Caleb Fairchild
Born: Sept. 10, 1693, Stratfield, Fairfield Co., Connecticut
Died: May 1, 1777, Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey
Parents: Zechariah Fairchild & Hannah Beach
Buried: Whippany, Morris Co., New Jersey
Occupations: farmer & miller
Public Office: Sheriff (1746-48) of Morris County
Religious Affiliations: Congregationalist; First Presbyterian Church,
Hanover, New Jersey & founding member of First Presybterian Church, Morristown
Marriage: 1716, Connecticut
Cause of Death: smallpox
Wife: Anne Sherwood


(Joseph Trowbridge & Ann Sherwood)

David Trowbridge

Anne Trowbridge

(Caleb Fairchild & Ann Sherwood)

Hezekiah Fairchild

Sarah Fairchild (I)
Born: 1719, Stratford, Fairfield Co., Connecticut
Died: 1719, Stratford, Fairfield Co., Connecticut
Baptism: April or May, 1719, Stratford, Fairfield Co., Connecticut

Sarah Fairchild (II)
Born: June 5, 1722, Stratford, Fairfield Co., Connecticut
Died: Oct. 5, 1804, unknown
Marriage: unknown
Husband: Ezekiel Cheever
Born: unknown
Died: still living 1777, Morris Co., New Jersey

Matthew Fairchild

Joseph Fairchild

Samuel Fairchild

Gershom Fairchild

Ebenezer Fairchild

Mehitable "Mable" Fairchild
Born: 1732, Morris County, New Jersey
Died: Jan. 12, 1795, New Jersey
Marriage: Jan. 15, 1754, Morris County, New Jersey
Husband:Thomas Tuttle
Born: unknown
Died: unknown

Ezra Fairchild
Born: 1734, Hanover, Morris County, New Jersey
Died: April, 1777, Hanover, Morris County, New Jersey
Cause of Death: smallpox

Abner Fairchild


It is because of Caleb Fairchild that the Trowbridges came to northern New Jersey, and then by way of David Trowbridge, Caleb's stepson, that the Trowbridges spread through the United States. Caleb was a respected member of Hanover, New Jersey, where he and Anne settled, and raised her children, as well as the several they had together. According to New Jersey Archives, Caleb was in New Jersey as early as 1730. His last grantor deed in Stratford was 18 April 1722 (41A). One of Caleb's descendants said he went from Stratford to Stonington, Connecticut, then to Hempstead, Long Island, New York, and then to New Jersey. He also at one point briefly in the New Haven, Connecticut area, and is on the deeds there. On April 1, 1736, Caleb and Anne quit-claimed land to David Trowbridge, son of Anne's first husband, Joseph Trowbridge. Caleb, Anne, and Caleb's brother Zacheriah were among the founding members of the Morristown First Presbyterian Church. One of Caleb’s sons, Abner Fairchild, and Abner's son Abraham, fought in the Revolutionary War. Anne, Caleb, and their son Ezra died during an outbreak of smallpox (which also claimed the lives of several Continental soldiers) in the spring of 1777.

A depiction of the historic original First Presbyterian Church in Hanover.
Founded around 1715, it was the first church in what is now Morris County, NJ.

The historic Morristown First Presbyterian Church. Caleb and his brother
Zechariah were founding members and leading elders in the church.

By Elizabeth R. Myrose and Claire B. Kitchell

"But the mills and forges were the lure that would bring settlers from the east and the north, and which would finally give Whippany (then part of Hanover) its reputation. The mills also produced the leading families of the township. The first of these were the Fairchilds. The family patriarch, Caleb Fairchild, arrived in Whippany in 1735, with his brother Zachariah, and his wife Anne, and established a gristmill and a saw mill on the tract of the orignal forge and property now occupied by the International Paper Co. (now since gone). A member of the Presbyterian Church in Hanover for a number of years, he and Anne were also founding members, along with Zechariah, of the Morristown First Presbyterian Church in Morristown. Caleb also served as Morris County Sheriff from 1746 to 1748. He died on May 1, 1777 at 84 years of age. Caleb's son Abner was a Captain in the Army. Abner had seven sons who were patriots. Abraham Fairchild, grandson of Caleb, also an Army Captain, followed in his grandfather's footsteps. On the site of Caleb's saw mill, Abraham established a very successful woolen mill. On Stoney Brook in Malapardis, he built a carding machine and fulling mill, the first in this section of New Jersey. Abraham Fairchild was a social as well as business leader of the township. His mansion on Jefferson Road drew notables from all parts of Morris county. Abraham's son John sold the family interests in other plants, but retained the fulling mill and took over its management. John's son, E.R. Fairchild, and grandson, A. K. Fairchild, carried on the operation of the company until 1890, a span of a century of family ownership. In the post-Civil War period, with machinery purchased from New York State Prison, the plant turned to the manufacture of woolens."


