ELIZABETHTOWN ASSOCIATES, the first group of people to be granted permission by the English government to settle in New Jersey. On 30 September 1664, Governor Richard Nicolls consented to a petition from six residents of Jamaica, Long Island, to purchase and settle 400,000 acres of land west of the Arthur Kill in New Jersey. By deed of 28 October, confirmed by patent from Nicolls on 1 December of that year, the associates purchased from the Indians a broad tract extending from the mouth of the Raritan River northward along the Arthur Kill and Newark Bay to the mouth of the Passaic River, and inland some thirty-four miles. The associates, limiting their number to eighty, admitted Governor Philip Carteret when he purchased the rights of a prior associate, and together they founded Elizabethtown (now Elizabeth). The original settlers were Puritans from New England and Long Island, but after 1682, immigrants from Scotland arrived. Elizabethtown was the capital of the province until it was divided in 1676, and then the capital of East Jersey until 1686. The first general assembly for New Jersey met in Elizabethtown in May 1668. In the early 1700s, when the proprietors attempted to collect rents, the associates refused to pay, invoking their Indian titles and the Nicolls's patent. On 8 February 1740, King George II granted a charter for the Free Borough and Town of Elizabeth.
Purvis, Thomas L. "Origins and Patterns of Agrarian Unrest in New Jersey, 1735 to 1754." William and Mary Quarterly 39 (October 1982).
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