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Updated: 28 December 2010

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  • Brief History of Burlington County NJ
  • Although officially incorporated on May 17, 1694, the rudiments of Burlington County government were established with Burlington County on March 25, 1681 and were in effect before William Penn laid out the city of Philadelphia. The City of Burlington, founded in 1677, was once the capital of West Jersey.

    The Lenni-Lenape Indians were the aboriginal owners of the county. In October, 1677 a group of English debarked from the ship
    Kent and founded the town of Burlington. The American Indians sold more and more of their lands to the new settlers until finally, in 1801, there remained less than 100 adult American Indians on the Indian Mills reservation, which was the first American Indian reservation in the United States and the American Indian's last dwelling place in Burlington County.
    • 1692, boundary set with Gloucester County.
    • 1693, Gloucester County boundary repealed.
    • 1710, boundaries more definite.
    • 7 March 1837, part set off to form Atlantic County.
    • 1838, part transferred to Mercer County.
    • 15 February 1850, Ocean County set off.
    • 1857, boundary with Ocean County clarified.
    • 1891, Egg Harbor township transferred to Ocean County.
    • 1902, parts added from Camden and Atlantic counties.

This county derived its name from the town of Burlington, which was settled by English Friends. It is a long tract, extending from the Delaware river to the Atlantic ocean; being the only county that reaches across the width of the state. It is bounded NNW. by the Delaware river, N. by Mercer County., ENE. by Monmouth County., SE. by the Atlantic Ocean, and SW. by Atlantic and Gloucester County. 

The county is of an alluvial formation, composed of sand, gravel, loam and clay, and its surface is generally level or undulating. In the interior, a few miles from the
Delaware, is a strip of fertile land several miles wide, on which are some of the finest farms in the state, highly cultivated, and much improved by the marl which abounds there. The prominent agriculture products of the county are wheat, corn, rye, oats, grass, beans, and potatoes. Beyond the above tract, for about forty miles, nearly to the sea-shore, the whole country is generally a light sandy soil covered principally with pines, in which are but a few inhabitants, who are occupied in cutting timber for transportation, or are employed in the glass works and iron foundries scattered here and there over its surface. Along the sea-shore is a narrow strip of fertile land. The SE. part of the county is watered by the Little Egg Harbor river and its branches, which flow to the ocean; the NW. by the Rancocas, Crosswicks creek, and other streams emptying into the Delaware.

  • By 1840 Burlington County was divided into the following 11 townships, all of which, except Washington, were incorporated in 1798: Burlington, Evesham, Mansfield, Washington, Chester, Hanover, Northampton, Willingboro, Chesterfield, Little Egg Harbor, and Springfield.
  • Today Burlington County remains the state's largest county in area (covering 827 square miles). It is currently comprised of 40 municipalities.
  • Homes and sites associated with Thomas Paine, Ulysses S. Grant, Clara Barton, Alice Paul, and other people historically famous, are located in Burlington County, New Jersey.
  • For History of Burlington County New Jersey, also see:



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