Giovanni da Verrazzano was the first European to explore and map the coast of New Jersey, which established a claim for his French patrons in 1524.
Not until 1609 did any inland exploration take place, when Henry Hudson laid a Dutch claim to the area when he sailed into Newark Bay. Five years later the Dutch claim was strengthened by the explorer Cornelius Mey (May), who investigated the Delaware River. His efforts were later memorialized with the naming of Cape May, southern terminus of New Jersey.
See New Jersey .