"He was a clever man. His great insanity was dressing himself as a woman. Lord Orford [Walpole] says that when Governor in America he opened the Assembly dressed in that fashion. When some of those about him remonstrated, his reply was, 'You are very stupid not to see the propriety of it. In this place and particularly on this occasion I represent a woman (Queen Anne) and ought in all respects to represent her as faithfully as I can.'"
Horace Walpole (1717-1797),
referring to Lord Cornbury, Royal Governor of New Jersey from 1701 to 1708, in a conversation with his friend George James Williams
"...So don't bother me, man, I ain't got no time
I'm on my way to see that girl of mine
Cause nothing matters in this whole wide world
When you're in love with a Jersey girl..."
'Jersey Girl,' lyrics by Tom Waits as adapted and sung by
....The Taverns were so full We could with difficulty obtain Entertainment. At Brunswick, but one bed could be procured for Dr. Franklin and me, in a Chamber little larger than the bed, without a Chimney and with only one small Window. The Window was open, and I, who was an invalid and afraid of the Air in the night <blowing upon me>, shut it close. Oh! says Franklin dont shut the Window. We shall be suffocated. I answered I was afraid of the Evening Air. Dr. Franklin replied, the Air within this Chamber will soon be, and indeed is now worse than that without Doors: come! open the Window and come to bed, and I will convince you: I believe you are not acquainted with my Theory of Colds. Opening the Window and leaping into Bed, I said I had read his Letters to Dr. Cooper in which he had advanced, that Nobody ever got cold by going into a cold Church, or any other cold Air: but the Theory was so little consistent with my experience, that I thought it a Paradox: However I had so much curiosity to hear his reasons, that I would run the risque of a cold. The Doctor then began an harrangue, upon Air and cold and Respiration and Perspiration, with which I was so much amused that I soon fell asleep, and left him and his Philosophy together: but I believe they were equally sound and insensible, within a few minutes after me, for the last Words I heard were pronounced as if he was more than half asleep...
John Adams entry in his diary for September 9, 1776, recounting night with Benjamin Franklin sleeping in same bed at New Brunswick tavern on their way from Philadelphia to Staten Island after their appointment by the Continental Congress to meet with British Admiral Lord Howe, who had been dispatched to seek a possible resolution of the hostilities between Great Britain and America
"The Turnpike has permitted New Jersey to emerge from behind the billboards, the hot dog stands and the junkyards. Motorists can now see the beauty of the real New Jersey."
Governor Alfred Driscoll at ribbon cutting ceremony opening Turnpike to traffic on November 30, 1951
"Charlie, You've turned out to be just the kind of governor I thought you'd be. Do you know what I'm going to do to you for doing this? I'm going to break you, Charlie, if it's the last thing I do."
Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague to Governor Charles Edison
"Listen, here is the law! I am the law! These boys go to work!"
Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague, in speech on city government to the Emory Methodist Episcopal Church in Jersey City, on November 10, 1937
"New Jersey shaped who and what I am. Growing up in Jersey gave you all the advantages of New York, but you were in its shadow. Anyone who's come from here will tell you that same story."
Jon Bon Jovi
"I was born in New York City, but I was raised in New Jersey, part of the great Jewish emigration of 1963."
"Princeton is in the flat midlands of Mew Jersey, rising, a green Phoenix, out of the ugliest country in the world. Sordid Trenton sweats and festers a few miles south; northward are Elizabeth and the Erie Railroad and the suburban slums of New York; westward the dreary upper purlieus of the Delaware River. But around Princeton, shielding her, is a ring of silence-certified milk dairies, great estates with peacocks and deer parks, pleasant farms and woodlands which we paced off and mapped down in the spring of 1917 in preparation for the war. The busy East has already dropped away when the branch train rattles familiarly from the junction. Two tall spires and then suddenly all around you spreads out the loveliest riot of Gothic architecture in America, battlement linked on to battlement, hall to hall, arch-broken, vine-covered-luxuriant and lovely over two square miles of green grass. Here is no monotony, no feeling that it was all built yesterday at the whim of last week’s millionaire; Nassau Hall was already thirty years old when Hessian bullets pierced its sides."
F. Scott Fitzgerald
"I believe that there's an intelligence to the universe, with the exception of certain parts of New Jersey."
Woody Allen, "Sleeper" (1973)
“The curtain rises on a vast primitive wasteland, not unlike certain parts of New Jersey.”
