Provincial Congress of New Jersey

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The Provincial Congress of New Jersey was a transitional governing body of the Province of New Jersey in the early part of the American Revolution. It first met in 1775 with representatives from all New Jersey's then-thirteen counties, to supersede the Royal Governor. In June 1776, this congress had authorized the preparation of a constitution, which was written within five days, adopted by the Provincial Congress, and accepted by the Continental Congress. The Constitution of 1776 provided for a bicameral legislature consisting of a General Assembly with three members from each county and a Legislative Council with one member from each county. All state officials, including the governor, were to be appointed by the Legislature under this constitution. The Vice-President of Council would succeed the Governor (who was the President of the Council) if a vacancy occurred in that office.[1][2] The Provincial Congress ceased to function when the first session of the new Legislature convened on August 27, 1776, under the New Jersey State Constitution it had prepared.[2]

1775 Sessions[edit]

The Provincial Congress met in late May, June and August at Trenton. During their sessions in the first week, they elected from their members Hendrick Fisher, as the body's President, Jonathan D. Sergeant, as secretary, and William Paterson and Frederick Frelinghuysen assistants. The members, or "deputies" of the Congress, were received at its first session on 23 May 1775.[3]

Members of the Provincial Congress[edit]

Three Provincial Congress deputies, Abraham Clark, John Hart and the Reverend John Witherspoon signed the Declaration of Independence.

  • X = Attended Session
  • N = Elected but did not attend Session
Name of Deputy or Delegate County May-June 1775 (Trenton)[4] August 1775 (Trenton)[5] October 1775 (Trenton)[6] January-March 1776 (New Brunswick)[7] June-August 1776 (Burlington)[8]
John Fell Bergen X X - - -
John Demarest Bergen X X X X X
Hendrick Kuyper Bergen X X - - -
Abraham Van Buskirk Bergen X X N[9] X X
Edo Merselius Bergen X X - - -
Jacobus Post Bergen - - X X X
Jacob Quackenbush Bergen - - - - X
Daniel Isaac Brown Bergen - - - - X
Joseph Borden Burlington X X - - -
Isaac Pearson Burlington X X X X -
Colin Campbell Burlington X X - - -
Joseph Read Burlington X - - - -
Peter Tallman Burlington - - - - X
Thomas Reynolds Burlington - - - - X
Thomas Fennimore Burlington - - - - X
Charles Read Burlington - - - - X
Caleb Shreve Burlington - - - - X
John Pope Burlington X X X X -
Samuel How Burlington - - X X -
John Wood Burlington - - X N -
Joseph Newbold Burlington - - X X -
Jesse Hand Cape-May X - X N X
Elijah Hughs Cape-May - X N[10] X X
Thomas Leaming, Jr. Cape-May - - - - X
Joseph Savage Cape-May - - - - X
Hugh Hathorn Cape-May - - - - X
Samuel Fithian Cumberland X X - - -
Jonathan Elmer Cumberland X X - - -
Thomas Ewing Cumberland X X - - -
Theophilius Elmer Cumberland - - X X X
Jonathan Ayars Cumberland - - X X X
Ephraim Harris Cumberland - - - - X
John Buck Cumberland - - - - X
Jonathan Bowen Cumberland - - - - X
Henry Garritse Essex X X - - -
Michael Vreeland Essex X X - - -
Robert Drummond Essex X X X X X
John Berry Essex X - - - -
William P. Smith Essex X - - - -
John Stiles Essex X - - - -
John Chetwood Essex X X - - -
Abraham Clark Essex X - X X X
Elias Boudinot Essex X X - - -
Stephen Crane Essex - - - - X
Isaac Ogden Essex X X - - -
Philip van Cortlandt Essex X X - - -
Betheul Pierson Essex X X - - -
Caleb Camp Essex X X X X X
Samuel Potter Essex - - X X -
Lewis Ogden Essex - - X X X
John Cooper Gloucester X - X N X
Elijah Clark Gloucester X X X N X
John Sparks Gloucester X X - - X
Joseph Hugg Gloucester - X - - X
Joseph Ellis Gloucester - X X X X
Thomas Clark Gloucester - - X N -
Richard Somers Gloucester - - X N -
Samuel Tucker Hunterdon X X X X X
John Mehelm Hunterdon X X X X X
John Hart Hunterdon X X X X X
John Stout Hunterdon X X - - -
Jasper Smith Hunterdon X X - - -
Thomas Lowry Hunterdon X X - - -
Charles Stewart Hunterdon X X X X -
Daniel Hunt Hunterdon X X - - -
Ralph Hart Hunterdon X X - - -
Jacob Jennings Hunterdon X - - - -
Richard Stevens Hunterdon X X - - -
John Stevens, Jr. Hunterdon X X - - -
Thomas Stout Hunterdon X X - - -
Thomas Jones Hunterdon X X - - -
John Basset Hunterdon X - - - -
Abraham Bonnell Hunterdon - X - - -
Joseph Beavers Hunterdon - X - - -
Augustine Stevenson Hunterdon - - X N -
Philemon Dickinson Hunterdon - - - - X
John Allen Hunterdon - - - - X
John Combs Middlesex - - - - X
Moses Bloomfield Middlesex - - - - X
Nathaniel Heard Middlesex X X - - -
William Smith Middlesex X X - - -
John Dunn Middlesex X X - - X
John Lloyd Middlesex X X - - -
Azariah Dunham Middlesex X X X X -
John Schurman Middlesex X X - - -
John Wetherill Middlesex X X - X X
David Williamson Middlesex X - - - -
Jonathan Baldwin Middlesex X X - - -
Jonathan Deare Middlesex X X - - -
Lucas Schenck Middlesex - X - - -
John Dennis Middlesex - - X X -
Edward Taylor Monmouth X X X X X
Joseph Saltar Monmouth X - - - -
Robert Montgomery Monmouth X X - - -
John Holmes Monmouth X X X X X
Josiah Holmes Monmouth - - - - X
James Mott Monmouth - - - - X
John Covenhoven Monmouth X X X X X
Daniel Hendrickson Monmouth X X - - -
Nicholas Van Brunt Monmouth X - - - -
William Winds Morris X X X N -
William De Hart Morris X X X N -
William Woodhull Morris - - - - X
Jacob Green Morris - - - - X
Jonathan Stiles Morris X X - - -
David Thompson Morris - X - - -
Peter Dickerson Morris X - - - -
Silas Condict Morris X X X X X
Ellis Cook Morris X X X X X
Jacob Drake Morris X X X X X
Joseph Shinn Salem - - - - X
Whitten Crips Salem - - - - X
Andrew Sinnickson Salem X - - - X
Robert Johnson Salem X - - - -
Samuel Dick Salem X - - - X
Jacob Scoggin Salem X X - - -
James James Salem X X - - -
John Holmes Salem - X X X X
Benjamin Holmes Salem - X X X -
Edward Keasby Salem - - X X -
John Carey Salem - - X X -
Ephraim Lloyd Salem - X - - -
Grant Gibbon Salem - - N[11] N -
Hendrick Fisher Somerset X X X X -
Nathaniel Eyers Somerset - X - - -
John Roy Somerset X - - - -
Peter Schenck Somerset X X - - -
Abraham Van Neste Somerset X X - - -
Enos Kelsey Somerset X X - - -
Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant Somerset
Middlesex
X X - - X
Cornelius Van Muliner Somerset - - X N -
Ruloffe Van Dyke Somerset - - X X -
John Witherspoon Somerset - - - - X
Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh Somerset - - - - X
James Linn Somerset - - - - X
Frederick Frelinghuysen Somerset X X - - X
William Paterson Somerset X X - - X
Archibald Stewart Sussex X - - - -
Edward Dumont Sussex X X - - -
William Maxwell Sussex X X X N -
Ephraim Martin Sussex X - X X X
John Budd Scott Sussex - X - - -
Casper Shafer Sussex - - - - X
John Cleves Symmes Sussex - - - - X
Isaac Van Campen Sussex - - - - X
Mark Thomson Sussex - X X X -
Hugh Hughes Sussex - X - - -
William Norcross Sussex - X - - -
Thomas Potts Sussex - - X N X
Abia (or Abijah) Brown Sussex - - X X -

