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In consequence of a cold under which he was suffering, the President here called the Hon. James G. King to the chair for the remainder of the session.
Mr. CHARLES King, from the Committee on Publications, re. ported that Volume III. of the Collections of the Society, "The Provincial Courts of New Jersey with Sketches of the Bench and Bar, by RICHARD S. FIELD,” was now ready to be distributed.
The Committee again referred to the published proceedings, as follows:
“ They have reason to believe that the periodical is valued as it should be by all, and that the manner in which it is conducted meets the approval of the members; they, therefore, earnestly call upon all those who receive it to be prompt in paying their subscriptions. If they are so, the quantity of matter given in the course of the year may be doubled,—as it is not intended that profit should accrue from the publication,--and thereby additional interest be imparted to it. At present the receipts on account of both the last and present years are insufficient to pay for the printing the periodical, which would not be the case were the subscriptions paid. About $350 are now due from those who have received the last two volumes.
Mr. Wm. B. Kinney, from the Committee on Purchases, re. ported that, as opportunities offered, additions were made to the Library of valuable works on American History. The report thus concludes:
"Anxious to place upon the shelves of the library every work that may in any manner illustrate the history of the State, the Committee solicit the co-operation of every member of the Society in effecting their object; requesting that information may be sent to them of any old or rare books for sale or that may be exchanged for others. The old newspapers of the State are especially desirable, and as the Society is in possession of several broken files, the committee would be glad to procure even single papers, in order that these files may be made more perfect.”
Rev. Dr. MURRAY, from the Nominating Committee, reported favorably upon several names referred to them at the last meeting, and an election was then held for new members.
The Chair appointed Messrs. Dr. Carnahan, Paterson, David. son, Starr, and Bradley, a committee to nominate officers for the ensuing year, and also announced the standing committees, as follows:
On Publications--Messrs. W. A. Duer, Murray, C. King, Doane, W. B. Kinney, W. A. Whitehead and Coggswell.
On Purchases-Messrs. W. B. Kinney, J. J. Chetwood, D. V. McLean, Field and Mulford.
On Statistics—Messrs. W. A. Whitehead, Potts, Bradley, Jackson and Keasbey.
On Nominations-Messrs. Murray, Prof. McLean and D. A. Ilayes.
The committee appointed to nominate officers reported the list as it stood, without change:-and the officers of last year were consequently re-elected, as follows:
President-JOSEPH C. HORNBLOWER.
PETER D. VROOM,
Executive Committee-NICHOLAS MURRAY, D. V. MCLEAN, W. B. KINNEY, ARCHER GIFFORD, STACY G. Ports, John MACLEAN, LITTLETON KIRKPATRICK, GEORGE W. DOANE, ELIAS B. D. OGDEN.
On motion of Mr. KIRKPATRICK,
Resolved, That the thanks of the Society are due to the Ilon. Wm. A. Duer, for the valuable addition made to its MSS, by his presentation of copies of the recently discovered Stirling papers: and that a copy of this resolution be transmitted to him by the Corresponding Secretary,
Mr. W. A. WHITEHEAD read an interesting letter from Gov. ernor Franklin to his father, written in December, 1774, shortly after the death of the Docior's wife ; which he had received since the last meeting, from Wm. Doane, Esq., of Philadelphia.
He also stated that in the Biographical Sketch of Gov. Frank lin, which he read before the Society at Princeton, he had spoken of him as having been the only son of Dr. Franklin; but such was not the case. The Dr. had a son (Francis Folger) who died in 1736, in his fifth year; of whom his father speaks, in one of his letters, as the finest child he had ever seen, and on whose tombstone it is recorded that he was “the delight of all that knew him."
Mr. W. remarked that while making corrections he would «traw the attention of the Society to an error which had been cominit. ted in announcing the possession by the Society of the Original
Concessions of Berkley and Carteret. On an examination of the document it was found to want several requisites--the signatures were unlike those of the Lord Proprietors, it was without seals or witnesses, contained blanks unfilled, and the parchment upon which it was written was not in the form usually preserved for such documents at that day—and no doubt could be entertained of its being merely a copy. In addition to these inherent objections to its originality, he had met with an entry in the Record of the Proceedings of the Governor and Council of East Jersey, under date of April 12th, 1686, proving that the original document had been destroyed.
A copy of this entry had been politely furnished him by Dr. McChesney, the Secretary of State, and was as follows :
“Att a Counsill held att Amboy Perth in East New Jersey
The Deputy Governor
Post Meridian. The Secretary gave this Board an accompt that in the dreadfull fire will hapned in his house upon Satterday last the originall concessions of Lord Barcley and St George Carterett amongst severall other writings and books and papers were there burnt and consumed."
