1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Salem (New Jersey)
SALEM, a city and the county-seat of Salem county, New Jersey, U.S.A., in the S.W. part of the state, on Salem Creek, about 38 m. S.W. of Philadelphia. Pop. (1900), 5811, of whom 263 were foreign-born and 809 were negroes; (1910 U.S. census), 6614. It is served by the West Jersey & Seashore railroad, and has steamer connexion with Philadelphia. Among its institutions is the John Tyler Library, established as Salem Library in 1804 and said to be the third oldest public library in the state. In Finn's Point National Cemetery, about 4 m. N. of Salem, there are buried some 2460 Confederate soldiers, who died during the Civil War while prisoners of war at Fort Delaware, on an island in Delaware river nearly opposite the mouth of Salem Creek. Salem lies in a rich agricultural region. Among the city's manufactures are canned fruits and vegetables, condiments, glass-ware, brass and iron-work, hosiery, linoleum and oil-cloth. Near the present site in 1643 colonists from Sweden built Fort Elfsborg; but the Swedish settlers in 1655 submitted to the Dutch at New Amsterdam, and the latter in turn surrendered to the English in 1664. In 1675 John Fenwicke, an English Quaker, entered the Delaware river and founded the first permanent English settlement on the Delaware (which he called Salem). After purchasing lands from the Indians, Fenwicke attempted to maintain an independent government, but in 1682 he submitted to the authority of the proprietors of West Jersey. During the War of Independence Salem was plundered on the 17th of March 1778 by British troops under Colonel Charles Mawhood, and on the following day a portion of these troops fought a sharp but indecisive engagement at Quinton's Bridge, 3 m. S. of the town, with American militia under Colonel Benjamin Holmes. Salem was incorporated as a town in 1695, and was chartered as a city in 1858.