Acquackanonk Township, New Jersey

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Acquackanonk Township
Acquackanonk Township in 1872
Acquackanonk Township in 1872
Coordinates: 40°51′41″N 74°9′32″W / 40.86139°N 74.15889°W / 40.86139; -74.15889Coordinates: 40°51′41″N 74°9′32″W / 40.86139°N 74.15889°W / 40.86139; -74.15889

Acquackanonk Township was a township that existed in New Jersey, United States, from 1693 until 1917, first in Essex County and then in Passaic County.



The land on which the town was situated was at one time owned by the Surveyor General of New Netherland Jacques Cortelyou, some "12,000 morgens at Aquackanonk on the Passaic, purchased by himself and associates of the Indians."[1] and known as the Acquackanonk Patent.[2] It was first settled in 1678 by Dutch traders, who in 1693 formed a Dutch Reformed congregation.[3][4][5]

The township was first formed on October 31, 1693, by the British in the newly established Province of New Jersey together with New Barbadoes Township, and was located in what was then the northern part of Essex County on the Passaic River. New Barbadoes Township became part of Bergen County in 1710, with Acquackanonk still part of Essex County. On February 21, 1798, Acquackanonk was incorporated as one of the initial group of 104 townships in the state of New Jersey. On February 7, 1837, Passaic County was created, incorporating the township and other portions of both Bergen County and Essex County. Over the years portions of the township were taken to create (or add to the territory of) Caldwell Township (February 16, 1798; now Fairfield Township), Paterson Township (April 11, 1831), Little Falls (April 2, 1868), Passaic village (created within the township on March 10, 1869, and independent from the township as of March 21, 1871), Paterson (1869) and Montclair (1907). The township became defunct on April 26, 1917, with the creation of Clifton.[6]

Acquackanonk tribe[edit]

The Acquackanonk were a Lenape group who spoke the same Algonquian language dialect and shared the same totem (turtle) as the neighboring Hackensack and Tappan. They were so called by the exonym by the New Netherlanders, who commonly referred to the people by the indigenous word for their territory. The name may mean a place in a rapid stream where fishing is done with a net.[7] Alternatively, at the lamprey stream from contemporary axkwaakahnung (spellings include Achquakanonk, Acquackanonk) [8] Lastly it may mean where gum blocks were made for pounding corn.[9] Ackquekenon [10] was the spelling used by European explorer Jasper Danckaerts in 1679 describe his visit there.[11]

Passaic River crossing[edit]

A bridge crossing of the Passaic River at Acquackanonk was first created in the colonial era, and was burned during Washington's 1776 great retreat from Fort Lee.[12] Today's Gregory Avenue Bridge was built on a slightly different alignment.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Register in Alphabetical Order, of the Early Settlers of Kings County, Long Island, Teunis G. Bergen, S.W. Green's Son, New York, 1881
  2. ^
  3. ^ Litchenberg, Lucas. De Nieuwe Wereld van Peter Stuyvesant: Nederlandse voetsporen in de Verenigde Staten, ISBN 90-5018-426-X, NUGI 470, Uitgeverij Balans, 1999
  4. ^ "New Jersey Historical Society". Archived from the original on 2016-06-24. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  5. ^ Patentees
  6. ^ Snyder, John P. The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 209. Accessed November 14, 2012.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-07-24. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
  8. ^ Woodland Indians Forum / Indian placenames in and around Paterson, NJ
  9. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. p. 23.
  10. ^ James, B.B. & James, J.F., ed., JOURNAL OF JASPER DANCKAERTS, 1679-1680, New York, 1913, pages 176-7
  11. ^ Danckaerts, Jasper, Journal Of A Voyage To New York In 1679-80
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-12-19. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  13. ^ "Masonry and Metal The Historic Bridges of Bergen County, New Jersey" (PDF). Richard Grubb and Associates. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2012-08-21.