Salem, New Jersey
|Salem, New Jersey|
|City of Salem|
Old Salem Courthouse
The City of Salem highlighted in Salem County. Inset map: Salem County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Salem, New Jersey
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||February 21, 1798 (as township)|
|Incorporated||February 25, 1858 (as city)|
|• Mayor||Charles Washington, Jr. (term ends December 31, 2015)|
|• Clerk||Kathleen Keen|
|• Total||2.815 sq mi (7.291 km2)|
|• Land||2.343 sq mi (6.070 km2)|
|• Water||0.472 sq mi (1.221 km2) 16.75%|
|Area rank||350th of 566 in state
12th of 15 in county
|Elevation||10 ft (3 m)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Estimate (2013)||5,021|
|• Rank||374th of 566 in state
5th of 15 in county
|• Density||2,195.9/sq mi (847.8/km2)|
|• Density rank||275th of 566 in state
3rd of 15 in county
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||856 exchanges 339, 878, 935|
|GNIS feature ID||0885385|
Salem is a city in Salem County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 5,146, reflecting a decrease of 711 (-12.1%) from the 5,857 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 1,026 (-14.9%) from the 6,883 counted in the 1990 Census, an overall drop of more than 25% over the two decades. It is the county seat of Salem County, the state's most rural county. The name "Salem", in both the city and county, is derived from the Hebrew word shalom, meaning "peace".
The town and colony of Salem was laid out in 1675 by John Fenwick and the community was given permission to choose officers in October 1693. It was incorporated on February 21, 1798, as part of the initial group of 104 townships established by the New Jersey Legislature. On February 25, 1858, it was reincorporated as Salem City.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Government
- 5 Education
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Notable historical buildings
- 8 Notable people
- 9 Photo gallery
- 10 Climate
- 11 References
- 12 Bibliography
- 13 External links
Salem was founded by John Fenwick, a Quaker. Fenwick had been involved in a financial dispute with an Edward Billinge, another Quaker, who had received the undivided portion of New Jersey territory that James Stuart, Duke of York had granted to Lord John Berkeley in 1664. Berkeley had sold his share to Billinge in 1675 for 1,000 pounds, but Billinge had become bankrupt and so had the property turned over to Fenwick to hold for Billinge and his assigns in trust. Billinge and Fenwick came to disagree over the property.
William Penn was asked to adjudicate the matter and he awarded 90% of the claim to Billinge and the remaining 10% and a cash settlement to Fenwick for his share. Fenwick was dissatisfied with Penn's judgement and refused to abide by the decision; essentially Fenwick had no assurance that a previously bankrupt man would convey ten percent of the net proceeds of the future venture since he had not even paid the adjudicated cash settlement. So Fenwick organized a colony of settlers and sailed to the Delaware Bay where he settled as Patroon on the eastern shore near the abandoned Swedish settlement of Fort Nya Elfsborg and set himself up as the local governor of the fifth Tenth (approximately 20% of the original Billinge property), issuing land patents and enforcing his own laws in defiance of Billinge and Penn. Billinge countered by suing Fenwick, causing uncertainty in the chain of land title. The economic damages to those who controlled property within and near Salem caused many injured persons over the next decade to declare a long line of complaints and lawsuits in the colonial courts. To preserve Salem, its inhabitants and their property, Fenwick remained under arrest for months until copies of documents proving his claims were obtained from England. Fenwick ultimately proved the right of his claim in the court of Dominion Governor Andros, and returned to govern the Salem tenth by 1689. Salem remained as a settlement and continued growing.
In 1778, the British launched an assault against the local American militia in what became known as the Salem Raid. During that assault, Judge William Hancock of the King's Court who was presiding at the County Courthouse at the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, was accidentally killed by the British troops as part of the assault that became known as the Hancock House Massacre. After the war concluded, treason trials were held at the county courthouse where suspected Loyalists were put on trial for having allegedly aided the British raid of Salem. Four men were convicted and sentenced to death for treason; however, they were pardoned by Governor William Livingston and exiled from New Jersey.
The Old County Courthouse was the site of the legend of Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson proving the edibility of the tomato. Before 1820, Americans often assumed tomatoes were poisonous. In 1820, Colonel Johnson, according to legend, stood upon the courthouse steps and ate tomatoes in front of a large amazed crowd assembled to watch him do so. Modern scholars doubt the veracity of this story, however.
