Florida Guide > Florida History
The State Nicknames – Part 14
Each of the 50 states of the USA has a nickname, and this can be found on the license plates on each and every car. It is fascinating to collect the different nicknames and we have seen all but two of the 50 since we started some 12 years ago.
Like so many US States, New Jersey has links with England, and it was named after the island of Jersey in the English Channel. When Sir John Berkley and Sir George Carteret were given a royal charter to start a colony they named it for the place where Carteret had been born, and where he spent some time as Lieutenant Governor of this small island.
New Jersey is one of the leading industrial states in the USA, with the highest density of population as well as the second highest median income of any state. As far back as 1791 when Alexander Hamilton built his model factory town, industry has played a huge part in the state’s history. As its highway transportation systems improved canals, roads, railroads and ports were built, allowing for the growth of industry.
New Jersey has numerous nicknames, but ' The Garden State' is the most popular. Reflecting the farms which produced both floral and agricultural produce for sale to the cities, these farms also produced food for soldiers during the Revolutionary War. The name, ‘Garden State’ was added to New Jersey license plates in 1954. However, the name does not reflect everything about this state which is also famous for its mining, manufacturing, commerce, construction, shipping, power, transportation and recreation as well as for its agriculture.
Another nickname is ' The Clam State, ' due to the abundance of clams found off the coast. It is also sometimes called the Jersey Blue State after the blue uniforms of the New Jersey Revolutionary Soldiers.
Like so many states with mountainous areas, New Jersey has also been referred to as ‘The Switzerland of America’ by the early settlers. A rather less pleasant nickname is ' The Mosquito State’ and it is not really clear why New Jersey acquired this name, as it does not really have any more of these irritating creatures than any other state.
New Jersey was once the home of Joseph Bonaparte, the King of Spain, who fled to New Jersey around 1812. He bought around 1. 400 acres of land and built a lavish mansion for himself, and it is this fact that led to another nickname, ‘New Spain’ or ‘the Foreigner State. ‘
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