Old Bergen

Chapter XVII.

Daniel Van Winkle

Published 1902

Web version, edited by GET NJ
Copyright 2002

THE oath of allegiance was taken by the judges named in the last chapter, and also by the inhabitants of Bergen, on November 20, 1665 ; whereupon it becarne in truth an English province. This oath was as follows:

You do swear by the Holy Evangelists, contained in this Book, to bear true faith and allegiance to our Governor, Lord, King Charles II., and his lawful successors, and to be true and faithful to the Lords Proprietors, and their successors, and the government of this province of New Jersey, as long as you shall continue a Freeholder and Inhabitant under the same, without any equivocation or mental reservation whatever, and so help you God.
In pursuance of the provisions of the constitution, the people were called upon to elect representatives to the Assembly, to be held at Elizabethtown, on the 25th of May, 1668; and on the 22nd day of September following, a new charter was granted by Gov. Carteret to the " Town and Freeholders of Bergen," and to the villages and plantations thereunto belonging, being in the province of Nova Caesarea, or New Jersey.
So that the whole tract of upland and meadow property belonging to the jurisdiction of the said Town and Corporation of Bergen, is bounded at the north end by a tract of land belonging to Captain Nicholas Verlett and Wm. Samuel Edsall; on the east side by the Hudson River; on the south end by the Kill von Kull, that parts Staten Island and the main ; and on the west by Arthur Kill Bay, and the Hackensack River.
This included all the territory now known as Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, West Hoboken and Weehawken, which was known as Bergen at that time, and was identical with the Indian grant to Gov. Stuyvesant, of January 20, 1658.

The Carteret Charter was a confirmation of the rights which the freeholders and the inhabitants of Bergen possessed under the Dutch domination. It confirmed to the freeholders " all the rights, immunities, and privileges hereby granted unto the said Corporation or Township," and gave them power to choose their own magistrates, or to be assistants to the president, or judge of the court, and for the ordering of all public affairs, within the said jurisdiction. It also made the following provision:

They shall have power to choose their own Minister for the preaching of the Word of God, and the administering of His Holy Sacraments, and being so chosen, all persons, as well the freeholders, as the inhabitants, are to contribute according to their estate, and proportion of land, for the minister, and the keeping of a free school, for the education of youth, as they shall think fit, which land being once laid out, is not to be alienated, but to remain and continue forever, from one incumbent to another, free from paying any rent, or any other rate of taxes; notwithstanding, it may be lawful for any particular person or persons to keep and maintain any other minister, at their own proper cost and charges.

Also, power to divide all proportions of land, as are without their bounds and limits aforesaid, that are not already appropriated, and patented by particular persons, before the day of the date thereof, and compelling the recording of such allotments. And all mortgages, transfers, leases, and sales, for above the term of one year, and all other contracts, are to be void, and of no effect in law.

That they shall have power to erect and ordain a Court of judicature, within their own jurisdiction.

To encourage settlers, Carteret, after his appointment as Governor, 1664, issued an edict to the effect that every man who should embark with him, or meet him on his arrival, "provided with a good musket, bore twelve bullets to the pound, with bandelins and snatch convenient, and with six months' provisions" for himself, should receive one hundred and fifty acres of land, and a like amount for every servant or slave brought with him provided with the same necessities.

In 1672, war again broke out between England and Holland, and the Dutch fitted out an expedition for the purpose of destroying the English shipping, and attacking the settlements wherever practicable. The States General despatched a squadron of five vessels against New York, which arrived in July, 1673 ; and on the 30th day of that month they demanded the surrender of the fort at New York. This demand was acceded to, and the Dutch again took possession of the New Netherlands.