the early ex- 
plorers who were hunting for gold mines had no time to 
tarry long upon them. They left it for those who wanted 
to settle down to agricultural pursuits, for which the terri- 
tory was excellently calculated. The beaches formed excel- 
lent p!accr. for tlic pasture of!e, and the sounds between 
the beaches and main land were places to fish and gather 
the clams and oysters which abounded in the waters. The 
soil of the county was composed generally of sand, loam 
and gravel, Avhich was covered in many places with oak, 
while in the northern end much pine was found. 

By right of the discoveries of the Cabots the English 
claimed about all of North America, and in 1584 King James 
granted a patent to Sir Walter Raleigh, which embraced 
the provinces of New Jersey and New York, then all one 
and known under the name of Virginia. This grant he 
soon ignored, and in 1606 granted a new charter for Vir- 
ginia in which was included the territory now known as the 
New England States, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylva- 
nia and Maryland, to the Duke of York, afterwards King 
■of England. 

By this time New Jersey and adjacent lands were claimed 
also by the Swedes and Dutch. Previous to this second 
grant of King James I, about the year 1600, Balthazer 
Moncheron, of Holland, and several of his associated 
patrons of discovery, moved bv "terrors, sufferings and 


failures of their explorers, abandoned the then prevailing: 
idea of a northwest route to India, and left this question to. 
the English and Danes for settlement." But the works, 
they had done acted as a sprouting seed, out of which came 
the Dutch East India Company's determination to make am 
exploring move. The notion got into the heads of its offi- 
cers, and against the advice of Moncheron, the Amsterdam* 
directors became jealous of Denmark and England, and de- 
cided to se^k the route. Having received seventy-five per 
centum dividend on their stock, they could easily afford 
the venture. "De Halve Maan" (Half Moon), of forty last: 
or eighty tons, with two masts, was fitted out for an arctic- 
vovage. Sir Henry Hudson, an Englishman, who had 
already made two voyages to the new world in search of 
the self-same passage, was tired of by his own country, and 
happened to be in Amsterdam at the time. It was nO" 
trouble for this powerful monopoly, the East India Com- 
pany, to secure the services of Hudson, whose surname was- 
afterward changed to Hendrick. He was given charge of 
the ship, assisted by an under skipper and twenty men_ 
Robert Juet was made Hudson's clerk and became historiara 
of the voyage. On the fourth of April. 1609, he set out for 
the northern coast of Norway. He sailed northward untif 
icebergs drove him to turn the prow of his ship to the south. 
In July he reached Newfoundland and later he explored' 
the coast of Maine, and in August he found himself in the 
Chesapeake Bay. Sailing northward, on the 28th of the- 
month, he entered Delaware Bay, which was called South 
Bay by the Dutch, and when barely escaping shipwreck- 
ran the Half Moon inside the bay and anchored around the- 
point of the Cape, probably opposite Town Bank. He- 
spent a day in exploring about the Cape. Vander Donk 
says in his account, "The bay of the South river was the- 
first place of which the men of the Halve Maan took pos- 
session, before any Christian had been there." No settle- 
ment was attempted by Hudson's crew. They sailed up- 
along the bay side of the county for some distance, but en- 
countering flats, which are common there to this day, turned 
back, and Vander Donk reports "finding the water shoal,, 
and the channel impeded by bars of sand, he did not ven- 


ture to explore it." The craft then sailed north and intO'^ 
North river, which has since taken the name of its explorer,, 

Hudson's explorations, with others, created a desire 
among the tradesmen of the Netherlands to seek more 
business, and in answer to the petition of a number of mer- 
chants a general edict was issued by the States-General of. 
Holland on March 27th, 1614, for the encouragement of 
discovery and promotion and protection of an aborginal 
trade. The ."latcs-General enacted that the disco\'erers of 
"any new courses, havens, countries or places," should have 
"the exclusive privilege of resorting to and frequenting the 
same for four voyages," and all intruders were to be pun- 
ished by a fine and a confiscation of their property. A num- 
ber of merchants, principally of Amsterdam, formed a com- 
pany for the making of discoveries and to accept the benefit 
of the edict. They fitted •C)ut five vessels to follow in the 
wake of Hendrick Hudson, with Manhattan Island (now 
New York) as their objective point, from which to beginv 
their operations. One of these crafts was named the "For- 
tune," and sailed from Hoorn, a port in Northern Holland,, 
with Cornelius Jacobsen Mey as navigator. Another of 
the five, also called the "Fortune," was in care of Com- 
mander Hendrick Christiansen. The "Tiger," another,,, 
was navigated by Captain Aariaen Filock. They made a. 
few discoveries and gave up their work. 

The natural successors of this company was the Dutch 
West India Company, which was formed in Flolland in 
1621. The States-General granted the Dutch West India. 
Company a charter in 1622, by which the company was . 
given possession of the whole of the domain of New Jer-- 
sey. On the 21st of June of the year following it secured i 
the assent of the States-General to its prepared articles of 
internal government for its colony. Three ships were fitted 
out and a party of settlers made up. and all given into the 
charge of Captain Cornelius Jacobsen Mey. He sailed in. 
the "Blyde Broodschap" (Glad Tidings), well provided with 
the means of subsistence and with articles of trade. Mey 
was styled the First Director of New Netherlands. He 
reached Manhattan Island in May, 1623, and then pro- 


cecded to examine the coast where Hendrick Hudson had 
preceded him fourteen years earher. Mey encountered the 
-French, who had attempted to take possession, and repulsed 
them, and a second time lie met the French, who had re- 
newed the attempt to take possession of "Zuyt Baai" (Dela- 
ware Bay). We are told that the French were driven off by 
the Dutch settlers and traders. 

About four }'ears previous to this Cornelius Hendrick- 
sen, in the "( )nrest," had been at Cape May and left a look- 
out there. 

It was during this voyage in 1623, to Delaware Bay, that 
Captain Mey gave to the Cape his name, and christened it 
Cape Mey, by which name it has ever since been known. 
He explored the bay, which was called "Zuydt" by the 
Dutcl2, while by the English "Delaware," and the Indians 
""Pontaxit," and river, and at length built a fort at Techaa- 
cho, upon a stream called by the natives Sassachon. This 
stream is now called Timber Creek and empties into the 
Delaware a few miles below Camden. He called it P'ort 
Nassau, and this may really be called the first attempt of a 
settlement on the eastern shore of the Delaware river. Cap- 
tain Mey announced to his home company the discovery of 
■"certain new populous and fruitful lands, along Zuydt 
Riviere." He exjilored the Atlantic coast as far north as 
Cape Cod. He named the l)ay of Xew York "Port Mev;" 
the Delaware, "Xew Port Mey;" its nortli cape, "Cape 
Mey," and its sou'h rape, "Cape Cornelius." C)nly one of 
his designations has b^en handed down to posterity, and 
that has undergone some change in its orthography; the 
■"e" being changed to "a." The Delaware river was known 
at this time under various names, some of which were 
South, Nassau, Prince Kendrick's, and Charles". 

The West India Company, after the reports received from 
Mey, endeavored. In- the offer of many advantayfes. to in 
duce others to engage with them. They granteil charters 
to individuals, subject only to Indian claims. Some pur- 
chased through agents lands on both sides of the river. 
When Captain Mey returned to Holland he left at Manhat- 
tan Island several families, sailors and men to explore and 
settle on the South river. 


Upon the voyages and discoveries of Hudson and Mey 

"tlie name of New Netherlands was a])phed to all the coun- 

ttry lying on the coast between Cape Cod and Cape lien- 

riopen, which claim was disputed by France and (ireat 


Of Cornelius Jacobsen iMt-y, who was formally installed 
during the summer of 1623. as first Director-( leneral of 
ZS'ew Netherlands, many good things are said. '" 'Tis bet- 
ter to govern by love and friendship than by force," wrote 
'liis superiors in Holland; and he acted in the spirit of his 
'instructions to "the great contentment of his people." 
Among the Indians at P^ort Nassau, Aley's little colony of 
brides and grooms were unharmed, wdiile at Fort Orange 
-and Maidiattan the Indians "were all as cpiiet as lambs, and 
•came and traded with all the freedom imaginable." When 
rat a time the residents of Manhattan were suffering from a 
m^ant of clothes and stores, he supplied them from his ship. 

Director William A^erhulst, a successor of Mey, in pre- 
siding over New Netherlands, visited the Delaware in 1625', 
■ and extended his voyage up the river as far as the falls at 

In the meanwhile that the Dutch were attempting to dis- 
cover and colonize along the shores of the Delaware Bay 
-and river. King Gustavus Adolphus, of Sweden, at the sug- 
gestion of William Usselinx, of Holland, who in 1590 had 
proposed the Dutch West India Company, undertook to 
Foimd a colony on its banks also, but none of them are 
fenown to have settled at Cape May. 

In 1629 the West India Company endeavored to excite 
ijidividual enterprise into colonizing the country which thev 
taow claimed. A number of the directors entered .into a 
scheme, the outcome of which was they called themselves 
pjatroons for establishing colonies, in each of which were to 
foe fifty settlers. Each patroon was granted a charter by the 
'•company, in which the patroon was given exclusive prop- 
erty in the large tracts of lands with extensive manorial 
-and seignorial rights. Thus encouraged, several of the 
'directors for whose use, probably, the charter was designed, 
smong them Godyn, Bloemmart, Pauuw and Van Rense- 
laer were most distinguished, resolved to make larire terri- 


torial acquisitions. These directors sent out from Amster- 
dam three ships, and the whole management of the afifair 
on this side of the Atlantic was entrusted to Wooter Van. 
Twiller, a clerk of the Amsterdam department of the com- 
pany. He was to select the lands for the individual directors.. 
He entered the Delaware Bay with a ship and party about 
June I St, 1629, a few days before the adoption of their char- 
ter by Holland, and landed on the south side of the bay^ 
where he bought of three chiefs of an Indian tribe there a 
tract of land for Godyn about Cape "Henloop," or "Tn- 
loop." now known as Cape Henlopen. 

As soon as the settlement on the south side of the bay 
had become fairly inhabited, Skipper Peter Heyssen, of the 
ship Walrus, visited the Cape May shore and as agents of 
Samuel Godyn and Samuel Bloenmiaert. bought of ten In- 
dian chiefs on, says an account. May 5, 1630, which sale was 
afterwards made a matter of record under date of June 3,. 
1 63 1, a tract of land four miles along the bay from Cape 
May to the north, and extending four miles inland, con- 
taining an area of sixteen square miles. The deed for this 
land, which is still preserved among the old colonial rec- 
ords, reads as follows: 

"We, Director and Council of New Netherland, residing 
on the Island of Manhattan at Fort Amsterdam, under the 
jurisdiction of Their Noble High Mightiness, the Lords- 
State's-General of the United Netherlands and the Incor- 
porated West India Company, Department of Amsterdam^ 
attest and declare herewith that to-day, date underwritten, 
appeared Peter Heyssen, skipper of the ship "Walvis," at 
present lying in the South river, and Gillis Hosset, com- 
missary on the same, who declare that on the 5th day of 
May, last past, before them appeared personally, Sawo- 
w^onwe, Wvoyt, Pemhake, Mekowetick, Techepepewoya^ 
Mathemek, Sacoock, Anehoopeon. Janqueno and Paka- 
hake, lawful owners, proprietors and inhabitants of the east 
side of Goddyn's East bay, called Cape de Maye, who for 
themselves in proportion of their own shares and for all the 
other owners in regard to their shares of the same land, de- 
clare of their own accord and deliberatelv in their said 


qualities, to have transported, ceded and conveyed as law- 
ful, unalienable and free property by virtue and title of sale 
and in consideration of a certain quantity of goods, which 
they, the conveyors, acknowledge in their said quality to- 
have received and accepted before the passing of this con- 
tract, and they herewith transport, cede and convey, to and 
in behoof of the Noble Honorable Samuel Godyn and 
Samuel Bloemmaert (who are absent and for whom they 
had accepted the hereafter described land subject to the 
usual reservation) to wit: the east side of Godyn's bay or 
Cape de Maye, reaching 4 miles from the said cape to- 
wards the bay and 4 miles along the coast southward, and 
another 4 miles inland, being 16 square miles, with all in- 
terests, rights and privileges which were vested in them- 
selves in their aforesaid quality, constituting and delegating 
the aforesaid purchasers in their own stead as real and 
actual owners thereof and giving and surrendering at the 
same time to their Honors, full, absolute and irrevocable 
power, authority and special charge, that tamquam actores- 
at procuratores in rem propriam the Noble Messrs. Godyn 
and lUoemmaert or those who might hereafter receive their 
property, enter ui^^n, possess in peace, inhabit, cultivate, 
keep, use, do with, trade and dispose of the afore described 
land as they would do with their own inherited lands and 
fiefs, without that they, the conveyors, shall have, reserve 
or keep in the least degree any particle of claim, right or 
privilege thereon, be it of ownership, authority or juris- 
diction, but for the behalf as aforesaid, they herewith en- 
tirely and absolutely desist from, give up, abandon and re- 
nounce it now and forever, promising further not only to 
keep, fulfil and execute firmly, inviolately and irrevocably 
in infinitum this, their contract and what might be done 
hereafter on the authority thereof, but also to deliver the 
said tract of land and keep it free against everybody, from 
any claim, challenge or incumbrance which any body might 
intend to create; as well as to have this sale and conveyance 
approved and confirmed by the remainder of the co-owners, 
for whom they are trustees: all this under the obligations 
required by law, in good faith, without evil intent or deceit. 
In testimony whereof this has been confirmed by our usual 


.signature and our seal appended thereto. Done on the 
..aforesaid Island of Manhattan, at Fort Amsterdam, the 3d 
^of June, A. D. 1631." 

The above patent and one for land on the south side of 
ihe bay were issued by Peter Minuit, while Director of New 
-iSletherland, and this is the only document found in Holland 
-by j\Ir. Brodhead, as having come down to the present time 
from the West India Company, the rest having been sold 
;as waste paper. 

Gillis Hosset, or Osset. was a colonist, born in Holland. 
He was commander of the De Vries expedition, mentioned 
-later. He sailed from the Texel on December 12, 1630, in 
the ship "Walrus.' He built a house on the Delaware side 
■of the bay, and because of an attempt to play a trick on 
some Indians was killed by them in December, 163 1. The 
;5ixteen square miles which was purchased was in the pos- 
:session of the Lenni-Lenape Indians. This was the first 
recorded purchase of the natives within the limits of the 

At the time of Godyn's and Bloemmaert's purchase the 
"marshes of Cape May were very "extensive and the sounds 
.and thoroughfares large. The inland waters were found to 
.abound in oysters, clams, crabs, and other shell fish." Noth- 
'ing is given in the old Dutch records, however, to prove 
that a colony was at this time established in Cape May. 

The tract for Pauuw was purchased on Staten Island 
:and about Hoboken, while a tract on the Hudson, near 
Fort Orange, was secured by Van Twiller for Van Rense- 
laer. Godyn's territory was called "Swanwendael." 

After Pieter Heyset concluded his purchase of the Cape 
May county land he entered into the whaling industry. 

The impracticability of these great exclusive grants was 
subsec|uently discovered and condemned. Their ratifica- 
tion were never obtained by the States-General until they 
Tiad admitted other directors to participate in the privileges. 

In the course of time these directors formed an equal 
partnership with David Pieterson de Vries, a navigator of 
-enterprise. They immediately planned to colonize the 
■--shores of the Delaware, to plant tobacco and grain, and to 


establish a whale and seal fishery. Oi de \'ries it is saiirj. 
that he was wise in counsel, that he conciliated the Indians", 
of Swanwendael and Scheyichbi, and made the way smooth-, 
for the following settlers on both shores of the Delaware. 
In 163 1 he entered the Lcknvare and left a colony at_ 
Hoornekill, near Boompjes Hoek (now Bombay Hook)_ 
He was the first resident patroon owner of Cape May, anc£ 
was a religious and devout man. He went back to ills'- 
Hoornekill colony -the next year, but found that they had_ 
been massacred by the savages. "Finding the whale fish- 
ery 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 Dela- 
ware by Hudson, not a single European remained upon it?- 

De Wies, in his journal, says, "March 29th, 1633, found 
that our people have caught seven whales; we could have 
done more if we had good harpoons, for they had struck 
seventeen fish and only saved seven." 

"An immense flight of pigeons is obscuring the sky. The 
14th, sailed over to Cape May, where the coast trended E„ 
N. E. 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 Har- 
bor is a little river or kill, and inside the land is broken,, 
and within the bay are several small islands. Somewhere- 
further up in the same direction is a beautiful high wood."" 
This was probably Somer's or Beesley's Point, clothed inv 
its primitive growth of timber. 

In 1638 a number of Swedes entered the bay and were^ 
ordered oflf by the officials of the Dutch West India Com- 
pany. At the time all the Swedes were told to leave their- 
possessions. The Swedes who entered the bay said that 
they were on their way to the West Indies and had put into^* 
"Zuydt" bay to rest after a stormy voyage. 

Dr. Beesley says: 

"About 1641 Cape May was again purchased by Swedishi 
agents, a short time before the arrival of the Swedish Gov— 


emor, Printz Tinicuni. This conveyance inckuled all land 
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 1648. says. "Cape May lies in latitude 38° 30'. To the 
south of it there are three sand banks, parallel to each Ouhcr, 
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." 



Whaling in the Delaware bay was noted as a consider- 
able industry about this time. English colonists from .\?w 
Haven and emigrants from Long Island, who inadc^ 
whaling their principal industr-'. must have come ;o Ca]ic 
May as early as 1638. The New Havenites were led l)y 
<jeorge Lamberton. About this time Captain N.itlianiel 
Turner bought of the Indians the land along shore from 
Cape May to Raccoon Creek, X'arcken's kill. Hog crook or 
Salem river. The price paid was £30, and the deed is dated 
November 24th, 1638. At different subsequent times New 
Haven people bought more land and were aided in tlve j^iir- 
chase by refugee Pequod Indians, who had taken .ihylum 
with the Lenni-Lenapes. The New Haven people are said 
to have paid in the aggregate within five years about 1600. 
•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, Cumberland and Cape May counties." 

The first account of a visit to Cape May was pul)lished in 
.a "Description of New Albion" (New England), written by 
Sir Edmund Plowden, under the nom de plume of "Beau- 
■champ Plantagenet." which appeared in London in 1648. 
Plowden reproduced a letter from Lieutenant Robert 
E^velyn. "Master Evelyn," as Plantagenet calls him, left 
England with an expedition for the Delaware in 1634, and 
probably made his exploration of the cape soon after. 
'Others had observed Cape May, he learned, as follows: 
Hudson in 1609; Argall, 1610; Cornelius Hendrickson, 
1616; Dermer. 1619; Mey, 1620; Hossett and Heyssen, 
1630, and de Vries, 1631, besides a party of eight sent to ':>:- 


plore the l)a\- in 1632, by (lovcrnor Harvey, of \ irgiiiid:.,. 
who were killed by the Indians. 

Evelyn's letter reads: 

"I thought good to write unto yon my knowledge, an<i' 
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 Xew Englaml and ^laryland, and that., 
ocean sea. I take it to be about ifo miles. I find some 
broken land, isles and ndets, and man}" small isles at Eg; 
liay: but going to Delaware I'av b\- Cajie May, which is' 
twenty-four miles at most, and is, 1 understand, very well- 
set out and printed in Captain }\iweirs map of New Eng- 
land, done as is told me by a draft I gave to ]\Ir. Daniel... 
the plotmastcr, which he Edmund saith }ou have at home:.: 
on that north side (of Cape IVIay) al^out five miles within ii~- 
a port or rode for an\- shi])s, called the Xook, and within- 
livetli the king of Kechemeches, liaving, a:^ I suppose, about 
fifty men. I do account all these Indian.^ to be eight hun- 
dretl, and are in several factions and war against the Sar- 
(luehannocks, and are all extreme fearful of a gun, naked 
and unarmed 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 dov^n or trade in 
despite of them. I saw there an infinite quantity of bus- 
tards, 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. * * * Twelve hundred Indians un- 
der the Raritan kings, on the south side next to Hudson's 
River, and those come down to the ocean about Little Eg- 
Ray, and Sandy Barnegate, and about the South Cape two 
small Kings of forty men a piece called Tiran^ and Tias- 

From this description there is no doubt that Evelyn vis- 
ited and made a circuit of the country. The name Eg"g 
bay is still retained with little change in Egg Harbor Bav. 
and the many small islands, called beaches now, and on 
which are the seaside resorts, are the testimony that he- 


actually saw them. Dr. Beesley says of the reference made ■ 
to the Kechemeches: 

"Now w?here 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 fur- 
ther 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 sea- 
board, and his name should be perpetuated as tlie king o£ 
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 paragraph, 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 sliores and waters with fowl in ever\ variety, where 
they had existed unharmed and unmolested through an 
unknown period of years; and the magnificent forest, the 
stately, towering cedar swamp, untouched by the axe of the 
despoiler, all reveling in the beauties of Nature in her pris- 
tine state, the realities of which the imagination, only, can 
convey an impression, or give a foretaste of the charms 
and novelties of those primeval times." 

At this time the county was the stamping ground of tlie 
bison, or bufifalo. the black bear, the panther, the wolf, . 
the catamount, the deer and other larger beasts. The small- 
er ones prevalent at the time were the opossum, raccoon, . 
foxs, mink, otters and beaver. 

Whether at this time, about 1640. the New Haven set- 
tlers, probably at Town Bank, and the Dutch or the In- 
dians ever had any quarrels is not recorded, and they prob- 
ably had not. Commissioner Huddle, of Fort Nassau, on 
the Delaware, in 1648, conii^lained that the Cape May tribe 
of Indians made barter "rather too much against them," 
as "the Indians always take the largest and smallest among 
them to trade with us," by which the long-armed "tellers" ' 
compassed a "long price" for their clansmen's beaver skins... 
The money thev used was called "sewan." 


Concerning the Swedes who may have settled hi Cape 
May county Dr. Beesley says: 

"As history throws no hght on the original occupiers of 
the soil, conjecture only can be consulted on the subject. It 
would stem probable, inasmuch as many of the old Swed- 
ish iiamc3, as recorded in Campanius, from Rudman, are 
still k) be fcv nd in Crn.berland and Cape May, that some 
of Ihe veritable Swedes of Tinicum or Christiana might 
have strayed, or l:ave been driven to our shores. When the 
Dutch governor, Stuyvesant, ascended the Delaware in 
1654, witli 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 themselves, without re- 
straint or coercion from the stubbornness of mynheer, whose 
victory, though easily obtained, was permanent, as the pro- 
vincial power of New Sweden had perished for ever." 

On July 12, 1656, the Dutch West India Company ceded 
land from Boomtjcs Hauken to Cape Helopen to Amster- 
dam for 700,000 guilders ($266,000), and the territory be- 
came under the control of that municipality in Holland. 
Whether the municipality secured any rights in the Cape 
May land is not known, but if they did the rights were nev- 
er asserted. 

The contest between the Dutch and the Swedes had been 
going on for some years, although the settlers m Cape May 
were seldom affected by it. The Dutch had made their 
principal settlement on Manhattan Islantl, while the main 
colonies of the Swedes were in Delaware and Southern 
Pennsylvania. The former was known as New Netherlands 
and the latter New Sweden. At last the Dutch secured the 
mastery of the whole territory. Their reign was short, how- 
ever, because the constantly growing settlements made by 
the English in New York, Virginia and Maryland made 
the hblding of the territory too much of a burden for the 
Dutch to carry. 

Director Beekman, of New Netherlands, under date of 
June 10, 1661, writes to Governor Stuyvesant: "On the 


•€ast side of this river are residing from English among the 
Manto savages; they arrived in a small boat in the neigh- 
-borhood of Cape May about three months past; they ap- 
parently went home from X'irginia, as they now seem in- 
<luced to remain there, if their report of the savages is cor- 

The English deposed the Dutch as easily as did the latter 
the Swedes, who really united their fortunes with those of 
the English. 

In 1664 the English took absolute control of the terri- 
tory, which they claimed by right of the discoveries made 
l)y the Cabots in I4<^8. New Jersey came into the posses- 
sion of proprietary governors. On the 23d and 24th of 
June, 1664, the Duke of York, who had obtained a patent 
from King James, did "in consideration of a competent sum 
of money, grant and convey unto Lord John Berkeley, 
Baron of Stratton. and Sir George Carteret, of Sultrim, in 
"the County of Devon, to their heirs and assigns forever, all 
that tract of land adjacent to New England, and lying and 
being to the westward of Long Island; bounded on the 
east part by the main sea and part by the Hudson River, 
:and hath upon the west Delaware Bay or River, and ex- 
tendeth southward to the main ocean as far as Cape May, 
at the mouth of Delaware Bay. and to the northward as far 
as the northernmost branch of said bay or river of Dela- 
^vare, which is forty-one degrees and forty minutes of lati- 
tude, and worketh over thence in a straight line to Hudson 
Tiver, which said tract of land is hereafter to be called by 
the name, or names, of NOVA CAESAREA, or NEW 
JERSEY." The name of New Jersey was given to the 
land because Carteret had been a governor of the Isle of 
Jersey, in the English Channel, and had defended it against 
the Long Parliament. In the same year Sir Robert Carr 
"was sent into the Delaware with two frigates and the troops 
not required in New York to compel the submission of 
the Dutch, which he effected with "two barrels of powder 
and twenty shot." 

Ten years after the granting of the possessions to Berke- 
ley and Cartaret, the Dutch succeeded in retaking New^ 
York from the English. Eor a few months the old province 


of New Netherlands, including the country as far south ar^ 
Cape May, was restored to Holland. But in the next year 
the whole territory was receded by the States-General to- 

The king gave his brother, the Duke of York, another 
patent for the land between the Connecticut and Delaware: 
Rivers, and yet confirmed his patent to Berkeley and Car- 
taret. Notwithstanding both of these grants, he appointed 
that tyrant, Sir Edmund Andros, royal governor of all the 
English possessions in America. Berkeley, having become 
disgusted with the actions of King Charles and disappointed 
with the pecuniary prospects of the colony, offered his inter- 
ests for sale. John Fenwick bought it as a trustee for Ed- 
w^ard Byllynge. The latter afterwards became heavily in- 
volved with debts, and his share was consigned for the 
benefit of his creditors. William Penn, Gawen Lawrie ancJ 
Nicholas Lucas were appointed the trustees. In 1676 Fen- 
wick also assigned and his assignees were John Eldridge 
and Edmund Warner. On August 6, 1680, the Duke of 
York deeded to Penn, Lowrie, Lucas, Eldridge and War- 
ner the territory of West Jersey in trust for Byllynge, to 
whom the government was conveyed. On the first of July, 
1676, a division had been made of New Jersey, and Sir 
George Cartaret took all that part north of what is now 
the northern boundary line of Burlington county, which) 
was named East Jersey, while Penn and the Quakers took 
all the portion south of that line and christened it West 

Within two years some four hundred families had ar- 
rived and settled, most of them near Salem, but none are 
known to have found their way to Cape May. 

It was the next year that the "agreements" of the Qua- 
kers were made, in which they allowed freedom of con- 
science, the ballot box, equality before the law, the right 
of assembly, the freedom of election, of speech, of the press^. 
popular sovereignty, trial by jury, open courts and free- 

The gradual growth of the number of settlers and the- 
question of the division and barter of lands becoming an- 
important one, the Assembly, in 1681, appointed a com- 


anission to prescribe rules for the land settlements. The 
surveyor was required to measure the Delaware front from 
Assunpink Creek to Cape May and to find a point of the 
compass for running partition lines between each tenth. 

The question of the date of the first settlement of Cape 
May by English families has always been in doubt. Dr. 
-Maurice Beesley says: 

"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 1685, when Caleb Carman was appointed, by the 
Legislature, a justice of the peace, and Jonathan Pine, con- 

"These were independent appointments, as Cape May 
was not under the jurisdiction of the Salem Tenth, This 
simple fact, however, 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 in- 
•quiries 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 Del- 
-aware to Prince Maurice River. He made no claim and 
•exercised no dominion over Cape May, and we have noth- 
ing to show at the time of his arrival that the country from 
Salem to the seashore was other than one primeval and 
unbroken forest, with ample natural 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." 

Other authorities say that the Townsends and Spicers 
were the oldest white settlers and individual land owners of 
the county, and that John Townsend and Jacob Spicer 
came from Long Island in 1680, and that Richard, son of 
John Townsend, was the first white child born within the 
limits of the county. Bancroft's "History of the United 
'States" gives the settlement of Cape May Town, or Town 
Bank, as forty years earlier than Dr. Beesley's positive 


knowledge. The records of the whalemen, which appear iii 
New Haven, show that there was no permanent removal 
from that place to Cape May until 1685, and that about one- 
fifth of the old family names of Cape May and New Haven 
are similar. It is probable, however, that from 1640 there- 
was a sheltering and resting place at Town Bank for these 
whalemen from Connecticut and Long Island. The names- 
of residents of East Hampton, L. I., at that time are like- 
those who are first mentioned as residents of Cape May 
county, also. 

The whaling period extended from the middle of the- 
seventeenth century to the early part of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. As early as 1658 there is said to have been fourteen, 
skilled pilots who led the whalemen. The whalemen had 
troubles: of their own, which at times got into the courts,, 
and a search of the manuscript records of the earliest court 
at Burlington, where Cape May business was then (1685) 
transacted, bring to light the following cases, which are 
given condensed to show the grievances heard: 

Burlington Court, 4th 7th month. 1685. 
Caleb Carman & Jno Carman 
Evan Davis. 

Edward Pynde testified that he was at the plantation of" 
Evan Davis, who told him that he had bought a fish of an 
"Indian called Nummy." Davis invited Pynde to go with 
him to see the fish, saying that the deponent should have 
a share therein if he did so. Pynde accordingly went, and' 
"comeing to ye s'd ffish sayth it was a whale ffish and yt hee 
saw an Iron (with warp thereat) in ye said whale ffish, which 
Iron & Warp ye s'd depon't knowing them to belong to- 
s'd Caleb Carman & Company," Pynde accordingly would" 
have nothing to do with the matter. Whereupon "Davis 
seized upon ye s'd whale ffish and Tackling and hid ve same 
from s'd Carman and Company." 

Then Caleb Carman, binding himself in the sum of 405^ 
presents the complainant. 

A warrant was issued to Alexander Humfreyes, as deputy 
sherifif or under sheriff, to take Davis into custody for his^ 


appearance in Burlington. At the same time Abraham 
Wegton, wife and children, to answer, as well as Margrett, 
servant of Davis, as well as any others who "can give infor- 
mation," although it seems Wegton had had nothing to do 
with the whaling matter, but was summoned for abuse of the 

At the court held the 12th of the 3d mo., 1686, "Evan 
Davis by his & Daniell England's Bond to appear at this 
Court" in the Carman matter fails to present himself, where- 
upon :io lOit'.r.s his recognizance, disposing ot the case. 

At a court held 12-16, 3rd month, 1688, Jno. Skene, Dep- 
uty Governor, the Grand Jury present, "Caleb Carman 
and sonnes, John Peck & (others) concerned for taking, 
breaking up & disposing of Dubartus whales on this shore 
contrary to Lawe." 

Divers persons by indictment were called to the bar. 
Among them was Caleb Carman, who "Pleads not guilty 81 
referres himselfe to God and ye Countrey, whereupon ye 
Jury before are called and all accepted & attested, ye jury 
finde him not guilty in maimer & forme as hee stands In- 
dicted, and hee thereupon afterwards was cleared by P'cla- 

During the same court. Carman, his sons and Peck are 
presented by the Grand Jury. They claim they have sold 
no Dubartus whales, except they had permission from Tho: 

In the evidence Jno: Throp bought a supposed Dubartus 
whale, of which eleven barrels of oil were made. Rich'd 
Starr said Throp bought the whale of the Carmans, whO' 
claimed to own it. Henry Johnson said that Throp had' 
agreed with the Carmans only for their labour. Sam'll' 
Mathews said that Ezekiell Eldridge. "(who had p'te of ye- 
fish) said he had sold his'p'te to Throp for los & ye rest had' 
done ye same, and that they sold ye fish as theirs." Jno. 
Dennis said he "heard said Carmans say that all drift whales 
that came ashore there belonged to them by Thomas Ma- 
thews order." Jury find Carman and the rest concerned 
"not guilty." 

In passing, it may be worthy of not.e to record that, at 
this coiirt. among the "Constables p'scnted & chosen" one 


was selected "about Cape May," in the person of Sam'I 
Mathews. He was duly attested. This is one of the earliest 
selections of officials for Cape May of which there is any 

At a private session of the court held on the i6th of Feb'y, 
1688, at the house of Richard Basnett in Burlington, at the 
request of Philip Richards, of Philadelphia. 

Richards complained that having loaded the sloop "Sus- 
ann^.", (Peter Lawrison, Master) New York to Philadelphia 
— tlie said sloop "came on shore to the norward of Cape 
May." The master and men went ashore for relief and in 
the interim Caleb Carman and his sons went aboard, and 
vi et armis prevented the sailors from entering the sloop. 
The Carmans claimed half the goods for saving the wreck. 
Being overpowered, the sailors consented, whereupon the 
■Carmans carried a"way the goods of the said Richards. At 
the request, of Richards, Justices Edw: Hunlake, Jr: Mar- 
shall, Rich'd Basnett and Dan'll Wills order the appearance 
■of the Carmans at next Quarterly Sessions. The sessions 
was held May 7, 1688, but no action was taken, nor at sev- 
eral subsequent sessions. It is to-be presumed that the mat- 
ter never came to trial. 

Burlington Court June 3, 1690. Justices on the bench 
were John Skene, Edward Hunlak, Wm. Biddle, James 
Marshall, Daniel Wills, Sr., Richard Basnett and William 
Myers, with the following Traverse Jury: Symon Charles 
John Day, Eliakim Higgins, Peter Basse, William Budd, 
George Parker, Thos. Butcher. Christop: Weatherill, Bery: 
Whcate, Sam'll Ogbourne, Issac Horner, John Warwin, 
Joshua Humphries. Same Court June 4th. 

John Dubrois, Plaint; Peter Perdrain, his wife Elizabeth; 
Elizabeth Meningault; Andrew Laurance, his wife Mary: 
Daniel Ivucas. Augustus Lucas, Defendants. Action in 
slander and defamation. Jury as above. 

Samson Gallois "ye Interpretter to ve ffrench people ar- 

In the testimony: — 

James Monjoy said he heard Mrs, Rame and Mr. Per- 
drain say to Andrew Lawrence that Andrew should go to 
Burlington to "undoe John Dubois." Mrs. Rame further 


said that if Laurance did not do so '"shee would never eat of 
s'd Andrew Laurance's bread more, and y't shee s'd this 
because they had no lodging at Cape May." Perdrain also 
said that Dubois would run away and that they would en- 
deavor to have an English overseer. 

Isiah Lebake said he heard Lawrence and Perdrain say 
in a boat coming from Cape May that Dubrois had an in- 
tention to run away. 

James Peyrard said that Laurence remarked last Decem- 
ber in the Burlington bake house that he (Laurence) vv culd 
tell false things of the plaintiff Dubrois, 

Benjamin Godfrey remarking to Laurence that his "tes- 
timonials such as hee declared against Dubrois was ei;icugh 
to hang him," s'd Lawrence answered "why then Mr. Du- 
brois wants only the Rope." Godfrey also repeated Mon- 
joy's testimony against Mrs. Rame. 

John Gilbert said all the defendants, except Augustus 
Lucas, had stated that Dubrois would run away and convert 
Dr. Coxe's goods to his own use. 

Peter Rendard testified that Perdrain had told managei 
and plaintiff Dubrois that he (Dubrois) intended to nm 
away. Rendard supposes to have been occasioned because 
Dubrois did not provide such a house as they exi-ected. 
Perdrain also claimed rights as overseer and had several 
times threatened Dubrois by shaking his fist. 

John Corson reiterated the testimony concerning Mrs. 
Brame and speakes of Andrew Laurence as "her sonne," 
presumably "in law." 

Nicholas Malherbe attested that Peter Perdrain and Dan- 
iel Lucas, Sr., had said that Dubrois intended to take Dr. 
Coxe's property and escape. 

Testimony for defense — 

Heter Sespine testified that Dubrois had said "that he 
would get what he could out of Mr. Tatham's hand and 
then he would laugh at him." Lawrence told the testator 
the same. The son of Augustus Lucas had told Sespine 
that the manager wanted to go shares with the younger 
Lucas and made the proposition at John Teqts in Philadel- 
phia. It was also proposed to send the sloop to Boston, 
Dubrois going therein with Captain Eberad. 


Nicholas Martines testified that Dubrois said "that where, 
he gott the Asse (Dr. Coxe) by the Tayle he knew how to 
lead him." 

David Lillies testified that the whalery had ill success 
because Dubrois took the sloop up the River and the whale 
was consequentl}- lost. The whalers said amongst them- 
selves that Dubrois would "make the best of ye Doctor's 
Concernes for himself." 

The Jury find for the plaintiff £5 damages, costs and 

Same Court and Jury, June 5th. 

John Tatham on behalf of Dr. Dan'l Cox, plaintiff. John 
Dubrois defendant. Action upon the case. Entered June 
3, two days allowed by court and plaintiff for defendant to 
consider the charge. 

The Defendant pleads so that Tatham has no power to 
call him. The Court decided for the plaintiff. ( )n reejuest 
a letter of attorney from Dr. Coxe to Tatham was read. In 
the matter of fraud charged upon the defendant, a com- 
mittee of Justices were to view the accounts and render de- 
cision on the 20th of the month. 

Evidence for Plaintiff: 

George Taylor testifies that manager Dubrois took the 
sloop from Cape May to New Castle when the whalery has 
occasione for her. In the meantime a whale was captured 
and held for six or eight days, but for want of a sloop the 
whale was lost. 

For the defense: — 

Isaac Matikett and others on depositions taken before 
Justices Salaway and Anthony Morris in Philadelphia show 
the reason why the manager went to New Castle, (reasons 
not amplified). 

Isaiah Ebrad deposes before Justice Skene why Dubroise 
came to Burlington. 

Benjamin Godfrey attested that Dubroise sold beef for 
the whalery's account and that the whalers needed provis- 
ions and salt. "Mr. Tatham makes it appear they had 26 
bushels of salt down at Cape May." 

Oliver Johnson thinks "ye whalery men below, on Doc- 
tor Coxe account had provision enough to serve ye win- 


ter." He stayed until the 25th of March and hvara no com- 

George Taylor said there was a vessel in the stocks 
at Cape May begun in the times of James Budd, but since 
Budd's death nothing has been done therewith. Manager 
Dubroise wanted whalemen to saw plank to complete her, 
but it was not done, although the whalemen had promised 
so to do. 

Peter Perdrain says Dr. Coxe's boat was lost at Cape 
May for want of help from the shore. 

The Jury find for the defendant and give him the costs 
of the suit. 



On November 3-12, 1685, Cape May was first created a 
county, which inckided its present bounds, together with 
all that country embraced in a line drawn from a point about 
twenty miles up the T^Iaurice River to the most northerly 
point of Great Egg Harbour. Justices of the peace and other 
officers for the county were appointed for keeping the 
peace and trying causes under forty shillings. The county 
was to so remain until a court was established, which was 
constituted in 1693. In civil or criminal actions, where 
declarations and indictments were to be traversed, were to 
be taken to the Salem Quarterly Sessions, but the Cape 
May justices could, if they wished, sit in hearing such cases 
with the Salem justices. 

The first inventory on file in the Secretary's office at 
Trenton, from Cape May, is that of John Story, dated the 
28th of ninth month, 1687. He was a Friend, who died in 
Lower township, and left his personal estate, amounting to 
iiio, to his wife, he having no heirs. A copy of the inven- 
tory is here given to show the prices of various articles at 
that time. The original spelling is preserved: 


A chest, and small things o 

A gon o 

2 bras cities an on frying-pan o 

2 axes an on shobel o 

On sadell o 

On blanket o 

On hous an improvments 10 

On stier, 4 yer ould 5 

2 stiers goin to yer ould 4 

On bull '. 2 













lbs. s. d. 
On heifer whit calfe 3 10 o 

Prased bv us, 


The next inventories filed are those of Abraham Weston, 
November 24, 1687, and John Briggs in 1690. 

John Townsend, ancestor of all in the county of that 
name, emigrated with three brothers to Long Island pre- 
vious to 1680. They were members of the Society of 
Friends. One settled in New England, one in New York 
and John and the other came to Leed's Point, near Little 
Egg Harbor. The reason for John's coming to Leed's 
Point w^as that he had been banished from New York for 
harboring Friends or Quakers. For the first ofifense he was 
fined £8 and put in jail for a limited time, for the second 
ii2 and imprisonment, and for the third ofifense iioo and 
imprisonment for a time. Yet, by his actions, he defied 


the Governor, and when the Friends came around again 
he not only harbored them, but invited ther.i to preach in 
his house and went around with his horse and cart giving 
notice of the meeting to the inhabitants. This made the 
Governor so wroth that he was brought before the court 
and banished from the State, and if he returned was to be 
tied and whipped in the streets. He first came over to 
Monmouth and from thence to Cape May county, where 
he resided until his death. His wife, Phebe. lies buried in 
the old burying ground near Thompson \'angilders, and 
was the first white woman ever buried in the upper town- 
ship. About or previous to 1690 John (the other brother 
having gone to Philadelphia) traveled to Somers Point, 


crossed the Egg Harbor River, and followed the seaboard 
down about ten miles until he came to a stream of water 
that he thought would do for a mill. He returned to Egg 
Harbor, bought a yoke of oxen, got them across the river, 
took the yoke on his back, as there was not room for the 
timber to drive his oxen abreast, and drove them before 
him down an Indian path to the place of his future resi- 
dence. They cleared land, built a cabin and a mill on the 
sight of the land of the late Thompson \'an Gilders, near 
Ocean \'iew. He died in 1722 and left three sons. Richard. 
Robert and Sylvanus. It is related of John Town send that 
Avhen he built his cabin, he traveled a great distance and 
found two other settlers to help him raise it. While they 
were doing this some Indians came around and also helped. 
The three white men, who wanted to impress the Indians 
of their superior strength, decided to demonstrate it 
upon the Indians. Among the three one was very strong 
and an excellent wrestler. The two weaker ones proposed 
a wrestling match, which had been previously planned. 
The wrestling began, and the strong man allowed himself 
to be easily thrown by the two ordinary men. Then the 
Indians decided they would like to wrestle with the sup- 
posed weak man. They began tugging at one another, 
"when suddenly the first and only Indian that tried to wres- 
tle was tossed into the crotch of a tree. The Indians then 
assumed if the weaker man could do such an act so easily 
they concluded that the others could not be moved. This 
little incident served to prevent any trouble between the 
whites and natives. John and Peter Corson were the first 
of the name that came to the county, and were here as 
early as 1692. The second generation was Peter, Jr., John, 
Jr., Christian and Jacob. This family became numerous. 
There were fifty-two families in 1840 of that name in Upper 

Shamgar Hand settled at what is now Court House in 
1690, on a farm of 1000 acres, which he purchased of Dr. 
Daniel Cox, agent of the West Jersey Society. Others set- 
tled there were the Stiteses, Crawfords, Ludlams, Hewitts 
and Holmeses. 

All the Townsends in the countv descended from John 


Townsend, all the Corsons from Peter and John Corson, 
all the Learnings from Christopher Leaming, all the Liid- 
lams from Joseph Liidlam, all the Schellingers from Cor- 
nelius Schellinks, all the Hughes from Humphrey Hughes, 
all the Whilldens from Joseph Whillden, all the Hewitts 
from Randall Hewitt, all the Stites from Henry Stites, all 
the Cresses from Arthur Cresse. all the Willets from John 
Willets, all the Goffs from JoItu Coff, all the Youngs from 
Henry Young, all the Eldredges from Ezekiel Eldredge, 
all the Godfreys from Benjamin (Godfrey, all the Matthews 
from Samuel Matthews. 

John Reeves was one who rented land in the county. He 
leased 200 acres on the sound side on the 23d of May. 1690, 
from Jeremiah Basse, "now of burlingtown in ye province of 
West New Jersey, merchant," as agent of the West Jer- 
sey Society. The rental was a fee of £20 and yearly rental 
which was to consist of two fat hens on Christmas Day. 
The indenture was recorded on July 2, 1695, and bore the 
following memorandum: "That, whereas the rent of two fat 
hens or capons is menshoned in the with menshoned deed 
itt is a greede that the Rent for the futor shall be only on 
Eare of Indian Corne if Demanded." The memorandum 
is marked as being recorded December 20, 1699. 

During the changes in proprietorship which had been 
going on in the province of New Jersey from 1675 to 1690 
there were really so many rulers in the colony that it was 
a difficult matter to know whom to acknowledge as officers 
with authority. "The condition of New Jersey." says one 
authority, "was deplorable." and "for ten years thereafter 
the colony was vexed and distracted with the i)resence of 
more rulers than any one province could accommodate." 

After a while Edward Byllinge. one of the Quaker pur- 
chasers of West Jersey, died in 1687, and the next year Dr. 
Daniel Coxe, of London. England, who had already be- 
come a large landholder in the province, purchased the in- 
terests of Byllinge's heirs in the soil and government. In 
the latter year, 1688, he also having become an acknowl- 
edged West Jersey proprietor, purchased 95.000 acres in 
Cape May county. The line conmienced at the Hammocks 
"below Goshen Creek, on the bay shore, and in its passage 


across the county came between Joseph Falkenburge's and 
John McCrea's, and thence on a direct Hne northeast by 
north over the head of Dennis Creek to Tuckahoe River^ 
and included in the tract all the land southeast of this line. 
In April, May and June, 1 691, John Worlidge and John Budd,. 
from Burlington, came down the bay in a vessel and laid 
a nvmiber of proprietary rights, commencing at Cohansey, 
in Cumberland county, and so on to Cape May. They set 
off the 95.000 acres to Dr. Daniel Coxe, which was the first 
actual proprietary survey made in the county. In the copy 
of the original draft of these surveys and of the county of 
Cape May, made by David Jamieson in 171 3, and from- 
another deed made by Lewis Morris in 1706, Egg Island, 
near the mouth of Maurice River, is laid off to Thomas- 
Budd for three hundred acres. "Since this survey was 
made," says Dr. Beesley, in 1857, "the attrition of the wa- 
ters has destroyed almost every vestige of it — scarcely 
enough remaining to mark the spot of its former magni- 
tude. 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 buildings 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, ])referred in the way of their profession to- 
be near each other, and to make common stock in their op- 
erations of harpooning, in which, according to Thomas and 
others, they seemed to be eminently successful." 

Dr. Daniel Coxe, son of Daniel Coxe, was born in 1640' 
or 1641, and died January 19, 1730. in his 90th year. He 
was a most eminent physician of his day, a prolific writer 
on chemistry and medicine and was physician to Charles II 
and afterwards to Queen Anne. Although he never came^ 
to America, he acquired large possessions, and was nomi- 


nally governor of the province from 1687 to 1691. iie also 
acquired title to a tract imperial in its dimensions lying 
between latitude 31 degrees and latitude 36 degrees, and ex- 
tending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, on which he spent 
a fortune in exploration, his vessels being the first to ascend 
the Mississippi from its mouth. This was called Caiolina. 
He was a staunch Church of England man and interested 
himself in attempting the establishment of that church in 
West Jersey. He, like all other purchasers in New Jeri^ey, 
did not take the land from the Indians without reimbursing 
them. While he had his titles from the English settlers, 
he, in 1688, made also a second purchase of the land from 
the Red Man. Three separate purchases were made and 
dated March 30, April 30 and May 16, 1688, respectively, 
and covered his proprietary purchases in Cape May and 
Cumberland counties. Dr. Coxe built Coxe's Hall, near 
Town Bank and Cold Spring, in 1691. 

The late Judge John Clement says: 

"Coxe Hall was sufficiently large for all the asscndilages 
of tlie people, and with rooms for offices and other like 
purposes. It was two stories, and finished with a tower or 
observatory, intended for use more than ornament, as from 
it objects could be seen across the bay and far out on the 
ocean. Although built of wood, it remained for many years 
after its usefulness as a public resort had departed and was 
at last converted into dwellings for workmen, who neither 
knew nor cared anything for its uses in former days. 

"As a public building Coxe Hall had various uses. Here 
it was that ministers of his own religious persuasion dis- 
seminated the doctrines belonging thereto, and where the 
Society of Friends \\ere invited to assemble and proclaim 
their own tenets. The Baptists, a few of whom landed ftom 
Wales at an early date, were given the use of this building 
for regular service, and those of any other religious persua- 
sion who were seeking proselytes in the wilderness country 
were welcome as w^ell. The first court for the cotmty 
(March 20, 1693) was convened here. John Worledge, 
Jeremiah Bass, John Jarvis, Joseph Houlden and Samuel 
Crowell were the judges. Timothy Brandreth was slierifif 
and George Taylor clerk. 


"Where Coxe Hall stood, surrounded by a few dwellings, 
was given a name in the court records called Portsmouth." 
Dr. Coxe soon became the largest holder of proprieties 
within the territory. He was a man of enlarged views and 
sought to develop the advantages of the new country as 
rapi(jly as possible. He encouraged emigration among the 
better classes of people, and was liberal in his inducements 
toward them. He was not slow to discover where his own 
interests lay, and ventured nutch to secure their greatest 
benefits, and although a strict adherent to the established 
Church of England, nothing appeared to show that any 
differences arose between himself and his Quaker asso- 
ciates touching their religious views. 

While his proprietary interests were more than any one 
individual in the colony, yet he never fell into disputes with 
his associates as to the location of his surveys, for, in fact, 
the rules laid down in the "concessions and agreements" 
were suspended so that he could secure large tracts of land 
in one body and be safe in his title thereto. From the trus- 
tees of Byllinge and others holding under them, Dr. Coxe 
became the owner of nineteen whole shares of propriety in 
West Jersey, and began the development of his purchases. 
In 1 69 1 he secured his title in severalty to portions of the 
land, and no doubt had already erected the hall, for Budd 
and Woi ledge marked the same on their maps, placing it 
some distance above Cape May Town and near the mouth 
of Wilson's Creek. 

It is recorded that Dr. Coxe's servants sued him for 
wages on the 3d of June, 1690. The court sat at Burlington 
to hear the case. The servants had attached the tools of the 
plantation, which they wanted sold and proceeds applied to 
their accounts. The servants were brought, it seems, from 
Gravesend in 1688, and their contract was written in French, 
which the court at the time was compelled to have trans- 
lated. George Taylor and John Dubrois. according to evi- 
dence recorded, were Coxe's overseers. The servants sailed 
vessels and were coopers. Later we find that Dubrois him- 
self sued Coxe and was given judgment. Either disheartened 
by the difficulties he had experienced or tempted by an of- 
fer that would cover the disbursements he had made, Coxe 


resolved upon a sale of the whole of his interest in this prov- 
ince. He accordingly made an agreement, in the year 
169 1, with a body composed of forty-eight persons, desig- 
nated by the name of the "West Jersey Society." To this 
company, on tlie 20th of January, 1692. the whole of the 
claim of Dr. Coxe, both as to government and to nearly all 
the property, was conveyed, he receiving therefor the sum 
of £9000. The remaining portions of the property passed 
under his will to his son. Colonel Daniel Coxe, who came 
to Burlington in 1709 and resided there. 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, ex- 
cept five conveyances from George Taylor, 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 

The society, through their agents appointed in the county, 
■continued to make sales of land during a period of sixty- 
Jour years of their having possession. 

During the year 1691. the whaling interest having be- 
come large, and the purchase of land in Cape May having 
become a more easy matter, a large number of persons came 
from New Haven and Long Island to settle permanently. 
Cape May Town sprang up on the bay shore, for the ac- 
commodation of the whalers, where quite a business was 
•done. This is considered to be the first town built in the 
county. Among the settlers were Christopher Leaming 
and his son. Thomas Caesar Hoskins. Samuel Matthews. 
Jonathan Osborne. Nathan Short, Cornelius Shellinks (now 
Schellinger), Henry Stites, Thomas Hand and his sons, 
John and George; Ebenezer Swain and Henry Young, 
John and Caleb Carman, John Shaw, Thomas Miller, Wil- 
liam Stillwell, Humphrey Hewes, William Mason and John 

Christopher Leamyeng (now Leaming), and a brother 
who died on the passage, left England for America about 
1670. In 1674 he married Esther Burnet, the daughter of 
Aaron Burnet, of Sag Harbor, East Hampton. L. I. He 
came to Cape May in 1691, took up 204 acres in 1694 and 


died at the house of Shamgar Hand. Cape May county, ore 
May 3. 1695. His wife, Esther, died at East Hampton^ 
L. I., November 5, 1714. Christopher, ist, and Esther B.. 
Learning, had seven children, the most of whom were mi- 
nors at the time of their father's death. Their names were- 
Thomas, ist, Jane, Hannah, Christopher, 2d, Aaron, ist,. 
Jeremiah, 2d, and EHzabeth. Two of these daughters and 
the son, Jeremiah, 2d, settled in New England, as Thomas,, 
1st, the oldest son, says in his memoirs: 'Tn August 22,. 
171 5, I took my journey to Long Island and there I sold a 
piece of land for a hundred and twenty pounds. And from 
thence I went to New England to see my two sisters and 
brother." Thomas Learning, ist, the eldest son of Christo- 
pher, 1st, and Esther B. Leaming, was born in South Hamp- 
ton, L. L, July 9, 1674. He came to Cape May in 1692, set- 
tled on his own farm in 1699, married June 18, 1701, when 25; 
years of age,HannahWhilldin, the daughter of Joseph Whill- 
din, the elder, in her i8th year, and in October, 1706, Samuel 
Matthews took from him a horse worth £7 and sold it be- 
cause he, as a zealous Quaker, refused to perform military 
duty. He died December 31, 1723, aged 49 years. 

Jacob Spicer was another settler who came to Cape May 
about 1691, and became prominent. He was the second, 
son of Samuel and Esther Spicer, of Gravesend, L. I., and' 
the grandson of Thomas and Michael Spicer, who were- 
New England Puritans. He was bom January 20, 1668,. 
removed from Long Island to Cape May, and died April' 
17, 1741, aged "/^ years. His wife was, perhaps, Sarah 
Spicer. She was born in 1677 and died July 25, 1742, aged 
65 years, and her tombstone is the oldest in the Cold Spring- 
Church Cemeter}\ Spicer's remains lie on the Vincent 
Miller homestead, in Cold Spring. The inscription on liiy 
tombstone commemorates a father and son who occupied: 
prominent stations in society in their day : 

"In memory of Col. Jacob Spicer, who died April 17,^ 
1 74 1, aged 73 years — 

"Death, thou hast conquered me, 
I, by thy darts am slain. 
But Christ shall conquer thee. 
And I shall rise asrain." 


John Persons, ist, was an Englishman. He came to 
-America and settled at East Hampton, Long Island. He 
;married Mrs. Elizabeth Garlick. Her maiden name was 
-Hardie. As Mrs. Garlick, she was charged in 1657 with 
-witchcraft, was tried at East Hampton, on Long Island, and 
acquitted. John and Elizabeth Persons had a daugliter 
named Lydia, born at East Hampton, L. I., April 10, 1680. 
In July, 1 69 1, they all came to Cape May county, and Mr. 
Persons bought a plantation about four miles below^ the 
present Court House, and settled on it in September, 1691. 
-He died and was buried there in January, 1695. 

John Persons, 2d, of Lower Cold Spring settlement, an 
Englishman, and probably a nephew of John Persons, ist, 
-came also from Long Island to Cape May about 1691. The 
earliest notice had of him is in reference to ''ear marks" 
that he had publicly recorded, for the safety of his stock 
running at large, in 1693. He purchased 315 acres of land 
-of Dr. Coxe, or of the West Jersey Society as early as 1696. 
Next we learn that he was one of the thirty-two persons to 
whom, as original trustees. Rev. John Bradner conveyed in 
perpetuity his estate in Cold Spring in 17 18 for the use of 
the pastor of the Presbyterian church there. The last time 
we find him on his sick and dying bed, December 4, 1732, 
making his will, leaving his wife, Elizabeth, her proper share, 
and dividing the real estate between his two sons, John 
Parsons, 3d, and Robert Parsons, ist, and appointing his 
wife and their eldest son, John, his executors, but died be- 
fore he could have it properly executed. 

The following is from the manuscript of Thomas Learn- 
ing, one of the early pioneers, who died in 1723, aged 49 

"In July, 1674, I was born in Southampton, on Long Is- 
land. When I was eighteen years of age (1692) I came to 
Cape May, and that winter had a sore 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 we went there to cut them up, 
and staved a month. The ist dav of ]\Iav we came home to 


Cape May, and my father was very sick, and the third day^ 
1695, departed this hfe at the house of Shamgar Hand. Thea 
I went to Long Island, stayed that summer, and in the win- 
ter I went a whaHng 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. 1 was 
married in 1701, and 1703 went to Cohansie and fetched 
brother Aaron. In 1706 I built my house. Samuel Mat- 
thews took a horse from me worth £7 because I could not 
train. In 1707 we made the county road." 

Learning was a strict Quaker at that time. The record of 
the Ludlams is contemporaneous with the growth of Cape 
May, the earliest records of the county showing this family 
to be among the first settlers. 

The Ludlam name belongs to Yorkshire, England, where 
for many years the family had precedence. Anthony Lud- 
lam, progenitor of the race in America, came from Eng- 
land in the earliest days, and by 1640 had become a mem- 
ber of the whaling colony in Southampton, Long Island. 

Joseph, son of the New England settler, came to Cape 
May about 1692, attracted hither by the whaling, then be- 
ing developed at Town Bank and Barnegat. Settling on 
the division line between Dennis and Cpper, he purchased 
Ludlam's Beach, now Sea Isle City, and stocked it with 
cattle, the descendants of which survived until about 1875. 
He acquired 500 acres in Dennis Neck, paying £163 for his 
_- \ Arthur Cresse came from Long Island about this time 
also. John Stillwell came about the same time from there. 

By an act of the Assembly November 12, 1692, Cape May 
county was regularly instituted, as follow^s: 

"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 be- 
ing no greater encouragement to the settlement of a place 


than that there be established therein an order by govern- 
ment, and justice duly administered: Be it therefore enacted 
by the Governor, Council and Representatives in this pres- 
ent Assembly 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, be- 
ing about twenty miles from the mouth of said river, and 
then by a line running easterly to the most northerly point 
of Great Egg Irlarbor, 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 officers as at present may be necessary 
for keeping the peace and trying of smaller causes under 
forty shillings. In which circumstances the same county 
shall remain until it shall appear that they are capable of 
being erected into a County Court; and in case of any ac- 
tion, whether civil or criminal, the same to be heard and 
determined at the quarterly sessions in Salem county, with 
liberty for the Justices of the County of Cape May, in con- 
junction with the Justices of Salem County, in every such 
action in judgment to sit, and with them to determine the 

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 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 rep- 
resentative. No record, however, of the names of the mem- 
bers previous to 1702 has come to light. 

The first town meeting for public business was held at 
the house of Benjamin Godfrey, on the 7th of February, 
1692. "The commissions for Justices and Sheriff were pro- 
claimed and George Taylor was appointed clerk." The 
first suit on record is for assault and battery — "Oliver John- 
son against John Carman." The second, John Jarvis, is 
accused by George Taylor of helping the Indians to rum. 
A document is found reading in this wise: 


"Wm. Johnson's testimony against John Jarvis for help- 
ing ye Indians to rum being accused thereof by George 
Taylor. Deponent attesteth that several days after the 
above sd laws were piil:)Iishe(l at Cape May, he came into ye 
house of ye sd Jarvis and found Indians drinking rum and 
one of ye sd Indians gave of ye rum to ye sd Johnson and 
he drank of it with ym. The sd Jarvis refusing to clear him- 
self by his oath according to law is convicted." 

The explanation of this last phrase is that there was a 
law which cleared a man of an accusation against him if he 
took an oath that it was false. "Ye" should be read the; 
"sd," said, and "y™»" him. 

As' early as 1693 a ferry was established at Beesley's 
Point, over Great Egg Harbor river; a proof there must 
have been inhabitants upon both sides of the river at that 
early period. The rates were one shilling for passengers, 
two penn}^ a bushel for grain, four penny each for sheep or 
hogs, one shilling for cattle per head and one shilling for 
every single person. 

The following is a specimen of the manner of tying the 
matrimonial knot in olden times: 

"These may certify that on the fifteenth day of February, 
1693, then and there came before me, Henry Stites and Han- 
nah Garlick, and did each take the other to be man and 
wife, according to the law of this province, being lawfully 
published according to order, as witness their hands the 
day and year above sa'.d. 



"'Witnesses — John Carman, Jonathan Pine, John Shaw, 
Jonathan Osborne, Caleb Carman. Shamgar Hand, Ruth 
Dayton, William Harwood, Jacob Spicer, Ezekiel Eldredge, 
Timothy Brandith." 

At the court held at Portsmouth (Town Rjank or Ca])e 
May Town) on the 20th of March, 1693, previously men- 
tioned, which is the first of which we have any record, the 
following officers were present, viz.: Justices — John Wol- 
redge, Jeremiah Bass, John Jarvis, Joseph Houlden and 
Samuel Crowel. Sheriff — Timothv Brandreth. Clerk — 


<jeorge Taylor. Grand Jury — Shamgar Hand, Thomas 
Hand, William Goulden, Samuel Matthews. John Town- 
send, William Whitlock, Jacob Dayton. Oliver Johnson, 
'Christopher Leayeman, Arthur Cresse. Ezekiel Eldredge, 
William Jacocks, John Carman, Jonathan Pine, Caleb Car- 
rsnan, John Reeves and Jonathan Foreman. 

■''A rule of Court passed, the grand jury shall have their 
"dinner allowed them at the county charge." 

"Their charge being given them, the grand jury find it 
.Tiecessary that a road be laid out, most convenient for the 
^<ing and county, and so far as one county goeth, we are 
-willing to clear a road for travelers to pass." "John Town- 
-send and Arthur Cresse appointed Assessors; Timothy 
IBrandreth, Collector; Shamgar Hand, Treasurer; Samuel 
iMatthews and W'illiam Johnson, Supervisors of the Road; 
esind John Somers for Egg Harbor. At same Court John 
:iSomers was appointed Constable for Great Egg Harbor." 
JA. record of the same court reads : 

■"The grand jury, upon complaint made by Elizabeth 
•Crafiford, and we have taken it into consideration, and we 
Snd that no fariner ought to rate ale or other strong drink 
Tfio ye inhabitants of Cape May, except they have a lysence 
fer so doing. So the court orders that no person shall sell 
liquor without a lysence, and that 40 Pounds be raised by 
■tatx to defray expenses, with a proviso that produce should 
Ije taken at 'money price' in payment." The above ap- 
pointment by the Court of John Somers for Supervisor of 
■fche Roads and Constable for Great Egg Harbor, confirms 
tile opinion advanced by Mickle that the county of Glou- 
cester did not originally reach to the ocean, and that the 
iiiiliabitants of the seaboard, or Great Egg Harbor, were 
xHider the jurisdiction of Cape May. The act of 1694, how- 
ever, made them dependent upon Gloucester, and that of 
Ejio extended the county of Gloucester to the ocean. 

Another act relating to the county courts in Cape May 
s^^ras that of October 3. 1693. which reads: "Whereas, it has 
"been found expedient to erect Cape May into a county, the 
l3^t!/unds whereof at the last session of this Assembly have 
l^een ascertained; and conceiving it also reasonable the in- 
liabitants thereof shall partake of what privileges (under 


their circumstances) they are capable of, with the rest of 
the counties in this Province, and having (upon enquiry) 
received satisfaction that there is a sufficient number of in- 
habitants within the said county to keep and hold a County 
Court, in smaller matters relating to civil causes: Be it en- 
acted by the Governor, Council, and Representatives in 
Assembly met and assembled, and by authority 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 i!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 b}' 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 pav 
the value of i-io of the oyl and bone to the Governor of 
the Province." Another act of the same Assembly em- 
powered justices to issue warrants to constables for raising 
taxes specified in a concomitant law, albeit that there was 
yet no court in Cape May. the said court not being estab- 
lished for two months or until December. 

The Assembly by act of May 12, 1694. made a new boun- 
dary line for the county, as "the bounds of the said county 
were not distinctly enough described." The starting place, 
twenty miles up Maurice river, remained the same, but its 
termination was at the "middlemost great river that run- 
neth into the bay of Great Egg Harbour, so far as the tide 
flows up the same and thence down the said river into the 
said bay." This "middlemost great river" has been taken 
to be Tuckahoe, which is probably correct. The residents 
of Egg Harbour were by this act put into Gloucester 
county (now Atlantic). On the same date the Assembly 
passed the act requiring that the freeholders should meet 


yearly in "the town of Cape May," on the 6th of February., 
to choose five "good and sufficient men to serve in the Gen- 
eral Assembly." 

After the West Jersey Society was formed in 1692 the set- 
tlers were able to get titles to their lands. The earliest 
deeds on the books of the society are three granted in 
April, 1694, to William Dixon, William Whitlock and 
Christopher Leamyeng. In the next year thirty more 
deeds were recorded. In the latter year Jeremiah Basse 
was the agent of the West Jersey Society, and as a speci- 
men of the indentures of those days and the bargaivis made 
between the agents and land owners, the following exnact 
of an indenture of April 20th. 1695, is given: 

"The said Arthur Cresse his Heirs and assigns shall 
yearly and every year pay or cause to be paid to the said 
Jeremiah Basse on account of the said Society the 24th day 
of December to fat Hens or capons at Coxe Hall as a Chief 
or quit Rent due and payable to the Society as Lords of 
Manor of Coxe Hall." 

In this same year the Assembly, on May 12, appointed 
the following officials for Cape May: Joseph Houlding, 
Samuel Crowell, John Jervis and Shamger Hand, Justices;- 
John Townsend, Sheriff ; Timothy Brandereth, Clerk and 
Recorder, and Samuel Mathews. Coroner. 

In 1696 Governor Andrew Hamilton appointed George 
Taylor his agent to collect the one-tenth of the "oyl" and 
whale bone due to Governor of the province, and also to 
look after wrecks which might come on the shore. Tav- 
lor's commission reads as follows: 

"Andrew Hamilton, Esq., Governor of the Province of 
East and West Jersey to all whome these p'sents may come 
send Greeting Know ye that by virtue of the powers 
com'eted to Me I have Nominated Comishoned and ap- 
pointed and Doe by these p'sents Comishonte and apponte 
George Taylor of Cape May, gent, My lawful Deputy and' 
Attorney to take into his possession all wrecks or Drift 
whales or other Royall fish that shall be Driven on Shore 
any where upon the Coste of Cape May Egg harbour or 
within Dillawer River as far as Burlington or any wrecks 
floating near the Coaste and to Despose of the same accord- 


ing to his Deschreshon and to accounte to me for the 
Same as allso to make inquirey into any wreckes heare to 
fore Driven on shore or whales or whalebone or other 
Royall fish and make Demand of the Same into his Cus- 
tody for my use paying Resonable salvage for the same 
and in Case of Refusall, to present for the same, acquittance 
and Descharges to give and Generally to Doo all and every 
other lawfull thing conserning the p'mises ass I might doo 
Mvselfe before the making hereof. 

''Witness: ' "AND. HAMILTON, 

"Tho. Revelle. ■ "Oct. 3. 1696." 

"John Taylor. 

In Mav, 1696, the Assembly made a nev/ set of Justices, 
appointing Samuel Crowell, John Jervis, Shamgar Hand 
and George Taylor. In the next year two additional Jus- 
tices were appointed, they being Jacob Dayton and Wil- 
liam Goulding. Ezekiel Eldridge was made Sheriff to 
succeed John Townsend. 

The following named persons purchased of the agents of 
Dr. Coxe and the West Jersey Society, mostly previous to 
1696, some few as early as 1689, the number of acres at- 
tached to their respective names, viz: Christopher Leamy- 
eng 204, William Jacoks 340. Abigail Pine 200. Humphrey 
Hughes 206, Samuel Matthews 175, Jonathan Osborne no, 
Nathaniel Short 200, Caesar Hoskins 250, Shamgar Hand 
700, Joseph Weldon (Whilldin) 150, Joseph Houlding 200, 
Dorothy Hewitt 340, Thomas Hand 400, John Taylor 220, 
John Curwith 55, John Shaw, 2 surveys, 315, Timothy 
Brandreth no, John Crawford 380, Ezekiel Eldridge 90, 
Oliver Russel 170, Samuel Crowell 226, John Carman 250, 
Thomas Gandy 50. Caleb Carman 250, William IMason 150, 
Henry Stites 200, Cornelius Skellinks 134, John Richardson 
124, Arthur Cresse 350, Peter Corson 400, John Corson 
300, John Townsend 640, William Golden and Rem. Gar- 
retson 1016, William Johnson 436, John Page 125. John 
Parsons 315. William Smith 130, George Taylor 175. Den- 
nis Lynch 300. William Whitlock 500, Jacob Spicer, 2 sur- 
veys, 1000. Benjamin Godfrey 210, Randal Hewit 140, 
Elizabeth Carman 300. John Reeves 100, Benjamin Hand 
373. James Stanfield 100. 


Some few of the above locations 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, the following-named persons had resided, 
and were then residing in the county, many of whom pos- 
sessed land by secondary purchase: 

Thomas Leamyeng, Alexander Humphries, John Briggs, 
Abraham Hand, Shamgar Hand, Jr., Benjamin Hand, Jr., 
Daniel Johnson, Oliver Johnson, William Harwood, Jacob 
Dayton, Richard Haroo, Jonathan Crossle, William Lake, 
Theirs Raynor, Thomas ^Matthews, William Stillwell, John 
Cresse, Morris Raynor, Joshua Howell, Arthur Cresse, Jr., 
William Blackburr\-, Daniel Carman, Joseph Knight, John 
Stillwell, John Else, John Steele, Thomas Hand, Joseph 
Ludlam, Sn, Anthony Ludlam, Jonathan Pine, John Wol- 
redge, 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 Cart- 
wright, Abraham Smith, John Hubard, Thomas Miller, 
Robert Crosby, John Fish, Lubbart Gilberson, Edward 
i\Iarshall, James Cresse, William Simpkins, Thomas Good- 
win, Thomas Clifton, Joshua Carman, William Duboldy, 
James Marshall, John Baily, William Richardson, Thomas 
Foster, Thomas Hewit, George Taylor, Jr., John Dennis, 
Isaac Hand, Daniel Hand, Jeremiah Hand, Joseph Hand, 
Thomas Bancroft, Edward Summis, Henry Gray, Abraham 
Weston, Thomas Going, Jonathan Edmunds, Nicholas- 
jMartineau, John Garlick, Samuel Matthews, Jr., William 
Shaw, Robert French, Jeremiah jMiller, William Sharwood, 
Zebulon Sharp, John Story. Richard Townsend. Robert 

William Sharwood was a fore parent of the famous Chief 
Justice George Sharswood, of Pennsylvania. 

Dr. Beesley (1857) says of the early pioneers of the coun- 
ty : 

"Joseph Ludlam was here in 1692, and made purchases 
of land on the seaside, at Ludlam's Run, upon which he af- 
terwards resided; and likewise purchased, in 1720, of Jacob- 
Spicer, a large tract in Dennis' Neck. He left four sons: 


Anthony (who settled upon the South Dennis property, 
which is yet owned in part by his descendants). Joseph, Isaac 
and Samuel, from whom all the Ludlams of the county have 
descended. He died in 1761, aged eighty-six years. 

"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 Captain 
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 1843. 

''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 1768. He was surrogate 
from 1743 to 1768. He was a surveyor and a 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. 

"In the Upper Township, William Goldens, Sen. and Sr., 
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 Copper precinct, we find on the seaboard Jo- 
seph Ludlam, John Townsend, Robert Richards and Sylva- 
nus Townsend, sons of John, Benjamin Godfrey and John 
Reeves, who were amongst 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, seaside. 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 Spi- 


cer, 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 17 10. 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. William and Benjamin Johnson, Yelver- 
son Crowell and Aaron Leaming, 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 litle improvement was made until within the present cen- 
'nry, the la-'-t t\v'enty -five years havipg ccncenttateil a satil- 
ciency of inhabitants to build up a village of its present ex- 
tent and proportions, embellished by the county with a new 
and commodious court house, and by the people with two 
beautiful churches, one for the Baptist and another for the 
Methodist persuasion. 

"Henry Stites, ancestor of all in the county of that name, 
came to the country about or in the year 1691. He located 
two hundred acres of land, including the place now belong- 
ing 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 th.e Lower Stites 
have descended. His son, Isaiah, who died in 1767. and 
from whom the Stites of the Copper and part of the Middle 
Township have descended, 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 1705. 

"John WilHts 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." 

Henry Young was impressed in England, his native coun- 
try, when very young, on board a man-of-war, from which), 
he made his escape to a vessel bound to Philadelphia. He^el^. 
to elude pursuit, he was secreted in a hogshead in the hold' 
of the vessel, and as soon as they put to sea he was relieved,, 
but not until nearly exhausted for want of fresh air. 

The members from Cape J\lay objecting to the restrictiori-? 
placed on their court, by not allowing it to try cases over 
£20, and having to take them to Salem or Burlington, the 
Assembly passed an act on May 12, 1697. placing the ■ 
court on the same equality with other county tribunals irs 
the colony. 

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

"Whereas the inhabitants of Cape May county do rep- 
resent 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: 
services: Be it enacted by the Governor, &c., that George- 
Taylor and John Crafford (Crawford), be commissioners 
appointed to lay out a road from Cape May the most con- 
venient to lead to Burlington, between this and the loth of 
September next." 

It was ordered likewise that the expense be borne by the 
inhabitants of Cape May until such time as those lands 
through which the road goes are settled. This road, SC' 
important to the convenience and travel of the people oi 
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 lieadwaters of Cedar Swamp Creek to 
the headwaters 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 througli 
the swamps that constitute the barrier. 

A record of the grand jury and court of 1689 contains;- 
the following: "We the grand jury order that if any person- 
will hang a gate anywhere between Joshua Carmans and. 


old Elizabeth Carmans, and clear the old road to the gate^ 
and from the gate to the mill, they may do it, and that shall 
be the road; and if that wont do, let them hang a gate in 
the old road." The same court presents John Coston for 
being drunk, and Henry Stites for breach of Sabbath in 
driving cattle and slaughtering a steer. Joseph Ludlam 
was admonished in court, "that for time to come he be care- 
ful in taking an oath, and to mind to what it doth relate to." 

Gabriel Thomas, in his history of West Jersey in i6y8^ 
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. place is noted 
for good store of corn, horses, cows, sheep, hogs; the lands 
thereabouts being much improved 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 com- 
modities of Cape May County are oyl and whalebone, of 
which they make prodigious quantities every year; having 
mightily advanced 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 neighbouring 
country before mentioned affords." 

Among those who purchased land of Dr. Coxe were Wil- 
liam Jacoks and Humphrey Hughes, whose plots amounted 
to 340 and 206 acres respectively, mentioned in the fore- 
going list of purchasers of the West Jersey Society lands. 
Their lands were what is now a part of Cape May City, 
then called, 1700, Cape Island. The distance froiu the 
sea across the island to the creek was 265 perches. As I'he 
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 tlie inroads of the sea since that time. They 
held this laud individually until 1700 and "tilled the land to 
the water's edge." Jacoks afterward sold his interest to 
Thomas Hand, one of the original settlers of Cape Island. 
Randal Hewitt, another Cape May county settler, who first 
bought lands of the Society, purchased land within the 
limits of Cape Island. The first public improvement that 
is chronicled is the building of a causeway to the island in 
1699 by George Eaglesfield, for the accommodation of the 

John Crawford's purch.ase from the West Jersey Society, 
on April i, 1699, ^^^^ o^ 300 acres, which bounded on New 
England Creek, in Lower township, for more than a mile, 
and two-thirds a mile up the shore northerly. The land is 
said to lie for a quarter of a mile under water. George 
Crawford, a son of John, and George Eaglesfield, who built 
the causeway to Cape Island, in 1699, built a mill on this 
property, which was patronized by the residents of the 
county pretty liberally. We are told that a part of the strip 
of land washed away by the action of the waters of 
the Delaware Bay stood Town Bank, or the original Cape 
May Town, or New England Town, as it was severally 

In December, 1699, owing to the increase in court busi- 
ness, three new "circular judges" were appointed by the 
Assembly of the colony of New Jersey, all of which were 
to hold court, with civil and criminal jurisdiction, on the 
20th day of February and October of each year, at Cape 
May. On the 20th of December, the same year, 1699, we 
find the following as officials: Justices. Shamgar Hand, 
Jacob Dayton, William Golding, Samuel Mathews and 
John Townsend; Sherifif, Ezekiel Eldridge; Clerk and Re- 
corder, Timothy Brandereth; Coroner, Joseph Whildin; 
and Provincial Judges for the Colony, with jurisdiction in 
Cape May, Francis Davenport, Edward Hemlock and 
Jonathan Beer. 

The Assembly at the same time passed an act giving 
Cape May three representatives in the Assembly instead of 


At the beginning of the eighteenth century we find Cape 
May county with probably between four and five hundred 
settlers, scattered along both the Delaware Bay and the 
Adantic Ocean shores of the county, and find homes in an 
almost barren wilderness scattered along the uplands ad- 
jacent to sounds between Great Egg Harbor and Cape 
May. Those who did not go whaling began farming their 
recendv purchased lands and spending their time m the 
sounds and thoroughfares fishing, claming, oystering and 
.hunting for wild fowl, where such were then abundant. 

The principal settlements in the lower part of the county 
.at the time were about New England Creek, Town Bank 
.and Cold Spring, and at Middletown (now Cape May Court 
House), in the middle part of the county. 

It was during this time that the famous Captain Kidd 
was practicing his depredations along the coast by pri- 
vateering and the like. He is reported to have buried his 
plunderings in the sands along the coast, and Cape May's 
.sands has been said to contain some of them. Near Cape 
May Point a tree known as Kidd's tree was in existence 
near the light house until about 1893. In a report of the 
Lords of Trade to the Lord's Justices, under date of Au- 
gust 10, 1699, Captain Kidd and other privateersmen are 
spoken of, and their landing at Cape May with goods taken 
•on the East Indian coast are mentioned. 

The officers appointed for Cape May on May 12-25, 
1700, were Shamgar Hand. John Townsend, Jacob Dayton, 
Samuel Mathews, Thomas Stanford, William Mason, Jus- 
tices; Edmund Howel, Sheriff; Timothy Brandreth. Clerk 
and Recorder; Jonathan Osborne, Coroner, and John 
Crawford, King's Attorney. 


The appointments for the following year are recorded as; 
follows : 

May 12-21: Justices, Shamgar Hand, George Taylor,- 
William Mason. (These three a quorum) Jonathan Os- 
bourn, Thomas Stanford and Arthur Cressis; Sheriflf, Cae- 
sar Hoskins; Clerk, Timothy Brandereth; Coroner, Samuel' 
Mathews; Provincial Judges, Edward Hunlock, George- 
Deacon and Jonathan Beer; Assessors, John Creesey and'. 
Jacob Spicer; Collector, William Shaw. 

At this same time Cape May's members of the Assembly 
were increased from three to five mcnbers, and the change 
in 1699 "hath occasioned an unexpected dissatisfaction." 

A petition of the inhabitants of West Jersey, dated May 
12, this year, asking that the colony be taken under the- 
King's immediate control, was signed by Shamgar Hand,. 
Joseph Shaw and George Taylor, of Cape May. 

In the year 1702, when Queen Anne began her reign in' 
England, many important changes were made in the colony 
of New Jersey, the colonies of East and West Jersey were- 
united under one Royal Governor, Edward, Lord Cornbury, 
whose province also included the colony of New York. 
The government of New Jersey's colony was to be com- 
posed of the Royal Governor, twelve counsellors, nomina- 
ted by the crown, and an Assembly of twenty-four repre- 
sentatives, who were to meet alternately at Perth Amboy 
and Burlington. The Assembly consisted of two members 
each from the towns of Amboy and Burlington, and twO' 
each from the counties of Bergen, Essex, Somerset, Mid- 
dlesex, Monmouth, Burlington, Gloucester, Salem and' 
Cape May, and the Assemblyman was compelled to be a 
land holder of at least one thousand acres before he was- 
qualified to act. In the same year the West Jersey Society 
resigned all its governmental rights to the crown owing to- 
the rapidly multiplying difficulties which were besetting the 

Peter Fretwell, the first member from the county after 
the surrender, and the first on record that ever represented 
her, belonged to Burlington. He was a Friend and a co- 
temporary of Samuel Jennings, as the record of the 
monthly meet there attests, and came over in the ship* 


'Shield, in 1678, with his brother, John Fretwell, Mahlon 
.Stacy, Thomas Revel and others. Revel was at one time 
a resident of Cape May. It is probable that no resident of 
Cape May at the time had 1000 acres of land, and that was 
why Fretwell, a non-resident, was selected to represent the 
county in the Assembly for a period of twelve years. It is 
not known that Jacob Hitling, who was a member in 17 16, 
or Jeremiah Bass, from 1719 to 1723, ever resided perma- 
nently in Cape May county. 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. 

Dr. Beesley says: "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 in- 
diting 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 connection 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 first survey of Rumney Marsh, afterwards called 
Middletown, and then Cape May Court House, was made 
by Jeremiah Hand in 1703. 

During this year Cape May's militia was put under the 
command of Captain Joshua Newbold, who was given by 
his commission of August 7, 1703, charge of the Salem and 
Gloucester militia. The second French and Indian war 
against the English colonists of New England and Nova 
Scotia had then commenced. We have no records to show, 
however, that any Cape May men went to battle in this 
conflict, which lasted until 1713. On the i6th of August, 
1703, Daniel Coxe was made the colonel of a foot regi- 
ment belonging to the counties of Burlington, Gloucester, 


Salem and Cape May. Daniel Coxe was the eldest son of 
Dr. Daniel Coxe, and was baptised in London, August 31^. 
1673. He probably accompanied Lord Combury to Amer- 
ica in 1702, by whom he was appointed commander oi 
forces in West Jersey. He was known as Colonel. He 
doubtless returned to England in 1704, for this year he was- 
in London waging a vigorous defense against some of the 
attacks of some of the New Jersey proprietors. He came 
back to America in 1706, and was appointed by Cornbury 
one of the Associate Judges of the Supreme Court. He- 
was a Quaker, but finally eloped with a maiden of that 
faith, and was married at three o'clock in the morning un- 
der the trees, by firelight, by Cornl:)ury's cliaplain. Lord 
Lovelace, in 1708, made him a mcmi)er of council, but he 
was removed by Hunter in 1713. He died April 25, 1739. 
He was often in the Legislature from Burlington, Glouces- 
ter and Salem counties. 

During this period the whaling industry had not abated, 
and the inhabitants sought the aid of the government, and 
the Lawrences, before mentioned, were granted the follow- 
ing commission, which is given in its original spelling: 

"Edward Viscount Cornbury, Captaine Generall and 
Governor in Chiefe in and over her ^lajestes Provinces of 
New Jersey, New York and all the Territory and tracts of 
Land depending thereon in America and \'ice Admirall of 
the Same &c. To Joseph Lawrence, James Lawrence Greet- 
ing You are hereby Lycencd and authorized to fit out two 
boates to fish for, kill Cut up, try for your proper use and 
advantage what whales or Other Royall fish you Can or 
may find on the Const of this Province of New Jersey be- 
twixt Sandy hook and barnegat Inlett as also to take and 
secure all boates, barques, ships and other vessells or things 
that may be cast away or Otherwise stranded on the Said 
Const and within the sa'd Destrict and when Secured you 
are forthwith to give me an acc't of the Same in order to 
receive further Direction from me the Said Lord Viscount 
Cornbury paying unto me or to such as I shall apoint to 
Receive, one twentyeth part of all the Oyle and bone of 
the Whales and Such O'her fish as by \"irtue of this 
Lycence they shall take and kill All the Charges of takeing,. 


Killing and trying the Same being first Deducted. Given 
under my hand and Scale this nth day of December AnnO' 
Reg, Reg Anna Nunc Anglico 31 annoq Dom 1704. 


By his Excellency's order J. BASS. 

In another part of the record, under date of April 8,. 
1728, is found a document addressed to "Jacob Spicer Gen- 
tleman." being signed by Basse and Cornbury, instructing 
Spicer to 

"Take j osscssion into Custody all boatcs, Slocpes,. 
rr.ikcs, Shipps or other A essels or things tliat may be 
di!vfn ashore, Ract or Otherwise strunded on any part of 
the W^esterne Shore of the bay or River Delaware or on 
any of th.e Shcks being within the Same and a L-ong llie 
Sea Coast of the Provinces of New Jersey to the high Sand 
of Never Sinkes and Sandy hooke and to Secure and save 
the Same until such tim^^ as you shall (iivc notice to me 
thereof and receive further Directioiis ixom mc. As also 
all whales or other Royall fish that may he driven a shore 
within the sd. District to take into (^ustody, CutI up and by 
such ways and means as is most proper to secure." 

Peter Bard, Nathanael Jenkins and Aaron Leamyeng. 
were at the same tin;e each given a like commission. 

The following ncwsj~aper extracts are interesting: 

"Boston News- Letter," from March 17 to 24, 1718, says: 
"Philadelphia, March 13. — We are told that the vvliale men 
catch'd six wliales at Cape May and twelve at E;;g- Har- 

"The Pennsylvania Gazette" of March 13-19, 1729-30,. 
says : 

"On tlie 5th of this Iv.,= tant March, a Whale came a-diore 
dead about 20 mile to tlie Eastv/ard of Cape May. She is 
a Cow, about 50 Foot long, and appears to have been killed 
by Whalemen; but who they are is yet unknown. Those 
who think they have a Property in her, are advised to make 
their Claim in Time." 

"Tlie Pennsylvania Gazette," March 11-18, 1735-6, 
says: "Philadelphia, March 19. * * * On the 25th of 
Feb. last, there were two Whales killed at Cape May, the 
one is a^l'.ore en Cape-Is'and, and the other on the upper 


end of the Cape, on the East Side; 'tis suppos'd they will 
yield about 40 Barrels of Oil each; the one was 3 Years 
old, and the other a Yearling; the Whale-men are in hopes 
of killing more, for they have lately seen several on the 
Coast, near the Cape." 

The "Pennsylvania Gazette" of 1742, reported two 
whales at Cape May early in April. 

In 1704 the general sessions of the peace were ordered 
by Governor Cornbur}^ to be held at the house of Shamgar 
Hand on the fourth Tuesdays of March, June and Septem- 
ber, and on the first Tuesday in January. The Ancient 
Judge of the Supreme Court was to hold court there on the 
first Tuesday of June. At the same time John Townsend, 
Shamgar Hand and William Goulder were appointed a 
commission for laying out, regulating, clearing and pre- 
serving the common highways. Jeremiah Basse was au- 
thorized to administer the civil and military oaths authorized 
by Parliament. 

In 1705 the grand jury decided to have a prison built 
"13 feet by 8, and 7 feet high in the first story, upon the 
Queen's Highway, eastwardly of Gravelly Run." Stocks 
and whipping posts were ordered at the same time. 

A license was granted this year from Governor Cornbury 
to Captain Jacob Spicer, of the sloop Adventurer, owned by 
John and Richard Townsend; burden, 16 tons. She traded 
from Cape May to Philadelphia and Burlington, and no 
doubt was considered a vessel of some magnitude in those 
days. The next year the sloop Necessity was built and 
owned by Dennis Lynch. After this vessels were built and 
sailed in dififerent directions. 

During 1704 and 1705 the Assembly ordered that £2000 
be raised every year for the support of the colony, the ap- 
portionment for Cape May county being, in 1704, £63: ii.: 
4, and for 1705, £65: 4: 6. The Receiver-General of the 
colony received in 1705, by John Hand, i6i : 16: 4. and in 
1706, by John Hand again, £54: 14: 1:2. 

The first doctor known in Cape May county was Rich- 
ard Smith, of either Egg Harbor or Cape May, who was 
in 1705 given a license to practice "Cirurgery and Phisiq." 

In 1705 Cape May was again reduced to one represen- 


tative in the Assembly. This same year more mihtary of- 
iicers were appointed for Cape May, as follows: Samuel 
Mathews, captain of militia; Ezekiel Eldridge to be lieu- 
tenant of the same company; and William Mason to be an 
•ensign of militia. In a civil capacity Shamgar Hand and 
"Timothy Brandreth were appointed Assessors; John Hand, 
Collector, and Shamgar Hand, Samuel Mathews, William 
Golding, Thomas Hand, William Mason, Benjamin God- 
frey, Peter Carson Le Bore and John Townsend, Justices 
-of the Peace. 

In 1706 Shamgar Hand and William Golden, commis- 
sioners for that purpose, laid out the road from Egg Har- 
Ibor to Cold Spring, and thence to Town Bank, as follows: 
■"Beginning at a bush near the water's edge on Great Egg 
Harbor River (Tuckahoe River), and from said bush along 
William Golden's fence to the gate post; from thence along 
the fence to the corner thereof; then by a line of marked 
trees to the first run; thence to the head of John Coston's 
branch; thence to the head of dry swamp; thence to the 
head of Joseph Ludlam's branch; thence around the head 
of John Townsend's branch to the going over the branch 
between Abraham Hand's and Thomas Leonard's; thence 
to the bridge over Leonard's branch; thence to the bridge 
•over the branch towards the head of William Johnson's 
land, sp on to the bridge over the Fork branch; thence to 
the bridge over John Cressee's Creek; thence to the bridge 
over Crooked Creek, so by a line of marked trees to the 
bridge over Gravelly Run; thence to the bridge over Cres- 
see's Creek; thence to the old going over at John Shaw's; 
thence to the old going over at William Shaw's branch; 
thence to the head of John Taylor's branch; thence to the 
turning out of Cold Spring path, so on by a line of marked 
trees, partly along the old road down to the bayside, be- 
tween George Crawford's and the hollow." 

In 1707 John Townsend and Shamgar Hand, commis- 
sioners, laid out the road from the head of John Townsend's 
Creek to the cedar swamp and through it to a place called 
■"Ludley's bridge, and toward Marice River as far as the 
♦county goeth." Thus, after fourteen years of hard talking, 
Sot it appears that nothing else had been done until now, 


the road through the cedar swamps, lying between the~ 
headwaters of Cedar Swamp Creek and Dennis Creek (them 
called Cedar Creek, Sluice Creek being named Dennis)^ 
was laid out, and according to records of the first Thomas- 
Learning, completed this year. It is a question by what 
route the inhabitants had communication with the other 
parts of the colony, as they appear to have been completely- 
isolated until this road was made. This improvement was- 
alwavs a county road u:i.Lil 1790, when the road over Den- 
nis was made, after which time the former seems to have- 
been aijaiuloncd. 

Oldmixon, 1708, says: "The tract of land between this;- 
(Cape May) and Little Egg Harbor, which divides East anci 
West Xew Jersey, goes by the name of Cape May County,. 
Here are several straggling 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 fishermen, there being as. 
whalery at the mouth of the Hay, on this as v\ell as the op- 
posite shore." 

The name of Ezekiel Eldredge, Sr., is first mentioned 
March 12-16, 1688, as a witness before the Cjra'.id Jury at a\ 
court b.cld in Burlington, on a whale case. He purchasecl 
in t68(), of Dr. Coxe, 80 acres of land; was Shci ifi" of Cape- 
May county from 1697 to 1700, and his "ear marks" were 
recorded in 1706 for the preservation of his roaming stock- 
He wa; a member of the Legislature from 1708 to 1709. 

At this time Richard, John and Robert Townsend owaied! 
a scjuare-sterned sloop called the "Dolphin," which was 
built at Cape May. and whose master was George Crafford, 

On June 23. 1709, more officers were appointed for the 
.militia. Ezekiel Eldridge was made a captain in Colonel 
Coxe's regiment, William Shaw, lieutenant, and Humphrey 
Hews, ensign. Seven days later Major Jacob Spicer was 
commissioned to be "Captaine of a Company of fuzileers 
rased for the Expedition against Canada. You are there- 
fore to take the said Company into Your charge," and 
Spicer was also to be whaler from Sandy Hook to Cape 
May, but one-half of the proceeds were to go to Governor 
Richard Tngoldsby. David Strongham and Lew Hooton 
were to be first and second lieutenants respectively of 


Spicer's company. It was this year that Jacob Spicer first 
entered the Assembly, of which he was a member until 
1723. A letter dated July 14, 171 1, telling of the proceed- 
ings of the Council and Assembly of the province, says: 

"Major Spicer who went on the Expedition to Canada, 
is Superseded by Justice Tomlinson in Gloster County, and 
one Townsend a Quaker made Judge in Cape May Coun- 

What Cape May county at this time paid in to the treas- 
ury of the Province for the support of the government can 
be pioportioned when it v.-as orclercd lo pay £99 tax out of 
a total of £3000 to be raised in the State. That year John 
Page and llarnebas Cromwell, or Crowell, were given the 
work of making the assessment on the land holders, and 
Joseph Weldon was made the collector. 

Thomas Gordon. Receiver-General of the province, in 
his reports of cash received for His Majesty's Revenues of 
New Jersey from June 23d, 1710, to March 26th, 1719, 
credits as having received from Cape May for the support 
of government the following amounts: 171 1 and 1712, 
£49: it: o: 1714 and 1715, £34: 7: 10; and 1716, 1717 and 
1718, £105: 05: 04. 

Owing to the uncertainties of many of the boundary lines 
in the province, several were changed on January 21, 1710, 
for the reason given in this preamble: 

"Whereas by the uncertainty of the Boundaries of the 
Counties of this Province great Inconveniences have 
arisen, so that the respective Officers of most of these Coun- 
ties cannot know the Limits of them," etc. 

Cape May's boundary was changed to conform to the 
following bounds: 

"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, when an act was passed annexing the in- 
habitants between the river Tweed, now Back Creek (being 
the lower bounds of Salem county), and the bounds of Cape 
May county to Salem county, putting them under its juris- 
diction. The act of 1710 extends Salem county, and cur- 
tails Cape May county, to Stipson's Island, or West Creek. 
Its greatest length, N. E. and S. W., was 30 miles; great- 
est breadth, E. and W., 15 miles; form, semi-oval; area, 252 
square miles, or about 161,000 acres. 

At the time the boundary was changed the requisites of 
an Assemblyman were raised to one thousand acres of land, 
or to be worth £500 current money, in either real or per- 
sonal estate. 

John and Peter Corson came to Cape May about 1685. 
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 Town- 
ship, 6 to Dennis, 26 to the Middle, and 10 to the Lower 

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

Dr. Beesley says (1857): 

"Another of the early 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 of^cer in the battle of the 
Boyne, in 1690. As 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 coun- 
try, or abide the just indignation of the Protestant author- 
ity for the part he took in said battle to promote its down- 
fall. He, with Rem Garretson, located 1016 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 171 5, 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." 

As early as 1710 Goshen was known as a village, its name 
being then applied to it. About this time Henry Stites pur- 
chased the land about the point of Cape May, which was 
known as Stites' Beach, until 1876, when it was called Sea 
Grove, and later Cape May Point. In 1610 Colonel Daniel 
Coxe was appointed judge, with jurisdiction in Cape May. 



The first Baptist church in Cape May was that estabUshed 
at Cape May Court House in 17 12. Morgan Edwards, in 
his sketch of Baptists in Xew Jersey, pubhshed in 1792, says 
of the history of the Cape May church : 

"For the origin of this church we must take a retrospect of 
affairs to the year 1675, ^'^ which year a vessel, with emi- 
grants, arrived in Delaware from England, who settled, some 
at the Cape and some elsewhere ; among the first were two 
Baptists, viz., George Taylor and Philip Hill. Taylor kept 
a meeting in his house, and with his exhortations, reading 
the Bible, expounding, etc.. enlightened some in the article 
of believers' baptisms. After his death, in 1702, Mr. Hill 
continued the meeting to 1704, when he also died. Soon 
after Mr. George Eaglesfield visited the Cape and made 
more proselytes. These went to Philadelphia to receive 
holy baptism, as appears in the association book. In 1688 
Rev. Elias Keach paid a visit to these parts and ordained 
one Aston (Ashton, I suppose) to be a deacon, who also ex- 
horted. In the fall of 171 1 Rev. Thomas Griffiths (of Welsh- 
tract) went to the Cape with a view to purchase land and 
settle among the people for life; but, failing of his design, 
he quitted them next spring, and recommended to them 
Rev. Nathaniel Jenkins, who had just arrived in the country, 
Mr. Jenkins came, and pleased the people, and June 24, 
1712, he and they were constituted a church by Rev. Timo- 
thy Brooks, of Cohansey, and his elders, Dickison Sheppard 
and Jeremiah Bacon. The names of the constituents fol- 
low, viz.: Rev. Nathaniel Jenkins, Arthur Cresse, Seth 
Brooks, Abraham Smith, William Seagrave, Jonathan 
Swain, John Stillwell, Henry Stites. Benjamin Hand, 
Richard Bonus. Ebenezer Swain. William Smith. John 
Taylor, Abraham Hand, Christopher Church, Charles 


]Robison, Easter Jenkins, Ruth Dean, Lydia Shaw, 
Ehzabeth Hand, Jeruthy Hand, Hannah Wildair, Sarah 
Hiscox, Ehzabeth Stillvvell, Ehzabeth Taylor, Hannah Tay- 
lor, Hannah Stites, Margery Smith, Elothes Smith, Ruth 
-Swain, Mary Swain, Mary Cresse, Mary Osborn, Abagail 
Buck, Ehzabeth Robison and Mary Jennings. Two years 
-■after the constitution this church joined the association. 


"Cape May church may be deemed an original church, 
liaving sprang from none other, but having originated in 
the place where it exists. (2) It has now existed for eighty- 
three years, and has increased from 37 to 63. (3) In 1714 
many of them died of a grievous sickness, which had well 
Tiigh depopulated the settlement. (4) In 171 5 they built 
their first meeting house, on land purchased from Isaac 
Stratten, but his title being naught, they lost both house 
and land." 

"Rev. Nathaniel Jenkins * * * became their min- 
ister at the constitution in 171 2, and continued in the min- 
istry to 1730, when he resigned and went to Cohansey. He 
was a Welshman, born in Caerdicanshire March 25, 1678, 
:arrived in America 1710, and in 1712 settled at the Cape. 
He Avas a man of good parts and tolerable education, and 
■quitted himself with honor in the loan office (where he was 
a trustee), and also in the assembly (particularly in 1721), 
"when a bill was brought in to punish such as denied the 
<doctrine 'of the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the inspiration 
o( Holy Scriptures, etc' In opposition to which Mr. Jenk- 
ins stood up, and, with the warmth and accent of a Welshman 
said: T Ijelieve the doctrines in question as firmly as the 
promoters of that ill-designed bill, but will never consent to 
oppose the opposers with law, or with any other v/eapon, 
save that of argument, etc' Accordingly the bill was quash- 
-ed, to the great mortification of them who wanted to raise 
'in New Jersey the spirit which so raged in New England." 
He served in the Assembly from 1723 to 1733. Mr. Jenkins' 
wife was Esther Jones, who bore him nine children, one of 
which was Rev. Nathaniel Jenkins, 2d, his eldest son, who 
became his successor. The latter was born in Wales April 
511, 1710. and brought as an infant to America. He was 



called to the ministry in 1744, ordained in 1747, when he- 
took on him care of tlie church, but he continued not long; 
therein, but fell into the power of hurtful spirits, which, 
brought on fits and a premature dotage. He died in 1796. 
He was succeeded by Rev. Samuel Heaton, who was pastor 
from 1756 to 1760. 

Rev. John Sutton was pastor from April i, 1764, to May 
6, 1766. 

Rev. Peter Peterson Vanhorn was pastor from April 7,. 
1770, to 1775. 

Rev. David Smith, the next pastor, was a native of the 
place; ordained pastor March. 1776; died Februray, 1784,.. 
aged 54. 

Rev. Artis Seagrave was pastor from 1785 to 1788. 

Rev. John Stanclifif was pastor from October. 1789, ta 
1802, when he died. 

James Carman, who was born at Cape May in 1677, was 
pastor of the Baptist church at Cranbury. N. J., and he was,, 
no doubt, the son of Caleb Carman, who was justice of the 
peace in 1685. 

The Assembly of 171 3 voted to tax the province ^1730 in 
two instalments. Cape May's apportions were £54 and £25. 
John Taylor and Major Jacob Spicer were the assessors- 
and Ephraim Edwards collector. On the i6th of March, 
this year, Richard Downs was commissioned to be a captain 
of militia for the upper part of the county, and David WeleS' 
made his lieutenant and Arthur Cresse ensign, while Hum- 
phrey Hewes was commissioned six days earlier captain of 
the militia for the lower end of the county, with Ephraim' 
Edwards as his lieutenant and Samuel Mathews ensign. 

On March 17 John Townsend and Jacob Spicer were ap- 
pointed judges, with Humphrey Hughes, Timothy Bran- 
dreth, Joseph \\'eldon and John Page commissioners of the- 

From old records at Trenton were gathered the following" 
records of early marriages and their issues: 

Justice John Townsend, June 6, 1715, married Cornelius- 
Schillinger. Jr., and Mary Stiles. Witness: Cornelius Schil- 
linger, Henry Stiles, Henry Stiles, Jr., Edmund Shaw, Johns 


Taylor, Daniel Wiggins, John Willkiss, Richard Forteskue, 
Isaac Brooks, Jr., Benjamin Hand, Jr. 

Isaac Strattron, Jr., married Mary Foster October 15, 


Rev. Nathaniel Jenkins married George Taylor to Lydia 
Shaw May 8, 1720. Issue: William, b. June 7, 1722; "eldest 
daughter," b. Feb. 22, 1723-4; daughter, b. Jan. 24, 1726-7.. 

William Shaw married Lydia Parson April 8, 1695, by 
Jeremiah Crowell, in presence of Henry Stiles, Hannah 
Stiles, Abram Smith and others. Issue: William, b. Aug 
24, 1697, d. Dec. 13, 1714; Richard, b. Oct. 29, 1699; Lydia, 
b. Sept. 14, 1703; John, b. Feb. 4, 1705; Joshua, b. Mar. 26, 
1707; Nathan, b. Dec. 23, 1710. 

James Briggs and Margery Taylor, married by Justice 
Thomas Hand March 22, 1713. Issue: Mary, b. Aug. 19, 
1715; Elizabeth, b. July 3. 1717; Keziah, b. Aug. 30, 1719; 
Martha, b. Aug. 10, 1721; Sarah, b. May 31, 1724. 

Joseph Crowell married to Anrc Eglcr^::!rl by Justice 
John Townsend March 2, 1709. Issue: Mary, b. March 14, 
171 1 ; Edward, b. June 7, 1713; Joseph, b. Sept. 6, 1716. 

Justice John Townsend, 1706-7, married Benjamin Hand 
and Ann Chew. Issue: Isaac, b. Aug. 14, 1709; Pocianci, 
b. Aug. 9, 1711; Jacob, b. April 21, 1714. 

Josiah Crowell married Mary Whelding, daughter of Jo- 
seph Whelding, December 17, 1708. 

Richard Bass (?) married Elizabeth Duncan (?) May 11, 
1709, before Captain Mathews and others. 

Justices John Townsend, Humphrey Hughes, John Paige 
and Joseph Whillden married Thomas Bancrofts and Eliz- 
abeth Mattliews April 6, 171 5, in the presence cf Richard 
Downes, John Taylor, John Buck, John Hughes, Mary 
Matthews, John Cresse, Zelophead Hand, William Seagrave. 

John Taylor and Lydia Schillux were marrk d October 14, 

1722, by Rev. Nathaniel Jenkins. Issue: Mary, d. Aug. 5, 

1723. Lydia, his wife, died November, 1725, and John mar- 
ries "againe" tc Deborah Gavinson, by Rev. N. Jerjkins, 
May 8, 1726. 

John Taylor, son of George Taylor, married Elizabeth 
Bolsher, of Boston, April 5. 1697, "after the maner of ye 
Church of England." Witnesses: George Taylor, justice; 


Elizabeth Taylor, Jno. Worlidge, Tim Brandreth, clerk. Is- 
sue: Maigeiy, b. Aug. i6, 1698; George, b. Dec. 11, 1699; 
John, b. June 14, 1704; Mary, b. April 25, 1707, d. Oct. ii, 
171 1 ; Sanuiel, b. March 27, 1710, d. Oct. 11, 171 1; Jeremiah, 
b. Aug. 14, 1713, d. Dec. 22, 1713. 