Salem is located along the Salem River. According to the United States Census Bureau, Salem city had a total area of 2.815 square miles (7.291 km2), of which 2.343 square miles (6.070 km2) of it was land and 0.472 square mile (1.221 km2) of it (16.75%) was water.
|Population sources: 1810-2000
1810-1920 1840 1830-1870
1850 1870 1880-1890
1930-1990 2000 2010
At the 2010 United States Census, there were 5,146 people, 2,157 households, and 1,264 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,195.9 per square mile (847.8/km2). There were 2,633 housing units at an average density of 1,123.6 per square mile (433.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 31.21% (1,606) White, 62.13% (3,197) Black or African American, 0.41% (21) Native American, 0.39% (20) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 1.85% (95) from other races, and 4.02% (207) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 6.68% (344) of the population.
There were 2,157 households, of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 22.8% were married couples living together, 30.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.4% were non-families. 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the city, 28.2% of the population were under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 22.4% from 25 to 44, 27.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34.4 years. For every 100 females there were 80.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 73.5 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $25,682 (with a margin of error of +/- $5,287) and the median family income was $38,286 (+/- $5,682). Males had a median income of $47,708 (+/- $9,641) versus $32,236 (+/- $5,778) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $17,733 (+/- $2,366). About 26.5% of families and 28.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 43.4% of those under age 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 5,857 people, 2,383 households, and 1,463 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,244.3 people per square mile (866.4/km2). There were 2,863 housing units at an average density of 1,097.0 per square mile (423.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 37.46% White, 56.77% African American, 0.60% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 1.38% from other races, and 3.55% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.88% of the population.
There were 2,383 households out of which 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.7% were married couples living together, 29.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.6% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.10.
In the city the population was spread out with 31.0% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 80.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 73.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,846, and the median income for a family was $29,699. Males had a median income of $35,389 versus $24,354 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,559. About 24.7% of families and 26.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.3% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over.
Salem is governed under the City form of New Jersey municipal government. The government consists of a Mayor, who is elected at-large to a three-year term of office. The City Council is made up of eight members, with four members representing each of two wards, East and West. Council members are elected on a staggered basis to four-year terms of office, with one seat from each ward up for election each year. All members of the governing body are chosen on a partisan basis as part of the November general election.
As of 2015[update], the Mayor of Salem is Democrat Charles Washington, Jr., whose term of office ends December 31, 2015. Members of the City Council are Council President Karen Roots (West; D, 2015), President Pro Tempore Horace Johnson (East; D, 2018), Ruth Ann Carter (East; D, serving an unexpired term ending December 2016), Earl R. Gage (West; D, 2018), Vaughn Groce (East; D, 2017), Sherman B. Hampton (East; D, 2015), Charles Hassler (West; D, 2017) and James G. Waddington (West; D, 2016).
Vaughn Groce was chosen in January 2013 to fill the seat of Charles Washington, Jr., expiring in December 2013 that was vacated when he took office as mayor. Ruth Carter was named in October 2013 to fill the seat vacated in the previous month by BobJohnson, who resigned due to family obligations. Carter will serve until November 2014, when a successor will be chosen to fill the balance of the seat through December 2016.
Federal, state and county representation
New Jersey's Second Congressional District is represented by Frank LoBiondo (R, Ventnor City). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus, 2019).
The 3rd Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Stephen M. Sweeney (D, West Deptford Township) and in the General Assembly by John J. Burzichelli (D, Paulsboro) and Celeste Riley (D, Bridgeton). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Salem County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders who are elected at-large to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election each year. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects a Director and a Deputy Director from among its members. As of 2014[update], Salem County's Freeholders (with party, residence, term-end year and committee chairmanship listed in parentheses) are Director Julie A. Acton (R, Pennsville Township, 2016; Administration), Deputy Director Dale A. Cross (R, Pennsville Township, 2014; Public Safety), Bruce L. Bobbitt (D, Pilesgrove Township, 2014; Public Services), Ben Laury (R, Elmer, 2015; Public Works) Beth E. Timberman (D, Woodstown, 2015; Social Services), Robert J. Vanderslice (R, Pennsville Township, 2014; Health and Human Services) Lee R. Ware (D, Elsinboro Township, 2016; Transportation, Agriculture and Cultural Affairs). Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Gilda T. Gill (2014), Sheriff Charles M. Miller (2015) and Surrogate Nicki A. Burke (2015).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 2,975 registered voters in Salem, of which 1,502 (50.5% vs. 30.6% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 229 (7.7% vs. 21.0%) were registered as Republicans and 1,244 (41.8% vs. 48.4%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were no voters registered to other parties. Among the city's 2010 Census population, 57.8% (vs. 64.6% in Salem County) were registered to vote, including 80.5% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 84.4% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 83.4% of the vote (1,674 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 15.4% (309 votes), and other candidates with 1.2% (24 votes), among the 2,022 ballots cast by the city's 3,322 registered voters (15 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 60.9%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 1,635 votes (78.8% vs. 50.4% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 390 votes (18.8% vs. 46.6%) and other candidates with 18 votes (0.9% vs. 1.6%), among the 2,074 ballots cast by the city's 3,141 registered voters, for a turnout of 66.0% (vs. 71.8% in Salem County). In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 1,266 votes (70.4% vs. 45.9% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 506 votes (28.1% vs. 52.5%) and other candidates with 16 votes (0.9% vs. 1.0%), among the 1,799 ballots cast by the city's 2,957 registered voters, for a turnout of 60.8% (vs. 71.0% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 55.3% of the vote (538 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 41.0% (399 votes), and other candidates with 3.7% (36 votes), among the 1,061 ballots cast by the city's 3,201 registered voters (88 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 33.1%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 731 ballots cast (66.3% vs. 39.9% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 241 votes (21.8% vs. 46.1%), Independent Chris Daggett with 73 votes (6.6% vs. 9.7%) and other candidates with 35 votes (3.2% vs. 2.0%), among the 1,103 ballots cast by the city's 3,101 registered voters, yielding a 35.6% turnout (vs. 47.3% in the county).
