Here is a unique collection of documents that spans the history of New Jersey, from the arrival of Dutch traders in the 1600s to the present. The materials touch on a range of subjects such as slavery and abolitionism, the labor movement, race and ethnic relations, and economic and environmental issues. The documents include letters, journals, pamphlets, petitions, artwork, and songs created not only by those who exercised power, but also by men and women of more humble station. Their lively accounts range from descriptions of Native Americans in the seventeenth century to Bruce Springsteen’s lament about a declining factory town.
New to this expanded edition is the text of former governor James McGreevey’s “I am a Gay American” speech, as well as entries about the Abbott v. Burke court ruling mandating that New Jersey equalize funding of urban and suburban schools districts, sprawl and its effects on water supply, and the state’s economic boom in the 1990s.
A balanced survey of New Jersey’s history in the context of a changing nation, this book is ideal for general readers who want to explore the primary sources of the state’s past, and to U.S. history students at the high school and college levels.