Caleb Fairchild
in Hanover town.
June 4, 1776
No. 1- pg. 75
plotted p. 106

All that certain tract of land lying in Hanover afore said. Beginning in the middle of the road that leads from Morristown to Hyberna furnace also being a corner of Mathew Ball's land from thence running North by said Ball's land seventy-three degrees along the said Ball's line eleven chains & eighty links to Nathaniel Peck's land now Jonathon Hathaway's thence by his land South twenty degrees & fifteen minutes West twelve chains & eighty-five links to the land of Mathur Fairchild thence South seventy-nine degrees East twelve chains to the middle of the road thence South seventy-nine degrees East twelve chains to the middle of the road then North fifty-six degrees East two chains & twenty links along said road thence North eighty degrees five chains then North fifteen degrees East three chains to the beginning. Containing fifteen acres & fifteen hundredths of an acre strict measure.
Jonathon Hatheway
Ashur Fairchild


“1773, Oct. 4 – Fairchild, Caleb, of Hanover, Morris Co.; will of. Wife, Anne, use of all real and personal estate, during her life. To children, Matthew, and Joseph, Gershom, Ebenezer the following legacies: to Joseph 10 pounds; to Matthew 10 pounds; to Gershom 10 pounds; to Mehitabel, 20 pounds; to Sarah, 5 pounds. sons Joseph and Ezra, all real estate, and they pay legacies.
Executors- sons Joseph and Ezra. Witnesses-Ebenezer, Ezekiel Cheever, Sarah Cheever. Proved May 14, 1777”


(from "Whose Who in the Presbyterian Cemetery in Morristown, NJ")
Fairchild, Catherine--17/44--Daughter of Ephraim & Gitty Fairchild, d. 26 Nov 1826, age 11 months 4 days. [Ed. Note: CR70 show Catharine Price Fairchild, Daughter of Ephraim & Gertrude "Gitty" (Oliver) Fairchild].

Fairchild, Catherine--20/37--Buried with David Fairchild--Erected by their Son S. F. 1821. [Ed. Note: This would appear to be the Catherine (Gregory) Fairchild which CR69 show b. 13 Mar 1735, m. David Fairchild 9 Nov 1757, and d. 18 Feb 1800. See Fairchild, David at Site 20/37].

Fairchild, Dabriat (Deborah)--25/12--d. 13 Apr 1757, age 50. [Ed. Note: Wife of Zachariah, the First Leading Elder of the Church upon separation of the Morristown Church from the Hanover Church in about 1737. Vail spells the name Dabriah. CR69 show Deborah, 1st Wife of Zachariah Fairchild of Morris Plains. Deborah & Zachariah were parents of two i.e., David and Abiel. CR69 show "Dabriat" on the headstone].

Fairchild, David--24/26--d. 13 Apr 1855, age 88.7.10. [Ed. Note: CR69 show David Fairchild, Son of David & Catherine (Gregory) Fairchild, b. 3 May 1767, m. Hannah Day 13 Sep 1794. David & Hannah were parents of eight i.e., Samuel, Lewis, Josiah, Franklin, Henry, David Day, Silas, and James].

Fairchild, David--20/37--Buried with Catherine Fairchild--Erected by their Son S. F. 1821. [Ed. Note: This would appear to be the David Fairchild which CR69 show was the Son of Deborah & Zachariah Fairchild, b. 6 May 1734, 1st m. Catherine Gregory on 9 Nov 1757. David & Catherine were parents of ten i.e., Abijah, Rhoda, Phebe, Samuel, David, Silas, Eunice, Mabel Silas, and Lewis. David 2nd m. Nancy Loper 3 Jan 1807. David d. 30 Aug 1807, age 73. The S. F. who erected the marker at this Site for David and Catherine probably was the 2nd Son named Silas who died 18 Feb 1852, age 75. The other possibility would be their Son Samuel, although he moved to Savannah, Georgia. His date of death has not been found].

Fairchild, Elizabeth--Reinterred at Evergreen No Date No Location Shown--Wife of William W. Fairchild, d. 23 Apr 1832, age 24.4.7. [CR72 show Elizabeth Jaggers m. 15 Feb 1830 to William Fairchild, d. 4 Apr 1832, age 24. Reinterment confirmed by Chambers at Page 62].

Fairchild, Hannah--24/25--Wife of David--d. 10 Jan 1851, age 82.7.5. [Ed. Note: See Fairchild, David at Site 24/27].

Fairchild, Phebe Briant--20/2--Wife of Silas Fairchild, d. 7 Sep 1846, age 70 [Ed. Note: Parker shows originally copied 1816 and corrected with Church Records. See Fairchild, Silas].
Fairchild, Rhoda--20/36--d. 27 Dec 1845, age 84. [Ed. Note: CR69 show Rhoda Fairchild, Daughter of David & Catherine (Gregory) Fairchild, b. 9 Sep 1860, d. 26 Jan 1845, age 84].

