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Here in Bergen the first local Court in New Jersey was organized in September, 1661, with Tielman Van Vleck as schout or sheriff, and Michael Jansen, Herman Smeeman and Casper Stynmets, as schepens or magistrates, something like justices or aldermen. The schout was afterwards authorized "to,fill and execute the office of auctioneer." All criminal cases were referred to the Director General and Council of Nieu Netherland. Only minor offenses, such as brawls, slanders, scolding, threats, etc., could come before this Court. On July 19th, 1673, Mr. John Berry's house in Bergen was made "ye prison for the Province," until a house could be built for that purpose, and Adrian Tost, the constable, was appointed keeper. Later a "lock up" was built on the easterly side of the square near the school-house. On the westerly side were the stocks and the whipping post. The stocks were still ,standing in 1824, and even later, and the whipping post. was a terror to evil doers as late. In 1662, a well was dug in the center of the square. Troughs were placed around it for the use of the cattle, and a long sweep used to raise the water. This well was used into the present century, when it was covered and during the war of 1812-14 a liberty pole was erected in it. In 1870, when the square, was paved the pole was taken down and no trace of the well is left.

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Jersey City History
Your Ancestors' Story
Asbury Park
Bruce Springsteen's Jersey Shore Rock Haven!

The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and The Central Railroad Terminal
Visit Liberty State Park!

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