Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
NEW JERSEY, a state of the American Union. The conflicting claims to its territory are elsewhere noticed. (See
—BOUNDARIES. The boundaries assigned by the duke of York's grant were as follows: "Bounded on the east part by the main sea, and part by Hudson's river, and hath upon the west Delaware Bay or river, and extendeth 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 Delaware, which is forty-one degrees and forty minutes of latitude, and worketh over thence in a straight line to Hudson's river." None of the boundaries gave any difficulty except the northern, the location of which was long disputed between New York and New Jersey. It was finally settled by board of joint commissioners, whose decision was confirmed by the two legislatures in February, 1834, and by act of congress of June 28 of the same year.
—CONSTITUTIONS. A grant of political privileges, known as "the concessions," was made by Berkeley and Carteret in 1664-5. It became the organic law of the province, and under it the people had a popular assembly until the revolution. The first provincial congress of New Jersey met at New Brunswick, July 21, 1774, and during the next two years it gradually assumed nearly all the powers of the assembly. July 2, 1776, the provincial congress declared all civil authority under the king to be at an end, and adopted a state constitution, which went into effect without satisfaction of popular vote. The instrument was to be null and void in case of reconciliation between the colonies and Great Britain. It provided for a governor, legislative council and general assembly, one councilor and three assemblymen to be chosen yearly by each country. Members of council were to be worth £1,000, members of assembly £500, and voters £50. The two former provisions soon ceased to be regarded, and the last was evaded by an act passed in 1820, providing that country tax payers should be "taken and deemed to be worth £50." The governor was to be chosen annually by the legislature, and was also to be president of the council and chancellor of the state. He was thus the chief executive, legislative and judicial officer, but in practice his judicial functions entirely outweighed the others in importance, and the governor was really an elective chancellor. The only title claimed by the new state was that of "The Colony of New Jersey," but the provincial congress, July 18, having formally approved the declaration of independence, assumed "the style and title of the Convention of the State of New Jersey." No further changes were made in the organic law, except that, by act of Nov.25, 1790, the permanent capital was fixed at Trenton, and that many of the clumsier features of the constitution became gradually obsolete.
—Early in 1844 the popular demand for a revision of the constitution forced the legislature to call a state convention, which met at Trenton, May 14-June 29, 1844, and framed a constitution, which was ratified by popular vote. It abolished imprisonment for debt, except for fraud; made a residence of one year in the state and five months in the country the only restrictions upon white manhood suffrage; continued the court of chancery, with a chancellor of its own; and vested the government in a senate composed of one senator from each country chosen for three years, in a general assembly chosen annually by the counties in proportion to their population, and in a governor chosen by popular vote for three years. In 1875 a number of amendments were ratified, the principal ones providing, 1. that the word "white" be struck out of the suffrage clause; 2. that the soldiers of the state in federal service in time of war should not therefore lose their votes; 3. that the legislature should not pass special laws on a number of specified subjects; and 4. that the governor should be allowed to veto parts of laws passed by the legislature. A constitutional commission has (1882) proposed further amendments, which have not yet been acted upon by the people.
—GOVERNORS. William Livingston, 1776-90; William Paterson, 1790-93; Richard Howell, 1793-1801; Joseph Bloomfield, 1801-12; Aaron Ogden, 1812-13; William S. Pennington,1813-15; Mahlon Dickerson, 1815-17; Isaac H. Williamson, 1817-29; Peter D. Vroom, 1829-32; Saml, L. Southard, 1832-3; Elias P. Seely, 1838; Peter D. Vroom, 1833-6; Philemon Dickson, 1836-7; William Pennington, 1837-43; Daniel Haines, 1843-5; Charles C. Stratton, 1845-8; Daniel Haines, 1848-51; George F. Fort,1851-4; Rodman M. Price,1854-7; Wm A. Newell,1857-60; Charles S. Olden, 1860-63; Joel Parker, 1863-6, Marcus L. Ward,1866-9; Theo. F. Randolph,1869-72; Joel Parker,1872-5; Jos. D.Bedle,1875-8; George B. McClellan,1878-81; Geo. C Ludlow,1881-4.
—POLITICAL HISTORY. New Jersey, until 1801, was a federalist state, and her governors, senators and congressmen were federalists, though one democratic congressman, Kitchell, was almost continually re-elected during this period. In 1800 the federalists, having control of the legislature and desiring to secure all the congressmen of the state, passes a bill for the election of all the state's representatives by general ticket instead of by districts. The election took place early in 1801, and was carried by the democrats. In the following autumn the democrats also elected a majority of the legislature and the governor, and from that time until 1812 the state remained democratic in all general elections. During the war of 1812 the federalists recovered the state, and in 1812 the electoral vote of New Jersey was cast for DeWitt Clinton. From that time until 1832 the state was continuously democratic; but the division between the two parts was not as virulent as in other states, and some at the nominal democrats of New Jersey were really moderate federalists. The refusal of ex-Gov Aaron Ogden, in 1814, to accept a major general commission in the federal army, on the ground that he had already been commander-in-chief of the army and navy of New Jersey, is an instance of the strong state feeling which then was characteristic of New Jersey politics and politicians, and which gradually led to the jocular assertion that New Jersey was not one of the United States. The electoral vote of the state was cast for Jackson in 1824, and for Adams in 1828, but after that year the two parties in the state were so nearly equal, and the margin between them was so often governed by personal or local questions, that a complete record would take together too much space. In 1832, for example, the electoral vote of the state was cast for Jackson by a majority of 463 in a total popular vote of 47,249; but the legislature and governor chosen were whig. In 1836, 1840, 1844 and 1848 the electoral vote of the state was given to whig candidates. During all this period the legislatures were generally whig, though by a very small majority, but the governors, with the exceptions of Pennington and Stratton, were democrats. In so constantly close a vote the election of congressman by general ticket was certain to lead to a disputed election, and in 1838 the state was thrown into a ferment by an attempt to the whig governor and council to "count out" the successful democratic candidates. (see
—One of the characteristics of the state's voting population is its persistence; the majority in each country changes very little each year, except from the increase of population, greater or less excitement at elections, immigration, or the creation of new countries. Thus, the strong republican countries in 1880, Essex, Camden, Passaic, Cumberland, Gloucester, Morris, Mercer and Burlington, were the counties in which the whigs were accustomed to "roll up" about the same proportional majorities; the strong democratic counties, Monmouth, Hunterdon, Warren, Sussex and Cape May, were proportionally as democratic then as now; and Salem and Somerset were about as doubtful. The exceptions are Hudson, Bergen and Middlesex, all of which were formerly whig or doubtful, but are now democratic.