Fairchild, Sarah--29/23--Wife of Matthew, d. 6 Jan 1750, age 33. [Ed. Note: Parker shows originally copied 1756 and corrected with Church Records. CR71 show Sarah _______ was the 1st Wife of Matthew Fairchild. Matthew remarried two more times. He is shown Father of ten i.e., Caleb, Ruth, Ann, Sarah, Stephen, Asher, Jonathan, Theodocia, Rebecca, and Mehitabel. Based on the dates of Baptism, Sarah would have been the Mother of the first five. Based on the date of Matthew's third marriage, the last two would have been by his third Wife. It is unclear which of Matthew's Wives i.e., #1 or #2, was the Mother of which of the three remaining children i.e., Asher, Jonathan, and Theodocia].

Fairchild, Silas--20/1--18 Feb 1852, age 74. [Ed. Note: CR24 & 72 show b. about 1777, m. 22 May 1819 to Phebe Briant, both of Morris Plains. He d. 18 Feb 1852, age 75. No children found in The Combined Registers].

Source: J. Percy Crayon, Rockaway Records of Morris County, N. J. Families,
(Rockaway, N.J., Rockaway Publishing Co., 1902)

Thomas "Fayerchild", merchant, came from England, and was among the first settlers of Stratford, (mow Bridgeport), CT.   His wife Sarah, was a daughter of Robert Seabrooke, who had daughters who married Thomas Sherwood, William Preston, of New Haven, and Lt. Thomas Wheeler, of Milford, respectfully. All came to Connecticut about the same time in 1638 or 1639.

Children of Thomas Fairchild and (1) wife Sarah: Samuel, born Aug. 31, 1639, the first white child born at Stratford, married Mary, daughter of Moses Wheeler. She was born 1653, died Feb. 7, 1733. He died Nov. 20, 1692; Sarah, born Feb. 19, 1641, married Jehiel Preston; John, was born May 1, 1644, died young; Thomas, Jr., born Feb. 21, 1646; Dinah, born July 14, 1648, married Benjamin Corey, died 1703; Zacharia, born Dec. 14, 1651, married (1) Hannah, daughter of John Beach, Sr., Nov 3, 1681, died June 3, 1703. She married (2) John Buritt May 5, 1708. He died Feb. 1, 1727. Emma, born Oct. 1653. He married (2) Catharine Craigg and had children: Joseph, born Apr. 18, 1664; John, born June 8, 1666, and Priscilla, born Apr. 20, 1669. He died Dec. 14, 1670, and his widow married as second wife Sergt. Jeremiah Judson, died 1706.

Children of Samuel and wife Mary: Robert, Samuel, born about 1682, died Feb. 28, 1761, married Ruth, daughter of John Beach, Jr., who was born 1685, died May 8, 1769; Edward, born 1686; Jonathan, born Oct. 10, 1692, and Anna (?) who married Cory Blackman.

Children of Thomas Fairchild, Jr., who married (1) Sarah Preston; (2) Susannah ____, and died before 1690: Sarah, baptized Apr. 11, 1675, died 1682; Emma, baptized same date; Samuel, baptized Apr. 16, 1677; Ruth, baptized July 16, 1678; Alexander, baptized Apr. 16, 1680; Sarah (2) baptized Feb. 1682; Katharine, baptized May 1684; Mary born about 1690.

Children of Zechariah and wife Hannah: Mehetable, born Mar. 21, 1682, died Sept. 27, 1684; Hannah, born Aug. 1, 1685; David, born Mar. 1688; Agnes, born Oct. 1, 1691; Caleb, born Sept. 10, 1693, had wife Ann ____, settled at Whippany, NJ, and died there May 1, 1777, his wife died same year; James, born Feb. 12, 1695; Mary, born May 7, 1698; Zachariah, Jr., born Nov. 21, 1701, settled at Morris Plains, NJ, died there Aug. 6, 1777. He married (1) Deborah ____. She was born 1707, died Apr. 13, 1757; (2) Widow Lidia Hathaway Aug. 1757. She was born 1724, died May 23, 1769; Abiel, born July 15, 1703.

Children of Caleb Fairchild and wife Ann, of Whippany: Hezekiah, baptized at Stratford, CT, 1717; Samuel, married Hannah Winchel (?) lived near Hanover; Sarah, Mathew, Joseph, born 1724; Gershom, married Lydia ____, and died before Nov. 28, 1778; Ebenezer, Mehetible, born 1732, Ezra, born 1734.

