1902 Encyclopedia > New Jersey

New Jersey

NEW JERSEY. The State of New Jersey, one of the original colonies which formed the United States of America, lies between 38° 55' 39"'65 and 41° 21' 19" N. lat., and 73° 53' 51" and 75° 33' 3" W. long., and is bounded on the E. by the Hudson river, Staten Island Sound, Raritan Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean, on the S. by Delaware Bay, on the W. by the Delaware river, and on the N. by the State of. New York, their common boundary being a straight line from the west bank of the Hudson river in latitude 40° N. to a point on the north bank of the Neversink river at its junction with the Delaware. The extreme length is 167| miles, and the width ranges from 59 to 32 miles; and the State has an area of 7576 square miles, and is divided into 21 counties and 223 townships.

Physical Features.—New Jersey lies entirely on the , Atlantic slope of the United States. In the north and north-west it is traversed by the Appalachian chain; the Red Sandstone belt, intersected by trap dykes, and extend-ing from Massachusetts to South Carolina, occupies the central portion ; and the lower half of the State is a part of the level sandy tract, covered with pine woods, which borders the Atlantic from New York to Florida.
The ridges of the Appalachian chain in New Jersey may be grouped in two main ranges—the Blue or Kittatinny Mountains and the Highland range. The first of these is an almost unbroken ridge from the New York State line to the Delaware Water Gap, and is the highest ground in the State, being at the Water Gap 1479 feet above the sea, and at High Point, near the New York line, 1800 feet high. Its level crest is clothed with forests, but the slopes are to a great extent cultivated. The Highland range, on the other hand, consists of a number of detached ridges, the highest of which is 1488 feet above the sea. These vary greatly in their surfaces ; many admit of culti-vation to the summit, while others are so covered with loose stones or bare rock that cultivation is impossible. The mineral wealth of the range is considerable.

The Red Sandstone central region is traversed by a number of irregularly distributed trap dykes, which are rough and wooded, and rise in the midst of a rich and productive district. These vary much in elevation, the highest being 868 feet. In southern New Jersey there are no rocky emin-ences or elevations worthy of the name of mountains. Its rounded hills are all earthy, and the results of denudation or erosion; the most elevated—the Navesink highlands— are about 400 feet high.

The southern half of the State is a great plain, sloping gently from its centre towards the Atlantic and the

1 The Cypriea moneta is used here, as in New Caledonia, as a medium of exchange.

Delaware, and has been eroded in the Drift period. It contains tracts of gravelly loam largely used for market gardens and vineyards. Extensive tidal marshes border the Atlantic and Delaware Bay, to the extent of nearly 300,000 acres. The Delaware river and bay receive all streams flowing from the western half of the State; the Passaic and Raritan are the most considerable rivers entirely within New Jersey. In the north-western part are many beautiful lakes abounding with fish; the largest is Lake Hopatcong, 5J miles long by 4J to 1^ miles wide.

