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the land where Perth Amboy is now found; on February 5, 1663, Governor Stuyvesant made a grant to Nicholas Verlett, of a tract called Hobuk in the Indian dialect; this, undoubtedly, is the modern Hoboken. Many other grants were made of land in New Jersey to various persons, some of which were confirmed by the English authorities when the country afterwards came into their possession. These grants were often accompanied by seignorial rights of lordship and of almost absolute government and all of these were made to Hollanders; for, anxious as they might be to encourage immigration, the Dutch sternly refused to admit any but their own countrymen as settlers within the bounds of New Netherlands.
This name New Netherlands was applied generally by the Hollanders to an indefinite extent of country, stretching from Virginia to Cape Cod and over which they claimed authority. But they never really exercised any control over any part of that undefined country, except what was included within the boundaries of modern New York and New Jersey.
The residents in New England cast longing eyes on the more fertile fields occupied by the Dutch, and made frequent advances towards arrangements for settling among them, but without avail. They even went so far as to make encroachments on the land occupied by the Hollanders. These encroachments and the pertinacious assertion by the English of their better right to the country led to various disputes, which at one time seriously threatened the peace existing between the two nations. The Dutch rejected all advances and met all these demands in the coolest manner, and this increased the animosity of the New Englanders. They complained to the government at home, but with no result. Cromwell was then Lord Protector of England, but he was too much engrossed in strengthening the power of his country on the European continent and in protecting his own authority at home, to pay attention .to these petty squabbles, and turned a deaf ear to the complaints.
While all these disturbances were agitating the two colonies, both English and Dutch, the latter were not unmindful of the needs of the people; courts were established, under patents issued by the governor, in different parts of the country; one especially in New Jersey, which assumed considerable importance in the future history of that province, and to which fuller reference will be made hereafter.
During the time of these transactions in and around New Amsterdam %
attempts were made by the Dutch to colunize the southern part of New Jersey. Several settlements were made, fortifications erected, governors were sent out from Holland and trade begun with the Indians. But ill success followed the colonists; the aborigines were antagonized; the settlements in some instances were attacked, in others abandoned, and the inhabitants massacred. One of the leaders of an expedition, on his return to the mother country, left a village in a prosperous condition, intending to revisit the settlement the next season with additional immigrants and supplies; he did return, according to his resolve, but found the village in ashes and no vestige of its former inhabitants. But notwithstanding all this, the Dutch never relinquished their claim to the whole of New Jersey, until they were dispossessed by the English.
In the time of Gustavus Adolphus, that monarch's attention, and, in a measure, that of his people, was directed towards the American continent, and especially, to the lands in the neighborhood of Delaware Bay, with the idea of establishing Swedish colonies there. Strange to say, the man most prominent in this Swedish movement of colonizing New Jersey was a Holland merchant, named Usselinx and a resident of Stockholm. He was exceedingly earnest in urging Gustavus to aid in furthering the objects of the enterprise, and was so far successful that the Swedish monarch became very favorably impressed with the idea and fully committed himself to its accomplishment. An association called "The South Company" was formed, to which was granted the most liberal terms and the most extensive authority. Its plans embraced three continents, America, Asia and Africa. The king himself entered so heartily into the undertaking that he issued a proclamation to his subjects, exhorting them to accept the offers made to actual settlers, which were of a very enticing character. The company was established on the most substantial basis; plans were laid to raise the sum of two millions and more of rix dollars, an enormous amount of money for those times; a fleet was to be built for the purposes of the expeditions, to be officered by an admiral, a vice-admiral and other naval officials, and every possible means were taken to secure success. The Swedes were sailors inured to every hardship of ocean life; the old spirit of their Viking ancestors still survived and the plan became popular among them. But the Thirty Years war broke out in Germany about that time; Gustavus threw himself heart and soul into the contest and his people enthusiastically supported their heroic king. In 1632 he fell at Lutzen, a martyr to the cause of tolerance. Further operations were suspended and nothing practical was done until several years after Christina, the mad daughter of Gustavus, succeeded to the throne. She was a mere child, only six years old, at the time of her father's death, and inherited none of his better characteristics of mind and nature. The war in Germany still continued after the death of Gustavus, under the leadership of Oxenstiern, his accomplished minister, who, with the whole Swedish people, sympathized with their illustrious master'; and it did not end until the peace of Westphalia in 1648.