The copy in the possession of the Society, however, was inte. resting to the antiqnarian, as it was doubtless made for the use of John Fenwick and brought by him when he first came to West Jersey. The Society received it from Col. Robert G. Johnson, one of the Vice Presidents.
A paper was then read by WM. B. KINNEY, Esq., of Newark, before the Society and a large audience, --comprising members of the Legislature—the Governor of the State, Judges of the Court of Errors, and other eminent individuals--“on the Origin and Progress of Printing and Periodical Literature in New Jersey,"--on the conclusion of which, on motion of Dr. MURRAY,
Resolved, That the thanks of the Society be presented to Mr. KINNEY for his highly valuable and interesting paper, and that he be requested to furnish a copy for publication.
The Committee appointed to apply to the Legislature for the adoption of measures to procure the Colonial Documents of the State from abroad, having been called on for a report
Mr. Field, in the absence of the Chairman, made a statement as to the action of the Committee, —which had as yet been inef. fectual, but he hoped that the present Legislature would not adjourn before a favorable issue should be gained. The fact that the Minutes of the Assembly prior to the Revolution were quite imperfect and the Minutes of the Council were entirely wanting, should alone prompt to immediate measures. The offi. cial records of the State should assuredly be made perfect, whatever the expense might be, and the documents required to make them so were known to exist in the English Archives. Mr. F. offered this resolution :
Resolved, That the Committee on the application to the Le. gislature respecting the Colonial Documents be discharged, and that a Committee of three be now appointed to urge the Legis. lature to the adoption of measures, at the present session, for perfecting the public records, by obtaining copies of such official papers as they may deem nccessary; and also for procuring definite information as to the character and extent of all the docu. ments referring to the Colonial History of New Jersey which are now in the State Paper Department of England.
Mr. WHITEHEAD seconded the resolution-as the subject had been before the Legislature for several years, and been reported on favorably by different Committees,—had passed the Senate once or twice and failed in the House by only one vote of a majority of two-thirds, it was to be hoped that no longer delay would be experienced. He spoke of the value of the papers, and the propriety of moving in the matter at the present time when the presence in London of Mr. Brodhead, Secretary of Legation, and Mr. Stevens-the Bibliographer-both of them honorary members of the Society and interested in its success, offered peculiar facilities. Mr. Brodhead was perfectly acquainted with the subject, having acted as agent for New York in procuring the papers for that State, and Mr. Stevens was engaged in a similar undertaking for various literary institutions
Hon. Mr. King, from the Chair--remarked upon the dangers of delay. Great difficulty had been experienced by some in procuring access to the English Archives, and such might again arise. Mr. Stevens's position abroad gave him peculiar advantages which the State should endeavor to make available.
The resolution was adopted, and the Chair appointed as the Committee Messrs. Field, Whitehead and Murray.
The Society then adjourned to meet in Neroark on the third Thursday of May.
SELECTIONS FROM THE CORRESPONDENCE AND PAPERS
Laid before the Society, January 18th, 1849.
FROM ISAAC S. MULFORD, M. D.
CAMDEN, N. J., 10th month, 10th, 1848. I have this day received thy note informing me of my election as a resident member of the N. J. Historical Society. Accept my acknowleegments for thy attention and kindness. I shall value a connection with the Society, both on account of the assuciations to which it will give an introduction, and also on account of the general object in view. I am strongly imbibed with state feelings. Born and educated in New Jersey, I have made it the place of my constant residence, and the impressions arising from these circumstances have been further strengthened by observation and reflection. I have come to believe there is no portion of country in which there are more abundant sources of satisfaction and pride. Settled at first, in great part, by people of much advancement in regard to their social, moral, and intel. lectual character, the history of the state becomes, even from the earliest period, of the highest importance and interest. It exhibits, not merely the struggles which were to be made in subduing a wilderness, but also the cultivation that was required in the establishment and maintenance of liberal institutions of ernment. Hence, in their advancement, the people of New Jersey were prepared to take a high place when called upon to act in concert with others, a place which they have ever retained, and which there is no doubt they will ever continue to hold. In dwelling upon these circumstances, I cannot but regard with much satisfaction every movement designed for the fuller illustration of our annals, and amongst these movements the organization and action of our Historical Society, are certainly to be considered as of the highest importance. I shall endeavor, as far as may be in my power, to uphold the Society and to extend and strengthen its influence. Respectfully,
ISAAC S. MULFORD. WM. A. WHITEHEAD, Esq., Corresponding Secretary, &c.