ANNALS OF CAMDEN
Camden County-Camden City
CHARLES S. BOYER
CIVIL AND POLITICAL
and CAMDEN CITY
CHARLES S. BOYER
President Camden County Historical Society, Life Member Gloucester County Historical
Society, Member Pennsylvania and New Jersey Historical Societies
Edition limited to 500 copies
This is No. Q
Copyrighted by ihe Author
©CI. AG^ 61 4
Civil and Political History
CAMDEN County and Camden City
By CHARLES S. BOYER
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 recaptured 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 Primitive Settlements on the River Delaware, O'Calllghans Hls-
tor of New Netherlands, MIckle's Reminiscences of Old Gloucester.
Jersey, particularly in what is now Gloucester and Salem counties,
iDut 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
shall "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
liad 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 affairs 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 In- 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 "Quintipartit 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
established 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 1767. 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
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 Fenwick, 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 subsequent 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- fourths. Tanner* states that the usual price paid for a
whole propriety was about £365. Another cause for the sub-divisions
• "The Province of New Jersey," 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, J 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 original proprietors never came into the Province, but disposed of their in-
terests to intending settlers In such proportional parts as suited the means of the prospective
t During the fr.Hov.ini,' year the number of members of the Council was reduced to nine,
five from Burlington and four from Gloucester County.
i Dr Cox stvled himself "Chief Proprietor nnd Governor of West New Jersey." He was
physician to Queen Mary and later to Queen Anne.
5 A full account of this Society is given by John Clement, see Proceedings of the Surveyors'
Association of "West Jersey, pp. 118-148.
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 Mail" of May 20, 1844, appeared the follow-
ing notice, copied from the "London Times" (March 18, 1844) of
a meeting of the Society :
WEST JERSEY 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,"
When the first settlers arrived in West Jersey, they applied to
the commissioners for permission to locate a definite 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 office 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 the 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. Many 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 government. On entering the Delaware river, they sailed
along the easterly shore until they reached Raccoon creek, where
they landed and spent the Winter, 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 Falls of the Delaware.
In looking about for a town-site it was finally decided by the
•West Jersey Records, Liber B., part 1, pp. 131 and 138.
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 they "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 was 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 very thin, with a large knife,
so that the thickest end is about a pinck "(httle finger)" 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 "Griffith" 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 Cromwell's Army who had become converted to
the Quaker doctrine and was associated with Byllinge, 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 Burlington and others who had lately
arrived from England began to spread over the country. In March,
1681-82, 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 about Collings-
wood. Closely following these settlers came Richard Arnold, whose
lands are now occupied by the New York Shipbuilding Co./; William
* "Journal of a Voyage to New York, etc. 1679-80," by Dankers and SlyterAn Memoirs of
Long Island Hist. Soc, Vol. 1, p. 173.
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 Haddonfield; 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
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
With the form of government under which they were 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 :
Representatives in the November meeting of the General As-
William Cooper Robert Zane
1683 — Representatives in the May meeting of the General As-
William Cooper Francis Collins
Mark Newbie Samuel Cole
Henry Stacy Thomas Howell
Member of Council :
Representatives in the May meeting of the General As-
Representatives in the ""November meeting of the General As-
William Cooper Henry Wood
Robert Turner William Bates
Francis Collins Marcus Lawrence
-Representatives in the May meeting of the General As-
Representatives in the November meeting of the General As-
1686 — Representatives in the May meeting of the General As-
The plan of government as outlined 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
time relinquish his right to the government of the territory which
had been specifically conveyed to him in the deed from Berkeley.
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 Ar-
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, f "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 Teaming
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,$ 134 freeholders, while
• See unpublished manuscript of Learning and Spicer, Camden County Historical Society
publication. Vol. 1, No. 4.
t See Mickle's "Reminiscences of Old Glouceister, " p. 35, and Clement's "Sketches of the
First Emigrant Settlers in Newton Township, Old Gloucester County." pp. 27-28.
t New Jersey Archives, First Series, Vol. II, p. 305.
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 was 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 ajarge 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
served 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 Deadford, and Egg Harbour, or New Weymouth. The' latter
township, however, according to the court records was actually
established on March 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 Gazetteer of. the Vnlted States. J. E. Worcester, 1818.
