New Jersey

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The first European to see New Jersey was probably Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian who sailed for France. He reached the New Jersey coast in 1524. The Englishman Henry Hudson, who sailed for the Netherlands, explored the Cape May area in 1609. However, the first white settlers were Dutch and Swedish. The Dutch founded an outpost in 1630 at Pavonia. Swedish settlers arrived in 1638, but were forced out by the Dutch in 1655.

Dutch possessions in North America were lost to English conquest in 1664. New Jersey was granted to a pair of English aristocrats, who established West Jersey and East Jersey. West Jersey became the first Quaker colony in America. The two were united as New Jersey in 1702. Until 1738, the governor of New York had authority over New Jersey as well.

In 1774, a number of New Jersey men burned a supply of British tea in stored at a ship in Greenwich. That incident became known as the Greenwich Tea Burning and was very similar to the Boston Tea Party. During the War of Independence, many important battles were fought in New Jersey, including Trenton, Monmouth, and Princeton. New Jersey ratified the Constitution in 1787, the third state to do so.

Although New Jersey remained in the Union during the Civil War and many New Jersey men fought in the Union army, there was considerable pro-Confederacy sentiment as well. In 1864, New Jersey was one of only three states that did not support Abraham Lincoln's re-election as president.

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Elizabeth: The First Capital City of New Jersey by Jean-Rae Turner, Richard T. Koles.
Elizabeth, New Jersey is a city of firsts: first English-speaking colony in the state, first state capital, first home of Princeton University, and th...
High Point State Park and the Civilian Conservation Corps by Peter Osborne.
Perched atop the Kittatinny Mountains, in the northwestern corner of New Jersey, is one of the most beautiful parks in the state. High Point State Par...
Fort Dix by Daniel W. Zimmerman.
Located in central New Jersey, Fort Dix has been training soldiers since its founding in 1917. More than three million men and women have passed throu...
Princeton by Richard D. Smith.
Princeton celebrates this amazing New Jersey town that has managed to remain quaint and charming while becoming a renowned center for education and re...
Lakehurst, Naval Air Station by Kevin Pace, Ronald Montgomery, Rick Zitarosa.
The naval air station in Lakehurst, New Jersey, has a rich and bittersweet history steeped in success and tainted with tragedy. The area evolved from ...
The American Revolution in Monmouth County by Michael S. Adelberg.
Like much of New Jersey during the American Revolution, Monmouth County was contested territory in between the great armies. As the Battles of Trenton...
Revolutionary Bergen County The Road to Independence by Barbara Z. Marchant.
Along the banks of the Hudson River, New Jersey’s Bergen County endured the brunt of Revolutionary War violence. With an impressive compilation of sch...
Teterboro Airport by Henry M. Holden.
Teterboro Airport has been in continuous use since 1916 and was once the busiest airport in the country. In 1925, the Fokker Company opened an America...