Guide to the Records of Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge in the Town of Newarkca. 1914MG 390

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

Restrictions

Access Points

Related Material

Administrative Information

Guide to the Records of Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge in the Town of Newarkca. 1914MG 390Inventory prepared by Stephen Yautz as part of the "Farm to City" project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Guide to the Records of Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge in the Town of Newark
ca. 1914

MG 390



The New Jersey Historical Society
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
(973) 596-8500 x249
© 2004 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by Stephen Yautz as part of the "Farm to City" project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Finding aid encoded by Danielle Kovacs. February 2004. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge in the Town of Newark (N.J.)
Title: Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge in the Town of Newark Records
Dates:ca. 1914
Abstract: Contains contains extracts from the record book of the Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge in the Town of Newark, covering the time span from April 16, 1787 to July 7, 1788.
Quantity: 0.01 linear feet (1 item in 1 folder)
Collection Number: MG 390

Historical Note

"For the purposes of promoting and executing such schemes as may appear to be useful and ornamental to the town," the Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge in the Town of Newark was founded in 1787 by prominent Newark citizens such as Elisha Boudinot, Reverend Alexander MacWhorter, and Reverend Uzal Ogden.

Activities of the organization included the beautification of Newark, which involved the planting of trees, the improvement of roads, and the promotion of economic activity within the municipality. The Society was most instrumental, however, as a political lobbying group, in that when the Constitution was drafted, the group sponsored the public reading of the document to the public in Newark. Their efforts paid off, since the people of Essex County voted to approve ratification of the United States Constitution on October 12, 1787. On December 18, 1787, New Jersey became the third state to ratify the new federal constitution.

The last known meeting of the Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge in the Town of Newark was held on July 7, 1788.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection contains extracts from the record book of the Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge in the Town of Newark, covering the time span from April 16, 1787 to July 7, 1788. These extracts are typewritten transcripts derived from the original document. The transcript was composed, possibly by Robert M. Boyd, Jr., around the year 1914.

The records include the constitution and bylaws of the organization, as well as a membership list. Members included Elisha Boudinot, Jonathan Crane, Rev. Alexander MacWhorter, and his son, Alexander C. MacWhorter, as well as Uzal Ogden and Samuel Whitaker. At the first meeting, Rev. Alexander MacWhorter was elected President of the society, with Uzal Ogden as its Vice President.

The minutes, which are also included in the records, indicate that the society was active in improving the quality of life in Newark. For instance, the organization was responsible for the planting of trees throughout the town of Newark, and also looked to improve the condition of existing roads, and to build better, newer roads. At one point, the society considered petitioning the State Legislature to enact a law for the construction of a "new road from Hackensack ferry to Pawle's Hook."

The minutes also indicate that in September 1787, the society had an important role in enlisting the support for the newly-drafted United States Constitution. After discussion of the issue, it was decided that "the President [Reverend MacWhorter] in the evening of the following Monday should read the constitution publicly in the Presbyterian Church in this town, and should make such explanatory & recommendatory remarks thereon."

The last entry in the records is dated July 7, 1788.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.

Use Restrictions

Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.

The New Jersey Historical Society complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials.

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Access Points

The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, forms, and occupations documented in this collection.
Subject Names:
Boudinot, Elisha, 1749-1819.
Boyd, Robert M., Jr.
Crane, Jonathan, fl. 1787-1788.
Macwhorter, Alexander, 1734-1807.
Macwhorter, Alexander C. (Alexander Cumming), 1771-1808.
Ogden, Uzal, 1744-1822.
Whitaker, Samuel, fl. 1787-1788.
Subject Organizations:
Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge in the Town of Newark (N.J.)
United States. Constitution--History.
Subject Topics:
Clubs--New Jersey.
Constitutional history--United States.
Subject Places:
Newark (N.J.)--History--Sources.
Document Types:
Bylaws.
Constitutions.
Membership lists.
Minutes.

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Related Material

For related collections on persons or institutions pertaining to the Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge in the Town of Newark, see:

Manuscript Group 125, Joseph Black Papers

Manuscript Group 128, Alexander MacWhorter Daybook

Manuscript Group 214, Institutio Legalis Record Book

Manuscript Group 386, Ogden Family Papers

Manuscript Group 633, Elisha Boudinot Family Papers

Manuscript Group 882, Trinity Cathedral in Newark Papers

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 390, Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge in the Town of Newark Records, The New Jersey Historical Society.

Acquisition Information

This collection is the gift of Robert M. Boyd, Jr., 1914.

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