Children of John Osbornes: Abiah. b. Sept. 9, 1692; Rutli, 
b. Feb. 20, 1698; Rezabeel, b. Jan. 21, 1704; Nathan, b. 
Feb. 2, 1706; Ananias, b. l^eb. 5, 1708. 

Children of Joseph Hints: Thomas. 1). Aug. 31, 1707; 
Mary, 1). Dec. 18, 1708; Hester, b. Feb. 4, 171 1; Anne, b. 
Oct. 10, 1712; Joseph, b. Jan. 26, 1715. 

Robert Champion and Mary Mayps married at Cape May 
June 17, 1715, by "John Townsend, one of his Majesty's Jus- 
tices of the Peace." 

John Willits and Martha Corson married by Justice John 
Townsend October 5, 1716. 

William, son of William Seagreaves, born October 14, 

Thomas Leaming, in his manuscript, tells us of the severe 
epidemic which visited Cape May Court House in the win- 
ter of 1 71 3-14. Some forty and more residents died. He 
says: "The disease came on with a pain in the side, breast, 
and sometimes in the back, navel, tooth, eye, hand, feet, legs 
or ear." Among the victims were Nicholas Stillwell, Arthur 
'- Cresse, Sr., and Jr., Reuben Swain, Richard Smith, Samuel 
Garretson, Cornelius Hand, Joseph Hewit, William Shaw, 
John Reeves, Richard Fortesque, John Stillwell, James Gar- 
retson, Return Hand, John Foreman, Jedediah Hughes, 
John Matthews, Daniel Wells and over twenty others. It 
can scarcely be conjectured from the above recital of symp- 
toms 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. 

The second oldest church established in this county was 
by the Presbyterians at Cold Spring in 17 14. 

The first Presbytery organized in this county was that of 
Philadeljjliia in 1705. The Cold Spring church was an out- 
growth of this body. The first minister was the Rev. John 
Bradner, who was licensed by Messrs. Davis, Hampton and 


Jienry in 1714. Mr. Bradner, who lived on his own estate 
.and gave his name to the httle stream near the church, was a 
^Scotchman, who remained as pastor until 1721. 

The first church was a small log building, erected in 1718. 

A writer says of the meeting houses of those days: 

"The plain meeting house was in harmony with the way 
of worship which they had chosen. If the pulpits were high, 
it was because the ministers were expected to stand far above 
the people, and to be shining examples of Protestant princi- 
ples. They would have been afraid of low pulpits, lest they 
might tend toward popery and the service of the mass. 

"Again, the meeting house was never lighted except by 
the sun, until singing schools made it necessary to intro- 
duce candles. Night meetinc;s in the meeting house were 
■considered quite improper, and the Presbyterian would have 
thought candles too suggestive of the superstitions of the 
Church of Rome. There were no fireplaces, or stoves, or 
other means of warming those old meeting houses for many 
years after the colony was planted. The people were exem- 
plary in their attendance on worship, and they went regularly 
to the religious services. It was the spirit of that age. The 
Lord's day began at sunset on Saturday. 

"The early ministers regarded the Sabbath as a time for 
the public worship of God and for religious instruction. 
'The people came together at 9 o'clock for the morning ser- 
vice. In early times they were summoned by the beat of the 
•drum. Sometimes the voice of the town crier, or the blowing 
of a conch shell, or of a horn, served instead of the drum. 
The old meeting houses were crowded, for the people were 
•anxious to attend the services on the Sabbath. Inside the 
doors the most conspicuous object was the pulpit, with the 
things that belonged to it. In front of the pulpit, on a low 
platform, sat the deacons, facing the congregation. On a 
-platform a little higher than the deacons sat the ruling elders. 
Above them in the pulpit itself sat the two ministers. This 
array of dignitaries, some of them, at least, in robes of office, 
looked down upon the congregation, and was looked up to 
T)y the people. The pastor began with a solemn prayer, con- 
tinuing about a quarter of an hour. After this the teacher 
tread and expounded a chapter in the Bible. This exposition 


of the chapter was one of the leading parts of the service. 
Then a Psahn was sung by the congregation. . No instru- 
mental music was allowed in the Puritan churches, partlj 
because such music was very prominent in the services of the 
prelatical churches, and partly because it was believed to be 
contrary to the word of God. After the Psalm came the ser- 
mon by the pastor, and this was the great feature of the ser- 
vice. Its length was measured by the hour glass, which' 
commonly stood on the pulpit. The minister turned the 
glass when he began to preach, and he was expected, on or- 
dinary occasions, to draw his discouf^e to a close when the 
last sands were running out from th^. glass. Yet there were 
intances when the glass was turned two or three times. 

"Although they were carefully prepared, the sermons of 
the early ministers were not as in this day, written. The ser- 
mon being finished, the teacher made a short prayer, and 
another Psalm was sung. Then baptism was administered 
to children who were presented by their Christian parents. 
Once a month the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was ad- 
ministered, in connection with the morning services. The 
people were then dismissed with the benediction." 

Among the first settlers of Cape May were many Qua- 
kers, notably the Townsends, Corsons, Leamings and Spa- 
cers. In 1716 a meeting house was built by that denomina- 
tion at Seaville. The principal contributors to the building 
fund were John Townsend and his son, Richard; Peter Cor- 
son and Aaron Leaming, of Cape Alay county, and John 
Somers and one Scull, of Gloucester (now Atlantic) county. 
Meetings are held quarterly in this ancient structure. Friends 
coming usually from Salem county to conduct the services. 
It is known among the Friends by the name of the "Old 
Cedar Meeting House." 

The following extracts are taken from a Friend's history 
of the meeting houses of that time: 

"Great Egg Harbor. 

" ? — A monthly meeting hath been held there for some 

years, composed of the Friends who live there and those of 
Cape May; they belong to Salem and Gloucester Quarterly 

"On the divis of Haddonfield Quarter from that of Salem, 


"Great Egg Harbor and Cape May monthly meetings was 
embraced in Haddonfield. The monthly meeting was dis- 
continued in ? 

"Great Egg Harbor. 

"1702 — The first convincement of Friends about Great 
Egg Harbor was about the year 1702, since which meetings 
have been settled there and two meeting houses built." 

It is probable that one of the houses referred to was that 
at Cape May. The meeting at Great Egg Harbor has been 
discontinued and the few remaining members attached to 

"Cape May. 

"The meeting at Cape May was established early, and 
then formed a part of Great Egg Harbor monthly meeting." 

The introduction to the Great Egg Harbor and Cape ]\Iay 
monthly meetings says: "Several Friends of Great Egg 
Harbor and Cape May having for some time been under 
considerable inconvenience for want of a monthly meeting 
of men and women being erected amongst them for the 
well managing of the affairs of the church in the good and 
whole some Discipline, have endeavored in an expostulatory 
letter directed to the Quarterly Meeting of Gloucester and 
Salem to set forth the same to said meeting's consideration. 
(Which was done i6th of 7th month, 1726.) Granted that it 
should begin and be held on the first Second-day in each 
month, that is to say, to begin at Richard Somers', on Great 
Egg Harbour side, in the ninth month next, and in the tenth 
month at Elizabeth Garretson's, on Cape May side, and so 
on interchangeable until Friends there shall see cause to 
make any alteration for their own conveniency. 

"Pursuant to which conclusion the Friends of Great Egg 
Harbor and Cape May met at Richard Somers' the 7th day 
of the ninth mo., 1726, and proceeded to the business of the 

"At s'd meeting Richard Townsend was chosen clarke of 
s'd monthly meeting. 

"At s'd meeting Peter White and Jonathan Adams was 
appointed overseers of the meeting held at Japhet Leeds's, 
Peter White's and John Scull's. And for the meeting held 
at Cape May Ri«hard Townsend is appointed overseer. 


"At our monthly meeting for Cape and Egg- Harbour this 
5th day of the loth mo., 1726. 

"At s'd meeting Richard Somers and Judeth Letart Pub- 
lished their intentions of marriage with each other, etc." 

These minutes were kept up until 1843. 

Samuel Smith says: "The first convincement of Friends 
about Great Egg Harbor was about 1702, since which meet- 
ings have been settled and meeting houses built." 

"For many years there seemed to be a great openness on 
the part of the inhabitants to receive the doctrines of Friends, 
and a number of Friends settling along the shore at vari- 
ous places, several meetings w^ere established, viz.: Egg^ 
Harbor. Galloway, Tuckahoe and Cape May. These formed 
Great Egg Harbor monthly meeting. Friends having died 
and others removed, none were left to sustain the meetings, 
and they have all been laid down or abandoned, and the 
properties sold or devoted to other uses, with a single ex- 
ception, that of Cape May, near Seaville, in that county. Tlie 
meeting was established soon after 1700, and the meeting" 
house built in 1716, by the Townsends, Learnings and others- 
It was rebuilt some years ago on a much smaller scale than 
formerly, and is still kept in repair, but. like the others men- 
tioned, it has no congregation. The old burial ground is 
still kept up." 



"On May 6, 1715," says Aaron Learning, 2d, "the Cold 
Spring mill v, as first set to work." Here grist was gror.nd. 

The old county road from Long Bridge to the head of 
Tuckahoe, and from thence to Gloucester Point, was made 
in 1716. 

The Assembly of this year, of which Colonel Daniel Coxe 
was Speaker, made Christopher Hughes a captain of militia 
under Lieutenant Jacob Spicer, with Ezekicl Eldrigg (prob- 
ably Eldridge) and John Cresy ensigns, and Samuel Eldridg 
lieutenant. An act was also passed during the session to 
prevent the firing the woods between February 14 and 
April 14, under a penalty of forty shillings. 

Spicer was not, it is said, an habitual attendant upon the 
sessions of the Assembly, and there are records to prove 
that his attendance was often forced. In 171 6 the officers of 
the colony were sent after him to compel his attendance, 
and Spicer, avoiding them, he was expelled and a new elec- 
tion ordered. This, however, did no good, because the peo- 
ple immediately returned Spicer as Assemblyman. 

At the council of the president and councillors of the 
province, held on March 30 and 31, 1716, at which were 
present Colonel Daniel Coxe, president, and Messrs. George 
Deacon, John Humphries. John Wills and Richard Bull, 
the "following surveys, v/ith others, were inspected and ap- 
proved by the Council of Propri'es and ordered to be recor- 
derd:" Daniel Cox and Jacob Spicer, 3933 acres; do., 100 
acres; do., 500 acres; do., 50 acres. 

In 1 7 19 Jeremiah Bass began his services as a member 
of the Assembly for Cape May, and served until 1723. He 
figured as as attorney at Salem from 1710 to 1716, but 
wiirther he was the same Jeremiah Basse who was an Ana- 
baptist m-'nistcr, agent for the West Jersey Society for Cape 


May in 1694 and 1695, when he resided at Cohansey, and at 
Burhngton, deputy governor of West Jersey 1698, and de- 
parted for England in 1699 or 1702, is not known. The for- 
mer may have been a son of the latter, and probably was. 

Whitehead says: "Jeremiah Basse was appointed governor 
of New Jersey July 15, 1697, for one year, and assumed 
the office April 7, 1698, and retained it until superseded 
by Governor Andrew Hamilton (whom he had succeeded), 
in December, 1699, returning to England before that time. 
He returned in 1703 as secretary of the province, under Lord 
Cornbury, by whom he was given various offices. In 1716 
he was elected to the Assembly from Cape May, where he 
then resided. In 1719 he was Attorney-General of the prov- 
ince. He died in 1725, his will being- proved August 9, in 
that year." 

In the session of 1718-19 of the Assembly Colonel Jacob 
Spicer was appointed to collect two instalments of colony 
tax, amounting to £42 8s. and £17 6s., and Spicer was also 
to administer oaths to Isaac Sharp, appointed colonel of the 
Salem and Cape May regiment, and to John Ralph, who 
was made major. 

Early in the development of Cape May the attention of the 
inhabitants was turned to the cultivation of the oyster, and 
the attention of the early legislators was turned toward the 
preservation of this industry. The first protective measure 
on record is that of March 27, 1719, which sets out in its 
preamble that oyster beds are "wasted and destroyed by 
strangers and others at vmseasonable times of the year, the 
preservation of which will tend to great benefit of the poor 
people and others inhabiting this province." It was enacted, 
therefore, that no person should rake or gather up the oys- 
ter or shells from May 10 to September i, that non-residents 
could not gather them up at any time to take away with 
them, under a penalty of forfeiting their vessels and equip- 
ments. Appointments were made to execute the provisions 
of the law, to inspect oyster boats and seize any which might 
be under suspicion. Jacob Spicer and Aaron Leaming were 
appointed the commissioners for Cape May, while for Glou- 
cester (Atlantic) county Richard Summers and James Steel- 
man were named. The fees of the commissioners were half 


oi the forfeitures, while the other hah' went to the colony. 
In 1723 Richard M. West, one of the councillors appointed 
'by the Crown for the colony, reporting to the Lords of 
Trade in England, complained of this act, protesting that it 
.acted against non-residents, claiming that the non-residents 
had as much right, inasmuch as the beds were not located, 
•as the Jerseymen to take the oysters. The law, however, 
was not interfered with. 

Old newspapers contain these accounts of wrecks on the 

"Boston News-Letter," September 17-24, 1724, says: 
"^'Boston, Sept. 23. — We have advice from Cape May, by 
way of Philadelphia, the loth instant, that there was a sloop 
-drove ashore as a wreck, her hands having left her at sea, 
.and was got safe in at Lewis Town. She was commanded 
"by Captain Thomas Moussel, from Boston, loaden with 
rhum and molasses. The sloop is since got ofif and is at 
Cape May." 

"The New York Gazette," July 30, 1733, said: "Philadel- 
phia, July 26. — We hear from Cape May that last week the 
Bodies of three Men drove ashore there, one of them had 
good Cloaths on, Gold Buttons in his Shirt sleeves, two 
Gold Rings on his Finger, a Watch and some pieces of Gold 
in his Pocket, and Silver Buckles on his Shoes, but was shot 
thro' the Head, the other two had their Heads cut off. 
About the same time a small sloop drove on shore about 15 
Miles to the Northward of the Cape, but it is not known 
-who she or the Men are. We also hear that a Brigantine 
sailed up our Bay as far as Bombay Hook, then tacked about 
and stood to Sea. Some think it was the Brigantine bound 
from Bristol with a number of Convicts, and that they have 
mutinied, and Murdered the Master and Men. We expect 
a more particular Account of this barbarous Murder in a 
i?ew days." 

"The Pennsylvania Gazette," July 28, 1743, says: 

"Philadelphia. — We hear from Cape May that a ship 
.bound into Virginia from Aberdeen. — Stuart. Master, came 
ashore there last Friday morning just before day. 'Tis un- 
certain whether she can be got ofT, or not." 

"'New York Weekly Post Boy," January 9, 1744: "Phil- 


adelphia, December 29. — We hear from Cape May that om 
Friday, the i6th Instant, in the Eveninsf, the Seneca, Capt 
Wasbrough, from Bristol, bound to this Port, was drove- 
ashore to the Northward of the Cape, bilged and filled with 
Water, but the People were all saved. She had been out 14- 

The following reports of arrivals and clearances of Cape- 
May vessels ard vessels bound to and from Cape May are- 
given from early newspapers: 

"The Xtw England Courant," of Xovcmbcr 6-13, 1725,, 

"Custom House, Boston. — Cleared Out — Freeman, fof 
Cape May." 

"New England Weekly Journal," October 16. 1727, says:: 

"Custom House, I'hiladelphia, Octob. 5. Cleared Out,. 
Tarresan for Cape May." 

"New England Weekly Journal," April 17, 1727, says: 

"Custom House, Philadelphia. April 6. Cleared out Hen- 
ry Stiles for Cape May." 

"Boston Gazette, April 24, mentions same clearance. 

"American Weekly Mercury," of October 9 to 16, 1729.. 

"Perth Amboy, October the 14th, 1729. Cleared for De- 
parture. * * * Sloop Jane and Mary, Samuel Sears,, 
for Cape May." 

"The New England Weekly Journal," November 22, 1731^ 
says : 

"Entries at the Port of Philadelphia, Nov. 11. Outward 
Bound. Butler for Cape May." 

"The Boston News-Letter," July 1-8, 1731. says: 

"Boston, July 7. Outward Bound, John Townsend for 
Cape May." 

"Boston News-Letter," June 8-15, 1732, says: 

"Cleared Out Jos. Worth, for Cape May," from "Boston 
Post," June 14. 

"Boston News-Letter," September 7-14, 1732, says: 

"Philadelphia, Sept. 7. Intred Inwards, Clymer from 
Cape May." 

"New England Weekly Journal," April 2, 1733, says: 


"Custom House, Philadelphia, March 6 to 13. Entred In. 
White from Cape May." 

"New England Weekly Journal," April 16, 1733, says: 

"Custom House, Boston, April 14. Entred Inwards, Jo- 
seph Worth for Cape May." 

"Weekly Rehearsal," August 11, 1735, says. 

"Custom House, Boston, Aug, 9. Entred inwards, Whill- 
der from Cape May." 

"The New England Weekly Journal." August 19, 1735. 
says : 

"Custom House Boston Aug. 18, cleared out, Wildow 
for Cape May." 

"Boston Weekly Post Hoy." July 30. 1744: 

"Newport, Rhode Island. July 27. Cleared Out, Davis 
for Perth Amboy. Stephens for Cape May." 

Before the eighteenth century began Cape May's early 
pioneers, who had come from Long Island, New Haven and 
other places, began to own cattle, which they pastured in 
almost every part of the county. From 1690 to 1730 a large 
number of the brands used on the cattle were known as 
"earemarks," because these red-hot brands were socked into 
the flesh near some part of the ear, and the marks were used 
as identifications to show ownership of the stock. Those 
who owned cattle were probably the well-to-do part of the 
community. These marks were not confined to cattle alone, 
but stamped upon horses, sheep, swine and lambs. In 
"Liber A. of Deeds and Miscellaneous Records," at the 
county clerk's ofifice can be found a large number recorded. 
A sample of the records given shows the quaint manner of 
recording them: 

"Joseph Ludlon his Eare Marke and El under the Left 
Eare. Recorded this 13 Day of March 1696-7. Now the 
mark of his Son Anthony Ludlam." 

"John Townsend's Eare Marke a Smalle forke on ye 
Right Eare and a half penny under ye Lefte. Recorded ye 
20 of February 1694-5. Now the mark of Richard Town- 
send, Jr." 

The following are the years and the names of those who 


had ear marks recorded during the period, whose names are 
given to show the famiHes then hving in the county: 

1691-2. — Henry Stites, Esaroh Stites. 

1693. — James Cressie, George Taylor, Joseph Hondoin, 
John Taylor. Shamgar Hand, Constant Hughes. Jr., Joseph 
Houldoin, Jr., Caleb Curwithy, Samuel Johnson, Joseph 
Whilden, Isaac Whilden, Oliver Johnson, William Seagrave, 
John Parsons, William Shaw, Jonathan Foreman, William 
Johnson, Jonathan Richardson, Benjamin Richardson. 

1694. — Robert Cressey, Timothy Brandreth, Samuel 
Crowell, Barnabas Crowell, Benjamin Land, Isaac Hand, 
Lubbart Gisborsen, Samuel Richardson, Caesar Hoskins, 
John Cresse, Jr., John Stillwell, William Simpkins, Thomas 
Goodwin, Peter Coston, Jonathan Carman, Samuel El- 
dridge, Thomas Gandy, Jonathan Osborn, Jos. Badcock, 
Daniel Johnson, Nathaniel Hand, Ezekiel Hand, Wilham 
Smith, Joshua Carman. Thomas Langley, Jacob Dayton, 
Capt. Downs. 

1694-5. — Nathaniel Shute, Cornelius Skelinger, John 
Townsend, Richard Townsend, Jr., William Jacox, Randall 

1696. — George Booth, Edward Lumus. Joseph Ludlam, 
Abraham Hand, John Hand, Thomas Teaming, John Jervis, 
Thomas Hand, Daniel Hand, George Hand, Jeremiah 
Hand, Edward Foster, Jacob Crowell, Samuel Croell, Jr., 
Humphrey Hughes, Jr., Thomas Mathews, Lewis Mulford, 
Elijah Hughes, Jacob Spicer, Joseph Hand, Eliu Swain. 

1696-7. — Randall Huit, Col. Spicer, Joseph Ludlow. 

1703. — Richard Townsend. 

1704. — John Crofford, George Crofford. 

1706. — Ezekiel Eldridge, Robert Pereman, John Buck, 
Aaron Teaming, Richard Stites, Abigail Stites, Samuel 
Johnson, "formerly George Booth, who left the county;" 
Ebenezer Johnson, Abraham Bauer, Richard Swaine, Jona- 
than Swaine, Thomas Hand, Jr., Cornelius Hand, Jeremiah 
Hughes, Jeremiah Teaming, John Taylor, Nathaniel Short, 
Joshua Shaw. 

1707. — John Crandall, Shamgar Hand, Jr., Henry Young, 
Benjamin Stites, Jonathan Stites, Ebenezer Swaine, Silas 
Swaine, W' illiam Matthews, Constant Hughes. 


1708. — Josiah Crowell, Samuel Crowell, Robert Town- 
send, Zelopead Hand and son, Nathaniel. 

1709. — Benjamin Hand, John Garlick, John Cresse and 
his son, Robert; Aaron Leonard, Aaron Leaming", Jr. 

1 7 10. — Moses Cressy, Richard Fortescue, Henry Stevens, 
Isaac Shutton, John Goafe. 

1 711. — Charles Robinson, Joshua Garlick, Ebenezer Nu- 
ton, Joseph Whilden, Senr., James Whelden, Peter Hand, 
Christopher Church. 

1712. — Benjamin Holden, Henry Stephens, Jonathan 
Foreman, David Cresse, Lewis Cresse. 

171 3. — Jeremiah Church, Samuel Eldridge. — 

1714. — Nathaniel Hand, James Brigs. 

171 5. — Thomas Bancroft, Benjamin Crofford, Ezekiel 
Mulford, Samuel Swaine, John Willis. 

1 7 16. — William Robinson, William Alulford, Nathaniel 
Norton, Daniel Norton. 

1717. — John Hand, William Nickkolls. 

1718. — Thomas Langley, Richard Shaw, John Taylor. Jr. 

1720. — Nathaniel Foster, Nathaniel Rosco, Joshua Crof- 
ford, Andrew Godfrey. 

1 72 1. — Zebulon Swaine, Charles Barnes. Thomas Learn- 
ing, John Cresse, Jr., "formerly Caesar Hoskins, who de- 
serted the countv;" John Stillwell, Samuel Richardson, John 

1722. — Benjamin Johnson, Samuel Bancroft, William 
Smith and son, Richard; David Hildreth, Josiah Hildreth, 
Thos. Teaming and his son, Christopher; Cornelius Schil- 
liux, Jr., Nathaniel Rosco, James Hawthorne. 

1723. — John Smith, Zebulon Swaine, James Swaine, Wm. 

1724. — John Tomson. 

1725. — Wm. Doublcdav, Epliraim Edwards, John Cran- 
dell. • 

1726. — Anthony Ludlam, Providence Ludlam. William 
Nickols, Samuel Foster. Peter Paige, William Eldridge. 

1727. — Cornelius Hand. 

1730. — John Garlock. Thomas Stonebank. 

1731. — Isaac Ludlam, Hezekiah Schull, Samuel Mathews, 
Jas. Jacocks, "formerly Jon. Swain, he leaving the county;" 


James Edwards, Dan'l Norton, Moses Cresse, Ebenezer 
Norton, Caleb Norton. 

1732. — Joshua Shaw. John Shaw. 

1734. — Nathan Osborn, Deborah Golden. 

Among the commissions made out at Fort George, New 
York, in 1721, were one of August 3, 1721, to Aaron Leamy- 
ing to be clerk of peace and of court, and those of Octo- 
ber 2, to Jacob Spicer, Thomas Leming and x\aron Lem- 
ing, to administer civil and military oaths, and to Richard 
Downs to be high sheriff. The next year the commission 
of the peace was composed of Jacob Spicer, Humphrey 
Hughs, Joseph W'hilding, John Hand, Robert Townsend, 
William Smith, John Parsons, Christopher Church and Hen- 
ry Young. On September 11. that year, John Ralfe was 
made deputy surrogate for the counties of Cape May and 
Salem. During the same year Cape May county was re- 
quired to pay colony tax amounting to £76 19s. 8p.. and 
Richard Downs was appointed to collect it. 

At various times during the early part of the eighteenth 
century the Spanish were at variance with England, and 
Spain was trying to secure some trade from the American 
colonies, and preyed upon English merchantmen. Early 
Cape May men saw some of these privateers, and the fol- 
lowing newspaper reports of those times are here given: 

The "Boston News-Letter," of from Monday, January 7, 
to Monday, January 14, 1712, says in its "Boston Notes:" 

"By a certain Person come hither from Cape May in the 
Province of Jersey, we are inform'd, that on the i6th of No- 
vember Last about 3 leagues off that Cape he was taken in 
the Sloop Betty of St. Christophers Walter Scot, Commander, 
bound from Jamaica to New- York, by a Martinico Privateer 
Sloop of 8 Guns 130 men, Scot had on board when he was 
taken 38 Hogsheads of Rum, and 48 Negroes. The Priva- 
teer sent his Prize to Martinico, with Some of her men, 
enough to condemn her, the rest he put on shore the next 
day at Cape May." 

The "New England Courant," of Boston, from July 30 to 
August 6, 1722. says: 

"Philadelphia. July 26. On Sunday the 22d arrived a 
small Sloop, Jonathan Swain Master, from Cape May, by 


■whom we have Advice, That a Pyrate Brigantine and Sloop 
Thave been cruising on and off both our Capes for above 
Three Weeks. They several Times sailed up the Bay Ten 
or Twelve Leagues; and on the 8th Instant brought a large 
Sloop down with them, which they took up high in the Bay. 
That Night they anchored in the Bay about a League and 
Half off the Shore, beat Drums all Nignt and seemed to be 
very full of Men. What Vessels they have took we do not 
yet understand, none of the Prisoners being set on Shore. 
Our Trade is entirely stopped by them, no Vessel daring to 
go out and all took that offer to come in. They were both 
seen on Thursday last cruising about their old Station, not 
fearing disturbance from the Men of War, who. by dear Ex- 
perience we know, love Trading better than Fighting. No 
Vessel has arrived here for a Week; except Hargrave in the 
-Sloop Little Joseph, who sailed from hence about two 
months ago for the Island of St. Christophers, but was taken 
by the Pyrates three Times and rifled of most of her Cargo, 
so that she was obliged to return back." 

"The Boston Evening Post," of August ii, 1740, says: 

"New- York, August 4. Captain Janney, off of Cape May, 
saw a black Sloop (supposed to be a Spanish Privateer, and 
the same as mentioned in our last) laying to under her 
Foresail, but on seeing Janncey, she up wnth her Mainsail 
:and made up to him, but a ship appearing she left Janncey, 
who saw her come up to the Ship, but missing Stays, the 
Ship got away, when the Sloop went after her again, but 
missing Stays a second time, the Ship who was under dou- 
ble Reeft Sails, let them out and got clear of the Sloop." 

"The Boston Gazette or Weekly Journal," of September 
29. 1747. says: 

"Philadelphia. September 17. Monday morning last ar- 
rived here an express Boat from Lewis, the Advice that they 
had been under Arms there for three Days, on account of 
two Spanish Privateer Sloops being at the Capes, one of ten 
the other of Eight Guns: That they had taken the Ship Del- 
.aware, Cap. Sake of this Place, outward bound, one (un- 
known) bound in. and were in Chase of a Third; they had 
-also taken three of our Pilots. But a Pilot Boat has come up 


since from Cape-May, who saw nor heard nothing of them:' 
so that tis thought they are gone off with their Prizes." 
"The New York Evening Post," July 20, 1747, says: 

"Philadelphia . Yesterday came up to Town, one of 

our Pilot Boats with 4 men lately belonging to a Sloop- 
bound from Virginia to New- York. Constantine Hughes,,. 
Master, which was drove on Shore on Monday last on Cape- 
May, by a Spanish Privateer Sloop, which Sloop had taken ■ 
a few Days before, 2 of our Pilot-Boats, one of which they 
mann'd with 30 Hands & sent up our Bay, above Bomb- 
Bay-Hook, where they landed on Sunday last, and to the 
Plantation of Mr. Edmond Liston, and took away 4 Negroes- 
and every thing else that they tho't they wanted to the Value 
of about 200I. from whence they went to another Planta-^ 
tion and took a Negro, but the People shutting the Door" 
upon them they fir'd at them and shot a ^^■oman thro' the 
Thigh, and in the Evening they went down the Bay again, 
where meeting with another of our Pilot-Boats, they stripped 
her of the Sails &c. and on Tuesday Morning she was seen, 
going out of the Capes to look for the Privateer Sloop, 
having one of our Pilots on board, and they told the last 
Pilot they took, that they had taken 13 Vessels on our Coast, 
four of which they sent home, and sunk and burnt the rest." 
"Boston Gazette or Weekly Journal," of July 21, 1747, 
says, in speaking of a privateersman's acts: 

"Soon after they fell in with a poor Cape-May man, laden 
with Shingles, which they took, and gave to 25 of the Pris- 
oners, with scarce any Provisions on board." 

The "New York Evening Post," of August 10. 1747, says: 
"New-York, August 3. Last Saturday arrived here Capt. 
Hughes from Mrginia: who informs: that on the 13th oi 
July being off Cape-May, he was chased by a small French- 
Privateer Schooner, so near the Land, that he was forced 
to rvin her ashore and quit her, the Privateer came along 
Side of the Sloop, broke open the Hatches, and began tO' 
throw some of her Cargo over board, and by that means got 
off, next n;orning Capt. Huges came down and saw her un- 
der sail, soon after another \^essel hove in sight, they all left 
the Sloop to go after the other, he seeing this got a small 


Craft with some men besides his Comphment, went on board' 

hoisted Sail, and is safe arrived." 

The "Boston Weekly Post Boy," of July 4, 1748, says: 
"Philadelphia, June 23. On Friday night came to Town, 

Capt. Wm. Clymer. jun. bound in here from S. Carolina, but 

was chased in near Cape May by a Sloop on Wednesday last, 

upon which he quitted his Vessel, and went ashore with his 

Men in the Boat." 

About the same time Don Joseph Hautenoan, a Spanish 

privateersman, took four vessels ofif Cape May. 



The accounts of the treasurer of West Jersey from Septem- 
•ber, 1720, to September, 1725, exhibit that Richard Downs, 
as collector, paid all the moneys from Cape May county 
during these five years. During the years 1722 and '23, the 
treasurer received £39 9s. od., of which Humphrey Hughes 
received £16 15s. od. for his attendance as representative for 
the county in the Assembly. In 1723 the tax received was 
£33 CIS. lo^d., of which, on March 16, Humphrey Hughes 
was paid £22 los. od. and Jacob Spicer £10 for their serviecs 
as members. In 1724 two equal payments of £21 14s. od. 
were received, and in 1725 £31 4s. 6d. The latter year the 
treasurer paid "Mr." (probably Nathaniel) Jenkins and 
Humphrey Hughes each £23 14s. od. for their services as 
members of the Assembly. 

On July 2, 1723, the first court, of which records were 
preserved, was held in the Presbyterian meeting house at 
■ Cold Spring. 

In 1723 bills of credit were issued by the province of New 
Jersey to the amount of £40,000. Cape May's share in this 
loan was £1115, and commissioners for this part of the fund 
were Humphrey Hughes and the Rev. Nathanael Jenkins, 
who were given an annual salary of £11. (In 1728 their sal- 
aries were reduced to £4 los.) Cape May was required to 
furnish for ten years an annual sum of £3 1 4s. 6d. to go tow- 
ard a fund to sink the bills. From the manuscripts of Aaron 
Learning, ist, and Aaron Leaming, 2d, the following facts 
are found: About 1723 the State of New Jersey had her ob- 
ligations indorsed by Great Britain and a large sum of mon- 
ey obtained to loan on mortgage security in the different 
• counties of the State. Under this and subsequent acts three 
loans were made to Cape May county by the State, viz.:, £1115; second, 1731, £634; third, 1734, £1248. 


In 1753 these loans matured and the State ordered them 
•_paid. Messrs. Hughes and Jenkins served as commission- 
ers of the loan office until 1737. In 1733 the Legislature 
A^ested the power of selection of the commissioners in th'i 
justice of the peace of the county, and Henry Young and 
Henry Stites were the first appointed by the freeholders and 
justices to manage this loan, and continued until May 12, 
1742, when they resigned, and the same day Aaron Learning, 
1st, and Aaron Leaming, 2d. father and son, were appointed 
•commissioners, and remained so until the death of Aaron 
Leaming, ist, in 1746. when Henry Young was chosen in 
liis place, and they remained commissioners until the loan 
l)ecame due in 1753. The books remained in the commis- 
rsioners' hands until August 14, 1765. Jeremiah Leaming, 
who was a collector of taxes, assisted the other com^mis- 
sioners in the performance of their duties. In 1765 Aaron 
Leaming, 2d, says: "The loans are all paid except some tri- 
lling sums, and the mortgages canceled." 

Mr. Leaming further states in his diary: 

"June 20, 1765 — the Gen'l Assembly of X. J. passed a law 
for removing the Books out of the hands of the respective 
■commissioners of the Loan Office in the several counties 
of this province, into the hands of the Clarks of the Peace 
of the counties, and as I hapepned to be one of Loan officers 
ior Cape May (Henry Young, Esq., being the other), I 
thought proper to take the following extracts from the said 
iDOoks before they passed out of my hands." These extracts 
liave been woven into the preceding paragraphs of this book. 

In the accounts of John Allen, treasurer of the province 
from 1733 to 1 75 1, in the exhibits of the moneys received 
from 1733 to 1736 for the support of the government are 
Hhe following entries of receipts from Cape May county: 

"Cape May, £97:19:06. 

"Interest money reed acct £40.000 loan. Cape May, 
f 7 :o9 :o8. 

"Interest money reed on acct £20.000, Cape May, £133:- 

"Interest money rec'd on acct £40,000, Cape May, £53 •* 


1739. "To int. money from Cape May £24: 16: — on accf". 
i20,ooo, £43:8." 

1740. "Int. money Cape ]\Iay £73:13:6. Cape May,^ 

1743 and 1744. "Int. money from Cape May on £40,000;' 
& £20,000, £146:5:0." 

1745, 1746 and 1747. "To int. money reed from Loan OfY,. 
Com, from Cape May, £182:6:6." 

1748. "Int. on £20,000 & £40,000, Cape May £39:19:6," 
and also, the same year, £28:5:6. 

1750. "Int. money from Cape May £22:4:0." 

1751. "Int. money from £14:8:0." 

In 1751 Treasurer Allen paid Aaron Teaming £34:2:0 and! 
Jacob Spicer £7:4:0 for services, which are not stated. 

The county of Cape May was divided into three town- 
ships, Upper, Middle and Lower, April 2, 1723, of whick 
the olBcial record says : 

"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 Present. — Jacob Spicer, (first), Humphrey- 
Hughes, Robert Townsend, John Hand, Henry Young;.. 
William Smith. 

The county divided into precincts, excepting the Ce- 
dar Swamp; the lower precincts being from John Tay- 
lor'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,.. 
excepting the Cedar Swamp, which is to be at the general 
charge of the county." 

In 1723 Aaron Learning, ist. purchased of the Engliski 
owners Seven-Mile Beach, which had been first surveyed in- 
May, 1 72 1, and what was after that time known as Learn- 
ing's Beach for about a century. He gave £606 for the same,., 
amounting to about $2500 of present United States money.. 


.His deed for the property is here given in its full text, as 
-follows : 

"This Indenture made the Twenty forth Day of December 
"in the ninth year of the Reign of George over Great Britain 
France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith &c Between 
■Charles Dockminique John Bennet Edward Richier Robert 
Mitchele Thomas Skinner and Joseph Brooksbank Gentle- 
.men all of the City of London in the Kingdom of Great 
Britain and other Proprietors of the Western Devition of 
■the Province of New Jarsey Commonly Called & known by 
'the name of the New Jarsey Society of the one part and 
Aaron Teaming of the County of Capmay & Providence of 
New Jarsey yeoman of the other part witnesseth that for an 
in the Consideration of the sum of six hundred & Six pounds 
•of the old Currency of the western Devition of the province 
•of New Jarsey or Seventy nine pounds & ten Shillings in 
mony according to our Late Queens Proclamation in hand 
■paid to Lewis Morris Esqr agent and Attorney for Charles 
Dockminique John Bennet Edward Rechter Robert Mit- 
chele Thomas Skinner and Joseph Brooksbank the Precept 
Avhereof is hereby acknowledged and the said Aaron Learn- 
ing his heirs executors & Administrators of the same and 
of every part and parcell thereof is acquitted Released ex- 
onerated and Discharged forever have Granted Bargained 
Sold Released enfeoffed and Confeirmed and by these pres- 
ents Do fully absolutely and Clearly Grant Bargain Sell Re- 
leas Enfeoff and Confeirm unto him the said Aaron Learn- 
ing his heirs and asigns all that Tract of Land Beach and 
Marsh Lying and being in the County of Capmay and prov- 
ince of New Jarsey called or known by the name of the 
Seven mile beach it being an inlire Island from three Quar- 
ters flood to one Quarter Ebb Bounded as followeth (viz) 
Bounded on the Southeast by the main ocean or Sea on the 
Southwest by the Inlet Called Little hereford Inlet, and on 
the Northwest by the Creeks and Sounds that are flowed 
with water from three Quarters flood to one Quarter Ebb, 
and on the northeast by the Inlet Called Townsends Inlet 
Together also with all and all manner of woods under woods 
'Trees mines minerals Quarres Haukings Huntings Foulings 


Fishings fences Buildings Improvements heireclitaments ancT. 
appurtenances whatsoever thereunto belonging or in any 
ways appurtaining and all the estate right title property pos- 
session Intrest Claim and Demand whatsoever either in law 
or Equity of them the said Charles Dockminique John Ben— 
net Edward Ruchier Robert Mitchell Thomas Skinner and 
Joseph Brooksbank and the Rest of the proprietors of the 
Western Devision of the Province of New Jarsey known by 
the name of New Jarsey Society their or either of their heir 
heirs of in too unto or out of the above Bargained and Grant- 
ed or the hereby intended to be Bargained and Granted 
premises and every part and parcell thereof TO HAVE 
AND TO HOLD all the above Bargained and Granted or 
the hereby intended to be granted Land Marsh or Beach and 
promises unto him the said Aaron Learning his heirs and 
asigns forever To the Sole and only proper use Benefit and 
Behoof of him the said Aaron Leaming his heirs and asigns 
forever and the said Charles Dockminique John Bennet Ed- 
ward Richier Robert Mitchell Thomas Skinner and Joseph 
Brooksbank for themselves and each of them severrally for 
their respective heirs Executors and administrators Do 
Covenant Grant Bargain promise and agree to and with the 
said Aaron Leaming his heirs and assignes that all the time 
of the ensealing and Delivering of these presents those called 
and known of the, New Jarsey Society above mentioned 
Stand Lawfully Seized of the above Granted or Intended to 
be Granted Land Marsh & Premises of a Good sure perfect 
& undefeizable Estate of inheiritance in the Law in fee sim- 
ple and that they the Said Charles Dockminique John Ben- 
net Edward Richier Robert Mitchell Thomas Skinner and 
Joseph Brookebank have in them Selves good Right full 
power and absolute authority (all the time of the ensealing 
& Delivering of these presents) to Grant Bargaine Sell Con- 
vey and Confeirm the above Granted or the hereby 
intended to be Granted Land marsh & premises 
unto him the said Aaron Leaming his heirs & asigns as is 
above mentioned to be Granted Bargained Sold &c and 
that the above Granted and Bargained primises in the Quiet 
and peaceable posession of him the said Aaron Leaming his 
heirs & asigns free & clear & frely & Clearly acquited & 


Discharged from all former & other Grants Bargains Sales 
Leases Releases Mortgages & all other incumberences in 
the Law whatsoever shall forever remain and the said 
Charles Dockminique Edward Richier Robert Mitchill 
Thomas Skinner John Bennet & Joseph Brooksbank for 
themselves & each of them severally for their respective 
heirs Executors and administrators Do furder Covenant 
Bargain and promise and agree to & with him and said Aa- 
ron Learning his heirs and asigns that all the above Granted 
or the hereby intended to be Granted Land marsh & prem- 
ises with all the appurtainces thereunto belonging in the 
peacable & Quiet possession of him the Said Aaron Leam- 
ing his heirs & asigns. against any manner of person or 
persons that shall ever Lay any Just or Lawful! Claim 
unto the same or to any part or parcell thereof by vcrtue of 
any Right had in the same any time before the Day of Date 
of these presents they will & shall forever warrant and De- 
fend and each of their Respective heirs as above said the 
same in Like manner Shall forever warrant & De"fend in the 
peacable & Quiet Possession of him the said Aaron Learning 
his heirs and asigns after the same manner as is above men- 
tioned and that all any time within the term of tenn years 
Next ensuing the Date Hereof they every of them and their 
agent for the time being Shall make and execute at the 
proper Cost and Charge in the Law of him the said Aarr^ 
Leaming his heirs and assigns all such furder and other deed 
& conveyances for the better asureingand confeirming the 
above mentioned Land & premises unto him the said /Varon 
Leaming his heirs and asigns forever as shall be by him the 
said Aaron Leaming his heirs or asigns or by any of his or 
their councells Learned in tlie Law advises Devised or Re- 

In Witness whereof the Said Partyes to these presents 
have interchangeably put their hands & seals the Day and 
year first above mentioned 

Thomas Skinner Robert Mitchell 

Joseph Brooksbank Charles Docminique 

John Bennet Edward Richier 

Signed Sealed and Delivered in the presents of us 

Ir S HooDcr ' Richard Ashfield 


September 19th 1723 — Received of Aaron L^eaming the 
Consideration money mentioned in tlie within deed by mon- 
ey formerly Paid and a bond now given for the Remainder 
I say received by me Lewis Morris Agent. 

In 1726 the first census of Cape May county was given, 
and there were then but 668 persons residing witliin its ter- 

The census is abstracted from a letter of May 9, that year, 
from Governor Burnett to the Lords of Trade in London, 
and shows the total number of white residents to have been 
654, of which 209 were males above 16, 156 females above 
16, 148 males under 16, 141 females under 16, and the total 
number of negroes to have been 14, of which 8 were males 
.above 16, 5 females above 16, and one male under 16. The 
total population of the State was 32,442, of which 2581 were 

But the residents must have been a thrifty and pious set, 
because they seemed to accomplish a great deal with the 
little which they had to do. In the matter of religion they 
were a devout people. There had, with that small popula- 
tion, been established three meeting houses in the county, 
all on the one long main road which by that time had ex- 
tended from Town Bank to Cold Spring, on by the Baptist 
church at Court House, and the old Cedar Quaker meeting 
house at Seaville to Beesley's Point. From the journal of 
Thomas Chalkley, a traveling Friend from England, who 
visited Cape May this year, it appears to have been a wil- 
derness between Cohansey and the main road, but Chalkley, 
under date of 2d month, 1726, of his journey here: 

"From Cohansey I went through the wilderness over 
Maiu-ice 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 Townsend'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 sev- 
eral expressed 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 ex- 
pected, considering the people live at such distance from 
each other." 

In this year the tax levied upon Cape May was ii57 19s. 
8p., and Richard Townsend was entrusted to collect it. 
This was an average of four shillings for each inhabitant, or 
about $1.25, so that the tax was not very heavy upon them. 
On April 9th this year Benjamin Hand was commissioned 
a lieutenant in Captain Downes' company. On August 30, 
1733, the following were appointed a Commission of the 
Peace: Jacob Spicer, Humphrey Hughs, Robert Tow^nsend, 
William Smith, Richard Townsend, Henry Young, John 
Hand, Samuel Eldridge, William Seagrave, Henry Stites, 
Richard Stites, William Eldridge and Anthony Ludlam, 
and the judges selected were Jacob Spicer, Humphrey 
Hughs, Robert Townsend and William Smith. 



After Rev. John Bradner, the first pastor of the ColcF 
Spring Presbyterian Church, ended his labors there in 1731-. 
he removed to Goshen, Orange county, New York, where 
he died two years later. His estate was purchased for the 
church in 1721 by the following persons: Humphrey 
Hughes, Barnabas Crowell, Nathaniel Rex, George Hand. 
Jehu Richardson, Yelverson Crowell, John Parsons, George 
Crawford, Josiah Crowell, Colonel Jacob Spicer, Benjamin. 
Stites, William Mulford, Shamgar Hand. Jeremiah Hand, 
William Matthews, Joshua Gulicksen, Samuel Eldredge, 
Samuel Bancroft, Samuel Johnston, Recompence Hand, 
Jonathan Furman, Eleazer Norcault, Constant Hughes. 
-Ezekiel Eldredge, Cornelius Schellenger, Elcazcr Newton, 
Joshua Crawford, Jehu Hand, Nathaniel Norton, Johiu 

After the removal of Mr. Bradner the church was without 
a pastor till 1726, when the Rev. Hugston Hughes was set- 
tled and stayed one year only, as he was given '"to too strong 

From Aaron Leaming's, 2d, manuscript we read: 

"My father's father, Christopher Leaming, was an Eng- 
lishman, and came to America in 1670, and landed near or 
at Boston; thence to East Hampton. There he lived till 
about the year 169 1, and then leaving his family at Long Is- 
land, he came himself to Cape May, which, at that time, was 
a new county, and beginning to settle very fast, and seemed 
to promise good advantages to the adventurers. Here he 
went whaling in the proper season, and at other times work- 
ed at the cooper's trade, which was his occupation, and 
good at the time by reason of the great number of whales 
caught in 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 fish- 
ery in Delaware Bay. it dwindled into common farms, and 
the graveyard is on the plantation now owned by Ebenezer 
Newton. At the first settlement of the county, the chief 
whaling was in Delaware 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 pai- 
sons, the followers of Whitefield, that brought it into use at 
Cape May, about the year 1744-5-6. and now it impoverish- 
eth the country." 

"Aaron Leaming (the first), of the County of Cape May, 
departed this life at Philadelphia, of a pleurisie, on the 20th 
of June. 1746, about five o'clock in the afternoon. H'i was 
born at Sag, near East Hampton, on Long Island, Oct. 
I2th. 1687. being the son of Christopher 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 poor." 

Dr. Beesley says: 

"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, help- 
less and friendless; embraced the Quaker religion, lived a 
time at Salem, came to Cape May while yet a boy (in 1693), 
settled at Goshen, raised cattle, bought a shallop and went 
by water, gathered a considerable estate, but more knowl- 
edge than money. The 12th day of October. 1714. married 
Lydia Shaw, widow of Wiliam Shaw, and daughter of John 
Parsons. By her he had four children, Aaron, Jeremian,. 


Matthias and Elizabeth. He was first a justice of the peace 
at Cape May. In 1723 he was made clerk of Cape May, 
and in October, 1727, he was chosen assemblyman, and 
served in that post till July, 1744. He died June 20, 1748, 
aged 58, and his remains lie in vault 50, in Christ Church 
yard, Philadelphia. 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 lawyer 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 him 
to meeting." 

Another old record says; 

"There was an Indian killed on Foxborough Hill, at 
Beesley's Point, in 1736, by old Joseph Golden, who got 
into a quarrel and probably unintentionally killed his oppo- 
nent. It is said the Indians were so enraged against Golden 
that he was for a long time obliged to secrete himself to 
avoid their vengeance. A suit was instituted against him 
in the county wdiich was removed to Burlington, where he 
was tried and acquitted; but its great cost obliged him to 
dispose of that part of his place northwest of the main road 
to the Point, to Nicholas Stillwell." 

Concerning this event "The Pennsylvania Gazette," of 
August 2-7, 1736, says: 

"Cape-May, July 17. Yesterday the Coroner's Inquest 
view'd the Body of an Indian man, said to be kill'd by Jo- 
seph Golden, an English Inhabitant here. Isaiah Stites be- 
ing present and seeing tlie whole Difference, gave his Evi- 
dence to the Inquest, the Substance whereof was. That 
Golden having hired the said Indian with another Indian 
Man and Woman to pull some Flax, was to give them 


three quarts of Rum for their Labour, with which they got 
Drunk and quarrel'd with Golden, who then bid them be- 
gone from his House, but they refus'd going and gave him 
ill Language, whereupon a Quarrel ensued, and many 
Blows passing on both sides. Golden got a small Stick of 
Cudgel to drive them away, but the two Indians fell upon 
him and got him down, beat him very much and twisted his 
Neck, so that he seemed in Danger of his Life; Stites en- 
deavored to part them; at length Golden (with Stites' help) 
got on his Legs, and then took a larger stick in his Hand 
to defend himself, bidding the Indians to keep oti, but one 
of them coming violently at him, he struck him on the 
Head, knock'd him down, and he died without speaking a 
Word more: It appearing that there w^as no Difference be- 
tween Golden and the Indians, before that sudden Quarrel 
and that they had put him in fear of his Life, before he 
struck that blow, the Coroner's Inquest found it Man- 

Cape May county grew in its number of inhabitants from 
668 in 1726 to 1004 in 1737-8, or an increase of 336 in eleven 
years. The whites numbered: 

Males above 16 years 261 

Females above 16 years 219 

Males under 16 years 271 

Females under 16 years 211 

Total whites 962 

Negroes and other slaves: 

Males above 16 years 12 

Females above 16 years 10 

Males under 16 years 9 

Females under 16 years 11 

Total slaves 42 

Total in county 1004 

The first cattle brought over Cedar Swamp bridge were, 
according to Aaron Leaming driven over it in the year 
1729. The keeping up of the road was troublesome be- 
cause of the disputes over it. The three precincts of the 


county were each to care for a third of the road. But the 
lower precinct never did anything towards its maintenance, 
while the middle precinct did a small portion of the work. 
The bulk of the care fell upon the upper precinct, upon 
which the inhabitants of the others claimed the charge 
evolved. The others did not hesitate to use it when they 
wanted to use the only thoroughfare out of the county up 
the bay side. 

The "Pennsylvania Gazette," October 16-23, ^735- con- 
tains the following advertisement: 

"To be Sold, 

"A very good Fulling Mill at Fishing Creek, in the Coun- 
ty of Cape May. with all the Materials, as Press, Sheers. 
Tenters, and Copper; With one hundred Acres of Land. 
Enquire of Richard Downs." 

At this fulling mill homespim cloth was made, and the 
wool was gotten from the sheep raised on the place. Downs 
must have sold his place and retired. He had previously 
been a militiaman, sheriff, and was an industrious citizen. 
He died in 1747. 

"The Pennsylvania Gazette," May 28, 1747, gives the 
following notice to his debtors and creditors: 

"Philadelphia, May 12, 1747. 

"All persons indebted to the estate of Captain Richard 
Downs, late of Cape May, deceas'd, are desired to make 
speedy payment: And those who have any demands against 
said estate, are desired to pay the same, within Six months 
from the date hereof, to 



At the Governor's Council, held on December i, 1739, 
the following officers were appointed for Cape May county: 
Jacob Spicer, Humphrey Hughs, Henry Young, William 
Smith, Robert Townsend, judges of the pleas and justices 
of the quorum; Henry Stites, Richard Stites. Ebenezer 
Swain, justices of the quorum; Joseph Ludlam. Junr., 
William Smith, Junr, and Nathaniel Foster, justices; Elijah 
Hughs, clerk; Constant Hughes, sherifif, and John Stites, 


The first recorded license, that of a house of entertain- 
mient on the seashore, was taken out by Jacob Ludlam, Jr., 
"in the year 1740. 

Dr. Beesley says of the cedar swamps in the interior of 
<rape May: 

"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 
Tauilding materials in the county. Large portions of these 
swamps have been worked a second, and 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 
-with many thousands of rails and sawed lumber." 

In 1 741 the Baptists at Cape May Court House erected 
their church, a brick structure, on the land of Jeremiah 
Hand, wdio the next year gave what is now the old cemetery 
to the amount of one acre and three rods, on which the 
church stood until burned in 1854 — 113 years. Morgan 
Edwards, in his sketch, says, 1792, of the church's history: 

'This church receives its distinction from the promontory 
■which forms the bay of Delaware on the northeast side; the 
aneeting house measures 34 feet by 26; it was built in 1741; 
the lot on which it stands contains an acre and three 
perches, and was given by Jeremiah Hand, esq.; the house 
is finished as usual, and is distant from Philadelphia 82 
miles towards the S. S. E.; there is a fine spring of water 
by it, which is a great rarity in this part of the country; it is 
situated in the middle precinct of Cape May county; the 
families, which usually make up the congreoation, are 
•about 90, whereof 63 persons are baptised and in the com- 
munion, which is here administered every other month; the 
church was raised to a body politic July 29, 1786; the min- 
ister is Rev. John Stancliff; the salary about 80 pounds. — 
The above is the present state of Cape May, Apr. 19, 1790." 


"Plantation, 70 acres, purchased by congregation; land, 
^ood; dwelling in tolerable repair; living at 80 pounds." 


During the years 1742 and '43 there was an extended re- 
ligious revival throughout the county. The pastors of the 
Baptist church and of the Cold Spring Presbyterian churchy 
who at that time was Rev. Samuel Finley, who acted as a 
supply from 1740 to 1743. Mr. Finley was a man of deep 
learning, having been educated at the famous "Log Col- 
lege" in Bucks county. Pennsylvania. He became in 1761 
the fifth president of Princeton College, and remained at 
the head of that seat of learning until 1766. The Baptist 
pastor and exhorter of that season were Nathanael Jenkins, 
Senr., and his son, Nathanael, respectively. Morgan Ed— 
w^ards, the Baptist historian of the event, gives his versioix 
of the event this way: 

"In 1742, in T743, the spirit of religion was raised high- 
at the Cape; owing partly to the preaching of Baptist min- 
isters, and partly to the labours of Presbyterian ministers 
of the new light order; but many of the latter's disciples 
joining the Baptists caused much grumbling; and issued in 
a public dispute and polemical writings. The occasion was 
as follows: About 1742 there was, at the Cape, a remark- 
able stir of the religious kind; this stir was owing partly to 
the preaching of Baptist ministers, and partly to the labors 
of Presbyterian ministers of the new light order; but some 
of one party's converts joining the other party caused a 
howling among the losing shepherds, and issued in a public 
challenge; Mr. Morgan (Rev. Abel Morgan. A. M.) accept- 
ed the challenge. His antagonist was Rev. (afterwards Dr.) 
Samuel Finley; the contest ended as usual, viz.. in double 

The courts were usually held in private dwellings previous 
to 1745. But a new court house had now been built, and the 
first court held in it was on the third Tuesday of May. 1745, 
wdien the following officers and jurors were present: Justices^ 
— Henry Young, Henry Stites. Ebenezer Swain and Na- 
thaniel Foster. Sheriff — -Jacob Hughes. Clerk — Elijah 
Hughes. Sr. Grand Jurors— John Leonard. John Scull,. 
Noah Garrison, Peter Corson. Joseph Corson. George Hol- 
lingshead. Clement Daniels, Benjamin Johnson. Jeremiah' 
Hand, Thomas Buck, Joseph Badcock. Isaiah Stites, Joseph 


Edwards, James Godfrey, Thomas Smith, Isaac Townscnd, 
Ananias Osborne, Robert Cresse and Thomas Hewit. 

The number of residents of the county this year was 1188, 
according to the census taken by order of tlic Ciovcrnor of 
the province. The population was divided as follows: 306 
males above 16 years, 284 males under 16 years, 272 females 
above 16 years. 274 females under 16 years, 54 Quakers or 
reputed Quakers, 30 male slaves, 22 female slaves; 1188 
whole number of inhabitants; 184 increase since 1737-8. 

The Third French and Indian War (known as King 
George's War) was in progress from 1744 to '48, and there 
were several Cape May men commissioned. VvMiile none 
of them are known to have gone to Louisburg or the Cana- 
dian provinces, they were to be ready to do duty at home 
should the French marine come upon the Jersey shore. 
The commissions granted were: 

August 3, 1747. Ebenezer Swaine, Esq., to be captain of 
a company of militia. 

August 3, 1747. Thomas Ross, Gent., to be lieutenant 
of a company iox the lower precinct, of which Ebenezer 
Swaine is captain. 

Ellis Hughes to be ensign in the same company. 

Aug. 3, 1747. Jonathan Foreman, gent., captain of a 
company of foot militia for the middle precinct, of which 
Nicholas Gibbon is colonel. 

John Leonard, gent, to be colonel. 

George Hand to be ensign. 

April 8, 1748. Henry Young to be colonel of militia. 

The value which the West Jersey proprietors placed upon 
land in Cape May county at this time can be surmised in 
reading the instruction? from a committee of the West Jer- 
sey Society to the agent of the Society, under date of London, 
August 16, 1749, a portion of which reads: "We desire you 
will endeavor to dispose of what quantity you can of our 
Lands at Cape May at Twenty Pounds or more p' hundred 
Acres New York Money but not under that price and not 
less than One thousand Acres to be located &c. all together 
and not in dififerent parts and to be free of all charges of 
ConvcA'ance &c." 



In the middle of the eighteenth century the two most 
prominent men of Cape May county were Aaron Learning, 
Jr., better known as the second, and Jacob Spicer, 2d, who 
were also possessed of a reputation all over the province of 
New Jersey as brilliant men, with practical and methodical 
ways. Their fathers, Aaron Leaming and Jacob Spicer, 
had held many prominent ofilices before them, been in the 
Assembly, and paved the way for their sons to easily suc- 
ceed them. Aaron Leaming, 2d, first entered the Assembly 
in 1740, and remained a member for about thirty years, 
with but two or three short intercessions. He was born 
July 6, 171 5, O. S., and was a general favorite of the people. 
He possessed a splendid education and was an expert and 
clear penman, being a voluminous writer, to whom pos- 
terity owes much for the records and diaries he kept. He 
was a man of considerable industry and acquired much 

Dr. Beesley says he "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 oper- 
ator, 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 indus- 
try 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, perhaps, better deserved them." 

Young Spicer was born the year after Leaming, and was 
also possessed of a good, practical education, and had the 
faculty of acquiring wealth and of grasping every opportu- 
nity which presented itself. He first entered the Assembly 


in 1745 and remained in it with Learning for about twenty 
years. The Assembly about this time wanted the grants 
and concessions made to the lords proprietors and the laws 
of both East and West Jersey compiled, and Leaming and 
Spicer were the two men who finally compiled them. The 
Assembly's first act in this matter is recorded in Aaron 
Leaming's own handwriting in the State Library, and reads: 
"L'pon Saturday, the second day of February, 1750, Rob- 
ert Lawrence, of Monmouth; William Cooks, of Burlington; 
William Hancock, of Salem; Jacob Spicer, of Cape May; 
Hendrick Fisher, of Somerset; John Wetherill, of Middle- 
sex, and Aaron Leaming. of Cape May, gentlemen, being 
of the House of Assembly," were selected a committee to 
inspect the "Laws, Records and other Fundamental Con- 
stitutions relating to the first Settlement of New Jersey in 
each Division." The "Pennsylvania Journal." of November 
-8, 1750. contained the advertisement that the laws of New 
Jersey from 1700 to 1750 would be published and that Leam- 
ing and Spicer would receive subscriptions for the same. 
This committee went immediately and diligently to work 
-on its task. On the following Thursday Chairman Law- 
rence made a report, wherein were shown the grants of 
Charles H to James, Duke of Yorke, and from the Duke of 
Yorke to Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Cartaret, and 
that there were "Certain Concessions and Agreements, 
Which Concessions and xAgreements were esteemed the fun- 
damental Plan of Government." Lawrence also reported 
the scheme of the twenty-four proprietors of East Jersey 
and the plan of government for West Jersey, and showing 
that different laws were passed for the two divisions accord- 
ing to the concessions. The committee also said that as 
some of the laws, particularly those appertaining to the 
taxing of lands and "Securing of Men's Property in Lands," 
■were "lodged in several difiicult Hands and not come so ful- 
ly to the Knowledge of the Publick as could be desired," 
and recommended that all these things be published. The 
Assembly thereupon ordered them to be printed with "con- 
venient dispatch and collected in one Volume," and the law 
and matter were to be corrected by the originals. Another 
committee was subsequently appointed by the committee. 


who could, if they wished, supervise this work. Speaker 
Nevill and Samuel Smith, the historian, were to have charge- 
of the printing, and 170 books were to be printe'd at twO' 
pence per sheet. 

Learning and Spicer were the two most active members, 
of the committee, and they had a great deal of research tO' 
do. The old State papers were not kept in the order in 
those days and with the care that they are now, because 
their value was not then realized. Some of the most im- 
portant instruments were the hardest to secure, and once 
the committee was ordered to search for the "Instrument 
or Record or the Surrender made h\ the Proprietors of this 
Colony at the Surrender of the Government to the Crown; 
and also for what Concessions were entered into by the 
Crown at the Time of the Acceptance of Such Surrender 
in behalf of the People." On October 16, 1751, the com- 
mittee, or three of them, were given power to write to Lon- 
don, and ask the New Jersey agent to send attested copies 
of the surrender. 

The work, which finally, by authority or not implicitly 
given, devolved upon the two Cape May members, pro- 
gressed until 1755. Aaron Leaming, in his diary, writes 
under date of the latter year, "Feb'y 2d. Spicer & I began, 
compiling the New Jersey constitution," and again, under 
date of 1756 says: Nov. 29 Spicer & I began the Table of 
the Jersey constitution." In the meantime, when these men 
were compiling these laws, on August 20, 1755, an act for 
the support of the government was passed, in which it was; 
stated that Leaming and Spicer had been empowered to- 
print the laws at two pence per sheet, and binding allow- 
ances. They were to be bound in calfskin, and the details, 
of payment is here stated. 

On March 27, 1758, 126 volumes liad been printed, and 
on the following 15th of April the final settlement was made 
by ordering that Leaming and Spicer be paid "after Three' 
months Trial of the Sale," at the rate of £1 i8s. 6d. per 

In 1750 Nicholas Stillwell. of Egg Harbor, took out a 
license to keep a house of entertainment; in 1752 Jacob 
Spicer at Cold Spring; in 1761 Aaron Leaming on the sea- 


.i:hore two miles above the court house; in 1763 Christopher 
Learning; in 1764 Daniel Hand at the Court House, and 
in 1768 Memucan Hughes and James Whilldin at and near 
Cape Island. 

The second church established within the county, or at 
least which had Cape May residents as communicants, by 
the Baptists was at Tuckahoe in 175 1, of which Morgan Ed- 
wards says (1792): 


"Church is distinguished from a river which runs near 
meeting house; the house measures 28 feet by 24; it was 
iDuilt 1 75 1, in Egg Harbour township, and county of Glou- 
cester, 60 miles S. E. Philadelphia, lot on which stands con- 
tains about one acre, and was gift James Hubbard, deed 
dated May 15, 1750; house is now in ruinous condition, 
but the people talking of building another, in a more con- 
venient place; Alderman Benezet promises to give them 
land, timber, glass and nails; there is another house which 
the church occupies, but it is not their own; it stands on 
May's landing, about 12 miles off of this. The families 
which usually assemble at Tuckahoe are about 60, whereof 
63 persons are baptised, and in the communion, here ad- 
ministered the first Sunday of every month. Salary about 
20 pounds. — About present state of church Ap. 14, 1790. 


"Vv'hen the gospel began to be preached at Dividing 
creek, by Rev. Xathanael Jenkins, several from these parts 
repaired thither, and received serious impressions; the con- 
sequence was, that said Jenkins was invited to preach among 
them; he came, and notwithstanding his age, and Morris 
river, stood in the way; and baptised some, who joined Di- 
viding-creek; Mr. Sheppard, of Salem, visited these parts 
and baptised others; and after their deaths, Mr. Kelsey 
preached here and baptised. In 1770 Rev. James Sutton 
came hither with a view to settle among them; this put 
them on thinking of becoming a distinct church; according- 
ly, they were. July 23. 1771. incorporated, by the assistance 
of Rev. I\Iess. Vanhorn and Heaton; the names were. Rev. 
James Sutton. Joseph Savage. Esq.. Jonathan Smith. Wil- 
liam Goldin. Jacob Garrison, Joseph Ingersol, Thomas Ire- 


land, Elias Smith, John Ingles, Esq., Lemuel Sayres, Lem- 
uel Edwards, John Scull, Isaac Scull, Katharine Garrison,. 
Mary Goldin, Jaen Ingersol, Debora Lore, Tabitha SculU 
Mary Ireland, Elizabeth Garrison, Jaen Camp, Mary Camp,. 
Abigail Scull and Catharine Weaver." 

Rev. James Sutton was pastor until 1772; Rev. William 
Lock, 1773 to 1779, and Rev. Isaac Bonnell from 1783 to- 
date (1792). 

There has been found in the old burying ground of the 
Baptist church at the head of the Tuckahoe River these cor- 
roborative fac-similes of biographies and epitaphs: 

Robert Campbell son of Henry and Ellen Campbell- 
Died Alarch 20-1754. 

Rev. Isaac Bonnel Departed this life July 25-1794, His 
age 64 years. 

Ann Groom the wife of Rev'd Peter Groom, Departed 
this life May 4-1796, 46 years old. 

Millicent Price, Departed this life July 28-1826, Age 56 
years and 4 months. 

An extremely interesting tomb is that of the Reverend 
Peter Groom, pastor of the Baptist Church at West Creek.. 

The following mortuary lines show his worth: 
"The friend of man 
The friend of truth 
The friend of ag:e 
The guide of youth." 

He departed this life January 16, 1807. 

In the year 1752 an association of persons was formed for 
the purpose of purchasing of the West Jersey Society their 
interests in the county, in order to procure the natural priv- 
ileges of fishing and fowling and all the articles of luxury 
and use to be obtained from the bays and sounds, which 
were held in high estimation. The agreement reads as 
follows : 

"Whereas, The West New Jersey Society once Stood seiz- 
ed in their Demense as of Fee of a certain Ninety Thousand 
acres of Land Situate at, and containing the chiefest part 
of that Island or Tract of Land called Cape may between 
Delaware Bay and Great Egg harbour River, which said 


Society having sold and Transferred the greatest and most 
valuable parts of the said Ninety thousand acres to divers 
persons; And Whereas there is yet remaining unsold a par- 
cel of broken and sunken marshes, sounds, creeks, barren 
Lands Szc as of very little value, which never the less if the 
Same Should be purchased by any particular person or per- 
sons in large Tracts it might be an inducement for such piu*- 
chaser to endeavour to monopolize the Fishery, oystering 
&c which nature seems to have intended for a General 
blessing to the Poor, and others who have bought the Tands 
and settled contiguous thereto And many of us the Subscrib- 
ers having already given advanced prices for our Lands by 
reason of the vicinity of the said priviledges, are now unwil- 
ling to be deprived thereof; Wherefore we the Subscribers 
each and every of us do each of us seperately for our selves 
and for each of our heirs, Executors Administrators & as- 
signs associate covenant Grant Bargain and agree to and 
with ail and every other of the said Subscribers tlieir heirs 
and assigns in manner and form following — To Wit — That 
we will each and every of us associate and Join in the pur- 
chasing of the Said Society the aforesaid unsold parts of the 
said Land which when So purchased To be holden in equal 
Shares amongst all and every of us the Subscribers Our 
heir and Assigns in common and undivided forever, as Ten- 
ants in Common, Except such parts thereof as we Shall Sell 
and Separate off as hereafter is mentioned And that Due 
Justice may be rendered unto all persons we do hereby cov- 
enant and agree that if any particular person or persons 
whither Subscriber or not hath actually a Survey made by 
Henry Young, Esqr. upon any part which we Shall So pur- 
chase, or if any Tract that is unsurveyed Shall lie within 
the inclosures or at the head or foot of any particular persons 
Land or Plantation Situate within the Said County if Such' 
person discovers the Same to be there and will first consent 
to give the price the Said Society now Sells at In that case 
we will Sell the Same to Such person at a price not higher 
than the said Society hath immediately before this time been 
used to Sell for; The purchase money whereof shall be put 
into the General Stock and applyed towards the payment 
of tlie consideration that we Shall be obliged to Give for the 


Said Land So by us intended to be purchased. And Fur- 
ther if any particular person who is a Subscriber hereto 
hath by himself, or his Predecessor in Title hath, actually 
made a Purchase of any of the Said Societys Said Lands 
and Such person Shall Doul)t the validity of his Title to the 
whole or any part thereof In that case a Deed of confirma- 
tion and Release Shall be Granted Gratis to Such Subscrib- 
ers he being" at all charges — And for the Raising a Fund 
for carrying the Said undertaking into execution we each 
and every of us for and on behalf of ourselves Our heirs 
Executors and administrators and Assigns Do Consent — 
associate covenant Grant Bargain & agree to and with all 
the rest of the Said Subscribers their heirs & Assigns that 
the said money requisite for Such consideration. Shall be 
raised levyed and Assessed upon us ovir heirs Executors and 
Administrators according to the Several Estates that we 
Seveially hold in the manner that other Taxes are usually 
raised l)y Law in New Jersey And Further that we will at 
some General Conference or meeting on the Said Subject 
chuse Such ofificers & persons as are or Shall be necessary 
for laying and raising the Said Intended Tax. and also chuse 
(when necessary) Such and So many persons as we Shall 
think Suitable and convenient to go and agree for the Said 
unsold Lands from the agents of the said West Jersey So- 
ciety Provided never the less that if thirty Persons Free- 
holders of the County of Cape May do not Sign tliis Asso- 
ciation the whole antl ever^• ])art thereof, Shall be void and 
of no effect — And I-"urther that the above said Commonages 
of I'^ishery oystering &c Shall l)e construed to remain and 
extend to all the Children of us the Subscribers & all their 
children & children's children and so forever — And in any 
marshes that we Shall Sell the aforesaid commonages Shall 
be reserved thereout and not transferred but remain and 
above. And in case of any Doubts in Titles, when ^ve Grant 
Releases, they Shall be so worded as to confirm tl:e Same 
Estate as if the original purchase had been good &; value — 
And that no Resurveys on any Persons Land whatever 
Shall be claimed or allowed on any pretentions whatsoever. 
Provided always that if any consideration Money Shall be 
paid for any Lands to be Sold by virtue of the directions 


'Of this agreement, after the consideration for the aforesaid 
-Land Shall be fully paid, then Such money to be eqvially 
Divided amongst the Subscribers hereto in proportion to 
the respective Shares the Said Subscribers hereto Shall Sev- 
erally pay towards Such consideration. 

Tlie instrument was dated November 20, 1752, and was 
:signed by the following persons: James Edwards, James 
Hedges, Samuel Bancroft, Jonathan Fourman, Recompence 
Hand, William Matthews, Jacob Spicer, Ebenezer Swain, 
I^athaniel Foster, Richard Stillwell, Ephraim Edwards, 
Isaac Whilldin, Jacob Hughes, John Hase, Daniel Cresse,^ 
Benjamin Laughton, James Whilldin, Thomas Bancroft, 
Jacob Hand, Jere Learning, Jacob Richardson, Joshua 
-Shaw, Samuel Crowell, Cornelius Schelinks, Barnabas 
Crowell, Eleazer Crawford, Isaac Newton, George Stites, 
"William Stites, Richard Shaw, Downes Edmonds, John 
Bancroft, Ebenezer Johnson, Uriah Smith, Aaron Leaming, 
"Thomas Hand, Jonadab Jenkins, Carman Smith, Daniel 
.'Swaine, Jeremiah Hand, John Chester, John Smith, Elihu 
Smith, Marcy Ross, Thomas Leaming, Joseph Hewit, Wil- 
liam Robenson, Joseph Hewit, Elisha Crowell, John El- 
dredge, Robert Parsons, William Simpkins Reuben Hew- 
it, Amos Johnson, Timothy Hand, Ezekiel Hand, Daniel 
Hand, Silas Hand, Isaiah Hand, James Hand, Richard 
.Stites, Caleb Newton, Caleb Newton on behalf of Thomas 
Page, Christopher Lupton, Ebenezer Newton, Henry Hand, 
William Flower, Eleazer Hand, Samuel Eldredge, Daniel 
Eldredge, Nezer Swain, George Taylor, Lewis Cresse, James "- 
Cresse, Shamgar Hand, Jonathan Smith, Daniel Hand, 
Robert Cresse, Benjamin Johnson aty of ye seaside, Henry 
Leonard, Annanias Osborne, John Leonard, Michael Iszard, 
Richard Smith, David Corson, Zebulon Swaine, Nathaniel 
Jenkins, Junr., Benjamin Johnson of Goshen, Richard 
Swain, Silas Goff, David Hildreth, Christopher Foster, 
Joshua Hildreth, Joseph Hildreth, Samuel Foster, John 
Hughes, Edward Church, Jeremiah Fland, John Willets, 
Joseph Corson, John Scull. John Van Gilder, Samuel Town- 
send, Daniel Townsend. Arthur Cresse, Esaiah Stites, Josiah 
Edwards, Jacob Corson, Andrew Corson, William Robin- 


son, Isaac Luldam, Abraham Van Gilder, Isaac Willetts,Johm 
Goff, Isaac Baner, David Corson, James Godfrey, Isaac 
Townsend, John Corson, John Machey, Stephen Young,. 
Thomas Hewit, Wm. Smith, James Hildreth, Thomas Tay- 
lor, Seth Bowen, Franc's Crandol, John Hand, alias Willet, 
John Shaw, Jacob Smith, Henry Fisher, John Smith, Na- 
than Johnson, Thos. Johnson, Thomas Smith, James Mil- 
ler, John Isard, Abraham Hand, James Townsend, Silva- 
nus Townsend. Junr. 

It was difficult to name a valuation upon a right so en- 
deared to the people as this. This association being slow 
and cautious in its movements was no doubt astounded, iis 
the year 1756, to find that Jacob Spicer. upon his own re-- 
sponsibility, had superseded them, and had purchased the 
right of the society, through their acknowledged agent. Dr. 
Johnson, of Perth Amboy, not only in natural privileges, 
but in the unlocated land in the whole county. Spicer, al- 
though he did not attempt or desire to prevent the people 
from using these privileges as they had heretofore done, re- 
ceived for his share in the transaction a large amount of 
obloquy and hostile feeling, which required all the energy 
and moral courage he possessed to encounter. 

In 1756 the time had come when the remaining West 
Jersey proprietors were to at last dispose of their rights. 
As heretofore mentioned, an association had been formed 
in the lower precinct to purchase them. Dr. Coxe, who 
originally held most of the soil, made five sales altogether 
through his agent, George Taylor, to the West Jersey So- 
ciety. The latter had by 1756 carried on the sale of its lands 
for about sixty-four years, and had nothing much left by 
this time excepting ''vacant lands," and the natural privi- 
leges which they possessed of the sounds and bays. For 
the "vacant lands," Aaron Leaming, 2d, and Jacob Spicer, 
2d, were competitors, but as the latter overreached his col- 
league he secured them. While they, two of the most pop- 
ular men of that time, were opposed to each other at home 
in consequence of their land speculations, yet when at Tren- 
ton, as representatives of their county, they united their en- 
ergies and were faithful and efficient public servants. In 
the sale of lands by the West Jersey Society they always in- 


eluded what was termed "vacant lands." Fifteen per centurrk 
over what was actually purchased was conveyed for the- 
building of roads, and when these proposed roads were not 
constructed the land became vacant. 

On August 2, 1756, Jacob Spicer, 2d, also purchased of 
the West Jersey Society (for £300) all the remain lands 
and privileges of that organization in Cape May county,, 
consisting of uplands, beaches, swamps, savannahs, cripples,, 
marshes, meadows, oyster beds, oyster grounds, clam flats,, 
shores, bays, sounds, thoroughfares, creeks, guts, rivulets,, 
brooks, runs, streams, pools and ponds of water, and finally 
all fast lands and waters, etc., woods, trees, mines, minerals,, 
royalties, quarries, hawkings. huntings, fishing, fowling^., 
etc." Dr. Maurice Beesley says: 

'"It has been handed down that Spicer obtained the grant 
for the proprietary right in Cape May, of Dr. Johnson^ 
agent of the society at Perth Amboy. at a time when the in- 
fluence of the wine bottle had usurped the place of reason,, 
or he could not have obtained it for so inconsiderable a sum 
as three hundred pounds; and that the Doctor, sensible he 
had betrayed the trust reposed in him, left the society at his 
death a thousand pounds as a salvo." 

Spicer, while a man who believed in thrift, had a sympa- 
thetic side to his nature, wdiich is revealed by a record in his 
diary, under date of October 6. 1756. concerning the result 
of a missionary meeting. It reads: "We the subscribers do 
promise to pay the Rev. John Brainard, missionary among 
the Indians at Cranbery, or to his order, the sum affixed to 
our names for the purchase of lands for the uses of the mis- 
sionary society: Charles Read, £2 14s.; Jacob Spicer, £2 os.;. 
Joseph Yard, £1 17s.; Robert Ogden, £3; Stephen Cresse,. 
£1 los." 



The accounts of the treasurer of the division of West Jer- 
sey for the year 1754 show that Aaron Learning on April 
2."] turned in a bundle of canceled money from Cape May to 
the amounts of £154:02:06, i 1:0:0, and October 21, £1:17:6, 
and that Jeremiah Leaming paid for the support of the gov- 
ernment, November 24, taxes amounting to £33:08:04, and 
on the same date other money, viz., £25:11:051!. During 
the same year Leaming and Spicer, who were members 
then of the Legislature, received on April 15 these amounts: 
Leaming, £22:10:0; Spicer, £33:10:0. 

In 1754 the French and Indian War broke out on the 
frontier of the English colonies and lasted until 1763. It 
was to decide the question whether France or England 
should rule over the American continent. The English out- 
numbered the French colonists ten to one, but the latter 
got possession of the two chief rivers of the country — the 
St. Lawrence and the Mississippi. To clinch their hold they 
built fort after fort, until by this date, 1754, they had a chain 
of them extending from Quebec, in Canada, to the Great 
Lakes, and thence down the Wabash, the Illinois and the 
Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. The principal scenes of 
the conflicts of this war, in which the English were finally 
successful, were upon the Ohio River and the Canadian 

Matters looked so serious just at this period that a con- 
vention of the northern colonies met at Albany to consider 
what mode of defense should be made. Most of the Indians 
were aiding the French, but the Iroquois Indians, who were 
staunch friends of the English, sent some of their tribe to 
the convention and warned them that if the colonists did 
not take up arms the French would drive every English- 
man out of the countrv. This same vear the x\ssemblv of 


New Jersey passed a bill making current £70,000 in bills of 
credit for a fund to assist in dispossessing- the French on 
the frontier near the Ohio River, and Cape Mays share in 
this expense was £1002, the raising of which was given in 
charge of the Loan Office Commissioners, who were to have 
an annual salary of £10. The bills, when paid by the colony^ 
were to be cut and burned. 

West Jersey was to furnish sixty men to go to the New 
York frontier, but whether Cape Alay sent any we do not 
have record to show. But we find that Aaron Leaming,, 
with two other non-residents of the county, as a Colony 
Committee, was paid £171:10:0 to transport Captain Wood- 
M-ard's company and others, and for clothing for the same. 
This was New Jersey's first expedition. Aaron Leaming" 
was during the period quartermaster-general of the prov 

The next year England sent over General Braddock to 
operate on the Ohio, and the Jersey troops were sent north 
into New York and destined for Eastern Canada. At home 
in Cape May there were faithful Lenni-Lenapes, who were 
free from barbarities. Jacob Spicer, who was appointed hy 
the colony commissioner for purchasing provisions for five 
hundred troops on the Canadian expedition, rallied the peo- 
ple of Cape May "to meet the great demand of the time," 
and demanded "a thousand pounds of stockings" " for our 
men in the field." Concerning the feeling in the county at 
the beginning of this last inter-colonial contest, Jacob Spi- 
cer, in his diary, under date of November i, 1755, says: 

"Attended the Baptist meeting house according to prom- 
ise, to receive the advice of my constituents upon the sub- 
ject of the Governor's calling the Assembly. It was expect- 
ed he would insist on great niatters to be done for the de- 
fense of the country, but so trivial was this affair that onl_v 
Messrs. James Whilldin. Jeremiah Hand. Thomas Leaming, 
John Leonard, and some others, to the number of eight or 
ten, attended, whereas but a short time before I happened 
to be riding past by ye Court House on a court day and saw 
a great number of people, by estimation not less than 200, 
which to all appearances were drawn by idle curiosity, or 
trifling speculation. It is not astonishing that man dignified 


Iby nature should esteem himself so little as to pass his time 
-in trifling speech, pitching of a bar, throwing of a stone, 
hopping, jumping, dancing, running, and at the same time 
not think himself obliged to attend to the defense of his 
-country, or his exemption from debt bondage." 

In March the following ofBcers were appointed to com- 
Tnand a regiment of foot: Henry Young, colonel; Ebenezer 
^Swain, lieutenant-colonel; Jeremiah Leaming, major; John 
Shaw, adjutant; and the officers of the company for the 
""Lower Precinct" were Silaw Shaw, captain; Jeremiah Hand, 
lieutenant, and Daniel Swain, ensign; while those to com- 
mand the officers of the "Upper Precinct" were Jacob Hand, 
captain; Lewis Cresse, lieutenant, and Jacob Richardson, 
ensign. On November 12 the order was given to Nicholas 
Gibbon to have the Cumberland and Cape ]\Iay company 

For the clothing and feedmg of the '"Second Expedition" 
^'(probably to Canada), according to the accounts of the col- 
ony's treasurer, Jacob Spicer received these sums at the 
.several times as recited: 

1755. — Sept. 27. — "for cloathes," £768:12:00. 

Oct. 6. — "for cloathes," £574:02:06. 

Oct. 18. — "for cloathes," £55:07:00. 

Nov. 5. — ''for provisions," £753:15:00. 

Dec. 5. — "for provisions," £573:15:00. 

Dec. 17. — "for supplies," £544:00:6. 

1756. — March 5. — "for tents, kettles, &c.," £526:10:00. 

March 29. — "for ," £25:00:0. 

May 4. — "for lead, &c.." £100:00:00. 

Samuel Smith, treasurer of West Jersey, reports of having 
received from Jeremiah Leaming, collector, by the hands 
of Josiah Hand, on November 22, 1755, the two separate 
sums of £25:11 :o5f and £50:02:06. as Cape May's share for 
the support of the government. This year Cape May lands, 
by law. were not to be valued above 20 nor below 5 acres to 
the £100. The share of the colony assessment was fixed at 
£25:11:054. This year Jacob Spicer received £27:18:00, 
:and Aaron Leaming received £15:18:00 for their services 
in attendance as members of the General Assembly. 

The agitation for a punishment of those who sold "strong 


*3rink" to the Indians culminated in the General Assembly's 
passage of an act in 1757, imposing a penalty upon such of- 
fenders. Spicer and Learning were supporters of the meas- 
ure. Spicer also had his opinions upon the too liberal use of 
liquor among' the white people, too, and this is what he says 
about the habit in his diary, under date of July 16, 1756: 

"I am informed that within two months past Henry Hand 
and Thomas Walker, James Reney and Marcy Ross, 
brought each of them into the Lower precinct a hogshead 
of rum. Hand's and Walker's is expended, and it is sup- 
posed that Reney and Ross have sold between them i hhd. 
in two months, consequently 18 in a year in the Lower pre- 
cinct. But as it has been harvest time and the consumption 
something greater than common, the rate is. say. 12 hhds. 
in a year to the Lower precinct, or 1200 gallons, which at a 
moderate retail price of three shillings and six pence per 
gallon, is i2io per year in cash, a larger sum than ever I 
"have received in money for goods both wet and dry, since I 
liave traded in the said precinct, upwards of two years. 

"So that it's not the dry goods, but the rum is our hurt, 
since it is frequently bartered for the industry of the popu- 
lace, and sold for long credit." 

While Spicer was a merchant he did much farming, and 
on July 5, 1757, he made the following note of the yield of 
■corn on one of his fields: 'T planted if acres of Indian corn 
in the orchard near my dwelling and it was esteemed good, 
especially near the house, and it yielded by measure but 27 
bushels of good and 6| do. of ofTal corn, being 33^ bushels 
in the w^hole, and at the rate of 17 bushels per acre, good 
and bad together. I am much at loss to reconcile what I 
have sometimes heard with respect to the greater yield of 
corn. I am sure 20 l)ushels per acre may be esteemed very 
good corn." 

The knitting of mittens in those days occupied all the 
spare moments of the housewives and the ambitious maid- 
en, but a great deal of the encouragement of the develop- 
ment of this industry is given to the wife of the eminent 
Benjamin Franklin. 

Mrs. Franklin sent down to one of the fair daughters of 
•the neighborhood of Cold Spring a cap of the fashion then 


in vogue. It was worn to meeting. The other maidens- 
saw it and wanted caps Hke it. The people saw in it an op- 
portunity to knit mittens and send them up to the "village- 
on the Delaware," to exchange for caps and gaudy ribbons. 

The effect of Mrs. Franklin's gift cannot be better ex- 
plained than by the reading of a letter which Dr. I'ranklin 
sent to Benjamin \'aughan from Passy. France, on July 26,,. 
1748, while discoursing "on the benefits and evils of lux— 
ur}-.'" The letter in part said: 

"Tlie skipper of the Shallop, cmpio} cd between Cape ]\Iay 
and Philadelphia, had done us some service for which he 
refused to be paid. My wife, understanding he had a daugh-- 
ter, sent her a present of a new-fashioned cap. Three years- 
afterward this skipper, being at my house with an old farm- 
er 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 £100.' 'True,' said the- 
farmer. 'but you do not tell all the story. T think the cap 
was, nevertheless, 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 contiime 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." 

In 1756 Jacob Spicer advertised to barter goods for all 
kinds of produce and commodities, and among the rest par- 
ticularly designated wampum. He offered a reward of £5: 
to the person that should manufacture the most wampum^ 
and advertised: 'T design to give all due encouragement ta 
the people's industry, not 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 clani/. 
shell fonr^ed 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 ex- 
pedients under the favor of Heaven, that can revive our 
drooping circumstances at this time of uncommon but 
great and general burden." 

In his household, according to his records, he had a mi- 
nutely systematic way of business. Under the superinten- 
dence of a tailor, tailoress and shoemaker the app?.rel of his 
family was made. The sons were taught to cobble shoes, 
the daughters to make clothing and knit. In 1757 Spicer 
speaks thusly in his diary of his household expenses: 

"It is conceived tiiat £14 13s. 4d., as above estimated, 
will be adequate to furnish all tlie boys with leather for 
breeches, a vest for Elisha, a coat and vest for Jack, calico 
for long and short gowns for all the girls, stripe linen and 
stripe linsey for short gowns and petticoats for the said 
girls, and a tammy quilt for Judith, for defraying of which 
ii4 13s. 4d. — 220 pairs of mittens at i6d. per pair, will be 
needed, which will require 44 pounds of wool, which Vv'ill 
take 44 days" work of two girls to spin, and I'll pay for that 
or hire equivalent in the knitting if the girls will do th.e re- 
mainder of the service. 

"I must pursue the following maxims invarial)iy for the 
present year. I nuist fabricate 220 pairs of mittens, and for 
the present and future year, if I live, I must supply my boys 
with leather for winter breeches; about £3 8s. will be suffi- 
cient to furnish them all — 24 pounds of grey skin at 2s. per 
pound, and 2s. 6d. for dressing and freight of each skin, 
supposed to consist of 8 skins, tho' I think summac red or 
short grey will be most profitable to buy as the hair is al- 
most nothing, which is not so when the skin is fully coated. 

"In the next place I must buy my leather and heels, and 
spin my shoe thread, and have all my shoes made up in the 
house, for I find if I even hire 'em made out, find my leath- 
er, the shoemaker gains, in all probability a profit of 3s. on 
the leather of a man's pair of shoes, waste in cutting ex- 
cepted, for which I should think 4d. a large allowance, and 
the scraps of sole leather may be converted into lists; and 
an eye may be seen to the cutting, and the thread may be 


had from the family labour. And when I am shoeing my 
family it is requisite to supply each individual with two pairs, 
to prevent shoes being worn too green. And as a farther 
advantage in purchasing my leather, I can at all times take 
care that it l>e of good quality, and by having it made up 
togetlier and in my house will avoid the loss of time in run- 
ning after the same; and so I should get one of the boys in- 
structed so as to mend shoes, to save money and prevent 
loss of time. The shoemaker should be obliged to do his 
day's work or pay for his board. 

"In the next place I should hire by taylor and Tayloress 
in the house, and oblige my girls to assist in the service, for 
by this means my diet and female service will become a part 
of the Taylor's bill; besides, their day's wages, as far as I 
can discern, are not proportionate to the sum in gross they 
ask for their service, and having the clothes made at home 
and together there may be an oversight of the cloth and 
cut, and the loss of time in going to have clothes taken 
measure for and tried on. 

"The best time of hiring I think is such seasons of the 
year when the weather is not so cold as to need a fire. 

"In the next place it will be requisite to consult a black- 
smith to know what allowance he will make for iron and 

"Daniel Harcourt informs me that mittens sell for 3s. 
and stockings at 7s. York money, at Albany, without any 
regard to the colour, and many of 'em ordinary too — but 
wampum will not sell since the reduction of Oswego, before 
that it was in great demand, equal if not superior to silver 
in value, and there were 60 or 70 wampum shops in Albany." 

What he charged himself with under the head of "wets" 
would now be considered expensive. In a year he charged 
himself with using "fifty-two gallons rum, ten do wine, and 
two barrels cyder." 

He 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, includ- 
ing myself, it amounts to each individual £7 3s. 8id. annual 
consumption of foreign produce and manufacture. But 
perhaps the populace in general may not live at a propor- 


rSi'onate expense with my faraily. I'll only suppose their for- 
eign consumption may stand at £4 to an individual, as the 
•county consisted of 1 100 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 an- 
Huallv. nearly one-half of which will be linens. 

""''['he stock article of the county is about £1200 

There is at least ten boats belonging to the counry 
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 2s. per bushel 600 

There is 14 pilots, which at £30 per annum 420 

Alitten articles for the present year 500 

Cedar posts 300 

White Cedar lumber 500 

Add for boards 200 

Tork and gammons 200 

Deer skins and venison hams 120 

Turs and feathers 100 

Hides and tallow 120 

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

Tar 60 

Coal 30 


Annual consumption of county £4400 

Add public taxes 160 

Tor a Presbyterian minister 60 

Tor a l^japtist minister 40 

Education of youth 90 

Doctor for man and beast 100 


In arrear £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 
3 reward to the female industry of the county. 


On June 28, 1758, he says: "Mr. Caleb Newton and his-. 
wife propose to deal with me for a large number of mit- 
tens, 200 pairs and upwards. I told them if they were of 
extra quality I would give 18 pence in barter." 

In another place he advertises for a thousand pounds of.' 
w^oolen stockings to supply the army, then in war with the- 
French. Concerning stockings which sold the best, he 
wrote on July 5, 1757, that "Dark blue, light blue, and clear 
white, if large and fine, are the stockings that will sell best. 
Had mine been of that color they would have sold, the gen- 
erality of people preferring a knit stocking to a wove one. 
They wash stockings in soap lather and draw them on a 
stocking board, which gives them that tine proportion and 
gloss they generally leave." 

Spicer succeeded in procuring a quantity of the wampum,., 
and before sending it ofif 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 In- 
dians, the white being of little value. 

He wrote, June 14, 1758: 

"Told Enos Schillinks that while I trade I would venture 
to take 3o£ value in wampum for such goods as I have" wet 
and dry, and would endeavor to help him to provision if I 
conveniently could, and would suffer with him till his debt 
is paid to take out one-half of all such wampum as he should 
bring in supply of his wants." And on the same day he 
wrote: "I'll take in discount or barter a large quantity of 
wampum, both white and black, if offered and good in 
quality, such as the pattern left with Mr. Leek and here ex- 
plained: It must be small, round and smooth, with square 
ends not broken. The black must be clear black without 
white spots or threads interspersed, which lessens the value 
and renders it unsalable, for it can't be too black, and it 
must be strung 100 on a string, with a little tuft of red at 
the ends when tied together." 

Thompson, in his history of Long Island, page 60, saysr 
''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." 

Commenting upon this Dr. Beesley says: "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 these mostly the white part of the shell, the black hav- 
ing been selected for wampum." 

Writing of spinning on February 22, 1757, he noted that 
'*'It seems to be an advantageous way of spinning our on 
linen wheel if it be patched over on the back of the hatchel. 
If spun this way it will answer for warp, and may be boiled 
as linen yarn, the twist being harder — but if spun on the 
great wheel will only answer for filling." 

Concerning the sizes of dwellings, and their cost in those 
days, Spicer, on the same day, wrote: ''John Mackey's house 
is 40x20. single story, with a hip, for which Joseph Edwards 
is to get the timber, frame cover, make the window frames, 
sashes, put the lights in, make the outside doors, and lay 
the floors, for i6i, and find himself and workmen, Mackey 
to find the lath sawed and shingle fit for covering." 

In the last three years of the reign of King George II, 
which ended in 1760. the laws passed by the Colonial As- 
sembly show that by act of 28 George II, Aaron Learning 
was appointed one of the provision commissioners to equip 
five hundred men or "well affected Indians," to proceed to 
Crown Point, and that Cape May was to assist for three 
years in the expedition at £83:10:10! per annum. By 
act of 29 George II, Jacob Spicer was made sole Commis- 
sioner for West Jersey to supply forces under Colonel Peter 
Schuyler. By an act of 31 George II, John Johnson was 
authorized to purchase stores in England for the protection 
of the colony. Cape May was to receive out of this pur- 
chase 33 guns, 33 pounds of powder, 132 pounds of lead and 
132 flints. 

By act of 32nd, George II, Jacob Spicer was named as 
one of the commission to settle Indian claims, which were 
to be regulated by lottery. On October 8, 1758, the con- 
ference began at Easton, Pa., at which were Governor Ber- 
nard and the five conmiissioners. Their object was that 
of extinguishing the Indian title in the State. The result 


was a formal release by the Indians of all the Jersey lancl^^. 
claimed by them, excepting the natural right to hunt and 
fish in unsettled lands. The Minisink and Wapping In- 
dians of all their lands for £1000. Among the lands 
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 seashore, except Tuckahoe, and the 
Somers, Steelman and Scull places." 

"Jacob Mullis claims the pine lands on Edge Pillock: 
Branch and Goshen Xeck Branch, where Benjamin Spring- 
er and George Marpole's mill stands, and all the land be- 
tween 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." 

The troubles, perplexities and trials the members of As- 
sembly 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 railroads and steam be 
appreciated or realized. A single illustration will suffice 
for all. Aaron Leaming gives an account of his journey 
to Amboy in 1759. on horseback, as follows: 

"March 3d. Set out from home: lodged at Tarkil; ar- 
rived at Philadelphia on the 5th. On the 6th, rid to Bur- 
lington, /th. Extremely cold; rid to Crosswicks. 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 ex- 
cellency governor Bernard, with more members of the 
house. It was a plentiful table; but nothing extraordinary, 
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 savs it's the collected milk of a whole 


village that makes these cheeses, each one measuring in 
their milk, and taking its value in cheese. 

"iQth. 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 homeward, nth. Got home having been ex- 
tremely unwell, occasioned by the excessive heat. Almost 
ever since I went away, the Sth, 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 

"14th. Went a fishing and caught thirty-nine slieeps- 

In the records of Pennsylvania Memuc au Hughes, of 
Cape May, is recorded as having been commissioned on 
May 2, 1759, a lieutenant, he having enlisted and become 
an ensign on the 20th of April. He served in Captain 
Johnson's company, belonging to Pennsylvania artillery, 
the regiment being Hon. William Denny's. 

In the company of Pennsylvania militia which was mus- 
tered to serve for the campaign in the lower counties in that 
State, under Captain McClaughan, was Eleazer Golden, 
of Cape May, aged 34. who was a sailor by occupation, and 
enlisted April 25, 1758. 

About the year 1760 there were numerous 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, sm'd 
forwarded to a market. He owned a vessel which he oc- 
sionally sent to the West Indies. 

On March i, 1760, Spicer wrote in his diary that "This 
day agreed with James Mickel for a year's services, to com- 
mence when time expires with Reuben Ludlam, to be paid 
h?.lf in cash and the other half in goods at cash prices, and 
for the year, but if in any part employed by land and part 



by water along the coast, including North Carolina and up 
the Delaware, then to l^ave eighteen pounds for the year's 
services, but if he proceeds from North Carolina and thence 
to tlie West Indies when at home, or can send his linen 
and other clothes then to leave his washing. He is to attend 
to such various business as 1 shall need to employ him by 
sea or land. If he is fully employed on land to have sixteen 
pounds, he is to have twenty pounds for the year's ser- 
vices.'' The cost of vessels in those days can be approxi- 
mated by reading Spicer's experience recorded March 23, 
1761: "Richard Willard, of Pliiladelphia, ship carpenter, 
told me he would build a vessel of 35 feet keel. 16^ feet 
beam, 6^ feet hold, for £70, and find the material. Besides 
he would set the mast, make the bulk head. cal)in floor and 
quarter rail in the bargain." 

In his diary Spicer made the following references to Cape 
Island, now Cape May City: 

h'eb. 25, 1761: — "Agreed to let David Whilldin have pas- 
turage on tlie Island for a horse from the middle of April to 
the ist of November for 15 shillings." 

May 13, 1761: — "Granted leave to Elizabeth Stevens to 
pasture a creature on the Island for a month, at the same 
rate ]])avid Whilldin gives." The time was afterwards en- 

Jan. 4, 1762: — "Agreed with Salanthiel Foster for the 
small house on the Island, the ])rivilege of keeping two cows 
and calves, and have dry or decayed wood, to be taken from 
the Neck farm for one year, for the sum of four pounds." 

P>b. 2. 1750: — "Applied to Mr. Thomas Hand, inform- 
ing him that it did ntjt suit me to sell the Island, but if he 
wanted the monev upon six months' notice he shouki have 
it, which was according to his promise, there being those 
that are obliged to make it up when he needs it." 

In 1 761 the total number of persons in the county who 
voted were 225. Aaron Leaming in his diary savs: 

"March 13, 1761, the election of Representatives began, 
and on the T4th it was ended, when the poll was: Jacob 
Spicer, ']2\ Aaron Leaming, 112; Joseph Corson, 41. Whole 
amount of votes polled, 225. Spicer and Leaming elected." 

Spicer's popularity was waning, and he, at this time, was 


being severely condemned by the people for what they be- 
lieved were a usurpation of their rights in purchasing the 
natural rights of the West Jersey Society. He was pub- 
licly arraigned by the people; the following account being 
irom his own pen: 

"Went to hear myself arraigned by Mr. Learning and 
<others before the publick, at the Presbyterian Meeting- 
house, for buying the Society's Estate at Cape May, and 
-at the same time desired to know wdiether I would sell or 
' not. I said not. He then threatened with a suit in 
•chancery to compel me to abide by the first association, 
though the people had declined it, and 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 peo- 
ple I should be inclined to sell them the natural privileges, 
if I should advance myself ecjually 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 Pres^ 
byterian 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 re- 
fuses, and openly sets up his claim to the oysters, to Basses' 
titles, and other deficient titles, and to a resurvey, where- 
upon the people broke up in great confusion, as they have 
been for some considerable time past." 

"Mr. Spicer says that his deed for the Society's reversions 
to Cape May bears date the 2d day of August, 1756." 

But this afTair did not seem to trouble Spicer so very 
much, because in his diary on April 4th following, he wrote: 

"Told John Stevens, Esq., that I was willing to be con- 
cerned with him in purchasing the 70,000 acres of the So- 
ciety's lands, provided on inquiry I can find it will answer, 
of which I am to acquaint him by way of Philadelphia, un- 
der the care of Richard Stevens, as also what price I think 
may be given of which Mr. Johnson may advise his con- 
stituents and know whether they will approve thereof. This 
tract lies under great advantage. Some doubts may arise 


whether the council of proprietors will admit of taking offf 
the rights, nor can any person. I am well assured, afford to > 
give for the land as located the price of rights, and were the . 
rights even taken ofif it would be a great doubt whether such i 
a quantity would ever sell, or if they would it can't be ex- 
pected in any short time. I understand by Mr. Stevens ■ 
that Doctor Johnson has asked £3000 for the lands that: 
won't answer, I am well assured." 

In June following he offered them his whole landed es — 
tate and the natural privileges in the county, excepting his . 
farm in Cold Spring Xeck, and a right for his family in the 
privileges, for £7000, which offer was declined. 

His diary, June 4. says: "Told Mr. Joseph Corson 1: 
would sell the publick if they please all my estate in Cape- 
May for £7000, taking some of their substantial men jointly 
and severally for my security in a bond drawing interest 
from date, reserving my Long Neck and March adjacent 
about 400 acres, a natural privilege for myself and posterity, 
in common with the rest of the community, and limiting the 
time of this offer to six months, if not overheard in that 
time I am to be at liberty." On December 22, that year^. 
he made the same offer to Jeremiah Ludlam. 

He further states: "Mr. James Godfrey, in behalf of the- 
Upper Precinct, applied to me to purchase the natural priv- 
ileges in that precinct. I told him I should be glad to 
gratify that precinct; and please myself also; and coald I 
see a good foreign purchase, and thereby exchange a stornii 
for a calm, to equal advantage to my posterity, I should 
think it advisable; and in that case, if I sold, I should by alF 
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 
posteritv justice, and steer clear of reflection. Recollecting 
that old Mr. George Taylor, to the best of my memory, ob- 
tained 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 and his son John Taylor reconveyed it for 
about £9, to buy his wife Margery a calico gown, for whicha 
he was derided for his simplicity." 


He said, November i8, 1761: "Mr. Nathanel Foster de- 
sired to lease Jarvis sounds. I told him if he wouldn't stand 
between me and the people in point of blame I would, which, 
he said he would do." 



Some extracts of the most interesting portions of Aaron 
Learning's diary for the year, 1761, are here given: 

"Burhngton, January i, 1761. The Assembly having 
provided for the pay of the New Jersey Regiment for No- 
vember last and appointed me to make that month's pay (see 
Memoirs for December, 1760), we are now proceeding to 
make payment. 

"January i, 1761. Rid to Mount Holly, this being a pay 
day there. 

"January 2. Last night we lodged at Mr. Read's, this 
morning I paid Mr. Read 30s. for N. P. John Bancroft. Rid 
to Burlington. 

"Jan. 3 (page torn) returned to Burlington & lodged. 

"January 4th 1761 rid to the ferry but it was after Sun- 
-set when we got over. Lodged at Mr. Cox at Moorestown. 

"January 5. rid to Gloucester spent in making payment. 

"6th Bought a p 1 cots, they belonged to Mr. Jacob 
Clements I ])aid Mr Hugg 47s. for them. Rid to Capn 
Comrans & Jan 7rh To Salem. 

"Jany 8 Spent making payment. 

"January 9th 1761 rid to Cohansie bridge. 

"January loth 1761 Spent at Cohansy Bridge making 
paymt. * * * =1^ 

"Jan III rid to Tarkill. 

"January I2tli Got home. I have been gone ever since 
28 of October about 76 days." 

"Feb 17, 1761 Upon Viewing Mr Murr's account I find 
ve gave him 6s 6 for binding each of the New Jersey Con- 
stitution books. 

"March 26, 1761 — I set out for Amboy yesterday. 

"March 28 — Rid to Burlington. 

"29 — Set out in company with several Lodged at Cran- 


"30 — got to Amboy and was qualified in ye house. 
"Extract of Mr. Thomas Eatton's accts. 

bro't forward 3927 10 o 

To my Commissions @ 5 p Cent 196 7 6 

To my Commissions on 54oi paid by the 

Commissioners 2'j 

To further Commissions 2 2 

^23 9 8 
deduct for ye Comrs of 28 10 lost at ft. Wm 

Henry i 8 

222 I 6 

"April 8, 1 76 1 — Rid to Burlington. 

■'April loth last night lodged at Mr Jno Coxe's, & to day 
rid to Philada. 

"Apri 12 — I came out of town. 14th was at Mr. Page's 
and 15th I got home. 

"1761. New Jersey (to raise) 600 (troops which was 2-}^ 
of 1760 quota.) 

"May 31, 1761 I set out from home to go to Philada to 
buy a negro or two. 

"June 2 got to Philada. 

"Bought "Troy," of Willing Morris & Co., for £40. 

"July 4, 1 76 1, Set out to go to Burlington. 

