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Entered by THOMAS F. GORDON, according to the Act of Congress, in the Clerk's Office of the District
Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
An attempt has been made in the following pages to narrate, succinctly, but fully, the history of New Jersey, from the time of its discovery by Europeans, to that of the adoption of the constitution of the United States. By the latter event, the individuality of the State, as a historical subject, is merged in the history of the nation; and the subsequent period of unvaried political prosperity, within her borders, presents few matters for the historian.
The story we have told, has, for the inhabitants of the State, the interest of their peculiar and proper affairs; but, like such affairs, may not prove attractive to strangers. Like Pennsylvania, this State was founded by deeds of peace; and no community, in any country, can have undergone less vicissitude. Her prudence and justice preserved her from Indian hostility, and her distance from the frontier protected her from the inroads of the French. She has known, therefore, no wars, save those commanded by the king, or undertaken in defence of her own civil liberty. To pourtray the part, which, as a colony, she took in the one, and as an independent State, in the other, it has been necessary to treat of the general colonial and revolutionary history; yet no further than was indispensable to exbibit the action of New Jersey.
In the compilation of the work, resort has been had to all the known histories of the Anglo-American colonies, to the best writers on the American revolution, and to the minutes of the legislature and the statutes, for a period of more than one hundred and twenty years. From these sources, it is believed, that a faithful and ample narrative has been obtained. More particulars of the horrors which attended the revolutionary war, especially of those which were inflicted by furious tory partisans, might, perhaps, have been added, if full reliance were due to the partial newspaper accounts, frequently written under excitement unfavourable to truth. Yet, enough of these scenes has been described to display the nature and extent of the sufferings of the inhabitants; more would have served rather to disgust, than to entertain, the reader. .
The author submits the result of his labours to the many subscribers by whom they have been encouraged, with an assurance of his readiness, in another edition, to supply such omissions, and to correct such errors, as may be discovered in the present.