Children of Zachariah and wife Deborah, of Morris Plains: Jane, married Silas Goble 1744; Mary, married Benjamin Hathaway; Phineas, born 1730, died Nov. 12, 1801, married Sarah ____. She was born 1729, died Nov. 2, 1811; Abigail, married Jonathan Conklin; David, born May 6, 1734, married (1) Catharine Gregory Nov. 9, 1757. She was born Mar. 13, 1735, died Feb. 18, 1800; (2) Nancy Loper, of Hanover. Caturah, married Philip Hathaway; Rhoda, born Nov. 4, 1737, married Jebediah Gregory; Abiel, born Nov. 4, 1739, married (1) Esther Gard July 13, 1763. She was born 1742, died Jan. 22, 1777. (2) Elizabeth ____.

Children of Samuel and wife Hannah: Benjamin, born about 1742, married Mercy ____, lived at Hanover; Eezekiah and Abigail, were baptized at Hanover Sept. 7, 1755; Moses, married Mary Gardiner, lived at Rockaway Neck; Martha, married Joel Wilkinson Nov. 28, 1765; Abraham, born Nov. 2, 1753, married Phebe Russell, lived at Whippany, NJ; Eunice, above four baptized at Hanover Oct. 26, 1755; Solomon, born Sept. 1757, married his brother’s widow Jemima (Ball) Fairchild; Lt. Winchel, born Nov. 1758, married Jemima Ball, lived at Hanover; Isaac, born 1760, married Amy Mulford, lived at Hanover; Lucy, born 1763, married Samuel Baldwin; Benjamin, Hezekiah, Moses and Abraham of this family served in the Revolutionary War.

Children of Phineas Fairchild and wife Sarah: Stephen, born Nov. 30, 1753; Abigail, born Dec. 24, 1754, married David Hurd; Deborah, born February 22, 1757, married Wm. Hubbard; Sarah, born February 22, 1759, drowned 1769; Mary, born June 12, 1761, married Caleb Tuttle; Timothy, born July 22, 1763, married Mehetible Tuttle; Esther, born Nov. 20, 1766, married Jonathan Dean; Charlotte, born Oct. 10, 1768, married Loammi Casterline; Justus, born July 20, 1771, died Nov. 22, 1772; Sarah, born Feb. 26, 1773, married Peter Tompkins Dec. 15, 1795, died May 6, 1861


Apparently Caleb Fairchild was not a particularly good sheriff during his tenure between 1746 and 1748. An incident involving Sheriff Fairchild can be read at the the Pipes family webpage about counterfeiting in Morris County during colonial times, which Caleb allowed an alleged counterfeiter to escape from jail, perhaps in collusion with the suspect's ring:  The following story is an excerpt from the Pipes family webpage regarding counterfeiting in Morris County during colonial times.  The following is a case that Sheriff Caleb Fairchild was involved in around 1748:

"The counterfeiting story in colonial America has been told in various places. Several chapters have been written in local history books and at least one book was published that was devoted entirely to the subject. ...Much of the counterfeiting activity was reported in the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania colonies from 1730 to 1770, although it occurred in almost all of the colonies at one time or another before the revolution. Most of the written accounts focus on the general political situation at the time and the feeble attempts of the colonial government to control or stop the people involved.  Counterfeiting was a rampant criminal activity during those years, but few of the accounts try to explain the motives of the people involved. Few of them make a point of trying to explain why anything as serious as this was allowed to continue or why men of high regard in the community were involved. 

In general, the Kings government and the men who held positions of authority in the colonies for the King regarded counterfeiting as a serious crime and at most times the penalty proscribed in the law was death. However, that seems to have seldom been  the punishment meted out.  The colonists themselves seem to have regarded the crime as less than serious, which may not seem so strange when you consider the times. The people in charge of the justice system seem to have been very sensitive to antagonizing the citizens to even higher levels of dislike for the King's rule.

Most citizens at that time conducted their business with others using the barter system, as the goods and excess produce they were able to secure from their farms were their only source of income. Working for pay was not the usual way of  providing income. In addition, the King's Government prohibited the colonies from producing their own money and to make matters worse, the amount of English money in circulation in the colonies was in very short supply. This supply problem led to the eventual wide spread use of the coins supplied by the Spanish government and produced in South America, which came to be know as "Pieces of Eight" or "Spanish Dollars". The early issues of the coins used in the colonies were of general poor quality and were manufactured in a manner which was easy to reproduce for anyone familiar with metal working. It required a metal slug or molten metal, a hand made die or mold, a hammer and a little larceny in the heart. The persons making the phony coins were sometimes referred to as "Coiners" or "Coyners" in the old English spelling observed on the court records.

All of these circumstances led many colonists to view the money as "not worth much anyway", "not reliable" and with much disregard. To make matters worse, many colonies started producing their own paper script which supposedly represented the metal coins used as backing or collateral, similar to our early use of "greenbacks" backed by gold and silver. These paper scripts were often not honored outside of the colony which produced them, nor even honored by every person or place of business in that same colony, leading to their lack of portability and exchange and to a general lack of regard for them. Another factor was the general lack of attention to fiscal matters by the government appointees, who often looked to England for direction and when it was not forthcoming, they elected to do nothing. Combining this lack of action with the general attitude of rancor between the appointed Governors and the local elected assemblies and you end up with a situation that seemed to foster the lack of regard for local authority. The scripts also added a new twist because more people could acquire paper, ink and the plates needed to facilitate printing and copying and it didn't even require the ability to read or write.

