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Pre 1851

Riverton, A History of the Land

By Betty Hahle


The Delaware River forms the western boundary of New Jersey.  In early years, travel by water was the preferred route and brought both explorers and settlers to the Province's shores.

In 1673, the Province of New Jersey was divided into East and West Jersey by a diagonal line.  John Fenwick purchased West Jersey and divided it into “tenths,” offering it to English Quakers who sought escape from persecution in their own lands

The first “tenth,” or Yorkshire tenth, ran from the Falls of Trenton, south, to the Rancocas Creek. The second, or London tenth, began at that point and ended at the Pennsauken Creek.  In 1694, these two tenths joined to form Burlington County, one of the original counties of New Jersey, and its largest one.

Chester Township was established in the London tenth in 1688, and in 1708, Quaker Thomas Lippincott purchased 1,034 acres of land there.  The land had wooded areas with red and white oak, walnut, maple, and other trees.  Cleared land produced fine vegetables and orchards of apples, pears, and peaches.  Berries were cultivated and became noted New Jersey products, especially blueberries and cranberries.  New Jersey became known as The Garden State.  Dairies and merino sheep were also a part of the rural scene in this area.

Riverton,  A History of the Land, continued . . .

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Updated 5/5/05