New Jersey, one of the original thirteen states of the American Union. It ratified the Federal Constitution on December 18, 1787, being preceded only by Delaware and Pennsylvania. The capital of the state is Trenton. The extreme length of New Jersey from north to south is 160 miles, its extreme breadth 70 miles, and its gross area 7815 square miles. It is situated between 38° 55′ 39″ and 41° 21′ 19″ N. lat., and between 73° 53′ 51″ and 75° 33′ 3″ W. long. It is bounded on the north by New York State, on the east by the Hudson River and the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by Delaware Bay, and on the west by the Delaware River. In 1910 the population was 2,537,167 (I,883,669 in 1900), the state being thus, notwithstanding its large mountainous and forest areas, more densely populated than the most fertile of the prairie states or the great manufacturing States of New York or Pennsylvania. New Jersey has, in proportion to its area, more miles of railway than any other state, the majority of the eastern trunk lines traversing it. Its farms yield a larger income in proportion to the area cultivated than the richest states of the Mississippi valley. In manufactures it ranks sixth in the Union.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS.—Much of the northern half of New Jersey is mountainous, and much of its southern half is covered with forest. The state divides itself naturally into four belts, differing in age, in the nature of the underlying rocks, and in topography. The Appalachian belt, made up of the Kittatinny range and valley, forms the northwestern part of the state. This ridge is due to tilted-up layers of hard rock, which have been able to resist the agents of waste, while the softer rocks were being slowly worn away to form the Kittatinny valley. The Kittatinny Mountains constitute the highest land in the state, and are clothed with forests; the valley, which is one of the most fertile parts of the state, is devoted to general farming and grazing. There are no large cities, and but little manufacturing, in this section. The Highland belt is the oldest part of the state, and is a portion of the very ancient mountain system of which the Blue Ridge Mountains are a worndown remnant. The Highlands (generally less than 1500 feet high) are a region of lakes, forests, and picturesque valleys, but are not a productive farming section. Here, in ancient crystalline rocks, are found valuable beds of iron and of zinc ore, but there are no large cities and no extensive manufacturing. The Piedmont belt is a rolling plain from which rise abrupt ridges of hard trap-rock. The Palisades along the Hudson and the Orange or Watchung Mountains are the most prominent of these ridges. While the rocks of the Piedmont plain are mostly sandstone and shale, the trap-rocks are ancient lava sheets. This, the belt of dense population, many cities, great manufacturing activity, and generally productive soil, is by far the most wealthy part of the state. The northern part of New Jersey was covered by the ice sheet of the glacial period. As a result, there are many swamps, lakes, and waterfalls, a glacial soil with many boulders, and the terminal moraine formed by low rounded hills. These hills are composed of till, gravel, boulders, etc., brought together by the advancing ice sheet and piled up along its front. The coastal plain is the youngest, flattest, and largest of the four natural divisions of the state, of which it forms more than one half. It is composed of layer upon layer of sand, clay, gravel, and marl sediments, that were, in past ages, slowly deposited in the ocean waters along the coast, and afterwards into a low, sandy plain. The marl belt and a few other portions are alone fertile. More than half of the coastal plain is covered with pine forests and is thinly peopled. Outside of the larger cities, the raising of fruit and vegetables for the city markets and the manufacture of glass are the chief industries. The seacoast is fringed with summer resorts.
