Online Primary Sources for American History: New Jersey Colonial Documents

As we approach the 350th anniversary of this state’s beginnings in 1664, we need to examine some of those source materials that trace the evolution from colony onwards. This multivolume resource – Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey – is a good place to start. Publication first began in 1880 and ran through the mid-2oth century. The title has varied over the years as the scope of the undertaking grew to encompass revolutionary and post-revolutionary times. Each volume presents primary source materials, and many volumes have the added value of containing newspaper extracts of the time that relate to New Jersey. The documents were culled from various libraries, archives, and offices both here and abroad. The types of material include letters, instructions, grants, charters, minutes of meetings, and agreements.  Each volume has an index. Here is an enumeration of the thirty-seven volumes available online – volume 1: 1631-1687; volume 2: 1687-1703; volume 3: Administrations of Lords Cornbury and Lovelace, and of Lieutenant Governor Ingoldesby, 1703-1709; volume 4: Administrations of Governor Robert Hunter and President Lewis Morris, 1709-1720; volume 5: Administrations of Gov. Burnet, Gov. Montgomerie, President Lewis Morris,  Gov. Cosby, President Anderson and President Hamilton, 1730-1737; volume 6: Administration of Governor Lewis Morris, President John Hamilton and President John Reading, 1738-1747; volume 7: Part of Administration of Gov. Jonathan Belcher, 1746-1751; volume 8: Completing the Administration of Governor Jonathan Belcher, 1751-1757; volume 9: Administrations of President John Reading, Lieutenant-Governor Thomas Pownall, Governor Francis Bernard, Governor Thomas Boone, Governor Josiah Hardy, and Part of the Administration of Governor William Franklin, 1757-1767; Volume 10: Administration of Governor William Franklin, 1767-1776; General Index, volumes 1-10; volume 11: Extracts from American Newspapers Relating to New Jersey, 1704-1739; volume 12: Extracts from American Newspapers, 1740-1750; volume 13: Journal of the Governor and Council, 1682-1714; Volume 14: Journal of the Governor and Council, 1715-1738; volume 15: Journal of the Governor and Council, 1738-1748; volume 16: Journal of the Governor and Council, 1748-1755; volume 17: Journal of the Governor and Council, 1756-1768; volume 18: Journal of the Governor and Council, 1769-1775; volume 19: Extracts from American Newspapers, 1751-1755; volume 20: Extracts from American Newspapers, 1756-1761; volume 21: Calendar of Records in the Office of the Secretary of State, 1664-1703; volume 22: Marriage Records, 1665-1800; volume 23: Calendar of New Jersey Wills, 1670-1730; volume 24: Extracts from American Newspapers Relating to New Jersey, 1762-1765; volume 25: Extracts from American Newspapers Relating to New Jersey, 1766-1767; volume 26:  Extracts from American Newspapers Relating to New Jersey, 1768-1769; volume 27: Extracts from American Newspapers Relating to New Jersey, 1770-1771; volume 28: Extracts from American  Newspapers Relating to New Jersey, 1772-1773; volume 29: Extracts from American Newspapers Relating to New Jersey, 1773-1774; volume 30: Calendar of New Jersey Wills, 1730-1750; and volume 31: Extracts from American Newspapers Relating to New Jersey, 1775; volume 32: Calendar of New Jersey Wills, Administrations, etc., 1751-1760; volume 33: Calendar of New Jersey Wills, Administrations, etc., 1761-1770; volume 34: Calendar of New Jersey Wills, Administrations, etc., 1771-1780 volume 35: Calendar of Wills, Administrations, etc., 1781-1785; volume 36: Calendar of Wills, Administrations, etc., 1786-1790; and volume 37: Calendar of Wills, Administrations, etc., 1791-1795.

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