1666 - The Founding of Woodbridge
Shortly after Governor Philip Carteret had established himself in Elizabethtown he sent messengers to New England to publicize the liberal provisions of the Concessions and Agreements and to invite emigration to New Jersey. The severity of the justice system and intolerance of the New England Puritans made the provisions of the Concessions inducements to relocate to New Jersey where land could be easily acquired, they could larely control their own affairs and where they would be guaranteed the right to exercise their own religious convictions free from persecution (see Appendix A).
“No person qualified as a freeman shall be any ways molested or called in question for Any difference in opinion and practice in matters of religious concernment; but all such Persons may from time to time, freely and fully enjoy their judgements and conscience in matters of religion.”
Late in 1666 Daniel Pierce, John Pike and associates from Newbury, Massachusetts, explored the area southwest of Elizabethtown, found it agreeable and on 11 December 1666 entered into an agreement with Governor Philip Carteret, John Ogden and Luke Watson (the latter two were original large landowners in the Elizabethtown patent), for roughly the southern half of the original Elizabethtown Patent, lying between the Rahway and Raritan Rivers. The agreement was confirmed by deed on 3 December 1667. Daniel Pierce was immediately commissioned as deputy-surveyor to run the boundary lines and lay out land to the associates: John Pike, Daniel and Joseph Pierce, Obadiah Ayers, Henry Jaques, Thomas Bloomfield, Elisha Parker, Richard Worth, John Whitaker, Jonathan Dunham, Hugh Dunn and Robert Van Quellen. The purchase price was 80£ per share; as provided for in the Concessions and Agreements. Amboy Point and a thousand acres of upland and meadow were reserved for the Proprietors; this was the one seventh share stipulated under the Concessions. In addition, land was set aside for the ministry and for maintenance of a school.