Ploughs and Politicks: Charles Read of New Jersey and His Notes on Agriculture, 1715-1774

By Carl Raymond Woodward | Go to book overview

Two: Youth

THE first Charles Read, like the other early settlers of Burlington, took up lands in West New Jersey, but unlike most of them, he did not remain in the province. When a few years later Philadelphia was founded, he joined in the new enterprise. Here he engaged in mercantile pursuits and soon became one of the leading citizens of the community. In the city charter issued by William Penn in 1701 he was named alderman,1 and he also served as a member of the colonial assembly. In 1701 he purchased from Laetitia Penn, daughter of the founder, a lot at the southwest corner of Front and High (Market) Streets, and on this site the following year he built a three-story gable-roofed house.

Charles Read was twice married. By his first wife he had at least one son, Charles II, born about 1686. His second wife was Amy Child. From this union were born two daughters, through whom by marriage the Reads enhanced their social position in the province. Rachel ( 1691- 1765) became the wife of Israel Pemberton ( 1685- 1754), prosperous merchant, and Sarah ( 1699- 1754) married James Logan ( 1674- 1751), secretary of the province under William Penn. Originally a Quaker, Read followed the fortunes of George Keith, and transferred his allegiance to the Church of England, in which he brought up his son. Amy Child, however, was a devout Quaker, and the two girls chose the faith of their mother, a connection strengthened by their marriage to Quaker leaders. Read seems to have been on the friendliest terms with the Quakers, commanding their confidence and respect. James Logan, writing to William Penn in 1702,

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1
Robert Proud, The History of Pennsylvania in North America ( Philadelphia, 1797-98), II, Appendix, p. 46.

-22-

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Ploughs and Politicks: Charles Read of New Jersey and His Notes on Agriculture, 1715-1774
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Foreword xi
  • BOOK I Charles Read of New Jersey 1
  • One: the Man and His Times 3
  • Two: Youth 22
  • Three: New Jerseyman 39
  • Four: Customs Collector 54
  • Five: Land Speculator 64
  • Six: Countryman 70
  • Seven: Ironmaster 86
  • Eight: Secretary 97
  • Nine: Legislator 121
  • Ten: Councillor 145
  • Eleven: Colonel 164
  • Twelve: Indian Commissioner 179
  • Thirteen: Jurist 195
  • Fourteen: Exile 212
  • BOOK II Reads Notes on Agriculture 227
  • Introduction 229
  • One: the Husbandry of the Soil 235
  • Two: the Husbandry of Plants 254
  • Three: the Husbandry of Animals 322
  • Four: the Husbandry of Bees 366
  • Five: Farm Structures and Farm Implements 368
  • Six: the Husbandry of the Household 385
  • Seven: Fisheries 399
  • APPENDIX A Sketch of Charles Read (from Aaron Leaming's Diary, November 14, 1775) 404
  • APPENDIX B Inventory of the Personal Estate of Charles Read IV 407
  • Bibliography 413
  • Glossary 443
  • Index 451
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