Archive for January, 2014

Online Primary Sources for American History: New Jersey Boards of Proprietors

The East Jersey Proprietors and its western counterpart were the first landowners in the British colony of New Jersey and governed the colony for the first forty years before surrendering that right. (Come here to see the charters of incorporation and commissions.) The East Jersey Proprietors lasted as an entity until 1998; the West Jersey Proprietors still exists along with the land it owns. A very informative Using the Records of the East and West Jersey Proprietors is available from the NJ State Archives; abstracts from Colonial Land Surveys and Warrants, 1670-1727 can also be accessed. In addition, The minutes of the Board of Proprietors of the Eastern Division of New Jersey, a four-volume set covering the years 1685 to 1794 is online. Land disputes, quit-rent payments, tract surveys, divisions of property – are all found in these tomes; illustrious names of famous New Jersey families are interspersed through these annals that come equipped with extensive indexes. The Bi-centennial celebration of the Board of American Proprietors of the Eastern Division of New Jersey (1885) provides historical context as does this 1962 monograph by John Pomfret The Province of East New Jersey, 1609-1702, the Rebellious Proprietary.

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Today in New Jersey History – January 28

On this day in 1811, Charles Stewart Boggs was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He entered the United States Navy as a midshipman in 1826 and served until he retired as a rear admiral in 1872; he died in New Brunswick in 1888. He served in both the Mexican War and the Civil War, earning distinction in the latter conflict on the Mississippi at the Battle of Forts Jackson and St Philip that led to the surrender of New Orleans. The USS Boggs is named in his honor. Biographical information is available: USS   Naval Historical Center; The records of living officers of the U.S. navy & Marine corps : compiled from official sources, 3d ed, rev, 1878; Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, series 1: volume 18 (deals with the aforementioned battle); Dewey and Other Naval Commanders (1899); and The New-York Tribune (his obituary).

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British Royal Household’s Failing Finances

According to the House of Commons’ The Sovereign Grant report, the royal household only has $1.6 million in reserve, 39% of the property it holds is in deteriorating condition, and it needs to generate more income while decreasing expenditures. The BBC and The Guardian have stories on this parlous state of affairs.

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President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address

The video and transcript of his speech are online. For a brief history of this now-annual event, please read this previous blog entry. Politicians from both sides have offered their opinions/reactions on the speech. NPR, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Brookings Institution have special features on the SOTU. Of course, The New York Times and The Washington Post provide reportage. To review the veracity of President Obama’s statements, please read Facts of the Nation from FactCheck.org.

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Economic Crisis – January 2014 Update

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National Security Reports – January 2014 Update

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Environmental Risks Among Highest in WEF Report

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has just issued its Global Risks 2014. Environmental concerns appear three times in the top ten risk list: water crises (#3); failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation (#5); and greater incidence of extreme weather events (#6). As the report states: “This illustrates a continued and growing awareness of the global water crisis as a result of mismanagement and increased competition for already scarce water resources from economic activity and population growth. Coupled with extreme weather events such as floods and droughts, which appears sixth on the list, the potential impacts are real and happening today.” (5) This is followed by an analysis from the Global Agenda Council on Water Security.(Its site is here.) This document just reinforces the importance of water security in the world. TowersWatson issued its Extreme Risks Report in 2013 where water scarcity was at the top of its list as well.

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