CHARLES READ had been in New Jersey but a short time when he began to trade in lands. The large tract in Philadelphia County which he had acquired from his father, he sold in 1742 to Robert May, of Philadelphia County, for £100.1 It appears, also, that he had inherited certain lands in New Jersey, for between 1740 and 1742 he sold a tract of land and a 250-acre "plantation" in Burlington County.2 By this time he had begun to make new acquisitions of land. In 1741 he located in his name a survey of 8 acres of flats on the Delaware River in Willingboro Township, Burlington County.3 Then in 1745 he purchased a 6-acre lot in Burlington,4 and the following year an acre lot on the east side of High Street.5 Although a person of his enterprise would be expected to build a residence of his own, we have no record of his having done so.
Read's principal real estate transactions, however, were not in city lots, but in large parcels of farm and timber lands. In 1744 he purchased for £50 from Thomas Gardiner, of Burlington, 1,725 acres of unappropriated land in West New Jersey, under which surveys were subsequently located on both uplands and swamps in Springfield and Evesham townships in Burlington County, and in a cedar swamp in Gloucester County.6 By 1749 he could write to James Pemberton, "my Estate lays chiefly in Land."7 Many of his acquisitions appear to have been primarily for speculative purposes. In 1750 he purchased for £212 rights to a grant of 5,000 acres____________________