Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 59, Jacob Spicer (1716-1765), New Jersey Provincial Assembly Member Papers, 1737-1846 (Bulk dates: 1744-1765), 0.8 linear feet / 8 folders
Call Number: MG 59
Correspondence, diary, 1755-1756; diary extracts, 1756-1762; last will and testament; manuscript copy of a military map of the city and harbor of Louisburg, Nova Scotia, ca. 1745; documents relating to Spicer's service as a member of the New Jersey Provincial Assembly, 1744-1765. Many of the letters and documents concern military matters during the French and Indian War, including campaigns of General Edward Braddock and William Shirley in 1755. Included are letters of:
The diary is printed in The New Jersey Historical Society Proceedings, ser. 1, 3 (1848-1849), pgs. 103-104, 192-198; 67 (1945), pgs. 37-50, 82-117, 175-188.
Gift (in part) of Mrs. J. McKesson, 1936.
Jacob Spicer, the only child of Sarah (d. 1742) and Jacob Spicer (1668-1741), was born in Cold Spring Inlet, Cape May County, New Jersey in 1717. Jacob married Judith Hughes (d. 1747), the daughter of Humphrey Hughes, and together they had four children: Jacob, Sylvia, Sarah, and Judith. After his wifeís death, Spicer married Deborah Leaming (d. 1787), the widow of Christopher Leaming.
Jacob Spicer owned lands in Cape May and Cumberland Counties, New Jersey; New York; and North Carolina. Like his father before him, Jacob represented Cape May County in the New Jersey House of Assembly from 1744 until his death in 1765. He was also a prominent merchant and farmer who traded with settlers, most often in Philadelphia, but also in New York, Long Island, Rhode Island, Nantucket, and North Carolina.
This collection was the gift, in part, of Mrs. J. McKesson in 1936.
This collection consists of 8 folders of Jacob Spicerís papers including his diary, copy letters, receipts, will, and estate papers. The collection measures 0.8 linear feet and dates from 1737-1846, with bulk dates of 1744-1765.
The diary, written by Jacob Spicer from 1755 to 1756, discusses his business and political affairs. A handwritten and typescript copy of selected passages of a different Spicer diary (ca.1758-1762) is included in this collection. During the period covered in the diary, Spicer spent 29 days in Philadelphia printing the proprietary laws of New Jersey. Other notations indicate the sale of land by locals and types and values of goods Spicer sold. Spicer sold steer and cows; raccoon, muskrat, and otter skins; rum and a number of dry goods.
The correspondence includes copy letters written by Spicer, a letterbook kept in his hand, and typescript copies of the letters in the book from October 1764 to July 1765.
The correspondence deals mainly with the British and colonialsí attack on the fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada in 1745. There are also many letters relating to other political matters and some from and to some very notable figures including King George II of England (1683-1760), William Pitt (1708-1778), and William Shirley (1693-1771), Governor of Massachusetts. The topic of discussion in these letters revolves around the attack on Louisbourg. There is also some correspondence regarding fighting with the French near the Monaghela River in Pennsylvania in 1755. The copies of the correspondence include family histories that were written in 1846.
The acts, accounts, and sketch folder contains an account for the New Jersey contingent of the forces planning an attack on Canada in 1746. There is also a sketch made by Jacob Spicer titled "A Plan of the City and Harbour (sic) of Louisbourg on the Island of Breton in America." An 1807 power of attorney from Samuel Jones, Jacob Spicerís son-in-law, appointing David Pugh to be his attorney is also in this folder.
For more information on Jacob Spicer and his affairs with the New Jersey Assembly see:
Processed by James Lewis, June 2001 as part of the "Farm to City" project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The New Jersey Historical Society