New Jersey History - the history of New Jersey
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Vacation 2 USA   >   New Jersey   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   New Jersey History


New Jersey History

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New Jersey: A History of the Garden State

Brand: Rutgers University Press
Released: 2012-10-10
Hardcover (336 pages)

New Jersey: A History of the Garden State
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New Jersey: A History of the Garden State presents a fresh, comprehensive overview of New Jersey’s history from the prehistoric era to the present. The findings of archaeologists, political, social, and economic historians provide a new look at how the Garden State has evolved.

The state has a rich Native American heritage and complex colonial history. It played a pivotal role in the American Revolution, early industrialization, and technological developments in transportation, including turnpikes, canals, and railroads. The nineteenth century saw major debates over slavery. While no Civil War battles were fought in New Jersey, most residents supported it while questioning the policies of the federal government.

Next, the contributors turn to industry, urbanization, and the growth of shore communities. A destination for immigrants, New Jersey continued to be one of the most diverse states in the nation. Many of these changes created a host of social problems that reformers tried to minimize during the Progressive Era. Settlement houses were established, educational institutions grew, and utopian communities were founded. Most notably, women gained the right to vote in 1920. In the decades leading up to World War II, New Jersey benefited from back-to-work projects, but the rise of the local Ku Klux Klan and the German American Bund were sad episodes during this period.

The story then moves to the rise of suburbs, the concomitant decline of the state’s cities, growing population density, and changing patterns of wealth. Deep-seated racial inequities led to urban unrest as well as political change, including such landmark legislation as the Mount Laurel decision. Today, immigration continues to shape the state, as does the tension between the needs of the suburbs, cities, and modest amounts of remaining farmland.

Well-known personalities, such as Jonathan Edwards, George Washington, Woodrow Wilson, Dorothea Dix, Thomas Edison, Frank Hague, and Albert Einstein appear in the narrative. Contributors also mine new and existing sources to incorporate fully scholarship on women, minorities, and immigrants. All chapters are set in the context of the history of the United States as a whole, illustrating how New Jersey is often a bellwether for the nation..

Hidden History of Maritime New Jersey

By Captain Stephen D. Nagiewicz

Arcadia Publishing
Released: 2016-04-25
Paperback (176 pages)

Hidden History of Maritime New Jersey
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An estimated three thousand shipwrecks lie off the coast of New Jersey―but these icy waters hold more mysteries than sunken hulls. Ancient arrowheads found on the shoreline of Sandy Hook reveal Native American settlement before the land was flooded by melting glaciers. In 1854, 240 passengers of the New Era clipper ship met their fate off Deal Beach. Nobody knows what happened to two hydrogen bombs the United States Air Force lost near Atlantic City in 1957. Lessons from such tragic wrecks and dangerous missteps urged the development of safer ships and the U.S. Coast Guard. Captain Stephen D. Nagiewicz uncovers curious tales of storms, heroism and oddities from New Jersey’s maritime past.

New Jersey Then and Now (Then & Now Thunder Bay)

By David Veasey

Brand: Thunder Bay Press
Hardcover (144 pages)

New Jersey Then and Now (Then & Now Thunder Bay)
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Picture this: wooden piers, grand hotels, and swimmers of all ages frolicking in the surf. That was Atlantic City--then. Through the years, the boardwalk has changed, but today the casinos still draw millions of visitors each year. Now try to imagine the George Washington Bridge connecting New Jersey to New York City as it did in the 1930s. Or the vast miles of highway that make up the New Jersey Turnpike in the 1950s. Can’t picture it? With New Jersey Then and Now, time turns back right before your eyes!

This fascinating photo book shows how New Jersey--from the sprawling campuses of Princeton and Rutgers Universities to the shores of Cape May--has grown and changed over the years. From Einstein’s home to the spot where the Hindenberg tragically landed to Ellis Island, the state’s newest addition, New Jersey Then and Now offers a complete look at the past and present of the Garden State!