The crime of counterfeiting was usually committed by two different levels of society. The most skillful and persistent perpetrators were small "gangs" of men who moved about and had only a limited ability to produce copies of the paper scripts but a persistence which made it profitable enough to take the risks involved. They seemed to be the type of men who typically committed petty crimes and misdemeanors and were usually in and out of the clutches of the local sheriffs and constables for one thing or another anyway. They probably regarded this crime as another "easy mark". They moved about and were very fluid and crafty in there ability to recruit locals to get involved and would strike quickly and then move on.

The second group of perpetrators are harder to understand as they were typically the type of men who were arrested with our John Pipes Sr. These were men of some substance; family men, landowners, church members and small business owners, all of them upstanding members of the community.  Some writers and family historians have tried to write this activity off as somehow being simply rebellion against the King and activity that typically led to the rebellion. I personally think that there were other factors involved and we will investigate those factors further on in the article.  Whatever the motives were, it is for certain that John Pipes Sr., Abraham Hathaway, Job Allen and several others were involved in counterfeiting in the mid to late 1740's. They were discovered, indicted and arrested in 1748. The sheriff at the time, a man named Caleb Fairchild, allowed them to escape, perhaps with a "wink". They were later tried before a Kings Court, given somewhat lenient sentences and released. They were later indicted again and made to appear for the escape from jail and made to post bonds and forfeit small fines. These second indictments and court appearances were held as late as 1752 and were apparently driven by Judge Robert Hunter Morris who had vowed to bring a halt to the counterfeiting.

by Theodore Thayer,  Published by The Morris County Heritage Commission, 1975
       Printed by Compton Press Inc., Morristown, New Jersey

"When counterfeiting was rampant in Morris County, it was difficult to convict the perpetrators. Many of the counterfeiters were popular young men with many influential relatives and friends. Furthermore, many of the inhabitants did not look upon the crime as inimical to their interests; rather, they viewed the actions of the counterfeiters as clever and smart. In fact, to perhaps the great majority, the counterfeiters were popular heroes. They did not perceive the great harm which this form of lawbreaking could cause to a community.

As early as 1744 there were several indictments against counterfeiters for altering paper money, but no arrests appear to have been made. Then in 1747, a whole ring of counterfeiters and passers of counterfeit bills were arrested and jailed. The number and good station in life of most of the men reveal the prevailing disposition toward counterfeiting. The names of the arrested were: Timothy Conner, Seth Hall, Jonathan Hathaway, John Pipes, Job Allen, Andrew Morrison, Abraham Southerd, Samuel Blackford, Sylvanus Totten, and David Brant, all of Morristown. In addition there were Abraham Hathaway, Jacobus Vanetta, John McNeal, Joshua Robins, Abraham Anderson, Robert Livingston, Court Timery, and Isaac Woortman. Through the laxity of Sheriff Caleb Fairchild, all the prisoners broke jail and escaped to the homes of friends and relatives. Governor Jonathan Belcher and his Council agreed that counterfeiters could not be convicted in Morris County and proposed that henceforth they be removed from the county for trial. The Assembly, however, disagreed, and the proposal was dropped. Chief Justice Robert Hunter Morris wanted Sheriff Fairchild prosecuted for allowing the prisoners to escape but no action was taken.

      It was not until the Court of Oyer and Terminer was established in Morris County in 1750, with Chief Justice Nevill presiding, that some of the counterfeiters were again arrested and brought to trial. David Brant was found guilty, fined 25, jailed for three months, and put on good behavior for seven years. Ebenezer David was fined 5, ordered to stand in the pillory one hour, jailed for six months, and put on good behavior for nine years. Jeremiah Wright received a fine of 10 for assisting the counterfeiters and was put on good behavior for seven years. Finally, Peter Salter was fined twenty shillings and put on good behavior for two years for counterfeiting pieces of eight. These sentences were light; after all, the law prescribed the death penalty for counterfeiters. It was not until 1752 that the county had another session of the Oyer and Terminer Court. This time nine persons were charged with assisting counterfeiters. The culprits, almost all of whom had been indicted in 1747, were Abraham Hathaway, Jonathan Hathaway, Job Allen, Andrew Morrison, John Pipes, Timothy Comer, Sylvanus Totten, Seth Hall, and Samuel Blackford. The Court, perhaps for lack of evidence, decided not to try the men at the time. They were all released in their own recognizance and ordered to appear at the next court. When it met again in September 1753, the men simply were given small fines on charges of misdemeanor and dismissed. Although the punishments handed down by the Court in 1750 and 1753 were light, the actions of the Court were such that counterfeiting did not again appear in Morris County for nearly twenty years."

