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Proprietors & Adventurers - What People are Saying


Rare documents from New Jersey's colonial past went on display - 28 September 2005 [© USA Today, www.usatoday.com]

Rare peek into past is present for state - 28 September 2005 [© The Star-Ledger, www.nj.com]

N.J. displays rare colonial documents it got in auction - 28 September 2005

17th century documents on display - 21 September 2005 [© The Trenton Times, www.nj.com]

Codey gets look at State's past - 30 August 2005 [© The Trenton Times, www.nj.com]

History comes to roost - 31 July 2005 [© The New York Times, www.nytimes.com]

Saving pieces of New Jersey history - 25 June 2005 [© The Star-Ledger, www.nj.com]

Historical documents worth every penny - 23 June 2005 [© Home News Tribune, www.thnt.com]

New Jersey buys historical documents in auction - 22 June 2005 [© Bloomberg News, www.bloomberg.com]
New Jersey snaps history up in papers - 22 June 2005 [© Philly Inquirer, www.philly.com]
Jersey outbids rivals for its birth records - 22 June 2005 [© The Star-Ledger, www.nj.com]

State buys maps of Colonial past - 22 June 2005 [© Record, www.bergen.com]

State acquires documents detailing its early history - 21 June 2005 [© Newsday, www.newsday.com]

Poor Jersey planning a rich bid on some old papers - 14 June 2005 [© The Star-Ledger, www.nj.com]

Jersey hoping to not bid its heritage adieu - 11 June 2005 [© The Star-Ledger, www.nj.com]

N.J. officials eye documents detailing state's early history - 11 June 2005 [© Newsday, www.newsday.com

State acquires documents detailing its early history - [© Associated Press, WNEP-TV 16, www.wnep.com]

Snider sale of important americana meets high expectations - [© The Americana Exchange, www.americanaexchange.com]

What members of the history community are saying...


Back to Proprietors and Adventurers Main


 

RARE DOCUMENTS FROM NEW JERSEY'S COLONIAL PAST WENT ON DISPLAY

Wednesday, 28 September 2005

Princeton — Rare documents from New Jersey's Colonial past went on display at the Morven Museum and Garden. The state paid more than $547,000 at auction in June to acquire the maps and manuscripts. They include the first printed map of New Jersey, from 1677, and the first constitution of East Jersey. The documents were originally owned by Robert Barclay, the man chosen by New Jersey's proprietors to run the colony from 1682 to 1690.

© USA Today


RARE PEEK INTO PAST IS PRESENT FOR STATE
Codey unveils Colonial-era documents
By Tom Hester
Star-Ledger Staff

Wednesday, 28 September 2005

When acting Gov. Richard Codey first looked at the collection of 11 rare Colonial-era maps, manuscripts and books that chronicle New Jersey's colorful past, he was left with a question: How did Staten Island get away?

There it was on a 1681 map of the colony. It seems royal governor Philip Carteret tried to claim the island, but lost out to New York.

"I asked an historian why didn't we just invade and take over," the governor joked yesterday when the collection was put on display for the first time.

It was a day for smiles -- and oohs and aahs -- as the documents and maps, which detail the earliest days of New Jersey as a British colony in the 17th and 18th centuries, were put on exhibit at Morven Museum and Garden in Princeton as state officials, the history community and excited school children celebrated the state gaining ownership.

Codey's administration scrambled in June to find the $547,300 needed to secure possession of the collection at a public auction at Christie's in New York.

"Democrats and Republicans said this is a once in a lifetime chance to do the right thing for the children of New Jersey," Codey said. "We stepped up and did the right thing."

The documents had been in the private collection of the descendants of Robert Barclay, New Jersey's first royal governor, for more than 300 years until they were purchased about 10 years ago by Jay T. Snider, a wealthy Philadelphia businessman and former president of hockey's Philadelphia Flyers. Snider, in turn, had them auctioned by Christie's.

"It is great, absolutely great that we got them," said Joseph J. Felcone of Princeton, a prominent rare-book and manuscript dealer who alerted the state to the auction and did the bidding at Christie's. "What is important is what would have happened if we had not gotten them. It would have been just unthinkable if individual collectors had bought and separated them."

Among the items included in the collection:

  • Barclay's personal handprinted record book from the period of 1664-88, which provides the minutes of 41 meetings held in London with the Lord Proprietors of East Jersey. It also contains, among other thing, the significant charters and grants by the English government to New Jersey's earliest settlers, and provides detailed descriptions of the settlements of Newark, Elizabeth, Woodbridge, Piscataway and "Bergen," now Jersey City, as well as the colony's first constitution.
  • Barclay's personal handprinted record book from the period of 1664-88, which provides the minutes of 41 meetings held in London with the Lord Proprietors of East Jersey. It also contains, among other thing, the significant charters and grants by the English government to New Jersey's earliest settlers, and provides detailed descriptions of the settlements of Newark, Elizabeth, Woodbridge, Piscataway and "Bergen," now Jersey City, as well as the colony's first constitution.
  • The first map of an American town, "a Description of Amboy Point," actually Perth Amboy circa 1684.
  • A 1697 broadside listing "the Names of All the Adventurers ... of West Jersey in America," which were actually stockholders of the Society of Merchants of London, with finance figures scribbled in the margins.
  • A 1684-85 "Map of ye English Empire in ye Continent of America, which pinpoints "Pafcatoway (Piscataway)" and "Never Sinck (Navesink)" and "Burning Hole (Barnegat)."

"You look at the documents that show the first towns of New Jersey and people of color are mentioned," said David Cowell, a retired Drew University professor and president of the Advocates for New Jersey History. "It shows there was not a time when New Jersey was not multiracial."

Beginning today through October, copies of the maps and manuscripts will be displayed at Morven. State archivist Karl J. Niederer said the actual documents will go unseen for six to nine months while contracted conservators mend and clean them. The documents will then be available to the public at the State Archives in Trenton.

Among those to get a glimpse at the originals yesterday were fourth- and fifth-graders from Lawrenceville Intermediate School.

"This is really cool. I do not know how to express it," said Michael McQuarrie, 10, described by his teacher as a student with a special interest in New Jersey history. "This is part of history. We are the first kids ever to see it. It is from the 1600s, pretty much nobody has seen it in 300 years."

While looking at the 1681 map that claimed Staten Island belonged to New Jersey, Niederer was asked the question Codey wanted answered: how did Carteret lose that piece of land?

"The colonial governor of New York had more clout at the time," he said.