Hidden History of New Jersey

By Joseph G. Bilby & Harry Ziegler

The History Press
Released: 2011-10-01
Paperback (160 pages)

Hidden History of New Jersey
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Explore the lesser-known stories that make up New Jersey's compelling hidden history. Uncover the meaning of Jersey Blues," celebrate some of the state's bravest Revolutionary and Civil War soldiers and investigate Jersey City's most infamous ghost. From the inferno that engulfed Asbury Park, to the benevolent side of Frank Hague, to the equestrienne who plunged forty feet into a pool of water on horseback in Atlantic City, rediscover these and many other events from New Jersey's storied past."

Ghost Towns: And Other Quirky Places in the New Jersey Pine Barrens

By Barbara Solem-Stull

Solem-Stull, Barbara
Paperback (350 pages)

Ghost Towns: And Other Quirky Places in the New Jersey Pine Barrens
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The Pine Barrens of New Jersey contain more ghost towns, some say, than the entire American West. In Ghost Towns and Other Quirky Places in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, Barbara Solem-Stull tells the story of the towns that rose up around the iron furnaces, glass factories, paper mills, cranberry farms, and brick-making establishments of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. Loaded with easy-to-use maps and more than 100 photographs and illustrations, the book provides driving directions and self-guided walking tours of many of the Pine Barrens’ most intriguing historic sites and ruins. This is a unique field guide for anyone interested in reading about the history of Pinelands ghost towns and in exploring these long-ago communities firsthand.

New Jersey: A Military History (Westholme State Military History Series)

By Joseph G. Bilby

Westholme Publishing
Hardcover (400 pages)

New Jersey: A Military History (Westholme State Military History Series)
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The military history of New Jersey, from New Netherland’s struggles with the Lenape through colonial wars of empire to twenty-first-century conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, is extensive and significant. New Jersey justly earned the title “Crossroads of the Revolution” in the War for Independence, and made a significant contribution to the Union victory in the Civil War. The state’s position along the Atlantic Coast brought war to the home front in 1812, 1918, and 1942. New Jersey was also the site of Bergen County’s Camp Merritt, which processed most of the American soldiers who went overseas in World War I, Fort Dix, a major training base, and Fort Monmouth, a center for military technology development in the twentieth century.
New Jersey: A Military History by military historian Joseph G. Bilby tells the long, diverse, and sometimes complicated story of New Jersey’s citizens and their significant and continuing role in America’s defense. Over more than 350 years as a colony and state, hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents have served in regular armed forces, militia, and National Guard units or in direct support of those organizations. New Jerseyans in the military include General “Scotch Willie” Maxwell of Sussex County, an unappreciated Revolutionary War master tactician; First Sergeant George Ashby of Allentown, of Company H, 45th United States Colored Infantry, the state’s last surviving Civil War veteran; Clara Maas of Newark, a nurse who sacrificed her life in the effort to eradicate Yellow Fever; Captain William J. Reddan, who led his company into hell during the Meuse-Argonne offensive in 1918; and Medal of Honor winner John Basilone, whose sense of duty and honor led him to return to combat and death in World War II.
Complete with maps, an annotated list of historical sites in the state, and further reading, New Jersey: A Military History is an important reference for those interested in the role of the Garden State in our nation’s wars. 

A Guide to New Jersey's Revolutionary War Trail: for Families and History Buffs

By Mark Di Ionno

Brand: Rutgers University Press
Paperback (240 pages)

A Guide to New Jersey s Revolutionary War Trail: for Families and History Buffs
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Hit the road with journalist Mark DiIonno as he takes you on a tour of New Jersey’s extraordinary Revolutionary War history. Listing more than 350 historic sites throughout the state, DiIonno has compiled the most complete guide ever to the Revolutionary War in the Garden State.