Woody Allen, Without Feathers, (1976)
"If you're from New Jersey,” Nathan had said, “and you write thirty books, and you win the Nobel Prize, and you live to be white-haired and ninety-five, it's highly unlikely but not impossible that after your death they'll decide to name a rest stop for you on the Jersey Turnpike. And so, long after you're gone, you may indeed be remembered, but mostly by small children, in the backs of cars, when they lean forward and tell their parents, 'Stop, please, stop at Zuckerman—I have to make a pee.' For a New Jersey novelist that's as much immortality as it's realistic to hope for.”
Philip Roth, The Counterlife (1996)
“I’m supposed to do it because my mother told me to do it. My mom says you need to go back and fix that place up. You need to go back to Newark and fix Newark up,”
Shaquille O'Neal, speaking in 2014 on why he was investing in Newark development project
“ 'Oh, there’s no toll,' noticed Henry. 'It costs twelve bucks coming into Manhattan, but I guess it’s free going back to New Jersey.'
'That should tell you something,' said Villy crestfallen.”
Aurelio Voltaire, Call of the Jersey Devil (2013)
"Philadelphia merely seems dull because it's next to exciting Camden, New Jersey."
Robert Anton Wilson
"New Jersey is like a barrel tapped at both ends."
"The state of New Jersey is really two places - terrible cities and wonderful suburbs. I live in the suburbs, the final battleground of the American dream, where people get married and have kids and try to scratch out a happy life for themselves. It's very romantic in that way, but a bit naive. I like to play with that in my work."
"Do you know what you just did? You have now created a state of hysteria. Every Guardsman up and down this street and every state policeman and every city policeman that is present thinks that somebody just fired a shot and that it is probably a sniper.”
Newark Director of Police Dominick Spina, confronting a National Guard soldier who had fired a shot to scare a man away from a window during the unrest which resulted in the July 1967 Newark riots
"New Jersey, for one, sold to the corporations a general law which was a general license to grow, combine, and overwhelm as they would not in Jersey alone, but anywhere in the United States. Maybe this was wise, but that isn't why Jersey did it. She not only licensed companies to do in other States what those States would not license; she licensed them to do in those other States what she would not let them do in Jersey. New Jersey sold us out for money. She passed her miscellaneous incorporation acts for revenue. And she gets the revenue. Here citizens pay no direct State tax. The corporations pay all the expenses of the State, and more. It was good business. But it was bribery, the bribery of a whole State; and it was treason. If there is such a thing as treason by a state, New Jersey is a traitor State."
Lincoln Steffens, "New Jersey: A Traitor State," April 1905, McClure's Magazine
Rich Princeton was White: the Negroes were there to do the work. An aristocracy must have its retainers, and so the people of our small Negro community were, for the most part, a servant class--domestics in the homes of the wealthy, serving as cooks, waiters and caretakers at the university, coachmen for the town and laborers at the nearby farms and brickyards....Princeton was Jim Crow: the grade school that I attended was segregated and Negroes were not permitted in any high school. "
Paul Robeson in memoir Here I Stand published in 1958
"....Dr. Wilson is a long, lank man, neither careless nor very careful in his dress. I don’t believe there is much muscle on his bones, but those bones are very large. When he stands his coat fits loosely on his shoulders. Maybe his tailor measured him for it; but I fancy that instead he told him to go in and take a look at the two pegs in his clothes closet where he hangs it up of nights. His cheek bones are high, like a Multnomah Indian’s, and he runs to chin excessively. Dr. Wilson’s face is definitely four-cornered, with hard bone not far beneath the skin at any of the corners. His hair is thin and graying, and may possibly be combed regularly. There is a wrinkle just between his heavy eyebrows deep enough to be a knife scar, and the lines which curve down and outward from his nose, callipering his mouth, are very definite and deep."
Introduction to interview with Woodrow Wilson while he was serving as president of Princeton University, New York Times, October 30, 1910
"I can see no reason why, inside a decade, New Jersey mosquitoes should not be reduced to a point as to be practically unnoticed. Extermination, be it noted, is not claimed. The plan contemplates permanent relief, based upon intelligent activity, along well defined lines."
Dr. John B. Smith, Station Entomologist, Agricultural Experiment Station, Rutgers College, (1901), John B. Smith Chronology, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station quoted in The Mosquito Crusades by Gordon Patterson (2009)
Once, Yogi Berra's wife Carmen asked, "Yogi, you are from St. Louis, we live in New Jersey, and you played ball in New York. If you go before I do, where would you like me to have you buried?"
