The New Jersey Colony was one of the Middle Colonies which also included the New York Colony, the Delaware Colony, and the Pennsylvania Colony. The New Jersey Colony was founded by Sir George Carteret and Lord Berkeley in 1664. The New Jersey Colony was originally named the Province of New Jersey, after the British island named Jersey. Prior to 1664 when it was surrendered to the English, the New Jersey Colony region had been ruled by Swedish and Dutch.
Interesting New Jersey Colony Facts:
From 1664 to 1702 the New Jersey Colony was divided into East Jersey and West Jersey. Each had their own constitution. The border was never firmly established and often in dispute.
In 1702 East Jersey and West Jersey became one royal colony. Its first governor was Edward Hyde, Lord Cornbury, who proved to be corrupt.
After Lord Cornbury was sent back to England, the New Jersey Colony was ruled by New York's governor. It wasn't until 1738 that the New Jersey Colony separated from New York's government and adopted its own governor Lewis Morris.
Major towns in the New Jersey Colony included Princeton and Trenton.
The Middle Colonies had a warmer climate than the New England Colonies and had land that made agriculture and farming much easier.
The New Jersey Colony was not dominated by the Puritans like in the New England Colonies and had religious tolerance and freedom for its settlers. Settlers to the New Jersey Colony included Catholics, Jews, Lutherans, and Quakers.
Natural resources in the New Jersey Colony included agricultural land, forests (timber), iron ore, coal, and furs.
Major exports from the New Jersey Colony included livestock, rice, wheat, indigo, rice, grain and other agricultural products.
Iron ore was important to the New Jersey Colony. They used it to manufacture items to export to England such as tools, kettles, nails, plows, and nails. They also exported large chunks of iron to be manufactured into iron products elsewhere.
The New Jersey Colony was one of the colonies referred to as a 'breadbasket' colony because it grew so much wheat, which was ground into flour and exported to England. A typical New Jersey Colony farm included a barn, house, fields, and between 50 and 150 acres of land.
The first state constitution in New Jersey was adopted on July 2nd, 1776, after the American Revolution had already begun. This constitution gave women and blacks the right to vote if they met specific requirements, which helped avoid a complete collapse of its government.