West Jersey

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Province of West Jersey
British colony
1674–1702
Capital Burlington
Languages English
Government Constitutional monarchy
History
 -  Established 1674
 -  Disestablished 1702
Currency Pound sterling
The original provinces of West and East Jersey are shown in yellow and green respectively. The Keith Line is shown in red, and the Coxe and Barclay line is shown in orange
1698 map showing West Jersey and Pennsylvania

West Jersey and East Jersey were two distinct parts of the Province of New Jersey. The political division existed for 28 years, between 1674 and 1702. Determination of an exact location for a border between West Jersey and East Jersey was often a matter of dispute.

Background[edit]

The Delaware Valley had been inhabited by the Lenape (or Delaware) Indians prior to exploration and settlement starting around 1609 by the Dutch, Swedish and English. The Dutch West India Company had established one or two Delaware River settlements but by the late 1620s had moved most of their inhabitants to Manhattan which became the center of New Netherlands.[1]

The development of the colony of New Sweden in the lower Delaware began in 1638. Most of the Swedish population was on the west side of the Delaware, but after the New Netherlands' Fort Nassau was re-established to challenge the Swedes, Fort Nya Elfsborg was established in present day Salem County. Fort Nya Elfsborg was located between present day Salem and Alloway Creek. The New Sweden colony established two primary settlements in New Jersey: Sveaborg, now Swedesboro and Nya Stockholm, now Bridgeport. Trinity Church, located in Swedesboro, was the site of the Church of Sweden for the area.[2][3]

The Dutch defeated New Sweden in 1655. Settlement of the West Jersey area by Europeans was thin until the English conquest in 1664. Beginning in the late 1670s Quakers settled in great numbers first in present day Salem County and then in Burlington which became the capital of West Jersey.[4]

Before 1674 land surveyors for New Jersey considered it as a hundred and partitioned it into Tenths. West Jersey was comprised of five of the tenths. But demarcation of the boundaries awaited settlement, the quitrents the settlers would pay, and the land surveying the money would purchase. Thus it took years and multiple surveys to settle boundary disputes. Burlington County was formed on 17 May 1694 by combining "the first and second Tenths."[5] But at least three expensive surveys occurred to define just its northern extent. Richard Tindall was surveyor-general of Fenwick's Colony, the fifth Tenth.

Constitution[edit]

See: History of the New Jersey State Constitution#West Jersey Constitution

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Delaware Indians: A History, (by Weslager, C. A. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. 1972)
  2. ^ The Swedes and Finns in New Jersey (Federal Writers' Project of WPA. Bayonne, New Jersey: Jersey Printing Company, Inc. 1938)
  3. ^ A Brief History Of The Early Swedes in New Jersey (Gloucester County NJ History and Genealogy) http://www.nj.searchroots.com/Gloucesterco/swedesboro.htm
  4. ^ British Colony (Burlington County Historical Society. Burlington City, NJ ) http://www.burlingtoncountyhistoricalsociety.org/
  5. ^ Snyder, John P. The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 93. Accessed September 30, 2013.

Other sources[edit]

  • Weslager, C. A. Dutch Explorers, Traders, and Settlers in the Delaware Valley, 1609-1644. (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1961).
  • Johnson, Amandus The Swedish Settlements on the Delaware Volume I: Their History and Relation to the Indians, Dutch and English, 1638-1664 (Philadelphia: Swedish Colonial Society. 1911)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°09′58″N 74°14′02″W / 40.166°N 74.234°W / 40.166; -74.234