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~ Early History of Perth Amboy ~
Colonial America Europe American Revolution New Jersey Other Titles

Early History of Perth Amboy
by William A. Whitehead
(D. Appleton & Co., 1856) 364 pages, 6.13MB
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Andrew M. ShermanThis classic local history chronicles the settlement of Perth Amboy, Woodbridge and Piscataway from the early 1700s through the Revolution. The narrative begins with the earliest records of grants and habitation in the area and its appointment as the capital city and primary port of the proprietary colony of East Jersey. Detailed discussions of the primary families and their descendants as well as the public institutions that served the community follow. Considerable effort is devoted to recording occurrences during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution, including accounts not to be found in any other historical work. Although rarely seen and never republished, this book is one of the most frequently-cited histories of New Jersey's colonial period.

Originally published in 1856 as "Contributions to the Early History of Perth Amboy and Adjoining Country - With Sketches of Men and Events in New Jersey During the Provincial Era," this work was Mr. Whitehead's first effort to combine anecdotal and manuscript sources with official public records. Over the course of the next sixty years, Whitehead would earn the reputation as New Jersey's foremost historian, writing dozens of historical essays for the "Proceedings" of the New Jersey Historical Society and editing several key volumes of the "New Jersey Archives."

This masterfully crafted and unabridged eBook includes all of the original illustrations, maps and portraits. The higher-resolution maps of Perth Amboy are freely downloadable below.

The Digital Edition (Adobe PDF 1.4) is published in portrait orientation; fully-searchable, fully-printable.


Original Perth Amboy Plan
Map of Perth Amboy as Originally Laid Out
(PDF 5.21Mb)
Perth Amboy 1823
Map of Perth Amboy as it was in 1823
(PDF 3.81Mb)
Frontispiece: Gov. William Franklin
Governor William Franklin
Royal Barracks, Perth Amboy
Perth Amboy Barracks
completed 1759, demolished c.1783

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The selection of the site–Origin of the name of Amboy–Proposals for building and peopling the Town–Plans of Samuel Groom and Gawen Lawrie–Views of the Proprietaries in reference to the Seat of Government

Thomas Rudyard, Gawen Lawrie, Samuel Groom, William Haige, William Dockwra, Benjamin Clarke, George Keith, The Campbells, The Scotch Immigrants by the "Henry and Francis," John Forbes, James Emott, John Barclay, Stephen and Thomas Warne, Thomas and Robert Fullerton, John Reid, Miles Forster, David Mudie, Garret and Walter Wall

Its first Charter–Its progress under it–Notices of the place by different writers–Its second Charter–Last act of Incorporation–Population at different times

None of the original families left–Causes of the change–The Gordon Family–The Johnstone Family–The Sonmans Family–The Willocks Family–The Lyell Family–The Harrison Family–The Kearny Family–The Farmar Family–Elias Bland–The Skinner Family–The Nevill Family–The Barberrie Family–The Watson Family–The Parker Family–Thomas Bartow–The Sargant Family–The Stevens Family–The Bryant Family

Robert Hunter–William Burnet–John Hamilton–Francis Bernard–Thomas Boone–William Franklin

Protestant Episcopalians—Presbyterians–Baptists—Metliodists–Roman Catholics

The Town or Court House–Jails–The Stocks–The Old Market–The Barracks–The Office of Provincial Records–Brighton House–Inns and Taverns–The Spa–The Cove–Tower Hill–The Wreck of the Caledonia

Early routes and roads through the Province–Ferries at different points–Transmission of the Mails–Establishment of Post Offices–The Carriage of Passengers and Transportation of Merchandise–Different Stage Routes–Intercourse between Newark and New York

Early Educational Schemes–Commercial Projects–Fairs and Races–The Public Bathing Day–Fires and Engines–The Pirates and Their Hidden Treasures–Slavery–Lotteries

Operations of the Armies in the district of country north of the Raritan–Predatory Excursions–Local Incidents

Its Settlement and subsequent History–Allotment of land among the Settlers–Their names–Lists of the Deputies to the General Assembly and of Town Officers–Notices of the Old Families–Historical Sketches of the Presbyterian and Episcopal Congregations–Educational Scheme–Appropriations for Schools and for Support of the Poor–Miscellaneous Items

List of the Settlers–Their respective quotas of land–The Town Officers–Religious Congregations–Extracts from the Town Books,&c.