(Copies of the documents may be seen at Morven at 55 Stockton St. from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday-Friday, and from noon to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday through October. The exhibit is free.)

© The Star-Ledger


N.J. DISPLAYS RARE COLONIAL DOCUMENTS IT GOT IN AUCTION

Posted on Wednesday, 28 September 2005

TRENTON — Recently acquired rare documents from New Jersey's colonial past were displayed yesterday in Princeton at a ceremony attended by acting Gov. Richard J. Codey.

The documents, shown at the Morven Museum and Garden, include the first printed map of New Jersey, from 1677, and the first constitution of East Jersey. They were to be returned to the state archives for conservation work, but facsimiles will be exhibited at Morven through October.

The state paid $547,300 in June to acquire the documents, auctioned off in lots at Christie's in New York. The documents were part of a collection of 415 early American documents owned by Jay T. Snider, former president of the Philadelphia Flyers. They were originally from the collection of Robert Barclay, chosen by New Jersey's proprietors to run the colony from 1682 to 1690.


17th CENTURY DOCUMENTS ON DISPLAY

Wednesday, 21 September 2005

The rare 17th-century New Jersey documents the state purchased in June will be unveiled to the public on Tuesday.

The collection is scheduled to be unveiled at 11:30 a.m. at the Morven Museum & Garden in Princeton Borough.

Titled "Proprietors & Adventurers: A Rediscovery of Colonial New Jersey," the one-day exhibit will feature 11 original manuscripts, maps and books acquired by the state at a New York auction for about $547,000.

Replicas of the documents will be displayed at Morven through the end of October. A display is scheduled to open in the state archives building off West State Street in Trenton in November.

For more information, call (609) 633-8334.

©The Trenton Times


CODEY GETS LOOK AT STATE'S PAST
By Tom Hester Jr.
Staff Writer

Tuesday, 30 August 2005

Delicately, Joseph Klett opened the book and revealed its venerable contents.

As he carefully flipped through the pages, a collective but hushed, "Oh, wow," seemed to emanate from onlookers standing around acting Gov. Richard J. Codey inside a vault deep in the state archives building.

What Klett revealed to Codey were pages of aging paper decorated with a flowery, long-forsaken writing style that recounted New Jersey's birth as a colony and its role in America's heritage.

"It's something we should be very proud of," Codey said.

What Codey and his staff got to see for the first time yesterday was the collection of rare 17th century colonial maps and manuscripts purchased by the state in June for $547,300 at a New York auction.

The governor made the short trip down West State Street from the State House to the archives facility yesterday to see what the state got for its money.

He was impressed.

"It was very important for the people and the state of New Jersey to acquire these documents," Codey said.

Of particular interest was the record book of one of Codey's indirect predecessors, East Jersey Gov. Robert Barclay. The book is Barclay's copy of the minutes of the East Jersey Proprietors from 1664 to 1683. It includes charters, concessions, grants, letters, proclamations and other documents describing the state's early development as a British colony.

Barclay actually never ventured into New Jersey. He served in absentia, having been named East Jersey governor because he was a prominent Quaker leader who was able to bring in other land purchasers.

Klett described the book as the most significant acquisition, noting it had been in private hands - Barclay's heirs' - for more than three centuries.

"A lot of these documents have never been known to historians of the state of New Jersey before," Klett said.

Codey marveled at how the book detailed the first state settlements and noticed a 1680-81 dispute between East Jersey and New York over ownership of Staten Island.

"We should have invaded," he quipped.

Barclay's book contained five early maps that Christie's removed for the auction, Klett said. The state was able to buy them all, including a map dated to around 1677 that is considered the first printed New Jersey map. Its colors still vibrant, the map describes the colony as "New Jarsey," a spelling Klett said was common for that time.

"Maybe that was how it was pronounced," Klett said.

The map depicts Native American villages and pictures of animals, including something labeled "Waranawankong." Klett said they're not yet sure what that means.

"We haven't had a chance to fully study all of these," he said.

The maps also include an early plan for developing Perth Amboy, which Codey noted looked quite similar to a modern plan for a condominium development.

While he was in the vault, Codey also got to glimpse the state's original copies of the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution.

"They were thoughtful people back then," Codey said.

Klett said the state is preparing to display copies of the documents inside the archives building starting in October, with the original documents displayed for a day at the Morven museum near downtown Princeton Borough.

NOTE: Contact State House bureau chief Tom Hester Jr. at thester@njtimes.com or at (609) 777-4464.

©The Trenton Times


HISTORY COMES TO ROOST
by Terry Golway

Sunday, 31 July 2005

[excerpts from the article]

David Cowell is eager to catch his first glimpse of a newly discovered map of New York Harbor, drawn in 1683. The map is part of a collection of documents from Colonial-era New Jersey that the Codey administration bought recently for more than $600,000 at an auction in Manhattan.

Mr. Cowell, a Caldwell resident who heads a group called Advocates for New Jersey History, said he wanted to see where the 17th-century mapmaker placed the islands now known as Ellis Island and Liberty (or, less commonly, Bedloes) Island.

"Who knows?" he said. "Maybe they'll have to turn the Statue of Liberty around so that it faces New Jersey."

He was kidding, of course. But while the old map certainly will not settle the long-running argument over ownership of the two islands, its very existence has energized New Jersey's historians, preservationists and plain old history buffs. They are the volunteers who staff local county historical societies, who lead efforts to preserve historic buildings and who have educated themselves in arcane subjects like New Jersey's old canal system.

For them, the chance to buy these documents was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to place in the public's hands pieces of history from the earliest days of New Jersey's settlement by Europeans, including a time when the state was divided into two colonies, East Jersey and West Jersey. Even as late as the American Revolution, the state was often referred to as "the Jerseys." (Who would have guessed that similar language might be employed centuries later to describe the state's north-south divide?)

When the state's small but influential history community learned that a private collector, Jay T. Snider of Bryn Mawr, Pa., intended to offer the previously unknown documents at an auction at Christie's last month, they feared the worst. "I was frightened that the documents would go out of state, and would remain in private hands," said Lee Ellen Griffith, the director of the Monmouth County Historical Association, based in Freehold. "That possibility was very scary, because if a private collector bought the documents, they would not be available for research."

In addition to the map of New York Harbor from 1683, the trove includes 17th-century maps of the colony of New Jersey and of one of its oldest settlements, Perth Amboy; a collection of manuscripts showing Colonial-era charters and land grants; an early constitution of East Jersey; a list of "all adventurers" in West Jersey; the first published history of the colony, printed in 1765; and a collection of laws and court cases from the 18th century.

