The Schuyler Copper-mine at North Arlington, New Jersey, is believed to be the oldest in the United States. It is situated on property secured by Captain William Sanford of the British Army by a patent, issued on July 4th, 1668, conveying to him about ten thousand acres of meadow-land and five thousand three hundred acres of the higher ground lying between the Hackensack and the Passaic Rivers. Nathaniel Kingsland, sergeant-major of the island of Barbados, later became interested in this grant, and from him the eastern half of the town of Lyndhurst takes its name. Sometime about the year 1712 or 1713 the discovery that copper existed in the rock appears to have been made by Arent Schuyler (1662–1732) who had purchased the tract from Kingsland. The exact date when the deposit began to be worked is not known, but Robert Hunter, Governor of the united colonies of New York and New Jersey, writing from New York in November, 1715, to the Lords of Trade in Great Britain, said: “There being a Copper Mine here brought to perfection as you may find by the Custom House books at Bristol, where there was imported from this place about a Tonn in the Month of July or August last, of which Copper farthings may be coyned.”1 In April, 1721, there were one hundred and ten casks of ore from this mine shipped from New York to Holland. This shipment caused much concern to the Lords of Trade, who suggested that the matter should be laid before Parliament in order that such shipments “be prevented by some act to be passed for that purpose.” Nine years later, so leisurely did they proceed in those days, the Governor, John Montgomerie, had a conference with Col. John Schuyler regarding such shipments and found him unwilling to aid in the matter beyond promising that when his ships arrived in England with the ore the English Copper Company should have first sight of it.2 In August, 1734, the New Jersey legislature imposed a duty of forty shillings per ton on all copper exported from the province not directly to Great Britain. Strangely enough this measure was opposed by the English Copper Smelters because it was found that the law was evaded by shipping the ore to New York and thence to England or other countries. The Bristol traders feared that imposing “such a Duty may be a Great discouragement to the seeking after the Oare the same being brought home to be refined and manufactured and if discouraged by a Tax abroad it will consequently lessen your Majestys Revenue at Home, the Copper and Brass Manufacturers of this Kingdom and the Trade and Navigation to the American Plantations.”3

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