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"Quaker" Politics in Eighteenth Century New Jersey: A Documentary Account

Larry R. Gerlach


Gerlach looks at a 25th of the 3d Month, 1772 broadside, "FROM the WEEKLY MEETING IN G[REE]N [WIC]H, to the MONTHLY MEETING in S [ALE] M" held in Rutgers Special Collections to demostrated the fractional nature of politics in colonial New Jersey, which developed in and continued long after the proprietary colonies of East and West Jersey.  It is related to a provincial election of 1772 in Cumberland County. The campaign was conspicuously devoid of ideological appeals or matters of public policy. Instead, ad hominem arguments, red herrings, and emotional appeals dominated the contest. In sum, the significance of the broadside lies in its graphic description of the rough-and-tumble, no-holds-barred style of politics that was the hallmark of colonial New Jersey.

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