New Horizons Genealogy

"Specializing in New England and Essex Colonial American Ancestry"

Newark Minute Men
City of Newark
Essex County, New Jersey

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The following petition is copied from the original in the possession of the New Jersey Historical Society. Although the paper itself is not dated, the facts set forth therein make it possible to fix the date as some time in March or April, 1776. The Company was evidently raised pursuant to an "Ordinance for the Further Regulation of the Militia Forces of this Colony", adopted by the Provincial Congress of New Jersey Oct. 28, 1775. ("Minutes of the Provincial Congress and the Council of Safety of the State of New Jersey", 1879, p. 238; Stryker's "Official Register of the Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War", 1872, p. 333). Four months later, March 2, 1776, the Congress adopted an "Ordiance for Incorporating the Minute Men lately Raised in this Colony into the Body of the Militia; and for Further Regulating said Militia", owing to the fact that "large numbers of said minute men having entered into the Continental Service, the said companies and battalions are greatly reduced, and in no condition to answer the design of their institution". ("Minutes of the Provincial Congress", pp. 397, 401, and 436; Stryker, p. 334). This petition, signed shortly after the adoption of the latter Ordinance, contains some names not included in Stryker's "Official Register".

To the honorable the Members of the Provincial Congress or Committee of Safety for the Province of New Jersey --

the Petition of Capt. James Wheeler, Officers & Privates of his Company of Minute Men--

humbly sheweth--

That your Petitioners in obedience to the Resolutions of your honorable House, did at a considerable Expence equip themselves as a minute Company being compleatly armed and accourted, and also went to the Expence of puting themselves in a uniform of Dress, and continued as a minute Company for upwards of four Months, and were always ready and willing to do any Duty that was imposed on them, and were still desirous of continuing in that Capacity, but being informed that the Minute Companies by a Resolution of the Congress are to be dissolved--do now humbly beg that you will take into Consideration the Service & Expence your Petitioners have been at--and establish them as a Company of Grenadiers to the North Battalion in this Township, and allow the officers to retain the Men that enlisted as minute Men under them & who are still desirous of continuing together--If you should decline granting this request it would be a means of breaking up a Company who has required Reputation as a well regulated & disciplined Body-- Your Petitioners are emboldned to make this Petition from a Sense, that the Integrity and Justice of this House will lead them to deal with honor & equity to every set of Men under their Care and Jurisdiction--