Jonathan Pitney

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Father of Atlantic City

Dr. Jonathan Pitney (October 2, 1797 – August 7, 1869), considered the Father of Atlantic City, New Jersey, was a physician who promoted Absecon Island as a healing seashore resort.[1]


Born in Mendham Borough, New Jersey in October 29, 1797, he studied medicine at Columbia University under Valentine Mott. He moved to Absecon, New Jersey in 1819 and established his medical practice there. He was a delegate to the New Jersey Constitutional Convention in 1844 and was instrumental in lobbying for the construction of the Absecon Lighthouse in the aftermath of the Powhattan ship wreck[2] Pitney's main achievement was the promotion of Absecon Island as a shore medical retreat, with the help of civil engineer Richard Osborne and well connected Richard Summers they devised the idea creating a large scale resort. In 1853 he presented Osborne's designs for the city to Philadelphia railroad investors, which led to the creation of the Camden and Atlantic Railroad which opened on July 4, 1854. Pitney further promoted the city by extolling the healing properties of salt water and ocean air. He died in his Absecon home on August 7, 1869.[3]


  1. ^ "The Atlantic City Free Public Library - Dr. Jonathan Pitney". Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  2. ^ "Full text of "Jonathan Pitney, M. D. Fifty years of progress on the coast of New Jersey"". 1886. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  3. ^ Heston, A.M. (1904). Absegami: annals of Eyren Haven and Atlantic city, 1609 to 1904 ... Retrieved 2017-08-20.