"6th Got to Burlington 

"8 Broke up after passing a law to take 64 men & 2 
officers into pay out of our Regiment, their service to com- 
mence the first of November 1761 & last a year; to have 3£ 
bounty & the officers los p of money this Levy money 
created a dispute. Wetherel & Spicer was uncommonly 
harsh against allowing levy money, and the reasons they 
assigned was the Poverty of Major McDonald who they 
suggested is to have the command of the 64 men — & they 
say is unworthy the reasons for it is that let who will enlist 
the men they must give a Dollar to drink the Kings health, 
that being so antient & established a custom that no soldier 
ever pertends to enlist without it they pushed this matter in 
a very uncommon manner — when we came to vote I pro- 
posed a Dollar being the exact Sum we all knew must be 


given, but the leading voters placed it at los and I was 
forced to vote for the los or the voters for nothing would 
have carried it — and that would have defeated the Service 
& occasioned the Assembly to have been called again. 

"9 of July 1 76 1. I set out homeward. 

"Got home. " 

Concerning the Baptist Church at Court House, Learn- 
ing said : 

"Oct 24, 1761, met and made arrangements for parson- 
age, and pews always to be free. Wanted 62 acres Milli- 
cent Young's for parsonage — lyii. 1741 — undertook to 
build meeting house." 

"Nov 6, 1761 — Burned (branded) cattle on 5 mile beach, 
Nummy island & on 7 mile beach." 

In the Assembly, on December 3, 1761, when a bill or 
proposition was being passed upon imposing a duty on the 
importation of slaves, which Learning considered really 
prohibitive, Learning voted against it, while his colleague, 
Spicer, voted for its passage. 

In 1761, by act of the Provincial Assembly. Wills' Creek 
was ordered dammed to preserve the "marshes and cripple 
swamps." A bank was ordered erected from the upland 
of Thomas Smith to extend by the causeway then in exist- 
ence, to the land of Nathan Hand. The managers were to 
be selected on the first Tuesday of each September, at the 
house of Thomas Smith. Smith and William GofY were ap- 
pointed the first managers. Elihu Smith was appointed to 
make the county assessment for the year, and Joseph Hild- 
reth was to collect the taxes. That same year Jacob Spicer 
was made one of the commissioners to provide aid for men 
wounded in the service of King Gorge III in fighting the 
French and Indians. 

In 1762 Joseph Corson. Isaac Baner. John Mackey. 
James Willets and "sundry other persons," had petitioned 
for a toll bridge over Cedar Swamp Creek at Fast Landing. 
And the Assembly passed a law for its building and a cause- 
way. The following were the 

Rates of toll: 

Waggon or ox-cart, with team and driver 6 pence. 

Chaise or horse cart, passenger, horse, mare or gelding 


thereunto belonging 4 pence 

jEvery passenger with horse, mare, gelding 2 pence. 

JFoot I pence. 

<^attle &c., led over. Each i pence. 

-iSheep led over. Each i farth. 

This road opened by way of Petersburg a more direct 
■ communication with the upper part of the county. 

March 22, 1762, Jacob Spicer and four others from other 
• counties were appointed by the Assembly to "purchase con- 
venient tract or tracts of lands" for the Indians who were 
satisfied with the New Jersey government to settle upon. 
'These wxre purchased in Burlington county and measured 
.3000 acres, which extended to the seashore. The last In- 
'dian of the descendants of these settlers died in December, 
;i894. The same year Jacob Spicer was chairman of the 
Assembly's commission to settle claims for damages incur- 
rred by the French and Indian war. 

On December 8. 1762, Henry Young, Nathaniel Foster, 
'John Willetts, Nicholas Stillwell, Thomas Leaming, Joseph 
Corson, John Leonard, Jonathan Smith, Jacob Hand, Dan- 
iel Swane, Robert Parsons were commissioned to be Judges 
•of the Common Pleas, while Henry Young was to be Judge 
of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas, holding oflfice dur- 
ing pleasure. The same commission was granted to each 
Nathaniel Foster, Nicholas Stillwell, William Smith and 
John Willetts. 

Clamming, as well as oystering, occupied the attention of 
tiie inhabitants when there was no farming or other work 
pressing them. The following petition was presented to the 
Koyal Governor, which sets forth their grievances, as well 
as shows who at that time were interested in the matter: 
' To his Excellency William P>anklin, Esq., Captain General 
and Governor-in-Chief in and over the province of New 
Jersey, Chancellor and Vice-Admiral in the same, and 
' To the Houses of Council and Assembly for the said prov- 
' The petition of the inhabitants of the county of Cape May 
humbly sheweth — 

That the act for preserving oysters is of great advantage; 
.3bwt as it seems uncertain whether clams are included there- 



in, strangers make so large a j^ractice of gathering and! 
carrying them away, that in some places where they are the. 
best, there are not enough to be found for the use of the- 
neighborhood, and as this evil is increasing, we beg leave- 
to solicit a law to prevent persons, who are not inhabitants, 
of this province, from gathering clams in or exporting thenv 
out of this county. 

And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will pray. 
Dated July nth, 1763. 

Thomas Stites, 
Thomas He wet, 
Robert Cresse, 
Jonathan Cresse, 
Nathaniel Foster, ESQ 
Jacob Hand, ESQ 
Henry Young, 
James Whilldin, 
Jonathan Smith, 
James Edwards, 
Thomas Smith, 
Daniel Smith, 
Jeremiah Ludlam, 
Recompense Hand, 
Jacob Hughes, 
Christopher Church, 
William Matthew, 
John Chester, 
Elihu Hand, 
Downs Edmunds, 
Ezekiel Cresse, 
Joseph Hildreth, 

Ephraim Bancroft, 
Charles Hand. 
William Simkins, 
William Goff, 
James Hildreth, 
Nathaniel Shaw, 
Shamgar Hand, 
Daniel Hildreth, 
Jedekiah Hughes. 
Jonathan Mills, 
John Shaw, 
Jonathan Stites. 
Arthur Cresse, 
James Cresse, 
Silas Swain, 
Henry Hand, 
Henry Schellenger, 
-James Eldredge. 
Jeremiah Mills. 
Elijah Hughes. 
Jeremiah Leaming. 

George Stites. 
Bv tliis year the French and Indian ^^'ar was at an end,, 
and the results of it were the retirement of French control 
from North America, the unification of the colonists, the 
training of thousands of men in the use of arms to face an: 
enemy, and the preparation for the War for Independence^ 
then not far from beginning, the removal of the need of the 
British protection because the frontier foe had vanished,, 
and open'^d up the trend of thought toward a government 
of themselves and bv themselves. The colonists were nearly 


all English speaking, and nearly all Protestant, and of the 
same social class from the mother country. They were 
humble, upright and persevering, and one might believe, 
almost ignorant of dangers. The foreign trade of the coun- 
try was prosperous. The mass of the people lived simply, 
but comfortable. There were but two really rich men in 
the county — Spicer and Teaming, the latter, however, worth 
nearly four times the former. 

The farm houses were generally built of huge timbers, 
covered with rough, unpainted clapboards, mostly one story. 
Usually the centre of the houses were taken up with an 
immense fireplace. On snapping cold winter nights there 
was no more cheerful sight, however, than such a fireplace, 
piled up full of blazing, burning wood, which had to be 
gathered in the day time by much hard work. 

The farmer bought little at the store. He raised his own 
food; his sheep furnished wool, and his wife and daughters 
spun and wove it into stout "homespun" cloth. The old 
rags were saved, carefully washed, cut into strips and woven 
into "rag carpet." For recreation there were sleighing and 
skating parties in the winter and husking bees, wood-chop- 
pings and hog-killings at other proper seasons. The three- 
cornered cocked hats and knee breeches were worn. Travel 
was by sail vessel or slow-going stages and "carry-alls." 
Cape May had the stocks for punishment of criminals. 

In 1763 a large number of the freeholders of the county 
petitioned the State Assembly for the privilege of erecting" 
a court house and jail on the plantation of Daniel Hand, in 
Middletown, near his dwelling house. The petition was 
granted and the cost was limited to ^300. The reason given 
by the petitioners was that the court house and jail were out 
of repair, much too small and incommodiously situated. 
In 1764 Hand, who was a grandson of Shamgar, deeded one 
acre for the purpose, free of cost, and the building was 
24x^0 feet, and lasted until 1849. 

This Assembly decided to raise £25,000 tax in the colony 
in 1764, and Cape ]\'"v's share was ap])orticncd at £417 14s. 

On September 17. 1765, Jacob Spicer, 2d, died. With all 
the many records here presented of his life as a public and 


private citizen, we have nothing after his birth, May, 1716, 
to guide us in relation to his early days. His father died 
when he was a babe, and our first facts concerning- this sec- 
ond Spicer was when he became a member of the Legisla- 
ture, in 1744, which otftce he held until he died, excepting 
one year; the first in connection with Henry Young, Esq., 
and afterwards, until his demise, with Aaron Learning (sec- 
ond), E£(|.; being almost a moiety of the lime he lived. He 
bore a prominent part in the proceedings and business of the 
House, as tl;e journals o; those days fully prove. 

He was a man of exemnlary habits, strong and vigorous 
imagination, and strictly faithful in his business relations with 
his fellow-men, being punctilious 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 Hand Leaming, widow of 
Christopher Leaming. The written marriage agreement 
which he entered into with the said Deborah Leaming, be- 
fore consummating matrimony, is indicative of much sound 
sense and discriminating judgment. 

He left four children, Sarah, Sylvia, Judith and Jacob; 
"but there are now no male heirs of that name found living 
in the county. 

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 was possessed of a very large amount of real estate 
that he held in his name and under his control, and which 
he left with much guarded care, first to the necessary pay- 
ment of all his lawful debts, and secondly to his own family 
and their heirs, distributing to each a portion in due sea- 
son, while he also made provision for annual gifts of five 
pounds each to the religious institutions of the Quakers in 
the upper precinct, Baptists in the middle precinct and the 
Presbyterians in the lower precinct. In this instrument he 
complained of the unjust treatment by the populace and 
claims that he was vilely defamed and grossly abused on 


.account of the natural privileges, of which he claimed to be 
entirely ignorant. He gave his wife one hundred pounds 
and the buildings and real estate on his Cold Spring Neck 
farm and two negroes. Rev. Daniel Lawrence, pastor of 
•the Presbyterian church, was made one of the guardians of 
ihis daughters until they became of age. At death he or- 
<lered his will read at the Baptist meeting house, and left 
•directions that a sermon-like address to the good people of 
Cape May county on a text from Psalms ii, verses i and 2, 
in pamphlet form, to the amount of one hundred copies, be 

This will was probated October 9, 1765. Ebenezer John- 
ston, Henry Hand. Christopher Church and Henry Stites 
were witnesses, and were sworn before Henry Young, sur- 
irogate of Cape May county. The five following persons, 
named in the will, were its executors: Deborah Spicer, Syl- 
•via Jones, Samuel Jones, Sarah Leaming and Christopher 
Leaming, to whom probate and letters testamentary were 
g-ranted by his Excellency William Franklin, Esc[.. Captain- 
"General and Governor-in-Chief of the colony of New Jer- 

He was buried by the side of his father, in his family 
^ound at Cold Spring, a spot now overgrown with large 
forest timber. 

On his tombstone was this inscription: 

"J^cob Spicer, Esq., departed this life, Sept. 17th. 1765, 
m the 49th vear of his age — 

"If aught that's good or great could save, 
Spicer had never seen the grave." 

His wife, who lies by his side, has upon her monument: 

"Judith Spicer departed this life. Sept. 7th. 1747, in the 
.■33d year of her age. 

"Virtue and piety give way to death. 
Or else the entombed had ne'er resigned her breath." 

On May 6, 1762. Spicer, 2d, devised the natural 
^privileges which seemed to be so exciting to the people, 
to his son, Jacob, who, November 9, 1795. conveyed by 
"deed to a company or association of persons of the low^er 
'precinct and Cape Island, his entire right to the natural 
■privileges, which were viewed and used as a bona tide estate. 


and the Legislature passed acts of incorporation, giving; 
them plenary powers to defend themselves from foreign and 
domestic aggression, thus virtually acknowledging the va- 
lidity of their title. Previous to the year 1840 a suit was in- 
stituted in East Jersey, the result of which was favorable to* 
the proprietors; but on an appeal to the United States Su- 
preme Court from the Circuit below, the decision was re- 
versed, confirming the right of the State to all the immunities 
and privileges of the water thereof, barring out the pro- 
prietary claims altogether, and establishing 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 empow- 

Rev. Daniel Lawrence, who as pastor of the Cold Spring- 
Church, became a popular and beloved man. died on April 
13, 1766, and there. He had been pastor of the church since 
the spring of 1572, but was not installed until June 20, 1754. 
He was born on Long Island in 1718, and in his younger- 
days was a blacksmith. He studied at the "Log College," in. 
Pennsylvania, and was licensed to preach in Philadelphia in 
1745. From May, 1746, he was pastor of the Presbyterian 
church at Forks of Delaware, and there shared in the la- 
bors of Rev. John Brainard, the Indian missionary. He was 
not robust in health and was directed to pass the winters 
and springs at Cape May. While there he received the call 
from the Cold Spring Church. The second church, which 
was built during his pastorate, in 1762, was a frame build- 
ing. He was buried among his people in the Cold Spring 
Church graveyard. On his tombstone is the following ap- 
propriate verse: 

In yonder sacred house I spent my breath; 

Now silent, mouldering here I lie in death; 

Those silent lips shall wake and yet declare 

A dread amen to truths they published there. 
After the decease of Mr. Lawrence, among other sup- 
pHes, Rev. John Brainard supplied the pulpit during the- 
winter of 1769- 1770. 

On August 22, 1767, William Smith, Nathaniel Foster, 
Nicholas Stillwell, Thomas Leaming, James Whilden, John. 


Townsend, John Leonard, Joseph Corson, Jacob Hand, 
Daniel Swain. Robert Parson, Henry Hand, Thomas Smith, 
Reuben Ludlam, James Godfrey, John INIackey were made 
justices of the peace. To these on June 7, 1770 Joseph Sav- 
age was added. 

At the same time, in '67, Thomas Learning, James Whil- 
-den, John Townsend, John Leonard were selected and com- 
missioned judges of the Inferior Court of Coniuion Pleas. 

In April, the next year, Nicholas Stillwell was named to 
be a commissioner for taking recognizance of bail. He 
served the county in the Assembly from 1769 to 1771, and 
was a son of John Stillwell, of Town Bank. He purchased, 
in 1748, of Joseph , Golden, the plantation at Beesley's Point. 
After his death, in 1772, the place fell to his son. Captain 
Nicholas Stillwell, who afterwards sold to Thomas Borden, 
who sold, in 180.^, to Thomas Beesley, who resided on the 
premises until 1816, and on an adjoining property tmtil his 
death in 1849. 

In 1769 the people clamored for more law to protect the 
oyster industry, and the Assembly confirmed the law of 
1719, and added new provisions, requiring that no beds 
should be raked from ]\Iay 10 to September i, under a pen- 
alty of forty shillings, two-thirds to go to the informer and 
one-third to the power of the township or city where the 
offense was committed; empowering the ofificers of the law 
to summon aid to the constables in making arrests ; prohib- 
iting oysters for lime under a forfeit of three pounds, one- 
half of which went to the informer and the other half to the 
poor, and putting the burden of proof on the defendant and 
making the act valid for three years. 

In 1770 the laws passed by the Assembly prescribed that 
there should continue to be two Loan Office Commissioners 
for Cape May county; that lands in the county should not 
be assessed at a rate higher than £30 per 100 acres nor less 
than £8 per 100 acres; and that Aaron Leaming was to be 
one of a committee to correspond with the colony's agent 
in reference to money matters. On May 12, this year, Rev. 
James Watt was installed as pastor of the Cold Spring Pres- 
byterian Church, where he labored during the Revolution- 
ary period, or for eighteen years, being the successor of 


Rev. Daniel Lawrence. Mr. Watt was born March 12, 1743,- 
and died November 19, 1789, and was buried in the ceme- 
tery back of the church. 

Jeremiah Eldredge was a prominent man at this time, and 
was frequently honored by his fellow-citizens in holding 
public trusts in Cape May county. When he was 23 years 
old he was elected clerk of court and held the office for nine 
years, from 1768 to 1777. When 35 years old he was elected 
to the Legislative Assembly one year, from 1780 to 1781^. 
and then afterwards he was elected nine years to the Legis- 
lative Council, from 1784 to 1794. After that he was ap- 
pointed a surrogate for two years, from 1793 until his death. 
He was a son of Samuel Eldredge, born August 3, 1745,- 
and died April 28, 1795. 



At the beginning of the Revolutionary period the various 
acts oi the Enghsh Parhament which afifected America, and 
in which tJie colonists had no voice by representation, began 
to meet with protests. The most impolitic measure of the 
government was the passage in 1765 by Parliament of the 
celebrated "Stamp Act," for the purpose of raising a reve- 
nue by taxing the colonies. The people resisted the meas- 
ure, and so strong were the protests that Parliament re- 
pealed the act in 1766. The next year the English Ministry 
attempted to compel the colonists to assist in raising sup- 
plies for that government, imposing a tax upon tea, glass, 
paper and painters' colors. A storm of opposition, more 
strong, was again excited, and soon after all duties were; 
withdrawn except that upon tea, which was taxed at three- 
pence per pound. This was not satisfactory to the peoplej 
of the colonies, not because of the amount of the duty, but 
because of the principle of taxing without consent or voice 
of the colonists. Tohn Hatton, collector of the port of Salem- 
and Cohansey. came to Cape May in November, 1770, to- 
stop what he termed were illegal actions on the part of local' 
and other skippers in landing goods at Cape May to avoid 
paying duty. The following is correspondence which grew 
out of the treatment of him by the common pleas justices, 
Thomas Leaming, John Leonard and James Whilden : 

"Copy of a letter from John Hatton, Collector of Salem 
and Cohensy, to Gov. Franklin, dated Dec. 7th, 1770, com- 
plaining of the action of Mr. Jas. Whilden, Thomas Leam- 
ing and John Leonard, Justices at Cape May:" 

"I humbly beg leave to inform your Excellency that I 
am again obliged to fly from and quit my Office, and dis- 
tressed family by reason that his Majesty's laws and my 


actions in executing- them as a faithful servant are misinter- 
preted by these Your Excelys Justices at Cape May viz 
James Whilden, Thomas Leaming, and John Leonard, 
Esqrs who I am informed could not get any others to join 

"23 Novr— I arrived at Cape May from Burlington. My 
wounds being so bad prevented me getting there sooner. 

"24. — I procured Joseph Corson, Esqr to go with me to 
J. Leonard & T. Leaming, Esqs. when I gave them your 
Exccllencys Proclamation to which they paid no regard, 
and during my stay with them, being about two hours, they 
did not read it. 

"I likewise delivered the Letter Mr. Pettit wrote by your 
Order on the 17th in regard to bailing my negroe, when they 
ab.solutely refused to admit him to bail. 

"1 then went to the Gaol from whence I found Hughes 
liad been let out in order to go wdiere he chose to procure 
hiniself bail, and without any guard he had ful liberty to go 
where he liked. 

"My negro still close confined and very ill the Cutts in 
bis skull being very bad from whence had been taken sev- 
eral pieces of bones. 

"In the dead of night I returned home found my wife as 
I had been informed, just expiring thro' fright for me and 
her son, well knowing the danger we w'ere in; and few of 
my neighbors, tho' I have several good ones durst venture 
to come to my house being threatened with destruction by 
Hughes or his friends, notwithstanding the distress of my 
family, I was obliged to leave home the next night in order 
to get some one to bail my man. 

"This night was assaulted on the road by some man who 
with a stick struck me several blows in my arm: when a 
Blow with my Whip handle in his head, stunned him, I 
rode on. 

28. — On my giving Nicholas Stillwell Esqr £200 security 
he was so kind as to bail my Negro, being well acquainted 
with my ill usage, & the distress of my family, a copy of 
the Bail piece now produced justly expresses it. 

"29 — Got my Negroe from Prison. 

"Deer 5 — Mills the Pilot who is advertised with your 


Excellencys Proclamation was this day going about my 
neighborhood, armed with a Club and threatening me with 

"6. — I met the said Mills on the Kings road who threat- 
ened me with his Club but on my putting my hand towards 
my pocket he went ofif. I immediately went to James Whil- 
-den, in order to request him to execute Justice against the 
said Mills, as I had some days before lodged a complaint 
before him. but I was told he was not at home, tho' he had 
been seen a few minutes before. About six hours after on 
the same day the said James Whilden, Thomas I.eaming, 
& Jo Leonard Esqrs sent 5 men with their warrant now pro- 
duced, who seized my man as he was going home with a 
loaded Team, he having been all the day with two of my 
neighbors getting some of my summers Crop which had 
heen till then decayed on the ground. A few minutes after 
I was arrested on the same account as the warrant testify- 
€th. When I first entered the room Mills was sitting by 
the side of Jo Leonard Esqr with the same Club by his side 
he had in the morning — during my conversation with them 
in wdiich I did not give any of them an uncivil word, the 
said Leonard expressed himself, in a very unbecoming man- 

"I then desired the said Mills might be secured and again 
repeated to them that he was the Pilot wdio on 8t November 
threatened me with death if I came near the Ship to execute 
my Ofhce as his INIajs Collr and likewise that he was one 
of the men who took away the Pilot boat I had seized her, 
and further that he was the man who laid hold of my son 
in the street at Philadelphia till a mob of Sailors came up 
when he and they most inhumanely treated him so that he 
was taken from them for dead. 

"He acknowledged the threatening and obstructing me 
when I was going to the ship, and like wise taking aw^ay 
the Pilot boat I had seized, and said he w^ould do it again 
when there was occasion — his conduct was not in the least 
disapproved by the Magistrates present. 

"The Magistrates did not regard my Charges against him, 
"but on my insisting on Mills, being some way secured they 


consented to bind him over to their own Court. An Uncle 
of Hughes, was ready for his Bondsman. 

"They then bound me, and insisted on £200 security, but 
they refused any security I could give for my Negro which 
I offered them nor would they allow him to stay in the 
hands of the Constable till next morning: When I told then* 
I would produce them any bail they should require as my 
friends were at some distance, but they ordered him imme- 
diately to prison. 

"There were present Hughes and his brothers and other 
relatives who threatened destruction to any who gave mer 
any assistance; during the whole time they could not pro- 
duce any one to say that either I, or my Slave, ever wa? 
heard to use the least threatening word against the said 
Mills or any one else, since my first coming amongst thenif 
the reason they give for binding me and sending my Slave 
again to prison, is, that Mills declared my son told him in 
Philadelphia, that his fathers Negro should do for him.. 
but did not produce any proofs. 

"Since my ill treatment on 8 Novr. His Majs Vessels^ 
having been very vigilant has greatly obstructed their smug- 
gling by water therefore I being so distressed by these three 
Magistrates gives them full liberty to perform it on shore, 
for I am well assured, & have just reason to believe that 
there hath been & still is several thousand pounds worth of 
contraband Goods lodged on this shore since the 8th of No- 
vember last, which Goods they are now conveying by Land 
to Philadelphia, and have been so during a few days since 
in the open day to go to my door with a loaded Waggon, 
and men armed with Pistols in their hands challenging me 
to appear if I durst, to seize them. 

"Mills and the Boat now appear in public and he bids 
defiance to any. 

"These my assertions I can prove if the Witnesses are 
impartially examined, therefore I hope your Excellency doth 
plainly perceive that it is for my Zealous attachment to his 
Majesty that I am thus injured abused, and interrupted bv 
these three Mas^istrates — 

"My Instructions are, in any difficulties to apply to Your 
Excellency for assistance and protection, therefore do most 


humbly pray from Your Excellency a speedy redress as His 
Majesty's Revenue suffers entirely by the Actions and Pow- 
ers of these three J^Iagistrates at Cape May. 


The following is a copy of the warrant for the apprehen- 
sion of John Hatton, collector at Salem. 

New Jersey. Cape May cminty, ss. 

Georg-e the third by the Grace of God of Great Britain 
France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith &c To our 
Sherift of the County of Cape May or the Constables of the 
said County or either of them Greeting P^orasmuch as Je- 
dediah Mills of the said County of Cape May Pilot hath 
personally come before Us James Whillden, Thos Leaming,, 
and John Leonard. Esqrs three of his Majs Justices assign- 
ed to keep the Peace within the said County of Cape May 
& hath taken a Corporal Oath that he the said Jedediah 
Mills is afraid that John Hatton, Esqr. of the said County 
of Cape May will beat wound maim or kill him th said Je- 
dediah Mills and hath therewithal prayed surety for the 
Peace and Good Behavior against him the said John Hat- 
ton Esqr. therefore We command and charge you jointly 
and severally or either of you that immediately upon the 
Receipt hereof you bring the said John Hatton Esqr Forth- 
with before us the said James Whilden Thos Earning & 
John Leonard, Esqrs or either of Us to find sufficient Sure- 
ty and Mainprize as well for his personal appearance at the 
next General Quarter Sessions of Our Peace or Court of 
Oyer & Terminer of General Goal Delivery or which ever 
of said Courts should happen to be held first in & for our 
said County as also for our Peace and Good Behavior in 
the mean time to be kept toward us and all our Liege Peo- 
ple and chiefly towards the said Jedediah Mills that is to 
say that he the said John Hatton, Esqr. shall not do nor by 
any means procure or cause to be done any of the said 
Evils to any of Our said People and especially to the said. 
Jedediah Mills. 

Given under Our Hands and Seals this 6th day of Deer 
in the nth Year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lord 


George the third of Great Britain &c in the Year of Our 
Lord 1770. 

(Signed) J. WHILLDEN 


At the same time a warrant was issued for Hatton's slave, 
Ned, by the same justices, because Jedidiah Mills complain- 
ed that he "is afraid that a Mulatto Slave called Ned by 
name belonging to John Hatton. Esqr. of the lower Precinct 
in said county of Cape May" might "beat maim or kill him."' 

The following is the correspondence, taken from official 
documents in the colonial office at London. England, con- 
cerning the Hatton matter: 

"Copy of a Letter from Mr. Hatton, Collector of Salem, 
Etc., to the Commissioners of the Customs, dated Perth 
Amboy, Dec. 25, 1770, complaining of the ill treatment he 
had received. 

"Perth Amboy, 25th Decemr 1770. 

"On my way to the Governor with the inclosed Remon- 
strance I received Yours of the loth Inst, on the Receipt of 
which I went to Mr. Skinner, Attorney General whose opin- 
ion I have now sent like wise the inclosed Remonstrance 
will give Your Honors a just Information of the further 
il treatment I have recciv'd Mr Read Collector of Burling- 
ton hath bailed out Hughes. Mr Read's actions are, as 
formerly; which is to distress me and the Service of the 
Revenue all He can. He is one of the 3 chief Judges of 
this Province & hath a Salary for it & is likewise one of the 
Governor's Council. 

"I am credibly informed that a Set of Merchants at Phil- 
adelphia have remitted a Quantity of money to this Province 
in Order to gain any Point they want to likewise make this 
Cape their Stanch Store, as they say they cannot do without 
It for their Contraband Trade — for since the 8th of last 
November there have been 5 other Vessels unloaded with 
Illicit Goods. 


"I have wrote three pressing letters to the Captain of His 
Majs \'essel in this River but no One hath yet appeared 
to give me any Rehef. I hired a Sloop on purpose to go 
to them to get them to keep their Vessel or Tender in our 
Bay which would be the proper place, whereby they would 
perceive, with my assistance on Land, all the proceedings of 
the smuglers there; but they declined my Request saying 
they could not assist me on Shore, and Winter coming on 
they must lay up their \'essels. therefore I am obliged to 
keep concealed by day, & when I travel it is all by night, & 
expect no other than some Day to fall a Sacrifice to their 
Wicked Malice & Inventions. I left my Wife at the point 
of death thro' Fright for me and her Son. My Son being 
still 111 at the Tavern He was taken to first, & will lose ei- 
their his Arm or the use of it, which cannot yet be deter- 
mined & hath undergone a Severe Illness myself going 
Hundreds of Miles to endeavor to procure Justice & have 
almost expended my last Farthing and am in the greatest 
distress for more, who am 

"Gentlemen &c 


"I am to call on the Governor on my way back for an 
answer to my Remonstrance of the 7th Inst. He having 
sent to the Attorney General for his advice & the Result 
thereof I will inform You Mr Skinner advises me to arrest 
the 3 Magistrates if I can get them before the Governor 
for their actions & false Imprisonment but I want money, 
having now expended in this afifair upwards of 3o£. Be 
pleased to excuse the Badness of this Letter as my Wounds 
in my Head & right Arm are still so bad that I can hardly 
think or hold mv Pen." 

Letter from Attorney-General Skinner to Mr. Hatton, 
giving his opinion on the proceedings of the magistrates at 
Cape May: 

"Dec. 25, 1770. 
"Mr. Hatton 

"I have considered the Papers you have laid- before me. 


and those sent by Mr Petit and am of opinion that as the 
transaction was on the high Seas the Admiralty only hath 
Jurisdiction, & it is those vou ought to apply. 

"Upon the same principle the Magistrates at Cape May 
had no authority to issue their Warrant, or bind you over 
to Court the place where the Seizure & Rescue was made 
being without their iurisdiction or that of any Court but 
the Admiralty. CORTD SKINNER. 

"to John Hatton Esqr." 

Letter from Mr. Skinner. Attorney-General of East Jer- 
sey, to Charles Petit, Esq.. secretary to Governor Eranklin, 
giving his opinion on the conduct of the Magistrates at 
Cape ATay: 

"Dec. 25. 1770. 

"I received Yours by Mr. Hatton with the Papers in- 
closed & have considered them as well as the Shortness of 
the time would permit, together with other Information 
given me by Mr. Hatton. 

"I am of opinion that the place where the Seizure & 
Rescue were made is clearly out of the county of Cape May. 
That the Admiralty only has Jurisdiction and that the Jus- 
tices of Cape jNlay were forward in taking upon them any 
Enquiry; than issuing their Warrant & taking Mr. Hatton 
«& his Slave after his Excellency's Proclamation is an inso- 
lent Contempt of his Proclamation and will, with other parts 
of their Behaviour, justify His Excellency in ordering their 
Attendance before him in Council, or upon very clear Ai^- 
davits of their Behaviour removing them from Office. 

"It was their Dutv to Support Mr Hatton the Collector 
& not suffer a Man Mills so principally concerned in the 
Matter to Sit with them when they illegally demanded Se- 
curity of the Collector, then countenancing the outrage of 
the Pilots as well as the running of Goods are Sufficient to 
remove them — Be pleased to make my Compts to the Gov- 
ernor & am &c: CORTLAND SKINNER. 

"To Chas Petit Esqr Govrs. Secretary." 


Letter from Mr. Hatton. collector of Salem and Cohan- 
•sey, to the commissioners of the customs, Boston, relative 
to his ill treatment by the magistrates at Cape May: 


"I wrote to your Honours from Perth Amboy on the 25th 
instant, and inclosed you the Attorney General's opinion 
of the Actions of the Magistrates and likewise my last Re- 
monstrance to Govr Franklin and also the Copies of two 
Warrants which has been served on me and my Negro. 
Two Days after I arrived at Burlington & waited on the 
Governor & delivered a letter from Mr. Skinner a Copy of 
which is inclosed, after much persuasion .His Excellency 
•granted according to Mr Skinner's Opinion an Non Ultimo 
Prosequi for me but as my Negro happened not to be men- 
tioned in it, the Governor refused me one for him, therefore 
both he and me as one of his bonds men must appear at 
their next Court in February, what the issue may be I can- 
not pretent to say but no good. His Excellency has like- 
wise wrote tt) the three Magistrates to appear before him 
:and his Council sometime in the Spring the particular time 
not yet fixed, but if we may judge from former instances 
the result will be. I wrote this from opposite Philadelphia, 
the Tavern where my son is whose wounds are partly heal- 
ed but has lost entirely the use of his Arm. I beg your 
Honours will consider the distress I am in for want of 
Money as I have now spent nearly forty pounds in traveling 
so many hundred miles & in fees for advice & other ex- 
pences caused by this aflfair and I have still other Expences 
to pay by reason my man must attend their Court, therefore 
do most humbly beg your Honours will either grant me 
my Incidents now due or advance some of my salary or any 
other means you may think proper, which must l^e speedily 
& can be done by an Order on Mr Swift. I have tnken out 
a Supreme Writt for Mills the Pilot by the Attorney Genera- 
als advice as there is no Court of Admiralty in this Prov- 
ince.- — I should be glad vour Honours would interpose so 
as to get the Magistrates punished according to- their de- 
serts. I am &c JOHN HATTON. 

"Coopers Ferry opposite Philadelphia 30th Deer. 1770." 


"N B The Letter referred to is not vet come to hand. 

Copy of a letter from His Excellency, Governor Franklin^ 
to the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs at Boston: 

"Burlin,e;-ton, April lo, 1771. 

"I yesterday received your Letter of tlie 26th of March, 
and am much surprized to find that Mr Hatton has not ac- 
quainted you with the Resuh of tl:e Enquiry made by the 
Governor & Council into his Complaint against the Mag- 
istrates of Cape May, as on 26th of Febry he obtained a 
certified Copy of all the Minutes & Proceedings relative to 
that matter, which he said was to he immediately transmit- 
ted to you, agreeably to the Orders you had before given, 
him. However as it appears by your Letter that you have- 
not received them, I have directed the Secretary to make 
out another Copy, which 1 send enclosed; together with a 
Copy of sundrv Notes & Observations made bv him, ex- 
plaining more particularly several matters relative to Mr. 
Hatton's Complaint, which are either omitted, or slightly^ 
mentioned, in the Opinion given by the Governor and 
Council. By comparing these with the several Paragraphs 
of the Complaint, as numbered you 'may be able to form a 
true Judgement of the Conduct of your Officer.' 

"The Representation Mr. Hatton has made to you of the 
ill Treatment that he. his Son, and Negro, received from a 
number of Seamen belonging to the Ship Prince of Wales,, 
in Delaware Bay, on account of his having seized a Pilot 
Boat, suspected to have some Contraband Goods on Board 
belcjiging to said Ship, and of the barbarous L'^sage which 
his Son afterwards received of them and a Number of oth- 
ers at Philadelphia may, for aught I know, be very just. 
They Avere Transactions entirelv out of the Jurisdiction of 
this Government, and which I have had no Opportunity of 
enquiring particularly into. But as to his Complaints 
against the Conduct of the Magistrates, and of the Distress 
which they have occasioned him, I do take upon me to say 
they are entirely false and malicious. 

"Altho' I have long had a very bad Opinion of Mr. Hat- 


ton's Principles and Disposition, yet as he appeared before 
me with several Wounds, which he said he had gotten on 
board a Pilot Boat, from some Irish Seamen, when doing 
his Duty, and told me a melancholy story of the ill Treat- 
ment he had received from three of the Justices, I was 
moved to give some Credit to his assertions. Accordingly, 
I issued a Proclamation for apprehending the Persons con- 
cerned in the AfTray, in Case any of them should appear 
in this Province, and afterwards sent Orders to the Justices 
to appear before me in Council on the 21st of February, 
which (as they and most of the Gentlemen of the Council 
lived at a great Distance) was as soon as they could be well 
got together. I besides advised him to apply to the Gov- 
ernor of Pennsylvania for a like Proclamation, and to obtain 
the Chief Justice's Warrant for searching all suspected 
Houses & Places in Philadelphia, at which City the Seamen 
were at that Time. He was likewise advised by the Attor- 
ney Genl to apply to the Court of Admiralty, where only the 
offence was properly cognizable. Neither of which he did, 
as I have heard. On the contrary, he has done but little 
else but ride about the Country, taking a Number of un- 
necessary Journies to Philadelphia, Burlington and Amboy, 
with an Expectation, as I suppose, of receiving a handsome 
Allowance out of the Revenue for his Trouble and Ex- 
pences, on pretence that he was engaged in what his Majes- 
ty's Service absolutely required. 

"The Da}' fixed for the Hearing, and some Days both 
before and after, happened to be the severest Weather we 
had during the Winter, yet several of His Majesty's Council 
and the King's Attorney, tho' they had between 60 & 70 
miles to Travel, gave their Attendance & spent with me 
near three Days in hearing the Parties, and enquiring into 
the affair, when they gave it as their unanimous Opinion, 
that there was no just Foundation for any of Mr Hatton's 
charges against the Justices. — The Particulars of his Com- 
plaint, and the Opinions of the Council and Attorney Gen- 
eral, are set forth at large in the Minutes. I could not but 
concur with their Sentiments, as the Facts in favour of the 
Justices were, indeed, too evident to admit of any Hesitation 
in the Matter. 


"Mr Hatton appears to be a Man of a very unhappy, vio- 
lent Temper, sometimes bordering on Madness, so that it 
is impossible that he can live long in Quiet with his Neigh- 
bours. He has extravagant Notions of his Power and Im- 
portance as a Collector of the Customs — insists upon great 
Homage and Deference being paid him by the Country 
Magistrates — tells them he is exempted from paying Taxes 
out of F.ngland — & that he has it in his Power to get the 
Gov-ernor Council. Chief Justice, Attorney General, and 
every Officer of the Government removed, if they should 
at any Time refuse to do as he would have them. In short, 
there is nothing so absurd & outrageous, that he has not 
shown himself capable of saying or doing, on which Ac- 
count I have had more Trouble with him than with all the 
other People in New Jersey. Besides, he has got a Notion 
in his Head, that by making great Clamour against the In- 
habitants of this Province, representing them all as con- 
cerned in Smuggling, in Combination against him and his 
Authority, and that he is suffering from his active Zeal for 
his Majesty's Interest, he shall make himself a Man of Con- 
sequence with the Commissioners of Customs, & through 
them get preferred to a better Collectorship. In this I 
should most heartilv wish him Success, so that it was any 
where out of this Colony, were I not well assured that he has 
been unfaithful to his Trust, and strongly connected with 
some of the most noted Smugglers in Philadelphia, and 
with the Only Person in all his District who is suspected to 
have any Concern in such illicit Practices. Nor indeed, 
have I the least Doubt, if the People on board the Ship and 
Pilot Boat had ofifered him Money instead of Blows, when 
he first came to them, but that he would readily have ac- 
cepted it, and left theiu to pursue their Measures without 
any Disturbance from him whatever. 

"I do not, however, expect that the Opinions of the Gov- 
ernor, Council, Attorney General & Secretary, now trans- 
mitted to you, will have much Weight with you. Gentlemen, 
or make you think the worse of the Conduct of your Offi- 
cer. My Reasons for this I shall tell you candidly, that if 
I am in the Wrong in any of them you may set me right. 
They are 


■"1st Because you paid so little Regard to the Opinion of 
iihe Govr and Council, in the Year 1768, on a former Com- 
plaint of the same kind, that you thought it necessary to 
.send to me lor 'Copies of the several Affidavits and other 
Materials upon which it was grounded: thereby shewing 
that you either believed us to be incompetent Judges, 01 
doubted the Justice of our Decision, and were therefore de- 
termined to make a fresh Enc|uiry into the Matter Your- 

"2d Because 1 am credibly informed, that so far from 
'blaming or censuring Hatton for his extraordinary Co-iduct 
at that Time, you even gave him Marks of your Approba- 
tion. complimentin.Q- with a Place in the Customs, .-•n '.nfa- 
mous Fellow who he then sent to you with his ground- 
less Complaints. I call this Fellow (whose Name is Clark) 
infamous, because he appeared evidently, both to the Coim- 
"Cil of me, to be determined to swear thro' thick & thin, in 
'favour of Hatton. and contradicted himself so often in the 
Course of his Testimony, that several of the Council de- 
clared that they thought he ought to have been committed 
ito the Goal for Perjury. 

"3d Because your own Inspector General of the Customs 

<'(who was particularly directed bv vou to enquire what 

Foundation there was for Mr. Hatton's Complaint that 

Time) not only represented to you, in his Report or Letter 

of the 17th June 1769 that the Disputes Hatton had with 

the People were 'of a Private Nature, arose from trifling 

Matters, owing to an unwise Department in his private 

'Station,' and not 'on Account of his Zeal for the Service,' 

or for 'exerting himself in his Duty,' as he had alledged, 

but at the same Time acquainted you with sundry Facts, 

and transmitted to vou a Number of P-roofs. fulh evincing 

that he had been guilty of unwarrantable Practices in his 

Office, and had given Encouragement and Assistance to 

■some of the most noted Smugglers, to the great Detriment 

"of the King's Revenue; notwithstanding which you have 

-sufifered him to continue in Office, and have not, at least as 

I can learn, ever shewn any marks of your Disapprobation 

of his Conduct. — Had I not known that the Inspector Gen- 

<zra.\, after a strict Examination into the Matter, had made 


such a Report to you, I should myself have suspended Hat- 
ton from acting in his Office till further Orders from proper- 
Authority. But as you were made fully acquainted with 
his conduct, and it was a Matter over which you had a 
particular Superintendency, I was unwilling to interfere; 
more especially as I had a Right to expect that you would 
have thought yourself in Duty bound, after receiving sucb 
Information, to remove him immediately from his Offtce 
in the Customs. 

"There is one matter more, Gentlemen, which I think nec- 
essary to mention to you on this Occasion. It appears by 
Mr Hatton's Book of Letters (which has been seen by sev- 
eral Gentlemen in Salem) that he wrote you a Letter on the- 
23d of Jany 1769, containing some injurious Reflections on' 
me & the Magistrates, accusing us of having treated him 
with Inhumanity, & intimating that we were Enemies to- 
our King & Country. At the same Time he sent enclosed a 
Letter which he said he had received from an English Gen- 
tleman who arrived here the June preceding, and 'would 
give you an Insight of his disagreeable and precarious sit- 
uation.' A Copy of this pretended Letter I have seen. It is 
signed with the name of John Murch, and is dated Novr 28,, 
1768. There never was, perhaps, considering the Time- 
when it was wrote, a Letter penn'd with a more wicked De- 
sign: But as it seem'd to carry its own Antidote with it, be- 
ing fill'd with an extravagantly ridiculous and improbable 
Account of the Disposition & Intentions of the People of 
this Province, I never took any notice of it, except writing 
to the Inspector General (when I heard he was at Philadel- 
phia on his Wav to Salem) acauaintinp- him that I sus- 
pected it to be a Forgery of Hatton's, or at least that Murch- 
was some low Fellow who had wrote it at his Instigation, and 
should therefore be much obliged to him if he would de- 
mand a Sight of the Original, and enquire Murch's Charac- 
ter and where he was to be found, that he might, should' 
there be Occasion, be examined concerning it. Nor should 
I, Gentlemen, ever have thought it worth my while to have 
said anything to you on the Subject (having entertained too- 
good an Opinion of your L^nderstanding to suppose such- 
an absurd Letter could possibly have any Regard paid it 


Iby you) had I not observed in your last Letter, that you 
'thought it necessary to transmit to the Lord's Commis- 
sioners of His Majesty's Treasury, Copies of the several 
Letters laid before you' by Hatton, relative to his last Com- 
plaint, tho' no proper Enquiry had then been made into the 
Truth of his Representations, at least none which had come 
to your knowledge. This, I own, has alarm'd me. You 
may have likewise thought it necessary to transmit to their 
Lordships the two above mentioned false and scandalous 
Letters respecting me and the Inhabitants of this Colony, 
without so much as enquiring or thinking it your Duty to 
make any previous Enquiry into the Truth of the Allega- 
tions. And their Lordships, not being acquainted with the 
real Circumstances of the Case, and perhaps relying upon 
that you would not trouble them wnth any idle Informations, 
or such as you had not good reason to believe might be de- 
pended upon, may have conceived Prejudices greatly to my 
Disfavour. Had I received any such Letter concerning 
you, Gentlemen, and thought them worthy of the least at- 
tention, I am sure I should have deem'd myself bound in 
Honour to have informed you of it immediately, that you 
might have an Opportunity of clearing yourselves from any 
Imputations they contained, and of explaining your Con- 
duct to His IMajesty's Ministers: And I would willingly be- 
lieve that you have not, as you never gave me any Notice 
thereof, transmitted those Letters to England respecting 
me; but if I am mistaken in this Point, and the Letters are 
actually transmitted, then I must desire that you will as soon 
as possible, send me Copies of them properly authenticated 
tmder the Great Seal of the Colony where you reside, that 
I may have it in my power to obtain that Justice from Mr. 
Hatton which I am entitled to. A Request so reasonable 
I hope you \v\\\ not refuse, especially when I tell you that 
Hatton had the Assurance, when I lately tax'd him in pri- 
vate with having written & sent those Letters, to deny that 
he ever wrote a Syllable to you against me, or ever sent 
you any Letter from Murch, having, as he said, always en- 
tertained the highest opinion of me and my Conduct in 
this Government. But as I thought that he might after- 
wards deny he had ever made such a Declaration to me (no 


one besides beings present at the Time) I took an opportunity 
of asking him about those Letters before the Council, when; 
he again positively asserted, 'that he was very clear he never 
sent a Copy of a Letter from Murch to the Commissioners.'" 
However, his Son (tho' he has as bad a Character as his- 
Father) being soon after examined on Oath unon the same 
vSubject, and not knowing what his Father had said, con- 
fess'd that Hatton did transmit to you a Copy of a Letter 
from Murch, and that it was relative to me and the People 
of this Province. A Copy of the Notes taken by the Sec- 
retary of their Examinations on this Point, and concerning" 
the Place of the Collector's Residence (which is said to be 
without the District allotted him bv his Commission) I send 
enclosed for your Perusal. 

"That this Representation, Gentlemen, of Mr Hatton's 
Conduct does not proceed from any particular Enmity to- 
the man,* or Inclination to do him a Disservice, you must 
do me the justice to allow when you consider. That it was 
not made 'till you call'd upon me for it (I having left him,.. 
after giving him a Copy of the Governor's and Council's 
Opinion for you, to tell his own Story in his own Way) and 
that I have not only shewn him no Resentment on Account 
of his Letters (tho' I have long known of them) but have 
never yet demanded of him my Share of the Seizure of the 
Sloop Speedwell (which he gave you such Pompous Ac- 
covmts of it 1768,) notwithstanding I am well inform'd he 
has converted the whole of it to his own L^se. not having 
even accounted for the Share due to His Majesty. 

"I am with great Regard, Gentlemen, 
"Yours, &:c 


* \\'arrants were issued bv the Supreme Executive Coun- 
cil of Pennsylvania in August. 1776, for the arrest of the 
Hattons, senior and junior, for "treasonable practices," in 
aiding in the escape from jail of Colonel Kirkland. The el- 
der Hatton was arrested in New Jersey, taken to Philadel- 
phia, and released on bail. 


Copy of a letter from the Inspector-General to the Com- 
missioners of the Customs: 


"By my Report of Delaware Bay & River, your Honours 
will ?ce the Situation of the District of Salem; as to the Col- 
lector's Disputes with the People; they are in my Opinion 
of a private Nature, and arose from trifling: matters. I can't 
fi;i(i t'lat Mr Hatton has ever disoblij^ed any Person there 
as an officer and therefore has not given any Cau^;'t for Re- 
sentment against him on that Account, on the Contrary he 
indulged them in a very great Degree, even in giving them 
blank Certiticates and blank Permits to be filled up Ijy them- 

"I send a number of those Permits and Certiiicatcs in- 
closed which Your Honors will see are filled up with as many 
different Hands, as they are for Persons. What Pretences 
Mr Hatton can form that he received ill Treatment from 
the People on Account of his Zeal for the Service, Your 
Honours will best judge. I am further to observe that every 
VesseJl which entered with him from the West Indies was 
only in Ballast except 5, from April 1765 to May 1766, 
which was detected by the Man of War and Cutters, and 
what is still more remarkable he never entered any, but what 
belonged to noted Snmgglers. — John Relfe is tb.e Person 
who had the Permit from him for the 5 H'hds oi foreign 
Sugar after they were seized by the Collector of this Port. 

"Since September 1767, three \>ssels entered witli Mr. 
Hatton from Guadaloupe and one from Dom'nico, all in 
Ballast, and he has not received a Shilling Duties during 
that Time. — Every Smuggler speaks well of him as a Col- 
lector, but in his private conduct as a peevish, fretful, and 
not a very good natured Person. — Though I do not think 
myself concerned with the private Character of any Officer, 
yet I found myself under the necessity of mentioning this 
of Mr. Halton as he complained of receiving ill Usage from 
the People on Account of exerting himself in his Duty, that 
your Honours may the better see how far that was the case, 
,and tho' it is probable that he might have been ill used yet 


«-^. d 
there is little Doubt of its being owning to tinwise Deport- 
ment in his private Station. 

He has lived for twelve Month past at Raccoon Creek, 
and is now removed from thence to Cape May 90 miles be- 
low Salem, out of the way of all business, so that it is nec- 
essary he should iix his Residence in a proper Part of the 

"By this Plain State of Facts I hope your Honours will 
see all Circimistances concerning Mr Hatton & his Dis- 
trict in their Proper Light. — His situation having a Family 
to support with a narrow Income might account for some of 
the irregular Appearances in his Conduct as an Officer. 
That with his Time of Life in a distant Coimtry renders 
him an Object of Compassion, and therefore I beg Leave 
to recommend him to your Admonishment as I presume it 
will come with more Propriety & Weight from Your Hon- 
ours than me and wish it may have the Effect of his living 
upon a better understanding with the People, & being 
more Circumspect in the Duties of his Office. 

"I am with great Respect, Your Honours 
"Humble Servant 


"Philadelphia 17 June 1769. 

"To the Honble The Commissioners of tlis Majesty's 
Customs at Boston." 

Governor Franklin to Earl of Hillsborough, concerning 
complaint of John Hatton, &c.: 

"Burlington, May 19th 1771. 
"The Right Honble the Earl of Hillsborough. 

My Lord Inclosed I send your Lordship a Copy of the 
Minutes of the Privy Council of this Colony, from the ?5tii 
of January to the 26th of March, a great Part of which is 
taken up with an Enquiry into a Complaint made by John 
Hatton, Esqr Collector of His Majesty's Customs for the 
Port of Salem, against some Justices of the Peace living at 
Cape May. This Mr. Hatton is the same Person mentioned 
in my Letter to your Lordship of the 25th of Augst 1768, 
N. II, and in the Minutes of the Privy Council sent with 


-my Letter N. 6. — The Council, after a strict and impartial 
Examination of the Parties, were unanimously of Opinion 
that there was not the least Foundation for his Complaint 
against the Justices. I need not trouble your Lordship with 
any Recital of Particulars here, as they are so fully set forth 
in the Minutes, and in the Copies of Sundry Papers sent 
herewith. — I was in hopes that the Commissioners at Bos- 
ton would before now have removed this man from his Of- 
fice, as they have had the strongest Proofs of his Unfaith- 
fulness in Execution of it, ever since June 1769, as your 
Lordship will see by the enclosed Copy of the Report of the 
Inspector General. What reasons they may have for con- 
tinuing him in Office I know not, as they have not yet 
thought proper to return any Answer to my Letter of the 
loth of April last, a Copy of which is among the enclosed 
Papers. , 

"I have the Honour to be, with the greatest Respect, My 
Lord, Your Lordship's most obedient & most humble Ser- 
vant WM. FRANKLIN." 

"Some Notes and Observations made by the Depu Secre- 
tary of New Jersey, on the Complaint of John Hatton Esqr 
Collector of Salem, against three of the Magistrates of Cape 
May, after the Examination of the Parties before the Gov- 
ernor & Council, explaining more particularly several mat- 
ters either omitted or but slightly ment'd in the Minutes of 
Council on that Subject." 

"There is very little of Mr Hatton's Complaint, that, if 
true can afifect the Magistrates of Cape May : — the Transac- 
tions which he and his Son received the Injury, being en- 
tirely without their Jurisdiction. It may be reduced to the 
following Heads. 

"i. Their sending Their Warrant for him on the Oath 
of Hughes. 

"2. Their sending their Warrant for his Negro on the 
same Foundation, and committing him after Examination. 

"3. Refusing to admit the Negro to Bail. 

■"4. Demanding Surety of the Peace of Mr Hatton, on the 


Affidavit of Mills, — on which they took his own Recogni — 

"5. Demanding- the like Surety from the Negro, & com- 
mitting him to Prison for want of Security. 

"In all which Transactions it does not appear that he was ■ 
under any Kind of Restraint more than for a few Hours^. . 
and that from absolute necessity, and not at a Time when.- 
the Duty of his Office required his Attendance. But everc. 
if it had interfered with the Revenue, the Cause of this Re- - 
stramt was of a higher Nature; — for whenever the Kings ; 
Peace comes in Question all Civil Matters must give Way. ' 
to the Enquiry. In the 4th Paragraph of his Complaint^. 
Mr Platton calls the Charge against his Negro a Pretense^ 
and says 'the Oath of Hughes was only invented to distress 
him and his Family.' If the Oath was invented Dy the Mag- 
istrates for the Purpose, it was undoubtedly highly Crimi- 
nal in them. But can it be supposed that they could induce 
Hughes to perjure himself to furnish such a Design? What 
motive could they have for wishing to distress him? They 
were not interested in the Goods seized, nor could he effect 
their Interest by any Seizures — They were not in Trade, nor 
had they any Property that could be affected by the Revenue 
Laws. On the other Hand they had lived on Terms of good 
Neighbourhood wath the Collector; The Magistrate who 
administered the Oath to Hughes had, as he acknowledges 
shewn him particular Acts of Civility, But on Hughes's of- 
fering to make such an Oath, the Magistrates would have 
been Criminal in Omitting the Enquiry. 

"The 5 Par. charges the Magistrates with 'sending five 
Men to his House and taking him out by Force thro' heavy- 
Rain, tho' he was exceedingly ill and dangerously wounded/ 
The Magistrates, to make it as easy as possible to Mr Hat- 
ton, convened at the House of his nearest Neighbour, at a- 
considerable Distance from their own Houses, and di<3 
not order Force to be used until they found other measures 
inefifectual ; and it was proved to them by the Man at Whose: 
House they were, that he had been riding about with him. 
most of the Day in the same kind of Weather and the Ccm- 
stable (by wdiom they had received a Message from Ms 


Hatton rather disrespectfull) reported to them that he was 
not so ill as to be in any Danger from coming out. 

"The Arrogance and Rudeness with which he charges 
the Magistrates, was no more than the Language they 
thought it necessary to use to restrain him from insulting 
them in the Duty of their Ofifice when he appeared before 
them, charged on Oath as a Criminal. The £500 Security 
he offered for his Negro was no other than his own Recog- 
nizance in that Sum, which they did not think a sufficient 
Security; nor did they think the Negro Bailable had the 
Security been ever so good. The Secretary's Letter con- 
tained no more than his Advice to admit the Negro to Bail 
if they should think it Legal so to do from the Circum- 
stances of his Case, of which they were then the sole judges. 

"The Justice's had seen the Governor's Proclamation 
before, and did not think it necessary to read it in the pres- 
ence of Mr. Hatton, especially as it did not relate to what 
was then required of them. 

"Par. 6. Hughes, in the mean Time, had procured a Writ 
of Habeas Corpus, and was admitted to Bail by the HonI 
Charles Read Esqr one of the Justices of the Supreme Court, 
and Collector of His Majesty's Customs for the Port of 
Burlington, by which he was entitled to his Liberty. But 
the Justices of Cape I\Iay did not think they had Power to 
admit him to Bail, tho' he was committed for a Crime of a. 
less Nature than the Negro stood charged with. 

"Par. 7. By the Complaint in this Paragraph, one would 
imagine Mills was one of the Persons pointed out in the 
Proclamation as being concerned in the Rescue of the Pilot 
Boat. But the fact is otherwise. Mills is not mentioned 
in the Proclamation in the Light of a Criminal : nor was he 
at all concerned in the AfTray. Mr Hatton did influence the 
Printer to insert, under the Proclamation, an Advertisement, 
signed by himself, ofifering a reward for apprehending 
Mills; but he seems not to have been very desirous of hav- 
ing him taken up, as he declined making any Affidavit be- 
for the Justices which they thought would be a proper 
Ground for issuing a Precept against him. 

"Par. 8 & 9. These Warrants against Mr Hatton & his 
Negro, were grounded on Mills's Aiifidavit, and his demand- 


ing Surety of the Peace against them. From his going vol- 
imtarily before the Justices to make this Affidavit, it should 
seem that he did not fly from Justice, and that he had at 
least as much Reason to be airraid from the Threats of Mr 
Hatton, as the latter could have from his menaces. Mr 
Hatton insinuates that he wore Pistols in his Pocket, and 
he charges Mills with carrying a Club, they had quarrelled, 
and probably mutual Threats had passed. On Binding 
both Parties to their good Behaviour, the Judges Obliged 
Mills to find a Bondsman, but from Air. Hatton they took 
no other Security than his own Recognizance, which, if it 
can be called Partiality at all, was in his Favour; tho' by the 
Words of his Complaint, a Stranger to the Fact would im- 
agine they obliged him to procvire a Bondsman. 

"Par. 12 & 15. The Threats of Destruction to any who 
should give Mr Hatton any Assistance, appear nowhere but 
in the Complaint; the Magistrates deny any knowledge of 
it. And, indeed, all his Fears and Injury to his Person and 
Property appear to be chimerical and without Foundation. 
His Informations have chiefly come by his own Servants 
whom he sent out as Spies for that Purpose; and some of 
the People, knowing their Design, have dropped Expres- 
i^ions on purpose to furnish them with a Tale, that they 
might have an Opportunity to laugh at the Effects of his 
suspicious Disposition. Par. 13 & 14, are fully answered in 
the Minutes of Council. 

"The Complaint of the 26th Jan. begins with an impu- 
dent Falsehood. No such Promise was ever made to him; 
on the Contrary the Governor repeatedly told him that he 
could not, consistent with the Royal Insctructions, deprive 
a Justice of his Office, but with the Advice of the Council, 
which could not be expected 'till after a Hearing. His com- 
plaint against the Magistrates, after his Answering a few 
Questions in Explanation of some Parts of it, afforded but 
a slender Foundation for calling upon them to answer it, 
much less to suspend them without a Hearing. 

"He charges one of the Justices with pursuing the Con- 
stable, to know what Witnesses he had summoned, and 
tampering with such as he could influence — The Fact ap- 
pears thus, i 


"Justice Whilden happened to meet the Constable at the 
House of one of the Witnesses sent for Mr Hatton, but did 
not know the Constable's Errand there, nor speak to the 
Witness on the Subject; nor did he ever, as he declared on 
Oath, signify the least Desire that any Person should de- 
cline testifying the whole Truth in Behalf of Mr Hatton. 
The Collector had sent his Negro to dog the Justice, who 
seeing him go into this House where the Constable was, and 
continue there for some Time, returned and told his Master 
of it — and his Imagination supplied the Rest. 

"Mr Hatton says he was more likely to be insulted than 
to obtain Justice, when he had his Witnesses before the Jus- 
tices to be sworn, and refers to a Certificate of the two Jus- 
tices as a Proof of it. — This Certificate amounts to no more 
than this, That two Persons brought before the Justices re- 
fused to swear (which they had a Right to do) and that Mr 
Hatton's Son having written something for one of them to 
swear to, the man put the Paper in his Pocket and refused 
to return it. 

"It must be observed that Mr Hatton procured the Depo- 
sitions of twelve other Persons respecting the same Transac- 
tions; and it is remarkable that these Depositions are all 
drawn up in the Hand Writing of Mr Hatton & his Son, 
and in such Parts of them as relate to the Conduct of the 
Justices, particular Words and Expressions are selected, 
which, standing by themselves, may sometimes appear to 
have a meaning totally different from the real sense of them 
when connected with what was said before and after them. 

"Mr Hatton concludes his Address in Language that 
would excite Compassion in the Breast of a Savage — if the 
Facts asserted in it were true. 

" M have left my Wife at the Point of Death thro' Fright, 
my only Child wounded and a cripple. And my Servants 
trembling thro' Fear; and I obliged to quit my Family and 
Ofifice and to travel thro' snowy Desarts, all by reason of 
the Power and Actions of James Whilden, Thomas Team- 
ing & John Leonard Esquires.' 

"From all that has appeared concerning this matter, so 
far as I have been able to discover, he might with as much 
Truth, have inserted the Names of the Commissioners of 


the Customs, or the Directors of the East India Company, 
as the Justices of Cape May. For except that he was twice 
sent for by the jVIag^istrates on Criminal Accusations, which 
took up I)ut a vtry few Hours of his Time, he seems to have 
been as much at Liberty, and as free from Obstructions 
from the Magistrates and all other Persons within their Jur- 
isdiction as any man in the Country. 

"In his Remonstrance of the 20th of February he charges 
* the greatest Part of the People of the County' with being 
'Smugglers, boasting the Sweets of an illicit Trade, and de- 
pending on the Magistrates for Support in their Villany.' 

"Mr. Hatton has resided among them for some years 
past and been particularly intimate with them, in all which 
Time he has made no Complaint of an illicit Trade being 
carried on amongst them, nor has 'he now pointed out any 
Instance of Smuggling, or shewed any Circumstances to in- 
duce a Belief that there has been any of that Business car- 
ried on by the People of Cnpe-May. The Bulk of the Peo- 
ple and all the magistrates of whom he has complained, are 
Farmers, unacquainted with Trade and accustomed to a re- 
tired and peaceful Life. That there may have been Smug- 
gling carried on from on board the Ship he mentions, is 
very probable; and it is beyond a Doubt that Mr. Hatton 
and his Son were much beat and wounded on board the 
Pilot Boat by Seamen belonging to the Ship — but it is not 
even alleged that the Magistrates of Cape May were privy 
to it, or gave any Contenance to the Perpetrators of it. 
Flughes, the only Person, except the Sailors, who was in 
the Affray, was taken up by the Magistrates and committed 
to Prison as soon as he came on Shore; and, notwithstand- 
ing the Violence of Mr. Hatton's Accusation, the Magis- 
trate before whom he was examined, alleges that Hatton 
and his Son acknowledged, on their first coming on Shore, 
that they had intreated Hughes, during the Aiifray, to mod- 
erate the Fury of the Sailors & to save their Lives, and 
that Hughes had interposed in their Behalf. The Truth I 
believe is, that Mr. Hatton being disappointed of the Prize 
he had taken, was determined to turn his Wounds to some 
Account another Way. He seems to have had it in View, 
from the Beginning of his Quarrel, to provoke the Magis- 


filtrates into Acts of Indiscretion, that might wear the appear- 

;.%aiice of Persecution; and stories to ground all their Trans- 
actions against him, on a Settled Dislike to his Office, as 

■ one that the People wish to be entirely rid of. He wants 
to induce a Belief in his Superiors that he is persecuted for 

:^:a strict Adherence to his Duty, which he doubts not will 

■procure him Preferment. 

"It is not the Oi^ce but the Officer that is unpopular in 
the Province. He ascribes to himself the Attributes of 
Majesty, and considers himself as out of the Reach of the 
Laws — that his Person and his Servants are sacred, and not 
to be called to account for even the most attrocious crimes; 
— that his very Potatoes are to be treated with so much Re- 
spect, that a Servant employed in gathering them, must not 
be arrested tho' charged on Oath with a Design against 
the Life of a Subject! It is by no means strange that a 
Mind under the Influence of such Ideas should, on the other 
Hand consider the People of the Country as in a State of 
Rebellion, disregarding all Laws but such as they can ex- 
ercise to the Oppression of his Majesty's Officers, and 
carrying on an illicit Trade in open Defiance of them, and 
that he should ascribe to the magistrates against whom he 
complains, an unbounded Influence over the Bulk of the 
People, and a more Arbitrary Exercise of Power than the 
Bashaws of Turkey could arrive at. 

Some Notes taken by the Dept. Secretary on the Examina- 
tion of John Hatton, Esqr before the Governor & Coun- 
cil, Febr. 23, 1771. 

"'John Hatton Esqr being examined by the Governor in 
'Council says: 

"That he resides in Cold Sjiring in the County of Cape 
May 50, or 60 miles or more from Salem, — that h.e does not 
know how far it is from Cohansie, — does not know where 
Cohansie is, — believes it is in Cumberland County — it is not 
in Cape May. Does not know any Place called Cohansie, 
.but knows a Creek or River of that Name. 

"Saw Inspector Williams, who was down at Cape May 
idtwice; saw him there but once being from Home the other 


Time he came down. Mr. Williams borrowed HattonV- 
Book of Letters and returned it to him. Know a Person 
of the name of Murch who is a Gentleman, — believes he was 
a Merchant, — was acquainted witli him, — received several 
Letters from him, I)ut never sent any one of his Letters to- 
the Commissioners. Does not recollect receiving' any re- 
markable Letter from Murch characterizing the People of 
this Province. Does not know that he, Murch, was ever 
taken up by a Magistrate or committed to Prison. Since 
Murch went to England has reed a Letter from him (last 
Fall or Summer) requesting he would procure him a Cer- 
tificate of the safe landing of some Tea he had to Philadel- 
phia consigned to one Mr. Boyd to sell. Is very clear he- 
never sent a Copy of a Letter from Murch, to the Com- 

Some Notes taken by the Depy. Secretary on the Examina- 
tion of John liatton junr Eebr 23d 1771. 

"John Hatton junr examined by the Covcrnor & Coun-- 
oil, on Oath says: 

"His Father resides at Cold Spring in the County of Cape- 
May, — knows Salem, — has been there, but does not know 
the Distance they are apart, — never travelled that Road, — 
it is above 5 miles, — not loO, — nor 80, — has heard it is about 
60, or 70 Miles. Remembers Mr Murch, an Englishman, 
Christian Name John he thinks, — does not know his Occu- 
pation, — heard he intended to purchase Lands, but that he 
did not purchase any, — has seen him at his Father's House^ 
— Mr. Murch wrote several Letters to his Father, one of 
which he remembers characterises the People, but does not 
reiuember what Cliaracter it gave,— believes he may have 
copied this Letter — (( )bjects to answering such questions 
as reveal his Father's Secrets) Afterwards says, his Father 
did transmit a Copy of the Letter to the Commissioners; 
this Letter declared Murch did not choose to purchase 
Lands in such a Country. Remembers there was some- 
thing about the Governor in it, — is certain it was wrote by 
Murch. — does not know how the Letter came to the House,, 
but saw it after it came. 


"Never was at Cohansie, — does not know how far it Is 
from his Father's House." 

Copy of a Letter from the Commissioners of the Customs, . 

to Governor Franklin, 
r ■ — 
"His Excellency Governor Franklin, 

"Sir: Mr. Hatton Collector of Salem & Cohensy having 
represented to us that in the month of November last a large 
Ship called the Prince of Wales, Captain Crawford, arrived 
in Delaware Bay either from London or Liverpool which 
Ship was met by Several Pilot Boats (and as he had been 
informed) were employed to receive sundry Contraband! 
Goods from on board said Vessel, that he attempted to go 
on board of her, but that they manned their Sides with Guns 
&c and threatened to Murder him, that he had made Seiz- 
ures of one of the Pilot Boats, having some of those Goods 
on board, which was afterwards rescued out of his Hands 
by a number of Persons in a Barge belonging to the Ship, 
upon which occasion, he, his Son and a Negro Servant, 
were treated in a most barbarous manner, greatly wounded. 
and with great difificulty got on Shore. That his Son was,, 
afterwards met by a number of Sailors in Philadelphia,, 
tarr'd and feathered, put in the Pillory, dragged by a Rope 
through the Water, and left in such a Condition that his life 
was despaired of — We thought it necessary to transmit 
Copies of the several Papers, laid before us, for the informa- 
tion of the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treas- 
ury. V\'e have since received further Accounts from Mr. 
Hatton complaining of the Conduct of the Magistrates, & 
of Distresses & Embarrassments which have appeared to ■ 
us to be most extraordinary and in some Instances improb- 
able, but as he informs us that your Excellency has issued 
your Proclamation and that the matter was to be heard be- 
fore your Excellency and your Council on the 21st of Feb- 
ruary, We should be glad you would be pleased to acquaint 
us with the Result oi this Enquiry, that we may be able to ■ 
form a true Judgment of the Conduct of our Officer. — 


"We are with great Regard Sir Your Excellency's Most 
Obedient Humble Servants, 

Custom House Boston 26th March 1771. 

Hatton, it will be noted by a careful perusal of the fore- 
g-oing correspondence, was a man whose word seemed to 
be doubted. It is said of him that all through the Revolu- 
tion he made himself particularly offensive, and was a Tory 
of the strictest kind. He was probably the only pronounced 
one in Cape May county. He lived on his plantation at 
Cold Spring, which was owned by the late Daniel B. 
Hughes, and this property was the only Tory's property 
confiscated in the county, of which notice is made further 
on in this history. Were it not for the leniency of the 
neighborhood, Hatton would have had more of a rough ex- 
perience during the Revolution than he did. 



On April 29, 1771, the following military commissions 
^were issued for Cape May county: 

Thomas Hand, Colonel; John Mackey, Lieutenant-Col- 
onel; Joseph Savage, Major; Downs Edmunds, Adjutant. 

For the Lower Precinct: Silas Swain, Captain; Seth Whil- 
• den. Lieutenant; Levi Eldridge, Ensign. 

For the Middle Precinct: Jacob Hand, Captain; Philip 
Cressey. Lieutenant; Jonathan Jenkins, Ensign. 

For the Upper Precinct: Nicholas Stillwell, Captain; 
Enoch Stillwell, Lieutenant; Joseph Edwards, Ensign. 

On November 7, 1770, Eli Eldredge was commissioned 
Sherifif of the county, and he served from 1771 to 1774. Eli 
Eldredge was born about 1730, and was the son of Samuel 
Eldredge. In the Revolutionary War he was First Major 
of Militia from August, 1775, to June, 1776. He was a 
member of the Legislature from 1773 to 1779, and was 
Clerk of Cape May county from 1779 to 1802. 

On December 21. 1771, the following were chosen the 
^'Commissioners of the Peace" for the county: William 
Smith, Thomas Leaming, James Whilden, Joseph Corson, 
Jacob Hand, Daniel Swain, Henry Hand, Reuben Ludlam, 
James Godfrey, John Mackey, Joseph Savage. 

This letter of Aaron Leaming, who was about attending 
the Assembly at New Brunswick, which he had written to 
his constituents, is interesting, but when perusing it the 
reader should use his imagination in recalling expectant 
events at home: 

■^'To the Freeholders of the County of Cape May: 
"Gentlemen: — 
"Whereas there is a great Probability of a war, and the 
Scing having ordered an augmentation of his P'orces; and 


Inlisting Officers are soon expected to Raise recruits in this- 
province as appears by the Governor's Proclamation I have- 
lately received; and the ships of war having received orders 
to Rendevouze at Jamaica; and the militia of this Province 
are to be properly Regimented; and the Assembly being to> 
meet the 17th Instant: 

"From all these Indications I expect that an Expedition 
is to be carried on against some of the Spanish Settlements 
in the West Indies; and that the Governor will demand men 
and money from this Colony. As in such case I shall be 
greatly at a Loss to know what part to act; I desire my con- 
stituents, or so many of them as can spare the time to meet 
at the court house the 13th instant at 12 of the clock, pre- 
pared to give me their advice whether I am to vote for the 
raising either men or money. 

"As from the present circumstances between Britain and 
America, this is a matter of very great importance, which 
I shall endeavor to explain at this time. I hope the Gentle- 
men of this county will not think the meeting improper. 

"Their compliance will greatly oblige themselves and also^ 
their most obedient. Faithful Servant, 

"April 4, 1771." AARON LEAMING." 

In 1772 a change was made in the apportionment of As- 
semblymen, but Cape May's number of representatives was 
not changed from two, which it had had for about thirty 

On July I, 1772, a census was taken for the year ending 
at that date, in which the development of Cape May county 
was truthfully portrayed. The number of dwelling houses 
was 275, while there were 1648 people living in the county, 
divided into the following classes: Males under sixteen, 468;, 
males between sixteen and fifty, 374; males from fifty to 
eighty, 42; males over eighty, 2; total males, 886. Females 
under sixteen, 384; females sixteen to fifty, 339; females fifty 
to eighty, 37; females eighty and over, 2; total females, 762. 
During the year there had been eleven marriages and eigh- 
teen deaths. 

A majority of these dwellings were owned by their occu- 
pants, and were of that nature peculiar to those good, old 


times of which we deHght to read. The farm house was a 
story and a half structure, with seaHng boards on the sides 
of the rooms and on the ceiHngs, which served the purpose 
for which plaster is used to-day. The floor, if the owners 
were exceedingly wealthy, had rag carpet on the floor; and, 
if not, sand of the white, clean kind, which is found on Cape 
May's superb beach was the principal covering. Others 
had nothing on at all, and the tidy housewife kept her pine 
floor boards shining as the result of her daily diligent scrub- 
bing. There were no stoves, and coal was not then known. 
The big open fireplace served the purpose, and the wood 
pile was made large in the fall, and during the cold weather, 
when little else could be done, the sturdy farmer chopped 
his wood and heightened his "pile" for spring and summer 
use. The old-fashioned tallow candles served the lighting 
for evening when necessary, but these were only used when 
extraordinary occasion required it. The glowing pine knots 
and big chunks of oak wood in the fireplace gave most of 
the light for the evening. Because the people at that day 
were "early to bed and early to rise." Candle light in the 
morning gave the illumination for breakfast, and before sun- 
rise it was over, and the master with his slaves, for there 
were some in Cape May county, and the "hired man" were 
off to the fields to do their day's work. The people worked 
hard the six days of the week allotted for the purpose, but 
on the Sabbath they were devoted to their religion. The 
spirit which prevailed in New England prevailed to a great 
degree in Cape May. The sturdy Presbyterian, the hardy 
Baptist and the spirit-moving Quakers were the only de- 
nominations which had constituents here at the time. 

Their principal holidays and sport days were court days, 
during which time the games of quoits, running, jumping, 
hurdling and of like nature were the leading diversions. 
There was always feasting on these occasions. At the same 
time public matters were discussed and all the prominent 
men of the county knew each other, by their regular attend- 
ance upon the court sessions. 

The manner of conducting public meetings and elec- 
tions of those days is interesting, from the fact that all who 
favored one candidate walked to one side of the room, while 


those opposed took the opposite side. Then the persons 
were counted for the result. In the same manner public 
questions were decided, and nearly every meeting and elec- 
tion were conducted on these lines. The ballot was seldom 
resorted to. and so fair were elections and the people trusted 
their neighbors so thoroughly that at times a very few voted. 
At one time only eight votes are recorded for members of 
the Legislature in the county, while it was known to con- 
tain nearly three hundred who had a right to the elective 

Reading matter in Cape May was scarce at this time, and 
while but hardly a dozen, if that man}-, newspapers of Phila- 
delphia came to Cape May, it was marvelous. There were 
some magazine readers in the county, but the number was 
confined to about a half dozen persons. Aaron Learning 
was agent for a magazine at the time, and he had, as his ac- 
counts show, collected subscriptions from five persons. 
Most of the knowledge obtained, therefore, was from the 
word of the neighbor. 

The sons usually followed in the footsteps of their fathers,, 
adopting the same trade, while the daughters went out ta 
service, and were not looked down upon as now for so 

There were no matches in those days, and the flint was 
struck to make the sparks from which the fire was started. 
The dishes were pewter, and glassware was indeed scarce. 
The men's clothing was a pair of leather breeches, a checked 
shirt, a flannel jacket, and a hat with its brim cocked up 
into three corners. The women spun their yam, and wove 
their dress goods. Their life, while primitive, was as happy 
as the people of to-day, and while they had not the advan- 
tages, they knew not of them, and were not compelled to 
worry as to how thy might secure them. 

On March i8, 1773, William Smith, Nathaniel Foster, 
Thomas Learning, James Whilden, John Townsend, John 
Leonard, Joseph Corson, Jacob Hand. Daniel Swain, 
Henry Hand, Reuben Ludlam, Joseph Godfrey, John 
Mackey, Joseph Savage were made Justices of the Court of 
Oyer and Terminer for the county. 

In 1774 the county jail, which had been built ten years 


previous, was consumed by fire, and the Freeholders were 
authorized by the Assembly to rebuild the same, on or near 
the former site. The court house was also rebuilt at this 
time. An act was also passed to "suspend the prosecution 
of the County Collector of Cape May for a limited Time." 
What he had been doing is not known, but evidently the 
Legislature was not satisfied with him, and were trying to 
reprimand liim, without convicting him of crime. 

This year a new^ oyster law was passed to prohibit the 
taking of oysters from the beds from April lo to September 
I. Closely following this, on February ii, 1775, the last 
oyster act of the New Jersey Assembly, as the rulers over a 
colony of Great Britain, was passed. Under it no one was 
to take oysters from May 1 to September i. Forty shill- 
ings was the forfeit, recoverable by action for debt, of which 
26 shillings and 8 pence were to go to the informer. Burn- 
ing the shells for lime was an ofifence, for which tlicre was 
a penalty of three pounds. The last whaling record before 
the Revolution was the leasing by Aaron Teaming of Seven- 
Mile Beach on February 28, 1775, to whalemen for thirty 

The British Government, being unable to obtain any 
revenue from duties on the tea shipped to America, in 1773 
resolved to accomplish by policy what was found to be im- 
practicable from restraint. It effected an arrangement with 
the East India Company, whose warehouses were over- 
stocked with that article for want of a market, by which 
shipments of tea could be sold to the colonists at prices 
with the duties less than had been charged before duties 
were imposed. The colonists adhered to their principles, 
and would take the tea at no price. Ship loads were sent 
to Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Charleston. From 
New York and Philadelphia it was shipped back. In the 
port of Boston the tea was thrown overboard by the colo- 
nists disguised as Indians, and the news of this action spread 
through the colonies and caused a gr^at deal of argument. 
As was natural, there w^ere some Tories in every province, 
and there were some in Cape May as well as anywhere 
else. Parliament closed the port of Boston on June i, 1774. 
On the same day people assembled in all the colonies to pro- 


test against the action of Parliament. On the approach of 
the tea ships to Philadelphia, the pilots who lived at Cape 
May, and operated on the Delaware, were warned not to 
conduct them into harbor. The Cape May pilots needed 
only a small excuse for refusing, and they let these mer- 
chantmen find their own way up the river. The Commit- 
tee of Safety of Pennsylvania on October i6, 1775, paid 
Michael Dawson £9 for carrying like instructions to the 
Cape May pilots. 

The necessity of a general Congress was now perceived 
throughout the colonies. On the 4th of September dele- 
gates from eleven colonies met in Philadelphia and organ- 
ized into a Congress. They sent a petition of grievance to 
the colony agents in London to present to Parliament and 
the King. In the meantime British troops were arriving 
in America, mostly at Boston. Toward the close of the 
year news arrived of a proclamation of the King prohibiting 
the exportation of arms to America. Several of the colo- 
nies then began to prepare for their own defense by gather- 
ing up what cannon and ammunition they could get. Ben- 
jamin Franklin, who was Deputy Postmaster-General for 
America, was dismissed by Parliament for his sympathy 
with the colonists. His son, William Franklin, Governor 
of New Jersey, however, was a devout Royalist, and kept 
the New Jersey residents and Legislators in a quarrel with 
him the balance of his official life. In this State the Assem- 
bly appointed a committee of correspondence, which met 
in New Brunswick on May 2, 1775, and called a second 
provisional convention to meet at Trenton on the 23d of 
the same month. The British Government continued its 
coercive measures, and acts restricting trade with all the 
colonies were passed by Parliament. 

On the nth of January, 1775, the New Jersey General 
Assembly met at Perth Amboy, and was attended by Jona- 
than Hand and Eli Eldredge as the members from Cape 
May. They voted for the presentation to the King of a 
communication stating grievances in which New Jersey was 
particularly interested. The Assembly met at Burlington 
on May 15th, and both the Cape May members were pres- 
ent. They voted with a bare majority of the members to 



Teduce the salaries of the State officers, who were adherents 
of the King. . New Jersey became a foremost State in re- 
sisting the organization of British tyranny. The second 
Provisional Congress met at Trenton on May 23, according 


to call. In the meantime important events had happened 
in Massachusetts and in New York. The battle of Lexing- 
ton had been fought only a month before, and the news was 
just about getting to the distant parts of the colony. Thir- 
teen days before Generals Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold 


had captured Ticonderoga, and Crown Point was about'- 
being taken by the Americans. On the same day that- 
Ticonderoga was taken the second Continental Congress 
met in Philadelphia, and the news from there that they had. 
voted that 20.000 men should take the field and that George 
Washington should be commander, reached New Jersey 
before the kno\\ledge of Arnold's and Allen's conquest. . 
The second Xew Jersey Provisional Convention was at- 
tended by Jesse Hand as delegate from Cape May. The: 
convention directed that one or more companies of eighty 
men should be formed in each township or corporation: and- 
imposed a tax of f 10,000 on the State to support these or- 
ganizations. The Congress re-assembled on August 5, and 
directed that fifty-four companies of sixty-four luinule men 
each should be organized. The counties of Cun^Jierland 
and Cape May were to have independent light infantry and 
rangers. There were about 2000 inhabitants in the county 
at this time. On August 16 the county's (|Uota was raised 
to one battalion and one company of minute nu-n. The- 
Jersey companies were appointed by reconunendation of 
the Continental Congress. The Cape May county bat- 
talion, which was raised in accordance with this call, was 
not officered until September 21, when the comity election 
took place at the court house. The following were se- 
lected by the people: 

John Mackey, Esqr., Colonel; Henry Pland, Esqr., Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel: Eli Eldredge, Major; Thomas Learning,, 
Jr., Adjutant. 

Aaron Learning, in his diary, from which these facts are 
gathered, said that besides those elected, there were then, 
the following officers: 

"Nicholas Stillwell. 

"Enoch Stillwell. 

"Salanthiel Foster. 

"Captains James Willits, Jr., Jonathan Jenkins. 

"Frederic Otto. First Lieutenant; Joseph Edwards, Na- 
thaniel Jenkins, John Newton, Second Lieutenants; Chris- 
topher Ludlam, Richard Matthews" — (here page is torn 

It is unfortunate for history that the old diary containing; 


such valuable information should be torn at such a place. 
But putting- these scraps with the roster of Adjutant-General 
Stryker, of Xew Jersey, there is some light given on the 
subject what offices these men filled and of those to which 
they were promoted. General Stryker's roster says: 

"John IMackey, Colonel. 

"Nicholas Stillwell, Captain, Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel. 

"Henry Hand. Lieutenant-Colonel. 

"Enoch Stillwell, First Major. Lieutenant-Colonel. 

"Eli Eldredge, First Major. 

"John Hand. Second Major, First Major. 

"Thomas Leaming, Adjutant. 

"Nathan Hand. Quartermaster." 

The uniform of the Cape May minute men were to be 
"hunting- frocks to conform as near as may be to the uni- 
form of riflemen in the Continental service." 

The minute men entered into the following engagement: 
"We, the subscribers, do voluntarily enlist ourselves a min- 
ute man in the companv of , in the county of Cape 

May. and do promise to hold ourselves in constant readi- 
ness, on the shortest notice, to march to any p^ace where 
our assistance may be required for the defense of this and 
any neighbour colony; and also to pay due obedience to 
the commands of our officers agreeable to the rules and or- 
ders of the Continental Congress, or the Provincial Con- 
gress of Xew Jersey, or during its recess, of the Conmiittee 
of Safety." 

These men took precedence over other militia, and were 
entitled to be relieved at the end of four months, unless in 
actual service. 

At this election at the court house, when the militiamen 
were chosen, Jesse Hand and Elijah Hughes were chosen 
as "delegates for the Congress," which was to assemble at 
Trenton. Leaming gives us the names of the "commit- 
tee," chosen on that day also, which, no doubt, was the 
County Committee of Safety. The following were selected 
as members of it: 

Joseph Corson, John Baker, 

John McKay, Sylvanus Townsend, Jr., 

Jose. Badcock, James Willits, Jr., 


Jos. Ludlam, Joseph Hildreth, 

Hugh Hartshorn, Jonathan Learning, 

EHjah Townsend, George Taylor, 

Joseph Edwards, Henry Hand, Esqr., 

Christopher Learning, Downs Edmunds, 

Zebulon Swain, '^ Aaron Eldredge, 

Jesse Hand. xA-bram Bennett. 

Thos. Learning, Jr., John Hand, Jr., 

Aaron Learning, James Whilldin, Esq., 

Jeremiah Ludlam, Memucan Hughes, 

Jonathan Jenkins, John Newton, 

Joseph Savage, Elijah .Hughes. 

One of the notes found in the papers of the Pennsylvania 
Committee of Safety, which was no doubt made the next 
year, shows that Aaron Leaming was the chairman of this 
Cape May Committee of Safety. It reads: "Memorandum. 
Hewes, a Committee man at the Cape, rows off pilots and 
others. Aaron Lemen presd't of Cape May Committee." 

Mr. Leaming, in his diary, says, bearing on the loan 
question, which we here note before proceeding further on 
the acts of the county committee and delegates to Con- 
gress, that 

"The Assembly having passed a Bill to strike iioo,ooo 
to let on Loan: and the same being returned with the 
King's approbation 

"July 4, 1775 — The Justices and Freeholders met to 
choose Two Loan Officers and unanimously chose Eli Eld- 
redge & myself, the commissioners." 

At the session of Provincial Congress held on Monday, 
October 9, Jesse Hand was appointed one of "a committee 
to prepare an estimate of the expenses necessary to put this 
colony into a posture of defence at this time." 

On the following Saturday, the 14th, a motion was made 
and it was "Ordered, That commissions do issue to the sev- 
eral field-officers of the regiment of militia of Cape May, 
whose names are mentioned in the certificate of the county 
committee," which were those elected on September 21st. 

On Saturday, October 28, it was ordered that all persons 
between fifteen and fifty were considered as able to bear 
arms in defense of the colony, and all "whose religious prin- 


ciples will not suffer them to bear arms" were ordered to pay 
four shillings per month "for such their exemption." This 
measure made the Quakers, of which there were several in 
Cape May, help to support those whose principles did not 
interfere with their taking up arms against the British. At 
the same session Jesse Hand's committee reported that it 
"appears generally necessary, at this time of increasing dan- 
ger, that the inhabitants of this colony should be furnished 
with ammunition and other military' stores, and that this 
colony should be put into some proper posture for defense." 
The Congress thereupon ordered bills of credit issued to 
the amount of £30,000 to provide necessary funds. To sink 
these bills it was ordered that iio,ooo should be raised an- 
nually in the colony in the years 1784, 1785 and 1786. Cape 
May was to raise in each of these years £166 i8d. 

By the beginning of 1776 the British Government had 
sent over reinforcements to Boston, and their coming had 
continually excited the colonists. The spirit to obtain con- 
by the British, and were patriots of the first rank, 
stitutional liberty had now begun to turn toward thoughts 
of complete independence. But this plan was only with the 
statesmen, and not with the common people, because there 
was still a disposition of the less stern to be neutral, and to 
jump to the victorious side. 

The Committee of Safety had now been organized in the 
State, of which Elijah Hughes was a member from Cape 
May. It first met at Princeton, on January 9, 1776, and 
at New Brunswick on February 12. At that session the 
committee of Cape ]\Iay are reported as having made re- 
turns of militia officers, and the committee. At the latter 
place, on the 6th of February, Mr. Hughes had been ap- 
pointed to take a census of Cape ]May county, as directed 
by the Continental Congress, which varied little from that 
of 1772. On the 20th of February a tax to support the war 
was ordered raised in the colony amounting to £50,000 and 
5 shillings, of which Cape May was to raise £156 i8d. 2p., 
and the rates on which taxes were to be raised fixed as fol- 
lows : 

183 lilSTOltV or CAPE MAY COI\NTY. 

"All householders (exclusive of certain ties) at from 2 to 

"Merchants— 5 to 20s. 

"Ferry — 5s to 5/. 

"Coasting sloop, schooner, shallow, fiat, passage boat, 
pilot boat, wood -boat, pettiauger. 3s to 30s. 

"Single man, work for hire, keeps horse, mare or gelding, 
2S. to 6s. Single man. works for hire only. 2S. to 6sh. 

"Every bought serv. or slave. 2sh. 

"Riding chair or kirtereen. ish. 

"2 horse chaise or curricle, 2sh. 

"four wheel chaise or phaeton. 5sh. 

"Coach or chariot. 9 shil. 

"Every waggon, the body of which hangeth on springs, 
2 sh. All cattle, etc., 8 sh." 

On June 7th a motion had been passed by the Continental 
Congress in Philadelphia that the colonies ought to be free 
and independent, and their action and discussions soon 
spread across the river to New Jersey. On the 17th of 
March the evacuation of Boston by the British had occurred 
and Washington had entered the city. The news was gen- 
erally spread by that time. The sister colonies had pre- 
pared for defense, and the British Parliament had declared 
the American colonies out of their protection. The British 
were sending soldiers to America, and 17,000 Hessians had 
been hired. This news precipitated matters in Congress 
and in the colonies. 



The Continental Congress at Philadelphia, on the i/th 
■■ of April, passed these two resolutions: 

"Resolved, That the secret committee be directed to sup- 
ply Mr. Thomas Learning with 200 lbs. of powder for militia 
at Cape May, he paying for the same. 

■ "Resolved, That the commanding officer at New York be 
directed to order two companies of Col. Dayton's battalion 
to march to Cape May and there remain until further or- 
ders." And again Congress, on June 17th, voted "that two 
companies of the force now in the Delaware regiment be or- 
dered to Cape May." 

In the spring of this year, probably in March, the follow- 
ing Cape May men were elected as delegates to the New 
Jersey Council of Safety or Provincial Congress: Elijah 
Hughes, Jesse Hand, Thomas Leaming, Jr., Joseph Sav- 
age and Hugh Hathorn. Leaming was the man whom the 
Continental Congress voted 200 pounds of powder. They 
.all attended the Congress for which they were elected, which 
met first at Burlington on the loth of June, and continued 
its sessions at Trenton and New Brunswick. On the i8th 
of June the following military resignations were ordered 
accepted : 

Henry Hand. Esq., Lieutenant-Colonel; Eli Eldredge, 
First Major; Thomas Leaming, Esq., Adjutant. 

Three days later this Assembly decided to form a State 
government, and on the next day a committee of ten per- 
sons was appointed to prepare for the new government and 
present a Constitution. Elijah Hughes was one of the com- 
mittee chosen. The Constitution was adopted on July 2, 
two days before the Declaration of Independence was pro- 
• iclaimed. This Constitution was drawn principally by Rev. 


Jacob Green, and upon its adoption it received the assent 
of the five Cape May delegates. 

Thomas Learning, Jr., was a patriot, whose fame was wide 
in Philadelphia, as well as at home. He was a wealthy son 
of Thomas Leaming, who was a long time Judge of the 
Cape Alay courts. Leaming was born in Cape May, Au- 
gust 20, 1748, and died in Philadelphia October 29, 1797. 
He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, studied 
law with John Dickinson in Philadelphia, and practiced his 
profession until 1776. He possessed large landed estates, 
in New Jersey, and was, as before noted, a militia officer 
and member of the Provincial Congress. He declined to- 
accept from Great Britain the protection ofifered to those- 
who would not bear arms against the mother country. He^ 
after the convention, went to Philadelphia. To him is given 
the credit of obtaining the signatures of the men who joined, 
the Cape May battalion, of which he was drill master. In 
Philadelphia he joined the First City Troop, fought with it 
in the battle of Germantown, October 4, 1777, and remained- 
a member of the organization until his death. At the close, 
of the war he became a merchant. He was a member of 
the firm of A. Bunner and Company, which gave i6ooo, the- 
second largest subscription toward upholding the Conti- 
nental treasury. His firm was largely interested in priva- 
teering, and in 1785 he said their vessels had taken fifty 
prizes and 1000 prisoners. 

The members of the colony Assembly at this time, which 
body appeared inactive, and was, no doubt, purposely so, 
were still Eli Eldredge and Jonathan Hand. 

Closely following the act of the Continental Congress on 
July 4. when they declared that "these L^nited Colonies are,, 
and of right ought to be, free and independent States;" the 
New Jersey Provisional Congress thirteen days later passed 
a resolution that "Whereas, the honorable, the Continental 
Congress, have declared the United Colonies free and in- 
dependent States, we, the deputies of New Jersey, etc., de- 
clared New Jersey a sovereign State." Dr. Beesley says of 
these trying times: 

'Tn the contest of our forefathers for Independence, noth- 
ing praiseworthy can be said of the other counties of the-. 


State, that would not apply to Cape May. She was ever- 
ready to meet the demand made upon her by the Legisla- 
ture and the necessities of the times, whether that demand 
was for money or men. Being- exposed, in having a length- 
ened 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 creditable 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 brusli. 
a laurel from the brow of their compatriots in arms. The 
women were formed into committees, for the purpose of 
preparing clothing for the army; and acts of chivalry and 
fortitude 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 limits." 

Elijah Hughes was born on February 15, 1744. Pie was 
County Clerk from 1762 to 1768, and Surrogate from 1768 
to 1787, as well as a member of the Provisional Congiess. 
He was also a member of the Legislative Council (Senator) 
from 1 78 1 to 1782, and from 1785 to 1786. He died No- 
vember 2}^, 1797- 

As soon as the Constitution for the New State went into 
effect Cape May was represented in the Legislature by Jona- 
than Hand in the Legislative Council, and by Eli Eklredge, 
Joseph Savage and Hugh Haythorn in the Assembly. Their 
experiences were trying in legislating for a new State, wliose 
future at that time could hardly be predicted. They alt 
served until 1778. 

During the last half the year 1776 the British had taken 
possession of New York, driven Washington to New Jersey, 
and by the end of tl.e year Washington and his men were 
struggling about Princeton and Trenton, and even Pliilauel- 
phia was so threater.^d by the British that the Continental: 
Congress had adjourned to Baltimore for safety. 


On October 4, 1776, Joseph Ludlam and Abraham Ben- 
nett were appointed inspectors of gnn powder. They were 
to quaHfy; to mark the powder — "S. N. J.," and were to be 
fined £5 for neglect of duty. Their pay was ^ of a dollar for 
every 100 wgt of powder; and should the inspectors ride 
•over 10 miles to inspect over 1000 weight of powder the fees 
:should be 3 pence a mile each way. The Court of General 
Quarter Sessions could supply a vacancy. 

Early in 1777 General Washington's army had been suc- 
cessful in driving the British from New Jersey, and the latter 
then turned their attention to capturing Philadelphia, and in 
.getting there by way of the Chesapeake Bay. The New 
Jersey men were called out in classes for thirty and sixty 
days' tours of duty in cases of general alarm, of which there 
were many during the next two years. Several of these mi- 
litiamen did duty at various times in the "Jersey Line," Con- 
tinental establishment. 

About this time the new Legislature appointed Jesse 
Hand, of Cape May, a member of the Committee of Public 
Safety, on which he served from 1777 to 1781. The duties 
of this committee were the most arduous of any other body 
in the newly organized State. They were considered traitors 
by the British, and were patriots of the first rank. 

From the isolated position of Cape May county, her dis- 
tance from the theatre of war which extended but litttle be- 
low Salem county and her agricultural characteristics which 
would not be an inducement for British raids, the Peninsula 
was never the scene of an engagement. None the less how- 
ever did the fire of patriotism burn brightly in the breast of 
Cape May folk of the time. 

Colonel Richard Somers, of Atlantic county, having cap- 
tured the brigantine "Defiance," and the inhabitants of 
•Great Egg Harbor having aided him, it was ordered by law 
-.of February 28, 1777, that the Marshal of the Court of Ad- 
miralty should secure the cargo and sell the same and to dis- 
tribute the money derived therefrom. On the fifteenth of 
March John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of In- 
dependence and a delegate from New Jersey to the Conti- 
nental Congress and President of Princeton College, and 
Abraham Clark, were appointed commissioners to supply 


Cape May with 33 stands of arms, 187 pounds of gun pow- 
der, 347 pounds of lead, 334 flints, 7 quires of cartridge pa- 
per and one bullet mould. 

It was also ordered that the Cape May militia should meet 
on the first Saturday of every month, and attend general re- 
view three times a year. 

In the incidental bill of March 17th, are these items: To 
Eli Eldridge for Cantain Henry Stevens in full for pay of 
militia £316.17.9. To Eldridge for Memucan Hughes as 
•Commissary and Muster master, £213.9.9. 

Aaron Leaming "held loan office," March 25th, says his 
diary . 

On April i6th, 1777, the members of the second com- 
pany of the Cape May battalion met to choose officers. 
Hugh Hathorn certified that he was present at the election. 
The certificate signed by members of the company reads as 
follows : 

"These are to certifie that on the i6th day of April, 1777, 
the second company of ye Cape May Battalion of militia in 
the State of New Jersey being met, did nominate, choose 
and appoint James Willits Junr Captain; David Edwards 
first and Joseph Wheaton second lieutenants. Henry Young 
•ensign, in witness whereof, the majority of the company of 
■ith e company have hereunto set their hands, 

"Moses Griffing, * Thomas Scott, 

Abel Lee, Uriah Young, 

Levi Corson, Japhet Hand, 

John Goldin, Jeremiah \^an Gelder, 

Darius Corson. Daniel Skull, 

James Godfrey, Parmenas Corson, 

Abraham Van Gelder, John Cone, 

David Corson, Samuel Insell, 

Rem Corson, Stephen Young, 

Jesse Corson, Amos Willits, 

Cornelius Corson, Jacob Corson, 

Joseph Badcock, Isaac Van Gelder." 

Commissions were issued to these four officers and dated 
April i6th. At the same time a commission was eiven to 
John Mackey, Esqr., to be colonel, which was dated May 7, 


1777, and he was to rank from the date of his former com- 
mission as colonel. 

An account of a training is given in the words of Aarom 

"The 3d of May, 1777, at a training Thomas Godfrey 
having his gun charged with small stones, by accident, shot 
James Parker in the Leg. The bone was much Splintered 
& Shattered and it was judged necessary to amputate it. 
For this purpose doer. Oto was Sent for from Gloucester 
County. The 12th of May afternoon, the Amputation was 
performed by Oto assisted by Dr McGinnis of Philadelphia,. 
Doer Hunt & Dr. Benjn Stites. The 17th of May he died."^ 

On the 19th of May, 1777, the Continental Congress at 
Philadelphia, received petition of Nathaniel Forster, of 
Cape May, in behalf of himself and divers other inhabitants 
of the said Cape, praving to be supplied with a few pieces 
of cannon, and a suitable quantity of ammunition for the 
defence of the inhabitants of the Cape, and protection of 
vessels that may be there driven ashore, whereupon it was 
"Ordered. That the marine committee supply the petitioners 
with six pieces of cannon, and that the board of war supply 
them with a suitable quantity of ammunition." 

The following is the certificate of the officers of the third 

"Cape May, May 23d, 1777. 

"These are to certif}^ that the under mentioned gentlemen 
were duly elected and chosen officers for the third company 
of the foot militia of the Cape May Battallion of which John 
Mackey, Esqr is Collonel, viz, Salathiel Foster Captain, 
Robert Personsjun first Liutenant. John Newton 2d Liuet,. 
and David Hand ensign. 

"John Hand, major. 

"Certifyed by me." 

By this time vessels of the British fleet on their way from 
New York to the mouth of the Delaware and to the Chesa- 
peake Bay made their appearance about the Cape, and the 
occasion caused considerable stir among the residents itr. 
preparing for defense. Aaron Leaming says, in his diary, 



"On Guard, June 3, 1777. 

"Benjn, Rugg-ins, officer of ye first guard, Samuel Erixon, 
George Lord, Samuel Wickwaus." 

By act of June 4, 1777, the Cape ]\Iay electors were ex- 
empted from voting by ballot. They only had to show their 
hands at the public meeting. When there were two can- 
didates for an office, and but one to be elected, all who fa- 
vored one man would go on one side of a room, while those 
v^ho favored the opponent went to the opposite side, and the 
tellers counted. 


On June 5, 1777, Henry Hand and Jonathan Jenkins 
were appointed as commissioners to seize Tory property, 
sell it if the subject still held out against the new State gov- 
ernment, and pay the same, less 3 per cent, to the State 

On September 20, 1777, James Willets, Jr., and Thomas 
Ludlam for Cape May, were named as commissioners to 
purchase pitch, tar, turpentine, masts, yards, spars, and na- 


val stores, for state uses. The exportation of these things- 
were prohibited. 

Later, November 25, 1777, Benjamin Stites and Jesse- 
Hand were appointed commissioners to purchase army 
clothing. Cape May was required to furnish 50 blankets. 

Major Stillwell's report of the officers of the Cape May 
regiment reads: 
"To the Honorable the Legislature of New Jersey, 

"Gentlemen — The Captains and Subalterns of the Bat- 
talion at Cape May are as follows, viz: 

"First Company, Jonathan Jenkins, Capt. ; John Cresse,,. 
1st Lt. ; Amos Cress, 2d Lt.; Richard Matthews, Ensign, 

''2nd Company, James Willits, Capt.; David Edwards, ist 
Lt. ; Josept Wheaten, 2d Lt.; , ensign. 

"3rd Co., Salanthiel Foster, Capt.; Robert Persons, first 
Lt. ; John Newton, 2d Lt. ; David Hand, ensign. 

"4th Co., Henry Townsend, Capt.; Henry Ludlam, ist 
Lt.; Christopher Ludlam, 2d Lt. ; Jacob Cresse, Ensign. 

"For all of which gentlemen, I pray commissions may be 
made out, as they have been chosen agreeable to the con- 

"Enoch Stillwell, 



"June 7,^771' 

The commissions for the officers of the first and fourth 
companies were issued by the State on September 13, 1777, 
but dated June 7th. The commissions to the second and 
third companies had been previously issued. 

On June 20th there appeared in Cape May Charles Cooke 
and Allen Cameron, two British agents, who were probably 
here to give aid to the troops who might land to march to- 
w^ards Philadelphia, then the British's next point of attack. 
They were apprehended, and Jonathan Learning, the young 
son of Aaron Learning, was sent on the following day with 
a letter to Robert Morris in Philadelphia, giving notice of 
the fact. The letter read in this way: 

"Cape May, June 21, 1777. 
"Dear Sir, 

"Yesterday there came two Gentlemen here from Phila- 


(lelphia, and there appearing some cause for suspicion, were 
taken care of by the Mihtia; and this day Examined by the 
Justices, when it appeared by the Oath of Mr. Thomas 
Hand, that they appHed to him to assist them in getting on 
Board a Man of War. And Sundry papers being found 
upon them we apprehend they are prisoners of War, and 
have made their escape from Philadelphia — and say their 
names are Charles Cook and Allen Maddison; but by their 
Papers and Confession on a stricter examination, Confess 
their Names are Allen Cameron and Charles Cook — the 
former of which having made his escape out of your Prison 
by heaving himself out of the window. The Prisoners are 
in Custody, and we wait your Orders to know what further 
shall be done with them. The contents of which Letters 
and other particulars we refer you to the Bearer hereof, Mr. 
Jonathan Leaming. 

"We are Sir, with great truth and regard, your most C)bdt. 
Humble Servts., 

(Signed) "J^"^^s Willdin, 
"Henry Hand. 

"To The Hon'ble Robert Morris, Esq., President of the 

Board of War, Philadelphia. 

"Favor of Jonathan Leaming, Esq." 

Cameron sent a letter to Dr. Thomas Bond, asking for re- 
lief from the Cape May committee, while Cooke appealed 
to his brother, an officer in the American army. They were 
subsequently released. Of Cameron his after life is not 
known to the author, but of Cooke we have it that he was 
afterwards, in 1780, driven from the country, and ever after 
resided in England. He had two brothers in the American 
army. Cooke w^as pensioned by King George HL for the 
loss of his property in America. The letters which these 
two prisoners sent on the day following, appealing for their 
release, are here quoted: 

"No doubt you must before this reaches have heard of 
my escape from there, and I am very sorry to inform you 
that I am unfortunate enough to fall into the hands of the 


Cape May Committee. However it's my fate, and altho' 
you and I differ widely in political sentiments, yet as there 
is a few British Ships in sight who have on board several 
persons of Consequence belonging to this place, whom the 
Committee seems anxious to have exchanged, I Beg leave 
to request that you will use your interest with your ac- 
quaintances in Congress, to allow those in authority here to 
The Bearer goes purposely with letters concerning me and 
another Gentlemen who was taken with me. In complying 
Exchange me for one of those from the Ships of War. 
with the above request you will unutterably oblige, 

"Sir, Your very Humble Servant, 

(Signed) "Alan Cameron. 

"Cape May, 21st June, 1777. 

"To Doctor Thorns. Bond, Philadelphia." 

"Cape May, 21st June, 1777. 

"Dr. Brother: In making my escape, I have fallen into the 
Hands of the Cape May Committee, who have treated me 
very politely. Several Ships of War lay off Here, in which 
there are many of your prisoners, & I'm very desirous of 
being exchanged, beg you'd use your utmost influence with 
the Congress to have it eft'ected, by obtaining the liberty 
of Congress for this Committee to see it put in execution. 
You no doubt will do everything In your power to serve me 
on this occasion, as it would give me particular pleasure; 
the rest I must leave to your own good management. 

