THE FUNDAMENTAL AGREEMENTS OF THE
FREEHOLDERS, AND INHABITANTS
OF THE PROVINCE OF WEST NEW JERSEY

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                        ** November 25, 1681 **


     [Text from a manuscript copy apparently dating from the late
     seventeenth century in the New Jersey Bureau of Archives and
     History, bound with a copy of the West New Jersey
     Concessions and Agreements of 1677; text collated with that
     in Aaron Leaming and Jacob Spicer, "The Grants, Concessions,
     and Original Constitutions of the Province of New-Jersey"
     (Philadelphia, [1756]), 423-425.  There is no copy of the
     Fundamental Agreements of 1681 among the records of the
     Proprietors of West New Jersey at Burlington.]


          Att A Generall Free Assembly held in the Towne of
     Burlington the 25th day of the ninth Month called November in
     the Yeare 1681.

          Forasmuch as itt hath pleased God to bring us into this
     Province of West New Jersey, and Settle us here in safety,
     that we may be a people to the praise and honour to his name
     who hath so dealt with us, and for the good and welfare of
     our posterity to come Wee the Governor Propriators
     Freeholders and Inhabbittants of West Jersey by mutuall
     consent and agreement for the prevention of innovacion and
     opression either upon us or our posterity, and for the
     preservation of the peace and tranquility of the same.  And
     that all may be encouraged to goe on Chearfully in their
     Severall places, Wee doe make and constitute these our
     agreements to be as fundamentals to us and our posterity, to
     be held and kept inviolable.  And that no person or persons
     whatsoever shall or may make voyd or disanull the same upon
     any pretence whatsoever.

          1st That there shall be a generall Free Assemblye for
     the Province aforesaid yearly and every year at a day
     certaine chosen by the free people of the said Province
     wherein all the representatives of the said Province shall be
     summoned to apeare to consider of the affaires of the said
     Province, and to make and ordaine such acts and lawes as
     shall be requisite and necessary for the good Government and
     prosperity of the Free people of the said Province, and if
     necessity shall require the Governor for the time being with
     the consent of his Councell, may and shall Issue out Writts
     to convene the Assembly sooner, to consider and answer the
     necessities of the people of the said Province.

          2dly That the Governor of the Province aforesaid his
     heirs or Successors for the time being shall not susspend or
     deferr the signeing sealeing and confirmeing all such acts
     and laws as the Generall assembly (from time to time to be
     Elected by the Free people of the Province aforesaid) shall
     make or Act for the secureing the libberties, and properties
     of the said free people of the Province aforesaid.

          3dly That itt shall not be lawfull for the Governor of
     the said Province his heires or sucsessors for the time being
     and Councell or any of them at any time or times hereafter to
     make or raise Ware uppon any accompt or pretence whatsoever,
     or raise any Millitary Forces within the Province aforesaid
     without the Consent and act of the General Free Assembly for
     the time being.

          4thly That itt shall not be lawfull for the Governor of
     the said Province his heires or Sucsessors for the time being
     and Counsell or any of them at any time or times hereafter to
     make or enact any law or lawes for the said Province without
     the Consent act and Concurrance of the Generall Assembly.
     And if the Governor for the time being his heires or
     sucsessors and Councell or any of them, shall attempt to
     enact or make any such law or lawes of him or them selfes
     without the consent act and Concurrance of the Generall
     Assembly, That from thenceforth he, they or so many of them
     as shall be guilty thereof, shall upon legall conviction be
     demed and taken for enimies to the Free people of the said
     Province, and it shall and may be lawfull for the Generall
     Free Assembly for the time being, to punish such ofender or
     ofenders, according to the nature of the Offence, and such
     act soe attempted to be made to be of no force.

          5thly That the Generall Free Assembly from time to time,
     to be Chosen as aforesaid, as the Representatives of the
     people, shall not be prorouged or dissolved (before the
     expiracion of one whole yeare, to commence from the day of
     there Electcion) without their owne Free Concent.

          6thly That it shall not be lawfull, for the Governor of
     the said Province, his heires or sucsessors for the time
     being, and Councell or any of them, to levey or raise any
     Summ or Summs of money, or any other tax, without the act
     consent and concurrance of the Generall Free Assembly.

          7thly  That all Officers of State or trust relateing to
     the said Province, shall be nominated and elected by the
     Generall Free Assembly for the time being, or by their
     appoyntment, which Officer and Officers shall be accomptable
     to the Generall Free Assembly, or such as the said Assembly
     shall appoynt.

          8thly  That the Governor of the Province aforesaid his
     heires or Sucsessors, for time being, or any of them shall
     not send Embassadors or make Treaties or enter into alience
     upon the publique accompt of the said Province, without the
     consent of the Generall Free Assembly.

          9thly  That no Generall Free Assembly hereafter to be
     Chosen by the Free people of the Province aforesaid shall
     give to the Governor of the said Province for the time being
     his heires or Sucsessors, any Tax or Custome for a longer
     time then one whole yeare.

          10thly  That libberty of Conscience in matters of faith
     and Worshipp towards God shall be granted to all people
     within the Province aforesaid who shall live peaceably and
     quietly therein, and that none of the Free people of the said
     Province shall be rendered incapable of Office in respect of
     their faith and Worshipp.  In Testimony whereof I have
     hereunto put my hand and Seale the day and yeare above
     written.
                              Subscribed and Sealed by
                              SAMUELL JENINGS Deputie Governor.
          Upon the Governors acceptance and performance of the
     proposealls before expressed, We the Generall Free Assembly,
     Propriators and Freeholders of the Province of West New
     Jersey aforesaid doe accept and recive Samuell Jenings as
     Deputie Governor.
                 THOMAS OLIVE Speaker to the General Free
                 Assembly.  By Order of the Whole Assembly.

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