This is a subject of some interest to me, especially the development of political parties. I have many books to list here, and will add them as they show up in my posts. People have strong opinions about the value of the books listed below, both pro and con. That’s a subject for another time.

Michael J. Birkner, Donald Linky, and Peter Mickulas. The Governors of New Jersey, Biographical Essays. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2014, hardcover, 420 pages, index. An update of Paul A. Stellhorn, Michael J. Birkner, The Governors of New Jersey, 1664-1974. Trenton, New Jersey Historical Commission, 1982. This book is indispensable.


Donald L. Kemmerer, Path To Freedom; The Struggle for Self-Government in Colonial New Jersey, 1703-1776. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1940. This is a really great book. I need to read it again. Covers all the shenanigans of politicians and proprietors.


Walter R. Fee, The Transition From Aristocracy to Democracy in New Jersey, 1789-1829. Somerville, NJ: Somerset Press, Inc., 1933. This was a dissertation for Columbia University, and is one of the earliest published works on the origins of New Jersey’s political parties.

Richard P. McCormick, Experiment in Independence, New Jersey in the Critical Period, 1781-1789. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1950. This is the most important treatment of the critical first years of New Jersey as a state rather than as a colony.

Pasler, Rudolph J. and Margaret C. Pasler, The New Jersey Federalists. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1975. The party, such as it was, from the days of the first state constitution in 1776 to its eventual dissolution, and absorption into the two-party system of the Jacksonian era.

Carl E. Prince, New Jersey’s Jeffersonian Republicans; The Genesis of An Early Party Machine, 1789-1817. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1964, 1967. The origins of political parties at the end of Washington’s second term, and especially during the election contest between Adams and Jefferson, has been thoroughly studied on the national level. This is a book focused on New Jersey’s participants in that epic.