As of this afternoon, following a 50 mile bicycle ride with Tyler, John has completed 3,542 miles of cycling and walking!!  

New Jersey has a long and rich history, of which you can read a short version on the official website of the State of New Jersey.  You can begin with the following paragraphs that are excerpted from this website and will give you the flavor for what you can learn by reading the article “A Short History of New Jersey.”

“The first people to live on the land now known as New Jersey were the Delaware Indians. They lived here starting at least 10,000 years ago. Anywhere from 8,000 to 20,000 Delaware Indians lived in the area when the first Europeans arrived….

“Around 1524, Giovanni de Verrazano became the first European to explore New Jersey. He sailed along the coast and anchored off Sandy Hook. The colonial history of New Jersey started after Henry Hudson sailed through Newark Bay in 1609. Although Hudson was British, he worked for the Netherlands, so he claimed the land for the Dutch. It was called New Netherlands….

In 1664 the Dutch lost New Netherlands when the British took control of the land and added it to their colonies. They divided the land in half and gave control to two proprietors: Sir George Carteret (who was in charge of the east side) and Lord John Berkley (who was in charge of the west side). The land was officially named New Jersey after the Isle of Jersey in the English Channel. Carteret had been governor of the Isle of Jersey. 

Berkeley and Carteret sold the land at low prices and allowed the settlers to have political and religious freedom. As a result, New Jersey was more ethnically diverse than many other colonies. Primarily a rural society, the colony grew to have about 100,000 people….

“New Jersey was an important state during the Revolutionary War because of its location near the center of the thirteen colonies and between New York City and Philadelphia. Because of this, more battles were fought in New Jersey than in any other state. The Americans and British fought 100 battles, both large and small, here.

“In 1787, New Jersey became the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution and the first state to sign the Bill of Rights. In 1790, Trenton officially became the state capital of New Jersey. William Livingston became New Jersey’s first state governor….

“At first, most immigrants came from Ireland and Germany. Later, people came from Italy and from countries throughout Eastern Europe. In 1910 half the state’s population was born or had parents who were born outside the United States….

“Today New Jersey is recognized for its present as well as its past. While remembering its proud history, New Jersey will continue to be the setting for many of the great events of the future.

President Grover Cleveland was born in Caldwell, New Jersey, in 1837.  “The First Democrat elected after the Civil War, Grover Cleveland was the only President to leave the White House and return for a second term four years later.”

President Woodrow Wilson, who was born in Staunton, Virginia, in 1856, called New Jersey his home state.  “He was one of our best educated presidents and was known as a scholar, orator and author of many books on government. Before entering politics, Wilson spent many years as a college professor. Later he became president of Princeton University and then Governor of New Jersey.  He was elected 28th President of the United States in 1912.”   

Wilson’s Presidential Library and Museum is located in Staunton, Virginia.

The son of Italian immigrants who settled in New Jersey, Vincent R. Ciccone invented the cough drop and contributed to the mass production of penicillin.  He also revolutionized the manufacture of hard candy and chocolate.  

1 Comment for this entry

  • Tamara Hogsett
    June 3rd, 2012

    Love reading all the trivia you share. We are so blessed to live in this “land of the free.” Thanks for sharing so much of your journey with us!

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