"I am, D'r Brother, yours sincerely, 

"Charles Cooke. 

"T. S. If not exchanged, perhaps the Congress would 
allow my going to New York, either on Parole or Sending 
one in my Room. 
"To Col. Jacob Cooke, Esq'r, 

"Indian Queen, Philada." 

The Continental Congress, in session on July 8th, found 
due and ordered paid a sum of money to Lieutenant David 
Edwards and Sergeant Amos Willets for their expenses and 
borse hire in bringing Elisha Hand, a suspected person, 


prisoner from Cape May to Philadelphia, under orders of 
General Arnold. 

On the 30th of this month a sufficient number of British 
Men of War had appeared within the bay to cause General 
Washington to give orders for the concentration of the 
Patriot forces in Philadelphia. The Cape ]May committee 
were then busy in reporting by pony express for a couple of 
months continually, the movements of the fleet, to the 
Board of War, the Continental Congress and the Council of 
.Safety in Philadelphia. 

The Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania on Au- 
gust 1st had in payment for such services, orders drawn in 
favor of Abraham Bennett for seven pounds and ten shil- 
lings for "riding express from Cape May to this city" 

James Wilson (probably Whilldin) was paid the same 
amount. On the following day Matthew Whilldin was paid 
the same, while on the fourth David Hand was an equal 
recipient of money for his services. 

Wlien the officers for the Cape ]\Iay foot militia were 
■chosen there was no quarter-master selected. The other of- 
ficers were given the power to select one, and on September 
10, 1777, Nathan Hand was chosen by John Mackey, colo- 
nel; Nicholas Stillwell, lieutenant colonel; Enoch Stillwell, 
major, and John Hand, major. 

Soon came the battle of Brandywine, and as the war was 
getting close to home, the New Jersey troops were hurried 
up to become a part of Gen. Philemon Dickinson's com- 
mand. Aaron Leaming thus speaks of the activity: 

"By a requisition issued from Governor Liviston all the 
MiHtia are called from this county & the neighbouring ones 
to rendevous at Woodberry without delay. 

"The II of Sept, there was a Battle between General How 
& General Washington at Chad's ford & Jone's ford on 
Brandew^ne the american account is that Washington lost 
about 800 as some say. 

"The english lost is computed by some to be 1300 kil'd 
by some 3000 & by some near 4000 all vmcertain I believe 
& General Washingi:on savs our loss is much less than the 


Enemy he is perswaded he says he lost 7 or 8 pices of can- 

"All this acct I esteem vaug & uncertain. How remained 
Master of the field & wounded & that nigfht Washington 
retreated to Chester & wrote the acct to Congress. 

"the 19th Septr the niilitia march'd from Cape May said 
to be thus: 

James Willet's company 50 

Henry Townsend's company turned out about .... 30 

Lieut John Cresse 23 

Salanthial Foster 37 


Field officers 5 

Sub. alterns about 1 1 


"A considerable number would not go 

"The 22nd they rendevouzed at Woodberry ana mat day 
crossed Delaware to joyn Genl Armstrong who is under- 
General Washington and by letters we hear that Genl How 
lies on the west side of Schuylkil at Sweeds fords and Gen- 
eral Washington on the East side thereof 17 miles from 
Philada. The 22d some firing was heard there." 

On the 26th of September the British Army and Hessian 
grenadiers, in command of Lord Cornwallis, entered Phila- 
delphia, and the main body of the British Army encamped 
at Germantown. 

To hold Philadelphia the British must control the Dela- 
ware River, and they finally captured the largest American 
boat in the bay, and thus secured what they wanted. 



By the third of October General Washington had re- 
ceived all the reinforcements he expected, consisting then of 
900 Continental troops, 600 New Jersey militia under Gen- 
eral Forman and iioo Maryland militia under General 
Smallwood, which made his force amount to 8000 troops 
and 3000 militia. Generals Sullivan and Wayne were order- 
ed to enter Germantown by way of Chestnut Hill, while 
"General Armstrong, with the Pennsylvania militia," says 
Gordon, was to fall upon the British, gain their left and at- 
tack them in the rear. Generals Greene and Stephens were 
to attack the right, while the New Jersey and Maryland mi- 
litia were to circuit the right and attack the enemy in the 
rear also. On the night of that day, the 3rd, the battle of 
Germantown was fought, the Patriots losing the battle. 
While Mr. Leaming said the Cape May men marched and 
joined General Armstrong, of the Pennsylvania militia, 
there is no doubt of the Cape May men being in the bat- 
tle, and they fought under Armstrong, being detailed to his 

On October 14, 1777, the second election for members of 
the Legislature took place and Elijah Hughes was chosen 
Councillor; Hugh Hathorn, Henry Y. Townsend and Jere- 
miah Eldredge, assemblymen. Only twelve persons voted. 
None of these, elected, however, served then, but did in a 
year or so later. 

By act of April 14, 1778, the militia of the southern coun- 
ties of the State was formed into a brigade. 

From the compilation of Adjutant General Stryker and 
from local sources and genealogies of Cape May families 
we gather this list of officers and men who served in the 
Revolution from Cape May county: 

John Mackey colonel, resigned March 27, 1778. 


Nicholas Stillwell, Lieutenant Colonel, September 20, 
1776, Colonel March 2'j, 1778, Colonel Regiment of State 
troops, October 9, 1779, resigned September 23, 1780. 

Henry Hand, lieutenant colonel, resigned June 18, 1776. 

Enoch Stillwell, ist Major, September 20, 1776, Lieuten- 
ant Colonel October 7, 1778, resigned May 23. 
— ^ Eli Eldridge, first major, resigned June 18, 1776. 

John Hand, 2nd Major, September 20, 1776, first major 
March 27, 1778. 

Thomas Leaming, adjutant, resigned June 18, 1776. 

Nathan Hand, Quartermaster, September 10, 1777. 

Eli Elmer, paymaster Cumberland and Cape May, 2nd 
lieutenant in Western Company of artillery. 

Jesse Hand, paymaster. 

Memucum Hughes, paymaster, July 6, 1776; commissary 
same date. 

John Cresse, ist lieutenant Captain Jenkins' company 
June 7, 1777, captain in the same. 

David Edward, ist lieutenant captain Willetts' company, 
April 16, 1777. 

Salanthial Foster, Captain, May 23, 1777. 

Jonathan Jenkins, Captain, June 7, 1777. 

Seth Whilldin, captain First Battalion Cavalry; Captain 
in Col. Somers' Battalion, State troops, Dec. 25, 1776. 

Henry Stevens, Captain. 

Humphrey Stites, Captain, and Captain in Major Hayes' 
battalion state troops. 

Henry Young Townsend, Captain June 7, 1777. 

James Wilietts, Jr., Captain April 16, 1777. 

Thomas Stites, Captain. 

Henry Ludlam, ist lieutenant June 7, 1777. Captain 
Henry Townsend's company, June, 1777. 

Robert Parsons, Jr., ist lieutenant June 7, 1777. Cap- 
tain Forster's company May 23, 1777. 

Amos Cresse, second lieutenant, Captain Jenkins' com- 
pany June 7, 1777. 

Christopher Ludlam, second lieutenant. Captain Town- 
send's company June 7, 1777. 

John Newton, second lieutenant Captain Forster's com- 
pany, May 23, 1777. 


Joseph Wheaton, second lieutenant in Captain Willetts' 
company, April i6, 1777. 

Jacob Cresse, ensign Captain Townsend's company, June^ 

David Hand, ensign, Captain Foster's company. May 23^ 


Richard Mathews, ensign, Captain Jenkins' Company, 
June 7, 1777. 

Henry Young, ensign. Captain Willetts' company, April 

16, 1777- 

Joseph Edward, corporal, New Jersey line. 

Of the privates the following were probably from this 

Atkinson, Isaac. 

Bran, Joseph, also 2nd Battalion, 2nd Est. Continental 

Brown, Thomas, also 2nd Battalion, 2nd Est. Continental 
Line, Captain Holmes' Co., also 2nd Regiment, third Regi- 

Campbell, Robert, 3rd Battalion, ist Est., Captain Gif- 
ford's Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Est., Continental Line. 

Chester, Hiram, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Est., Continental 

Corson, Cornelius, Captain Willetts' Company. 

Corson, Darius, Captain Willetts' Company. 

Corson, David, Captain Willetts' Company. 

Corson, Jacob, Captain Willetts' Company. 

Corson, Jesse, Captain Willetts' Company. 

Corson, John, Captain Willetts' Company. 

Corson, Levi, Captain Willetts' Company. 

Corson, Nicholas. Captain Willetts' Company. 

Corson, Parmenas. Captain Willetts' Company. 

Corson, Rem, Captain Willetts" Company. 

Crafton, John, also 2nd Battalion, 2nd Est., Continental 

Daniels, Jeremiah, also 2nd Battalion, 2nd Est., Conti- 
nental Line. 

Davis, William, also 2nd Battalion, 2nd Est. Continental 


Day, Thomas, also 2nd Battalion, 2nd Est. Continental 

Erickson. Moses, also 2nd Battalion, 2nd Est. Contiiien- 
tal Line. 

Gamble, Calvin, also State troops. 

Godfrey, James, Captain \\'illetts' Company. 

Golden, John, Captain W'illetts' Co. 

Goldin, Samuel, also 2nd Battalion, 2nd Est. 

Griffings, Moses, Captain Willetts' Company. 

Hand, Constantine, also 2nd Battalion, 2nd Est. 

Hand, Cornelius, also 2nd Battalion, 2nd Est. 

Hand, Eleazer, also 2nd Battalion, 2nd Est. 

Hand, Jeremiah. 

Hand, Japhet, Captain Willetts' Co. 

Hand, Recompense. 

Insell, Samuel, Captain \A'illetts' Co. 

Kellony, John. 

Kilsey, John, also 2nd Battalion, 2nd Est. 

Lee, Abel, Captain Willetts' Co. 

McQuay, John, New Jersey Line. 

Plummer, James, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Est. 

SchillengeT-, James. 

Schull, Daniel 

Scott, Thomas, Captain Willetts' Co. 

Shaw, John, also 2nd Battalion, 2nd Est. 

Stevens, Stephen, also 2nd Battalion, 2nd Est. 

Swan, Joseph, also 2nd Battalion, 2nd Est. 

Vaneman, Richard, also 2nd Battalion, 2nd Est. 

Van Gilder, Abraham, Captain Willetts' Company. 

Van Gilder, Isaac, Captain Willetts' Company. 

Van Gilder, Jeremiah, Captain Willetts' Company. 

Van Hook Lawrence. 

Willett, Amos, Captain Willietts' Co. 

Young, Stephen, Captain Willetts' Company. 

Young, Uriah, Captain Willetts' Co. 

Captain Nicholas Stillwell was an efficient officer. 

Dr. Beesley says: "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 fa- 
mous, or rather infamous. New Jersey prison ship; that un- 


*ilying stigma upon the name and fame of Britain, where 
.the dying, the dead, the famished and famishing, were pro- 
miscuously huddled together. A truthful, yet romantic 
story could be told of his young wife, who, upon hearing 
of his vmfortunate 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 
-gne hundred miles distant through woods and wilds, marau- 
ders and tories, or die in the attempt. She made the camp 
of Washington in her route, who put under her charge a 
British officer of 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 hus- 
band was exchanged, and both made happy." 

Robert Parsons, Jr., was one of the prominent men of his 
day. He was born Sept. 17, 1748, was appointed first lieu- 
tenant in the army June 7, 1777. 

He was chosen Captain of the Militia Company, Lower 
Precinct, and was commissioned as such by Governor Wil- 
liam Livingston, at Trenton, March 21, 1778. He was also 
■duly elected and commissioned by him Coroner of Cape 
May county, October 11, 1785, and October 10, 1786. He 
was again commissioned Coroner of the county by Govern- 
or Richard Howell. October 18, 1800, and was appointed by 
him a Justice of the Peace, November 13, 1800. He was 
frequently selected with others as an arbitrator to settle dif- 
ficulties among neighbors, and was frequently given a pow- 
er of attorney to attend important business for persons who 
were living at a distance from Cape May. And he was ap- 
pointed by the Legislature, both Council and Assembly, to 
be one of the Judges of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas 
for Cape May county, and was commissioned as such by 
Governor Aaron Ogden, November 5, 1812. He died Nov. 
7th, 1822, aged 74 years. 

Abijah Reeves, one of three brothers who came to Cape 
]\Iay county from Cumberland, in 1772, was a Revolution- 
ary soldier. He was born in 1750. He served also in the 
War of 1812. He died in 1822, and was buried at Cold 

John Grace was another Revolutionary soldier not re- 


corded in tlie list of General Stryker. He enlisted June 13,. 
1777, in Captain Samuel Flannagan's Company, Third New 
Jersey battalion, second establishment. He took part witb 
the New Jersey Brigade in the campaign in Western Penn- 
sylvania under General Sullivan against the Six Nations In- 
dians. He also served in Captain Joseph I. Anderson's com- 
pany, first regiment New Jersey Continental line, and was 
detailed to and served in the New Jersey Light Infantry 
battalion, Colonel Francis Barber commanding, and was- 
with the New Jersey troops at the siege of Yorktown, Va.,. 
and at the battle of Yorktown and surrender of Cornwallis,. 
on October 19, 1781. He was discharged June 5, 1783, by 
General Washington. He died April 10, 1835, and was- 
buried in Union Cemetery, Dennisville. 

The incomplete records show him acting in these capa- 
cities: 1777, fifer; 1778, March, fifer, and 1779, February, 

The Pension office records say he was in the battles of 
Bennington, Brandywine, Monmouth and Yorktown. In 
March, May, June and July, 1779, he was a conductor of 
stores, and in each of these months Quartermaster General 
John Mitchell sent him in charge of stores to Colonel Hoop- 
er at Easton. He carried with him during the latter years 
of his service, a letter written by General Washington to 
General Gates, saying that John Grace was a scout and 
could be trusted with any important despatches which might 
pass between them relative to military affairs. 

Henry Young Town send, captain of the fourth company 
of Cape May, was born May 7th, 1744. He was a member 
of the Legislature from 1779 to 1780, and sheriff of the 
county from 1774 to 1777. He died May 13th, 1789. 

The good services which the New Jersey militia perform- 
ed in this state are recorded in history. Some of them par- 
ticipated in the fights and skirmishes at Quinton's Bridge, 
Hancock's Bridge, Three Rivers, Connecticut Farms, Van 
Nest's Mills, and in battles supporting the Continental 
army at Long Island, Trenton, Assunpink, Princeton, Ger- 
mantown, Springfield and Monmouth. 

Following is a statement of Revolutionary Pensioners on 
the rolls in 18 18 and 1830. In 1833. Jeremiah Learning, a. 


member of the Legislative Council from this county, had ' 
other Cape jNIay m n pensioned. The statement reads: 
"Statement showing- the names, rank, of persons resid- 
ing in Cape J\Iay county, who have been inscribed on the 
pension list, under the act of Congress passed on the i8th 
of March, 1818: 

Joseph Edwards, corporal: annual allowance, .$96. 00; sum received' 

$1483. 16; served in New Jersey line; jjlaced on roll, August 1, 1S'2l; 

age 77. 
John Grace, private; annual allowance. $96 00; sum received, $1.")25 39 ■ 

served in New Jersey line; placed on roll, June 30, 1818; age 78. 
John Magway, or John McQuay, private; annual allowance, $9G 00: , 

sum received, $816 87;lserved in New Jersey Line; placed on roll,^. 

September 14, 1820; age 70; died, Februrry 13, 1839. 

The following were pensioners under act of June 7, 1832: 

John'Dickinson, private; annual allowance, $40;00; sum received. 

$100.00; served in New Jersey militia; placed on roll, Juue^3rTs33;. 

age, 75 Z ^^^ 

Ebenezer Preston, itrivate; annual allowance, $33.30; sum received, 

$69 99; -served iu IVew Jerseymilitia; placed oa roll, June 3, ]833.r 

age, 84 

On October 17, 1777, the Council of Safety, then in ses- 
sion, passed a resolution, which in part was: 

"In consequence of a resolution of Congress of the 31st 
July last, recommending the executive authority of each 
State to appoint proper persons to recruit men and appre- 
hend deserters," each county was made a district, and per- 
sons were appointed to carry out the suggestion of Con- 
gress. In Cape May John Hand and James VVilletts were 
appointed and the recruits \vere to rendezvous at Capt. 
James Willetts' house. 

Before and during the Revolution there were many salt 
works along the shore of the Province, among them a very 
extensive one near Townsend Inlet, on the late James Town- 
send's place, the owner of which. Dr. Harris, incurred the 
special ill-will of the British because he furnislied gun pow- 
der to the patriot army. While the British offered a reward 
for him and threatened, these works were not, liowever, iit. 
easy reach of the enemv. and as a consequence- not disturb- 


Levi Hugling'sworth had salt works at Turtle Gut Inlet, in 
1777, and Aaron Learning also had a salt works set up in 
May this year. John Holmes and Persons Learning work- 
ed them. Tliey made five tons of salt that year. 

During the Revolution the Delaware was the object of 
British attack. At the virtual head of navi£ration lay Phila- 
delphia with her opulent Quaker wareh.ouses and stores and 
the fertile farm latids near by. To reach these the river 
must be ascended and to guard the town and the Delaware 
shore, New jersey looked early to naval protection. Cape 
May and Cumberland being at the entrance to the Bay, 
they were considered of strategic importance. Armed boats 
and boatmen under various captains were gathered in the 

Charles Allen, of Cumberland, who was in charge of arm- 
ed boat "Gilbert," as well as commanding boatmen on front- 
iers of Cumberland and Cape May. He was also a Captain 
of militia. 

Nicholas Keen, of Salem, of the armed boat "Friendship" 
.as well as commanding boatmen on frontiers of Cumber- 
land and Cape May. 

There are also mentioned in General Stryker's book the 
following captains, these names being prominent in Cape 

Joseph Edwards in charge of Privateer "Luck and For- 

Francis Grice in charge of all the flatboats and artillery 
scows on Delaware. 

Hand, in charge of armed boat "Enterprise." 

Henry Stevens. 

Enoch Stilwell. 

Hope Willets in charge of Privateers "Black Jack" and 
^'Luck and Fortune." 

Among the list of seamen the following were from Cape 

Corson, Jacob. 

Crawford, Eleazer. 

Goldin, John. 

Steeelman, , drowned February 7, 1781, at Egg 

Harbor Inlet. 


Abranis, Thomas. 

Cox, Abram, sloop "Morning Star," taken prisoner Jan- 
Titary, 1778. confined to prison-ships "Judith" New York 

Edwards. John. 

Corson. Darius. 

.Steehnan, Richard. 

Stevens, David. 

The following is the list of "boatmen on frontier of Cum- 
Iberland and Cape ]\Iay:" Jeremiah Buck. Israel Davis, 
^George Ewing. Ei^liraim Husted. Joseph Lummis. David 
Parvin. Jeffrey Parvin, /\braham Philpot, Abijah Preston, 
Isaac Preston. James Simpson. Buck, Husted, Lummis, 
Jeffrey Parvin. Pb.iipot, both Prestons and Simpson, were 
also private miUtiamen. George Ewing was a quarter mas- 
ter sergeant of militia. 

By the end of 1777, while the American arms had been 
.somewhat successful in Northern Xew York and along the 
"lakes between that State and Xew Hampshire in keeping 
the British from forming a chain of communication from 
Long Island to Canada, the hearts of the patriots in New 
Jersey had been made heavy because of the capture of Phila- 
■delphia by the British, and the retirement of the Continen- 
"tal army to Valley Eorge. Here Washington and his men 
passed the terrible winter of 1777-8. 

The success of the Army in the North had brought to the 
patriots the co-operation of France who early in the year 
;made a treaty with the struggling Colonies and soon sent 
reinforcements to America. The British decided to evac- 
uate Philadelphia and concentrate all its forces around and 
■in New York City. The local government prepared to re- 
sist this, and on April 4, 1778, the Cape May men were 
j/iaccd in the Second Brigade of the Continental troops. On 
(lay previous an act was oassed bv the State Legisla- 
'ture for recruiting four regiments of Jerseymen for the 
'United States Service. 

Jonathan Jenkins, of Cape Ivlay. was appointed one of the 
■paymasters to raise money for the purpose of the act, and 
•Cape May's share was placed at f6oo. 

As soon as the Winter 1777-8 began to break up and the 


prospects of the British visiting Delaware Bay to attacfc 
Philadelphia, the people of Cape May desired to keep their" 
malitiamen at home to protect them. Accordingly, the fol- 
lowing petition, prepared by Aaron Leaming, no doubt was 
circulated and numerously signed, the signing beginning at- 
Cape Island and being presented to each inhabitant along 
the seashore road until Beesley's Point was reached. The- 
petition reads: 
"To His Excellency William Livingston, Esqr. (jovernor, . 

Captain General, and Comniander in Chief, in and over 

the State of New Jersey, &c.: 

"The Petition of Sundrv of the Inliabitants of Cape May 
"Humbly Showeth 

"That your petitioners, from their Local situation, arc^ 
greatly exposed to the incursions of their enemies, who from 
their ships and vessels of war have landed and often attempt- 
ed to land ; whereby the inhabitants more contigious to the 
shore might have been robbed of their property, had not 
the militia interposed for their relief. 

"That your petitioners are verv pnnrehensive, as the sea- 
son is now advancing in which they can cruize along our 
coast without much danger from the inclemency of the- 
weather; that they will again infest our shores and do all the 
mischief in their power, and the many threats repeatedly ut- 
tered by the enemy, that thev will destrov our salt works, 
burn our houses, and plunder the countr}-, all tend further 
to confirm us, in our apprehensions of danger. 

"That the Avhole of the militia in a collective body are but 
few, and when one fourth part of those few is on duty abroad 
our condition is really weak and dangerous; especially as 
we cannot speedily obtain assistance from the adjacent 

"Your petitioners do therefore humbly request that it. 
may please your Excellency to take the premises under your 
consideration and exempt the militia of Cape May from per- 
forming their tour of duty abroad, and to point out such 
methods as may enable the inhabitants to keep up a regular- 
guard or any other measure your Excellency may think: 
most conducive to safetv. 


■''And your petitioners as in duty bound shall ever pray. 
?iOth March, 1778. 

"Aaron Eldredge, Isaac Newton, Ezekiel Eldredge, 
Thomas Hand, George Taylor, Daniel Crowell, Zebulon 
•Swaine, Robert Parsons, James Cochran, Salanthiel Foster, 
Timothy Hand, Ezekiel Hand, Silas Swain, Henry Jones, 
George Campbell, James Whilldin, Henry Hand, Downs 
Edmunds, Daniel Smith, Jonan Jenkins, William Vates, 
Philip Godfrey, Enoch W'illets, Isaiah Stites, Joseph Lud- 
1am, Christopher Leamying, James Godfrey. Sharngar 
Hewit, Robt. Harris, Elijah Townsend, James Townsend, 
Benjamin Stites, Jacob Smith, Enoch Smith, Henry Stites, 
Richard Townsend, John Izard, Thomas Scott, Senr., 
Thomas Scott, Junr., John Young, John Hunt, Junr., David 
Hedges, Silvanus Townsend, Junr., Davis Corson, Sila. 
Eldredge, Joseph Corson, James Godfrey, Junr., Jeremiah 
A^angilder, David Corson, Stephen Young, '(Jacob Corson, 
y-Peter Corson, Uriah Gandy, Rem Corson, Joseph Edwards, 
^aniel Edwards, Israel Stites, Jesse Corson, Henry Young, 
Thos. Stites, Jacob Willits, Joshua Garretson, John Baker, 
John Baker, Arch'd. Hughes, Stephen Young, John Goldin, 
John Stites, David Townsend. Jacochs Swain, Henry 
Young Townsend, Reuben Ludlam, John Townsend, Junr." 

The -following is a list, made on ]\Iay 8, 1778, of recruits 
raised out of the Cape ^lay battalion, of which Nicholas 
Stillwell was Colonel, and assigned to second battalion, sec- 
ond establishment, and enrolled for war, and called for by 
the Continental Congrress: 


Place of Abode. 



Thomas Brown, 

North Carolina, 



Thomas Day, 




Joseph Brau, 

Cape May 



Moses Erixson, 

Cape May, 



John Grafton, 

Cape May, 



John Kelsey, 




Richard Vaneman, 




Joseph Swan, 

Gloucester Co., 



Stephen Stevens, 

Cape May, 



Robert Camelle 




John Shaw, 






f^ace of Abcde. 



Cape JMay, 

I St 


Cape jMay, 



Cape May, 



Cape May, 



Cape j\Iay, 

I St 








Cape ;May, 







Cornelius Hand, 
Jeremiah Daniels, 
Hiram Chester, 
Eleazer Hand, 
Constantine Hand, 
Samuel Goldin, 
Daniel Scull, 
James Plummer, 
William Davis, 

Jonathan Jenkins, paymaster and clothitr. in his report 
made on May 2-,, iJ/S- to the State, shows that he paid for 
clothes for these recruits £600, and that he borrowed £500 
of the sum from Joseph Eldridge and the remainin_s;- £ioO' 
from Jesse Hand. The money was al)out e(|ually distrib- 
uted and paid to the following men: Thomas Day, John. 
Kelsey, Stephen Stevens, Moses Erixon, Jeremiah Daniels, 
Constant Hand, Cornelius Hand, Richard Venimon, Hiram. 
Chester, Eleazer Hand, Joseph Brau, Joseph Swan, Thomas' 
Brown, Robert Cambel, John Crafton, James Plumer, Sam- 
uel Goldin, Daniel Schull, William Davis and John Shaw. 

The British, however, did not move from Philadelphia 
until June. Their presence there did not have a depressing- 
efifect upon the patriotism of the people of this county as 
might be expected, because on the 27th of JNIay the follow- 
ing oath of allegiance was taken to the State government 
by the following persons : 

Oath of Allegiance. — "I do sincerely profess and swear, 
I do not hold myself bound by allegiance to the King of 
Great Britain — so help me God. I do sincerely profess and 
swear, that I do and will bear true faith and allegiance to 
the government established in this State, under the author- 
ity of the people — so help me God. INIay 27th, 1778. 

James Hlldreth, Jr.,. 
Jacob Crowell, 
Henry Schellenger, 
Daniel Johnson, 
Samuel Peterson, 
John Foster, 
Jacob Stites, 
Ellis Hug'hes, 
Aaron Swain, 
Aaron Eldredge, 
Matthew Whillden,, 

John Taylor, 
Levi Hand, 
Daniel Cresse. 
Henry Stevens, 
David Johnson, 
Daniel Crowell, 
Abner Periman, 
George Holling-shead, 
John Stites, 
William Schelleng-er, 
Benjamin Ballenger, 

Thomas Gandy, 
•Tohn Nickleson. 
Samuel Townsend, 
John Baker, 
T-lli.iab Gar'-etpon. 
Jonathan Townsend, 
David Cressee, 
Zebulon Cressee, 
George Taylor, 
George Campbell, 
Daniel Gar»t«on, 



Christopher Learning, 
Ezekiel Eldredge, 
Simeon Izard, 
Humphrey Stites, 
Constantine Foster, 
Memucan Hughes, 
Richard Stevenson, 
Thomas Hand, 
David Townsend, 
John Goldin, 
Jacob Smith, 
Rem. Corson, 
Ezra Hand, 
Jesse Corson, 
Nezer Swain, 
Philip Godfrey, 
William Yates, 
Jeremiah Ricliardson, 

John Holmes, 
Abner Corson, 
Nathan Hand, 
Richard Matthews, 
George Norton, 
Richard Edmonds, 
Jesse Hughes. 
Elijah Shaw, 
Reuben Swain, 
Constant Hughes, 
Levi Eldrez'go, 
Jacob Richardson, 
Jonathan Eldredge, 
Gideon Kent, 
Silas Swain, 
Daniel Hewitt, 
Ellis Hughes, Jr., 
Uriah Gandy, 

Stephen Foster, 
Joshua (jarretson, 
Peter Corson, 
David Corosn, 
Joseph Ludlam, 
John Goof, 
James Godfrey, Jr., 
Lewis Cressee, 
Israel Stites, 
^John Izard. 
Jonathan Hildrcth, 
David Hildreth, 
"William Shaw, 
Josiah Crowell, 
Isaac Matthews, 
Arthur Cresse, 
Absalom Hand, 
Jonathan Learning.' 


It is handed down to posterity that in the dark days of 
the Revokition, when the army was barefoot and provisions 
so exceedingly scarce that the people boiled out, dried and 
strung large quantities of clams, and transported them to 
the army. No doubt they were esteemed a luxury by the 
half-starved soldiery, and substituted in some measure beef 
and pork. 

In the operations of the remainder of 1778 the scene of 
the conflict was transferred to Northern New Jersey and 
New York. The battle of Monmouth was fought, and the 
French fleet had arrived in Long Island Sound to aid the 
patriots. Jesse Hand began his services this year as a mem- 
ber of the Legislative Council, and served during the years 
1780, 1782 and 1783. 

On the 5th of December the New Jersey Legislature 
passed an act to raise £100,000 for discharging the just 
debts of the State in an assessment of lands, of which the 
lands of Cape May could not be valued under £5 per acre, 
nor over £60. In the levy made upon the counties Cape 
May's share was £2000. 

On the seventh of December, the causeway over Great 
Cedar Swamp Bridge being out of repair, the Legislature 
directed repairs to be made in conformity with the act of 
March 11, 1774. 

The campaign of the year 1779 was barren of important 
events. In the summer the British infested the coast of 
Connecticut and captured a few towns there, while about 
the same time the American army counterbalanced this 
Connecticut loss by gains of positions at Stonv Point, en the 
Hudson, and the capturing of useful military stores. In the 
early part of this year the principal events of the war were 
the gathering of the two armies in the South. The atten- 


lion of the residents of Cape May during this year were 
turned to the water front and coast and frontier defense. 
During the first half of the year there was not much activity. 
On June 2 the Legislature ordered that for frontier defense 
• Cape May should furnish one ensign, one sergeant, one 
corporal and eighteen privates. They were to receive 
bounty, subsistence money and mileage, and Henry Young 
Townsend was appointed to pay these men, and received 
£600 for the carrying out of his duty. On June 8 Cape May 
was assessed ±21,103. 3<^1- toward the whole amount of 
ii, 000,000 ^^»■lich was ordered raised in the State. It was 
in this assessment stipulated that Cape May landi were not 
to be assessed over i6o per 100 acres. 

On October 9, 1779, to fulfil the New Jersey estabhsh- 
ment, a regiment was formed to include men from Glouces- 
ter, Salem. Cumberland and Cape May, containing eight 
companies of 102 men each. Of this Nicholas Stillwell, of 
Cape May, was Colonel; Robert Brown, of Gloucester, was 
Lieutenant-Colonel, and Anthony Sharp, of Salem, was 

On December i8th, an act was passed to raise £3.375,000; 
Cape May's lands were not to be assessed above £60 per 
100 acres. The levy was £31,200.14. 

On December 25 Parsons Teaming was appointed a 
contractor for supplying stores of war and settling State ac- 

The inhabitants of Cape May. to protect themselves from 
the incursions of the British and refugees, armed and 
manned a number of boats and privateers. They mani- 
fested great bravery, and address, and were successful in 
taking prizes. They had the most to fear from refugees — 
as their names were synonymous with burglary, arson, 
treachery and murder. Only tw^o, as far as is known, were 
from this county. They were finally taken prisoners. About 
the middle of the year 1779 the incidents relating to these 
privateers are first recorded. A list of them follow: 

"June rd, 1779. The brlganlinc Delight, Capt. Dawson, 
on the 20th ultimo, from Tortula to New York, mounting 
12 guns, wath 29 hands, came ashore on Peck's beach, in a 
fog, at Cape May. Her cargo consisted of 80 Hhds. of rum, 


some sugar, &c. Soon after she came ashore, our militia- 
took possession of both vessel and cargo, and sent off the 
crew under guard to Philadelphia." 

"About 1820. the tide being very low, one of the cannon, 
thrown overboard, in the attempt of the British to get her 
off, was found by Mr. L'ria'.i Smith, and placed at the corn- 
er of his yard for a fender. There were three bails in it." 

"June 23(1, 1779. An open boat, called 'The Skunk,' 
mounting 2 guns and 12 men belonging to Egg Harbor,. 
sent in ther:, on Wednesday last, a vessel with a valuable 
cargo, — which was her nineteenth prize since she was fitted 

"Upon one occasion tliis l^toat had cjuite an adventure, 
when commanded b\- Capt. Snell and John (loldin. They 
thought they had discovered a fine prize, off Egg Harbor,, 
in a large ship wearing the appearance of a Merchantman. 
The boat approached cautiously, and. after getting quite 
near, the little Skunk was put in a retreating position, stern, 
to the eneni}', and tlien gave him a gun. A momentary 
pause ensued. All at once, the merchantman was trans- 
formed into a British 74, and in another moment she gave 
the Skunk such a broadside that, as Goldin ex])ressed it, 
'the water flew around them like ten thousand whale spouts.' 
She was cut some in her sails and rigging, but by hard row- 
ing made good her escape, — with Goldin to give the word, 
'Lay low, boys; lay low for your lives.' " 

"Oct. 6, 1779. On I""riday last, Capt. Taxlor, of Cape J^Iay, 
sent into Little Egg Harbor, a transport from New York 
to Halifax, with a c(uantity of dry goods, and 214 
Hessians, including a Colonel, who are properlv taken care 

"Feb. 7th, 1781. The brig Fame, Capt. William Trcen, 
of Egg Harbor, about ten days ago took the privateer 
schooner Cock, Capt. Brooks, bound from New York to 
Chesapeake bay. and sent her into a port in New Jersey." 
"On the night of the 22d of the same month, the brig Fame, 
while at the anchoring point near Egg Harbor Inlet, in a 
heavy gale from the NW. with some snow squals, on the 
flood tide, was tripped and upset — by which sad mishap' 
some 20 lives were lost." 



"Capt. Treen. VVni. Lacke. and three others, were on 
shore. Thomas Adams, Eleazer Crawford, Jacob Corson, 
and Steelman, succeeded in landing on the point of the 
beach. The cold was intense. Steelman, who was most 
active in cheering his companions and freeing the boat, per- 
ished when near land. I'our only of the crew left on board 
were rescued in the th.e rest h.aving perish.ed by 

()N(iUJ->S II. \i. 

.I'K ISLAND IN 18"lil 

the cold. These kept alive only by constant and unremit- 
ting exertion — that being the only method of shaking off 
the sleep of death. 

"Capt. Wm. Treen was bold and fearless, and very suc- 
cessful in taking prizes. He was, however, run down on 
one occasion by two frigates, for not immediately answer- 
ing their summons to surrender. Both frigates passed quite 


over his vessel. Treen and a boy, only, caught to the rig- 
ging of one of the frigates, and were saved. Others made 
the attempt, but had their fingers and arms cut ofif by cut- 
lasses. Treen implored for the lives of his crew — among 
whom was a brother of Jesse Somers, now (1842) living at 
Somers' Point. This being refused, he boldly upbraided 
them for their cruelty. They could not but admire his 
heroic bearing, and, while v:ith them, he v,'a<^ well treated; 
but on their arrival at New York he was placed in that den 
of horrors, the New Jersey Prison ship, and was one of the 
few that escaped with life. In 1806 he went to the West. 
Nathaniel Holmes, who lived at the Court House, was at 
one time confined on board this prison ship.'' 

"Jan. 3, 1782. William Treen and Joseph Edwards, com- 
manders of the whale-boat Unity, captured the Betsey, 
Avhich lately sailed from Jones' creek, Delaware, loaded 
with wheat, Indian corn and flour, — which was taken in the 
Delaware by a British cruiser, and retaken by said Treen 
and Edwards." 

"Aug. 7, 1782. John Badcock took the Hawk, when 
.commanding the Rainbow; her cargo consisted of spirits, 
tar, flour, coal and iron, — which was solt at James Willit's. 
(who kept tavern where Capt. John S. Chattin now does), 
for the benefit of those concerned." 

"Capt. Hand, of the Enterprise, and Capt. W'illits, of an- 
other boat, on the 5th of May, 1782, chased ashore, near 
Egg Harbor, the refugee boat Old Ranger, mounting 7 
swivels and one three pounder, commanded by one Fry an, 
with 25 men, bound to the capes of the Delaware, and up 
the same as far as Christiana, with orders to take prisoners 
whom they pleased. They afterwards fell in with a schoon- 
er laden with corn, and another with lumber, which thev 

The Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, on 
April 21, 1780, "Ordered, That a special commission be 
granted to Mr. Abraham Bennett, pilot, to qualify him in 

and making reprisals on the enemy with an armed 

pilot boat called the Randolph." The same authority about 
this time gave Enos Schellenger a like commission. 

Scraf and Westcott, in their history of Philadelphia, say: 


"In consequence of depredations committed in ihe Dela- 
ware Bay and River this year by picarooning boat? belong- 
ing to Tories, Capt. Boys wrs sent down with one of the 
State galleys to chase off the marauders. The packet 
'Alercury' was also ordered by Congress to assist in clear- 
ing the bay and river, and commissions were issued to the 
pilot boats 'Randolph,' Capt. Abraham Bennett; the 
'George,' Capt. Daniel Hand; and the 'Hell Cat,' Capt. 
Joseph Jacques." 

Turning back again to the year 1780 the operations of 
the war were confined to the territory of the Carolinas, and 
it was not until June of this year, after Sir Henry Clinton, 
the British commander, had captured Fort Moultrie and 
Charleston, and, after hearing of the return to France of the 
French i^eet, that he returned to New York by water, to 
begin again operations there. In the meantime the Conti- 
nental Congress called upon Xew Jersey for i6ro nitn to 
fill up the ''Jersey Line," for the campaign of that year. On 
the nth of March the Legislature, in accordance with this 
demand, ordered it filled, and offered a premium of $200 to 
each officer who would procure a recruit, and among those 
appointed "Cluster Masters" was Captain John Cresse for 
Cape May. The bounty of State volunteers was fixed at 
$1000, exclusive of the Continental army bounty. On the 
1 8th of March the various counties of the State were called 
upon for their quota of supplies for the Lnited States troops. 
Cape ]\Iay's share was 200 wght of beef or pork, propor- 
tionate to price. Beef at $240 per one hundred weight; 
pork 220 pounds net to Ihe barrel $880; fresh pork $280 per 
hundred weight. 1389 bushels of salt, $120 per 8olb. wght. 
692 bushels of corn, 30 cts. per bushel. Philip Godfrey was 
the contractor for the Cape May dealings. 

This muster of March "not answering the ends desired," 
on June 14th the Legislature amended the act by calling for 
624 more men to remain in service until the following Jan- 
uary. Cape May's apportion of this number was thirteen 
men, and Lieutenant Amos Cresse was chosen to recruit the 
men. This was the third or last "establishment" for the 
"Jersey Line" of the Continental troops. These thirteen 
men, of which one was an ensign, were to defend the fron- 


tier, and ordered to march to Monmouth Court House to 
meet the recruits from the other counties. (Jn the 9th of 
June Cape May was again called upon for money to help 
pay tcv.-arc! :l:c I'r.^tcd States sinking fund, whicii was de- 
clared then at 139.000, 17s. 6d. On the 17th of the month 
Cape May was ordered to furnish 25 draught horses for the 
use cf the L'nited States. 

On August 28, this year, Aaron Learning died, much 
lamented and full of hor.or. He was born July 6, 171 5, and 
after reaching manhood liad been constantly a public man, 
whiom his neighbors kr;ed to honor. He must have been 
a quiet sort of a man, ar.d well deserved confidence and re- 
spect by his talents and many good qualities, and served 
them as their faithful representative for thirty years. He 
was a man of great industr}-, a large land holder, and a 
voluminous writer. He died the richest man in the county, 
leaving an estate valued at £181,000. He was a thorough 
patriot, although not serving in the Legislature after con- 
flict with Great Britain begun. As chairman of the 
County Committee lie did valuetl service to the patriot 
cause. He was buried two miles above the Court House, 
in Middle Township, in the old Leaming burying ground, 
and upon his monument were the following: 

"In memory of Aaron Leaming, Esq., who represented 
this county in assembly. 30 years. Died Aug. 28th, 1780, 
aged 65 years, t mo.. 1 1 days. 

"Beneath this stone, here lies a name 
That once had titles, honor, wealth, and fame: 
How loved, how honored, now avails thee not. 
To whom related, or by whom begot: 
A heap of dust remains alone of thee, 
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be." 

He left a large posterity, one of whom. Dr. Coleman F. 
Leaming. in 1891, removed the twelve sets of head stones 
from the Leaming burying ground and placed them side by 
side in the Baptist Cemetery at Court House. 

By the end of the year of 1780 Sir Henry Clinton cap- 
tured Fort Moultrie, and returned to New^ York, the treason 
of Benedict Arnold had become history and beyond these 
no decisive events had happened. On the 26th of Decern- 

THE P:NI>1\(I and IM)IvPP]NDE\CK. 215 

'her 820 men were ordered raised in New Jersey, and their 

•terms of service were limited to January i, 1782, but there 
were none from Cape May. (In that very day, however, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Enoch Stilhvell was made muster-mas- 
ter, and Henry Young Townsend bounty and subsistance 
master for Cape May by the Legislature. 

In the beginning of the year 1781 the British were in the 
South principally, while the Continental troops under 
Washington were in Northern New Jersey and around New 
York. On the 8th of January the militia of the four south- 

■ern counties of Cape May, Cumberland, Salem and Glou- 
cester were again formed in a brigade, known as the "lower 
brigade." Henry Young Townsend, on the same day. was 

.appointed the Cape May agent for the loan fund, probably 
to succeed Aaron Leaming. who had died five months 
previous. He had to do with the management of the fund 
in discharging the bounty to be paid New Jersey's troops 
in the quota re(|uired by Congress. During the middle of 
the month there were some nJissatisfied Jerseymeu in the 
Continental ranks, and an open revolt was made by them 

. at Pompton, which was quelled by force by General Wash- 
ington. These men were not Jerseymen. but non-residents 

■serving in the Jersey Line. 

As soon as spring opened the army of \\'ashington moved 
to the Southern States, where they were joined by the 
Frenchmen who had come to aid the patriots. It was the 
intention this year of the British to compel the submission 

■ of Virginia. Several battles occurred in the Carolinas, and 
while these events were happening the Jerseymen were still 
getting men to fight for the Independence soon to be a 
reality. In Cape May Lieutenant Amos Cresse. on the 
:25th of June, 1 78 1, was appointed a recruiter of this county's 

■share of the 450 troops, and for each man he ol>taincd to 
serve throughout the war he was to receive 30 shillings. 
The county tax was fixed then at £156 i^d. On the 21st 

■of June an act was passed to raise in the State £150.000 for 

war and other purposes. Cape May's share on the first pay- 
ment of was £2080. ir pence, on the last payment 
£1040. 5^ pence. 

Six days later an act was passed authorizing the Governor 


to grant commissions for guard boats and coasting vessels^ 
the commander to give a $5000 bond, and it is believed that 
two Cape May men availed themselves of the act, but who 
they were is conjectural. 

Owing to the isolated position of Cape May, on October 
6th £3 was voted to pay for sending copies of the laws to 
Cape May wnth other adjoining counties. 

The final struggles of the war in \'irginia were being en- 
acted, and on tlie 19th of Octol)cr the Flritish army under 
Cornwallis surrendered to General Washington as prison- 
ers of war. This news was received throughout New Jer- 
sey during the next fortnight, and there was great enthu- 
siasm among the patriots. On the 20th of December the 
Legislature appointed Jesse Hand, Eli Eldredge and Nich- 
olas Stillwell to assess damages occasioned by damage and 
waste on the part of the enemy, the Continental army or 
tl:c i:i!rLia, and on t'.ic same dav Jesse liand was ap- 
pointed for Cape May to the entl that the public accounts 
might the more speedily be settled. 

On the 26th Cape May's levy of the State loan of £150,- 
000 was changed to £1560. 5^ pence. 

On the 29th of December another call was made for 
troops to the number of 422 for the State, to do service until 
December 15, 1782. Humphrey Stites was made captain 
for the Cape May county company, which was to be com- 
posed of twenty men. and those of Cape Mav. Salem and 
Cumberland were ordered to do "duty on land and water." 

In March, 1782, they were allowed to cruise on the Dela- 
ware bay. if necessary, between Cape May and Reedy Is- 
land and as far eastward on the ocean as Little Egg Harbor. 

Mr. Andrew Higgins. of Cape May, was paid by the Con- 
tinental Congress on January 14. 1782, for "his services at 
Cape May in watching the British fleet out of New York."' 

"The Pennsylvania Journal" of 29 May, 1782, contains 
the following: 

"Captain Richard Grinnell who came to town last Satur- 
day, we are informed, that he sailed from Cadiz, the 27 of 
March last, in the ship Lady Jay, bound for this port (Phil- 
adelphia) and on the T6th instant came to anchor in Cape 
May road, and took a pilot on board; but there being there 


six sailed English ships of war in sight, the pilot could not 
proceed, and the day following he was attacked by seven 
boats from the enemy, who boarded the ship, cut her cable, 
and towed her off under cover of the men of war, and the 
next day he had the mortification to see his ship in fiame. 
Before he was boarded he got the ship within musket shot 
of the shore with a warpe, in order to ground her, but a brisk 
gale springing up from the eastward, the rope broke and 
prevented the accomplishment of his design. 

"Captain Grinnell returns his sincere thanks to the inhab- 
itants of Cape May who came to his assistance with their 
arms, but in a particular manner to the gentlemen who had 
the field piece and fought till all the powder was gone." 

Cape May required, in 1782, to furnish £156. i^d. for 
frontier defense. On June 22nd Cape May was apportioned 
to pay £^2)^ of a State levy of £90,000. 

By the end of this year, and the defeats of the British 
arms becoming unpopular at home, negotiations for peace 
had been commenced between the two countries, which cul- 
minated in England the next year virtually acknowledging 
the independence of America. 

On the 20th of January, 1783, the articles of agreement 
were signed, and on April nth Congress declared a cessa- 
tion of hostilities. On the 9th of June a tax levy of £90,930 
was ordered, and Cape May was to pay £926 of this. In 
October Congress ordered the army disbanded on Novem- 
ber 3rd, and about two weeks later the British army evac- 
uated New York, and America was a free country. In De- 
cember. 1794, the Legislature ordered a tax levy of £10,000, 
of which Cape May was required to pay £149 15s. 9d, and 
two days after the county was ordered to raise £468:4:6 J 
toward a levy of £31.259 and 5 shillings. 

The rise of Methodism did not begin in Cape May until 
1781, under Rev. James Crowell. He was succeeded by 
Revs. John Fidler, John McClosky, Benjamin Abbott and 
others; and ever since this denomination has been rapidly 
growing in numbers in the county, now having the largest 
society membership in the county. 

The estates of Tories all over New Jersey were confiscated 
by the patriots during the Revolution. There is one re- 


corded confiscation from Cape May county. That was the 
property of John Hatton, who was an ardent Tory, and who 
was Collector of the Ports of Salem and Cohansy in 1770 
and 1771, who had much trouble in trying to enforce the 
odious duties imposed by the British Parliament. The 
record of this event in the Adjutant-General's oftice show^s 
that Jesse Hand, agent for forfeited estates, paid into the 
treasury of the State on May 9, 1785, the sum of £125, 13 
shillings and 4d., which was the money derived from the sale 
of Halton's property. The account was sworn to before 
James Mott, State Treasurer, and those who had a part in 
the sale and settlement of the affair were Daniel Marsh. 
Philip Godfrey, David Smith, Salanthiel Foster, James Rob- 
inson. Jesse Hand, Thomas Shaw^ and Alemucan Huwes. 

A letter of the Port Wardens of Philadelphia, of Novem- 
ber 12, 1785, shows that a lot had been bought at Cape May, 
on which a Pieacon or light house was to be erected. 

On the 2ist of August, probably this year, the Council of 
Safety in Philadelphia directed its treasurer "to pay Dr. 
Frederic Otto for attendance on a man wounded at Cape 
May in the service of the State, £6:1 i:i^." This was prob- 
ably for attending Thomas Godfrey, who was wounded at 
a training on the 3d of May, 1777. 

Jonathan Hand, County Clerk of Cape ]\Iay from 1840 
to 1890, says that it was in the year 1785 that the regular 
recording of deeds were begun for Cape May county in the 
Clerk's oflfice. Some were recorded from 1694 to 1726. 

On November 26, 1785, Cape IMay county was taxed by 
law for State expenses £149:15:9. By act of May 26, 1786, 
Cape May was to have £1497 17s. 6d. of the £100,000 State 
bills of credit, which were to be "let out on loan" by the 
commissioners for • that purpose. On November 21, 
this year, the Legislature levied a tax of £59:17 upon the 
county to pay State expenses. The next year, on June 7th, 
Cape May was taxed £187:5 for State expenses. 

On the 30th of October an act was passed empowering 
James Godfrey, Thomas Leaming and Christopher Lud- 
1am to bank, dam and erect other water works at Mill 
creek, a branch of Dennis creek, which was extended from 
the fast land of Thomas Leamin£r's across the meadow and 


IMill creek to the fast land of Christopher Ludlani. In the 
fall of this year Jesse Hand, Jacob Eldredge and Matthew 
Whillden were elected delegates to the State Convention 
to act on the ratification of the Constitution of the United 
'States, which had been unanimously agreed upon by the 
delegates to the Constitutional Convention on September 
17th. The State Convention met at Trenton on the second 
'Tuesday of December, and on the 19th unanimously adopted 
:lt. when the members went in solemn procession to the 
Court House, where the ratification was publicly read to 
"^the people. New Jersev being the third State to ratify. At- 
•.tending this convention was the last public act of Jesse 

"He created,"' says Dr. Beesley, "great astonishment with 
the people, when lie presented to their wondering eyes the 
first top-carriage (an old-fashioned 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 
rand distrust." 

"Pennsylvania Gazette," of February 6, 1788, contains 
■the following account of how Matthew Hand saved "the life 
'of Capt. Decatur": "Sunday last Capt. Decature, in the 
'Sloop Nancy, got safe into Hereford Inlet, (about twelve 
-miles N. E. of the Pitch of Cape May) after a passage of ^2 
•days from Demarara. He has been on the coast since the 
25th of December, and fifteen times blown ofif. His mate 
.and one of his hands were washed overboard, but the mate 
was fortunately saved by catching hold of a rope ; another of 
liis men had an arm broke by the same sea. The vessel be- 
ing leaky, and his provisions expended, Capt. Decature al- 
■most despaired of being able to make any port, when fortu- 
nately fell in with Mr. ^latthew Hand of the Cape May Pi- 
lots, who made it a rule to go out in his boat every fair day. 
'To this vigilant Pilot Capt. Decature feels himself greatly 
indebted for the present safety of himself and vessel. As 
•soon as the sloop was got into a place of safety, Mr. Hand 
^went out in quest of two sloops then in the offing." 

On November 27, 1788, an act was passed by the Legisla- 


ture for the appointment of managers to build a bridge over 
Cedar Swamp Creek from the lands of Job Young on the 
southeast to the lands of John Van Gilder on the northwest. 
The bridge was to be twelve feet wide. Cranberries are first 
mentioned in the ofificial records as being an important ar- 
ticle, which, if then encouraged, might be profitable for ex- 

By this time the habit of pasturing cattle on Peck's Beach 
generally prevailed, and the owners of the Beach objecting 
to fences marking the property of each owner, petitioned 
the Legislature for allowing its use in common. The 
Legislature, on November lo, 1789, passed an act authoriz- 
ing the pasturing of ten head of horses or cattle on every 
100 acres. For allowing horses over 18 months or any hogs, 
sheep or goats to graze on the beach fines were to be im- 
posed, as well as for the violation of more than ten head for 
each 100 acres. On the following day the Legislature pass- 
ed an act authorizing David Townsend, Thomas Shaw, 
Henry Ludlam, Christopher Smith and Jacocks Swain to 
build a bridge over the north and south branches of Dennis 
Creek, and to claw out a public road from Thomas Learn- 
ing's ship yard. The road was to extend from the ship yard 
to the main road leading from Great Cedar Swamp to David 
Johnson's saw mill. A^essels were not to moor to the bridge 
nor take the planks from it. 

Pastor Watt, of the Cold Spring Presbyterian church,. 
died this year. On his tombstone are these words: 
"In Memory of 
the Rev. James Watt, 
who departed this life 
19th Nov'br. 1789 
Aged 46 years. 
If disinterested Kindness, Integrity, 

Justice and Truth 
Deserve the Tributary Tear, 
Here it is claimed." 
By act of June 12, 1790, when £30,000 was raised in the 
State, Cape May was to pay toward it the three separate 
sums of £182:15:4, £146:4:3, and £109:13:3. On November 
25 the county was again taxed £219:6:6 for a State levy. 


The first general census of the United States was taken 
this year, and there were in the county, according to it, free 
white males of sixteen years and upwards, 631; free white 
inales under sixteen, 609; free white females, including 
heads of families, 1176; all other free persons, 14; slaves, 
141; total number, 2571. 

The first case of freedom of slavery from Cape May county 
was that adjudged in the Supreme Court of the State in 1790, 
which was the case of the State against John Ware on habeas 
corpus proceedings of Negro Jethro, whose history is given 
in the following abstract from the decision of the court: 

"It appearing to the Court that the said Negro Jethro was 
born on the 8th day of September, 1768, in county of Cape 
May," and that his mother. Charity Briggs, a Mulatto wom- 
an, was free at the time of birth, and that Jethro was bound 
by the overseer of the poor to Nathaniel Foster. In 1768 
the mother was purchased by John Connell, with the infant 
Jethro at the breast. Connell sold her time of service to 
Jonathan Jenkins, who brought up the child Jethro. Jenk- 
ins then sold Jethro to Christopher Learning, who sold him 
in 1788 to John Ware, and on motion of Joseph Bloomfield, 
Attorney-General, Jethro was freed. 

David Johnson, James Ludlam and others petitioned the 
Legislature in 1792 for the right to construct a grist mill at 
Dennis Creek, and that body passed an act on May 26, al- 
lowing the mill to be erected at Dennis Creek, provided it 
was finished in two years' time. The flood gate was to be 
fourteen feet wide, and always to be ready to open for nav- 
igation. The land owners above the mill were to build dams 
to protect their property. 

On November 22, 1791, the State tax was again fixed for 
the county at £219:6:6, and a year later, November 22,1792, 
at the same amount. 

About this time Cape May was provided with a military 
organization, and on November 30, 1792, an act was passed 
for its organization, and Eli Townsend was made a com- 
missioner to organize them. On the 5th of the following 
June an act was passed forming the Cumberland, Cape May 
and Salem companies into a brigade. The Cape May men 


were to drill on the first Monday of each October and the- 
day following. 

During the years 1794, '95, '96 and "97 the county's share 
of the State expense amounted to £202:17:10^ each year. 

On November 2;^, 1795, Eli Townsend was appointed' 
judge of the court, and Christopher Ludlam a justice. On; 
February 23, 1796, the Legislature empowered the inhabi- 
tants of Cape May to stow and lay their boats on "Cape Is- 
land road," leaving two-thirds of the road clear and not 
distant over 12 roods from high water mark. On Marcb 
16 this year the Legislature decided that the horsemen of 
Cape May, Cumberland and Salem counties make one com- 

On January 28, 1797, Henry Ludlam, Reuben Townsencf 
and Parmenas Corson were appointed judges, and Henry 
Ludlam, Reuben Townsend, Parmenas Corson, Elijah. 
Townsend, Elijah Godfrey and Robert Edmonds justices of 
the peace, and on March 3 Christopher Ludlam was added' 
to the list of judges and Eleazer Hand to the list of justices. 

Military commissions were issued on March 27, this year^ 
to Spicer Learning as captain and Joseph Ware as ensign.. 

In the annual election of this year there arose a dispute- 
over the election of sheriff and coroners, the result being, 
that two sheriffs and a double portion of coroners received- 
certificates of election, none of which the court justices re- 
fused to recognize. As a consequence the Legislature on; 
the 6th of March passed an act requiring the county clerk 
to call an election for the 21st of the same month to settle 
the question. On the 14th of October following a State 
commission was granted Jeremiah Hand, the successful 
candidate for sheriff, and to John Swain, Jonathan Town- 
send and Seth Hand as coroners. Sheriff Hand served 
from 1798 to 1800. During this year, 1797, Persons Learn- 
ing became a member of the Legislature. He was bom 
July 25, 1756. He served in the Assembly from 1797 to 
1798 and from 1801 to 1803. He died March 29, 1807. 

By act of the Legislature of the 8th of March this year 
(1797) the county's representation in the Assembly was re- 
duced from three members to one, and Persons Learning 
was the first Assemblyman under the new order. From- 


then to present time Cape May county has had only one 
member of the Legislative Council (now Senator) and one 
Assemblyman. The election day at the same time was 
changed to second Tuesday of October. 

During the year 1798 the following military aj^pointments 
were made: Jacob Hughes, lieutenant, June 23; Seth Hand, 
ensign, July 2;^; Jeremiah Hand. Jr., ensign. July 23; Robert 
Edmunds, ensign, July 10, and Ludlam Johnson, ensign, 
August 7. The Cape May "training days" were then the 
second Tuesday of March and second Tuesday of Novem- 
ber, and the "battalion training" on the second Tuesday of 

By act of the Legislature of February 13, 1798, the county 
Board of Chosen Freeholders was incorporated, and soon 
after organized. On the 21st of February the Upper, Middle 
and Lower precincts were incorporated into townships, with 
boundaries nearly as those which exist to-day, excepting 
that Upper township formerly comprised all of what is now 
(1896) Upper and Dennis townships. The Common Picas 
and Quarter Sessions Courts then met in Middle township 
four times a year, namely, in February, May, August and 
October, while the circuit judge of the Supreme Court ap- 
peared in Cape May only in May. 

Jonathan Teaming was granted two State commissions 
as sheriff in October of both 1798 and 1799, but Jeremiah 
Hand seems to have actually served from 1798 to 1801, as 
mentioned before. 

In the incidental bill of the Legislature of February 21, 
1799, Elijah Townsend received £3 15s. for taking to Tren- 
ton the papers of the late Elijah Hughes, when the latter 
was surrogate. 



In the beginning of the present century the foundations 
of nearly all the villages now in existence had been laid by 
the sparsely settled hamlets. They were located upon the 
two natural highways that ran through the county, either 
parallel with the seashore or with the bay side. The total 
number of residents of the county in 1800, according to the 
Federal census, was 3066, of which 98 were slaves. The 
proportion was as follows: White males under ten, 487; be- 
tween ten and sixteen, 242; between sixteen and twenty- 
six, 334; between twenty-six and forty-five, 264; over forty- 
five, 197; females under ten, 449; between ten and sixteen, 
227; between sixteen and twenty-six, 272; between twenty- 
six and forty-five, 279; above forty-five, 137; all other free 
persons, 80. 

Among the villages which were centres of life at the time 
were Middletown (now Cape May Court House), Cold 
Spring, Cape Island (now Cape May City), Tuckahoe, East 
Creek (now Eldora), West Creek, Dennisville, Goshen, 
Fishing Creek, Green Creek and Seaville. The first post- 
office was established at Dennis Creek in 1802, when Jere- 
miah Johnson was appointed postmaster, October 9. In 
the following year Jeremiah Hand was appointed the first 
postmaster at Cape May Court House, on January i. On 
January 30, 1804, the office at Cape Island was established, 
with Ellis Hughes as postmaster. Cold Spring was desig- 
nated a postofftce in 1809, and Aaron Eldredge commission- 
ed in charge on October i. The mails were previous to this 
time carried by private parties. The stage routes had not 
yet been established, and the vessel was probably the prin- 
cipal means of transportation. 

In the fall election of 1800 Jonathan Teaming had been 
chosen sheriff and was commissioned October 21, and Rob- 

THE COUNTY IX 18U0. 225 

-«rt Parsons, James Ludlam and Humphrey Stites, coroners, 
^who were commissioned October i8. 

Dr. Beesley, speaking of the cordwood industry, begun 
;about this time, says: 

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

"The failure in some measure of wood and lumber, and 
the improvements progressing in all piarts 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 desideratum 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." 

Among the civil commissions granted in the State in 

1801 were: Christopher Smith, justice, February 26; Stephen 
Hand, justice, February 26; Aaron Eldredge, surrogate, 
July 31; Thomas H. Hughes, sheriff, October 17; Enoch 
Townsend, coroner, October 17; James Ludlam, coroner, 
October 17; Elijah Townsend, justice, November 24. In 

1802 State commissions were issued as follows: John Town- 
send, surrogate, June 15; Thomas H. Hughes, sherifif, Oc- 
tober 16; James Ludlam, Seth Hand and Aaron Eldredge, 
coroners, October 16. Aaron Eldredge, a son of Jeremiah 
Eldredge, was born June 13, 1771, and died August 21, 
1819, and is buried at Cold Spring. 

At the opening of the century Cape May was already 
Icnown as a summer resort, and probably the first advertise- 
-snent of the fact was that of Postmaster Ellis Hughes, of 
Cape Island, which appeared in the "Daily Aurora," of 
Philadelphia, on June 30, 1801, which read as follows: 

"The public are respectfully informed that the subscriber 
has prepared himself for entertaining company who use sea 
"bathing, and he is accommodated with extensive house- 


room, with fish, oysters, crabs, and good liquors. Care will! 
be taken of g-entlenien's horses. 

"The situation is beautiful, just at the confluence of the 
Delaware Bay with the Ocean, in sight of the Light House,, 
and affords a view of the shipping which enters and leaves 
the Delaware: Carriages may be driven along the margin^ 
of the ocean for miles, and the wheels will scarcely make an. 
impression upon the sand; the slope of the shore is so regu- 
lar that persons may wade a great distance. It is the most 
delightful spot the citizens can retire to in the hot season. 

"A Stage starts from Cooper's Ferry on Thursday in ev- 
ery week, and arrives at Cape Island on Friday; it starts- 
from Cape Island on Friday and Tuesday in each week, and 
arrives in Philadelphia the following day. 

"Gentlemen who travel in their own carriages will observe 
the following directions: Philadelphia to Woodbury is 9- 
miles, thence to Glass-house, 10, Malaga Hill, 10, Lehman's 
Mill, 12, Port Elizabeth, 7, Dennis Creek, 12, Cape May, 9^ 
pitch of the Cape, 15. is 84: and the last 18 is open to the 
sea shore. Those who choose water conveyance can fiad 
vessels almost any time. ' ELLIS HL^GHES." 

The hotel which Ellis Hughes kept was called the Atlan- 
tic, and was made away with to give place to the New At- 
lantic. It was located at what is now the foot of Jacksoi* 

The resort grew in favor to some extent, but not so stead- 
ily until after the second war with Gfeat Britain. The old 
way of getting to Cape May after the war was by carriages 
and by stage. In 181 5 a sloop began to carry passengers, 
often taking two days to come to Philadelphia. At that 
time the Old Atlantic was the only hotel, and was the re- 
sort of men of prominence and wealth for years. Commo- 
dore Decatur, the gallant naval officer, for years visited the 
island. Congress Hall was built in 1816 and was at first 
a large boarding house, but when destroyed in the fire of 
1818 was 200 by 300 feet in size. It was owned by Thomas 
H. Hughes. 

In 1802 Ephraim Hildreth, a son of Joshua Hildreth, was- 
busily engaged in running a packet from Cape May to Phili- 


adelphia, and we find that he made quick trips, leaving here 
on one day and reaching Philadelphia the next and vice 
versa. He was connected with many enterprises and record- 
ed his doings faithfully in the diary which he kept. 

The first JVIethodist church's meeting house in Cape May 
county was finished in 1803. in Dennis township, and its 
trustees were: Constant'ne Smith, James Ludlam, Christo- 
pher Ludlam, Xatlian Cresse and J. Tomlin. John Goi? 
preached the first sermon. The members of the class were 
Nathan Cresse and wife, R. Woodruf, William and John 
Mitchell. John Townsend, Jr., and wife. Jeremiah Sayre and 
wife. Sarah Wintzell, Mrs. Enoch Smith and David Hil- 
dreth, who was a local preacher. 

Commodore Decatur, spoken of before, in 1804 began to 
keep his record of the encroachment of the sea at Cape Is- 
land. It is indorsed "Statement of No. of feet gained by the 
Sea at Cape Island from 1804 to 1829, by Commodore De- 
catur." It reads: "A statement of the number of feet gained 
by the sea on the Beach at Cape Island measured by Com. 
1804 from Ellis Hughes' house to beach 334 




Aug. 30th, 1829, from Beach 64 

1824 from Capt. Hughes' gate to Beach 606 

The statement shows that the sea in that space of time had 
eaten away 275 feet of land. The late Jeremiah Mecray once 
told the author that he remembered when fields of corn were 
grown where the pavilion of the iron pier now (1890) stands. 

Persons Learning, the sixth son of Aaron Learning, 2d, 


represented Cape May in the Assembly from 1797 to 1798 
and from 1801 to 1803. He was born July 23, 1756, and died 
March 29, 1807. 

William Eldredge, who was a member of State Legisla- 
tive Council (Senate) from 1805 to 1806, was an Englishman, 
who came from Long Island to Cape May late in the eigh- 
teenth century. His wife was Judith Corson, a daughter of 
Nathan Corson, a man of wealth, who owned what is now 
the Mount Vernon neighborhood. He was one of the early 
settlers of Cape Island, buying his land of Thomas Hand, 
it being located west of Ellis Hughes'. He was born about 
1754, and was a Presbyterian in faith. He died in 1809. 

Matthew Whilldin, who about this time was very promi- 
nent in affairs of the county, was a son of Joseph Whilldin, 
the patriot. He was born in 1749, and died July 16, 1828, 
aged 79 years. 

He was for nearly a half century a ruling elder of the Cold 
Spring Presbyterian Church, to which position he was elect- 
ed probably in the year 1790. Because of his long service 
in that church he was appointed June 27, 1828, to write a 
history of the church, which he w^as never allowed to do, 
because of a severe kick he received from a vicious horse, 
which ended his life nineteen days after his appointment. 
In a civil capacity Mr. Whilldin was a valued citizen, and 
was in the State Legislature for nearly twenty years. He 
was first in the Assembly from 1791 to 1794, and then in 
the Legislative Council from 1794 to 1796. Again in 1804 
he re-entered the Assembly, serving one year, and then re- 
entered the Legislative Council twice afterward, serving 
from 1806 to 1807, and from 1809 to 181 1. 

Jacob Hughes, who was sherifif of Cape May county 
from 1808 to 1809, was born about 1770 and died in 1830. 
He was commissioned a lieutenant of the Cape May militia. 
June 23, 1798. 

Cape May men were early in the habit of saving life from 
wrecks. In February, 1809, the British ship "Guatamoozin," 
with a cargo of teas and silks from the coast of China for 
New York, came ashore on Seven-Mile Beach, near Town- 
send's Inlet. She was a full-rigged ship. The beach, then a 
desolate waste of cedars and sand, was covered with two feet 

THE COUNTY IN 1800. 229 

of snow. An old hut was the only semblance of life there, 
and that was only temporarily occupied by Humphrey 
Swain, Nathaniel Stites and Zebulon Stites, who were there 
gunning. These gunners went to the mainland, notified 
the farmer residents, and then all returned to aid the ship- 
wrecked mariners. The crew was safely landed, but the 
cargo was lost. The rescuers and rescued experienced great 
hardships, and that was probably the most disastrous ship- 
wreck that ever came upon Cape May's shores, save one ten 
or fifteen years later. 

By the census of 1810 Cape May county had a population 
of 3632, of which 81 were slaves and iii were free negroes; 
1803 were males and 1637 females. 

In 1810 the first Methodist preachers appeared in Cape 
Island. They were Rev. William Smith and Rev. Joseph 
Osborn. They preached at the house of Mennican Hughes, 
a well-known Delaware River pilot. 

Of Nicholas Willets, who served in the New Jersey As- 
sembly from Cape May county, from 1806 to 1807, from 
1808 to 1809, from 181 1 to 1812, from 1815 to 1819, and 
from 1 82 1 to 1822, Dr Maurice Beesley says: 

"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 spright- 
ly and urbane deportment which he ever manifested, to- 
gether 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." 

The centre-board which has given to America the victory 
in every international yacht race for forty years was invent- 
ed by shipbuilders in this county in 181 1, and the letters 
patent granted them by the United States are still preserved, 
so that the evidence is beyond dispute that the famous de- 
vice was first made use of in Cape May county. The ship- 
builders referred to did business near Seaville, and were Ja- 


cocks Swain and his two sons, Henry Swain and Joshua 

The name given to the patent was "leeboard." The paten- 
lees, it is said, made very Httle money out of the invention, 
because the patent was evaded by building centre-boards to 
work between the main keel and a kelson instead of through 
the middle of the keel, as provided in the patent. A copy of 
the patent follows : 

"The United States of America. 
""To all to whom these Letters Patent shall come. 

"Whereas, Jacocks Swain, Henry Swain and Joshua 
Swain, Citizens of the United States, have alleged that they 
have invented a new and useful improvement 

in the Lee Board, 
which improvement they state has not been known or used 
before their application and have affirmed that they do verily 
believe that they are the true inventors or discoverers of said 
improvement, have paid into the Treasury of the United 
States the sum of thirty dollars, delivered a receipt for the 
same and presented a petition to the Sec'y of State, signify- 
ing a desire of obtaining an exclusive property in the said 
improvement, and praying that a patent may be granted 
for that purpose: These are therefore to grant according to 
law, to the said Jacocks Swain, Henry Swain and Joshua 
Swain, their heirs, administrators or assigns for the term 
of fourteen years from the tenth day of April, 1811, the full 
and exclusive right and liberty of making, constructing, us- 
ing and vending to others to be used, the said improvement; 
a description whereof is given in the words of the said Ja- 
cocks Swain, Henry Swain and Joshua Swain themselves, 
in the schedule hereto annexed and is made a part of these 

"In testimony whereof, I have caused these Letters to be 
made Patent and the Seal of the United States to be here- 
unto affixed. 

"Given under my hand at the City of Washington this 
tenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand 


•eight huiulretl and eleven, and of the Independence of the 
■United States of America the thirtv-tifth. 

"Bv the PVesident. 

"Secretary of State." 
""City of Wasliington, to wit: 

"I do hereby certify That the foregoing Letters Patent 
^were dehvered to me on the Tenth Day of April, in the year 
•of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eleven to be 
•examined; that I have examined the same and find them 
-conformable to law; and I do hereby return the same to the 
Secretary of State, within fifteen days from the date afore- 
said, to wit: on this tenth dav of April, in the vear aforesaid. 

'•C. A. RODNEY, 
"Attorney General of the LUiited States." 

The "schedule" referred to reads as follows: 
"The schedule referred to in these Letters Patent and 
•making part of the same, containing a description in the 
"words of the said Jacocks Swain, Henry Swain and Joshua 
Swain themselves, of their new invented Lee Board. 

"The vessel that is intended to be built with a Lee Board 
through the bottom, the keel must be worked wide in the 
middle so as to give sulificient strength after the mortice is 
worked through for the Lee Board to pass; then there must 
he two pieces of timber worked the same thickness that the 
^anortice is through the keel, and wide enough to be suffi- 
<;iently strong, and one set at the forward end and the other 
.at the after end of said mortice, and let down into the keel 
two-thirds of the depth through, so as to stand on a square 
Tfrom the keel and bolted into the keel; then a rabbet is to 
Ibe cut on each side of said mortice in the keel, of the same 
■width of the thickness of the plank that is intended to plank 
■up the sides of the sheath for said Lee Board, and deep 
-enough into the keel to spike into the same; then fit dov/n 
a plank on each side into each rabbet and spike them in the 
first mentioned timbers, then the lower part of the sheath 
is formed; then after floor ribbands of the vessel is run, then 
4it knees enough on each side of said sheath to make it suffi- 


ciently strong, running from the floor heads to the aforesaidi 
plank, from thence by phimb hne high enough to tennant 
into the combing fitted into the beams, then when the deck 
frame is in fit up plank on each side to the deck, fitting the- 
same tight to beams, then in planking up the intermediate 
space may be trunneled on every other one, first and leaving 
one end of the opening an inch or two wider than the other, 
and then when the shutters are put in by working them large 
and driving them in end foremost it may be made sufficiently 
tight without any caulking. 

"The Lee Board is made as follows: It is to be made of 
two thicknesses of plank laid together crossing each other 
enough to make it sufficiently strong and thick enough to 
play through the aforesaid mortice and haul up into the said 
sheath when ever necessary, and wide enough to fill up said' 
sheath from near the bottom of the keel to the beams that 
passes across the top of said sheath and the length agree- 
able to the length of said sheath with the after end sweep 
off on a true sweep from the bolt hole that it hangs on ; said 
bolt hole to hang it by is to be about four fifths from the 
after end and near enough to the bottom for a true sweep 
that strikes the forward end to strike the bottom, and work- 
ed ofif to the same; it is to be hung on a bolt sufficiently 
strong passing through one pair of the aforesaid knees wifh' 
a head on one side and a forelock on the other, high enough 
to fetch the bottom within the knee; with a clasp and thim- 
ble ribbeted on the upper side of the after end for the pur- 
pose of a lanyard or a tackle to be made fast to hoist it into 
the sheath when necessary, the top of the sheath the after 
part to pass through the deck, with a chock fitted at the after 
end of the same with a shreve in it for a lanyard to pass 
through for the purpose of hoisting it up; and to make the 
said sheath sufficiently strong there must be a keelson run 
on each side of the same and bolt through the aforesaid 
knees into the keel. 


"Elijah Townsend, 
"John Townsend." 


THE WAR OP 1812. 

Previous to the second war with Great Britain regular 
""trainings" were kept up by the Cape May mihtia, and tlie 
residents were ready for any emergency which might arise. 
They were trained in both land and sea service. The mili- 
tary commissions issued from 1800 to the opening of tlie 
war follow : 

Uriah Smith, captain, March 11,1800. 

Jeremiah Daniels, ensign, April 8, 1800. 

James Ewing, captain, March 15, 1802. 

Jeremiah Daniels, lieutenant, March 15, 1802. 

Daniel Garretson, ensign, March 15, 1802. 

Nicholas Willets, captain, March 27, 1802. 

Enoch Young, lieutenant, March 2"], 1802. 

Joseph Hughes, adjutant, June i, 1802. 

Abijah Smith, paymaster, June 1, 1802. 

Jonathan Hand, Jr.. captain. May 28, 1802. 

George Cresse, lieutenant, May 28, 1802. - 

Cornelius Bennett, ensign. May 28, 1802. 

John Dickinson, colonel, November 25, 1806. 

Commissions were issued November 2}^, 1808, to Cresse 
Townsend, Jeremiah Johnton, James Ludlam, Joseph Cor- 
son, Isaac Smith, Jacob Foster and Levi Foster for various 
ofificers from captain and under. On November 25, 1809, a 
conmiission was issued to Eli Stephenson, and Novc*iber 
I. 18 10, commissions were given Shamgar Hewitt and Levi 
Smith. What ofifices these commissions were for we hav.' 
not discovered. When the W^ar of 1812 broke out Cap'.- 
May county had its "Independent Regiment," and the com- 
missions issued to its of^cers were as follows: 
First Battalion. 

Jacob Foster, lieutenant, first company; appointed Au- 
gust 9, 1806; commissioned December 26, 1806. 


Jonathan Nottingham, ensign, first company; appointed 
August 9, 1806; commissioned December 26, 1806. 

Jacob G. Smith, captain, second company; appointed 
March 12, 1814; commissioned May 6, 1814. 

EHsha Colhns, Heutenant, second company; appointed 
March 12, 1814; commissioned May 6, 1814. 

Ricliard S. Ludlam, ensign, second company; ap])'3inted 
March 12, 1814; commissioned May 6, 1814. 

John Goff, hentenant, tliird company; commissioned Feb- 
ruary 12, 1814. 

— -Jacoh Eldridge, ensign, tliird company; appointed August 
9, 1806; commissioned December 26, 1806. 
Second Battalion. 

Amos C. Moore, major; appointed November 3, 1S13; 
conmaissioned same day. 

Jolin Douglass, captain, second company; appointed 
March 17, 18 14; commissioned May 6, 1814. 

Christopher Hand, lieutenant, second company; appoint- 
ed March 17, 18 14; commissioned May 6, 18 14. 

Swaine Tovvnsend, ensign, second company; appointed 
March 17, 1814; -commissioned May 6, 1814. 

Aaron Hughes, captain, third company; appointed March 
2^, 1813; conmiissioned April 15, 1813. 

Jacob Huglies, captain, third company; appointed March 
12, 1814; commissioned May 6, 1814. 

Jonathan Crawford, lieutenant, third company; appointed 
March 27, 181 3; conmiissioned April 15, 1813. 

Aaron Eldredge, lieutenant, third company; appointed 
March 12, 1814; commissioned May 6, 1814. 

John Schellenger, ensign, third company; appointed 
March 12, 1814; commissioned May 6, 1814. 

Jesse Springer, captain, fourth company; appointed July 
7, 1813; commissioned July 21, 1813. 

William Hildreth, ensign, fourth company; appointed July 
7, 1813; commissioned July 21, 1813. 

Furman Learning, captain, artillery; appointed October 
2, 1813; commissioned October 27, 1813. 

Joseph Ludlam, first lieutenant, artillery; appointed Oc- 
tober 2, 1813; commissioned October 27, 1813. 



John Haines, second lieulenant. artillery; aj^pointed Oc- 
tober 2, 1813; conmiissloned October 27. 1813. 

Isaac Smith, captain, a^rtillerv; appointed June ^o 1814- 
commissioned August 4, 1814. 

Stephen Stimson. first lieutenant, artillery; appointed June 
30 1814- commissioned \ug-ust 4, 1814. 

Ezekiel Stt\tns, second lieutenant, artillerv; appointed 
June 30, 1814; commissioned August 4. 1814. 

Richard Thompson, captain, Fishing Creek artUlerv ap- 
pomted July 16, 1814; commissioned August 4, 1814. ' 

Aaron Woolson, first lieutenant. Fishing Creek artillery 
•appomted July 16, 18 14; commissioned August 4 1814 ' ' 


Recompence Hand, second lieutenant, Fishing Creek ar- 
tillery; appointed Juh- i6, 1814; commissioned August 4, 

Amos C. Moore, the major of the second battalion, was 
born at Lamberton, near Wenton, March 19, 1776, and was 
a son of Nathaniel Moore, the ferryman there. He served 
in troops which went to put down the Whisky Insurrection 
in Pennsylvania in 1794. He died at Dennisville June 25, 
1857. aged 82 years. He was fifty years a member of the 
Methodist Episcopal church, and for thirty-seven years was 
a teacher and Sunday school superintendent. He "rendered 
efficient service in the late war (18 12) in defense of the coast 
of Cape May." 

Captain George Norton's company, an organization of 
volunteers, which was composed of four officers and ninety- 
one men, did service at Town Bank principall}' and at other 
places along the Delaware Bay shore. It belonged to the 
''Cape May Independent Regiment" and was ordered into 
service by Governor William Pennington for the defense of 
the sea coast of Cape jVIay county. They were first called 
out in May, 1814, and from that time until the close of the 
war they were often under arms and performed several tours 
of duty away from home during their service. They were 
' all enrolled into the service on May 15, 1814, and continued' 
in active service or in readiness therefor until February 17, 
181 5, when tlie}' were finally discharged. The following' 
were the members of the company: 

Captain. George Norton. 

Lieutenant, Joshua Townsend. 

Ensigns, Jesse Springer, James T. Scott. 

First sergeant, Ezekiel Van Gilder. 

Sergeants, Samuel R. Springer, George Rutter, Jededialr 
Tomlin, Joshua Crawford. 

Corporals, Webster Souder, ^McBride Corson. Gideon 
Palmer, Jacob Nottingham. 

Fifer, Jonathan Hewitt. 

Privates, Jacob Baner, Constantine Blackman, Joseph 
Bowker, John Braddock, David Camp. Eli Camp, Daniel 
Church, Zebulon Collings, John Conover, Aaron Corson, 
Amos Corson, Cornelius Corson, Jr., Elijah Corson, 

THE WAR OF 1812. 237 

Jacob Corson, John Corson, Nathaniel Corson. Eze- 
kiel Creamer, Anthony Cresse, Jeremiah Dagg, John 
Daniels, Thomas Douglass, Mauldare Earnest. x\mos 
Edwards, Jacob Eldredge, Jeremiah Ewing, Jr., Ste- 
phen Foster, Thomas French, David Gandy, Joshua 
Garretson, John Gaskill, Elijah Godfrey, Jr., John Godfrey, 
Daniel Goff, William Hacket, Aaron Hand, Miller Hand, 
Elijah Hays, Job Hickey, James Hildreth, William Hog- 
burn, Jacob Hughes, Moses Hughes, William Hughes, 
Edward James, Jacob Johnson, Daniel King, Spicer Learn- 
ing, Jr., Abel Lee, Anthony Ludlam, Norton Ludlam, 
Thomas Ludlam, Jr., Elijah Mathews, Enos Mulford, James 
Nickerson, Jeremiah Norton, Samuel Oram, Jr., Amos Pep- 
per, William Peterson, John Pierson, Thomas Pierson, Jo- 
seph Ridman, Abel Scull, Jeremiah Shaw, Smith Sloan, 
John Smith, Criah Smith, George Stites, Israel Stites, 
Charles Strong, Daniel Swain, Samuel Taylor, Wallace Tay- 
lor, James Thomas, Zebulon Townsend, Daniel Vaneman, 
Joseph Ware, Samuel Warwick, Jonathan Wheaton, Joseph 
Wheaton, John Yates. 

During the years 1813 and 1814 the Delaware was block- 
aded a part of the time, and there was almost continually 
some British man-of-war upon its waters. 

It is related that on one occasion while the British fleet 
were blockading Delaware Bay, a boat was sent ashore 
from the 74-gun-ship Poictiers, with a flag of truce to Cape 
Island, with the request to Captain Humphrey Hughes, 
commander of a small body of men stationed there, to allow- 
them to obtain a supply of water. On his refusal the boat 
returned, and shortly after another was sent ashore with 
the threat that unless allowed peaceably to get water they 
would bombard the place. Captain Hughes, with the advice 
of his officers, discreetly acceded to their demand. He was, 
however, arrested on a charge of treason, for giving supplies 
to the enemy, and narrowly escaped severe pumishment. 

Another story, which probably refers to the same inci- 
dent, reads in this way: 

One day, while the British ships were lying off the Capes, 
it was observed that several barges from the ships were be- 
ing rowed ashore, containing numerous Redcoats. "Long 


Tom," a long gun, twelve feet in length, belonging to the 
comity, was run down to the beach and planted behind the- 
breastwork of a sand dune. As the barges approached our 
men wanted to fire on them, but among the crowd gathered 
was Abigail Hughes, grandmother to Pilot Albert Hughes^ 
who in her excellent judgment quickly decided in her mind 
that to fire on the British boats meant but to invite their 
wrath and bring destruction on our own heads. So, placing" 
herself in front of the gun, she said sternly: "You shall not. 
fire. We mav not be disturbed if we don't, but we w^ill sure- 
1}' suffer their vengeance if we do." The men obeyed her 
mandate. The British, instead of landing on our beach, 
rowed into the bay and landed at Town Bank, where they 
raided cattle and appropriated whatever was useful to them 
that could be carried away. This wise and brave woman's 
first husband had been a Revolutionary soldier, a lieutenant col. 
in Washington's army, belonging to the Fifth Pennsylvania 
Brigade. His name was William Williams, and he fought 
on Long Island and in the various battles in New Jersey and 
at Trenton. 

Captain Humphrey Hughes was a privateer and used to 
relate how% when they had rvm into Egg Harbor, they would 
disguise their vessel's masts, in order to escape detection by 
the British, by cutting off pine trees, which they would stand 
upon shipboard beside the masts, the thick browse hiding 
the vessel's rigging, so that from sea the}- could not be ob- 
served. He was the fifth Humphrey Hughes, and w^as born 
November lo, 1775, and died August 21, 1858. It was he 
wdio, when in Rome, met his Holiness, the Pope, and his 
reckless, never-caring way, refusing to "do as Rome did," 
got him in prison there, the custom being then for all 
to bow on their knees as the Pope passed. He did not, 
calling out that he w^as an American, and recognized no one 
to be his better. He was, for this decorous act, seized and 
hurried to prison. His sailors, who w-ere as bold as their 
captain, broke into the jail and released him. They quickly 
sailed away. 

On the bay shore the people fared badly in the loss of cat- 
tle and other possessions which could be carried away. 
Vessels owned by Reuben Foster and Aaron Crow^ell, of 

THE WAR OF 1811'. 239 

Fishing Creek, were destroyed by fire by the English. Two 
sisters, Airs. Anne Edwards and Mrs. Webster Church, 
while coming home from Philadelphia in a sloop, were tak- 
en prisoners trom it and the craft burned. Elijah and Jacob 
Hand had salt works there, which were molested at times. 

Ab'jah Reeves was a soldier in the Revolution and in the 
War of 1812, it is said. He was born in Cumberland county 
in 1750 and came to Cape May with his two brothers, Adon- 
ijah and Abraham, in about 1772. He died in 1822. 

Richard Thompson (the first), who was captain of the 
Fishing Creek artillery, was born February 12, 1768, at 
Fishing Creek. He died at Goshen December 21, 1824. 

In the latter part of 181 3, as several small coasters were 
sailing around Cape May from the Delaware River, boimd 
for Egg Harbor, they came in contact with a British armed 
schooner, lying at anchor oflf the Cape. She put to chase, 
fired upon and overtook the schooner "New Jersey," from 
May's Landing, which was manned by the master, Captain 
Burton, and two sailors. Having placed on board as prize- 
master a young midshipman, with three men (two English- 
men and an Irishman), she ordered the sloop to follow her, 
and continue the pursuit of the other vessels. As they near- 
ed Egg Harbor, the approach of night compelled her to 
cease the chase, and she then put about for the Cape. The 
sloop followed, but made little headway, the young mid- 
shipman being an indifferent seaman. He at length placed 
the sailing of the vessel under the direction of Captain 
Burton, directing him to steer for the Cape. He designedly 
steered the vessel so that no headway was made. Morning 
dawned and found them off the mouth of Great Egg Har- 
bor. Burton feigned ignorance of the place. Shortly after 
a man was sent aloft to look out, the prize-master and one 
of his men went below to examine the charts, leaving the 
three Americans and one of the enemy on deck. Burton 
availed himself of the opportunity. He and his two men se- 
cured the one on deck and fastened the others in the cabin, 
having made all prisoners within an hour. With a fair wind 
he brought his vessel to anchor ofT Somers' Point. The 
prize-master was imprisoned for a short time, the two Eng- 


lishmen found work in the neighborhood, and the Irishman 
afterwards fought under the Stars and Stripes. 

The Philadelphia "Daily Aurora and Advertiser," of De- 
cember II, 1815, says that a London paper of a few weeks 
previous said that a court-martial had been held on the ship 
Queen Charlotte for the trial of Midshipman Richard Willi- 
niin, of the Royal Navy, on the charge of desertion. He 
was an officer on the Jasseur, which had captured many 
prizes in the Delaware Bay. He was recommended to 
mercy, although condemned to die. When this yoimg offi- 
cer had charge of one of the Jasseur's boats, the sailors ran 
it on shore near Cape Island and deserted. He could not 
return to the ship alone, and was surrounded and made 
prisoner by the inhabitants. He was delivered by them to 
authorities in Philadelphia, but through some misunder- 
standing he got away, but had on his person a letter requir- 
ing him to keep within certain bounds, of which his English 
superiors got possession, and used as evidence against him. 

From the beginning of the war with Great Britain the 
people of New England had been opposed to the conflict, 
and that spirit prevailed to some extent in New Jersey. The 
leaders in this opinion in Cape May comity were Joseph 
Falkenbm'ge, who was then a member of the Legislative 
Council (Senate), and Robert H. Holmes. They were the 
two delegates from Cape May county who met in the State 
convention at Trenton on July 4, 1814, to name candidates 
for Congress who would vote to discontinue the war. 
Holmes was elected to the Assembly that autumn on this 
platform. Falkenburge had previously served in the As- 
sembly from 1803 to 1804 and from 1810 to 181 1. He was 
a member of the Legislative Council from 1808 to i8og and 
from i8t2 to 1814. He was born in Gloucester (Atlantic) 
county April 24, 1769. He came to Cape May in 1790, a 
poor boy, but when he died, April 30, 1846, he was the 
wealthiest man in the county. He was a tailor and mer- 
chant. After the close of the war the military organization, 
"First Regiment — Cape May," was kept up until 1835. The 
officers of the regiment up to the disbandment of the same 
were : 

'I'HE WAR OF 1811'. 


First Battalion. 
Soniers Corson, lieutenant, first infantry; appointed April 
-■6, i8i6; commissioned May 20, 1816. 

Edward Cole, ensign, first infantry; appointed April 6, 
1 8 16; commissioned May 20, 1816. 

Somers Falkenburg. captain, light infantry; appointed 
April 9, 1816; commissioned May 20, 1816. 

Jacob Souder, lieutenant, light infantry; appointed April 
■9, 1816; connnissioned May 20, 1816. 

Jonathan Crandol, ensign, light infantry; appointed April 
-9, 1816; commissioned May 20, 1816. 

Jacob G. Smith, captain, second company; appointed 
Aprd 9. 1816; commissioned May 20, 1 816. 

Richard Smith Ludlam. lieutenant, second company; ap- 
-pomted April 9. 1816: commissioned May 20, 1816. 

John Iszard. Jr., ensign, second company; appointed April 
■9, 1816: commissioned May 20. 1816. 

Joshua Townsend. captain, fourth com])any; appointed 
April 10. 1816; conmiissioned May 20, 1816. 

Hugh H. Young, lieutenant, fourth company; appointed 
April 10. 1816; connnissioned May 20, 1816. 

Christopher Ludlam, ensign, 'light infantry; appointed 
April 20. 1818; commissioned May 15. 1818. 

Cornelius Corson, captain, lirst company; appointed 
-March 19, 1818; commissioned May 15. 1818." 

Allen Corson, lieutenant, first company; appointed March 
19, t8i8; commissioned May 15. 1818. 

Enos Corson, lieutenant, fourth company; appointed 
March 20. 1818; commissioned May 15. 1818. 

Dayid Corson, ensign, fourth company; appointed March 
20, 1818; commissioned May 15, 1818. 

Moses Willet. ensign, first company; appointed April 8. 
1820; commissioned Alay 20. 1820. 

May La\yrence. ensign, third company; appointed May 
•9. 1820; commissioned May 20, 1820. 

Joseph Goff, lieutenant, third company; appointed May 
•9. 1820; commissioned May 20. 1820. 

John Goff, captain, third company; appointed May 9, 
-1820; commissioned May 20. 1820. 


Christopher Ludlam, Ueutenant, second company; ap- 
pointed April 7, 1820; commissioned May 20, 1820. 

Jacob Smith, ensign, second company; appointed April 
29, 1820; commissioned May 20, 1820. 

John L. Smith, surgeon, second company; appointed 
March 6, 1820; commissioned May 20, 1820. 

Joseph Mfield, surgeon's mate, second company; ap- 
pointed June 14, 1821; commissioned August 28, 1821. 

Allen Corson, captain, first company; appointed April 15^ 
1822; commissioned May 21. 1822. 

Seth Corson, lieutenant, tirst company; appointed April 
15, 1822; 'commissioned May 21, 1822. 

Smith Van Gilder, ensign, first company; appointed April 
15, 1822; commissioned May 21, 1822. 

Joshua Swain, Jr., captain, fourth company; appointed 
May 3, 1823; commissioned May 22, 1823. 

German Smith, ensign, fourth company; appointed May 
3, 1823; connnissioned May 22, 1823. 

Aaron Corson, lieutenant, first company; appointed May 
5, 1823; commissioned May 22, 1823. 

James L. Smith, ensign, third company; appointed May 
10, 1823; commissioned May 23, 1823. 

Jacob Souder, captain, light infantry; appointed May 10-. 
1823; commissioned May 23, 1823. 

Edward Rice, lieutenant, light infantry; appointed May 
10, 1823; commissioned May 23, 1823. 

Christopher Learning, ensign, light infantry; appointed 
May 10, 1823; commissioned May 23, 1823. 

Christopher Ludlam, captain, second company; appointed 
June 12, 1824; commissioned July 27, 1824. 

Samuel Matthews, lieutenant, second company; appointed 
June 12, 1824; commissioned July 27, 1824. 

Nathaniel Dickinson, adjutant; appointed February I, 
1825; commissioned March 4, 1825. 

Joseph Fifield, surgeon; appointed February i, 1825; 
commissioned March 4, 1825. 

Samuel S. Marcy, surgeon's mate; appointed February 
I, 1825; commissioned March 4, 1825. 

Jeremiah Hand, captain, fourth company; appointed Feb- 
ruary I, 1825; commissioned March 4, 1825. 

THE WAR OF ISli:. 243 

Joshua Crawford, lieutenant, fourth company; appointed 
February i, 1825; commissioned March 4, 1825. 

Phihp Stites, ensign, fourth company; appointed Febru- 
ary I, 1825; commissioned March 4. 1825. 

Seth Miller, captain, first company; appointed February 
II, 1825; commissioned March 4, 1825. 

Ephraim Hildrcth, lieutenant, first company; appointed 
February 11, 1825; conmiissioned ^Nlarch 4, 1825. 

David Hildreth, Jr., ensign, first company; appointed 
February 11, 1825; commissioned March 4, 1825. 

Samuel Springer, captain, first artillery; appointed Feb- 
ruary 12, 1825; commissioned March 4, 1825. 

Absolom Hand, Jr., first lieutenant, first artillery; ap- 
pointed February 12, 1825; commissioned March 4, 1825. 

Miller Hand, second lieutenant, first artillery; appointed 
February 12, 1825; commissioned March 4, 1825. 

Robert Edmunds, captain, second artillery; appointed 
February 18, 1825; commissioned March 4, 1825. 

Artis Hewitt, second lieutenant, second artillery; ap- 
pointed February 18. 1825: commissioned March 4. 1825. 

Aaron Schcllenger, captain, third company; appointed 
February 18, 1825; commissioned March 4, 1825. 

Samuel F. Ware, lieutenant, third company; appointed 
February 18, 1825; commissioned March 4, 1825. 

Thomas Eldredge, ensign, third company; appointed 
February 18. 1825; commissioned March 4, 1825. 

Enos Corson, captain, fourth company; appointed March 
Q.'j, 1826; commissioned April 11, 1826. 

Ezra Corson, lieutenant, fourth company; appointed 
March 27, 1826; commissioned April 11, 1826. 

James Van Gilder, lieutenant, first company; appointed 
March 'Zj, 1826; commissioned April 11, 1826. 

Joseph Gofif, captain, third company; appointed March 
28, 1826; commissioned April 11, 1826. 

James L. Smith, lieutenant, third company; appointed 
March 28, 1826; commissioned April 11, 1826. 

Jeremiah Foster, ensign, third company; appointed March 
28, 1826; commissioned April 11, 1826. 

David Cresse, captain, second artillery; appointed April 
20, 1826; commissioned February 15, 1827. 


Robert E. Foster, first lieutenant, second artillery; ap- 
pointed April 20, 1826; commissioned February 15, 1827. 

Joseph B. Hughes, lieutenant, third company; appointed 
April 20, 1826; commissioned February 15, 1827. 

James J. Ludlam, ensign, second company; appointed 
April 19, 1828; commissioned April 28, 1828. 

John Little, ensign, light infantry; appointed April 19, 
1828; commissioned April 28, 1828. 

Christopher "Cole, ensign, first company; appointed April 
21, 1828; commissioned April 28, 1828. 

Richard F. Cresse, captain, fourth company; appointed 
April 21, 1828; commissioned April 28, 1828. 

George Ludlam, lieutenant, fourth company; appointed 
April 21, 1828; commissioned April 28, 1828. 
Second Battalion. 

Joshua Hiidreth, captain, fourth company; v.ppointed 
June 7, 1815; commissioned July 15, 1815. 

William Hiidreth, lieutenant, fourth company; appointed 
June 7, 181 5; commissioned July 15, 181 5. 

Henry Hand, ensign, fourth company; appointed June 7, 
1815; commissioned July 15, 1815. 

Aaron Woolson, captain, second company; appointed 
July 4, 181 5; commissioned July 15, 181 5. 

Richard Thompson, first lieutenant, second company; ap- 
pointed July 4, 181 5; commissioned July 15, 181 5. 

James Hoffman, second lieutenant, second company; ap- 
pointed July 4, 181 5; commissioned July 15, 181 5. 

Jonathan Nottingham, captain, first company; appointed 
December 8, 181 5; commissioned February 4, 1816. 

Nathaniel Tomsen, lieutenant, first company; appointed 
December 8, 181 5; commissioned February 4, i8t6. 

Joseph Norbury, ensign, first company; appointed De- 
cember 8, 181 5; commissioned February 4, 1816. 

Daniel Cresse, Jr., captain, fourth company; appointed 
January 13, 1816; commissioned February 4, 1816. 

Jeremiah Hand, lieutenant, fourth company; appointed 
January 13. 1816; commissioned February 4, 1816. 

Joshua Crawford, ensign, fourth company; appointed 
January 13. 1816; commissioned February 4, 1816. 



Joseph Lucllam. captain, artillery; appointed Alay 20, 
1816; commissioned June 22, 1816. 

John Haines, first heutenant, artillery: appointed May 20, 
1816; commissioned June 22, 1816. 

Harvey Shaw, second lieutenant, artillery; appointed May 
20, 1816; commissioned June 22, 1816. 

John Dickinson, Jr., lieutenant, second company; ap- 
pointed June 12, 1816; commissioned June 22, 1816. 

Joseph Baymore, ensign, second company; appointed 
June 12, 1816; commissioned June 22, 1816. 


William Thompson, captain, first company; appointed 
April II, 1817; commissioned June 10, 1817. 

John Price, lieutenant, first company; appointed April 
II, 1817; commissioned June 10. 1817. 

Elijah Corson, ensign, first company; appointed April 11. 
1817; commissioned June 10, 1817. 

John Haines, captain, first artillery; appointed May 12, 
1818; commissioned July 7, 1818. 

Harvey Shaw, first lieutenant, first artillery; appointed 
May 12, 1818; commissioned July 7, 1818. 
—- Samuel Eldredge, second lieutenant, first artillery; ap- 
pointed May 12, 1818; commissioned July 7, 1818. 

Aaron Hughes, captain, third company; appointed May 
9, 1818; commissioned July 7, 1818. 

— Jeremiah Eldredge, lieutenant, third company; appointed 
May 9, 1S18; commissioned July 7, 1818. 

James McCane, ensign, third company; appointed May 
9, 1818; commissioned July 7, 1818. 

Jeremiah Eldredge, captain, third company; appointed 
September 25, 1819; commissioned January 17, 1820. 

Aaron Schellenger, lieutenant, third company; appointed 
September 25, 1819; commissioned January 17, 1820. 

Jeremiah Ewing, ensign, third company; appointed Sep- 
tember 25, 1819; commissioned January 17, 1820. 

John Price, captain, first company; appointed April 17, 
1820; commissioned July 10, 1820. 

Setli ]\Iiller, lieutenant, first company; appointed April 17, 
1820; commissioned July 10, 1820. 

Ephraim Hildreth, ensign, first company; appointed 
April 17, 1820; commissioned July 10, 1820. 

Wade Dickinson, ensign, second company; appointed 
June 14, 1820; commissioned July 10, 1820. 

Almain Tomlin, captain, second company; appointed 
April 16, 1821; commissioned June 28, 1821. 

Wade Dickinson, lieutenant, second company; appointed 
March 15, 1823; commissioned April i, 1823. 

Thomas Hewitt, Jr., ensign, second company; appointed 
March 15, 1823; commissioned x\pril i, 1823. 

David Reeves, lieutenant, third company; appointed De- 
cember 8, 1827; commissioned Eebruary 11, 1828. 

THE WAR OF isr.'. 247 

George I'ennett, second lieutenant, artillery; appointed 
December 8. 1827; commissioned Ftbruary 11. 1828. 

Philip Stites, lieutenant, fourth company; appointed June 
13, 1827; commissioned February 11, 1828. 

Joshua Hildreth, ensign, fourth company; appointed Jtuie 
13, 1827; commissioned February 11, 1828. 

Wade Dickinson, captain, second company: appointed 
May 13. 1828; commissioned Fel:iruar\- i, 1829. 

Thomas Eldredge. lieutenant, third company; appointed 
IMarch 27, 1830; commissioned May 26, 1830. 

Nathaniel Holmes, captain, artillery; appointed June 12, 
1833; commissioned October 25, 1833. 

Benjamin Springer, first lieutenant, artiller\-; appointed 
June 12, 1833; commissioned October 25, 1833. 

William Hewitt, second lieutenant, artillery; api)ointed 
Jtme 12, 1833; commissioned ( )ctober 25, 1833. 



During the latter half of the eighteenth century once in a 
very great while an itinerant school teacher would appear. 
As early as 1765 we find the children of Aaron Learning, 
2d, attending school for about a month, but in the begin- 
ning of the present century we find three school teachers of 
prominence going about the county, boarding out their 
claims for teaching at the homes of the parents. P'rom 1810 
to 1820. Jacob Spicer, ;},i\, Constantine and Joseph Foster 
were the teachers of prominence. P'rom 1830 the presence 
of teachers became general. The old school places had no 
desks, and hard wooden benches with straight backs, and 
sometimes no backs at all were afforded. The books were 
such as could be gathered for the scliolars l)y the parents 
themselves, and sometimes tliere were no ])ooks at all. The 
"rule of three," or reading, arithmetic and writing, were all 
the studies that were then considered necessary. 

In the latter part of December, 181 5. the brig Persever- 
ance, Capt. Snow, bound from Havre to New York, with 
ten passengers and a crew of seven men, was wrecked on 
Peck's beach, opposite the residence of Thomas Beesley. 

The Perseverance had a very valualile cargo on board,, 
of rich goods, china, glass, silks, iScc, which were strewn 
for miles along the beach. 

On Friday, the day before she was cast away, a ship from 
New York was spoken, which deceived them by stating 
that they Avere 200 miles east of Sandy Hook. It was with 
great gratification that the passengers received this joyous 
news; and, elated with the hope of soon resting on "terra 
firma," gave themselves up to hilarity and merriment — 
Vvhilst the captain, under the same impulse, spread all sails 
to a heavy northeaster, with high expectations of a safe ar- 
rival on the morrow. 


Thus she continued on her course until three o'clock Sat- 
urday morning; when the mate, whose \vatch it was on 
deck, was heard to give the dreadful cry: "Breakers ahead!" 
The brig, by the instant efforts of her steersman, obeyed her 
helm; but as she came around, head off shore, her stern 
striking knocked off her false keel, deadened her headway, 
and she backed on the beach stern foremost. In less than 
fifteen minutes the sea made a clean breast over her. The 
scene, in the meantime, beggars description; the passengers 
rushed out of the cabin, some of them in their night clothes; 
six of whom, and two of the crew, got in a long boat. One 
of these was a young French lady, of great beauty. The 
remainder of the crew and passengers succeeded in reach- 
ing tlie round-top, excepting a I\Ir. Cologne, whose great 
weight and corpulency of person compelled him to remain 
in the shrouds. Soon the sea carried the long boat and its 
passengers clear of the wreck, when it was too late discov- 
ered she was firnih' attached to it by a hawser, which it was 
impo^sil-)le to separate. Had it not been for this unfortu- 
nate circumstance, they might possibly have reached the 
shore. Their cries were heartrending, but were soon 
silenced in the sleep of death; the boat swamped, and they 
were all consigned to one common grave. The body of the 
lady floated on shore. 

The sea ran so high that it wet those in the round-top; 
and although many efforts were made, on Saturday, to res- 
cue them, it was found impossible, as the boats v.ould upset 
by turning head over stern, subjecting those in them to 
great danger. Capt. Snow lost his life in attempting to 
swim asliore. On Sunday tlie sea fell a little, and those on 
the wreck were made to understand they would have to 
build a raft of ^he S]~)ars, and get on it, or they could not be 
saved. The mate had fortunately secured a hatchet, with 
which one was constructed; by which the survivors (except 
a negro who was washed overboard, and reached the shore 
in safety, whilst making the raft), were rescued by the boats. 
There were four saved out of the seventeen souls on board, 
viz: one p^assenger, who was badly frozen, the mate and two 
of the crew, including the negro. Three perished in the' 
round-top, and were thrown over. 


