- September 25, 2019
Facts About Camden
In 1626, Fort Nassau was established by the Dutch West India Company in the area that is now known as Camden, New Jersey. Europeans settled along the Delaware River, attempting to control the local fur trade. Throughout the 17th century, more Europeans arrived in the area, developing it and making improvements. After the restoration period the land was controlled by nobles who served under King Charles II. ln 1673, the land was sold off to a group of New Jersey Quakers. The growth of the colony was the result of Philadelphia, a Quaker colony directly across from Camden along the Delaware River. In the Ferry systems were established to facilitate trade between Fort Nassau and Philadelphia. The ferry system operated along the east side of the Delaware River. The ferry system built by William Royden was located along Cooper Street and was turned over to Daniel Cooper in 1695. The creation of the ferry system resulted in the creation of small settlements along the Delaware River which would eventually develop into Camden. The initial structures and settlements that formed Camden were largely established by three families: The Coopers, The Kaighns, and the Mickels. The Cooper family had the greatest impact on the formation of Camden. In 1773, Jacob Cooper developed some of the land he had inherited through his family into a “townsite.” It was Jacob Cooper who named Camden after Charles Pratt, the Earl of Camden. The lands that these families owned would eventually be combined to create the future city.
For over 150 years, Camden served as a secondary economic and transportation hub for the Philadelphia area. However, that status began to change in the early 19th century. Camden was incorporated as a city on February 13, 1828, from portions of Newton Township, while the area was still part of Gloucester County. The city derives its name from Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden. One of the U.S.’s first railroads, the Camden and Amboy Railroad, was chartered in Camden in 1830. The Camden and Amboy Railroad allowed travelers to travel between New York City and Philadelphia via ferry terminals in South Amboy, New Jersey and Camden. The railroad terminated on the Camden waterfront, and passengers were ferried across the Delaware River to their final Philadelphia destination. The Camden and Amboy Railroad opened in 1834 and helped to spur an increase in population and commerce in Camden.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 10.341 square miles (26.784 km2), including 8.921 square miles (23.106 km2) of land and 1.420 square miles (3.677 km2) of water (13.73%). Camden borders Collingswood, Gloucester City, Haddon Township, Pennsauken Township and Woodlynne in Camden County, as well as Philadelphia across the Delaware River in Pennsylvania. Just offshore of Camden is Pettys Island, which is part of Pennsauken Township. The Cooper River (popular for boating) flows through Camden, and Newton Creek forms Camden’s southern boundary with Gloucester City. Camden contains the United States’ first federally funded planned community for working class residents, Yorkship Village (now called Fairview). The village was designed by Electus Darwin Litchfield, who was influenced by the “garden city” developments popular in England at the time.
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