ILLUSTRATIONS: Map of Perth Amboy as Originally Laid Out; Map of Perth Amboy as it was in 1823; Portrait of Governor Franklin; Portrait of John Watson, the Painter; Portrait of Rev. Edward Vaughan; Portrait of Governor Burnet; The Seal of the Eastern Proprietors; The Seal of Perth Amboy; George Willocks' Residence; The Graves of the Billop Household; View of the Parker Mansion; View of Old St. Peter's Church; The Presbyterian Church; The Baptist Church as First Built; The Methodist Church; The Old Court House; The Old Jail; The Old Market; The Barracks; The Office of Provincial Records; Brighton House; The Long Ferry Tavern; Trinity Church, Woodbridge

Alexander, James; Allen, John; Allen, Rev. John; Allen, Jediah;Anderson, John; Andrews, Rev. Josiah B.; Andrews, Solomon; Aswell, Ned; Allison, Richard; Antill, Edward; Arnold, Robert; Arnold, John; Arnold, Benj. F.; Angus, Captain John; Angus, Samuel; Asbury, Francis; Ayres, Obadiah;B.:; Baldwin, Jesse; Ball, Edward John; Ball, Ezekiel; Barber, Major F; Barberrie, Peter; Barberrie, John; Barberrie, Lambert; Barberrie, Oliver;Barberrie Family; Barclay, Robert; Barclay, David; Basse, Jeremiah; Barton, Rev. Wm. B.; Bartow, Thomas; Bland, Elias; Bland Family; Bradford, William; Brazier, Francis; Beach, Rev. Abr'm; Beeker, Captain; Belcher, Governor; Bell, Andrew; Bend, Rev. Joseph J.; Bernard, Gov'r Francis; Berry, Henry; Berry, Henry, Jr.; Brewster, John; Beman, John; Berrien, John; Billop, Christopher; Bingley, William; Bishop John; Brinley, Edward; Brinley, F. W.; Boacker, John; Bodine, Peter; Bogs, Lawrence; Bollen, James; Boltwood, L. M.; Bonham, Hezekiah; Bonham, Nicholas; Boone, Gov'r Thomas; Boudinot, Elisha; Bloomfield, Dr. Moses; Bloomfield, Joseph, (Governor); Bloomfield, John; Brook, Rev. Mr.; Brown, Rev. Isaac; Brown, Mrs. Sophia; Browns, William; Brown, John; Broughton, John; Buchanan, George; Buckaloo, Frederick; Bunnell, Judge; Bunnell, Isaac; Burdge, Uriah; Burnet, Governor William; Burnet, William; Burnet, John; Butler, Anthony; Bruen, Thomas; Bruen, Alex. M; Bruen, Matthias; Bryant Family; C.: Cairns, (Carnes), Alexander; Campbell, Lord Neil; Campbell, John; Campbell, Archibald; Campbell, Rev. Colin; Campbell, Margaret; Carré, Louis; Carteret, Philip; Chandler. Rev. T. B; Chapman, Rev, James; Clarke, Benjamin; Clarke, John; Craig, Ursula; Crawford, John V.; Cluck, John; Chipchase, Rev. James; Crips, William; Cockburn, John; Coker, Thomas; Colden, Cadwallader; Compton, George; Compton, James; Compton, Mary; Conger, John; Conway, Captain; Cooke, Rev. Samuel; Cooper, David; Cooper, Dr. Miles; Cooper, Thomas A.; Corbett, Thomas; Cornbury, Lord; Cory, Rev. Benj'n; Cosby, Gov. William; Coxe, Daniel; Cromwell, John; Cross, Rev. John; Crowell. David; Crowell, Joseph L.; Cuming, Rev. F. H.; Cumming, John N.; Curtting. Rev. Mr.; Cuyler Henry; D.: ; Dayton, Elias