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Pfesidbnt Camden County Historical Society, Life Member Gloucester County Historical 
Society, Member Pennsylvania and New Jersey Historical Societies 


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;.•■:•-•;'-;■--• i: 

P Boyer, Charles Shiraer, 18G9- 

£55149 rp,^^, ^j^,^ ^^jj^l political history of Camden County and 

•^ , Camden citv, bv Charles S. Bover ... [Camden, N. .Lj 
Triv. print.,' 1922. 

i - - 56 p. 21"'. (On coivr: Aiitials of Camden, no. 4) 

'/'-•^ "Edition limited to 500 copies. This is no. 8." 


' ^1. Camdai Co.. N. J.— Pol. & govt. 2. Camden, X. J^— Pol. & govt. 

- : '" ' ■ . • . • , 23-87 

,^Q-„ Library of Co.ngrcss . - F142.C16B7 ' ' " ■^'■ 

Cory 2. . ( - l'U4.C2M- noA :.'■.;'."• 


No. 4 

Camden County-Camden City 

O--: '■ .r::i-. r-^ :,.,,,. :..-.-■ i --■i,,,r..i:.''^ 

BY ' in:.^, . V'. : 


Civil and Political History 




Nearly sixty years prior to the founding of the city of Phila- 
delphia, the Dutch West India Company by virtue of its charter, 
had through Captains Cornelius Jacobese Mey and David Pieterson 
DeVries, taken possession of all of the country along the Delaware 
river. They established a small colony on its eastern bank, near the 
mouth of Timber creek, a few miles below the present city of Camden, 
and built a log fort, called Fort Nassau, to protect it against the 
ravages of the Indians. This was the first settlement, of which 
there is any authentic record, to be erected by Europeans on the 
shores of the Delaware and, though its existence was short-lived, it 
marks the beginnings of the present civilization in this part of the 
country. The trials, tribulations and ultimate fate of the little set- 
tlement around Fort Nassau has been so admirably told by Clay, 
Mickle and others,* that nothing further can be added to the story. 

Passing over the period from 1633 to 1664, during which the 
Dutch and Swedes were struggling for control of the territory 
bounding on the Delaware river, we come to the English domination 
of the country. The latter exercised undisputed sway, until the War 
for Independence, except for the short period in 1673-74, when the 
Dutch recai)tured New York and the adjacent country. It was during 
the occupancy by the English that the foundation of our early laws 
and customs was laid, the former being based on a set of rules and 
regulations, called the "Fundamentals," which had been agreed upon 
by the "Proprietors, Freeholders and Inhabitants," while the customs 
closely followed the practices and precepts of the Quakers. It is 
quite true that there were a few Dutch and Swedish families in West 

• Barker's Sketches of the I'ritnitive Settlements on the River Delaware, O'Calllghans Hl3- 
tor of New Netherlands, Mickle' s Reminiscences of Old Gloucester. 

Jersey, particularly in what is now Gloucester and Salem counties, 
but their peculiar customs and laws have left no especial impress on 
the later development of the country. 

The manner in which the title to the lands in West Jersey passed 
from the English sovereign to others and finally to those who actually 
settled within the province involves many complicated legal questions. 
We will, therefore, only briefly touch upon the grants, leases and re- 
leases of these Crown lands in order that a clearer understanding 
may be had of the events leading up to the settlement of the colony. 

The British laws vested title to all lands secured by discovery, 
or exploration, in the King, who could dispose of them in any way 
that suited his designs or purposes. In 1664, the Duke of York, 
afterwards James II, in order to mend his fortune, induced his 
brother, Charles II, to give him a large portion of the Crown lands 
in America, the consideration for the portion now called New Jersey, 
being "the payment, within ninety days after demand, in each year, 
of forty beaver skins." The patent gave the Duke of York also 
absolute authority to govern the province including the right to 
establish such laws and ordinances as were necessary, the only re- 
striction being that these laws should not be contrary to the "Laws 
of the Realm," and that the inhabitants of the territory should have 
the right to appeal to the King. 

James, as soon as he had received this gift, dispatched Colonel 
Richard Nicols as his deputy governor and directed that the in- 
habitants should render obedience to his authority. The King also 
appointed a commission, consisting of Admiral Sir Robert Carre, 
George Cartwright and Samuel Maverick, to accompany Nicols and 
visit each of His Majesty's colonies for the purpose of adjusting all 
complaints and appeals. The fleet conveying the new deputy gov- 
ernor and commissioners arrived before New Amsterdam (New 
York) in August, 1664, and immediately demanded the surrender of 
the city and the forts erected by the Dutch, promising protection to 
all settlers who readily submitted to the government established under 
authority of the King of England. Governor Stuyvesant, after a 
show of resistence, capitulated to the superior forces under the com- 
mand of Nicols. The latter took possession, in the name of the 
King and subject to the government of his master, the Duke of 
York. Carre was at the same time directed to proceed to the Dela- 
ware, where the Dutch were still in control, and assume command of 
that portion of the country in the name of the King, with the promise 
"that all the planters shall enjoy their farms, houses, lands, goods 

and chattels, with the same privileges, and upon the same terms 
which they do now possess them,"* the only condition being that they 
f;hall "change their masters" from the West India Company, or the 
King of Sweden, to the King of England. 

Within three months after the Duke of York obtained his patent, 
and even before his deputy governor and the King's commissioners 
had reached America, the Duke had in consideration of a competent 
sum of money, conveyed to Sir George Carteret and John Lord 
Berkeley that portion of his original grant now within the bounds of 
the state of New Jersey, including the "right to rule." Both of these 
grantees had been loyal followers of the Stuarts and were also in- 
terested in lands in the Carolinas. Carteret was enthusiastic over 
the colonization idea, but Berkeley was only interested in the new 
country as a medium through which he could quickly recoupe his 
declining fortune. The latter soon discovered that the development 
of the country would take a long time to accomplish and that the 
ultimate pecuniary returns were doubtful at best. After holding his 
interest for ten years, he decided to sell his undivided share as soon 
as he could do so without loss. Edward Byllinge and John Fenwick, 
two prominent English Friends, learning of this decision, entered into 
negotiations and finally purchased the Berkeley share for 1000 £, 
the deed being made, however, in the name of Fenwick, because the 
financial aft'airs of Byllinge, who was a brewer, and previously 
reputed to be wealthy, had begun to assume a serious turn. Very 
shortly afterwards, Byllinge became a bankrupt and transferred all 
his property, including his equity in the West Jersey lands, to trustees, 
consisting of William Penn, Gawen Lawrie and Nicholas Lucas, who 
were to manage the same for the benefit of his creditors. 

During the proprietorship of Cartaret and Berkeley, the lands, as 
already noted, were held by them as "tenants in common," but after 
the Dutch re-conquest of 1673 and the subsequent return of the 
country into English hands, a new situation confronted the pro- 
prietors. In order to give him an unquestionable title to his grant, 
Cartaret secured from the Duke of York a new instrument confirming 
to him the upper portion, subsequently known as New East Jersey, 
while the Quaker contingent, under the leadership of William Penn 
assumed that the balance of the province, called New West Jersey, 
was included in the Fenwick-Byllinge purchase, and that the original 
conveyance from the King held good. 

A question arose, however, as to the dividing line between the 

• Smith's History of New Jersey, p. 48. . 

two parts, and in 1676 an agreement was signed by the parties in 
interest, called the "Ouintipartit Deed," whereby the boundary lines be- 
tween the two portions was presumably settled. This deed was signed 
by Sir George Carteret on the one hand and William Penn, Gawen 
Lawrie, and Nicholas Lucas, as trustees, and Edward Byllinge, as 
the direct purchaser of the Berkeley share, on the other part. By this 
instrument, the division line between East and West Jersey was 
estabhshed as running from Little Egg Harbor Inlet to a point on the 
Delaware river in the northwest corner of the state. The exact 
location of this line was the subject of much discussion in the General 
Assembly and the Proprietor's Council and was not definitely settled 
until 1/67. Up to the latter date there was much friction between 
the proprietors of the two provinces over the ownership of lands 
adjacent to the line, or lines, which it was attempted from time to 
time to fix. The two surveys which had the greatest prominence 
were those run by George Keith in 1687 and the Lawrence line fixed 
in 1743. 

It appears that one of the principal assets that Byllinge had at 
the time of his bankruptcy was his interest in the West Jersey lands 
and his trustees promptly turned their attention to the conversion of 
this property into tangible and definite shape. As the grant had never 
been surveyed, its area and character were unknown, so that it could 
not be offered for sale by "metes and bounds" and the trustees, there- 
fore, devised the plan of dividing the estate into one hundred shares, 
or proprieties, of which ten were awarded to John Eenwick, as 
representing his equity in the original purchase, and the other ninety 
parts were offered for sale. 

The purchaser of these shares, or rights, did not secure title to 
a definite tract of land in West Jersey. They merely obtained an 
undivided, indefinite and undefined interest in the land, which carried 
with it no right to a division of the land until a dividend had been 
declared by the commissioners, or their successors, the council of 
proprietors. The original dividend of each proprietor's share was 
5200 acres, which was increased by suliscquent dividends, until a 
total of 35,000 acres was assigned to each propriety. 

The shares, or proprieties, were sold as any other property and 
sales of all sorts of fractional parts of a propriety became numerous. 
the usual divisions being quarters, eights, sixteenths, thirty-seconds. 
and sixty-fourtlis. Tanner* states that the usual price paid for a 
whole p ropriety was about £365. Another cause for the sub-divisions 

• "The I*rovlnce of New Jerst-y," p. 15. 

may be traced to transfers through inheritance.* Thus the number 
of proprietors increased rapidly and the entire character of the pro- 
prietorship changed. As the body of land-owners became so large, 
the old plan of control and supervision became inadequate and it was 
necessary to devise a new method of handling the land problem. At 
a meeting of a majority of the resident proprietors, each holding not 
less than one-thirty-second of a propriety, held in Burlington in 
February, 1687-88, it was agreed to place their "public affairs as 
Proprietors" in the hands of a "Council of Proprietors-;- of the Western 
Division of New Jersey," six of whom should be elected annually by 
the Proprietors of Burlington county and five by the Gloucester 
County Proprietors. This body was "empowered to act and plead 
in all such affairs as do and shall generally concern the body 
of the said Proprietors." The association still holds its annual 
elections and goes through all the long established customs including 
the holding of an assembly in the building at Burlington. Its 
activities are today, however, more formal than real, although oc- 
casionally the question of a land title comes before the Board for 
adjustment or settlement. 

Another organization, founded on the original purchase of the 
interests of Dr. Daniel Cox,t came into existence in 1691, under the 
name "The West Jersey Society." § This society which was owned 
by persons living in England and officered by non-residents, secured, 
for a consideration of £4800, to be paid upon the execution and 
delivery of the deed and a mortgage on one-third of the estate as 
security for a further payment of £5000 in one year, twenty pro- 
prieties in West Jersey, together with certain lands in East Jersey, 
New England and Pennsylvania. It also claimed the rights of gov- 
ernment under the Byllinge grants and for nearly ten years exercised 
these functions, under more or less turbulent conditions, and not 
without vigorous opposition from holders of proprieties secured 
direct from Byllinge's trustees. In the exercise of governmental 
rights the society was not a success, but as a purely business company 
it returned large dividends to its shareholders. 

The "Council of Proprietors," above noted, and the "West New 

• Many of the- orlpinal prorrietors never came Into tlip Province, but disposed of their In- 
terc-sts to intondinp st-tiU-rs in such proportional parts as suited the niean.s of the prospective 

t During tho foUdwinfr ye.?r the number of mf-nihers of the Council was reduced to nine. 
five from Uurllngton and four from Gloucester County. 

t Dr. Cox styUd hlmstlf "Clii.f Proprietor pnd Governor of West Now Jersey." He was 
physician to Quetn Mary and later to Queen Anne. 

5 A full account of this .«ocietv Is Riven by Jolin Clement, see ProceedinKS of the Surveyors' 
Association of ^<^'est Jersey, pp. 11S-14S. 

Jersey Society" carried on their plans for the sale and settlement of 
unoccupied lands independently until 1700, when Governor Andrew 
Hamilton as "General Agent and Factor" of the Society, and repre- 
senting the largest single propriety interest, was elected president of 
the Council. A truse was thereby concluded between the clashing 
factions which continued until the death of Hamilton. From 1702, 
the Council passed through many stormy periods, being beset from 
without by the arbitrary stand of the Royal Governor and from 
within, by the grasping desires of its various members. The West 
New Jersey Society closed out its land interests in New Jersey in 
1814 to Benjamin B. Cooper, but is said to still maintain its organ- 
ization in England. 

In "The Camden ]\Iail" of May 20, 1844, appeared the follow- 
ing notice, copied from the "London Times" (]March 18, 1844) of 
a meeting of the Society : 


"A general court of proprietors is to be held at the Chambers 
of William Whiteside, Esq., the secretary. No. 63 Lincoln's-inn- 
fields, on Monday, the 25th day of March, inst.. at 3 o'clock, 
precisely, for examining the accounts for the. year preceeding, 
and electing a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, and 
committee men for the ensuing year." 

March 18, 

When the first settlers arrived in West Jersey, they applied to 
the commissioners for permission to locate a defmite tract of land 
and, if the applicant was entitled to the same, an order was made 
upon the Surveyor-General to have a survey made, provided no 
previous survey had been recorded for the land specified in the order. 
The method of making these early surveys was very crude and in- 
teresting. If the area was a large one, the surveyor, compass in 
hand, mounted his horse and rode over the bounding lines of the 
tract until, by the gait of his horse, he deemed he had covered a 
sufficient distance to enclose the required acreage. The survey was 
then entered in the Surveyor-General's ofiice and this constituted the 
title. The surveyor was always careful to allow a surplus, as he 
was hardly likely to be called to task by the commissioners, but was 
sure to hear from the purchaser, if the quantity on subsequent survey 
had been found to have been underestimated. As was to be expected, 
subsequent re-surveys frequently disclosed many irregularities in the 

original surveys and in order to have a perfect title, if the acreage 
so returned was in excess of the quantity to which ihe holder of 
the "right" was entitled, the settler usually purchased from some 
owner a share, or portion of a share, sufficient to cover the excess 
of land alloted. While among the earlier inhabitants, the greater 
number held proprietary interests, others purchased the rights to 
definite number of acres from one of the proprietors for which the 
latter usually received about ten pounds for each one hundred acres. 
Such purchasers had no voice in the early governmental affairs. 

After the general plan for handling the original division of land 
has been worked out, the next step was the development of the coun- 
try, for which it was necessary to induce settlers to emigrate to a 
new and almost unknown land. The first propriety rights were 
taken as has already been noted, either by the creditors of Edward 
Byllinge in settlement of their claims against him, or were sold to 
well-to-do Quakers. j\Iany of these, however, preferred living in 
England and only became identified with the plan of settlement be- 
cause of the profit it promised. There were, however, among the 
Byllinge creditors a number of Quakers who were anxious to get 
away from the persecutions to which they had been so often subjected. 
Through the influence of this small group many others were induced 
to join forces and prepare to seek homes in the new and untried 
country — virtually self-devoted exiles. The company which finally 
gathered together was made up of two groups, one from Yorkshire, 
headed by Thomas Hutchinson, Thomas Pearson, Joseph Helmsley, 
George Hutchinson and Mahlon Stacy,* and the other from London, 
headed by Thomas Olive, Daniel Wills, John Pennford, and Ben- 
jamin Scott. Each of these groups had purchased a one-tenth 
division of the province. The ship "Kent" sailed from London in 
the Summer of 1677 for West Jersey with 230 passengers, including 
the commissioners appointed to treat with the Indians and organize 
a form of governnient. On entering the Delaware river, they sailed 
along the easterly shore until they reached Raccoon creek, where 
they landed and spent the W'inter, while the commissioners examined 
the country and settled upon the terms of purchase from the Indians. 
The commissioners bought three tracts of land in the order of their 
purchase as follows : from "Rankokus" creek to Timber creek, be- 
tween "Old Man's" creek and Timber creek, and the third, from 
"Rankokus" creek to "St. Pink" creek at the Palls of the Delaware. 