The Salem City School District serves public school students in pre-Kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district is one of 31 former Abbott districts statewide, which are now referred to as "SDA Districts" based on the requirement for the state to cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.
As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's three schools had an enrollment of 1,231 students and 131.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 9.40:1. Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are John Fenwick School (grades PreK-2; 399 students), Salem Middle School (3-8; 451), Salem High School (9-12; 381).
Public school students from Elsinboro, Lower Alloways Creek Township, Mannington Township and Quinton Township attend the district's high school for grades 9-12 as part of sending/receiving relationships.
The Port of Salem was designated by the British Crown in 1682 as a port of entry on the Salem River accessible via the Delaware River. It handles a variety of bulk cargo, notably of construction aggregate, break bulk cargo, and containers for clothing, fishing apparel, agricultural produce, and other consumer goods. South Jersey Port Corporation operates the Salem Terminal on a 22-acre complex located west of downtown.
The Glass House Spur of the Salem Branch begins at the Port of Salem and is operated by the Southern Railroad of New Jersey with connections to Conrail's South Jersey/Philadelphia Shared Assets Area operations at Swedesboro.
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the city had a total of 24.79 miles (39.90 km) of roadways, of which 16.57 miles (26.67 km) were maintained by the municipality, 5.95 miles (9.58 km) by Salem County and 2.27 miles (3.65 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
State highways passing through Salem include Route 45, which has its southern terminus at its intersection with Route 49.Route 45 Nearby highways and structures include Interstate 295, the New Jersey Turnpike and the Delaware Memorial Bridge.
Notable historical buildings
The Old Salem County Courthouse serves today as the administrative offices for Salem City. It is the oldest active courthouse in New Jersey and is the second oldest courthouse in continuous use in the United States. The Courthouse was erected in 1735 during the reign of King George II using locally manufactured bricks. The building was enlarged in 1817 and additionally enlarged and remodeled in 1908. Its distinctive bell tower is essentially unchanged and the original bell sits in the courtroom.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Salem include:
- Isaac Ambrose Barber (1852-1909), member of the United States House of Representatives from Maryland, serving from 1897 to 1899.
- Benjamin H. Brewster (1816–1888), United States Attorney General from 1881 to 1885.
- A. B. Brown (born 1965), running back who played for three seasons in the NFL with the New York Jets.
- Alexander G. Cattell (1816–1894), United States Senator from New Jersey.
- John Chowning (born 1934), musician, inventor and professor who developed FM synthesis.
- Henry T. Ellett (1812-1887), member of the United States House of Representatives from Mississippi who died while delivering a welcome address for President Grover Cleveland.
- Duke Esper (1868-1910), pitcher who played for nine professional seasons in Major League Baseball.
- Goose Goslin (1900–1971), Hall of Fame Major League Baseball player.
- William J. Hughes (born 1932), represented New Jersey's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives
- Lydell Mitchell (born 1949), running back in the National Football League from 1972 to 1980.
- Charles J. Pedersen (1904–1989), American organic chemist and winner of the 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
- John S. Rock (1826-1866), African-American doctor, dentist, abolitionist, and lawyer.
- Clement Hall Sinnickson (1834–1919), represented New Jersey's 1st congressional district from 1875 to1879.
- John Test (1771-1849), member of the United States House of Representatives from Indiana who served from 1829 to 1831.
The Salem River in Salem in 2006
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Salem has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
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- Young, Alex. "Carter appointed to fill vacant seat on Salem City Council", South Jersey Times, October 8, 2013. Accessed November 4, 2013. "Longtime city resident Ruth Carter was appointed to fill the city council seat left vacant after former Councilman Bob Johnson resigned last month.... The seat Carter is taking over became available when Johnson — a longtime city councilman — decided to resign on Sept. 16, due to an out-of-state family obligation.... Puma said Carter will serve in her appointment seat until Nov. 4, 2014 (Election Day), and whoever wins that election would serve the remainder of Johnson’s term until it expires on Dec. 31, 2016."
