Abraham Browning

Market Street Ferry - Undated Photo

Abraham Browning, a distinguished attorney in Camden, achieved the position of New Jersey Attorney General during his career. Born near Camden on July 26, 1808, he joined the New Jersey Bar in September 1834. In 1843, he participated as a delegate, alongside John W. Mickle, in the New Jersey Constitutional Convention. Browning assumed the role of Attorney General in January 1845, serving until 1850, during which he played a significant role in the Market Street ferry.

In 1858, Abraham Browning, along with Robert K. Matlack, acquired a 1037-acre tract in Gloucester and Cumberland Counties for $5185. Subsequently, in 1860, Thomas Wilson purchased a portion of this land for $10,000, leading to the development of Newfield, a borough since 1924, connected by the Pennsylvania, Reading, and Seashore Railroad.

As a Democrat, Browning served as a delegate from New Jersey to the Democratic National Convention in 1864. Additionally, he was instrumental in founding and became the inaugural president of the Camden County Bar Association.

Alfred M. Heston’s work, "Jersey Waggon Jaunts," published in 1926, attributes the coining of the term "Garden State" to Abraham Browning during the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia on New Jersey Day, August 24, 1876. However, the accuracy of this claim is debatable, considering the historical use of a similar metaphor by Benjamin Franklin.

Residing at 127 Market Street, Abraham Browning counted prominent figures such as William Calhoun, Sheriff of Camden County, Charles Kalt, and attorneys James B. Dayton and Peter L. Voorhees among his neighbors. His passing occurred on August 22, 1889, in Camden. In 1898, the Junior Order of United American Mechanics incorporated the Abraham Browning Council No. 122 in his honor. It’s crucial to note that Abraham Browning should not be confused with Capt. Abraham M. Browning (1843-1880), owner of Cherry Hill Farm in present-day Cherry Hill, NJ.


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