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The History of Camden, NJ

The personal injury lawyers in Camden, NJ at NJ Injury Guys present this article on the area's history.

Camden

Camden is located in Camden County, New Jersey. The Delaware River creates the western border of this 6,592-acre town. With the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and ferries making commuting a breeze, the city has a strong relationship with its neighbors. Due to the Port of Camden, the area is one of America's most prominent shipping hubs for cocoa and wood products.

Early History

During the 17th Century, European settlers traded fur with other areas and the Native Americans. King Charles II controlled the area until he sold it to the Quakers of New Jersey in 1673. The establishment of the ferry system allowed the area to develop and the population to increase. The Lenape Nation of Native Americans lived peacefully beside the Quakers until infectious diseases, and the introduction of alcohol diminished the population.

In 1688 the County Court of Gloucester approved the ferry travel to Philidelphia. This allowed for population growth in the area. In 1773, Jacob Cooper named the city after Charles Pratt, the Earl of Camden. Three main families set up residence along the Deleware River:

  • the Coopers
  • the Kaighns
  • the Mickels

In the 19th Century, the area was Philidelphia's transportation and economic hub. The Camden and Amboy Railroad construction, one of the first railroads in America, began in 1830. The railroad allowed passengers to travel from New York to the ferries at the Delaware River, along the bank at Camden, and then to Philidelphia.

Industrial City

In the late 19th Century, the area was becoming industrialized. Joseph Campbell brought in the Campbells Soup factory in 1891. Immigration was increasing the population and creating a solid workforce. From 1870 to 1920, the population in Camden increased by 96,000. Camden became the most productive and largest shipyard. Later to be renamed Benjamin Franklin Bridge, the Deleware River Bridge was open to traffic in 1926. Many large companies made the area their base, including:

  • Campbells Soup
  • RCA Victor
  • New York Shipbuilding
  • Camden Forge Company
  • Victor Talking Machine Company

When World War II ended, the area suffered from some of the larger companies, like Campbell Soup Company and RCA Victor, moving their production out of Camden. Unionized workers had begun demanding higher wages and caused companies to either move out or close down entirely as The NY Shipbuilding Corporation did in 1967. 

Medicine and Education

In the 21st Century, the area has switched its focus from manufacturing to education and medicine. Several universities have provided work for the residents of Camden, such as the following:

  • Cooper University Hospital
  • Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
  • Rowan University
  • Rutgers University-Camden
  • Camden County College

Medical and healthcare providers have become the city's chance for revitalization, despite the continued population decrease. Together the educational and healthcare industries source over 7,500 jobs. Some of the healthcare facilities in the area include:

  • Virtua 
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center
  • CAMcare

New Development

Under Mayor Dana Redd and the Liberty Property Trust, waterfront development plans were set to include a $700 million facelift. The first building completed was the American Water Company headquarters. This five-story building consists of office space for 700 employees and includes a parking garage. In addition, an 18-story office building, Camden Tower, will be constructed becoming the headquarters to three New Jersey companies:

  • Conner Strong Buckelew
  • NFI 
  • The Michaels Organization

Many other waterfront businesses, hotels, and housing complexes will soon be completed bringing in much-needed social and economic growth for the area.

Demographics

In 2010 Camden's population was 77,344, a decrease of 2,560 since 2000. The average household income was $27,027, and more than 33.5% were living in poverty. The ethnic breakdown of the area is the following:

  • 48.07% African American
  • 17.59% white
  • 47.07% Hispanic or Latino
  • 2.1% Asian
  • 0.76% Native American
  • 0.06% Pacific Islander

See Related: All About Ellisburg, NJ

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Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
(856) 272-7895

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Gabriel A. DiLeonardo, Sr., Esq.
Date Published: April 15, 2021
Gabriel DiLeonardo, Esq. is a New Jersey licensed attorney-at-law. He helps people who suffer injuries get justice through personal injury lawsuits.
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This website is by DiLeonardo Law LLC d/b/a NJ Injury Guys. We have offices throughout the state of New Jersey with attorneys licensed to practice law in New Jersey. Use of this site does not form an attorney-client relationship and information herein shall not be construed as legal advice. This website is to be considered as ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. Past settlement and verdict values are no guarantee of similar future outcomes. This firm may retain local counsel for prosecuting cases. Results may vary from case to case depending on the specific circumstances of the case. This website has not been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
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