American History and Genealogy Project

State of New Jersey

New Jersey, one of the middle United States, is bounded n. by New York; e. by the Hudson and the Atlantic; s. by the Atlantic; and w. by Delaware bay and river, which separates it from the states of Delaware and Pennsylvania. It is between 39° and 41° 24' n. lat, and between 74° and 75° 29' w. lon., and between 1° 26' and 3° 9' e. lon. from W. It is 163 ms. long and 52 broad, containing 8,320 square miles, or 5,324,000 acres. The population in 1790 was 184,189; in 1800, 211,149; in 1810, 245,592; in 1820, 277,575; in 1830, 320,779; in 1840, 373,306. Of these 177,055 were white males; 174,533 do. females; 10,780 were free colored males; 10,264 do. females; 303 male, and 371 female slaves. Employed in mining, 266; agriculture, 56,701; commerce, 2,283; manufactures and trades, 27,004; navigating the ocean, 1,143; do. canals, lakes, and rivers, 1,625; learned professions, &c., 1,627.

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The state is divided into 18 counties, which, with their population in 1840, and their capitals, are as follows:

County, Population, Capital

Atlantic, 8,726, May's Landing Mercer, 21,502, Trenton
Bergen, 13,223, Hackensack Middlesex, 21,893, New Brunswick
Burlington, 32,831, Mount Holly Monmouth, 32,909, Freehold
Cape May, 5,324, Cape May C. H. Morris, 25,844, Morristown
Cumberland, 14,374, Bridgetown Passaic, 16,734, Patterson
Essex, 44,621, Newark Salem, 16,024, Salem
Gloucester, 25,438, Woodbury Somerset, 17,455, Somerville
Hudson, 9,483, North Bergen Sussex 21,770, Newton
Hunterdon, 24,789, Flemington Warren, 20,366, Belvidere

 The seat of government is Trenton, at the head of sloop navigation on the Delaware, 30 miles above Philadelphia.

The northern part of this state is mountainous, being crossed by a branch of the Alleghany ridge; the middle portion of the state is agreeably diversified by hills and valleys; while the southern part is level and sandy. This portion of the state is to a great extent barren, as the natural growth of the soil is little else but shrub oaks and yellow pines. It is susceptible of being made very productive by the use of marl, which is extensively found. The remainder of the state has a good soil, well adapted to grazing, and producing wheat, rye, Indian corn, buckwheat, potatoes, oats, and barley. Apples, pears, peaches, plums, and cherries, are produced in great perfection and abundance. In the mountainous parts, the finest cattle are raised, and large quantities of butter and cheese are produced. The produce of this state finds a market in New York and Philadelphia, on its eastern and western borders. Its exports are wheat, flour, horses, cattle, hams, cider, lumber, flax seed, leather, and iron. There were in this state in 1840, 70,502 horses and mules; 220,202 neat cattle; 219,285 sheep; 261,443 swine. There was produced poultry to the value of $336,953. There were produced 774,203 bushels of wheat; 12,501 of barley; 3,083,524 of oats; 1,665,820 of rye; 856,117 of buckwheat; 4,361,975 of Indian corn; 397,207 pounds of wool; 4,531 of hops; 10,061 of wax; 2,072,069 bushels of potatoes; 334,861 tons of hay; 2,165 of flax and hemp; 1,966 pounds of silk cocoons. The products of the dairy amounted to $1,328,032; and of the orchard, $464,006; of lumber, $271,591; 9,416 gallons of wine were made; and 2,200 barrels of tar, pitch, turpentine, and rosin were produced.

A large part of the state being open to the influence of the ocean, has a mild climate; and nowhere is the cold severe in the winter, except in the mountainous region in the northern part.

The Hudson and Delaware rivers, on the e. and w. sides, flow partly in this state. Besides these, there are the Raritan, navigable for sloops, 17 miles, to New Brunswick, entering the Atlantic below Staten Island; the Passaic, navigable for small vessels, 10 miles, to Newark, and falls into Newark bay; the Hackensack, navigable 15 miles, which falls into Newark bay; Great Egg Harbor river, navigable 20 miles, for small craft, and entering into the Atlantic. The principal bays are Newark bay, n. of Staten Island, and Raritan bay, between Staten Island and Sandy Hook, Perth Amboy, at the head of this bay, is the principal seaport in the state. Delaware bay belongs in part to this state. The two principal capes in this state are Cape May, on the n. side of Delaware bay, and Sandy Hook, which is a low, sandy island, about 3 miles long, s. of New York bay. The principal towns are Newark, New Brunswick, Paterson, Trenton, Burlington, Bordentown, Elizabethtown, and Perth Amboy.