In looking about for a town-site it was finally decided by the 

• West Jersey Uccords. Liber B., part 1, pp. 131 and 13S. 


Yorkshire men to locate at Burlington, while the London represent- 
atives selected a site at Arwaumus (near the present location of 
Gloucester City). Before anything definite, however, had been done. 
the two groups decided that tliey "being few and the Indians 
numerous" it would be a wiser policy to combine their settlements. 
The present site of Burlington (or Bridlington as it then called) 
was therefore selected and in October, 1677, the settlers began build- 
ing their first habitations. Two early Dutch travellers* describe 
these houses as follows : 

"they make a wooden frame, the same as they do in Westphalia 
and at Altoona, but not so strong; they then split boards of 
clapwood, so that they are like Cooper's pipe staves, except that 
they are not bent. These are made ven,- thin, with a large knife, 
so that the thickest end is about a pinck "(httle fingeri"' thick, 
and the other is made sharp, like the edge of a knife. They are 
about five or six feet long, and are nailed on the outside of the 
frame, with the ends lapped over each other. They are not 
usually laid so close together, as to prevent you from sticking 
a finger between them, in consequence either of them not being 
- well joined, or the boards being crooked. When it is cold, and 
windy the best people plaster them with clay." 

The passengers on the "Kent" were, however, not the first English 
speaking people to come to West Jersey. In 1675, John Fenwick and 
a few others arrived in the ship "Grifiith"' and settled at Salem, 
where they had firmly established themselves by the time the York- 
shire and London parties reached their destination. Fenwick was a 
former officer in Crom.well's Army who had become converted to 
the Quaker doctrine and was associated with BylHnge. as already 
noted, in the purchase of the province. 

In a few years, the settlers learned that the much feared Indian 
was a peaceful individual if treated with ordinary justice. Some 
of those who had settled at Burhngton and others who had lately 
arrived from England began to spread over the countn.-. In March. 
16S1-S2. a company of Irish Quakers secured surveys for one hun- 
dred acres of land at the mouth of Little Newton creek (later known 
as Kaighn's Run or Line Ditch"! and sixteen hundred acres on 
Newton creek extending from the Delaware river to alx)ut Collings- 
wood. Closely following these settlers came Richard Arnold, whose 
lands are now occupied by the New York Shipbuilding Co. ; William 

• 'Journal of a. Voyagre to Xew York. etc. 1€79-S\'" by Dankers and Slyter In Memoirs of 
L,. r.g Island Hist. S,:<r., VoL 1. p. I'Z. 


Roydon, Samuel Cole, William Cooper, and Samuel Norris, all of 
whom owned at one time land within the present city limits of 
Camden; Francis Collins whose land is now partly covered by the 
village of Haddontield; Richard Matthews, Joshua Lord, John Ladd, 
and the Woods (John, Constantine and Jeremiah), early land owners 
along Woodbury creek ; John Hugg, Samuel Harrison, Andrew- 
Robeson and Richard Bull, whose surveys laid between Newton and 
Timber creeks. 


It is hard to imagine :a more desolate, or uninviting place for 
people reared to city, or town life in England in which to settle. The 
territory included in these early surveys was a vast wilderness covered 
by a dense forest and almost impenetrable underbrush. Here and 
there, adjacent to the rivers and creeks were meadow lands, which 
offered grazing for cattle, but were not suitable for permanent culti- 
vation. The first efforts of the settlers were directed to clearing and 
cultivating the upland, building their temporary homes and cutting 
pathways through the woods, so that they might communicate with 
their neighbors. 

With the form of government under which they w-ere to live, 
these early settlers were not concerned, so long as it secured for them 
religious tolerance and freedom of thought, as was promised under 
the "Concessions and Agreements of West Jersey," adopted by the 
new proprietors in 1676-7. 

In order to understand succeeding events, it is however, necessary, 
even at the expense of repeating what has already been said, to further 
consider the terms under which these people left their homes in 
England to settle in a new and undeveloped country. According to 
the "Concessions," we have already seen that West Jersey was di- 
vided into ten equal parts, called Tenths, and each of these was 
further divided into ten proprieties — a total of one hundred full 
portions. Only five of the Tenths are mentioned in any of the early 
legislation, namely, the First, or Yorkshire Tenth, extending from 
the Falls of the Delaware (Trenton) to Rancocas creek; the second, 
or London Tenth, embracing the land from Rancocas to Pensauken 
creeks; the Third, or Irish Tenth, extending from Pensauken to 
Timber creeks, the Fourth Tenth, including the lands between 
Timber creek and Oldman's creek, and the Salem Tenth, bounded 
by Oldman's and Cohansey creeks. 


For the first year, the Proprietors residing in England were to 
appoint the resident commissioners and for the next two years they 
were to be chosen by ''the proprietors, freeholders and inhabitants re- 
siding within the Province." These commissioners were not only to 
supervise the division of lands, but also, to exercise general control 
over the governmental affairs of the colony. In 1681, the commis- 
sioners were in accordance with the "Concessions" to be succeeded 
by a General Assembly and Council, composed of representatives 
from each "Tenth," selected "not by the common and confused way 
of crys and voices, but by putting Balls into Balloting Boxes." 

Each representative was to "be allowed one shilling per day 
during the time of the sitting of the Assembly, that thereby he may 
be known to be the servant of the people; which allowance of one 
shilling per day is to be paid to him by the inhabitants of the pro- 
priety or division that shall elect him." 

The first representatives in the General Assembly for the Third 
Tenth, which included what afterwards became old Gloucester County, 
were as follows: 

1682 — Representatives in the May meeting of the General As- 

William Cooper Thomas Thackery 

Mark Newbie Robert Zane 

Member of Council : 
Mark Newbie 

Representatives in the November meeting of the General As- 
sembly : 

William Cooper Robert Zane 

Thomas Thackery 

1683 — Representatives in the IMay meeting of the General As- 
■ sembly : 

William Cooper Francis Collins 

Mark Newbie Samuel Cole 

Henry Stacy Thomas Howell 

William Bates ' ' '■ 

tin' ; ■'.■ ■• 

Member of Council: ■ ic--" * ' -' 

Francis Collins •■ • ' ' ■^^'- ' ' • ■ < ' . 


1684 — -Representatives in the May 

WiLLiA^r Cooper 
Robert Turner " 

Francis Collins 

meeting of the General As- 

Henry Wood 
Marcus Lawrence 
William Bates 

• Henry Treadway 

Representatives in the November meeting of the General As- 
sembly : 

William Cooper Henry Wood 

Robert Turner William Bates 

Francis Collins Marcus Lawrence 

1685 — Representatives in the May meeting of the General As- 
sembly : 

Robert Turner 
Thomas Sharp 
Samuel Cole 

Samuel Carpenter 
Richard Russell 
Richard Arnold 

William Albertson 
Representatives in the November meeting of the General As- 


William Cooper 
Francis Collins 
William Bates 
Thomas Howell 
John Reading 

Robert Turner 
Thomas Thackery 
Robert Zane 
John Kay 
John Hugo 

1686 — Representatives in the May meeting of the General As- 


Robert Turner 
Francis Collins 
Thomas Howell 
William Bates 
John Reading 

Robert Zane 
John Hugo 
Thomas Thackery 
John Kay 
William Cooper 

The plan of government as ontHned in the "Concessions" failed 
to recognize the fact that, while Byllinge had transferred his equity 
in the lands of West Jersey to his trustees, he did not at the same 
rime relinquish his right to the government of the territory which 
had been specifically conveyed to him in the deed from Berkeley. 

■■•.•■ 14- 

Owing to the bitter controversy which arose over this question the 
usual functions were largely suspended. Historians generally have 
stated that there were no meetings of the General Assembly between 
the years 1685 and 1692, but, lately through the researches of Dr. 
Godfrey, the minutes of the session for May, 1686, have been found 
and somewhat alter previously accepted theories, especially as they 
apply to old Gloucester county. 


As the population increased, slow though it was, it soon developed 
that the chief function of the "Tenths" was that of apportioning the 
land among the different proprietors, and that the question of local 
government had been left in too vague a state under the "Conces- 
sions." To remedy this defect the proprietors, freeholders and in- 
habitants of the territory between Pensauken and Oldman's creeks 
through "the Members of ye Assembly for ye Third & fourth 
Tenths on ye behalf of Their Tenths Request they ]May have power 
to keep Courts for ye third & fourth Tenths." This permission 
having been granted by the General Assembly of West Jersey on tne 
fifteenth of May, 1686,* the inhabitants met at Axwames, or At- 
wamus, now Gloucester City, thirteen days later and organized a 
county government and adopted a set of rules, which, supplementing 
the colonial laws, provide all the necessary machinery for conducting 
the local affairs. 

This curious instrument, comprising in all but ten short para- 
graphs,! "not only regulated the marking of hogs and other cattle — 
a precaution to which the absence of fences in those primitive days 
gave considerable importance, but erected the two precincts into a 
County, ordained a regular court, provided officers similar to those 
already employed in the jurisdiction of Salem and Burlington, and 
prescribed the Minutiae of legal practice." The above record taken 
from some unpublished pages in the original manuscript of Learning 
and Spicer's "Grants and Concessions," upsets the statement made 
by Isaac Mickle regarding the origin of old Gloucester County. 

As originally constituted old Gloucester County included all of 
the territory now embraced within the present counties of Gloucester, 
Atlantic and Camden, and contained in 1699, t 134 freeholders, while 

• St-e unnublishod manuscript of Learning ami Siilctr, CamJon County Historical Society 
publication. Vol. 1, No. 4. 

t S'f> MIckle's "Reminiscences of Old Glouce-.^ter, " p. 3.^. and Clement's ".'^kftches of the 
First Rmlprint .Settlers in Xowtun Township. OM Gloucester County," pp. 27-2S. 

t New Jersey Archives, First Series, Vol. II, p. 303. 


in 1818 the population had increased to 19,744.* In its inception it 
actually had no fixed boundaries and it was not until 1694 that a 
successful attempt was made to define its limits by legislative enact- 

Following Mickel, we learn that in the county constitution above 
noted it was provided that there should be a court, which w^as to 
meet alternately at Axwamus, or Gloucester, and Red Bank. The 
county seat was fixed by the joint consent of the inhabitants at 
Gloucester and a large town laid out divided into ten equal shares, 
to correspond with the number of proprieties. A town jail was soon 
deemed necessary and a "logg-house" fifteen or sixteen feet square, 
was erected, which served the purpose until 1696. In the latter year, 
this building was superseded by another one in which was also in- 
cluded a court room. In 1720, a new court house was erected and 
serv'ed the county until 1786, when it was entirely consumed by fire. 

After the fire, the Board of Freeholders petitioned the Legislature 
to pass a law permitting the building of a new court house in such 
a place as a majority of the inhabitants determine "by a free and 
impartial election." The election having decided the question in favor 
of Woodbury, plans were immediately made to secure a lot and 
build the court house and jail. This was finished towards the close 
of 1787, at a cost of about $12,000. 


After the many questions incident to the formation of the county 
had been settled and the local government firmly established the next 
step was the sub-division into townships. In 1694, the General As- 
sembly of West Jersey passed a law directing that the counties of 
the Western Division should be divided into townships. Acting under 
this law, the Clerk and Grand Jury of Gloucester divided the county 
into five townships and nominated a constable in each. The report 
of the Grand Jury was approved by the Court of Gloucester County 
on June 1, 1695, and spread on the court records. Thus began the 
townships of Newton. Waterford, Gloucester, Deptford, originally 
spelled Dead ford, and Egg Harbour, or New Weymouth. The latter 
township, however, according to the court records was actually 
established on I^Iarch 1. 1694, but we have been unable to ascertain 
why this special action was taken. 

The status of Gloucester Town as a township is still not definitely 
settled. It was established under an order of the Burlington County 

• A Uiizettter of the Unltcii States, J. E. Worctsti-r. ISIS. 


Court, dated 7 mo. 4th, 1685, as a town, but it is not clear as to 
whether this order carried with it any authority to establish a town- 
ship government.* It is, however, certain that such a government was 
established under the Letters Patent of December 8, 1773.'^ 


The township, or constabulary, of Newton was defined as front- 
ing on the Delaware river and bounded by the lowermost branch 
of Newton creek on the southwest, and extending from the river 
between the said streams to a line drawn between the headwaters 
of the two creeks. The earliest mention which has been located of 
this township in any legislation is in the Act of 1701, wherein Martin 
Jervis [Jarvis] was appointed assessor and collector, for the purpose 
of carrying out the provisions of the tax law passed by the Provincial 
Assembly in 1700. 

That the inhabitants of the township of Newton took quite a 
lively interest in the proceedings of the General Assembly is shown 
in an original manuscript petition dated January 13, 1774, which 
has lately come to light, f relating to the celebrated controversy over 
the removal of Stephen Skinner from the office of Secretary of the 
Treasury of the Province of New Jersey for a shortage in his ac- 
counts of over £6575, which he claimed had been stolen from the 
treasury. This document was signed by seventy prominent citizens 
of the township, including Jacob Stokes, Benajmin Thackrey, Joseph 
Mickle. Isaac Burroughs, James Sloan, Joseph Sloan, Benjamin 
Graysbury, WilHam Chew, Nathaniel Chew, Samuel Webster. Samuel 
Clement, Joseph Lippincott, Thomas Stephens, and Thomas Clement, 
and read in part as follows: 

"To the Honorable House of Representatives of the Colony 
of New Jersey, in General Assembly Convened. — The Petition 
of a Number of the Inhabitants of the Township of Newton, 
in the County of Gloucester. — Humbly Showeth — that by the 
Minutes of the last Session of Assembly it appears. Your House 
were of the Oi)inion that the Robbery of the Eastern Treasury 
said to be Committed, happened for want of that security and 
care that was Necessary to keep it in Safety, and that you re- 
quested the Governor to remove the Treasurer. We take the 
liberty to inform tlic House that we think your request very 
reasonable =:=*** >;^ * * _•• 

• Publications of ('nniiUn Co. Itist. .^^fx-.. Vol. I. X,>, 4. 

t Originally lisfd in itr- Willhim Nelson Sal. as item 573. but wUlidrawn fiom sale. 


For one hundred and thirty-three years, or until 1828, the people 
of this section went along in the even tenor of their way, holding 
town meetings and electing the township officers and members of 
the Board of Freeholders.* In the early days outside of the settle- 
ments which later made up the city of Camden, the township con- 
tained only the villages of Haddonfield and Rowandtown, or Round- 
town (afterwards called Glenwood and now known as Westmont). 

It is interesting to note that in 1818 the population of the entire 
township was only 195 l,t while Gloucester city, one of the two 
principal towns of the county, Woodbury being the other, had a 
population of 1726. 

The territorial limits of the township have been changed on four 
separate occasions, first, in 1831, when Camden township was formed, 
second, when Haddon township was formed in 1865, third, when 
the major portion of what remained of the old township was an- 
nexed to the city of Camden in 1871 and finally, on March, 1871, 
when the small remnant was added to Haddon township and its 
existence as a political sub-division of the State extinguished. 