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,! 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, William 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 Opinion that the Robbery of the Eastern Treasury
said to be Committed, happened for want of that security and
care that w^as Necessary to keep it in Safety, and that you re-
quested the Governor to remove the Treasurer. We take the
liberty to inform the House that we think your request very
* Publications of Camden Co. Hist. Soc, Vol. I, No. 4.
t Originally listed in the William Nelson Sale as item S73, but withdrawn from 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 Board of Freeholders had its origin in an act passed In 1713 (.\llison's Laws, p. 15),
providing for the raising of money for buliding and repairing of goals and court-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 pre-
cinct for the ensuing year, which freeholders so chosen, or the major part of them, together
with all the Justices, of the Peace of the respective county, or any three of them (one whereof
being of the Quorum), should meet together and appoint assessors and collectors to assess and
collect such taxes as may ho agreed upon to build or repair Jails and court-houses as may bo
required in the respective counties. The justices a^nd freeholders were require<l to appoint manager."!
"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 required. By the act of
1716-17 (Allison's Laws. pp. 35-38), the justices and freeholders were also authorized to raise the
necessary taxes to defray the public and necessary charges of the county. In 1798. the Justices
wore omitted, and the Board was th> refon- known a.* th>' Board of Chosfn Fn-cholders of the
county. In 1832, the requirement that office holders be freeholders was repealed; but the name
of the Board remained unchanged (See Proceedings N. J. Hist. Society, Vol. v.. No. 2, p. 117).
t "A Gazetteer of the United States," J. E. Worcester, IS^S.
This list is as follows :
1723 — Township clerk, Thomas Sharp; Overseers of poor,
Joseph Cooper, 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 Medcalf, Samuel
Shivers, Joseph Kaighn, Thomas Dennis; Overseers of
roads, Samuel Sharp, William Albertson.
1725 — Township clerk, Thomas Sharp; Overseers of poor, James
Hinchman, Jacob Medcalf; 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 Sharp ; Surveyors of
highways, John Kaighn, James Hinchman, William
Cooper, Jacob Medcalf; Overseers of roads, John East-
lack, Caleb Sprague.
172S — 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 Perrywebb; 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 Cooper, 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 Mickle; 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,
1736 — Township clerk. John Kaighn; Overseers of poor. Ben-
jamin Cooper, William Albertson ; Freeholders. Timothy
INIatlack, 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,
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-
1am ; Commissioners of appeals, Turner Risdon, Gideon
V. Stivers, J. K. Cowperthwait ; Surveyors of highways,
Hugh Hatch, Isaac Mickle, Jr. ; Overseers of roads,
Joseph Middleton, 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
1824 — 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 Webster, Joseph Porter; Surveyors of
Highways, Joseph W. Cooper, David B. Roberts; Over-
seers of roads, Joseph Middleton, John Sloan, Evan
Clement; Township committee, John Clement, Thomas
Redman, Joseph Kaighn, John Wessell, Isaac Smith;
Constables, John Porter, James Githens; Poundkeepers,
Benjamin Springer, Thomas Porter; Judge of elections,
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; Poundkeepers, 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 V. 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 ; Poundkeepers,
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 does 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 dav 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 HARBOUR OR NEW WEYMOUTH TOWNSHIP
Egg Harbor 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 w^ere 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 undeveloped.* 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 Woodbury. 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, apparently 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
* When Atlantic county was taken away from "Old Gloucester" it had a population of 8,16'!,
while in the remaining part of the old county there were 20,267 inhabitants. It is interesting to
note that the public property of the county was appraised at $35,868 with an indebtedness of
$7,932.50— quite a contrast with today's valuation and bonded debt.
t Village Herald, December 29 1824.
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 Mickle, 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 Washingtonf townships
from Gloucester county was passed by the Legislature and signed by
the Governor on March 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. Mickle, a staunch Democrat, lead in the fight to organize
a new county out of the northern portion of old Gloucester county,
•Warren county was created In 1824; Passaic and Atlantic counties In 1S37; Mercer In 1838,
and Hudson in 1S40.
t All thp trrritorv included in the original Washington township, except that portion within
the Camden County Alms House Farm, was returned to Gloucester county by act of February
t For a full report of this meeting see "Tho Camden Mall" of March 20. 1844.
