Guide to the Jacob Spicer (1717-1765), New Jersey Provincial Assembly Member Papers 1737-1846 MG 59


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

Container List

Jacob Spicer Papers

Guide to the Jacob Spicer (1717-1765), New Jersey Provincial Assembly Member Papers
MG 59

The New Jersey Historical Society
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
(973) 596-8500 x249
© 2005 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by James Lewis 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. August 2005. 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: Spicer, Jacob, 1717-1765.
Title: Jacob Spicer Papers
Dates: 1737-1846
Abstract: This collection consists of a diary, copy letters, receipts, will, and estate papers belonging to Jacob Spicer, a prominent Southern New Jersey based merchant, farmer and state assemblyman. The collection measures 0.8 linear feet and dates from 1737-1846.
Quantity: .8 linear feet (8 folders)
Collection Number: MG 59

Biographical Note

Jacob Spicer, the only child of Sarah (d. 1742) and Jacob Spicer (1668-1741), was born in Cold Spring Inlet, Cape May County, New Jersey in 1717. Jacob married Judith Hughes (d. 1747), the daughter of Humphrey Hughes, and together they had four children: Jacob, Sylvia, Sarah, and Judith. After his wife’s death, Spicer married Deborah Leaming (d. 1787), the widow of Christopher Leaming.

Jacob Spicer owned lands in Cape May and Cumberland Counties, New Jersey; New York; and North Carolina. Like his father before him, Jacob represented Cape May County in the New Jersey House of Assembly from 1744 until his death in 1765. He was also a prominent merchant and farmer who traded with settlers, most often in Philadelphia, but also in New York, Long Island, Rhode Island, Nantucket, and North Carolina.

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Scope and Content Note

The diary, written by Jacob Spicer from 1755 to 1756, discusses his business and political affairs. A handwritten and typescript copy of selected passages of a different Spicer diary (ca.1758-1762) is included in this collection. During the period covered in the diary, Spicer spent 29 days in Philadelphia printing the proprietary laws of New Jersey. Other notations indicate the sale of land by locals and types and values of goods Spicer sold. Spicer sold steer and cows; raccoon, muskrat, and otter skins; rum and a number of dry goods.

The correspondence includes copy letters written by Spicer, a letterbook kept in his hand, and typescript copies of the letters in the book from October 1764 to July 1765.

The correspondence deals mainly with the British and colonials’ attack on the fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada in 1745. There are also many letters relating to other political matters and some from and to some very notable figures including King George II of England (1683-1760), William Pitt (1708-1778), and William Shirley (1693-1771), Governor of Massachusetts. The topic of discussion in these letters revolves around the attack on Louisbourg. There is also some correspondence regarding fighting with the French near the Monaghela River in Pennsylvania in 1755. The copies of the correspondence include family histories that were written in 1846.

The acts, accounts, and sketch folder contains an account for the New Jersey contingent of the forces planning an attack on Canada in 1746. There is also a sketch made by Jacob Spicer titled “A Plan of the City and Harbour (sic) of Louisbourg on the Island of Breton in America.” An 1807 power of attorney from Samuel Jones, Jacob Spicer’s son-in-law, appointing David Pugh to be his attorney is also in this folder.
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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, and forms documented in this collection.
Subject Names:
George III, King of Great Britain,1738-1820.
Pitt, William, Earl of Chatham, 1708-1778.
Shirley, William, 1694-1771.
Spicer, Jacob, 1717-1765.
Subject Organizations:
New Jersey. Legislature. General Assembly.
Subject Topics:
Farmers–New Jersey–Cape May. County
Merchants–New Jersey–Cape May. County
Monongahela, Battle of the, Pa., 1755.
Politicians–New Jersey–Cape May. County
Subject Places:
Cape Breton Island (N.S.)
Cape May County (N.J.)
Cumberland County (N.J.)
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site (N.S.)
United States–History–French and Indian War, 1755-1763.
Document Types:
Letters (Correspondence).

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Related Material

Manuscript Group 41, Samuel Smith (1720-1776) Papers

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 59, Jacob Spicer
Papers, The New Jersey Historical Society.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Mrs. J. McKesson in 1936.

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Container List

Jacob Spicer Papers

Box Folder Title Date
1 1 Diary 1755-1756
1 2 Extracts from Diary 1755-1787
1 3 Extracts from Diary 1755-1846
1 4 Correspondence from Jacob Spicer 1744-1794
1 5 Copies of letters (Typescript) 1764-1846
1 6 Letterbook 1755-1765
1 7 Acts, Accounts, and Sketch 1744-1807
1 8 Jacob Spicer’s Will 1751

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