New Jersey, The Garden State

New Jersey, The Garden State

by Sandra Merville Hart

New Jersey’s nickname is The Garden State. This may have originated from 1876, when Abraham Browning compared New Jersey to an open-ended barrel with good things to eat spilling out both ends.

New Jersey’s early history

vegetables-905382_960_720The Dutch started a trading post at Bergen in 1620. New Netherlands was the original name given to the area. When England took control in 1664, the name was changed to New Jersey for the Isle of Jersey in the English Channel.

New Jersey in the Revolutionary War

The British army overran Fort Washington in Manhattan, New York, on November 16, 1776. They captured 2,000 Americans as prisoners. The Continental Army fled to New Jersey with the British Army following. The Continental Army crossed the Delaware River and camped on the Pennsylvania side of the river. They were low on food and supplies.

Battle of Trenton

General George Washington decided that his army must go back and fight the British soldiers. He planned an attack.

Washington and his army crossed the Delaware River into New Jersey on Christmas Day, 1776. The Continental Army won the battle fought at Trenton the next day. They won another important battle at Princeton about a week later on January 3. These victories gave the Continental Army control over most of the colony. It was an important success in a cold, difficult winter.

New Jersey becomes a state

New Jersey became the third state on December 18, 1787. The capital is Trenton.


First recorded baseball game

The first recorded baseball game was played at Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey, on June 19, 1846.

The New York Base Ball Club played Alexander Cartwright’s Knickerbockers. The Knickerbockers lost with a score of 23-1. Cartwright umpired the game.

Other fun facts about New Jersey

Seaside resort towns on New Jersey’s beautiful coastline make it a great vacation area.

In 1870, New Jersey’s Atlantic City built a boardwalk—the first in the world.

The state bird is the eastern goldfinch.

The state flower is the violet.


“13 Originals: Founding the American Colonies,” The Time Page, 2013/01/04

“Battles of Trenton and Princeton,”, 2013/01/27

Bellis, Mary. “History of Baseball,” Inventors, 2013/01/27

Cheney, Lynne. Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006.

Gutman, Bill. The Look-It-Up Book of the 50 States, Random House, 2002.

“Hoboken, New Jersey – Where Baseball was Born!” Hoboken, 2016/06/05

“New Jersey,”, 2020/05/31

“The Garden State.” State Symbols USA, 2016/06/05




  1. DevoKids Post – New Jersey, the Garden State | Sandra Merville Hart - […] 10, 2016 / sandramervillehart Ever wonder how New Jersey got its nickname? Click on the link to learn a bit about…

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