New Jersey

By: Matthew Leemann

European Settlement

New Jersey was originally settled by the Dutch and then by the British who encouraged their colonists to establish Protestantism. The reason many British colonists moved to the New World was for the opportunity to establish societies built on their own religious beliefs.


New Jersey is located on the lower Hudson River and Delaware River, surrounded by New York, Delaware and Pennsylvania. This provided direct water access to the Atlantic ocean and helped the economy by trade.


Although the European principle of land ownership was not recognized by the Lenape, Dutch policy required formal purchase of all land settled upon. After the final transfer of power to the English, New Netherlanders and their descendents spread across East Jersey and established many towns in which The Dutch Reformed Church played an important role. Much of West Jersey was settled by Quakers who established congregations and founded towns throughout the region. Small trading colonies sprang up where the present towns of Hoboken and Jersey City are located. Bergen, founded in 1660, was New Jersey's first permanent European settlement.

Major Events

1660 - Dutch founded the Bergen township on site of present-day Bergen Square, Jersey City (first permanent town in New Jersey).

1721 - William Trent establishes Trent's Town, now Trenton which is the city's capital.

1789 - New Jersey was the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.

1869 - The first intercollegiate football game is played in New Brunswick.

1912 - New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson is elected President of the US.

Why Settle?

New Jersey has close proximity to New York City, which is one of the biggest cities in the world. It has been recognized in our world's history for many years, starting with having the first ever football game to being the first state to sign the Bill of Rights and the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. New Jersey is well- known for its diners and pizzerias in America. New Jersey has and always will be one of the most important states in our world today.