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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