The documents were purchased with money from the Public Records Preservation Account, which is under the jurisdiction of the Department of State. They will be made available for public viewing in September at an undetermined location in the Trenton-Princeton area.

"It was great that the state found the money," said Karen Morse, director of development at the Historical Society of Princeton. "So much has happened in New Jersey, and here in Princeton. And if we don't preserve it, who will?"

To the delight of New Jersey's history community, Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey described the maps and records as "more than just a part of a collection" but "a part of our heritage."

Joseph Klett, the chief archivist at the State Archives in Trenton, said: "This kind of material does not come up for auction very often. In fact, this material was not available in any other form or version."

Many of the documents from the 17th century were prepared for a Colonial-era governor, Robert Barclay, who ruled the colony of East Jersey from his native Scotland.

The documents prepared for Governor Barclay, Mr. Klett said, included a summary of the development of several towns, including Newark, Elizabeth, Woodbridge, Piscataway, Bergen, Shrewsbury and Middletown. "The documents tell Barclay about each one of these towns, how they were laid out and how they were settled," he said.

The map of Perth Amboy - or, as it was known at the time, Amboy Point - is considered significant because "it is the first known plan for any New Jersey town, and that makes it extremely important in understanding Perth Amboy and the role it played in the development of East Jersey," Mr. Klett said.

That now-revealed part of Perth Amboy's past offers just a glimpse of the state's local history, many advocates and historians say. Because so many New Jersey residents were born elsewhere, either in another country or another state, and because the state is among the nation's centers of suburban sprawl, local history often suffers from neglect, which often leads to destruction.

"New Jersey has always had an undeserved reputation of having a lesser identity than New York and Philadelphia because of its location between them," said Ronald Becker, director of special collections at the Rutgers libraries. "Many who move here are unaware of our incredible history and all of the achievements and firsts that occurred here from Colonial times to the present. By saving as much documentation as we can, we learn about New Jersey's great contributions to our heritage and how New Jersey and New Jerseyans participated in all of our nation's events."

"If you want to be proud of your history, you have to preserve it," Mr. Cowell said. "That's particularly important in New Jersey, because we're divided into a lot of little communities and so many people are not from here.

"Our job in the history community is to make people aware of what the civilized life means. Thank God somebody had the foresight to acquire those documents. That's a step in the right direction."

© The New York Times


SAVING PIECES OF JERSEY HISTORY

Saturday, 25 June 2005

The earliest surviving detailed map of New Jersey — created in 1686 — shows the Watchung and Ramapo mountains but labels them the "Blue Hills." The Great Falls at what is now Paterson are on the map, along with the counties Essex, Middlesex, Monmouth and Bergen. Another map created about the same time depicts "ye English Empire in ye Continent of America," including "New Jarsey."

A broadside of the era gives a "List of the Names of all the Adventurers in the General Joynt-Stock and Lands of the Society of Merchants of London, Proprietors of West Jersey in America."

The maps and broadside are part of a trove of rare 17th- and 18th-century artifacts that the state bought at auction earlier this week. The 11 items were part of a collection of 346 documents from Colonial America owned by Jay T. Snider, former president of the Philadelphia Flyers, and sold by Christie's in Manhattan. New Jersey's representatitves bid a total of $547,300 to keep the state's history out of collectors' hands.

Archivists traditionally aren't an emotional bunch. But Karl J. Niederer was downright teary-eyed when it was over.

"This is a great day for New Jersey," the state archives director said.

Indeed it was. The documents are a boon for scholars who have never seen them before and, more importantly, a part of New Jersey's rich history that now can be viewed by all. The cost, which was paid from a fund previously created for such purposes, is insignificant in comparison to the knowledge and delight to be gained from these testaments to our history.

© The Star-Ledger


HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS WORTH EVERY PENNY

Thursday, 23 June 2005

In a more perfect world, Jay T. Snider, the former president of the Philadelphia Flyers, who hardly seems to be hurting for money, might simply have donated some of the valuable documents in his possession to the state of New Jersey. After all, the documents in question, which include the earliest known map of New Jersey and a map of what would become Perth Amboy, are of profound interest to New Jersey historians, most of whom practice their profession right here.

Others who might desire the documents are collectors, particularly map collectors. But in spite of the disdain with which New Jersey is viewed in much of the rest of the world, was there ever any doubt that the documents would somehow find the most loving and secure home within these crowded but historic borders? Evidently not.

Yesterday, New Jersey officials took possession of the documents at an auction at Christie's in New York. The price tag was a hefty $547,300, but the purchase was worth every penny.

"More than just a part of a collection, these records are part of our heritage. They are a vital and invaluable resource that will provide new insight and understanding of our past as colony, state and nation," said acting Gov. Richard J. Codey.

Snider apparently doesn't share the sense of history and public good that moves state officials or, for that matter, Kathy and David Turnbull. Two weeks ago, the Virginia couple donated Woodrow Wilson papers they had found in their house nearly two decades ago to the Wilson presidential library in Staunton, Va. Snider, instead, sent his Colonial records off to the auction block for sale to the highest bidder.

The state must be congratulated for its readiness to be among those willing to plunk down top dollar for the one-of-a-kind records of its past. The documents were part of a collection of 415 early American documents. They were originally from the collection of Robert Barclay, chosen by New Jersey's proprietors to run the colony from 1682 to 1690. The documents will be preserved at the New Jersey State Archives, where they will be available for viewing and research by the public.

Of course, more than 300 years after the documents were created, the state is in dire fiscal straits; still, it would have been a sad day if an entire state was outbid by a single history buff.

© The Home News Tribune


NEW JERSEY BUYS HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS IN AUCTION
by Dan Hart

June 22 (Bloomberg) — New Jersey said it paid $547,300 for 11 historical documents auctioned by Christie's International Plc, including the first map of the state from 1677.

The funding came from a dedicated public records preservation account, Acting Governor Richard Codey said in a statement. Christie's said in a statement that it sold a total of 125 lots for $6.32 million at yesterday's auction in New York.

The documents and items came from the collection of Jay Snider, former president of the National Hockey League's Philadelphia Flyers. He auctioned 346 manuscripts, first-edition books, maps of New Jersey, presidential letters and other items from early U.S. history.

