West Jersey

West Jersey
Province of West Jersey
British colony
Capital Burlington
Language(s) English
Government Constitutional monarchy
 - Established 1674
 - Disestablished 1702
Currency Pound sterling
The original provinces of West and East Jersey are shown in yellow and green respectively. The Keith Line is shown in red, and the Coxe and Barclay line is shown in orange
1698 map showing West Jersey and Pennsylvania

West Jersey and East Jersey were two distinct parts of the Province of New Jersey. The political division existed for 28 years, between 1674 and 1702. Determination of an exact location for a border between West Jersey and East Jersey was often a matter of dispute.



The Delaware Valley had been inhabited by the Lenape (or Delaware) Indians prior to exploration and settlement starting around 1609 by the Dutch, Swedish and English. The Dutch West India Company had established one or two Delaware River settlements but by the late 1620s had moved most of their inhabitants to Manhattan which became the center of New Netherlands.[1]

The development of the colony of New Sweden in the lower Delaware began in 1638. Most of the Swedish population was on the west side of the Delaware, but after the New Netherlands' Fort Nassau was re-established to challenge the Swedes, Fort Nya Elfsborg was established in present day Salem County. Fort Nya Elfsborg was located between present day Salem and Alloway Creek near Bridgeport. The New Sweden colony established two primary settlements in New Jersey: Sveaborg, now Swedesboro and Nya Stockholm, now Bridgeport. Trinity Church, located in Swedesboro, was the site of the Church of Sweden for the area.[2][3]

The Dutch defeated New Sweden in 1655. Settlement of the West Jersey area by Europeans was thin until the English conquest in 1664. Beginning in the late 1670s Quakers settled in great numbers first in present day Salem County and then in Burlington which became the capital of West Jersey.[4]


See: History of the New Jersey State Constitution#West Jersey Constitution

See also


  1. ^ The Delaware Indians: A History, (by Weslager, C. A. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. 1972)
  2. ^ The Swedes and Finns in New Jersey (Federal Writers' Project of WPA. Bayonne, New Jersey: Jersey Printing Company, Inc. 1938)
  3. ^ A Brief History Of The Early Swedes in New Jersey (Gloucester County NJ History and Genealogy) http://www.nj.searchroots.com/Gloucesterco/swedesboro.htm
  4. ^ British Colony (Burlington County Historical Society. Burlington City, NJ ) http://www.burlingtoncountyhistoricalsociety.org/

Other sources

  • Weslager, C. A. Dutch Explorers, Traders, and Settlers in the Delaware Valley, 1609-1644. (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1961).
  • Johnson, Amandus The Swedish Settlements on the Delaware Volume I: Their History and Relation to the Indians, Dutch and English, 1638-1664 (Philadelphia: Swedish Colonial Society. 1911)

External links

  • West Jersey History Project
  • Quaker West New Jersey: Democracy in 1677
  • 1677 Charter
  • 1681 Regulations
  • Where was the West Jersey/East Jersey line?
  • Colonial Charters, Grants and Related Documents (at "New Jersey"). The Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy. Lillian Goldman Law Library (Yale Law School). Retrieved 2010-03-14. This website has links to the following documents:
    • 1664 - The Duke of York's Release to John Ford Berkeley, and Sir George Carteret, 24 June
    • 1664 - The Concession and Agreement of the Lords Proprietors of the Province of New Caesarea, or New Jersey, to and With All and Every the Adventurers and All Such as Shall Settle or Plant There
    • 1672 - A Declaration of the True Intent and Meaning of us the Lords Proprietors, and Explanation of There Concessions Made to the Adventurers and Planters of New Caesarea or New Jersey
    • 1674 - His Royal Highness's Grant to the Lords Proprietors, Sir George Carteret, 29 July
    • 1676 - The Charter or Fundamental Laws, of West New Jersey, Agreed Upon
    • 1676 - Quintipartite Deed of Revision, Between E. and W Jersey: July 1
    • 1680 - Duke of York's Second Grant to William Penn, Gawn Lawry, Nicholas Lucas, John Eldridge, Edmund Warner, and Edward Byllynge, for the Soil and Government of West New Jersey-August 6
    • 1681 - Province of West New-Jersey, in America, The 25th of the Ninth Month Called November
    • 1682 - Duke of York's Confirmation to the 24 Proprietors: 14 March
    • 1683 - The Fundamental Constitutions for the Province of East New Jersey in America
    • 1683 - The King's Letter Recognizing the Proprietors' Right to the Soil and Government
    • 1702 - Surrender from the Proprietors of East and West New Jersey, of Their Pretended Right of Government to Her Majesty
    • 1709 - The Queen's Acceptance of the Surrender of Government; April 17
    • 1712 - Charles II's Grant of New England to the Duke of York, 1676 - Exemplified by Queen Anne
    • 1776 - Constitution of New Jersey

Coordinates: 40°09′58″N 74°14′02″W / 40.166°N 74.234°W / 40.166; -74.234

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