w 1804 - 1808 Overseers of the Poor, Records, Negro Abandonments, Franklin Township, Bergen County, New Jersey
Dutch Door Genealogy 1804 - 1808 Overseers of the Poor, Records, Negro Abandonments, Franklin Township, Bergen County, New Jersey Dutch Door Genealogy, a Web Site For Rockland County New York and Bergen County New Jersey Historical Information
A Web Site For Rockland County New York
& Bergen County New Jersey Historical Information
Home | About | Contact



1804 - 1808 Overseers of the Poor, Negro Abandonments,
Franklin Township, Bergen County, New Jersey
Negro Abandonments, 1804-1808
(included in) Overseers of the Poor Records
Franklin Township, Bergen Co., NJ

Photocopied 23 July 1993 by Ethel Kay Konight from the original ledger then in the possession of the Mahwah Police
Department, Bergen Co., NJ.

Transcribed April 2008 by Pat Wardell and Ethel Kay Konight.

Franklin Precinct was a Bergen County, N.J. locality; called a "precinct" prior to 1767 and after 1767 called
"Franklin Township". It was named for Provincial Governor William Franklin, son of Benjamin Franklin.
Franklin Township was formed by Royal charter on June 1, 1771 from area taken from Saddle River Township.
 In 1797 part of its area was transferred to Pompton Township. Franklin Township was incorporated on
February 21, 1798. In February 1837 a large portion of Franklin Township in Bergen County became part of
Passaic County.  In 1844 a part of its area was transferred to Washington Township; and in 1845 this same area
was restored to Franklin Township. In 1849 part of Franklin Township was incorporated into Hohokus Township.
-- Pat Wardell

The records transcribed here are from the Franklin Township ledger. It appears that similar records were kept on
a county level (as Black Births) and possibly on a state level as well. The county records were copied by
Ackerman Hawkey in 1923. These were published as:

"Book of Black Birth In Bergen County, N.J. between 1804 and 1844 as Recorded in the Bergen County Clerk's Office
at Hackensack" copied by Ackerman Hawkey in 1923 from original manuscript. Beginning in 1804, a record of the
births of the children of slaves was kept by the county clerk of each NJ county; for Bergen Co., this fascinating and
little known record was copied by hand in 1923 and contains the dates of birth and registration and the names of the
child, birth mother and slave owner.

Three records found in Hawkey's transcript that do not appear in the Franklin Township ledger can be found at the
end of this document.

Those who find a name of interest in the following Township records might wish to refer to the Ackerman Hawkey book
for variations in names, spellings and additional information.

Transcriber's Notes
Spellings have been retained for names; some other spellings have been modernized to facilitate easy reading
(for instance, town "clark" has been modernized to town "clerk"). Square brackets indicate a query or interpolation by the
transcriber. Some of the entries, as noted, have large Xs drawn through them. The transcribers believe this to have been
a method used by the recorder to indicate that the transaction was paid, or completed. We do not think the Xs mean
that the entry should be considered deleted.

----------------------------

In 1804, New Jersey enacted "An act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery" to be effective 4 July 1804 (ironically,
Independence Day). New Jersey was the last of the northern states to abolish slavery. Starting in 1804, African Americans
were born free but were required to serve lengthy apprenticeships to adulthood for owners of their mothers.

The entire law is as follows (thanks to Liz Johnson who cited the New Jersey Digital Legal Library, Rutgers University):

Feb. 15, 1804, Acts 28th G.A. 2nd sitting, ch.CIII, p. 251-254.

SEC. 1. BE it enacted by the Council and General Assembly of this State, and it is hereby enacted by the authority
of the same, That every child born of a slave within this state, after the fourth day of July next, shall be free; but shall
remain the servant of the owner of his or her mother, and the executors, administrators or assigns of such owner,
in the same manner as if such child had been bound to service by the trustees or overseers of the poor, and shall
continue in such service, if a male, until the age of twenty five years; and if a female until the age of twenty one years.

2. And be it enacted, That every person being an inhabitant of this state, who shall be entitled to the service of a child
born as aforesaid, after the said fourth day of July next, shall within nine months after the birth of such child, cause to
be delivered to the clerk of the county whereof such person shall be an inhabitant, a certificate in writing, containing
the name and addition of such person, and the name, age, and sex of the child so born; which certificate, whether the
same be delivered before or after the said nine months; shall be by the said clerk recorded in a book to be by him
provided for that purpose; and such record thereof shall be good evidence of the age of such child; and the clerk of such
county shall receive from said person twelve cents for every child so registered: and if any person shall neglect to
deliver such certificate to the said clerk within the said nine months, such person shall forfeit and pay for every such
offence, five dollars, and the further sum of one dollar for every month such person shall neglect to deliver the same,
to be sued for and recovered by any person who will sue for the same, the one half to the use of such prosecutor, and
the residue to the use of the poor of the township in which such delinquent shall reside.