This state has considerable commerce, though it is diminished by that of the two great cities on its borders. The exports in 1840 were $16,076, and the imports were $19,209.

There were in the state in 1840, 2 commercial and 8 commission houses engaged in foreign trade, with a capital of $99,000; there were 1,504 retail drygoods and other stores, employing a capital of $4,113,247; 1,280 persons engaged in the lumber trade, employing a capital of $410,570; 423 persons employed in internal transportation, who, with 30 butchers, packers, &c., invested a capital of $204,900; 179 persons engaged in the fisheries, with a capital of $93,275.

There were in 1840, home-made or family goods produced to the amount of $201,625; 31 woolen manufactories, and 49 fulling mills, employing 427 persons, producing goods to the amount of $440,710, with a capital of $314,650; 43 cotton manufactories, with 63,744 spindles, employing 2,408 persons, manufacturing articles to the amount of $2,086,104, with a capital of $1,722,810; 26 furnaces, producing 11,114 tons of cast iron, and 80 forges, &c., producing 7,171 tons of bar iron, employing 2,056 persons, and a capital of $1,721,820; 41 paper manufactories produced articles to the amount of $562,200, and other paper manufactures produced $7,000, the whole employing 400 persons, and a capital of $460,100; hats and caps were manufactured to the amount of $1,181,562, and straw bonnets to the amount of $23,220, the whole employing 957 persons, and a capital of $332,029; 159 tanneries employed 1,090 persons, and a capital of $415,728; and 478 other leather manufactories, as saddleries, &c., produced articles to the amount of $1,582,746; 23 glass houses, and 4 glass-cutting establishments employed 1,075 persons, producing articles to the amount of $904,700, with a capital of $589,800; 22 potteries employed 122 persons, producing articles to the amount of $256,807, with a capital of $135,850; 932 persons produced machinery to the amount of $755,050; 219 distilleries produced 334,017 gallons, and 6 breweries produced 206,375 gallons, employing 394 persons, with a capital of $230,870; 123 persons produced hardware and cutlery to the amount of $83,575; 71 persons manufactured 2,010 small-arms; 70 persons manufactured drugs and paints to the amount of $127,400, and turpentine and varnish to the amount of $43,000, with a capital of $140,800; 1,834 persons produced carriages and wagons to the amount of $1,397,149, with a capital of $644,966; 64 flouring mills manufactured 168,797 barrels of flour, and with other mills employed 1,238 persons, and a capital of $2,641,200; 8 rope walks employed 60 persons, and produced cordage to the amount of $93,075, with a capital of $37,305; ships were built to the value of $344,240; furniture employed 517 persons, producing to the amount of $176,566, with a capital of $130,525; 572 persons produced bricks and lime to the amount of $376,805; 205 brick and 861 wooden houses were built by 2,086 persons, at a cost of $1,092,052. The whole amount of capital employed in manufactures in the state was $11,517,582.

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The College of New Jersey, or Nassau Hall, was founded in 1738, and is one of the principal colleges in the country. It has educated many distinguished men, and is flourishing. Connected with it is the Princeton Theological Seminary, supported by the Presbyterians, and which is their principal place of theological education. Rutgers' College, (formerly Queen's College,) in New Brunswick, was founded in 1770, and has latterly been a growing institution. Connected with it is a theological seminary, established by the Dutch Reformed church, in 1784, which is a respectable institution. In these institutions there were in 1840, 443 students; there were in the state 66 academies, with 3,027 students; 1,207 primary and common schools, with 52,583 scholars; and 6,385 persons over 20 years of age who could neither read nor write.

Of the principal religious denominations, in 1835, the Presbyterians had 105 ministers; the Dutch Reformed, 48 churches and 42 ministers; the Baptists, 80 churches and about as many ministers; the Episcopalians, 30 ministers, including 1 bishop; the Methodists about 70 ministers, and a greater number of congregations; the Friends, 67 meetings. Besides these, there were a few Congregationalists, Roman Catholics, and Universalists.