Mr. Cologne, who was in the rigging, and unable to de- 
scend from the shrouds, let go and fell into the water, and 
was caught as he came up by his hair, and thus towed 
ashore. He lived only three days after, though every pos- 
sible attention was paid him. He and his niece, the young 
French lady, were buried side by side in the Goldin burying- 
ground, at Beesley's Point. An eye witness. Dr. Maurice 
Beesley, from whom the above account is derived, says: "I 
saw this yoiuig and beautiful female after she had been trans- 
ferred from the beach to the n-iain. Ker features were per- 
fectly natural; her cheeks bore the crimson tinge of life; and 
it was scarcely possible to realize that, instead of a concen- 
tration of all the graces of the female form, animated by the 
fervor of life, I was gazing upon a cold and lifeless corpse." 

In 1815, during the summer season, a sloop was run regu- 
larly from Philadelpliia to Cape May for the conveyance of 
passengers. In 1816 Thomas H. Hughes, wliom we will 
mention later, built the first Congress Hall. 

In 1818 postoffices were established in the villages of 
Goshen and Fishing Creek, at the former place on June 5, 
and at the latter place fifteen days later. Richard Th.omp- 
son, Jr., was the first postmaster at Goshen and Robert Ed- 
munds at Fishing Creek. 

The Sheriff of Cape INIay county during the War of 1812, 
or from 1812 to 181 5, was Aaron Leaming, 3d. He was 
r?ally the sixth Aaron Leaming, and v/as a son of Persons 
Leaming, and grandson of the famous Aaron Leaming, 2d. 
.Sheriff Leaming was born May 15, 1784, and died January 
7, 1836. He, like his grandfather, had large landed pos- 

Spicer Hughes, in 181 5, succeeded Aaron Leaming, 3d, 
as Sheriff. He served until 18 18, and was a second time 
in that office, from 1821 to 1824. He was born in 1777 and 
died in 1849. 

Nathaniel Holmes, who served in the Assembly from 
181 1 to 1812, was born March 17, 1757, in Ireland. He 
landed in Philadelphia on August 8, 1773, and during the 
month came to Court House, where he settled. He died 
■there January 28, 1834. 

By the census of 1820 Cape May county's population had 

rK()(;np]ss afti:k the waii. 


grown to a total of 4265, of wliich 28 were slaves and 205 
were free negroes. The inhabitants were then mostly en- 
gaged in agriculture; wheat, rye, cats and Indian corn being 
the principal crops. Large quantides of timber were then 
annually exported to market, and the traffic in salt hay gath- 
ered from the meadows was of considerable extent. A great 

deal of lumber was "mintd" from the sunken cedar swamp 
about Dennis creek. 

Beginning about the middle of the seventeenth century 
negro slavery began to grow, and it tlourished until it be- 
came a part of the New Jersey social system. All the peo- 
ple in the State were not, however, satisfied with this con- 
dition of servitude which had grown up in their midst by 


degrees, almost imperceptibly. At first ever3-body who 
could afford it owned slaves, and the Quakers, of which 
there were some in Cape May county, bought the negroes 
as did the other colonists ; but about the end of the century 
some of the Quakers began to think that property in human 
being was not a righteous thing, and the Jersey Quakers 
united with those of Pennsylvania in an agreement recom- 
mending that they should no longer employ negro slaves, 
or else, at least not to import them thereafter. 

A strong party among the Quakers of New Jersey op- 
posed slavery for many years following, and the system be- 
gan to be denounced regularly by them at their yearly meet- 
ings. By the middle of the eighteenth century the practice 
had been discouraged among the Society of Friends, and a 
rule made against it. As years passed on the other resi- 
dents of the State began to think as did the Quakers, and 
the feeling became very strong against the custom at the 
beginning of the present century. Finall}', in 1820, an act 
was passed by the Legislature for the emancipation of the 
slaves. They were not set free all at once and turned into 
the world to make livings for themselves, but the emanci- 
pation was to be gradual, by which young people obtained 
their freedom when they became of age, while the old ne- 
groes were taken care of by the masters as long as they 
lived. By this method slavery was abolished in Cape May 
county, and in 1830 there were but three slaves within its 
territory, that being the last date that any are reported in 
the census. 

About 1820 Cape May Court House village is recorded 
as having eight houses, while Watson, two years later, in 
his "Annals," says that Cape Island "is a village of twenty 
houses, and the streets are verv clean and grassy." Many of 
these houses, he says, were for the accommodation of sum- 
mer guests. 

On November 28, 1822. the line of partition between Cape 
May and Cumberland and Gloucester (now Atlantic) coun- 
ties was changed "to begin at the place where the waters of 
Mill or Hickman's creek fall into the channel of Tuckahoe 
river, at the boundary line of Gloucester county, and run- 
ning thence directly into the mouth of said creek, continuing" 


the same course by a line of marked trees (which by pres- 
ent position of the compass is south, fifty-seven degrees and 
about thirty minutes west) until it strikes Hughes' or the 
lower mill pond, on West or Jecak's creek, thence down the 
middle of the ancient water courses thereof, until it falls into 
Delaware bay, and thence continuing a due northwest 
course imtil it strikes the line of said counties, at the ship 
channel of the said bay." 

The first light house in the county, built by the- govern- 
ment, was Cape May light. This light is situated on the 
northeastern side of the entrance to Delaware Bay. It 
stands in latitude 38° 55' 59'', longitude 74° 57' 39". Cape 
May light was originally built in 1823, and rebuilt in 1859. 
Its height of tower is 145 feet, and the elevation of its light 
is 152 feet above sea level. Its lens is of the first order, 
with white flash-light at intervals of 30 seconds, visible at 
a distance of 18 nautical miles. Arc illumination N. E. by 
southward to N. W. Its tower is painted gray. It is dis- 
tant 12^ nautical miles from Cape Henlopen main light, 
and I7f miles from Five Fathom Bank lightship. 

The third and present (1897) edifice of the Cold Spring 
Presbyterian Church was built in 1823, and was the first 
brick church in the county. 

At this time Joshua Townsend was a prominent citizen of 
the county, and a member of the Legislature. He was a 
merchant at Seaville, and a son of Henry Young Townsend. 
captain in the Revolution. Joshua Townsend was born 
July 9, 1786. and when a young man was at first a lieuten- 
ant in Cape May company in the War of 1812, and later a 
captain in the Cape May regiment of militia. In 1819 he 
was first elected to the Assembly and served until 1821. He 
served in that body also from 1822 to 1823, and from 1827 
to 1830. From 1831 to 1834 he was an active member of 
the Legislative Council. In 1840 he was a Presidential 
elector on the Harrison and Tyler Whig ticket, and was 
elected, casting his ballot for them. He died November 29, 
1868. He built the schooner 'A^itruvius." 

In 1823 Israel Townsend, of Lower Township, was first 
elected to the Assembly, serving four years. And in 1827 
he was chosen a member of the Legislative Council and 



served in that body until 1831. For several years thereafter 
he served in the Board of Chosen 1- reeholders from Lower 
Township. He was a son of John Townsend, and was born. 
May 12, 1782, and died November 3. 1862. 

In 1825 a new County Clerk's office was built by contract 
with Ellis Hughes, of Cape Island. This structure was 
used until the present brick building was erected. 

The steamboat "Pennsylvania" was in July this year 
placed ort the line from Philadelphia to Cape May, carry- 
ing passengers distinctly for the Cape Island House. The 


"Delaware" was also put on the line a few years later, and 
since that time steamboats have never ceased to run to Cape 
May during the sunmier season. 

Dennis Township was formed in 1826, out of Upper. It 
was thirteen miles long, with an average width of about six. 
It is bounded N. by Upper Township, E. by the ocean, S. 
by Middle Township, and W. by Maurice River swamp. 

The cost of running the county during this decade was an 
average of about $3000 per annum, according to the annual 
appropriations of the Board of Freeholders. 

In 1827 Thomas P. Hughes, of Lower township, was 


elected Sheriff, and he served three years. He was a son 
of Congressman Thomas H. Hughes, and was born Jan- 
uary 19, 1790; died September 9. 1863. He was a member 
of Assembly from 1838 to 1840, and of the Legislative Coun- 
cil from 1840 to 1842. 

In 1827 preachers of the Methodist denominat on first be- 
gan to travel in Cape May county regularly and preach. 
The county was then in the Cumberland circuit. Rev. 
Charles Pitman traveled over the district as presiding elder, 
preaching in private houses principally. The three preach- 
ers in the circuit were Reverends John Woolson, Sedge- 
wick Rusling and Robert Gerry, and they each received 
about $700.00 per year for their services. 

The steamboat traiihc on the Delaware now became a 
thriving industry. The boats for Cape May stopped at New 
Castle to take up the Baltimoreans and Southerners who 
would come down on the old Frenchtown and New Cas- 
tle Railroad — the first railroad ever run in this country. 
They would come over in carriages from Baltimore to 
Frenchtown, in Maryland, on the Susquehanna, near Havre 
de Grace. 

Tuckahoe was provided w'ith a postofifice on January 14, 
1828, and John Williams was the first postmaster, and on 
August 27 the following year an office was established at 
Green Creek, and ]\Iatthew Marcy was first chosen to keep 
the office. 

In 1837 a new gaol, or jail, was built, and Richard 
Thompson, of Middle township, was appointed to superin- 
tend its construction. In the same year the bridge at West 
Creek was ordered built, and Nathaniel Holmes, of Den- 
nis township, ordered to superintend the work. 

May 26, 1829, the new jail was completed and accepted 
by the Board of Freeholders. It was after the architecture 
of Strasburg Cathedral. Its floor was of wood, but owing 
to the escape of prisoners later, an iron floor replaced the 
wooden one. It was used until 1894. 

IVobably the most popular man in Cape May at this time 
was Thomas H. Hughes. As a citizen he had been promi- 
nent for his thrift and enterprise, and was a man of large ex- 
perience. He was the son of Ellis Hughes, the first post- 


master at Cape Island, and was born at Cape May on Jan- 
uary lO, 1769. His first ofiice was that of Sheriff, which he 
held from 1801 to 1804. Following this, in 1807. he was 
elected to the Assembly, and served one year. He served 
there also from 1809 to 1810, and from 1812 to 1813. In 
1816 he built the first Congress Hall at Cape Island. The 
people laughed at him for his folly in erecting so large a 
building in those times. He predicted that the time would 
come when a purchaser would have to cover every inch of 
land with a dollar \to obtain sufifiicient space on which to 
erect a dwelling. His predictions have almost been veri- 
fied. In 181 9 he was again chosen by the people to the 
Legislature, but this time to the Council, and served there 
until 1823, and again from 1824 to 1825. He was also 
prominent as a trustee of the Cold Spring Presbyterian 
Church, and in the temperance cause. A man of command- 
ing presence and large frame, he was noticed. He was 
blind in one eye, but this did not detract from his popularity. 
His fame had gone abroad over the State. 

In the debates in Congress in 1828 the tariff question 
turned up — the question of levying duties on imported 
goods to produce a revenue for the government and to raise 
the price of articles from foreign countries in order to stim- 
ulate home industries was taken up. This was the begin- 
ning of the protective tariff. President John Ouincy 
Adams favored this tariff', and in that year the duties on for- 
eign made goods were greatly increased. This was the be- 
ginning of a new political epoch in the United States. The 
political partisan elements of the country had been whiling 
about in a choatic condition, but it noAv resolved itself down 
to the two quickly forming parties — the ^^^lig and the Dem- 
ocratic. The people of the Eastern and ^Middle States 
favored the tariff, and were allied to4he new \Miig doctrine, 
while the agricultural States of the West and South were op- 
posed to the tariff. John Quincy Adams was a candidate 
for re-election as President on the new Whig platform, and 
his opponent was Andrew Jackson, the Democratic nomi- 

In New Jersey the Whigs named as their candidates for 
Congress Thomas H. Hughes, of Cape May; Richard M. 



Cooper, of Gloucester; Lewis Condict, of Morris; Isaac 
Fierson, of Essex; Tames Fitz Randolph, of Middlesex, and 
Samuel Swan, of Somerset. When the election took place 
they were chosen, and Xew Jersey's electoral vote was cast 
for Adams for President and Richard Rush, of Pennsylva- 
nia, for \'ice-Presi(lent, but Jackson was elected, yiv. 
Hughes served in the 2ist and 22nd Congresses, or from 
1829 to 1833. One of his colleagues in the two sessions 
-was Henry Clay. The tariff question was reopened and oc- 
casioned great excitement in Congress and throughout the 
•country. Daniel Webster and Senator Havne, of South 

Cor.NTV .lAll,, rsK]) FKO.M 18oilT<) lSi)4. 

Carolina, had their great debate during Hughes" second 
term. In the stirring scenes of 183 1-2, when South Carolina 
declared her right to nullify the laws and Constitution, he 
vas present. In Air. Hughes' second term ex-President 
John Ouincy Adams became one of his colleagues as a rep- 
resentative from ^Massachusetts. After he retired from 
Congress he remained in private life until he died on No- 
vember 10, 1839, aged 70 years. His remains lie in Cold 
Spring Cemetery. 

Ky 1830 the ])opulation of Ca]ie Alay had increased to 
.4936 souls, of which there were but three slaves, and 225 


free colored persons. The census of that year exhibited the 
following facts concerning the county: 

Number of acres, 161,500; acres of improved land, 59,528;. 
lots of and under ten acres. 188; householders, 669; single 
men, 188; taxables, 1000; merchants and traders, 29; grist 
mills, run of stone. 8; saw mills. 16; carding machines, 2; 
male slaves. 2; chairs, sulkies and Dearborns. 72; covered 
wagons. 148; two-horse stage, i ; poor tax, $1,125; road tax, 

At this time large quantities of cord wood was being; 
shipped to Philadelph-a and New York. Rye and corrt 
were the most abundant crops. 

From a writer of 1830 we gather the following concern- 
ing the county then : 

"That portion of the State (Cape May count}) has not 
generally been holden in due estimation. If its inhabitants 
be not numerous, they are generally as independent as any 
others in the State, and enjoy as abundantly the comforts^ 
of life. They are hospitable, and respectable for the pro- 
priety of their manners, and are blessed, usually, with excel- 
lent health. Until lately they have known little, practically, 
of those necessary evils of social life, the physician and the 
lawyer. Morse assures us that their women possessed the 
power not only of sweetening life, but of defending and 
prolonging it, being competent to cure most of the diseases 
which attack it." 

Of the villages the writer notes: 

"Cape May Court House contains a court house of 
wood, a jail of stone, fire-proof offices of brick, 2 taverns, 
8 or 10 dwellings, and a Baptist church of brick. It is called 
Middletown in the post office list." 

"Cape May Island — It is a noted and much frequented 
watering place, the season at which commences about the 
first of July and continues until middle of August or first of 
September. There are here six boarding houses, three of 
which are very large; the sea bathing is convenient and ex- 
cellent, the beach afifords pleasant drives, and there is ex- 
cellent fishing in adjacent waters." 

"Marshallville — several mills there." 

"Tuckahoe contains some 20 dwellings, 3 taverns, several 


Stores. It is a place of considerable trade in wood, lumber 
and ship building." 

"Cold Spring conta'ns i tavern, 2 stores, 15 to 20 dwell- 
ings, an Episcopal church (Presbyterian). It derives its 
name from remarkable spring near it, which rises in the 
marsh, and is overflowed at every tide." 

"Dennis's Creek — contains 30 to 40 dwellings, 2 taverns, 
5 stores, a tide grist mill. Town built on both sides of 
creek, about a half mile. Ship building and trade in lum- 
ber are carried on extensively here." 

"Etna, furnace & forge & grist mill. On Tuckahoe river, 
15 m. from sea." 

"Goshen contains tavern, 2 stores, a steam saw mill, 12 
or 15 dwellings, a school house, in which religious meetings 
are held." 

"Beasley's Point, Upper township, on Great Egg Har- 
bor Bay. There are here, upon a neck of land, between the 
salt marshes of about one mile wide, 2 taverns and several 
farm houses, where visitors to the shore may find agreeable 

The bridge over West Creek, on the road between Lees- 
burg and Dennisville, was built about 1830. On September 
25th the Chosen Freeholders of both counties met at West 
Creek to inspect the structure. 

It was during this decade that the first spring carriage 
was built in Cape May county. John Farrow, who was a 
carriage wright and keeper of a public house, at Court 
House, was its builder. He was the father of W^illiam Far- 
row, who is now chief of police of Cape May City. 

Jeremiah Leaming was elected to the Assembly in 1830, 
and was prominent in the affairs of the county. He was a 
sOn of Persons Leaming, and a grandson of the second 
Aaron Leaming, having been born May 26, 1792. He 
served in the Assembly from 1830 to 1834, and then in the 
upper branch of the Legislature, the Council, from 1834 to 
1836. He interested himself in securing pensions for the 
survivors of the Revolutionary War, and for the widows of 
these patriots. In 1836 he was candidate on the "Demo- 
cratic Whig Ticket" for Presidential elector, and was elec- 
ted, casting his vote for Harrison and Granger. On the 


Democratic-Republican ticket the same year James IMa- 
guire, of Goshen, was a candidate for Presidential elector 
against him. Mr. Leaming died April 26, 1839, from being 
overheated by fighting a fire on his plantation. 

Richard Thompson, who in 1830 was elected Sheriflf, and 
served three years, was the son of Richard Thompson, cap- 
tain of Fishing Creek artillery in 18 14, and was born in this 
county December 3, 1795. The first position he held was 
that of County Clerk from 1824 to 1829. When he was 
chosen Sherifif he was a member of the Board of Chosen 
Freeholders, and the Director (President) of that body. 
From 1834 to 1836 he was a member of the General Assem- 
bly, and during the two years following sat in the Legisla- 
tive Council. From 1847 to 185 1 he served as a Middle 
township member in the Freeholders again. He was Loan 
Commissioner of the county from 1840 to 1844, and again 
in 1856. He died at Cape May Court House, September 
27, 1857. 

The Reverend Moses Williamson became the pastor of 
the Cold Spring Presbyterian Church on July 6, 1831, and 
for forty years thereafter was a prominent citizen of the 
county. He was born at Newville, Pa., May 7, 1802, and 
obtained his education, a liberal one, at Hopewell Academy, 
Carlisle, Pa., Jefferson College, Conansburg, Pa., and at 
Dickinson College, in Carlisle, from the latter graduating 
with honors in 1824. He then took a full course of three 
years in the Theological Seminary, at Princeton, N. J., 
graduating September 22, 1828. Fie was licensed to preach 
by the Presbytery of Carlisle six days later, and entered 
upon labors in Delaware and Maryland. When his health 
failed him a short time after he was advised to come to Cape 
May for his health, and did so, coming down the Delaware 
by steamer. On the Sabbath after his arrival at Cape May, 
August 16, 1829, he was invited to preach in Cold Spring 
Church, and did so. That day the pastor. Rev. Alvin H. 
Parker, resigned, Mr. Williamson was called upon as a 
supply, and acted as such for two years, excepting for six 
months when he was studying Flebrew scriptures at An- 
dover Theological Seminary. He then became the regu- 
lar pastor of the church, and remained with it until he was 



released at his own request, from the charge by the Pres- 
bytery of West Jersey. April i8, 1873. ^^'^ l^is civil capacity 
he was one of the best of rii; n. He' was a thorough scholar,, 
and had as his pupils those who afterwards became the fore- 
most men of the count}'. He was a county examiner of 
teachers, with Dr. Jonathan F. Learning, for many years, 
from about 1845. He erected and conducted at much ex- 
pense and effort the Cold Spring Academy. During his- 
pastorate 490 persons were added to his church, he married 
250 couples and officiated at over 500 funerals. Besides 



preaching at Cold Spring he conducted meetings at Cape 
Island and Green Creek. He died at Cape May City on 
October 30, 1880. aged 78 years. 

On June 12, 1833, the Board of Freeholders ordered an 
almshouse built, 18 by 30 feet, and two stories in height. 
The committee wlio had charge of its construction were 
Jeremiah Hand, Samuel Springer and Samuel Matthews, 

About 1834 the steamer "Portsmouth" began to make 
weekly trips to Cape May, Lewestown, from Philadelphia. 


In 1837 the Board of Freeholders accepted Cape May's 
share of the "Surpkis Fund," which was to loan out on se- 
curity. Robert M. Holmes was made Loan Commissioner, 
which position he licld until he died.. 

The "Surplus Fund" was composed of money which had 
accumulated to the government of the United States mainly 
from sales of government lands, and was not needed for its 
expenses. By an act of Congress it was divided among the 
several States and each S'ate then divided its (juota among 
its several counties. In 1829 President Jackson suggested 
the distribution and the House of Representatives' resolu- 
tion was passed next session, for distribution of proceeds 
of land sales among the States. Henry Clay advocated the 
measure in 1832. but it failed in the House. After much 
legislation, during which time (until 1836) the land sales 
reached a point giving $66,000,000 in the U. S. Treasury as 
surplus. Consequently Congress enacted a law in June, 
1832, providing for the apportionment of the surplus yearly 
among the several States, reserving $5,000,000. This act 
was repealed in October, 1839, after $37,000,000 had been 
apportioned. By act of the State Legislature of November 
4. 1836, the Governor. Speaker and Treasurer were ap- 
pointed to receive this State's share, and by an act of [March 
10, 1839, ^^^^ method of its apportionment among the var- 
ious counties was defined. 

During Andrew Jackson's administration the United 
States Government paid to the several States their share of 
the Surplus Fund. The amount paid to Cape May county 
was from $18,000 to $20,000. The Freeholders of the coun- 
ty received it and placed it in the hands of a Loan Com- 
mission, who loaned it out on promissory notes. Several of 
these note givers became bankrupt, causing a loss to the 
fund of several thousand dollars. The Freeholders then or- 
dered the Surplus Fund loaned only on bond and mortgage. 
Still, interest was irregularly paid and some losses on prin- 
cipal occurred. Several years ago the Freeholders abol- 
ished the of^ce of Loan Commissioners, ordered the County 
Collector to take charge of the Loan Fund, then amount- 
ing to $12,349.14, and to pay to the several public schools 

PKiXJKKSS Ai TKK 'i'llK WAK. 263 

v3f Cape May county six per cent, annually on this sum. or 
^740.96 a year. 

About 1840 tlure were fears tliat Cape May citizens might 
lose through the multiphcity ol State laws their rights to the 
natural privileges in the sounds, and on the 5th of Febru- 
.:ary. 1839. the Board of Freeliolders authorized Jeremiah 
Learning to go to Trenton to work for the passage of an act 
.to preserve these jjrivilcges. 

During the year 1839 thert. were within the bounds of 
'Cape ]\Iay county ten licensed !nns or hotels, kept by the 
lollowing persons: Richard S. Ludlam, James J. Ludlam, 
Clark lienilerson, Humphrey Hewitt, David Saint (?), 
Mackey Williams, Benjamin Owen, IMark A. Carroll, John 
.Smith and Stephen Young. 

The first signal of danger erected by the government ofif 
the Cape May coast was the Five-Fathom Bank lightship. 
This vessel is located near the shoal called the Five-Fathom 
Bank, ofi the entrance of Delaware Bay. She was establish- 
ed in 1839. and last refitted in 1855. She is now moored 
in twelve fathoms (if water. She is supplied with a twelve- 
inch steam fog whisde, giving a blast of four secont's dur- 
ing each half minute. "Five-Fathom P)ank" is painted in 
bold letters on each side. She has two lights, with retlcc- 
tors, and two hoop-iron day marks, one on each mast. Her 
lights are a fixed white, fort}- and forty-tive feet above sea 
level, and visible a distan-^e of eleven nautical miles. Arc 
illumination, the entire ."lorizon. She is painted a straw- 
color, and is distant i/:, ""<ilps from Cape May light and 2t,^ 
'from Cape Henlopen main light. Shoal part ot bank bears, 
per compass, N. \\'. ^ X., distant 2I miles. She is in latitude 
.38° 5C 20''. longitud.e 74^ 36' 10". 

The sheritT of the county from 1838 to 1841 w?s Samuel 
Springer, who was born September 5, 1800, and diec' March 
'/, 1877. -He was a prominent resident of Middle township. 

The population of Cape May county in 1840 was 5324, 
of which 218 were colored persons, all free. The conditions 
of the townships by that census are exhibited by the follow- 

"Upper — Population, 121 7. Its surface is level; soil, sand 
:and loam, and well timbered with cedar, oak and pine. It 


contains four stores, one grist mill, four saw mills, five 
schools, 219 scholars. 

"The village of Tuckahoe is situated on both sides of 
Tuckahoe River, on the county line, 18 miles from court 
house, 1 1 from the sea, 28 from Bridgeton and 13 from May's 
Landing. It contains three taverns, several stores, about 
sixty dwellings and a Methodist church. There are besides 
in the township one Baptist, one Methodist church and a 
Friends' meeting house. W'ooil. lumber and ship building 
constitute the business of the village. 

"Dennis — This township, except that part cultivated, or 
meadow, is covered with oaks, pines and cedars. There 
are in the township seven stores, two grist mills, six saw 
mills, four schools. 205 scholars. Population, 1350. 

"Dennisville is a post village, extending on both sides of 
the creek for a mile. It is eight miles north of Court House^ 
eight south of Tuckahoe, and twenty-eight from Bridgeton, 
It contains five stores, about seventy dwellings, a neat acad- 
emy, the upper story of which is used for a lyceum and for 
religious meetings. Ship building and the lumber trade are 
carried on here. The Methodist church at tliis |)lace was the 
first erected in the county. There is a Baptist church in 
the eastern part of the township. West Creek, four miles 
northwest of Dennisville, is a thickly settled agricultural 

"Middle — About half the township is salt marsh or sea 
beach; the remaining portion is mostly sandy loam. The 
township contains twelve stores, two grist mills, two saw 
mills, five schools, 328 scholars. Population, 1624. Go- 
shen, five miles northwest of Court House, has a Methodist 
church and about twenty dwellings. The village of Cape 
May Court House is in the central part of the township, no 
miles from Trenton, and 36 southeast of Bridgeton. and 
contains a court house, a jail and the county ofifices, a Meth- 
odist and a Baptist church, and thirty or forty dwellings in 
the vicinity. 

"Lower — A great portion of its surface is covered with a 
salt marsh and sea beach. On the ocean shore the soil is 
loamy, th.e bay shore is sandy, and the central part sandy 
loam. There is much young timber in the township. The 


inhabitants are mostly engaged in agriculture or maritime 
pursuits. There are in the township six stores, three saw 
mills, six schools, 240 scholars. Population, 1133. 

"Fishing Creek, on the bay shore, six miles southwest of 
Court House, is an agricultural village similar to Cold 
Spring. A survey has been made for a breakwater, at 
Crow's Shoal, in this township, near the mouth of the bay. 
When the wind is northeast a good harbor is afforded at 
that place, as sometimes as many as one Inmdred vessels 
are anchored off here. On a sudden change of the north- 
west vessels are frequently driven ashore. The breakwater, 
if built, would have l)een an effectual protection against 
winds from this direction. 

"Cold Spring, ten miles south of Court House, is a thickly 
settled agricultural neighborhood, containing about forty 
houses within the circle of a mile. It derives its name from 
an excellent spring of cold water flowing up from the salt 
marsh, which is much frequented by sojourners at Cape 
Island. It contains an academy, a Methodist and a Presby- 
terian church. 

"The village of Cape Island is a favorite watering-place in 
the southern part of this township, thirteen miles south of 
Court House. It began to grow into notice as a watering 
place in 1812, at which time there were but a few houses 
there. It now contains two large hotels, three stories high 
and 150 feet long, and a third one, lately erected, four stories 
high and 100 feet long, besides numerous other houses for 
the entertainment of visitors. The whole number of (hvell- 
ings is about fifty. In the summer months the Island is 
thronged with visitors, princi])a11v from Philadelphia, with 
which there is then a daily steamboat communication. It is 
estimated that about 3000 strangers annually visit the place. 
The village is separated by a small creek from the main 
land; but its area is fast wearing away by the encroachments 
of the sea. Watson, the antiquarian, in a IVISS. journal of 
a trip to Cape Island in 1835, on this point says: 'Since my 
former visit to Cape Island in 1822, the house in which I 
then stopped (Captain Aaron Bennett's), then nearest the 
surf, has been actually reached by the invading waters. 
* * * The distance from Bennett's house lo the sea 


bank in 1822 was 165 feet; and in 1804, as it was then meas- 
ured and cut upon the house by Commodore Decatur, it 
was 334 feet. It had been as much as 300 feet further off, 
as remembered by some old men who told me so in 1822.' 
A large portion of the inhabitants of the village are Dela- 
ware pilots, a hardy and industrious race. About two miles 
west of the boarding houses is the Cape May lighthouse." 



In 1840 Jonathan Hand, Jr., was appointed county clerk 
•of Cape May by the Legislature, which position he held con- 
tinuously thereafter until 1890. He was a descendant of 
Shamgar Hand, one of two brothers w^ho bought proprietary 
interests in Cape May county and settled here in 1685. He 
descended from Shamgar, down through Thomas, Recom- 
pence, Jonathan, his grandfather, and Jonathan, his father. 
His grandfather served in the Colonial Legislature from 
1771 to 1776, and wh.n the State's new Constitution was 
adopted was a membLM- of the first Legislative Council, 
serving from 1776 to 1778. His father was commissioned 
a captain of the Cape May regiment in 1802, and is said to 
have served in the War of 181 2 in the coast defense of Cape 
May county. His mother was Sarah Moore, a daughter of 
the Trenton ferryman. She, when a girl of twelve years, 
was selected and was one of the twenty-four girls who, in 
1789, when George Washington was on his way to X'ew 
York to become the first FVesident of the nation, strewed 
flowers upon his path. When she was married to Jonathan, 
the second, she was a widow, \\ ilson by name. She lived 
at Cape May Court House until she died, in 1871, aged 93 
years. She was a devout Christian woman, and a member 
•of the Baptist denomination. 

Jonathan, the father, had served as county clerk from 1831 
■to 1834, and Jonathan. Jr., had assisted his father, who died 
the latter year. From 1S34 to 1835 he assisted Jacob G. 
Smith, the clerk, and was deputy clerk the five following" 
years under Swain Townsend. In 1840 he was appointed 
ity the Legislature, and was chosen by the people nine times, 
often receiving every vote in the county. 

Jonathan, the third, as he will be known in history, vras 
•■born at Cape May Court House December 22, i8t8. In 



early life he was a Whig, and later a member of the Repub- 
lican party. In 1862 Governor Olden appointed him a draft 
commissioner of the county to draw men for the service of 
their country in the Civil War, then in progress. In 1852 
he was appointed a master in chancery of New Jersey. He 
died at his home at Cape May Court House on the morn- 
ing of March 2, 1897, aged 79 years. Of him it is said that 
he was a painstaking, systematic oflficial, and was consid- 
ered by lawyers to have the best-kept of^ce in New Jersey. 


The amount of the school fund of Cape May county in. 
1 84 1 was $484.48, which was divided according to the num- 
ber of scholars, pro rata, to the various townships: Upper^ 
$111.93; Dennis, $120.20; Middle, $160.76, and Lower,. 

The next post ofBce to be established in the county was 
that at East Creek in 1842, when John Wilson was appoint- 
ed postmaster on April 22. 

By an act of the Legislature of March 13, 1844, a strip 
of Cumberland was thrown into Cape May. The bounds- 


were: Beginning at the Cumberland and Cape Alay line, 
where the old Cape May road intersects the same; and run- 
ning thence in a northward course along said road to a sta- 
tion formerly called Souder Place; thence northwardly the 
most direct course to the Cumberland and Atlantic line; 
thence by the Atlantic line and the Cape May line to the be- 
ginning. The commissioners appointed to rvm the line were 
Francis Lee, James Ward and James L. Smith. Arrange- 
ments were made that the township committees should make 
division of the property, that Cumberland officers should 
hold power to second Monday of April, 1844, and after that 
lime shall act as if appointed or elected from Cape ]\Iay. 
provided judges and justices take the official oaths before 
May I. Judgments and legal actions were to be in no wise 
afifected. On the 26th of February, 1845, the act was re- 
pealed and the bounds were once more made in conformity 
with "the ancient boundary line." 

In 1844 the State of New Jersey was given a new Con- 
stitution. The people of Cape May sent as their delegate 
Joshua Swain, aged sixty-six, a farmer. This convention 
met at Trenton on May 14 and continued its sessions until 
June 29, when it was voted for by the convention with but 
one dissenting voice. Mr. Swain voted in the afifirmative. 
This Constitution was ratified by the people by a large ma- 
jority on the 13th of August following. 

Joshua Swain was born February 2, 1778. From 18 13 
to 1 8 14 he was a member of the State Assembly, and a mem- 
ber of the Legislative Council at three different rimes, from 
1815 to 1819, from 1823 to 1824, and from 1825 to 1827. 
He was sheriff from 1809 to 1812. With his father, Jacocks, 
and brother, Henry, he patented the centre board in 181 1. 
He died August 24, 1855. 

On March 4, 1847, Harvey Shaw, Benjamin Tomlin, Jr.. 
Robert Baymore, Jr., and Ezra Norton, of Middle town- 
ship, were authorized by the Legislature to build a bridge 
over Cedar Creek at Goshen. 

The Legislature in 1848 passed an act to better protect 
the propagation of oysters by prohibiting the vending of 
them in Cape May county from May i to October i. This 
law remained in force until 1853. 



In 1846 the people elected James L. Smith a member o£ 
the State Senate, in which he servtd the county three years. 
He was a resident of West Creek when elected. He was 
born at Goshen January 28, 1795, and was educated for a 
surveyor at Bridgeton, in Cumberland county. He was 
the son of Abijah Smith, who was county clerk from 1804 
to 1824. In 1819 he married Deborah Tomlin, and settled 
at West Creek. In 1866 he was appointed by Governor 
Ward one of the judges of the Court of Common Pleas of 

.1 \MKS [, SMITH. 

the county, holding the position until he died, in 1871. He 
was for years a member of the Board of Freeholders from 
Dennis township, as follows: 1833. 1835, 1839, ^^^ from 
1841 to 1854. In private life he was a farmer, a director of 
the Cumberland Bank, and was a Methodist of the foremost 
type. He was one of the pillars of tliat denomination in this 

From 1846 to 1847 Richard Smith Ludlam was the As- 
semblyman. He was a hotel keeper of Cape Island, who, 
in 1847, entertained Henry Clay at the Mansion House. He 


was born at Dennisville in 1792, and conducted a general 
store there, as well as a cord wood business. While in the 
Legislature he secured the incorporation of Cape Island as 
a borough. He served in the Board of Freehiolders from 
Cape Island in 1853, 1855 and 1862. He died at Cape May 
City on Jur.e 15, 1881. 

He the Mansion House in 1832, being the second 
large hotel erected. It stood on four acres of ground. He 
opened the first part of Washington street, which he then 
laid out only betw'een Jackson and Peri) ^lreets. The Man- 
sion House was the first lathed and plastered hotel here, old 
Congress Hall being only weather-boarded and sheathed. 

It was in 1847 that Henry Clay, the great Kcntiickian, 
came to Cape Ma}', and Mr. Ludlam years afterward said: 
"The big time was when Harry Clay came. He had been at 
the White Sulphurs, and said he had a notion to go to some 
of the Northern watering places; that was in 1857. So I 
sent him an invitation and he accepted, and stopped at the 
Mansion House for a week. It was in the latter part of Au- 
gust, and the people had before that thinned out. When, 
how^ever, it was announced that Harry Clay was to be here, 
the place filled up to overflowing. Two steamboat loads 
came on from New York. They wanted him there. Hor- 
ace Greeley came down to see him, and the people from 
Salem and Bridgeton and all the country around flocked in 
their carry-alls to Cape May to see Harry of the West." 

As soon as it was known that Clay w^as to become a vis- 
itor the people began to arrive from all over the Middle and 
Southern States. United States Senator James A. Bayard, 
of Wilmington, accompanied by Charles C. Gordon, of 
Georgia, was among the first to arrive. On the Saturday 
previous there came a large party from Philadelphia. Clay 
had come by stage and rail, so far as there was any, to Phil- 
adelphia, being greeted on his route by hosts of friends who 
had, and by others who had not, cast their ballots for him 
three years previous, when he ran for the Presidency against 
Polk. Clay came for rest, and to wear away sorrow which 
had come upon him by the killing of his son, who had just 
previously fallen in the Mexican War. 

On the morning of Monday, August 16, 1847, ^^^ great 


Statesman, with his party, left Philadelphia on the steam- 
boat then plying" between that plaee and Cape Island, and 
arrived at the landing about one o'clock in the afternoon. 
The party was driven over the turnpike to the Mansion 
House, where a big dinner was in waiting for the distin- 
guished guests. The band engagement having expired be- 
fore this event, Beck's Philadelphia band was brought down 
on the boat with Mr. Clay. The old hotel register, which 
is still preserved, has upon it the names of the following Ken- 
tuckians, who came that day: Hon. Henry Clay (written in 
a big, round hand by one of the connnittee), Colonel John 
Swift, H. White and son, W. S. Smith, F. Lennig, Miss 
Riche, Miss Johns. Mr. Clay was given a rest on his arri- 
val, but the day following was his busiest while on Cape 
May's grand beach. During the day many more arrived, 
and the Island was filled with country folks anxious to see 
the great man. Rev. Moses Williamson made the address 
of welcome, to which Mr. Clay fittingly responded in words 
that electrified his listeners. Among other things he re- 
marked to a friend that Mr. Williamson made one of the 
best addresses of the kind he ever heard, and made many 
inquiries about the good and well-know'n divine. Mr. Clay's 
magnificent language, says one who heard him, held the 
crowds spell-bound. After the speech-making there was 
hand-shaking and a grand feast. The speech-making took 
place in the old "Kersal," the music pavilion and ball-room 
of the hotel, which had been built in the spring of that year. 
Mr. Clay was received on the part of the county of Cape 
May by Dr. Maurice Beesley. During his visit there were 
more arrivals each day than there had been for any previous 
day of that summer. 

While at Cape May Mr. Clay loved bathing and went in 
as often as twice a day, and it was while enjoying it that he 
lost a great deal of his hair. The ladies would catch him 
and with a pair of scissors, carried for just that purpose, 
clip locks from his head to remember him by. When he re- 
turned to Washington his hair was very short, indeed. 

In Beck's Band, which furnished the music, there was the 
father, six sons and three others, and as it was at Cape Is- 
land season after season their names are here given: Jacob 


W. Beck, leader; L. Beck, C. Beck, H. Beck, J. M. Beck, 
•G. Beck,* A. Beck, j. \\'. Gaul. J. Leech, A. Fenner and B. 

Mr. Clay remained at Cape May for several days. "About 
seven o'clock this (Friday, August 20, 1847) morning," said 
the New York Flerald, "the steamboat New Haven let fall 
her anchors opposite the place, having left New York the 
previous afternoon, with a number of eminent citizens, to 
invite Mr. Clay to visit that city. Among the visitors were 
Recorder Tallmadge, Nicholas Dean, M. G. Hart. INIorris 
Franklin, Horace Greeley, Matthew L. Davis, James A. 
Coffin, Mr. Gammage and Mr. McCracken, of New Haven. 
A surf boat was sent off and brought the committee ashore, 
Avho waited on Mr. Clay and received his promise to meet 
them at the Mansion House at noon. During the morning 
all the passengers came ashore from the steamboat. The 
mode of transit created great amusement and many jokes. 
Some called it the landing before Vera Cruz, and to see dig- 
nity perched on the shoulders of the boatmen, who, wading 
through the surf, deposited their loads on the beach, was 
truly laughable. 

"The New Yorkers stopped principally at the Columbia 
House, x^t the appointed time Mr. Ludlam sent down his 
band from the Mansion House to accom])any the procession, 
which soon arrived at the place appointed for the reception. 
The hall was filled with ladies and gentlemen, and 'mute 
expectation spread its anxious hush,' interrupted only by 
the strains of the band, until Flenry Clay made his appear- 
ance. Then ensued such a shouting and cheering, and ap- 
Ijlaudits from fair hands, and waving of handkerchiefs, as 
Cape May never saw before, and probably never will again. 
Old Ocean started from his noonday repose and lifted up his 
white locks to listen to the imwonted shout, and then there 
came wave after wave, spreading itself on the beach, as if 
doing joyous homage to 'the man and the hour.' 

"Nicholas Dean, Esq., as chairman of the New York 
delegation, then arose, and in behalf of the citizens of New 
York, irrespective of party, expressed their appreciation of 
the long and eminent services of Mr. Clay, and requested 
an opportunitv of tendering him an expression of their con- 


fidence and esteem. In the name of the half milhon citizens- 
of New Wn-k. he invited Mr. Clay to visit the metropolis — 
he said thousands of tongues were waiting to give him wel- 
come, and the entire aggregate heart and pulse of the city 
was beating and throhbmg to bid him welcome — thrice wel- 
come to the hospitality of New York. 

"Air. C'lav, who had listened with much emotion to the 
glowing language and impassioned tone of Mr. Dean, after 
a silence of a few" moments, arose to reply. Hushed thcD 
was everv sound, lest one word that was to fall from those 
eloquent lips should he lost. He conmienced by alluding 
to the presence of other committees, on similar errands to> 
the one from New York — especially from Philadelphia^ 
Trenton and New Haven — and then continued: 

" 'Fellow Citizens — The eloquent address wliich has just 
been delivered has liad the effect almost to induce me to 
adopt the language which was used on a more solemn occ 
sion. "Thou almost persuadest me'' to go to New York. 
But in all that uprightness of my nature which I have ever 
endeavored to practice. I must tell you the objects and mo- 
tives which brought me to the shores of the Atlantic. I re- 
turned to my residence, after passing the winter at New 
Orleans, on the 23d or 24th of March last and a day or two- 
afterwards melancholy intelligence came to me. I have 
been nervous ever since, and was induced to take this jour- 
ney, for I could not look upon the partner of my sorrows 
without experiencing deeper anguish.' 

"(Mr. Clay was here completely overcome b}' his feelings, 
covered his face with his hands and was silent for several 
minutes. At length with an effort he recovered himself and 

" 'Everything about Ashland was associated with the mem- 
ory of the lost one: the very trees which his hands assisted 
me to plant seemed to remind me of his loss. Had the 
stroke come alone, I could have borne it with His assist- 
ance, and sustained by the kindness of my friends and fellow- 
citizenS, with meekness and resignation. But of eleven chil- 
dren four only remain. Of six lovely and affectionate 
daughters not one is left. Finding myself in a theatre of 
sadness, I thought I would fly to the mountain top and de- 


scend to the waves of tlie ocean, and by meeting with the 
sympathy of friends, ob.'ain some rehef to the sadness which 
encompassed me. I came for private purposes, and for pri- 
vate purposes alone, i have not desired these pubHc mani- 
festations, but have rather desired to escape from them. 
My friend and traveling companion, Dr. Mercer, will tell 
you, that in \irginia. in every section of the State of my 
birtli, I have been ini])lored to remain if only for a few 
hours, to exchange congratulations with my friends, but I 
invariably refused and only remained in each place suffi- 
ciently long enough to exchange one vehicle for another. 
You may imagine that I made a visit to Philadelphia, but 
I was accidentally thrown into Philadelphia. When I ar- 
rived in Baltimore, 1 learnt that the most direct route to this 
place was by the Delaware. I had no public object in view 
in taking that route, and yet indifferent I am not nor cannot 
be to these manifestations of popular regard, nor to any- 
thing which connects me with the honor, welfare and glory 
of my country. 

" 'Gentlemen of the Committee of Xew York. I have truly 
and sincerely disclosed the purpose of the journey, but I 
cannot but deeply feel this manifestation of your respect and 
regard. It is received with thankfulness, and excites the 
Avarmest feelings of my heart, that I, a private and humble 
citizen, v^ithout an army, without a navy, without even a 
constable's staff, sh.ould have been met at every step of my 
progress with the kindest manifestations of feelings — feelings 
of which a President, a monarch or an emperor might well 
be pround. 

" 'No — I am not insensible to these tokens of public affec- 
tion and regard, I am thankful for them all. To you, gentle- 
men of the Committee of New York, who, in behalf of the 
400.000 individuals whom you represent, have taken so much 
trouble, I am deeply thankful for this manifestation of your 
regard, but I must reluctantly decline the honor of your in- 
vitation. And you, gentlemen of the other committees, to 
your fellow-citizens of Trenton, New Haven and Philadel- 
phia, I must beg of you to excuse me, and trust to your afifec- 
tion to do so, for if I do not place myself upon the affection 
of my countrymen, whither should I go, and where should 


I be? — on the wide ocean without a compass and without a 
guide ! 

" 'I must beg of ym, gentlemen of all these committees, 
to retrace your steps, charged and surcharged with the 
warmest feelings of gratitude — go back charged with warm- 
est thanks from me, and tell my friends that nothing but 
the circumstances in which I am placed, nothing— for we 
may as well mingle a laugh with our tears, and borrow 
the words of the Irish Ambassador, "situated as I am and I 
may say circumstanced as I am" — prevents the honor of 
meeting you. Tell them — and I hope that general response 
wall be considered as a specific answer to each of the com- 
mittee — that you are charged with the expression of the best 
feelings of my heart. And yoU; gentlemen of New York, 
be assured that among the recollections of the incidents of 
this journey, this visit will be paramount, and the circum- 
stances which led to it. 

" 'I wish you an agreeable voyage on your return, and 
pray make my apologies for bemg constrained to decline 
your kind invitation.' 

"Mr. Clay then sat down, and from the tears which had 
been so copiously shed during his speech, the smiles of wel- 
come and felicitation lit up a mellow radiance which fell 
with rainbow softening over the scene. Throughout the 
whole reply of jNIr. Clay, he was deeply and powerfully af- 
fected, and it was Avith a giant efTort that he succeeded in 
uttering his closing remarks." 

Xathaniel Holmes. Jr., who served in the Assembly from 
1847 to 1849. '^^'^s the son of Captain Nathaniel Holmes. 
He was born July 7, 1782. He served in the Board of Free- 
holders from Dennis township from 1834 to 1841 and from 
1847 to 1851, or eleven years, during all of which time was 
the director (chairman) of the board. 

On April 25, 1848 the people by ballot decided to have 
a new court house built, and chose for its location Cape 
]\Iay Court House village. The Board of Freeholders se- 
lected as the committee to visit other counties and get ideas 
of public buildings James L. Smith and Samuel Fithian 
Ware. On the 6th of June following the board ordered the 
house built to be 48 by 35 feet, with the lower story to be 


twelve feet in the clear and the upper story to be nine feet 
in the clear. The court liouse was finished in 1850, and oh 
May 7 the freeholders ni i at the new court house to settle 
the bills, and they ali amounted to $6284.33. Richard 
Thompson was chosen to dispose of the old court house. 

The song, "Cape !May," was written about }klay i, 1848, 
by Theophilus Townsend Price. The circumstances lead- 
ing to its inception are here related: 

Being one even'ng in company with some young people, 
his personal friends, they sang the minstrel song of "Dearest 
May," which at that time was very popular. He remarked 
that it was a pity that so sweet a melody should be wedded 
to such trifling words. They recjuested him to write a song 
for the music, which he accordingly did, and produced the 
song as printed at first. There was no paper published at 
Cape Alay at that time, and it was first printed in a Philadel- 
phia paper. 

Theophilus Townsend Price was born on the Price home- 
stead plantation at Town Bank, Cape May county, on the 
2ist day of IMay, 1828. He was the seventh child of John 
Price and Kezia Swain, who was the daughter of Daniel 
Swain, and belonged to one of the oldest families in Cape 
May county. When he was three years old his father. sold 
his interest in the homestead farm at Town Bank to his 
brother. Captain William Price, and bought one of the 
Swain farms of his father-in-law on the seaside road above 
Cold Spring. 

Here the subject of our sketch grew up to manhood, en- 
gaged in the general work of the farm, and in going to 
school whenever opportimitv offered. He was by nature a 
student and lover of books, and does not remember the 
time when he could not read. His education was obtained 
at the common schools and at the Cold Spring Academy, 
which at that time was furnishing an academic education 
for both sexes under the direction of Rev. Moses William- 

In his twentieth year he began teaching in the public 
schools of Cape May coimty, and continued in this occupa- 
tion about three years. In 1850 he commenced the study of 
medicine, reading under direction of Dr. \'. ]\r. D. Marcy, 


of Cold Spring. He graduated in March. 1853. and in April 
settled at Tuckerton, N. J., where he has continued in active 
practice ever since. 

In November. 1854. he married Eliza, youngest daughter 
of Timothy Pharo. of Tuckerton. By this union he had 
two children, one of which only is living, the Rev. Theophi- 
lus Pharo Price. 

Soon after his settlement he became interested in and 
identified with the public affairs of tlie communities in which 
he lived. The township of Little Egg Harbor, in which the 
village of Tuckerton is located, was at that time a part of 
Burlington county. He became a member of the Burlington 
County Medical Society in 1854 and is still a member. He 
was township superintendent of the public schools of Little 
Egg Harbor for eight years, and until the law was passed 
abolishing town superintendents and creating county super- 
intendents. He was postmaster of Tuckerton during the 
Lincoln and the Johnson administrations; was elected to 
the New Jersey Legislature in i868. During this service her 
obtained a charter to build a railroad from Tuckerton to Egg 
Harbor City, and a supplement to a charter to build a rail- 
road from Manchester to Tuckerton. The latter road was 
built in 1871. of which he was elected a director and secre- 
tary, still holding these offices. He was a director of the 
National Bank of Medford, N. J., for thirty-five years. 

In 1877 he wrote the descriptive and historical portions of 
the New Jesev Coast Atlas, published by Woolman & Rose, 
coverins: the first sixty-eight pages of that work. 

In 1864 he organized and conducted for fourteen years a 
imion mission Sunday school in a destitute neighborhood 
near Tuckerton ; was instrumental and active in organizing 
the first Baptist church at West Creek, Ocean county, in 
1876, of which he was chosen deacon, clerk and treasurer 
for fifteen years. In 1891 he was actively instrumental in 
organizing and constituting the Baptist church of Tuckerton, 
of which he is a licentiate, deacon and clerk. 

He was a trustee of the South Jersey Institute, at Bridge- 
ton, for nine years; a trustee of the New Jersey Reform 
School for Boys at Jamesburg for three years. Lie is now 
president of the Board of Trustees of the Camden Baptist 

xo'iim .\ii:n or a OKXEitATiox. 279 

Association, prcsitlent of the liuard of Education of Little 
Eg-g- Harbor, physician and secretary of the Board of Eiealth, 
director and secretary of the Beach Haven Land Associa- 
tion, Hfe. member of the New Jersey Historical Society, pres- 
ident of the Board of Trustees of Tuckerton Library Associa- 
tion, and is a member of several other benevolent and char- 
itable societies. 

For seventeen years he held the otttce of United States 
Marine Hospital surg-con at the port of Tuckerton and until 
the office was abolished l)y the government, Martdi, 1896. 
During" this time he examined annuall}- about one hundred 
and fifty life-saving- men before the}' entered on their duties. 
He has contributed from time to time articles to the press, 
both in prose and verse, and has delivered many public ad- 
'dresses and lectures. 

On the 9th of June, 184^;, two additional postoffices were 
■^established in the county, one at Townsend's Inlet, with 
William Stiles as postmaster, and the other at Seaville, with 
John Gand\- as postmaster. 

Enoch Edmunds, of Cape Island, who was elected to the 
State Senate in 1849 ^^^^^ served three years, was born in 
Lower township in 1799. He was the son of Robert Ed- 
munds. From 1844 to 1847 ^^^ ^^'^^ sheriff of the county. 
In 1 85 1 he became an elder of the Cold Spring; Presbyterian 
Church, and was such until he died, sixteen years later. In 
i860 he was chosen overseer of poor of Cape Island, and 
served in the City Council in 1861 and from 1863 until his 
death, on March 30, 1867. He was a merchant. 



From 1845 the people of this county began to move into 
the then newly developing States of Indiana and Illinois^, 
and after the gold fever of 1849 niany went further. These 
two States, however, were the objective point of many of. 
the emigrating families from Cape May. Dr. jMaurice Bees- 
ley, in speaking of this fact, says (1857): 

"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 Vv'est. Illinois has heretofore been the State that has 
held out most inducements to the emigrant, and there are 
at present located in the favored comity of Sangamon, in 
that State, some sixty or seventv families which have re- 
moved from this county within a few years past, most of 
whom, be it said, are blessed with prosperity and happiness. 
A'lany of her people are to be found in the other free States^ 
of the W^est." 

When the last half of the present century opened there 
were 6433 residents in this county, and it was estimated by 
the census takers that about one-fifth of the entire male- 
population were engaged in seafaring, and a more hardy and 
adventurous band never sailed from any port: no sea or 
ocean, where commerce floats a sail they did not visit if 
duty called. 

The pilots of Cape Island were likewise renowned for 
their skill and enterprise in the way of their profession. 
They braved the tempest and the storm to relieve the mar- 
iner in distress, or to conduct the steamer, the ship, or the 
barque to the haven of her destination. There were about 
thirty-five of them living in the lower end of the county. 

The Dias Creek postoffice, with Charles K. Holmes as 
postmaster, was established September 9, 1850, and on the 



3d of March, 185 1, another office was estabhshcd at Bees- 
ley's Point, with Joseph D. Chatten in charge. 

Captain Wilmon Whilldin, Sr., the first to estabhsh steam- 
boat communication between Philadelphia and Cape May, 
was a native of this county. He was born March 4, 1773, 
near Cape May City, on the estate possessed by his ances- 
tors from the first settlement of the county. He was the 
son of Jonathan \Miilldin (who is described as "gent" in old 
conveyances), by his wife, Hannah Crowell; grandson of 
James Whilldin. Esq., by his wife, Jane Hand; great grand- 
son of Joseph \\'hilldin, by his w^ife, Mary; and great grand- 
son of Joseph Whilldin, Esq., by his wife, Hannah. The 
last named Joseph was High Sheriff of the county from 1705 
to 1708, and many years one of His Majesty's Justices of 
the Peace and of the Courts of Common Pleas. James 
Whilldin, Esq.. the grandfather of Captain VvHiilldin, was 
commissioned a Justice of the Peace by Governor Belcher, 
June 7, 1753. and re-commissioned by Governor Hardy, 
Septeml^er 24. 1762, and by Governor Franklin, August 21, 
1767. On the two last occasions he was also commissioned 
a justice of the quorum. He was also commissioned Justice 
of the Court of Oyer and Terminer on March 13, 1773, in 
which capacity he served until he died. In 1779 he was a 
member of the Legislature, and during tlie Revolution he 
served on the County Committee of Safety. He was a prom- 
inent member of the Cold Spring Presbyterian Church, of 
which he was a ruling elder from 1754 until his decease, 
November 5, 1780. Captain Whilldin studied naviga- 
tion, and early in life removed to Philadelphia, v.'here he 
resided until his decease, April j, 1852. Pie was one of the 
pioneers in steam navigation on the Delaware. In 1816 he 
built the steamer "Delaware," with which he established 
communication with Cape May. (A large portrait in oil of 
Captain Whilldin, now in the possession of his granddaugh- 
ter, Mrs. J. Granville Leach, has a portrait of the "Dela- 
ware" in the background.) Captain Whilldin became the 
owner of several steamers, which plied to different points on 
the Delaware, also on the Chesapeake. At one time he was 
a partner of the elder Conu-nod<M-e Vanderbilt. The pilot 


boat John G. Whilldin, so familiar in our waters, was named 
in honor of Captain Whilldin's son, Dr. John Galloway 
Whilldin, a promising young physician of Philadelphia, who 
died of consumption in early life. 

On the decease of Captain Whilldin his only surviving 
child, Cai)tain Wilmon Whilldin, Jr., succeeded to the busi- 
ness of the father, and continued the line of steamers to Cape 
May until the civil war, when most of his boats were em- 
ployed by tlie government in the transportation of troops 
and provisions to the army. At his decease. May 23, 1866, 
he was extensively engaged in transportation by steam, and 
was interested in lines running to many parts of the country. 

The Hrst town school superintendents were appointed in 
the cour.ty in 1851, and they were: Upper township, Barna- 
bas Cofxie; Dennis, Joshua Swain; Middle, Rev. N. B. Tin- 
dall; Lower, Joseph E. Hughes; Cape Island, Rev. Clark 
Polly. There were 2135 school children in the county, di- 
vided as follows: In Upper, 441; Dennis, 534; Middle, 609; 
Lower, 400; Cape Island, 151. 

The old borough of Cape Island did not suit the inhabi- 
tants. Therefore, in 185 1, a city charter for the place was 
secured from the Legislature. Since that time Cape May 
City has had two charters; one in 1867, and the last in 1875. 
From 1851 to 1867 the Councilmen (six in luunber), were 
elected yearly; and from 1867 to 1875 three Councilmen 
\v2re elected each year, for a two-years' term, making six 
a':', before. LTp to 1875 the Alderman and "City Recorder were 
members of Council, and the Mayor was its president, but 
th.e latter had no vote only in case of a tie. while the two 
former were accorded that privilege. Council then elected 
its clerk. S'nce 1875 there has, each year, been three Coun- 
cihien elected for terms of three years each, making the 
body nine in nuribf^r, and thev ch.oose the-r president from 
amor • their number. The Recorder is now the clerk of 
the city, a-'^d by ordinrnce superintendent of the water works 
and register of the bonded indebtedness. The .A.lderman is 
now simply just..^ of the peace, and, should the Mayor re- 
sign or die, acts as such until the next election. 

Joshua Swain, Jr., who was elected to thf State; Sena*^e 



in 1852, was the son of Joshua Swain, who was a member 
oi the Constitutional Convention of 1844. He was born 
June 2, 1804, and died March 23. 1866. He served in the 
Assembly from 1850 to 1852, and then in the Senate until 
1854. He was continuously clerk of the Board of Chosen 
Freeholders from 1831 until he died. He was for six years 
a Judge of the Court of Errors and Appeals of the State 
• of New Jersey. He died at Seaville, and his remains lie in 


Calvary Baptist Church Cemetery, Seaville. He was a Bap- 
tist in faith. 

He was succeeded by his son, Edward Y. Swain, as clerk 
■of the Board of Freeholders. The latter was prominent 
in county affairs, and was clerk from 1866 to 1871, when he 
died. He was born December 2/, 1834, and died October 
9, 1871. 

Henry Swain, brother of Joshua, Jr., who was loan com- 
missioner, was born May 12, 1806, and died September 24, 
1877. I^e served the county as loan commissioner from 
1854 to 1856, and from 1857 to 1862. 


The first bank in the county to be estabHshed was that at 
Cape Island, known as the "Bank of Cape May County," 
which had subscribers to stock from ever\- part of the 
county. Its certificate of association was filed in the County 
Clerk's oflice on Septeml^er 26, 1853. It was a State bank.. 
In 1855 it closed up its business. On October 17, this year„ 
Joseph F. Learning, its Aice-president, gave notice that "alK 
circulating notes issued must be presented to the State 
Treasurer within two years" for payment. On March 3, 
1854, the act to incorporate the Cape May Turnpike Com-- 
pany became a law. The object of this company was to 
construct a thoroughfare between Cape Island and Cape 
May Court House. The incorporators were Richard C.- 
Holmes, Dr. John Willey, Eli L. B. Wales, George Ben- 
nett, Joseph Ware. Richard Thompson and Clinton H„. 
Ludlam. The work on it was not commenced until three. 
years afterwards, and in 1858 it was completed. 

The Cape Island Turnpike Company built the pike from^ 
the steamboat landing on the Delaware Bay to Cape Island 
for the accommodation of steamboat passengers. This pike 
was constructed between 1846 and 1848. The company is- 
still in existence, and toll is still charged to those who drive 
vehicles over it. 

The first President of the United States to visit Cape Ma}' 
was Franklin Pierce, who visited the island in the s-arjuner 
of 1855. He was welcomed by the City Council and held 
a public reception. People came from all parts of the 
county to see him. 

In Septeml)er (5th) of this year the famous Mount Wt- 
non Hotel at Cape Island, which had been two years nv. 
building, was burned. And in Jiuie, of 1856, the Mansion-- 
House and Kersal were destroyed by fire also. 

The first newspaper published in the county was the- 
"Ocean Wave," which was established at Cape Island by 
one Colonel Johnson in June, 1855. The sizes of its four- 
pages were twelve by eighteen inches. About three montliS' 
after it was founded it was purchased by Joseph S. J..each,. 
who edited and published it until 1863, when he sold it lo«' 
Samuel R. Magonigle. When Mr. Magonigle died, in ^869^ 
the "Wave" became the property of Christopher S... 


Magrath and Aaron Garretson, Sr. In 1878 Mr. 
Magrath became sole owner, and remained so 
until he sold it. in 1883, to Thomas H. Williamson, son ot 
Rev. Moses Williamson. In 1886 Mr. Williamson died, 
.and it was then purchased from his estate by James H. Ed- 
munds, who still (1897) owns it. It has been edited from 
1883 by Henry W. Hand, who served in the United States 
IMavy during the Civil War. 

Joseph S. Leach, editor of the "Ocean Wave," was born 
in Shucesbury, Mass, March 30, 1816, and died at his resi- 
dence in Cape jNIay City, August 9, 1892. He was the son 
-of Lemuel Leach, Jr., and Eilzabeth Smallidge, his wdfe. 
His grandfather, Lemuel Leach, Sr.. was an officer in the 
Revolutionary Army, and his maternal grandfather, Rev. 
Joseph Smallidge, was a prominent clergyman of the Bap- 
tist faith in \A'estern Massachusetts. His colonial ancestor. 
Lawrence Leach, a descendant of John Leche, surgeon to 
King Edward the Third, arrived in Massachusetts with 
Rev. Francis Higginson, in 1629. ]\Ir. Leach also de- 
scended from John Washbourne, the first secretary of Mas- 
sachusetts, and from Francis Cooke, one of the "pilgrims" 
who came in the Mayflower. 

]\Ir. Leach was educated at New Salem High School, and 
at Franklin Academy. Shelburne Falls, Mass. He after- 
wards studied theology and entered the ministry, in which 
he was preceded by three elder brothers. Rev. Sanford 
Leach, Rev. William Leach and Dr. Elbridge G. Leach. 
Failing health compelled him to seek a milder climate, and, 
in 1840, he came to Cape May, and took up his residence 
at the county seat. Shortly after his arrival he was invited 
to take charge of the Seaville school, which position he ac- 
cepted, and from that time until he became the proprietor 
■of the "Ocean Wave" he was constantly and successfullv 
engaged in teaching the youth of this county. 

Foremost among those who were engaged in the Baptist 
Church of Cape Island was Mr. Leach. He was licensed 
to preach at Shutesbury Church, in Massachusetts, about 
1838. He did not. however, unite with the local church 
until January. 1849. For nearly half a century Mr. Leach 
was one of the leading members of the church, was many 


years clerk of the church, and one of its trustees, and for- 
forty-three years a deacon. The congregation was frequent- 
ly without a settled pastor for months at a time, on which 
occasions he occupied the pulpit, but always declined com- 
pensation for his ministerial work. 

In the early fall of 1855 Mr. Leach purchased the "Ocean; 
Wave" and published it and edited it until he sold the pa- 
per to the late Samuel R. Magonagle. As editor he gained 
the reputation of being one of the ablest and strongest news- 
paper writers in the State, and by the use of his pen he was 
largely instrumental in advancing the social, educational, 
and material interests of the county. His writings were 
notedly valuable in aiding to secure the construction of the 
Cape May and Millville Railroad. The late Charles B, 
Dungan is known to have said that, "but for Mr. Leach's 
earnest and able support in this connection, the building of 
the road would doubtless have been delayed for years." 

At the outbreak of the Civil War Mr. Leach warmly es- 
poused the cause of the Union, not only with his pen, but 
with voice as well. He was recognized as one of our best 
public speakers, and his services in this direction were fre- 
quently in demand, particularly during the war, at "war 
meetings." He was concise in argument, clear in diction 
and fervid in utterance, and his eloquence stirred his hear- 
ers to the heartiest expressions of enthusiasm. 

In 185 1, on the granting of the charter creating Cape 
May (then Cape Island^i into a city. Mr. Leach was elected 
the first Recorder, ])y virtue of which office he became a 
member of City Council and a justice of the peace. In 
1852 and 1858 he was chosen a member of City Council, 
and in 1872 he was again chosen Recorder of the city. In 

1862 he was town superintendent of public schools, and in 

1863 President Lincoln appointed him postmaster of the 
city, which position he held until Andrew Johnson suc- 
ceeded to the Presidency, when, entertaining views an- 
tagonistic to President Johnson's "policy," Mr. Leach re- 
signed the office. He was a member of the County Board 
of Chosen Freeholders in 1863, 1864, 1865, 1867, 1868 and 
1870. He was frequently urged to accept a nomination for 


the Assembly, as well as to the Mayoralty of Cape May, 
but declined these honors. 

In his death Cape Alay lost one of its most prominent 
and highly-esteemed citizens, one who will long be re- 
membered as a worthy representative of the "gentleman of 
the old bilKol." The tablet erected to his memory in the 
Baptist Chinch bears this inscription: 
"In Memory of 
Joseph Smallidge Leach, Esq., a descendant of the Puritans. 
He preached to this people many years without compensa- 
tion and served in the office of deacon forty-three years. 

A Successful Educator. 

An Able Editor. 

An Exemplary Citizen. 

He honorably filled many public ofBces. In all life's re- 
lations he merited and won universal respect and esteem. 

A quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 
I Timothy, xi, 2." 

Mr. Leach married, May 31, 1841. Sophia, daughter of 
Josiah Ball, Esq., of Worcester county, Mass. She still 
survives him. with seven of their nine children. 

Petersburg's postofnce was first opened in z\pril, 1856, 
with Peter Corson as postmaster. On the 6th of Septem- 
ber following the Rio Grande postoffice was opened, with 
Jeremiah Hand as postmaster. This made the fifteenth 
postofifice established in the county. None were again es- 
tablished until after the close of the Civil War. 

In 1856 a telegraph known as the Philadelphia and Cape 
Island Telegraph was doing business, and continued to do 
so until the outbreak of the Civil War, when it was aband- 
oned by its proprietors. 

In 1856 Jesse H. Diverty was chosen to represent Cape 
May in the State Senate, and served in the sessions of '57, 
'58 and '59, having served two preceding years as a member 
of the Assembly. His grandfather was William Diverty, 
who lived from 1744 to 181 1, and was a native of Scotland. 
His father was James Diverty, born in Aberdeen, Scotland, 
in 1783. At the age of 10 the father came to Wilmington, 
Del., to live with an uncle. When 21 he came to Cape May 
to purchase hoop poles for the cooperage business of his 



uncle. He married afterwards Deborah Smith, llie daugh- 
ter of Mrs. Jesse Hand, wife of the Cape May patriot. The 
new couple began Hfe at Dennisville. where the father be- 
came a lumber merchant and postmaster. He died in 1858. 
Jesse H. Diverty was born th.ere, December 22, 1822. He 
was educated in the village school and at Bridgeton Acad- 
emy. For a time, wdien young, he was engaged in mercan- 
tile pursuits in Baltimore, and then with his father at Den- 
nisville. In 1865 he began the ship building business, 

.Th>SK 51. DIVKiriV. 

building in his time about thirty vessels. When the ship- 
building diefl out, he entered into agricultural pursuits. 

In public hfe he served as township collector, committee- 
man, justice of the peace, superintendent of schools, and for 
forty years was a scliool trustee. After serving in the Sen- 
ate, he was made engrossing clerk of that body for the two 
following years. Governor Abbett appointed him one of 
the commissioners of State Charities and Corrections. He 
was at first a Whig, but later a Democrat. During the war 
he was a staunch Unionist. In 1877 he was appointed a 



Judge of County Courts, and was reappointed in 1882 and 

When 12 years of age he ])ecame a Methodist, and in 
1843 was made a class leader. He was in 1844 made an ex- 
horter, in 1847 a local preacher, in i860 a deacon and in 
1871 an elder. He was superintendent of the Simday-school 
from 1843 until his death. He died at Dennisville March 
9, 1890. 

The county of Cape ]\Ia>- owes to the memory of Dr. 

Dli. >rArHI(K IKKSr.KV. 

Mai.n"ice Beesley, of Dcrinisville. as n)i;ch, ii not more, ;."S to 
any man of recent times, for his prestrvation of ihe facts 
concerning the early settlers and the development of the 
county. In 1857 he had printed his "Sketch of the Early 
History of Cape May County," and it has proved a valuable 
document. Dr. Beesley was long connected with the wel- 
fare of the county. He first saw the light of day at Dcn- 
nisville on May 16, 1804. His grandfather, Jonathan Bees- 
ley, was a Revolutionary soldier, being killed fighting in 
■battle for American inde]HMKlence. His father was Thomas 


Beesley. The doctor was an elder brother of Thomas H, 
Beesley, who succeeded him in pubHc hfe a few years later. 
Young Maurice Beesley obtained a good education by his 
own diligent work, and then began the study of medicine 
with Dr. Theophilus Beesley, of Salem. He graduated in 
1828, and shortly after began practicing his profession at 
Cape May Court House, remaining there about a year.. 
Afterwards he removed to Dennisville, where he actively 
practiced for fifty-three years. Dr. Beesley was sent to the 
Legislature by the people from 1840 to 1842, and the two- 
years following he served in the Legislative Council. He was- 
actively interested in the laws perfecting the management of 
the insane institutions in the State. In 1845 ^^^ became a 
member of the New Jersey Historical Society, and contrib- 
uted to its library often valuable historical records. 

In 1866, upon the taking effect of the new school law, he 
was appointed superintendent of pubhc instruction for Cape 
May county, and served efficiently in that capacity until 
1881, when he resigned on account of failing health. He 
dearly loved nature. "His researches into the origin of the 
burned juniper forests of Dennis Creek are of great and last- 
ing value," says a writer, "being the standard authority ta 
this day." He died January 13, 1882, aged 78, and his> 
remains lie in the cemetery at South Dennis. 

William Smith Hooper, who, in 1856, was elected Sheriff 
and served three years, was born at Tuckahoe, September 
10, 1816, and was the last male descendent of his line 
when he died. His father, who came from South Carolina, 
and who was a nephew of William Hooper, the signer of the 
Declaration of Independence, was drowned in the Delaware 
Bay when the lad was 4 years of age. His mother was 
Abagail Smith, a daughter of Captain William Smith, of the 
Revolutionary army. When young he was bound to Rich- 
ard Smith Ludlam (Assemblyman in 1847 and cousin of his 
mother). Young Hooper served as clerk in Mr. Ludlam's 
store and mill at Dennisville, and afterwards at the Man- 
sion House in Cape Island. When he became of age he 
went to the banks of the Ohio River, crossing the Allegheny 
Mountains by stage, and engaged in purchasing and selling 
lumber in the towns along the river, and, for a time, wa& 



clerk in a counting liouse in Covington. His health faihng 
him, he came back to Cape May county and resided at Den- 
nisville, where he held township offices. He came to Cape 
Island, and in 1853 he was a member of the City Council of 
Cape Island, and in 1855 was Recorder of the city, and at 
the same time a meml)er of the Board of Freeholders. He 
enlisted for the war v,i':h Mexico, but did not go. At the 
breaking out of the Civil War he entered Company A, Sev- 
enth Regiment, New Jersey \'oIunteers, being mustered into 
service for three years and commissioned corporal August 
23, 1861, and was promoted to sergeant July 15, 1863. He 


was in all the important battles with the regiment during 
the service, being mustered out October 7, 1864. He be- 
came an invalid in the service, and remained so until his 
death. In 1872 he was chosen tax collector of Cape May 
City, and was re-elected five times, serving until 1878. la 
1884 he was chosen a member of the Board of Freeholders 
again, and served in the board from 1886 to 1891. He was 
a member of the Cape Island Lodge, Free and Accepted Ma- 
sons, a director of the Cape Island Turnpike Company. In 
politics he was a Whig until the formation of the Republi- 
can party, when he became a believer in its principles. He 
died in Cape May City on August 20, 1896, being within 


twenty days of his 8oth year. His remains are interred in 
Calvary Baptist Church Cemetery, Seaville. 

The mail service in the year 1857 was irregular, the at- 
tempts being made to get two and sometimes three mails a 
week. The mails were all carried by the stage lines. The 
"Ocean Wave" of April 16, this year, tells of the need of a 
daily mail and of the delays in the following article: 

"We need a daily mail. That we have no direct mail 
communication between Cape Island and Cape May C. H., 
our county seat, but once a week, is a fact known to all. A 
letter written here on Wednesday may go direct to the 
Court House on Thursday, and an answer be returned on 
Saturday, by the Bridgeton mail; but at any other time in 
the week our letters must be sent up by the Bayside mail, 
on Mondays. Wednesdays or Fridays to Tuckahoe, and 
there stopped till the next down mail to the Court House, 
thus performing a journey of nearly fifty miles, while the 
distance is only thirteen miles direct from here to the Court 

The same source gives the facts that in Cape May county, 
from returns of assessors and statistics otherwise obtained, 
tlmt farm products had increased by 1857 oyer the products 
in 1850 by 50 per cent., and that since the United States 
census of 1850 the price of land in the county liad nearly 

In the election of the fall of 1857 there were but 541 votes 
polled in the county. Downs Edmunds, Jr., was chosen 
Assemblyman; Elijah Townsend, Jr., Surrogate, and Wil- 
liam S. Hooper Sheriff. In the election of the succeeding 
year the slavery question was beginning to agitate the peo- 
ple. There were the American, People's and Democratic 
parties. The result was that Downs Edmunds, Jr., Amer- 
ican, and Abram Reeves, People's, were chosen Senator and 
Assemblyman respectively. In 1859 Reeves was re-elected 
to the Assembly on the American ticket. 

In 1858 the Cape Island Gas Company had been estab- 
lished, and the rates charged for gas was $6.00 per one thou- 
sand feet burned, and the rent of the meters was $3.00 per 
year. , ". :j 


Downs Edmunds, Jr., served three years in the Assembly, 
1856, 1857, 1858, and was elected and served a full term in 
the Senate, serving in the Legislatures of 1859, i860 and 
1861. He was born at Fishing Creek, October 29, 1813, 
and was the son of Downs Edmunds, an esteemed resident 
of lower Cape May county. He was a man of considerable 
business qualifications, being a farmer, merchant and, for 
a number of years, was agent at Cape May for the steam- 
boats plying between Cape IMay and other places. He was 
a member of the Board of Freeholders for several years. On 
June 3, 1884, Governor Abbett appointed him a Judge of 
Common Pleas Court for Cape May county, and he served 
out the unexpired term of Abraham Reeves. He was an 
adherent of the Republican party. He died at his West 
Cape May home April i, 1890, aged yy years. 

Abraham Reeves, who was elected to the Assembly when 
Mr. Edmunds was chosen Senator, was a son of Abijah 
Reeves, of the War of 1812, and was born in 
Lower township October 22, 1802. He was a man 
of commanding presence, six feet in height. He 
was known as "Uncle Abe" to every one. His educa- 
tional advantages were limited, it being said of him that he 
never spent but three months in a school. He, however, 
was a man of good judgment and integrity. He served two 
terms in the Assembly and was twice appointed a Judge of 
Common Pleas Court, holding the position when he died. 
For a number of years he was a chosen Freeholder, and 
held many township offices. He served several years as 
president of the County Bible Society, was an elder of the 
Cold Spring Presbyterian Church. He was at first a \\'hig, 
and then a Republican in politics. He died May, 1884. 

In the year i860 Cape May was passing out of one epoch 
into another. The old stage coach was soon to give way 
to the railroad train. The impending conflict of affairs 
which terminated in the War of the Rebellion was becoming 
intense. No better way of ascertaining the condition of the 
county at this time can be had than by recourse to the 
statistics here presented. The population consisted of 7130 
persons, divided as follows: 



1 c^ 





H " 

- -• |_|0 03 


3 C^ oc^J? 3 

r-h O) 

— r- CD = 


'■ rE- B"- f 























-~^ O 




h^ CC Oi 



h-» 'X 


c: " Ol 






rf^ -] 





J— ■ 

rf^ C.» Ol 

4- CC 


C2 4^ CO 

o o 




C5 I-* IC 

1— ' 1-' 


00 Ol o 

cr. ot 


Ol *^ cc 

^J Ot 



C Ol 




1— ' 

4- CT O 

-1 lO 














cc en O 

CO I-* 











^I h-' ^J 



CO o o 

o 00 


^ y 

-> lo 

h^ 1—' 

Jl ►— 

X c 




01 X 



There were in the county 1465 families, 1600 dwellings, 
523 separate farms and thirty-eight manufacturing estab- 
lishments. The value of the assessable real estate in the 
county was $872,364.00, and the total taxes assessed in the 
county were $11,727.47, it being used for the following pur- 
poses: For support of the county, $3899.47; for schools, 
$6128.00, and for public roads, $1700.00. 

Farming was the principal occupation of the residents, and 
the production for the year ending on June i is here given: 



2 tr 1^ 




w c 




)4^ 1 

.^ ^ 



Oi 1 


CO > 



►4^ C 



^4 I 

OS CO I T 1 

oi CO I Improved 


I Unimproved 


Cash Value 
of Farms 

Value of Farming Im- 
plements and Ma- 

^ ^\ 


Asses & Mules 








Milch Cows 

h- ' 





Working Oxen 





Other Cattle 



Value of Live 



[^ t> w. ^ 

:?, r: Wheat, l>u. of 

'4 ^, i.n. of 

c; t* >;^ 

O Oi 4^ C: 


-1 OO »o 

CO — -^ en 

-1 4^ ^ -_r 

C" W IC 

h- -r .K 

zc oi y- 

Tiidiaii Colli, 
!)U. of 

Oats. 1mi. of 

^Voo], 11 )s. of 

Teas and Bean> 
I 111. of 

Irish Potatoes, 
hu. of 

C li - ~ 

-1 CC ~I 

O iC 4- 

O VX I c 

X -J I '^^\"oel Potatoes 
hii. of 

Buckwheat, Ini. of 

^ fl Value of Orchard 
? - I Pr(j(lncts 

\Vine, L'allons of 


The average monthly wages of a farm hand was $12.00; 
the day laborer's, with board, seventy-five cents per day; 
the day laborer's, without board, $1.00; carpenter's average 
daily wages, $1.50; weekly wages of a domestic female, 
with board, $1.00, and without board, $2.25 per week. 

The number of manufacturing establishments was thirty- 
eight, in which there was $79,658.00 invested. The value 
of material used in a year was $60,846.00, out of which the 
annual productions amuunted to $75,320.00. Sever^^v- 

eight males and seven females were employed. 

There were twentv-seven schools in which thirty-two 
teachers were emiployed, teaching 2373 scholars at an annual 
cost of $7586.00, There was one academy, the one at Cold 
Spring (M Williamson's), in which one teacher was en- 
gaged, and which had thirty students, which was run at an 
expense of $760 per year. There was one library in th 
county, in which there were 1550 books. Throughout the 
county there were twenty-one churches of various denom- 
inations, with an aggregate accommodation for 9056 per- 
sons, and valued at $58,900. 

The mode of travel to and from the county was either by 
stage or vessel up to 1863. The steamers during the sum- 
mer seasons made round trips from Philadelphia and New 
York once every two days, and sometimes there was a daily 
communication by water in this season with Philadelphia. 
But at other seasons of the year the water route was more 

The stages ran by way of Bridgeton and Tuckahoe. The 
"Bridgeton stage" passed through the bay shore towns from 
Cape Island to Bridgeton, while the "Tuckahoe stage" 
passed through the villages on the seashore side of the 
county, going to May's Landing and thence to Philadelphia 
These routes were subject to change. The stages, before 
the advent of the railroads, carried the mails, and, when 
approaching the villages, the driver would always he-"'^ 
their approach by tooting a big horn. Then the village 
folk would gather around the primitive postofftce to get a 
letter or hear the latest news from the "Ignited States Ga- 
zette" (now the "North American""), of Philadelphia, which 
seemed to be the principal newspaper read in the count}-. 


The fare between Philadelphia and Cape May, one way only, 
was $3.50 per passenger. 

The Bridgeton stage, which in 1856 was owned by James 
Whitaker, left Cape May on Mondays and Thursdays at 5 
in the morning, winter and summer, and passed through the 
villages of Cold Spring, Fishing Creek, Green Creek, Dy- 
ers Creek, Goshen, Dennisville, Leesbury, Dorchester, Port 
Elizabeth and Millville, arriving at Bridgeton on the same 
evening at 4 o'clock. There the passengers took another 
stage and went on to Philadelphia. The returning days 
were Wednesdays and Saturdays, which gave the team of 
horses a day's rest between times. Those who drove these 
stages the longest were Henry C. MuUiner, William Heben- 
thal, better known throughout the county and to his passen- 
gers at the time as "Dutch Billy." 

The great centres of industries were about West Creek, 
and Dennis Creek, which was reached by water. At the latter 
place ship building was conducted on a large scale. Most 
of the store business of the county was done there, and these 
businesses did not decline until the railroad opened and 
made the means of transportation a more easy matter. 

The people of this county held many meetings during 
the eight years preceding 1863, when the Cape May and 
Millville Railroad was finally opened to Cape May. 

There were schemes and routes laid out for many roads, 
and during the year 1857 the proposed "Cape May and 
Atlantic" Road had meetings held all over the county. The 
directors of it were Ebenezer Westcott, Joshua Swain, Jr., 
Hezekiah W. Godfrev, Matthew Whilldin, Dr. Henry 
Schmoele, Daniel E. Estel, Abraham L. Iszard, William 
Schmoele and Lilburn Harwood. Elias Wright was the 
en-^-neer in charge. 

V 1 September 2, at a public meeting at Cape Island, 
Do ■•^s Edmunds, Jr., David Reeves, John West. Waters B. 
Mill:' ^--d Joseph Ware were appointed to confer with the 
West Jci: ■' Railroad about building a road through the 
county. On '.'"^ 7th of August, preceding, Dr. Schmoele, 
Matthew Whilldin, Waters B. Miller and 'Joseph Ware 
(then Mayor) were appointed at a public meeting to confer 
with the Camden and Atlantic Road for the same purpose. 


The Council of Cape Island was asked to subscribe $10,000 
lor the enterprise, which it finally did on April 24, i860. 
"JVIatthew Whilldin was paid by this Council also to procure 
the right of way for a road from property owners. 

Joseph S. Leach, editor of the "Ocean Wave," and Charles 
B. Dungan, who was president of the company which 
-finally built the road and who was the contractor also, de- 
serve, with others, a large share of gratitude from the present 
residents of Cape May county for their untiring efforts in 
•getting the road here. On May 13, 1863, the Board of 
Freeholders passed a resolution allowing the Cape May 
and Millville Railroad the right to lay rails over Cape Is- 
land bridge, and within a few days thereafter the railroad 
was opened to Cape May. It was not until August 29, 1879, 
that it was united with the West Jersey Railroad. Since 
then the great Pennsylvania system has secured control and 
thus has given to Cape May unnumbered advantages, and 
■cheap excursion rates from all over the country. The open- 
ing of the road caused much prosperity. 

Charles B. Dungan was born in Holmesburg, Pa., in 1813. 
He remained there for twelve years, attending the public 

A blind gentleman from Brooklyn, N. Y., who was visit- 
ing Holmesburg, took a strong liking to him, and induced 
his mother, who was a widow, to allow him to take the boy 
with him upon his return home. Young Dungan remained 
with this gentleman until his death, a period of five or six 
years, acting as his clerk and companion. He was then 
apprenticed to Gideon Cox, a dry goods merchant, whose 
place of business w^as at the corner of Eighth and Market 
streets, Philadelphia. When he attained his majority he 
-^vent in to business for himself in Philadelphia. His store 
was robbed, and everything of value carried ofi. Not being 
able to resume his business, he secured a clerkship in the 
office of the Northern Liberties Gas Works, eventually be- 
•coming one of its officers. 

He then engaged in the business of building gas works, 
constructing those in the cities of Washington, D. C. ; Fre*' 
•ericksburg, Va.; Reading, Pa.; Hartford and New Haven, 
«Conn., and other cities, seventeen in all. In 1850, when, 


through ill health, he had virtually retired from business^ 
he was the possessor of large means. 

He was induced to take an interest in the construction 
the Hoosac Tunnel, in Massachusetts. This work was be- 
ing successfully prosecuted, when the great panic of 1857 
overtook them, and in consequence became so involved 
that he was never able to resume work on it, the State tak- 
ing it up after the war and completing it. 

He then became interested in the managements of city 
passenger railways in Philadelphia, and was for several years- 
president of the Fairmount and Arch Street Road. He 
conceived and carried out its consolidation with the Heston- 
ville Road. 

His next venture was the building of the Millville and 
Cape May Railroad, in 1863, of which he was contractor and 
president. He was not only pubHc-spirited, but whole- 
souled and generous to a fault. His purse was always open 
to the needs of others, to the church and to any worthy 
benevolence which claimed his attention. He was a mem- 
ber of the Presbyterian church and a consistent professor of 

He died at his home in Cape May City on Wednesday. 
January 11, 1888. 

Thomas T. Townsend, who was a prominent sea captain 
before the war, has done a good work for posterity in pre- 
serving many historical records. He was born about 
1812, and when young was a clerk in the store of Jeremiah 
Leaming at Dennisville. He then became a blacksmith^ 
and later a sea captain, commanding at different times 
eleven vessels. He retired in 1863. His historical docu- 
ments were gathered since then. He died April 24, 1894. 



The attention of our reader is now turned to the part our 
people took in the War of the RebelHon, in which Cape 
May men did honor to themselves and to their State and 
country. As soon as the Confederates seized Fort Sumter, 
in April, 1861, the spirit of patriotism spread over Cape May 
county in as great a degree as anywhere else in the Union. 
In the autumn previous the people of the county had voted 
by a large majority for Mr. Lincoln for President. In 
every village the people assembled in public meetings and 
pledged their support to the Union. Military organizations 
were formed throughout the icounty. The Cape Island 
Home Guards, under command of Captain John West; the 
Seaville Rangers, under the care of Captain Joseph E. Cor- 
son, and a company at Cape May Court House, under the 
command of N. N. Wentzell, were quickly organized. "Long 
Tom," the only cannon in the county, which had been used 
in the War of 1812, was brought out, and the Board of Free- 
holders, on May 7, were asked to repair its carriage, which 
they, however, refused to do, being composed at the time 
of men not in sympathy with President Lincoln. On the 
same day Captain West's communication, asking for aid for 
the "Home Guards," was also disregarded by the board. 
But, as more serious events happened in the border States, 
the Board of Freeholders at last realized that they must do 
something, and therefore their sympathies were turned in 
for the Union. 

On May i Henry W. Sawyer, of Cape Island, offered his 
services to Governor Olden, and was subsequently given a 
commission in the First Cavalry. He had already per- 
formed service for the Governor and in Washington, which 
is told of later on. 

On the nth of June the Board of Freeholders gave N. N. 


Wentzell permission to use the Grand Jury room in the- 
Court House for drilling purposes. Immediately previous- 
to this the board also passed a resolution giving to the family 
of Mr. Sawyer $6.00 per month as long as he remained in. 
the service of either the United States or New Jersey. 

Simultaneous with these movements for the recruitment; 
and organization of troops, the State authorities were en- 
gaged in other important labors. Realizing the necessity 
of means of prompt and constant communication with all 
parts of the State, the telegraph line to Cape May, which had. 
been abandoned by the company, was at once ordered tO' 
be put in working order at the expense of the State; and, as 
a further means of defense, a maritime guard was established, 
along the line of the coast, consisting of patriotic citizens- 
living adjacent thereto. Waters B. Miller, then a member 
of the Board of Freeholders from Cape Island, sent the fol- 
lowing telegram to the Governor concerning the abandoned 
Philadelphia and Cape Island Telegraph Line: 

"Philadelphia, April 21, 1861. 
"Governor Olden: — ^The telegraph line to Cape Island 
has not been in operation for several months. The company^ 
it is said, have abandoned it. The line should be put in. 
working order to communicate with government vessels off 
the Capes. It will cost about $500. Shall I have it put 
in order? W. B. Miller, of Cape May." 

The Governor forthwith ordered Mr. Miller to repair the 
line, which was quickly done, the work costing in all 

In order to prepare for an earnest Union meeting, on. 
Friday, June 21, 1861. a meeting was held in Court House 
village, at which J. F. Craig presided and A. L. Haynes 
acted as secretary, to arrange for the celebration of the 
Fourth of July. The following Committee of Arrange- 
ments was appointed: Dr. John Wiley, Dr. Coleman F- 
Learning, Dr. Jonathan F. Learning, Hon. Thomas Beesley, 
Judges Holmes and Samuel Springer. The committee sub- 
sequently met and appointed a County Committee, consist- 
ing of the following persons: Thomas Williams, Joseph E- 
Corson, Richard B. Stites. Charles Ludlam, James L. Smithj^ 
Henry Swain, Stephen Bennett, Franklin Hand, John 


Swain, William J. Bate, Abraham Reeves, Jacob Corson, 
Waters B. Miller, S. R. Magonagle and Colonel John West, 
Committee on Grounds and Seating were: William Ross, 
William H. Benezet, George Ogden, Joseph Holmes and 
Charles Mills. Committee fbr Obtaining Speakers and 
Music: Dr. J. F. Learning, Dr. C. F. Leaming. Committee 
on Resolutions: Rev. Moses Williamson, Drs. Coleman F. 
and Jonathan F. Leaming. 

This celebration was held and the residents of the whole 
county participated in it. 

During the early summer Samuel R. Magonagle, editor 
of the "Ocean Wave," at Cape Island induced the follow- 
ing persons to enlist for the war, who signed the roll in the 
Baptist Church there: Samuel R. Magonagle, George W. 
Smith, Richard T. Tindall, Joseph Hand, David Reeves, 
Jr., Charles H. Weeks, William S. Hooper, Samuel R. Lud- 
1am, Harry L. Gilmour, Walter S. Ware, W. S. Ware, Wil- 
liam B. Eldredge, Albert J. Cassedy, James T. Smith. John 
W. Kimsey, Nicholas T. Swain, Stephen D. Bennett, Joseph 
W. Johnson, John Mecray, Townsend T. Ireland, Stephen 
Pierson, James Burns, Caleb Warner, Thomas S. Stevens, 
Benjamin Redhefifer, Joseph W. Ireland, Charles S. Hays, 
Charles J. Silver, T. Fletcher Jacobs, Jonathan C. Stevens, 
John Stites, Owen S. Clark, Walter A. Barrows, Patrick 
Kerns, Swain S. Reeves, Edward Filkin and Lewis H. 
Cresse. Nearly all of them finally went to the front. Wal- 
ter S. Ware was not accepted because of his youthfulness. 

With those who went to Trenton from Cape May county 
to join the First Cavalry Regiment were Thomas S. Stevens 
and Joseph Hand, who were enrolled and mustered in as 
privates in Company F, Fourth Regiment Infantry, on Au- 
gust 15, for a period of three years. Mr. Stevens remained 
with his regiment until August 17, 1864, when he was mus- 
tered out at Trenton. Mr. Hand served until he was dis- 
charged from the service on account of disability at De 
Camp U. S. Army, General Hospital, David's Island, New 
York harbor, on October 7, 1862. 

The Fourth Regiment arrived in Washington on Au- 
gust 21, and was assigned to the brigade of General Philip 
Kearney, known as the First Brigade. The regiment took 


part in the following engagements: West Point, Va., May 7, 
'62; Gaines Farm, Va., June 27, '62; Charles City Cross 
Roads, Va., June 30, '62; White Oak Swamp, Va., 
same day; Malvern Hill, Va., July i, '62; Manas- 
sas, Va., August 27, '62; Chantilly, Va., Septemberber i, '62; 
Crampton's Pass, Md., September 14, '62; Antietam, Md., 
September 17, '62; Fredericksburg, Va., December 13 and 
14, '62; Fredericksburg, Va., May 3, '63; Salem Heights, 
Va., May 3 and 4, '63; Gettysburg, Pa., July 2 and 3, '63; 
Fairfield, Pa., July 5, '63; Williamsport, Md., July 6, '63; 
Funktown, Md., July 12, '63; Rappahannock Station, Va... 
October 12, '63; same place, November 7, '63; Mine Run, 
Va., November 30, '63; Wilderness, Va., May 5 to 7, '64; 
Spottsylvania, Va., May 8 to 11, '64; Spottsylvania C. H., 
Va., May 12 to 16, '64; North and South Anna River, Va., 
May 24, '64; Hanover C. H., Va., May 29, '64; Tolopotomy 
Creek, Va., May 30 and 31, '64; Cold Harbor, Ya., June i 
to 3, '64; before Petersburg, Va. (Weldon Railroad), June 
23, '64; Snicker's Gap, Va., July 18, '64, and other skirm- 
ishes and battles following, none of \vhich the Cape May 
men were in as members of the Fourth Regiment. 

In the Sixth Regiment of Infantry, which left the State for 
the scene of the war, was Dr. John Wiley, of Cape May Court 
House, who served as chief surgeon of the regiment dur- 
ing the war. He was commissioned and mustered into ser- 
vice on August 17, 1861, for three years, being mustered 
out September 17, 1864. He was born in Pennsgrove, N. 
J., in 181 5, and graduated from Jefiferson Medical College, 
Philadelphia, in 1837. Shortly after he settled at Cape 
May Court House, being for many years county physician. 
He was chosen by the Board of Freeholders in 1865 county 
collector and held the office for upwards of twelve years. 
He died at Cape May Court House on December 24, 1891. 

Wilmon Whilldin enlisted as private in Company I, Sixth 
Regiment, on August 9, 1861, and was mustered into serv^ice 
twenty days later for three years, but, owing to disability, 
he was discharged at Washington on June 16, 1862. After 
this he entered the service again in the famous Wilson Raid- 
ers, which operated during the close of the war around 
Georgia. Upon the arrival of the Sixth in Washington it 


went into camp at Meridian Hill, and there remained until 
the early part of December, when the Second New Jersey 
Brigade, of which the regiment formed a part, was ordered 
to report under Joseph Hooker. 

Company A, Seventh Regiment, as first organized, was 
composed largely of Cape May men, all of whom enlisted 
and were mustered into service on August 23 for three years, 
excepting Thomas Bush and John Reeves, who were en- 
rolled and mustered into the company on September 15. 

Those who entered the company were, and their records 
of promotion are, as follows: 

George W. Smith, first sergeant; sergeant-major of regi- 
ment January 11, '62; second lieutenant of company, June 
16, '62; first lieutenant. Company H, October 2, '62; captain 
Company C, February 23, '62; resigned January 7, '64. 
Was shot through cheek. 

Joseph W. Johnson, private; corporal, June 9, '62; ser- 
geant, March i, '63; sergent-major of regiment June I, 
'63; first lieutenant of company, October 27, '63. 

Samuel R. Magonagle, private; quartermaster-sergeant 
of regiment, September 13, '61; discharged on account of 
disability, November 21, '61. 

James T. Smith, private; corporal, October 12, '61; ser- 
geant, July 22, '62 ; wounded in battle of The Wilderness. 

William S. Hooper, corporal; sergeant, July 15, '63. 

Charles H. Weeks, private; corporal, June 9, '62; ser- 
geant, July 15, '63. 

Thomas L. Van Wrinkle, private; corporal, January i, 
'64; discharged as paroled prisoner at Trenton on February 
I, '65. Was taken prisoner and confined in the "Pen" at 
Andersonville, Ga., suffering many privations. 

Swain S. Reeves, private; corporal, June 18, '64. 

Jonathan C. Stevens, private; corporal, July 15, '63. 

Thomas Bush, private. 

Moses W. Matthews, private. • 

John Reeves, private. 

Nicholas T. Swain, corporal; discharged on account of 
disability at Division Hospital, Budd's Ferry, Md., June 
13, '62. 

Walter A. Barrows, private; discharged on account of 


disability at U. S. Army General Hospital, Newark, N. J.;^ 
November lo, '62. 

Lewis H. Cresse, private; discharged on account of dis- 
ability at Centre Street U. S. Army General Hospital, New- 
ark, N. J., October 30, '62. 

Edward Filkins, private; discharged on account disability 
at U. S. Army General Hospital, Philadelphia, October 24,. 

Isaac H. Hall, private; discharged on account of disability 
at U. S. Army General Hospital, Philadelphia, September 
13, '62. 

Joseph W. Ireland, private; discharged on account of dis- 
ability at Washington, May 16, '62. 

Thomas Fletcher Jacobs, private; discharged on account 
of disability at U. S. Army General Hospital, Newark, N.. 
J., August 18, '62. 

Levi E. Johnson, private; discharged on account of dis- 
ability at Baltimore, July 14, '62. 

Thomas Keenan, private; discharged on account of dis- 
ability at White House, Va., May 18, '62. 

David T. Kimsey, private; discharged on account of dis- 
ability at U. S. Army General Hospital, Philadelphia, Jan- 
uary 24, '63. 

John W. Kimsey, private; discharged on account of dis- 
ability at Convalescent Camp, Alexandria, Va., September 

4, '63. 

Stephen Pierson, private; discharged on account of dis- 
ability at New York city, October 29, '62. 

Ulysses Receaver, private; discharged on account of dis- 
ability at U. S. Army General Hospital, Philadelphia, No- 
vember 19, '62. 

David Reeves, Jr., private; discharged on account of dis- 
ability at Budd's Ferry, Va., June 18, '62. 

William H. Kirby, private ; transferred to Veteran Reserve 
Corps; re-enlisted May 6, '64; discharged therefrom August 
18, '64. 

Richard T. Tindall, sergeant; died of typhoid fever al 
Washington, October 8, '61. 
. Stephen D. Bennett, private; died at Cape May, May 28, 

UL*E ^^ L NG O ;?" TH E Ci VI L WAR 307 

'62, of wounds received in battle at Williamsburg, Va.. 
May 5, '62. 

Owen S. Clark, private; died at Baltimore, July 20, '63, cl 
wounds received in battle at Gettysburg, Pa. 

Townsend Ireland, private; killed in battle at Williams- 
burg, Va., May 5, '62. 

John Mecray, private; killed in battle at Williamsburg, 
Va., May 5, '62. 

John F. Shaw, private: died of congestion of lunga and 
measles at Camp Baker, Md., March 12, '62. 

Charles J. Silver, private; died at Cape May, May 28. '62, 
of wounds received in battle at Williamsburg, Va., Mav 5, 

Of these men of Company A the following few remained 
to the end and were mustered out of service on October 7, 
1864: Joseph W. Johnson, James T. Smith, William S. 
Hooper, Charles H. Weeks, Swain S. Reeves, Jonathan C. 
Stevens, Thomas Bush, Moses W. Matthews and John 

J. Howard Willetts, of Cape May county, was, on October 
18, 1861, appointed captain of Company H, Seventh Regi- 
ment, with which he remained until he was appointed lieu- 
tenant-colonel of the Twelfth Regiment, on August 11, '62. 
He was born at Dias Creek, November, 18, 1834, and re- 
moved to Port Elizabeth, Cumberland county, in 1845. He 
was educated at Pennington Seminary and at West Point 
Military Academy. He is a grandson of Nicholas Willets, 
who was in the Legislature in the early part of the century. 

He studied medicine after leaving West Point, and gradu- 
ated from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, in 1858. 
In 1852 and 1853 he was a member of the Assembly from 
Cumberland county, and from 1855 to 1858 was State Sen- 

At the request of the government that the Seventh Regi- 
ment be forwarded to the seat of war, seven companies, in- 
cluding Company A, were dispatched to Washington Sep- 
tember 19, 1861, and reported for duty the following day. 
Upon arrival at Washington the regiment went into camp 
at Meridian Hill, D. C, and there remained until the early 
part of December, at which time, in connection with the 


Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Regiments, they were ordered to 
report to General Joseph Hooker, near Budd's Ferry, Md., 
where they were brigaded and designated the Third Bri- 
gade, Hooker's Division. 

In the spring of 1862 the work of the regiment began in 
earnest. "During the month of April," says John Y. Fos- 
ter, "General McClellan having determined his plans for an 
offensive movement, the brigade was transferred (with its 
division) to the Peninsula, General F. E. Patterson being 
placed in command shortly after its arrival. On the night 
of the 3d of May Yorktown was evacuated by the enemy, 
and on the following morning the army was promptly or- 
dered forward in pursuit, Stoneman leading the advance. 
* * * About noon Hooker's Division advanced on the 
Yorktown road to Williamsburg, where the enemy was ex- 
pected to make a stand, having a strong fort in front of that 
place, at the junction of several roads, which commanded, 
with some thirteen connecting works, all the roads leading 
further up the Peninsula. The Jersey brigade, leaving 
Yorktown at 2 o'clock, pushed forward with all possible 
rapidity until 11 o'clock, when it bivouacked in a swamp 
some five miles from Williamsburg. The night wa^ rn- 
tensely dark and rainy, the roads were muddy and difllicult, 
and the men were sorely exhausted by labor in the trenches 
and want of sleep; but, notwithstanding all obstacles and dis- 
couragements, the troops pressed eagerly forward, all anx- 
ious to participate in the struggle which was felt to be im- 
minent. At 2 o'clock on the morning of the 5th the brigade, 
being in advance, resumed its march, and three hours after, 
emerging from a forest, came in sight of the enemy's works. 
The position of the enemy, as described in General Hook- 
er's report, was one of great strength. * * * After a 
careful survey of the position. Hooker decided to attack at 
once, and at half-past 7 o'clock advanced his skirmishers on 
both sides of the road by which he had come up, at the same 
time throwing forward two batteries on the right, and send- 
ing in the Fifth New Jersey as their support. Almost si- 
multaneously the remaining regiments of the brigade — 
Sixth, Seventh and Eighth — were sent into the left of the 
road, occupying a wood in front of a line of field-works. 


At this time the rain was falHng in torrents, and the men 
stood half-leg deep in mire and water. Steadily advancing 
through the underbrush, the gallant regiments soon came 
upon the enemy's forces, and at once opened a vigorous fire. 
Here, for three hours, the conflict raged with desperate fury- 
Commanding the ground at every point, the fire of the en- 
emy was pitilessly destructive, and did not slacken for a 
moment. But the brave fellows into whose faces it was 
poured stood firmly and unflinchingly — sometimes, indeed, 
pushed back a little space, but as surely hurling the rebels, 
bleeding and shattered, back to their works. From the na- 
ture of the ground there was no opportunity for the bayonet, 
but the rapid volleys of the heroic troops were scarcely less 
efifective. And thus the battle raged, the enemy reinforced 
again and again, directing against these three regiments 
all the fury of their attack; but still for hours the little col- 
umn stood immovable. At last, however, the enemy, driven 
now to desperation, rushed forward in overwhelming num- 
bers, pouring a terrific fire into our whole line. Then, at 
last, that brave line wavered. The ammtmition exhausted, 
their muskets rusted by the drenching rain, their ranks ter- 
ribly thinned, exhausted by want of food and a difficult 
march, these heroes of the day, before this last overwhelm- 
ing onset, fell slowly back. But they were not defeated. 
They had held the enemy in check, had frustrated every at- 
tempt to flank our position, and so had saved the division, 
which, but for this stubborn resistance, would have been 
swept in disaster from the field." 

Samuel Toombs, in his account of the "Jersey Troops in 
the Gettysburg Campaign," says of the second day of the 
battle at Gettysburg: 

"The Seventh New Jersey Regiment suffered considerably 
from the artillery fire of the enemy while lying in support of 
the batteries, a number of men being killed and wounded. 
* * * At last, when the fighting was the fiercest at Lit- 
tle Round Top, the Devil's Den and the Wheatfield, the 
Seventh became exposed to a shower of flying bullets at 
their backs. The regiment changed front to the left by the 
right flank, bringing them to face in the lane and moving 
a few hundred feet over towards the Emmetsburg road, and 


nearer to Trestle's lane. Just at this time the artillery, in order 
to escape the advancing lines of Longstreet's hosts, limbered 
up and came hastening to the rear from the Peach Orchard 
and from the field. One battery, coming straight toward 
the Seventh Regiment, caused the right four companies to 
separate from the line, thus causing a gap, and, to avoid 
being crushed to death by the reckless drivers of the battery, 
were forced across Trostle's lane. The artillery became 
temporarily blocked in the lane, the anxiety of the drivers 
caused them to lap their horses over the pieces and caissons 
in front of them, thus effectually preventing the right four 
companies of the Seventh from rejoining their colors and 
the other six companies on the south side of the lane. Si- 
multaneously with this blockade in Trostle's lane came the 
rebel lines into the sunken road, running from the Emmets- 
burg pike to Round Top, and, with colors planted on this 
natural breastwork, they opened a galling fire upon the 
Seventh New Jersey and the Second New Hampshire, 
which, falling back from its first position at the extreme 
angle in the Peach Orchard, had made this its last stand, in 
the field, about midway between the two roads. The right 
of the Seventh, which was then the color company of the 
regiment commanded by Captain Hillyer, rested under a 
single tree that still stands on the fence line of Trostle's 
lane. The regiment could not return with any efifect the 
fire of the rebel line, as nothing but the slouch hats of their 
men were visible; they were unable to He down in the lane, 
owing to the blockade of the artillery, and there was no 
other shelter for the gallant veterans of the Seventh, who 
had no thought of leaving the field without firing one shot 
at the enemy, at least, before the guns were safely drawn. 
Colonel Francine, Lieutenant-Colonel Price and Major 
Cooper in a few moments saw that it would be impossible 
to hold the men together inactive, exposed to this concen- 
trated and galling fire, which in a few moments would be- 
come deadly, when the rebel riflemen had a more accurate 
range. Believing that a charge on the double-quick, with 
hearty Yankee cheers, would check the advance of the en- 
emy's line and draw his fire from the retreating batteries, 
at the same time destroying his range, the order was quickly 


^given: 'Fix bayonets; forward, double-quick, charge!' and 
this devoted Httle band swept across the field with shouts 
>of confidence. As they reached about the prolongation of 
the line of the Second New Hampshire — which stood like 
a wall, hopelessly watching its spent, feeble and almost ex- 
hausted fire against the long line of battle confronting it — 
the hopelessness of the Seventh's effort was apparent, and 
all knew that any further advance meant certain annihila- 
tion for the brave Jerseymen. A halt, a hasty adjustment 
of the line and a volley at the line of dirty slouch hats in 
front, was the work of but a minute, and the rattle of the 
musketry drowned all other sounds, while the smoke to- 
tally obscured the rebel hats and colors. 

