Manuscript Group 1085, Edward J. Grassmann (1887 – 1973), CollectorManuscript Collection, 1731 – 1935 (Bulk dates: 1731 – 1780, 1810 – 1860)

Archives Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

Manuscript Group 1085, Edward J. Grassmann (1887 – 1973), Collector

Manuscript Collection, 1731 – 1935 (Bulk dates: 1731 – 1780, 1810 – 1860), 0.5 linear feet / 1 box

Processed as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Call Number: MG 1085 + folder number



A closed collection of materials relating to the history of Elizabeth, New Jersey and vicinity.  Among these papers are deeds pertaining to many Essex County families including the Day, Dod, Halsted, Meeker, Pierson, and Woodruff families.  A record book includes a “Record of Sheriff[‘]s Bonds from the Borough of Elizabeth” from 1820-1848, and a handwritten copy of “The Laws and Ordinances of the Corporation of the Borough of Elizabeth in New Jersey,” 1740-1762.  Also included is material pertaining to pew rents at the First Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth, New Jersey and a docket of “Supreme Writs Returnable to Essex Common Pleas, September Tern, 1790.”

Purchase, 1978.

Biographical Note:

Edward J. Grassmann was born in 1887 and graduated from Cooper Union College. He was a civil engineer, worked for the Yara Engineering Corporation and the Georgia Kaolin Company, was president of the Interstate Equipment Company, treasurer and surveyor-general for the General Board of Proprietors of East Jersey, and a member of the Board of the Proprietors of West Jersey. Grassmann was also a real estate investor and sold land to the Bell Telephone Company in New Providence, to the New York Port Authority for Port Elizabeth and the Newark Airport, and to developers for the communities of Sky Top, Blue Mountain, and Twin Falls in New Providence. Edward Grassmann married Ernestine ( ). He died in early March 1973.


Edward J. Grassmann Obituary, Vertical Files, The New Jersey Historical Society.

Provenance Note:

This collection was purchased from the estate of Edward J. Grassmann in 1978.

Scope and Content Note:

This collection is made up of documents gathered by Edward J. Grassmann dating from 1731-1935, with bulk dates of 1731-1780 and 1810-1860. The collection is organized by document type and contains correspondence; research and literary works; legal documents; government documents, and financial records. Although the items document various individuals, they mostly come from or deal with the town of Elizabeth, New Jersey.

The majority of the collection consists of correspondence and Elizabeth, New Jersey land deeds. Correspondents include General Matthew Clarkson, Peter Van Brugh Livingston, William Livingston, John Dod Ward, Daniel Dod, Silas Ward, Meschech Weare, Nathaniel Peabody, Aaron Ogden, Colonel Samuel Webb, and William Phillips. The letters cover such topics as the American Revolution, particularly fighting in New Jersey; the steamboat business; debts and money transactions; and a trip to New Orleans, Louisiana in 1816.

The collection also contains literary works and research by Warren R. Dix, John Clement Fitzpatrick, and particularly Ernest L. and Oswald L.P. Meyer. The research covers such topics as George Washington and property in Elizabeth.

The legal, government, and court documents in the collection consist of Elizabeth land deeds, pew indentures for the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth, certificates, bonds, licenses, wills, depositions, dockets, commissions, and various laws and resolutions. This last group contains an undated resolution to improve the entrance to the Port of New York at Sandy Hook, New Jersey, a 1779 law “to prevent horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs from running at large” in the town of Elizabeth, and a record book containing the charter, laws, and ordinances of the borough of Elizabeth and copies of sheriff’s bonds dated between 1820-1843.

Lastly, there are a small number of accounts, bills, and receipts.

Related Collections:

Manuscript Group 1302, Gibbons Family (Savannah, GA and Madison, NJ) Papers

Item List:

