Guide to the Jacob Green Collection 1779-1782, ca.1900 MG 579
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1779-1782, ca. 1900
The New Jersey Historical Society
Finding aid encoded by Danielle Kovacs. March 2004. Production of the EAD version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.
Reverend Jacob Green was born at Malden, Massachusetts, in 1722. After showing a propensity for study as a youth, he entered the College of Cambridge (Harvard) in 1740. While in Cambridge, Green was profoundly influenced by preachers George Whitefield and Gilbert Tennent. He graduated from Harvard in 1744 and set out for Georgia with Reverend Whitefield. When they reached Elizabethtown, New Jersey, Green decided to remain there where he studied divinity under the Reverend Jonathan Dickinson; he became the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Hanover, Morris County, New Jersey, in 1746. He remained in Hanover for forty-five years.
Despite being a member of the clergy, Rev. Green took an active role in political issues, throwing his support behind the Whig party and the independence movement. In May 1776, Green was elected as a representative from Morris County to the Provincial Congress of New Jersey. Green was present when the Congress made the decision to draft a state constitution and form a new provincial government in order to regulate the internal police of the colony. Green was chairman of the constitutional committee. The Constitution of New Jersey was adopted on July 2, 1776, and it remained the primary law of New Jersey until 1844.
Green returned to pastoral life after Independence. Besides law and the clergy, Green was also well versed in medicine, and pursued business interests by owning both a gristmill and a distillery. In the 1860s, Green was one of the first Trustees of Princeton College, resigning the post in 1864. Green was also one of the earliest to speak out against slavery. Jacob Green died in May, 1790.
This collection consists a copy of an autobiography, written by Jacob Green and edited by his son Ashbel for publication in The Christian Advocate. The autobiography covers Green’s early life, his college experiences, and the years of his ministry until 1777. The final thirteen years of his life are not included in the autobiography and are presumed lost. His son adds an addendum to the autobiography, where he writes of his father’s experiences during the American Revolution, and also of the illness that took his father’s life in 1790.
The collection also consists of 10 letters written by Jacob Green for publication in The New Jersey Journal from November 6, 1779 through June 19, 1782. These letters were published under the name “Eumenes.” The table of contents contained with the letters states that the last letter written was June 19, 1781, however, the letter itself is dated June 19, 1782. These letters contain Green’s views on the following topics: paper currency, public debt and taxes, liberty, slavery, and the payment of taxes.
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The source of this collection is unknown.
This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 579, Jacob Green Collection, The New Jersey Historical Society.
Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County, New Jersey, Illustrated.
The Biographical Encyclopedia of New Jersey of the Nineteenth Century. Philadelphia: Galaxy Publishing Company, 1877.