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allegiance in 1665. He was admitted as one of the eighty associates, but had little in common with the Puritans who composed the great majority of the first settlers of Elizabeth Town. In 1678, becoming dissatisfied with the puritanic sentiments of his neighbors, he removed to Woodbridge, where he became the owner of several hundred acres. In 1681 he was succeeded by John Reid in his office of Surveyor General. After 1686, he is not again heard of, but disappears entirely from the records of the colony.
James Bollen, of all those who surrounded the Governor, was the most obsequious in his devotion to him. He never failed in doing his master's will, always supporting him in every measure, whether right or wrong. He did not come from England with Governor Carteret, but seems to have joined him at New York, where he had occupied some positions of honor denoting that he was a prominent man there. His entire devotion to the Governor during the troubles with the settlers made him obnoxious to the town's people and he exchanged property with an owner of land at Woodbridge and ceased to reside at Elizabeth Town. He was made a Justice of the Peace by Governor Carteret, besides being Secretary of the Council.
The primal care of the Legislature was the establishment and upholding of the lawful authority of the government; so, the very first act passed provided that if any one should resist the authority established by the Lords Proprietors, Justices, or any other inferior officers, "either in words or actions," should be liable to such fine or corporal punishment as "the Court shall judge upon due examination thereof." This law was very comprehensive and was expressed in the simplest terms possible; but it imposed a great responsibility upon courts, which had not yet been established; for, at the time, there was not a single court instituted by legislative authority in the whole province.
The next act passed was a very peculiar one and deserves some attention. It provided that every male from sixteen years and upwards "should be furnished at their own cost and charge with good and sufficient arms and constantly maintain the same, viz.: a good serviceable gun, one pound of good powder, four pounds of pistol bullets or twentyfour pistol bullets suited to the gun; a pair of Bandalcers; or a good horn and a sword and belt." If any person or persons should wilfully neglect and not provide himself according to the act within one month after publication thereof, he should pay one shilling for the first week's neglect and for every week thereafter the sum of two shillings, by way of fine, to be levied upon his or their goods or chattels. This was partly for the citizen's personal protection, but mainly for the defence of the whole community. There was a necessity at that time that all the settlers should take measures not only for the protection of themselves and of their families, but, also, for that of their neighbors. It was needful too that they should be ready, at any time, fully armed and equipped, to repel attack, to drive off an enemy and render efficient and intelligent aid in any emergency. The act told the story of the need for its enactment; there were wary and unscrupulous foes menacing the life of the young colony, foes who might attack at any time; the men of the province must be ready at a moment's warning to fight for life, for home, for family and for the community. The act implied that all men from sixteen upwards, who were thus obliged to provide arms, weapons for protection and offence, must know how to use them. A gun would be of little use in the hands of an ignorant man who could neither load nor fire it.
The next act related to crimes; provided protection to the community from the consequences of the commission of sins affecting the personal safety, the purity and morality of its members. Arson, murder, perjury, crimes against chastity, kidnapping, burglary, theft, witchcraft, seizing a town or fort, striking or cursing father or mother, night walking, drunkenness in any public place, at unreasonable hours,— after nine o'clock at night;—were the crimes for which punishment was provided by these stern moralists. The nature and character of the penalties imposed reveal the sources from whence they drew their inspiration. They were all based upon the Mosaic code; many of them were taken bodily from that stern system. A thief of goods, cattle or beasts, must make treble restitution for the first, second or third offence, with such increase of punishment as the court might see fit to impose; but, if the thief were incorrigible, then death followed. If the criminal could not make restitution for first, second or third offences, then he should be sold, that satisfaction might be made. The court could also impose such corporal punishment as it deemed proper.
If a child above sixteen and of sufficient understanding either struck or cursed father or mother, death was the penalty; but the awful punishment was tempered with mercy to the insulted parent, for the offending child could only be punished on the complaint or proof of the parent, "-and not otherwise." Sodomy with beast was punished by the death of the offender and the animal was slain and burnt.
Thirteen different offences, according to this code, were punishable with death. The mode in which this penalty was to be inflicted was not prescribed, but undoubtedly it was understood to be that used in the mother country. The thirteen offences for the commission of which the penalty of death was imposed were murder; arson, at the discretion of the Court, however; sodomy with beast; the like offence with man; kidnapping; perjury; incorrigible burglary; invading or seizing a town or a fort; highway robbery; incorrigible thieving; witchcraft: striking or cursing a parent and rape.
It can hardly be imagined that at this early period in the history of the colony and with inhabitants of such character and religious sentiments, it was necessary to pass such laws for the repression of these abominable crimes. They could not have existed among such a people. The Legislature was providing for the future. Such statutes were found to be necessary for the society which existed in the mother country and were recorded on its statute books, and so, these wise builders incorporated them into their body of laws, not for present repression, but to protect the future and to prevent their occurrence.
