1797, An Act to regulate the
election of members of the legislative council and general assembly, sheriffs and
coroners, in this State.
Source, Laws of New Jersey, 1797.
Collections/University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries.
On February 22, 1797, the New
Jersey Legislature passed an Act revising the regulations for the election of public
officials. Section XI of the Act, reprinted here, specifically identifies persons entitled
to vote as "all free inhabitants of this State, of full age, who are worth fifty
pounds," and refers to these voters as "he or she". Some women and African
Americans who met the requirements apparently had voted previously and continued to vote
in several elections over the next few years, until 1807.