B.; Drake, George; Drake, Simeon; Deare, John; Deare, Jonathan, (Major; Deare, Stephen; Delvey, John; Dennis, Samuel; Dennis, Robert; Desbrow, Griffin; Dessigny, Peter; Dexter, Lady Barney; Dickinson, General; Doby, John; Dobbin, James; Dockwra, William; Dodsworth, John; Douglas, Rev. Wm.; Dun, Hugh; Dundas, James; Dunham, Edward; Dunham, Edward W.; Dunham, Elijah; Dunham, Benj.; Dunlap, Wm.; Duyckink, Major; E.: ; England, Poole; Everard, Sir Richard; Eier, William; Elliott, Andrew, 141.; Emott, James; F.: ; Faesch, John Jacob; Faitout, Aaron; Fairholme, Johnston; Farquerson, Alex'r;Farley, Henry; Farmar, Samuel; Farmar, Jasper; Farmar, Thomas; Farmar Family; Frazer, John; Frazer, Dr. Thomas; Franklin, Benjamin; Franklin, Governor William; Franklin, William Temple; Fenwick, John; Fletcher, Rev. Seth; Freeman, Thomas; Fitz Randolph, Capt. Nath'l.; Forbes, Arthur; Forbes, John; Forbes, Cleaveland A.; Forbes, Joseph D.; Ford. Samuel R.; Ford, Edwin; Ford, Wm. J.; Ford, Charles; Forster, Miles; Frost, William; Fox, Thomas; Fox, John; Fullerton, James; Fullerton, Thomas; Fullerton, Robert; G.: ; Gage, Family of ; Gates, Gen'l Horatio; Gascrie, John; George II, King; Greenland, Henry; Gibb, John; Gifford. Archer; Gilman, Charles; Gilman, John; Gillmer, Rev. David R.; Gilpin, Rev. Edwin; Griffith, Benjamin; Griggs, Richard; Griggs, John; Goelet, Peter; Golding, Joseph; Golding, Lewis; Gordon, Charles; Gordon, Thomas; Gronovius the Botanist; Gordon Family; Groom, Samuel; H.:; Haige, William; Hale, Sarnuel; Hall, William; Hall, Eber. H.; Hall, Edward J.; Haliday, Rev. Thomas; Halsey, Rev. Job F.; Halsted, Matthias; Halsted John; Hamersley, Andrew; Hamersley, L. C.; Hamilton, John; Hamilton, Gov. Andrew; Hamilton, Wm.; Hamilton, Charles; Hampton, John; Hardenbergh, Jacob R.; Hardy, Gov. Josiah; Hart, Thomas; Harped, Gilman; Harriman, Rev. John; Harriott, James; Harriott, Samuel; Harrison, John; Harrison Family; Harrison, William; Harrison, Wm.; Hawks, Rev. F. L.; Hay, Andrew; Hay, Adam; Haynes, Jonathan; Hazard, Aaron; Heard, Gen. Nathaniel; Heard, General John; Heard, John; Heathcote, Caleb; Henderson, Rev. Jacob; Henderson, Rev'd Matthew H.; Henry, Michael; Herriott, John; Hicks, Whitehead; Hicks, William; Hodgson, William; Hooper, Robert Lettice; Hooper, James; Hornblower, Josiah; Howe, General; Howell, Captain, 326.; Bode Family; Hude, James; Hude, Adam; Hughes, Rev. Philip; Hughes, Richard; Hull, Thos. M.; Hull, Benjamin; Hull, Hopewell; Hunter, Governor Robert; Haley, Elisha; I.: ; Ireland, John; Iseltine, Isaac; Iseltine, Matthew; Isleton, Jacob; Inglis, Thomas; J.: ; Jackson, William; Jamison, David; Jaques, Henry; Johnstone, John; Johnston, Andrew; Johnstone Family; Johnston, Heathcote; Johnston, John L.; Johnston, John; Johnston, Lewis; Johnson, Col. Robert G.; Jones, Rev. Alex'r, D.D.; Jones, Rev. Henry V.; Jones, Rev. Jasper D.; K.: ; Kearny Family; Kearny, Philip; Kearny, Ravaud; Kearny, Michael; Kearny, James