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 be 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 were
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 w^ith 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 P'ederal 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, were woodlands and farms ; to the north-
ward was a dense grove of trees in the midst of which 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 Market 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 officials
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 stew^ard 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
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 Cooper was a son of William, eldest son of Daniel, son of the orlBlnal William
Cooper. He was born in 1723 and married Elizabeth Corker, daughter of William and Mary
Corker, of Philadelphia. At the time of his marriage William Corker was deceased and his
widow had become the wife of Joseph Trotter, of Philadelphia. Jacob was a merchant In Phila-
delphia and an active member of the Bank Meeting on Front street above Arch. Roth he and
his wife were burled in the old grounds at Fourth and Race streets, the former In 1786 and the
latter in 1789. They had a number of children of whom only Jacob, KUzabeth, William Corker
and Mary reached their majorities.
t Liber A. C. folio 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 m.ay 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 "Town 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 w^ere called
King, Queen, Whitehall, Cherry, Cedar, and Pine, intersected at
• The London Coffee House, located at the southwest corner of Front and High streets,
Philadelphia, was the principal seat of activities in the city, the meeting place of the most
interesting people and "the clearing house for news of all kinds." Many of those who became
the first purchasers of lots in Cooper's new town frequented the tavern and there learned of the
t The 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 Edward Yorke she gave a good account of herself in the defense of the
Chevaux-de-frise at the Battle of Red Bank.
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
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 pviblic 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 \va.s the northerly boiuiidar>- of his property and was a lane or road at the
time he obtained possession of the tract(1764). In the conveyance from William to Jacob Cooper
he is given "the uses, rights, liberties and privileges of and passage in and along the said road
and Ingress, Egress and Regress to, upon and along the said Road from time to time."
t The Spanish milled dollar then in general circulation, was divided Into a half, a quarter,
an eighth and a sixteenth, each represented by a silver coin and all of them in common use In
the colonies. The "eighth" had a value in New Jersey of about eleven pence and became known
as an "eleven penny bit," or "levy," while the "sixteenth" was equal ta a little over five
pence, contracted to "fip" or "flp-penny-bit." It was not until July 6. 1.8... that Con&resa
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. i,
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.
Edward 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 owner 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, which soon received
the name of "Fettersville."t The lots as originally laid out by
Richard Fetters measured 30 x 200 feet, and in 1835 were assessed
at fifty dollars each. A sale of two 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 Messrs. Stevens, early bought a considerable
tract of low, 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, 1820, Liber F. F., pp. 289, etc.
t Mr. H. L. Bonsai] says the settlement was "profanely called 'Hardscrabble' by the more
or less remote north and 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 v$1220 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 wdiich Richard M. 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 few 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 number 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 ofifered for sale almost everything from Irish linen and silk
mitts to groceries, West India rum and mill sav/ 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 was to be specifically represented in the new
"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-
"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 Centerville.t Kaighnville
* Pennsylvania Packet, March 11, 1776.
t Beg-inning at the inter.seotion of Ferry avenue and Jackson street, thence easterly along-
Jackson street to Seventh, southerly on Seventh street to VanHook street; thence along the
latter street to Evergreen Cemetery; thence south along the westerly line of the cemetery to
Ferry avenue and westerly and northwesterly along the latter street to the place of beginning.
The Stockton Land Association was formed about 1S55 by Isaac W. Mickle, John Cooper, R, W.
Bonin, Jas. M. Cassidy. B. M. Braker, and W. D. Hicks. They bought twenty-three acres of
land in this vicinity which was laid off into building lots. On Stone & Pomeroy's map of 1S60
the settlement is prominently marked by a special insert of the town plan.
t In the vicinity of Seventh and Ferry avenue. This pettlement was started by the Center-
ville Land Association, of which Thomas Phillips and 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 locahties in the lower section of the
city. Aside from "Cooper's Hill," these names are of comparatively
The territory embraced within what is now the 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 v/ere 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 topography 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 Atlantic City Railroad tracks and east of the West Jersey Railroad electric
t In 1851. the Pavonia City As.<!ociation purchased of B. W. Cooper, his farm consisting of
85 acres and the mansion house for |500 an acre and proceeded to develop the same.
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 filled 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 was 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. Many 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, hovv^ever, 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.
Samuel D. Wessell.
On behalf of the applicants.
August 22, 1827.