The town meetings, until 1737, were all held at the old Newton 
Meeting House, which formerly stood near the graveyard adjacent 
to the present West Collingswood Station on the Philadelphia and 
Reading Railroad. In the next year the town meeting was held in 
the Friends' School house at Haddonfield. 

The records of the old Township are, like those of many other 
of the older townships and municipalities, either lost, or scattered, 
making it impossible to compile a complete list of township officers, 
or activities. About fifty years ago- Judge Clement, who at that 
time had apparently seen the minute book for the years 1723 to 
1737, prepared a list of the officers for this period, which should be 
made a matter of permanent record and are, therefore, here set 

• The Hoard of Freeholders had its origin In an act passed in 1713 (Allison's Laws, p. 15), 
providing for the raising of money for buililing and repairing of goals and oourt-houses within 
each county. It provided for the election by the inhabitants of each town and precinct in each 
county, on the second Tuesday in March, annually, of two freeholders for every town and iire- 
cinct for the en.-uing year, which freeholders so chosen, or the major p.irL of them, togith.'r 
with all the Justics. of the Peace of the respective county, or any three of them (one wliercof 
being of the Quorum), should meet together and niipoint as.sessors and collectors to assess and 
eoll.ct such taxes as may be agreed upon to build c.r rerair jails and oourt-houses ns may b.' 
required in the respective cotmties.. The justice.s and freeholders were required to appoint managers 
■•to do and see done such Things and Works as they shall agree upon to be done and performed" 
and to draw warrants on the collectors for the work and materials rdiulred. By the art of 
1716-n (Allison's I^ws, pp. 3J-3S), the justices and freeholders were also authorized to raise the 
necessary taxes to defray the public and necessary charges of the county. In 170S, the Justic s 
Wire omitlcil. Uv Ho.Trd \v,is t!i' refir" kmun as the Beard of Chosrn Freeholders of tli.i 
c<junty. In l^.'il', the requirement that otllce holilers be freeholders was repealed; but the nnine 
of the Board remained unchanged (See I'roceedlngs N. J. Hist. Society, Vol. \'., No. 2, p. 117). 

t "A Gazetteer of the United Statep," J. E. Worc:.>^tor, 1S;S. 


This list is as follows: ft • ... 

1723 — Township clerk, Thomas Sharp; Overseers of poor, 
Joseph Coo])er, Jr., John Gill. 

1724 — Township clerk, Thomas Sharp; Overseers of poor, John 
Eastlack, John Gill ; Freeholders, Joseph Cooper, Thomas 
Sharp ; Assessor, Joseph Cooper, Jr. ; Collector, William 

' Cooper; Surveyors of highways, Jacob ]\Iedcalf, Samuel 

Shivers, Joseph Kaighn, Thomas Dennis; Overseers of 
roads, Samuel Sharp, William Albertson. 

1725 — Township clerk, Thomas Sharp; Overseers of poor, James 
Hinchman, Jacob Aledcalf ; Freeholders, John Kay, John 
Kaighn ; Assessor, Joseph Cooper, Jr. ; Collector, John 
Eastlack; Surveyors of highways. William Cooper, Ben- 
jamin Cooper, Jacob Medcalf, Thomas Atmore; Over- 
seers of roads, Samuel Sharp, William Albertson. 

1726 — Township clerk, Thomas Sharp; Overseers of poor, James 
Hinchman, Jacob Medcalf; Freeholders, James Hinch- 
man, William Cooper; Assessor, Joseph Cooper, Jr. ; Col- 
lector, Benjamin Cooper; Surveyors of highways, Jacob 
Medcalf. John Kaighn; Overseers of roads, Joseph 
Kaighn, William Dennis. 

1727 — Township clerk, Thomas Sharp; Overseers of poor, Joseph 
Kaighn, John Gill; Freeholders, Joseph Cooper, Joseph 
Cooper, Jr. ; Assessor, Joseph Cooper, Jr. ; Collector, 
Samuel Sharp; Constable, Samuel Sliarp; Surveyors of 
highways. John Kaighn, James Hinchman, William 
Cooper. Jacob Medcalf; Overseers of roads, John East- 
lack, Caleb Sprague. 

1728 — Township clerk, Thomas Sharp; Overseers of poor, 
Joseph Kaighn. Simeon Breach; Freeholders, Robert 
Zane, John Kaighn ; Assessor. Joseph Cooper, Jr. ; Col- 
lector, John Gill; Constable, Thomas Atmore; Surveyors 
of highways, William Cooper, Benjamin Cooper, Isaac 
Cooper, Mark Newbie; Overseers of roads, John East- 
lack, Caleb Sprague. 

1729 — Township clerk, Samuel Sharp; Overseers of poor, 
Joseph Kaighn. Simeon Breach; Freeholders, William 
Cooper. John Kaighn ; Assessor, Joseph Cooper, Jr. ; Col- 
lector, Thomas Atmore; Surveyors of highways', Robert 
Zane, Samuel Sharp, Joseph Ellis, Joseph Zane; Over- 
seers of roads, John Eastlack, Caleb 'Sprague. 


1730-31 — Township clerk, Joseph Kaighn; Overseers of poor, 
Robert Zane, Joseph Kaighn ; Freeholders, Robert Zane, 
Joseph Kaighn; Assessor, Joseph Cooper, Jr.; Collector, 
John Gill; Constable, Thomas Perrywcbb; .Surveyors of 
highways, Joseph Cooper, Jr., John Eastlack, Simeon 
Breach, Caleb Sprague; Overseers of roads, Caleb 
Sprague, John Gill. 

1732 — Township clerk, John Kaighn; Overseers of poor, Robert 
Zane, Joseph Kaighn ; Freeholders, Robert Zane, Joseph 
Kaighn; Assessor, Joseph Cooi)er, Jr.; Collector, James 
Graysbury ; Constable, William Albertson ; Surveyors of 
highways, James Hinchman, John Kaighn, Robert Hubbs, 
Joseph Kaighn ; Overseers of roads, Isaac Cooper, Joseph 
Zane (Robert Stephens acted as Overseer of poor in place 
of Robert Zane from September to the following March). 

1733 — Township clerk, Joseph Kaighn; Overseers of poor, 
Tobias Halloway, John Gill; Freeholders, Tobias Hallo- 
way, Joseph Kaighn; Assessor, Joseph Cooper, Jr.; Col- 
lector, William Albertson; Constable, William Dennis; 
Surveyors of highways, James Hinchman, John Eastlack, 
John Kaighn, Joseph Kaighn ; Overseers of roads, Isaac 
Cooper, Joseph Zane. 

173^1 — Township clerk, John Kaighn; Overseers of poor, Tobias 
Halloway, Joseph Kaighn; Freeholders, James Hinchman, 
Timothy Matlack ; Assessor, Joseph Cooper, Jr. ; Col- 
lector, Joseph i^Iickle; Constable. Joseph Mickle; Sur- 
veyors of highways, James Hinchman, Timothy Matlack, 
Joseph Ellis, William Albertson; Overseers of roads, 
Samuel Sharp, John Brick. 

1735 — Township clerk, John Kaighn; Overseers of poor, Joseph 
Kaighn, Robert Stephens ; Freeholders, Joseph Kaighn, 
Isaac Cooper; Assessor, Joseph Cooper, Jr.; Collector, 
John Kaighn ; Constable, John Kaighn ; Surveyors of 
highways, James Hinchman. Joseph Cooper, Joseph 
Kaighn. Robert Hubbs; Overseers of roads, John Kaighn, 
James Graysbury. 

1736 — Township clerk, John Kaighn; Overseers of poor. Ben- 
jamin Cooper, William Albertson; Freeholders, Timothy 
Matlack, Joseph Kaighn; Assessor. John Gill; Collector, 
John Kaighn ; Constable, John Kaighn ; Surveyors of 
highways, Samuel Clement, John Kaighn, William Albert- 
son, Isaac Albertson; Overseers of roads, John Eastlack, 
Tobias Hallowav. 

1737 — Township clerk, John Kaighn; Overseers of poor, Ben- 
jamin Cooper, Thomas Atmore ; Freeholders, Timothy 
Matlack, Joseph Kaighn; Collector, Samuel Clement; 
Constable, John Kaighn ; Surveyors of highways, James 
Hinchman, William Albertson, Joseph Kaighn, Robert 
Hubbs; Overseers of roads, Robert Hubbs, Isaac Albert- 

Between 1737 and 1823, no lists of township officers can be found 
and, while the names of some of those holding office during this 
period are known, it is not until the latter year, when the newspaper 
files are available, that a complete list can be compiled. 

1823 — Township clerk, Josiah Atkinson; Overseers of poor, Isaac 
Webster, Joseph Myers ; Freeholders, John Clement, John 
Roberts; Assessor, Joseph Collins; Collector, Ruben Lud- 
lani; Commissioners of appeals, Turner Risdon, Gideon 
V. Stivers, J. K. Cowperthwait ; Surveyors of highways, 
Hugh Hatch, Isaac Mickle, Jr. ; Overseers of roads, 
Joseph jMiddleton, Samuel Burrough, Samuel Pine; 
Township committee, John Wessell, Richardson Andrews. 
John Clement. Thomas Redman, Thomas Rowand ; 
Constable, John Porter; Poundkeepers, Benjamin 
Springer, Thomas Porter; Judge of elections, Joseph 

182-1 — Township clerk, Samuel Ellis; Overseers of poor, Joseph- 
Myers. Thomas Porter, Freeholders, Isaac Wilkins, 
Samuel C. Champion ; Assessor, Joseph Porter ; Collector, 
Richardson Andrews; Commissioners of appeals. Gideon 
V. Stivers, Samuel Laning. Jacob Roberts; Surveyors of 
Highways, Hugh Hatch. Joseph W^ Cooper; Overseers 
of roads, Joseph Middleton, Samuel Burrough. Evan 
Clement; Township committee, Thomas Redman, John 
Clement. Thomas Rowand. Samuel Scull, Isaac Cole; 

• ' Constables. John Porter, James Githens; Poundkeepers, 
•Benjamin Springer, Thomas Porter; Judge of elections, 
J. K. Cowperthwait. 

1825 — Township clerk, Samuel Ellis; Overseers of poor, Jacob 
Myers, Thomas Porter; Freeholders, Samuel C. Cham- 
pion, John Roberts; Assessor, Jacob Roberts; Collector, 
Richardson .Andrews; Commissioners of appeals, Gideon 
V. Stivers, Isaac \\''ebster, Joseph Porter; Surveyors of 
Highways, Joseph W. Cooper, David B. Roberts; Over- 
■1 ■ seers of roads, Joseph ^iiddleton, John Sloan, Evan 


Clement; Township committee, John Clement, Thomas 
Redman, Joseph Kaighn, John Wessell, Isaac Smith; 
Constables, John Porter, James Githens ; Ponndkeepers. 
Benjamin Springer, Thomas Porter; Judge of elections, 
Isaac Wilkins. 

1826 — Township clerk, Samuel Ellis; Overseers of poor, Thomas 
Porter, Joshua B. Fennimore; Freeholders, Gideon V. 
Stivers, John Roberts; Assessor, Jacob Roberts; Collector, 
Richardson Andrews; Commissioners of appeals, Samuel 
Laning, Turner Risdon, Ebenezer Toole; Surveyors of 
highways, Jacob L. Rowand, Samuel Nicholson; Over- 
seers of roads, Joseph Middleton, John Small, Richard 
Stow ; Township committee, John Clement, Thomas Red- 
man, Samuel Scull, John Wessell, Isaac Jones ; Constables, 
John Porter, James Githens; Ponndkeepers, Benjamin 
Springer, Thomas Porter; Judge of elections, Samuel G. 

1827 — Township clerk, Samuel Ellis; Overseers of poor, Thomas 
Porter, Benjamin T. Davis; Freeholders, John Roberts, 
Gideon Y. Stivers ; Assessor, Jacob Roberts ; Collector, 
Paul C. Laning; Commissioners of appeals, Samuel 
Laning. Turner Risdon, Ebenezer Toole; Surveyors of 
highways, Samuel Nicholson, Hugh Hatch; Overseers of 
roads, Joseph Middleton, Amos Willis, Michael Stow; 
Township Committee, John Clement, Thomas Redman, 
John Wessell, Isaac Jones, Richardson Andrews; Con- 
stables, John Porter, Joseph G. Albertson ; Ponndkeepers, 
^Benjamin Springer, Isaac Horner; Judge of Elections, 
Samuel C. Thackray. 


Waterford township was the most northerly of the newly created 
townships. It was defined as extending "from Pensoakin, alias Crop- 
well River, to the lowermost branch of Cooper's Creek." Mickle says 
it derives its name from a fishing town on the Barrow in Ireland, 
but of this there docs not seem to be an authentic corroboration. This 
territory was settled by the Spicers. Morgans. Coles and Champions. 
The first locations were along Cooper's creek and on Pensauken creek. 
It has been almost entirely a rural section, with a sprinkling of small 
villages, composed largely of farming communities which have only 
lately been invaded by people who desired a quiet retreat after a 
strenuous day in the citv. 

Waterford retained its original entity until 1844, when the 
northern portion was set off as Delaware township. The principal 
town is Berlin (formerly called Long-a-coming) of which more has 
been said in connection with the selection of the county seat. 


The boundaries of Gloucester township now fixed by the Court 
in 1695 as "from y® said Newton Creek branch to. y^ lowermost 
branch of Gloucester River (Timber Creek)." This is one of the 
oldest settled parts of the county, containing as it does the site of 
the "lost town" of Upton (now definitely located as adjacent to 
Good Intent). The Tomlinsons, Hillmans, Albertsons and Huggs all 
had extensive land holdings within the original township and were 
active in its civil life. 

Gloucester township was the subject of more changes than any of 
the other original counties. Union township which was formed in 
1831, from a portion of the original township and Gloucester Town, 
which had up to that time maintained a separate existence, and con- 
tinued as a sub-division until 1855, when a large part of its territory 
was taken from it to form Center township. In 1868, upon the 
incorporation of the "Inhabitants of Gloucestertown" into Gloucester 
city the small remnant of old Union township was added to the town- 
bounds of the new municipality. Winslow township was taken from 
the lower end of the original county, while in 1859 a small portion 
of Gloucester township in the vicinity of Long-a-coming (Berlin) was 
added to Waterford. 


The territory occupied by the township of Deptford, now in 
Gloucester county, was originally known by the Swedes as Bethlehem, 
but soon took the present name and included all the land between 
the "said branch of Gloucester River (Timber creek) to Great Man- 
toe's Creek, (Mantual creek)." It suffered many changes up to 1878. 
including the establishment of Washington township in 1836, from 
which Monroe township was taken in 1859; the City of Woodbury in 
1870 and West Deptford in 1871. Including as it did in the early 
days the old settlement of Woodbury it occupied a very important 
place in county affairs. :^ ■ ' 



This township is also now a sub-division of Gloucester County. 
As described in the court minutes from which we have taken the 
other township boundaries, Greenwich laid between "Great Mantio's 
Creek" (Mantua Creek) and "Barclay River" (Oldman's creek). 
This was probably at the time of its establishment the most populous 
of all the townships. It had been settled by the Swedes long before 
the English arrived. Out of Greenwich township have sprung Wool- 
wich in 1767, by Royal patent. Franklin in 1820, Harrison, formerly 
Spicer, in 1844, Mantua in 1853, West Woolwich in 1877, changed 
to Logan 1878, and East Greenwich in 1881. 