Having thus provided for the purity and morality of their constituents, the Legislature turned its attention to the government of the province. This subject had received no prior legislative action; nothing could possibly have been done in that direction. It was therefore provided that the General Assembly should meet thereafter annually, on the first Tuesday in November; that the Deputies should be elected in the various towns, yearly, on the first Tuesday in January. To insure the attendance of the members when elected, a fine of forty shillings, quite a large sum in those days, was imposed for willful absence, unless a sufficient excuse could be shown.
The expense of the government, amounting to the modest sum of thirty pounds, was assessed upon the five towns proportionately, according to their respective abilities to pay. The amount so assessed might be paid in produce, the price of which was fixed by statute, then enacted.
The subject of marriage was discussed and arranged. No one could marry without the consent of parents, masters, or overseers, and then only after the publication of banns at some public meeting or kirk, in the place where the parties lived, or at some particular house, fourteen days before the marriage. In this part of the act, regulating marriage, no reference was made to the age of the parties. None but approved Ministers or Justices of the Peace could perform the ceremony and then, only in some public place. The Governor might grant a license to such as were " at their own disposing," or to any other, "under the tuition of their parents, masters, overseers, who were present and consenting thereto." That "beastly vice, drunkenness" did not escape the notice of the Legislature. One shilling fine was imposed for the first time any person was found drunk; two shillings for the second and third time, and for every time thereafter two shillings and six pence. If the drunkard had nothing wherewith to pay his fine, then he should suffer corporal punishment. All unruly persons and disturbers of the peace were to be put into the stocks, until they became sober or during the pleasure of the officer in chief, in the place where the offender was found drunk. Profane swearing was punished by a fine of one shilling, one half of which was to be paid to the informer and the other half to the country. The very last business done by this first Legislature was to provide this: "Concerning taking away of a man's life; it is enacted by this present General Assembly, that no man's life shall be taken away, under any fVctcnsc but by virtue of some Laze established in this Province, that it be proved by the mouth of two or three witnesses." Then the Deputies sent a message to the Governor and his Council that they deemed it important that certain laws which had been sent to them for their concurrence should be passed, "but by reason of the Week so near spent, and the Resolution of some of our Company to depart and the meeting to surcease for the present, and therefore we shall be necessitated to refer the full consideration of them" (the laws sent to them by the Council "for the present, until the next Sessions of this Assembly, which is to be the first Tuesday in November next." This message was assented to by the Governor and his Council and so the Legislature was adjourned until the third of November. lo->S.
Between that adjournment and the day of the next meeting some events transpired which created trouble in the colony and had an important iniluence on the Legislature and the province. There had been some mutterings of discontent among the cititens, jealous of their rights and quick to resent .my inteiercnee with their privileges, which f.nally culminated in disorder and almost open rebell:on.
At f.rst. Governor Carteret made himself cuite popular among the colonists, tiis entrance into the settlement as he landed from his ship, was made in a manner calculated to win the ccnndence and secure the £.»d v\.". oi the settlers. Put it was not long het.i
obnoxious to the people not only of Elizabeth Town, but also, of the adjoiningsettlements. There were many causes of discontent, anyoneof which would, of itself, have been sufficient to create a breach between the Governor and his people.
He was quite a young man when he came to New Jersey and had had very little, if any, experience in the art of governing. He came from the court of Charles II, who, like all the Stuarts, had the most exag gerated notions of the divine right of kings and rulers to govern, and of the unqualified obedience to be required of the ruled. Very little notice is given him by the historians of his time and we are driven to judge of him by his acts. He died in 1682, still quite young. He had married a widow lady from Smith Town, Long Island, who survived him, but he seems to have left no children. In his will, the record of which is still preserved, he made no mention of any heir and disposed of his estate in such a manner as fairly to intimate that he had none.
It is almost impossible to form an estimate of his character as a private citizen, and very little means are afforded by which we can judge of him as Governor. This much, however, is known and cannot be denied; he was arbitrary and dictatorial in much of his public conduct; he estranged the citizens whom he might have conciliated and imposed burdens in a manner which was not at all calculated to win their affections, or to secure their confidence. He seems, however, to have had the power, often possessed, it is too true, by the vicious, of securing and retaining an unselfish devotion from a few immediately surrounding him. There were those in his province who never swerved from their allegiance to him and who served him with unfaltering trust through all his controversies with the people.
He was called upon to rule his province at a most critical time in the history of the young colony; it was in its formative period, when there was no settled law, no binding force of established legislation and when the minds of the colonists were in a ferment. Those who were subject to his rule were not the most pliant and, perhaps, not the most amenable to good government as it might have been exercised by the young Governor, or to the principles of obedience due from the ruled to the ruler; the colonists were jealous of their rights and watched with suspicion any encroachment upon their privileges, especially from a ruler so intimately connected with a representative of the hated Stuart family. To those stern, bigoted Puritans no good could come from any descendant of the beheaded Charles, and they feared and suspected any