Bergen County- New Jersey
From Revolution to Renewal: Exploring Historic Bergen County
Welcome to Bergen County
Bergen County History
Bergen County is the most populous county of the state of New Jersey.
At the time of first European contact, Bergen County was inhabited by Native American people, particularly the Lenape groups of the Tappan, Hackensack and Rumachenanck (later called the Haverstraw)
Early settlement attempts by the Dutch included Pavonia (1633), Vriessendael (1640) and Achter Col (1642) but these settlements were repelled in Kieft's War (1643-1645) and the Peach Tree War (1655-1660). Settlers again returned to the western shores of the Hudson in the 1660 formation of Bergen, which would become the first permanent European settlement in the territory of the modern state of New Jersey.
In the 17th century, the Dutch considered the area comprising today's Bergen and Hudson counties as part of New Netherland, their colonial province of the Dutch Republic. The Dutch claimed it after Henry Hudson (sailing for the Dutch East India Company) explored Newark Bay and anchored his ship at Weehawken Cove in 1609. From an early date, the Dutch began to import African slaves to fill their labor needs. Bergen County eventually was the largest slaveholding county in the state
Initially, Bergen County consisted of only the land between the Hudson River and the Hackensack River, extending north to the border between East Jersey and New York. In January 1709, the boundaries were extended to include all of the current territory of Hudson County (formed in 1840) and portions of the current territory of Passaic County (formed in 1837).