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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County, New Jersey Poll Lists, October 1803

Upper Penns Neck Township
Salem County, New Jersey
October 12 & 13, 1803
Ink on Paper

This poll list is from an October 1803 state election that was held at the houses of Andrew Alston and George Clark, innkeepers at Alston and the Cove in Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County. The election determined annual officeholders for the New Jersey State Assembly and Legislative Council, and for Salem County Sheriff and Coroner. The town officers presiding over the election included Judge Andrew Vanneman, Assessor Charles Jones, Clerk Isaac Ward, and Collector Joseph Borden. 

The poll list includes the names of 252 total voters. At least 29 of these voters are women, accounting for nearly 12 percent of the voters on the list. 

Like the rest of Salem County, Upper Penns Neck Township voted Democratic Republican in October 1803. Most voters in the township supported Democratic-Republicans Edward Burroughs, Samuel Ray, and Merriman Smith for State Assembly and William Parrett for Legislative Council. We do not know who they supported for county sheriff or coroner.

Note: The names recorded on this poll list were written by an election official, not by the voters themselves. The spelling of each voter’s name on the poll list may be different compared to how that same person’s name is spelled in other historical records and by the Museum of the American Revolution.

Images: Salem County Historical Society

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Chester Township, Burlington County, October 1807

Chester Township
Burlington County, New Jersey
October 13 & 14, 1807
Ink on Paper

This poll list transcription records the names of voters from an October 1807 state election held in Chester Township, Burlington County. Voters cast their ballots at a schoolhouse in Moorestown. The election determined annual officeholders for the New Jersey State Assembly and Legislative Council, and for Burlington County Sheriff and Coroner. The town officers presiding over the election included Judge Edward French, Assessor John Bispham, Clerk Joseph Bispham, and Collector Nathan Middleton.

The poll list includes the names of 260 total voters. At least 38 of these voters are women, accounting for nearly 15 percent of the voters on the list. 

While we do not know the partisan majority in Burlington County in 1806, we can assume it voted Democratic Republican, as there were no other Federalist-majority counties in New Jersey in 1806. Chester Township, however, did vote Federalist in the 1806 election. Most voters in the township supported Federalists William Irick, William Coxe, Caleb Earl, and William Stockton for State Assembly and George Anderson for Legislative Council. We do not know who they supported for county sheriff or coroner.

Note: The names recorded on this poll list were written by an election official, not by the voters themselves. The spelling of each voter’s name on the poll list may be different compared to how that same person’s name is spelled in other historical records and by the Museum of the American Revolution.

Images: Moorestown Library

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Jude or Isaac Blue?

There are different opinions about this name recorded on the poll list. Is it Jude Blue or Isaac Blue?
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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Caesar Trent

Caesar Trent is one of at least four free Black men who voted in Montgomery Township in October 1801. He was a well-known resident of Princeton, New Jersey.
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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Acknowledgements

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Studying the Poll Lists

The Museum’s discovery of poll lists that include the names of women and free people of color who voted in New Jersey from 1800 to 1807 has revealed various patterns, themes, and possible trends among these voters and the elections they participated in. Here, we explore some of these themes.
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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Women of the VanDike Family

Four women of a Dutch slave-owning family — Rebecca, Ann, Catherine, and Sarah VanDike — voted together in October 1801. The latter three were daughters of a known Loyalist, John VanDike. Rebecca was the name of both John’s wife and another daughter. The VanDike women lived together with John on their 227-acre estate.
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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: No Racial Requirement

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Strength in Numbers

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Property Of Their Own

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