Archives Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 945, Morris County, New Jersey
Voting register, 1776, 0.05 linear feet / 1 volume
Call Number: MG 945
Record of votes cast in the May, 1776 election of Morris County representatives to the Provincial Congress. The five men elected from the county were Silas Condict, Ellis Cook, Jacob Drake, Jacob Green, and William Woodhull. The manuscript was probably retained by Jacob Green, who served on the Provincial Congress committee which drafted the New Jersey constitution of 1776. Printed in Harriet Stryker-Rodda, ed., Some Early Records of Morris County, New Jersey, 1740-1799 (New Orleans, 1975), pp. 87-124. A modified version was printed earlier in NJHS Proceedings 66 (April, 1948): 114-121.
Gift of Ashbel Green (1869-1954), 1947.
The formation of the 1774 New Jersey Provincial Congress, along with the General Committee of Correspondence were among the Colony’s most important early steps on the road to self-governance. Eighty-seven delegates were elected from the thirteen counties of New Jersey to the first gathering in New Brunswick, where each county delegation received only one vote. At first, the Provincial Congress professed loyalty to the King and reiterated the intention of the people of New Jersey to remain faithful subjects, however, by July 15, 1776, a mandatory oath renouncing allegiance to the king was adopted. During the seven sessions of the Provincial Congress, the main duties were to choose state officers and members of the Continental Congress, create a State Constitution, and muster troops for the Continental Army and State Militia.
The first Constitution of the State of New Jersey, adopted at the Provincial Congress held in Burlington on July 2 1776, provided that all state officers should be elected by a legislature rather than direct public election. It named William Livingston (1723-1790) as governor. After this point, the Provincial Congress was given the title "Convention of the State of New Jersey."
Kemmerer, Donald L., Path to Freedom, The Struggle for Self Government in Colonial New Jersey 1703-1776 (Princeton University Press, 1940).
This volume was the gift of Ashbel Green (1769-1954) in 1947.
This collection consists of a voter register for the election of five representatives to the Provincial Congress held in Morris County, New Jersey in May 1776. Listed are approximately 650 voters. Entries in this volume include the name of the voter, the names of the thirteen candidates for office, and the number of votes cast.
The five candidates selected in this election were Reverend Jacob Green (1722-1790), Silas Condict (1738-1801), Ellis Cook (1732-1797), Jacob Drake (1730-1823), and Reverend William Woodhull (1741-1824). It is likely that these representatives attended the meeting that enacted the first Constitution of the State of New Jersey and appointed William Livingston as governor. Reverend Jacob Green, who served on the Provincial Congress Committee that drafted Constitution of the State of New Jersey, retained this volume.
The contents of this volume are printed in Harriet Striker-Rodda, ed., Some Early Records of Morris County, N. J., 1740-1799, (Polyanthos, New Orleans, 1975), pgs. 87-124 (call number N924.3 St 87 in the Library of The New Jersey Historical Society). A modified version was published in The New Jersey Historical Society Proceedings, Vol. 66 (April, 1948), pgs. 114-121 (call number N974.9 N421212).
Processed by Luis Delfino, July 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