New Jersey has a reputation for the urban sprawl of Newark and Jersey City, but much of the state is actually comprised of forests, meadowlands, parks, and unspoiled wilderness. The origins of New Jersey's nickname of the "Garden State" have been lost, but it is popularly accredited to Abraham Browning, who once compared New Jersey "to an immense barrel, filled with good things to eat and open at both ends, with Pennsylvanians grabbing from one end and the New Yorkers from the other."
Settled by the Swedes and Dutch during the early 1600s, the region was seized by the British in 1664 and named for the island of Jersey in the English Channel. New Jersey was one of the original thirteen colonies to revolt against Great Britain in the American Revolution, and officially joined the union as its 3rd state in 1787. The township of Trenton was designated the state capital in 1790.