New Jersey History   

Important to studying history is the land and location of events. Rutger's Cartography has provided a Great NJ Historical Maps resource page.

However, when I think of history, it includes people. 

Prehistory   Lenni-Lenape Indians      Colonial NJ   The Revolution    1800's   Civil War
 The Victorian Era  1900's    WWI   Great Depression  WWII  1950's   1960's & 1970's

People were living on the land that would become New Jersey for at least 2800 years. Evidence of their pottery making can be found in archaeological remains found in the area. You can see some of these items by visiting the  You can see some of these items by visiting the Prehistorical Museum in Greenwich NJ . They have provided a nice .pdf file, that shows an overview of their displays along with a map and schedule of their hours.

A well written history book is now online, the book is located on

SOUTH JERSEY HERITAGE: A Social, Economic and Cultural History
 by R. Craig Koedel

CHAPTER ONE - The First Settlers and the People They Found

When the Europeans arrived here the indigenous people living in the area were members of the  Lenni-Lenape (called "The Delaware" by the Europeans). (follow the link to a page within this site)

As in all encounters with settlers and native peoples there are two or more sides to the story. While the settlers of New Jersey would not be considered to be terrific by today's standards, I think for their time period, they certainly were not as bad as most. (Hardly anything to be proud of, but something?)

I have gathered a pretty good set of links and sites that give many accounts. It, also, contains information on where the Lenni-Lenape are today.

Longhouse at Winakung

The Village of Winakung in Waterloo Village at Stanhope NJ

Winakung is a life-size Minisink Indian village carefully built on archaeological evidence and scholarly research.The Minisink were the people who inhabited northeastern New Jersey,

New Jersey as a Colony

A well written history book is now online, the book is located on

SOUTH JERSEY HERITAGE: A Social, Economic and Cultural History
 by R. Craig Koedel

 From Quaker Commonwealth to Crown Colony  The Husbandry of Land and Sea  

Meeting House and Schoolhouse  Life and Leisure in Colonial South Jersey

Henry Hudson

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Cape May was actually discovered in 1609 by Sir Henry Hudson. However, in 1620, the same year the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, Captain Cornelius Jacobsen Mey explored New Jersey and the Delaware Bay area. He declared the climate of these fruitful lands as good as his homeland of Holland and named Cape Mey for himself. 

New Sweden Colonies coming soon

A quick concise story of the Swedish Colonies can be found at this link for the

New Sweden Farmstead

Resource List of Colonial Historical Sites in New Jersey


The Legacy of the Early Founders of the New Haven Colony
who came to Newark, New Jersey in 1666

   Picture of William Franklin - from Franklin Institute Page 

Greenwich, an early seaport town and the location of the NJ Tea Party.

           NJ in the American Revolution   - follow this link to a page within this site that has an extensive list of links and stories.

A well written history book is now online, I will put links to the chapters in highlighted  cells. The book is located on

SOUTH JERSEY HERITAGE: A Social, Economic and Cultural History
 by R. Craig Koedel

CHAPTER SIX - South Jersey in the Revolution

The 1800's:

Weehawken, New Jersey - Home of the Hamilton - Burr Duel - July 10? 1804 

  The Duel with Burr

A well written history book is now online, the book is located on

SOUTH JERSEY HERITAGE: A Social, Economic and Cultural History
 by R. Craig Koedel

Furnaces, Farms, and a Railroad  The Discovery of Surf and Sand  From Ships to Soup  A Home for the Homeless  Religion and Education  Advances in Health and Public Welfare Reading, Recreation, and the Arts



Started publication in 1845 - Great Site!


During the Civil War, New Jersey stayed in the Union and sent it's sons to fight (follow this link to a separate page within this site) New Jersey in the Civil War

SOUTH JERSEY HERITAGE: A Social, Economic and Cultural History
 by R. Craig Koedel

CHAPTER EIGHT - The Fight Against Slavery

 The Victorian Era:

Grover Cleveland

22nd President 1885-1889
24th President 1893-1897

Grover Cleveland Birthplace, Caldwell NJ

Museum Hours
Wednesday - Friday  9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. & Sunday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Closed: Mondays, Tuesdays, Holidays & Lunch from Noon to 1 p.m.

Reservations preferred, Admission is free
Sharon Farrell, Caretaker, Head Historic Interpreter
Conni Murray, Historic Interpreter
207 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, NJ 07006
Phone: 973-226-0001 (has a daily recorded message after 10am) Fax: 973-226-18

Candidate in 3 Presidential elections.

1884, 1888 & 1892


The Yellow Kid America's first comic Superstar

The 1900's: 

A well written history book is now online, the book is located on

SOUTH JERSEY HERITAGE: A Social, Economic and Cultural History
 by R. Craig Koedel

CHAPTER FIFTEEN - South Jersey in the 20th Century



Thomas Woodrow Wilson

Born in Virginia, but Governor of NJ in 1910.

Twenty-Eighth President 1913-1921

Portrait of Woodrow Wilson









Wilson won the 1912 election by a large margin of electoral votes. The Republican Party had been split and 2 candidates were nominated. Taft and Roosevelt. If the party had not split, would Wilson have been elected??