Egg Plarbor township occupied the entire eastern end of old 
Gloucester County, which originally extended from the Delaware 
River to the Atlantic Ocean. It was far removed from the other 
sections of the county and therefore not really an integral part of its 
civil life. When, therefore, application was made for the establish- 
ment of a township no objection was raised by any of the other town- 
ships, whose territory might have been affected thereby. The town- 
ship probably included all of the present Atlantic county since there 
was no definite boundary lines fixed at the time of its formation. As 
the population began to increase and spread along the seacoast, a 
new township was found necessary and Galloway was created in 
1774. These two townships were subdivided in 1813, when Hamil- 
ton township was created, and in 1838 by the formation of the town- 
ship of Mullica. 


Old Gloucester county retained its political integrity until 1837, 
when the eastern portion bordering on the ocean was set off as 
Atlantic County. The greatest blow, however, that it received was 
in 1844, when seven of the largest and most populous townships were 
taken to form the county of Camden. While the contests in 1787 
between the inhabitants of Gloucester Town and Woodbury over the 
location of the county seat stirred up the inhabitants, the taking away 
from old Gloucester county of over one half of her area (613 square 
miles out of a total of 1179 square miles) to form Atlantic county 
did not meet with any opposition, since this part of the county was 


sparsely inhabited and practically imdeveloped.* On the other hand, 
the strenuous, but unsuccessful, fight made by the residents around 
Cooper's Ferries to secure the removal of the county seat from 
Woodbury to Camden in 1825 left in its wake a spirit of antagonism 
on the losing side which time failed to mollify. This fight was 
particularly bitter and all manner of arguments were put forth by 
the people from the lower end of the county opposed to the change. 
One of the most effective arguments was that the cost of erecting the 
county buildings in Camden would be excessive. To off-set this state- 
ment, Gideon V. Stivers, Benjamin Wiltse and Daniel Ireland offered 
to erect a brick Court House, a stone Jail and two brick buildings for 
the offices of the County Clerk and Surrogate, complete in every 
detail for eighteen thousand five hundred dollars. These buildings 
were to conform substantially with similar buildings at Mount Holly 
in Burlington County. f 

In this fight the inhabitants of the townships of Waterford and 
Gloucester were closely allied with those of Newton, their vote being 
928 in favor of Camden to 322 for ^^'"oodbury. At a meeting held 
at White Horse the following resolution was adopted : 

"It is resolved — That the roads of all parts of the county and 
the business of citizens generally, have of late become centered at 
Camden; and that the interest of Gloucester County would be 
promoted by having the seat of justice located at Camden — and 
that a large majority of the said county would be better accom- 
modated at Camden than at Woodbury." 

The inhabitants in the other townships did not see the matter in 
the same light and Camden lost out by a majority of 876 in favor 
of retaining the county seat at Woodbury. 

In 1837, a public meeting of a number of the inhabitants of 
Gloucester County was held at John M. Johnson's house (Vauxhall 
Gardens) to consider making application to the Legislature to set 
off the townships of Waterford, Camden, Newton, Union and 
Gloucester into a new county to be known as Delaware county. This 
move was, however, a])parently not made in earnest, but as a means 
of protesting against the setting off of a part of old Gloucester county 
to form the new Atlantic county. Having failed to accomplish their 
purpose the subject was dropped and nothing further was heard of 

• Whon Atlantic county was takon away from '"Olil Glouc(>ster" It had a p<jpulation of S.l'^^. 
while In the n-nialnlnff part of tho old county tlierf were CO, COT Inhabitants. It la interesting to 
notf that the pulilic iiro|„rty of the county was apprals. d at $3',,bG,s with an Indebtedness of 
r,^J:;.5'»— (luitc a contrast with today's valuation and lionded debt. 

t Village Herald. December 2'.t. 1S24. '• 


a new county until 1843, when an active campaign was begun to 
secure a division of what was now left of the original Gloucester 

The actual reason for the agitation to create a new county was 
entirely political. With the number of new counties created between 
1824 and 1840,* the majority of which exhibited Whig sympathies 
in all elections, the Democratic party lost its influence in State affairs, 
and the leaders of the latter party readily agreed to the formation 
of Camden county in the hope that it would secure Democratic repre- 
sentatives in the Legislature. 

The notice of the intention to apply to the Legislature in 1844 
for the erection of a new county was signed by John ]\Iickle, Ben- 
jamin S. Hamell, John Sands, Richard Fetters, Joseph C. Delacour, 
■John K. Cowperthwait, Dr. Isaac S. Mulford, and Isaac Cole. The 
publication of this notice immediately stirred up opposition, not only 
throughout the remaining part of old Gloucester county, but also from 
those in the townships which it was proposed to separate from their 
former affiliations. Notwithstanding all of this opposition the act 
creating the county of Camden, by taking Waterford, Gloucester, 
Newton, Camden, Union, Delaware, and Washington! townships 
from Gloucester county was passed by the Legislature and signed by 
the Governor on IMarch 13, 1844. 

As indicating the tenor of the opposition, the set of resolutions 
passed at the annual meeting of Newton township, held at Haddon- 
field on March 13, 1844, is of peculiar interest, because a majority 
of the same people twenty years before had as strenuously favored 
Camden as a county-seat. The preamble recites that the act "was 
carried through the Legislature by a strict party vote, for the sole 
purpose of gratifying a few reckless individuals, to the great injury 
and prejudice of far the largest part of the good citizens of the 
county, and contrary to the rights of men, as freemen." The resolu- 
tion instructs and requires the persons elected as chosen freeholders 
"not to appropriate any money towards repairing or building any 
new buildings at Camden, until the seat of justice shall be settled, or a 
county town legally located. "t 

John W. Micklc, a staunch Democrat, lead in the fight to organize 
a new county out of the northern portion of old Gloucester county, 

♦Warren ominty was created in 1824; Pa.ssalc and Atlantic counties In 1S37; Mercer In 1S3«. 
and Hudson In 1810. 

t All til.- tPrrltory inchuled in the orlpliial W.Tshlnj^ton town'hip. except that portion within 
the Camden County Alms IKaise Farm, was returned to Gloucester county by act of February 
28, is?!. 

i For a full report of this meeting see "The Camden Mall" of March 20. 1S44. 


believing that politically it could be counted on as a Democratic strong- 
hold. The people outside of Camden, however, resented the methods 
used in securing this legislation and steadily voted against the Demo- 
cratic nominees, and John W. Mickle was much taunted about his 
Democratic County which consistently cast its vote for the opposite 

With the establishment of the new county, another bitter strife 
arose over the selection of the site for the county seat. Those active 
in the movement for the creation of Camden county, cherished the 
idea of having the buildings located in Camden, but the opposition 
party joined forces and endeavored to secure them for either Mount 
Ephraim, Long-a-Coming (Berlin), White Horse, or Haddonfield. 
It was a fight between Camden, led by Abraham Browning and John 
W. Mickle, and the whole of the county. Before the site was finally 
selected, it required four elections; a writ out of the Supreme Court; 
two amendments to the original Act, one directing that two additional 
elections should l)e held and the other instead of requiring a majority 
of all those voting to decide upon the location, directing that, if at 
the next election no place, received a majority of all the votes polled, 
Long-a-Coming should be the seat of justice; and finally a positive 
order from the Supreme Court directing the Board of Freeholders to 
proceed with the building of the Court House at Camden in accord- 
ance with the election of April 11, 1848. 

At the first election, Camden received 1062 votes to Gloucester, 
its nearest competitor's poll of 822, with 1190 necessary to a choice. 
The second election gave Camden 963 votes and Mount Ephraim, 
527, while it required 1003 votes to decide the issue. At the third 
test, all of the outlaying districts having combined on Long-a-Coming, 
the vote was 1498 for that place to 1440 for Camden. This was a 
clear majority, but the Camdenites would not acknowledge defeat 
and, despite the action of the Board of Freeholders in purchasing 
ground and awarding a contract for the Court House, obtained a new 
lease of life through the Legislature, upon the ground that the selec- 
tion of Long-a-Coming was secured through fraud. The supreme 
test now was at hand and at the fourth election the Camden people 
did heroic work in bringing out an unprecedented vote of 2444 to 
795 for its nearest competitor, Haddonfield, and 704 for the previously 
accepted locality. Long-a-Coming. 

Notwithstanding this overwhelming majority the county author- 
ities refused from time to time to go ahead with the project. 
Abraham Browning and John W. Mickle offered their oft-repeated 


motion to appoint a committee to select a site in Camden, which met 
with the usual fate — voted down. The Board of Freeholders w^ere 
now served with a mandamus, or order, from the Supreme Court 
requiring it to provide buildings for the use of the county as directed 
by the election of April 11. 1848, or show cause why they did not do 
so. Seeing that further efforts were useless, the Board proceeded to 
take steps to erect a Court House in Camden city. 

The next difficulty was the selection of a site within the limits 
of Camden. The two principals in the previous fights, John W. 
Mickel and Abraham Browning, were closely connected wath rival 
ferry companies. Each desired that the county buildings should be 
placed upon a direct road leading to their respective ferry landings. 
The adopted location was the result of a compromise between these 
local rival factions, since it permitted the erection of the building 
mid-way between Federal and Market streets and equi-distance from 
each of the ferries located at the foot of these streets. The plot 
of ground, extending from Market to Federal streets east of 
Sixth street, was purchased from Abigail Cooper for $5000. At 
that time this tract was practically in the country ; to the eastward, 
except for the Friends' Meeting House and the houses around 
Twelfth and Federal streets, w^ere w^oodlands and farms ; to the north- 
ward was a dense grove of trees in the midst of w^hich was set The 
Diamond Cottage Garden; in the block to the west were only a few 
houses, including the Academy, and the Columbian Garden; while 
along Federal street directly opposite, stood the frame house occupied 
by William Carman. Broadway, then known as the "Road to Wood- 
bury," ran diagonally across the land to the intersection of Market 
and Sixth streets. Such then was the setting in which the new 
Court House was to be placed. 

The original structure, which was completed in 1855 at a cost 
• of about forty thousand dollars, was of brick, rough cast, measuring 
50 feet by 150 feet. It was located midway between Alarket and 
Federal streets and extended from Sixth street to the new line of 
Broadway. On the north and south sides of the building were large 
court yards which were enclosed by high iron fences. 

Previous to 1875, no specific offices were provided by the county 
for the county clerk, surrogate and register of deeds. These officiais 
rented quarters where it best suited their convenience. In that year, 
a one story brick building, to which was subsequently added a second 
story, was erected on the Market street side of the court yard and 
all of the county offices were then located on the court house grounds. 


The Soldier's Monument, now standing on the grounds north of the 
City Hall, originally stood in the court yard on Federal street, having 
been erected in 1873, partly by private subscription and partly from 
funds contributed by the Board of Freeholders. In 1882, in an- 
ticipation of the erection of the new jail it was moved to its present 

The unsanitary condition of the jail, which was located in the 
basement of the Court House, became a public scandal, from about 
1876, but, notwithstanding numerous appeals, the Board of Free- 
holders refused to remedy the situation. Finally, after Judge Wood- 
hull in May, 1879, had again called the attention of the Grand Jury 
to the matter, the latter body found a bill of indictment against the 
Board of Chosen Freeholders for maintaining a nuisance. The pre- 
sentment was in the most scathing terms, charging that the Free- 
holders had since January, 1878, persisted in maintaining a jail "so 
badly located, so ill constructed and so inefficient for the demands 
of the community, that for want of requisite room, proper ventilation 
and suitable accommodations, the same hath been for all that time 
and yet is unwholesome, ill-governed, overcrowded, unfitted and in- 
adequate." The Board now began to take some heed to the public 
outcry and after much discussion, decided in 1881 to erect a jail on 
the Federal street court yard. The plans were prepared and work 
on the new structure started, but before its completion, owing to 
frequent changes in the political complexion of the Board, the build- 
ing was changed from a jail to a court house, and then back to a 
jail. Sessions of the court were actually held in the new building in 
1885, before its final conversion into a jail. 

After having been in use for a period of nearly fifty years, the 
old county buildings became inadequate for the needs of the rapidly 
increasing business of the county and it was decided that an entirely 
new Court House must be erected. Following a careful study of 
the situation, the old plot of ground, bounded by Market, Broadway, 
Federal, and Sixth streets, was selected as the best site available for 
the new building, which was to include all of the county offices, the 
courts and the jail, the latter to be located on the top floor. The 
old court house was torn down in 1904, and the other buildings on 
the grounds in 1906. The ceremonies incident to the opening of the 
new Court House were held on Tuesday, April 24, 1906, and the 
building was turned over to the county authorities on February 13, 
1907. The cost of the structure was about $800,000. and to the 
honor of the building committee, it should be said that not one word 


of suspicion was ever uttered of any unseemly, or unbusinesslike act 
having been committed during its erection. 

When Camden county was created out of Gloucester county, the 
Legislature directed that commissioners should be appointed to divide 
and apportion the public property of the old county. After some 
delay, the commissioners filed their report in 1846. According to 
this report the Court House, Jail, Clerk's and Surrogate's Offices and 
the lots appurtaining thereto, situated in Woodbury, were to remain 
absolutely the property of Gloucester County, while the Poor House 
and farm lands situated in Washington township, Camden county, 
were vested as an absolute and independent estate in the Boards of 
Chosen Freeholders of the two counties in equal moieties as tenants 
in common. The steward of the Poor House was elected at a joint 
meeting of the Boards of Freeholders of Camden and Gloucester 
counties. The Poor House and adjacent land remained the joint 
property of the two counties until 1860, when, by an act of the 
Legislature, commissioners were appointed to sell the property. The 
sale was held August 7, 1860, at which Camden county purchased the 
Almshouse and other buildings, together with two hundred and sixty- 
four acres of land for about $19,800. The other tracts were sold to 
sundry purchasers. 


While county and township organizations were being formed and 
hamlets or villages were springing up in various parts of the country, 
the few inhabitants around ''The Ferries'" were busily engaged in the 
cultivation of their farms and in improving their crude habitations. 
As Philadelphia grew in population and wealth, the adjacent country 
naturally felt the effects. 

Jacob Cooper,* a merchant in Philadelphia and a direct descendent 
of the first William Cooper, was the earliest to realize the possibilities 
of this location as a town site, and on April 3, 1764,t obtained from 
his father, William, a tract of 100 acres, lying between the lands 
of his nephews, Daniel and William Cooper. It has been generally 
stated that this tract was first divided into town lots in 1773. A 

•Jacob Coopt-r was a son of William, eMest ;;o:i of Daniel, son of the oiigrinal 
Cooper. He was br>rn In 1723 and married Elizalitth Corker, daughter of William and Mary 
Corker, of Fhlladel[.hia. At the time of his iiiani.TKo V.'illiam Corker was deceased and his 
widow had become the wife of Joseph Trotter, of I'hiladelphia. Jacob was a merchant in Phila- 
delphia and an active memb«T of the Bank Meeting' on Front street above Arch. K.)th he and 
his wife were hurled In the old Krouiuls at Fourth and Race streets, the former in 17s6 and the 
latter in r.^9. They had a number of children of whom only Jacob, Elizabeth, William Corker 
and Mary reached their majorities. 

t Llbcr A. C. foUo 530. etc. 


lengthy advertisement, which appeared in "The Pennsylvania Chron- 
icle and Universal Advertiser" of April 24-May 1, 1769, however, 
indicates clearly that shortly after Jacob Cooper obtained possession 
of the property it was "divided into lots" and that this plan was on 
exhibition "at the London Coffee House,* at Peter Thompson's, con- 
veyancer in Race street, and at the Subscriber's "(Jacob Cooper)" in 
Arch street." The advantages which these lots offer are quaintly 
stated in the advertisement and may be summarized as follows : 

"A soil fitted for gardening, and the raising of earlier fruits 
than Pennsylvania affords" ; "the conveniency of being near the 
city of Philadelphia for distilleries, breweries, lumber yards, 
stores and other offices" ; "The diversion of fishing and fowling" 
and "the added pleasure of sailing on the water in summer". 

