Contest for Land – Item 1 of 3

James Turner. “Map No. I” from A Bill in the Chancery of New Jersey …, [1747]
Courtesy Dennis Gurtz
The Bill in the Chancery of New Jersey was filed by the Proprietors of East New Jersey to defend their position in a land dispute with settlers around Elizabeth. Displayed here is the first of the volume’s three maps, which provides geographical context for the early grants and charters relevant to the dispute. The involvement of Boston engraver James Turner is evidence of the town’s pre-eminence in the mid-18th century: when the Bill’s author James Alexander needed the maps engraved, Benjamin Franklin advised him that Philadelphia’s craftsmen were not up to the job and recommended Turner instead.


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