Other items bought by the state include a minute book of the Lords Proprieters of East Jersey from 1664 through 1683 from Proprietary Governor Robert Barclay; an untitled manuscript map of New York Harbor from 1683, a survey of Perth Amboy; a map including the colony of New Jersey entitled ``A Map of ye English Empire''; and a map entitled ``East Jersey'' from 1686.

"These records are a part of our heritage,'' Codey said in the statement. "Securing these documents is an investment not only in our history, but more importantly in our future.''

The documents will be preserved and made accessible to the public for research and exhibition at the New Jersey State Archives in Trenton, Codey said.

© Bloomberg News


N.J. SNAPS HISTORY UP IN PAPERS
Pays $656,760 for part of a stunning collection.

by Mitch Lipka
Inquirer Staff Writer

Wednesday, 22 June 2005

New Jersey seized its chance to acquire some of the earliest known records of its beginnings yesterday in one of the most significant sales of historical American documents in years.

Jay Snider, a Bryn Mawr business man and former Flyers president, put up for auction 346 manuscripts, orginal maps, first-edition books, and letters that historians salivated over. The auction generated more than $6.3 million.

Of that, $656,760 came from the State of New Jersey, which pounced on 11 items regarded as unique documents from its earleist period under British control.

"This is the only collection of this size and historical importance that I have ever seen come up at auction at one time," Karl Niederer, director of the state Divistion of Archives and Records Management, said after leaving the auction at Christie's in New York.

"What the Dead Sea Scrolls are to biblical scholarship, these are to the State of New Jersey," he said.

Among the items the state acquired was the first known map of New Jersey, from 1686.

It was among five items separated from the "Manuscript Minute book of the Lords Proprietors of East Jersey," Niederer said. The state acquired the book, which includes documentation of the earliest government in the state, and all the maps that had been separated.

The price for that group of materials: $493,200, including Christie's 20 percent markup.

Other items the state acquired include:

"A Bill in the Chancery of New-Jersey" from 1747, described as an extensive collection related to an important land controversy ($114,000).

A 1697 record of investors in the new colony ($26,000).

The 1732 compilation of "The Acts of the General Assembly of the Province of New-Jersey" ($10,800).

"The Grants, Concessions and Original Constitutions of the Province of New-Jersey" from 1758 ($4, 560).

The First published history of New Jersey, "The History of the Colony of Nova-Caesaria, or New-Jersey," from 1765 ($7,800).

"Today, an important part of New Jersey's history is coming back to the state where it belongs," acting Gov. Richard J. Codey said. "more than just a part of a collection, these records are a part of our heritage."

Niederer, who was giddy over the acquisitions, said scholars had not studied those records.

"None of this material has ever been seen by the public," he said. "This is really a great day, a day of good news for the people of New Jersey."

The state used money from its Public Records Preservation Account, composed of fees collected by county clerks, Department of Staet spokeswoman Regina Wilder said. It also received a $15,000 donation from the planned New Jersey Hall of Fame.

Niederer, who noted that the State Archives typically spent less than $10,000 a year on acquisitions, said the materials would be examined to see whether any needed perservation. Then as many as possible will be made available on the archives' Web site (archives.nj.gov) and for viewing at the State Archives in Trenton.

The archivist said he had collaborated with colleagues at the New Jersey Historical Society and Rutgers University to ensure that they did not compete with one another and to try to ensure that the materials would be brought into the public domain.

"You just don't see these things come on the market," Niederer said.

Snider, 47, has been collecting for more than 25 years and recently decided to focus his holdings on Benjamin Franklin and the history of Philadelphia. The size and quality of his collection was known to some local historians but not to a broader audience until the items were offered for auction at Christie's.

TOP AUCTION ITEMS

Bryn Mawr business man Jay Snider's breaking up of his AMerican hsitroy collection brought in more than $6.3 million at auction yesterday. Here are the priciest items (bidders' names were not provided):

$374,000 for color plates of Yellowstone National Park (1876)

$307,200 for James Otto Lewis' "Aboriginal Port Folio" of hand-colored lithographs (1836-38)

$216,000 for John Adams' "Thoughts on Government: Applicable to the Present State of the American Colonies (1776)

$168,000 for Henry Lewis' "Das illustrirte Mississippithal," color plates of the Mississippi region (1854-58)

$156,000 for the "History of the Expedition Under the Command of Captians Lewis and Clark" (1814)

$156,000 for Capt. John Smith's The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England... (1627)

$156,000 for the History of the Indian Tribes of North America (1842-44)

$156,000 for a volume of nine Revolutionary and early federal pamphlets, including Thomas Paine's "Common Sense"

SOURCE: Christie's New York

ONLINE EXTRA

Access Christie's catalog of Jay T. Snider Collection of Historical Americana via http://go.philly.com/njhistory

© The Philadelphia Inquirer


JERSEY OUTBIDS RIVALS FOR ITS BIRTH RECORDS
Archivist scores a coup at Christie's
BY TOM HESTER
Star-Ledger Staff

Wednesday, 22 June 2005

Outbidding stiff competition, the state government spent $656,760 yesterday to obtain 11 rare documents, maps and books from the 17th and 18th centuries, material that the state's director of archives described as "the Dead Sea Scrolls of the settlement of New Jersey."

The documents, including records of the English colonial charters establishing what would become the Garden State, were sold at auction by Christie's in New York and will join the collection of the state archives in Trenton.

"These items have been in private hands for over 300 years," Karl J. Niederer, the state archivist, said following the auction. "In all that time, no scholar -- certainly not an American scholar -- has seen these documents. All of these documents, whether imprints (maps) or manuscripts, will be unique in the state archives."

Half the seats in the brightly lit, hushed auction room were filled with about 35 bidders and spectators as the New Jersey documents went on the block. Seated beside Niederer was Joseph J. Felcone of Princeton, a prominent rare-book and manuscript dealer serving as the state's agent for the auction.

With slight waves of his bidding paddle and nods of his head, Felcone coolly outbid what he estimated were six other serious bidders -- all unidentified, some phoning in their offers -- while Niederer kept track on a folded sheet of paper.

Veteran auctioneer Francis Wahlgren sold the documents at a rate of almost one per minute as a tote board behind him flashed the bids and tallied the final total in dollars, euros, yen, British pounds and Swiss francs. Eleven Christie's staffers handled telephone bids along the side of the room.

When it was over, the normally reserved Niederer briefly teared up. "This is a great day for New Jersey," he said.