Hude; Kearny, Lawrence; Keene, Charles; Keith, George; Kennedy, Archibald; Kemble, Peter; Kent, Stephen; Ker, Walter; Ker, Rev. Nathan; Ker, Rev. Jacob; Ker. Samuel; Kidd, William; Killingworth, Rev. Thomas; King, William; King, Robert; Kinsey, Benj. D.; Knight, Madame,; Knowles, Thomas; L.: ; Lawrence, Dr. John; Lawrence, Judge; Lawrence, Etlingham; Lawrence, Jonathan H.; Lawrie, Gawen; Leacock, Rev Humble J.; Leigh, James; Lent, James; Leonard, Samuel; Leslie, George; Lewis, John; Livingston, Chancellor; Little, George; Livingston, William, Governor; Lockhart, George; Logan, Mr., of Philad'a.; Loggans, Thomas; Longstreet, Captain; Loofborrow, John; Lovelace, Governor, Lord; Lowe, Cornelius; Lyell, Fenwick; Lyell Family; Lyric, James; Lytheby, Capt. Philip; M.: ; Madison, James; Maginnis, Capt. Robert; Makemie, Rev'd Francis; Mandeville, Betioni; Manning, John; Marsh, Hugh; Marsh, Eliae; Marsh, Joseph; Marsh, Thomas G.; Martin, Jeremiah; Martin, John; Martin, Rev. Wm. M.; Martin, Luther, of Baltimore,; Matthie, John; Maurice, Benjamin; Maurice, Charles F.; Meiss, Henry; McKean, Rev. Robt.; McLellan, Robert; Mercer, Archibald; Mercer, William; Meredith, Captain; Merritt, George; McIlvaine, Bishop; Mills, Rev. Henry; McKnight, Rev, Charles; Moore, Rev. Thorowgood; Moore, Capt. John; Moore, Rev. Richard C.; Moore Matthew; Moores, Samuel; Moore, Samuel; Morgan, General; Morgan, James; Morris, Governor; Morris, Chief Justice; Morton, Rev. Andrew; Montgomerie, Governor; Munson, Medad; Mudie, David; Mundy, Zadoc; N.: ; Neilson, William; Nevill, Family; Nevill, Samuel; Nevell, John; Nicholls, James A.; Nicholls, William; Niven, William; Noe, David; Nugent, Sir George; O.: ; Ogden, David; Ogden, Robert; Ogden, Col. Samuel; Ogden, Gabriel; Ogden, Capt. Jonathan; Ogden, Josiah; Ogden, Captain; O'Brien, Daniel; Ogelly, Rev, Fred'k; Ormston, Joseph; Odlum, Digby; P.: ; Paine, Jedediah; Palmer, Joseph; Palmer, John; Palmer, Rev. Mr.; Palmer, Robert; Parker Family; Parker, Elisha; Parker, James (1); Parker, James (2); Parker, James (Printer); Parker, John, Colonel; Parker, John.; Paterson, William,; Paterson, S. V. R.; Paten, James; Pattersone, Rev. Thomas; Partridge, Richard, Colonial Agent; Pratt, Rev. H. E. E.; Putland, Heron; Perth, James Earl of; Perthuck, Rev. Edw'd; Pettit, Charles; Preston, Rev. John; Pierce, Daniel; Pierce, Joshua; Pierson, Daniel; Pierson, Caleb C.; Pierson, Rev. Abra'm, Jun'r.; Pierson, Rev. John; Pike, John; Pike Family; Pinhorne, William; Pintard, John; Q.: ; Quin, Rev. Thomas; R.:; Randall (Fitz Randolph), Capt; Rattoone, John; Rattoone, Robert; Read, Joseph; Reading, John; Reckless, Joseph W.; Redford Andrew; Reed, Bowes; Reid, John; Rigg, Margaret; Riggs, Rev. Elias; Riddell, Rev. Archibald; Ritchie, John; Robinson, Coronel Beverley; Robinson, Sir Wm. Henry; Rodgers, John R. B.; Roe, John; Roe, Rev. Azel,; Rogers, Robert; Rolph, Hannah; Ross, Dr. Alexander; Rowland, Rev. John