The parting hour

GIRLS and young women peopled William Whitehead’s childhood, connections kept up when his family moved to Perth Amboy in 1823. The youngest child of his parents, William was the only son to relocate with them. Following the sudden death of a half-sister, a nomination to West Point secured for him was forfeited, and the promise … More The parting hour

Renaissance man

EAST New Jersey’s seat of government was, in the earliest records, referred to as the Town of Perth, New Perth, Perth Town or Perth tout court before it acquired the surname Ambo or Amboy, from an indigenous word for the locality.1 The first element of the combination linked the settlement to Scotland, a country then … More Renaissance man

The king’s peace

THAT quiet foothold onto which imperial designs projected a future “London of America” enjoyed some modest communion with the city far away on the Thames. The first settlers located their government here, yet its fortunes diminished when the two Jerseys became one province–the Assembly convening now in this capital, now in the other, and the … More The king’s peace

Fathers of invention

NEARLY ten times its breadth from stem to stern, powered by a compound engine that rendered the ride both swift and smooth, the John Potter offered as elegant and efficient a link as could be had between Manhattan and the railhead of the Camden and Amboy. Its passengers continued their trip from wharves on the … More Fathers of invention

Four Corners

NEAR the end of 1915, workers for the Public Service Railway Company took up positions at the junction of Newark’s Broad and Market Streets, and began to count. On a single weekday, from before dawn until after dusk, observers at each corner tallied all pedestrians stepping off the curb or turning, all passengers on streetcars … More Four Corners

Speed

ON the modern map of Newark, Lombardy Street barely registers. Except for two disparate but imposing twenty-story towers flanking its entrance with their faces on Broad Street, it is devoid of buildings.  It points to the Passaic but, never coming within sight of the river’s edge, offers only a quick connection to streetcars and automobiles … More Speed