As a result of this agitation on February 13, 1828,* the Council
and General Assemblyf 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 )t below- Kaighnton, which run is between the
lands of the late Isaac Mickle, 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 w^ere w^ithout 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 tow^n clerk was held
in the Camden Academy on March 10, 1828, at which less than fifty
•Public Laws of N. J.. 182S, p. 1U3.
t The title by which the State Legislature was then known.
t Little Newton Creel< was In the early days a stn am of some Importance nnd was navlgablo
as far as Broadway for barges loaded with hay and bricks. It was the dividing line between
the Kalghns and Micklcs, who jointly constructed and maintained meadow banks along its
course to prevent Inundation of the adjacent low land, a work taken over in 1844 by the Little
Newton Creek Meadow Company and continued by the latter until IS'4. About 1908, the Line
Ditch sewer following substantially the creek bed was completed to take care of the old stream
and the low lands 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 ; Assessor,
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 subsequently 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
monies 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 l)etween Fourth and Fifth streets, the 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 the 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 were, 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 had 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 J. G. Delacour, William Corkery, John D. Glover, James Lin-
* This money was borrowed on a note bearing six per cent. Interest from Jacob Evaul. a
wealthy farmer of Newton Township, who died FYiday, November 16, 1828, at the age of 92.
The note, however, was not entirely paid oft until 1843.
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 while 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 12i/2 "
" Claret per quart 37>4 "
" Brandy per gill Uy, "
" Cider per quart 6^ "
" Strong Beer per quart 12^ "
" Stabling a horse per night on English Hay 12^/2 "
" Stabling a horse for twenty-four hours on English
Hay 25 '
" Stabling a horse per night on Salt Hay 12^ "
" Stabling a horse for twenty-four hours on Salt
Hay \Sy4 "
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" — 6}^ and 12^/2
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
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 majority appointments of members of
the local governing body. In 1842,* the people began to agitate the
• American Eagle, 12-31-1842.
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 Mayor 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 w^ere 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, was 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 Ward, 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.
* Line street was originally laid out as a "twenty foot alley," but In 1848 was made a street
of 50 feet in 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 w'ith 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 w^as 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 municipal 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 was 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 city council was to consist of twenty-four members, 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 Laws of N. J., 1871, p. 210.
and Supplements of 1871, relating to the constitution of city council
were amended by a general act of the Legislature in ]\Iarch, 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 authority conferred on it,
created four additional wards, and the legislature two wards as fol-
The Ninth Ward was set off from the Fourth Ward 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, f and divided into two wards
known as the Eleventh and Twelfth Wards.
TOWNSHIP OF CAMDEN
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 war the United States government, through the Emergency Fleet Cor-
poration and the New York Shipbuilding Corporation (The Fairview Realty Co.), opened vsp a
large tract of land lying on the westerly side of the Mount Ephraim road north of the Main
Branch of Newton creek and east of the town limits of Gloucester and built thereon a number
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 Camden, to provide a water su|)ply, erect a school house and build a bridge
across Newton creek to connect the village with Camden by way of Morgan street, at a total
expenditure of nearly $700,000. By ordinance adopted May 17, 1918, the new addition was added to
the Fifth voting precinct of the Eighth Ward, where it remained until 191?, when the Fourteenth
Ward was created.
t Public Laws of N. J., 1S99. p. 355. Some time before this date the plan had been agitated
but it met with a decided protest, as It was feared the consolidation would interfere with the
local school, would Increase taxation and would through the higher saloon license drive many
of those who had established profitable business away. The annexation was pushed through the
Legislature despite 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 :
'Tn 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 Nicholson J. K. Cowperthwait
John Gill, Jr. Richard Fetters
J. M. Hinchman Isaac Van Sciver
Benj. W. Mickle Isaac Cole
The first meeting of the township committee for the new town-
ship was held immediately following the joint meeting, and probably
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 committee 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 tD 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 Monday 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
Horses and mules
Jack wagons *
Common wagons and dearborns
Gigs and chaises
While these rates appear adequate, the assessed valuations were
so low that it is hard to conceive how the community made any
progress 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 waprons vprr- w.Tg-ons with leather springs and were the forerunners of the present
elliptical steel springs.
situated at the northwest corner of Fourth and Market streets, were
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 999.46>^ §-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, while 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 Vansciver.
-d) Herald & Farmer, 10-15-1823.
(2) Village Herald. 10-20-1824.
(3) Included $100 collected for school purposes.
(4) Included $450 collected for township purposes.
(5) Included $426.11 for township purposes and $100 for schools.
