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PAPERS OF JOHN AND ELIZABETH ESTAUGH13 3.The addition of the 1668 work to the list of Anti-Quakeriana. 4.The emergence of these works as the first translations from the French to be written or published in America, and except for the " Bay State Psalm Book " the first independent American translation into English from any language. 5.The suggestion that Johannes Becoldus Redevivus is the first book about Friends to be written in America. THE BUSINESS PAPERS OF JOHN AND ELIZABETH ESTAUGH i . By Rebecca Nicholson Taylor The business papers of John and Elizabeth Estaugh which have been preserved, date from their marriage certificate, 10th mo. 1st, 1702, to Elizabeth's last letter to her London correspondents, 6th mo. 12th, 1761. These papers give us a glimpse of the difficulties of early land ownership in the Provinces of West Jersey and Pennsylvania. Elizabeth Estaugh lived under eight English monarchs. During her life, great historical events took place. There were the wars of the Stuart Succession, the Spanish Succession, the Austrian Succession, the English and French Canadian war and many other contests, but the quiet West Jersey Quakers attended to their affairs undisturbed, except for the uncertainty of communication with England, or their impelling " concerns " to take religious journeys, during which they apparently took little heed of anything but the delivery of their " message." In 1713, John and Elizabeth built their handsome house at Haddonfield, planted their English yew trees, and made their garden. An oak-beamed brick meeting house was built on ground selected by Elizabeth, and donated by John Haddon. Here large numbers of Quakers gathered, especially at monthly and quarterly meetings. At the Estaugh home were entertained many English Quaker Copeland and John Rous after their return from Massachusetts, the earliest of them, entitled New England's Ensigne, was not written until they were at sea " in the second month of the year 1659." 1 Based largely on unpublished manuscripts in possession of the author. See article and bibliography by the same author on " Thomas Story's Pennsylvania Estates" in the Bulletin, 19 (1930) : 92-97. 14 BULLETIN OF FRIENDS' HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION preachers, who came with their ardent souls and lengthy sermons to encourage American Quakers and to refute heretics. For twenty years after the death of John Estaugh, Elizabeth lived in her beautiful home, dispensing hospitality to Friends travelling between Philadelphia and New York, who mention her in their journals as the Widow Estaugh The business papers which Elizabeth so carefully preserved, dealt chiefly with the care of large properties, some given to her by her father, and others placed in the care of John Estaugh either by private persons, or by the Pennsylvania Land Company, of London. Many of these properties, especially those in Pennsylvania , which had previously belonged to Thomas Story, seem to have come from a regular Pandora's box of troubles. From the yellowed pages of these old papers we can learn something of the difficulties which beset land owners in the new provinces, largely unexplored, unsurveyed and unsettled. The legal center of the West Jersey properties was at Burlington, while Pennsylvania properties had to be dealt with in Philadelphia. A highway had been surveyed in 1681 between Salem and Amboy which passed through Haddonfield and Burlington. The distance between these two latter points was about fifteen miles, and while it was probably many years before the road was well fitted for vehicles, it could easily be covered on horseback. On the other hand, for many weeks in winter and spring, the Delaware River must have been an almost insuperable barrier between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The creeks in New Jersey were its earliest highways, and the landowners generally had their own boats to carry themselves and their products to Philadelphia. There was one ferry at Cooper's Point, where it is recorded that in 1715 there were two ferryboats, fitted with oars or sails and licensed to carry passengers, including men and beasts. That John Estaugh needed a representative in Philadelphia was obvious, and he selected for this purpose, William Rawle, a member of the Philadelphia bar. Among the papers of John and Elizabeth Estaugh there are a number which show...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 13-19
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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