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Chapter 2

Originally published in 1884
Compiled by Willian H. Shaw

Edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2004


THIS is one of the interior, as well as one of the original counties of the State, and was first formed in 1675, and its boundaries definitely fixed by the act of January 21, 1709-10, and comprised the teritory then known as Elizabethtown and Newark, and now covered by the counties of Essex, Union, and a part of Middlesex and Morris Counties. Essex County, as now constituted, is bounded on the northeast by Passaic County, east by Bergen and Hudson Counties and Newark Bay, southwest by Union County, and northwest by Morris County.

With the exception of the two trap-ridges crossing the county from northeast to southwest, and known as the First and Second Mountains, the surface is gently undulating, and in some portions quite level, so much so indeed, that it is covered by tide marsh and wet meadow. The principal streams are the Passaic River, which forms the boundary line between this and Morris County, and a portion of the boundary line between this and the counties of Passaic, Bergen, and Hudson ; the east and west branches of the Rahway River, both of which take their rise in Essex County, the first in Orange City and West Orange, and the latter in West Orange, between the two mountains ; the first and second rivers, both flowing northeasterly into the Passaic ; Parrow and Wigwam brooks, the first rising in the city of Orange, and the latter in West Orange, both uniting near the northeast line of the city, forming the head waters of First River. The county is crossed by the Morris and Essex Canal ; the Newark branch of the New York, Lake Erie and Western railroad; the New York and Greenwood Lake railroad, with branch from near North Newark Station to Orange ; the Pennsylvania railroad; the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western railroad, with branch from Newark to Bloomfield and Montclair; the Newark and New York, with branch to Perth Amboy, and street railroads running from Newark to Irvington, South Orange, East Orange, and Orange, Bloomfield, and Belleville.

The area of the county by townships as given by Professor George H. Cook in 1868, was as follows:

Belleville, 5,062 acres; Bloomfield, 8,070 acres; Caldwell, 17,920 acres, 2,617 of which was wet meadow land; Clinton, 5,229 acres; East Orange, 2,394 acres; Fairmount, (now West Orange), 4,621 acres; Livingston, 11,354 acres, 333 acres of which is wet meadow land; Milburn, 6,234 acres ; Newark, 9,126 acres, 4,282 acres of which are tide marsh; Orange, (not in Cook's report) estimated at 1,800 acres ; South Orange, 6,118 acres; West Orange, 3,725 acres. Total, according to Professor Cook, (not including Orange), 79,852 acres. Deducting Fairmount Township, which was not at the date of the report a township, but the name had been changed five years before, to West Orange, and we have a total in county of 77,021 acres, allowing Orange to be 1800 acres.
The population of Essex County at various periods is herewith given, and will no doubt prove interesting as well as valuable. In 1666, it was estimated at 200. This included only Newark, which at that time included nearly all of the territory now embraced in Essex County. In 1682, the population had increased one hundred per cent., or estimated such, and put down at 400, and in 1726, to 4,230. In 1737, it had gone up to 7,019, and eight years later, 1745, had decreased to 6,988. The number of the people in the Eastern Division of the Province of New Jersey, taken by order of His Excellency, Lewis Morris, Esqr., Captain General and Commander in Chief of the said Province, in the year of our Lord, 1745, was as follows:

New Jersey Population in 1745
County Males above 16 years Males under 16 years Females above 16 yearsFemales under 16 years Quakers
or reputed Quakers
Male Slaves Female SlavesWhole number of inhabitants Increase since 1737
Bergen 721 494 590 585 ... 379 237 3006 ...
Essex 1694 1652 1649 1548 35 244 201 6988 ...
Middlesex 1728 1651 1659 1695 400 483 396 7612 2848.
Monmouth 2071 1975 1783 1899 3131 513 3861 8627 2541
Somerset 740 765 672 719 91 194 1491 3239 ...
Total 6954 6537 6353 6446 3557 1813 1369 29,472 ...
Total of both Divisions 15,086 14,253 13,684 13,754 9636 2588 2018 61,383 ...

