Historical Timeline of Early New Jersey

Native Jersey Residents – Lenni Lenape or Delaware Indians of the Eastern Algonquin Confederacy
1524 Giovanni da Verrazano, under French flag explored eastern coast of New Jersey and New York Bay
1609 Henry Hudson and John Colman, Dutch West India Company, explored Hudson River and the west side of Staten Island and discovered Newark Bay and the Passaic and Hackensack Rivers
1610 Sir Argall, governor of Virginia, explored Delaware Bay and named it after Baron De la Warr
1614 Dutch captain Cornelis Mey explored lower Delaware and names it Cape May
1618 Dutch fortification on site of Jersey City
1624 Dutch settlement of Fort Nassau
1626 Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam
1630 Dutch settlement of Pavonia
1638 New Sweden founded
1642 Swedesboro (Raccoon)
1643 Swedish settlement of Fort Elfsborg (near Salem)
1655 Dutch conquest of New Sweden
1660 Dutch settlement of Bergen
1664 James, Duke of York, granted proprietary of New York (Maine to St. Croix) by Charles II
June 1664 James, Duke of York gifts New Jersey to Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret
Aug/Sept 1664 James’ small fleet forces the surrender of New Netherlands to England
Sept 1664 Richard Nicolls, having sailed with the fleet becomes James’s appointed Governor
1664-1702 Proprietary Rule by English
30 Sep. 1664 Governor Nicolls grants petition to Associates to purchase lands beyond the Hudson (site of the Elizabeth Colony)
28 Oct. 1664 The Associates (Elizabeth Colony) purchase all the lands between the Raritan and Passaic Rivers from the Indians
Nov 1664 Settlement of Elizabethtown, the first English town in New Jersey
8 April 1665 Governor Richard Nicolls signs the grant known as the Monmouth Patent, for lands which includes what is now Monmouth County and parts of Ocean and Middlesex Counties
10 Feb. 1665 Concessions of Agreement signed by Proprietors Lord John Berkeley and Sir Geroge Carteret
29 July 1665 Arrival of Philip Carteret, first Proprietary Governor of the Providence of New Jersey or Nova Caesarea. He makes Elizabethtown his capital
1665 Settlement of Shrewsbury – part of the Monmouth Patent
1665 Settlement of Middletown – part of the Monmouth Patent
1666 Settlement of Woodbridge – Purchase of roughly half of the Elizabethtown Patent - Town charter June 1669
1666 Settlement of Piscataway – Purchase of 40,000 acres from a Woodbridge associate Daniel Pierce
1666 Settlement of Newark
1675 Settlement of Salem – Fenwick’s Colony
1677 Settlement of Burlington
29 May 1668 First meeting of the first General Assembly of New Jersey at Elizabethtown
1673 Dutch recapture New York and New Jersey
1674 Cession of New Netherlands to England – Treaty of Westminster
1676 and 1687 Formal division into East and West Jersey
3 Mar. 1677 Laws, Concessions and Agreements by William Penn, West Jersey
1679 Settlement of Trenton
1680 First meeting of Assembly at Burlington – West Jersey
1680 Lady Elizabeth Carteret proprietor of East Jersey
1682 Settlement of Gloucester
1683 Settlement of Greenwich
1683 Settlement of Woodbury
1683 Settlement of Perth Amboy (capital of East Jersey 1686)
1693 Settlement of Freehold
1682 Settlement of Bordentown
1682 Settlement of Moorestown
1685 Settlement of Town Bank
1702 Union of East and West Jersey under one governor with capitals at Perth Amboy and Burlington


New Jersey History Committee. Outline History of New Jersey, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ 1950.

Lurie, Maxine N. and Marc Happen. Editors.  Encyclopedia of New Jersey, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2004.