Hamilton; Rudyard, Thomas; Rudyard, John; Rusco, Captain; Russ, W. S.; Rutgers, Harmanus; Rutherfurd, Walter; Rutherfurd, John; S.: ; Salsbury, Rev. Benj.; Sargant, Samuel; Sargant Family; Savery, Peter; Sayre, Gerard; Sharp, John; Shaw, Rev. Peter H.; Shaw, Captain; Slack A.; Stakes, Dr.; Schapps, Cornelius H.; Strahan, William; Strang, Christopher; See, John D.; Selover, Daniel; Selover, Cornelius; Semple, Alex'r; Schenck, David K.; Shepard, Rev. Samuel; Sleight, Abraham; Sleight, Cornelius; Spencer, Rev. Elihu; Stelle, Margaret; Stelle, Thomas Gordon; Stelle, Gabriel; Stevens Family; Stevens, Richard; Stevens, John; Stevens, Gen. Ebenezer; Stirling, Lord; Simson, Rev, David; Skinner Family; Skinner, Rev. William; Skinner, Cortlandt; Skinner, Stephen; Skinner, John; Skinner, Thomas; Smith, John; Smith, William Peartree; Smith, Rev. Isaac; Smith, William (Historian); Smith, Richard; Smith, Joel; Smith, Rev. Sam'l S.; Smith, Charles McK.; Spieren, Rev. George Hartwell; Stites, Richard W.; Stockton, Richard; Sonmans Family; Sonmans, Peter; Scot, George, of Pitlochie; Spotswood, Gov. ; Stout, Harman; Stubbs, Rev. Alfred,; Schuyler, John; Schuyler, Col. Peter; Stryker, Rev. Peter; "Sylvanus Americanus,"; Smyth, John; Smyth, Andrew; Smyth, Laurence; Smyth, Frederick; T.: ; Talbot, Rev. John; Tappan, Abraham; Taylor, Joseph; Tenbrook, Johannes; Ten Eyck, Philip; Tennent, Rev. Gilbert; Terrill, William; Terrill, Sophia; Terrill, John; Terrill, Captain; Trent, William; Tomlinson, B. H.; Thomas, William; Thompson, John; Thompson, E. B.; Thompson, William; Thompson, Ab'm.; Thorp, Norris; Thorp, David; Thorp, Robert A.; Throckmorton, James; Turnbull, Thomas; Turnbull, Captain; Tuite, James; Tyrrell, Henry D.; Tryner, George F.; U.:; Upton, Dr.; V.: ; Van Cortlandt, Stephanus; Van Horne, James; Van Horne, Cornelius; Van Kirk, John; Vaughan, Rev. Edward; Verplanck, Gulian; Vesey, Rev. Wm.; Vicars, Captain Robert; W.: ; Wade, Rev. Nath'l.; Wait, David; Wait, John; Wait, David T.; Wall, Walter; Wall, Garret; Wall, John Galen; Wall, Garret D.; Walker, Alexander; Wallace, Hugh; Walters, Captain; Warne, Stephen; Warne, Thomas; Warren, Sir Peter; Warren, Lady; Warren, John G.; Waterhouse, Dr. John; Watson, John "Merchant"; Watson, Peter; Watson Family; Watson, John, "Painter," ; Watson, Alexander; Watson, John R.; Webb, John; Webb, Abraham (1); Webb, Abraham (2); Webster, Rev. Richard; Weiser, Jacob; Willocks Family; Willocks, George; Wilson, James; Wilson, Rev. Nicholas; Winder, Samuel; Whitaker, Rev. Nath'l; Whitefield, George; Whitehead, William; Wright, George; Woglum, John P.; Woodbridge, Stephen G.; Woodbridge, Samuel E.; Woodruff, Abner; Woodward, Captain; Y.: ; Young, Robert; Young, John; Youngs, Rev. Joshua

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Colonial America Europe American Revolution New Jersey Other Titles