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Geological Survey of New Jersey
On A
Survey Of The Boundary Line
New Jersey and New York,
made in July and August, 1874.

George H. Cook,


Edited by GET NJ
Copyright 2003

New Jersey was first constituted and named as a distinct colony or province in the year 1664, when its territory was sold by James, Duke of York (afterwards King James second) to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret.
In the deeds of lease and release dated respectively 23d and 24th of June 1664 it is described as "That tract of land adjacent to New England, lying west of Long Island and Manhattan Island; and bounded on the east, part by the main sea, and part by Hudson's River; and hath upon the west, Delaware Bay or River; and extendeth southward to the main ocean, as far as Cape May, at the mouth of Delaware Bay; and to the northward as far as the northernmost branch of the said bay or river Delaware, which is in 41 deg. 40 min. of latitude; and crosses over, thence, in a straight line, to Hudson's River, in 41 deg. of latitude; which said tract of land is hereafter to be called Nova Csesarea, or New Jersey." In this description, all the boundaries are natural features except the straight line which separates it from the State of New York. Wm. A. Whitehead, Esq., of Newark, contributed a paper to the N. J. Historical Society on "The circumstances leading to the establishment, in 1769, of the Northern Boundary line between New Jersey and New York," which was read May 19th, 1859, and printed in the proceedings of the Society for that year, pp. 159-186. Much of the material for the historical matter sof this report is taken from Mr. Whitehead's paper, and where other facts have been obtained, it is his preparatory work which has pointed out the way to secure them.
But differences of opinion arose very soon, in regard to the precise meaning or intent of several of the words used in the description, and at least two questions of public interest have been involved in them.

Staten Island, though to the west of Long Island and only separated from the main land of New Jersey by a small and indirect channel, while the deep and direct channel of the Hudson is to the east of it, and though none of the water of that river finds its way behind the Island to the main sea, was early claimed as a part of New York. And her title to it was finally confirmed by the action of the Legislatures of the two states, and of the U. S. Congress in 1834.


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