Geology and Minerals.—Nearly all the geological periods, except the Coal-measures, are represented in the State. It may be stated in a general way that all the stratified formations cross the State from north-east to south-west; that the Highland range, to which they run parallel, is made up of the oldest rocks in the State; that almost all of the Palaeozoic rocks, which are next in order, lie on the north-west side of these mountains; that the Triassic rocks lie next to the mountains on the south-east; and that the Tertiary and recent formations are then found in succession towards the south-east. The Azoic rocks occur mainly in the Highland range, and here consist chiefly of syenitic gneiss and white crystalline limestone, the former greatly predominating. This limestone is found chiefly on the north-west border of the gneiss, interstratified with and conformable to it. Magnetic iron ore abounds here, and occurs in beds or veins interposed between the strata of the gneiss. New mines are constantly being discovered, and the supply seems inexhaustible. Graphite is also found and worked. Valuable deposits of zinc ore occur in the crystalline limestone, and large quantities of excel-lent lime are made from this rock. The Potsdam lime-stone is found in comparatively small quantities, always near the borders of the gneiss and limestone. Magnesian limestone, found between the Highland range and Kitta-tinny Mountains, is extensively used for making lime, and contains haematite iron ore. Hudson River slate (used for roofing and flagging) exists most largely on the south-east slope of the Kittatinny Mountains. Water lime and Lower Helderberg limestone, which produce the Rosendale cements, are found in quantity along the north-west foot of the Kittatinny. Red sandstones and shales underlie the region immediately south-east of the Highland range, extending from the Hudson to the Delaware. They are in regular layers, dipping gently to the north-west, and form an excellent building material. Copper occurs in this formation, and was worked at an early period. To the south-east of the Sandstone formation follow plastic and fire clays, due to the decomposition of a ridge of granite which once formed the eastern edge of the Red Sandstone valley; these furnish clays of the purest and most refractory kind, suitable for fire-brick; very pure quartz sand is also found here, to mix with the clay, and kaolin, although not yet of the best quality. The greensand, marl, and sand beds occupy a belt some 90 miles long extending from Sandy Hook to the Delaware near Salem. This formation consists of three distinct beds of greensand, each from 12 to 25 feet thick, separated by beds of sand. The marl is clearly of marine origin, con-taining sea shells, bits of coral, sharks' teeth, saurian bones, &c, and makes a good manure. Glassmakers' sand is worked in the southern part of the State. Along the shore is an elevation of only 5 to 10 feet above the sea-level, having good alluvial soil, which must within a com-paratively recent period have been beneath the sea. Since the first settlement of the country, however, the shore has washed away, and there is good reason to believe that a very gradual subsidence is now taking place. The entire sea-coast is rapidly becoming a continuous line of summer resorts, among which may be enumerated Long Branch, Sea Bright, Spring Lake, and Asbury Park in the northern portion, Atlantic City in the centre, and Cape May in the south. Some of these places, as Atlantic City, are fre-quented even during the winter months.

Commerce and Industry.—Although only the thirty-fifth among the thirty-eight States in area, it is the nineteenth in population, the eighth in the value of property, and twenty-fifth in value of agricultural products, the sixth in manufacturing and mechanical industries, while in some industries, as silk, pottery, and glass, it far exceeds any other State, The output of the non-precious minerals places it seventh in the list of States, it being the fourth among the iron-producing States, and first as to zinc ore. It has 1869 miles of railways, or 1 mile to every 4'25 square miles of area, exceeded in this by only one State. The average value of farming lands is considerably above that of any other State. In 1880 the total number of farms was 34,307, averaging 85 acres, or a total of 2,929,773 acres of farm lands, of which 24-4 per cent, were unim-proved. The value of farmlands was $190,895,833; farming imple-ments and machinery, $6,921,085 ; live stock, $14,861,412 ; all farm products, $29,650,756. Amongthe principal products were—Indian corn, 11,150,705 bushels; oats, 3,710,573; rye, 949,064; wheat, 1,901,739 ; hay, 518,990 tons ; Irish potatoes, 8,563,793 bushels ; sweet potatoes, 2,086,731 bushels ; 86,940 horses ; 9267 mules and asses; 152,078 milch cows; 71,808 other cattle; 117,020 sheep; 219,069 swine ; 9,513,835 lb butter ; 15,472,783 gallons milk.

Omitting fishery products, gas, petroleum, refining, mining, and quarrying, the following table gives the general condition of the manufacturing interests of the State in the years mentioned : —

== TABLE ==

Among the most important interests for 1880 are those given in the following table :—

== TABLE ==

Population.—The population of the State was 211,149 in 1800, 277,426 in 1820, 373,306 in 1840, 672,035 in 1860, 906,096 in 1870, and 1,131,116 in 1880. The census of 1880 showed 559,922 males and 571,194 females, 1,092,017 white, 38,853 coloured, 172 Chinese, and 74 Indians. The inhabitants of foreign birth numbered 221,700. To every square mile of area there were 151'73 inhabi-tants, the State being the third in the Union in respect of density of population.