Yogi replied, "Surprise me."
Yogi Berra quotes
"I spent my summers at the Jersey Shore from the time I was 2 until we sold the house in Stone Harbor when I was 14. It was a pretty magical place to grow up....I went back to Stone Harbor two summers ago, when we were on tour with Brad Paisley. We had a day off, so I took my whole band back to my little summer town and we went out to one of the islands in the inlet and swam and tubed and went water-skiing. It was really cool seeing it all again, walking around and going to Springer's and Donna's. I kind of felt like I was 10 years old again. Except, this time a few more people knew me."
"People always think of New Jersey as something like the back of an old radio. But I thought, oh no, it isn't--it's quite wonderful, and I began to think that I could write a novel that would be a paean to New Jersey."
Richard Ford, on deciding to set his novel The Lay of the Land in New Jersey
“One man may shoot himself in the forehead with a .38 and wake up in the hospital. Another may shoot himself in the forehead with a .22 and wake up in hell...if there is such a place. I tend to believe it's here on earth, possibly in New Jersey.”
Stephen King, Skeleton Crew (1986)
“I used to wonder why people made New Jersey jokes. I don't anymore.”
E.J. Copperman, An Uninvited Ghost (2011)
''If you're in the contracting business in this country, you're suspect. If you're in the contracting business in New Jersey, you're indictable. If you're in the contracting business in New Jersey and you're Italian, you're convicted.''
Raymond J. Donovan, quoted during hearings on his nomination by President Reagan as Secretary of Labor, New York Times, January 28, 1981
“And I'm sure that in Poland, or somewhere, it is considered cool to drive a Porsche and wear necklaces and black silk, but at least back in Brooklyn if you did those things you were either a drug dealer or from New Jersey.”
Meg Cabot, Ninth Key
“I've never been in this part of Trenton before. I don't feel comfortable driving around buildings that haven't got gang slogans sprayed on them. Look at this place. No boarded-up windows. No garbage in the gutter. No brothers selling goods on the street. Don't know how people can live like this.”
Janet Evanovich, Three to Get Deadly
“Bib Block was sure that in any part of the country at all, whenever the name of this road was mentioned, people's hearts pivoted like Moslems to the east and flopped over. Sooner of later, he believed, at one stage of the journey or another, all roads led to the New Jersey Turnpike.”
Kathryn Kramer, A Handbook For Visitors From Outer Space
“I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.”
Albert Einstein, upon refusing surgery by doctors at Princeton Hospital after suffering ruptured aortic aneurysm just before his death on April 18, 1955 at age of 76
"I have long enjoyed the friendship and companionship of Republicans because I am by instinct a teacher, and I would like to teach them something."
"The results of a new study are out this week saying that New Jersey is one of the most livable states in the country. The study has a margin of error of 100 percent."
"When I die, I want to be buried in Hudson County so I can remain active in politics."
Governor Brendan Byrne
"It's burst into flame! It’s fire and it's crashing! . . . This is the worst of the worst catastrophes in the world! Oh, it’s crashing . . . oh, four or five hundred feet into the sky, and it’s a terrific crash, ladies and gentlemen. There’s smoke, and there’s flames, now, and the frame is crashing to the ground, not quite to the mooring mast. Oh, the humanity, and all the passengers screaming around here!. . . I can’t talk, ladies and gentlemen. Honest, it’s just laying there, a mass of smoking wreckage, and everybody can hardly breathe and talk . . . Honest, I can hardly breathe. Oh the humanity!"
Herb Morrison reporting live on radio of explosion of German zeppelin Hindenburg as it hovered for landing at Lakehurst on May 6, 1937
"...A Mr. Richard Feder from Fort Lee, New Jersey writes in and says: 'Dear Roseanne Roseannadanna, Last Thursday, I quit smokin'. Now, I'm depressed, I gained weight, my face broke out, I'm nauseous, I'm constipated, my feet swelled, my gums are bleedin', my sinuses are clogged, I got heartburn, I'm cranky and I have gas. ... What should I do?'
... Mr. Feder, you sound like a real attractive guy! You belong in New Jersey!"
Gilda Radner, as character Rosanne Roseannadanna on Saturday Night Live
"New Jersey! It makes you want to die!"
Gilda Radner, as character Rosanne Roseannadanna on Saturday Night Live
On the state's nickname:
"I say let them put it right on the license plate, 'NJ, the Tollbooth State.' What does it say now, the Garden State? Sure if you're growing smokestacks, yes."