Cooper continued his endeavors for several years to dispose of 
this property and on March 14, 1771, another advertisement appeared 
in the "Pennsylvania Gazette" stating that "it is a suitable Place 
for erecting another Ferry, and in all Probability may in a few 
years, be disposed of in Lots, to great Advantage, in erecting a 
TOWN, as it will suit for many Persons to reside there, and carry 
on different Occupations, as in Philadelphia." 

Others evidently did not share in this prophetic vision and after 
waiting two more years for a purchaser, Jacob Cooper went ahead 
with the project and laid out in small town lots about forty acres of 
the tract, bounded by the present Cooper street on the north, Sixth 
street on the east, a line mid-way between Market and Arch streets 
on the south and the Delaware river on the west. His original plan 
called for but twelve blocks, or squares, with two streets extending 
from the river and six street running parallel with it. To this new 
village he gave the name "Tow^n of Camden," in honor of Charles 
Pratt, Earl of Camden, and Lord Chief Justice of England, who 
about this time was using every exertion in behalf of the American 

In this plan the six streets running north and south were called 
King, Queen, Whitehall, Cherry, Cedar, and Pine, intersected at 

• The I»ndon Coffte House, locatc-ci at the southwest rorner of Front and High streets, 
Phlladeliihla, was the i.rlncli>al seat of activities In the city, the meetlnK rlace of ther most 
Interesting people and "the cliarinf? house for n.jws of all kinds." Many of those who became 
the first purcha-sers of lot.s In Cooper's m-w town frequented the tavern and there Itarned of the 
new- project. 

tThe popularity of the Earl of Camden is indicated by the fact that an armed boat built by 

Sherlock in 1775 for the Pennsylvania Navy was called the •'Camden." Under 

command of Captain K.Uvard Yorke she pave a good account of herself in the defense of the 
Chevaux-de-frlse at the liattle of Red Bunk. 


right angles by Cooper* and Market streets. The names of the streets 
running- north and south were changed by ordinance of City Council 
on May 24, 1832, to Front, Second"^, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth 
streets respectively. 

The original plan provided for a square plot of ground at the 
intersection of Market and Whitehall, or Third, streets for public 
use, presumably for a market house, but it was never used for that 
purpose and later became part of the public highway. When the 
building, now occupied by the West Jersey Trust Company, at the 
southeast corner, was erected, an attempt was made to secure the 
right to come out to the building line on Market street, but the 
original dedication prevented either City Council, or the courts from 
modifying the express design of the grantor. 

In 1776, Jacob Cooper and his wife placed in trust, the plot of 
ground at the northwest corner of Fifth and Arch streets, known as 
lot No. 127, to be used only for public purpose. A portion of this 
ground was laid out at an early date as a public burial ground, while 
another portion, after having been occupied by a school house for 
a number of years, is now used by the fire and police departments. 

In view of the present day values of the lots laid out by Jacob 
Cooper, the prices at which he sold them in 1773 are extremely in- 
teresting. John Brown paid forty pounds "lawful money of Penn- 
sylvania" for lots Nos. 71 and 86, while John Reedle's deed calls for 
payment of twenty pounds for lot No. 68. The Pennsylvania pound 
was rated at 2.66 2/3 Spanish milled dollars, or Continental paper 
dollars, so that each lot was priced at a little over ninety-six dollars. 
This Spanish dollar was also called "piece of eight" and was rated 
as equivalent to 7 shillings 6 pence, equivalent to 90 pence 

Jacob Cooper's interest in the new town which he had laid out, 
soon waxed cold, for after selling a large number of lots (one hun- 
dred and twenty-three out of a total of one hundred and sixty-seven 
plotted), he sold, in 1781, the remaining portion of his lands to his 
nephew, William Cooper, son of his brother Daniel. 

• Cooper street wa.s the northerly boundary of his property and vas a lane or road at the 
time he obtained posrse.ssion of the tract(17e4). In the conveyance from ■\Villiam to Jacob Cooper 
he Is piven "the uses, riprhts. liberties and privile>jes of and passage in and alon^ the said road 
and Ingress, Kpresa and Ui-Rress to, upon and along the said Road fix)in time to time." 

t Thi> f-'i>anish milled ddlar then in general circulation, wa.s divided into a half, a quarter, 
an flKhtl: and a sixteenth, each represented by a silver coin and all of them in common use In 
the colonies. The "elKhth" h:id a value In New Jersey of about eleven pence and became known 
aa an "ekvcn penny bit." i.r "levy," -Rhlle the ".^Ixleeiith" was <'(iual tn a little over five 
pence, contracted to •Tip" I'r "fiii-penny-blt." It was not until July C, 17S.'.. that Congress 
adopted the dollar as the unit of coinage and the decimal ratio for Its sub-divisions with the 
smallest coin a half-penny of which two hundred were to make a dollar. (.^See McMaster. Vol. 1, 
p. IS,:*.) 

The next addition to the town plot of Camden was that made by 
Joshua Cooper, son of Daniel Cooper, called in some deeds "Cooper's 
Villa." In 1803, Joshua laid out the tract extending from the 
southerly line of his uncle, Jacob Cooper's, plot to the north side of 
Federal street and from the present Front street to the public lots at 
Fifth and Plumb (Arch) streets. There were twenty -nine lots on 
the north side of Plumb street and twenty-four on the south side. 

Edw^ard Sharp in 1818 purchased a large tract of land from Joshua 
Cooper, and in April, 1820,* laid out a portion of this tract, between 
the south side of Federal street and an alley 150 feet south of the 
southerly side of Bridge avenue, extending from the high-water mark 
easterly to nearly the present Fifth street. This he called "Camden 
Village." Among the purchasers of these lots between March 28, 
1820, and August 28, 1821, were several persons who afterwards took 
an active part in the affairs of the community ; namely, Samuel Laning, 
the first mayor; John D. Wessell, the ow^ner of the ferry at Federal 
street; Reuben Ludlam, the first city treasurer; Daniel Ireland, Wil- 
liam Butler, Samuel Smith, the moderator of numerous township and 
city meetings; Isaac Sims, James Read, David Sims and Dorcas Sims. 

Aside from the three plans mentioned above and the lots at 
Kaighn's Point laid out about 1801, no other plans were filed until 
1833, when Richard Fetters laid out the tract from Line to Cherry 
streets and from Front street to Fourth street, wdiich soon received 
the name of "Fettersville."t The lots as originally laid out by 
Richard Fetters measured 30x200 feet, and in 1835 were assessed 
at fifty dollars each. A sale of tw^o of these lots on the south side 
of Pine street below Third street was recorded in 1841 at the rate 
of three hundred dollars a lot, showing the great advance in property 
values in this locality within a few^ years. 

The Camden and Amboy Railroad Company and several of its 
officials, especially the i^Iessrs. Stevens, early bought a considerable 
tract of lows marshy land south of Bridge avenue and began filling 
it up by bringing earth from Baldwin's Cut on the East Side for this 

As showing the situation which existed in Camden in its early 
days, the following editorial from "The Camden Mail" of September 
23, 1835, is instructive : 

"We had the rare occurrence in Camden, on Monday last, of 
a public sale of building lots; rare, not for the want of the 

• Recorded July 3. l«.2n, Liber F. F.. pp. 2S3, etc. 

t Mr. H. I., rton.'sall p.-iy.s the settlement wa.s ";>rofancly callcil 'HarJscrabble' by the more 
or less remote north ami south populations." 


article, nor of buyers, but from the indisposition of owners to 
let their property pass into the hands of enterprising and public 
spirited citizens, who would build upon and improve it. The 
lots sold on Monday, were laid off from the property of the 
Camden and Amboy Railroad Company; and embraced that plot 
of ground now in part being filled up, which fronts on the 
road to Kaighn's Point, running towards the river, and the large 
front upon the river, below the railroad and yet open to the 
influx of the tide. The first was divided into eighteen lots of 
25 feet front upon the rail road, or "bridge avenue", extending 
135 feet deep to a twenty feet alley; and was keenly bid up to 
from $620 to S1220 per lot, averaging throughout, a fraction 
over $750 each. The unenclosed front, which was not divided, 
brought five thousand dollars, and the whole sale realized to the 
company nearly nineteen thousand dollars, leaving them yet in 
possession of as much ground as is necessary for all their opera- 

Prior to 1842, no lots could be purchased north of Cooper street, 
except in the immediate vicinity of Cooper's Point Ferry. The reason 
for this was that under the city charter and state tax laws then in 
force, farm lands were not taxable for city purposes, even though 
this land was within the city limits, but just as soon as the land was 
divided into building lots, it was assessed not only for state and 
county taxes, but also for municipal expenses. Until the failure of 
the United States Bank, in which Richard yi. Cooper was heavily 
interested, the returns from the farm lands provided all the revenue 
desired, without exposing unsold lots to the higher tax levy. 

Previous to the adoption of the name of Camden, many local 
names were used to designate the various places or sections, now 
within the city limits. These names were generally the result of 
custom, or popular parlance, and fev; of them had any legal or official 
significance. They were applied to the several localities, or settle- 
ments, because of some family connection with the place, or of some 
characteristic of the neighborhood. Some of the names were adopted 
from the slang expressions of the period. 

Before the Town of Camden was laid out, the section north from 
Bridge avenue was variously called "William Cooper's Ferry," 
"Daniel Cooper's Ferry," or more frequently "The Ferries." After 
the town plot had been filed, the name "William Cooper's Ferry," 
"Samuel Cooper's Ferry," or "Cooper's Point," was used to designate 
the portion north of Cooper street. The num1)er of settlers was small 
and practically all of the houses were clustered around the ferry, the 


Store of Isaac and Benjamin Cathrall, later kept by Richard Wells, 
and the hotel. The Cathrall store, located on "Samuel Cooper's 
Wharf," from the variety of merchandise for sale would have rivaled 
the modern department store. According to an advertisement in 
1776,* it offered for sale almost everything from Irish linen and silk 
mitts to groceries, West India rum and mill saw files. 

After the establishment of the ferry at Federal street, the section 
south of Cooper street became known as "Daniel Cooper's Ferry," no 
doubt to distinguish it from the Samuel Cooper ferry at the Point, 
and this distinction held good until Camden was laid out. These two 
localities were later known as "Lower Billy's Ferry" and "Upper 
Billy's Ferry" respectively. 

The settlement in the vicinity of Kaighn's Point, where the Kaighn 
family had extensive interests, became known at an early date (about 
1801) as Kaighnsborough, or Kaighnton. It was officially laid out 
by Joseph Kaighn as one of the commissioners appointed to divide 
the real estate of James Kaighn and the plan was filed in the county 
clerk's office at Woodbury in 9 mo. 1812. By 1828, the name Kaighn- 
ton had become so well rooted in the public mind that the Legislature 
in providing for the incorporation of the city of Camden made special 
provision whereby it w-as to be specifically represented in the new 
city council. 

"Dogwoodtown," which included the lands in the neighborhood 
of Tenth and Federal streets, received its name from the profusion 
of dogwood trees that formerly thrived in the vicinity. "Ham Shore" 
and "Pinchtown" were small settlements on the Delaware between 
Bridge avenue and Spruce street, each with only a few old houses or 
frame shacks. These "shacks" were occupied chiefly by fishermen, 
who earned a living by catching fish then very plentiful in the Dela- 
ware river. 

"Cooper Hill," in the vicinity of Broadway and Berkely street, 
was part of the old "Cooper's Woodlands." A portion of this section 
was also called "Nanny's woods," from the fact than an old colored 
woman lived in a cabin on the edge of the woods near what is now 
West and Washington streets. Stockton, f or Centcrville,:j; Kaighnville 

• Pennsylvania Packet. March 11, 1776. 

t liep-lnninfr at the intfrpoctinn of Ferry avenue and JacKson streot, thence easterly alon? 
Jackson street to Sev»nih, southerly on Seventh street to Vanllook street; thence along the 
latter street to Everpreen Cemetery; thence south alons the westerly line of the cemetery to 
Ferry avenue ami wenti-rly atul northwesterly alonp the latter ;;treet to the place of beginning. 
The Stockton Land Association was formed about 1S55 by Isaac W. Mlckle. John Coopfr, R. W. 
Bonln. Jas. M. Cassidy. II. M. liraker, and AV. D. Hicks. They bouKht twenty-three acres of 
land In this vicinity vhi.-li was laid off into bulldin;? lots. On Sf-ne <t Pomeroy's map of ISCO 
the settlement Is prominently marked by a special Insert of the town plan. 

t In the viclnltv of S. vnth and Fi-rrv av*nu.> Thi.<» .«-ettlem.nt started by the Center- 
vllle I^nd Association, of v.tilrh Thomas Phillips an.l John Crowley were the chief factors. They 
had purchased the northern part of the Mickle farm. 


or the Town of Stockton, Liberty Park and "Sweet Potato Hill"* 
were other designations given to localities in the lower section of the 
city. Aside from "Cooper's Hill," these ^ames are of comparatively 
recent origin. X * n> * '£^ ": "]^ 

The territory embraced within what is now tne Eleventh and 
Twelfth Wards had so many names that it is almost bewildering to 
follow all of them. There was Wrightsville, named from John 
Wright ; Boothmanville, south and west of Marlton Pike and Federal 
street, laid out by Thomas Boothman about 1871 ; Cramer Hill, North 
Cramer Hill, and Cramer Heights, which were developed by Alfred 
Cramer; Pavonia, which was laid out in 1852 by the Pavonia Land 
Company;! Fairview, which derived its name from the beautiful view 
of the Delaware river that could be had from this tract ; Dudley and 
Dudley Homestead, located in the vicinity of the home of Thomas 
H. Dudley, who was active in the early political affairs of Camden 
and was vice-consul at Liverpool during the Civil War; North and 
South Spicerville, named after the Spicer family, which was one of 
the earliest of the first settlers to permanently locate along Cooper's 
creek; the French Tract, a development of Emmor D. French about 
1876; Rosedale, Bailytown, East Camden, Deep Cut, The Hollow, 
and the Bottom were other designations given to particular sections. 
Most of these have long since lost their distinction, and today the 
Cramer Hills, Pavonia, Wrightsville, Rosedale, and Dudley are the 
only ones which have survived. They are all, however, of com- 
paratively recent origin. Prior to 1850, save for a few houses around 
the Federal street bridge, an occasional farm house here and there 
and the little aggregation of small houses inhabited by colored 
families in the vicinity of Pavonia station, the lands on the easterly 
side of Cooper river, were all devoted to agriculture and the territory 
was strictly a rural district. In 1894, Wrightsville. Cramer Hill, 
North Cramer Hill, Pavonia, Dudley, Fairview and Rosedale were 
incorporated as the Town of Stockton. The old names, however, 
were still in common use for many years after the consolidation. 