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The New Jersey Constitution of 1776". Retrieved December 17, 2006.  See also: New Jersey Legislature#Before the Legislature and the Constitution of 1776.
  2. ^ a b "New Jersey Legislature, Historical Information". Retrieved August 12, 2009.  See also: New Jersey Legislature#Before the Legislature and the Constitution of 1776.
  3. ^ State of New Jersey. Extracts from the Journal of Proviceedings of the Provincial Congress of New Jersey, held at Trenton in the Months of May, June and August 1775. Burlington, New Jersey: Issac Collins. (1775) Woodbury, New Jersey: Joseph Sailer (1835) : 3-5.
  4. ^ "List of Deputies who attended in May and June" in Minutes of the Provincial Congress and the Council of Safety of the State of New Jersey (Trenton: Naar, Day & Naar, 1879), 169–170.
  5. ^ "List of Deputies who attended the Session in the Month of August" in Minutes of the Provincial Congress and the Council of Safety of the State of New Jersey (Trenton: Naar, Day & Naar, 1879), 183–184.
  6. ^ "List of Deputies who attended this Session" (October 1775) in Minutes of the Provincial Congress and the Council of Safety of the State of New Jersey (Trenton: Naar, Day & Naar, 1879), 197.
  7. ^ "A List of the Deputies Returned to Serve in Congress" (31 January - 2 March 1776) in Minutes of the Provincial Congress and the Council of Safety of the State of New Jersey (Trenton: Naar, Day & Naar, 1879), 325–326.
  8. ^ "Name of the Deputies" (10 June - 21 August 1776) in Minutes of the Provincial Congress and the Council of Safety of the State of New Jersey (Trenton: Naar, Day & Naar, 1879), 445–446.
  9. ^ supra, 198–99
  10. ^ Supra 198–199
  11. ^ Supra 198–199

Further reading[edit]

  • Kemmerer, Donald L. (1940). Path to Freedom, The Struggle for Self Government in Colonial New Jersey 1703-1776. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • McCormick, Richard P. (1964, 1970). New Jersey from Colony to State, 1609-1789. 1st Edition-Princeton: Van Nostrand; 2nd Edition—New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

External links[edit]