CIVIL HISTORY.—The precise date of the first settlement in New Jersey is not known, though it is believed that the Danes or Norwegians, who crossed the Atlantic with the Dutch colonists, began a settlement at Bergen about 1624. Ten years previously an attempt had been made to form a settlement at Jersey City. In 1623 the Dutch West India Company sent out a ship under the command of Captain Cornelius Jacobse Mey. Entering Delaware Bay, he gave his name to its northern cape, and then, sailing up the river to Gloucester, built Fort Nassau, which may be considered the first permanent settlement of the state. In 1632 Charles I granted to Sir Edmund Plowden a vast tract of land embracing New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, although he had previously granted Maryland to Lord Baltimore. In 1634 Plowden made a grant of ten thousand acres to Sir Thomas Danby on condition that he would settle one hundred planters on it, and would not permit “any to live thereon not believing or professing the three Christian creeds commonly called the Apostolical, Athanasian, and Nicene”. In 1642 Plowden sailed up the Delaware River, which he named “The Charles”, and founded at Salem City a settlement of seventy persons. The efforts of Thomas and George Plowden to assert their claims to the lands granted to their grandfather proved futile, the possessions having fallen into other hands after the latter had retired to Virginia during the Commonwealth. In 1606, prior to the grant of Charles I to Plowden, King James had granted a new patent for Virginia (ignoring that of Sir Walter Raleigh, dated 1584), in which was included the territory now known as the New England States, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. The possession of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and adjacent lands was subsequently claimed by the Dutch and Swedes. The former built Fort Nassau on the Delaware near Gloucester. Disputes as to the rightful possession of this territory continued until March 12, 1664, when Charles II with royal disregard for previous patents, grants, and charters, deeded to his brother James, Duke of York, a vast tract embracing much of New England, New York, and all of what is now New Jersey. This was accompanied by active preparations to drive the Dutch from America, as their possession of New Jersey, if acquiesced in, would practically separate the New England Colonies from Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas. In the summer of 1664 armed vessels appeared in New York harbor, and after negotiations the Dutch surrendered.
In the meantime the Duke of York transferred to two favorites, Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, practically what is now the State of New Jersey by the following description: “All that tract of land adjacent to New England and lying and being to the westward of Long Island, bounded on the east part by the main sea and part by the Hudson River, and hath upon the west, Delaware bay or river, and extendeth southward to the main ocean as far as Cape May, at the mouth of Delaware bay, and to the northward as far as the northernmost branch of said bay or river of Delaware, which is forty-one degrees and forty minutes of latitude, and worketh over thence in a straight line to Hudson river, which said tract of land is hereafter to be called by the name or names of Nova Caesarea or New Jersey”. This name was given in honor of Carteret’s gallant defense of the Island of Jersey (Caeesarea), of which he was governor, during the parliamentary wars. This grant regarded the Dutch as intruders, and Berkeley and Carteret not only became rulers, but acquired the right to transfer the privilege to others. Measures were speedily devised for peopling and governing the country. The proprietors published a constitution, dated February 10, 1664, by which the government of the province was to be exercised by a governor, council, and general assembly. The governor was to receive his appointment from the proprietors. On the same day that the instrument of government was signed, Philip Carteret, a brother of one of the proprietors, received a commission as Governor of New Jersey, and landed at Elizabeth in August, 1665. By granting a liberal form of government and extolling the advantages of their colony, so well located for agriculture, commerce, fishing, and mining, Carteret and Berkeley attracted settlers not only from England, but from Scotland, New England, and particularly from Long Island and Connecticut. These planters were largely Calvinists from Presbyterian and Congregational communities, and occupied mainly land in Newark, Elizabeth, and upon the north shore of Monmouth county. The valley of the Delaware remained unsettled. The Calvinists brought with them into East Jersey their distinctive views upon religious and civil matters.
The first Legislative Assembly met at Elizabethtown on May 26, 1668. The session lasted four days, and was characterized by harmony and strict attention to the business for which the burgesses and representatives were summoned by Governor Carteret. It may be noticed that this assembly passed laws by which twelve distinct offenses were made punishable with death. The assembly adjourned sine die, and seven years elapsed before another convened. The capture of New York by the Dutch, on July 30, 1673, was followed by the subjection of the surrounding country, including the province of New Jersey. The whole of the territory, however, was restored to the English Crown by the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of February 9, 1674. The second General Assembly began its sessions on November 5, 1675. Laws were enacted concerning the proper military defense of the province, the institution of regular courts, and the assessment of taxes. A code of capital laws was also adopted, similar in its provisions to that passed in 1668. On March 18, 1673, Lord Berkeley disposed of his right and interest in the province to John Fenwick and Edward Byllinge, members of the Society of Quakers, or Friends, for the sum of one thousand pounds. John Fenwick received the conveyance in trust for Edward Byllinge, and a dispute as to the terms having arisen, William Penn was called in as arbitrator. He gave one-tenth of the province and a considerable sum of money to Fenwick, the remainder of the territory being adjudged to Byllinge. In 1676 a division of the Carteret and Berkeley interests occurred. By the “Indenture Quintipartite”, dated July 1, 1676, the line of division was made to extend across the province from Little Egg Harbor to a point in the Delaware River in forty-one degrees N. lat. The divisions were known respectively as East and West Jersey, until the charters of both were surrendered, and the two portions included together under a royal government. After Berkeley’s transfer the dominant influence in West Jersey was that of the Society of Friends. Salem was settled in 1675; Burlington, Gloucester, and Trenton about five years later, while within ten years the “shore” communities of Cape May and Tuckerton came into existence. The Society of Friends established in West Jersey a series of communities in which the life of the people was different from that of East Jersey. As East Jersey resembled New England in civil government, so West Jersey resembled Virginia. The political and social centers of the large plantations were the shire towns; slave-holding was common; a landed aristocracy was established; prominent families intermarried, and, under the advice of William Penn and his friends, good faith was kept with the Indians. Capital punishment was practically unknown, and disputes were frequently settled by arbitration.