"At this point Colonel Francine, Lieutenant Mullery, Ad- 
jutant Dougherty and over one-third of the Seventh were 
quickly placed hors de combat. The few who were still 
able to get away (wounded and unhurt) fell back beyond 
the Trostle house, where they joined the other four com- 
panies, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Price, 
who rallied the scattered fragments and made another stand 
nearTrostle's dwelling, until he himself fell, shot through 
the thigh, when the command devolved upon Major Fred- 
erick Cooper. In falling back from its most advanced po- 
sition many more were struck by the shower of balls. * ♦ * 
'The losses of the Seventh were severe, * * * wounded 
and missing as follows : 

"Company A. 

"Kiired. — Corporal Parker S. Davis, Martin Van Houten, 
James Flaveger. 

"Wounded. — Lieutenant Robert Allen, First Sergeant 
Frederick Laib (died July 7), Corporal Swain S. Reeves, 
AVilliam H. Kirby, Thomas P>rady. Lewis Hoag. Jonathan 
C Stevens, Owen S. Clark (died July 20). John Geckler." 

These two regiments (the Sixth and Seventh) constituted 
two of the four regiments composing Avhat was generally 
known as the Second Brigade, New Jersey Volunteers, and 
M^as first attached to the Third P>rigade, Hooker's Division; 
afterwards to the Third P)rigade. Second Division, Third 
Corps; then to the First Brigade, Fourth Division, Second 
Corps; then to the Third Brigade, Third Division, Second 


Corps, and at the close of the war was attached to what was 
known as the Provisional Corps, Army of the Potomac. 

The regiments took part in the following engagements 
(while Cape May men were in them): Siege of Yorktown, 
Va., April and May, '62; Williamsburg, Va., May 5, '62; 
Fair Oaks, Va., June i and 2, '62; Seven Pines, Va., June 
25, '62; Savage Station, Va., June 29, '62; Glendale, Va.„ 
June 30, '62; Malvern Hill, Va., July i, '62; Malvern HilU 
Va., August 5, '62; Bristow Station, Va., August 2"], '62; 
Bull Run, Va., August 29 and 30, '62; Chantilly, Va.. Sep- 
tember I, '62; Centreville, Va., September 2, '62; F"reder- 
icksburg, Va., December 13 and 14, '62; Chancellorsville, 
Va., May 3 and 4, '63; Gettysburg, Pa., July 2 and 3, '63; 
Wapping Heights, Va., July 24, '63; McLean's Ford, Va.,, 
October 15, '63; Mine Run, Va., November 29, 30 and De- 
cember I, '63; Wilderness, Va., May 5 to 7. '64; Spottsyl- 
vania, Va., May 8 to 11, '64; Spottsylvania C. H., Va., May 
12 to 18, '64: North Anna River, Va., May 23 and 24, '64; 
Tolopotomy Creek, Va., May 30 and 31, '64; Cold Harbor, 
Va., June i to 5, '64; before Petersburg, Va., June 16 to 23, 
'64; Deep Bottom, Va., July 26 and 2"], '64; mine explosion,, 
Va., July 30, '64; North Bank of James River, Va., Au- 
gust 14 to 18, '64; Fort Sedgwick, Va., September 10, '64, 
and Poplar Spring Church, Va., October 2, '64. 

Of Captain George W. Smith it is said that he was a 
brave soldier. He was born in Cincinnati in 1828, being 
the grandson of Thomas Smith, who came from England 
to Maryland in 1750. The oldest son was Thomas, father 
of the captain, who died in Cincinnati from cholera in 1832. 
The youth was then left to toil for himself with his two 
brothers, James T. and William. In 1844 the widowed 
mother and sons removed to Philadelphia, where George 
learned the painter's trade. In 1850 they came to Cape Is- 
land. In 1861 he was elected Alderman of Cape Island, 
but went to war before serving out his term. On June 17 
he became first lieutenant of the "Cape Island Home 
Guards," and shortly after entered the service, as noted be- 
fore. He was wounded at Chancellorsville May 3, 1863, 
which was the cause of his resignation from the service on 
January 7, 1864. When the advance was being made upon 



Richmond and just before the Seven Days' battle, he was in 
command of Companies A and G. At the battle of Mal- 
vern Hill he commanded the regiment because every other 
commissioned offtcer had been killed or wounded. He 
brought the regiment safe to Harrison's Landing. 

Shortly after resigning Captain Smith came home, and 
was, in March, elected a member of the City Council. In 
1871 and 1872 he was Sergeant-at-Arms of the New Jersey 

He organized Company H, Sixth Regiment, New Jersey 

GEOKGE \v. sMrni. 

State Guards, an^l w.^s iria;;c its iirst captain, June 4, 1875, 
He was elected major of the regiment on September 21, 
1882, and lieutenant-colonel on October 11, 1885. He re- 
signed the last-named position on March 14, 1887, and has 
since been in private life. Ht was postmaster at Avalca 
during his brief residence there. He was for twenty-five 
years superintendent of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
Sunday-school at Cape May City. In politics he was a Re- 
publican, but in later years has been a member of the Pro- 
hibition party. His brother, William, who was one time 


captain of the "Cape Island Home Guards,'" served in a 
Pennsylvania regiment, and was killed in the battle of Get- 

Company C, of the Ninth Regiment Infantry, New Jer- 
sey Volunteers, contained the following persons, who en- 
rolled and were enlisted on September 20, 1861, for three 
years of service: David D. Lurch, Samuel D. Corson, Jo- 
seph F. Ciaig, Enoch W. Hand, jub Heritage, Richard 
Heritage and Augustus Spalding, all privates. Burch re- 
enhsted January iS, '64, and was appointed corporal De- 
cember 3, '64, and sergeant May 14, '65. Corson and 
Spalding also re-enlisted on January 18, '64, and Richard 
Heritage two days following. Benjamin B. Garrison was 
mustered into the service on May 22, 1863, and Jeremiah 
Garrison on April 13, 1864, each as a private, for three 
years. Samuel Hearon and John High, of Cape May 
county, who had enlisted, and were mustered in Company E, 
same regiment, on April 8, 1865, for one year, were trans- 
ferred to Company C, while John C. Garrison, who en- 
listed on March 16, '65, for one year in Company B, was 
transferred to Company C also. Benjamin B. Garrison died 
of typhoid fever at the hospital of the Third Division, Twen- 
ty-third Army Corps, Greensboro, N. C, May 17, 1865, 
and was buried at Raleigh National Cemetery, N. C, Sec- 
tion 23, Grave 6. All the others served out their enlist- 
ments or v/ere mustered out of service as follows: Enoch 
W. Hand, December 7, '64; Joseph F. Craig and Job Heri- 
tage, the next day; David D. Burch, Samuel D. Corson, 
Jeremiah Garrison, John C. Garrison, Richard Heritage, 
Samuel Hearon and John High, July 12, '65, and Au- 
gustus Spalding, August 7, '65. 

"^'le Ninth Regiment took part in the following engage- 
mei '-: Roanoke Island, N. C, February 8, '62; Newberne, 
N. (■ March 14, '62; Fort Macon, N. C. April 25, '62; 
Youn; ■ Cross Roads, N. C, July 27. '62; Rowells' Mills, 
N. C, Ncy' •"-•her 2. '62; Deep Creek, N. C, December 12, 
'62; South V\\ "^ Creek. N. C, December 13, '62; before 
Kinston, N. C, December 13, '62; Kinston, N. C, Decem- 
ber 14, '62; Whitehall, N. C, December 16, '62; Goldsboro, 
N. C, December 17, '62; Comfort Bridge. N. C, July 6, 


''63; near Winton, N. C, July 26, '63; Deep Creek, Va., -> 1 - 
ruary 7, '64; Deep Creek, Va., March i, "64; Cherry Grove, 
Va., April 14, '64; Port Walthall, Va., May 6 and 7, "64; 
Procters, \'a., May 8. '64; Swift Creek, \'a.. May 9 and 10, 
'64; Drury's Bluff, Va., May 12 to 16, '64; Cold Harbor, 
Va., June 3 to 12, '64; Free Bridge, Va., June 16, '64; be- 
fore Petersburg, Va., June 20 to August 24, '64; Gardner's 
Biidge, N. C, December 9, '64; Foster's Bridge, N. C, 
December 10, '64; Butler's Bridge, N. C, December 11, 
'64; South West Creek. N. C, March 7, '65; Wise's Fork, 
N. C, March 8, 9 and 10, '65; Goldsboro, N. C, March 21, 


Colonel James Stewart, Jr., of the Ninth, in a letter to 
Governor Joel Parker from Carolina City, N. C, October 
15, 1864, says of Enoch W. Hand, who, with others, were 
bearers of State . colors, that they "were severely wounded 
by bearing them at the battles of Newberne and Goldsbor- 
ough, N. C, and Drury's Bluff, Cold Harbor and Peters- 
burg, Va." 

In the Tenth Regiment, which was raised under author- 
ity from the War Department, and without the consent of 
the Governor of New Jersey, and was recruited at Beverly, 
-were Richard H. Townsend, in Company B, and Silas Hoff- 
man, in Company I. Townsend enlisted on September 28, 
1 861, and two days later was mustered in as first sergeant of 
the company. He enlisted for three years, but was commis- 
sioned April 9, '63, and was mustered in as second lieutenant 
of Company C, Twelfth Regiment, on June 30. '63. Hoffman 
•enlisted and was mustered in as a private in Company I 
on November 8, 1861. for three years. He re-enlisted on 
January 3, 1865, and served until July i, 1865, when he was 
mustered out of service. The earlier services of the regi- 
;ment were around Washington. After May 15, 1863, the 
regiment took part in the principal engagements in which 
:the Sixth and Seventh Regiments participated. 



In the First New Jersey Cavalry the following from Cape- 
May county enlisted: Henry W. Sawyer, William B. El- 
dredge, Caleb L. Warner, John H. Warner and Harry L.. 
Gilmore, in Company D, and Jacob E. Johnson, in Com- 
pany B. 

Henry W. Sawyer was commissioned second lieutenant 
of Company D, and mustered into service on April 14, 1861,. 
for three years, and on April 7, 1862, was promoted to first 
lieutenant; was promoted to captain of Company K on Oc- 
tober 8, 1862, and commissioned major of the regiment 
October 12, 1863, but was not mustered into this office until 
August 31, 1864. He was mustered out of service on July 
24, 1865. 

Henry W^ashington Sawyer was born in Lehigh county^. 
Pa., May 16, 1829. In youth he received a plain education, 
arul, as he was advanced in years, he learned the carpenter's 
trade. In 1848 he removed to Cape Island, where he- 
worked at his trade until the Rebellion broke out. On 
April 15. 1 86 1, when President Lincoln issued his proclama- 
tion calling for volunteers, he was among the first to offer 
his services. As there was no regimental organization or 
comoany ready, or likely to be ready for two weeks in this 
State at that time. Mr. Sawyer went to Trenton, saw Gover- 
nor Olden, and offered his services to the LTnion cause. At. 
that time the rebels had possession of Baltimore, and inter- 
cepted all mail and telegraphic communications with Wash- 
ington city. Governor Olden accepted his services and sent 
him to the latter city, with dispatches to Simon Cameron, 
then Secretary of War, which Sawyer faithfully delivered,. 
On the 19th of April (midnight) he was chosen one of the 
guards to protect the Capitol, there being but one company 
of regular cavalry in Washington. On the 20th five com- 


panics of Pennsylvania three-months' men arrived, to one 
of which ]\Ir. Sawyer was attached as private. Ere thirty 
days had passed he was appointed a second sergeant, and in 
sixty days from the time of his enhstment he was promoted 
second Heutenant. The time of the three-months' men hav- 
ing expired in August, 1861, he returned home. 

He had not been home long when he again offered his 
services to Governor Olden for a position in a New Jersey 
regiment, and his record having been found so meritorious, 
he w^as, on the 19th of February, 1862, commissioned as 
second lieutenant in Company D, First New Jersey Cavalry, 
in which position he served with such marked credit that, 
on April 7, 1862, he was promoted first lieutenant, and so 
meritorious had been his conduct from the time he first en- 
tered the regiment that he was promoted captain of Com- 
pany K on the 8th of October, 1862, .j ,p:^>, -J 

Captain Sawyer made a most gallant fight with his com- 
pany on the 9th of June, 1863, at the battle of Brady's Sta- 
tion — one of the great cavalry battles of the Rebellion. Un- 
fortunately, he received two wounds in this battle, was taken 
prisoner and held for nine months in Libby Prison. 

In order to do justice to him, we copy at length from the 
"Appended Notes" in Foster's "History of New Jersey and 
the Rebellion" that portion in reference to Captain Sawyer. 
It reads: 

"In the battle of Brandy Station, June 9, 1863, Captain 
Sawyer was taken prisoner, and, after remaining a short 
time at Culpepper, was carried to Richmond and placed in 
Libby Prison. Here he remained until the 6th of July, 
when all the captains among the prisoners were summoned 
l)y General Winder from their quarters into a lower room 
of the prison. No exchanges having taken place, the men 
generally supposed that they were to be paroled and sent 
"home; but no such good fortune awaited them. Instead of 
receiving an order for their release, they were informed that 
an order had been issued by the rebel War Department di- 
recting that two captains should be selected by lot from 
among the prisoners to be shot in retaliation for the exe- 
cution by General Burnside of two rebel of^cers, who had 
heen detected in recruiting within the Union lines. The 


consternation occasioned by this announcement may be 
imagined. They had hoped for release, and here was aa 
order which in a moment clouded the whole prospect. Es- 
cape, of course, was impossible. The drawing was inevita- 
ble. After being formed in a hollow square, a slip of pa- 
per, with the name of each man written upon it, and care- 
fully folded up, was deposited in a box, whereupon Captain 
Turner informed the men that they might select whom thejr 
pleased to draw the names, the first two names drawn to in- 
dicate the men to be shot. 

"Captain Sawyer, who alone seemed to retain his self- 
possession, suggested that one of the chaplains should be 
appointed. Three of the chaplains were called down from 
an upper room, and the Rev. Mr. Brown, of the Sixth Mary- 
land, accepting the task, amid a silence almost deathlike the 
drawing commenced. The first name taken out of the box 
was that of 'Captain Henry Washington Sawyer, of the Sec- 
ond New Jersey Cavalry,' and the second that of 'Captain 
Flynn, of the Fift3--first Indiana.' 'When the names were 
read out.' says the Richmond Dispatch. 'Sawyer heard it 
with no apparent emotion, remarking that some one had to 
be drawn, and he could stand it as well as any one else. 
Flynn was very white and depressed.' The drawing over, 
the prisoners were returned to their quarters, the condemned 
meanwhile poceeding under guard to the headquarters of 
General Winder, Provost Marshal-General. Here they were 
warned not to delude themselves with any hope of escape, 
as retaliation must be and would be inflicted, it being added 
that the execution would positively take place on the 14th, 
eight days hence. Sawyer, however, desperate as the situa- 
tion seemed, did not despair, but, reflecting that if by any 
means his situation could be brought to the knowledge of 
the government, he might still be rescued, he asked permis- 
sion to write to his wife, which, being granted on conditioa' 
that the authorities should read the letter, he immediately 
wrote the following, which none other than a brave and 
true-souled man, thus standing in the shadow of death,, 
could oen: 



" 'Provost-General's Office, 

■■ 'Richmond, Va., Jul) Cth, 1863. 

" 'My Dear Wife: — 1 am under the necessity of informing 
you that my prospects look dark. 

" 'This morning all the captains now prisoners at the 
Libby Miniary Prison drew lots for two to be executed. It 
fell to my iot. Myself and Captain Flynn, of the Fifty-first 
Indiana Infantry, will be executed for two captains executed 
by Burnside. 

" 'The Provost-General, J. H. Winder, assures me that 
the Secretary of War of tlie Southern Confederacy will per- 


mit yourself and my difar children to visit me before I am 
executed. You will be permitted to bring an attendant. 
Captain Whilldin, or Uncle W. W. Ware, or Dan, had bet- 
ter come with you. My situation is hard to be borne, and I 
cannot think of dying without seeing you and the children. 
You will be allowed to return without molestation to your 
home. I am resigned to whatever is in store for me, with 
the consolation that I die without having committed any 
crime. I have no trial, no jury, nor am I charged with any 
crime, 1)ut it fell to my lot. You will proceed to Washing- 
ton. My government v.ill give you transportation for 
Fortress Monroe, and you will get here by a flag of truce, 


and return the same way. Bring with you a shirt for me. 

" 'It will be necessary for you to preserve this letter to 
bring evidence at Washington of my condition. My pay is 
due me from the ist of March, which you are entitled to. 

Captain B owes me fifty dollars, money lent to him 

when he went on a lurlougli. You will write to him at 
once, and he will send it to you. 

" 'My dear wife, the fortune of war has put me in this po- 
sition. If I must die, a sacrifice to my country, with God's 
will I must submit; only let me see you once more, and I 
will die becoming a man and an officer; but, for God's sake, 
do not disappoint me. Write to me as soon as you get this, 
and go to Captain Whilldin; he will advise you what to do, 

'* '1 have done nothing to deserve this penalty. But you 
must submit to your fate. It will be no disgrace to myself, 
you or the children; but you may point with pride and say: 
"I give my husband;" my children will have the consolation 
to say: "I was made an orphan for my country." 

"'God will provide for you; never fear. Oh! it is hard 
to leave you thus. I wish the ball that passed through my 
head in the last battle would have done its work; but it was 
not to be so. My mind is somew'hat influenced, for it has 
come so suddenly on me. Write to me as soon as you get 
this; leave your letter open, and I will get it. Direct my 
name and rank, by way of Fortress Monroe. 

" 'Farewell! farewell!! and I hope it is all for the best. I 
remain yours until death, " 'H. W. Sawyer, 

" 'Captain First New Jersey Cavalry.' 

"After penning this letter, with a conflict of feeling which 
we may well imagine. Sawyer and his companion were 
placed in close confinement in a dungeon under ground. 
Here they were fed on corn bread and water, the dungeon 
being so damp that their clothing mildewed. The 14th 
came at last, but still they remained unmolested. Sawyer 
had estimated aright; his letter had saved him from the 
rebel clutch. Immediately upon receiving it, his true- 
hearted wife hastened to lay the matter before influential 
friends, and these at once proceeded to Washington, pre- 
sented the case to the President and Secretary of War, who, 
without- delay, directed that General Lee, son of General 


E.obert E. Lee, and General Winder, son of the rebel Pro- 
-vost Marshal-General, then prisoners in our hands, should 
'be placed in close confinement as hostages. General Butler 
being at the same time ordered to notify the Confederate 
■Government that immediately upon receiving information, 
authentic or otherwise, of the execution of Sawyer and 
Flynn, he should proceed to execute Winder and Lee. This 
action, prompt and unmistakable, and more significant, per- 
liaps, to the enemy, because of General Butler's known 
resolution of purpose, produced the desired effect. Saw- 
yer and Flynn were not executed. 

"After remaining twenty-one days in the dungeon to 
which they were assigned, they were relieved and placed on 
the same footing with other prisoners. Still, however, the 
Richmond papers vehemently insisted that the execution 
imust and would take place, and the fate of the condemned 
•remained some time longer a matter of speculation and 
-^oubt. But the days lengthened into weeks, the winter 
passed, and at length, in March, 1864, the prison doors were 
©pened. Sawyer being exchanged for General Lee. The 
satisfaction with which the brave captain once more walked 
forth a free man, and found shelter under the old fllag, was 
such as only a man coming from death into life, from dismal 
bondage into joyous and perfect liberty, can ever experi- 
ence, and none other, certainly, can appreciate. It should 
1>e added that Captain Sawyer, after this sad experience, as 
Ijefore it, fought gallantly and efTectively for the good cause, 
coming out of the war a major and with scars 'more honor- 
able than the highest rank.' " 

Captain Flynn, who never got over his long confinement 
in Libby Prison, seven weeks of which were spent in a dun- 
g-eon, died six months after his release. 

The Philadelphia Inquirer of Wednesday, March 23, 1864, 
-said of Captain Sawyer's confinement in Libby: 

"Captain Sawyer, of the First New Jersey Cavalry, who 
lias been a prisoner in the Libby Prison for nine months, 
arrived in this city on Monday. Captain Sawyer was taken 
prisoner in the cavalry combat at Brandy Station in June last. 
Tliis was the closest cavalry fight of the war. Towards the 
conclusion Captain Sawyer received two wounds from pistol 


bullets, one of which passed through his thigh and the other 
striking his right cheek, passed out of the back of the neck 
on the left side of the spine. Notwithstanding his wounds^ 
he still kept the saddle until his horse was shot, when the lat- 
ter sprang up into the air and fell dead, throwing his rider 
w'ith such force as to render him insensible. When he re- 
covered consciousness Captain Sawyer saw Lieutenant- 
Colonel Broderick lying near, and crawled up to him, but 
on examina'tion found that he was dead. A short distance 
further on he saw Alajor Shellmire, wdiile all around him 
were men of his own or other companies, either killed or 

"While by the side of Colonel Broderick, Captain Sawyer 
was seen by two rebel soldiers, who took him prisoner, and^ 
after washing the blood from his face with water from a 
neighboring ditch, conveyed him to the rear. His wounds- 
were pronounced very dangerous, if not mortal, but in a few 
weeks he improved so much he was sent to Richmond and 
confined in Libby I^'ison. In that dismal prison he re- 
mained until about a week ago. Early in June all the cap- 
tains who were prisoners were assembled in a room by a 
Captain Turner, their jailor. These oflicers, of course, did 
not know of the object of these unusual proceedings, but 
supposed it was in order that they might be pardoned. The 
reader can judge of the painful surprise they experienced 
when Captain Turner said: 'Gentlemen, it is my painful duty 
to communicate to you an order I have received from Gen- 
era Winder (provost marshal of Richmond), which I will 
read.' The order was then read, ordering Captain Turner 
to select, by lot, two Federal captains fur immediate execu- 
tion, in retaliation for the execution of two Confederate offi- 
cers in Kentucky by General Burnside. 

"The order having been read, it only remained to decide 
who the lot should fall upon, and Captain Turner asked the 
Union officers to select a man to draw the ballots as the 
names were called. After a brief silence Captain Sawyer 
suggested a chaplain of the United States Army, who was 
present. This was acceded to, and the drawing commenced- 
Nearly half the roll had been called and neither of the fatal 


ballots had been drawn : but when the name of Captain 
Henrv W. Sawyer was called the ballot drawn responded 

"The two victims were separated from their comrades and 
ordered to prepare for death. The Richmond papers, in 
their published accounts of this scene, all agreed in saying 
that Captain Sawyer met the trial with unfaltering courage. 
There was no bravado, no affectation of recklessness, but 
there was no faltering; only the steady, calm courage of a 
bravtj man: to use the captain's own words (if we may do 
so w thout impropriety), he was determined that New Jer- 
sey should have no cause to be ashamed of his conduct. 

"The prisoners thus sentenced to death were removed to 
a dungeon, a vault in the cellar of the Libby Prison, where 
they remained until about the middle of August. The vault 
was only about six feet wide, and had no place for light or 
air, except a hole about six inches square cut in the door. 
In front of this door a sentry was constantly stationed whose 
duty it was to challenge the inmates once in each half hour 
and receive a reply. This, of course, rendered it impossible 
for both the inmates to sleep at one time. That, however, 
would have been impossible without- this, for it was neces- 
sary for one to remain awake to keep away the rats, which 
swarmed in the cell, off his comrade. About the loth of 
August the prisoners were removed from this vault to the 
upper rooms among the other prisoners, where iioo men 
were confined in six rooms, averaging about 37 by 100 feet 

"We should have stated above that shortly after being sen- 
tenced. Captain Sawyer asked for a respite sufficient to per- 
mit his wife to visit him. This procured a respite for fifteen 
days. During this time the Richmond papers clamored for 
the execution of the tw^o Union officers, with a spirit worthy 
the bloodiest barbarians. But during the fifteen days the 
Government had received information, and General Lee, a 
son of General Robert E. Lee, and Captain Winder, a son of 
the Richmond jailor, were ordered into close confiinement as 
hostages for Sawyer and Fynn. This was effectual, and it is 
hardly probable that the Rebel Government, after that event. 


ever really intended to carry their sentence into effect. At all 
events, last week Captains Sawyer and Flynn were ex- 
changed for Lee and Winder, and both are now safe. 

"Captain Saw\er, from long and close confinement (being 
entirely without meat for the last forty days of his imprison- 
ment), is, of course, somewhat weak; but he is in good spirits 
and hopes to rejoin his regiment at an early date." 

After the close of the war he was breveted lieutenant-col- 
onel by United States Commission, and remained in that po- 
sition until September, 1865, when the regiment was dis- 
charged. At the close of the Rebellion, the rank of the reg- 
ular army being recruited up, he was offered by Edwin M. 
Stanton, Secretary of War, having been recommended by 
a division officer, a lieutenantcy in the regular army, which 
position he declined. During the time that he was in the 
field he received four wounds, two of which were of a serious 
character. One ball he carried in his body imtil he died. For 
being one of the guards at the Capitol on April 19, 1861, he 
was granted a medal by the Pennsylvania Legislature in rec- 
ognition of his services. 

In 1867 Colonel Sawyer became proprietor of the Ocean 
House, Cape jMay City, and held it until April, 1873, when 
he removed to Wilmington, Del., and became proprietor of 
the Clayton House, which he conducted for about three 
years. He again returned to Cape May and built the 
"Chalfonte," which he managed and owned for several years, 
when he sold it. 

Colonel Sawyer was for a number of years a valued mem- 
ber of the City Council, and served in that capacitv during 
the years 1876, 'yy, '78, '80, '81, '82, '85, 'S6 and '87,'and was 
at one time superintendent of the United States Life Saving 
Service for the coast of New Jersey and a member of the 
New Jersey State Sinking Fund Commisison from 1888 to 
1891. He died suddenly of heart failure at Cape May City 
on October 16, 1893. 

The records of the other Cape May men in the First Cav- 
alry Regiment are: 

William B. Eldredge, private Co. D.; enlisted August 13, 


'6i; mustered in Aug-ust 20, '61; transferred to Company K 
June 2/63; mustered out of service September 16. "64. 

Caleb L. Warner, private Company D; enrolled August 
13, '61; mustered into service Augv;st 24, '61; re-enlisted 
January i, '64; mtistered out of service July 24. '65. 

John H. Warner, corporal Company D; commissioned 
August 13. '61; mustered into service August 20, '61; re- 
enlisted as a sergeant January i, '64; first sergeant Decem- 
ber 12, '64; commissioned second lieutenant July 18, '65, 
but not mustered into office; mustered out of service July 
24, '65. 

Harry L. Gilmore, sergeant Company D; commissioned 
Augtist 13. '6r; mustered into service August 20. "61; trans- 
ferred to United States x\rmy as hospital steward June i, 
'62; discharged threfrom July 24, '65. 

Jacob E. Johnson, private Company B ; enrolled and mus- 
tered into service September 5. '64 for one year; dis- 
charged at camp near Cloud's Mills. Va.. May 31, '65. 

Johnson also served in Company K, Twenty-third In- 
fantry Regiment, previously. He enrolled on August 28, 
1862, and was mustered into service as a corporal for nine 
month's on September 13, 1862. He became a private Oc- 
tober 25, 1862, and was mustered out of service with his 
company on June 27, 1863. 

The First New Jersey Cavalry was organized by authority 
of the War Department, and was not under the control of 
the State, and was first known as Halstead's Cavalry. It 
proceeded to Washington on September i. t86t. where it 
encamped until February. 1862. On February 19 an order 
was issued placing it under the State authority, and it was 
then thoroughlv organized. The regiment was first at- 
tached to the Cavalry Division. Army of the Potomac, then 
to the military district of Washington; then to the Depart- 
ment of the Rappahannock: then to the Army of \'irginia; 
then to the defenses of ^^'ashington; then to the Army of the 
Potomac, and again to the Department of ^^'ashington. 
This regiment was probably in as many encounters during 
the war as any other regiment, the following being the list: 
Pohick Church, Va.. December 29. '61, and January 15, '62; 
Seddons' Farm, Va.. May i, '62; Gray's Farm. Va., May 9; 


Rappahannock Station. May; Strasburg. June i; Wood- 
stock, June 2; Harrisonburg, June 6; Cross Keys, June 8; 
Madison C. H., July 27; Barnett's Ford (Rapidan), July 29, 
August 4 and August 7; Cedar Mountain, August 9: Rappa- 
hannock Station, August 18; Brandy Station, August 20; 
Rappahannock Station, August 20 and 21; Warrenton, Au- 
gust 23; Waterloo Ford, August 24; Snicker's Gap, August 
28; Bull Run, August 29 and 30; Chantilly, September i; 
Warrenton, September 24; Aldie, October 31; Fort Cono- 
way, November 19; Fredericksburg, December 11 to 13; 
Rappahnnock Station, April 7, '63; Stoneman's road, April 
30; Rappahannock Station and Kelly's Ford, May 19: 
Brandy Station, June 9; Aldie, June 17; Middleburg, June 
19; Upperville, June 21; near Aldie, June 22\ Westminster, 
Md., June 30; Gettysburg, Pa., July 2 and 3: Emmettsburg, 
Md., July 4 and 6; Tettersburg, Pa., July 7; Cavetown, Md., 
July 8; Harper's Ferry, \'a., July 14; Sheppardstown, Md., 
July 16; Barryville, Va., July 31; Salem, \'a., August 15; 
White Plains, August 16; Sulphur Springs and Brandy Sta- 
tion, October 12; Bristow Station, October 14; near War- 
renton, November 12 and 18; Mountain Run, November 
27; Mine Run, November 27; Parker's Store, November 
29; Custer's raid, February 18, '64; Ravenna River, Febru- 
ary 21; Ely's Ford (Rapidan), May 3; Todd's Tavern, May 
5 and 7; Sheridan's raid, May 9; Beaver Dam Station, May 
10; Yellow Tavern and Ashland Station, May 11; fortifica- 
tions of Richmond, May 12; Church of the Messiah, May 
12; North Anna River, May 24; Hawes' shop. May 28; Em- 
mons Church, May 29; Cold Harbor, June i; Gaines' Mills, 
June 2; Chickahominy River, June 2; Bottom's Bridge, 
June 4 and 5; Pamunky River, June 8; Trevillian Station. 
June 12 and 14; White House, June 20 and 21; St. Mary's 
Church, June 24; near Petersburg, June 29 and July 12; 
raid through the Shenandoah. July; Deep Bottom, July 28; 
Malvern Hill, July 28 to 30; Deep Bottom, August 14; 
Charles City Cross Roads, x\ugust 16 and 17; Reams Sta- 
tion, August 26; Malvern Hill, September 5; Charles City, 
September 11; Jerusalem plank road, September 17; Reams 
Station, September 29 and 30; Vaughn's road, October i; 


^oydton plank road, October 6; Stony Creek, November 27; 
Bellefield Station, December 9 and 10: Dinwiddie C. H., 
February 6, '65; Hatcher's Run. February 6 and 7; before 
Petersburg-. March 20; Dinwiddie C. H.. March 30; Five 
Forks and Chamberlain's Creek, March 31; Amelia Springs 
and Jettersville, April 5; Sailors' Creek, April 6; Farmville, 
April 6 and 7; Appomattox C. H. (Lee's surrender), April 9. 



Not until the second year of the war did any more men-r 
go to the front from Cape May county, but in the mean- 
while the Board of Freeholders prepared for the relief of the 
families of those who went to help save the Union. On 
August 28, 1861, a committee consisting of one person from 
each township and Cape Island, were appointed to look af- 
ter the wants of the soldiers' famihes: Thomas \\'illiams,. 
Upper township; William S. Townsend, Dennis; Smith 
Townsend, Middle; Samuel F. Ware, Lower, and Waters 
B. Miller, Cape Island. These committeemen each had his 
own territory to look after, and was authorized to give each 
soldier's family six dollars per month as long as the head of 
the family was in service. This committee served until 
May, 1862. when a new one was appointed, consisting of 
Thomas Williams, of Upper; Richard S. Learning, of Den- 
nis; Aaron Miller, of Middle; Samuel F. Ware, of Lower,, 
and Dr. Samuel S. Marcy, of Cape Island. 

Samuel Fithian Ware, of Lower township, who served 
with great credit on the Relief Committee during the war, 
was born on October 16. 1800, and was a brother of Wilmon 
W., Maskel. John G. W., and Joseph. He served in the 
Board of Freeholders many years. He was a carpenter and 
an undertaker, and buried during his time about fifteen 
hundred persons. He died in 1876. 

In the meanwhile the Seaville Rangers, which were 
known as Company B, of the Atlantic Brigade, did duty and 
drilled at home under the care of Captain Joseph E. Corson. 
They were given by the State for use on October 26, 1861, 
thirty sets of arms and equipment and 1000 rounds of elon- 
gated ball cartridges. 

On the 23d of December the Board of Freeholders pro- 
vided for the transporting of volunteers to the State rendez- 


vous and appointed as a committee to take charge of the 
work Clinton H. Ludlam, of Dennisville, and Samuel R. 
Magonagle, of Cape Island. 

The Twelfth Regiment was one of the quota of live regi- 
ments charged upon New Jersey under the call for 300,000 
volunteers for three years made by President Lincoln on 
July 7, 1862. It was rendezvoused at Woodbury, and left 
the State on September 7 for service. In it were J. Howard 
Willetts, formerly of Cape May, who had served in the Sev- 
enth Regiment, as before noted; Richard S. Thompson and 
Albert Walker, of Cape May Court House. J. Howard 
Willetts was connnissioned lieutenant-colonel of the regi- 
ment on August II, 1862, and served as such until he was 
promoted to the colonelcy of the regiment, F"ebruary 27, 
1863. He was discharged on December 19, 1864, on ac- 
count of wounds received in the battle 01 Chancellorsville, 

Richard S. Thompson was commissioned captain of Com- 
pany F on August 14, 1862, and mustered into service on 
September 4. He was promoted major of the regiment on 
February 25, 1864. and commissioned as lieutenant-colonel 
on July 2, 1864, and sixteen days later mustered into that 
position. On account of wounds received in the action at 
Ream's Station, A'a., where he commanded the regiment, he 
was discharged from the service February 17, 1865. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Richard S. Thompson was born De- 
cember 27, 1837, ?-t Cape May Court House. His father 
was Richard Thompson, a prominent citizen of county. 
His mother, Elizabeth, was the daughter of Major Nathan- 
iel Holmes, also of this county. After nine years' study in 
seminaries and under private tutors, he entered Haivard 
College in 1859, graduated in 1861. He was admitted to 
the Philadelphia bar early in 1862. He was a member of 
Captain Biddle's Artillery Company, of Philadelphia. 

In July, of 1862, he raised a company in Cumberland 
countv. N. J., and enlisted as captain of Company K, Twelfth 
N. J. Vols. He was mustered with his regiment September 
4. 1862. His regiment was shortly after stationed at Elli- 
cott's Mills. ]\Id.. where he was appointed assistant provost- 
marshal under General V\'ool. In December, 1862, with his 


regiment, lie joined the Army of the Potomac, and was 
placed in the Second Army Corps. 

February i6, 1864, he was appointed judge advocate of 
a division court-martial. He remained with his regiment 
(excepting a few months in 1864, while he was on detached 
service) until August 25, 1864, when he was severely 
wouned in the battle of Ream's Station, V'^a. He com- 
manded hi: regiment as captain, major and lieutenant- 

Among the genera! engagements in which he took part 
were Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Auburn Mills, Bristow 
Station, R.obinson's Tavern, Mine Run, Deep Bottom and 
Ream's Station. 

In December, 1864, while still on crutches, he v/as ap- 
pointed president of a general court-martial for trial of of- 
ficers in Philadelphia. February 17, 1865, he was honor- 
ably discharged on account of wounds received in battle. 
June 7, 1865, he married Miss Catherine Scovel, daughter 
of the Rev. Alden Scovel, of Bloomington, 111. 

In November, 1865, he changed his residence from Cape 
3Dipi3id aij; uodn paja^ua sq 3J31[m. 'oStsdiii^ O} .\:iunoo aej^ 
of his profession, in which he is still engaged. 

In November, 1872, Colonel Thompson was elected Sen- 
ator of the Illinois General Assembly. 

Albert Walker was enrolled for service on August 9, 
'62, and mustered into service (in Company K) on Septem- 
ber 4. He was promoted to corporal on June 4, '64, and 
served until mustered out, on June 15, '65. 

On April 9, 1863, Richard Townsend, of Cape May, who 
was then a sergeant in Company B, Tenth Regiment, was 
commissioned second lieutenant of Company C, this regi- 
ment, and mustered into service on June 30, and on July 3, 
in the battle of Gettysburg, was killed. His remains were 
buried at the National Cemetery, Gettysburg, in Section A, 
Grav? I. Samuel Tombs, in his work on Gettysburg, says: 

"In the height of the fight Lieutenant Richard H. Town- 
send, of Cape M^--' countv, fell, shot through the heart. Pro- 
moted from the Tenth PvCgiment, New Jersey Volunteers, 
"he had been able to join his new command only three days 
before, and thus died in his first battle." 

THE ENLISTMENTS 01' 18(i2. 331 

On the 28th of August the Board of Freeholders passed 
a resolution "That, for the purpose of filling the requisition 
made on the county of Cape May," under the call for the 
300,000 volunteers, they would give to each vohniteer who 
enlisted in the Uniterl States service the sum of fifty dollars. 
'The county collector, at the same time, was authorized to 
borrow on the credit of the county the sum of ten thousand 
dollars to pay this bounty, and Richard S. Leaming, of 
Dennisville, was authorized to go to Beverly, wdiere the 
Twenty-fifth Regiment was being rendezvoused, to give the 
volunteers their orders. 

The Twenty-fifth Regiment Infantry was organized un- 
der the provisions of an act of Congress, approved July 22, 

1861. A draft for 10.478 men to serve for nine months, 
unless sooner discharged, had been made upon the Governor 
of this State by the President of the United States, August 
4, 1862. and soon after full instructions for conducting it 
■were received from the War Department. The draft so 
ordered, was not to interfere with orders governing recruit- 

'ing, and all enlistments up to September i, 1862, would be 
placed to the credit of the State. A general desire mani- 
fested and expressed by the State authorities, as w^ell as by 
prominent citizens throughout the State, to avoid the draft, 
gave an enthusiasm to recruiting, which caused the entire 
quota to be raised b> voluntary enlistment, and in camp, by 
the 3d day of September, 1862, the time appointed for com- 
mencing the draft. The organization of the regiment was 
immediately commenced, and soon after fully completed, 
officered and equipped. It was then duly mustered into the 
•service of the United States for nine months. Companies 
T, G and I, composed principally of men from Cape May 
'County, were mustered in at Beverly, N. J., September 26, 

1862, by William B. Royall, captain Fifth Cavalry. U. S. 
Army. The headquarters of the regiment were established 
at Beverly, from which place it left the State October 10, 
1862. en route to Washington, D. C. Upon arrival at 

'Washington it was assigned to the Second Brigade, Casey's 
Division, defenses of ^^^ashi51^ton, and went into camp at 
East Capitol Hill, and immediately began to rrenare for 

active service. It remained in this vicinity until th.e 30th 


day of November, when, under orders, it marched to the 
front and joined the Army of the Potomac, having been as- 
signed to the Ninth Army Corps. On the nth of February^ 
1863, the regiment, in connection with the Ninth Cnrps,. 
was detached from the Army of the Potomac and proceeded^ 
to Newport News, Va. On the 13th of March it proceeded 
to Sufifolk, Va., to assist in repelhng a threatened invasion 
by the enemy at this point. The regiment continued its 
organization and remained in active service until the expira- 
tion of its term of service, when it was ordered to return tO' 
New Jersey for discharge. It was mustered out at P.evcrly, 
N. J., June 20, 1863. After leaving Casey's Division it: 
w^as attached to the First Brigade, Third Division, Ninth- 
Army Corps. It took part in the engagements at Freder- 
icksburg, Ya.., December 13 and 14, '62, and at "Near Suf- 
folk," Va., May 3, '63. 

Company F was composed entirely (excepting Captain 
Blenkow) of residents of Dennis and Lower townships and. 
Cape Island. All the members were enrolled for service on' 
September i. '62, and mustered into service on September 
26. When the company left with its regiment it was com- 
posed of the following of^cers and men: 

Captain, David Blenkow, shoe dealer. 

First lieutenant, Nicholas W. Godfrey, carpenter. 

Second lieutenant, Henry Y. Willetts, carpenter. 

First sergeant, Reuben Foster. 

Sergeants, John F. Gof¥, Edwin Ludlam, J. Granville 

Corporals, Coleman F. Ludlam, William T. SteVens, 
Abijah D. Reeves, Joseph Garrison, Virgil D. Schellengen. 

Musician (drummer), George S. Cresse. 

Privates — Charles Abrams, Skidmore Abrams, William- 
Armstrong, Jerome Bowker, Joseph Brewton, Elias Camp,- 
Daniel Chambers, John Chambers, John W. Corson, Fred- 
erick W. Cradol, Thomas ]M. Creamer, Anthony Cresse, 
Daniel F. Crowell, Samuel S. Cummings, Evan Edmunds, 
Jonathan H. Edwards, George H. Eldredge, James S. El- 
dredge, Clark Elliott, Sam.uel R. Stites, Ezekiel Voss, Jo- 
seph Elliott, Owen Endicott. Seely Ernest, James Ewing,. 
Livingstone Ewing, Thomas S. Foster, Elbridge G. Goff,. 


Albert Grace, James S. Grace, Matthew W. Hall, Jeremiah 
Hampton, Philip Hand, Samuel Hand, Seth L. Hand, 
Thomas H. Hand, Charles Heisles, Joseph S. Higbee, John 
T. Hoffman, Samuel Honn, Joseph B. Hughes, Joshua 
Johnson, Alphonso A. Jones, James H. Kimsey, Henry 
Langley, Alphonso D. Lee, Richard F. Lloyd, Walter S. 
Peterson, Josiah Powell, William L. Pritchard, Charles P. 
Riel, William C. Rutherford, Charles T. Shaw, Francis W. 
.Sheldon, William F. Smith, William Snyder. Israel S. Town- 
send, John Trout, Samuel F. Ware, Jr., Maurice V. W'arner, 
Leaming Weatherby, George T. Weeks, John Weeks, Jere- 
miah Weldon, Eva E. Westcott, Joseph Whitaker, Josiah 
Whitaker, Thomas B. Williams, Stacy M. Wilson, Jonathan 
G. Fidler, Thomas Morton. Jesse S. Godfrey, Furman Bar- 
nett, Theodore Church, Elwood Devaul, John W^ Reeves, 
John P. Sutton. David E. Swain. Albert S. Edmunds, 
Thomas Beckwith, Albert F, Brewton, Hugh Edmunds 
David E. Hand, Thomas P. Hand, John B. Robinson, Jere- 
miah F. Tyler and Daniel H. White. The odcupations and 
professions of the company were as follows: Artists, 2;. car- 
penters, 8; clerks, 2; farmers, 40; laborers, 33; shoemaker, 
i; seamen, 9; miller, i, and printers, 2. This company had 
five men wounded and one (Albert S. Edmunds) killed in 
the battle of Fredericksburg, and two men wounded at Suf- 

Nicholas W. Godfrey resigned as first lieutenant on De- 
cember 22, and three days later Henry Y. W^illetts was com- 
missioned and mustered into that position. On the same 
day Reuben Foster was commissioned second lieutenant, 
and on January 3, 63, mustered into the office. John F. 
Gofif was made first sergeant January 3. Coleman F. Lud- 
1am and William T. Stevens were made sergeants January 
I. Samuel R. Stites was promoted to corporal December 
29, '62, and to sergeant two days later. J. Granville Leach 
was promoted to sergeant-major of the regiment on January 
I, '63. and then commissioned second lieutenant of Company 
I March 20, '63. John Chambers was made corporal No- 
vember 15, while Ezekiel Voss, Anthony Cresse and John 
W. Corson were promoted to corporals on January i, '63. 

The records of the men who, owing to disability and other 


causes, did not stay with the company until the close of its^ 
service, were: 

Jonathan G. Fidler — Discharged at Suffolk, Va., April 
15, '63; disability. 

Thomas Morton — Discharged at camp near Falmouth,, 
Va., December 29, '62; disability. 

Jesse S. Godfrey — Discharged at Fortress Monroe, Va., 
April 9, '63; disalDility. 

Furman Barnett — Discharged at I-'ifth Street U. S. Army 
Hospital, Philadelphia, Pa., February 4, "63; disability. 

Theodore Church — Discharged at Convalescent Camp, 
Alexandria, \'a., February 4, '63; disability. 

Elwood Devaul — Discharged at U. S. Army General Hos- 
pital, Philadelphia. February 23, "63: disability. 

John W. Reeves — Discharged at Philadelphia, Pa., Feb- 
ruary 14, '63: disability. 

John P. Sutton — Discharged U. S. Army General FIos- 
pital, Philadelphia, February 4, '63; disability. 

David E. Swain — Discharged U. .S. Army General Hos-- 
pital, Philadelphia, January 28, '63; disability. 

Albert S. Edmunds — Killed in action at Fredericksburg, 
Va., December 13, '62. 

Thomas Beckwith — Died of measles at Emory U. S. 
Army Hospital, Washington, D. C, November 9, '62. 

Albert S. Brewton — Died of typh<Md fever at Regimental 
Hospital, near Suffolk, Va., April 15. '63; buried at National 
Cemetery, Hampton, Va.. Row 22, Section C, Grave 19. 

Hugh Edmunds — Died of disease at Regimental Hos- 
pital, near Suffolk, Ya.. March 26, '63; buried at National 
Cemetery, Hampton. \^a.. Row 21, Section B, Grave 5. 

David E. Hand — Died of typhoid fever at U. S. Army 
General Hospital, Newark, N. J., January 2"/, '63. 

Thomas P. Hand — Died of chronic diarrhoea at Hamp- 
ton U. S. Army General Hospital, Fortress Monroe, Va., 
May 3, '63. 

John B. Robinson — Died of congestion of brain in camp 
near Suffolk, Va.. March 19, '63; buried at National Ceme- 
tery, Hampton. Va., Row 19, Section B, Grave 26. 

Jeremiah F. Tvler — Di'^d at U. .S. Armv General Hospital, 
Newark, N. J., January 6, '63; wounds received in action at 


Fredericksburg, \ a.; buried at P"airmount Cemetery, New- 
ark, N.J. 

Daniel H. White — Died at St. Elizabeth U. S. Army Gen- 
eral Hospital, Washinton, D. C, Decembtr 23, '62, of 
wounds received in action at Fredericksburg. Va. ; buned at 
Military Asylum Cemetery, D. C. 

The lOilcwing remained in the service of the company 
unt 1 it was mustered out, on June 20, 1865: Henry Y. 
Willetts, Reuben Foster, John F. Goff, Coleman F. Ludlam, 
William T. Stevens, Edwin Ludlam, Samuel R. Siilcs, Abi- 
jah D. Reeves, Joseph Garrison, Virgil D. Schellenger, John 
Chambers, Ezekiel Voss, Anthony Cresse. John W. Cor- 
son, George S. Cresse, diaries Abrams, Skidmore Abrams, 
William Armstrong, Jerome Bowker, Joseph Brewton, 
Elias Camp, Daniel Chambers, Frederick Crandol, Thomas 
M. Creamer, Daniel F. Crowell, Samuel S. Cummings, Evan 
Edmunds. Jonathan H. Edwards, George H. Eldridge,, 
James S. Eldridge, Clark Elliott, Joseph Elliott, Ov>'en Endi- 
cott, Seely Ernest, James Ewing, Livingstone Ewing, 
Thomas S. Foster, Elbridge G. Goff, Albert Grace, James S. 
Grace, IMatthew W. Hall, Jeremiah Hampton, Philip Hand, 
Samuel Hand, Seth L. Hand, Thomas H. Hand, Charles 
Heisler, Joseph S. Higbee, John T. Hoffman, Samuel Honn^ 
Joseph B. Hughes, Joshua Johnson, Alphonso A. Jones^ 
James H. Kinsey, Henry Langley, Alphonso D. Lee. Rich- 
ard F. Lloyd, Walter S. Peterson, Josiah Powell, William 
L. Pritchard, Charles P. Riel. William C. Rutherford, 
Charles T. Shaw, Francis W. Sheldon. William F. Smith, 
William Snyder, Israel S. Townsend, John Trout, Samuel 
F. Ware, Maurice V. W^arner, Leaming Weatherby, George 
T. Weeks, John Weeks. Jeremiah Weldon. Elva E. West- 
cott, Joseph Whitaker, Josiah Whitaker, Thomas B. Wil- 
liams and Stacy M. W^ilson. 

Company G was made up mostly of upper Cape May 
county men and of men who lived at Tuckahoe, on the At- 
lantic county side, and men from Marshallville, in Cumber- 
lard county, since made a part of Cape May county. They 
enlisted on September 2, and were mustered into service en 
the 26th of the month. When they left the State for service 
thev held these ranks: 


Captain, Charles R. Powell, blacksmith. 
First lieutenant, Ewing W. Tibbies, painter. 
Second lieutenant, Nicholas Corson, school teacher. 
Sergeants — Maurice B. Stites, John S. Cole, Enoch S. 

Corporals — John W. Shoemaker, Charles \V. Corson, 
Benjamin Weatherby. 

Musician (drummer), Lewis S. Williams. 
Privates — Charles S. Corson, Matthew Hughes, George 
Eaner, Samuel Barnes, Jonathan Borden, John L. 
Buzby, Aaron B. Clark, Jonathan Cliver, John Col- 
lins, Joseph Collins, Lucien B. Corson, Daniel Creamer, 
Reuben Creamer, Robert M. Dare, John Dayton, Nicholas 
Frambers, Howard M. French, George E. Gandy, Thomas 
Garron, James H. Gifford, Abraham Hayes, Mahlon Hor- 
ton, David T. Ingersoll, Richard Ingersoll, Levi E. Lippin- 
cott, James Little, Charles Lloyd, John Lloyd, Learning 
Lloyd, John Magee, Furman Mannery, Frederick Marshall, 
HoUis Mickel, Adam Moore, Samuel Morris, Thomas W. 
Pettitt, George M. Searse, Reuben Searse. Ezekiel Steven- 
son, Gabriel G. Surran, John Thornton, Richard S. Town- 
send, Stephen Williams, Townsend S. Williams, Evan Arm- 
strong, Thomas R. Gandy, William Gruff, Richard Jarnian, 
Adam Kerrick, Mark Cook, William W. Cook, Charles H. 
Coombs, Frederick Creamer, Joseph W. Lee, Samuel T. 
Surran, Theophilus Vannaman, Hezekiel Veach, George 

The occupations and professions of this company was ap- 
portioned as follows: Bricklayers, 2; blacksmith, i; carpen- 
ters, 2; clerks, 3; cigarmaker, i; sheetiron worker, i; sea- 
men, 14; carriage trimmer, i; mason, i; machinist, i; 
moulder, i; shoemaker, i; school teacher, i; farmers, 5; 
millwright, i; miller, i; printer, i; harness makers, 2; paint- 
ers, 2; laljorers, 50; glasscutter, i; glassblower, i. 

Captain Powell resigned on December 22. Enoch S. 
Willetts was promoted to first sergeant on September 30. 
Charles H. Corson was promoted to corporal on October 
16, and Matthew Hughes to the same rank on Januarv i, 


Those who did not remain with the regiment until it was 
mustered out and the reasons therefor were : 

John S. Cole — Discharged at U. S. Army General Hos- 
pital, Philadelphia, Pa., January 24, "63; disability. 

Evan Armstrong — Dischargied at Washington, D. C, 
January 5, '63; disability. 

Thomas R. Gandy — Discharged at Regimental Hospital, 
aaear Fairfax Seminary, Va., November 28, '62; disability. 

William Gruff — Discharged at Regimental Hospital, near 
Fairfax Seminary, Va., November 28, '62: disability. 

Richard Jarman — Discharged February 23, '63; wounds 
received in action at Fredericksburg, Va. 

Adam Kerrick — Discharged at Newport News, Va., 
March 8, '63; disability. 

Maurice B. Stites — Died of typhoid fever at Regimental 
Plospital, camp near Falmouth, Va., Febuary i, '63. 

Mark Cook — Died of measles at Emory U. S. Army Gen- 
■eral Hospital, Washington, D. C, November 5, '62; buried 
at Military Asylum Cemetery, D. C. 

William W. Cook — Died of measles at Emory U. S. Army 
General Hospital, Washinngton, D. C, November i, '62; 
buried at Military Asylum Cemetery, D. C. 

Charles H. Coombs — Died at Richmond, Va., January 7, 
'63, of wounds received in action at Fredericksburg, Va. ; 
prisoner of war. 

Frederick Creamer — Died of typhoid fever at Chestnut 
Hill U. S. Army General Hospital, Philadelphia, March 
2, '63. 

John W. Lee — Died of measles at Emory U. S. Army 
General Hospital, Washington, D. C, November 28, '62; 
buried at Military Asylum Cemetery, D. C. 

Samuel T. Surran — Died of heart disease at Harewood 
U. S. Army General Hospital, Washington, D. C, January 
II, '63; buried at Military Asylum Cemetery, D. C; Tucka- 
1aoe, Atlantic side. 

Theophilus Vanneman — Died of tvphoid fever at Regi- 
mental Hospital, camp near Suffolk, Va., March 28, '63. 

Hezekiah Veach — Died of typhoid fever at Regimental 
Hospital, camp near Falmouth, Va., January 25, '63; buried 


at National Cemetery, Fredericksburg, \ a., Division D,. 
Section C. Grave 2"]". 

George Trader — Absent, sick in U. S. Army General 
Hospital. Fairfax Seminary. \"a., December i, '62; final 
record unknown. 

Those who remained to the cml with the company and 
were mustered out. on June 20, 1863. were: 

Ewing \\'. Tibbies, Nicholas Corson. Enoch S. W'illetts, 
John \V. Shoemaker, Charles W. Corson, Benjamin \\'eath- 
erby. Charles H. Corson. Matthew Hughes. Lewis S. 
Williams, George Bancr. Samuel Barnes. Jonathan Borden, 
John L. Buzby. Aaron B. Clark, Jonathan Cliver. John 
Collins. Joseph Collins. John Magee. Furman ]\Iaiuiery, 
Frederick Marshall. Lucien B. Corson. Daniel Creamer, 
Reuben Creamer. Robert M. Dare. John Dayton. Nicholas 
Frambes. Howard M. French, George E. Gaudy. Thomas 
Garron, James H. Gifford, Abraham Hayes. ]\Iahlon Hor- 
ton, David T. IngersoU, Richard Ingersoll. Levi E. Lippin- 
cott, James Little. Charles Lloyd. John Lloyd. Leaming' 
Lloyd. Hollis Mickel, Adam Moore, Samuel jMorris^ 
Thomas W. Pettitt. George M. Searse, Reuben Searse, Eze- 
giel Stevenson. Gabriel G. Surrann. John Thornton, Richard 
S. Townsend, Ste hen Williams. Townsend S. Williams. 

All but twenty-five of the men in Company I were Cape 
May men, and enlisted either from the county or Atlantic 
county. These men all enlisted on August 30, 1862, and 
were mustered into service on September 26. When they 
went to the front they ranked as follows : 

First lieutenant, John F. Tomlin, farmer. 

Second lieutenant, Samuel E. Douglass, farmer. 

First sergeant. James Whitaker. 

Seargeants — William Ogden. Enos R. Williams, John 
Spalding. Edward L. Townsend. 

Corporals — David Hildreth, Joseph H. Holmes, Charles 
G. Mills, Willoby Snyder, Malachi High. 

Privates — Elmer Edwards, Reuben Smith. Adam Abrams, 
Henry Bennett, Henry Brown, Daniel Chambers. James, 
F. Chambers, James Chester, George W. Corson, James 
Crandol, Page R. Crawford, Joseph E. Dickinson, William 
Early, Joseph Elberson, Daniel Eldredge, Charles S. El- 


well, George Errickson, John Errickson, William Farrow, 
Joseph Foster, Jesse Grace, Elias Hand, Aaron Hewitt, Fre- 
ling F Hewitt, John Hewitt, Gabriel H. Holmes, Francis 
Katts, Aaron Learning, John D. Leaming, Joseph McCarty, 
William H. McKcag. Richard Nott, Jonathan Rash, Clayton 
G. Sapp, Martin Selover, William Smith. Charles H. Ste- 
phens. Charles W. Townsend, Embur}- fownsend. James 
W'eeks, Elmer Willetts, Jonathan Willetts, George L. Wil- 
liams, Enos R. Williams. John Spalding. Alexander Corson, 
Edmund Y. Godfrey. Thomas D. Sayers, Elmer Taylor, 
Alonzo Willis, Edward L. Townsend, David Hildreth, 
Henry Rudolph, John Russell, David Norton, Benjamin 

The occupations and professions of the members of the 
company were apportioned as follows: Blacksmith, i ; butch- 
ers, 2; carpenters. 7; farmers. 36: hucksters, i; cotton spin- 
ner i; mason, i; painters, 2; moulders, 2; seamen. 2\7', shoe- 
makers, 4; sheetiron workers. 2. 

John F. Tomlin was proniotcd to captain on March 20, 
'63, and at the same time Samuel E. Douglass was made 
first lieutenant and J. Granville Leach promoted from the 
non-commissioned staff (sergeant-major) to second lieuten- 
ant of the company. Joseph H. Holmes was promoted to 
sergeant on December 15. '62, and Charles G. Mills on 
April 15, '63. Elmer Edwards was made a corporal Janu- 
ary 29, '63, and Reuben Smith on April 15. 

Those who did not remain in service with the company 
until it was mustered out and the causes therefor are as 
follows : 

Enos R. Williams — Discharged at camp near Falmouth, 
Va., January 29, '63 ; disability. 

John Spalding — Discharged at camp near Suffolk, Va., 
April 15, '63; disability; corporal August 30, '62; sergeant 
October 2, '62. 

Alexander Corson — Discharged at camp near Falmouth, 
Va., January 9, '63; disability. 

Edmund Y. Godfrey — Discharged at U. S. Army General 
Hospital, Washington, D. C, April 12, '63; disability. 

Thomas D. Sayers — Discharged at Summit House U. S. 


Army General Hospital, Philadelphia, Pa., February 4, '63; 

Elmer Taylor— Discharged at U. S. Army General Hos- 
pital, Portsmouth Grove, R. I., June 26, '63; disability. 

Alonzo Willis — Discharged at Ward U. S. Army Gen- 
eral Hospital, Newark, N. J., March 2, '63; disability. 

Edward L. Townsend — Died at hospital, Fredericks- 
burg, Va., December 14, '62, of wounds received in action 
at Fredericksburg, Va.; buried at National Cemetery, Fred- 
ericksburg, Va., Division A, Section A, Grave 54. 

David Hildreth — Died of typhoid fever at camp near Fal- 
mouth, Va., December 29, '62. 

Those who remained in service until the regiment was 
mustered out, June 20, 1863, were: 

John F. Tomlin Samuel E. Douglas, J. Granville Leach, 
James Whitaker, William Ogden, Joseph H. Holmes, 
Charles G. Mills, Willowby Souder, Malachi High. Elmer 
Edwards, Reuben Smith, Adam Abrams, Henry Bennett, 
Henry Brown, Henry Rudolph, John Russell, David Nor- 
ton, Benjamin Conover, Embury Townsend, James Weeks, 
Elmer Willetts, George L. Williams, Daniel Chambers, 
James F. Chambers, James Chester, George W. Corson, 
James Crandol, Page R. Crawford, Joseph E. Dickinson, 
AViUiam Early, Joseph Elberson, Daniel Eldridge, Charles 
S. Elwell, George Errickson, John Errickson, Wil- 
liam Farrow, Joseph Foster, Jesse Grace, Elias 
Hand, Aaron Hewitt, Freling F. Hewitt, George Hewitt, 
John Hewitt, Gabriel H. Holmes, Francis Katts, Aaron 
Leaming, John D. Leaming, Joseph McCarty, William H. 
McKeag, Richard Nott, Jonathan Rash, Clayton G. Sapp, 
Martin Selover, William Smith, Charles H. Stephen and 
Charles W. Townsend. 

Josiah Granville Leach, eldest son of Joseph S. Leach, 
was born at Cape May Court House July 27, 1842. He re- 
ceived his education in our public schools, at the classical 
school of Rev. Mr. Julien, and under private tutors. In his 
eighteenth year he began writing for the newspapers, and 
continued to write largely until the summer of 1862, when 
he enlisted in the Twenty-fifth New Jersey Volunteers, 
where he served as sergeant, sergeant-major and second- 


liutenant, receiving his promotion at the hands of Colonel 
Derrom, to the sergeant-majorship, for gallant conduct at 
the battle of Frederic For some months previous 
to his militar}^ service he devoted much of his time in or- 
ganizing soldiers' aid societies, by which he was instru- 
mental in providing a large amount of clothing and hos- 
pital stores for the sick and wounded. 

On leaving the army he removed to Philadelphia, and be- 
gan the study of law; was graduated LL. B. by the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania, and in March, 1866, was admitted 
to the bar in Philadelphia, where he has since continued the 
practice of his profession. During the summer of 1865, at 
the instance of S. R. Magonagle, Esq., Colonel Leach or- 
ganized and edited the "Cape May Daily Wave." 

He has ever taken a deep interest in public afifairs, and has 
been active in almost every political campaign since his 
nineteenth year, when he took the stump in support of Lin- 
coln and Hamlin. He is said to have been the first to for- 
mally present Mr. Blaine's name for the Presidency. In 
the fall of 1875 he was elected to the Pennsylvania Legisla- 
ture from Philadelphia, and served in the House during the 
session of 1876. Declining a renomination. he became a 
candidate for the Senate, but failed of a nommation. In 
1878 he was nominated for the Legislature by the Green- 
back-Labor party, but declined the honor. In April, 1887, 
Governor Beaver appointed him Commissary-General of the 
National Guard of Pennsylvania, with the rank of colonel, 
which position he retained until January, 1891. 

At the beginning of President Harrison's administration 
a strong movement was on foot to secure the appointement 
of Colonel Leach as Minister Resident and Consul-General 
to Switzerland, but before his claims were presented to the 
President the mission was filled by the appointment of his 
kinsman, Colonel Washburne. of Massachusetts. A few 
days later (March 18) the President appointed him appraiser 
of the United States at the port of Philadelphia, this being 
the President's first apointment in Philadelphia. The ofifice 
had not been sought, but was accepted, and filled for four 
years with marked ability. 

Colonel Leach has long devoted much time to literary 


pursuits, largely of a historical and genealogical character. 
His contributions to "Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American 
Biography" were more numerous than those of any other 
contributor, aside from its editorial stafif. Among his publi- 
cations is "Memoranda Relating to the Ancestry and Family 
of Levi P. Morton. Vice-President of the United States," a 
work of 190 pages. He is a member of the American Bar 
Association, the American Academy of Social and Political 
Sciences and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and 
was for some years the historiographer of the latter. He 
was one of the founders of the Genealogical Society of Penn- 
sylvania, of which he has been a vice-president since its or- 
ganization; a member of the Society of Colonial Wars; a 
founder of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolu- 
tion and its historian, and is also historian of the Pennsyl- 
vania Society of Descendants of the Mayflower, and a mem- 
ber of many other organizations of a literary and social 

Reuben Foster was born in Lower township October 28, 
1839. He received a common school education, and when 
eighteen years of age went to Southwestern Iowa, where he 
remained with his uncle. Rev. Dr. Daniel L. Hughes, for 
four years, being engaged in agricultural pursuits. In 1861 
he returned home, and entered the Twenty-fifth Regiment, 
and was promoted for meritorious conduct at Fredericks- 
burg. After the close of the war he attended a business 
college in Philadelphia, and in 1867 he entered into the 
transportation business. He shortly afterwards located at 
Baltimore. He became connected with the Southern 
Steamship Line, and is now one of the wealthiest men in 
the Monumental City. He was at one time receiver of the 
Richmond and Danville Railroad, and is also agent of the 
North River line of steamers. 

The Relief Committee for the years 1863-4, as appointed 
by the Board of Freeholders on May 13, 1863, was com- 
posed of Thomas Williams, of Upper; William S. Townsend, 
of Dennis; Dr. Alexander Young, of Middle; Samuel F. 
Ware, of Lower, and Joseph S. Leach, of Cape Island. Be- 
sides the monev distributed bv the board, the State contrib- 


uted to the relief of the soldiers' families a total of $5449.40, 
through County Collector Charles Hand. 

By the calls made by the State for troops in July and Oc- 
tober, this year, Cape May county was to furnish eighty- 
three on the first call and eighty-eight on the second call. 
These men were to be recruited by January 4, 1864. On 
December 22, '63, the Board of Freeholders voted a bounty 
•of $300 to each volunteer who would enlist, and this offer 
was to last until the 171 men had been secured. Dr. Cole- 
man F. Leaming was appointed to distribute the bounty 
among the volunteers. The townships' committees and 
Cape Island City Council also passed resolutions giving 
bounties in addition to further aid in the recruiting. The 
Freeholders recommended recruiting officers for each town- 
ship, which they asked the Governor to appoint, as follows: 
Thomas Williams, Upper; Clinton H. Ludlam, Dennis; Dr. 
Coleman F. Leaming. Middle; Waters B. Miller. Lower, 
and George W. Smith, Cape Island. By the same body it 
was agreed that each volunteer would get seventy-five dol- 
lars before leaving camp, and, in addition to regular pay, 
be given every six months an additional sum of fifty dollars. 
On January 13. 1864. the Freeholders passed a resolution 
making the $300 bounty apply to colored as well as white 
persons, and the rule was to hold good until the 171 men 
liad entered the service. The bounty ceased on May 7, 1864. 



On the 4th of January, 1864, the time set for the firiing up 
of the quota for Cape May, a number of persons volunteered 
and entered Company A, Third New Jersey Cavahy. Most 
of these men had served in the Twenty-fifth Regiment, In- 

The Third Cavalry was organized imder the provisions 
approved July 22, 1861. and in pursuance of a proclamation; 
issued by the President of the United States, dated October 
17, 1863. The organization of the regiment was to be ef- 
fected under the requirements of existing orders for the en- 
rollment of troops. The organization of the regiment was 
immediately commenced, and the authorities to raise com- 
panies were issued to individuals in different parts of the 
State. The headquarters of the regiment were established 
at Camp Bayard, Trenton, and, to insure an early comple- 
tion of the organization, it was designated the First Regi- 
ment, United States Hussars, and a uniform pertaining to 
this branch of service was adopted, which gave an enthusi- 
asm to recruiting, and the required number of men to com- 
plete the regiment was soon obtained. As soon as the com- 
panies were raised they reported at camp, and were immedi- 
ately mustered into the service of the United States for three 
years, unless sooner discharged. Company A was mustered 
in January 26. The regiment left the State April 5, 1864,, 
and marched overland to Annapolis, Md., having been as- 
signed to the Ninth Army Corps. It remained at this 
point but a short time, when, under orders, it proceeded to 
Alexandria, Va., and joined the Army of the Potomac. The 
regiment continued its organization and remained in active 
service until the close of the war, and the most of the officers 
and men were mustered out August i, 1865, at Washington,. 
D. C. The regiment was first attached to the Ninth Army 


Corps: then to the Third Brigade. First Division, Cavalrj 
Corps; Army of the Potomac; then to the First Brigade, 
Third Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, It 
took part in the following engagements, all in Virginia; 
United States Ford. May 19, 1864; Ashland Station, June 
i; North Anna River, June 2; Haines' Shop, June 3; Bot- 
tom's Bridge, June 4; White Oak Swamp, June 13; Smith's 
Store, June 15; before Petersburg, July 25; Lee's ^lills 
July 27; Winchester, August 17; Summit Point, August 21; 
Kearney sville, August 25 and 26; Berry ville Turnpike, Sep- 
tember 13; Opequan, September 19; Front Royal, Septem- 
ber 21 and 22; Fisher's Hill, September 22; Winchester, 
September 24; Waynesboro, September 28; Bridgewater, 
October 2; Tom's Brook, October 9; Cupp's Mills, October 
13; Cedar Creek, October 19; Back Road (near Cedar 
Creek), November 12; Mount Jackson, November 22; 
Lacey's Spring, December 21; Moorefield, February 22, 
1865; W^avncsboro, March 2; Dinwiddie C. H., March 31; 
Five Forks, April i; capture of Petersburg, April 2; Deep 
Creek, April 3; Sailor's Creek, April 6; Appomattox Sta- 
tion, April 8, and at Appomattox C. H. (Lee's surrender), 
April 9. 

When the company was mustered into service the Cape 
May men ranked as follows: 

Second lieutenant, John F. Tomlin. 

Sergeant, Joseph H. Holmes. 

Blacksmith, German Corson. 

Privates — David S. Townsend, Lsaac W. Mulford, Daniel 
^. Wheaton. Thomas H. Taylor. Shamgar C. Townsend, 
Lewis Gooden. Jolin W. Hand, Andrew Kramer, George 
W. Lester, John W. McCarty, Joseph A. McCarty, Isaac 
W. McCormick, William H. McKeag. Francis G. Springer, 
John Thornton. Edgar \^oss. Elva E. Westcott. Josiah Whit- 
taker. George L. Williams. Willets Corson, Charles Grace, 
Alfred W^arw-ick. 

John F. Tomlin was promoted to first lieutenant of Com- 
pany M on May 6, '64. and assumed the place five days later. 
May 3. 1865, he was commissioned captain of Company 
E, and on the 17th mustered into that office and remained as 


such until the regiment was mustered out on August i, 

Joseph H. Holmes was, on May 3, 1865, commissioned 
second lieutenant of Company F, and mustered into that po- 
sition on May 18, 1865, in which he ser\^ed until mustered 
out of service on August i, 1865. 

David S. Townsend was promoted to sergeant January 
I, 1865, and Isaac W. Mulford to corporal on June 11, 1864. 
Daniel H. Wheaton was made a corporal on January 4, 
1865; Shamgar C. Townsend, April 26, 1864, and Thomas 
H. Taylor, March i, 1865. 

Those who did not remain with the company during their 
■entire service and the reasons therefor were: 

Shamgar C. Townsend — Prisoner of war and confined in 
Andcrsonville Prison; paroled and discharged at U. S. 
Army General Hospital, York, Pa., May 12, 1865. 

Andrew Kramer — Discharged at Armory Square, U. S. 
General Hospital. Washington, May 3, 1865. 

Edgar Voss — Discharged at same time and place. 
Willitls Corson — Died at Douglass U. S. Army General 
Hospital, Washington, D. C, June 9, 1864; buried at Na- 
tional Cemetery, Arlington, Va. 

Charles Grace — Died at U. S. Army General Hospital, 
Fairfax Seminary, Va., June 19, 1864; buried at National 
Cemetery, Alexandria, Va., Grave 2 191. 

Alfred Warwick — Died October 6, 1864; buried at Pop- 
lar Grove National Cemetery, Va.; prisoner of war; died of 
starvation in Saulsbury Prison. 

Those who remained with the company until it was mus- 
tered out, August I, 1865, were: David S. Townsend, Isaac 
W. Mulford, George L. Williams, German Corson, Lewis 
Go'ien, John W. Hand, Elva E. Westcott, Joshua Whit- 
taker, Daniel Wheaton, Thomas H. Taylor, George W. 
Lester, John W. McCarty, Joseph A. McCarty, Lsaac W. 
McCorinielc, WilKam H. McKeag, Francis G. Springer, 
John Thornton. 

The next companies in which Cape May men served 
were Companies H and K, Thirtv-eighth Regiment Volun- 
teers. This regiment was organized under the provisions 



of acts of Congress of July 22, 1861, and July 4, 1864. and 
iinder authority of the War Department for the raising of 
two regiments of infantry. The recruiting was commenced 
.and headquarters of the regiment were established at Camp 
Bayard, Trenton, and active measures were pursued to 
•complete the organization at an early date. The required 
number of men to complete the regiment was raised and 
mustered into the service of the United States by com- 
panies, for one year, by the ist day of October, 1864. Com- 
pany H was mustered into service September 30, 1864, and 
Company K September 15, at Camp Bayard. The regi- 
■went was fully officered and completed by October 3. It 

WILLI A. \[ .1. SEWELL. 

left the State in three detachments. Company K left in 
-the first detachment on September 20, and Company H 
■October 4, under Colonel William J. Sewell, whose name 
has since become a household word in the county by reason 
'Of his prominence in Cape May's improvement, his summer 
residence in the county and his twice serving the State in 
'the United States Senate. Each detachment proceeded to 
Baltimore, Md., thence by transports" to City Point, Va. 
Upon its arrival it was assigned to garrison and other duties, 
the headquarters of the regiment being at Fort Powhattan, 
on the James River, having been assigned to a provisional 
sbrigade, Army of the James. It remained in this vicinity 


during its entire period of service, which lasted until the end 
of the war. It was mustered out of service at City Point,. 
Va., June 30, 1865. and started immediately for its return- 
to New Jersey, where it arrived on July 4. It took part in. 
the operations of the army before Petersburg, Va., which 
resulted in its capture April 2, and the surrender of General 
Robert E. Lee, April 9. 

Those wdio enlisted in Company H on September 20 
were: George Aumack, Richard Aumack, Jr., Samuel 
Barnes, John G. Sheppard, Edward F. Townsend, Joseph 
W. Whitaker, and on the 27th were John C. Camp, James 
Chambers, Frederick W. Crandol and Franklin Scull. They 
all served as privates. All but Franklin Scull were mus- 
tered out on June 30. 1865, he having died of pleurisy at 
Post Hospital, Fort Pocohontas, Va., on November 22, 

The Cape May men in Company K all enlisted on Sep- 
tember 6, excepting William HolTman, who enlisted on the 
following day. When the company was mustered into ser- 
vice the Cape May men ranked as follows : 

First lieutenant, Albert E. Hand. 

Sergeant, Samuel E. Douglass. 

Corporal, Eleazer F. Hankins. 

Privates — Isaac Heritage, Enoch T. Abrams, Skidmore- 
Abrams, Elijah D. Batts, Plenry Brown, James F. Cham- 
bers, Jacob S. Corson, Joseph Cresse, George Eldridge, 
James Estell, Robert Garrison, Benjamin A. Hankins, Wil- 
liam H. Heritage, William Hofifman, David Lloyd, Albert 
Norton, David Norton, Uriah Norton, Henry Rudolph 
and Socrates J. Smith. 

Samuel E. Douglass was made first sergeant October i, 
1864; sergeant-major of the regiment on November i, and' 
was on May 16, 1865. promoted to be second lieutenant of" 
Company E, with which company he served until the regi- 
ment was mustered out. 

Eleazer F. Hankins was made sergeant on October i, 
1864, and Isaac Heritage a corporal on November i. All' 
the men remained with the company until it was mustered 
out, on June 30, 1865. excepting Samuel E. Douglass and'. 

THE CAMPAIGNS OF 1S(J4 AND 18(i5. 349 

lienry Rudolph, the latter being discharged at Camp Pa- 
role, Annapolis, Md., May i, 1865. 

Cape May men did excellent service in the nav}', the 
.more prominent of these men being: 

Henry W. Hand, acting master; appointed November 13, 
"'61; discharged February 21, '66; served on U. S. steamship 
^'Vermont" during 1863 and 1864, 

James Mecray, Jr., acting assistant surgeon; appointed 
November 5, '62; resigned April i, '64; served in East Gulf 
Blockading Squadron, '62; U. S. bark "J^n^^^ L. Davis," 

Henry Bennett (records unknown); drowned in Charles- 
ton Harbor, S. C. 

Edward D. Springer, acting ensign; appointed August 
II, '64; dischaged December 11, '65; served in Mississippi 

Eli D. Edmunds, acting master; appointed May 8, 1865; 
discharged September 9, 1865; acting master's mate Sep- 
tember 9, '62; U. S. steamer "Crusader," '62; acting en- 
sign September 9, '63; Potomac Flotilla, '63 and '64; com- 
manding coast survey steamer '66. 

Seth L. Hand, landsman; appointed September 2, '64; 
discharged June 11, '65; served on U. S. receiving ship 

Theodore F. Hildreth. seaman; appointed December 14, 
""63; discharged December 7, '64; served on U. S. steamer 

Elijah Hand, Jr., ordnance seaman; appointed Septem- 
ber 5, '64; discharged June 8, '65; served on U. S. steamer 

Andrew J. Tomlin, U. S. Marine Corps. 

Henry Walker Hand is of colonial stock, being a lineal 
descendant of Mark Hand, a soldier in the army of Oliver 
Cromwell. He is a son of Christopher Smith Hand, and 
was born at Green Creek on July 8, 1833. After obtaining 
such educational advantages as were to be had in his native 
neighborhood, he began a life upon the sea at seventeen 
years of age. At twenty-one he was a master in the mer- 
chant marine. When in Mobile, Alabama, in 1856, he was 


arrested for carrying off a negro slave, but upon trial was 
acquitted. He was, however, an ardent Abolitionist and 
strong Union man during the war. He entered the navy 
at the outbreak of the conflict, on November 13, 1861, and 
as master was ordered to the U. S. steamship "Keystone 
State" as division and watch officer. He was on this vessel 
when it made its long cruise after the Confederate blockade 
runner "Nashville." He was in Admiral Du Font's squad- 
ron when his fleet captured the Southern ports south of 
Port Royal, South Carolina. He operated with the divi- 
sions of sailors and marines for shore duty and was prize 
master of the Confederate privateer "Dixie,'' captured by 
the "Keystone State." He was attached to the monitor 
"Passaic" in New York during the celebrated draft riots, 
and had command of her turret division. He was after- 
wards transferred to the U. S. ships "Vermont" and "New^ 
Hampshire," and was executive officer of each of them in 
succession from July 28, 1863, to November, 1865. He did 
service at the blockade at Charleston, S. C, and with the 
naval brigade, under Brigadier General Hatch, operated in. 
South Carolina in February, 1865, in the division whichi 
acted as a diversion to General Sherman in the march to the 

After the war Captain Hand made a three years' cruise 
in the U. S. steamship "Lackawanna," on the Pacific sta- 
tion, as watch officer. This ship did surveying in the Pa- 
cific Ocean with headquarters at Honolulu, Sandwich Is- 
lands. This was the first U. S. war vessel to reach that port 
after the war. He was honorably discharged in 1869, and 
returned home. Since that time he was connected with the 
public schools as teacher until he devoted his whole time 
to editorial duties as editor of the "Wave," in which ca- 
pacity he has acted since 1883. 

In 1862 the total value of property in the county was 
$2,638,028, divided as follows: Upper township, $536,775; 
Dennis, $520,871; Middle, $580,180; Lower, $498,476, and 
Cape Island, $474,726. In 1865 the total value had de- 
creased, according to estimate, a half million dollars. The 
following table shows the condition of the county as esti- 
mated at the close of the war (June, 1865): 












3 ^ 







l> 5 





hi t^ 

• ^ 







3 fi 







v; ^ 










1— 'i 







*■ li 

1— ' 





i r' 






s c 

7^ o 



























T) p' 







*^ *-" 

k— 1 





£ o 













r; "*> 














n> o 







>— ' 

I— ' 

•— k 























»— ' 


t— ' 




»— I 




o c 



















P ^ 







X o 















^ b 




















In 1866 the war debt of Cape May county had reached 
about twenty thousand dollars, and it was reduced at the 
rate of about thirty-five hundred dollars per year until ex- 

Frederick Ricard, State superintendent of public schools, 
in his report of January 15, 1862, says of the Cape May 
county schools: 

"The tax per child raised here for the purpose of edu- 
cation is exceeded by only three other counties in the State. 
* * * There is no charge made for tuition in any of the 
public schools, though I regret to say that the average 
number of months which they are kept open does not com- 
pare favorably with that of other counties. The teachers 
here are, with very few exceptions, spoken of in the high- 
est terms." 

Cape May county's war Senator was Jonathan F. Learn- 
ing, A. M., M. D., D. D. S., who served from 1862 to 1865. 
He was born in Cape May county September 7, 1822. His 
family is of English extraction, he being the sixth m his line 
from Christopher Learning, who migrated from England 
in 1670 and settled in Cape May cotmty in 1691. He was 
a great-grandson of Aaron Leaming. second. Hr^ pursued 
liis collegiate course at Madison University, New Y(3rk, 
snd subsequently at Brown University, Ivhode Island, and 
graduate at the Jefcerson Medical College, in Philadelphia, 
in 1846. In 1847 ^16 commenced the practice of medicine 
in his native county, which he pursued for fourteen years, 
compelled to relinquish it for the kindred but less arduous 
profession of dentistry on account of impaired health. In 
1S60 he graduated at the Pennsylvania Dental College, 
Philadelphia, and has since practiced dentistry in Cape May 
county. He has taken an active part in public affairs, edu- 
cational, political and religious. For several years he was 
tO'Wnship superintendent of public schools, for fifteen years 
county school examiner; served two terms as trustee of the 
State Normal School, of which he was always a firm advo- 
cate and supporters. 

In 1861 he was elected as a Republican to the New Jer- 
sey House of Assembly, and in 1862 he was elevated to the 



State Senate, where he served three years. He was chair- 
man of the committee of the Senate on the estabHshment of 
the New Jersey Agricuhural College, and was largely inter- 
cster in securing for Rutger's College her agricultural en- 
dowment fund. 

In 1868 he was elected surrogate of Cape May county 
for five years, and re-elected in 1873, but in 1877 resigned 
that position on January i to accept a seat in the State Sen- 
ate again, to which he had been elected by the people for a 
term of three years. 

Religiously, he is a Baptist, and has been afifiliated with 
church work for sixty years, either as teacher, trustee, dea- 


con and clerk, and for a great many years was a Sunday- 
school superintendent. 

A prominent citizen of Cape May during the war period 
was Dr. Coleman F. Leaming, of Court House. He was 
the second son of Jeremiah Leaming, who was in the Leg- 
islative Council in 1832 to 1834, and elder brother of Rich- 
ard S. Leaming, who was a Senator in 1874 to 1877. The 
doctor was born on June 6, 1818. He was loan commis- 
sioner of Cape May county from 1863 to 1880. He was a 
member of the Board of Freeholders from Middle town- 
ship in 1863. '64. '65. Previous to the war he practiced 
jnedicine in New York. For a number of years he has been 


a director of the West Jersey Railroad, and was for some 
years superintendent of schools in Middle township. 

The war Assemblyman was Wilmon W. Ware, who served 
from 1862 to 1865, and who was State Senator from 1865- 
to 1868. He was born at Cape May City, where he always re- 
sided, in 1818, and was a brother of Joseph, Daniel C, Mas- 
kel and John G. W., all of whom held public offices of trust 
in Cape May City. He was a member of Cape Island Ctiy 
Council during the years 1854, 1864, 1870 and 1878. He 
served as city clerk from 1858 to 1861, and was a member 
of the Board of Freeholders in 1870. In politics he was 
Republican, having formerly been a Whig. He died at 
Cape May City on August 25, 1885. 


John Wilson was elected sheriff in 1865 and served un- 
til 1868. He was born at East Creek, where his father, 
then a lad of nineteen, had settled, June 13, 1809. His fa^ 
ther came from the north coast of Ireland to America. He 
always lived in that village, where he was a leading citizen. 
He was a merchant, and engaged largely in the shipping of 
cord wood. He was the first postmaster of his village, hav- 
ing been appointed in 1842, and occupying the position 
until he died, December 23, 1875. He was prominently 
identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church of his 
neighborhood and a devout Christian. In politics he was 
at first a Whig and then a Republican. 

On June 14, 1865, the Board of Freeholders concluded to 
build a new surrogate's and clerk's office, and selected a 
committee to visit other counties and examine the public 
offices. Dr. Coleman F. Leaming, Sylvanus Corson and 
Joseph E. Hughes were chosen as the committee. On De- 
cember 28 they reported to the Board that they had had the 
offices built at a cost of $5100 and that they were finished 
on December i. 

By the census of this year, and in spite of the war, the 
population had increased to 7625 persons, or a gain in five 
years of 495. The population was apportioned among the 
townships as follows: Upper, 1575; Dennis, 2019; Middle, 
2077; Lower, 1355, and Cape Island, 599. 

On September 10, 1866, the New Jersey Legislature, in 
special session, ratified the Fifteenth Amendment to the Con- 
stitution of the United States. Wilmon W. Ware was Sen- 
ator and Thomas H. Beesley was the Assemblyman. 

On January 16, 1767, a postoffice was estabHshed at 
Belle Plain, which was then in Cumberland county, but 
which is now within the bounds of Cape May county. On 


the 7th of September of this year the postoffice at South 
Seaville was opened, with Remington Corson as postmaster. 

Samuel R. Magonagle, who was a member of the As- 
sembly in 1868, and the fifth and seventh Mayor of Cape Is- 
land, was born in 1829 at Mitflin, Juniata caunty, Pa., where 
he was brought up and went to school. His mother died 
when he was ten years of age, and he was left much of the 
time to look out for himself. Early in life he apprenticed 
himself to a printer, and learned that trade, and so industri- 
ous was he that, when nineteen years of age, or in 1848, he 
was the publisher of a newspaper in his native town, known 
as the "Pennsylvania Register." He published the journal 
for a number of years, and during his editorial management 
was a power for the Democratic party, to the principles of 
which Mr. Magonagle always clung. After disposing of 
his paper, the young and ambitious man hunted for new 
fields, and traveled all over the West, working liis way at 
the printer's case, until, in 1859, '^'^'s ^^^ ^''i"'' i^ Philadelphia. 
At that time he became an employe at the printing establish- 
ment of Crissy & Marklcy, and after^vards became an em- 
ploye of the "Philadelphia Incjuirer." In 1856 he came to 
Cape May, or Cape Island, as the place 'Cvas then called, and 
became an employe and assistant to Air. Joseph S. Leach, 
at that time proprietor and publisher of the "Cape May 
County Ocean Wave," when the paper was a power both 
editorially and in a business way. While in the employ 
of Mr. Leach he did not waste any time, but between hours 
learned to manipulate the telegrapher's keyboard, and was 
shortly made the manager of the Western Union Telegraph 
Company for Cape Island. 

On December 5, 1859, President Buchanan made him 
postmaster of the town, which office he held until June 26, 
1863, when he was succeeded by Mr. Joseph S. Leach. 

In May, i860, he married Mrs. Mary E. Tindall, widow of 
Rev. N. B. Tindall, a Baptist clergyman, and a daughter 
of Richard Thompson, of Court House. 

In March, 1861, Mr. Magonagle was elected Mayor fof 
one year, and, although his place was never filled by an- 
other appointment, the office was virtually vacant, because 
Mr. Magonagle had, shortly after election, volunteered his 



services to the country and gone off with the brave boys of 
Company A, Seventh Regiment, New Jersey Vohmteers. 
He was only away a s'nci. .im:. ourlng which time he was 
quartermaster-sergeant. He was taken ill and never crossed 
the Potomac, and the illness never left him entirely. , 

He purchased the "Wave" in 1863 from Mr. Leach, and 
was its proprietor until his death. In 1865 he began the 
summer-time daily issue, which has been continued by suc- 
cessive proprietors of the paper since. 

He was elected Mayor for the second time in March, 1863, 

f^URROdATE's AND CLERK "s <)KFIi;i;, I'.ni.T IX LSUo. 

and re-elected in 1864, 1865, 1866 and 1867 for terms of a 
year each. He would liave probably been elected in 1868, 
but he was elected to the House of Assembl}' in the fall of 

1867. Before he had served to the end of his session, in 

1868, he was elected a member of City Council, and died be- 
fore that term was served out. He was the first Democrat 
elected to the Assembly from the county. 

In 1859 he united with the First Methodist Episcopal 
Church of this city, and remained a faithful member and 
worker and Sundav-school teacher during the balance of his 


While in Trenton attending to getting some amendments 
to the city charter, which were finally passed in 1869, he 
was taken ill at a reception at the home of Hon. John P. 
Stockton, a firm friend of Mr. Magonagle, who has since 
that time been United States Senator and Attorney-General 
of the State. This illness, caused by the illness contracted 
in the army, became worse, and he died in his apartments 
in the American House, in Trenton, on the evening of Jan- 
uary 22, 1869. The body was brought home, and, after a 
large funeral, it was placed in its last resting place in the 
Cape May Court House Cemetery. He left a widow, who 
died in 1894. 

At the time of his death he was a member of the Soldiers' 
Union, the Masonic Order and of the Good Templars. 

In speaking of him in its obituary, the Philadelphia 
"Evening Bulletin" said: 

"* * * Mr. Magonagle was a gentleman of varied 
abilities, and of the most estimable character. Generous 
and humane in his nature, his afifections and sympathies 
were always enlisted on the side of mercy. These traits 
were eminently developed throughout the seven years he 
occupied the position of chief magistrate of Cape Island. 

"In the adjudication of the varied cases which came be- 
fore him, Mr. Magonagle exhibited signal ability. His 
quick appreciation of legal duty and unmistakable power 
of analysis always guided his decisions and led him to a cor- 
rect determination of the cases that came before him. In 
the discharge of his duties on these principles he won for 
himself the warmest attachments of all who came in social 
and political contact with him. A community loses much 
when it loses such a man. Mr. Magonagle had been a resi- 
dent of Cape Island for many years, and had grown almost 
with the growth of that popular seaside resort. 

"He had been successful in establishing his newspaper, 
the 'Ocean Wave,' on a firm and quite prosperous basis, 
and was an active spirit in advancing all the essential inter- 
ests and improvements of that city. 

"Mr. Magonagle was a gentleman of pleasing and affa- 
ble manners; a well-known Democrat, but of moderate po- 
litical views; was a member of the Legislature in 1868, and 


-was esteemed by his colleagues for his honorable traits of 
<:haracter, and by the members of the press throughout the 
State for his social qualities, business enterprise and en- 

Anthony Steelman, Sheriff from 1868 to 1871, was born 
in Atlantic county December 23, 1823, his father being Jo- 
nas Steelman. He attended the public schools until he was 
eighteen years of age. Then he worked on his father's farm 
.until 1845, when, on October 6, he became a partner of 
Elijah Ireland, at Tuckahoe, in the mercantile business, and 
in August, 1847, became a partner of James Shoemaker, 
remaining with him twenty-three years. He then became 
sole owner, and conducted the business until he retired in 
1895, having been in business then forty-nine years. He 
was a member of the Board of P'reeholders nine years, "nd 
• of the Upper Township Committee fifteen years. 

The "Star of the Cape," the second newspaper established 
in the county, first appeared at Cape May Court House 
about 1868, its publishers being J. Alvin Cresse and one 
Cheever. In less than two years' time it was moved to 
Cape Mav City by W. V. L. Seigman,who purchased it of its 
original owners, and who conducted it until 1883, when it 
was purchased by Thomas R. Brooks. Mr. Brooks edited 
it until May, 1889, when he sold it to Aaron W. Hand and 
N. Perry Edmunds. In February, 1890, Mr. Brooks pur- 
chased of Mr. Edmunds his interest, and finally the whole 
paper in 1894, but in September, 1895, he sold it to the Star 
of the Cape Publishing Company, who are the present own- 
ers. It is now managed for this company by Aaron W. 

Thomas Rezo Brooks, a grandson of Rev. Thomas 
Brooks, a Baptist clergyman who preached at West Creek, 
was born at Heislerville. Cumberland covmty, X. J.. Octo- 
ber 4. 1838. His grandfather was a Revolutionary soldier, 
and he was one of those who were confined in the prison 
ship in New York harbor by the British for his ardent pa- 
triotism. His father was Samuel Brooks, a prominent of- 
ficial member and exhorter in the Methodist Church of 
■.Cumberland county. His mother is Loraina, a daughter c 



Barlow Williams, who was licensed as a local minister in 
the Methodist Church at the beginning of the present cen- 
tury. Mr. Brooks' parents removed to Philadelphia in the 
spring of 1839 ^"<^1 i^ '^vas in the public schools of that city 
that he was mainly educated. In December, 1861, he mar- 
ried Miss Emma T. Brooks, of Smyrna, Delaware. In 1859 
he began teaching school in his native county, and m 1869 
closed his career as a teacher at Dennisville, this county,, 
and accepted a position tendered him by the West Jersey 
Railroad Company. He was with this company for four- 
teen years. While yet with the company, in 1876, he be- 


came associate editor of the "Wave." and in 1883 resigned 
his position with the company and purchased the "Star of 
the Cape," from which he retired in the fall of 1895. Under 
his editorial control the "Star of the Cape" became one of the 
most popular and successful journals in South Jersey. He 
now resides m Cape May City. 

Dr. Edmund Levi Bull Wales, of Tuckahoe, was, about: 
1866, appointed a judge of the New Jersey Court of Errors 
and Appeals, to succeed Joshua Swain, Jr., who had died. 
He served in that capacity until 1881. Dr. Wales was a son 
of Dr. Roger Wales, and was born March .15, 1805. He 


was a graduate of Jefferson Medic r.l College, Philadelphia, 
and practiced medicine at Tvickahoe for many years. He 
was the wealthiest man of the county at the time of his 
death, on August 19, 1882. 

His brother, Dr. Eli B. Wales, of Cold Spring, was for 
many years a judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Cape 
May county. He was born July 10, 1798, and died Sep- 
tember 24, 1883. 

In 1870 Cape May's acreage was divided as follows: 
Beaches, 4424; marsh on which tide rose and fell, 58,824; 
bays and sounds and creeks, 10,443; ^^^^ upland, 96,480; 
total, 170,171 seres. Twenty-one thousand four hundred 
and two acres of this fast land were under cultivation and 
known as "improved land." The estimated total value of 
farms was $1,683,430. The total value of all farm produc- 
tions, including betterments and addition to stock, was 
$318,609. The live stock in the county (valued at $196,000) 
was ilivided as follows: Horses, 816; mules and asses, 4; 
milch cows, 1545; working oxen, 13; sheep, 382, and swine, 
175L The productions were as follows: Bushels of winter 
wheat, 19,064; bushels of rye, 171; bushels of Indian corn, 
86,218; bushels of oats, 6648; bushels of buckwheat. 157; 
pounds of wool. 1095; bushels of Irish potatoes, 22,360; 
bushels of sweet potatoes, 21,193, and pounds of butter, 68,- 

The assessed valuation of real ond personal estate was 
$3,800,810; true value of real and personal e?tate, $5,599.- 
383; total amotmt raised by taxation, $36,637; State tax, 
$2228; county tax, $11,529; town and city tax, $22,870; 
county public debt, nothing; township and city ])ublic debt, 

The population of the coimt y was apportioned as follows: 

TOWNSHIPS. winrE coi.iihei) iotvl 

Cape Muy City, LM^ 148 i:^;i:^ 

Dennis,.' ' 1598 2 1600 

Lower, ' 602 ?] 1 1813 

Mi<l<lle, -J 28 67 2i 95 

Upper, l-V" 7 1598 

80!)4 4:^5 8529 


In the beginnino- of the present century whale boats were 
used on the Cape May county coast for the saving of Uves 
and merchandise from wrecks. These boats were buih for 
such purposes in conjunction with use for fishing purposes 
of shore. They were owned by private parties, and the 
crews were necessarily volunteers. About 1840 Jonathan 
J. Springer, of Middle township, brother of Samuel Spring- 
er, sherifif, built a boat for the purpose, which was named 
"Insurance." This craft was built for the Vessel Insurance 
Company, for which Judge Richard C. Holmes was agent 
in Cape May coimt}\ The "Insurance," owing to its un- 
seaworthy qualities, was abandoned, and about 1852 the 
"Relief" was built by Mr. Springer for a company of nine. 
Some of those who served as volunteers in the crew were 
Richard Ludlam, Aaron D. Hand, George Hildreth, Isaac 
Isard, Jonathan Fifield, Elijah Townsend, Enoch Hand and 
James Crowell. About i860 "The Rescue" was built and 
manned by Henry Y. Hewitt, captain; Richard Holmes, 
Enoch Hand, Cornelious Bennett, Swain, Church, Somers, 
Isard, William McCarty, Sr. 

In 1857 Judge Holmes built his self-righting life-saving 
I)oat, and in the summer of that year it was exhibited on 
the beach at Cape Island. This boat, however, never 
proved successful. 

Judge Richard C. Holmes was bom in Cape May county 
September 17, 1813. He was educated in Philadelphia, and 
the early part of his life was spent in the employ of Captain 
Joseph Hand, an extensive shipping merchant (who was also 
born in Cape May county). While in Captain Hand's em- 
ploy young Holmes gained a full knowledge of vessels, 
bo''<-s and seamen, and afterwards used his knowledge in 
sa\ Wig hundreds of lives on the coast. He was an officer 
of bo^h the State and the United States and agent for Phila- 
delpl.ia and New York insurance companies. He was col- 
lector of t'^e Port of Cape May about 1852. Judge Holmes 
died at his hon^^', near Cape May Court House, January 
25, 1863, aged 49 years. 

The attention to establishing life-saving stations on the 
coast was first given by the United States Government in 


:5848, when William A. Newell, of New Jersey, was in Con- 
gress. He urged the expediency of action, and secured an 
appropriation of $10,000 to "provide surf boats, rockets, 
carronades and other necessary appurtenances for the better 
preservation of life and property from shipwreck. In 1849 
boats were first placed on Cape May beaches for life-saving 
stations by the authority given above. The boats and ap- 
purtenances were not placed in the hands of persons held 
accountable. In December, 1854, Congress authorized the 
appointment of captains, who were paid $200 per year sal- 
ary, while the crews were to be volunteers. In 1871 the 
present organized service was established. New stations 
were built and equipped with boats and with rooms for liv- 
ing and sleeping, a code of signals adopted and full crews 

Geographical positions of United States life-saving sta- 
tions in Cape May county: 

No. 30, Beasley's — South side Great Egg Harbor Inlet. 

No. 31, Peck's Beach — Three and one-half miles above 
■Corson's Inlet. 

No. 32, Corson's Inlet — Near inlet, north side. 

No. 33, Ludlam's Beach — Three and one-half miles above 
'Townsend's Inlet. 

No. 34, Townsend's Inlet — Near the Inlet, west side. 

No. 35, Stone Harbor — Three and one-half miles above 
Hereford Inlet. 

No. 36, Hereford Inlet — Near Hereford Light. 

No. 37, Turtle Gut — Six and one-quarter miles above 
Cape May City. 

No. 38. Two-Mile Beach — Four miles above Cape Mav 

No. 39, Cold Spring- — One hundred feet west Madison 
avenue, Cape May Citv. 

No. 40. Cape May — Near Cape May Light. 

No. 41, Bay Shore — Two and one-half miles west Cape 
Mav City. 

Thoma^; Beesley, cf Dennisville. who was chosen State 
Senator in 1870 and served in 1871, '72 and '73, was a 
younger brother of Dr. Maurice Beeslev. Thomas Beeslev 


^vas born in Cape May county August 22, 181 5, and, after 
receiving a moderate education, engaged himself in mer- 
cantile pursuits. He became prominent as a counselor 
among men. He was live times chosen to the Assembly, 
serving in the years 1865, '66, '67, '69 and '70. He held 
local offices and was an ardent Union man. He was at 
first allied with the Whig party, and then with the Repub- 
lican, and as such was elected to public office. He died on, 
October 16, 1877. 

Nelson T. Eldredge, of Lower township, who was chosen, 
sheriff in 1871, was a son of Jeremiah L. Eldredge, a prom- 
inent pilot who lived in the county. He was born in Lower 
township October 13, 1833. He served as sheriff from 1871 
to 1874. He died in Lower tow^nship on June 16, 1886. 

In 1872 postoffices were at Ocean View and Palermo,, 
the former on May 6 and the latter on December 1 1. 
February 24, 1873, the office at South Dennis was first 

In 1872 the State Legislature passed a law authorizing' 
the building of life saving stations along the beaches. 

In 1875 the International Cape May Ocean Regatta came 
off, and the Cape May Cup, which was then won, has been 
carried all over the world and raced for many times since 
by those yachts famous both in Europe and America. 

The cup was raced for by the New York Yacht Club 
from a buoy off Sandy Hook to Five-Fathom Beach, off 
Cape May. 

The third President to visit Cape May county was General 
Grant, who came for four different seasons for short visits. 
On Saturday evening. June 13, 1873, he arrived at Congress 
Hall, Cape Island, and was at the opening of the hotel for 
the season. He brought with him several Cabinet officers 
and prominent citizens, among whom were General George 
H. Williams, Attorney-General; Hon. Benjamin Bristow, 
Secretary of the Treasury; Hon. R. B. Cowen, Assistant 
Secretary of the Interior; ex-Vice-President Hannibal Ham- 
lin, then United States Senator from Maine; General O. E. 
Hancock, United States Army, and Private Secretary to the 
President; Hon. A. G. Cattell, ex-United States Senator 
from New Jersey, and who was afterwards president of the 


local banking- institution, the New Jersey Trust and Safe 
Deposit Company; Governor A. R. Sheppard. oi the Dis- 
trict of Columbia; Hon. John Goforth. Assistant Attorney- 
General; General Edward McCook, Governor of Colorado; 
Thomas H. Dudley, Consul to Liverpool, and others. The 
party was received by Company H, Sixth Regiment, the 
local military organization, and welcomed to the city by 
Mayor Waters B. Miller. During that season Hon. Fred- 
eric T. Frelinghuysen, ai'cerwards Secretary of State un- 
der President Arthur, was a guest at the Stockton with his 
family. The following season Governor Thomas A. Hen- 
dricks, afterwards \'ice-President of the United States, was 
a Stockton guest. 

Frank Willing Leach, who left Cape May for other fields 
about this time, is the youngest surviving son of Joseph S. 
Leach, and was born at Cape ]\Iay August 26, 1855. He 
w^as educated primarily at the local schools and by private 
tutor. Having read law with his brother, J. Granville 
Leach, he was admitted to the Philadelphia bar March 31, 
1877. He immediately began the practice of his profession 
in that city, wdiere he has resided since January, 1873. Mr. 
Leach, at an early age, even before attaining his majority, 
evinced an appetite for journalism and literature. When a 
youth he was president of the Philadelphia Amateur Press 
Association and critic of the Eastern Amateur Press Asso- 
ciation. About this time he was editor of "The Literary 
Gem," a monthly journal, published by the Crescent Liter- 
ary Society, of which organization, made up chiefly of col- 
lege students, he was the president. Soon afterward he be- 
gan contributing to current periodicals, his first story, a nov- 
elette, having been published in the "Waverly Magazine," 
when he was twenty-two years of age. Before this he had 
done work as a correspondent for the Philadelphia "Press" 
and Philadelphia "North American." For a number of 
years Mr. Leach has been engaged upon a biographical and 
genealogical work entitled "The Signers of the Declaration 
of Independence: Their Ancestors and Descendents." 

