When the New York Gazette was established in 1725 the people of New Jersey for the first tine had a newspaper readily available to them, and one which contained local news and advertisements.
The items from the Gazette, and the other papers which soon followed have been preserved in the New Jersey Archives. Some of those articles, particularly those concerned with the people of Springfield and nearby communities follow. No comment is necessary as they speak for themselves, and give a better picture of the life of those times than could be written today.
1742, New York Gazette, "We hear from Newark in New Jersey that some time last week they had there a most violent hurrican, the extent of which was about 40 rods and it tore up everything in its way."
December 24, 1744, New York Weekly, (Advertisement) Reward for the return of an Indian Wench named Sarah, absented some time ago from her Master, the Rev. Mr. Simon Horton of Connecticut Farms. She formerly belonged to Samuel Bayard of New York City. She is a short thick Wench and has lost some of her Fore Teeth.
1745, New York Evening Post?"We have the melancholy news from the Borough of Elizabethtown that Mr. Nathaniel Bunnel, son of Joseph Bunnel, one of His majesty's Judges died some time last week, his death was occasioned by an unhappy blow on the back part of his head which he received from a rail that lay in a cart rut which the wheel of the cart flung up as it went over."
1748, New York Gazette. The Elizabethtown Lottery is proposed to begin drawing the first Tuesday in May next, if it be full by that time; a small number of the tickets are remaining unsold, those who incline to be adventurers are desired to be expeditious.
July 16, 1750, New York Weekly Post Boy ? We have an account from Ash Swamp near Elizabethtown that a shower of Hail incredibly large fell in a vein of some miles which laid waste and entirely consumed every Field of Wheat, and Corn.. and Birds and Fowles scarce one within its Reach escaped. Tis said some of the Hail Stones were as big as Hen's Eggs."
April 27, 1752. (Advertisement) "A likely parcel of Negro Boys and Girls from 12 to 20 years of age, who have all had the Small Pox, to be sold by Cornelius Hetfield in Elizabethtown."
June 24, 1758, New York mercury?Captain Jonathan Hampton of Elizabethtown writes from Cole's Fort on the Frontiers of New Jersey giving an account of the progress of the war against the Indians.
August 21, 1758 ? Horse race to take place at Elizabeth Town on Tuesday, October 30th; three two mile heats, for 20 pounds.
February 18, 1760, New York Mercury?Choice deer skins to be sold by David Ball and Matthias Swain at Springfield for cash.
January 23, 1764, Massachusetts Gazette and News Letter?Last Friday departed this life, Miss Mary Eldrington of Elizabethtown, an old virgin, in the 100th year of her age, and the next day she was decently interred in St. John's Churchyard at Elizabethtown. It is remarkable that notwithstanding her great age, she was very desirous of getting a husband before she died.
Springfield, March 20, 1764?Run away about four weeks ago from the subscriber, an apprentice boy named James Craze about 17 years of age, a middling sized lad marked with small Pox and wears his own straight black hair. Had on when he went away an old gray watch coat, blue broadcloth coat, short blue jacket, a Pair of Leather Breeches, blue rib'd stockings and a Castor hat ... 20 shillings reward paid by James Campbell.
May 16, 1763, Samuel Meeker's negro, Sampson, has run away again.
1768?LAND FOR SALE BY WAY OF PUBLICK VENDUE: A plantation or tract of land situated at Springfield within half a mile of Isaac Woodruff's about 140 acres late the property of Daniel Ball, a dwelling house, sawmill, barn, and about 25 acres of meadow fit for the scythe and a young orchard. Advertised by Jonathan Dayton, Nathaniel Ball, and others.
May 15, 1769?SALE of Nathaniel Balmon's plantation, one-half mile of Presbyterian Church, 50 acres, double house, barn, smoak house, chair house, cyder mill with two good presses, 2,000 peach trees, 150 apple trees bounded on south by the east branch of the Rahway River. Advertised by Nathaniel Salmon, John Stiles, and David Morehouse.
September 30, 1769?Run away about 18 months since from Springfield near Elizabeth a certain Negro Man named Brit?30 years of age, 6 feet high stout and well made. He was taken by execution at the suit of Elias Desbrosses of New York City and sold by the Sheriff of Essex County to Jecamiah Smith. The fellow is supposed to be harboured at Wyoming by his former master named Nathaniel Salmon. Reward ten dollars. Jecamiah Smith.