Two elements of discord marked the genesis of East Jersey and West Jersey. One was external, and arose from the attitude of the Duke of York. As we have already noted, New Jersey was recaptured in 1673 by the Dutch, who held the colony until the early spring of 1674. A question arose as to the Duke of York’s title after 1674; reconveyances were made, but in spite of past assurances the duke claimed the proprietary right of government. To that end Sir Edmund Andros was commissioned Governor of New Jersey, and a climax was reached in 1680 when the proprietary Governor of East Jersey was carried prisoner to New York. In 1681 the Crown recognized the justice of the proprietors’ contention, and local government was reestablished, but not before the seeds of disaffection were sown that bore fruit in the Revolutionary War. An internal disturbance was the contest between the Board of Proprietors and the small landowners. Both in East and West Jersey, Carteret and Berkeley and their assigns had transferred to wealthy combinations of capitalists (mostly non-resident) much of the broad acreage of the colonies. With the land went the right of selection of governors and of members of executive councils, which right Berkeley and Carteret derived from the Crown. This, with “quit-rent” agitation in East Jersey, led to much bitterness. Finally, disgusted with turmoil and recognizing the sentiments of revolt entertained by the people, the Boards of Proprietors surrendered to the Crown in 1702 their rights of government, retaining only their interest in the soil. East and West Jersey were now united and the two provinces became the royal colony of New Jersey. Queen Anne appointed Lord Cornbury, Governor of New York and New Jersey, but each continued to have a separate assembly. In 1738 New Jersey petitioned for a distinct administration, and Lewis Morris was appointed governor. The population was then about 40,000. The last royal governor was William Franklin, the natural son of Benjamin Franklin. The opening of the Revolution found New Jersey sentiment unevenly crystallized. Few, if any, favored absolute independence. There were three elements. One, the Tory and conservative class and led by William Franklin, embraced nearly all the Episcopalians, a vast proportion of the non-combatant members of the Society of Friends, and some East Jersey Calvinists. Another element was composed of men of various shades of belief, some in favor of continual protest, others desirous of compromise. This included at the outbreak of the struggle most of the Calvinists, some few Quakers of the younger generation, and the Irish and Scotch. The third party drew its support from a few bold, aggressive spirits of influence, whose following included men who believed that war for independence would benefit their fortunes. The part played in the Revolution by New Jersey has been frequently told. Events succeeded rapidly after Trenton and Princeton; Monmouth and Red Bank are ever memorable, while the raids at Salem, Springfield, Elizabeth, in the valley of the Hackensack, and the winter at Morristown are a part of national history. Lying between New York and Philadelphia, its soil was a theatre where the drama of war was always presented. At no time was the Tory element suppressed, finding its expression in open hostility, or in the barbaric cruelties of the “Pine Robbers” of Monmouth, Burlington, Gloucester, and Salem counties. Though under suspicion, the Society of Friends was neutral, for conscience’ sake, remaining faithful to the teachings of its creed. The close of the struggle found the people of New Jersey jubilant and not disposed to relinquish their sovereignty. The Articles of Confederation were weak and had become a byword and a jest. There was much state pride and much aristocratic feeling among the old families who continued to dominate state politics.
ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY—Early Missionary Efforts.—The comparative liberality of the proprietary rule of Berkeley and Carteret, especially in religious matters, attracted some Catholic settlers to New Jersey. As early as 1672 we find Fathers Harvey and Gage visiting both Woodbridge and Elizabethtown (then the capital of New Jersey) for the purpose of ministering to the Catholics in those places. Robert Vanquellen, a native of Caen, France, and a Catholic, lived at Woodbridge, and was surveyor general of that section of New Jersey in 1669 and 1670. Catholics were, however, regarded with some suspicion and considerable bigotry at times manifested itself. A Catholic by the name of William Douglass, when elected a representative from Bergen County, was excluded, because of his religious convictions, from the General Assembly of 1668. In 1691 the New York Assembly passed the first anti-Catholic enactment, which was followed by laws strongly opposed to Catholics and their beliefs both in New York and New Jersey. Lord Cornbury, when appointed governor in 1701, was instructed by Queen Anne to permit liberty of conscience to all persons except “papists”.
The first Catholics in New Jersey were probably those who availed themselves of the grant made by Charles I in 1632 to Sir Edmund Plowden, and of Plowden’s conveyance in 1634 to Thomas Danby. In this way a Catholic settlement was founded near Salem. The fine clay found at Woodbridge attracted some Catholics to that place as early as 1672. The ship “Philip”, which is said to have brought Carteret to America, also transported several French Catholics, who were skilled as salt makers, to New Jersey. The records show Hugh Dunn and John and James Kelly in Woodbridge in 1672. In 1741 some fanatics, unable to bear the toleration which the Catholics were enjoying in the province, endeavored to arouse ill-feeling against them by accusing them of complicity in the “Negro Plot”. In the persecution thus aroused Father John Ury, a Catholic priest (see Flynn op. cit. in bibliography, pp. 21-2), who had exercised unostentatiously his sacred ministry in New Jersey, and had been engaged for about twelve months in teaching at Burlington was put to death in New York City, the real cause being the violent hostility of the rabble towards the Catholic name and priesthood. Father Robert Harding arrived in Philadelphia from England in August, 1749, when the City of Brotherly Love contained only 2000 homes. He labored in New Jersey from 1762 until his death in 1772, at the age of seventy years. Father Ferdinand Farmer, whose family name was Steenmeyer (q.v.), may be considered the true missionary of New Jersey.
In “First Catholics in New Jersey”, in 1744, Father Theodore Schneider, a distinguished Jesuit, professor of philosophy and theology in Europe, visited Kew. Jersey and celebrated Mass at the iron furnaces there. Having some skill in medicine, he was accustomed to cure the body as well as the soul; and travelling about, under the name of Doctor Schneider he obtained access, to places whither he could not otherwise have gone without great personal danger. Sometimes, however, his real character was discovered, and several times he was shot at in New Jersey. He used to carry in his missionary excursions a manuscript copy of the Roman Missal, carefully written in his own hand. He died on July 11, 1764. Patrick Colvin seems to have been the only Catholic resident in Trenton in 1776. He was interested in the cause of the patriots, and helped to furnish the boats used to transport General Washington’s army across the Delaware on December 25, 1776. Captain Michael Kearney, a Catholic, lived near Whippany in Morris County on his large estate, consisting of about one thousand acres, known as “The Irish Lott”. The inscription on his tomb bears witness to his genial hospitality of disposition, and to his having served as a captain in the British Navy. He died at the age of seventy-eight years, six months, and twenty-eight days on April 5, 1797. Molly Pitcher (nee McCauley), who acquired fame at the Battle of Monmouth, was a Catholic girl. One Pierre Malou, who had been a general in the Belgian Army, was a resident of Princeton from 1795 to 1799; he purchased five hundred acres of land in Cherry Valley; subsequently he sailed for Europe in order to bring his wife and two sons to New Jersey. On the return voyage his wife died. He returned to Europe, became a lay brother of the Society of Jesus; afterwards he studied theology, and was later raised to the priesthood, came to America again and was stationed in Madison. Father Pierre Malou died at New York on October 13, 1827, and is buried under St. Peter’s Church in Barclay Street.