Mr. Leach's tastes and inclinations ran to politics while 
he was yet a young man. In 1881 he was a delegate to the 
Republican State Convention, of which, also, he was the 


secretary. The same year he followed the political fortunes- 
of Hon. Charles S. Wolfe, who ran as an independent can- 
didate for State Treasurer. Mr. Leach was secretary of the 
Independent Republican State Committee that year, as well 
as in 1882, when Hon. John Stewart was the independent 
candidate for Governor, and he was also secretary of the 
convention which placed the latter in nomination, May 24,. 
1882. In 1883 he was chief auditor in the office of the City 
Controller of Philadelphia, and the following year he was 
chief clerk, at the same time serving as secretary to the 
he became the secretary of the Republican State Committee 
Commissioners of the Sinking Fund of that city. In 1885 
of Pennsylvania, which position he held until the summer 
of 1893. From 1886 to 1892, and again in 1895, he was 
secretary of the Republican State Committee. He was also 
a delegate to the State Convention of 1893. In 1888 he 
was secretary of the Republican National Convention, which 
met at Chicago, and from 1888 to 1892 he was assistant 
secretary of the Republican National Committee, and he 
conducted the campaign of that year. As a political or- 
ganizer he has few equals in Pennsylvania. 

Mr. Leach is a member of the Pennsylvania Society Sons 
of the Revolution and of the Pennsylvania and New York 
Societies of Mayflower Descendants: also a member of the 
Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the American Academy 
of Political and Social Science, the Numismatic and Anti- 
quarian Society of Philadelphia, the University Archeolog- 
ical Association, the American Folk Lore Society, the Civil 
Service Reform Association of Philadelphia and the Gealog- 
ical Society of Pennsylvania; also of Mt. Moriah Lodge, 
No. 55, F. A. M., and Damascus Council, No. 536, Jr. O. U. 
A. M.; also of the Markham and Penrose Clubs of Philadel- 
phia, and the Harrisburg Club, of Harrisburg, Pa. 
Hereford Inlet Light was established in 1874. 
This light is located on the north end of Five-Mile Beach, 
in latitude 39°oo'oo" and longitude 74°47'oo". Its height 
of tower is 49I feet and elevation of light 57 feet above sea 
level. It has a fourth-order lens and fixed red light, visible 
at a distance of thirteen nautical miles. Arc of illumination, 
N. E. by N. I N., around eastward to S. W. I S. This 



Structure is of wood and placed in a grove. The tower 
surmounts the dwelhng. Both are painted straw color. 
Distant lof nautical miles north of Cape May Lighthouse. 

Richard S. Leaming, Senator from 1874 to 1877, was a 
prominent man of the county. He was a son of Jeremiah 
Leaming, who was Senator from 1834 to 1836, and was 
born in Cape May county July 16, 1828. In early life he 
evinced business capacity, and began business as a ship 
builder at Dennisville, where he was successful in his opera- 


tions. During the war he became a staunch Union man, 
and was active in moving supplies and securing volunteers. 
He became a member of the Republican party upon its 
formation. He w-as a member of the Board of Freeholders 
from Dennis township during the years 1862, '69, '70/71 and 
'y2. He served as a member of the Assembly in 1871, '72 
and 'y}). The latter year he was chosen to the Senate and 
served during the years 1874, '75 and '76. He was a candi- 
date for Presidential elector in 1888 on the Harrison and 
Morton ticket. He was a prominent Baptist and many 



years superintendent of liis Sunday school. He died at 
Dennisville on May 25, 1895. 

In 1874 Dr. Alexander Young, of Court House, served 
in the Assembly. He was a grandson of Henry Young, 
who was surrogate of Cape May from 1743 to 1768. Dr. 
Young was born at Beesley's Point March 27, 1828. After 
getting a primitive education, he entered Jefferson Medical 
College, in Philadelphia, in 1857, ^"^ two years later was 
graduated an M. D. He settled at Goshen and practiced 
there until 1873, when he removed to Court Plouse. Early 

.]■. .M.::\ANi)i':i: voiNc. 
in life he became a member of the Petersburg M. E. Church, 
and was some years a class leader. While at Goshen he 
gave attention also to cranberry growing and had one of 
the largest bogs in the county. 

Bcgimiing in 1868, he served in the P>oard of Freeholders 
for about fifteen years from Middle townsliip, and from 1870 
until he retired he was the director (president) of that body. 
He died at Court House on May 17, 1887. 

In 1874 Joseph E. Hughes was appointed a judge of 
county courts by Governor Joel E. Parker. Judge Hughes, 



who was a son of James R. Hughes, a well-known local 
educator of his day, and a grandson of Aaron Eldredge, 
surrogate from 1802 to 1803, was born in Lower township 
July 31, 1821. In his thirteenth year he became a mem- 
ber of the Cold Spring Presbyterian Church. He grew to 
manhood on his father's farm and was studious and acquired 
a moderate education. He entered upon farming, and for 
fifteen years taught the district school. For many years 
superintendent of the Cold .Spring Sunday-school, and was 

.KiSKl'lI K. llL'i:ilK-<. 

made an elder of the church in 1835, where he remained until 
1875, when he united with the church in Cape May City, of 
•which he is to-day an elder. He was clerk of the Township 
Committee and town superintendent of schools. In 1865 
.he was a member of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, and 
was its clerk in 1871 and 1872. During the latter year he 
removed to Cape May City, and was in 1874 elected to the 
City Council. In 1874 he was appointed judge, and served 
until 1882, when he was appointed postmaster of Cape May 
City by President Arthur. He held this position four years. 
In 1886 he was chosen alderman, and served two vears. In 


1893 he was appointed again a judge of the courts by Gov- 
ernor Werts, and served until the law was changed in 1896^ 
In politics he is a moderate Republican. He was in private 
life engaged in mercantile pursuits and the hotel business. 

By the State census of 1875 Cape May had a population 
of 8190, of which 354 were colored persons. The popula- 
tion, according to townshis, was: Upper, 1569; Middle, 
2355; Lower, 1480; Dennis, 1585, and Cape May City, 1201. 

In 1875 Cape Island was given a new charter by the 
Legislature, and its name changed to Cape May City. The 
new charter provided for a mayor, an alderman, and a re- 
corder, elected every two years; nine councilmen for three 
vear terms, three going out of ofifice each year, and a col- 
lector of taxes, assessor of taxes, treasurer and overseer of 
poor, each elected anually. The limit of indebtedness was 
fixed at $100,000. 

Richard D. Edmunds, who served in the Assembly in 
1875, was a son of Robert Edmunds, a soldier in the War of 
1812. He was born in Lower township in 1814, where he 
spent his boyhood days. He obtained an education as best 
he could, and then entered into mercantile pursuits and 
farming. He served in the Board of Freeholders from 
Lower township in 1857. In 1862 he was chosen loan com- 
missioner of the county, and held that ofifice for a year, hav- 
ing that autumn been chosen sherifif. He served in that 
capacity until 1865. Afterwards he removed to Cape Is- 
land, and, in 1871, was chosen from there a member of the 
Board of Freeholders. In 1875 he was elected recorder of 
Cape May City under its new charter, and served one year. 
He was a judge of the Court of Common Pleas for some 
years previous to his death. For fifteen years he was an 
elder of the Cold Spring Presbyterian Church. He died 
on October 8, 1879. 

In 1875 Sea Grove, now Cape May Point, was founded 
as a Presbyterian summer resort by Alexander Whilldin, 
of Philadelphia, and others. The idea of such a place had 
been in the minds of Mr. Whilldin for some years. The 
first move towards its founding was the organizing of the 
West Cape May Land Company, which was chartered by 


the Legislature in March 8, 1872. The incorporators were 
Alexander Whilldin, Colonel James Pollock, George H. 
Stuart, H. R. Wilson, S. A. Mutchniore, Nicholas Murray, 
James H. Stevens, George W. Hill, G. H. Huddell, J. P. 
Reznoo, John Wanamaker, Robert J Mercer, Hon. M. Hall 
Stanton and Joseph Freas, of Philadelphia; Return B. 
Swain, Franklin Hand, Richard S. Leaming, Thomas Bees- 
ley, Downs Edmunds and Virgil M. D. Marcy, of Cape May 
county, and former United States Senator Alexander G. 
Cattell, of Camden county. On the i8th of February, 1875, 
the Sea Grove Association was chartered by the Legislature, 
with Alexander Whilldin, Dr. V. M. D. Marcy, Downs Ed- 
munds, Dr. J. Newton Walker and John Wanamaker as 

Under their supervision Sea Grove was laid out on the 
most northerly point of the State, and on what was originally 
known as Stites' Beach. The town prospered for a about 
fifteen years. A postofBce was established there on March 
27, 1876, with Alexander Whilldin Springer, nephew of the 
above, as postmaster. In 1878 the name of the of^ce was 
changed to Cape May Point, by which it is still known. 
Shortly after the town was settled a borough government 
was established, which lasted until 1894. 

Alexander Whilldin was born in Philadelphia in 1808, 
his father being a Cape May pilot, who was drowned in 1812. 
The mother and son then came to Cape May and lived here 
until young Alexander was sixteen years of age. He then 
became a clerk in a Philadelphia store, and did the chores. 
Gradually rising in his position, he was, in 1832, able to 
begin business for himself as a wool merchant. He pros- 
pered until he became one of the first men in the financial 
world of Philadelphia. He was for years president of the 
American Life Insurance Company. He died in Philadel- 
phia in April 16, 1893. 

John Wanamaker, a merchant and philanthropist, of Phil- 
adelphia, was born in that city on July 11, 1837. He was 
educated in the public schools there, and began business in 
1861, and now owns the greatest retail establishment in the- 
United States. He has also a large retail store in New 


York city. He is a prominent Presbyterian, and in 1857 
organized Bethany Sabbath-school, of which he has ever 
since been superintendent. For many years he was 
president of the Young Men's Christian Association 
of Philadelphia. From 1889 to 1893 he was Post- 
master-General of the United States under the ad- 
ministration of President Benjamin Harrison. He owns a 
handsome summer residence at Cape May Point, where he 
built Beadle Memorial Chapel. 

\^irgil M. D. ]\Iarcy was the son of Dr. Samuel S. Marcy, 
and was born in Lower township January 5, 1823. At ten 
years of age he was sent to Connecticut to school, and there 
prepared for college. At sixteen he was prepared for col- 
lege, bvit, being young, waited a year and then entered Yale 
College, from which he graduated in 1844. He became a 
member of the Phi Beta Kappa Literary Society. He then 
returned to Cape May and studied medicine under his father 
and Dr. Edmund L. B. Wales, of Tuckahoe. In 1846 he 
received the degree of M. D. from the University of Mary- 
land, at Baltimore. He then settled in Gloucester county, 
\'a.. and practiced three years, and then, in 1849, removed to 
Cold Spring, and took up his father's practice, where he re- 
sided until 1876, when he removed to Cape May City. He 
was a charter member of Cape Island Lodge, F. and A. M., 
organized in 1866. He became a member of Cold Spring 
Church in 1840, and has been an elder for thirty-five years. 
He is a member of the firm of Marcy & Marcy, druggists. 

In the summer of 1876 ten commissioners of the Meth- 
odist Church South and Methodist Church North met at 
Cape May City to settle on a basis of fraternal union between 
the two organizations, which had been divided by the Civil 
War, and they originated a plan which was subsecjuently 
agreed upon by the two bodies. 

On June 4. 1875, a company of the State National Guard 
was organized in Cape May City, which w-as known as Com- 
pany H, Sixth Regiment, until it was disbanded in May 16, 
1893. Its membership was composed of residents of all 
parts of the county. The records of the officers of this com- 
pany are as follows: 



George W. Smith — Elected June 4. 1875; commissioned 
June 22, 1875; promoted niajor September 21, 1882. 

Christopher S. Magrath — Elected October 10. 1882; 
commissioned January 23, 1883; resigned January 15, 1884; 
afterwards became adjutant of the regiment. 

Edwin P. Clark — Elected April 17, 1884; commissioned 
May 20, 1884; resigned March 21, 1885. 

George W. Reeves — Elected July 18, 1885; commissioned 
September 22, 1885; resigned February 5, 1889. 

Herbert W. Edmunds — Elected March 14, 1889; commis- 
sioned April 19, 1889; resigned September 30, 1890. 

H. Freeman Douglass — Elected February 9, 1891 ; com- 
missioned May 2, 1891 ; retired May 16, 1893. 
First Lieutenants. 

Christopher S. Magrath — Elected June 4, 1875; commis- 
sioned June 22, 1875; elected captain October 10, 1882. 

William Farrow — Elected October 10, 1882; commis- 
sioned January 23. 1883; resigned April 24, 1884. 

James T. Bailey — Elected July 4, 1884; commissioned 
August 5. 1884; resigned March 21, 1885. 

Robert C. Hill — Elected July 18, 1885; commissioned 
September 22, 1885; resigned January 24, 1888. 

Herbert W. Edmunds — Elected March 26, 1888; commis- 
sioned April 24, 1888; elected captain March 14, 1889. 

H. Freeman Douglass — Elected April 13, 1889; commis- 
sioned August 20, 1889; elected captain February 9, 1891. 

James T. Bailey — Elected February 9, 1891; commis- 
sioned May 2, 1891; retired May 16, 1893. 
Second Lieutenants. 

John Henry Farrow — Elected June 4, 1875; commis- 
sioned June 22. 1875; resigned December 25, 1877. 

William Farrow — Elected February 4. 1878; commis- 
sioned May 2, 1878; elected first lieutenant October 10, 1882. 

Edwin P. Clark — Elected October 10. 1882; commis- 
sioned January 23, 1883; elected captain April 17, 1884. 

Charles G. Clark — Elected April 17, 1884; commissioned 
May 20, 1884; resigned March 21, 1885. 

James T. Bailey — Elected March 24, 1886; commis- 


sioned April 29, 1886; elected first lieutenant February 9, 

William F. Williams — ^Elected February 9, 1891 ; com- 
missioned May 2, 1891; retired May 16, 1893. 



In 1876 William Doolittle, of Ocean \'ie\v; W. V. L. Seig- 
irian. of Cape May City; Dr. John Wiley, of Court House, 
and Downs Edmunds, of Lower township, were appointed by 
the State Centennial Commission as a local conmiittee to 
gather agricultural and horticultural specimens from Cape 
May county for exhibition at the Centennial Exposition, 
held that year in Philadelphia. They asked the Board of 
Preeholders for one hundred dollars, with which to accom- 
plish their purpose. It was refused, and Cape May was, 
therefore, not represented officially. 

In 1876, '"jj and ''/'^ William T. Stevens, of Cape May 
■City, was the member of the Assembly. He was born in 
I^ower township on November 13, 1841, and was a great 
grandson of Henry Stevens and of Henry Young Town- 
send, both captains in the Revolution, and a grandson of 
Joshua Townsend, lieutenant in. the War of 18 12, and after- 
wards a member of both branches of the Legislature. He 
obtained his education in the public schools and under Rev. 
Moses Williamson and James R. Hughes. He served in 
Company F, Twenty-fifth Regiment, during the Civil War, 
and, after being mustered out, as a recruiting offtcer. Hav- 
ing learned the carpeenter's trade, he was employed after 
the war in the rebuilding of light houses in the South. In 
1871 and '72, and again from 1886 to 1892, he was a member 
of the City Council of Cape ]\Iay City. In 1888 he was 
president of the body. He was a member of the Board of 
Freeholders from 1893 to 1896, and was chosen in 1897 for 
an additional term of three years. He has been building 
inspector of Cape May City for two years. In politics he 
has always been a Republican. He is a deacon of the Bap- 
tist Chvirch, with which he united when a young man. 

In 1877 William Hildreth, of Court House, was appointed 



surrogate to succeed Dr. Jonathan F. Learning, who re- 
signed. He was that year elected for tive years, and has 
been three times re-elected, holding the office at the pres- 
ent time. He is a son of Joshua Hildreth, who was born 
in 1/74 and died in 1859, and who was a judge of the 
Court of Common Pleas. Surrogate Hildreth is also a 
grandson of John Dickinson, colonel of the Cape May 
regiment in the War of 1812. He was born at Court House 
on June 10, 1828. He was first chosen assessor of Middle 


On March 26, 1878, a part of Maurice River township- 
was set over into Cape May county by act of the Legislature. 
The new boundaries were as follows: Beginning at a stone 
on the old Cape road, on the division line between Cape- 
May and Cumberland, thence along the several courses of 
the said Cape Road to the intersection with the Dorchester 
and Estelleville road. Following that highway to the Cum- 
berland and Tuckahoe road, the line ran thence along said 
road to a point on Hunter's Mill Dam in the Cumberland' 
and Atlantic line, thence along the latter line to the terminus 
of the present Cumberland and Cape May line, thence to be- 
ginning. This land was made a part of Upper township.. 


In 1879 Ocean City, on Peck's Beach, the most northerly 
in Cape May county, was founded by three brothers, Samuel 
Wesley Lake, James E. Lake and Ezra B. Lake, all min- 
isters of the Methodist Episcopal Church. During- that 
summer, while sailing across Great Egg Harbor Bay, they 
conceived the idea of selecting the place as a Methodist and 
temperance resort. In October, that year, the Ocean City 
Association was formed. In February following, William 
Lake, another brother, made survey, and in May an auction 
was held. The next year a postofftce was established there, 
with Rev. W. H. Burrcll as postmaster. 

In 1877 William H. Eenezet, of Court House, was chosen 
sherifif, serving three years. In 1883 he was again elected 
sheriff, and served as such until he died, in 1886. He was a 
descendant of Anthony Benezet, the famous Philadelphia 
philanthropist, who lived there before the Revolution. He 
was born at Court House on March 27, 1841, where he ob- 
tained his education. He was apprenticed to a carriage 
builder and learned that trade. He afterwards became a 
shoe merchant at Court House. After his second election as 
sheriff he removed to Cape May City, and opened a shoe 
store there. He died August 10, 1886, at Cape May City. 

By the census of 1880 the population of the county was 
9765, of which 570 were colored persons. The number of 
males living in the county over twenty-one years of age 
were: Native white, 2465; foreign white, loi : colored, 144. 
The population was divided among the political divisions 
as follows: Cape May City, 1699; Cape May Point, 198; 
Dennis township, 181 2; Lower, 1779; Middle, 2575, and 
Upper, 1702. The population of the villages reported were: 
Court House, 570; Dyers (Dias Creek), 356; Goshen, 464; 
Green Creek, 362; Mayville, 273; Rio Grande, 241; Towns- 
end Inlet, 309. 

Waters Burrows Miller, who was State Senator from 1880 
to 1886, and was the ninth and eleventh mayor of Cape Is- 
land, was born in Gloucester county, N. J., in 1824, and, 
when eleven years of age, his father, Jonas Miller, a prom- 
inent hotel man of his day. and who, as proprietor of Con- 
gress Hall, entertained President Buchanan when that dis- 



tingtiished official visited Cape May, moved with his fam- 
ily to Cape Island, where young "Burr," as he was famil- 
iarly called, grew up. Miller, as soon as he was old enough, 
began his life as a partner with his father in the manage- 
ment of Congress Hall, which was a most famous place in its 
day, being known in almost every part of America. His 
sister. Miss Pauline, married Jacob Frank Cake, who after- 
ward became famous as a Congress Hall and Stockton Ho- ]!. >!II,T EH. 

tel ] voprietor, who entertained both Grant and Arthur, and 
nuui-rous Cabinet officers and statesmen. Aher Mr. Cake's 
deat;: Mrs. Cake continued to manage Congress Hall. 

When 'I'-.f^ city cf Cape Island was made a municipality, 
he was electee' i^ its first election, in March. 185 1, the first 
alderman of the c.ty, and for the forty years succeeding was 
one of the foremost citizens, not only of the city, but of the 
county and State. 


In the fall of 1852 Mr. Miller was elected a member of 
:£he New Jersey Assembly, and served in the seventy-seventh 
Legislature. In 1854 the people of this city elected him a 
member of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, and he was 
successively re-elected in 1855, 1856, 1857, 1858, 1859, i860 
and 1861, and, after being out a year, was again elected to 
the same office in 1863. In 1865 he was elected a member 
of the City Council for one year, and again made a member 
of the Board of Freeholders in 1866 and 1868. 

In March, 1869, he was elected mayor of the city for a 
term of two years. In 1871 he was a candidate for the office, 
but was defeated by Mayor Joseph Ware by a few votes, two 
•other candidates, Messrs. Richard R. Thompson and Joseph 
O. Williams, being in the field and dividing the vote. But 
in 1873 Mr. Miller was again a candidate and elected for a 
two-year term. He was again, in 1878 and 1879, i^iade a 
member of the Board of Freeholders. He was a leading 
Democrat of the county, and w^as a power in politics. He 
tried five times to get into the State Senate, being success- 
ful twice. He made his first trial in 1855, and was defeated 
by Jesse Diverty, Know Nothing, afterwards a leading Dem- 
ocrat and judge of the county courts. He tried for the place 
again in 1873, ^"^^ ^"^'^^ defeated by Senator Richard S. 
Leaming. Not discouraged, he was again made the Demo- 
cratic nominee in 1879, ^^'^^^ ""^'^^ successful, defeating his 
former opponent. Senator Leaming, being the second Dem- 
ocrat elected to the Senate from the county. He was re- 
elected in 1882 for three more years. In 1891 he was de- 
feated in the convention by one vote by Lemuel E. Miller, 
who was elected. 

When the Cape May and Millville Railroad, now the West 
Jersey, was being built to Cape ]\Iay, its projection seemed 
to be a failure, when, by mortgaging his property, he aided 
materially in its completion to this city. 

In 1886 he was the originator of the first electric light 
company in this county. He was largely instrumental in 
the securing of the Cape May City charter of 1875. ^^ ^^'^^ 
postmaster of Cape May City from March 12 to April 16, 
"in 1886. 


He has three sons, Richard T. Miller, appellate judge of 
the New Jersey Supreme Court; Jonas S. Miller, prosecutor 
of the pleas in Cape May county, and Lafayette Miller. He- 
died at Cape May in September, 1892. 

Richard T. Miller, his son, was born in Cape May City" 
December 16, 1845. He studied law with Thomas P. Car- 
penter, then a justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey.. 
He was admitted to the bar as an attorney in 1867 and as 
counsellor in 1870. He was city solicitor of Cape May in. 
1869 and 1870, and again from 1890 to 1893. He was dis- 
trict court judge of Camden city from March 3, 1877, to- 
July II, 1888, and was prosecutor of the pleas for Cape May 
county from 1889 to 1892. On April i. 1892, he was made- 
president judge of the Camden County Common Pleas and 
resigned from that position on March 11. 1893, to go on the- 
Circuit Court bench of the New Jersey Supreme Court, tO'- 
wliich he had been appointed by Governor Werts for a 
term of seven years, which will expire in 1900. In politics- 
he is a Democrat. 

Jesse D. Ludlam, who was elected Assemblyman in 1879,. 
and who served in the Assembly in 1880, 1883, 1884 and" 
1885, was a grandson of Henry Swain, who, with Joshua 
Swain, patented the centre-board in 1811. He was born 
at Dennisville. February 28, 1840. He was educated in the 
public schools and at Pennington Seminary. He was tor 
ten years a member of the Dennis Township Committee,.. 
and for five years its chairman. He was a member of the 
Board of Freeholders from Dennis township from 1881 tC' 
1884. He served for manv vears on the School Board. He 
is engaged in farming and in selling and shipping cedar. In 
1890 Governor Abbett appointed him a judge of the Court 
of Common Pleas, and he served as such until 1896, wdien 
the law was passed reducing the number to one law judge, - 
In politics he is a Democrat. 

Remington Corson, of South Scaville, was sherifif from 
1880 to 1883, was born about 1846 and died at his home at 
South Seaville on April 21, 1894, aged 48 years. He held" 
township offices and postmaster at South Seaville, where he 
was a leading merchant from 1867 to 1881, and from 1889^ 



*£0 1893. He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church. 
His father, Baker Corson, also postmaster from 1881 to 
1885, died one day before Remington — ^on April 20, 1894, 
aged 78 years. He was for forty years a member ot Cal- 
vary Baptist Church. He was formerly a sea captain and 


The third newspaper established in the county was the 

-"'Cape May County Gazette," which was printed at Cape 
May Court House. The first number appeared on March 6, 
i88o. It was and still remains a weekly. The first issue 

• contained four pages, each 15 by 21 inches. It was issued 


by Alfred Cooper, who is still its publisher. Alfred Cooper 
is a son of George B. Cooper, of Cumberland county, who 
was a clerk of the New Jersey Assembly in 1865 and 1866. 
He was born at Kinderhook, N. Y., September 6, 1859. He 
obtained his education in Millville, N. J.; Valatia, N. Y., 
and at Pierce's Business College, Philadelphia. After grad- 
uating he learned the printer's trade at Millville, where he 
remained until establishing the "Gazette." Since 1890 he 
hts been on the Count Board of Elections. In politics he 
is a Republican. 

On January 3, 1881, Thaddeus Van Gilder, of Petersburg, 


died. He was one of the most noted merchants in the- 
county. He was born April 6, 1830. He conducted a 
ship-building business and had hundreds of men chopping 
and shipping wood. 

During the session of our Legislature of 1881 a bill was 
passed entitled "An act to encourage the manufacture of su- 
gar in the State of New Jersey." This act provided that a. 
bounty of one dollar per ton could be paid by the State to 
the farmer for each ton of material out of which crystallized 
cane sugar was actually obtained ; it provided also a bounty 
of one cent per pound to the manufacturer for each pound 
of cane sugar made from such materials. After the passage 
of this act, the Senate requested the Agricultural College to 
experiment on the sorghum plant in order to further its 
cultivation by the farmers of this State. 

Mr. Hilgert, an enterprising business man of Philadelphia, 
member of the firm J. Hilgert's Sons, sugar refiners, built 
and fitted up an extensive sugar house at an expense of at 
least $60,000 at Rio Grande. This house during the first 
fall worked the cane of about 700 acres. The product of 
crystallized sugar was sold to refiners at seven and eight 
cents per pound. The yield, though not as large as ex- 
pected, was regarded as satisfactory. The farmers of that 
section who calculated on an average yield of ten tons of 
cane and thirty bushels of seed were disappointed, the av- 
erage yield per acre being about five tons of cane and twenty- 
bushels of seed, which sold readily for sixty-five cents per 
bushel. Lemuel E. Miller, who was perhaps the largest 
cane grower on the cape, raised, on 120 acres, 641 tons of 
cane and 2500 bushels of seed. The total amount realized 
by him is reported to be $3648. The cost of growing this 
crop is not known at present, but the reported cost for Iowa 
in the year 1873, is, exclusive of fertilizers, $12.50 per acre. 

The bounties offered for the production of sorghum cane 
and sugar encouraged the Rio Grande Sugar Company, 
which had succeeded the Hilgerts, to invest large sums, and 
in the purchase of lands upon which to grow sugar cane. 
This enterprise was continued until 1885. Good crops were 
grown and much sugar made. The difficulties in establishing 
a new business was fairly overcome. The ruinously low^ 


prices of sugar in the latter years, however, took away all 
chances of profit in a mill which, at the best, could express 
only half the sugar in the cane. The process of diffusion, 
or soaking out the sugar by water, was tried upon a large 
scale, but dinhculties incident to a new business delayed the 
realizat'on of the hopes of the company, and work by the 
Rio Grande Sugar Company ended with 1886. The boun- 
ties offered by the State ended with 1885. The whole 
amount of bounties paid to encotirage this industry was 


Henry A. Hughes, of Cape Alay City, who had been the 
superintendent of the woi*ks from the beginning, and who 
was largely interested in overcoming the difficulties experi- 
enced in the above enterprise, at the beginning of 1887 or- 
ganized the Hughes Sugar Company, and, with the assist- 
ance of the United States Department of Agriculture, built 
and equipped a small sugar house, to work fifteen or twenty 
tons of cane per day. The machinery in the house was 
mainly of his own invention, and included machines for 
topping, stripping and shredding the cane, and for extract- 
ing the sugar by diffusion. The results of the work in 1887 
were, in many respects, satisfactory, and the experience 
gained showed where and how many savings of time, labor 
and expense could be made. 

At the beginning of 1888 nuinerous changes were planned 
so as to produce effective work, and a large sum of money 
was appropriated by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment 
Station to carry them into operation. But these plans for 
the expenditure of the money were not carried through. 

The United States Government latterly assisted, but in 
1890 the attempt to raise sorghum cane was abandoned. 

Henry A. Hughes was a grandson of Captain Humphrey 
Hughes, of the War of 1812. He was for years an employe 
of Edward C. Knight in the Philadelphia Sugar Refinery. 
Rev. Edward Patrick Shields was appointed county super- 
intendent of public schools in 1881 to succeed Dr. Maurice 
Beesley, who had resigned. 

Edward Patrick Shields. D. D., was born August 31, 1833, 
a<- New Albany, Ind., and was the third son of Henry B. and 
Joanna D. Shields. He joined the Presbyterian Church 


there on profession of faith in 1849, i" th: sixteenth year of 
his ag-e. He received an academical training- at New Al- 
bany in an eig-ht years' course of superior schooling in the 
classical institute. From 1848 he was employed in a 
wholesale hardware store in Louisville, Ky., remaining three 
years. He graduated at Miami University, at Oxford, C, 
in 1854, during the presidencv of Rev. William C. Ander- 
son, D. D. 

He then took a three years' course (1854-57) in the New 
Albany Theological Seminary, now tlie jNIcCormick Sem- 
inary, at Chicago, 111. Another year was added in theolog}' 
with the class which graduated at Princeton Theological 
Seminary in April, 1858. He served as a stated supply oi 
the Presbyterian Church at Bloomington, Ind., in 1856, 
while his studies at New Albany were in progress. He was 
■ordained a minister of the gospel in the Presbyterian denom- 
ination by the Presbytery of West Jersey, at Pittsgrove, N. 
J., June 2, 1858. He was settled over the church there from 
1858 to 1870. During this time a very handsome brick 
church was erected by the congregation at a cost of $25,000. 
He removed on January i, 1871, to Cape May City, and was 
installed pastor over the Presbyterian Church, where he re- 
mained until March i, 1884, the longest pastorate in the his- 
tory of the county of Cape May, with the exception of the 
very long pastorate of Rev. Moses Williamson, at Cold 
Spring, viz., forty-six years. 

He was called to the pastorate of the Presbyterian Church 
at Bristol, Pa., being installed May i, 1884, where he re- 
mained until 1897, when h.e resigned. His three pastorates 
averaged thirteen years. He received the honorary degree 
of D. D. from Miami University, his alma mater, in 1S87. 

He served a full three years' term as superintendent of 
public instruction in Cape May county from 1881 to 1884, 
by appointment of the State Board of Education. His re- 
moval to Pennsylvania required a change in the office. 

Furman L. Richardson, who served in the Assembly from 
1881 to 1883, was born in Middle township February 23, 
1842. He is a grandson of Aaron Leaming. who was sher- 
iff of the county from 1812 to 1815. He attended the pub- 
lic schools at Rio Grande. In 187- he entered into the gro- 


■'Cery and provision business with J. Henry Farrow under 
the firm name of Richardson & Farrow, which continued 
until Mr. Farrow died, in 1883. He served in the Cape May 
City Council in 1875 and 1876, and was treasurer in 1879 
and 1880. After serving in the Assembly in 1881 and 1882, 
he was sergeant-at-arms of the State Senate in 1887 and 1888. 
In 1889 he was appointed postmaster of Cape May City and 
served five years. He has for several years past conducted 
summer hotels. In politics he is a Republican. 

The fourth newspaper, a weekly, established in Cape May 
•county was the" Ocean City Sentinel," first issued at Ocean 
City on April 21, 1881, by'w. H. Boyle & Bros. In 1885 
this paper was purchased by R. Curtis Robinson and W. H. 
Fenton, but a couple of years later Mr. Robinson purchased 
Jklr. Fenton's interest and has since been sole proprietor. 

R. Curtis Robinson was born in Atlantic county in 1862. 
-At sixteen years of age he entered a wholesale dry goods 
iiouse in Philadelphia. Finding this distasteful, he engaged 
"to learn the printing business in the "Banner" office, Bev- 
■erly, N. J. Shortly after he became connected with the "At- 
lantic Review," of Atlantic City, where he remained six 
years. During this lime he was also editor of the "May's 
Landing Record" and associate editor of the Philadelphia 
-publication, "Over the Mountains and Down by the Sea." 
In 1885 he removed to Ocean City. In 1888 he was a 
anember of the Board of Freeholders from Ocean City. He 
"«&7as postmaster there from 1889 to 1893. 

In 1882 the town of Sea Isle City, on Ludlam's Beach, 
which had been founded by Charles K. Landis, had grown 
large enough to have a post-office established there on June 
20, with George Whitney as postmaster. In 1883 another 
postoffice was established at Anglesea, a new town on the 
nrorth end of Five-Mile Beach. A week later an office was 
established at Holly Beach, which had been founded on the 
south end of the same beach. 

President Arthur visited Cape May City in the Summer of 
1S83. With a party of friends, he arrived at the steamboat 
landing at Cape Alay Point on Monday, July 23, at 11 
-o'clock in the morning. He had come there on the gov- 


ernment steamer "Dispatch." He was received there bv 
United States Marshal McMichael, of Washington; Colonel 
Henry VV. Sawyer and J. Frank Cake, proprietor of the- 
Stockton Hotel. They were conveyed by carriage along 
the ocean front to the hotel, where, as they entered, Simon 
Hassler's orchestra and the Weccacoe Band played "Hail 
to the Chief." In the afternoon the President was driverL 
over the town. In the evening a reception was given to 
Mayor Melvin and Council; followed by a banquet and ball 
at the Stockton, in honor of the J^resident. At 9 o'clock 
President Arthur appeared, with United States Marshals 
William H. Kern, of Philadelphia, and McMichael, of Wash- 
ing to, leading the way. During the evening" President Ar- 
thur shook the hands of over 2500 persons. 

The President left about 12 o'clock at night, amid a grand 
display of fireworks, and was rowed through the billows in 
the surfboat, manned by the crew of Life Saving Station No. 
39, to the "Dispatch," which had then steamed around im 
front of the city. 

In 1884 West Cape May was created a borough out of 
Lower township, and has remained a political division ever 
since. In 1885 Holly Beach, on the south end of Five-Mile 
Beach, and Anglesea, on the north end of the same beach,, 
were made bor oughs. 

In 1884 \'incent O. Miller, of Dennisville, was appointed 
County Superintendentof Public Instruction, to succeed Rev. 
Edward P. Shields. He was born at Goshen on May 5, 
1852. He attended the public schools at Goshen and at 
Bridgeton, N. J., finishing his education at Fort Edward 
Collegiate Institute, Fort Edwards, N. Y., in 1870. He 
taught in the public schools of Cape May county for sixteen 
years. On June 26, 1883, he was appointed county superin- 
tendent, and held that position until September 29, 1896. 
He also held other local offices. He is engaged at present 
in manufacturing fertilizers and in sawing and selling cedar- 

By the census of 1885 there were 10,744 persons living in 
the county, of which 9856 were white natives, 591 colored 
and 297 white foreign born. The population of the polit- 
ical divisions of the county were as follows: 


Cape May City, 1610; Cape i\Iay Point, 200; Dennis town- 
ship, 1770; Holly Beach, 210; Lower township, 1208; Mid- 
dle township, 2605; Ocean City, 465; Sea Isle City, 558; 
Upper township, i.^oo: West Cane Mav. 618. The villages 
had the following numlxT of residents: Ocean View, 191; 
South Seaville, jo8: North Dennisville, 487; South Dennis, 
308; East Creek, in. and West Creek, 175. 

In 1885 the Cape May County Medical Society was organ- 
ized, and during the same year West Cape Alay was cre- 
ated a borough out of Lower townsl-.ip. 

During this year Ludlam's Beach Lighthouse was built 
at Sea Isle City, its latitude being 39°09'42'' north, and 
longitude 74^4 C05" west from Washington. The light 
flashes white every quarter minute, and is of the fourth or- 
der. The light stands 36 feet above mean high water, and is 
visible a distance of iij miles. 

Joseph H. Hanes. who was elected Senator in the fall of 

1885, was born at ^\ oodstown. Salem county, on September 
20, 1845. He learned the blacksmith trade when young and 
subsequentlv became a successful contractor. He served 
nine years in the Cape May City Council, from 1878, and 
was president of that body during the first three years of his 
service. He .served in the Senate during the sessions of 

1886, 1887 and 1888. In 1895 he was again elected to 
Council for three years, but resigned after a month's ser- 
vice, owing to the pressure of his private business. In 
politics he is a Republican. 

Alvin P. Hildreth, who this same year was elected to 
the Assembly, was born at Cold Spring, June 13, 1830. He 
attended the public schools, and then attended a private 
academy in Central Pennsylvania, and during the years 
1846-7 and 1847-8 was a student in Yale College. O wing- 
to ill health he returned home and subsequently taught 
school. In private life he was connected with many large 
hotels afterwards in Cape May, Philadelphia and Wash- 
ington. He was city clerk of Cape Island in 1856 and 
1857 and served in the City Council from 1859 to 1863. 
He was assessor from 1859 to 1873, and a member of the 
Board of Freeholders from Cape May City from 1880 to 



1886. He served in the Assembly in the sessions of 1886 
and 1887. lie was appointed a Riparian Commissioner of 
the State in 1892 and served two years. For several years 
he has been a member of the Democratic State Committee. 
In 1886 the fifth newspaper estabhshed in the county was 
the "Cape May County Times," pubhshed by Thomas E. 
Ludlam, at Sea Isle City. It contained four pages, size 15X 
21 inches. He continues to be its publisher. Thomas E. 
Ludlam was born at Uennisville, on January 30, 1855. He 
obtained his education there. For ei^ht vears he taught 

TUO.MAS !•;. l.CDI.A.M. 

school in different sections of the coiuity, and then removed 
to Sea Isle City, and at its first election, in 1882, was made 
a member of the Board of Freeholders. He was six years 
agent of the West Jersey Railroad at Sea Isle City, and 
from 1884 to 1896 Mayor of the borough. He was inter- 
ested in the formation of the M. E. Church there and has 
for a number of years been on the Board of Education, be- 
ing now its president. As a real estate dealer he was largely 
instrumental in the development of Sea Isle City. He is a 
director of the South Jersey Railroad. 


In 1886 postoffices were established at Burleigh (formerly 
Mayville), and at Clermont. 

The valuation of and personal property as assessed 
in the county in 1887 was as follows: Upper, $456,740; 
Dennis, $416,215; Middle, $614,125; Lower, $259,850; Cape 
May City, $1,700,000: Cape J\Iay Point, $200,000; West 
Cape May, $133,430; Anglesea, $150,000; Sea Isle City, 
$237,365; Ocean City, $200,073; Holly Beach, $175,000; 
total, $4,542,798. 

On July 9, 1888, a postoffice was established at Avalon, 
a newly laid-out town on the north end of Seven-]\Iile Beach, 
and in September. 1889. one established at the new town of 
Wildwood on the centre portion of Five-]\Hle Beach. In 
June, 1890, the ofjfice at Marmora was opened. 

On September 5. 1S88, the people voted upon the ques- 
tion of "local option," or for and against the granting li- 
cense for the sale of liquor as a beverage. The following 
townships and boroughs voted for granting licenses: Sea 
Isle City, Cape May City, Holly Beach, Anglesea, Middle, 
Upper and Lower. Those voting against were: West Cape 
May, Ocean City, Dennis and Cape May Point. The com- 
bined majority in the county for license was 222. This was 
the only time in the history of the county when the ques- 
tion was decided by ballot. 

The 175th anniversary of the founding of the Cold Spring 
Presbyterian Church was celebrated in 1889. Rev. Daniel 
L. Hughes, D. D., read the historical address. 

In 1888 Dr. Walter S. Leaming was elected State Sena- 
tor. He is a son of Dr. Jonathan F. Leaming, who twice 
had been State Senator. He was born at Seaville on March 
4, 1854, and there passed his boyhood days. For a time he 
was a law clerk in Xew York city. In 1867 his father re- 
moved to Court House. After that time the Doctor attend- 
ed the Mayville Academy. He entered the Pennsylvania 
College of Dental Surgery in 1876, graduating two years 
later with honors. Later on he entered Jefiferson ]\Iedical 
College, Philadelphia, and was graduated as M. D. in 1881. 
He became a partner of his father and remained so until 
moving to Cape May City in 1891, where he still practices 



dentistry. In 1887 he was elected to the Assembly and 
served in the session of 1888. 

It was during this session of the House that in a speech, 
ably made, he broke the then prevailing political Republican 
combination, and succeeded in electing Colonel Henry W. 
Sawyer Sinking Funk Commissioner of the State. 

That year he was chosen Senator, and served three years in 
the upper house. In 1891 he was the Republican caucus 
nominee for President of the Senate, receiving the full Re- 


publican vote. In 1895 he was elected a member of the 
Cape May City Council for three years, during all of which 
time he was president of the body. In politics he is a Re- 
publican, and in religion a Baptist. 

Eugene Conrad Ccle, who was Assemblyman in the ses- 
sions of 1889, 1890, and 1891, was born at Seaville, June 23, 
1851. He was of Revolutionary stock, and his ancestors 
were Massachusetts people, and was also a direct maternal 
descendant of Henry Young, surrogate and surveyor-gen- 
eral of the county in the last century. He was educated in 
the public schools, and studied military tactics at West 
Point in 1869. In 1871 he began teaching school, and 



taught until about 1894. He was for years up to 1897 a 
county examiner. He was admitted to the bar in 1886. He 
was Coroner of the county from 1881 to 1884, and was a 
Justice of the Peace for several years. In politics he is a 
Republican, but not a partisan, and one in whom men of 
every party have confidence. 

Charles E. Nichols, of Court House, who was Sheriff 
from 1889 to 1893, was born at Kingston, New Hampshire, 
on August 27, 1849. His forefathers fought in the Revolu- 
tion. For a time he attended school there, and later at 
Oswego, New York. For two years he was a drug clerk in 
the latter place. In 1865, when sixteen, he came to Cape 

lUCiKNK ('. COLE. 

May Court House, where he has since resided. He com- 
pleted his education at Mayville Academy. In 1885 he was 
appointed postmaster by President Cleveland, and served 
until 1889, when he was elected Sheriff. In 1893 he was 
again appointed postmaster by President Cleveland. He 
has been a Justice of the Peace for several years. He is a 
Democrat politically. For thirty-two years he has been a 
member of the Baptist Church, twelve years of which time 
he has been a teacher in the Sunday school. 

The condition of the county in 1890 was prosperous. Its to- 
la! debt was $7000, which had been incurred three years be- 


fore in the building of a new almshouse, -uhich cost $io,ooaj:. 
The population of the county was 11,268, divided as follows: 
Anglesea. 161; Cape May City, 2136; Cape May Point, 167;: 
Dennis township, 1707; Holly Beach, 217; Lower, 1156; 
Middle, 2368; Ocean City, 452; Sea Isle City, 766; Upper, 
1381; West Cape May, 757. The number of farms were 
505; area of farms, 47,066 acres; area of improved land, 
26,491 acres; unimproved, 20,575 acres; value of farms, in- 
cluding lands, fences and buildings, $1,312,530; value of im- 
plements and machinery, $68,330; value of live stock, $141,- 
580; value of farm products, $235,800. 

In June, 1890, the "Five-Mile Beach Journal," at Wild- 
wood, w^as first printed by Samuel P. Foster. It contained! 
four pages of six columns each. Mr. Foster published it 
until the autumn of 1895, when it was sold to Jedediah Die. 
Bois, who continues to publish it. 


Soon after Cape May Point was established, John V\ ar.a- 
maker, of Philadelphia, bought properly there and erected 
a summer residence. When President Harrison was in- 
augurated, he appointed Mr. Wanamaker liis Postmaster- 
General. They became warm friends. During a few weeks 
in June, 18S9, Mrs. Harrison and the family were guests of 
the Wanamaker cottage, and Hking Cape ]\Iay well, she so 
expressed herself. The President also oaid one visit. Dur- 
ing the winter of 1889-1890 tlie friends of the IMesident 
built a handsome $10,000 summer cottage, and through 
Postmaster-General Wanamaker and William V. McKean, 
editor of the Philadelphia "Public Ledger," presented the 
cottage to ^Irs. President Harrison, by handing her the 
deed and keys in the White House, at Washington, on 
June '1, 1890. In th.ree weeks the family took posses; ion, 
where they resided from June 20 until August 28. The 
President passed about four weeks of the season with his 

Hon. James G. Elaine, the Secretary of State of Presidents 
Garfield and Harrison, visited the Cape during tlie summer. 
General William Tecumseli Sherman visited his daughter. 
who resided in a Columbia r venue cottage. 

On the 24th of .Vugust, that day being Sunday, the Presi- 
dent, accompanied by Mrs. Harrison and Mrs. Dimmick, 
his wife's niece, who afterwards became the second Mrs. 
Harrison, visited the Cold Spring Church for worship. 
While on their way home, Coachman William Turner, wlio 
had grown up in the neighborhood, was directed to drive 
by the cottage of "Uncle Dan" and "Aunt Judy" Kelly, on 
the "thunpike," in Lower tovvuship, to whom the attention 
of Mrs. Harrison had been draAvn by a photograph she had 
seen of the aged couple, and the vine clad cottage in which 


they had hved for years. Through Mrs. Harrison the Presi- 
dent became interested, and that occasion was taken for 
viewing" it. 

The carriage drove up to the garden gate and the Presi- 
dent ahghted and entered. Aunt Judy, who was asleep in- 
side tlie cottage, was aroused, and President Harrison re- 
quested a drink of water, which was furnished ck^ar and 
cool from t'^e depths of the oh! well, and which was drawn 
up liy the "old oaken bucket." hung" upon a rope. As he 
stooil drinking" Judy's brig-ht ey;s watched him closely. As 
he finished he- remarked, "I have a photc\graph of you and 
your husband." 

"W'liat might you name be?" asked Jud\'. 

'"i ;im General Harrison," replied the President. 

"Tlie saints be praised," cried Judy. "I have lived to see 
a President and talk to him. Dan'l! Dan'l! Coom out here, 
old man. Sure an the President has coom to us." 

The old man, who was a cripple, hobbled out, and, drop- 
ping his hat, seemed too awe-struck at the great honor to 
talk. Judy, however, had her tongue wagging, and, turn- 
ing" to the President, said: 

"Sure if you have my picter, can't I have one of yourn?" 

"I have no picture of myself with me," answered the 
President. "But," and his eyes twinkled as he felt in his 
pocket, and drawing something therefrom, which he handed 
to Judy, "this is the picture of another President." 

Judy's hand closed over the gift, and she grasped the 
President's hand, shouting her thanks as he moved toward 
his carriage, which he entered with a farewell, lifting his hat, 
and was whirled out of sight. 

Only then did J'ady stop to look at what had been given 
her, and her surprise and delight can be imagined when she 
discovered a new ami crisp five-dollar bill, containing :he 
likeness of President Jackson. 

Du! irg the summer of 1891 President Harrison and fam- 
ily again passed tl:e season at Cape May Point, while the 
President estab'.iphed his executive office at Congress Hall, 
in Cape May, wh.cli was open from July 3 until Septem- 
ber 15. 

The President and family came on July 3 to their cct- 

i)is'ri.\(;risHEi) visitoks. 395 

tiage, but the President himself did nf)t remain there ail the 
-'.season, hrom August i8 to 29 he was away at Saratoga, 
N. Y. In the season of 1892 tiie family 'lid i:ot Mine to 
•Cape May Point. That fall Mrs. Harrison died. Ouring 
the summer of 1893 General Harrison, who had 0.1 the 4th 
• of March preceding retired from the Presidential ciiair, 
passed part of his summer at the cottage, in 1896 he dis- 
posed of the cottage to a Philadelphian. 

Tn the fall of 1889 Edward L. Rice, son of Leaming M. 
Rice, who had previously been State Senator, was elected 
■county clerk, to succeed Jonathan Hand, after fifty years 
of service. Edward L. Rice was born at Dennisville on 
January 25, 1864. He attended school at Dennisville and at 
Rutgers College, New Brunswick, N. J. Before he en- 
tered college and before reaching his eighteenth year he 
began teaching school. When elected clerk he was prin- 
cipal of the Cape Mav Citv School. He is a natural orator, 
and has written some poetry. In 1894 he was chosen by the 
pec^ple for another term of five years. In politics he is a 

The Jewish colony at Woodbine was founded in 1891. It 
was early in the spring of that year that the American trus- 
tees of the Baron Hirsch Fund closed negotiations by pur- 
chasing 5100 acres of land in and around Woodbine from 
Mr. John M. Moore, the Clayton, N. J., glass manufac- 
turer, for $39,000. Before the purchase was completed the 
titles were searched back to the days of the "West Jersey 

In April, 1891, work was commenced at the colony. A 
number of small dwelling houses were erected for the ac- 
commodation of the men who came to the place to clear the 
land and build homes. A survey of the land was made and 
sixty-two farms of thirty acres each were laid out. l^hese 
farms are now occupied by as many -families. They were 
sold to the settlers on terms which were extremely liberal, 
and yet not calculated to make the buyers entirely depen- 
dent. By the terms of purchase the refugees upon their 
.arrival in this country were brought direct to Woodbine and 
placed on their farms, which were thirty acres each in extent. 

In August the colony was settled. To every family were 


allotted a neat house, barii and all necessary outl)uildings; 
one cow, twenty-five chick ;'.:s, farming implements and 

Ten acres of the thirt}- were cleared and ploughed and' 
sown with rye or wheat. For the farm complete, the trus- 
tees asked $1200, the cost price. Every settler was given 
ten years' time in which to pay for his purchase, and in or- 
der to give him a start, the fund only required the interest on 
the principal to be paid during the first three years. After 
that time the purchase price was to be paid off in yearly pay- 

Immediately after the founding of the colony a large num- 
ber of refugees were brought to the colony and employed in 
the large cloak factory the trustees had erected. 

During the summer of 1892 the crops were very large and 
farming proved a success far beyond all expectations. The- 
town site was laid ci.t near the depot and within six months 
thirty-five new houses, costing over .$50,000, were built and 
occupied by those who worked in the cloak factory. A new- 
factory for the mauuiacture of trousers was completed and 
the two industries gave employment to over five hundred 

The management ( i the colony devolved upon Professor 
H. L. Sabsovich, who is }et sur-erintendent. Professor 
Sabsovich is a native of Southern Russia and is about forty- 
seven years of age. His title comes from the "Agricultural 
College of Russia," of which institute he is a graduate. In 
1888 he left Russir. cv. account of aggressive laws with his- 
family and came to New York. Shortly after arriving in 
America he accepted a position as professor of chemistry in. 
the Colorado State Experimental College, at Denver, where 
he remained until he came to Woodbine to superintend the- 
newly-established colony. Within a year nearly seven hun- 
dred persons settled there. 

In 1891 the Legislature again passed an act changmg 
Cape May's boundary line, by adding a portion of Maurice 
River township, in Cumberland township, to Dennis town- 
ship. It was during this year that Avalon became a bor- 

The first woman physician to settle in Cape May county 



was Anna M. Hand, who began the practice of medicine in 
Cape May City in Januar}-. 1S92. She was of Revolutionary 
stock, having- had niaten>nl and paternal ancestors in the 
Revolution. Dr. Hand was born near Cape May Court 
House, where she obtahied her education in the public 
schools and with private teachers. This was supplemented 
by two years of study in the New Jersey State Normal 
School. After graduating she taught school for seven years 
in Eastern Pennsylvania. The idea cf studying medicine 
■■then took hold of her, and she matriculated in the Women's 

Medical College, I'hiladelphia, in 1886, and took an extend- 
ed or four years" course. Afterwards she took a post grad- 
uate course in the Philadelphia Polyclinic. Her career of 
preparation was concluded with nearly two years more of 
practical experience in the Maternity Hospital and Nur^c 
School, of Philadelphia. She then settled at Cape May 
City and acquired a large practice. 

The first move towards establishing a second railroad 
through Cape May county was by Logan M. Bullitt, of 
Philadelphia, and James E. Taylor, of Cape May City. They 
secured an agreement with the Central Railroad of New Jer- 


sey, the Atlantic City Railroad Company and Vineland'^ 
Railroad Company to operate a jjroposed road in connec- 
tion with these companies. On January 14, 1893, a public 
meeting was held in Hand's Hall, Cape May, which was 
presided over by James M. E. Hildr^th. At that meeting 
$5300 was subscribed toward the project. The road was- 
built from Winslow Junction in Camden county to Sea Isle- 
City, and the first train ran there on July T,'] , 1893. The 
next day a regular train service was established. 

On June 2}^, 1894, the road having been completed fronr 
Tuckahoe to Cape May, the first train arrived with a large 
party of invited guests, and a public holiday was the conse- 
quence. In July regular service was established. The 
road's projectors had had many financial difficulties. It 
was first known as the Philadelphia and Seashore Railroad, 
and afterwards reorganized as the South Jersey Railroad. On 
August 22 a receiver was appointed for the road, who still 
manages it. The officers of the company at the time of the 
appointment of the receiver were: William S. Fox, president; 
Logan M. Bullitt, vice-president; Thomas H. \\'illson, sec- 
retary; Thomas Robb, James E. Taylor, Charles K. Landis, 
J. H. Wheeler, James M. E. Hildreth, Morris Boney, 
Thomas E. Ludlam, John Halpin. H. W. Sawyer, Edward 
A. Tennis, Dr. James Mecray and Dr. A". M. D. Marcy. 

Logan M. Bullitt is a son of John C. Bullitt, of Philadel- 
phia, a large land holder of Cape May. He was born in 
Philadelphia in 1863, and was graduated from the Univer- 
sity of Pennsylvania in 1883. After graduating he was ap- 
pointed superintendent of Dunbar Furnace Company, Dun- 
bar, Pa. In 1884 he became manager of the Northern Pa- 
cific Coal Company and remained in Dakota and Montana 
until 1888. In 1889 he was admitted to the Philadelphia bar. 

James E. Taylor was born in Cape May, and after ob- 
taining an edijcation he studied civil engineering. He was 
at one time head of the contracting department of the Edi- 
son Electric Company, New York city. In 1888 and 1889 
he was collector of Cape May city. 

Lemuel E. Miller, w^ho was State Senator from 1892 to 
1895, was born at Green Creek, August i, 1854, and was 
a son of Aaron Miller, one time Sheriff. When fifteen his 



father died and he was left to care for himself. He became 
a gneral contractor, doing work in all parts of the coun- 
try, such as building railroads, bulwarks, etc. He served 
in the Cape iVIay City Council from 1875 to 1878, and in 
1876 was the president of the council. 

On the fourth of July, 1893, the celebration was partici- 
pated in by ex-President Benjamin Harrison, who made the 
principal address from the piazza of the Stockton Hotel, 
Cape ]May City. Those who took part in celebration were 
Mayor James ]\L E. Hildreth; General William J. Sewell, 


of Camden; Congressman John E. Reyburn,of Philadelphia; 
Hood Gilpin, Esq., of Philadelphia, and Rev. James N. 
Cockias, pastor of the Presbyterian Church. 

The one hundred and eighty-second anniversary of the 
founding of the First Baptist Church of Cape May was held 
at Cape May Court House on June 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 
21, 1894. 

In 1894 South Cape May was created a borough out of 
West Cape May. 

The first hanging which ever took place in Cape May- 
county was that of the murderer Richard Pierce, a colored 
man, of Goshen, aged about 24. The hanging took place in 



the court house yard on the afteruoon of July 13, 1894. 
Sheriff Robert E. Hand was in charge of the execution. 
Pierce had killed his wife on Fel:)ruary 19. 

In 1894 the present county prison was erected. 

By the census of 1895. the school property in the county 
was valued at $64,000; public property. $46,150; church and 
charitable institutions, $173,450; cemeteries, $2,100. The 
total'number of residents in the county was 12,855: each politi- 
eal division containing tht- following inhabitants: Ancjlesea, 

En>ruNi) I,. Koss. 

J47; Avalon, 105; Caps May City, 2452: Cape May Point, 136; 
Dennis township, 2370; Holly Beach, 300; Lower township, 
1063; South Cap2 Miy, 65; INIidJle township, 2500; Ocean 
City, 921; Sea Isle City, 424; Upper township, 1420; West 
Cape May, 742; Wildsvood, 109. There were 3367 dwelling 
houses in the county, occupied by 3193 families. 

Edmund L. Ross, who represented Cape Mav coimty 
in the Senate during the sessions of 1895. '96 and '97. was 
born at Cape May Court House, March 10, 1852. He was 
educated in the public schools and at Mayville Academy. 
He followed the sea for some years and then entered into 

])isTiN(;risni:i) \ isn\M:s. 


the mercantile business. He has been nine years county 
collector. He was a nienil)er ol the Assembly in the ses- 
sions of 1892, '93 and '94. 

Furman L. Ludlani, who was Assend)Iynian \n 1895 and 
1896, was born at South Dennis, on Xoveml:)er 23. 1832, and 
is a farmer. In early ycai s he was a sea captain. 

Andrew J. Tonilin. of lloshen, was in i8()5 elected Sher- 
iSi for a three-year term. He was a brother of John F. 
Tomlin. who was a distinguished soldier from Cape May 
eountv durins: th.e war of the vebellion. He was born at 

AN 1 i:i;.\ .1 . 11 i.M 1.1 >;. 
■Goshen, March 15. 1845. He grew up on the farm and 
went to the village schools. In 1862 he went to Philadel- 
phia, where he enlisted in the I'nited States Marine Corps, 
-and w^as detailed for duty a»: the Washington Navy Yard. 
After remaining th.ere for one year, he was sent with a bat- 
talion to Morris Island, participating in the attack upon 
Fort Sumter in Septeml^er. 1863. He was then detailed to 
the revenue cutter "Cuzler." and later to the U. S. steamer 
"Wabash." being wiih th.e latter in the Fort Fisher cam- 
paign. He helped to storm the breastworks and for his per- 



sonal bravery received a modal from (Hdeon Welles, Secre- 
tary of the Xavy. At the clcse of the war he was trans- 
ferred to the L. S. steamship "Mohongo."' of the Pacific 
squadron, upon which he remained until his five years' en- 
listment expired. He returned home, remained a short 
while, and enlisted again, being detailed to the U. S. steam- 
ship "Plymouth," of the European squadron. W^hile on the 
"Plymouth" he was in Europe during the Eranco-German 
war of 1870, and was also enabled to visit the Holv Lands 
and ports on both sides of the ^lediterranean Sea. He^ 

SV.\.\i;(><U']'; AT WOODBINE. 

upon returning home, allied himself with the Republican 
party. He was township committeeman of Middle town- 
ship for ten years, school trustee fourteen years. 

By reason of the unconstutionality of the State borough 
laws, all the boroughs in Cape May county ceased to exist, 
but the Legislature, in 1896, passed an enabling act to al- 
low boroughs to hold on to their government until legisla- 
tion could be enacted. They all continued their existence 
excepting Cape May Poi'nt, which became again a part of 
Lower township. Ocean City was incorporated as a city 
in 1897, and on April 13 held its first election under its new 



On Sunday, November 29, 1896, the Synagogue at 
Woodbine was consecrated. Every part of the structure 
was made by the colonists themselves. It cost about six 
thousand dollars. The day was made a memorable one, a 
large number of visitors being present. 

In September, 1896. Aaron W. Hand, of West Cape May, 
was appointed County Superintendent of Public Instruction 
by the state Board of Education, and entered into the perform, 
ance of the duties of the office with an earnestness which greatly 
stimulated interest in the public schools. He was of Cape May 
stock, and. born at Camden. N. J., February 10, 1857. He 


was educated in the public schools of Camden and Phila- 
delphia, and was for a considerable time a student at the U. S. 
Military Academy at West Point, N. Y. He began teaching 
school in 1877, and taught twelve years, being stationed at 
Dennisville, Rio Grande, Cape May Point and Cape May 
City. He was one of the most efficient principals of the schools 
of the latter place, and resigned the position to enter into the 
newspaper business in 1889. From 1880 to 1887 he resided at 
Cape May Point, and was tax collector and teacher there six 
years. He was also a merchant there. In 1887 he removed 
to West Cape May and began a mercantile business. He 
was assessor of the borough in 1895 and 1896. He was as- 
sociate editor of the Daily Star in the summer season from 



1 88 1 to 1889. In 1889. in company with y Perry Ed- 
munds, he purchased the Star of the Cape, and in 1890 Mr. 
Edmunds sold out to Thomas R. Brooks, who became a 
partner. In 1894, Mr. Hand sold his interest to Clarence 
R. Brooks, son of Thomas R. When the Star of the Cape 
Publishing Company purchased the paper in 1895, Mr. 
Hand became its editor and manager. In his newspaper career 
he has been fearless as an editor and successful as manager. 

Robert E. Hand, who served in the Assembly in the 
session of 1897, was born at Erma, Cape May county, June 


28, 1854, and still resides there. He was educated in the 
public schools. He owns large tracts of lands, is engaged in 
cultivating and shipping oysters. He was a member of 
school board for twelve years. He was a member of the 
Board of Freeholders from Lower township from 1887 to 
1892. In the latter year he was elected Sheritif and served 
three years. In politics he is a Republican. In June, 1896, 
he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention 
at St. Louis, which nominated McKinley and Hobarf for 
President and Vice-President. 



All that portion of Cape May county, beginning at a 
point in the Atlantic Ocean opposite the mouth of Cold 
Spring Inlet, as far southerly as the jurisdiction of the State 
extends, and running a westerly course until opposite an 
inlet (now filled up) between Cape Island and the light- 
house; thence following the several courses of the inlet, or 
creek, to Mount Vernon Bridge, and Broadway; thence 
along the northwest side of Broadway to the north side of 
its junction with the Cape Island turnpike; thence along the 
north side line of the turnpike to Cape May Island Bridge 
and creek; thence, following the several courses of the creek 
down the main channel to the place of beginning, is by 
law of 1875 declared to be the City of Cape May. Previous 
to this the territory was called Cape Island. 

The first reference to Cape Island was when George 
Eaglesfield in 1699 built the causeway. The first reference 
to the island by law was in 1796, when a law was passed to 
make a road on which boats could be stowed. The old way 
of getting to Cape May, formerly called Cape Island, was 
by carriages, the visitors from Philadelphia driving down. 
In 181 5, a sloop was built to convey passengers. Sometimes 
it would take two days to get down. The old Atlantic, the 
only hotel, was at the foct of Jackson street, and was the 
resort of men of prominence and wealth for many years. 
Commodore Decatur, the gallant and lamented American 
naval olBcer, for years was a visitant of Cape Island and was 
a constant habitue of the old Atlantic. Among its proprie- 
tors may be mentioned Ellis Hughes, William Hughes, Dr. 
Roger Wales, Aaron Bennett, Alexander McKenzie, Daniel 
Saint and Mr. McMackin. 

The old Congress Hall did not occupy the site of the 
present brick structure, but in 1812. when built by Thomas 


H. Hughes, its rotunda stood where Drs. IMarcy & Me- 
cray's Palace Pharmac}- now stands. It was a wooden 
building, of extensive exterior, being 108x140, but not as 
elegant as the newer class of hotels. Thomas Hughes, Jo- 
seph Hughes. Jonas Miller, W. Burr Miller, Richard 
Thompson, John West and Jacob F. Cake were among the 
proprietors before its destruction in 1878. Jackson street 
was the first regularly laid out thoroughfare. 

The reason why Cape Island was r.ut laid out in squares, 
like he more modern towns, is because streets were only 
made when they were needed. Jackson street was the first 
made street in the town, and that was more than one hun- 
dred years ago. Lafayette street was a cow path for the 
most part, and for convenience it was made a wagon road, 
and finally adopted as a street. Washington street was 
made to run parallel with Lafayette. Delaware avenue is 
probably the next oldest. Franklin, Jetlerson and Queen 
are also very old streets. 

There was a hotel on the lot north of the old Atlantic, 
built in 1822, and kept by Ephraim Mills. The first steam- 
boat began to run in 1828. Before that freight was brought 
to Cape May in sloops up to Schellenger's Landing. Old 
Captain Whilldin ran the first steamboat to the present land- 
ing place on the bay side. The boat stopped at New Castle 
to take up the Baltimoreans and Southerners who would 
come down on the old Frenchtown and New Castle Rail- 
road — the first railroad ever run in this country. They 
would come over in carriages from Baltimore to French- 
town, in Maryland, on the Susquehanna, near Havre de 

The hotel next erected after Congress Hall was the Man- 
sion House, raised in 1832, covering four acres of ground. 
It was the first lathed and plastered house on the island. 
Richard S. Ludlam built it, and also opened a street fifty 
feet in width, called Washington, between Perry and Jack- 
son. The first summer cottage was put up by Thomas Hart, 
of Philadelphia. "The Kersal," meaning a place of amuse- 
ment, was a wing or extension of the Mansion House, 124 
feet long, built in 1849, had hops and concerts in it; also 

CAl'E ISLAM). 407 

used as a large dining room. Among the proprietors of the 
Mansion House were Ephraim Mills, Isaac Schcllenger, Eli 
B. Wales, Daniel Saint, John Sturtevant, Richard Smith 
Ludlam in 1839; William S. Hooper and Albert H. Lud- 
lam from 1850 until the house was burned in 185G. 

The Ocean House was erected about 1832 by Israel Lea- 
rning, and was located on the east side of Perry street, be- 
tween Washington street and the beach. 

After the old Mansion House, the next house was built 
"by Mrs. Reynolds, called the American, with accommoda- 
tions for 125 guests. 

About 1834 the steamer "Portsmouth" began to make 
weekly trips to Cape May and Lewestown. In later years 
she w'as followed by the "W'ilmon Whilidin," "Kent," "Rip 
Van Winkle," "Zephyr," "Wave," "Mountaineer" and 

The first Methodist Episcopal society in Cape May City 
was formed in December, 1837, and fourteen years aftet 
this, 1843, t'""^ fi''st church was erected near the site of the 
present one, and it is now the A. M. E. Church, on Frank- 
lin street. Socrates Townsend, Israel Townsend, Jonas 
Miller, Israel Leaming and Jeremiah Church were the most 
active workers for its foundation. Joseph Ware was the 
builder, and Rev. Clark Polley was the first preacher. He 
was also the fTrst town Superintendent of Schools for Cape 
Island. The church is now located on Washington street, 
having been last rebuilt in 1893. 

In 1846 the Old Columbia Hotel was built, extending 
from Ocean to Decatur street, erected by George Hildretlx 
Messrs. Harwood and P)olton were its proprietors. 

The Merchants was built on the site of the New Colum- 
bia and Messrs. Mason and Eldredge were its proprietors 
before it was swept away in 1878. 

The Centre House, erected in 1840, was kept by Jeremiah 
Mecray on the corner of Jackson and Washington streets, 
until the fire destroyed it with the rest in 1878. 

The New Atlantic was built in 1840, and conducted by 
Benjamin, Joe and John McMackin until its destruction in 


On Decatur street stood the IMadison, whose construc- 
tion dated from 1845. 

The Washington Hotel was first erected on Washington street 
and was built in 1840, It now stands at Beach and Madisooi 
avenues. White Hall was erected in 1850, by Dr. Samuel S. 
Marcy, and the Delaware in 1840. 

National JHall erected in about 1850 by Aaron Gar- 

The first Baptist Society was formed al)out 1844. ai^^l a 
church was erected in the spring of 1845. 1^ was replaced in 
1879 by the present one. costing some $19,000. The first 
pastor was Rev. M. B. Tindall. The following were the 
original members of the church: Isaac Church, Philip 
Hand, George Scratton. Stephen Mulford. Alexander A. 
Shaw, John Price, Thomas McKain, William Price, Johrs 
K. Church, Aaron Schellenger, Rebecca H. Church, Sarab*. 
H. Hand. Abigail F. Stratton. Hetty Barnett, Elnor Fisher, 
Jane E. Shaw, Elizabeth McKain, Phoebe Webb, Louisa 
M. Schellenger, Elizabeth Brooks. Eliza Burch, Mary Lea- 
rning, Keziah Price, LabcUa Stevens and Hannah Rob- 

The need of local government was apparent and Assem- 
blyman Richard S. Ludlam began a movement in the Legis- 
lature which on March 8. 1848, terminated in the passage 
of the act "to incorporate Cape Island into a borough/'" 
This instrument named James Mecray chief burgess; James 
Clark, assistant burgess; Thomas B. Hughes, hi:;^h con- 
stable, and William Cassedy, borough clerk; and ihcse men 
were to constitute the government, with an assessor and col- 
lector of taxes, until t e first Tuesday of May. 1849, whert 
the people were from year to year to choose their succes- 
sors. The government existed until 1851. when in iMarch 
the Legislature incorporated the "City of Cape Island." 
There was a mayor, six councilmen, an alderman and a re- 
corder, who as a body were legislators for the new city. 

The first Council met in the school house on the corner 
lot of Franklin and Lafayette streets (south side), on Satur- 
day evening, Alarch 15, 1851. There were present Isaac 
M. Church, Mayor; Waters B. Miller, Alderman: Joseph S.. 


Leach, Recorder, and James S. Kennedy, David Pierson, 
John G. W. Ware, Joseph Ware, Aaron Garretson and 
James Mecray. Councihnen. The only thing done that even- 
ing was the election of Charles T. Johnson, a carpenter, as 
City Clerk. 

On the following Saturday evening, March 22, Mayor 
Church delivered his inaugural address, in which he said : 

"Gentlemen and Fellow Citizens: 

"Allow me the privilege of congratulating you upon the 
happy auspices under which we are now convened. 

"Our unfeigned gratitude is due the Great Author of all 
good, for the bounties of Providence we so largely enjoy. 
In addition to wealth, peace and plenty, our 'lines have fallen 
to us in pleasant places.' Situated as we are, upon one of 
the most "delightful spots to be found within the fair do- 
main of our beloved country, from this location we may 
look out upon the heaving bosom of the broad and fathom- 
less Atlantic, and listen to the ceaseless roar of iis rolling 
billows as they dash upon our sandy beacli. This island 
prominence is worthily noted for its vmsurpasscd beauty 
and salubriousness, and has lately become truly coleljrated 
for the pleasantness of its climate, and the invigorating ii-.- 
fluence of its summer sea breezes. These advantages, to- 
gether with the convenience and safety of' its bathing- 
grounds, contribute so many attractions that it is often 
thronged by thousands of the wealthy and fashionable from 
various and even remote parts of the Union. And their an- 
ticipations are usually more than realized in the agreeable- 
ness of the retreat from the sultry and sickly atmosphere of 
crowded cities and inland towns. It is our good fortune 
here to have our dwelling places, as free and independent 
citizens, and to enjoy uninterruptedly the privileges of the 
Gospel, with the rights and immunities of the civil and so- 
cial institutions of our highly favored land. 

"But this occasion requires especially that I should con- 
gratulate you upon the success of your late application to 
the Legislature of our State for tlie rights and privileges of 
a city charter. We have, for a few years past, been wit- 


nessing with nuicli gratification the unparalleled growth and 
prosperity of our place, which has only been equalled by its 
widening notoriety and increasing popularity as a desirable 
summer resort. A large amount of capital is annually ex- 
pended in the erection and furnishing of commodious and 
^magnificent hotels and boarding-houses for the comfortable 
entertainment of the multitudes who visit us during each 
successive bathing season. So that, in point of fact, our 
former village is rapidly assuming the real appearance of a 

.splendid city. And to maintain the respectability to which 
the rapid progress of the place entitles it, as well as for the se- 
curity of the stock invested in its improvement, it was 
deemed expedient to procure a city charter. For this, and 
other reasons, such as the preservation of just rights and 
good order among us, it was thought indispensable that an 
efficient municipal government should be organized. 

"Moved by a commendable spirit of enterprise, you, my 
fellow citizens, after mutual and mature deliberation, pre- 
pared a bill which, in the dictates of your best judgment, 

: should meet the exigencies of the case. This bill was in due 
time presented to the Legislature by your committee ap- 
pointed for that purpose, through whose efiiciency it se- 

. cured the early attention of that body. And being duly 
considered, with the circumstances which called for its en- 

. actment, it was slightly amended to m.eet the views of the 
members interested, and finally secured the Legislative 
sanction by a passage through both houses, and was ap- 
proved and signed by the Governor. And by our bill thus 
becoming law, we were constituted a chartered corporation. 

'On the tenth of the present month, Cape Island took her 
pbce among her older sisters of the LTnion as a legally in- 
corporated city. And though she may be the least among 
the thousands of America bearing such a title, yet the vigor 

• of her infancy promises well for a speedy, a propitious and 
a far-far.icd maturity. The realization of this result, how- 
ever, depends very much upon the spirit with which our 

■ chartered privileges arc improved and carried out to their 
practical operations. 

"In this responsible business we have just embarked. 


Agreeably to the provisions of the charter, the polls were 
legally opened on the eleventh instant, for the election of 
.municipal officers; and our citizens, with a zeal worthy the 
•cause, came forward to the enjoyment of their right of suf- 
frage. The voice of the sovereign people, spoken through 
the medium of the ballot-box, has summoned us, the olB- 
•cers-elect, to take the first administration of the public af- 
fairs of this municipality. 

"In accepting the honor to which my fellow citizens have 
•called me — that of serving them as chief magistrate of the 
city — it may not be amiss for me to remark that at the 
late election was the first time I ever allowed my name to 
be used as a candidate for a public civil office. And not- 
withstanding the misgivings I mv.y have respecting my 
'Capability for the duties devolved upon me, I should still 
be an ingrate, indeed, not to feel and express the emotions 
•of unaffected gratitude to my friends for placing me in this 
'nonorable position, by such a decided expression of the 
public will. Yet I should be reluctant to obey even this 
summons to official duty, were it not that I have the fullest 
■confidence in the abilities of my compeers in office. Feeling 
satisfied that they are every way competent to meet and dis- 
-charge the respective duties assigned them, and to grapple 
successfully with every emergency that may arise, and, 
moreover, cherishing the assurance that they will give me 
their cordial co-operation in all measures that concern the 
public weal; with such coadjutors, and with entire depend- 
ence upon the direction and assistance of God, I venture 
■cheerfully into the new department of civil obligations. And 
we feign hope the public will be prepared to make all rea- 
sonable allowance for errors in judgment that may arise 
through inadvertency or inexperience on the part of their 
■official servants. 

"And now. gentlemen, you who have the honor to be the 

elected functionaries of this body politic, and especially the 

members of the City Council, permit me with due deference 

to vour respective views and abler judgment, to state in 

iDrief the principles I wish to be governed by and would 


recommend to you as the basis of our official administra- 

"We are placed by the favor and confidence of our con- 
stituents in a position that will call forth our best energies 
to sustain satisfactorily all the interests of this corporation. 
To us is committed the responsible work of setting in opera- 
tion a new form of government for a newly constituted city. 
And this is to be done with very limited financial resources, 
amid the paralyzing influence of fear on one side, prejudice 
on another, and perhaps derision on the third. And this 
responsibility is necessarily laid upon those altogether inex- 
perienced in the work they have to perform. A govern- 
ment is to be established and kept in effective motion, with 
the least possible friction in its machinery, although its op- 
erators be unused to many of its delicate wires. 

"With such raw material, both as agents and principals, it 
will be difficult to prevent some creaking in the contact be- 
tween new rules and old usages. For, no doubt, it will be 
expected of us, as a condition of our public approval, that 
all the varied and somewhat conflicting interests that here 
concentrate, be mamtained and promoted. Yet I trust we 
shall not be deterred from launching the ship, though the 
channel be narrow, shallow and difficult to navigate; for if 
we do our duty, we think she will float out to good sailing; 
at all events it will be satisfaction enough to be conscious 
of having done the best we could under the circumstances. 
Among the several interests that will demand our attention, 
the first are those of a local character, confined within the 
limits and to the inhabitants of the city itself. Embraced 
in this class will be internal improvements, proper care of 
health and cleanliness, the preservation of peace and good 
order, the protection and fostering of moral institutions,, 
the detection and punishment of vice and misdemeanor, the 
judicious management and suitable encouragement of edu- 
cational interests, with the prudent direction of finances. 
. To these things we must carefully look, in order that the 
city, so far as its internal police is concerned, may be kept 
in a thriving and prosperous condition. By these mea.ia.; 
it will present a standing invitation to its visitors to con-- 


tinue their periodical visitations; and to those who are in 

search of a location to make it their permanent residence. 

And this evidently will be the surest and quickest way of 

mcreasing- the value of city propertv, bv which all are bene- 

"The next claim upon the deliberations of the Council is 
the interest of the surrounding vicinity, and the county at 
lar_s:e. With these our municipal enactments should con- 
f^ict^ as little as possible. It is an obvious fact that the pe- 
cuniary interest of the adjacent country is closely identi- 
fied with the prosperity of this city. The more rapid and 
permanent its growth, and the greater number that can be 
induced to visit it during the summer, the longer and bet- 
ter market it will afford for their produce, and the more em- 
ployment it will provide for their teams and carriages. While 
the ef!fect of wholesome restraints and regulations in the 
city will go far to prevent a poisonous influence of immor- 
ality from spreading around, which otherwise would have a 
tendency to contaminate the whole region. It is to their ad- 
vantage, therefore, not to fight against, but to assist in pro- 
moting the interests of the city. Yet, on the other hand, 
there is a reciprocal dependence upon them in securing and 
perpetuating the advantages of the corporation. We want 
their marketing, their fish, their hay, their wood, their labor, 
their teams, and their vehicles. Hence it will be but pru- 
dent economy for both city and country, far as practicable, 
to give mutual encouragement to each other's interests. 

Next, and the last that we shall name, though perhaps not 
the least in its bearing upon the ultimate success of our 
municipal enterprise, is to be considered the interests, com- 
fort and wishes of the annual visitors to the city. Some of 
them own property here, and are actual residents with us 
during the summer season, while the vast majoritv onlv re- 
main a few weeks in the capacity of boarders, at the hotels 
and private houses. That it will be an important point with 
the authority of the city to consult their advantages and 
preferences is evident from the fact that from this class of 
people has come the principal part of the money that has 
thus far built up our city: and from them must still come the 


funds indispensable to the continncd life and activity of our 
business operations. If. therefore, through carelessness or 
an arrant disregard of the comfort, safety, and gratification, 
of these visitors, they should be turned ofif in some other 
direction, our hope of prosperity to our youthful city must 
end in bitter and remediless disappointment. Such a catas- 
trophe we should not only deprecate, but endeavor to avoid,^ 

"Having thus presented to your consideration some of the 
leading objects at which I hope it will be our united purpose 
to aim, in our administration of the public afifairs of the 
city, your indulgence is asked while I take the liberty of 
recommending the means which to me seem best adapted 
to attain these desirable ends. Not only is the public good 
as a whole to be sought by us, but it is to be sought in the 
easiest and best way we can devise. And first of all, it will 
be essential to an effective government that each officer- 
connected with it acquaint himslf thoroughly with the du- 
ties, privileges, and responsibilities of his office. And that he 
hold himself ready at all times to act expeditiously and de- 
cidedly as occasion may require. Without prompt and 
energetic action on the part of officers, no stability or force 
can be given to the municipal transactions; and the whole 
organization would soon be treated with the disrespect its 
childish indecision would merit. But we w^ill not give place 
to the fear that any one has, or will take upon him, an office 
rrierely for its honor or emoluments, who are still unresolved 
as to its duties. For may the Lord deliver me from an as- 
sociation with men in office who wilfully neglect the duties 
they are sworn to perform. 

"Another point of importance will be a vigilant endeavor 
to preserve unanimity of sentiment and concert of action 
in the deliberations and decisions of Council. United coun- 
sel will be the best guarantee that the city government can 
give for the perpetuity and practical benefits of our charter. 
Of course, it will be both proper and expedient, when dif- 
ferent views are entertained on subjects under consideration, 
to compare and discuss their relative merits, to advocate 
measures with all your several abilities. Only let this be 
done in a friendly manner, and with due respect to each 
other's judgment. And though majorities should always- 

CAl'E ISLAND. 4l5 

be submitted to cheerfully, yet they should never carry 
points with an overbearing and exulting spirit; rather let 
a conservative spirit predominate and regulate the whole 
proceedings. To secure this, compromises will sometimes 
require to be made to minority views, which is well enough, 
W'here it can be done without encroaching upon important 
rights and principles. But if sectional or personal prejudices 
and jealousies are allowed to produce embittered controver- 
sies, and control the consultation and enactments of the • 
Council, the arm of its strength will be palsied. 'For a house 
divided against itself cannot stand;' while its wranglings 
will soon become the by-word of those who will treat its • 
ordinances with contempt. In your legislative movements, . 
you will have* a noble trio of well-established landmarks by 
which to steer your course. The highest and broadest of 
these is the Constitution of the United States, which it will 
ever be the duty and pride of every good American citizen, 
whether in office or private life, to preserve inviolate by a 
faithful adherence to its requisitions, prohibitions and prin- 
ciples. Next to this is the Constitution of our own State, 
W'hich expresses the fundamental laws by which we are 
governed as Jerseymen. And where is the Jerseyman worth 
the name that does not regard it an honor either to live 
under or assist in maintaining, unimpaired, the majesty of. 
that purely republican document. Then as the inside di- 
rectory of our enactments, we have our city charter, which- 
defines our rights, privileges, and duties as citizens of Cape 
Island, and more particularly as officers chosen by said' 
citizens to take the supervision and prosecution of their 
public concerns. In our enactment and execution of local 
law, therefore, it will be indispensable to keep our eye upon; 
the limitations of those higher and more general laws al- 
ready established. These we are bound to respect as su- 
preme, to obey them faithfully, to abide by them immovably;. 
in doing which we shall not be liable to overreach our proper 
jurisdiction, but will secure all due reverence to the city 

"I will now detain you, gentlemen, no longer than will be 
necessary to make a few special recommendations. Your 
independent and judicious judgment will need to be imme-^ 


diately exercise! in tlie choice of a Councilman to fill t!:e 
vacant seat, the election of a City Clerk, and Street Com- 
missioner. After these selections are made, it will be requi- 
site to draft and adopt suitable Rules of Order, By-Laws, 
etc., for your own convenience in expediting the correct 
transaction of business. These preliminaries disposed of, 
I would recommend the early appointment of an efficient 
police, with definite instructions as to their duties, that they 
may be ready to ojjerate whenever needed; but that th.ey 
be not called into service until actual occasion requires. It 
will be well for the Council, soon as practicable, to take 
measure for ascertaining- the amount of money sufficient to 
meet the ordinary expenses of maintaining the poor, re- 
pairing the streets, supporting the schools, etc!, which, to- 
gether with the State and county tax, will constitute the 
sum which the Assessor will have to raise by a tax levied 
on the inhabitants and property holders of the city, accord- 
ing to a fair valuation of their respective possessions. T'^e 
amount needed to meet the current expenses of the City 
Government, and for internal improvements, I would recom- 
mend to be derived from a revenue that shall be produced 
from various sources. Of these, the following are proposed : 
First, let a light tax be laid upon all vehicles that come fron; 
without the bounds of the city, to be used here as pleasure 
carriages during tlie boarding season. 1 would suggest 
that the owners or drivers of all such be required to obtam a 
written permit from the Mayor, or City Clerk, for the sea- 
son before commencing operation. The sum to be paid for 
said permits will be fixed by the wisdom o: the Cjuncl. 
Probably something like the following rates might be an 
equitable demand: for each tv.'o-horse carriage bi.'longmg 
to the line, one dollar; for each of the same description not 
connected with the line, two dollars, and for each of like 
kind coming from without the county, five dollars. Vs a 
further source of revenue, let all transient shop-keepers -if 
whatever kind, before opening for sale, be required \n pr^^ 
cure license of the city authorities, to pay therefor sucli smu 
as the discretion of the Council shall designate. I W) 11 
also recommend that all kinds of exhibitions, farces, shows, 
fireworks, etc., be prohibited, except they first procure li- 


cense in like manner, and that the respective charges be ail- 
justed to their probable income. And further, that the same 
principle be undeviatingly applied to all bowling riilcys. 
pistol galleries, archeries and whatever other places jf 
amusement the Council rnay see proper to allow .vithin the 
limits of the city. In their number and character, we hope 
the Council will not overlook the moral interests of the 
community. You are aware that the Legislature have seen 
fit in the passage of the bill to authorize the Council to grant 
license to inns, bars, etc., within the city, and this right shall 
be discretionary, sole and exclusive, and that it may also be 
applied to defining the period of such license to any term 
not exceeding one year. Now, if the Council shall deem 
it expedient to grant license for the sale of ardent spirits, I 
recommend that the term of said license be fixed to three 
months only, from the tenth of June. You will find by a 
reference to the statutes of the State that in determining up- 
on the amount demanded for tavern licenses, you have the 
range between ten and seventy dollars to select in. 

"We confidently think that the revenue derived from those 
several sources will be sufficient to meet the necessary ex- 
penditures. We earnestly recommend that immediate ac- 
tion be taken by the Council for the prevention of the de- 
struction of property by fire. Let the Marshal be authorized 
to institute a speedy and thorough examination of all chim- 
neys, stovepipes, Hues, etc.. in the city, and report those he 
regards as unsafe. It might be well to pass an ordinance re- 
quiring every house to be furnished with a certain number 
of leather fire-buckets, according to its number of rooms, to 
be kept in good repair and in a conspicuous place. We 
should entertain the plan favorably, of your encouraging the 
formation of a hook and ladder company, who could oper- 
ate to good advantage in case of fire. 

"Regulations will be needed also, in regard to suitable 
wagon-stands, that the public passage way to boarding and 
other houses be not obstructed. It is further recommended 
tliat timely and stringent measures be adopted to prevent any 
indecent or imoroner behavior on or about the bathing- 
grounds at any time, especially during bathing hours. While 
from the necessitv of the case, the observance of economy 


will be rtMiiiired in arranging your expenditures, still we hope 
that a due degree of public spirit will characterize your ap- 
propriations. Some improvements will doubtless be expect- 
ed and demanded by the public; and it is hoped that they 
will not be altogether disappointed in their wishes. Our 
streets and sidewalks need repairing. But as to Public Build- 
ings, I would suggest that for the present the Council rent 
or lease some suitable room, that will answer all practical 
purposes for a city hall. In addition to this, I should favor 
your proceeding at once to build a small jail. We think the 
time is not far distant when a market-house will be needed. 
I would merely notify you that some of the stockholders 
have proposed to offer the school house and lot on which 
it stands, for sale, which would be a very good site for city 
buildings. Especially do we recommend that the educa- 
tional interests of the city receive your liberal patronage. 
'Better pay for the tuition of the boy than for the ignorance 
and vice of the man!" We hope that school appropriations 
will be made to such an extent as will render it an object 
of interest to the Superintendent of Common Schools to 
look well to its judicious and profitable outlay. This he can 
do by giving his sanction only to competent teachers, vis- 
iting the schools, giving lectures, etc. 

"As to the salaries and fees of officers, a proper medium 
between meanness on one hand and extravagance on the 
other should be preserved. While it is not reasonable to 
expect that men can devote their time and energies to the 
public benefit without compensation, neither is it to be 
supposed that office-holding in an infantile city like ours can 
be a very lucrative employment. Equity and good policy 
would dictate that paid officers receive a fair and proper 
remuneration for the time they occupy and the services they 
render in public afifairs. And as this cannot at present be 
ascertained in the case of most of them, I would recom- 
mend that the Council defer their decision upon this ques- 
tion until the first of October, and that they require each 
officer to keep a faithful account of the time they have been 
in actual service during the interim, and present said ac- 
counts to the Council at the time specified. 

"It will add much to the respectability and comfort of the 


city that no horses, cattle, sheep, goats or swine be allowed 
to roam at large as commoners within the incorporated 

"In conclusion, allow me to express my fond hope that a 
year's trial of the new arrangements under which we now 
enter will prove to the satisfaction of all concerned the utility 
and advantage of our city charter. And it is our earnest 
desire that all who have been chosen by the suffrages of 
their fellow citizens to bear a part in the government of our 
young city will honorably acquit themselves in meeting the 
responsibility under which they are laid, and thereby credit- 
ably sustain the confidence reposed in them. If this is done, 
voters will have no occasion to regret the result of their 

"We should now fervently invoke upon you, and the city 
you represent, the continued and special blessing of Him, 
without whose favor and protection the "watchmen of a city 
but waketh in vain.' " 

Isaac iMiller Church, the first Mayor of Cape Island, and 
a Baptist clergyman, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., April 
8, 1814. He was taken by his father, Isaac Church, in 1818, 
to Lancaster, Ohio. The lad returned to Philadelphia alone 
and on foot in 1834, being followed shortly by his father, 
who settled near the steamboat landing in Lower township, 
now Cape May Point. Mr. Church was ordained at the 
meeting house of the West Creek Baptist Church, Cumber- 
land county, N. J., Saturday, April 24, 1841, as licentiate of 
the First Baptist Church of Cape May. 

He had been laboring for a few years before as a mis- 
sionary under the patronage of the State Convention in the 
West Creek field. 

On June 11, 1848, he w'as extended a call to become pas- 
tor of the Cape Island Baptist Church, accepting the call on 
the 7th of October, and remained its pastor until he left 
Cape May in October, 185 1, On the 20th of October he 
delivered his valedictory to the Council, having resigned as 
Mayor, and a resolution of "thanks" w^as tendered him "for 
the judicious manner in which he had conducted the af- 


fairs of the city." On October 2"/, the new Mayor, James 
Clark, was sworn into office. 

Mr. Church commenced his pastorate v.i.h the First Bap- 
tist Church of South Kingston, Washington county, R. I., 
April I, 1853, and continued for one year to April i, 1854. 
Mr. Church continued to reside in Rhode Island until he 

Mr. Church, wlio was a chaplain in the Civil War, entered 
Company E, Second Rhode Island Infantry, as second lieu- 
tenant, and on June 6, 1861, was made first lieutenant of 
Company H, same regiment. On July 21, 1861, he was tak- 
en prisoner at the battle of Bull Run and borne as a prisoner 
of war to Richmond, Va., where he was confined in Libby 
Prison for about a year. He afterwards published a diary of 
three hundred pages on his confinement in that nefarious 
place. He was afterwards made captain of Company G, 
Fourth Regiment. Rhode Island Infantry. 

Mr. Church was a very industrious and useful man; be- 
sides his work as a minister in South Kingston, R. I., he 
carried on the business of house painting, photographing, 
taught school, was agent, committee, manager and counsel 
for the town in road cases and other important matters. Jrl f. 
was town surveyor, then chairman of their School Commit- 
tee and in 1859 and i860 was president of the town Council. 
He died at his son-in-law's house in Davisville, R. I., Octo- 
ber 28, 1874, and is buried at Riverside Cemetery, in Wake- 
field, R. I. He married Judith Swayne Thompson, of Cape 
May, N. J., October 16, 1834, who died at Millville, N. J., 
August 19, 1887. 

The Presbyterian Church was organized June 25, 185 1, 
by a committee of the Presbytery of West Jersey. The pres- 
ent church was erected in 1853. St. INIary's Roman Catholic 
Church was erected about 1848, on the opposite side of 
Washington street from where it stands to-day. It was in 
about 1870 removed to its present location. 

James Clark, the second Mayor of Cape Island, was born 
June 7, 1798, at Cedarville, Cumberland county, Nev/ Jer- 
sey. He lived some years in Philadelphia before coming to 
Cape May, where he passed the remainder of his life, identi- 
fying himself with all that pertained to the welfare of the 



place. He was related to the Fithian and Bateman families, 
of Cumberland county. His father was Charles Clark, born 
January i, 1772. His firz. office was that of postmaster of 
the village of Cape Island, which he held by appointment 
of President Polk from July 7. 1845, to May 9. 1849, ^^'^en 
he was succeeded by George W. Hughes. This was before 
the city was incorporated. 

At the meeting of Council on October 20, 1851, when 
Isaac M. Church tendered his resignation as Mayor, H.. 
Clark was chosen bv Council on the fifth ballot to fill the 

CAl'E MAY CITY !^A ITIS !" Cli T K'( 1 1 . 

unexpired term. His opponents on that occasion were John 
K. F. Sites and Dr. Samt:el S. Marcy. He was sworn in and 
assumed the duties of his office en October 27, 1851, and 
served as Mayor until ^March. i?53, having been elected by 
the people in 1852. 

He was an ardent Democrat of his time, and was appoint- 
ed postmaster a second time by President Buchanan, and 
served from March 13. 1857. to December 5. 1859, being 
succeeded by Samuel R. Magonagle. Five days after, on 
December 10, 1859. he passed from this earth to the world 
beyond, aged 61 years and 6 months. 


It is said of him that he was very fond of music and in- 
terested in the improvement of church music. To that end 
he worked in the Baptist Church here, having charge of 
the choir for quite a period. He married Eliza Bennett, a 
sister of Jeremiah and Stephen Bennett, Delaware River 
pilots of their day. 

John Kake Church, the third Mayor of Cape Island, was 
born at Lancaster, C)hio, on Christmas Day, in the year 
1818. He was a son of Isaac Church, a prominent Baptist 
and preacher, who removed with his family to Cape May 
when John was a lad of sixteen years. With them came 
his elder brother. Rev. Isaac M. Church, the first Mayor. 
Both the father and John K. Church on April 6, 1844, at 
the organization of the Cape Island Baptist Church, became 
members of the church, with twenty-three others. The 
father was blind, but nevertheless was the first regular 
pastor of the church, and served from May 17, 1844, to Oc- 
tober 7, 1848. 

While young, the subject of our sketch learned the car- 
penter trade and followed it throughout his life. 

The first office which Mr. Church held was that of City 
Clerk, to which he was elected by Council in March, 1852. 
At the charter election, in the following year, he was chosen 
Mayor of the city, and re-elected in 1854 and 1855. 

In 1856 he was elected to the City Council, and held the 
oflfice for a year. 

He died of apoplexy in his boat at Schellenger's Land- 
ing, while returning from a pleasure trip in the sounds with 
a party of men, on Saturday afternoon, July 30, 1859, being 
in his 41st year. His widow still lives. 

The Cape May Ocean Wave of the Thursday following 
his death said of him: 

"Mr. Church was respected and esteemed by every one 
who knew him for his calmness of disposition, his honesty, 
uprightness and veracity of character in all his dealings 
and intercourse with the world; and, above all, his consis- 
tent Christian walk. He needed but to be known to be 
appreciated. He was for several consecutive years (for- 
merly) elected Mayor of Cape Island, which ofifice he filled 


with the same uprightness with which he has ever performed 
all the other duties of life." 

Joseph Ware, the fourth and tenth Mayor of Cape Island, 
was a son of Joseph Ware, who came from Cumberland 
county, and a brother of Samuel Fithian, of Lower town- 
ship, and of James W., Mashel, John G. W., Daniel C, Wil- 
mon W., of Cape May City. He was born May 16, 1809. 
In early life he learned the carpenter's trade. In 185 1 he 
was a member of the Board of Freeholders, in 1852 As- 
sessor, 1854 Recorder, and 1855 Assessor. In 1856 he 
was chosen Mayor and re-elected three times, seiwing until 
1861. Again he was chosen in 1871, and served a term of 
two years. He died on April 30, 1890, in the Mount Vernon 
Hotel, the latter at the time being the largest hotel in the 
United States. It was never completed, being burned in 
1855. The Mansion was destroyed by fire, in 1856, and the 
Atlantic, United States and American hotels were burned 
in 1869. The proprietors of the Mount \'ernon Hotel were 
Samuel Woolman and M. Cain, who was burned to death in 
the fire, with five others. 

In the advertisement of summer resort hotels in 1858 
the following were the houses and their proprietors: Colum- 
bia House, L. Harwood; xA.tlantic House, J. and B. Mc- 
Mackin; Ocean House, Israel Leaming; Delaware House, 
James INIecray; National Hall, Aaron Garretson; Washing- 
ton Hotel, S. G. Woolman; Merchants' House, John Lyons; 
Tontine Hotel, George L. Ludlam; White Hall Hotel, S. 
S. Marcy. In 1859 Congress Hall and the Morphy House 
were added to the list of advertisers. 

A writer in "The Knickerbocker Magazine," New York, 
■of August, 1859, says: "The neighborhood of which we 
are speaking is none other than that most charming of 
■ocean sunmier resorts and watering places, that famous 
refuge from the heat and dust of the weary city — the beach 
at Cape May. * * * We speak literally, for it is a city, and 
not a village or town merely, at which the traveler will land 
when he debarks at Cape May. In this census we speak, 
of course, of the permanent residents only, and not of the 
summer visitants. These may, in their season, be counted 
not onlv bv hundreds, but bv thousands, and with their 


help and that of the dozen to twenty imposing hotel edi- 
fices, and the infinite tail of restaurants, barber shops, ice 
cream saloons, bowling alleys, billiard rooms, pistol gal- 
leries, bathing: houses and temporary houses of all names 
— the little city really grows metropolitan in aspect; and 
the 'gas works" and the 'Mayor's office,' which at other times 
seem to have been sent there merely on storage, now ap- 
pear quite in place." 

James S. Kennedy, M. D., who was one of the first drug- 
gists of Cape May City, was born in Philadelphia. January 
i6, 1807, and came to Cape May when a small boy. He 
studied medicine under Dr. Brooks, of Philadelphia, and 
graduated at the Pennsylvania College of Medicine, Phila- 
delphia. March 7. 1843. 

The same year he opened the first drug store kept in 
Cape May City, in a small building on Washington street, 
near Jackson street, where he continued the practice of his 
profession for one year, when he built a drug store on La- 
fayette street, near Decatur street, which he afterwards 
moved to Washington street, near Decatur street. On Sep- 
tember 3, 1844. he married Miss Charlotte R. Swain, a 
daughter of Lemuel Swain. Sr. For many years he was 
owner and proprietor of the Franklin House, and during 
the early days of the incorporation of the city he was an 
influential member of Council, and well known and highly 
respected citizen. When Isaac M. Church, the first Mayor 
of Cape Island, resigned in October, 185 1, Dr. Kennedy 
came within one of being elected Mayor by the City Coun- 
cil. In 1 85 1 he was elected he first Assessor of the cityv 
and also a member of die first Council, and was twice again 
elected to the position of Assessor in 1856 and 1857. He 
w^as for many years continuously a member of Council, 
being first elected in 1855, and served during the years of 
1857, 1861, 1862, 1869. 1870 and 1875. He was chosen 
Alderman in 1863. and five years continuously. At that 
time the Alderman was a member of Council, as well as a 
committing magistrate. He was a member of the county 
Board of Freeholders from Cape May City during the years 
1864 and 1865. He served as Overseer of the Poor six 


years from March, 1862. In 1868 he associated with him- 
self in business his son, Dr. Henry A. Kennedy, and they 
aften^'ards condvicted the business under the name of Dr. 
J. S. Kennedy & Son, in the same place, until 1873. That 
year they purchased the ground at the corner of Decatur 
street, where the United States Hotel had formerly stood, 
-which was destroyed by fire August 29, 1869. He, Dr. 
Kennedy, remained in business a the United States Phar- 
macy until he died. June 20, 1876. He was a prominent 
member of the Presbyterian Church of Cape May City, and 
a member of Evening Star Lodge of Odd Fellows, which 
then flourished in Cape May. 

Samuel S. Marcy, M. D., was born at Willington, Tol- 
land county. Conn., December 7, 1793, and passed his boy- 
hood days in that section, where he availed himself of the 
advantages of the schools, and acquired a thorough Eng- 
lish education. At the age of twenty-one years he entered 
the office of Joseph Palmer, Jr., M. D., at Ashford, Conn., 
where he read and practiced for three years. He then 
attended lectures at the medical department of Yale Col- 
lege, and received his first diploma from the State Medical 
Society of Connecticut, and subsequently received the de- 
gree of M. D. from the faculty of Yale College. He mi- 
grated to Cape May county in 181 7, and located at Cokl 
Sprirgs. On April 3, 1822, he married Miss Thankful 
Edmunds, a daughter of Robert Edmunds, of Fishing- 
Creek, at one time judge of the Court of Common Pleas, 
and an elder in the Cold Spring Presbyterian Church. 
Doctor Marcy moved to Cape ]^Iay long before tlie place 
was incorporated, where he followed his profession until 
he retired, owing to his advanced age. He held many local 
offices, being a member of the Board of Freeholders during 
the years 1854, 1856, 1857, 1858, 1859, i860, 1861, 1862 
and 1869. He was a member of City Council in 1856 and 
1857; Recorder in 1861, and Alderman in 1858, 1859 and 

He was a director and treasurer of the Cape Island Turn- 
pike Company for a long time, and one of the charter mem- 
bers of Cape Island Lodge. Xo. 30, F. and A. M. 

He died in Cape May City February 13, 1882. 


In 1862 the Legislature passed an act allowing Cape 
Island to issue $20,000 in bonds for the purpose of erecting 
a water works, subject to the vote of the people. 

The West Jersey Railroad was opened to Cape May in 
1863. Then things soon took a start and people began to 
build cottages. The value of lots ranged according to 
fancy, and speculation was for a long time rife and much 
money was made. 

St. John's Protestant Episcopal Church was incorporated 
in 1863. 

In 1866 the charter of Cape Island was changed so that 
Councilmen were elected for two years instead of one. 

On March 28, 1866, the "Cape Island Lodge, No. 30, 
Free and Accepted Masons," was incorporated, with \'irgil 
M. D. Marcy, Alvin P. Hildreth, Samuel R. Ludlam, Joseph 
Q. Williams, Samuel R. Stites, Samuel S. Marcy and their 
associates as members. 

The third disastrous fire on the island occurred on the 
last day of August, 1869, which destroyed that entire por- 
tion of the island lying between Washington street and the 
ocean, and between Ocean and Jackson streets, with the 
exception of the Columbia House and two or three other 
small buildings. Among the hotels burned were the United 
States Hotel, American House and the Atlantic and other 
small houses. The Atlantic was rebuilt. 

About this time St. John's Protestant Episcopal Church 
was built at Washington and Franklin streets through the 
infiuence of Bishop Coleman, of Delaware. 

In 1869 the mammoth Stockton Hotel, which stands 
to-day, was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, 
at a cost of $600,000. This company owned it for about 
twenty years. 

George Hildreth was born at Rio Grande, May 28, 1822. 
At sixteen he was employed in vessels carrying coal be- 
tween Philadelphia and New England ports. In 1839 he 
was wrecked at sea in the "Reaper." of Cape May. He was 
picked up by a passing vessel and carried to New York. 
He then became an employee of Richard C. Holmes in 
the wrecking business. After a period of such, service he 


was engaged in buying and selling lumber. In 1846 he 
Ibuilt the Columbia Hotel, and sold it in 1851. That year 
he built the West End. 

From 1861 to 1863 he was engaged in fishing and in 
1864 entered into the feed business, which he still conducts. 
In 1874 he built the Wyoming Hotel. On April 12, 1870, 
ihe was appointed keeper of Cold Spring Life Saving Sta- 
ition, and held the position for about fifteen years. 

Military organizations have been numerous at Cape May 
"during the summer seasons. The Fifth Maryland encamp- 
ed here during the summer of 1873, ^^^1 has been here 
several times since. The Baltimore Light Infantry, the 
Washington Light Infantry, Sixth, Seventh and Second 
New Jersey Brigades, the Philadelphia State Fencibles, 
the First Pennsylvania Regiment, and various civic socie- 
ties, such as St. John's Commandery of Knights Templar, 
liave been here during various seasons. 

Henry Hand, a leading citizen, is a son of Recompence 
Hand, a pilot, and brother of Joseph Hand and Enoch 
"W. Hand, who have been Councilmen. He was born in this 
•city January 31, 1826, and was a cousin of General Scheuch, 
-once U. S. Minister to England. He was educated in the 
public schools here. At sixteen he entered as a carpenter's 
apprentice at Philadelphia, learned his trade and returned 
home. He was chosen City Clerk and served from 1853 
to 1855. In 1856, his health failing him, he went to Min- 
nesota and remained there three years, working at his trade. 
His health being restored, he returned to Cape May again, 
-and entered into partnership with Mashel Ware, under the 
firm name of Hand & Ware. This firm built many cot- 
tages here, the Pennsylvania Railroad Station at Newark, 
and in 1872 twenty-six life-saving stations along the New 
Jersey coast for the United States Government. He is a promi- 
nent member of the Cape Island Presbyetrian ChurcTi, and 
"has been an elder since 1869. From 1861 to 1863 he was 
a second time City Clerk, and from 1863 to 1866 was City 
Recorder. From 1869 to 1872 he was Tax Collector, and 
served as Assessor from 1872 to 1876, from 1878 to 1883, 
and from 1884 to 189 1. In 1895 he was chosen City Treas- 
:iurer, which office he still holds. 


On March 22, 1872, the act to incorporate the Cold 
Spring and Cape May Water Company became a law, and 
John C. Bullitt, General William J- Sewell, Jacob F. Cake, 
James Learning and Return B. Swain were the incorporat- 
ors. The works, which were finally in possession of the 
city, were started in 1874. 