New Jersey’s role in the Revolutionary War is widely overlooked. Every school kid learns about the Boston Tea Party but not the Greenwich tea burning; and about the miserable winter at Valley Forge but not Jockey Hollow. Schools fund class trips to Philadelphia’s Independence Hall but not Princeton’s Nassau Hall. To find history in New Jersey, all you need is DiIonno’s book as your guide. His easy-to-read volume helps readers explore the cities and the countryside from Bergen to Cape May County to find out exactly what happened there during the Revolutionary War.

While previously published books center on the highlights — Fort Lee and Washington’s retreat across the state, victories at Trenton and Princeton, the brutal winter encampment at Jockey Hollow and the Battle of Monmouth —  DiIonno fills in the blanks. Battlefields, churches, homes of the famous and infamous, cemeteries, parks, taverns, liberty poles, bridges, creeks, hills, museums, encampment sites, lighthouses, historical societies, walking trails, monuments, plaques—if it played a part in or commemorates the Revolutionary War in New Jersey, DiIonno tells you what happened there, the personalities involved, and how to see it for yourself.

The sites are conveniently cataloged by county, with a helpful summary of the area’s war history beginning each chapter. Each entry lists the town and directions to each site, and where appropriate, a complete address, telephone numbers, and hours of operation. Both public and private sites are described, and DiIonno advises readers of which private sites tours can be arranged.


Envisioning New Jersey: An Illustrated History of the Garden State (Rivergate Regionals Collection)

By Maxine N. Lurie

Lurie Maxine N
Released: 2016-09-15
Hardcover (340 pages)

Envisioning New Jersey: An Illustrated History of the Garden State (Rivergate Regionals Collection)
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See New Jersey history as you read about it! Envisioning New Jersey brings together 650 spectacular images that illuminate the course of the state’s history, from prehistoric times to the present. Readers may think they know New Jersey’s history—the state’s increasing diversity, industrialization, and suburbanization—but the visual record presented here dramatically deepens and enriches that knowledge.
Maxine N. Lurie and Richard F. Veit, two leading authorities on New Jersey history, present a smorgasbord of informative pictures, ranging from paintings and photographs to documents and maps. Portraits of George Washington and Molly Pitcher from the Revolution, battle flags from the War of 1812 and the Civil War, women air raid wardens patrolling the streets of Newark during World War II, the Vietnam War Memorial—all show New Jerseyans fighting for liberty. There are also pictures of Thomas Mundy Peterson, the first African American to vote after passage of the Fifteenth Amendment; Paul Robeson marching for civil rights; university students protesting in the 1960s; and Martin Luther King speaking at Monmouth University. The authors highlight the ethnic and religious variety of New Jersey inhabitants with images that range from Native American arrowheads and fishing implements, to Dutch and German buildings, early African American churches and leaders, and modern Catholic and Hindu houses of worship. Here, too, are the great New Jersey innovators from Thomas Edison to the Bell Labs scientists who worked on transistors. 

Compiled by the authors of New Jersey: A History of the Garden State, this volume is intended as an illustrated companion to that earlier volume. Envisioning New Jersey also stands on its own because essays synthesizing each era accompany the illustrations. A fascinating gold mine of images from the state’s past, Envisioning New Jersey is the first illustrated book on the Garden State that covers its complete history, capturing the amazing transformation of New Jersey over time.

View sample pages (

Thanks to the New Jersey Historical Commission, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, and generous individual donors for making this project possible.


