Women Voted Year After Year
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
This election took place in Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County, New Jersey.
Mary Chester, Madlina Simkins, and Elizabeth Dalbow voted together.
Catherine Dolbow and Jessa (or Tessa) Summers voted together.Explore Our Research Process
Mary Clark and Rebecca Summerall voted together.
Rachel Smith and Mary Smith voted together.
Mary Bohe, Elizabeth Deford, Margaret Lath, and Elizabeth Lath voted together.
Put your investigative eye to the test. Does this name read Ava Kirby? Asa Kirby? Or maybe a different name? It is possible Ava Kirby was a female voter.
It is possible Jessa Johnson was a female voter.
A total of 241 voters cast their ballots in this election. What happened next?
William Patterson, Charles Jones, Joseph Borden, and Isaac Ward all served as election officials for this election.