Although the record above did not mention the punishment handed down to our John Pipes, the sentence was recorded in the minutes of the Courts. It appears that John Pipes was not tried in Morris County for this particular crime and we can see that he was indicted more than once. A careful reading of this next entry raises questions. The government at the time had concerns about trying these men in Morris County and apparently his trial was held outside of Morris. I obtained this record from the Joint Free Public Library of Morris County and Morristown. It is contained in a letter written in 1959 by a local researcher named Henry Pilch, who was writing to Edwin Baldwin of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey. The letter is in the Vertical file on the Pipes Family at the library. The letter states that the record is "copied from the Morris County minutes of the Court of Oyer and Terminer and is on Microfilm MF LH 0010." A later search for this entry in the microfilms was unsuccessful. A researcher in the Joint free Library named Cheryl Turkington wrote in a letter dated 1994, that she was unable to find this same entry in the records. I believe the original entry was from Hunterdon County and the town of Trenton. Why else mention Trenton Pillory or the phrases "from Trenton" or "to the borders of Morris County" or use the Hunterdon Sheriff ? Either his trial was moved to Hunterdon County or he was indicted separately in that county.

The entry as reported in the letter reads thus:

"The King vs. John Pipes. Convicted by the Jury for a Publick Cheat in Uttering Counterfeit Money of New Jersey. Sentence -  That he pay a fine of Five Pounds to the King; that he stand two hours in the Common Pillory in Trenton this day between the hours of one and six; that he find surety for his good behavior for three years, himself in 100 and one surety in 50 and then to be carted along the publick road which leads from Trenton to the house of Barent Simons where the fact was committed; and so on to the borders or confines of the County of Morris, with a rope about his neck. And the sheriff of the County of Hunterdon is hereby ordered to see the said sentence put in execution; as also to summon such constables to attend the same, as he shall judge necessary, who are commanded to give their attendance accordingly"

And as we shall see, there is slightly more to this story than is apparent. We shall return to that part of the story, but first we need to cover some terms and some history of the money and the times.

The definition of the term "Oyer and Terminer"

Law 1. A hearing or trial. 2. A court of general criminal jurisdiction in some states of the United States. 3a. A commission empowering a judge in Great Britain to hear and rule on a criminal case at the assizes. b. The court in Great Britain where such a hearing is held. 

Middle English, partial translation of Anglo-Norman 'oyer et terminer', to hear and determine: oyer, to hear + terminer, to determine. 

Some Background on the money used at the time. 

The "Spanish Milled Dollar" was a metal coin minted by the Spanish Government and used until the 1850's as currency in the colonies and the states. The Metal coin was the source for many of our current terms about money as you will see in the rest of the article. Many of the colonies printed paper certificates which could be redeemed for metal coins like the one below. Mary Morris held such a certificate and gave it as proof of her husband's service when she filed her pension application in 1837. It was  New Jersey Note for 60 Dollars.

The Spanish Dollar and the Spanish Milled Dollar: The following information was extracted and compiled from various web sites devoted to the Spanish Currency.

The original Spanish dollar was of inferior quality and was produced by striking a die against a slug of metal called a cob. The term "Milled" means that the blank or "Planchet" used for the coin was milled to a precise size and the coin was then made in a screw press. 

"With inferior quality cobs being minted at most mints in the Viceroyalty of Peru, laws were finally passed in 1728 and 1730 mandating modern minting techniques be employed. In 1732 the Mexican mint came into compliance with the new regulations and stopped producing hammer struck cobs. They began minting an improved product on a screw press. The use of a screw press required the production of milled or finished blank planchets. The large screw press worked by rotating a weighted lever that pressed an upper and lower die together with a blank planchet between them. Under the intense and even pressure of the press the planchet would be evenly and fully struck. Also, all coins would be of the same thickness. To insure quality, production was supervised by two assayers, with both adding their initial to each coin, unlike the cobs that were supervised by only one assayer. Additionally, for the eight reales coin a special collar was used to produce an edge design, in this case the coin was given a protective corded edge consisting of a design resembling a tulip. Any clipping or filing would be immediately evident as it would mar the edge design. Pillar coins were a great improvement over cobs in that they were of a uniform size and weight without cracks or uneven edges. They had a deep full strike with all information clearly visible and were difficult to clip or counterfeit. Denominations for this new coinage included the one half, one, two, four and eight reales coins."