3. And be it enacted, That the person entitled to the service of any child born as aforesaid, may, nevertheless within one
year after the birth of such child, elect to abandon such right; in which case a notification of such abandonment,
under the hand of such person, shall be filed with the clerk of the township, or where there may be a county poorhouse
established, then with the clerk of the board of trustees of said poor-house of the county in which such person shall
reside; but every child so abandoned shall be maintained by such person until such child arrives to the age of one year,
and thereafter shall be considered as a pauper of such township or county, and liable to be bound out by the trustees
or overseers of the poor in the same manner as other poor children are directed to be bound out, until, if a male, the age
of twenty five, and if a female, the age of twenty one; and such child, while such pauper, until it shall be bound out,
shall be maintained by the trustees or overseers of the poor of such county or township, as the case may be, at the
expence of this state; and for that purpose the director of the board of chosen freeholders of the county, is hereby
required, from time to time, to draw his warrant on the treasurer in favor of such trustees or overseers for the amount
of such expence, not exceeding the rate of three dollars per month; provided the accounts for the same be first certified
and approved by such board of trustees, or the town committee of such township; and every person who shall omit to
notify such abandonment as aforesaid, shall be considered as having to retain the service of such child, and be liable
for its maintenance until the period to which its servitude is limited as aforesaid.

A. Passed at Trenton, Feb. 15, 1804

----------------------

I Henry Van Emburgh of the Township of Franklin in the County of Bergen Do Notify you Henry Van Allen Clerk
of Said Township that I abandon the right I have to my Negro Child Dine as Witness my hand. Henry V Emburgh. 

I Andrew Hopper of the Town of Franklin in the county of Bergen Do notify you Henry Van Allen Clerk of the
Township aforesaid that I Do Abandon my Negro Child named Hendrick as witness my hand this 10th Day of
October 1805. Andrew Hopper.

I Abandon a Negro Child named Mary Born the 1 Day December 1804 -- this 18 Day of November 1805
by Jacob Garrison.

I Abandon a Negro child named Feby Born the 18th Day November 1804 -- this 16 of November 1805.
[Frou? Froutje? Thos.?] Van Buskirk.

I Abandon a Negro Child named Sary Born the 9th Day of November 1804. James Lerue.

I Thomas Pound of the Township of Franklin in the county of Bergen & state of New Jersey Do Abandon
my right and of my Negro boy Named Claus his Mother's Name Grace Born the 19th of August 1805. April 14, 1805.
Thomas Pound.

[new page]

I Rachel Hopper of Franklin in the county of Bergen Do Notify you Henry V. Allen Town Clerk that I Do Abandon
my right and title I have to my Negro Boy Named Joseph Born the 22 of February 1805 of a Black Woman Named
Sara as Witness my hand. 25 June 1806. Rachel Hopper [X, her mark]

I Marten Van Houten of the Township of Franklin in the county of Bergen Do Abandon my right and title I have
to my Negro Girl named Jane Born the 31st Day of March 1805. Febry 25th 1806. Marten V. Houten.

I Elshy Hopper of the Township of Franklin in the county of Bergen and state of New Jersey Do Abandon all my right
and title I have one year as this Date have of a Negro Male Child Named Ceser born of my Wench the 15th Day
February 1805. Elshy Hopper [Effy?].

I John Hopper of the Township in the county of Bergen and state of New Jersey Do hereby Notify you Henry Van Allen
Clerk of said Township that I Do Abandon my right and title I have to my Negro boy named [Harry? Henry?] Born
the 23 of January 1805. Dec. 3rd, 1805. John Hopper.

[page]

I John Van Allen of the Township of Franklin Do Notify you Henry Van Allen Clerk of the Township aforesaid that I
Do Abandon my right and title to my Negro boy Named Tone [Tom?] as Witness my hand this 24th Day of
September 1805. John Van Allen.

I Henry [Messicer? Megreer? Mefreer] of the Township of Franklin in the county & state of New Jersey Do Notify you
Henry Van Allen Clerk of Aforesaid that I Do Abandon the right and title I have to my Negro Child Named
Margret Born the 17 Day of January 1805 as Witness my hand 12th Day of October 1805.
Henry [Messicer? Megreer?; Mefreer?]. Diseest? [Deceased?]
[Transcriber's note: this entire entry has been crossed out with a large "X" through the entry.]

I Cornelius Smith Do Notify you Henry Van Allen Town Clerk that I Do Abandon my right & title of a
[word illegible] C Child Named Susan the Mother's name Filis Born the 16th October 1804.