The largest cities, with population in 1880, are—Newark, 136,508; Jersey City, 120,722; Paterson, 51,031; Camden, 41,659; Hoboken, 30,999 ; Trenton (the State capital), 29,910 ; Elizabeth, 28,229 ; New Brunswick, 17,166 ; Orange, 13,207.

Government.—The executive power is vested in a governor elected by the people for a term of three years ; no one can serve in this capacity two successive terms. The legislative power is in the legislature, composed of a senate and general assembly meet-ing on the second Tuesday of January each year at Trenton, the capital of the State. A senator is elected for three years by each of the twenty-one counties, one-third of the whole number being elected each year. The assembly consists of not more than sixty members, elected for one year, and apportioned among the counties as nearly as may be according to the number of their inhabitants, with the condition, however, that each county shall at all times be entitled to one member. The principal officers of the State are a secretary of state, attorney-general, adjutant-general, and quarter-master-general, all appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate, and a treasurer and comptroller appointed by the legis-lature in joint meeting. All judges and prosecutors of the pleas are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate ; the election system for the judiciary has not yet reached New Jersey.

The judicial power is vested in (1) a court of errors and appeals in the last resort, consisting of the chancellor, the justices of the supreme court, and six judges of the court of errors ; (2) a court for the trial of impeachments, consisting of the senate ; (3) a court of chancery, consisting of the chancellor and two vice-chancellors ; (4) a supreme court, consisting of the chief justice and eight associate justices; (5) circuit courts, held in every county by the justices of the supreme court; (6) an inferior court of the common pleas organized in each county, and consisting of three judges. In some of the sparsely settled counties the inferior courts are presided over by justices of the supreme court; in the other counties one of the three judges is a law judge and presides. The court of pardon consists of the governor, the chan-ceUor, and the six lay judges of the court of errors ; a majority of this court, of whom the governor must be one, can remit fines and forfeitures, and grant pardons, after conviction in all cases except impeachments.

State Institutions.—There are two lunatic asylums,—one near Trenton containing more than 600 patients, the other near Morris-town capable of accommodating 800; the latter is probably unsur-passed by any similar institution; there are also seven county asylums containing 746 patients. An institution for the deaf and dumb, to contain 125 pupils, has been recently established at Trenton; the blind and feeble-minded are placed in suitable establishments in neighbouring States. The home for disabled soldiers, at Newark, accommodates nearly 400 men. The State prison at Trenton contains some 800 convicts, a large part of whom are employed in contract labour to an extent which pays about 54 per cent, of the cost of the institution. A reformatory school for boys, near Jamesburg, contains about 325 juvenile delinquents. An industrial school for girls, near Trenton, has 30 inmates. The board of health is steadily gaining in importance, and has accomplished much good in spreading useful information, collecting important vital and health statistics, and investigating matters affecting the public health. The labour bureau has done good service in collecting statistics affecting the questions of labour and capital, in bringing about a better understanding between the two, and in indicating new and profitable avenues for industry. The geological survey, of which the geodetic and topographical surveys have necessarily formed part, now approaching its close, is one of the most useful of the State institutions.

Education.—The Agricultural College, attached to Rutgers College at New Brunswick, is supported by the proceeds of certain public lands given by the United States to the State for that purpose. In connexion with this are the college farm and the agricultural experiment stations, which are doing admirable work . in systematic and carefully conducted experiments (under the chief of the geological survey) with various fertilizers, and in testing various soils, crops, and methods of agriculture. The public schools are mainly supported by a State tax of $4 for each child between five and eighteen years of age, amounting in 1882 to $1,322,740, supplemented by an annual appropriation of $100,000 from the school fund, which latter now amounts to more than $3,375,000, and is rapidly increasing. Small additional special taxes are also levied in some of the school districts. A normal school has been in successful operation at Trenton for several years, and has nearly 250 pupils. The college of New Jersey at Princeton, and its sister theological seminary, although not State institutions, occupy place* in the very front rank of American schools of learning.

