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Early Chronology of the City of Camden, New Jersey, with a Map of the City from 1935

The first Europeans to sail up the Delaware River are navigators of the soon to be established Dutch East India company.  The Dutch are followed by Swedes, and finally the English arrive.  The English name the Delaware River after their colonial governor of Virginia, Lord De La Warr.
     The first people the Europeans discover when they explore the eastern coast of the Delaware River are the Lenape.  This people will become known as the Delaware Indians.
William Cooper, a Quaker, settles at the tip of a peninsula on the Delaware River which he names Pyne Poynte ("Pine Point").  Cooper runs a ferry from there to Philadelphia, and this gives the future City of Camden its earliest name: "Cooper's Ferry".  Settlement of the point, mostly by Quakers, is slow.
     Quakers also settle New Jersey's towns of Salem (1675), Gloucester City, and Burlington, all on the Delaware River.
William Cooper's descendent Jacob Cooper lays out a town at Pyne Point and names it for the 1st Earl of Camden (who opposes taxation of the American colonists by anyone other than their own representatives; the colonists have no representatives in the British Parliament.)
The state legislature forbids further importation of slaves into New Jersey (About one-twelfth of New Jersey's population is African, almost all slaves).  In 1788 the legislature will forbid masters to remove slaves from New Jersey without the slaves' consent, and it will require that masters teach their slaves how to read.  In 1804 provision will be made for the gradual end of slavery in New Jersey, namely that those who were at that time slaves would remain so, but that their children would not be slaves.
The City of Camden, New Jersey, is incorporated (receives a city charter).  It will be reincorporated in 1871 under a revised charter.
The first passenger train steams into the City of Camden.  The train belongs to Camden and Amboy Railroad (Perth-Amboy is a New Jersey city across the water from Staten Island, New York).
The Philadelphia and Camden Ferry sends its first steamboat across the Delaware River.  The boat sails from the ferry landing at Federal Street in Camden to Philadelphia.  This ferry service, which was founded by John W. Mickle in 1836, will operate until 1952.
The City of Camden becomes the seat of the County of Camden, New Jersey.
The Camden and Atlantic Railroad connects the City of Camden with the seashore resort of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Walt Whitman (1819-1892), born in West Hills, New York, moves to Camden in 1873, and from 1884 lives at 2nd and Mickle Streets. Bram Stoker visits Whitman at 328 Mickle Street in 1886 (Oscar Wilde had visited Whitman in Camden in 1882). Whitman dies and is buried in Harleigh Cemetery, Camden.
Founding of the Camden Courier-Post newspaper.  It will leave the city in 1956.  (It is now named the Courier-Post.)
Founding of Cooper Hospital between Mickle and Benson Streets (from 6th to 7th Streets), funded by a Cooper family of Quakers, to provide care for the city's poor, who will not be charged for treatment.

[In the 1930s if a little girl from the slums next door cut her knee while playing and needed stitches, she walked to Cooper Hospital and they stitched up her knee; no questions were asked and no bill was presented.  But that was a long time ago; Cooper Hospital's present owners boast that it is a for-profit institution.]

The Campbell Soup Company begins marketing condensed soups from the plant it opened in the City of Camden in 1869.
Founding of the Italian language parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, originally know as the "Italian Catholic Church" that had grown out of the pastoral work done among the Italian immigrants by Father Michael Di Ielsi.  The present church building itself will be built at 4th and Division Streets around the year 1907, and the bell tower added in 1945.
Enrico Caruso (born 1873 at Naples) is recorded by the Victor Talking Machine Company of Camden, New Jersey, which was founded in 1894.  (The company will be taken over by the Radio Corporation of America -- RCA -- in 1929.)
Antonio Mecca opens his funeral home at 4th and Division Streets.  It is a white building -- People call it "the White House" -- across the street from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.  Antonio Mecca had begun by selling fruit from a pushcart in Camden, and afterwards had owned a liquor store.
Over 16,000 men are drafted from Camden County to fight in World War One.
     In October 1918 the Camden schools will be closed for a week due to the influenza pneumonia pandemic.  In the 1940s, due to heavy outbreaks of polio, the beginnings of school years will be delayed.
The population of Camden is now over 116,000, making it the 5th largest city in the State of New Jersey.
Opening of the Delaware River Bridge, renamed the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in 1955, linking the City of Camden with the city of Philadelphia.  The bridge was begun in 1922 and cost 40 million dollars to build.  At the time of its construction it was "the largest single-span suspension bridge in the world".
     The Walt Whitman Bridge, just to the south of Camden in Gloucester City, will open in 1957.  (Walt Whitman lived in the City of Camden from 1873 to 1892.)
     1926 is also the year when Camden County establishes the park commission that acquires land along the Cooper River.
The City of Camden's City Hall is built, and on its tower are inscribed Walt Whitman's words "In a dream I saw a city invincible".
When Herbert Hoover is defeated in the presidential election by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Hoover's body is carried, in effigy, in a coffin through the City of Camden.  The Great Depression had begun in the first year of Hoover's first term in office, 1929.
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital is opened by Franciscan Sisters of Allegheny, New York, to care for the people of Camden.  The population of the city is now 125,000.

Published Sources for the Chronology: New Jersey from Colony to State 1609-1789 by Richard McCormick (Princeton, NJ: 1964; The New Jersey historical series).  Collier's Encyclopedia, 1994, "Camden".  Encyclopedia Americana, 1996, "Camden".  New Britannica Encyclopaedia, 1991, "Camden".  Camden County, New Jersey ... 1626-2000 by Jeffery M. Dorwart (New Brunswick, NJ: 2001).  Walt Whitman Historical Association <thewaltwhitmanassociation.org/chronology> (2016).  Souvenir Journal of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Camden, New Jersey, 1903-1953.

1935 Map of the City of Camden

Map of the City of Camden, New Jersey, as it was in 1935, 87 KB

Map of the City of Camden. -- Philadelphia: Franklin Survey Company, 1935.  (Original Scale: 1 inch = 1000 feet.)  Legend: a vertical line inside a circle marks a school; a cross inside a circle marks a church.

Related Page: encyclopedia entry for the City of Camden, New Jersey, from the year 1940.

The URL of this Web page: https://www.roangelo.net/valente/camden.html
Last revised: 4 March 2007 : 2007-03-04 by Robert [Wesley] Angelo.

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