New Jersey - The Garden State 2

New Jersey – The Garden State

Contents [show/hide]


New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the Northeastern United States.   New Jersey is bordered on the north and east by New York state, on the west by Pennsylvania, on the southwest by Delaware, and on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean.

New Jersey - The Garden State 3
New Jersey In United States

New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous, with 9 million residents as of 2017, and the most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states.

Importantly for our purposes, New Jersey was the third state to ratify the United States Constitution, joining the new country on 18 December 1787, a mere 11 days after Delaware and only 6 days after Pennsylvania.


New Jersey was inhabited by Native Americans for more than 2,800 years prior to the arrival of European settlers.  The first European settlers were the Dutch and the Swedes (I think that the role of Sweden in early North American history is unknown or forgotten) who arrived in the early 17th century.

New Jersey - The Garden State 4
New Netherlands and New Sweden

The entire region, including former Dutch and Swedish areas, was annexed by England June 24, 1664.

During the English Civil War, the Channel Island of Jersey remained loyal to the British Crown and gave sanctuary to King Charles II. In recognition of this loyalty and assistance, when Charles II was crowned King of England following the end of the Cromwellian regime, he awarded the area now known as New Jersey to Vice Admiral Sir George Carteret, bailiff and governor of the island of Jersey.  Admiral Cateret, who had visited Newfoundland and therefore had some familiarity with the New World, promptly named his new lands after his home island, and thus the name New Jersey.  The initial settlers under the British came primarily from New York and New England, staying near the Hackensack River and Arthur Kill.

New Jersey was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution.  Both British and American armies crossed through New Jersey multiple times during the Revolutionary War and several key battles took place within the state.  In fact, the winter quarters of the Continental Army were established in New Jersey twice by General George Washington in Morristown.

On of the most famous of all of the events of the Revolutionary War, the crossing of the Delaware, occurred on the night of December 25–26, 1776.  This crossing took General Washington and his troops into New Jersey and they surprised and defeated the Hessian troops in the Battle of Trenton.

New Jersey - The Garden State 5
Washington Crossing the Delaware


In the summer of 1783, the Continental Congress met in Nassau Hall at Princeton University, making Princeton the nation’s capital for four months. It was there that the Continental Congress learned of the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the war.

New Jersey - The Garden State 6
Washington Battle of Princeton

On February 15, 1804, New Jersey became the last northern state to abolish new slavery and enacted legislation that slowly phased out existing slavery.

Scroll to Top