Folder Title Dates
1 Correspondence: A-H
– To Gerard Baucher from Jonathan Hampton 1769
– To General Matthew Clarkson from Peter Van Brugh Livingston 1791
– To Jonathan Dayton from Aaron Ogden 1798
– To Warren R. Dix from John C. Fitzpatrick 1935
– To the Honorable Hamilton Fish from William B. Cogan 1879
– To James J. Hill from E. Ralston 1839
2 Correspondence: L-R
– To William Livingston from James Latham 1782
– To William Livingston from J. Swanwick 1782
– To Nicholas Lowe from Joseph Lyons 1794
– To John Pine from John D. Pierson 1861
– To Mrs. ( ) Richards from E.B. Sykes 1893
3 Correspondence: S-Wa
– To L.A. Seaver from Frank Cole 1906
– To L.A. Seaver from The Elizabeth Nursery Company 1901
– To Samuel Smith from Robert Ogden 1759
– To William N. Tillinghast from ( ) 1864
– To John Dod Ward from Daniel Dod 1815
– To John Dod Ward from Daniel Dod 1816
– To John Dod Ward from Daniel Dod 1816
– To John Dod Ward from Daniel Dod 1816
– To Silas Ward from Daniel Dod 1816
– To Silas Ward from Daniel Dod 1818
4 Correspondence: We-Z
– To Meschech Weare from Nathaniel Peabody (handwritten copy with typed copy) 1780
– To Colonel Samuel B. Webb from William Phillips 1779
– To Theodore Williams from Charles Salomon, with receipt/certificate 1870
5 Correspondence regarding the preservation of Elizabeth, New Jersey records 1933-1936
Research and Literary Works
6 – Warren R. Dix: Catalogue of his library 1917
– Warren R. Dix: “Some Old Streets of Elizabeth” 1925
7 – John Clement Fitzpatrick: List of “General George Washington’s Accounts of Expenses, 1775-1783” and “Journeys in that vicinity not specifying Elizabethtown” n.d.
– Benjamin and Niobe Greene: Notes on their genealogy n.d.
8 – Ernest L. and Oswald L.P. Meyer: Correspondence 1898-1913, n.d.
9 – Ernest L. and Oswald L.P. Meyer: Land research n.d.
10 – Ernest L. and Oswald L.P. Meyer: Lists n.d.
11 – Ernest L. and Oswald L.P. Meyer: Receipts and Bills 1865-1874
12 – List of papers for New Jersey Scrapbook n.d.
– Report of the Union County Sub-Committee (pertaining to art) n.d.
Legal Documents: Contracts and Court Records
13 Land Deeds: A-G
– William Broadwell to John Halstead 1734
– Amos and Sally Clark to Robert P. Pierson 1842
– Solomon Cooper to Elihu Brittin 1839
– Elizabeth Athletic Club to Henry E. Duncan, Jr. 1879
– William and Abby Louisa Gibbons to John J. Chetwood 1842
14 Land Deeds: H
– Timothy Halstead to John Halstead 1731
– John Halsted to Isaac Hatfield 1736
– Cornelius Hatfield to John Halsted 1754
– Cornelius Hatfield to Andrew Blanchard 1767
– William and Hannah Higgins to Cornelius Hatfield 1764
15 Land Deeds: K-P
– Land survey for Philip Kearny in Elizabeth Town 1744
– Joseph Mills to William Pierson 1774
– Gershom Moore to Rebeckah Allton, executor of Erasmus Allton, and Philip Kearny 1736
– George Nicolls to John Hallsted 1742
– John Pierson (represented by Isaac Nichols, Obadiah Meeker, and William Brown, commissioners appointed by the Orphan’s Court) to Rhoda (Pierson) Baldwin 1835
– John D. and Pirah Pierson to William Whitlock 1830
– Keen Pruden to James C. Blake 1854
16 Land Deeds: R-W
– William Robison to Edward Fitz Randolph 1731
– John and Maria Silvers to Elihu Brittin 1805
– Hezekiah and Susannah Stibbens to Uzel Woodruff 1767
– Abraham Vreeland to Elihu Britttin 1836
– James and Elizabeth Vreeland to Elihu Brittin 1829
– Henry Whitlock to Susan U. Niemcewiecz 1809
– Henry and Fanny Whitlock and Josiah M. and Elizabeth Howell to Ralph Price 1810
– Matthias Williamson, John Blanchard, and Edward Thomas to Jonathan Morrell 1772
17 Other Contracts:
– Bond: John and Matthias Halsted to John and Susanna Halsted 1785
– Bond: William Pierson to The Elizabeth Building Loan and Savings Fund Association 1854
– Certificate of non-liability from the Board of Enrollment for the Nation Guard, given to Stephen W. Waterbury 1864
– Indenture for a pew between the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth Town and John Nuttman 1787
– Indenture for a pew between the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth Town and Enos Woodruff 1809
– License to build a dock, wharf, and pier on the Elizabeth River between The Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Union and John Kean (3 versions) 1871, 1891, 1891
– Will: Peter Emile Dumageard (?), with summons for Marie Dumageard and David R. Jaques, guardian of Emilie, Louis, and Aimie Dumageard 1854
18 Court Documents:
– Deposition of Elihu Brittin for John Silvers and Henry M. Brittin vs. Elihu C. Reynolds n.d.
– Deposition of John M. Trumbull for John M. Trumbull vs. Thomas Gibbons 1816
– Docket: “List of causes noticed for Trial in the Borough of Elizabeth” 1799
19 – Docket: Essex County September 1790
Government Documents
20 – Massachusetts: “An Abstract of one days pay for every 20 miles travel from Boston to their respective homes of a number of prisoners lately arrived in a cartel.” 1777
– New Jersey: Resolution to improve the entrance to the Port of New York at Sandy Hook, New Jersey n.d.
– Elizabeth, NJ: Law to “prevent horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs from running at large” in the town 1779
– Elizabeth, NJ: Commission to William F. Day as commissioner for the State of New Jersey (Elizabethtown) 1849
21 – Elizabeth, NJ: Recordbook of sheriff’s bonds, also includes the charter, laws and ordinances of the Borough of Elizabeth (passed in 1762, copy?) 1820-1843, 1762 (?)
Financial Records
22 – Accounts, Bills, and Receipts of George, Jane, and William Ross 1792-1812
– “An Account of Horses purchased in the state of New Jersey after the 1st March 1779″ 1779

Submit a request to copy part of this collection

Print Friendly, PDF & Email