When Bishop John Carroll returned from England he received Father John Rossiter, an Augustinian, into his diocese in 1790. On May 27, 1799, the Augustinians were given permission to establish convents of their order in the United States. They established missions in New Jersey at Cape May and at Trenton in 1803 and 1805, and at Paterson a little later. St. John’s parish at Trenton, now the parish of the Sacred Heart, was the first parish established in New Jersey (1799). St. Joseph‘s Church in Philadelphia was the first parish church for the Catholics of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. The Father Harding above referred to was pastor of this parish and is said to have been the first priest to have visited New Jersey prior to 1762. St. John’s Church in Newark was built in 1828, and the first pastor was Rev. Gregory Bryan Pardow. Father Pardow was born in England in 1804, and in 1829 was named as first pastor of the first Catholic parish founded in Newark. During and after the terrible famine in Ireland about1848 a great number of Irish Catholics came to New Jersey. About this time Father Bernard John McQuaid (q.v.) began his missionary career in New Jersey. He became pastor at Madison in 1848, and had missions at Morristown, Dover, Mendham, Basking Ridge, and Springfield. His parish extended from Madison to the banks of the Delaware, including Morris, Somerset, Warren, and Sussex Counties, besides Short Hills in Essex and Springfield in Union. He opened the first Catholic school in New Jersey at Madison; built the Church of the Assumption at Morristown; St. Joseph‘s at Mendham; and St. Rose’s at Springfield, now removed to Short Hills. He became rector of St. Patrick’s pro-cathedral at Newark in 1853, upon the arrival of the Bulls from Rome appointing James Roosevelt Bayley, first Bishop of Newark; he built Seton Hall College and was its first president, and brought the Sisters of Charity into the Diocese of Newark.
DIOCESES AND CATHOLIC POPULATION.—The State of New Jersey is divided ecclesiastically into the Dioceses of Newark and Trenton, which are treated in separate articles. The total Catholic population of the state is about 500,000.
LEGISLATION ON MATTERS DIRECTLY AFFECTING RELIGION—The First Constitution of the State of New Jersey, adopted at the Provincial Congress held at Burlington on July 2, 1776, was a makeshift war measure, and provided that all state officers of prominence should be elected by a legislature chosen by voters possessing property qualifications. While this instrument provided “that no person shall ever, within this colony, be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshiping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; nor under any pretense whatever be compelled to attend any place of worship, contrary to his own faith and judgment”; and while it also provided “that there shall be no establishment of any one religious sect in this province in preference to another”, yet it discriminated by implication against Catholics for public office in the following language: “that no Protestant inhabitant of this colony shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil right merely on account of his religious principles, but that all persons professing a belief in the faith of any Protestant sect, who shall demean themselves peaceably under the government, as hereby established, shall be capable of being elected into any office of profit or trust, or being a member of either branch of the Legislature, and shall fully and freely enjoy every privilege and immunity enjoyed by others their fellow-subjects”. The Constitution agreed upon in convention at Trenton in 1844, and ratified by the people at an election held on August 13, 1844, guarantees absolute freedom of worship, and further provides that “no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust; and no person shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil right merely on account of his religious principles.” In it there is no discrimination in favor of Protestants as in the earlier instrument.
The statutes of the state prohibit all worldly employment or business, except works of necessity or charity, on Sunday. Oaths are administered to all witnesses in courts of justice either by the ceremony of the uplifted hand or on the Bible, except where one declares himself, for conscientious reasons, to be scrupulous concerning the taking of an oath, in which case his solemn affirmation or declaration is accepted. Blasphemy and profanity are prohibited by statute and punishable by fine, while perjury is punished by fine and imprisonment, besides disqualification afterwards on the part of the person convicted to give evidence in any court of justice. The sessions of the Legislature are, through custom, opened by prayer. Catholic clergymen have frequently officiated in both houses on such occasions. The legal holidays in New Jersey are New Year’s Day; Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12; Washington’s Birthday, February 22; Good Friday; Memorial Day, also known as Decoration Day, May 30; Independence Day, July 4; October 12, known as Columbus Day; the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, or Election Day; Thanksgiving Day, which is fixed by the governor’s proclamation; and Christmas Day. There is no statutory provision recognizing the seal of the confessional, but no attempt to compel an answer to a question which would involve a breach of the sacramental seal has ever been known in the history of New Jersey jurisprudence.