Finance.—The only State debt is that known as the war debt, amounting at present to less than 11,700,000, and paid off at the rate of $100,000 per annum. The sinking fund for the redemption of this debt is valued at something more than $1,100,000. Inde-pendently of the general State school tax the receipts and expendi-tures for 1882 were $1,104,30375, distributed as follows:—interest on debt, $90,000; charitable and reformatory, $269,79319 ; courts, crimes, &c, $274,025'82; State government, $158,171 '04; scien-tific, sanitary, &c, $47,880-49 ; military, $70,692-22 ; educational, $33,983-61 ; publication, $105,225-47 ; miscellaneous, $54,531-91. It will thus be seen that the State expended for educational pur-poses $1,356,723-61, as against $1,070,320-14 for other purposes.

History. —The first settlement within the present State was made in 1617 by the Dutch at Bergen opposite New York. Subsequently Cornelius May, who discovered the Delaware in 1623, built a fort on its banks opposite Philadelphia. During the early colonial period the region was the scene of many petty struggles arising out of the rival efforts of the Dutch, Swedes, and English to establish trading posts and settlements on the river. The Indians among whom these early settlers were thrown were generally divided into small tribes; but in the valley of the upper Delaware were the principal and most populous seats of the Leni Lenape—known by the English as the Delawares, a name still retained by the remnants of this most interesting and once pow-erful tribe in their new homes west of the Mississippi. On the whole the early intercourse between the whites and Indians was peaceful, but there were occasional collisions, some of a serious nature, too often brought about by the rapacity and bad faith of the whites. As a rule the title to the Indian lands was purchased, and after the province fell into the hands of the English the general policy pursued was one of humanity and good faith. At the time of the English accession it is estimated that the Indians in New Jersey numbered about 2000.

"When Charles II. wrested their Nosth American possessions from the Dutch—in fact before this was accomplished—he granted them in bulk to his brother the duke of York, who in turn granted what is now New Jersey to Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, the conveyance (June 23, 1664) providing that " the said traot of land is to be called Nova Ca;sarea, or New Jersey." The royal grant was of the proprietary character, that is, it not only con-veyed the absolute estate and title to the land, but also the power to govern and rule, and therefore to establish such laws as '' might be thought necessary, provided they were not contrary to but, as near as conveniently might be, agreeable to the laws, statutes, and government of the realm of England." As all these rights and powers were assignable, the duke transferred to Berkeley and Carteret, not only the lands, but also the power to govern; and they in turn possessed, and finally exercised, the power to assign to others both land and power to govern. A form of government was accordingly established in a "concession and agreement" issued by them. The governor was appointed by the proprietors, and he appointed a council of from six to twelve members; the governor and council united formed the executive. The freeholders of the province elected not less than twelve representatives, who, with the governor and council, composed the general assembly, in whom rested the legislative power, limited only by the terms of the " concession," especially the article securing entire liberty of conscience. The general assembly established the courts of justice, and took all measures necessary to preserve order and provide for the general defence ; they regulated commerce, and determined the time and duration of their own sessions ; they possessed the entire power of taxation, and it was required that the executive should neither impose nor suffer to be imposed any tax other than those imposed by the general assembly. The right of petition to the lords proprietors was secured to the freeholders. The first governor was Philip Carteret, a brother of Sir George, who arrived with a number of "adventurers" in August 1665, and established himself at Elizabethtown. Upon the capture of New Amsterdam by the English, their commander, Colonel Nichols, assumed the administration of the entire territory in the name of the duke of York. Ignorant of the grant to Berkeley and Carteret, Nichols at once offered inducements to settlers from New England and Long Island to move into New Jersey, advising them to purchase the Indian titles, and promising immunity from ground rents. In consequence of this promise, which occurred before Carteret's arrival, serious difficulties afterwards arose.