England forbade the early American colonies to mint coins, leaving the settlers to make do with barter, foreign coins and local currency, while English coins remained scarce. The most circulated coin in the colonies was the Spanish milled dollar. Minted in the Rich Spanish colonies of Mexico and Peru since 1500, this one ounce of silver had a milled (patterned) edge to prevent dishonest merchants from "shaving" the edges. The coin was so highly respected that it became an international trade coin. Some originals have Chinese markings, approving their use. Pirates were always glad to find "Pieces of Eight & Gold Doubloons" amongst their horde. The American government sanctioned these coins until the late 1850's and other denominations are still found in archeological digs in such places as Columbia, California, where thousands of miners dropped coins during the gold rush years. The Annals of San Francisco mentions that every foreign coin that came close to the coins accepted in the "states", as set for prescribed measure in silver or gold, were being used in 1855. (i.e.; a German Mark, a French Franc, a Spanish 8 Real, an English Crown, were equal to the American Dollar, even though the silver content might have varied.)

 It was the dividing of these 8 reals into half ounce, quarter ounce and eighth of an ounce that created our half dollar, quarter dollar and "bits" (12.5 cents). Until recently the New York Stock Exchanged still used the factor that eight-eights made a whole. 

The American colonists had become accustomed to the use of the Spanish Milled Dollar, so as the Continental Congress considered a national coinage and currency, the Spanish Milled Dollar was considered as the basis. The first issue of Continental paper money provided that the notes be payable in Spanish Milled dollars or the value thereof in gold or silver. The Milled Dollar was officially sanctioned in the United States until the 1850’s.

  The Milled Dollar was commonly divided into 8 pieces called reales or “bits”. By dividing a coin, the value of the piece could be used to pay more than one debt. 2 bits commonly referred to a quarter of a dollar. The familiar cheer " 2 bits, 4 bits, 6 bits, a dollar" comes from this coinage...

The Court Records: A Chronology

1744 [Thayer]

As early as 1744 there were several indictments against counterfeiters for altering paper money, but no arrests appear to have been made. 

1747 [Scott]

The Government passes a law that decrees that a pardon will be granted to any counterfeiter who surrenders himself to the local Sheriff and agrees to appear before the courts. This agreement leads to men turning evidence against others, which was a requirement and the intention of the law. 

1748 July 16 [Scott]

A printer named Heinrich Jaeger, held in the jail at Trenton with a small gang of counterfeiters, was convicted after admitting that he had made 40 pound notes but only passed a 15 shilling bill. His sentence was to be hanged and he was executed on July 16, 1748, leaving behind a wife and 9 children. To further the sentence, for some reason unknown, his wife was fined an additional 50 pounds at the gallows.

1748 Early August [Scott]

The following men voluntarily surrendered themselves to the Sheriff of Essex County, confessed their activities and were released on bond at the August session of the court. James Bruff, Aaron Miller, John Radley, Andrew Miller, Daniel Clark Jr., Josiah Winans, Zorobabel North, Daniel Perine, Joseph Marsh, John Roll, John French and Richard French. It is assumed they gave the names of others because 5 days after appearing before the court (on August 12), a warrant was issued for the arrest of the men in the next entry. 

1748 August 17 [Thayer][Scott]

A whole ring of counterfeiters and passers of counterfeit bills were arrested and jailed. A warrant had been issued by Judge Robert Hunter Morris to Sheriff  John Kinney. The names of the arrested were: Timothy Conner, Seth Hall, Jonathan Hathaway, John Pipes, Job Allen, Andrew Morrison, Abraham Southerd, Samuel Blackford, Sylvanus Totten, David Brant, Abraham Hathaway, Jacobus Vanetta, John McNeal, Joshua Robins, Abraham Anderson, Robert Livingston, Court Timery, and Isaac Woortman.

1748 September 20 to September 25 [Scott]

Ten persons committed to the Morristown jail on or about 20th September were allowed to escape with the tacit help of Sheriff Caleb Fairchild on September 25th. The men were Timothy Conner, Seth Hall, Jonathan Hathaway, John Pipes, Job Allen, Andrew Morrison, Abraham Southerd, Samuel Blackford, Sylvanus Totten and David Brant. [It was later learned that Sheriff John Kinney had also assisted in the jail break and had in fact encouraged Hall and Morrison to escape.]

1750 July [Scott]

 Sheriff John Kinney, who by now had been made High Sheriff of Morris County was indicted by a  Grand Jury for his part in the jail Break of the ten counterfeiters in 1748. Testifying against him were the two he had conferred with, Hall and Morrison, and also Keziah Hall, Mary Darling and three relatives of the man named Hedden who was also involved as an accused. The records do not show if the Sheriff was convicted or not.

1750 July 3rd [COT] 

Barent Simons, Caleb Fairchild, Caleb Baldwin and Hannah Baldwin are sworn in to give evidence before the Grand Jury.

[Note: This is the same Barent Simons mentioned in the conviction of John Pipes in Trenton.]

1750 July 3rd [COT] 

The King vs. Peter Salter - On Indictment for counterfeiting pieces of Eight, the court gave judgment that the defendant Peter Salter pay a fine of twenty Shillings and give security for his good behavior for two years and stand committed to the above sentence to be complied with.