—For this reason the vote of the state reconciled itself with great difficulty to the revolution in politics which the slavery question introduced after 1850. The whig voters were very unwilling to accept the republican organization, with a new issue, to which they were entirely unaccustomed, and many of them preferred to join their former opponents. On the other hand, political opposition to foreigners, a feeling which is not uncommon in agricultural communities, had been familiar for many years in the state, though never as yet successful (see
—Throughout the war of the rebellion the state was democratic by a heavy majority. Gov. Parker's majority in 1862 was 14,597 in a total vote of 108,017: and there was a democratic majority of thirty-five out of eighty-one members of the legislature. The majority decreased gradually, however, until in 1865 the republicans elected the governor and a majority of both houses of the legislature; three of the five congressman were republican also. Since that time (with the exception of the election of 1872 referred to below) the democrats have elected all the governors and have carried the state at presidential elections, while the republicans have kept control of the legislature, except in 1867-9, and 1876-7, when they were democratic. At the election of 1872 the proportion of democrats who refused to vote was so large that the republicans were almost universally successful: the electoral vote was republican by the unusual popular majority of 15,200 in a total vote of 168,467; and both houses of the legislature and six of the seven congressmen were republican also. The state had five congressmen from 1862 until 1872, and seven from 1872 until 1882. In the former period three of the five were democrats, except in the elections of 1866 and 1870, when the republicans obtained a majority. In the latter period four of the seven have been republican, except in 1872, when their share rose to six out of seven, and 1874 and 1876, when the democrats had five out of seven.
—As a general rule it may be said that the popular vote of the state is republican in the southern part of the state, and becomes more and more strongly democratic as one goes to the north: the exceptions are the extreme northeastern part of the state, where a suburban New York population has made the vote very doubtful, and in the great manufacturing cities, Newark and Paterson, which have been made republican through a desire for protection. (See
—The most prominent New Jersey names in national politics have been those of Wm. L. Dayton. Theodore Frelinghuysen, Geo. B. McClellan, Joel Parker and Winfield Scott. (See those names). Among the more strictly state politicians are the following names: Joseph Bloomfield, the first democratic governor, representative in congress 1817-21; Lewis Condict (whig), representative 1811-17 and 1821-33; Jonathan Dayton, one of the signers to the constitution, federalist representative 1791-9, speaker of the house 1795-9, and United States senator 1799-1805; Mahlon Dickerson, governor (democratic) 1815-17, representative 1817-33, secretary of the navy under Jackson and Van Buren; Philemon Dickerson (brother of the former), representative (democratic) 1833-6 and 1840-41, and governor in 1836; L. Q. C. Elmer, representative(democratic) 1843-5, and justice of the state supreme court 1850-52; Frederick Frelinghuysen, federalist United States senator 1793-6; Frederick T. Frelinghuysen (nephew of Theodore Frelinghuysen), republican United States senator 1866-9 and 1871-7, and secretary of state under Arthur; John Hill, republican representative 1867-73 and 1881-3; Littleton Kirkpatrick, democratic representative 1843-5; William Livingston, the state's first governor, and one of the signers to the constitution; Wm. A. Newell, whig representative 1847-51, governor 1857-60, republican representative 1865-7, candidate for governor in 1877, and governor of Washington territory 1880-84; William Pennington, whig governor 1837-43, and republican representative and speaker of the house 1859-61; Theo. F. Randolph, governor (democratic) 1869-72, and United States senator 1875-81; Geo. M. Robeson, secretary of the navy under Grant, and republican representative 1879-83; Saml. L. Southard, democratic United States senator 1821-3, secretary of the navy 1823-9, and whig United States senator 1833-42; John P. Stockton (brother of Robt. F. Stockton), minister to Rome 1858-61, democratic United States senator 1865-6 and 1869-75; Richard Stockton, federalist United States senator 1796-9, and representative 1813-15; Robert F. Stockton (son of the preceding), commodore in the navy (see
—See 2 Poore's Federal and State Constitutions; Mulford's History of New Jersey; Whitehead's East Jersey (to 1703); R. S. Field's Provincial courts of New Jersey C.C. Haven's Thirty Days in New Jersey Ninety Years Ago; Arnold's New Jersey Biographical Sketches (1845); Sedgwick's Memoir of William Livingston; T.F. Gordon's History of New Jersey (to 1789); L. Q. C. Elmer's Reminiscences of New Jersey; Journal of the Constitutional Convention of 1844; 18 Democratic Review. 244; Carpenter's History of New Jersey (to 1853); Taylor's Annals of the Classis of Bergen; Foster's New Jersey and the Rebellion; Winfield's History of Hudson County; Hatfield's History of Elizabeth and Union County; Sypher and Apgar's History of New Jersey (to 1870): Raum's History of new Jersey.
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