The first general assembly met at Elizabeth, May 26, 1668 ; another session was held during the same year, but none other for seven years thereafter. In 1672 New Amsterdam and New Jersey were reconquered by the Dutch, but early in 1673 they reverted to England. Doubts arising as to the effect of the reconquest upon the validity of the original grant, the duke of York obtained a new grant from the king, and renewed his own to Berkeley and Carteret. Prior to this renewal the two proprietors had agreed to a division of their interests, and in the new grant the portion assigned to Carteret was the region east of a line drawn from Barnegat Creek to the Rancocus; to Berkeley was assigned the territory west of that line. In 1676, however, the line of separation was changed by the owners, so that it extended from Little Egg Harbour to a point on the Delaware in 40° N. lat.; this remained thereafter the boundary between East and "West Jersey.

Immediately after the reconquest Philip Carteret returned to East Jersey as its governor, and on his arrival in 1674 presented a new charter, less liberal in many respects than the original. Berkeley meanwhile sold West Jersey to a. firm of Quakers, who at once proceeded to colonize it, establishing their first settlement at Salem in 1675, and another shortly after at Burlington. For some years great annoyance was experienced both in East and West Jersey from the unjust interference of the governor of New York, and of the duke himself, with their internal affairs; these attempts were always met by a firm and spirited resistance, which eventually triumphed. In 1682, soon after Sir George Carteret's death, a society of Quakers under the lead of William Penn, encouraged by their success in "West Jersey, purchased from his heirs their rights to East Jersey. It will give some idea of the progress already made to state that at this early period (1682) a smelting furnace and forge were in operation in New Jersey, making good iron, and that contemporary documents show that at the same date there were exported "great plenty of horses, beef, pork, pipe-staves, boards, bread, flour, wheat, barley, rye, Indian corn, butter, and cheese to Barbados, Jamaica, and other adjacent islands, as also to Portugal, Spain, the Canaries, &c.; whale oil, whale fins, beaver, mink, raccoon, and martin furs to England."

Towards the close of the 17th century the number of proprietors in the two provinces increased so much as to render good government impracticable in consequence of the discord arising from divergent interests and views. The evil became unendurable, and in 1702, by the general consent of the proprietors and people, the former, while retaining all their property rights, surrendered their right of govern-ment to the crown, by whom the two provinces were reunited, and placed under a governor appointed by the sovereign. With him were associated in the government twelve councillors selected by the crown, and twenty-four assemblymen selected by the freeholders. The sessions of the assembly were at the pleasure of the governor, and its acts subject to the double veto of governor and crown. The governor and council organized the courts of law, determined all salaries, and appointed all civil and military officers.

The population of the two provinces at this period was probably a little more than 15,000. The great majority of the people were Quakers, Presbyterians, and Anabaptists; there were only two Church of England ministers in the province, and their followers were too few and poor to provide churches ; nevertheless the Church of England was now made the established church, and its support provided for. Liberty of conscience was permitted to all except Roman Catholics. Quakers were eligible to office. The governor enjoyed the right of presentation to ecclesiastical benefices.

Lord Cornbury was the first governor appointed under the new arrangement, and the commission and instructions which he re-ceived, the chief points of which have just been given, formed the constitution and government of New Jersey until the declaration of independence, except that New York and New Jersey had the same governor until 1738, after which year each had its own governor, and in New Jersey the council became a separate branch of the legislature, the governor no longer participating in the debates. From the beginning of Cornbury's administration to the Revolution the political history of the province consisted largely of violent contests between the assembly and the governor and his council, —the latter constantly striving to extend the prerogative and curb the power of the people, and the assembly maintaining a bold and able contest in defence of the principles of liberty. Not-withstanding the large proportion of Quakers among its early in-habitants, New Jersey never failed to furnish its just quota of men and money for the various American wars waged in the 18th century, and its contingent bore a most honourable part in the chief military events of that period. For the campaigns of 1711, 1739, 1746, 1747, and 1748 the province supplied a battalion of 500 men. It was during these last campaigns that the name "Jersey Blues," in vogue since that time, was first applied to the Jersey troops from the colour of their uniform—blue faced with red, grey stockings, and buckskin breeches. They were described at the time as "the like-liest well-set men who ever entered upon a campaign." When the French war of 1754 broke out Jersey again furnished a battalion of 500 men ; of these one half were captured by Montcalm at Oswego, after a gallant resistance, and the remainder at the surrender of Fort William Henry. But the province at once made good the losses, and maintained as many as 1000 men in 1758, 1759, and 1760, in which last year its contingent took part in the capture of Montreal. In 1761 and 1762 the contingent was 600 men, and again in 1764 for service against the Indians.

