The Beginning

The following sections are reproduced from Grace Trott Roper‘s historical retrospective on how the Borough of Belmar came to be. The original booklet is © Copyright 1978 by Grace Trott Roper, Belmar, NJ and was printed by Hoffman Press, Belmar, NJ.

Duplication or reproduction is not permitted

No one really knows what white man first saw the coastline of Belmar or entered the Inlet to Shark River. It is believed that Henry Hudson, an Englishman employed by the Dutch East India Co. sailing the ship the “Half Moon,” was the first to drop anchor on the shores of Monmouth County. His ship‘s log made note of an inlet with high hills in the distance. As there were no other inlets in the area it is assurned it was Shark River Inlet.

Henry Hudson, claimed all this territory for the Dutch when he returned home. Thus New Jersey was owned and settled by the Dutch before coming under English rule.

In the year 1664 King Charles II executed a charter which granted to the Duke of New York the whole region from the Western Bank of the Connecticut River to the Eastern Shore of the Delaware. The Duke then gave the entire tract of land known as The State of New Jersey to Lord Berkley and Sir George Carteret.

However, early that same spring Charles II had Col. Richard Nichols seize New Amsterdam for the British. This was in 1665. Nichols became the first governor, and the first Indian Purchase was made by deed on January 25th, 1665. The original record is in Albany.

It must have been a curious sight, the acknowledgement of these deeds. Sixteen Indians and Thirteen White men, the Governor and his Executives. The Indians in their primitive dress and the whites in the dull drab of Quakers, Puritans, and Long Island Dutch and the Governor and his men in the uniform of their rank.

No land in the state was actually seized from the original owners, however the amounts paid to the Indians for their land were pitifully low, and in most cases the Indians were not aware that they had given up all rights to their land forever. When they found out it was too late.

Popomoro, Chief of the Nevsink Indians, his brother Mischacoing, Manavendo, Emerdesolsee, Checawsen, Shenhemun, Cramanscum, Winegermeen, Mecca, Taplawappamund, Mattarmaluckanick, Zawpochammund, Kackenhaw, Cattahoh, Norchcon, and Qurrmeck, were the sixteen Indians who sold the land to James Hubbard, John Browne, John Tilton Jr., Richard Stout, William Goulding, Samuel Spicer, Richard Gibbons, James Grover, Walter Clarke, William Reaps, Nathaniel Sylvester, Obadish Holmes and Nicholas Davis. With the exception of James Hubbard these were the men mentioned as the first proprietors in The Monmouth Patent.