Manuscript Group 45, Guide to the Andrew Bell (1757-1843) Papers 1745-1866 (Bulk 1770-1820)


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

Container List


Guide to the Andrew Bell (1757-1843) Papers 1745-1866
(Bulk 1770-1820)
MG 45

The New Jersey Historical Society
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
Phone: (973) 596-8500 x249
© 2005 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by Kim Charlton as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Finding aid encoded by Julia Telonidis. October 2003. 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: Bell, Andrew, 1757-1843
  Title: Andrew Bell (1757-1843) Papers
  Dates: 1745-1866
  Abstract: Includes diary kept by this New Jersey loyalist during “the march of the British Army across the Jersies – and the Battle of Monmouth”; a two-volume register of East Jersey land surveys, cash books, financial records, land surveys, maps, and letters addressed to Bell. A Perth Amboy lawyer, landowner, and Loyalist, Bell served during the Revolution as confidential secretary to Sir Henry Clinton and later to Sir Guy Carleton.
  Quantity: 3 linear feet (10 boxes)
  Collection Number: MG 45

Biographical Note

Andrew Bell, the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Bell (d. 1778), was born on June 4, 1757 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His family moved to New Jersey where he was a law student of Cortlandt Skinner at the outbreak of the Revolution. Bell, a loyalist, joined the royal army in New York and in December of 1776 was appointed a clerk in the office of the British Commander in New York. He served under various men in that office, including Sir Henry Clinton and Sir Guy Carleton, and was involved in a number of skirmishes, including the Battle of Monmouth.

In 1779, patriots confiscated the New Jersey estate Bell had inherited upon his father’s death the year before. Bell’s sister, Cornelia (1755-1783), however, married William Paterson (1745-1806), an active patriot, creating ties to both the loyalists and the patriots for the Bell family.

At the close of the war, Bell settled in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and started over as a merchant. He was successful despite uncertain times and his loyalist background, and was appointed the collector of Perth Amboy’s port in 1800 for the final year of John Adams’ presidency. During this time period, he was also the deputy surveyor general of the East Jersey Proprietors and for approximately thirty-five years, ca. 1806-1842, served as the surveyor general. During his lifetime, he was active in St. Peter’s Church of Perth Amboy.

On September 23, 1782, Andrew Bell married the widow Susannah Moore (b. 1755), the daughter of Margaret and Daniel O’Brien, in New York City. They never had children. Andrew Bell died in Perth Amboy on July 19, 1843.

Click here for a Bell-Paterson Family Tree

Return to the Table of Contents

Scope and Content Note

The papers mostly document the professional life of Andrew Bell, consisting of receipts, shipping documents, land surveys, maps, and a diary written during the Revolution. The papers date from 1745-1866, have bulk dates of 1770-1820 and measure three linear feet. The majority of the documents have been glued into large bound volumes and organized by record type: receipts, accounts, and shipping papers; court records; land surveys and maps – and then arranged chronologically.

While the majority of the receipts in the collection belong to Andrew Bell, there are a number of receipts documenting the Paterson family, which Bell’s sister Cornelia married into. The papers contain receipts of Richard Paterson, William Paterson (1745-1806), William Bell Paterson, William Paterson (1817-1899), Andrew Bell Paterson, Euphemia (White) Paterson, Thomas Paterson, and Stephen Van Rensselaer Paterson. These items document goods bought and jobs paid for and include accounts and pew rents for St. Peter’s Church of South Amboy, of which Andrew Bell was an active member. There are also a number of documents belonging to various other individuals, most of whom seem to be merchants or shippers from Perth Amboy, Philadelphia, New York, or Providence, Rhode Island from the 1750s-1790s. These include: John Brayton, John Brown, Thomas Brown, John Cooshin, John Halsted, John Murray, Matthew Adams, Robert Stewart, the Lyell family, and the Terrill family.

There are also documents more closely related to the shipping business, particularly to trade at the Port of Perth Amboy. These items include manifests of cargo, including one listing “A return of loyalists’ property shipped on board the William & Mary;” an abstract of duties on the tonnage of vessels in the District of Perth Amboy, 1796-1799; and a list of licenses from the comptroller’s office at Perth Amboy, 1798-1800. The receipts and accounts in the collection are often for goods shipped or the hiring of men for various vessels.

The papers also contain court records from Sussex County, New Jersey. These items include depositions, court orders, summons, warrants, sheriff’s bonds, subpoenas, and articles of agreements.

Andrew Bell’s career as a land surveyor is well documented in three volumes of land surveys filed together with the pertinent survey maps and correspondence from deputy surveyors. The surveys are arranged alphabetically by county, then township, and lastly by date. While most date from Bell’s time as surveyor general, there are some documents addressed to and signed by Bell’s predecessor John Rutherfurd (1760-1840). The collection also contains a number of larger, loose maps of regions in Middlesex, Monmouth, Sussex, and Union Counties, New Jersey, along with two volumes registering surveys throughout New Jersey from the years 1785-1842. These registers record the surveyor, when the survey was received, who received it, and at whose request it was performed. One of the volumes also contains accounts for individual deputy surveyors, tracking each surveyor’s jobs and fees.

Lastly, the papers contain a copy of a diary written by Andrew Bell while serving under Sir Henry Clinton in the Revolution. The entries run from June 17-July 2, 1778 and document the British march across New Jersey, troop movements, and various skirmishes including the Battle of Monmouth. The diary was published in the Proceeding of the New Jersey Historical Society, Series I, Vol. 6, pgs. 15-19.

Return to the Table of Contents


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.