LEGISLATION ON MATTERS AFFECTING RELIGIOUS WORK—In 1875 a liberal statute was enacted, which has since then been supplemented and amended, whereby parochial corporations can be created through the filing with the county clerk of a certificate of incorporation signed by the Roman Catholic bishop of the diocese concerned, the vicar-general (or, in case of the vacancy of either of those offices, the administrator of the diocese for the time being), and two lay members of the church or congregation. Religious societies organized under this act may acquire, purchase, and hold lands, legacies, donations, and other personal property to an amount not exceeding $3000 a year (exclusive of the church edifices, schoolhouses, and parsonages, and the lands whereon the same are erected), and burying places. The religious corporation may grant and dispose of its real and personal property; but all proceedings, orders, and acts must be those of a majority of the corporation, and not of a less number, and to be valid must receive the sanction of the bishop. Under an Act of the Legislature approved on April 11, 1908, any Roman Catholic diocese may become a corporation, and be able unlimitedly to acquire and hold real and personal property. The legal corporate title of the Newark diocese is “The Roman Catholic Diocese of Newark“; that of the Trenton Diocese is “The Diocese of Trenton“. Church property is exempt from taxation; parsonages owned by religious corporations, and the land whereon they stand, are exempt to an amount not exceeding $5000.
MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE—A revision of the statutes relating to marriage, enacted in 1910, empowers the following officers to perform marriages between such persons as may lawfully enter into the matrimonial relation: the chief justice and each justice of the supreme court, the chancellor and each vice-chancellor, and each judge of the court of common pleas and justice of the peace, recorder and police justice, and mayor of a city, and every “stated and ordained minister of the gospel”; and “every religious society, institution or organization in this State may join together in marriage such persons as are members of the said society, or when one of such persons is a member of such society, according to the rules and customs of the society, institution or organization to which they or either of them belong”. The same act renders absolutely void any marriage within the following prohibited degrees of relationship: “A man shall not marry any of his ancestors or descendants, or his sister, or the daughter of his brother or sister, or the sister of his father or mother, whether such collateral kindred be of the whole or half blood. A woman shall not marry any of her ancestors or descendants, or her brother, or the son of her brother or sister, or the brother of her father or mother, whether such collateral kindred be of the whole or half blood”. Since July 1, 1910, it is necessary for persons intending to be married to obtain first a marriage licence and deliver the same to the clergyman, magistrate, or person who is to officiate, before the proposed marriage can be lawfully performed; but, if the marriage is to be performed by or before any religious society, institution, or organization, the licence shall be delivered to the said religious society, institution, or organization, or any officer thereof. In Chaper 274 of the Laws of 1910, which makes such licences necessary, it is provided that “nothing in this act contained shall be deemed or taken to render any common law or other marriage, otherwise lawful, invalid by reason of the failure to take out a licence as is herein provided”.
With certain limitations, decrees of nullity of marriage may be rendered in all cases, when (I) either of the parties has another wife or husband living at the time of a second or other marriage, (2) the parties are within the degrees prohibited by law, (3) the parties, or either of them, are at the time of marriage physically and incurably impotent, (4) the parties, or either of them, were, at the time of the marriage incapable of consenting thereto, and the marriage has not been subsequently ratified, (5) at the suit of the wife, when’ she was under the age of sixteen years at the time of the marriage, unless such marriage be confirmed by her after arriving at such age; (6) at the suit of the husband, when he was under the age of eighteen at the time of the marriage, unless such marriage be confirmed by him after arriving at sue age. The decree of nullity of marriage does not render illegitimate the issue of any marriage so dissolved, except where the marriage is dissolved because either of the parties had another wife or husband living at the time of a second or other marriage. Such marriage shall be deemed void from the beginning, and the issue thereof shall be illegitimate. The grounds for absolute divorce are: (I) adultery; (2) willful, continued, and obstinate desertion for the term of two years. Divorces a mensa et thoro may be decreed for (I) adultery; (2) willful, continued, and obstinate desertion for the term of two years; (3) extreme cruelty in either of the parties. In all cases of divorce a mensa et thoro, the court may decree a separation for ever thereafter, or for a limited time, with a provision that, in case of a reconciliation at any time thereafter, the parties may apply for a revocation or suspension of the decree, and upon such application the Court shall make such order.