Total State Population
1726 32,442
1737 47,369
1745 61,383

In 1790, Essex County, (including portions of what is now Morris, Passaic, and all of Union County,) had gone up to 17,785. In 1800, it was 22,269 ; 1810, 22,984; 1820, it was 30,793; in 1830, it had risen to 41,- 911 ; 1840, after setting off a part of Passaic in 1837, the population was left at 44,621 ; in 1850, it was 73,950. Again, March 19, 1857, the area of the county was reduced by the formation of Union County, yet in 1860, the population had increased to 98,877, and at the close of the war in 1865, it had mounted up to 124,441, and in 1870, it was 143,839. In 1880, the county showed by cities and townships, the following population: Newark, 136,508; Orange City, 13,207; Belleville, 3,004; Bloomfield, 5,748; Caldwell, 3,167; Clinton, including Irvington, 2,742; East Orange, 8,349; Franklin, 1,617; Livingston, 1,401; Milburn, 1,743; Montclair, 5,147; South Orange, 3,911; West Orange, 3,385. Total, 189,929.

Governors of New Jersey.-Chronological List.

Philip Carteret 1665 to 1681.
Robert Berkeley 1682 to 1685.
Thomas Rudyard, Deputy Gov 1683.
Garen Lawrie 1683.
Lord Niel Campbell 1685.
Andrew Hamilton 1692 to 1697.
Jeremiah Basse 1698 to 1699.

Samuel Jennings, Deputy 1681.
Thomas Oliver, Governor 1684 to 1655.
John Skien, Deputy 1685 to 1687.
William Welsh, Deputy 1686.
Daniel Coxe 1687.
Andrew Hamilton 1692 to 1697.
Jeremiah Basse, Deputy 1697 to 1699.
Andrew Hamilton, Governor 1699 till surrender to the Crown, 1702.

Lord John Cornbury, Gov 1703 to 1708.
John Lovelace, (died in office) 1708.
Richard Ingolsby, Lieut. Gov 1709 to 1710.
Gen. Andrew Hunter 1710 to 1720.
William Burnet 1720 to 1727.
John Montgomery 1728 to 1731.
Lewis Morris 1731 to 1732.
William Crosby 1732 to 1736.
John Hamilton 1736 to 1738.
The above were also Governors of New York at the same time.

Lewis Morris 1738 to 1746.
John Hamilton 1746 to 1747.
Jonathan Belcher 1747 to 1757.
John Reading 1757 to 1758.
Francis Barnard 1758 to 1760.
Thomas Boone 1760 to 1761.
Thomas Hardy 1761 to 1763.
William Franklin 1763 to 1766.

William Livingston 1776 to 1790.
William Paterson 1790 to 1792.
Richard Howell 1792 to 1801.
John Lambert, V. Pres. of Council 1802 to 1803.
Joseph Bloomfield 1803 to 1812.
Aaron Ogden 1812 to 1813.
William S. Pennington 1813 to 1815.
Mahlon Dickerson 1815 to 1817.
Isaac H. Williamson 1817 to 1829.
Garret D. Wall, (declined) 1829.
Peter D. Vroom 1829 to 1832.
Samuel L. Southard 1832 to Feb. 1833.
Elias P. Seeley 1833 to 1834.
Peter D. Vroom 1835 to 1836.
Philemon Dickerson 1836 to 1837.
William Pennington 1837 to 1843.
Daniel Haines 1843 to 1844.

Charles C. Stratton 1845 to 1848.
Daniel Haines 1848 to 1851.
George F. Fort 1851 to 1854.
Rodman M. Price 1854 to 1857.
William A. Newell 1857 to 1860.
Charles S. Olden 1860 to 1863.
Joel Parker 1863 to 1866.
Marcus L. Ward 1866 to 1868.
Theodore F. Randolph 1869 to 1872.
Joel Parker 1872 to 1875.
Joseph D. Bedle
Gen. George B. McClellan 1878 to 1881.
George C. Ludlow 1881 to 1884.
Leon Abbett 1884 to

History of Essex County

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