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- What are SDA Districts?, New Jersey Schools Development Authority. Accessed August 17, 2012. "SDA Districts are 31 special-needs school districts throughout New Jersey. They were formerly known as Abbott Districts, based on the Abbott v. Burke case in which the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the State must provide 100 percent funding for all school renovation and construction projects in special-needs school districts.... The districts were renamed after the elimination of the Abbott designation through passage of the state’s new School Funding Formula in January 2008."
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- New Jersey School Directory: Salem City Board of Education, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed February 8, 2013.
- Sending Districts, Salem City School District. Accessed September 14, 2014. "Salem High School welcomes students from the following schools in Salem County: Elsinboro Township School, Lower Alloways Creek Township School, Mannington Township School, Quinton Township Elementary School"
- Bumpus, Robert L. Salem County Report on Consolidation and Regionalization, Salem County, New Jersey Executive County Superintendent, March 15, 2010. Accessed September 14, 2014. "In this area of Salem County four P-8 districts, Lower Alloway Creek, Quinton, Elsinboro, and Mannington Townships have a send/receive agreement with neighboring Salem City to send their students to Salem High School."
- Salem High School, South Jersey Magazine. Accessed September 14, 2014. "Students from Elsinboro, Lower Alloways Creek Township, Mannington Township and Quinton Township attend the high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship, according to the school’s 2010 Report Card from the NJ Department of Education."
- Rouse, Ewart. "Partnership Will Take Over Dock At Salem The Public Part Of The Salem Port Will Be Leased To Private Investors. The Signing Is Today.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 18, 1996. Accessed September 14, 2014. "The facility, about a half-mile off the Delaware River, dates to October 1682. That's when it received a charter as a British Crown point of entry."
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- Salem County Bus / Rail Connections, New Jersey Transit, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 26, 2010. Accessed August 17, 2012.
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- Staff. "Delaware City-Salem Ferry expands operating schedule, offers shuttle service in Salem", South Jersey Times, June 22, 2013. Accessed November 4, 2013.
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- Harvin, Al. "Mistake in Identity Pays Compliment to a Rookie", The New York Times, August 1, 1989. Accessed November 4, 2013. "'I would've been upset getting drafted on the eighth round, but because it was the Jets, I was excited,' said Brown, who grew up in the South Jersey town of Salem, where he broke the high school record of the former Colts star Lydell Mitchell for yards rushing and touchdowns scored in a season.
- Alexander Gilmore Cattell, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed July 30, 2007.
- Manfredi, Fernando. "llega a uruguay john chowning, pionero en la sintetizacion de los sonidos, algo indispensable para el musico de ahora: La música de las computadoras - El destacado creador realizará un concierto con sus obras y una conferencia para todo público", El País (Uruguay), September 25, 2006. Accessed August 17, 2012. "Nacido en la ciudad de Salem, (Nueva Jersey) en el año 1934, Chowning estudió en la Universidad de Wittenberg."
- Gordon, Geo W. "Hon. Henry T. Ellett; A Biographical Sketch", Proceedings of the Annual Session of the Bar Association of Tennessee, p. 102. Tennessee Bar Association. Accessed November 4, 2013. "Henry T. Ellett was born in Salem, New Jersey, on the eighth of March, 1812, and died in Memphis, Tennessee, on the fifteenth day of October, 1887, in the presence of assembled thousands, who had just listened to his eminently appropriate, eloquent and patriotic address of welcome to the President of the United States."
- Duke Esper, Baseball-reference.com. Accessed November 4, 2013.
- Staff. "Goose Goslin: Hero of Salem - Horse & Plow", Salem County, New Jersey, Summer 2009. Accessed January 12, 2011.
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- Bass, Alison. "CHEMISTRY NOBEL IS SHARED BY 3; 2 WIN IN PHYSICS", The Boston Globe, October 15, 1987. Accessed June 26, 2007. "Pedersen, 83, reached at his home in Salem, N.J., told reporters: 'I've never had an experience like this. It is a great honor.'"
- Clement Hall Sinnickson, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed June 26, 2007.
- John Test, Indiana State Library. Accessed November 4, 2013. "John Test was born on November 12, 1771, in Salem, New Jersey."
- Climate Summary for Salem, New Jersey
- Shourds, Thomas (1876), History and genealogy of Fenwick's Colony, New Jersey, New Jersey: Bridgeton, ISBN 0-8063-0714-5