NJGenWeb: Monmouth County
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Brief History of Monmouth County

Monmouth County was first established in 1675, but its boundaries were definitely settled in 1709-10 and 1713-14. Its extreme length is 65 [miles], and extreme breadth 32 miles; it is bounded North by Raritan Bay, East by the Atlantic Ocean, Southwest by Burlington County, and Northwest by Middlesex and Mercer Counties. The soil is generally light, and the middle and southern part mostly covered with pines. The surface is level, excepting in the township of Middletown. Agriculture is the chief business of the upper part of the county, and there are many farms under the highest state of cultivation. Marl abounds in the region, and land, once comparatively valueless, has been rendered very productive by this manure. Peat, mixed with a small portion of lime, is growing into use in the western part of the county for fertilizing the land, and this material, fortunately, is in most cases found where most required, viz., without the limits of the marl formation.

In the central and southern portions of the county, there are few settlements and furnaces scattered among the pines. Along the sea-coast are several flourishing villages, from which large quantities of wood and charcoal are exported. From these places sail many coasting vessels, manned by skillful seamen, unsurpassed by any in the Union.

This county was originally settled by Dutch, Scotch, and some New England emigrants, who removed here about the year 1664. Twenty years later, it was the most wealthy county in the Province, and paid the greatest amount of taxes. In the war of the revolution, it suffered severely. Its easy access from New York, and the safe anchorage for vessels within Sandy Hook, rendered it a favorite resort of the royalists for forage and plunder. Some of its inhabitants were awed into submission to the crown, and took up arms against their former neighbors, between whom occurred many sanguinary conflicts. Within its borders occurred one of the severest battles of the war.

Monmouth County was divided into 7 townships, viz: --
Dover Howell Shrewsbury Upper Freehold
Freehold Middletown Stafford

Source: Barber, John W. and Henry Howe. Historical Collections of the State of New Jersey. New York: S. Tuttle, 1845.
Note: Dover and Stafford became part of Ocean County in 1850. [CC]

Surrounding Counties: Monmouth County is bordered on the North by Middlesex County, on the South by Ocean County on the West by Mercer County and Burlington County, and on the East by the Atlantic Ocean.


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