Return to the Table of Contents

Access Points

  The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, forms, and occupations documented in this collection.
  Subject Names:
    Allen, James.
    Anderson, John L.
    Anosmith, Nicholas.
    Armstrong., John.
    Backster, George.
    Ball, Thomas.
    Bell, Andrew, 1757-1843.
    Bell family.
    Brinley, Francis W.
    Cobb, Samuel.
    Condict, Samuel.
    DeBow, Thomas.
    Dell, Silas.
    Dennis, Anthony.
    Edsall, Richard.
    Emley, Samuel.
    Forman, John.
    Garrison, John B.
    Gifford, Amaniah.
    Hayes, Samuel.
    Herbert, Richard.
    Kinnan, John.
    Lawrence, Benjamin.
    Lawrence, Elisha.
    Lawrence, Joseph.
    Lawrence, Richard M.
    Lyell family.
    Millidge, Thomas.
    Newell, James H.
    Ogden, Elias.
    Paterson, William, 1745-1806.
    Paterson family.
    Pharo, Amos.
    Plum, Henry.
    Robinson, James.
    Rockhill, John.
    Rogers, James D.
    Rutherford, John, 1760-1840.
    Ryerson, Abraham.
    Ryerson, Martin.
    Ryerson, Theunis.
    Sharp, John.
    Woohton, Abraham.
  Subject Organizations:
    St. Peter’s Church (Perth Amboy, N.J.).
  Subject Topics:
    Loyalists–New Jersey.
    Monmouth, Battle of, Freehold, N.J., 1778.
    Shipping–New Jersey.
    Surveying–New Jersey.
  Subject Places:
    Essex County (N.J.)
    Hunterdon County (N.J.)
    Monmouth County (N.J.)
    Morris County (N.J.)
    New Jersey–History–Revolution, 1775-1783.
    New Jersey–Surveys.
    Perth Amboy (N.J.).
    Sussex County (N.J.).
    Union County (N.J.).
  Document Types:
    Land surveys.
  Subject Occupations

Return to the Table of Contents

Related Material

This is a selective list of related collections at the New Jersey Historical Society.

Manuscript Group 18, Parker Family Papers

Manuscript Group 23, William Nelson Collection

Manuscript Group 42, William Paterson Manuscripts

Manuscript Group 530, Thomas Seabrook Family Papers

Manuscript Group 542, William Paterson

Manuscript Group 718, William Paterson Papers

Manuscript Group 824, Smith Family Papers

Return to the Table of Contents

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Gift (in part) of Andrew Bell Paterson.

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 45, Andrew Bell Papers, The New Jersey Historical Society.

Return to the Table of Contents


Honeyman, A. Van Doren.“Early Career of Governor William Paterson”Somerset County Historical Quarterly (July 1912) Vol. I, No. 3, pgs. 161-179;Vol. I, No. 4, pgs. 241-250.

Jones, Alfred E. “The Loyalists of New Jersey” Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society (April 1926) Vol. XI, No. 2, pgs. 219-221.

Return to the Table of Contents

Container List

Box Folder Title Date
1 1 Andrew Bell Diary (copied by Steven Van Rensselaer Paterson in 1843) 1778 June 17-July 2
1 2 Andrew Bell: Cash Book 1801-1808
Box Folder Title Date
2 1 Miscellaneous receipts, shipping receipts, cargo manifests, accounts: Dewar & Marshall, John Murray, Matthew Adams, Hannah Smith, John Halsted, Peter Smitzer 1753-1800, n.d.
2 Andrew Bell: Receipts 1790-1815
Box Title Date
3 Receipts: Andrew Bell; John Brayton; John Brown; Sophia Brown; Susannah Brown; Thomas Brown; John Cooshin 1748-1858
Box Title Date
4 Receipts: John Cooshin; Lyell Family; Richard Paterson; William Paterson (1745-1806); William Bell Paterson; William Paterson (1817-1899); Andrew Bell Paterson; Euphemia (White) Paterson; Stephen Van Rensselaer Paterson; Thomas Paterson; Robert Stewart; Captain John, Elias and Sophia Terrill (includes bonds, and estate receipts); Sussex County Court Records 1745-1866
Box Title Date
5 Land Survey Register – also contains accounts tracking surveys of certain deputy surveyors: Samuel Cobb, Edward Condict, Silas Condict, Richard Edsall, Abraham Ryerson, Martin Ryerson, Theunis Ryerson, and Joseph Sharp 1785-1808; 1785-1813
Box Title Date
6 Land Survey Register 1808-1842
Box Title Date
7 Surveys and Survey maps: Bergen County: (Saddle River, Franklin, Pompton); Essex County: (Newark); Hunterdon County: (Bethlehem); Middlesex County: (Perth Amboy, South Amboy, Woodbridge); Monmouth County: (Dover, Freehold) 1755-1842
Box Title Date
8 Surveys and Survey maps: Monmouth County: (Lower Freehold, Upper Freehold, Freehold, Howell, Middletown, Shrewsbury, Stafford, Wickatunk); Morris County: (Chester, Jefferson, Mendham, Pequanock, Randolph, Roxbury); Somerset County: (Bridgewater) 1790-1832
Box Title Date
9 Surveys and Survey maps: Sussex County: (Byram, Frankford, Hardyston, Newton, Vernon, Wantage); Miscellaneous larger surveys and maps 1808-1842
Box Title Date
10 New Jersey maps: Middlesex County: Land on the Raritan and South Rivers; Middlesex County: South Amboy; Monmouth County: Shore area near Sandy Hook and Raritan Bay; Monmouth County: Freehold; Sussex County: Plotted land; Union County: Rahway (lots of Lewis B. Brown to be auctioned) ca. 1800s

Return to the Top of Page

Print Friendly, PDF & Email