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On 20 December 1781 the Council and General Assembly passed an Act (Chap. V, Laws of 1781, p. 6) by which the state legislature was granted means to provide restitution for damages suffered by New Jersey citizens at the hands of British forces, the Continental Army, or New Jersey militia and the militias of neighboring states. The act authorized appraisers in each county to make inventories for each damage claim, and then required the inventories to be filed with the legislature at their first sitting after each annual election. The act, as amended on 27 December, stipulated that the appraisers meet beginning in August 1782. The majority of appraisers reporting in these volumes, however, are not those appointed in 1781, but those appointed subsequently.
The inventories recorded under this legislation were filed as late as 1786. There are no inventories on file for Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem or Sussex counties, and, with the single exception of damages against the Americans claimed in Red Bank by James Whiteall (A : Monmouth : Account of James Whiteall, Red Bank, 1779), there are none recorded for Monmouth county. It should be further noted that no evidence has yet been uncovered to suggest any of these claims were ever paid.
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