In 1893, the state of New Jersey was divided into seven districts “with a commission of fourteen members to promote the propagation and growth of seed oysters and to protect the natural seed grounds.” The legislature empowered the planters’ association of Maurice River Cove to make rules governing the industry, to employ guards, and to assess fees. In 1899 the state passed another bill to enhance the protective stances of the first two bills. Fifteen years later, New Jersey created the Board of Shell Fisheries to further ensure the longevity of the Delaware Bay oyster harvest, which by 1917 had evolved into a $10 million a year industry.
This is a collection of records of the Maurice River Cove and Delaware Bay Oyster Association. There is an account book, 1895-1898, which records monies received for licenses; salaries of officers; and expenses, such as printing costs, lobbying costs, and annual meeting costs. There is also a bound volume of licenses to plant, grow, and catch oysters in Maurice River Cove and the Delaware Bay, issued to oystermen by the Maurice River Cove and Delaware Bay Oystering Association, 1896. The front flyleaves of both volumes are inscribed with the name of E.B. Cobb, Sailmaker, Bivalve, New Jersey. The collection also includes a single sheet report of the Collector of the Association, 1898.
- Account books