New Jersey Women's History



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Legal Documents

1700    Deed of Purchase between Blandina Bayard and the Hackensack Indians, 1700.

1786             A Petition by Rachel Lovell Wells, 1786. The text of the petition of a Bordentown sculptor and widow to the Continental Congress for relief after the Revolutionary War, May 18, 1786. 

1790   Acts of the Fifteenth General Assembly of New Jersey. This document refers to voters as both "he" and "she," 1790. 

1797   An Act to regulate the election of members of the legislative council and general assembly, sheriffs and coroners, in this State. This act allowed voting by women, 1797.

1806   Certificate of Abandonment, Piscataway Township, New Jersey. This document freed a slave owner from any obligations to the child born to her slave, 1806. 

1807   Acts of the Thirty-second General Assembly of the State of New Jersey, 1807. This act limits voting to free, white, male citizens. 

1808   "Manumission of Abigal," a manuscript document freeing the slave woman Abigal in Piscataway, Middlesex County, 1808. 

1828  The Manumission of Ann and Rufus Johnson.   Ann and Rufus Johnson were 14 and 15 years old respectively when New Jersey enacted gradual manumission in 1804.

1852   Married Women's Property Act, 1852. This was the first New Jersey law reforming married women's property rights. 

1857   Report of the Assembly Committee on Women's Rights, 1857. A response to the petition of Harriet M. LaFetra.

1868   Petition to the New Jersey Legislature from Lucy Stone and Antoinette Brown Blackwell.  A letter on woman suffrage and property rights, 1868. 

1868   Report of the Judiciary Committee of the New Jersey Assembly, April 9,1868. This report denies the Stone and Blackwell petition for woman suffrage and property rights. 

1887   New Jersey School Suffrage Act, enfranchises rural and small town women in school matters, 1887.

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