1750 July 11th [COT] 

The King vs. David Brant - Indictment for aiding and assisting in passing counterfeit Bills of Credit and it is considered and adjudged by the court that the Defendant be fined 25 pounds, three months imprisonment without bail or mainprise* and that he give security in the sum of 50 pounds for his good behavior for seven years and two suretys in the sum of 25 pounds and that he stand committed until his fines and costs be paid and till he comply with this sentence.

* MAINPRISE - English law. The taking of a man into friendly custody, who might otherwise be committed to prison, upon security given for his appearance at a time and place assigned.

1750 July 10th [COT] 

The King vs. Timothy Connor & others. Indictment for rescuing themselves out of the Common Gaol [old spelling for Jail]. The court adjourned till 8am the next morning and then swore in the following to give evidence to the Grand Jury: Joseph Harriman, Samuel Bayles, _ Mcginnis, Daniel Lane, Joseph Grayson(?)

The Constables having called Benjamin Beach, John Davenport, Peter Mandifield, [and] John Justice [,they] did not appear & made default. The court fines them ten shillings apiece.

[The next day the court continues.] Defendants Seth Hall, Job Allen, Andrew Morrison, Jonathan Hathaway, John Pipes, David Brant and Sylvanus Totten being called, appeared and was charged with this indictment and pleaded and throw themselves on the mercy of the court.  The court adjudged the said defendants be fined in the sum of forty shillings and that they stand committed till their fines and good behavior.

1750 July 11th [COT] 

The King vs. David Little - Indictment for a Riott [old spelling for riot] It is considered and adjudged by the court that the defendant be fined to stand in the pillory for the space of one hour this afternoon between the hours of  2 and 4 with a paper (?) on his head noting his offence and that he give surety in the sum of 50 pounds for his good behavior for four years and two suretys each in the sum of 25 pounds and that he stand committed till his fine and good behavior and till he comply with his sentence.

[Note: there were several of these indictments for Rioting against various men.]

1750 July [HP]

The entry cited earlier, wherein John Pipes was convicted and sentenced in Trenton.

1751 September 20  [CG]

"The King vs. John Pipes - On a charge of felony committed in the house of Edward Thomas of Elizabethtown on Sunday Sept. 15, 1751, upon the accusation of  John Williams, under oath, The accused was held in a bond of 200, and a bond of Simon Harthaway [Simeon Hathaway] for 100. for his appearance at the Essex County Oyer and Terminer, or at the next Supreme Court at Perth Amboy."

[ Note that this occurred in Essex County in 1751 and that John Williams may have testified against him in front of a Grand Jury. We have no evidence as to the nature of the Felony.]

1751 September [COT]

The September term of the Morris County Court: Most of the men involved in the Counterfeiting cases had been made to post surety. They were also apparently made to appear before the court  at intervals. During this term there are various entries where the men appeared and the appearance was noted in the record.

John Pipes did not appear and his manucaptors (bondsman) were called, being James Frost and Simeon Hathaway. They made default.

1752 September [COT]

The King vs. John Pipes, Abraham Hathaway, Jonathan Hathaway, Job Allen, Andrew Morrison, Timothy Conner, Seth Hall, John Gilbert, Silvanus Totten, Samuel Blackford.

Presentment for hiding and assisting(?) in Counterfeit Pieces of Eight, defendants to being called, appeared except Timothy Conner and Samuel Blackford and were continued in their recognizance until the next court of Oyer and Terminer to be held in this County.

1752 September 28th [COT]

The September term of the Morris County Court: Most of the men involved in the Counterfeiting cases had been made to post surety. They were also apparently made to appear before the court  at intervals. During this term there are various entries where the men appeared and the appearance was noted in the record.

This time John Pipes appeared and was released on recognizance until next court.

1753 September 28th [COT]

The September term of the Morris County Court: Most of the men involved in the Counterfeiting cases had been made to post surety. They were also apparently made to appear before the court  at intervals. During this term there are various entries where the men appeared and the appearance was noted in the record.

This time John Pipes appeared and was discharged after paying his fee.

Can history help us understand this situation?

For many years I held the vision in my head of John Pipes Sr. and his wife Susannah, clearing the land of New Jersey, raising a family and living in relative harmony with the English Government, their neighbors and the frontier.  They arrived in Morris County about 1736 or 1737 with her family, the Hathaways, along with many settlers from New York and others from the eastern colonies. This is important to our understanding because most (but not all, by any means), of the new settlers in Morris County were descendants of the original colonists and not foreign immigrants, and as a result they held a more certain sense of who they were and what their relationship with the Government was coming to be. While they all realized they were British subjects they also felt that America was "theirs" and they were different because they, along with the previous generation, had "founded" the country. They were all imbued with a strong pioneer spirit, wrought by the hardships and sacrifice required to wrestle this country into submission and driven by land and the prospect of owning land."