March 25, 1771?10 pounds reward. Stolen from the house of Joseph Tucker of Springfield 2 suits cloaths one light purple color, broad cloth, and other blue; 2 good beaver hats one with broad gold lace; I pair white worsted stockings; 1 pair blue yarn stockings; 1 pair silver knee buckles; 1 silver stock buckle; 1 pair buckskin breeches very little worn; 1 reddish brown barcelona handkerchief of changeable color, and sundry other articles. The above cloaths have been taken by a man named Kenaur or Conar. Also the chest and cupboard in which the cloaths lay. He is about 5 feet 6 inches high, thickset, has black hair, and very much addicted to lying. N.B. It is thought that he has gone to Virginia and is probably wearing some of the cloaths.
September 2, 1771, New York Gazette and Weekly Mercury?Reward $3.00 for each, or $6.00 for both. Ran away from the subscribers living at Springfield near Elizabethtown two apprentice lads, one of them named Anthony Little 18 years old.. weaver, had pretty thick legs and a down look, had on a light blue cloath jacket, tow trousers, and white linen shirt; ... the other named Ichabod Foster, tailor, 18 years old ... and it's supposed they both are gone toward Princeton. Advertised by James Black and Daniel Pearson.
April, 1773 Scheme of a Lottery?to raise the sum of 545 pounds, New York money, for, the benefit of the Presbyterian Church of Springfield in East New Jersey, to be drawn in separate classes to wit: (then follows details of three classes) Drawn under the inspection of J.J. Dayton, Captain Jacob Brookfield, James Campbell, Samuel Meeker, Dr. Jonathan Dayton, Joseph Halsey, and Joshua Horton. The church is enclosed, but money is wanted to finish it. The good people of this county are therefore earnestly entreated to contribute their assets that the tickets may be disposed of and the inhabitants assemble for the performance of Divine Worship.
November 14, 1774. To be sold by Abner Hetfield in Elizabethtown good West India and New Haven Rum by the hogshead or barrel as cheap as it could be bought for cash in New York.
January 14, 1775. Run away from the subscriber, James Black, an apprentice lad named James Russel. .. and Run Away from the subscriber, James Campbel, apprentice lad about 18 years old named Joseph Burwell?Rewards, Springfield, N.J.
March 4, 1775 This is to Give Notice?That the subscriber intends to ride post from this place to New York and return here as usual every Tuesday afternoon. He also proposes to erect a complete and commodious stage waggon to go from his house in Hanover and from thence set off at 5 o'clock every Tuesday morning and proceed the same day to Powles Hook (calling on the following places: at the house of Nebemiah Woodruff at Springfield, and return at five o'clock every Thursday morning and come through Newark and Springfield without calling at Hanover to this place (Morristown). Passengers are requested to come over the river on Wednesday evening. Rate 4 shillings New York currency and a like sum for returning. Constant Cooper, Morristown, March 4, 1775.
To Be Sold At Publick. Vendue:
On Thursday at the house of Joseph Denman near Springfield, horse and wagon, cyder, potatoes, Indian corn, buckwheat, salt.
Strayed or Stolen from the subscriber (David Clark) living at Vaux-hall near Springfield 2 milch cows. (Note name "Vaux-hall".)
To be Sold By Matthias Denman:
Best leather breeches for cash or country produce.
To Be Sold by John Dixon at Bottle Hill: Taffety, Peelong, Persians, Oznaburgs, Bath coating, Dutch lace, Bohea tea, Indigo, Snuff, Cutteau knives, Barlow knives, and whale oil.
Stolen from the Subscriber, Jeptha Morehouse, a 25 yards of 3-1/2 linen which was cut out of the loom. Canoe Brook, June 20th, 1780.
August 26, 1778: To the unspeakable grief of a mourning wife and the great loss of four desirable children, died of Odematous Tumour in Springfield in the 48th year of his age, Dr. Jonathan Dayton who had practiced Physick with great care, success, and reputation for the space of 24 years in that place and parts adjacent, and his remains were the next day decently interred in the burying ground of that place, and a suitable sermon preached by the Rev. James Caldwell.