Return B. Swain was born in Middle township, now 
near Swain's Station, on the West Jersey Railroad, Feb- 
ruary 19, 1826. He was raised on a small farm, and edu- 
cated in the district public school until the completion of 
his sixteenth year, at which period he commenced self 
education through the medium of text-books, with accom- 
panying keys. At nineteen he commenced life on his own 
account as teacher in the public school's. When twenty 
years of age he went into the employ of E. T. Randolph 
& Co., iron manufacturers, at Millville, N. J., where he waS' 
a bookkeeper for two years. The confinement impaired 
his health, and he returned to a farm near his birthplace., 
where his time was passed in farming and surveying in. 
summer, and in teaching the district school in winter. This 
he did until 1865. In February, 1848, he had married Miss 
Rachel Reeves, a daughter of Benjamin F. Reeves, of 
Cumberland county. The completion of the West Jersey 
Railroad to Cape May, in 1863, gave an impetus to im- 
provement in Cape May City, and in 1865 Mr, Swain 
moved to the place, where he became largely interested in 
many public enterprises, being a Master in Chancery, No- 
tary Public, surveyor and conveyancer. He was for a 
number of years a large real estate operator, and a long 
time superintendent of the Cape Island Gas Company. He 
was a member of the City Council in 1874. About 1880 he 
removed to Philadelphia, where he entered into the plumb- 
ing business and manufacturing of bath tubs. 


John G. W. Ware, the twelfth Mayor of the city of Cape 
May, was born at Cape May City in 1825, and lived at 
Cape May all his life, being identified with nearly every 
public enterprise. He was known during his life as "Uncle 
John," because of the kindness he did in sickness and in 
aiding in ever public enterprise. He was a brother of Wil- 
mon W. Ware, who was once State Senator; Daniel C. 
Ware, who served as a Councilman; of Joseph Ware, who 
was twice Mayor of Cape May, and Maskel Ware, a chosen 
Freeholder of Cape May City. 

When the first city charter went into effect in 185 1 he 
was chosen a member of Council for one year. He was 
elected to the same office in 1857, 1858, 1859, 1864, 1865, 
1866 and 1867 for one-year terms. 

He was elected Alderman in 1870, and served until 1875, 
when he was elected Mayor for a term of two years. He 
was chosen again Alderman in 1877, and served until 1879. 
In 1881 he was again elected Alderman, and served until 
1886. In 1888 he was again elected and served until his 
death, on September 8, 1894, which was caused by heart 

Dr. James Mecray, son of James Mecray, pilot, and first 
Burgess of Cape Island, was born at Cape May in 1842. 
He attended school in Cape May and at Philadelphia. Af- 
ter graduating at the University of Pennsylvania as a phy- 
sicin he entered the navy as a surgeon and served during 
the civil war. In 1866 he entered into partnership with Dr. 
Samuel Marcy, and established a drug business. After 
ten years Dr. Marcy retired, and his son, Dr. V. AI. D. Mar- 
cy, became Dr. Mecray's partner, and the firm remains the 
same to this day. He seved in the City Council in 1868, and 
when the charter of 1875 went into effect he was elected a 



member of Council for three years, serving as president: 
during his entire term. He served a second three-year 
term from 1881 to 1884. and was again president during the 
whole of his term. He was City Treasurer from 1869 to* 
1871. He enjoys a large medical practice, and is a member 
of the Presbyterian Church. 

John H. Benezet, merchant, is a descendant of Anthon}'" 
Benezet, who was a patriot resident of Philadelphia during 
the Revolution. He was born at Cape May Court House- 
in 1844. When sixteen his father died, and he then began?, 
working on the plantations of ditiferent farmers ur^il he 


went to Woodbury, N. J., where he learned the tinman's 
trade. By 1863 he had finished his trade, and then began 
business at Court House on his own account. He then 
began a housefurnishing business. In 1866 he opened an 
establishment at Cane Island. He afterwards, with his 
brother, Alfonso, established stores at Dennisville and Sea 
Isle Citv. He was a member of City Council in 1872 and 


Joseph Q. Williams, the sixth, eighth and thirteenth 
Mayor of this city, was born in Philadelphia, November 
2, 1827, and came to Cape May about 1850, just previous to 


the incorporation of the city. Mr. Williams is a carpenter 
by trade, and began his career here as a builder and built 
many of the residences about the Cape. He married Miss 
Sarah E., a daughter of William Stites, one time Treasurer 
of Cape Island. His first office was tha^ of Alderman, to 
which he was elected in March, 1856. It was for a terra 
of one year. At that time the Alderman was a member of 
the Council and a justice of the peace. During the years 
beginning in March of 1857 and 1858 he served the city of 
Cape Island as Councilman. In i860 he was elected Re- 
corder, and served for a year. This was virtually the same 
as an Alderman, and in this capacity was again Council- 
man and Justice of the Peace. 

In 1862 he was put forward for Mayor, and was elected 
for one year. He introduced the system of paying over 
fines to the city treasury, a rule which his predecessors had 
not complied with. It was during this term also that the 
police were uniformed for the first time in this city. 

In 1865, 1866 and 1867 he was successively elected a 
member of the City Council and performed also the duties 
of two other offices in the last of these three years. He 
was a triple office holder in that he was Councilman, Tax 
Collector and a Representative of Cape Island in the Coun- 
ty Board of Freeholders. His colleague in the Freeholder 
Board w^as Joseph S. Leach. 

At the spring election in 1868 he was again chosen Mayor 
for one year, and was a candidate for re-election, but was 
defeated by a close vote by Waters B. Miller, who suc- 
ceeded him. During the year the Legislature passed a 
bill and made Mr. Williams, together with General Wil- 
liam J. Sewell, of Camden, afterwards United States Senator 
from 1881 to 1887, and from 1895 to 1901; Col. J. Frank 
Cake, a prominent hotel proprietor of his day in Wash- 
ington, Baltimore and Cape May; Hon. John C. Bullitt, a 
large property owner, but a resident and eminent lawyer 
of Philadelphia, who framed the famous Bullitt bill, or 
charter granted to Philadelphia in 1886; and Captain 
George Hildreth, of Cape May, the commission to improve 
the highways of the place. This commission lasted five 



years and four months, and during its existence the mag- 
nificent Beach avenue, or boulevard, was built, the work 
of superintending which almost wholly devolved upon Mr. 
Williams. For this service Mr. Williams never received any 

In 1874 he was again elected Recorder for one year, and 
o-^joursc vv'as a member of the Council and Justice of the 
Peace. In the spring of 1875 the new charter of the city of 
Cape May went into effect, changing the name from the 


City of Cape Island, and at the election he was elected Al- 
derman for one year. The duties of this office were purely 
judicial, and its holder virtually vice-Mayor. 

In 1877 Mr. Williams was again elected Mayor for a 
term of two years, and in March. 1889, he was re-elected for 
two more years. He was succeeded in 1881 by Mayor 

In 1884 he was again elected to office, this time as a 
Councilman. He was re-elected in 1887 and 1890 and 


served until 1893, since which time he has given up office 
holding. In 1884 he was chosen as President of Council, 
and again was its president in 1887. He was a valuable 
member and in 1886 was one of the five who saved to Cape 
May her valuable water works franchise. 

Mr. Williams has been a consistent Presbyterian and 
active in church work the greater part of his life. In 1854 
he was elected superintendent of the Sunday school of the 
First Presbyterian Church, and for twenty-seven years 
labored in the same position. For a number of years he 
lias been an elder in the church, and was twice elected a 
member of the Presbyterian General Assembly of the 
^Inited States for the New Jersey Synod — that of St. Paul 
in 1888, and of Saratoga in 1894. It is very seldom that 
a layman is twice honored in this way. Mr. Williams is a 
fluent speaker. His son, J. Ashton Williams, has been City 
Recorder since 1891. 

One of the most disastrous fires which has ever visited 
this seaside resort burned over the most interesting and 
profitable part of the ocean front of Cape May City on Sat- 
urday, November 9, 1878. The lire broke out in the Ocean 
House about 8 o'clock in the morning, amid excellent ele- 
ments, and lasted until night. The wind was an ally, and 
the limited fire apparatus., was of no avail. At half past five 
in the afternoon it had crossed Ocean street, and taken 
everything clean on Beach avenue from Congress street to 
Stockton Row, and the mammoth Stockton seemed in 
the clutches of the fiend when the efforts of the Cape May, 
Vineland and Camden firemen, and the steamers which the 
two latter companies had brought with them, finally sub- 
dued it. All night long and Sunday the people were storing 
away their goods which they had saved. Trains came 
down crowded the next day from Philadelphia. The burned 
district covered an area of over thirty acres, divided as fol- 
lows: Congress Hall property, five acres; the block bound- 
ed by Perry, Jackson and Washington streets and the beach, 
eight acres; the block bounded by Jackson, Decatur and 
Washington streets and the beach, eight acres; the prop- 
erty destroyed between Decatur and Ocean streets, from east 


of Washington street to ocean, five acres; the property an- 
nihilated between Ocean and Guerney (Stockton Row) 
streets, five acres. The Star of the Cape, of the Thursday 
following the fire, said: "The ravages of the fire can scarce- 
ly be appreciated from a pen description. Where on Sat- 
urday morning stood thirty acres covered with magnifi- 
cent hotels, gems of cottages and thousands of bath houses- 
is now a blackened waste, swept by the besom of destruc- 
tion, leaving nothing in its wake but spectre chimneys and 
smouldering ruins." The property destroyed was estimat- 
ed at $600,000, and included nine hotels: Congress Hall, 
Centre House, Ocean House, Avenue House, Merchants', 
Centennial, Atlantic, Knickerbocker and Columbia, all 
frame buildings. The principal cottages burned were Fry- 
er's Bluflf and Ocean Cottages, on Perry street; J. E. Me- 
cray's, Peterson's, Fenlin's, Eliza Miller's, King's Ocean- 
Villa, Hildreth's Wyoming Cottage, Chill's, McConnell's 
two, and Rudolph's, on Jackson street; Judge Hamburg- 
er's, King's three, Denizot's and Columbia's two on De- 
catur street; Smart's, Fisher's, Bullitt's and Wolfe's on. 
Ocean street. 

When the fire fiend had finished its work it left the fol- 
lowing hotels: Stockton, Arctic, National, St. Elmo, Sea 
Breeze, United States, Chalfonte, Arlington, Clarendon, 
Cape May House, Delaware House, White Hall, Chester 
County House, Mineral Spring, Tremont House, Baltimore, 
American, Washington, Greenwood, and Young's. 

In the place of the burned ones Congress Hall w'as re- 
built of brick on the ocean part of the property where it 
stands now. Congress place was laid out, and where the 
main building of Old Congress Hall stood is now the E!- 
beron and several private properties. 

The New Columbia was built of brick on Jackson street, 
occupying the block in which six of the burned hotels stood. 
Cottages have gradually taken the places of the ruins, and 
Cape May has not to-day those large hostelries, but the 
more modern houses are of the smaller class. Nearly thir- 
ty cottages v^ere burned, whose places were taken inside of 
three years by fortv-six new ones. 



On February ii, 1880. John Mecray Post, No. 40, Grand 
Army of the Republic, was organized, with twenty-one old 
soldiers as members, as follows : George W. Barnes, Samuel 
C. Barton, James H. Carman, James V. Clark, James Cran- 
dol, John B. Davis, James J. Doak, Francis K. Duke, P. J. 
Donnelly, William B. Eldredge, William Farrow, x\ugustus 
C. Gile, Thomas Lemmon, Christopher S. Magrath, Wil- 
liam W. Messich, John N. Reeves, Mitchell Sandgran, 
Charles Sandgran, Henry W. Sawyer, Henry P. Seaman 
and John D. Speace. 


Frederick J. Melvin, the fourteenth Mayor of Cape May, 
was born at Lumberton, North Carolina, February 28, 
1848. When only six months old his parents removed with 
him to Philadelphia, where he resided until he was sixteen 
years of age. Young Melvin attended the public schools 
there until he came to Cape May, being employed for sev- 
eral summer seasons by the Harlan and Hollinsworth 
Steamboat Company, of Wilmington, on their line of small 
steamers which plied between Philadelphia and Cape May, 
traveling in those known as "Lady of the Lake," "Felton/'' 


"Sue" and others. During the winter seasons he was em- 
ployed in the gas fixture business in Philadelphia. 

When he attained his twentieth year he entered the em- 
ploy of George B. Cake as clerk in the old Washington 
House, which stood where the Knickerbocker Building 
now stands, and was later a clerk at the Sherman House, 
previously called the Tontine, but now the United States 
Hotel, at Jackson and Lafayette streets. After this Mr. 
Melvin entered the employ of the firm of Richardson & 
Farrow% who during their time were the most prominent 
provisioners in the city of Cape May. 

During the years 1874 and 1875 Mr. Melvin travelled for 
a New York firm, and in the latter year and early in 1876 
superintended for a glass firm their part of the construc- 
tion of the big main building of the Centennial Exposition 
in Philadelphia. During the Centennial he also ran a res- 
taurant near the Exposition grounds. In 1877 he began 
business for himself in Cape May, opening a paint ware- 
house at the corner of Mansion and Jackson streets, which 
he conducted for about five years. In the spring of 1880 
he was chosen by the people Alderman for a term of two 
years. After serving one year of his term, in 1881, he was 
elected Mayor for a term of two years, and was re-elected 
in 1883 for another term. He retired from the chair in 
1885, after an administration which was a credit to his 
adopted city and to himself. Through his influence in the 
summer of 1881 St. John's Commandery, No. 4, Knight 
Templars, of Philadelphia, visited the Cape for four days, 
and the city was gay and festive. The commandery came 
again in 1882, and were royally entertained through the ef- 
forts of. Mayor Melvin and the committee he selected. On 
this occasion the commandery presented him with a mag- 
nificent Templar's charm, and conferred upon him the rare 
honor of making him an honorary member of the command- 
ery. In 1883 he entertained President Chester A. Arthur, 
who was a visitor. 

In the summer of 1881 the Washington Light Infantry, 
through his efiforts, came to Cape May for their first en- 
campment. This famous organization was commanded by 


Colonel William G. Moore, chief of police of Washing- 
ton city, who had previously been private secretary to Presi- 
dent Andrew Johnson. The infantry was composed of the 
cream of Washington's male population. In 1883 they 
came again to Cape May, and were again royally enter- 
tained. Before gomg home the infantry presented to Mayor 
Melvin. at the Stockton Hotel, in the presence of a large 
assemblage, a gold-headed cane, on the head of which was 
inscribed, "To Hon. F. Melvin, August, 1883, from the 
Washington Light Infantry, Washington, D. C." W'hen 
the regiment was about to depart for their homes on that 
visit Mayor Melvin went to the depot to bid them good- 
bye and a safe return. In appreciation of his kindness he 
was arrested and carried by them to Washington, and re- 
ceived by a grand ovation, a military reception, and with 
fireworks en route. A grand banquet was given there in 
his honor, at which were in attendance nearly all the promi- 
nent citizens and officers in Washington. 

For nine years previous to 1894 he was proprietor of the 
Sea Breeze Flotel, the property of the great Pensylvania 

President Cleveland appointed him postmaster of Cape 
May City on April 16, 1886, which office he held until April 
16, 1889, when he resie'ned and was succeeded by Post- 
master F. L. Richardson. In 1890 he entered the hotel 
business in Washington, which he successfully carried on 
for three years. 

In 1884 he purchased the grocery business of Stillwell 
Hand, in Cape May City, and has successfully managed it. 
In 1888 he was the Democratic nominee for State Senator, 
but while polling a full Democratic vote was defeated in the 
landslide which carried President Cleveland into temporary 
retirement and made General Harrison President. He is 
a prominent Free Mason. 

Isaac H. Smith, merchant, is a son of Isaac Smith, pilot 
(1805-1881), was born in Lower township on October 12, 
1830. He passed his boyhood days there, and then learned 
to be a tailor in Philadelphia. Afterwards he estal:)lishcd 
himself in the clothing business here, and became a suc- 
cessful merchant. He is an elder of the Presbvterian 


Church. He is a director of the New Jersey Trust and Safe 
Deposit Company, and his advice in financial matters has 
ahvays been considered wise by a large number of people 
who consult him frequently. He has served the city in 
various capacities creditably. He was Tax Collector in 
1868, and member of Council from 1873 to 1878, and again 
from 1879 to 1882. He was chosen Treasurer of the city 
from year to year, often without opposition, from 1883 to 

Eldridge Johnson, also a prominent merchant, was born 
January i. 1838. in West Cape May. He attended the old 
cape school, and then began business life as a clerk in the 
stores of Enoch Edmunds, and later was a partner with W. 
Burr Miller in the general store business. For many years 
Mr. Johnson has devoted himself to his shoe business and 
to the management of his property. He is a trustee of the 
Presbyterian Church, and has for years been president of 
the Cape May Saving Fund and Building Association. Mr. 
Johnson was seveteen times elected City Treasurer, serving 
from i860 to 1869 and from 1871 to 1879. He was a mem.- 
ber of City Council from 1880 to 1883 and from 1895 to 
the present. 

The iron ocean pier was erected at the foot of Decatur 
street in 1885 at a cost of $60,000. 

James Henry Edmunds, the fifteenth and seventeenth 
Mayor of Cape May, was born in Lower township. Cape 
May county, August 7, 1847. He is a son of Hon. Richard 
D. Edmunds, who has been Sherifif, Assemblyman and Re- 
corder of Cape May City. The first office which he held was 
that of Overseer of Poor in 1874. When the new charter 
went into effect in March, 1875, he was elected a member 
of the City Council for a term of two years. In March, 
1878. he was again elected to Council for a term of two 
years to fill a vacancy, and again in 1883 he was elected 
for a term of three years. When he had served two years 
of this term, in March, 1885, he was elected Mayor for a 
term of two years, and was successively re-elected in 1887, 
1889 and 1 89 1. In 1893 he was defeated. He became a 
•candidate in 1895, and was elected for a two-year term. 
He has been superintendent of the local beach front rail- 


Toads, superintendent of the local gas company, and pub- 
lisher of the Cape May Wave since 1887. 

In 1886 a scheme was gotten up to sell the valuable fran- 
chise of the city water works to a company headed by General 
W. W. Taylor, a brother of the literateur, Bayard Taylor, 
for $22,000. At the head of the scheme was the Mayor, 
James H. Edmunds, who was a pronounced corporation 
man. At the time there were six hold-over members r ' 
Council, four for the sale, one against it, Joseph Q. Wil- 
liams, and one who did not define his position, Charles H. 
Dougherty. After a three-days' campaign the people al- 
inost unanimously elected F. Sidney Townsend, Enos R. 
Williams and William T. Stevens as colleagues of Mr. Wil- 
liams. Charles H. Dougherty, who was the president for 
year beginning in 1885, resigned, and there was a tie in the 
body over the matter — 4 to 4. Subsequently Thomas H. 
"Williamson was elected to the vacancy. He voted with the 
people's representatives, and thus the works were saved to 
their rightful owners. 

In the autumn of 1889 the New Columbia Hotel, built 
■on the site of the Atlantic (burned in 1878), was burned 
down. It was a brick structure, valued at $200,000. 

In 1879 the present Baptist Church was erected at the 
■corner of Franklin and Lafayette streets, but was not dedi- 
cated until August 14, 1892, when it was out of debt. 

Francis K. Duke, who was president of the City Council 
•during the year 1890, was born at Harper's Ferry, Va., Dt- 
•cember 7, 1830, where he remained until he was ten years 
of age, after which he lived in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, 
and when the Mount Vernon Hotel was being built in 1847, 
he came to Cape May. He had learned the carpenter's 
trade, and worked on that famous hotel. While here he 
married Miss Louisa Eldredge, a sister of Coroner Daniel 
C Eldredge. Before the Rebellion he moved to Delaware, 
and when the war broke out he entered the Union army wj 
the Second Delaware Regiment, serving as second lieuten- 
ant of Company F. and was promoted for meritorious ser- 
vice at the battle of Savage Station. He was bushwhacked 
at Drummondstown, Va., and his horse being shot from 
ainder him he was thrown, and the horse falling upon his 


leg crippled him so that he has never since had its free use. 
He came to Cape May again in 1868, where he has ever 
since resided, taking an active part in politics and Grand 
Army affairs. He has always been a Republican, is past 
commander of John Mecray Post, No. 40. G. A. 
R., and is a builder of note. For ten years he served as 
Justice of the Peace in Lower township, and in 1886 he was 
elected by City Council to the vacancy caused by the death 
of the late Thomas H. Williamson, and re-elected by the 
people for the unexpired term for one year. In 1888 he was 
chosen for a full term of three years, and was the president 
of the body during the year beginning March, 1890. In the 
fall of 1893 he was elected Coroner for Cape May county, 
and served three years. 

James M. E. Hildreth, the sixteenth and eighteenth May- 
or of the city of Cape May, is a son of Hon. Alvin P. Hil- 
dreth, who has served his city in various public offices, and 
served his county as a member of the State Legislature and 
the State as a Riparian Commissioner under the administra- 
tion of Governor George T. Werts. The younger Hildreth 
was born in Cape May City, December 9, 1858, and for 
twelve years as a child lived in this city. His maternal an- 
cestors were of the Wales family, whose history is well 
known, his great uncle, E. L. B. Wales, being at one time 
a judge of the New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals., 
the highest tribunal in the State. 

When Mr. Hildreth reached his twelfth year he was taken 
to Mount Holly, where he remained, finishing his education 
at the Mount Holly Academy, which has been a famous 
institution of its kind. After leaving school he studied law- 
in the offices of Hon. Walter A. Barrows, an uncle, and 
Hon. Joseph H. Gaskell, now President Judge of Burling- 
ton county. After being admitted to the practice in the 
courts of New Jersey, in 1881, he removed to his native city 
again, where he has since resided, and become a prominent 
practitioner and enjoys a large clientage. It is said of Mr. 
Hildreth that he never advises any one to take up a law- 
fight unless they have a wrong to right, and that his cases, 
are nearly always won by his thorough research. 



111 1883 Mr. Hildreth was chosen by the City Council 
Solicitor, and that he conducted the office in a way that 
bespoke praise to himself was known by every one who 
remembers the time. He held the office for one year, and 
then did not hold another office until elected Mayor in 
March, 1893, for a term of two years. He was always on. 
hand to receive all visiting- delee-ations. It was through his 
efforts mainly that the Fourth of July celebration of 1893 
was a success. The principal speaker was Benjamin Harri- 
son, ex-President of the United States. The ceremonies 
took place on the Stockton Hotel piazza and Mayor Hil- 


dreth had the honor of introducing the famous visitor, and 
every one remarked on the occasion of the gracefulness by 
which it was done. During that year of Mr. Hildreth's ad- 
ministration, by his efforts, City Council secured as nuich 
for the city in the improvement line as any preceding Coun- 
cil, and yet so economical was the city's affairs managed 
that each taxpayer was saved fourteen per cent, of his usual 
net amount of tax. 

In 1895 the City Council again elected Mr. Hildreth 
City Solicitor for a term of one year. In 1897 he was again 
chosen Mayor. He is a member of the First Presbyterian; 


Church of this city, and since January, 1885, has been a 
trustee and treasurer of the church. Since 1886, when the 
company was organized, he has been general manager of 
the Frankhn Electric Light Company, of this city. He is 
also a director in the South Jersey Railroad Company, 
Avhich opened a competing line to Cape May in 1894 dur- 
ing his term as Mayor. 

He is an active member of the Cape May City Athletic 
Club, which was organized August 15, 1887, and had for its 
directors, l)esides himself, General William J. Sewell, of 
Camden, State Senator (afterwards Congressman) Jolm E. 
Reybiu'n, of Philadelphia; George W. Boyd, assistant gen- 
eral passenger agent of the great Pennsylvania Railroad; 
Max Fviebenack, the auditor of freight receipts of the same 
great corporation; W. S. P. Shields, the Philadelphia build- 
er; Charles A. Hart, of Philadelphia; General Clinton P. 
Paine, of Baltimore, and Nathan C. Price, of this city. 
Mr. Reyburn was president; General Sewell, vice-president; 
Mr. Hildreth, secretary and attorney, and Mr. Riebenack, 

James J. Doak, president of Council from 1892 to 1894, 
was born in the First ward of Philadelphia, November 7, 
1844. He was educated in the public schools of that city, 
principally at the Weccacoe and Mount ^"ernon Grammar 
Schools. Between school hours he was clerk in a grocery 
.and provision store. Early in 1862, when not yet eighteen 
)'ears of age, he enlisted as a private in the Nineteenth Penn- 
sylvania Regiment, but was not accepted because of his 
youthfulness. He enlisted a second time early in 1863 in 
the Fifty-ninth Pennsylvania Regiment, and served in it foui 
■months, the time for v.diich the regiment was mustered. Af- 
ter being discharged therefrom he again entered the army 
as a private in the One Hundred and Ninety-sixth Regiment, 
servi.r^, a full enlistment. He tlicn learned the carpenter's 
trade, a::d in 1868 came to Cape May, where he has ever 
since resided. He followed his trade here for a while, but in 
1869 became a member of the police force, in which he 
served eighteen years, being chief for eight years from 1870. 
He became a hotel detective and served in the Stockton 


Hotel and Congress Hall, Cape May, and Willard's. Wash- 
ington. He was for some years a detective of the Pennsyl- 
vania Railroad, operating on the New Jersey Divis'on. In 
1887 he was elected for a full term of three years as a mem- 
ber of the City Council, and has since been three times re- 
-elected, holding the position at the present time. He has 
'been for several years assistant chief of the Cape May Fire 
Department. In politics he is a Republican, and a leader in 
the party. 

Alonzo L. Leach, M. D., second son of Joseph S. Leach, 
was born at Cape May City March 19, 1845; received his 
education at our public schools and under private tutors; 
began the study of medicine at Harvard Medical College 
and completed the same at Jefferson Medical College, from 
which he was graduated with honors in 1868. Upon his 
graduation he was appointed Demonstrator of Anatomy in 
the Philadelphia School of Anatomy. In 1869 he was com- 
missioned first assistant surgeon of the First Regiment, 
Pennsylvania National Guard, and was with his command 
■on the several occasions it was called into service to quell 
formidable riots in Pennsylvania. During the railroad riots 
at Pittsburg in 1877 he was in charge of the division hos- 
pital, and on his return home was promoted surgeon for his 
meritorious service with rank as major. He resigned his 
commission after a service of thirteen years in the Guard, 
.and after practicing medicine in Philadelphia with marked 
success for twenty years he was obliged to relinquish his 
work there on account of impaired health. Returning to 
Cape May in 1887 to recuperate his health, he here, later, 
resumed practice. While in Philadelphia he wrote on medi- 
cal subjects, his writings being published in the then cur- 
rent medical magazines. One article published in the 
American Medical Journal on "The Influence of Close Con- 
finement in Prisons on the Production of Phthisis" was 
translated into many of the leading magazines of Europe. 
He was a member of the Pathological Society and of the 
Philadelphia County Medical Society. He is president of 
the Board of Health of Cape May City, being elected in 
3892, and was elected member of the Board of Education of 


the same city in 1896, and vice-president of the Cape Alay 
County Medical Society in 1897. 

Lewis T. Stevens, president of Council in 1894, was born, 
in West Cape May, August 22, 1868, and is a son of Wil- 
liam T. Stevens, and grandson of W^illiam S. Hooper. He- 
obtained his education in Cape May public schools and at 
Princeton College. Early in life he became an amateur jour- 
nalist, then learned the trade of a printer, and finally became 
a newspaper correspondent. In 1892 he was elected to 
City Council for three years, serving as president the last 

F. Sidney Townsend was born at Seaville, this county, 
June 21, 1849, and 's a grandson of Joshua Townsend^ 
Legislator. He obtained his educotion in Seaville, and in 
1875 removed to Cape May City, where he has since re- 
sided. He was a member of Council from 1883 to 1892,. 
and was chosen in 1896 for another full term of three years.. 
He was president of Council in 1889. and in 1891. He was- 
Alderman from 1894 to 1896. 


Ocean City, on Peck's beach, came into existence as a 
-temperance and Methodist summer resort in 1880. It grew 
rapidly and is second now only to Cape May City in pros- 
perity. It was beautifully laid out. In 1884 it was organ- 
ized as a borough government. In 1897 it was made a city, 
and with the following as its bounds: Beginning at a point 
in the line of low-water mark on the northerly side of Cor- 
son's Inlet at the intersection of low-water mark to said 
Corson's Inlet with low-water mark of the Atlantic Ocean; 
thence northwesterly along and in line of low-water mark 
of said Corson's Inlet to the intersection thereof with Beach 
Thoroughfare; thence northeasterly along said Beach Thor- 
oughfare to the most easterly channel of Peck's Bay; thence 
still northeasterly in and along the most easterly channel 
of Peck's Bay and Great Egg Harbor Bay to the dividing 
line between Cape May county and Atlantic county; thence 
following said dividing line in a southeasterly direction 
down Great Egg Plarbor Bay and Great Egg Harbor In- 
let to the Atlantic Ocean; thence extending into the Atlan- 
tic Ocean as far as the jurisdiction of the State of New 
Jersey extends; thence southwesterly along and in the said 
jurisdictional line of the State to a point in said line at 
right angles to low-water mark on the north side of Cor- 
son's Inlet aforesaid; thence northwesterly to the place of 

It has a water works, by which water is obtained from 
artesian wells driven nearly 800 feet in the earth. A sew- 
age and drainage system has been introduced. The town 
~is lighted by electricity. The leading hotels are the Brigh- 
ton, Illinois, Emmett, Wesley House, Vandalia, Strand. La- 
-fayette. Travmore. Excursion and Adams' Casino. It has 
3 public school, a Methodist church, built in 1890; St. An- 


gustine's (Catholic) Church, buiU in 1895, and an Episcopal' 
church, built in 1897. 

The West Jersey Railroad was opened to Ocean City in. 

Gainer P. Moore, the first Mayor, was born in Chester 
county. Pa., in 1836, where he obtained his education. He- 
served honorably in the civil war on the Union side. In. 
1866 he became a merchant in Philadelphia, and in 1881 
he came to Ocean City, and has since been an energetic 
public citizen. He is a Methodist in religion. 

James E. Pryor, the second Mayor, was born near L )-- 
gansport, Indiana, April 24, 1861, and was educated in ;he 
public schools there and at nineteen became a teacher iii 
them. He fitted himself for the medical profession in the 
University Medical College at Detroit, Mich., graduating 
in 1888. He then came to Ocean City. 

Harry G. Steelman, fourth Mayor, was a native of Wey- 
mouth, N. J., and settled in Ocean City in 1888. 

Robert Fisher, fifth Mayor, is a real estate agent of con- 
siderable activity. 

Wildwood was founded by Philip Pontius Baker, of Vine- 
land, N. J., about 1890. 

"W^ildwood" is situated on the famous "Five Mile 
Beach," about six miles northeast of Cape May City. The 
tract comprises 100 acres and it lies between the ocean 
and the "thoroughfare." About fifty acres are in woods, 
grand timber, some of the trees being nearly one hundred 
feet high, and two to five in diameter. They include pine, 
red, white and black oak, sassafras — six feet in circumfer- 
ence — red and white cedar, holly, magnolia, wild cherry, 
persimmon, sweet gum, beech, plum and other varieties, 
and from the branches of many of them hang festoons of" 
beautiful green mosses, three to six feet in length. Gi- 
gantic grape vines here flourish, one monster nearly a yard 
in circumference ten feet from the ground, spreading away 
over the branches of the oaks a distance of two hundred 
feet. All underbrush, undesirable vines and bushes have 
been cleared away, bringing to view the innumerable va- 
riety of beautiful wild flowers which cover the ground in 
every direction. An authority on the subject states that 


every variety of flower that grows along the coast from 
Maine to Florida is here to be found. 

In the centre of the forest is a charming little body of 
fresh water appropriately called Magnolia Lake. It is 
about three feet in depth and is fed by a small stream that 
rises a mile or so away. It is one of the prettiest spots on 
the tract, and is especially popular with the children who 
are never happier than when navigating the lake in beats. 

Here and there in the woods are rare and interesting spec- 
imens of nature's handiwork, to see which is alone worth 
a visit to the "Beach." There is, for example, an immense 
huckleberry bush growing from the trunk of a tree twenty 
feet from the ground, and which has for years borne large- 
crops of fine fruit. 

The town was developed rapidly, and laid out in squares. 
It is situated on the central portion of Five Mile Beach. 
There are water works, a Baptist church, a Presbyterian 
church and a public school there. The water is derived 
from two artesian wells, one looo feet deep and the other 
700 feet. The latter alone has a capacity of 500,000 gallons 
per day. The leading hotels of the place are Hotel Dayton, 
Marine Hall, The Latimer, Sea View, Ocean Villa, Tower 
Villa, Silver Dean, Brighton, Woodland, Selina, Stewart, 
Ivy and Wildvvood. The West Jersey Railroad runs there. 
The borough was incorporated first on May i, 1895. 

Philip P. Baker, its founder, was born at Cowan, Union 
county, Pa., January 14, 1846. He went to school there, 
and at sixteen when his father died, managed the farm 

In 1869, with his brother, L. R., he removed to Mneland, 
N. J., and there conducted a general store. The Baker 
Brothers, as their firm was known by name, built the Ba- 
her House Block there. He was a member of Assembly 
from Cumberland county in 1882, and in 1886 was elected 
State Senator from that county. He was a prominent mover 
in having the law passed introducing manual training in the 
public schools. Being a Democrat, he was a delegate-at- 
large from New Jersey to the National Democratic con- 
vention in 1888 and in 1892 was a Presidential elector, 


casting a vote for Grover Cleveland. In 1891 he was re- 
ceiver of the Philadelphia and Seashore Railroad. He was 
interested in Sea Isle City's foundation. 

In 1896 he was made New Jersey's member of the Dem- 
ocratic National Committee. 

Avalon was founded by the Seven-Mile Beach Company, 
at the head of which was Frank Siddall, of Philadelphia, in 
1887, and in 1891 a borough was created. It is situated on 
the north end of Seven Mile Beach, and has several hotels. 
The West Jersey Railroad is opened through it. 

Thomas Bray, who has been Mayor since its incorpora- 
tion, was born in New York city on September 5, 1843. 
He lived there until four years of age, when he was taken 
.to Philadelphia, where he resided until 1857. He then re- 
turned to New York, where he was educated. In 1861 he 
•came back to Philadelphia and was with the Lockwood 
Manufacturing Company two years. He then went to New 
York again, remaining for eight years. Soon after this he 
became manager of Dr. J. H. Schenck's medicine manufac- 
tory, in Philadelphia, and removed there until he became 
secretary of Seven-Mile Beach Company, in 1886. since 
which time he has devoted his entire time to its success. 

Sea Isle City includes the whole of Ludlam's Beach, and 
was first laid out about 1880. Charles K. Landis was its 
founder. The island fronts six and one-quarter miles in 
length on the Atlantic Ocean, and varies from one-quarter 
to one and one-quarter miles in width, extending from Cor- 
son's Inlet, on the north, to Townsend's Inlet, on the south, 
and is bounded on the west by Ludlam Bay and a navi- 
gable channel, called the Thoroughfare, furnishing excel- 
lent advantages for fishing, sailing, or still-water bathing. 

Sea Isle City is brilliantly illuminated at night with elec- 
tric light, and the cottages and hotels are lighted by elec- 
tricity. As to good water, Sea Isle City is supplied from an 
ever-flowing well of water. All the cottages are supplied 
with this water. 

Two systems of railroads. West Jersey and Seashore, and 
the South Jersey. 

It has thirty hotels, an electric railroad, ice plant, school 


>iouse, a Methodist church, built in 1888, and a Catholic 
church, built in 1890. 

Its first Council was composed of James P. Way, Roger 
Dever, William L. Peterson and Hudson Ludlam. 

Cape May Point was set off as a political division in 1878, 
and continued to be a borough until 1896. Its borough 
government, after 1890. became a matter of uncertainty, 
its final abandonment of local government being the out- 
come of the unconstitutionality of the law under which it 
existed. It is now a part of Lower township. It has an 
electric light works, a water plant, four or five hotels, sev- 
eral boarding houses, a public school, a Baptist, a Catholic 
and an Episcopal church. 

Anglesea was made a borough in 1885. It is a great re- 
sort for fishermen, who go to sea to fish. It contains several 
hotels and boarding cottages. 

Holly Beach was also made a borough in 1885, and has 
several hotels and boarding cottages. 

West Cape May was made a borough and came out of 
Lower township in 1884. Out of it was made South Cape 
May Borough ten years later. 



A list of the Members of the Lef^islature from the first record of tliem after 
tlie su'.-reu ler of the Government in (.Jueen Anne's reign in 170'i to the 
present time. 



































1778 to 1779 

1779 to 1780 

1780 to 1781 

1781 to 1782 

1782 to 1783 

1783 to 1784 

1784 to 178.5 

1785 to 1786 

1786 to 1787 

1787 to 1789 

1789 to 1790 

1790 to 1791 

1791 to 1793 


Jonathan Hand. 

Jonathan Jenkins. 
Jesse Hand, 

Jesse Hand. 

Elijah Huijhes. 
Jesse Hand. 

Jesse Hand. 
Jeremiah Eldi-edge. 
Elijah Hughes. 

Jeremiah Eldredge. 

Jeremiah Eldredge. 

Jeremiah Eldredge. 

Jeremiah Eldredge. 

Jeremiah Eldredge. 


reter Fretwell. 

I'oter Corson. 

Ezekiel Eldredge. 

Facob Spic'er, Peter Fretwell. 

Jacob SpiceT, Jacob Huling. 

iiicob Spicer. .Teremiali Bass. 

Humphi-ey Hughes, Nath'l Jenkins^ 

tVarou lA^aming, 1st, Henry Young. 

Aaron Leaming, Aaron Learning, Jr. 

Varon Learning, John Willets. 

Henry Young, Jacob Spicer, 2d. 

Aaron Leaming 2d, Jacob Spicer 2(1, 

Aaron Leaming 2d, Nicholas Stillwell. 

Aaron Learning 2d, Jonathan 'Hand. 

Eli Eldredge, Jonathan Hand. 

Eli Eldredge, Joseph oavage, Hugh 

Eli Eldredge. Richard Townsend. 

Henry Y. ToAvusend, James Whill- 
den, Jonathan Leaming. 

Jose])h Ilildreth, Jeremiah Eldredge^ 
INIatrhew Wliilldon. 

Ricliard Townsend. 

Matthew Wadlklen, John Baker, EK- 
jah Townsend. 

John Baker, Joseph Hildreth. 

Elijah Townsend, Levi Eldredge. 

Elijah Townsend, John Baker, Nezer 

Matthew Whillden, Johu Baker, Eli- 
jah Townsend. 

Matthew Whillden, Richard Town- 
send, Elijah Townsend. 

EU Townsend, Nezer Swain, ElijalJ 

Richard Townsend, Nezer Swajri» 
Elijah Townsend. 

Richard Townsend, Matthew Whill- 

I den, Elijah Townsend. 




















































































































1848 and 1849 

1850 and 1851 








and 1858 

1859 and 1860 




and 1864 

Jeremiah Eldredge. 

Matthew Whillden. 
Matthew WhiUdeu. 

Parmenas Corson. 

iParmeuas Corson. 
Parmenas Corsnu. 
John Towuseud. 
I'arnienas Corsuu. 
Ebenezer Newton. 
l*arnienas Corson. 
William Eldredge. 
Matthew Whillden. 
Ebenezer Newton. 
Joseph Falkenburge 
Matthew ^^'hillden. 
Matthew Whillden. 
Nathaniel Holmes. 
Joseph F;ilkenbnrge. 
Joseph Falkenbnrge. 
Furniau Learning. 
Joshna Swain. 
Thomas H. Hughes. 
Thomas H. Hughes. 
Thomas H. Hughes. 
Joshua Swain. 
Thomas H. Hughes. 
Joshua Swain. 
Israel Townsend. 
Israel Townsend. 
Joshua Townsend. 
Jeremiah Leaming. 
Richard Thompson. 
Amos Corson. 
Thomas P. Hughes. 
[Maurice Beesley. 


Reuben Willits. 
I Reuben Willits. 
1 James L. Smifh. 
James L. Smith. 
Enoch Edmunds. 
Enoch Edmunds. 
Joshua Swain, Jr. 
Joshua Swain, .Ir. 

Je.sse H. Diverty. 
Downs Edmunds. 
Downs Edmunds. 

Richard Townsend, Matthew Whill- 
den. Ebenezer Newton. 

David Johnson. Ricliard To^\ai6end. 

Richard Townsend. Reuben Town- 
send, Eleazer Hand. 

Abijah Smith, Elijah Townsend, 
i Richard Townsend. 

Persons Leaming. 

Elijah Tov/useud. 

Abijah Smitli. 
, I'crsous Lejiming. 
! Joseph Falkenburge. 

Matthew Whillden. 
I Thomas Hughes. 
: Nicholas Willets. 
j Thomas H. Hughes. 

Nicholas Willets. 
!Thoma.s II. Hughes, 
j Joseph Falkenburge. 
] Nicholas Willets. 

Thomas H. Hughes. 

Joshua Swain. 

Robert H. Holmes. 

Nicliolas Willets. 

Joshua Townsend. 
j Nicliolas '\^'illets. 
! Joshua Townseiid. 
i Israel Townsend. 

Israel Towuseud. 

Israel Townsend. 

Joshua Townsend. 

.Jeremiah Leaming. 

Jeremiah Leaming. 

Richard Thompson. 

Amos -Corson. 

Thomas P. Hughes. 

Maurice Beesley. 

Reuben Willets. 

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

Downs Edmunds, Jr. 
Abram Reeves. 
Jonathan F. Leaming. 

Jonathan F. Leaming WHImon W. Ware 



Session Dates.; 

1865, 1S()6 

and 1SG7 

1869 and 1870 
1871. 1872 

and 1873 

1877 and 187S 

1881 and 1882 
1883, 1884 

and 1885 
I'^VP and 3887 
1889, 1890 

and 1891 
1892. 1893 

and 1894 
1895 and 1896 


iAMluioii AV. Ware. 
; Learning M. llice. 
: Learning M. Rice. 

Thomas Beesley. 
jRieliaid S. Learning. 

Rieliard S. Learning. 

Richard S. Learning. 
i.J()u;(tiian F. Leaniini 

•Idiiatiian F. Leaniin;. 
AVatevs B. Miller. 
; Waters B. Miller. 

: Waters B. Miller. 
IJoseph H. Hanes. 
■Jcseph H. Hanes. 

'■' . y 

AValter S. Learning. 

; Lemuel E. ]\[iller. 
iPMmund L. Ross. 
Edmund L. Ross. 

House of Assembly. 

Thomas Beesley. 
Samuel R. Magonagle. 
Thomas Beesley. 

Richard S. Leaming. 
Ah'xander Y'ouug. 
Richard D. Edmunds. 
William T. Stevens. 
William T. Stevens. 
Daniel ScLellingcr. 
Jesse D. Ludlam. 
Furman L. Richardson. 

Jesse D. Ludlam. 
Alvin P. Hildreth. 
Walter S. Leaming. 

Eugene C. Cole. 

Edmund L. Ross. 
Furman L. Ludlam. 
Robert E. Hand. 


1827— Joseph Falkinburge. 
1830— Richard Thompson. 
1831— Joseph Falkinburge. 
1833— Samuel Matthews. 
1.S34— Nathaniel Holmes. 
1841— Franklin Hand. 
1842— Jonathan J. Springea*. 
1844— Franklin Hand. 
184.5— Stephen Young. 
1846 — John Smith. 
1847— Nathaniel Holmes. 
1851— William S. Townsend. 

1855— Hezekiah W. Godfrey. 
1859— Samuel F. Ware. 
1861— Thomas Williams. ■ 
1869— Aaron Miller. 
1870— Alexander Young. 
1878— Alexander Coi-son. 
1888— John ^Y. Reeves. 
1893— William Lake. 
1894— Andrew "N^'eeks. 
1895— William T. Bate. 
189t>— A. Carlton Hildreth. 



Members of the Boards of Chosen Freeholders from 1827 
to 1897: 

X827 — Ezekiel Stevens. Thomas P. Hughes, Lower; 
Ephraim Hikh-eth, Joseph Falkenburg-. Middle; Jacob G. 
Smith, Samuel Bishop, Dennis ; John Williams, Amos Cor- 
son, Upper. 

1828 — John Williams. Amos Corson, Upper; Samuel 
Bishop, Christopher Ludlam, Dennis: Joseph Falkenburg, 
Ephraim Hildreth, Middle; Ezekiel Stevens, Reuben Fos- 
ter, Lower. 

1829 — Stephen Young, Parmenas Corson, Upper; Chris- 
topher Ludlam, Samuel Bishop, Dennis; Joseph Falken- 
burg. Ephraim Hildreth, Middle; Ezekiel Stevens, Spicer 
Leaming, Lower. 

1830 — Parmenas Corson. Stephen Young, Upper; Amos 
C. Moore, Elijah Robinson, Dennis; Richard Thompson, 
Swain Townsend. Mitldle; Ezekiel Stevens, Downs Ed- 
munds, Lower. 

1831 — Parmenas Corson, Stephen Young, Upper; John 
Smith, Elijah Robinson. Dennis; Joseph Falkenburg, Sam- 
uel Springer. Middle; Ezekiel Stevens, Alexander McKean, 

1823— Parmenas Corson, Stephen Young, Upper: 
John Smith. Elijah Robinson, Dennis; Joseph Falkenburg, 
Samuel Springer, Middle; Ezekiel Stevens, Alexander :Mc- 
Kean, Lower. 

1833— John Williams. Stephen Young, Upper; Samuel 
]\Litthews, James L. Smith. Dennis; Jeremiah Hand, Sam- 
uel Springer, Middle; Ezekiel Stevens, Joseph B. Hughes, 

1834— Parmenas Corson, David Kinsey, Upper; Jacob 
Souder, Nathaniel Holmes, Dennis; Ephraim Hildreth, 


John Townsend, Middle; Toseoh B. Hus'hes, David Cresse, 

1835 — John Stites, David Kinsey, Upper; Nathaniel 
Holmes, James L. Smith, Dennis; John Townsend, Eph- 
raim Hildreth, Middle; Israel Townsend, David Cresse, 

1836 — David Kinsey. John Stites. L^pper; Nathaniel 
Holmes, Jacob G. Smith, Dennis; Joseph Falkenburg, 
Ephraim Hildreth, Middle; Israel Townsend, David Cresse, 

1837 — John Williams, Eli Bunnell, Upper; Jacob G. 
Smith, Nathaniel Holmes, Dennis; Samuel Springer, Frank- 
lin Hand. Middle; Ezekiel Stevens, David Cresse, Lower. 

1838 — John Williams, EH Bunnell, Upper; Nathaniel 
Holmes, James L. Smith, Dennis; Franklin Hand, Samuel 
Springer, Middle; Ezekiel Stevens, David Cresse, Lower. 

1839 — David Kimsey, Miles Corson, Upper; Nathaniel 
Holmes, James L. Smith, Dennis; Franklin Hand, Jonathan 
J. Springer, Middle; Ezekiel Stevens, David Cresse, Lower. 

1840 — John Williams, John Stites, Upper; Nathaniel 
Holmes, William S. Townsend, Dennis; Franklin Hand, 
Jonathan J. Springer, Middle; Ezekiel Stevens, David 
Cresse, Lower. 

1841 — Randolph Marshall, John Stites, Upper; James L. 
Smith, Amos C. Moore, Dennis; FrankHn Hand, Jonathan 
J. Springer, Middle; David Cresse, Ezekiel Stevens, Lower. 

1842 — EH Bunnell, Hezekiah W. Godfrey, Upper; Amos 
C. Moore, James L. Smith, Dennis; Jonathan J. Springer, 
Jonathan Hewitt, Jr., Middle; Ezekiel Stevens, David 
Cresse, Lower. 

1843 — EH BunneH, Hezekiah W. Godfrey, Upper; John 
Smith, James L. Smith, Dennis; Jonathan J. Springer, 
Franklin Hand, Middle; Israel Townsend, Ezekiel Stevens, 

1844 — Hezekiah W. Godfrey, Daniel Corson, Upper; 
Jame L. Smith, John Smith, Dennis; Franklin Hand, 
Thomas Hewitt, Middle; Israel Townsend, Ezekiel Stev- 
ens, Lower. 

1845 — Stephen Young, Reuben Gandy, Upper; James L. 


Smith, John Smith, Dennis; Eli Townsend, Thomas Hew- 
itt, Middle; Spicer Hughes, Abraham Reeves, Lower. 

1846 — Thomas Van Gilder, Ezra Corson, Upper; James 
L. Smith, John Smith, Dennis; Thomas Hewitt, Stephen 
Hand, Middle; David Cresse, Abraham Reeves, Lower. 

1847 — Hezekiah W. Godfrey, Stephen Young-, Upper; 
Nathaniel Holmes, James L. Smith, Dennis; Richard 
Thompson, Stephen Hand, Middle; Israel Townsend, Sam- 
uel Fithian \\'are. Lower. 

1848 — Stephen Young, Hezekiah W. Godfrey, Upper; 
Nathaniel Holmes, James L. Smith, Dennis; Richard 
Thompson, Stephen Hand, Middle; Israel Townsend, Sam- 
uel F. Ware, Lower. 

1849 — Stephen Young, Hezekiah \V. Godfrey, Upper; 
Nathaniel Holmes, James L. Smith, Dennis; Richard 
Thompson, Richard C. Holmes. Middle; Israel Townsend, 
Samuel F. Ware, Lower. 

1850 — Hezekiah W. Godfrey, Levi Corson, Upper; Na- 
thaniel Holmes, William S. Townsend, Dennis; Richard 
"Thompson, Richard C. Holmes, Middle; Israel Townsend, 
Lemuel Swain, Lower. 

185 1 — Levi Corson. Townsend Stites, Upper; James L. 
Smith, William S. Townsend, Dennis; Stephen Hand, 
Matthew Marcy, Middle; Abraham Reeves, Israel Town- 
send, Lower; Joseph Ware, William Cassedy, City of Cape 

1852 — Townsend Stites, Hezekiah W. Godfrey, Upper; 
William S. Townsend, James L. Smith, Dennis; Stephen 
Hand, Matthew Marcy, Middle; Israel Townsend, Abram 
Reeves, Lower; William Cassedy, Charles Downs, Cape 

1853 — Hezekiah W. Godfrey, Thomas \''an Gilder, Up- 
per; William S. Townsend, James L. Snr'th, Dennis; Mat- 
thew Marcy, .Stephen Hand, Middle; Israel l^ownsend, 
Abraham Reeves, Lower; William Cassedy, Richard S. 
Ludlam, Cape Island. 

1854 — Hezekiah W. Godfrey. Stephen Young, Upper; 
William S. Townsend, James L. Smith, Dennis; Matthew 
JMarcy, Stephen Hand, Middle; Downs Edmunds. Jr., Sam- 


uel F. Ware, Lower; Samuel S. Marcy, Waters B. Miller, 
Cape Island. 

1855 — liezekiah W. Godfrey, Amos S. Corson, Upper; 
David T. Smith, Clinton H. Ludlam, Dennis; Stephen 
Hand, Aaron Miller, Middle; Samuel F. Ware, Richard D. 
Edmunds, Lower; William S. Hooper, Richard S. Ludlam, 
Cape Island. 

1856 — Hezekiah W. Godfrey, Townsend Stites, Upper; 
Matthew Marcy, Stephen Hand, Middle; Clinton H. Lud- 
lam, William S. Townsend, Dennis; Andrew H. Reeves, 
Samuel F. Ware, Lower; Dr. Samuel S. Marcy, Waters B. 
Miller, Cape Island. 

1857 — Hezekiah W. Godfrey, Townsend Stites, Upper; 
William S. Townsend, Clinton H. Ludlam, Dennis; Ste- 
phen Hand, Aaron Miller, Middle; Samuel F. Ware, Rich- 
ard D. Edmunds, Lower; Samuel S. Marcy, W. B. Miller, 
Cape Island. 

1858 — Hezekiah W. Godfrey, Townsend Stites. Upper; 
Clinton H. Ludlam, William S. Townsend, Dennis; Stephen 
Hand. Smith Townsend, Middle; Samuel F. W^are, An- 
drew H. Reeves, Lower; Samuel S. INIarcy, W. B. Miller, 
Cape Island. 

1859 — Townsend Stites, Thomas Williams, Tapper; Wil- 
liam S. Townsend, Clinton H. Ludlam, Dennis; Stephen 
Hand, Smith Townsend, Middle; Samuel F. Ware, An- 
drew H, Reeves, Lower; Samuel S. Marcy, W. B. Miller, 
Cape Island. 

i860 — Thomas Williams, Joseph D. Chattin, Upper; Wil- 
liam H. Townsend, Clinton H. Ludlam, Dennis; Smith 
Townsend, Aaron Miller, Middle; Samuel F. Ware, An- 
drew H. Reeves, Lower; Waters B. Miller, Samuel S. 
Marcy, Cape Island. 

1 86 1 — Thomas Williams, Townsend Stites. Upper; Wil- 
liam S. Townsend, Clinton H. Ludlam. Dennis; Aaron Mil- 
ler, Smith Townsend, Middle; Samuel F. Ware, Andrew 
H. Reeves, Lower; Samuel S. Marcy, Waters B. Miller, 
Cape Island, 

1862 — Thomas Williams, Townsend Stites, L^pper; Clin- 
ton H. Ludlam, Richard S. Learning, Dennis; Aaron Mil- 
ler, Smith Townsend, Middle; Samuel F. Ware, Andrew H. 


Reeves, Lower; Samuel S. ^larcy, Richard S. Lud-C/-::, 
Cape Island. 

1863 — Thomas Vv'illiams. Townsend Stites, Upper; Clin- 
ton H. Ludlam, William H. Townsend, Dennis; Coleman 
F. Learning-, Alexander Young, Lower; Waters B. Mi'Ier, 
Joseph S. Leach, Cape Island. 

1864 — Thomas W'illiams, Sylvanus Corson, Upper; Wil- 
liam S. Townsend, Clinton H. Ludlam. Dennis; Coleman 
F. Leaming, Alexander Young, Middle; Andrew H. 
Reeves, Samuel F. Ware, Lower; Joseph S. Leach, James 
S. Kennedy, Cape Island. 

1865 — Thomas Williams, Sylvanus Corson, Upper; Wil- 
liam S. Townsend, Clinton H. Ludlam, Dennis; Coleman F. 
Leaming, Alexander Young, Middle; Joseph E. Hughes, 
Andrew H. Stevens, Lower; Joseph S. Leach, James S. 
Kennedy, Cape Island. 

1866 — Thomas Williams, Sylvanus Corson, Upper; Wil- 
liam S. Townsend, Clinton H. Ludlam, Dennis; Aaron Mil- 
ler, John W. Swain, Middle; Samuel F. Ware, Andrew H. 
Reeves, Lower; W'aters B. Miller, Thomas B. Hughes, 
Cape Island. 

1867 — Thomas Williams, Sylvanus Corson, Upper; Wil- 
liam S. Townsend, Clinton H. Ludlam, Dennis; Aaron Mil- 
ler, John \\". Sv^'ain, Middle; Andrew H. Reeves, Samuel 
F. \\'are. J ower; Joseph O. Williams, Joseph S. Leach, 
Cape Island. 

1S68 — Thomas Williams, Sylvanus Corson, Upper; Clin- 
ton H. Ludlam (John Grady, to fill vacancy), William S. 
Townsend, Dennis; Aaron ]\Iiller, Alexander Young, Mid- 
dle; Samuel F. Ware, Andrew H. Reeves, Lower; Joseph 
S. Leach. Waters B. Miller (Joseph Q. W^illiams, to fill va- 
cancy), Cape Island. 

1869 — Sylvanus Corson, James Shoemaker, Upper; 
Richard S. Leaming, Thomas Townsend, Dennis; John W. 
Swain, Aaron Miller, Middle; Samuel F. Ware, AndreAv H. 
Reeves. Lower; Samuel S. Marcy, Joseph Schtllengci, 
Cape T'^land. 

t8~o — Tames Shotm.akcr, Sylvanus Corson, Copper; 
Thomas Townsend, Richard S. Leaming, Dennis; Alcxan- 


der Young, Thomas Douglass, Middle; Andrew H. Reeves, 
Daniel Schellenger. Lower; Wilmon W. Ware, Aaron Mil- 
ler (died, and Joseph S. Leach), Cape Island. 

1871 — James Shoemaker, Richard B. Stites, Upper; 
Richard S. Leaming, Learning M. Rice, Dennis; Alexan- 
der Young. Thomas Douglass, Middle; Andrew H. Reeves, 
Daniel C. Eldredge, Lower; J. Stratton Ware, Joseph 
Schellenger. Cape Island. 

1872 — James Shoemaker, Sylvanus Corson, Upper; Rich- 
ard S. Leaming. Leaming AL Rice. Dennis: Alexander 
Young. Thomas Douglass. Middle: Andrew H. Reeves, 
Daniel C. Eldredge, Low:^r; J. StrattO'U Ware, Richard D. 
Edmunds, Cape Island. \ 

1873 — James Shoemaker. Alexander Corson, L'pper; 
Leaning M. Rice, James Henderson, Dennis; Alexander 
Young, Thomas Douglass, Middle; Daniel C. Eldredge, 
Daniel Schellenger, Lower; J. Stratton Ware, J. Henry 
Farrow, Cape Island. 

1874 — Lewis S. AMUiams, Alexander Corson, L'pper; 
James Henderson, Leaming M. Rice, Dennis; Alexander 
Young, Thomas Douglass, Middle; Daniel C. Eldredge, 
Daniel Schellenger, Lower; J. Stratton \\'are. J. Henry 
Farrow, Cape Island. 

1875 — Alexander Corson, Lewis S. Williams, l'pper; 
Leaming M. Rice, John Tyler, Dennis; Alexander Young, 
Thomas Douglass, Middle; Daniel C. Eldredge, Daniel 
Schellfuger, Lower; J. Stratton Ware. J. Henry Farrow, 
Cape Ma)' City. 

1876 — Alexander Corson, Anthony Steelman. Upper; 
Leaming M. Rice, John Tyler, Dennis; Alexander Young, 
Thomas Douglass, Middle; Daniel Schellenger. William L. 
Cummings, Lower: J. Henry Farrow, Maskel \\'are. Cape 
May City. 

1877 — Alexander Corson, Anthony Steelman. Upper; 
Leamiig M. Rice, John Tyler, Dennis; Dr. Alexander 
Young, Thomas Douglass, Middle; William L. Cummings, 
John W. Reeves, Lower; J. Henry Farrow. J. Stratton 
Ware, Cape May Ciy. 

1878 — Alexander Corson. Anthony Steelman. Upper; 
Learning M. Rice. John Tyler, Dennis; Franlilin Hand, 


Cornelius Townsend, Middle; Daniel Schellenger, Joseph 
C. Eldredge, Lower; Waters B. :Miller, Maskel Ware, Cape 
May City; George W. Barnes, C. B. Reeves, Cape May 

1879 — Alexander Corson. Anthony Steelman. Upper; 
Learning ^I. Rice, John Tyler, Dennis; Franklin Hand, 
John W. Swain. ^liddle; Joseph C. Eldredge, Samuel 
Townsend, Lower; Waters B. Miller. Maskel Ware. Cape 
May City; George W. Barnes, Samuel W. \N'iley, Cape 
;May Point. 

1880 — Alexander Corson, Anthony Steelman. Upper; 
Learning M. Rice, John Tyler. Dennis; Franklin Hand, 
John W. Swain, Middle; Joseph C. Eldredge, Samuel 
Townsend, Lower; Alvin P. Hildreth. Maskel Ware, Cape 
ISIay City; Samuel W. Wiley, Cape May Point. 

1881 — Alexander Corson. Anthony Steelman. Upper; 
Leaming M. Rice, Jesse D. Ludlam. Dennis; Franklin Hand, 
Townsend W. Garretson, Middle; Joseph C. Eldredge. 
Samuel Townsend, Lower; Alvin P. Hildreth, Maskel 
Ware, Cape May City; C. Simpson, William H. Keeler, 
Cape May Point. 

1882 — Alexander Corson, Anthony Steelman, Upper; 
Leaming AL Rice. Jesse D. Ludlam, Dennis; Townsend W. 
Garretson. Nathaniel Newton, Middle; Joseph C. Eldredge, 
Samuel Townsend, Lower; Alvin P. Hildreth. ALiskel 
Ware, Cape May City; C. Simpson, Howard Finley. Cape 
May Point; Thomas E. Ludlam, William L. Peterson, Sea 
Isle City. 

1883— Alexander Corson. Anthony Steelman, Upper; 
Leaming M. Rice, Jesse D. Ludlam, Dennis; Townsend W. 
Garretson. Nathaniel Newton, Middle; Joseph C. Eldredge, 
William S. Harris. Lower; Alvin P. Hildreth. Micajah 
Smith. Cape May City; C. Simpson. Cape May Point; 
Crawford Buck, Sea Isle City. 

1884 — Alexander Corson, Anthony Steelman. Upper; 
Leaming M. Rice. John W. Young. Dennis; Townsend W. 
Garretson. Nathaniel Newton. Middle; Joseph C. Eldredge, 
William S. Harris. Lower; Alvin P. Hildreth. William S. 
Hooper. Cape May City; Page Crowell, Cape May Point; 


Crawford Buck, Sea Isle City; William Lake. (_'cean Citv; 
Joiin W. Reeves. West Cape May. 

18S5 — Alexander Corson. Benjamin H. Marshall. Upper; 
Learning M. Rice, Henry T. Corson. Dennis; Townsend W. 
Garretson, Nathaniel Newton. Middle; Joseph C. Eldredge, 
William S. Harris. Lower; Alvin P. Hildreth, IMicajah 
Smith, Cape May City; Fage Crowell, Cape May Pomt; 
Martin Wells. Sea Isle City; William Lake. C)cean City; 
John W. Reeves. West Cape May; John Measy. Holly 
Beach; Hewlett Brewer, Anglesea. 

1886 — Alexander Corson, Benjamin H. Marshall. Upper; 
Leaming M. Rice, Henry T. Corson, Dennis; Townsend W. 
Garretson, Nathaniel Newton, ^Middle; Joseph C. Eldredge, 
James H. Shaw, Lower; Alicajah Smith, William S. Hoop- 
er, Cape ]May City: William Lake. Ocean City; jNIartin 
Wells, Sea Isle City; Hewlett Brower, Anglesea; L. M. Pan- 
coast, Holly Beach; John W. Reeves. West Cape May; 
Henry Jacoby. Cape May Point. 

1887 — Alexander C«^rson, Benjamin H. Marshall. Upper: 
Leaming M. Rice. Lewis Edwards. Dennis; Townsend W, 
Garretson, Nathaniel Newton, Middle; Micajah Smith, Wil- 
liam S. Hooper. Cape May City: Joseph C. Eldredge, Wil- 
liam T. Bate. Lower: \\'illiam Lake. Ocean City; Martin 
Wells. Sea Isle City: Hewlett Brower. Anglesea; L. M. 
Pancoast, Llolly Beach; John W. Reeves, West Cape May. 

1888 — Alexander Corson, John Wallace. Upper; Lea- 
ming M. Rice. Cl'.arles J. Devitt, Dennis; Townsend W. 
Garretson. Jacob G. Hand, Midtlle: \\'illiam T. Bate. Rob- 
ert E. Hand. Lower: Micajah Smith. William S. Hooper. 
Cape May City: R. Curtis Robinson. Ocean City; Crawford 
Buck, Sea Isle City; Hewlett Brower, Anglesea; L. M. Pan- 
coast. Holly Beach; John W^ Reeves, West Cape May: 
Richard C. Stevenson, Cape May Point. 

1 88t>— Alexander Corson, John Wallace, Upper; Lea- 
ming ]VI. Rice, Charles J. Devitt. Dennis; Townsend W. 
Garretson. Jacob G. Hand. ^Middle; William T. Bate. Rob- 
ert E. Hand, Lower; I^Iicajah Smith. William S. Hooper, 
Cape May City; Youngs Corson, Ocean City; Crawford 
Buck, Sea Isle Citv; Hewlett Brower, Anglesea; L. M. 


p£ncoast, Holly Beach; John \\\ Reeves, W'tst Cape JNia}-; 
Richard C. Stevenson. Cape May Point. 

1890 — Alexander Corson. Theophilus Corson. Upper; 
Cliarles J. Devitt. Michael Swing, Dennis; Townsend W. 
CTarretson, Jacob G. Hand. Middle; William T. Bate. Rob- 
ert E. Hand, Lower; William S. Hooper. Lewis T. Entri- 
kin. Cape Alay City; John W. Reeves. West Cape May; 
James P. Spofford. Holly Beach; Andrew Weeks. Angle- 
sea; Thomas Whittington, Sea Isle City; William Lake, 
Ocean City. 

1891 — Alexander Corson, Theophilus Corson, Upper; 
Charles J. Devitt, Learning M. Rice, Dennis; Townsend 
W. Garretson, Jacob G. Hand, Middle; William T. Bate. 
Robert E. Hand, Lower; Lewis T. Entrikin, Albert L. 
Haynes, Cape May City; John W. Reeves, West Cape May; 
James P. Spofford, Holly Beach; Andrew Weeks, Angle- 
sea; Thomas Whittington, Sea Isle City; William Lake, 
Ocean City. 

1892 — Alexander Corson, Theophilus Corson, Upper; 
Charles J. Devitt. Leaming M. Rice, Dennis; Townsend 
W. Garretson, Jacob G. Hand, Middle; William T. Bate, 
Robert E. Hand, Lower; Lewis T. Entrikin, Albert L. 
Haynes, Cape May City; John W. Reeves, West Cape J\Iay; 
Andrew Weeks, Anglesea; Crawford Buck, Sea Isle City; 
William Lake, Ocean City; Frank E. Smith, Holly Beach. 

1893 — Alexander Corson, Theophilus Corson, Upper; 
Leaming M. Rice, Charles J. Devitt, Dennis; Townsend W. 
Garretson, Jacob G. Hand, Middle; William T. Bate. J. 
Durell Hoffman. Lower; Albert L. Haynes. William T. 
Stevens. Cape JNIay City; William Lake, Ocean City; 
Crawford Buck. Sea Isle City; Andrew Weeks. Anglesea; 
Frank E. Smith, Holly Beach ; Samuel E. Ewing, West Cape 

1894 — Alexander Corson, Theophilus Corson, Upper; 
Charles J. Devitt. Joseph C. P. Smith, Dennis; A. Ca"lton 
Hildreth. Townsend W. Garretson. Middle; J. Durell Hoil- 
man, William T. Bate, Lower; Albert L. Haynes, William 
T. Stevens. Cape May City; James W. Lee. Oceaii City. 
Crawford Buck, Sea Isle City; Andrew S. Weeks, Anglesea; 


Frank E. Smith, Holly Beach; Samuel E. Ewitig, \V'e?t 
Cape May. 

1895 — Alexander Corson, Theophilus Corst)n. Upper; 
Joseph C. P. Smith, Charles J. Devitt, Dennis; Townsend W. 
Garretson, A. Carlton Hildreth, Middle; J. Durell Hoff- 
man, William T. Bate, Lower; Albert L. Haynes, William 
T. Stevens, Cape May City; James \\\ Lee, Ocean Cityr, 
Crawford Buck. Sea Isle City; Edward M. Shivers, Angle- 
sea; Charles Bridges, Holly Beach; Samuel E. Ewing, West 
Cape May. 

1896 — Alexander Corson, Theophilus Corson, Copper; 
Joseph C. P. Smith, Charles J. Devitt, Dennis; Townsend 
W. Garretson, A. Carlton Hildreth, Middle; J. Durell Hoff- 
man, Enoch J. Hitchner, Lower; Albert L. Haynes, Robert 
S. Hand, Cape May City. 

1897 — Alexander Corson, Theophilus Corson, Upper; 
Joseph C. P. Smith, Douglass J. Robinson, Dennis; Town- 
send W'. Garretson, A. Carlton Hildreth, Middle; J. Durel3 
Hoffman, Enoch J. Hitchner, Lower; Robert S. Hand, 
William T. Stevens, Cape May City; Frederick P. CanfielcL, 
Lewis S. Smith, Ocean City. 




1<J'J3— Timothy Bianderetb. 

IGJJo — Johu Town^^en(l. 
-1697— Ezekiel Eidredge. 

1700— Edmund Ilowt-ll. 

1701— Caesar Iloskius. 

1704 — Jolin Taylor. 

1705— Joseph Whilldiu. 

1711— Himiphrey Huj^hes. 

1711— Johu Towusend. 

1714— Richard Dowus. 

1715— Robert Towusend. 

1721— Richard Downs. 

1722— Henry Young. 

1723— Richard Downs. 

1740— Constant Hughes. 

1744 — Jacob Hughes. 

174S — Jeremiah Hand. 

1751— Thomas Smith. 

1754 — John Sliaw. 

1757 — Jeremiah Hand. 

17<iO— Ebenezer Johnson. 

17<>2— Henrj- Hand. 

17G5— Sylvanus Townsend. 

17H8— Daniel Hand. 
-1771— Eli Eldredgo. 

3772 -Jonathan Jenkins. 

1774— Henry Y. Townsend. 

1777— Isaiah Stites. 

1780— Richard Townsend. 

17S1— Nathaniel Hand. 

1782- Daniel Garretson. 

17So— Jonathan Hildreth. 

17S4— Rcnjamin Taylor. 

17^7- Fhilii) Hand. 

17SN— H'-nry Stites 

17!)1— Eleazer Hand. 

17: lit — J;i''-ob CJodfrev. 

3 7J7— Jcremiali Hand. 

17;»8— Jonutlian Leaniuig. 
1801— TTu.nias H. Hughes. 
1804— Joseph Hildieth. 
1807 -Cresse Townsend. 
J8l)8— Jacob Huglics. 
1S0!>— Jnshaa Swain. 
1812 — Aaroii Leamiag. 
181.5 — Spicei Hughes. 
181 8— David Townsend. 
1821 — Spicer Hugl es. 
1824- Swain ToM'nsend. 
1827— Thomas P. Hughes. 
18.3(>— Richard 'J'honipson. 
1833—1 ndlaiu Tiei.-ion. 
18.34— Joshua «wain. Jr. 
I S35— Lndla ni I 'ioi-son 
183.5— Samuel Afattliews. 
1838— Samuel Springer. 
1841 — Thoma s Va ngilder. 
1844— Enoch Edmunds. 
1847— Peter Soudei-. 
18.50— Thomas Hewitt, Jr. 
185.3— Elva Corsf)n. 
18.5Ch-William S. Hooper. 
18.5D— Richard I). ^Odriiunds. 
18(52- Aaron Miller. 
lSn.5— John Wilson. 
180S— Anthony Steelman. 
1871— Nelson T. p:idredge. - 
1874— Albeit Adams. 
1878— William H. Benezet. 
1881— Remington Corson. 
1884— William H. Benezet. 
1880— Stillwell H. Townsend. 
1880- James Shoemaker, Jr. 
1889— Charles E. Nichols. 
1892— Robert E. Hand. 
189.5— Andrew J. Tondin. 


cji;:sTY oFy:ci.'.;.>. 


l(!i);V-( ieoi-i> e Ta ylov. 
1(>1)7— Tiuiothv Braiiflretli. 
1705— John Taylor. 
1730 — Aiu'on Leamiuij. 1st. 
1740— Kliiiili Hu2;he,s, S-. 
17(;2 -Elijah Hiig-hes, Jr. ■ 
1777— J ona than Jenkins. 
17(>S— Jercmiali Eldrcdjie. 
1775)- Eli El(lrt'(ls-(-. 

1S:()2-Jeroniiah Tland. 
1804— Abi.jah Smith. 
1824-1^01^1^1 Thompson. 
1S20— 'ev.v Foster. 
ISol— .'. nathan Hand. Sr. 
l^:;'>4- Jacob G. Smith. 
1835 — SAvain Townsend. 
1840— Joiiathon Hand. Jr. 
IsiH)" Edward L. Rict--. 


1723 — Jacob Spicer. 1st. 
1741— Henry Yonna:. 
1708- Elijah Hn.ulies, Jr. 
1787 -Jesse Hand. 
1 7!)3 -J e rem ia h Eldred.2:e. 
17S»0— Elienezer Newton. 
1802— Aaron Eldredi^e. 

1803— Jelui Townsend. 
1.831— Hiimiihrev Learning. 
1852— Elijah Townsend. 
1803— Peter Sender. 
1871— Jena tlian F. Lea mini; 
1877 — \Viniam Hildi'erh. 


1827— Robert M. Holmes. 
1840— Charles Hand. 
1805— Dr. John Wiley. 

1881^— Pavid T. 
1S88— Edmund 

L. Ross. 




-Koltert M. Holmes. 
-Richard Tliompson. 
-l^'ranklin Hand. 
-Henry Swain. 
-Richard Thompson. 

1857 — Henry Swain. 
1802— Richard D. Edmunds. 
18G3 — Dr. Coleman F. Lea nuns 
18811— John B. Huffman. 


-James Town^end. 
-Joshua Swain, Jr. 
-Edward Y. Swain. 

1871— Joseph E. Hushes. 
1873— W. V^ L. Seigman. 
1884— Samuel Towusend. 


ISGO— Maurice Bee.sley, M. D. 
18S1-Rev. Edward P. Shields. 


-Vincent O. Miller. 
-Aaron W. Hand. 


A list of postmasters of Cape May county, and the times of 
their appointments : 

Jtremiah Hand, Jaimary i, 1803. 
Jo-natlian Jarman. July 1. 1804. 
Xathaniel Holmes. February 15, 1808. 
Mark A. Carroll. Augaist 18. 1810. 
jyseph Fifield, August 2y, 1829. 
>mes Hildreth. October 18. 1838. 
John M. Hand, }^ larch 7. 1844. 
Jtr.ues Hildreth. November 12, 1846. 
Elijah Townsend, Jr.. April 19, 1847. 
J-ohn Farrow, July 15, 1853. 
Nicholas A. W'entzell, April 16, 1858. 
James McCartney. September 10. i860. 
Charles E. Nichols, September 21. 1885. 
E,irry S. Douglass. April 17, 1889. 
Cliaries E. Nichols, December 20, 1893. 

EClis Hughes. January 30, 1804. 
Alexander Mackenzie, March 8. 1820. 
Ji^seph B. Hughes, April 4, 1833. 
j\mas Miller, June 18, 1835. 
Jimes Clark. July 7, 1845. 
Ckorge W. Hughes, May 9, 1849. 
Jdm K. F. Stites, July 28, 1851. 
i-^Knuel S. Marcy, January 20, 1853. 
James Clark. March 13. 1857. 
femuel R. Magonagle, December 5, 1859. 
J;)seph S. Leach, June 26, 1863. 
Joseph Ware, July 10, 1866. 
Kame changed to Cape May. January 15. 1869. 

4c(7 histokv of cape may county. 

c.aPe may. 
Joseph Ware, January 15, 1869. 
Jonathan S. Garrison, January 13, 1871. 
Joseph E. Hughes, February 3, 1882, 
Waters B. Miller, March 12, 1886. 
Frederick J. Melvin, April 16, 1886. 
Furman L. Richardson, April 16, 1889. 
John W. Thompson, April 9, 1894. 

George Whitney, June 20, 1882. 
John S. Morris, August 29, 1883. 
William R. Bryant. September 15, 1885. 
J. Monroe Chester, April 17, 1889. 
Lewis Steinmeyer, May i. 1894. 


Alexander W. Springer, March 27, 1876. 

Name changed to Cape May Point, August 8, 1878. 


Alexander W. Springer, August 8, 1878. 
Amnon Wright, September 21, 1885. 
John N. Reeves, May 25, 1889. 
Anmon W'right, July 14, 1893. 

Robert Edmunds, June 20, 18 18. 
Jonathan Cummings, April 16, 1822. 
Reuben Foster, May 20, 1825. 
Robert E. Foster, April 3, 1834. 
Leonard Cummings, October 18, 1838. 
Aaron H. Snyder, December 6, 1886. 
Washington Hemingway, February 15, 1887. 

William H. Burrell, March 2, 1881. 
R. Howard Thorn, October 15, 1887. 
R. Curtis Robinson. April 25, 1889. 
R. Howard Thorn, September 16, 1893. 


Richard Thompson, Jr., June 5, 1818. 
James Maguire, September 18, 1820. 
Bernard Murphy, October 20, 1829. 


Mackey Williams, March 29. 1834. 
James Waters. March 5, 1836. 
Thomas Wible. March 24. 1837. 
James Maguire, July 11, 1840. 
Edward Price. July 7, 1845. 
John W. Swain. April 2. 1853. 
Moses S. Dalbey, December 18. 1856. 
James Wiley. July 13. 1861. 
Griffin Smith, January 30, 1865. 
William Oliphant, May 10. 1870. 
Smith Champion, December 14, 1870. 
Robert P. Thompson. January 25, 1872. 
Edward J, Mixner. Jjuly 2, 1885. 
Anna H. Grace, April 13. 1889. 

Aaron Eldredge, (3ctober i. 1809. 
Daniel Hughes, September 8, 181 3. 
Ezekiel Stevens. October 10, 181 5. 
Joseph Eldredge, June 15. 1849. 
Richard D. Edmunds. February 21, 1855. 
Joseph Eldredge, July 13, 1861. 
John M. Russell, December 7, 1877. 
Harrv B. Marcy, November 13. 1885. 
Joseph C. Eldredge, October 24, 1889. 
Furnian Barnett, November, 1893. 

Jennie L. Osborn, November 26, 1883. 
Frank E. Smith, September 5, 1893. 

Joseph D. Chatten, March 3, 185L 
Joseph Baner, February 7, 1872. 
James A. Chatten, March 6, 1884. 
James C. Ross, October 10. 1887. 
Frank S. Ashmead, June 17, 1889. 

William Stiles, June 9, 1849. 
Chauncey M. Brower, April 9, 1861. 
William Hewitt, August 19, 1867. 
Tabitha Brower, April 12, 1872. 

4(j^ inS'iOUY 01" CAFK ^i.^V COINTV. 

Rockliff .Morris, June 22. 1^82. 
Isaac Swain. Jr.. September 18. 1885. 
~^ George Eklridge, August if, 1889. 
Luther M. Swain. September 5. 1893. 
Xame changed to Swainton, Jul}- 1, 1896. 


Luther AL Svvain, July i, 1896. 


Matthew ]\larcy. August 2^, 1829. 
Ofifice discontinued. March 26, 1836. 
Office re-established, September 9. 1850. 
Seth Miller, September 9, 1850. 
John T. Price. January 12, 1854. 
James W. Johnson, May 14. 1855. 
Matthew Marcy, June 15. 1857. 
William Hildreth, October 3. 1861. 
AaTon Miller, June 9, 1863. 
James T. Miller, June 22, 1870. 
Henry Schellinger, Jr.. February 12, 1886. 

William A. Thompkins, November 19. 1883. 
Sarah D. Thompkins, February i. 1886. 
John J. Sturmer. Jr., July 5, 1887. 
Jason F)Uck. June 17, 1889. 
John Taylor, August 8. 1893. 


Chester J. Todd, I'ebruary 4, 1886. 
Martha G. Kates. January 16, 1889. 

Jeremiah Johnson, October 9, 1802. 
James Diverty, February 8. i8i6. 
Jacob G. Smith. June 19. 1829. 
Jacob Souder. June 14, 1840. 
John L. Chance, January 20. 1848. 
Name changed to Dcnnisville. January 12. 1854, 


John L. Chance, January 12, 1854. 
Richard Crawford, May 30. 1861. 
Francis Williams. March 26. 1869. 


Eleazer Crawford, January 19, 1874. 
John W. Young, July 26, 1880. 
Jonas Shaw, April 23, 1CS6. 
Thomas Ludlam, May 26, 1886. 
Herbert M. Carroll, October 9, 1890. 
Thomas Ludlam, January i. 1895. 
Frank Earnest, January i, 1897. 

WiUiam Doolittle, May 9, 1872. 
Stephen T. Coleman. November 25, 1885. 
Shamgar C. Townsend. August 16, 1889. 
Belle S. Coleman, September 12, 1893. 

Robert Hutchinson, February 24, 1873 
Rhoda L. Hutchinson, July 23, 1877. 
Margaret C. Carll, November 9, 1891. 

James S. Willetts, December 11, 1872. 
Luther Corson, September 30, 1878. 
Eleanor W. Corson, March 29, 1887. 
Amos T. Gandy, April 5. 1887. 
Sallie Young, July 29, 1889. 
Seth W. Corson, October 17, 1893. 

James H. Corson, June 21, 1890. 
Stephen H. Young, February i, 1895. 

George W. Blinn. January 16, 1867. 
Rettie M. Goff, October 8, 1879. 
George W. Blinn, October. 1883. 
Albert T. Peacock, December 12, 1890. 
George W. Blinn, May. 1893 


Jeremiah Hand, September 6. 1856. 
William K. Palmer, October 18, 1867. 
Joseph H. Richardson. June 24. 1873. 
Ichabod C. Compton. August 3, 1885. 
Howard C. Buck. December 6, 1886. 


John Wilson, April 22, 1842. 
Bell P. Wilson, January 5, 1876. 
Asbury Goff, January 23. 1879. 


John Williams, January 14, 1828. 
Edward Middleton, May 11, 1835. 
Mackey Wil!-ams, July 15. 1836. 
Martin Madden, April 2, 1844. 
Hosea F. Madden, March 20, 1846. 
Thomas Williams, April 21, 1848. 
Lewis L. Dunn, July 15, 1853. 
Ephraim Westcott, August 16, 1853. 
Elijah Ireland, January 30, 1858. 
William J. Roval, February 8, 1859. 
Peter Turner, May 9, 1864. 
Thomas M. Seeley, June 4. 1875. 
Charles H. Blizzard, August 29. 1883. 
William B. Brown, August 3. 1885. 
Thomas M. Seeley, May 11, 1889. 
Otis Madden, August 14, 1893. 
Jennie Madden, January 25, 1897. 

Remington Corson, September 7, 1867. 
Baker Corson. December 6, 1881. 
Edwin F. Westcott, September 21, 1885. 
Remington Corson, May 11, 1889. 
Edwin F. Westcott, April 28, 1894. 
Marietta Westcott, March 21, 1896. 

John Gandy, June 9, 1849. 
Tohn Tones. June 29, 1863. 
Ellis H. Marshall, October 18, 1867. 
Thomas C. Sharp, November 25. 1885. 
Ellis H. Marshall, July 23, 1889. 


George W. Smith, July 9, 1888. 
Piatt B rower. 
W^alter G. Smith. 


Godfrey, 1894. 
S. S. Hand, December 26, 1896. 

Reuben T. Johnson. April 7. 1893. 

Charles K. Holmes, September 9, 1850. 
Alexander Springer, September 12, 1870. 
Thomas H. Leaming, November 5, 1874. 
Lizzie N. Errickson, January 11, 1886. 
Thomas H. Leaming, August 16, 1889. 
E. S. Erricson, August 31, 1893. 

Reuben \\\ Ryan, September 14, 1889. 

Peter Corson, April 14, 1856. 
Thaddeus Van Gilder, June 22. 1865. 
Hannah Van Gilder, February 7, 1881. 
William R. Van Gilder, February 13. 1882. 
Harrison J. Corson. August 3, 1885. 
WiUiam R. Van Gilder, April 15, 1889. 
Harrison J. Corson, OctobeR 13, 1893. 

Deborah Carey, J\Iay 13, 1886. 
Maggie A. McPherson, December 6. 1895. 

Howard Goff, July. 1892. 
Isaac W. Dawson, January. 1894. 





ISSr.— Dr. Tliomr.kins. lS90-E(lw:u'd M. SliivtM-.s. 

18S5_Peter J. Muiiro, 181)4— Edwin S. Htnvitt. 

1SS8— Edwiu S. IlfwHt. 

18So^Tohn J. St armor. ]8:);:— Jo,sei)h Dou,iil:iss. .Tr, 

1888— Hewlett Brower. 1 81 H';— Wilbur E. Yomi.u-. 

1800- Edwin S. Hewitt. 

1885— ITdwin S. Hewitt. 1800— Richard D. Shimp. 

]S8G— .Tolui Taylor. 1891— E. Ellsworth Hewitt 

1887— E. Ellsworth Hewitt. 18H7— Thomas Corson. 

1891— Thomas Bi-ay. 

1891— Charles ^L Preston. 

1891— James M. Corson. 1895— Hn.irh II. Holmes. 

1891— Geors-e AV. Kates. 

Cape May City. 

(Presided ovoj- Cov.neil until 1875.) 

1851— Isaac M. ChnreL 
1851— James Clark. 
1853— John K. Church. 
185(1- Joseph Ware. 
1861— Samuel R. Ma.i;onaiii. . 
1802- Joseph Q. Williams. 
1863— Samuel R. Magonagle. 
1S68— Josejth Q. A'\'illiams. 
1869— Waters B. Miller. 

1871- Joseph Ware. 
1873— Waters B. Miller. 
1875— John G. W. Ware. 
1 8 77— Joseph Q. Williaiws- 
ISSl— Frederick J. Melviu_ 
1S85— J. Henry Edmuuil'5_ 
1893— James :M. E. Hildrtirfe. 
1895- J. Henry Edmumis. 
LS97 -James M. E. Ilil.lrttlt. 




■fWt-iv both a iiienibiT oi' Couucil aud Juslice of Itii' T'crav milil 
ISir). but now only a Justice of the I'eacc.t 

.IST)!— AVatt'i-s B. Miller. 
1852— George Strattou. 
1853 — William Cassedy. 
1854— Isaac W. Buck. 
lSf>5— Joliu K. F. Stites. 

185C;— Joseph Q. Williams. 
1857— Cbristoiilier T .eaminj;'. 
1,S5S — Samuel S. Marcy. 
ISOl— George W. iSmitli. 

1862— Cbristopber I.iaming. 
ISGiJ- James S. Kennedy. 
18IJ8— Jobn W. Lycett. 
lS7«-Jobn G. W. Ware. 

1875- Jeremiab. H. Townsend. 

1S75 — Josepb Q. A"\'illiams. 
187(;— Henry ]■'. Dcolittle. 
1S76 — Robert (Jibson. 
1877 — John (i. W. Ware. 
1879- Samuel F. A\'j're. 
1880— Frederic J. AJelvin. 
1881— Jobn G. W. AVare. 
1886— Joseph E. Huylies. 
1888— Jobn G. W. AYare. 
1894— AVilliam T. Stevens. 
1894- F. Sidney Townsend. 
189(5— (' ha rles Sa ndyran. 


(Were l)utli a nieiiiliei- of City Couucil and Justices of the Peace 

until 1.S7.">, since wiiich time they have been City Clerk.) 

IKil— Joseph S. Leacli. 
185?.— Charles T. Johnson. 
1854 — Joseph Ware. 
1853 — William S. Hoopei*. 
18ri(j— William Bennett. 
1858— John V,'. Blake. 
18G0- Joseph Q. Williams. 
1S«;2— Samuel S. Marcy. 
lS(r:f— Thomas B. Hughes. 
18<f;'.— Henry Hand. 
18<;(^Thomai= B. Hughes. 
lS7t— William Eldredge. 

1872— Jtiseph S. I.eacli. 
187:!— Samuel R. Stites. 
1874— Joseph Q. Williams. 
187.J — Richard D. Edmunds. 
187t!— Harry C. Thompson. 
1881— George S. Wai'e. 
1881— Harry C. Thompson. 
188::'.— Samuel R. Stites. 
188.'t — Harrj- C. Thompson. 
1887— H. Freeman Douglass. 
1891— J. Ashtou Williams. 


1851— James S. Kennedy, David Pierson. .John (i. W. Ware, 
Josj'ph Ware. Aaron Garretson, James Mecray. 

18J"»2 — David Pierson. Aaron Garretson, Charles Downs. Lem- 
«el A. Shaw. William Schelli?nger, Lemuel Swain, .Tr. 

1853 — Israel Leaming. Richard R. Thompson. Philip Hand, .Jr., 
William S. Hooper. (Jeorge E. Liidlam. AVilliam Townsend. 

1854 — Richard R. Thompson. David AA'. Piei'sou, AA'ilmon AA'. 
Ware. Joseph S. Leacli. .Jeremiah Schellenger. Isaac AA". Buck. 

1855 — D.-ivid AA'. Pierson. Humphrey I>eaming. Josepli Hall. 
-James S. Kennedy. Maskel AA'are, Joseph Schellenger. 

1856— Daniel C. Ware, Aaron Schellenger. Jr.. John K. T'liun-h. 


Jamess Learning, .ir. (resigned, and Jo.sepli Sclifllenger elected to 
vacancy), John K. F. Stites, Samuel S. Marcy. 

1857— Samuel S. Ma icy. ^yillianl Townseiul. John G. \V. Ware, 
Oeorge Roseman. Joseph Q. Williams. James S. Kennedy. 

lSri8— John (J. W. \\'ai-e. Joseph Q. Williams. Joseph Schel- 
lenger, Joseph S. Leach. Aaron (Jarretson. Thomas B. Hughes. 

IS'ii)— John <;. \\'. ^^■.•lre, Joseph Schellenger, Aaron Ciarretson, 
Alvin P. Ilildreili. V/illiam Schellenger. Daniel C. Ware. 

18(iU— Aaron darretson, Daniel C. Ware. Charles A. Shaw, 
Jeremiah Scliellenger, Alvin P. Hildreth. Thomas B. Hughes. 

1861— Aaron Garretson, Alvin 1'. Hildreth, Enoch Edmunds, 
John West, Humphrey Learning, James S. Kennedy. 

1862— Aaron Gan-etson, James S. Kennedy, John W. Blake, 
George L. Ludlam, George Roseman. Aaron Schellenger, Jr. 

18(i8— Aaron Garretson, Peter McCollum, Enoch Edmunds, 
Joseph S. Leach, Joseph Schellenger, Alvin P. Hildreth. 

1864— Enoch Edmunds, Joseph Schellenger, Wilmon W. 
Ware, James Leaming, Jr., George W. Smith. John <;. AV. Ware. 

18()r»— Enoch Edmunds. Joseph Schellenger, John ii. W. Ware, 
Waters B. Miller, James Mecray, Joseph Q. Williams. 

186(; — Enoch Edmunds, Joseph Schellenger, John G. W. Ware, 
Joseph Q. Williams, Lemuel Swain, Jesse M. Smith. 

1867 — Enoch Edmunds (died, and (ieorge B. Cake put in va- 
cancy). John G. W. Ware, Joseph Q. Williams, William S. Schel- 
lenger. John AVest, Samuel R. Ludlam. 

lS(i8— <4eorge B. Cake, William S. Schellenger, Samuel R. 
l.rdlam. J<ihn W. Blake. James Mecray. Jr.. Samuel R. Magon- 

1869— John W. Blake. Samuel R. Ludlam. Thomas D. Clark, 
James S. Kennedy. James Mecray. Sr.. Richard R. Thompson. 

1870— Samuel R. Ludlam. Thomas D. Clark (died, and Henry 
W. Sawyer elected to vacancy; Sawyer failing to qualify, AVilmon 
W. Wai'e was chosen to vacancy), .lames S. Kennedy, James 
Mecray, Sr., Richard R. Thompson. J. Stratton Ware. 

1871— James Mecray. Sr., Richard R. Thompson, J. Stratton 
Ware, Micajah Smith. William T. Stevens. Matthew Beardwood. 

1872— Richard R. Thompson, Micajah Smith. William T. Ste- 
vens, Matthew Beardwood. John H. Benezet, AVilliam F. Cassedy. 

1873— Richard R. Thompson, John H. Benezet, William F. 
Cassedy, Isaac H. Smith, Nathan C. Price, Christopher S. Ma- 

1874— Isaac II. Smitli. Nathan C. Price. Joseph E. Hughes, 
Richard D. P^dmunds. Jeremiah B. Schellenger, Return B. Swain. 

1875- Isaac H. Smilh. Matthew Whilldin (died, and James S. 
Kennedy elected to vacanc.v). James Mecrav, Jr., Furman L. 


Richardson, James H. Edmunds, James Learning, William Town- 
send. William Bennett. John L. Lansing. 

1876— Isaac H. Smith. JaiDes Mecray. Jr.. Fiirmau L. Richard- 
son. James H. Ednn nds. Janies Learning, William Townsend, 
William Bennett, John L. Lansing. Henry W. Sawyer. 

IS'iWT— Isaac H. Smith, James Mecray, Jr., James Leaming, Wil- 
liam Bennett. John L. Lansing, Hem-j- W. Sawyer, Sammuel R. 
Ludlam, Micajah Smith, Richard R. Thompson. 

1S7S— James Leaming, John L. Lansing, Henry W. Sawyer, 
Samuel R. Ludlam, Micajah Smith, Richard R. Thompson (died, 
and Wilmon W. Ware elected to vacancy), James H. Edmunfls, 
James C. Bennett, Joseph H. Hanes. 

1879— Samuel R. Lualam. Micajah Smith, James H. Edmunds, 
James C. Bennett (resigned, and John Bennett elected to vacancy). 
Joseph H. Hanes, Isaac H. Smith, Christopher S. Magrath, El- 
dridge Johnson, Victor Denizot. 

1880— John Bennett, Joseph H. Hanes, Isaac H. Smith, Chris- 
topher S. Magrath, Eldridge Johnson, Victor Denizot, John Stu- 
art, Henry W. Sawyer, Samuel R. Stites. 

1881— Joseph H. Hanes, Isaac H. Smith. Christopher S. Ma- 
grath, Eldridge Johnson, Victor Denizot, John Stuart, Henry W. 
Sawyer, James Mecray, Jr., William F. Cassedy. 

1882— Joseph H. Hanes. Eldridge Johnson. John Stuart, Henry 
W. Sawyer, James Mecray. Jr., William F. Cassedy. John Bennett. 
Joseph Hand. Robert E. Hughes. 

1883— Joseph H. Hanes. James Mecray. Jr.. William F. Cas- 
sedy. John Bennett. Joseph Hand, Robert E. Hughes, James H. 
Edmunds, Henry F. Doolittle, F. Sidney Townsend. 

1884— Joseph H. Hanes. John Bennett. Joseph Hand, Robert 
E. Hughes, James H. Edmunds, Henry F. Doolittle, F. Sidney 
Townsend, Victor Denizot, Joseph Q. Williams. 

1885— Joseph H. Hanes. Henry F. Doolittle, F. Sidney Town- 
send, Victor Denizot. Josepli Q. Williams, Charles A. Shaw, 
Lemuel E. Miller. Henry W. Sawyer. Charles H. Dougherty. 

188(j— Joseph H. Hanes. F. Sidney Townsend. Victor Denizot, 
Joseph Q. Williams. Lemuel E. Miller. Henry W. Sawyer. Charles 
H. Dougherty (resigned, and Thomas H. Williamson elected to 
vacancy, who afterwards died, and whose seat was then given to 
Francis K. Duke), William T. Stevens, Enos R. Williams. 

1887 — F. Sidney Townsend, Joseph Q. Williams, Lemuel E. 
Miller, Henry W. Sawyer, Francis K. Duke, William T. Stevens, 
Enos R. Williams, Albert L. Haynes, James J. Doak. 

1888— F. Sidney Townsend, .Toseph Q. Williams. Francis K. 
Duke. William T. Stevens, Enos R. Williams (resigned, and Rob- 


hist<;)i:y of cape may corxTV. 

err E. Hughes elected to Y;!e:iucy). Albert L. Hayucs, James J. 
Doak, John Akins. W. Frank Shaw. 

18SlJ— F. SiiliL ;■ Townsend, Joseph Q. Williams, Francis K. 
Duke, William 'V. iSteveus, Albert L. Haynes, James J. Do;sk, 
John xVkins, W. I'raiik Sluiw (sent declared vacant V)ecause -if 
a))sence, and J.- 1.i rt ]•]. Ilu.nlies chosen to vacancy), Josi'ph- 

1890— F. Sidri'v Townsend, Josepli i). Williams. Francis K. 
Duko, "\^■iHiaIll 'l\ St<'vens, James J. lUi.-il-;. Jolm Akins, Joseph 
Hand, Jdsepli 1'. Iicnry. Augustus ('. (Jile. 

1891— F. Sidiu y Townsend. Joseph (}. Williams. William T. 
Stevens, James J. Doak. John Akins. Joseph Hand, Joseph T. 
Henry, Samuel 11. Sliies. Cliarles V. Foster. 

181)2 — Joseph (}. '\'\'illiams, James J. ])oal\, John Akins. Joseph 
Hand, Josepdi P. Henry. Samuel K. Stites. ('harh>s P. Fosler, 
Lewis T. Stevens. Slites York. 

180.3 — James .!. Doak. Jtdm Akii.s. Jiisejih ll.-uni. .Samuel K. 
Stites. Charles P. l''o--rrr. Lewis '!'. Stevens. Slilcs York. ICno:-!! 
W. Hand, Jolin Ilalitin. 

18i)4— JauH'S J. l><>nlc. .Fos(>i)li Hand. Lewis 'V. Stevens. Slites 
York, Enoch W. Hani. .ii>hn Halpin. J.iseidi Hand (jeweler), E. 
Swain Hildreth, Benjamin F. l*oiu.sett. 

]8!)r>— James J. Hoak. Enoch W. Hand. Jolm Halpiu, Joseph 
Hand (Jeweler). K. Swain Hildreth, Benjamin F. I'oinsett. Walter 
S. Leaming, Eldiidge Jolii\son, Joseph IT. Hanes (.resigned, and 
Augustus C. (Jile elected to vacancy). 

13()(;_j;iiues J. Doak. Josepli Hand (jt>weler), E. Swain Hil- 
dreth. Benjamin F. Poinsett. Walter S. Lt'aming, Eldridge John- 
son, F. Sidney Townsend. Stephen B. Wilson, Henry S. KuHier- 

■iyi)7 — James J. Doak, Joseph Hand (jewelry), Walter S. lA^am- 
ing, Eldredge Jolmson, F. Sidney Townsend, Stephen B. Wilson, 
Henry 8. Kutherford, Edward V. Townsend, Joseph Hand, 
(1 rom 1851 to 1875.) 

18.^)1— Charles T. Johnson. 
18.52— John K. Church. 
1S53— Henry Hand. 
1855— Lemttel Swain, Jr. 
ISotv- Alvin P. Hildreth. 
1858- Wilmon V,'. Ware. 
1858— Jesse M. Smith. 
1861— Henry Hand. 
1863- Jesse U. Smith. 
1866— John M. Sullivan. 

1S67— Joseph B. Hughes. 
lSt;8— S.'imuel R. Stites. 
ISCO- Christopher S. Magratb. 
1869— Jesse Mvi 'ollum. 
]871— Samuel R. Stites. 
1871- Richard D. Edmunds. 
1872— George S. Ware. 
187o— Jesse McCollum. 
1874— John W. Blake. 


1875, 70, '77— James Mecray, Jr. 1888— Williaru T. Stevens. 
1778, '79, '80— Joseph H. Hanes. . 1880— F. Siduey Townseud. 
1861, '83, '83- James Mecray, Jr. 1890— Francis K. Duke. 
1884— Joseph Q. AVilliams. 1891— F. Sidney Townseud. 

1885— Chark\s H. Dougherty. 1892, 1893— James J. Doak. 
1886— Lemuel E. Miller. 1894— Lewis T. Stevens. 

1887— Joseph Q. "NMlliams. 1^95, '96, '97— Walter S. Leuniing. 

1851— Lemuel Swain. 1871— Eldridjie Johnson. 

1852- James Mecray. 1S79 — Furman L. Richardson. 

1858— William Stites. 1881— John Henry l^^arrow. 

1860— Eldridge Johnson. 1883— Isaac H. Smith. 

1869— James Mecray, Jr. 1895— Henry Hand. 


1851- Aaron Scliellengcr, Sr. 1883— J. Swain Garrison. 

1852— Aaron Schcllen.^er, Jr. 1884— V.'illiam F. Cassedy. 

1864— Joseph Schellenger. 1885— Albert B. latlle. 

1867— Joseph Q. Williams. 1887— Jeremiah E. Mecray, Jr. 

1808- Isaac H. Smith. 1888— James E. Taylor. 

18^9- Henry Hand. 1890— Albert B. Little. 

1872— Willi-am S. Hooper. 1891— George L. Lovett. 

1878— Thomas H. Williamson. 1894— David AV. Rodan. 


1851— James S. Kennc<ly. 1876— William C. Miller. 

1852— Joseph Ware. 1878- Henry Hand. 

1853— William Cassedy. 1883— Joseph H. Hughes. 

1854— Christopher Leaming. 1884— Henry Hand. 

1855— Joseph Ware. 1891— JosepJi M. S. lielLugcr. 

1856— James S. Kennedy. 189.3— Willim H. Eh\ cU. 

1858— John K. F. Stites. 1894— Charles Sandgran. 

1859— Alviu r. Hildreth. 1894— William H. El well. 

1872— Henry Hand. 1895— Joseph M. Schellenger. 

Ocean City. 


lSS4_(jainer P. Moore. 1895— Robert Fishi-r. 

1890— James E. Pryor. M. D. 1896— Gainer P. Moore. 
1892— Gainer P. Moore. 1897— Wesley C. Smith. 

1894— Harry G. Steelman. 

1884— Simeon B. Milhn-. 1892— Harry B. Adan'S. 

18SJ>— John S. Wag::;<)ner. M. D. 1S94— E. A. Bourgeois. 
1891— Snueou B. Miller. 1897-Ira S. Champion. 



iss^— Reuben Ludlam. 1807— Herbert C. Smith .ind 

B. English. 

1884— Edward Borie, Jr. 1S!)0— Harrv G. Steelmaii. 

188.1— .lames \V. Lee. 1894 --Samuel Schurch. 


1897- San.nel Srluirch. 


1897— Georpe O. Adams. 

Sea Isle City. 


1882— Martiu Wells. 189(5— John G. Woertz (died'. 

1884— Thomas E. Ludlam. 1S9(>— Augustus H. Sickler. 


1882— Jacob L. I'etersou. 1887— R. H. Lee. 

1883— AVilliam H. Davis. 1897— James T. Chaimiau. 

388.-,— William R. Bryant. 

1882— Thomas E. Ludlam. 1890— Robert S. Muller. 

1884— Isaac A. Hues. 1891— Charles H. Clouting. 

1885— Robert S. Muller. 189(i— Charles S. Schick. 

1889— Uriah H. Huntley. 1897— Charles H. Clouting. 

1882- James P. Way. 1888— H. W. Fackler. 

1883— John Telford. 1891— Lewis S. Chester. 

1884— James P. Way. 1895— Daniel H. Wheatou. 

188.5— Lewis S. Chester. 

South Cape May. 
1894— James Ritchie, Jr. ■ 

1894— A. J. Rudolph. 

• 1894— Henry H. Walton. 

Holly Beach. 
1885— Franklin J. Van V*lin. 1891— William E. Forcum.. 
1887— William E. Forcum. 1S92— Fi'auk E. Smith. 

1891)— J. B. Osborn. 



JcS^J^Y''"^ \ ?"''^^- J^90-Marti,i L. Harrison. 

IShG-Charles Bridges. 1891-Charles Brids^es. 

^o^o^J'^"'^"'^ ^^- ^""*^- 1S04-W1 Ilia 111 A. Shaw. 

lSSS-A\iliiam E. Drdrick. ISl»(^CharIes Brid-es 

]88!)-C!iarle.s Bridges. ISOT-Jolm II. Smith. 


,^^^-^-!^?."J'i'"'" ^- Barker. 18!)r.-Williain H. Bri^-ht. 

18d2— W illiaui E. Forcum. 

West Cape May. 
.^?S"l^T"'2 ^'''''^*^- 1890-Johu Spencer. 

leSr^. "" ^^tt"'':^'"- 1892-George H. Reeves. 

189(>-George H. Reeves. 189P.— Saniutl E. Ewing. 

lS84-.Joseph H. Brewton. 1890-AVilliain C. BlaTtner. 


]«QtT''"'^''',,.^VT^''^''^^- lS97-Henry H. Eldredge. 

1895— Aaron W. Hand. 


i?fr~o*'^'' ^J^^'^^J'- 1888-.Tohn Reeves. 

1885-Samuel E. Ewing. 1891-Enos S. Edmunds. 

1895— Latimer R. Baker. 

1895-WilIiam Prentiss. 1897-Jedediah Du Bois. 

1895-Burgher V. Van Horn. 1897-W. H. Washburn. 

189.->-Charles H. Lea man. 1897-Burgher V. Van Horn. 


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

Fkke Colored. QrAKKitN. 







1 ,004 























IS- 5 























014 224 900 





I iflitf , 



it; ni)^ 





t I'j 





;!'n iliili