New Jersey


One of the United States, so named after the island of Jersey, on the coast of France, of which Sir George Carteret, to whom New Jersey was conveyed, in 1664, was formerly governor.  It lies between 3857' and 4122' north latitude, and 7358' and 7529' west longitude from Greenwich, and is bounded north by New York, east by the Hudson river, Staten Island sound, and the Atlantic; southeast by Delaware bay, which separates it from Delaware, and west by Delaware river, which separates if from Pennsylvania.  It has a superficial area of 8,320 square miles.

Physical Aspects-- The state presents a great diversity of surface as well as soil.  The northern portions are mountainous, interspersed with rich valleys, and extensive tracts, well adapted for grazing, and for the plough.  An elevated range, called the "Palisades," commences near Hoboken, and extends along the Hudson for miles, forming a perpendicular wall of stone, which at some points is 500 feet high.  The middle portions are less hilly than the northern, and much of the soil is fertile, and well tilled.  The southern counties are principally composed of a long range of level country commencing near Sandy Hook, and lines the whole coast of the middle states.  Much of this range is sandy, and nearly barren, producing little else than small oaks and yellow pine; in other cases, swamps of white cedar occur.  In the southern section along the Atlantic and Delaware bay, there are extensive marshes, which are monthly inundated by the tides. A Stratum of green sand marl in some places 30 feet thick, underlies the surface throughout the length of this tract, which had been extensively used as fertilizer in reclaiming the land.

Mountains-- In the northwesterly part of the state there are two ranges, subordinate to the Alleganies, one called South mountain, and the other, Blue mountain, or Kittatinny ridge.  The more prominent points of the former are designated by the names of Mosconetcong, Schooley's, Hamburg, Wawayanda and Bear Mountains. The other elevations worthy of note are Mine, Trowbridge, Second and Ramapo mountains. 

Rivers and Bays-- The principal rivers are the Hudson and the Delaware, its eastern and western boundaries; the Raritan, the Passaic (the great falls of which, above Paterson, have a perpendicular descent of 70 feet), Hackensack, Egg Harbor, Great Egg Harbor, Shrewsbury, Toms, Maurice, Delaware and Mosconetong.  The chief bays are the Delaware, Newark, New York, Raritan, Sandy Hook, Barnegat, Little and Great Egg Harbors and Grassy.

Climate-- The climate along the seaboard, and in the valleys of the interior may be regarded as mild, though the former is often rendered disagreeable by ocean winds.  In the mountainous region, at the north, the winters are cold and often severe.  The range of temperature varies from a few degrees below zero to 90 above.  The air is remarkably pure and usually salubrious, except in summer and autumn, near the marshes and streams.

Productive Resources-- The chief products are horses, mules, neat cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, eggs, butter, shad, oysters, cheese, fruit, cider, wine, flax seed, wax, pitch, tar, resin, turpentine, silk, wool, lumber, hay, wheat, rye, barley, buckwheat, oats, potatoes and Indian corn.  Of the mineral and fossil resources of this state, iron and zinc are the most abundant, and their ores are extensively wrought.  An extensive bed of phosphorite, a native phosphate of lime, has been opened in Morris county, which promises to add much to the agricultural wealth of the state.

Manufactures-- The manufactures of New Jersey are numerous, embracing almost every variety of Goods.  Cotton and woolen mills are established in amny parts of the state; silk and lien goods are manufactured to a considerable extent; also machinery, hardware, railroad cars, carriages, fire arms, jewelry, glass, earthen wares, fire brick &c.  There are also extensive tanneries and other manufactories of leather.  Whole villages are employed in boot and shoe making.

Railroads and Canals-- The great lines of railroad between New York and Pennsylvania traverse this state.  Branch roads are also constructed from the central roads to the more important towns; making in the aggregate, about 200 miles of railway in the state.  The Delaware and Raritan, 42 miles, and Morris, 102 miles long, are the most important canals in this state.

Commerce-- The foreign commerce of New Jersey is small, on account of its proximity to New York; its coasting trade, however, is considerable.  The shipping owned within the state amounts to about 80,000 tons.

Education-- The principal literary institutions are, the college of New Jersey at Princeton founded in 1738 and Rutgers college at New Brunswick founded in 1770, to both of which are attached theological seminaries, and to the former a law school; and Burlington college founded in 1846.  There are about 100 academies and 1,500 common schools in New Jersey.

Government-- The legislative power is vested in a senate, elected for three years, one third renewed each year, and a general assembly, chosen annually, on the second Tuesday of October; the executive power in a governor, elected by the people, once in three years, at the general election, and is ineligible for the next term.  The judiciary power is vested in a court of errors and appeals, composed of the chancellor, supreme court, and six other judges; a court for trial of impeachments; a court of chancery; a supreme court of five judges and courts of common pleas.  The chancellor and supreme court judges hold their offices for seven years; the six judges of the court of errors and appeals for six years, on judge vacating his seat each year in rotation; and the judges of the courts of common pleas for five years.  The latter are chosen by the legislature; the others receive their appointment from the governor.  The right of suffrage is vested in every white male citizen, who shall have resided in the state one year and in the county where he votes, five months, paupers, idiots, insane persons, and criminals, excepted.

History-- The territory of the present state of New Jersey was formally included in part in New Swedeland, which lay on the west side of the Delaware, as far up as Trenton falls, and was purchased of the Indians, and settled by the Swedes in 1638.  It also formed a part of the Dutch province of New Netherlands and was included within the jurisdiction of Governor Stuyvesabt in 1655.  The first permanent settlement within the present limits of this state was made at Bergen, in 1623, by the Danes.  In 1664, Charles II of England, having granted to his brother James, the duke of York, the whole territory from Connecticut river to the shores of the Delaware, the latter immediately compelled the Dutch and Swedes to surrender, and took possession of the province, with its subordinate settlements west of the river, except the present state of New Jersey, which he conveyed to Sir George Carteret and Lord Berkeley, who were already proprietors of Carolina.  In 1673, the Dutch regained all their former possessions, including New Jersey, but relinquished them to the English again in 1674.  After this event, the duke of York obtained a second charter, confirming the former grant and restored to Berkeley and Carteret their former rights.  Berkeley sold his share of the territory, which two years afterward, fell into the hands of William Penn and two other Quakers, and the province was divided into "East Jersey" and "West Jersey."  The former was governed by Carteret and the latter by the Quakers.  In 1682, after the death of Carteret, East Jersey was sold to Penn and eleven other individuals of the same order and faith, who were joined by twelve partners, and were known as the "twenty four proprietors."  The celebrated Robert Barclay was appointed governor for life.  In 1688, the whole province was placed under the jurisdiction of Andreas, who had already become royal governor over New England and New York.  From this time up to 1702, the country remained in a unsettled condition; the people surrendered their power of government to the crown, making New Jersey a royal province, and uniting it to New York.  From this period, up to 1738, the province remained under the jurisdiction of New York, but had a distinct legislative assembly, and a separate government was instituted, which continued in force until the American Revolution.  The state constitution was formed in 1776, and the constitution of the United States adopted in 1787.  Motto of the seal, "Liberty and Independence."


Population-- in 1790 was 184,139; in 1800 was 211,949; in 1810 was 249,555; in 1820 was 277,575; in 1830 was 320,823; in 1840 was 373,306 and in 1850 was 489,555. Number of slaves in 1790 was 11,423; in 1800 was 12,422; in 1810 was 10,851; in 1820 was 7,657; in 1830 was 2,254; in 1840 was 674 and in 1850 was 222.