Manuscript Group 242, William Pierson (1796-1882), Sheriff of Essex County, NJ Record books, 1850-1859


Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

Manuscript Group 242, William Pierson (1796-1882), Sheriff of Essex County, NJ

Record books, 1850-1859, 6 volumes

Call Number: MG 242


Financial records, dockets of writs and executions kept by Dr. William Pierson as sheriff of Essex County, New Jersey.  Volumes are indexed.  Licensed to practice medicine in 1820, Pierson was also active in local politics.  He was member of the state assembly and served as first mayor of Orange, New Jersey.

Biographical Note:

William Pierson (1796-1882) was an Orange (Essex Co.) physician active in local government and politics.  He graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton Univeristy) in 1816, studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the College of Physicians and Surgeons (N.Y.), and was licensed by the Medical Society of New Jersey in 1820.  Following his father, Dr. Isaac Pierson (1770-1833), also an Orange physician and sheriff , Dr. William Pierson’s civic service included: membership in the New Jersey State Legislature, 1837-1838;  sheriff of  Essex Co., 1846-1850; and first mayor of Orange.  Dr. William Pierson married Margaret Hillyer.  Their son, William Pierson, Jr. (1830-1900) continued the family tradition as a prominent physician in Orange.

Scope and Content Note:

The record books (1850-1859, with gaps) consist of financial records, dockets of writs and executions kept by Dr. William Pierson as Sheriff of Essex County.  They include: two volumes of common law and chancery execution cases brought before the Essex County Circuit Court and the New Jersey Superior Court (Essex  Co.) regarding: judgments, legal damages, costs taxed, property owed, interests accrued, costs of execution and docketing, mortgaged premises and sales of property; and references to Amzi Dodd (1823-1913), a Newark attorney.  Other volumes, a daybook and ledger, are daily account registers of cases brought before the court, listing court and attorney expenses and payments; two volumes of personal and real estate auction sales held by the sheriff’s office with itemized lists of property, goods (i.e. candlesticks, cow, wardrobe), purchaser’s names and payments.  They also contain pasted-in advertisements of each auction sale with names of defendants (1850-1859).  The six volumes bear the stationer’s label of Benjamin Olds, a Newark printer.

Related Collections:

Manuscript Group 726, William Pierson (1796-1882) Account book

There are additional Essex County government records in:

Manuscript Group 158, Jeremiah Price (fl. 1835-1853), Deputy sheriff of Essex County, Docket

Manuscript Group 262, Essex County, New Jersey Tax Office Account book

Manuscript Group 432, Special Commission to Investigate the Affairs of the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Transcripts of hearings

Manuscript Group 829, Essex County, New Jersey Coroner’s Office Inquests

Manuscript Group 834, Essex County, New Jersey Board of Chosen Freeholders, Committee on Buildings, Records

Manuscript Group 859, Essex County, New Jersey Clerk’s Office, Book of warrants

Manuscript Group 871, Essex County, New Jersey Court for the Trial of Small Causes Docket

Manuscript Group 931, Essex County, New Jersey Republican Party Petition


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