Selected Historical Papers Collection




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Entire Collection (1748-1880)
1748-1830 Collection
1830-1880 Collection

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he Cumberland County, New Jersey, Historical Archive extends from before 1748 when the County was established to 1830.  It offers a potpourri of materials taken from 178 archive files and includes, among many other items:

  • a handwritten newssheet from 1775-76
  • speeches by Jonathan and Ebenezer Elmer
  • a Federalist Party poster
  • debtors' bonds
  • currency from the era
  • wills
  • an early church history
  • sermons by local pastors
  • an account of naval action off Cape May during the War of 1812
  • military officers commissions
  • documents relating to slave ownership and emancipation and concerning indentured servitude
  • family letters
  • life sketches of local doctors

The documents have been assigned five categories: political, economic, religious, military, and social.  As an introduction to the 1748-1830 archive collection there are short articles outlining Cumberland County History in each of these five categories which are presented in this site.

Introductory essays found within this digital collection have been written by Jonathan E. Wood of the Cumberland County Historical Society.



Currently Featured Items:

Read about a brief history of an early county church -- Greenwich Presbyterian.  
~ See C-05
Curious about local Tories?  An accusation against a local resident when it is charged he "joined the army of the King of England."  Of great interest is the formal accusation against James Benson.
~ See B-05, R-13
Do specimens of Revolutionary money that were used locally interest you?
~ See C-11
Real life sketches of the earliest Cumberland County doctors.  
~ See C-21
"Take a hogs head, set it on one head, like a stand cask."  Sound interesting?  So begins Allison's Patent of 1803 for purifying wine, liquor, or hard cider!
~ See A-01
A famous first:  Bridgetown's first newspaper (1775-1776).  Actually a hand-written sheet posted in Potter's Tavern in which the crisis with Britain is discussed.
~ See P-08_1
Read Cumberland County legal documents served in the name of the King!  A court indictment of 1774.
~ See C-19
Who were the money lenders, and what were their terms before there was a bank in the county?  Note the provisions made for those borrowers planning to flee to the West!
~ See B-08, D-01, D-12
Read the address given to Recruits for the War of 1812 at Old Stone Church by the Rev. Ethan Osborn.
~ See O-02
Was there schooling for girls?  See the arrangements for the education of Elizabeth Seely in 1801.
~ See S-18
What about slavery in Cumberland County? Read slave sale agreements and emancipation papers.
~ See L-05_1, S-37, S-38, S-39
Check out the letter of Revolutionary Solder Samuel Westcott to his wife during the war.
~ See W-08_1
Learn first-hand what it was like in Deerfield during the Revolution: a personal letter of 1786.
~ See M-06
Like to read a very early maritime record?  See how in 1762 Philip Stathem sells the sloop Sally.
~ See D-14
Read the will of the most famous man in Colonial Cumberland County: Philip Vickers Fithian.
~ See F-04_3