New Jersey Women's History

 



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NOTABLE FACTS

Period One
- 1775

Period Two
1776 - 1843

Period Three
1844 - 1879

Period Four
1880 - 1920

Period Five
1921 - 1960

Period Six
1961 -


 

1776
In December, the first New Jersey campaign of the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Trenton, propelled New Jersey into the conflict. New Jersey women were found on both loyalist and patriot sides. Farms, homes, and public buildings were devastated.
 
  In December, the first New Jersey campaign of the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Trenton, propelled New Jersey into the conflict. New Jersey women were found on both loyalist and patriot sides. Farms, homes, and public buildings were devastated.
 
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The first New Jersey Constitution (July 2) gave "all inhabitants . . . worth fifty pounds proclamation money" the right to vote. The omission of the term male allowed female property owners to vote, a right that was revoked by the New Jersey legislature on November 16,1807.
     
1778   The legendary Molly Pitcher (Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley, 1754-1832) brought water to the troops at the Battle of Monmouth (June 28,1778) and reportedly took her husband's place after he was wounded. She was awarded a state pension in 1822.
    The legendary Molly Pitcher (Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley, 1754-1832) brought water to the troops at the Battle of Monmouth (June 28,1778) and reportedly took her husband's place after he was wounded. She was awarded a state pension in 1822.
    Morven, the Princeton estate of Annis Boudinot Stockton (1736-1801), was ransacked and occupied by the British in December. Stockton hid papers and documents of the American Whig society, preserving them for history.
     
1779   The widow Theodosia Johnes Ford (1741-1824) opened her home and grounds in Morristown to General George Washington as his headquarters.
     
1780 In July, women in Trenton organized a statewide fund raising effort to aid in financing the Continental Army and those who "suffered, fought and bled in the cause of virtue and their oppressed country."
     
1783 doc03.gif (276 bytes) In January 1783, the Articles of Peace were signed. In February, Great Britain ceased hostilities with the United States.  The Revolutionary War was over. Annis Boudinot Stockton sent this poem of gratitude to General George Washington, 1783.
     
1785 doc03.gif (276 bytes) Sculptor and widow, Rachel Lovell Wells (1735-1796) of Bordentown, submitted the first of three petitions to the New Jersey Legislature requesting repayment of money she had lent it for the war effort. Her petition was denied.
     
1789 George Washington was inaugurated president and on his journey to New York City, visited in Trenton where he was honored by young women.
   
     
 1790 tn_qualvoter1.gif (1349 bytes) The New Jersey legislature passed a law that referred to "he or she" when describing voters, thus reinforcing the idea that women were voters.
     
1797 The New Jersey legislature revised the voting law; the term "he or she" was retained when describing voters. 
   There were reportedly 12,422 slaves, male and female, in New Jersey at the turn of the century.  New Jersey was the last northern state to abolish slavery.
     
1800 The population of New Jersey was approximately 211,000 people, 45.5% of whom were female. 8.1% were black, slave and free. The Lenape people were all but eradicated in New Jersey; their population was estimated at 200.  Over 50 percent of immigrants to New Jersey came from England.  
  After the Revolution, education for girls became a more accepted concept, at least within privileged families. Some of the several academies for boys which were founded in larger towns in New Jersey by 1810, also admitted girls, in separate departments.
     
1801   The Brotherton Indian reservation was disbanded and many of the remaining Lenape women and men left the state.
     
1803 The "Female Society for the Relief of Poor and Distressed Persons in the Village of Newark" was organized and run by Rachel Bradford Boudinot (1764-1805) in her home at 74 Park Place. Perhaps the earliest charitable organization in the state, it was later renamed the Newark Female Charitable Society and continued to serve Newark residents.
   
     
1804 The New Jersey legislature passed a gradual abolition law providing that the children of slaves, born after July 4, 1804, should be freed; they could remain the servants of the masters of their enslaved mothers until the age of 21 if female and 25 if male.
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1807 novote.gif (2243 bytes) On November 16, the New Jersey legislature passed a law for "the enfranchisement for all free, white, male citizens" with a taxpayer requirement, thereby revoking the voting rights of all women and free African-American men.
     
1813   A Female Charitable Society was founded to serve the poor by Morristown women with the help of Louisa S. Macculloch (1785-1863) who became its first directress. The organization still operates as the Family Service of Morris County.
     
1817 Charlotte Bonaparte, (1802-1839)and her family were forced to flee their homeland eventually settling in Bordentown, where they lived from 1817-1832. Bonaparte sketched and painted early 19th century New Jersey scenes and landscapes.
     
1820   The population of New Jersey was about 278,000 people, 49.3% of whom were female and 7.2% of whom were black. Only 2.5 % of the people lived in urban areas.
     
1821 lee_tn.jpg (3222 bytes) Jarena Lee (1783-unknown), the first known woman preacher of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, began leading prayer meetings in Snow Hill. During her career, she preached in many New Jersey towns.
     
1822 Baroness Hyde de Neuville, (unknown - 1849) an accomplished painter often depicted scenes of American life as well as pictures of African Americans and Native Americans.
     
1828   Children, including a large number of girls, employed in the cotton mills of Paterson went out on strike for a ten-hour day. This was one of New Jersey’s earliest strikes.
     
1835   Fifteen hundred girls and boys employed in Paterson cotton mills struck again in protest over the 13 ˝ hour work day. As a result of their strike the Paterson Association for the Protection of the Working Classes was formed.
     
1836   The New Jersey legislature passed a law requiring a jury trial before runaway slaves could be returned to their masters.
     
1837  Hannah Hoyt, a noted educator in New Brunswick began her teaching career of educating young women.
    St. Mary’s Hall, a school for girls, was founded in 1837 by George W. Doane, Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey. It offered girls the same demanding curriculum as boys and soon became one of the country's outstanding girls’ schools.  Today it is known as St. Mary’s Hall/Doane Academy and is co-ed.
     
1840  

The population of New Jersey was about 373,000 people, 49.6% of whom were female and 5.9% of whom were black, and 10.7% lived in urban areas.

  Esther "Hetty" Saunders, whose father escaped from slavery in Delaware, wrote poetry.  Saunders lived most of her life in Mannington and Elsinboro, Salem County.
     
1843 doc03.gif (276 bytes) The North American Phalanx, a middle-class utopian community, was established in Red Bank. It was founded by Rebecca Buffum Spring (1811-1911) and her husband Marcus Spring and continued until 1855. Women, such as Mary Paul (1830-unknown),   lived and worked in the community, reportedly on a par with men.
     

Selected Sources

Joan N. Burstyn, ed., Past and Promise: Lives of New Jersey Women (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1997).

Howard L. Green, ed., Words that Make New Jersey History (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1995).

Carmela A. Karnoutsos, New Jersey Women (Trenton: New Jersey Historical Commission, 1997).

Maxine N. Lurie, ed., A New Jersey Anthology (Newark: New Jersey Historical Society, 1994).

Clement A. Price, Freedom Not Far Distant (Newark: New Jersey Historical Society, 1980).

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Women's Project of New Jersey
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T face=Arial>Women's Project of New Jersey
Copyright 2002, The Women's Project of New Jersey, Inc.
This page was last updated on 07/17/2006.  Questions or concerns regarding this website? Please contact the web manager.
To view this website correctly, it is recommended you set your screen resolution to 1024 x 768.