The topograi)hy of the city as we know it today is entirely dif- 
ferent from that of the days of our forefathers. Then there were 
many small ponds now occupied by substantial buildings and marsh 
lands constantly overflowed by the tides which are now banked or 
wharfed against such inroads. From the east side of Second street 

•South of the .\tlantlc ('ity Railroad tracks and east of the West Jersey Uallroa.i ticctrlo 

tin lv,-l. the Pavonia City Association pur.-ha.-r.,i of B. W. r-oop.-r. his farm^stlnfc' of 
85 acres and the mansion house for $.'«0 an acre and jiroceedi-d to develop the sanif>. 


a hollow extended nearly to Third street midway between Market and 
Cooper streets. Where Morgan's Hall now stands was a deep hollow 
used as a skating and swimming pond which in time was lilled with 
refuse from the shingle mills in the vicinity and changed from a 
hollow to a mound to which the name "Shingle Shaving Hill" was 
given. In the vicinity of the North East Grammar School was a 
deep hole that v/as quite popular in the olden days as a coasting place. 
South of Newton avenue and east of the West Jersey and Seashore 
Railroad tracks were several ponds much frequented by wild ducks 
and geese in season. From about Henry and Washington streets to 
the river was low meadow land which was frequently covered with 
water and was flooded in Winter to furnish a skating pond. West of 
Second street from Bridge avenue to Kaighn avenue was a tide-marsh 
or flat overflowed by every tide, while south of Kaighn avenue the 
river encroached almost to the present line of Broadway. 

The agitation for a better form of local government and one which 
would provide police protection was begun in 1826. In those days, 
the ferry gardens always attracted a certain element from Philadel- 
phia, especially on Sundays, when the bar-rooms and taverns across 
the river were closed, because no distinction was made on this side of 
the river between the days of the week. ]\Iany of these persons after 
partaking of the refreshments sold at these places became a source 
of much annoyance to the peace-loving citizens of Camden. At a 
meeting of a number of residents held at the hotel of Ebenezer Toole 
on November 13, 1826, a memorial and form of charter for the city 
of Camden was adopted and directed to be presented to the next 
Legislature. No action seems to have been taken, however, on this 
petition by the Legislature of 1827. The next public notice which has 
been located that an application would be made to the Legislature 
for a charter is found in an advertisement appearing in the "American 
Star and Rural Record" of October 31, 1827, and reads as follows: 


A bill for the incorporation of the town of Camden, in the 
county of Gloucester, into a city will be presented for enact- 
ment to the Legislature of New Jersey on the second Tuesday of 
the next session. 

Ebenezer Toole. 

Samuel D. Wessell. 

Richard Fetters. 

On behalf of the applicants. 
August 22, 1827. 

37 ■ ~ 

As a result of this agitation on February 13, 1828,* the Council 
and General Assemblyt passed an act creating the city of Camden 
out of a portion of Newton township. At the time of its incorpora- 
tion, the city had a population of 1143. The original boundaries of 
the city of Camden were, (1) "a small run of water (Little Newton 
creek or Line Ditch) i below Kaighnton, which run is between the 
lands of the late Isaac -Nlickle, deceased, and Joseph Kaighn ;" (2) 
"the road leading to Woodbury from the Camden Academy" (Broad- 
way) ; (3) "the road from Kaighnton to Cooper's Creek Bridge" 
(Newton avenue) ; (4) the road leading to the bridge over Cooper's 
creek (Federal street); (5) Cooper's creek and (6) the Delaware 
river. Under this charter, however, the city was subservient to the 
old township of Newton and this dual control was the source of 
constant strife between the township committee and city council. 

The act provided for a mayor, a recorder, four aldermen, five 
councilmen and a town clerk. The mayor, recorder, aldermen and 
councilmen constituted the "body politic and corporate," under the 
style of "The Mayor, Alderman and common council of the city of 
Camden." Of the councilmen, one was to be elected to represent 
"the village commonly called William Cooper's ferry and one shall 
always be a resident of Kaighnton." The same provision regarding 
residence applied to the aldermen. The mayor presided at council 
meetings, and in his absence the recorder, both having votes on all 
questions, but they were without veto power. 

This charter, and the amendment passed fifteen days later, in- 
creasing the number of aldermen, gave the people very little direct 
voice in the creation of the governing power. While it provided that 
five of the common council should be elected by the people, the five 
aldermen and the recorder were appointed by the Council and General 
Assembly in joint session. There was much opposition to the charter 
on the part of some of the ferrymen, who, as subsequent events proved, 
feared the effect stricter police regulation would have on their busi- 
ness. In spite of this opposition the charter was obtained and an 
election for councilmen, assessor, collector and town clerk was held 
in the Camden Academy on ^larch 10, 1828, at which less than fifty 

•Public U-uvs of X. J.. 1S28, p. 19:!. 

t The title by which the State Legislature was then known. 

t I.lttlo Newton Cn ek was In the early days a str-am of some imrortance and was navipral)lp 
as far as Broadway for barKes loaded with hay and bricks. It was the dividln.? line between 
the KalRhns an<l .MkkUs. who jointly constructnl and malntaine.l meadow banks alone: Us 
course to i.r.-vent inundation of the adjacent low land, a work taken over in 1S44 by the Little 
Newton Creek Moa<low Company and continued by the latter until 1S74. About 1808, the Line 
Ditch sewf-r foilowin? ?iib.-tanlially the creek bed was completed to take care of the old stream 
and the low land.s filled up to grade. 

votes were cast. The first city officials elected were : Councilmen — 
James Duer, Cooper's Ferry; John Lawrence, Ebenezer Toole and 
Richard Fetters, Camden ; Joseph Kaighn, Kaighn's Point ; x\ssessor, 
Jacob B. Stone; Collector, Paul C. Laning; Town clerk, Samuel 

The first meeting of the city council was held on March 13, 1828, 
at the hotel kept by John M. Johnson on the site of the old Vauxhall 
Gardens on the west side of Fourth below Market street. The Mayor 
was, according to the charter, elected annually from among the alder- 
men by the council and Samuel Laning was the first one selected to 
fill that office, while Samuel Ellis, who had been elected at the town 
meeting, acted as clerk. Of the five councilmen elected only Richard 
Fetters, John Lawrence and Ebenezer Toole attended the first meet- 
ing. James Duer, the village shoemaker, and Joseph Kaighn failed 
to put in an appearance and afterwards resigned. According to 
tradition, it took Fetters and Lawrence the greater part of the pre- 
ceeding night to induce Toole to attend, notwithstanding the fact 
that he had been one of the petitioners for the charter. Duer having 
refused to serve, William Ridgeway was elected in 1829 to represent 
Cooper's Point, but never attended the meetings, nor did Joseph W. 
Cooper, elected in 1830, nor Charles Stokes chosen in 1831. In 1832, 
however, Joseph W. Cooper was again elected and then consented to 
perform the duties of his office. 

The second meeting of the city council, on March 20, 1828, was 
held in a second story room of a frame house owned by Richard 
Fetters on the east side of Third street just below Market, which the 
council subsecjuently rented for twelve dollars per year. One of the 
first actions at this meeting was the granting of licenses to Benjamin 
Springer, who kept a ferry and hotel at the foot of Market street; 
Joseph English, a ferryman at Cooper street; Isaiah Toy, for the 
ferry hotel at Federal street, and William Ridgeway, the proprietor of 
the Cooper's Point Hotel. The license fee was fixed at twenty-five 
dollars. At the same meeting Reuben Ludlam was elected treasurer 
and his salary was fixed at "two and one-half per cent, of all monies 
receivable by him from taxes and loans, and five per cent, on all 
monies arising from the ordinary receipts of the corporation." The 
total salary of Treasurer Ludlam during his year of office-holding 
amounted to $87.80, which was considered entirely too much and the 
percentage was reduced for the following year to one per cent, on all 
moJiies received. Isaac Smith, the second city treasurer, received only 
$6.75 for the year's work. The explanation of Ludlam's "large 

salary" was that the $2500 which the city borrowed to build its first 
city hall came under the first class of receipts.* 

Camden's first City Hall was authorized by an ordinance adopted 
by city council on June 18, 1828. It was erected on the south side 
of Federal street between Fourth and Fifth streets, tlie site now 
being occupied by the Public Service Building. Originally it was a 
stone building about twenty by forty feet, two stories high with an 
attic. The lower floor was to be used as a lockup and the upper floor, 
reached by a wooden stairway- on tlie outside of the Federal street 
front, as a council chamber and court room. The attic was used as a 
jury room and also rented out for various purposes. 

In 1835, the Mayor and Recorder were instructed by city council 
to tender the use of the old City Hall to the Justices of the Supreme 
Court for the Special Term which they proposed holding in Camden, 
and a committee composed of Robert W. Ogden, John W. Mickle and 
Richard Fetters was appointed to prepare the building for the holding 
of such court session. What these preparations v/ere, or whether 
the special session was held in the City Hall, the minutes of city 
council do not disclose. 

Under the act creating Camden county it was provided that the 
City Hall and jail of the city of Camden should be used as a County 
Court House until other quarters could be erected by the county 
authorities. For this reason the building was, in the newspapers of 
that period, sometimes called the City Hall, and sometimes referred 
to as the Court House. 

The first courts for Camden county were held in the City Hall 
on March 26, 1844. Justice Elmer h'ad been assigned to the new 
county by the Supreme Court, but was prevented from presiding at 
the opening session on account of court engagements at Woodbury, 
and Justice J. M. White therefore acted in his place, being assisted 
by the following Judges of the Court of Common Pleas for Camden 
County : Isaac Cole. Nathan M. Lippincott, S. B. Hunt, J. B. Sickler, 
and J. G. Clark, while Thomas B. Wood was clerk and James Gahan, 
crier. Upon the adjournment of the special session of the Circuit 
Court, the members of the Court of Common Pleas selected Isaac 
Cole as its first Presiding Judge. 

The members of the first Grand Jury called before Judge Moore 
were I. G. Delacour, William Corkery, John D. Glover, James Lin- 

• This money was borrowpj on a note bearinp: six per cent. Intf^rost from Jacob Kv.iul, a 
wealthy farmer of Newton Township, who died Friday, November 16, 1S2S, at the afc-e of 92. 
The note, however, was not entirely paid off until 1S43. 

■ 40 

nett, Caleb Nixon, Joseph Burrough, David Albertson, David Borton, 
Josiah B. Sickler, Charles B. Robbins and Joseph Rogers. 

In 1862, a one story building was added to each end of the old 
building, one side being the office of the Mayor and the other that 
of the City Clerk. Another addition was made to the building in 
1871 to provide rooms for the City Treasurer and Receiver of Taxes. 
The entire structure was torn down in 1878. 

While this building was erected for the use of the city officials, 
including city council, a reading of the council minutes and the early 
newspapers would indicate that it made little difference where, or 
when, they met. We find them meeting at Toole's Hotel, at Vauxhall 
Garden, at Toy's Hotel, at Alderman Smith's house, at the "Baptist 
Meeting House" and in later days at either Paul's, Clement's or Cake's 

The agitation which culminated in the erection of the present 
City Hall was begun prior to 1868. In the latter year, a committee 
appointed to select a location advocated the erection of the new build- 
ing on the site of the old City Hall. This report was, however, not 
adopted and the matter dragged along until 1871, when Jesse W. 
Starr came forward with an offer to donate four and one half acres 
of land, at the junction of Haddon avenue and the West Jersey Rail- 
road, upon the express condition that a City Hall should be erected 
thereon and that the unoccupied portion should be laid out as a public 
park. On July 2, 1874, ]Mr. Starr also gave the city the ground on 
which the Soldiers' ^Monument now stands, upon the same conditions. 
The limitations as to the use to which the ground might be put were 
extinguished in 1883, upon the payment to the donor or $10,813.19, 
and wliile the original conditions have not so far been altered, the 
city may now use it as is deemed best in the public interest. Upon 
this site the erection of the present City Hall was begun in 1874, 
and was so far completed that the first meeting of city council was 
held in the building on Thursday, January 27, 1876. 

Our early city fathers did not believe in profiteering, and soon after 
attending to the licensing of the taverns and authorizing the building 
of a city hall, they took steps to prevent it by regulating the prices 
which the hotels or inns might charge the traveling public. A few of 
the rates were as follows : ,...,, 

For Breakfast 25 cents 

" Dinner in common ' 25 

" Dinner extraordinary 37j/< " 


For Supper 25 cents 

" Lodging per night 12^ " 

" Claret per quart 37^/2 " 

" Brandy per gill \2y2 " 

" Cider per quart 6% " 

" Strong Beer per quart 12^/^ " 

" Stabling a horse per night on English Hay 12^ " 

" Stabling a horse for twenty-four hours on English 

Hay 25 ' 

" Stabling a horse per night on Salt Hay 12^/2 " 

" Stabling a horse for twenty- four hours on Salt 

Hay 18^ " 

In the light of our present currency, the above fractional amounts 
seem very strange, but it must be remembered that "fips," or "fipenny 
bit," a corruption for "five-penny bit," and "levies" — Gy^ and 12)^ 
cents — were extensively used as subsidiary coins of the land. 

From a collection of villages whose total population did not much 
exceed one thousand souls, the new city within five years increased 
to 2341 and had at least assumed the aspect of a municipality. 

Camden, although a municipality with a Mayor, Recorder, Alder- 
man and Council, had powers which were very much circumscribed 
and limited. It was still under the jurisdiction of Newton township 
and so continued until 1832, when the legislative act creating the 
township of Camden went into effect. There was very little for the 
city authorities to do except grant tavern licenses, over which they had 
"the sole, only and exclusive right and power" and to pass ordinances 
for the protection of life and property and the abatement of nuisances. 
The city council was specifically prevented from levying any taxes on 
lands used for "the purposes of husbandry" or on any farm buildings 
thereon — a provision not contained in any other municipal charter in 
the state. 

During the first twenty years of its existence the majority of the 
ordinances related to the control and supervision of dogs, hogs, horses 
and goats, which had a penchant for roaming at large through the 
city streets and over private property. The early city fathers, like 
their successors, did not overlook the authority, to create public of- 
fices, among which were a city treasurer, poundkeeper, street com- 
missioners, city surveyors, board of health and city solicitor. 

The several early supplements to the original charter still gave 
the legislature control over the iuajority appointments of members of 
the local governing body. In 1842,* the people began to agitate the 

• AmtTican Kns:le, 12-31-1^^2. 


modification of their charter so that these officers might be elected 
by the inhabitants. To this end a town meeting was held in the City 
Hall on December 28, 1842, presided over by Richard Fetters, at 
which resolutions were adopted requesting the legislature to amend 
the city charter so that this condition might be remedied. The legisla- 
ture by an act of March 9, 1844, not only provided for the election 
of the Alayor by a town meeting, but gave city council the exclusive 
authority to grade, curb and pave the streets, and to compel property 
owners to pave the sidewalks. 

Up to this time the supervision of the highways and streets of 
the city had been under the jurisdiction of the township authorities 
and had, consequently, received very little attention. The care of the 
sidewalks was nobody's business and was like the fire service, a 
voluntary matter. In front of some of the houses the owners had 
laid down planks or flagging. Occasionally a progressive resident 
would pave that portion in front of his house, with bricks, while his 
neighbor refused to make any improvement. There were no curbs, 
but in the more traveled thoroughfares posts were set up along the 
outer edge of the sidewalks. 

The first attempt to compel the property owners to improve their 
sidewalks was made in April, 1844. The order provided that the 
sidewalks on the south side of Cooper street, along Market, Plum 
and Federal streets, as well as all the cross streets between Cooper 
and Federal street from Front to the west side of Sixth street should 
be immediately put in first-class order. 

The first mayor of Camden to be elected directly by the people 
"in the town meeting assembled" was chosen in 1844. John K. 
Cowperthwait, who had been very active in city affairs from the 
time of its incorporation. Avas selected and served for one year. 

The supplement of 1848 provided for three wards; the North 
Ward, embracing all the land north of Arch and Federal streets, the 
Middle Ward, extended from Arch and Federal streets to Line 
street;* the South \\'ard, included all that portion of the city south 
of Line street. Each ward was to elect two councilmen and one 
chosen freeholder. Council now comprised the six councilmen above 
noted, the five aldermen as provided in the act of 1828, together with 
the mayor and recorder. 

