SPAN OF A CENTURY, 1828-1928
100 YEARS IN THE HISTORY OF CAMDEN AS A CITY
Compiled from notes and data collected by Charles S. Boyer, President Camden County Historical Society. Published by Centennial Anniversary Committee of Camden, New Jersey. Additional Photos and Notes by Phillip Cohen in 2003.
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On February 13, 1828 the Council and General Assembly passed “An act to incorporate a part of the Township of Newton in the County of Gloucester.” This was the first charter of the City of Camden.
The first section reads as follows:
Be it enacted by the Council and General Assembly of this State, and it is herby enacted by the authority of the same, that such parts of the township of Newton as are contained within the following limits ands bounds, that is to say, beginning at the Pennsylvania line, in the river Delaware, opposite the mouth a small run of water below Kaighnton, which run is the line between lands late of Isaac Mickle, deceased, and Joseph Kaighn, and running thence east to the mouth of said run; and thence up the same, the several courses thereof, crossing the public road leading to Woodbury from the Camden Academy; thence northerly along the east side of said road to the road leading from Kaighnton to Cooper’s Creek bridge; thence along the eastwardly side of said last mentioned road, and the southwardly side of the causeway and bridge to the middle of Cooper’s creek; thence down the middle thereof to the River Delaware; thence due north to the middle of the channel between Petty’s Island and the Jersey fast land or shore; thence down said channel and river to the nearest point on the line established between the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey; thence down said line to the place of beginning, shall, and the same are hereby erected into a city, which shall henceforth be called and known by the name of “The City of Camden.”City of Camden Charter, February 13, 1828
Previous to the erection of the Friends Meeting House, the Friends held their meetings for a short time in the old Camden Academy at the southwest corner of Sixth and Market Streets. Ground on which stood the Friends Meeting House on Cooper Street above Seventh was given by Joseph Cooper to the Society of friends on July 6, 1828. The Meeting House was built the same year and the building enlarged in 1885.
The first meeting of the City Council of Camden was held on March 13, 1828 at the hotel kept by John M. Johnston on the site of the old Vauxhall Gardens at Fourth and Market Streets. At that time the mayor was elected by City Council.
The history of the newspapers in Camden antedates the incorporation of the city by about nine years. The first newspaper published in Camden was the Gloucester Farmer which had originally been established at Woodbury on January 1, 1817 by John A. Crane. In January 1819 the paper was moved to Camden.
The second newspaper published in Camden was The American Star established by Samuel Ellis, the first City Clerk of Camden. His grandson, Charles H. Ellis, would served as Camden’s Mayor from 1905 through 1922. The first issue of The American Star was dated Tuesday April 17, 1821. On December 29, 1824, the name was changed to American Star and Rural Record. In the latter part of 1830 Isaac H. Porte and John Wolohon, both of whom had been apprenticed under Samuel Ellis, issued a prospectus of a newspaper to be called The Camden Mail.