In the 1660s, "the lively experiment" of Rhode Island was becoming a success. The diverse little settlements of Providence and Aquidneck were united into one colony by the Charter of 1663 under the leadership of Governor Benedict Arnold. The squabbling religious sects that sought freedom from Massachusetts Bay had melted into finely organized Baptist and Quaker congregations, and Newport was growing into a prosperous seaport town. With such stability and hope for the future, it seems unlikely that Rhode Islanders would set their sights on the marshes and plains of present day New Jersey. However, in 1664, about eighty first and second generation Rhode Island settlers were responsible for the establishment and growth of Monmouth County in the Province of East Jersey. The reasons for the settlement of Monmouth County by Rhode Islanders are tied to the mobility of its early settlers and their persistent desire to seek land, opportunity, and freedom of worship.
Lippincott, Bertram III
"The Rhode Island Settlers of Monmouth County, New Jersey,"
Newport History: Vol. 71
, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.salve.edu/newporthistory/vol71/iss247/3