On March 5, 1850, the legislature passed the so-called "Dudley 
Charter" which greatly increased the powers of city council, especially 
as regarded the raising of taxes for municipal and school purposes. 

• l.lne street was originally laid out as a "twenty foot alley," but in 1S18 was made a street 
of 50 feot 111 width. 


Various other supplements were passed between 1850 and 1870 grant- 
ing certain specific authority, or correcting omissions in previous acts. 

With the adoption of the charter of March 5, 1850, the number 
of office-holders was greatly augmented, each ward being entitled to 
its own set of subordinate officers and was directed to elect annually 
two councilmen, one assessor, one collector, a ward clerk, a judge of 
elections, three commissioners of appeals, a constable and an overseer 
of the poor. City council now consisted of the Mayor, six aldermen 
and six councilmen, of which the Mayor, or in his absence, one of 
the aldermen, should be the presiding officer. This provision amended 
by the act of February 21, 1851, by providing for the election of 
six councilmen from each of the three wards and the election of a 
"president of the city council" from among its members. 

Almost the first step in connection with municipal finances after 
city councils was given authority to raise its own taxes was the 
creation of the "Lamp or Watch District" of the city of Camden. 
All of the territory outside this district was farm land, and it is, 
therefore, interesting to note the section of the city which was. in 
1850, considered as separate and distinct from farm land. The 
boundaries of this watch district was as follows : 

Beginning at the foot of Cooper street; thence along Cooper to 
Sixth, to Federal to Broadway, to Market street (Kaighn avenue) ; 
thence along Market street to Front, to ^Mechanic, to the Delaware 
river. All lands laid out into lots, or lands which have any improve- 
ments erected thereon, fronting or bounding on both sides of any of 
the aforesaid streets were included in the district. 

This ordinance was passed on July 6, 1850, and at the same meet- 
ing council adopted its first ordinance fixing the amount of taxes that 
should be assessed and raised for the general expenditures of the 
city. In view of the present nmnicipal budget, the sums specified for 
the several purposes are extremely interesting. The budget of 1850-51 
was as follows : ' 

To be collected from all persons residing within the city. 

To maintain and support the common schools .^2,000 

To defray the contingent expenses 6,000 

For supporting the fire engine department 600 

To be collected from all persons residing within the 
Lamp or Watch District 

For supporting the police therein 600 

For supplying the city with water 400 


To be collected from those persons only residing within 
the Lamp or Watch District in the North Ward. 

For maintenance and improvement of streets 2,000 

To be collected from those persons only residing within 
the Lamp or Watch District in the :Middle Ward. 

For maintenance and improvement of streets 2,000 

To be collected from those persons residing within the 

Lamp or Watch District in the South Ward. 
For maintenance and improvement of streets 2,000 

By the supplement of 1857, the mayor and aldermen were 
eliminated as members of city council and the latter body w^as made 
to consist of six councilmen from each of the three wards, two being 
elected each year for terms of three years each. Council was given 
authority to survey and map out the city and to provide that all new 
streets should conform to this survey; to regulate the erection of 
buildings and prescribe their character.. Up to this time there had 
been no authority to govern the laying out of streets and as a con- 
sequence houses had been built in swamps, or on hill tops, in a line, 
or at an angle to other adjacent structures and each sidewalk had a 
grade of its own. 

Various amendments and changes in the powers, duties and man- 
ner of electing certain city officials were also made in 1860, 1861, 
1864 and 1866. 

The most radical change in the city charter was on February 14, 
1871,* when the Legislature passed "An Act to revise and amend 
the charter of the City of Camden." This legislation together with 
the Act of March 7, 1871. besides enlarging the territorial area by 
extinguishing the ancient township of Newton, divided the city into 
eight wards, and gave city council authority to create new wards, 
provided that not more than two new wards were created in any 
five year period. Numerous changes as regards the election of city 
officials were also made. 

The city limits now extended north and west of Newton creek and 
its North Branch, Mount Ephraim turnpike, the Stockton and New- 
ton turnpike road (Ferry avenue) and an extension of the same in a 
straight line to Cooper's creek. 

The new citv council was to consist of twenty-four mem1)crs. to 
which number, on account of a deadlock, an additional member was 
chosen at a special election in April. 1872. The portions of the Acts 

• Public I-Jiws of X. J.. 1^71. p. 210. 

45 i 

and Supplements of 1871, relating to the constitution of city council 
were amended by a general act of the Legislature in March, 1893, 
making two councilmen from each ward the legal number. 

In 1878, the Legislature passed an act annexing to Haddon town- 
ship certain farm lands in the lower end of the Eighth Ward, which 
in a general way may be described as abutting on the North Branch 
of Newton creek east of Tenth street and south of Kaighn's Point 
avenue, provided that the owners thereof would pay within three 
months their pro rata share of the city debts, which had been incurred 
and remained unpaid subsequent to the annexation of Newton town- 
ship in 1871. The assessment not having been paid by the residents 
affected, the transfer became null and void. 

Since the passage of the law of 1871, which specifically provided 
for eight wards, city council, has under autliority conferred on it, 
created four additional wards, and the legislature two wards as fol- 

The Ninth Ward was set off from the Fourth \Vard in 1888 and 
its boundaries changed in 1900; the Tenth Ward was formed in 
1899 from that part of the old Second Ward east of Fourth street 
and north of Pearl street; the Thirteenth Ward was created from 
a portion of the Seventh Ward in 1913; the Fourteenth Ward was 
created in 1919, by taking the larger part of the section known as 
Yorkship Village, or Fairview,* from the Fifth voting precinct of 
the Eighth Ward. The town of Stockton was annexed to Camden 
under an act of the Legislature in 1899,t and divided into two wards 
known as the Eleventh and Twelfth \Vards. 


Camden Township was created by the Legislature on November 
29, 1831, at the request of the inhabitants of the city of Camden, 

• During- the late %var the United States povernment, thrnmh the EniPrgrency Fleet Cor- 
poration and the New York Sliiiibuildinp Corponitinn (The Fairvi.w Rpalty Co ) opened up a 
large tract of land lying on the westerly side of the Mount Ephraini road nor'tl^ of the Main 
Branch of Newton creek and east of the town limit.s of Gloucester and built tlierfon a nunih^r 
of houses for the convenience of the greatly increased working force at the shipyards. The tract 
was given the name of Yorkship Village. The city of Camden agreed, if Haddon township would 
cede the territory to Canid.-n, to provide a water supply, erect a .«= -Ih.oI house and build a bridge 
across Newton creek to connect the village with Camden bv way of Morgan street at a total 
expen.liture of nearly $7(«).(i"0. Hy ordinance adopted May 17. 19IS, the new addition was arided to 
the Fifth voting precinct of the Kighth Wani. where it remained until l:)l'.\ when the Fourteenth 
Ward was created. 

t I'ubllc Laws of N. .T., l^;v.\ p. ?.',:i. Some time before this date the plan ha.l been ni/ltated 
but It met with a decide.l protest, as It was feared the con.-olidation v..iuld inteilere vritli the 
local school, would Increase taxation and woruld through the higher salnun lieense drive manv 
of those who had established prolitahle business away. The anm xatinii was pushed tliriucrh the 
Ix'gislaturo desjdte the protests of a majority of the residents, although it undoubtedly had the 
approval of a majority of the property owners. 

who objected to the interference in their local affairs by the township 
committee of Newton township. 

The limits of the new township were the same as those specified 
in the act of February 13, 1828 (the original act incorporating the 
city of Camden). 

The first annual meeting for the new township was to be held on 
the second Monday in March, 1832, and that for the township of 
Newton was held three days later. The act further provided that on 
the Monday after the annual meeting of the township of Newton, 
the newly elected committees of the two townships should meet at 
the house of Isaiah Toy, "inn-keeper," in the city of Camden, at ten 
o'clock in the forenoon and proceed to divide the property. Its 
report reveals in a remarkable manner the tremendous growth of 
Camden in less than one hundred years. The committee's report was 
as follows : 

"In compliance with the 5th section of an act entitled, an 
act to establish a new township in the County of Gloucester to 
be called the township of Camden, we the subscribers, committee- 
men of the township of Newton and the township of Camden, 
convened at the house of Isaiah Toy in the city of Camden, 
March 19th. 1832; and there and then did proceed to allot and 
divide between the said townships all property and debts in pro- 
portion to the taxable property and ratables as taxed by the 
assessor at the last assessment within their respective limits." 

"Amount of duplicate $3,117.00; amount of taxes assessed 
in Newton, $1,744.17; amount of taxes assessed in Camden, 
$1,327.83— $3,117.00. Joint debt $700.00. Newton's propor- 
tion $391.70. Camden's proportion $308.30." 

"It is ordered and agreed that each township retain the 
public burial ground within their respective limits." 

"Cash on hand, $62.75. Camden's proportion $26.75 ; New- 
ton's proportion, $35.12; township books, election box, etc., as- 
signed to the township of Newton by paying six dollars to the 
treasurer of the township of Camden." 

Samuel Niciiolsox J. K. CowpERTinvAiT 

John Gill, Jr. Richard Fetters 

J. M. HixciiMAN Isaac Van Sciver 

Benj. W. Mickle Isaac Cole 

John Lawrence 

The first meeting of the township committee for the new town- 
ship was held immediately following the joint meeting, and probably 

■ ■• . 47 ■ 

in the same room and in the presence of their old allies of Newton. 
The first business after the receipt of the joint committee's report 
was the appointment of a conmiittee to purchase books for the use 
of the township of Camden. 

So closely are the affairs of the city and township connected that 
it is difficult to always distinguish the actions of the town-meetings, 
which were sometimes called on township matters and at other times 
on city affairs. The annual township meetings which were held on 
the second IMonday in ]March were generally held in the old Academy, 
or in the City Hall. We also find township meetings held "at the 
home of James Elwell, inn-keeper" and at other hotels. Aside from 
the election of township officers, the principal function of these as- 
semblages was the fixing of the amount of taxes to be raised for 
the city and township. Up to 1845, it required a vote of two-thirds 
of the inhabitants of the township, in town meeting assembled, to 
assess a city tax exceeding five hundred dollars. This was later 
changed to a majority of the legal voters present. 

It is interesting to study the means employed by the township in 
the early days to raise money. In 1834, the principal items on which 
the tax assessments were levied were as follows : 

Per $100 of valuation 

Real Estate . ' 

25 ^ 


Personal property 


Single Men 


Horses and mules 


" each 



Jack wagons '' 


Common wagons and dearborns 


Gigs and chaises 




Tan vats 


I)er vat 

Turpentine stills 


" still 

Lumber yards 



While these rates appear adequate, the assessed valuations were 
so low that it is hard to conceive how the community made any 
])rogress with so little money to spend on public works. From an 
old account book kept by Richardson Andrews, we learn that the total 
State, county, township and city taxes levied on lots Nos. 81 and 82, 

• Jack waeon" v^r.^ '■■.-.^ans with leather .«!prinps ami wero the forerunners of the present 
elliptical steel springs. 


situated at the northwest corner of Fourth and ^Market streets, were 
as follows: 

1819 — 78 cents 1829 — 3.78 

1820 — 66 " 1830 — 1.85 

1821 — 78 " * 1831 — 1.15 
1823 -^ 64 " 1832 — 5.36 
1827 — 1.14 " 

The figures are missing for the years 1822, 1824 to 1826 and 
1828. Further investigation shows that a frame house was built in 
1832 on lot No. 81 which accounts for the extraordinary increase in 
the amount for the year. 

The total amount of taxes collected in Newton township for the 
years 1822-1826 was as follows: 

1822 844.84 §-1 

1823 1025.93 §-2 

1824 999.463^ §-3 

1825 1626.81 §-4 

1826 2130.52 §-5 

In connection with the tax rates above quoted it is equally in- 
teresting to compare the amount of money raised in the early days 
with that required by the same territory twenty years later and today. 
According to the Township Committee's report for the year 1846, 
there was received during that year $2324.35, w^hile the expenditures 
amounted to $1985.91, including the $923.38 paid to the City Treas- 
urer of Camden and $300 to City Council. The annual Town Meet- 
ing cost the taxpayers $24.75, of which $16.75 was for refreshments 
of its officers. $6.00 for the clerk of the meeting and $2.00 for the 
moderator. At the close of the year there were tax warrants un- 
collected amounted to $3527.32. From substantially the same terri- 
tory today, there is collected about one million dollars in taxes. 

The township books cannot now be found, but from newspapers, 
court records and city council minutes, the following list of the town- 
ship officers has been compiled : 

1832 — Township committee. Richard Fetters. Isaac Cole, John 
Lawrence, J. K. Cowperthwait, Isaac Vanscivcr. 

}— (1) Heralil & Farmer, inir-isii. 

(2) VillnKP H.-ral.l. lO-L-O-lMM. . 

(,3) Inclu.le.l $100 collected for school purposes. 

(4) Inclu.K-1.1 ?4.'.0 colk-fteil for ti.wnshlp puriioses. 

(5) Included J4l";.11 for tuwnshiii purposes an<l $100 for schools. 

F 49 


I 1833 — Township clerk. Josiah Harrison; Collector, Daniel S. 

I Carter; Overseer of the poor, Benjamin Wiltsc; Con- 

I stable, John Gahan. 

I 1834 — Township clerk, Josiah Harrison; Assessor, Isaac H. 

I Porter; Collector, Caleb Roberts; Commissioners of ap- 

I peals. Gideon V. Stivers. Nathan Davis, Isaac Vansciver; 

j- P'reeholders, J. K. Cowperthwait, Richard Fetters; Sur- 

I veyors of highways. William J. Hatch, Joshua Bur- 

f roughs ; Overseer of poor, Wm. M'Knight ; Constable, 

• John Gahan; Overseer of highways, Daniel L. Pine; 

\ Poundkeeper. Wm. M'Knight; Judge of elections, Isaac 

Wilkins ; Township committee, Gideon V. Stivers, Rich- 
ard Fetters, James W. Sloan, Ebenezer Toole, Isaac Van- 
sciver ; School committee, Gideon V. Stivers, Richard Fet- 
ters, James W. Sloan, J. K. Cowperthwait, Isaac Van- 

1835 — Township clerk, Samuel Miller; Assessor, Edward Bul- 
lock; Collector, Josiah Shivers; Commissioners of appeals, 
Gideon V. Stivers, Isaac Wilkins, Josiah Atkinson ; Free- 
holders. J. K. Cowperthwait, Richard Fetters ; Surveyors 
of highways, Samuel Laning. Joab Scull ; Overseer of 
poor, Benjamin Wiltse; Constable, Chester Chattin ; Over- 
seer of highways, Daniel L. Pine ; Poundkeeper, Abraham 
L, Hilderman; Judge of elections, Samuel Laning; Town- 
ship committee, J. K. Cowperthwait, Gideon V. Stivers, 
Richard Fetters, Isaac Vansciver, Charles S. Garrett; 
Special school committee, J. K. Cowperthwait, Richard 
Fetters, Isaiah Toy, Rev. Samuel Starr, Rev. AVm. Gran- 
ville, Rev. T. C. Teasdale, Benjamin Allen, Charles 
Kaighn, William Ridgway, Joseph W. Cooper. 

