Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 239, Colony of New Jersey: Samuel Smith (1720-1776), Treasurer of the Western Division
Records, 1762-1774, 0.1 linear feet / 1 volume
Call Number: MG 239
Financial records kept by Samuel Smith (1720-1776) as Treasurer of the western division of the Province of New Jersey.
Gift of Amelia Mott Gummere, Richard Mott Gummere, and Samuel James Gummere, 1925.
New Jersey became a British colony under Queen Anne in 1702. Its government, made up of a governor (at various times called president or lieutenant-governor), a Council and Assembly, a secretary, an attorney general, a colonial agent, a treasurer, a chief justice, and Supreme Court judges, was largely made up of appointed positions. (The exception was New Jersey's Assembly, which was elected by about 2/5 of the white male population over the age of 21.)
The governor appointed New Jersey’s treasurer, although a man recommended by the elected Assembly often filled the office. From 1702-1719, New Jersey had a singular treasurer, the only exceptions being the years 1709 and 1711 when paper money problems forced additional appointments. From 1719 until the State of New Jersey took control of the office in 1775, there were treasurers for the eastern and western divisions of the colony.
Samuel Smith (1720-1776) was the second to last treasurer for the Western Division of New Jersey, serving from 1750-1775. He settled in Burlington, New Jersey, the place of his birth, after starting as a merchant in Philadelphia. He was active in politics, serving on New Jersey’s Council from 1763-1775, in addition to his role as treasurer. He also gathered early documents from New Jersey and Pennsylvania’s histories and published The History of the Colony of Nova Caesaria or New Jersey to Year 1721 in 1765. Smith had four children with his wife, Jane Kirkbride, one of whom, Joseph, replaced him as treasurer of the Western Division in 1775. Joseph Smith was treasurer for less than a year when the treasury was taken over by the State of New Jersey.
Archives of the State of New Jersey, Series I, Vol. IX, pgs. 394-395.
Kemmerer, Donald L. Path to Freedom: The Struggle for Self-Government in Colonial New Jersey, 1703-1776 (Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ, 1940).
The account book was a gift in 1925 of Amelia Mott Gummere and her sons Richard Mott Gummere and Samuel James Gummere, direct descendants of Samuel Smith.
The records consist of an account book kept by Samuel Smith as treasurer of the Colony of New Jersey from 1762-1774. The volume contains accounts labeled Parliamentary Donations, Support of Government, and Sinking Fund, which track the money New Jersey received through taxes and parliamentary grants and that it spent on salaries and warrants. The volume itself was bound by Samuel Taylor of Philadelphia and contains his bookplate on the inside cover.
1704-1709 – Peter Fauconnier
1709-1711 – Miles Forster
1711-1719 – Thomas Gordon
Processed by Kim Charlton, April 2000 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