"I did not get much sleep last night," he added. "These records are not only interesting to scholars at the university level, but they are also for the general public interested in the history of New Jersey."

Niederer said he expects to bring the documents to Trenton within 30 days of when the money changes hands. Eventually, he said, the documents will be available for the public and researchers to view, and images of each page and map will be posted on the archive's Web site.

"Today an important part of New Jersey's history is coming back to the state where it belongs," said acting Gov. Richard Codey, who despite the state's fiscal crisis gave the go-ahead to spend up to $1 million for the material. "Securing these documents is an investment not only in our history but, more importantly, in our future."

The documents were part of a collection of 346 rare Colonial and early American books, maps and papers Christie's auctioned on behalf of Jay T. Snider, a wealthy Philadelphia businessman and former president of hockey's Philadelphia Flyers.

Chris Coover of Montclair, a Christie's senior vice president, said the auction netted Snider $6.32 million. The highest amount paid for a single item was $374,000 for an 1876 first edition of a book, "The Yellowstone National Park and the Mountain Regions of Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and Utah," which depicts landscapes of the West. Snider did not attend the event.

Niederer arrived at Christie's on 49th Street with authority to spend as much as $1 million from a little-used $39 million public records preservation fund. Overall, the state would bid $547,300 for the 11 documents, with Christie's getting a 20 percent seller's fee of $109,460.

"These items are considerably more valuable than what we paid for them. They really need to be in the state of New Jersey," said Felcone, who has represented wealthy buyers at Christie's auctions for 33 years. "It is so remarkable to have 17th-century material appear on the market. It is really quite extraordinary. We may not see something like this again for many years -- maybe never."

The prime item sought by the state was the personal handprinted book of Royal Gov. Robert Barclay from the period of 1664-88 that provides the minutes of the 41 meetings in London of the Lord Proprietors of East Jersey. The book includes, among other things, the significant charters and grants by the English government to New Jersey's earliest settlers, and it gives detailed descriptions of the settlements of Newark, Elizabeth, Woodbridge, Piscataway and "Bergen," now Jersey City.

The bidding on that book began at $55,000. Felcone -- "the person on the aisle," as the auctioneer called him -- traded bids with competitors 13 times before making the winning offer of $120,000.

Later, Felcone traded bids with rivals 23 times, starting at $20,000, before offering $95,000 to secure a Colonial government document printed in 1747 and enclosed in a green Morocco gilt slipcase. It contains two maps that include New Jersey and nine copies of three New York newspapers from 1745 to 1747.

Felcone also traded bids that began at $28,000 with competitors 18 times before making the final offer of $90,000 for a colorful 1683 map of "Manhattan and its surroundings," which shows New York Harbor and nearby New Jersey.

The other documents, including the first printed map of New Jersey from 1677, were purchased at prices ranging from $3,800 to $75,000. Felcone, who alerted Niederer about the rare New Jersey documents, received $1,000 to bid for the state.

Coover, who has taken part in Christie's auctions for 25 years, described this one as especially competitive, especially for the New Jersey documents. "We are supposed to be objective," he said, "but I think it is marvelous the material will be going to the state archives."

"The state had to enter the competition against private dealers and collectors who also coveted those maps," Coover added. "There was a determined private collector on the phone and a couple of people in the room as well. This was one of those situations where one make-or-break opportunity is all you get."

© The Star Ledger


STATE BUYS MAPS OF COLONIAL PAST

Wednesday, 22 June 2005

TRENTON — The state paid $547,300 on Tuesday to acquire 11 rare documents from New Jersey’s Colonial past.

The documents, auctioned at Christie’s in New York, included the first printed map of New Jersey, from 1677, and the first constitution of East Jersey. They were purchased with funds from a public records preservation account.

The documents were part of a collection owned by Jay T. Snider, former president of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team. They were originally from the collection of Robert Barclay, chosen by New Jersey’s proprietors to run the colony from 1682 to 1690.

The documents will be preserved at the New Jersey State Archives and made accessible to the public for research and exhibition.

© Record


STATE ACQUIRES DOCUMENTS DETAILING ITS EARLY HISTORY

Tuesday, 21 June 2005

TRENTON, N.J. — The state paid $547,300 Tuesday to acquire 11 rare documents from New Jersey's Colonial past.

The documents, auctioned at Christie's in New York, included the first printed map of New Jersey, from 1677, and the first constitution of East Jersey.

"More than just a part of a collection, these records are part of our heritage. They are vital and invaluable resource that will provide new insight and understanding of our past as colony, state and nation," acting Gov. Richard J. Codey said in a news release describing the purchase.

The documents were part of a collection of 415 early American documents owned by Jay T. Snider, former president of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team. They were originally from the collection of Robert Barclay, chosen by New Jersey's proprietors to run the colony from 1682 to 1690.

News of the Christie's auction earlier this month led historic preservation advocates to urge the state to bid on the documents. The money was drawn from a public records preservation account.

In addition to the first map and the East Jersey constitution, the documents include:

-  A 1683 map of what later became Perth Amboy, at the time known as "Amboy Point," which is believed to be the first map of an American town.

-  Minutes of 41 meetings in London from 1664 to 1683 that include early charters and grants from Sir George Carteret, Duke of York.

The documents will be preserved at the New Jersey State Archives and made accessible to the public for research and exhibition.

© Newsday


 

POOR JERSEY PLANNING A RICH BID ON SOME OLD PAPERS
Despite tight budget, state wants in on $375,000 auction of rare artifacts
BY TOM HESTER
Star-Ledger Staff

Tuesday, 14 June 2005

The Codey administration has decided to compete for an unexpected bounty of 17th century New Jersey documents and maps that will be auctioned at Christie’s in New York later this month, state Treasurer John McCormac said yesterday.

All officials have to do now is find the $375,000 needed to get in on the bidding for the documents, which historians say give a rare glimpse into life in early colonial New Jersey.

“It looks like we are going to do everything we can to buy them,” McCormac said yesterday.

State archivists are anxious to get hold of the 11 yellowed artifacts, including a thick book that contains the first constitution of the colony of East Jersey and details its settlement from 1682 to 1684. There also are five rare maps, including the first printed map of New Jersey from 1677, and a 1683 map of the planned layout of “Amboy Point,” which would become Perth Amboy, the capital of East Jersey. It is described as the first map of an American town.

The unexpected need for $375,000 comes at time when the Codey administration has proposed a budget that would cut spending as well as property tax rebates. McCormac said officials are looking at the possibility of tapping a $39 million public records preservation fund controlled by the Treasury Department rather than the Secretary of State’s office, which oversees the Division of Archives and records management.