1836 — Township clerk, Edward P. Andrews; Assessor, Isaac H. 
Porter; Collector, Paul C. Laning; Commissioners of ap- 
peals, Isaac Vansciver, Josiah Atkinson. Edmund Hamp- 
ton; Freeholders, J. K. Cowperthwait. Gideon V. Stivers; 
Surveyors of highways, William Hugg, John Thorn; 
Overseer of poor, Benjamin Wiltse ; Constal)le. Chester 
Chattin; Overseer of highways, Daniel L. IMne ; Pound- 
keeper, Stephen Goldsmith; judge of elections, Isaac 
Wilkins; Township committee, Samuel Laning, Thos. 
Peak. Joab Scull, Elias Kaighn, Henry Brown; School 
committee. vSamuel Laning. lliomas Peak. Joal) Scull, 
Elias Kaighn, Henry Brown. 


1837— Assessor, Isaac H. Porter; Collector, Paul C. Laning. 
Commissioners of appeals, Josiah Atkinson, Isaac Yan- 
sciver, James Hale ; Freeholders, J. K. Cowperthwait, 
Richard Fetters; Surveyors of highways, Jos. G. Scull, 
John M. Johnson; Overseer of poor, Benjamin Wiltse; 
Constable, William Hugg; Overseer of highways, Daniel 
L. Pine ; Poundkeeper, Fdwin B. Johnson ; Judge of elec- 
tions, Isaac Wilkins ; Township committee, Joab Scull. 
Elias Kaighn. Chas. S. Garrett, Richard Fetters, Isaac 
Wilkins ; School committee, J. K. Cowperthwait, Richard 
Fetters, Isaac Vansciver. 

1838 — Assessor, Isaac FI. Porter; Collector. Paul C. Laning; 
Commissioners of appeals. Josiah Atkinson, Isaac Van- 
sciver, Jas. Gahan ; Freeholders, J. K. Cowperthwait, Isaac 
Wilkins ; Surveyors of highways, Isaac Bullock. Joab 
Scull ; Overseer of poor, Benjamin Wiltse ; Constable, 
William Hugg; Overseer of highways, Seth Matlack ; 
Poundkeeper, Edwin B. Johnson ; Judge of elections, Isaac 
Wilkins; Township committee, Joab Scull, Elias Kaighn. 
Chas. S. Garrett, Amos A. Middleton, James Gahan; 
School committee, J. K. Cowperthwait, Oliver Cox, Isaac 

1839 — Township clerk, Josiah Shivers; Assessor, Isaac H. 
Porter; Collector, Thomas Peak; Commissioners of ap- 
peals, Josiah Atkinson, Sr., Isaac Vansciver, Jas Gahan; 
Freeholders, J. K. Cov>-perthwait, Isaac Wilkins; Sur- 
veyors of higinvays, Isaac Bullock. Joab Scull; Overseer 
of poor, Benjamin Wiltse; Constable, \\''illiam Flugg; 
Overseer of Flighways, Daniel L. Pine; Poundkeeper, 
Daniel L. Pine; Judge of elections, Samuel Scull, Ben- 
jamin Springer. Jas. Hale, Richard Fetters; School com- 
mittee, J. K. Cowperthwait, Richard Fetters, Isaac Van- 

1840 — Township clerk. Josiah Shivers, resigned April 22>, suc- 
ceeded by Josiah R. Atkinson ; Assessor, Isaac H. Porter ; 
Collector, Daniel S. Carter; Commissioners of appeals. 
Josiah Atkinson, Sr., Isaac \^ansciver, Jas. Gahan ; Free- 
holders, J. K. Cowperthwait, Isaac Wilkins ; Surveyors of 
highways, Jas. Elwell, Chas. Carter; Overseer of poor. 
Andrew Sweeten; Constables, Josiah Shivers, Aaron 
Sparks; Overseer of highways, Daniel L. Pine; Pound- 
keeper, Daniel L. Pine; Judge of elections, Isaac Wilkins; 
Township committee, Gideon V. Stivers, Joab Scull. 


Josiah R. Atkinson, John AI. Johnson, EHas Kaighn ; 
School committee, J. K. Cowperthwait, Isaac Vansciver, 
Gideon V. Stivers. 

1841 — Township clerk, Josiah R. Atkinson; Assessor, Wm. Gre- 
gory; Collector, Daniel S. Carter; Commissioners of ap- 
peals, Thos. Peak, James Gahan, Josiah Atkinson; Free- 
holders, J. K. Cowperthwait, Isaac Wilkins ; Surveyors of 
highways, Joseph Weatherby, Thos. Peak; Overseer of 
poor, William Hiigg; Constables. Josiah Sliivers, Aaron 
Sparks; Overseer of highways, Daniel L. Pine; Pound- 
keeper, William Hugg; Judge of elections, Isaac Wilkins; 
Township committee, Richard I-'etters, Gideon V. Stivers, 
Joab Scull, Isaac Cole, J. K. Cowperthwait, John W. 
Alickle; School committee. Gideon V. Stivers, Isaac Cole, 
J. K. Cowperthwait. 

1842 — Township clerk, Samuel Scull; Assessor, William Gre- 
gory; Collector, Daniel S. Carter; Commissioners of ap- 
peals, Gideon V. Stivers, Thomas Githens, Thomas Peak ; 
Freeholders, J. K. Cowperthwait. Isaac Wilkins; Sur- 
veyors of highways. Jas. Gahan, Joseph Sharp ; Overseer 
of poor, Benj. Toms; Constables, Edward Morgan, Ed- 
ward Gahan; Overseer of highways, John Subers; Pound- 
keeper, Daniel L. Pine; Judge of elections. Isaac Wilkins; 
Township committee, Gideon V. Stivers, J. K. Cowperth- 
wait, Richard Fetters, Elias Kaighn, Isaac Cole; School 
committee, John L. Rhees, Isaac L. Mulford. J. K. Cow- 

1843 — Township clerk, Samuel Sculj ; Assessor, William Gre- 
gory; Collector, Timothy Middleton; Commissioners of 
appeals, Amos A. Middleton, Thomas Githens, Thomas 
Peak; Freeholders. John W. Mickle, J. K. Cowperthwait; 
Surveyors of highwa}'s, Joseph Weatherby, James Gahan ; 
Overseer of poor, John Meyers; Constable. Edward 
Morgan (only one constable) ; Overseer of highways, 
none elected ; Poundkeeper, Daniel L. Pine ; Judge of 
elections, Josiah A. Atkinson; Township committee. lesse 
Smith, Joseph Sharp, Daniel S. Carter. James Elwell.- 
Isaac Wilkins; School committee, Isaac S. !\Iulford, John 
L. Rhees, J. K. Cowperthwait. 

1844 — Township clerk, Josiah Shivers; Assessor, Charles Sloan; 
Collector, Timothy Middleton; Commissioners of appeals, 
Thomas Peak, Jesse Smith, Isaac Wilkins; Freeholders, 
John W. Mickle, J. K. Cowperthwait; Surveyors of high- 


ways, Jesse Smith, Daniel S. Carter ; Overseer of poor, 
William Hugg; Constable, James Gahan, Overseer of 
Highways, Daniel L. Pine ; Poundkeeper, Theo. C. 
Humphreys; Judge of elections, Josiah R. Atkinson; 
Township committee, Richard Fetters, Isaac Cole, James 
EKvell. Jesse Smith, Thomas Peak; School committee, 
Richard Fetters, Isaac S. Mulford, Jos. G. De Lacour, 
B. A. Hammell. Isaac Cole, J. K. Cowperthwait, J. L. 
Rhees, Jesse Smith. 

1845 — Township clerk, Joseph Myers; Assessor, Josiah Shivers; 
Collector, Clayton Truax; Commissioners of appeals. 
Thomas B. Atkinson, Jas. L. Williams, Thomas Peak; 
Chosen freeholders, Chas. Kaighn, John R. Thompson; 
Surveyors of highways, William Sharp, IMark Burroughs ; 
Overseer of poor, Caleb Roberts; Constable. John Law- 
rence; Overseer of highways. Richard M Paul; Pound- 
keeper, Edward C. Jackson; Judge of elections, Samuel 
Scull ; Township committee, Josiah Sawn, John B. Thomp- 
son, Joseph Sharp, Joseph J. Moore, William J. FI. Hawk; 
School committee, Franklin Ferguson. Jos. C. De Lacour, 
Samuel H. Morton, Philander C. Brink, Jesse Smith. 
James W. Sloan, Enoch Shiver, Jr., David Brown, Joseph 

1846 — Township clerk, Jas. M. Cassady ; Assessor. J. R. Atkin- 
son ; Collector, J. P. Buyack; Commissioners of appeals, 
Andrew Jenkins, Jas. Elwell, Benj. A. Hammell; Chosen 
Freeholders, John W. ^Mickle, Chas. Sexton; Surveyors 
of highways, Samuel !McLain, John A. Brown ; Overseer 
of poor, William Hugg; Constable, Samuel Lummis; 
Overseer of highways, Daniel L. Pine ; Poundkeeper, 
Daniel L. Pine; Judge of elections. Benj. A. Hanmiell; 
Township committee. James Elwell, Richard Fetters, Elias 
Kaighn. Joab Scull. Caleb Roberts; School committee, 
Isaac 'Mulford, Joseph C. De Lacour, Richard Fetters, 
Isaac Cole. Wm. Feuring, Isaac ]\Iickle, Richard J. Ward, 
Elias Kaighn, J. W. Shorff. 

1847 — Township clerk, Josiah Shivers; Assessor, Josiah R. At- 
kinson; Collector, Isaac Kelly; Commissioners of appeals, 
James Gahan, Charles M. Thompson ; Chosen freeholders, 
John W. Mickle, Richard Fetters; Surveyors of highways. 
Samuel McLain, Elijah Davis ; Overseer of poor, William 
Hugg; Constable, Robert P. Smith; Overseer of high- 
ways, Daniel L. Pine; Poundkeeper, William Hugg; 


Judge of elections, Timothy IMiddleton ; Township com- 
mittee, J. K. Cowperthwait, James Elwell, Elias Kaighn, 
Joab Scull, Chas. Sloan ; School Committee, Isaac S. Mul- 
ford, Jos. C. De Lacour, William Fcuring, Ebenezer 
Nichols, Richard J. Ward, Daniel S. Carter, Henry Chap- 
man, Isaac rvlickle, John Thorn. 

After the adoption of the new State Constitution in 1844, numer- 
ous revisions of the general and special statutes were required to 
bring them into conformity with the new organic law. Among these 
acts which were revised were those affecting the township of Camden. 
In 1847, a diversity of opinion arose as to the proper day for holding 
the annual town-meeting, as a result of which two meetings were 
held, one on the second Monday in March and the other on the second 
Wednesday in the same month. At each of these meetings a full 
set of township officers was elected, causing much confusion and 
uncertainty. At the request, however, of Thomas H. Dudley, P. J. 
Gray and Aula ]\IcCalla, Abraham Browning, then the Attorney- 
General, rendered a decision that the proper date was the second 
Wednesday and in this decision P. D. Vroom, Stacy G. Potts and 
William L. Dayton also concurred. 

With the approval of the Act of February 25, 1848, the town- 
ship of Camden was abolished and the territory divided into three 
wards of the city of Camden. All the properly rights belonging to 
the 'Tnhal)itants of the township of Camden in the county of Camden" 
w^ere then vested in the "Mayor, Aldermen and Common Council" 
of the city of Camden. 

While Camden had a fully organized city administration since 
1828, its growth in population and industrial development was a slow- 
one, and for many years it slept in its Quaker repose. The Camden 
of forty, or even twenty, years ago was ver}' unlike the Camden of 
today. It has reached its present status by a growth that has been so 
stealthy and silent that even those in daily contact with passing events 
have hardly noticed it, except in the retrospect. 

Prior to 1842, it was, indeed, a primitive village in all but name, 
and was best known as a ferry landing. In the latter year, as already 
noted, some of the larger land owners began to divide their farm 
lands into building lots and offer them to public sale. The growth 
of the neighboring city of Philadelphia caused a demand for near-l)y 
homes and the proximity of these lots to the business section of the 
city across the river attracted many new comers to Camden. During 


the ten years from 1840 to 1850 the population almost tripled in 
number. The improvements which were made, either by the 
municipality, or the individual, did not add much to the substantial 
upbuilding of the place. Its streets were unpaved and little better 
than ordinary country roads; it had no lighting system worthy of 
the name and its water supply was very limited and of a primitive 
character. The houses which were erected by the new-comers, were 
principally small frame structures. Looking back on the scene of 
the clusters of houses scattered here and there among the groves of 
trees, or among the farm clearings, forcibly brings to mind the 
wonderful changes which have taken place within the lifetime of 
many still living. 

Other building "booms" took place in 1850-1855 and 1868-1872. 
That of the later period gained such a momentum that nothing could 
stop its onward and upward movement and the present splendid de- 
velopment can be directly traced to the activities begun about that 
period. Time has wrought many changes not only in the manners and 
customs of the people, but in the whole topography of the country. 
Where there w^ere hollows and ponds, now stand some of our most 
substantial buildings, while the sites of the houses v/hich formerly 
stood directly on the river bank are now many hundred feet inland. 




In Present Gloucester County: 

Deptford Township, incorporated June 1, 1695. 

Clayton Township, incorporated February 5, 1858; consoHdated 

into Borough of Glassboro April 14, 1908. 
East Greenwich Township, incorporated February 10, 1881. 
Elk Township, incorporated April 17, 1891. 
Franklin Township, incorporated January 27, 1820. 
Glassboro Township, incorporated March 11, 1878; consolidated 

into Borough of Glassboro March 8, 1920. 
Gloucester Town Township ; consolidated into Union Township 

November 15, 1831.* 
Greenwich Township, incorporated March 1, 1694. 
Harrison Township, incorporated April 1, 1845; formerly Spicer 

Logan Township, incorporated March 6, 1878; formerly West 

Woolwich Township. 
Mantua Township, Incorporated February 23. 1853. 
Monroe Township, incorporated March 3, 1859. 
South Harrison Township, incorporated March 21, 1883. 
Spicer Township, incorporated March 13, 1844; name changed 

to Harrison Township. 
Union Township, incorporated November 15, 1831; consolidated 

into Gloucester City February 25. 1868. 
Washington Township, incorporated February 17, 1836. 
West Deptford Township, incorporated March 1, 1871. 
West Woolwich Township, incorporated March 7, 1877; name 

changed to Logan Township in 1878. 
Wo olwich Township, incorporated March 7. 1767. 

•UloucfHter Town was authorized In lOsi an.l created a.-, a townr.hin In 1771 


In Present Camden County: 

Berlin Township, incorporated April 11, 1910. 

Camden Township, incorporated November 28, 1831; consol- 
idated with City of Camden February 25, 1848. 

Center Township, incorporated March 6, 1855. 

Clementon Township, incorporated February 24, 1903. 

Delaware Township, incorporated February 28, 1844. 

Gloucester Township, incorporated June 1, 1695. 

Haddon Township, incorporated March 23, 1865. 

Newton Township, incorporated June 1, 1695; part annexed to 
City of Camden March 1, 1871, balance annexed to Haddon 
Township March 7, 1871. 

Pensauken Township, incorporated February 18, 1892. 

Stockton Township, incorporated February 23, 1859; consol- 
idated into Town of Stockton, Referendum }*Iarch 22, 1894. 

Union Township, incorporated November 15, 1831; annexed to 
Gloucester City February 25, 1868. 

Voorhees Township, incorporated jMarch 1, 1899. 

Waterford Township, incorporated June 1, 1695. 

Winslow Township, incorporated March 8, 1845. • 

In Present Atlantic County : 

Buena Vista Township, incorporated March 5, 1867. 
Egg Harbor Township, incorporated June 1, 1695. 
Galloway Township, incorporated April 4, 1774. 
Hamilton Township, incorporated February 5, 1813. 
Mullica Township, incorporated February 21, 1838. 
Weymouth Township, incorporated February 12, 1798.