Manuscript Group 1188, Guide to the Papers of George F. Fort Governor of New Jersey 1830-1863

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Descriptive Summary
Biographical Note
Scope and Content Note
Arrangement
Restrictions
Access Points
Related Material
Administrative Information

Container List

Certificates, Commissions, and Documents


Guide to the Papers of George F. Fort Governor of New Jersey
1830-1863
MG 1188

The New Jersey Historical Society
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
Phone: (973) 596-8500 x249
Email: library@jerseyhistory.org
URL: http://www.jerseyhistory.org
© 2004 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by Danielle Kovacs as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Finding aid encoded by Danielle Kovacs. February 2004. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.


Descriptive Summary

Creator: George F. Fort
Title: George F. Fort Papers
Dates: 1830-1863
Abstract: The collection, spanning the years 1830-1863, documents the career of George F. Franklin, first as Governor of New Jersey and then, after having resumed his medical practice, as an active citizen in his local community.
Quantity: 0.10 linear feet (13 items)
Collection Number: MG 1188

Biographical Note

George Franklin Fort was born in May 1809 in Pemberton, New Jersey. The eldest son of a wealthy farmer, Andrew Fort, he was educated in the common schools at Pemberton and at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. He graduated in 1830 and became a successful practitioner first in the office of Dr. Jacob Enghert and soon thereafter in the office of Dr. Charles Patterson in New Egypt, Monmouth County. While actively engaged in his medical practice, Fort was elected to the New Jersey State Senate from Monmouth County. By 1850 he was elected governor of New Jersey, serving two terms until 1854. During his tenure in office, Fort worked for social reform: his administration oversaw an increase in the funding for common school education, the creation of the ten-hour workday protecting child labor, and the passing of a homestead exemption act that made it impossible for a family’s home to be sold for debts totaling less than $1,000.

After completing his second term as governor, Fort was appointed a judge of the Court of Errors and Appeals. Fort served a term, then retired from public life and returned to his medical practice. During this time he remained active in the community as a member of the prison reform committee, on the board of trustees at Bordentown Female College, and as a trustee of the Zoar Methodist Episcopal Church in New Egypt. He spent his remaining years writing a history of the Freemasons entitled, Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry, published in 1875 three years after his death.

George F. Fort married Anna Marie Wright, the daughter of Samuel Wright, an iron manufacturer and Whig congressman, in 1830. He died on April 23, 1872. His nephew, John F. Fort, later followed in his uncle’s footsteps serving as Governor of New Jersey from 1908-1910.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection, spanning the years 1830-1863, documents the career of George F. Franklin, first as Governor of New Jersey and then, after having resumed his medical practice, as an active citizen in his local community.

The collection consists primarily of certificates and commissions, including his certificate of election as Governor of New Jersey and the commissions he received after serving in that office. The commissions and notices of appointments include: a trusteeship of the State Normal School, an appointment as judge to the Court of Error and Appeals, a manager of the State Lunatic Asylum, and a master and examiner in the Chancery. A notice of appointment was awarded, too, by Fort to Charles M. King for the position of notary public.

Also included in the collection are his diplomas from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and from the Medical Society of New Jersey, and well a printed copy of his 1852, Message of the Governor of New Jersey, to the Senate and House of Assembly, at the Commencement of the Session.

Documents in this collection were signed by Thomas S. Allison, William M. Force, Whitfield S. Johnson, William A. Newell, Charles S. Olden, and Joel Parker.

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Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically by type of material.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.

Use Restrictions

Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.

The New Jersey Historical Society complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials.

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Access Points

The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, forms, and occupations documented in this collection.

Subject Names:

Allison, Thomas S.
Force, William M.
Force, William M.
Fort, George F. (George Franklin), 1809-1872.
Johnson, Whitfield Schaeffer.
Newell, William A. (William Augustus), 1817-1901.
Olden, Charles S. (Charles Smith), 1799-1876.
Parker, Joel, 1816-1888.

Subject Organizations:

New Jersey. Court of Errors and Appeals.
University of Pennsylvania. School of Medicine.

Subject Places:

New Jersey–History–1775-1865.
New Jersey–Politics and government–1775-1865.

Document Types:

Certificates.
Commissions.

Subject Occupations:

Governors–New Jersey.
Physicians–New Jersey.
Politicians–New Jersey.

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Related Material

For related materials to George F. Fort, see:

Manuscript Group 32, Walter Dormitzer Autograph Collection

For materials related to other governors of New Jersey, see:

Manuscript Group 13, Mahlon Dickerson and Philemon Dickerson Papers
Manuscript Group 20, Peter D. Vroom Papers
Manuscript Group 30, Robert S. Green Papers
Manuscript Group 42, William Paterson Papers
Manuscript Group 84, Marcus L. Wade Papers
Manuscript Group 362, Abbett Leon Letters
Manuscript Group 363, George T. Werts Papers
Manuscript Group 377, Joseph Bloomfield Papers
Manuscript Group 1275, John Franklin Fort Papers

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Administrative Information

Custodial History

The items that make up this collection were previously a part of Manuscript Group 1; they were brought together to form a discrete collection in 1983.

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 1188, George F. Fort Papers, The New Jersey Historical Society.

Acquisition Information

Gift, in part, of Osmun Fort in 1987.

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Container List

Certificates, Commissions, and Documents

Box Folder Title Date
1 1 Certificate of Election: Governor of New Jersey 1850 Nov 26
1 1 Certificate of Election: Elector to vote for a President and Vice President of the United States 1856 Nov 25
1 2 Commencement program: University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine 1830 Mar 24
1 3 Commission: Trustee of the State Normal School 1859 Dec 19
Box Folder Title Date
DOS 1 Commission: Trustee of the State Normal School 1860 Mar 22
DOS 1 Commission: Trustee of the State Normal School 1861 Mar 15
DOS 1 Commission: Judge of the Court of Errors and Appeals 1863 Mar 4
DOS 1 Diploma: University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine 1830
DOS 1 Diploma: Medical Society of New Jersey 1831
DOS 1 Notice of Appointment: Charles M. King appointed as Notary Public, signed by George F. Fort, Governor of New Jersey 1853
1 4 Notice of Appointment: Charles M. King appointed as Notary Public, signed by George F. Fort, Governor of New Jersey 1854 Mar 17
1 4 Notice of Appointment: Manager of the State Lunatic Asylum 1857 Feb
1 5 Printed Material: Message of the Governor of New Jersey, to the Senate and House of Assembly, at the Commencement of the Session 1852

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