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An American Family History

The Coxe Affair 1731

Presbyterians are Protestant Christians. The denomination originated in Scotland and congregations are ruled by elected elders. Presbyterian theology follows the Calvanist tradition and emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures, and grace through faith in Christ.

Colonial legislatures granted land to a group of settlers (proprietors) who chose how to divide the land. They had some rights of governance.

Rev. George Hale, A History of the Old Presbyterian Congregation of The People of Maidenhead and Hopewell, Press of Henry B. Ashmead, Philadelphia, PA, 1876: pg. 10-2. 

Whereas the subscribers whose names are hereunto affixed having purchased several considerable Tracts of land of one Thomas Revell and Agent of ye honourable Societie of West Jersey (and other the residentors therein) being part of the tract known by ye name of ye Thirty Thousand above ye falls of Delaware Lying in ye Township of Hopewell, county of Hunterdon and Western Division of New Jersey and of him received such conveyance as by virtue of the Commission of Agency in the behalf of ye Honourable Society are Deemed and esteemed in law as Effectual till a more fezable title can be made appear and whereas there is now claim laid to our severall tracts aforesaid by Colonel Cox under a pretence of being Chief Proprietor thereof whose right to us has not been made appear, Therefore not thinking ourselves not ye least obligated to surrender up our respective lands to the use of said Cox till more legall proprietorship can be made apparently by him appear we think it requesit on such a claim to stand a Tryal as ye law Tantely (sic) shall Direct. 

In order to which proceeding ye sd Cox by his attory has Ejected several of us from our prmisses obliging us to an Issue and we subscribers thinking it a hardship to carry on this Suit by one prticular person wherein so many is concerned we draw this instrument obliging each of us the subscribers our heirs Executors and administrators to ye each other in ye penal sum of fifTen pounds currt money of this province to be paid by the defauter if he stand not to and abide by evry of ye clauses abovesaid and well and truly perform this Covenant, That is to say Each of the Subscribers oblige themselves to each other in the penalty exprest equivalent to the land ye possess [he possesses] to emburse so much money towards ye carrying of this suit as the whole complement shall be found sufficient to defray the contigent charge of Trying this Title. 

In Testimony whereof we have hereunto set the hand this twenty Second of Aprill annogre Dominy 1731, [see below]

These cases of ejectment were all removed by a rule of the Supreme Court from the county of Hunterdon to the county of Burlington, because of the alleged prejudice in favor of the defendants in Hunterdon. 

A jury of twelve Quakers (with the Hon. Robert Lettice Hooper, Chief Justice) tried the case and gave their verdict for the plaintiff.  Murray was the attorney for Colonel Coxe, and Kinsey the attorney for the several defendants. One of the latter, George Woolsey, carried the case (as a test case) to the Court of Errors; but it was of no avail. 

Hunterdon County was originally part of Burlington County, West Jersey. It was set off from Burlington County on March 11, 1714. It included Amwell, Hopewell, and Maidenhead Townships.

Hopewell is currently in Mercer (formerly Hunterdon) County, New Jersey. Mercer County was formed in 1838 from portions of other counties including Hunterdon. Early settlers found that their deeds were worthless and they were forced to repurchase their land or relocate. On April 23, 1715 the settlers who stayed organized Hopewell Baptist Church.

A plaintiff (plt, plte, plt is a person who brings a case against another.
A defendant (def tf) is a person accused of a crime or someone challenged in a civil case.

ye is an archaic spelling of "the."
American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.

New Jersey's first permanent European settlement was in 1660.

 
Signers
Anderson, Bartholom
Baldwin, Elnathan
Blackwell, Robert
Blew, Jno.
Bonham, Nehemiah
Cornell, William
Crickfield, William
Curtis, Tho.
Drake, Benj.
Evans, Thos. 
Everitt, John
Ffield, Jno.
Fidler, John
Furman, Jonathan
Gano, Daniel
Gano, Francis
Hendrickson, Jno.
Herrin, Isaac
Hixon, John
Houghton, John
Houghton, Joseph
Houghton, Thomas
Hunt, John
Hunt, Ralph
Knowles, Jacob
Laroe, David
Melvin, James
Merell, Benj.
Merrill, John
Mershon, Andrew
Moore, Nathaniel
Oxley, Henry
Parke, Andrew
Parke, Jno. Junr,
Parke, John
Parke, Jose.
Parke, Roger
Parke, Roger Junr,
Price, Joseph
Reed, John  
Reed, Thomas
Smith, Ralph
Smith, Richard
Smith, Thos.
Stout, Jonathan
Stout, Joseph
Titus, Ephraim
Titus, John
Winder, Thomas
Woolsey, George
 
 

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