The First Planning of the Settling of Monmouth County
Between December 5th and 11th, 1663, a group of English settlers from Gravesend, Long Island, chartered a ship and sailed from Gravesend to Raritan Bay and up the Raritan River, to trade with the local Indians and buy land.
The Dutch in New Amsterdam (New York) heard about this and sailed from New Amsterdam to the mouth of the Raritan River where they waited for the English. They met, and words were exchanged, but they went their separate ways without resorting to force.
The Dutch reported back to Pieter Stuyvesant and this report still exists. It provides a detailed description of the event.
Charles Gross and NMHA commemorated this event 350 years later by organizing the Old First Church Symposium on December 7 2013: Searching for Land and Religious Freedom in Monmouth County, December 5th – 11th, 1663.
The symposium consisted of a number of lectures at the Old First Church on Kings Highway in Middletown, one of the first churches to open in Monmouth County. The lectures explored the history of the settlement of Monmouth County.
After the symposium there was a narrated Seastreak cruise from Highlands to New York City and back that explored the landmarks and seamarks of the settlement of Monmouth County.
For additonal background see:"The Old World Arrives in New Jersey" by Connie Goddard, Ph.D and published in The Monmouth Journal.