Exploring New Jersey Voters, 1800 - 1807
As of 2020, the Museum of the American Revolution has identified 163 women voters named on nine poll lists dated between 1800 - 1807 from across New Jersey. Of these voters, we have compiled biographies of nearly 30 women and free people of color who voted in these elections. These biographies provide a glimpse into the voters’ lives — their families, religions, homes, ownership of property, and roles in their communities. More biographies will be added as our research continues!
Bedminster Township, Somerset County, 1800
This poll list for an 1800 state election includes the names of three women voters: Sarah Eoff, Margaret McDonald, and Eleanor Boylan. Learn more about one of these voters below.
Eleanor Boylan voted when she was about 51 years old and a widow. She lived until 1846 when she died at about the age of 97.
Montgomery Township, Somerset County, 1801
This poll list includes the names of at least 46 women and at least four free Black men who voted in October 1801. Learn more about some of these voters below.
Jude or Isaac Blue?
There are different opinions about this name recorded on the poll list. Is it Jude Blue or Isaac Blue?
Thomas Blue is one of at least four free Black men who voted in Montgomery Township in October 1801.
Ruth Carle voted as a single woman. She was the sister of Continental Army veteran Ephraim Taylor Carle.
Amy Cheston owned 20 acres of land and some livestock when she voted as a widow in Montgomery Township. She lived until 1841 when she died at the age of 97.
Originally from Philadelphia, former tavern keeper Grace Little lived as a widow in Princeton when she voted. Her property included a farm, livestock, and three enslaved people named Judith, Phebe, and John.
Elizabeth (Betsy) Mattison
Elizabeth (Betsy) Mattison was a member of the Presbyterian Church of Princeton (now the Nassau Presbyterian Church). She died in 1806, five years after she voted.
Mary Norris lived in Princeton as a widow from 1789 to 1813. She was 55 when she voted. Norris is buried in Princeton Cemetery.
Nancy Oppie, the daughter of William and Mary Oppie of Rocky Hill, New Jersey, voted as a single woman in 1801.
Of Dutch ancestry, Elizabeth Skillman was a member of the Harlingen Dutch Reformed Church in Somerset County. She owned a 220-acre farm following her husband’s death in 1796. She voted as a widow in 1801.
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.
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.
Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County, 1800-1806
Six poll lists from this township in southwest New Jersey include the names of at least 76 different women who voted between 1800 and 1806. Learn more about some of these voters below.
Born in 1776, Prudence Crispin was the daughter of a farmer. She voted in October 1803 at the age of 27 and got married the following year.
Born during the Revolutionary War, Mary Curry voted as a young woman in 1800. She married future United States Congressman Daniel Garrison in 1807.
The widow of a tavern keeper and ferry operator, Catherine Helms voted in 1800. She died in 1802 and is buried in the cemetery of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Pennsville, New Jersey.
Women of the Holton Family
Two women named Christianna Holton (mother and daughter) voted in Upper Penns Neck Township elections between 1800 and 1806. They were both members of the Oldman’s Creek Moravian Church.
A woman of Swedish descent, Christiana Kitts was born in the 1740s. She voted in December 1800 and died the following year, leaving her estate to her children and grandchildren.
Born in 1776, Mary Kitts was a member of the Oldman’s Creek Moravian Church. She voted when she was a property-owning widow in 1802.
Elizabeth Louderback and her husband Peter owned the Seven Stars Tavern in Pilesgrove, New Jersey. After her husband’s death in 1780, Elizabeth Louderback lived as a widow until 1807. She voted in 1800.
Chester Township, Burlington County, 1807
This poll list transcription includes the names of at least 38 women who voted in October 1807. Learn more about some of these voters below.
Anne Cowperthwaite grew up just south of Moorestown, New Jersey, as a member of a prominent Quaker family. She voted along with her father, grandfather, and uncle in 1807.
Born in 1778, Quaker woman Elizabeth Dudley had 10 siblings. She voted along with her father and three of her brothers in 1807.
At the age of 23, Martha Githens voted in 1807. She voted along with her father, older brother, and older sister. Martha Githens was the daughter of George Githens, the prosperous owner of a mineral spring resort hotel.
Rebecca Githens lived from 1782 to 1875. She voted along with her father, older brother, and younger sister in 1807. Rebecca Githens was the daughter of George Githens, the prosperous owner of a mineral spring resort hotel.
Hannah Lippincott was a widow when she voted in 1807. She died the same year she cast her ballot, leaving a personal estate valued at over $846.
Quaker woman Sabillah Pearson was born near Moorestown, New Jersey, in 1783. She cast her ballot in 1807 at the age of 24.
Miriam Venable voted along with her mother, brothers, uncles, and grandfather in 1807. She is buried in the churchyard of Trinity Episcopal Church in Moorestown, New Jersey.
When Rebecca Venable voted in 1807, she was a widowed mother. She voted along with her son, daughter, father, brothers, and brother-in-law.