new jersey

New Jersey’s state seal was adopted in 1777 as the legislature met on the second floor of the Indian King Tavern in Haddonfield. Skirmishes between the Continental Army and the British made the northern part of the state an unstable place to meet, so the legislature left Trenton and used the inn’s facilities. The Indian King served well as an assembly place, and it was here that Pierre Eugene du Simitere’s design for the state seal was accepted.

The center of the seal features a shield adorned with three plows, symbolizing the state’s rich agricultural base. Above the shield is a helmet and a crest with a horse’s head, symbols of strength and sovereignty. Two female figures stand on either side of the shield. On the left is Liberty, holding a staff topped with a liberty cap. On the right is Ceres, Roman goddess of grain and abundance. A banner below the shield proclaims “Liberty and Prosperity”, and across the top arc of the shield are the words “The Great Seal of the State of New Jersey.”