1833 — Township clerk, Josiah Harrison; Collector, Daniel S.
Carter; Overseer of the poor, Benjamin Wiltse; Con-
stable, John Gahan.
183-1 — Township clerk, Josiah Harrison; Assessor, Isaac H.
Porter; Collector, Caleb Roberts; Commissioners of ap-
peals, Gideon V. Stivers, Nathan Davis, Isaac Vansciver ;
Freeholders, J. K. Cowperthwait, Richard Fetters; Sur-
veyors of highways, William J. Hatch, Joshua Bur-
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. Wm. 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 ; Constable, Chester
Chattin ; Overseer of highways, Daniel L. Pine ; Pound-
keeper. Stephen Goldsmith ; Judge of elections. Isaac
Wilkins ; Township committee. Samuel Laning. Thos.
Peak, Joab Scull, Elias Kaighn, Henry Brown ; School
committee. Samuel Laning. Thomas Peak, Joab Scull.
Elias Kaighn, Henry Brown.
1837 — Assessor, Isaac H. Porter; Collector, Paul C. Laning,
Commissioners of appeals, Josiah Atkinson, Isaac V'an-
sciver, James Plale; 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, Edwin 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 H. 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,
WilHam 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. Cowperthwait, Isaac Wilkins; Sur-
veyors of highways, Isaac Bullock, Joab Scull; Overseer
of poor, Benjamin Wiltse; Constable, William Hugg;
Overseer of Highways, 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 IZ, suc-
ceeded by Josiah R. Atkinson ; Assessor, Isaac H. Porter ;
Collector, Daniel S. Carter; Commissioners of appeals,
Josiah Atkinson, Sr., Isaac Vansciver, 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 M. 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 Hugg; Constables, Josiah Shivers, Aaron
Sparks; Overseer of highways, Daniel L. Pine; Pound-
keeper, William Hugg ; Judge of elections, Isaac Wilkins ;
Township committee, Richard Fetters, Gideon V. Stivers,
Joab Scull, Isaac Cole, J. K. Cowperthwait. John W.
Mickle ; 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 Scull; 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 highways, 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, Jesse
Smith, Joseph Sharp, Daniel S. Carter, James Elwell,
Isaac Wilkins ; School committee, Isaac S. Mulford, John
L. Rhees, J. K. Cowperthwait.
184^1 — 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
Elwell, 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. Wilhams, Thomas Peak;
Chosen freeholders, Chas. Kaighn,. John R. Thompson;
Surveyors of highways, William Sharp, Mark 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. H. 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, Wilham Hugg; Constable, Samuel Lummis;
Overseer of highways, Daniel L. Pine; Poundkeeper,
Daniel L. Pine; Judge of elections, Benj. A. Hammell;
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 Mickle, 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, Wilham
Hugg; Constable, Robert P. Smith; Overseer of high-
ways, Daniel L. Pine; Poundkeeper, William Hugg;
Judge of elections, Timothy Middleton ; Township com-
mittee, J. K. Cowperthwait, James Ehvell, Ehas Kaighn,
Joab Scull, Chas. Sloan ; School Committee, Isaac S. Mul-
ford, Jos. C. De Lacour, William Pouring, Ebenezer
Nichols, Richard J. Ward, Daniel S. Carter, Henry Chap-
man, Isaac Mickle, 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 w^ere 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, how^ever, of Thomas H. Dudley, P. J.
Gray and Aula McCalla, Abraham Brow^ning, 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 property rights belonging to
the "Inhabitants of the township of Camden in the county of Camden''
were 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 very 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-by
homes and the proximity of these lots to the business section of the
city across the river attracted many new comers to Camden. Durmg
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 were hollows and ponds, now stand some of our most
substantial buildings, while the sites of the houses which formerly
stood directly on the river bank are now many hundred feet inland.
TOWNSHIPS OF OLD GLOUCESTER COUNTY— NOW CAMDEN,
GLOUCESTER AND ATLANTIC
COMPILED BV DR. CARLOS E. GODFREY
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.
Frankhn 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
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.
Woolwich Township, incorporated March 7, 1767.
. uloucester Town was authorized in 1685 and created as a townsJiip in 1773.
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 March 22, 1894.
Union Township, incorporated November 15, 1831; annexed to
Gloucester City February 25, 1868.
Voorhees Township, incorporated March 1, 1899.
Water ford 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.
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