New Jersey

New Jersey


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The first European to see New Jersey was probably Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian who sailed for France. The Englishman Henry Hudson, who sailed for the Netherlands, explored the Cape May area in 1609. Swedish settlers arrived in 1638, but were forced out by the Dutch in 1655.Dutch possessions in North America were lost to English conquest in 1664. West Jersey became the first Quaker colony in America. Until 1738, the governor of New York had authority over New Jersey as well.In 1774, a number of New Jersey men burned a supply of British tea in stored at a ship in Greenwich. That incident became known as the Greenwich Tea Burning and was very similar to the Boston Tea Party. During the War of Independence, many important battles were fought in New Jersey, including Trenton, Monmouth, and Princeton. New Jersey ratified the Constitution in 1787, the third state to do so.Although New Jersey remained in the Union during the Civil War and many New Jersey men fought in the Union army, there was considerable pro-Confederacy sentiment as well. In 1864, New Jersey was one of only three states that did not support Abraham Lincoln's re-election as president.


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