In January, 1840, this state had 26 banks, with an aggregate capital of $3,822,607, and a circulation of $1,414,708. The state debt amounted to $83,283.

The constitution of New Jersey was formed in 1776, and has existed without any material change to the present time. The government is vested in a governor, legislative council, and general assembly. The council and assembly are elected annually. The council consists of 1 member chosen by each county, and the assembly of 50 members, and meets annually in October.

The governor is chosen annually by the joint vote of the council and assembly, at their first joint meeting after each annual election. The governor is president of the council, who also elect a vice-president from their own body, to preside in case of the absence of the governor. The original constitution granted the right of suffrage to " all persons of full age, who are worth fifty pounds proclamation money, clear estate in the same, and have resided within the county in which they claim to vote, for 12 months immediately preceding the election." But the legislature have virtually annulled this provision by enacting by law, that every white male inhabitant, who shall be over 21 years of age, and shall have paid a tax, shall be considered worth fifty pounds, and entitled to vote.

The judges are appointed by the legislature, those of the supreme court for a term of seven years, and those of the inferior courts for five years; and both are capable of a reappointment. The governor and council form a court of appeals, in the last resort, in causes involving questions of law, and they possess the power of pardoning criminals under sentence.

This state has executed some important works of internal improvement. The Morris canal was incorporated in 1824, and completed in 1836, and cost about $2,500,000. It extends from Easton, on the Delaware, to Jersey City, 101 miles. A large amount of coal, from the coal region of Pennsylvania, is transported on it. It has recently been widened at a great expense. The Delaware and Raritan canal extends from New Brunswick, on the Raritan, to Bordentown, on the Delaware, below Trenton, and is 43 miles in length. It forms part of an important communication between the cities of New York and Philadelphia. Salem canal extends from Salem creek, 4 miles, to Delaware river.

The railroads of this state are more important, even, than her canals. The Camden and Amboy railroad was incorporated in 1829, and completed in 1832, extending from Camden, on the Delaware, opposite to Philadelphia, to South Amboy, at the mouth of the Raritan, 61 miles. The New Jersey railroad was incorporated in 1832, and opened in 1836, extending from Jersey City, through Newark, New Brunswick, and Trenton, to Bordentown, where it forms a junction with the Camden and Amboy road. The Paterson railroad was incorporated in 1831, and completed in 1834, and branches off from the New Jersey railroad at Bergen Hill, and extends 15 miles, to Paterson. The Morris and Essex railroad extends from Newark to Morristown, 20 miles. The Elizabethport and Somerville railroad communicates between the two places, 25 miles. The Camden and Woodbury railroad extends from the one place to the other, 9 miles.

The first settlement of New Jersey was by the Dutch from New York, who, between 1614 and 1620, established themselves in Bergen county. In 1627 a colony of Swedes and Finns settled on the Delaware, and purchased of the Indians the land on both sides of the river to the falls. In 1634, Charles II. granted New York, called by the Dutch New Netherlands, to his brother, the Duke of York, and this grant included New Jersey; and in 1664, the Duke granted the part now called New Jersey, jointly to Lord Berkley and Sir George Carteret, who, in 1695, established a government by agreement with the people, and appointed Philip Carteret, Esq., governor. The Dutch subdued the country in 1672, but resigned it in 1674. To obviate any difficulties about title resulting from these transactions, a new patent was issued in 1674, re-granting the country to the Duke of York, and New Jersey was divided into West Jersey, assigned to the heirs of Lord Berkley, and East Jersey, to Sir George Carteret. In 1675 it was purchased by a company of English emigrants, who formed the first English settlement at Salem. At length great confusion in regard to title having sprung up, which rendered the appointment of governors difficult, the proprietors, in 1702, surrendered the government to the crown, which was accepted by Queen Anne, and the government henceforth, instead of being proprietary, became royal, and so continued until the revolution in 1776. During the revolutionary war, several important battles were fought in this state, the inhabitants of which bore their full share of its toils, its dangers, and its sufferings. On the 19th of December, 1787, this state in convention adopted the constitution of the United States by an unanimous vote.

Table of Contents

Source: A Complete Descriptive And Statistical Gazetteer Of The United States Of America, By Daniel Haskel, A. M and J. Calvin Smith, Published By Sherman & Smith, 1843

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