John Fenwick Makes a Name for Himself, and Salem County
The Quaker John Fenwick founded Salem in 1675. Known as a progressive in his time, Fenwick is said to have made a peaceful exchange with the Lenape Indians underneath the Salem Oak Tree, promising them a peaceful co-existence with the influx of Quakers. The Lenapes received Fenwick and his men with similar grace and acceptance.
Quaker tracts of various sorts were published in Salem County and nearby Philadelphia throughout the nineteenth century. Here are two examples from Special Collections. The first, Two West New Jersey Tracts (Philadelphia: Collins Printing House, 1880), is a reprint of two tracts, first printed in 1698, that serve as source material illuminating the skirmishes over the proprietary rights of West Jersey in the last fifteen years of the seventeenth century, including what is now Salem, Gloucester, Camden, and Burlington counties. The second celebrates an anniversary made clear by its title, One-Hundredth Anniversary Commemoration of the Friends’ Meeting-House, at Woodstown (Woodstown: Taylor & Kates, Book and Job Printers, 1885): we have opened the pamphlet to a poem written by William M. Cawley, a local resident.