Whitehead''s "East Jersey" is now rarely seen,
but is the most frequently-cited source for information relating to the
colonial period prior to 1702. Drawing upon original manuscripts and pamphlets,
the author preserves a detailed account of the first settlers of the eastern
division of Berkeley and Carteret's grant from the Duke of York. The work
concentrates on the development of the communities of Perth Amboy and Pisctaway,
as well as the exploration and development of lands up the Raritan River
and around Shrewsbury. Other settlements (mostly old Dutch communities)
are mentioned, but largely ignored.
Of particular interest is the inclusion of George Scot's
"The Model of the Government of the Province of East Jersey in America"
in its entirety - apparently for the first time since its original printing
in 1685. This important work supported the efforts of the Scots proprietors
of East Jersey to recruit planters, apprentices, tradesmen, merchants and
servants to the New World. The text includes letters written by the first
Scots settlers which describe New Jersey as a wonderful alternative to
Whitehead also wrote a supplement to this volume, "Contributions to the Early
History of Perth Amboy," which details the history of the area
until the American Revolution and somewhat beyond.
As the original edition is among the most sought-after
of published Jerseyana, this masterfully-published eBook edition will be
especially welcome to students of New Jersey history.