“We apparently have decided to try to get this done but we are not sure we legally can participate in an auction so we may try to contact the owner and make an offer prior to the auction,” McCormac said. “The lawyers are checking it.”

But Bendetta Rous, a Christie’s spokeswoman, said yesterday that once the auction house details the items for sale through its Web site and catalogs and alerts collectors worldwide, private sales on the side are no longer possible. She said written bids may already be in the process of being submitted.

“One of the advantages of an auction is that you reach many more people,” she said. “You give an opportunity to other collectors whether it is an institute or private collectors to add to their collections.” As many as 350 people are expected for the auction on June 21.

Wealthy businessman Jay T. Snider, the former president of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team, said Friday he wants his 415-piece collection of Colonial and early American documents to be auctioned publicly. Snider said he favors selling to private collectors because he believes they make a better effort to preserve documents and artifacts than government or public institutions.

Snider’s collection is expected to realize between $5 million to $6 million when sold. Besides submitting bids via Christie’s Web site (www.Christie’s.com), telephone bids are accepted on the day of the auction.

One item, a book written in 1634 by legendary English Captain John Smith, is the first to tell of his capture by Chief Powhatan and his rescue through the intercession of the chief’s daughter, Pocahontas. Another is an 1814 book by Lewis and Clark that recounts their 1804-06 expedition to the Pacific Coast.

© The Star-Ledger


JERSEY HOPING TO NOT BID ITS HERITAGE ADIEU
BY TOM HESTER
Star-Ledger Staff

Saturday, 11 June 2005

A trove of documents considered to be the Holy Grail of early New Jersey history will be auctioned at Christie’s later this month and state archivists are trying to scrape together a pot of money in hopes of snapping them up.

The yellowed artifacts give a rare glimpse into life in early Colonial New Jersey, and had been in the private collection of the descendants of New Jersey’s first royal governor for more than 300 years. They include what is considered the first map of any American town, the first constitution of East Jersey and a book detailing the Garden State’s first settlers.

The state has determined it wants 11 of these documents, which will be sold at New York’s famous auction house on June 21 by the former president of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team.

“These documents are vital,” said retired Drew University professor David A. Cowell of Caldwell, president of the Advocates for New Jersey History. “This gives a better history of what was going on in the 17th century than anything we’ve got. It fills in all the gaps of the early settlers, who the families were, and where they came from.”

Karl J. Niederer, director of the state Division of Archives and Records Management, spent yesterday looking for a way to raise the $375,000 archivists believe is needed to bid on the 11 items.

“The auction starts at 10 a.m. By 10:15 this material will be gone,” said Joseph J. Felcone of Princeton, New Jersey’s pre-eminent rare book and manuscript dealer who told state archivists about the auction. “It would be unfortunate if the state did not attempt to buy them.”

The Archives Division spends less than $10,000 each year on new documents. The best potential funding source, according to history activists, is a $39 million public records preservation fund controlled by the state Treasury Department.

Spokespeople for acting Gov. Richard Codey and Secretary of State Regena Thomas said yesterday no decision would be made until next week on whether the state would bid for the documents and how the money would be raised if they decided to go for it.

“We have been able to authenticate that they (the documents) are what they are claimed to be,” Niederer said, “and from my experience as a historian and archivist, they are genuine articles and historically valuable.”

The items eyed by the state include:

-  A manuscript with the official minutes of 41 meetings in London of the Lord Proprietors of East Jersey, William Penn’s other ‘Holy Experiment (New Jersey)’ from 1682 to 1684. It includes the first constitution of East Jersey, early charters and grants from Sir George Carteret, the Duke of York, and “proclamation and documents concerning all aspects of the governance, survey and settlement of the new colony and its relations with other colonies.” It is expected to sell for $100,000 to $150,000.

-  A 1683 map of the planned layout of “Amboy Point,” which would become Perth Amboy, the capital of East Jersey. It is described as the first map of an American town and valued at $20,000.

-  The first printed map of New Jersey from 1677, a map of “ye English Empire in ye Continent of America…” from 1684-85 that includes New Jersey and the Northeast; a map of “East Jersey,” the northern half of the state, from 1686; and a map of New York Harbor, Staten Island and northeast New Jersey from 1684. Altogether, the maps are valued at $145,000.

-  A book, “The history of the Colony of Nova Caesaria or New Jersey, an Account of its First Settlement,” written in 1765 and valued at $3,000. There is also a broadside of the names of “the Adventurers…of West Jersey in America,” printed in 1697 and valued at $12,000.

The documents were originally from the collection of Robert Barclay, New Jersey’s first royal governor from 1682-88, according to Chris Coover of Montclair, the Christie’s specialist in charge of the auction. He said the manuscript and maps that interest the state “are in impeccable condition. You do not find 17th century maps of the colonies on the market.”

The manuscript and maps are part of a collection of 415 colonial and early American documents being sold by Jay T. Snider, a wealthy businessman and former president of the Philadelphia Flyers. He said the collection is valued at $5 million to $10 million. Collectors from around the world have been alerted to the auction.

“There is no question this is a rarity that one is unlikely to see again,” Snider said yesterday. “The maps in particular will be hotly contested. The map market is very hot. There are people who only collect maps and you very rarely find 17th century American maps.”

Snider wished New Jersey state government well in any effort to obtain the documents, but said he would give the state no special deals.

“Frankly,” he said, “private collectors do more to preserve manuscripts than public institutions.”

© The Star-Ledger


 

N.J. OFFICIALS EYE DOCUMENTS DETAILING STATE'S EARLY HISTORY

Saturday, 11 June 2005

TRENTON, N.J.— Historians and state officials want to make sure a group of documents that offers a unique glimpse into New Jersey’s early Colonial history is housed in the state.

The 11 documents are part of a collection scheduled to be auctioned at Christie’s in New York on June 21. Among them are the first printed map of New Jersey, from 1677, and the first constitution of East Jersey.

“These documents are vital,” David A. Cowell, a retired Drew University professor and president of the Advocates for New Jersey History, told The Star-Ledger of Newark. “This gives a better history of what was going on in the 17th century than anything we’ve got.”

The collection of 415 early American documents is owned by Jay T. Snider, former president of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team. They were originally from the collection of Robert Barclay, chosen by New Jersey’s proprietors to run the colony from 1682 to 1690.

