BLTC Press Titles

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll

The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

The Worm Ouroboros

E. R. Eddison

Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi

A History of the City of Newark, New Jersey

by Frank John Urquhart


"Whereas, the Township of Newark has become so populous x that it is impracticable to procure a room adequate for the accommodation of the Inhabitants of the Township when in Town Meeting assembled for the transaction of the annual business of the Township,

Be it Therefore Resolved, That a committee be appointed to digest a plan for the division of the Township into two or more Wards, with a system for the transaction of the Township business upon equitable principles, by the two, or more separate Wards, and that the Committee report to a special Town Meeting to be called for that purpose."

The committee was made up of General Isaac Andruss, Joseph

C. Hornblower, Stephen Dod, William H. Earle and Archer Gifford,

the latter one of the town's leading lawyers, and a relative of Archer

Gifford, the innkeeper. On June 2 of the same year this committee

reported "that owing to the numerous population of the town," then

about 15,000, "and its rapid increase," the division as suggested in

the resolutions of April 9 was advisable, but that the aid of the

Legislature was necessary. It therefore recommended that another

committee be appointed to draft a bill for the division of the town

into two or more districts. This idea was adopted and Hornblower,

Andruss and Dod of the various committees were selected to draw

the bill. A special meeting was held on January 3,1833, to hear the

report of this committee, when the plan for the proposed bill was

1 See Appendix D for population statistics.

submitted, considered by sections and a committee of two from each of the informally existing wards was chosen to draft the actual bill. This committee was: North Ward—James Vanderpool, Archer Gifford. South Ward—Asa Whitehead, Amzi Armstrong. East Ward—Joel H. Condit, Joseph C. Hornblower. West Ward— Isaac Andruss, William Pennington.

This bill was quickly made a law. It afforded some slight relief, but not sufficient to meet the ever-growing demands. The desirability of incorporation as a city became a more and more popular theme of discussion. So, another act, providing a city charter, was prepared and adopted by the Legislature, on February 29, 1836. This was approved by a popular vote on March 18 of the same year.


The law required that the Act of Incorporation be approved by three-fifths of the voters. The total vote was 2,195. The tickets were simply "Corporation" and "No Corporation." The vote for incorporation was 1,870 "for" and 325 "against." The opposition was not so strong as had been anticipated, and the progressive spirit of the community won with a margin of 533 votes, the necessary three-fifths. The next day the Daily Advertiser published the following:

"Newark a City.—The roar of cannon announced to the town last night the gratifying result of the election. The charter is accepted by an immense majority, and the powers and privileges of a corporation are thus secured to us. * * * The election was conducted with entire good feeling and without any mixture of political prejudice. The same public spirit, we trust, will continue to prevail in all the future arrangements and counsels of the town. * * * As we have commenced, so let us continue, in the spirit of kindness, conciliation and disinterestedness, to act with a single eye to the common interest of the whole."


The first charter election was held on Monday, April 11, the same year, 1836, and thus Newark became a city, with these officers: Mayor, William Halsey. Aldermen: North Ward— Abraham W. Kinney, William Lee, Isaac Meeker, John H. Stephens. South Ward—Isaac Baldwin, Thomas B. Pierson, Aaron Camp, H. L. Parkhurst. East Ward—William Garthwaite, Joel W. Condit, James Beardsley, James Miller. West Ward—Enoch Bolles, William Rankin, Abner P. Howell, James Keene.2 Each ward had also: A ward clerk, an assessor, a collector of taxes, a commissioner of appeals, a judge of election, two representatives in the school committee, and three constables.

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