In 1637 or 1638 a ship of war and a transport were sent from Sweden under the auspices of the South Company, to the southern end of New Jersey, with a view of forming a permanent settlement. The settlers, among whom were a clergyman and an engineer, landed on the east side of Delaware Bay. purchased a large extent of land, running up to what is now Trenton, made extensive preparations for establishing a city, and built a fort, to which they gave the name of Christina. The town, if there ever was one, and the fort have entirely disappeared; not a vestige of either remains. During the war between England and France, in 1747, a redoubt was thrown up at this spot; and in making excavations about three feet below the surface of the ground, a Swedish coin, of the time of Christina, was found, together with some shovels, axes and other utensils. In 1640 or 1641 other bodies of immigrants came from Sweden and located in New Jersey. Several villages, or perhaps hamlets, were settled from time to time by Swedes, the names of which appear on the maps of that day. It cannot be determined, at this time, whether these were actual settlements, or whether they were merely names given to a single farm, occupied by one family.
In 1641 the Swedes and the Dutch made common cause against a settlement started under the authority of Sir Edmund Ployden, Earl Palatine, already mentioned, and expelled the intruders. But the union did not protect the Swedes from the subsequent assaults made upon them by the Dutch, for, in 1654, Peter Stuyvesant, the governor of New Netherlands, appeared in Delaware Bay with some five or six hundred men and utterly destroyed the Swedish authority, by attacking and demolishing the forts which had been erected by them. The conquest, however, was effected without any bloodshed. After taking possession of the country the Dutch governor proposed such terms that most of the Swedes remained, and their descendants are still there. This was the end of all Swedish governmental control in New Jersey, except an occasional election to minor positions, such as burgomaster and the like. The Dutch were now in possession, nominally at least, of New York and New Jersey, certainly in actual possession of parts of both provinces. There was none within the bounds of the country they occupied to dispute their claim. But now there came on the scene an active and persistent foe of the States General, whose malice prompted him to do what neither his self-interest, nor his duty, as a sovereign, to his state, or to his subjects in the American continent, would have impelled him to accomplish or even to attempt. If Charles II had hated sin and unrighteousness with half the fervor that he did the Dutch, he would have been a better man and made a wiser monarch.
Towards the close of the first half of the seventeenth century, this was the condition of affairs, as to population, in New Jersey: In the northern and northeastern parts of the province the Holland strain predominated very largely, with a slight mixture, perhaps, of Norwegian blood, though this was so slight as to be hardly perceptible; in the central eastern part a few English had crept in by the side of the Dutch, but so few in number that their influence was not at all felt; in the southern districts of the colony the Swedish and Dutch elements had contended for the mastery, and the latter had been successful in the contest, but the majority of the Swedish colonists still remained, and the two nationalities were fighting the battle of life, side by side, in the new land, with the Holland element the more powerful of the two. Here, too, was a small English contingent, with some other smaller elements, perhaps some Norwegians and some few Finns. All the other parts of the province were covered by unbroken forests, occupied by scattered and broken tribes of Indians, fragments of the Lenni Lenapes, who had, at one time, been the most powerful of the aborigines of northern North America, but who had been-conquered and disgraced by their inveterate and relentless foes, the Iroquois.
Grant to the Duke of York by Charles II; Copy of Letters Patent Making the Grant; Attack on New Amsterdam by Col. Richard Nicolls; Attack on Southern Districts of New Jersey by Sir Robert Carre; Subjugation of New Netherlands by the English; Terms Granted to the Dutch on the Surrender; Results of Rule by the Dutch; Grant of New Jersey to Berkeley and Carteret by the Duke of York; Copy of Release; Name of New Jersey—how Derived; Lord Berkeley and Sir George Cartaret; Discussion of Right of English King to Transfer Governmental Authority; Distinction between the Letters Patent to York and the Release by him to Berkeley and Carfaret; Methods Adopted by the English Crown for Government of Colonies in America; Grants and Concessions of Berkeley and Cartaret.
There was peace between England and Holland and Charles had no excuse for declaring war against the government he so hated. He would not, however, wait for any overt act to be committed by his wary antagonist which would enable him to strike Holland through her colonies in America. His New England subjects were clamorous in their complaints, and the opportunity was at hand to attack the Dutch colonies at once. His excuse for this undoubtedly seemed to him to be all that was necessary for his purposed action. The Dutch were in possession of a country to which the right of the English was unquestionably paramount; they had been repeatedly asked to surrender and had defiantly refused; they were therefore mere trespassers, and he, as the lord of the soil, as he insisted, had the right to remove them. Winshould he hesitate? So, on the 12th day of March, 1633-34, he made a grant, called in the legal nomenclature of the day, "Letters Patent," to his brother, afterwards James II, then Duke of York and Albany and presumptive heir to the English crown. As this deed plays a very important part in the civil and judicial history of New Jersey, and as it will afford a specimen of the very best conveyancing of that dav, it is given verbatim el literatim, and in full. A critical examination of it will reveal the singular fact that there has been but little change in the form of deeds of like character from that time until this, except, perhaps, that modern forms have become less verbose.
"charles the Second, by the Grace of God King of England, Scot