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1919.

most comprehensive site I have found

Woodrow Wilson Site

Follow this new link to an excellent bio,  Woodrow Wilson
 that includes a good history of his term as the President of Princeton University.

An interesting quote from the bio (see link, above.) "An appointment to the faculty at Bryn Mawr College in 1885 ushered in an unhappy experience; Wilson was not comfortable in a women’s institution..."   Interesting to me, because he would later have a problem with the women seeking the right to vote. 


Alice Paul's fight for Suffrage

for more information on Alice Paul see the Alice Paul Institute and consider a trip to her former home, Paulsdale.

Official Program, Woman Suffrage Parade 1913







"Official Program, Woman Suffrage Procession, Washington, D.C. March 3, 1913." 1913. By Popular Demand: "Votes for Women" Suffrage Pictures, 1850-1920, American Memory collections, Library of Congress.


Bethlehem Loading Company
great pictures and account of this WW1 munitions factory complex

This site now includes an excellent slide show for those of you with high speed connection.

Lot's of talk about the U-boats with the new movie in the theatres. Read about the real thing.

 "Black Sunday" Wrecks 

Six ships sunk by the German U-151 June 2, 1918

be sure to also visit:
  S.S. Carolina Virtual Museum

& Carolina Dive Pictures 
(above site temporarily missing)

Source: National Archives and Records Administration (RG 165-WW-273 58)

During WWII,

  America's First Defense Airport - Millville Army Air Field. 1941

The Millville Army Air Field Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the first U.S. Army Base built for the defense of our country in 1941. It served as a training base for the famous P-47 'Thunderbolt' and P-40 'Warhawk' fighter plane

Wildwood Naval Air Station

Return to 1943 (music and all)

The Internment Camps:

The story of the internment of the Japanese Americans has become well known.

 I came across a site with copies of 1942 News-letters for Camp Harmony in Washington State. It gives an interesting perspective on life in an internment camp

Here in New Jersey, Seabrook Farms took advantage of the potential labor pool at the Japanese Internment camps and recruited people to voluntarily move here to live and work. (This is not the first time that Seabrook Farms has been a major part of the history of NJ and the rest of the country. Follow the link to read more about Seabrook Farms)

An offer for resettlement:

"Gentlemen, what have you to lose? You are not making any progress by remaining in camp--I say come out and see it for yourself. We'll pay your transportation . . . "

These were the challenging words of the employment manager from Seabrook Farms in New Jersey spoken at the Jerome Relocation Center in Arkansas in mid-April, 1944. He was the personal representative of the late Charles F. Seabrook, founder of the world's largest frozen foods industry


An Overview of World War II
Japanese American Relocation Sites

by the National Park Service

A terrific online book account

Indefinite Leave Passes for those that would swear to the Loyalty Oath
    ...One of the largest single sponsors, Seabrook Farms, was also one of the largest producers of frozen vegetables in the country. The company, experiencing a labor shortage due to the war, had a history of hiring minorities and setting them up in ethnically segregated villages. About 2,500 evacuees went to Seabrook Farms' New Jersey plant. They worked 12-hour days, at 35 cents to 50 cents an hour, with 1 day off every 2 weeks. They lived in concrete block buildings, not much better than the relocation center barracks, and had to provide for their own food and cooking (Seabrook 1995).

A Granddaughter's thoughts:

Seabrook Farms 1945... Thai Garment Workers 1995
by Jenni "Emiko" Kuida

A great find: a summary and the hour long radio documentary online:
Seabrook at War: A Radio Documentary.
 Narrated by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr

for more information:

Seabrook Educational & Cultural Center

NJ Digital History Collection:

Less well known is the fact that Germans and Italians were, also, interned, but at a much, much smaller percentage of the population, then the Japanese.

A brief statement from The Handbook of Texas gives an overview of the more extensive groups of people that were involved in the internments.  WORLD WAR II INTERNMENT CAMPS

Along with a series of articles about internments at Ellis Island, I found mention of a German Internment Camp at Gloucester City NJ.

I am trying to track down more information about this topic, please contact me, if you have any knowledge or any suggestions for getting information.

Atlantic Coast Shore Patrols:

I grew up in the Midwest and had no idea that there was so much German U-boat activity along the coast. From what I learned in school, I thought, that after Pearl Harbor, nothing had happened anywhere close to our shores.

 In November 2000, there was a PBS special on the U-boat
U-689 that sank off NJ coast in 1945 Map of Lost U-Boats

Click on the map above to find out about other famous U-boats

U-869 Virtual Museum
(Click on the Title above to go to the Virtual Museum.)

 Hosted by New Jersey Scuba Diver

Electronic New Jersey - This site has lessons in NJ History, very thought provoking.

World War II Time Line-New Jersey and the World

The Rutgers Oral History Archives of World War II

History of Battleship NJ  

A time of Change - 1960's & 1970's

Electronic New Jersey - This site has lessons in NJ History, very thought provoking.

Social Protest in the 1960's and 1970's

June 23, 1967  This Day in Diplomacy: U.S.-Soviet Summit at Glassboro, New Jersey