Snider said the entire collection is worth between $5 million and $10 million.

“The maps in particular will be very hotly contested,” he said. “The map market is very hot. There are people who only collect maps and you very rarely find 17th century American maps.”

Whether or not the state bids on the artifacts will depend on how much money it can raise. Karl J. Niederer, director of the Division of Archives and Records Management, said it would take $375,000 to bid in the 11 items.

The money could come from a $39 million public preservation fund that is controlled by the state Treasury Department. Through spokespeople, acting Gov. Richard J. Codey and Secretary of State Regena Thomas said a decision will be made next week on how money would be raised for a potential bid.

In addition to the first map and constitution of New Jersey, other documents include:

-  A 1683 map of what later became Perth Amboy, at the time known as “Amboy Point,” that is believed to be the first map of an American town. It is valued at $20,000.

-  Minutes of 41 meetings in London that include early charters and grants from Sir George Carteret, Duke of York. These are expected to fetch $100,000 to $150,000.

-  Maps of “East Jersey,” the northern half of the state and New York Harbor, Staten Island and northeast New Jersey. Along with the first printed map from 1677, they are valued at $145,000.

Information from: The Star-Ledger, http://www.nj.com/starledger

© Newsday Inc.


STATE ACQUIRES DOCUMENTS DETAILING ITS EARLY HISTORY

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey is buying back a bit of its past.

The state paid almost 550-thousand today for eleven rare documents from New Jersey's Colonial past.

The documents were auctioned at Christie's in New York.

Some of the documents the state purchased include the first printed map of New Jersey from 1677 and the first constitution of East Jersey.

The documents will be preserved at the New Jersey State Archives and the public will be allowed to use them for research or see them in exhibits.

© The Associated Press, WNEP-TV 16


SNIDER SALE OF IMPORTANT AMERICANA MEETS HIGH EXPECTATIONS
by Bruce McKinney

Perhaps what will be best remembered from this sale are the 11 lots that Joe Felcone purchased on behalf of the New Jersey State Archives for $656,760 including premium. Six of these items were purchased in 1996 as one lot: a manuscript minute book of the Lord Proprietors of East Jersey, 1664-1683 with a group of hand drawn maps, reputedly purchased by Donald Heald in London for 45,000 pounds. Mr. Snider purchased it in 1998 and later removed the maps and offered the book and maps in this sale individually. The New Jersey State Archives aggressively pursued each related lot, won them all and now has every piece and the option to reassemble them. In this sale the book and 5 map lots brought $493,200 including vigorish. These fragile, rare and exceptionally important items will now permanently reside in the state whose motto is "liberty and prosperity."

©Americana Exchange


WHAT MEMBERS OF THE HISTORY COMMUNITY ARE SAYING...

Congratulations on this historic acquisition and thanks for the kind words. Richard P. McCormick (the elder) is quite anxious to see the proprietor’s minutes and happy that they’ll be available soon.

Ronald L. Becker
Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives


I just wanted to add my voice to the congratulations and celebration of our victory in the State obtaining the material at the Christie’s auction!

On a personal note, I would like to thank Senator Bob Smith for acting on my email and to Acting Governor Codey for his support in making it happen. There was a message from him on my answering machine when I came home today which I appreciated.

Maybe there can be a special exhibition of these materials in Trenton? I know that I would love to see them and I’m sure everyone else on here would as well!

Gordon Bond
Piscataway, NJ


Our congratulations for your diligence and skill that resulted in all the those valuable items of New Jersey being part of our State's archives.

Future generations will thank you for your foresight in securing them at auction. it was certainly money well spent!

Gerald J. Caprio
Verona History Society


Congratulations for a job well done.

It is time to express our sincerest thanks to all the assemblymen and senators, the Secretary of State and the Governor for their decisive action on behalf of the community. Let them know we care, we appreciate and we remember them.

David Cowell
Advocates for New Jersey History


[Kudos on] securing the precious lot of New Jersey-related documents at the recent Christie's Auction for the State Archives. This calls for much rejoicing! Congratulations also go to the State of New Jersey for their vision in seeing the historical value of these materials.

Alan Delozier
Seton Hall University


Congratulations on buying the documents at auction! I am so pleased that these important items are now owned by the State and will be available to the public for research. Reading the newspapers, I was worried that the State would not be able to purchase [them]. Great leadership for making this happen. A great group of items that are now where they belong.

I worked at the N.J. State Library in the eighties and just wanted to congratulate [the Archives] and the State.

Robert Drescher
Lambertville, NJ


Coverage of the Snider sale is beginning to appear in the journals of the rare books world, and I'm happy to report that comments on the State Archives' acquisition of the New Jersey material have been universally favorable. Interestingly, so far they all emphasize the fact that Christie's offered the minute book and the five individual maps as six separate lots, thereby creating the potential to separate forever a unique historical record that had remained intact for over 300 years. This of course is a major reason we were determined to get everything.

Joseph J. Felcone
Princeton, NJ
(Note: Mr. Felcone acted as agent for the State of New Jersey at the Christie's auction.)


Congratulations on the auction purchases!

Rodney P. Frelinghuysen
Eleventh District, New Jersey
House of Representatives
Washington, DC


Congratulations to Governor Codey, the legislature, Karl Niederer, and all concerned for the successful acquisition of some of NJ’s founding documents.

Constance Greiff
Princeton, NJ


What great news that the state has stepped up and purchased eleven documents on New Jersey’s colonial history at auction. It reassures the commitment that history IS important.

Jack Harpster
Las Vegas, NV


"I've been following this closely, and it's great to see that the key items will be in good hands. Congrats!"

Patricia Law Hatcher
American Society of Genealogists


Way to go, Governor Codey and historians!

Kathy Heim
Point Pleasant Historical Society


Congratulations on all those winning bids for the documents at Christies yesterday!

WOW! What an accomplishment.

I know it is a lot for this state’s budget at the moment, but these are things that will benefit scholars and future generations! A wonderful investment in the future. I am sure all this PR has put the State Archives on the map and you will have many more public visitors. That is a good thing too!

Interesting many of my so-called “non-history” friends are excited, too. Several people called me yesterday to express excitement. I hope the Colonial Dames can come to see all these . . . when they are put on display. Please keep me posted!

I think you should go on a speaking tour to tell the folks far away from Trenton how their tax-payer dollars were spent.

Well done!

Betsy Holdsworth
Harding Township, NJ


Great news about your coup of the Snider collection! I can only imagine what you had to go through to pull this off.

