This island was first claimed by the Dutch due to the exploration of Henry Hudson when he first sighted the island on the Dutch vessel "Half Moon." Hudson's logbook dated September of 1608 notes "when the sun rose. . . we saw land. . . all alike, broken islands. . . This is a very good place to fall in with". By 1664, the island had become a part of the British province of West Jersey.
The island was called Watamoonica or "playground" by the Lenape Indians. In the eighteenth century, a sailing vessel was wrecked in the ocean just east of the island. The vessel type was a Brigantine. Soon it became the reference point for the island. The first permanent resident of the island was James Baremore. As legend has it, his son Daniel scolded a group of British soldiers for stealing vegetables from the family farm. Thereafter, the British officers in charge paid for the vegetables.
The island became a hiding place for pirates and became well known for its shoals. New England whale men also used the island as a temporary shelter. In 1825, not surprisingly, a salt works operation was established. Whether playground or temporary respite from the sea, Brigantine is still "a good place to land".