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

Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County, New Jersey, 1800-1806


A book of historic poll lists at the Salem County Historical Society includes six lists that record women voting in state and congressional elections held in Upper Penns Neck Township between 1800 and 1806. There are at least 75 women voters included on these six lists, many voting year after year, proving that some New Jersey women voted in multiple elections.


A number of voters on this list have yet to be identified. As the Museum of the American Revolution continues its research, please contact us if you know more about any of the voters. Share your research with us.

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

Chester Township, Burlington County, New Jersey, October 1807


This is a transcription of a poll list from a state election held at a schoolhouse in Moorestown, Chester Township, in October 1807. This list of voters includes the names of 38 women that cast their ballots just one month before the New Jersey State Legislature passed a bill defining voters as white, male citizens. The closing of the electorate effectively stripped the vote from women and free people of color in New Jersey.


A number of voters on this list have yet to be identified. As the Museum of the American Revolution continues its research, please contact us if you know more about any of the voters. Share your research with us.

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Finding Freedom: Eve - Randolph Household Inventory

Following Peyton Randolph’s death in 1775, York County, Virginia, officials recorded this inventory of his possessions. The names and values (in pounds) of the enslaved people he owned are recorded on pages four through ten of the inventory. Eve’s name is listed on page five of the inventory, while her son George’s name is listed on page four. Eve and another woman named Betty were assigned values of 100 pounds each, the highest values among the enslaved women recorded in the inventory. These high values suggest that Eve and Betty worked in the Randolph home. Eve’s status may have changed following her attempt to escape from the Randolph family with her son in search of freedom. At least two handwritten copies of this inventory survive. The other copy includes the notation “gone to the enemy” next to the names of Eve and George, referring to when they first ran away from the Randolph family in search of their freedom in late-1775 or early-1776.

This historical record is dedicated to the Museum of the American Revolution by the York County-Poquoson Circuit Court, Authorized by the Honorable Kristen N. Nelson, Clerk

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: PLG - Bedminster Township, Somerset County, New Jersey, October 1800

Bedminster Township, Somerset County, New Jersey, October 1800


This poll list for an 1800 state election includes the names of three women voters: Sarah Eoff, Margaret McDonald, and Eleanor Boylan. This is the only known poll list from before 1807 that shows how women voted and who they voted for. The election included a referendum on revising the New Jersey State Constitution, which could have endangered the right to vote for women and free people of color. Two women voted against the referendum.


There are a number of voters on this list who have yet to be identified. As the Museum of the American Revolution continues its research, please contact us if you know more about any of the voters. Share your research with us.


Images of the 1800 Bedminster Poll List coming soon!

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: PLG - Montgomery Township, Somerset County, New Jersey, October 1801

Montgomery Township, Somerset County, New Jersey, October 1801


This poll list is for an 1801 state election held at the Rocky Hill Inn in Montgomery Township, Somerset County, New Jersey. The election determined annual officeholders for the New Jersey State Assembly and Legislative Council, and for the Somerset County Sheriff and Coroner. The poll list includes the names of 343 total voters. At least 46 of the voters are women (about 14 percent of the voters on the list). It also includes the names of at least four free Black male voters. One voter is identified as Black on the poll list with the word “negro” next to his name.


There are a number of voters on this list who have yet to be identified. As the Museum of the American Revolution continues its research, please contact us if you know more about any of the voters. Share your research with us.

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Discovering America’s First Women Voters, 1800 - 1807

In 2018 the Museum of the American Revolution discovered polling records that document for the first time a generation of women voters in early New Jersey. To date, we have discovered 163 women voters on nine poll lists who cast ballots across the state from 1800 to 1807. These lists introduce new stories of the first women voters in the United States – stories of the forgotten women who pioneered the vote.


The poll lists suggest women’s political significance and participation in local, state, and federal elections in early New Jersey. This first in-depth analysis of these nine poll lists from New Jersey refutes any presumption that women in the Early Republic were only passive witnesses and bystanders of the political processes that shaped the new nation.


Not only has the Museum discovered evidence of women voters in early New Jersey, we have also identified the names of at least four free Black male voters on one of the poll lists. While we have yet to confirm the identity of any free Black women voters, the presence of both women and free Black voters on these poll lists reveals the inclusive nature of the electoral system in New Jersey in the first few decades following American independence.

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County, New Jersey Poll Lists, 1800

Upper Penns Neck Township
Salem County, New Jersey
December 23 & 24, 1800
Ink on Paper

This poll list is from a December 1800 congressional election that was held at the home of Philip Souder, an innkeeper in Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County. The election determined congressional office holders for the United States House of Representatives. We do not currently know the names of the town officers, including the judge, collector, clerk, and poll inspectors who presided over the election. 

The poll list includes the names of 217 total voters. At least 29 of these voters are women, accounting for nearly 13 percent of the voters on the list. 

Like the rest of Salem County, Upper Penns Neck Township voted Democratic Republican in December 1800. Most voters in the township supported Democratic-Republicans James Mott, Ebenezer Elmer, John Condit, William Helms, and Henry Southard for the United States House of Representatives.

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: Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County, New Jersey Poll Lists, 1801

Upper Penns Neck Township
Salem County, New Jersey
October 13 & 14, 1801
Ink on Paper

This poll list is from an October 1801 state election that was held at the home of Philip Souder, an innkeeper in Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County. The election determined annual officeholders for the New Jersey State Assembly and Legislative Council, and for the Salem County Sheriff and Coroner. The town officers presiding over the election included Judge Joseph Borden, Assessor Jacob Wright, Clerk Isaac Ward, and Collector Philip Curriden. 

The poll list includes the names of 115 total voters. At least eight of these voters are women, accounting for about seven percent of the voters on the list. 

We assume Upper Penns Neck Township, like the rest of Salem County, voted Democratic Republican in the October 1801 election, but we do not know which candidates the township voters supported due to a gap in historical records.

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: Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County, New Jersey Poll Lists, December 1803

Upper Penns Neck Township
Salem County, New Jersey
December 13 & 14, 1803
Ink on Paper

This poll list is from a December 1803 congressional 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 congressional officeholders for the United States House of Representatives. 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 115 total voters. At least three of these voters are women, accounting for just under three percent of the voters on the list. 

There were no Federalists on the ticket in Salem County for the 1803 congressional election. This may explain why voter turnout for this election was so low, since all Democratic-Republican candidates ran unopposed. Voters supported six Democratic Republicans — James Mott, Henry Southard, William Helms, Ebenezer Elmer, Adam Boyd, and James Sloan — for the United States House of Representatives.

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: Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County, New Jersey Poll Lists, 1802

Upper Penns Neck Township
Salem County, New Jersey
October 12 & 13, 1802
Ink on Paper

This poll list is from an October 1802 state election that was held at the home of Philip Souder, an innkeeper 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 William Patterson, Assessor Charles Jones, Clerk Isaac Ward, and Collector Joseph Borden. 

The poll list includes the names of 241 total voters. At least 29 of these voters are women, accounting for about 12 percent of the voters on the list. 

Like the rest of Salem County, Upper Penns Neck Township voted Democratic Republican in October 1802. Most voters in the township supported Democratic-Republicans Samuel Ray, Edward Burrows, and Merriman Smith for the State Assembly and William Parrett for the 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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