It’s a great victory and sets a good precedent for the future.

Many thanks for all your efforts. I look forward to working with the collection.

John W. Konvalinka
Genealogical Society of New Jersey


I saw the small article in the Trenton Times this morning about the State Archives’ success at the Christie’s auction. You are to be commended for being able to find the resources and convince the state government to invest in New Jersey’s history. I am very pleased for you and my state, and I hope you will enjoy the satisfaction of a job truly well-done.

Daniel J. Linke
Princeton University


A North Jersey friend just sent me the article from The Star-Ledger of June 22 about [the State Archives] big coup. Congratulations on getting the state to cough up money for history; that's amazing! Must have been fun to sit with the big boys and bid real money at Christie's.

Robert Lupp
Tucson, Arizona


These are important documents that now will be available for use by scholars . . . .

Maxine N. Lurie
History Department
Seton Hall University


Please accept my congratulations on the successful bids for the New Jersey documents auctioned by Christie’s. How exciting to have these important records of our history returning to our state. I look forward to seeing them if they are placed on exhibition. Thank you for your contributions to preserving our heritage.

Ann Maher
Long Branch, NJ


I congratulate [the State Archives] on arranging the acquisition of the outstanding collection of maps and documents. Frankly, I was astonished that state money was available for the purchase. Whoever enlisted Gov[ernor] Codey in the project deserves our gratitude.

I am especially interested in the minutes of the meetings of the East Jersey Proprietors in England. We have always known of the existence of the group, but now we may learn about their precise activities. Obviously, this "new" material ties in with your recent acquisition of the East Jersey Board's papers.

Richard P. McCormick
Bridgewater


Job well done. Glad you succeeded in the purchase of historical documents for the state of New Jersey. They give further proof of the importance of our state in the history of the United States of America.

Ann Marie Miller
ArtPride New Jersey


As a resident of a state blessed with more history than any other, I believe it is most appropriate that all 11 of the rare and important 17th- and 18th-century New Jersey documents, maps and books sold at Christies this past week will now be owned by the state and housed in the State Archives in Trenton. Aptly describing the material as "the Dead Sea Scrolls of the settlement of New Jersey," Karl Niederer, director of the State Archives, deserves our thanks for his perserverance in acquiring the documents. And we also should be grateful to acting Gov. Richard Cody for authorizing the financial support for the purchase from a public records preservation fund.

Now researchers and members of the public will be able to see and examine documents that have been in private hands until this time. Charters, grants and other detailed materials related to the settlement of our major cities will now be available for scholars and the public. This is truly a time to celebrate New Jersey history!

Barbara Mitnick
Morristown, NJ
As seen in the Star-Ledger on June 26, 2005


Congratulations to Karl and everyone involved!

Bonnie-Lynn Nadzeika
Morris County Historical Society


Congratulations on this fabulous acquisition. Congratulations, too, on getting the state to provide you with the resources to be able to compete and succeed at the auction. My hat is off to you.

Sharon Naeole
New Jersey Heritage Press


Congratulations and sincere thanks to . . . the Star-Ledger and every one who had a hand in swinging this transaction. Generations of New Jerseyans will be appreciative even if they don’t know who had to do what to get them. Must have been a tense time.

Huzzah!

Rich Patterson
Old Barracks Museum


Congratulations on your winning bids of the 17th and 18th century documents. As a representative of the Potter families who helped settled Elizabeth, Newark, Woodbridge, and Piscataway in the 17th century, I am thrilled at the possibility of obtaining new information on my ancestors. These documents will surely add invaluable information to what I believe is an outstanding genealogy department. I and many Potter, researchers cannot wait to view this information on-line or have access to it in a manner prescribed by the archives.

Ronald B. Potter
Hillsborough, NJ


Congratulations! It is a truly worthy way to spend public money. Thanks for all the effort and determination that went into getting those documents where they really belong.

Mary Prendergast
Harding Township, NJ


I just wanted to . . . congratulate [the State Archives]. I was so excited to see that you were successful at the Christie's auction, and [the Archives] were able to get those documents, and at such a good price! I'm very excited! I'm thrilled, thrilled, thrilled, and I know you must be, too. So again, congratulations. It is indeed a great day for New Jersey.

Julie Ellen Prusinowski
New Jersey State Council on the Arts


I was delighted to learn that New Jersey was the successful bidder on the historic documents auctioned at Christie’s this week. Thank you and all your colleagues in the legislature and state government for making this happen!

As a New Jersey historian, I look forward to getting a closer look at these documents and thinking about what they tell us about our state’s origins. It is wonderful to be a citizen of a state that takes its history seriously!

With continuing thanks,

Karen Reeds
Curator, “A State of Health: New Jersey’s Medical Heritage


"All of your hard work has certainly paid off. Congratulations for a job well done."

Joseph F. Seliga
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War


This morning’s news was just what we hoped it would be. Congratulations! A wonderful victory for N.J. history.

Stephanie Stevens
Readington Township, NJ


Congrats to the proud new owner! There is no better place for these docs to be. When can we come get a look?

Tim Stollery
New Jersey Network


My heart felt congratulations to [the] N.J. Division of Archives and Records Management for your outstanding leadership and role in convincing state leaders to put up the money for the acquisition of those invaluable N.J. historical documents up for auction at Christie’s!

Ethel Washington
Union County Cultural and Heritage Commission


I just finished reading the story in the Philadelphia Inquirer about . . . [the State Archives'] wonderful acquisition, and it just made me feel so good and so proud, and I wanted to thank you, because what you have done will be important to the state and its people for a long time to come. And I hope you can promote it, and get a lot of people to be as appreciative and as enthusiastic as I am about the acquisition. Thanks a lot!

Shirley Wenzel
Pennington, NJ


I tried to imagine the privilege of access to those pamphlets, maps, and records, much less ownership, and mourned their dispersal to the highest bidders and subsequent re-immersion into private collections. How nice to hear of a real-life happy ending. Congratulations to the State of New Jersey on your acquisitions. Well done. This timely response from state officials should help counter “the disdain with which New Jersey is viewed in much of the rest of the world” (editorial, Home News Tribune, East Brunswick).

As an ex-pat[riot], I’ve long cited the “Garden State” label and asserted its validity, even while driving past Newark’s smoldering garbage dumps in the sixties. It may be just my perspective, but from Texas, New Jersey looks great.

M. C. Cheston Wilheit
College Station, Texas