What is West Jersey?
New Jersey was formally separated into two provinces, East Jersey and West Jersey, for the 29 years between 1674 and 1703. Consciousness of West Jersey as a distinct entity, however, continued for a much longer time.
Where was the West Jersey/East Jersey line?
The area had been home to Lenape (or Delaware) Indians prior to exploration and settlement starting around 1609 by the Dutch, Swedish and English. Settlement of the West Jersey area by Europeans was thin until the English conquest in 1664. Beginning in the late 1670's Quakers settled in great numbers first near Salem and then in Burlington which became the capital of West Jersey. Click here for a short (8-paragraph) intro to the establishment of the Jerseys. For those interested in a more thorough treatment, the best text I know of on West Jersey is Pomfret (1956)
Legend on the Seal of West Jersey ( Caesaris Occidentalis ):
REDITE CAESARI QUAE CAESARIS.
Render to Caesar what is Caesar's.
Image Source: Pomfret (1964), "The New Jersey Proprietors and Their Lands," p. 38
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Last updated: 2022 Tenth Month, 12th.