During the years immediately preceding the Revolution New-Jersey took an active and leading part in all the discussions and measures growing out of the attempt of parliament to impose stamp duties and taxation upon the colonies without their consent. The province was ably represented at the various meetings of the con-tinental congress preceding and leading to the war of the Revolution, and from the breaking out of hostilities bore more than its full share of the burdens necessary to bring the war to a successful con-clusion. The last provincial assembly was prorogued in December 1775. The provincial congress, elected in accordance with the ordinance of the preceding congress, convened in June 1776, and on the 18th of July assumed the title of the " convention of the State of New Jersey." An Act of Assembly of September 1777 sub-stituted the word "State" for the word "Colony" in all cases of writs, commissions, indictments, &c., &e. In the war New Jersey furnished to the "continental line" 10,726 men, besides large numbers of militia, and expended for war purposes, on account of the continental government, $5,342,770. Some very important and interesting operations of the war were conducted within the limits of the State ; and from its peculiar position New Jersey suffered more from the evils of the war than any of the thirteen colonies, except perhaps South Carolina. In the whisky insur-rection of 1794 the State furnished more than 2000 militia, who under Governor Howell formed part of the army in Pennsylvania. In the war of 1812 it furnished nearly 7000 militia, and in the Mexican war three companies of regular infantry and a battalion of volunteers. At the breaking out of the civil war of 1861 the number of men in the State available for military duty was 98,806; and during that war New Jersey organized and maintained 37 regi-ments of infantry, 3 regiments of cavalry, and 5 batteries. The national guard of the State now consists of 48 companies of infantry and 2 Gatling gun companies, numbering 3220 officers and men, thoroughly organized, drilled, and equipped for service.

See Samuel Smith, History of the Colony of New Jersey to the year 1721, Burlington, 1765, republished 1877; Gordon, History of New Jersey to the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Trenton, 1834; Mulford, Civil and Political History of New Jersey, Camden, 1848; Barber and Howe, Historical Collections; New Jersey Archives, first series; Whitehead, Contributions to the Early History of Perth Amboy, New York, 1856, and Contributions to East Jersey History; Winfield, History of Hudson County; Hatfield, History of Elizabeth, New Jersey, 1868. For the geology, Cook, Geology of New Jersey, 1868; and Annual Reports of the State Geologist of New Jersey. (G. B. M'C.)


The glacial action of the Drift period is well marked in the State by stria? and by boulders as distant as 100 miles from their original position. In Middlesex county there is a boulder of 250 tons nearly 30 miles from its parent rock, another in West Orange. The western boundary of the great terminal or frontal moraine of the glacial Drift period extends across the State in a general north-north-west course from the mouth of the Raritan at Perth Aniboy to Morristowm, thence northerly to Denville, where the direction changes to the west as far as the Musconetcong valley, where it again turns and bears west-south-west to the Delaware at Belvidere.
932,762 tons were obtained in 1882.
40,138 tons were mined in 1882.
In 1882 more than 350,000 tons of these clays were worked, from which 150,000,000 red bricks were made, a large number of porous bricks, 80 per cent, of the architectural terra cotta made in the United
I States, and a very large amount of pottery and stoneware.

In the year ending June 1880 27,495 tons were mined, and in that year there were in operation in the State 55 furnaces, containing 364 pots, with 3501 work-people, and a product of $2,810,000; window glass, green glass, and glassware are made. One-third of the product of green glass in the United States is made by the Jersey works.
The United States Coast Survey and the New Jersey Geological Survey are engaged on observations to settle this question.

In compliment to Sir George Carteret, who had defended the Isle of Jersey against the Long Parliament.

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