Imatges de pàgina

brated Barclay. In 1680 the colony of New Jersey separated from that of New York, and chose an annual assembly for its government. In 1681 the commissioners published their regulations for settling lands. In 1682 a large ship of 550 tons arrived with 360 passengers. It appears that little progress had been made at this time in agriculture, for the inhabitants were distressed for food. (Smith, p. 131.) In 1683 Robert Barclay, author of the Apology, was appointed governor for life by the twelve proprietors. The province, by the mutual agreement of the proprietors, was ceded to the crown in 1702, and afterwards re-united to New York, from which it was again separated in 1736, and a particular form of government established which continued till the revolution. Though more favourably situated, in some respects, than New York, its progress was much less rapid. Before the peace of Utrecht, (1713,) the whole population did not exceed 16,000, of whom 3000 were capable of bearing arms.

The battles of Trenton and Princeton, which were fought in 1776 and 1777, chiefly by the Jersey militia, arrested the progress of British arms, and prepared the way for American independence.

Civil or Administrative Division of the State of Jersey, with the Population of each County and Town, in 1810, the year of the late enumeration.

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Constitution. The constitution was established by a provincial congress held at Burlington in 1776, and has since suffered no other alteration than the substitution of the word state for that of colony. The power of making laws is vested in a legislative council and general assembly; and the executive power is lodged in a governor chosen annually by the joint vote of the council and assembly, at their first meeting after their election.

The Legislative Council is composed of one member, the General Assembly of three, from each county, chosen by a plurality of votes of the free inhabitants who have property to the value of L. 50 proclamation money, and who shall have resided a year at least in the county in which they have a right to vote. The qualifications of members of the council are, 1st, To have been freeholders and inhabitants of the county twelve months previous to the election. 2d, To be possessors of real estate to the value of L. 1000. Before taking his seat each member swears that he will not assent to any law repealing annual election and trial by jury, nor to any law, vote, or proceeding, contrary to

the constitution, or injurious to the public welfare. Members of the assembly must possess a clear estate, real and personal, of L.500. The assembly choose their own speaker and other officers, are judges of the qualifications of their members, and empower the speaker to convene them when any extraordinary occurrence renders it necessary. The governor is president of the council, and has a casting vote in their proceedings. He is chancellor of the state, and commander in chief of the militia, or other military force. The vice-president is chosen by the council, and takes the place of the governor in his absence. The governor and council form a Court of Appeals in questions of law, and have the power of granting pardon to criminals after condemnation in all cases of treason, felony, or other offences. The acts of assembly, and the common and statute laws in use before the revolution, remain in force, till altered by the legislature, except such parts as are inconsistent with the constitution.*

Judiciary. The judges are appointed by the council and the assembly; those of the Supreme Court

* We have not been able to procure a statement of the expence of the state government. Before the revolution the governor's salary was generally L. 50 a-year, paid in country produce, at prices fixed by law, and sometimes four shillings a day besides, to defray his charges while a session was held. The members of the council and assembly had each three shillings a day during their sitting. The rates for public charges were levied at two shillings per head for every male above fourteen years of age. The salary of the chief justice of the supreme court was L. 150 per annum; that of the second and third justice L. 50 each; of the judges holding the circuit courts L. 10.-(Smith's History.)

for seven years; those of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas for five; which is also the term of service or clerks, the attorney-general, and provincial secretary. These officers are commissioned by the person who administers government; but they may be re-appointed, and are also liable to be dismissed, if, upon being impeached by the assembly, they are adjudged by the council to be guilty of misconduct. The treasurer remains in office for one year only.

Justices courts, which are held by one justice of the peace, have jurisdiction in cases not exceeding 100 dollars, with the right of appeal to the Court of Common Pleas, which consist of an indefinite number of judges, and is held four times a-year. The Crphan's Courts, or Courts of Probate, composed of the judges of the Common Pleas in each county, are held four times a-year. Courts of Oyer and Terminer, composed of a judge of the Supreme Court, and two or more judges of the Common Pleas, are held twice ayear during the sittings of the circuit courts in each country, where a judge of the Supreme Court always presides. The Supreme Court, consisting of three judges, sits four times a-year at Trenton. The Court of Chancery, a Court of Law and Equity, of which the governor is sole judge, is also held at the same place four times annually. The High Court of Appeals, consisting of the governor and legislative council, sits twice a-year at the seat of government. The number of attornies at law in 1811 was seventy-nine.

The common law of England, and also the statute law, when not repugnant to the principles of the char

ter, and the right of trial by jury, have been retained, though subject to alterations by the legislature. In all the courts the rules of the English law are generally observed. The estates of persons who have been guilty of suicide are not forfeited, but descend to the lawful heirs. (16th, 17th, and 23d articles of the Constitution.)

The judiciary officers of the United States for New Jersey are:

A judge, with a salary of
An attorney, with

A marshal,

A clerk,

1200 dollars.




Before the revolution, there were seven different courts: 1. Of chancery; 2. The governor and council; 3. The prerogative court, relating to the probate of wills, and granting letters of administration on intestate estates; 4. Courts of vice admiralty; 5. Supreme courts, holden four times a-year through the counties; 6. The sessions and courts of common pleas, for business in the respective counties; 7. The justices' court, for trial of causes of six pounds and under, in a summary way. For debts above forty shillings, a jury of six persons was allowed, the governor being chancellor. (Smith, p. 500.)

Military Force.-The governor, and in his absence the vice-president of the council, is commander in chief of the military forces. The captains and all other inferior officers are chosen by the companies in the re

* Register of the United States, p. 14.

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