This Week in New Jersey History...
- 1664 King Charles II of England granted his brother James, duke of York, the Dutch colony of New Netherland. The Dutch surrendered to James's English fleet without a fight when it showed up on the doorstep of the colony's capital, New Amsterdam, on August 28. James's deputy governor of the newly named New York, Richard Nicolls, quickly issued land grants or "patents" to draw English settlers from New England and Long Island to the new lands across the river from Manhattan. Although Nicolls was unaware of the fact, James had already granted New Jersey, also known as Nova Caesaria, to two of his supporters, Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret They, in turn, divided the colony into Eastern and Western portions, with Carteret owning the East and Berkeley the west. The dividing line was unsurveyed and vague. Neither man would ever visit New Jersey.
- 1822 Timothy Webster was born in Newhaven, England. Webster emigrated with his family to Princeton, New Jersey, at the age of eight and lived there until he became a detective for the Pinkerton agency in 1853. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he served as a Union spy but was discovered, tried, convicted and hanged in Richmond in 1862, the first American executed as a spy since Nathan Hale.
- 1932 the Trenton Sunday Times-Advertiser announced that Newark Airport was the busiest airport in the world, handling more than a quarter of the United States' air traffic.
- 1964 Bill Bradley of Princeton University, Richie Dec and Nick Werkman of Seton Hall University, Tim Kehoe of Saint Peter's College and Lou Ravettine of Fairleigh Dickinson University were named to the "all New Jersey major college basketball team" by a vote of the state's major college coaches. Bradley and Werkman made the team for the second year in a row.
- 1777 The New Jersey legislature created the New Jersey Council of Safety, and made Governor William Livingston its president. The Council was charged with investigating suspected Loyalists and arresting, interrogating and jailing them.
- 1856 A fire broke out on the steam ferry New Jersey as it headed across the Delaware River from Philadelphia to New Jersey on the night of March 15 with more than one hundred people on board. Ice in the river interfered with rescue operations, and more than sixty people died.
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These are brought to you courtesy of GSL author and Board of Advisers member, Joseph G. Bilby, who with his co-authors, James M. Madden and Harry Ziegler, have written 350 Years of New Jersey History, From Stuyvesant to Sandy (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2013), due out January 28, 2014 and available from local booksellers and chain bookstores, online book vendors including Amazon, and in e-book form for Kindle, Nook and iPad.
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