The History of Diners in New Jersey (American Palate)

By Michael C. Gabriele

The History Press
Released: 2013-09-24
Paperback (168 pages)

The History of Diners in New Jersey (American Palate)
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The silver Airstreams and neon signs of the classic American diner brighten New Jersey's highways and Main Streets. But the intrinsic role they have played in the state's culture and industry for more than one hundred years is much more than eggs-over-easy and coffee. Diners are the state's ultimate gathering places--at any moment, high school students, CEOs, construction workers and tourists might be found at a counter chatting with the waitresses and line cooks. Jerseyans yearn for lost favorites like the Excellent Diner and Prout's Diner and still gather at beloved haunts like the Bendix and Tick Tock Diners. Although the industry is all but gone today, New Jersey was once the hub of diner manufacturing, making mobile eateries that fed hungry Americans as far away as the West Coast. Author Michael C. Gabriele offers this delicious history--collected from interviews with owners, patrons and experts--and indulges in many fond memories of New Jersey diners.

Biographical and genealogical history of Morris County, New Jersey (Volume 2)

By Lewis Publishing Company

Released: 2012-05-01
Kindle Edition (536 pages)

Biographical and genealogical history of Morris County, New Jersey (Volume 2)
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No compendium such as the province of this work defines in its essential limitations will serve to offer fit memorial to the life and accomplishments of the subject of this review,—a man remarkable in the breadth of his wisdom, in his indomitable perseverance, his strong individuality, and yet one whose entire life had not one esoteric phase, being as an open scroll, inviting the closest scrutiny. True his were "massive deeds and great " in one sense, and yet his entire accomplishment but represented the result of the fit utilization of the innate talent which was his, and of the directing of his efforts along those lines where mature judgment and rare discrimination led the way. There was in Mr. Hill a weight of character, a native sagacity, a far-seeing judgment and a fidelity of purpose that commanded the respect of all. He carved his name deeply on the records of the state and nation and in some of the most trying hours of his country's history he proved a safe and wise counselor, whose comprehensive understanding of the national situation led him to support measures which time has proven to be of great benefit to the Union.

John Hill was born in Catskill, New York, on the ioth of June, 1821, and was a son of Hiland and Mary (Butler) Hill. His father was for nearly half a century identified with the Catskill National Bank, of that place, and for many years held the position of cashier. Both he and his wife died at an advanced age. They had four sons and three daughters, and one of the sons, Henry Hill, succeeded his father as cashier in the Catskill Bank. Another son, Frederick, was for sixty-three years identified with, and served as cashier of, the Farmers' National Bank of Catskill. He is still living, 1898, at the venerable age of eighty-seven. He also served as county treasurer of Greene county, New York, for over sixty years.

In the schools of his native town John Hill acquired his preliminary education, which was supplemented by study in private schools. At an early

age he secured a clerkship in the bank in which his father was cashier, acting as bookkeeper for his father until twenty years of age, when he came to Boonton, Morris county, and entered the employ of the New Jersey Iron Company in the capacity of bookkeeper and paymaster. He soon became familiar with the business of the house and for some years was connected therewith in the capacity of manager. Subsequently he engaged in general merchandising in connection with Mr. Voorhees, was afterward a partner of Mr. Penfield and still later of William G. Lathrop, under the firm name of John Hill & Company, continuing in that business until the Boonton Iron Works ceased operation in 1876.

In the meantime Mr. Hill had come prominently before the public notice in an official capacity. In 1852 he was elected one of the township committee, and again in 1856 and 1863 was chosen for that position. He was postmaster of Boonton from 1849 until 1853, and was elected justice of the peace in 1S56, serving five years. At the outbreak of the Civil war he became a stanch advocate of the Union cause and his patriotic addresses had marked influence on the public and occasioned many young men to enlist in the northern arm}'. He took a deep personal interest in these " boys in blue," frequently visited them at the front and ministered to their comfort in all possible ways. It was largely due to his efforts in securing enlistments that no draft was ever made in Pequannock. In 1861 and 1862 he was elected to the state legislature and was made a member of the committee that received Lincoln when he visited Trenton on his way to Washington to be inaugurated president of the United States. In 1865 he was again chosen to represent his district in the general assembly and in 1866 was chosen speaker of the house. In 1866 he was elected to congress from the fourth New Jersey district, serving from 1867 until 1869.

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