"New Jersey's caught between two major cities, New York and Philadelphia, and it's always been fashionable in both of those places to put down New Jersey. We're their country cousins, if you will."
Michael Aaron Rockland
"...God is from New Jersey,
He brought the whole house down,
West Virginia's almost heaven,
But Bayonne's God's home town..."
Seamus Kennedy, "God Is From New Jersey," Gransha Music
"I am a gay American."
Governor James McGreevey announcing his resignation on October 11, 2007
“...Kenilworth, Mountainside, Scotch Plains, Dunellen... they themselves seemed far from Jersey: names out of Waverley novels, promising vistas of castles, highland waterfalls, and meadows dotted with flocks of grazing sheep. But the signboards lied, the books had lied, the Times had lied; the land here was one vast and charmless suburb, and as the bus passed through it, speeding west across the state, Freirs saw before him only the flat grey monotony of highway, broken from time to time by gas stations, roadhouses, and shopping malls that stretched away like deserts...."
T.E.D. Klein, The Ceremonies
After a terrible shipwreck at sea, the lone survivor clung to a piece of wreckage and floated along for days.
Then, one day he finally spied some land on the horizon and feebly paddled towards it with his last strength draining from him.
He got close to the shore and spied a man walking on the beach, so he called out, "Where am I?"
The man replied, "New Jersey! Do you want me to swim out and rescue you?"
The survivor shouted back, "No, thanks, that's OK! I think I'll just float on a little while longer!"
"Whereas congress hath received information that the Honorable Richard Stockton, of New-Jersey, and a member of this congress, hath been made a prisoner by the enemy, and that he hath been ignominiously thrown into a common gaol, and there detained-
Resolved, that General Washington be directed to make immediate inquiry into the truth of this report, and if he finds reason to believe it well founded, that he send a flag to General Howe, remonstrating against this departure from that humane procedure which has marked the conduct of these states to prisoners who have fallen into their hands; and to know of General Howe whether he chooses this shall be the future rule for treating all such, on both sides, as the fortune of war may place in the hands of either party."
Resolution of the Continental Congress, January 3, 1777
"The 'bad news,' he [Colorado Senator Gary Hart] told a well-heeled audience standing on the lawn of a Bel Air mansion, is that he has to campaign apart from his wife Lee. 'The good news for her is that she campaigns in California while I campaign in New Jersey.' When Mrs. Hart interjected, 'I got to hold a koala bear,' Hart sniggered, 'I won't tell you what I got to hold: samples from a toxic-waste dump.' "
Account of Gary Hart comments during 1984 presidential campaign, Remember 1984, Slate.com
"I come out here to this office where I've been many times before and I've come out here today to apologize to the people of New Jersey. I apologize to the people of Fort Lee and I apologize to the members of the state legislature.
I am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team. There's no doubt in my mind that the conduct that they exhibited is completely unacceptable and showed a lack of respect for the appropriate role of government and for the people that were trusted to serve."
Governor Chris Christie at January 9, 2014, press conference acknowledging that his close aides had acted to close access lanes to George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee in retribution against failure of Fort Lee mayor to endorse Christie's re-election
Addressed by statesmen, legislators, kings,
Revered by thousands as you pass along,
While every muse with ardour spreads her wings
To our hero in immortal song;
Say, can a woman's voice an audience gain;
And stop a moment thy triumphal car?
And wilt thou listen to a peaceful strain...
ROCKY HILL, Sept. 24th, 1783.
You apply to me, my dear madam, for absolution, as though you had committed a crime, great in itself yet of the venial class. You have reasoned good, for I find myself strongly disposed to be a very indulgent ghostly adviser on this occasion, and notwithstanding you are the most offending soul alive (that is if it is a crime to write elegant poetry), yet if you will come and dine with me on Thursday, and go through the proper course of penitence which shall be pre-scribed, I will strive hard to assist you in expiating these poetical trespasses on this side of purgatory. Nay, more, if it rests with me to direct your future lucubrations, I shall certainly urge you to a repetition of the same conduct--on purpose to show what an admirable knack you have at confession and reformation; and so without more hesitation I shall venture to recommend the muse not to be restrained by ill grounded timidity, but to go on and prosper. You see, madam, when once the woman has tempted us and we have tasted the forbidden fruit, there is no such thing as checking our appetite, whatever the consequences may be....Be assured we can never forget our friend at Morven and that I am, my dear madam, your most obedient and obliged servant,
Excerpts from poem sent by Annis Boudinot Stockton to George Washington and his response