WILLS.—All persons of sound mind and of the age of twenty-one years are legally competent to dispose of property by will. No specific form of words is necessary in a will, but the testator must state in the document that it is his will; and it must be signed, and declared or published, by the testator as his will in the presence of at least two subscribing witnesses. The witnesses must sign in the presence of the testator, and in the presence of each other. A codicil to a will must be made and executed with the same requirements as a will, regarding declaration of its character, signature, and witnesses. Unwritten or nuncupative wills are legal under some rare circumstances, as in cases of sudden dangerous sickness or accident, in the presence of at least three competent witnesses, and at the request of the person about to die. Devises and bequests may be validly made for charitable and religious purposes and to religious societies.
CEMETERIES—The parochial corporation statute enables church corporations to hold title to “burying places”, and the Diocesan Corporation Act of 1908 makes the diocesan corporation “capable unlimitedly” of acquiring and holding “leases, legacies, devises, moneys, donations, goods and chattels of all kinds, church edifices, school houses, college buildings, seminaries, parsonages, Sisters’ houses, hospitals, orphan asylums, reformatories and all other kinds of religious, ecclesiastical, educational and charitable institutions, and the lands whereon the same are, or may be erected, and cemeteries or burying places and any lands, tenements and hereditaments suitable for any or all of said purposes, in any place or places in any such diocese; and the same, or any part thereof, to lease, sell, grant, demise, alien and dispose of; … to exercise any corporate powers necessary and proper to the carrying out of the above enumerated powers, and to the carrying out of the purposes of such corporation and its institutions.”
EDUCATION.—A single little Dutch school in Bergen (now Jersey City) in 1662 marked the beginning of the free public school system in New Jersey. That was almost two hundred and fifty years ago and since that time the schools have increased gradually in number and size until, according to the New Jersey School Report of 1909, there are now 2052 public schools in New Jersey, with a total seating capacity of 426,719. The total value of the school property is estimated at $33,900,466.00. There are 11,235 teachers employed, of which 1250 are men and 9985 are women. These receive an average yearly salary of $718.40. For the school year 1908-9 the current expenses of the schools amounted to $11,583,201; the cost of permanent improvements was $4,996,887, and the special appropriations equalled $647,253. These amounted to a total appropriation of $17,227,331. The total enrollment of pupils for the same year was 424,534. The state superintendent, at the head of the state department of public instruction, exercises a general supervision over the public school system of the state. He is appointed by the governor, as also is the state board of education, which consists of two members from each congressional district. The county superintendents of schools are appointed by the state board of education. This board also exercises supervision over the different state educational institutions, such for example as the normal schools. Each of the many school districts, into which the state is divided, has its own school or schools, controlled by the officers, whom the voters of the district elect. In the cities and large towns there are superintendents or supervising principals and schoolboards, appointed by the mayor.
New Jersey has two state normal schools—one at Trenton and one at Montclair. The school at Trenton was established in 1855 by an Act of the Legislature, and has in connection with it the State Model School. The Montclair State Normal School was formally opened on September 28, 1908. The increasing demand for professionally trained teachers, and the inability of the State Normal School at Trenton to meet it, had made another normal school necessary. At Beverly is the Farnum School, a preparatory school associated with the State Normal School; at Trenton is the State School for Deaf Mutes; at Bordentown the Manual Training and Industrial School for Colored Youths; and connected with Rutgers College is the State Agricultural College. The principal institutions for higher education in New Jersey are Princeton University at Princeton (founded 1746); Stevens Institute of Technology at Hoboken; Rutgers College at New Brunswick (chartered as Queens College, 1766); Bordentown Female College at Bordentown; Saint Peter’s College, Jersey City; Saint Benedict’s College, Newark; Seton Hall College, South Orange (founded 1856). The three last-mentioned are Catholic institutions. (For full statistics concerning the Catholic schools, see the articles on the Dioceses of Newark and Trenton.)
WILLIAM J. KEARNS