5¢ New Jersey Tercentenary
Issue Date: June 15, 1964
City: Elizabeth, NJ
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 10 1/2 x 11
Color: Bright ultramarine
U.S. #1247 honors the 300th anniversary of the founding of New Jersey. The stamp design was the winner of a competition sponsored by the Tercentenary Commission. It pictures Sir George Carteret and two of his men walking into Elizabethtown in 1664.
Founding New Jersey
New Jersey’s first inhabitants were Native Americans who belonged to the Delaware tribe of the Algonquian family. Experts estimate that about 8,000 Indians lived in the region when European settlers first arrived. In 1524, Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian navigator serving France, became the first European to explore the New Jersey coast. Henry Hudson, an English sea captain employed by the Netherlands, explored the Sandy Hook area in 1609, and then sailed up the Hudson River, which now bears his name. Cornelius Mey, a Dutch explorer, sailed the Delaware River in 1614. Cape May now bears his name.
In 1630, the Dutch formed an outpost in Pavonia (now part of Jersey City). However, Indian attacks prevented the establishment of a permanent settlement until 1660, when the Dutch built the fortified town of Bergen (also part of modern-day Jersey City). Bergen was New Jersey’s first permanent European settlement.
In 1664, English forces won control over New Jersey. King Charles II gave New Jersey to his brother, James, the Duke of York, who in turn gave it to two of his friends, Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. In fact, James named the area New Jersey after Carteret, who had served as the governor of Jersey, an island in the English Channel. Berkeley and Carteret attracted settlers to New Jersey by selling land at low prices and promising political and religious freedom. In 1674, a group of Quakers led by Edward Byllynge purchased Berkeley’s share of New Jersey. They divided this land into two sections, West Jersey and East Jersey. West Jersey became the first Quaker colony in America. Carteret owned his portion of New Jersey until his death in 1680, when it was purchased by another group of Quakers called the Twenty-Four Proprietors. In 1702, England formed New Jersey into a single royal colony.