I John Willis Do Notify you Henry Van Allen Town Clerk of the Township of Franklin that I abandon the right
and title I have to my Negro Girl Named Jin Born the 15 of March 1805. John Willis.

[page]

I James Blauvelt Do Notify the town clerk the same Neglected we the Overseers of the Poor Do Inter [enter]
the same that I Do Abandon my Right and title of a female Child named Jen Born the 18 [?] Day of April 1805.
John L. Ackerman Over. of the Poor.

I John H. Hopper of the Township of Franklin in the county of Bergen do Notify you Henry Van Allen Clerk
of the Township Aforesaid that I do Abandon the Right I have to my Negro Child [Samp? Sam?] Born the 26th day
of July 1805 as witness my hand this 28th day of February 1806. This is to Certify that the above Certificate was
Neglected by the former Town Clerk. I now make Entry of the same April the 26th 1807. Jacob Young, Town Clerk.
[Transcriber's note: this entire entry has been crossed out with a large "X" through the entry.]

[Found on a loose sheet of paper in the ledger and inserted here: John H Hopper of the Township of Franklin
County of Bergen do notify you Henry Van Allen Clerk of the Township aforesaid that I do abandon the rights
I have to my negro child  Sa-__ born the 26th day of July 1805 - as witness my hand this 28th day of February 1806
Signed Henry Van Allen Town Clerk    John H Hopper.]

I Albert Smith of the Township of Franklin in the County of Bergen Do Hereby Certify that on the 28 Day of April 1805
was born of my Negro woman slave a male Child Named Jack as witness my hand this 27th day of January 1808.
Albert Smith.
This is to Certify that the Above Certificate was Neglected by the former Town Clerk. I now make an Entry of the same
April 28th 1807. I Enter this [illegible word] Order of the Overseers of the Poor. Jacob Young, Clerk.

[page]

The following is an Account of all the Black paupers which is at present a state Charge April the 27, 1808.

Henry Van Emburgh one Negro Child for keeping one year and to Draw his pay as Usual twenty five Dollars.

Andrew Hopper one Negro Child Hendrick Brought over to Pegga Ackerman for pay as usual twenty five Dollars.

Jacob Garrison one Negro Child Mary for keeping one year as to draw his pay as usual the sum of twenty five Dollars.

Froutye Van Boskirk one Negro Child Phillis for keeping for one year and to draw this pay as usual the sum of
Twenty five Dollars.

James Laroe one Negro Child [Sara?] for keeping for one year and to Draw this pay as usual the sum of
Twenty five Dollars.

Thomas Pound one Negro Child G--- for keeping for one year and to Draw this pay as Usual the sum of
Twenty five Dollars.

Rachael Hopper one Negro Child Joseph for keeping and to Draw this pay as usual the sum of Twenty five Dollars.

Martin Van Houten one Negro Child [name illegible] for keeping for one year and Draw his pay as Usual
Twenty five Dollars.

Brought Over to Elijah Rosegrant one Negro Child Named Casor for --- for one year and to Draw this Usual
Twenty five Dollars.

[John?] Hopper one Negro Child [Hannah?] for one year and to Draw ---- as Usual Twenty five Dollars.

[John?] Van Allen [entry illegible] Twenty five Dollars.

[page]

Cornelius Smith one Negro Child for keeping for one year and to Draw this pay as Usual twenty five Dollars.

John Willis one Negro Child gin for keeping for one year and to Draw this sum as Usual.

James Blauvelt one Negro Child Gin for keeping for one year and to Draw this sum as Usual the sum of
Twenty five Dollars.

Albert Smith one Negro Child Jack for keeping for one year and to Draw this pay as usual the sum of
Twenty five Dollars.

[end]
from Hawkey, Ackerman, Book of Black Birth (Bergen County, N.J. 1804-1844)
(these three entries do not appear in the Franklin Township ledger)

I, Christian A. Zabriskie, do hereby Certify that in the month of September, 1804, was born of my Negro woman slave,
in the Township of Franklin, a male child named Joe.   July 2d, 1805.     Christian A. Zabriskie.
 
I, Peter Ackerman, of the Township of Franklin, County of Bergen, do hereby Certify that on the 22d day of May, 1805,
was born of my Negro woman slave a female child named Susan. As witness my hand this 18th day of October, 1805.
Peter Ackerman
 
I, Abraham Voorhis, of the Township of Franklin, County of Bergen, do hereby Certify that on the 17th day of
April, 1805, was born of my Negro woman slave a female child named Gin. As witness my hand this 23d day
of November 1805. Abraham Van Voorhis.




Home | About | Contact

COPYRIGHT ©1998-2017 DUTCH DOOR GENEALOGY. All Rights Reserved.