The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Trenton
TRENTON, a city and the capital of New Jersey and of Mercer co., on the left bank of the Delaware river at the confluence of Assunpink creek, and at the head of steamboat navigation, 28 m. N. E. of Philadelphia, and 55 m. S. W. of New York; lat. 40° 14′ N., lon. 74° 46′ 30″ W.; pop. in 1860, 17,228; in 1870, 22,874, of whom 5,019 were foreigners; in 1875, 25,031. The city is regularly laid out, and lighted with gas. Assunpink creek divides it into nearly equal parts, Trenton and South Trenton. Water is raised from the Delaware to a reservoir N. of the city.
The capitol is a handsome stone building, recently enlarged, 240 ft. by 120, stuccoed in imitation of granite. The county court house is in South Trenton. There is also a good city hall. Trenton contains one of the state lunatic asylums, founded in 1848, and having accommodation for 600 patients; the state normal school, established in 1855, and having extensive buildings; the state penitentiary, and the state arsenal. There is now (1876) in course of construction by the United States government a large and handsome building, of Ohio sandstone, intended for the post office and United States courts and offices, to cost $500,000. The soldiers' children's home and the state industrial school for girls are near by. There are two bridges over the Delaware opposite the city, one 1,100 ft. long, built about 1810, and recently reconstructed of iron, and the other about 1,300 ft. long, completed in 1860. The Delaware and Raritan canal passes through the city, forming a water communication with Philadelphia and New York, and, by its navigable feeder, with Lambertville and New Hope, about 18 m. N. Trenton is connected with Philadelphia and New York by the Pennsylvania railroad, and is the point of junction with the Belvidere Delaware railroad, which runs to the Water Gap and connects with the coal regions of Pennsylvania. The manufacture of crockery is the most important industry, Trenton surpassing all other places in the country in this respect. There are 13 potteries, producing white granite and brown ware to the value of about $3,000,000 annually. The city also contains iron founderies, breweries, paper mills, woollen mills, rolling mills, rubber works, zinc works, and manufactories of engines and boilers, wire, terra cotta, belting and hose, edge tools, soap, carriages, nails, saws, scales, &c. There are two national banks with a joint capital of $1,000,000, a state bank with $500,000 capital, three savings banks, and two insurance companies with a joint capital of $700,000. The city is governed by a mayor and a common council of three members from each of the seven wards. It has street railroads and an efficient fire department. The principal charitable institutions are a home for widows, a children's home, and the hospital of St. Francis. There are a high school and 11 other public schools, with about 50 teachers and an average attendance of about 2,000 pupils, besides academies and Roman Catholic schools. The state library contains 20,539 volumes, the law library 15,000, and the public library about 5,000. Six daily, one semi-weekly (German), and six weekly newspapers are published. There are 34 churches, viz.: 4 Baptist, 3 Episcopal, 1 Evangelical Lutheran, 2 Friends', 1 Jewish, 1 Lutheran, 1 Messiah, 12 Methodist, 6 Presbyterian, and 3 Roman Catholic.—The first settlement in the vicinity was made about 1680, and was named in 1720 in honor of Col. William Trent, speaker of the house of assembly. It was selected as the capital of New Jersey in 1790, and incorporated as a city in 1792. On the night preceding Dec. 26, 1776, Gen. Washington crossed the Delaware river at McConkey's ferry, and attacked the Hessians, who were encamped in Trenton, surprising and routing them completely, taking about 1,000 prisoners, 6 brass field pieces, 1,200 stand of arms, and the standards of an entire brigade. The Hessians numbered about 1,300, and 17 were killed in the skirmish, while the Americans lost not a man in the fight, although two were frozen to death in recrossing the river. The force of the enemy in the vicinity being superior to Washington's, he returned to his camp on the other side of the Delaware on the night of the 26th.