The Caldwells are a group of three municipalities in Essex County, New Jersey, all of which have the word Caldwell in their name. All of these communities are named after the Reverend James Caldwell, a Patriot who played an active role supporting the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, most notably his actions at the Battle of Springfield, where he gave the soldiers pages from hymn books to use as wadding for their rifle bullets.
While each community has its own independent government, and the three municipalities have no shared governance (other than Essex County), the term is often used to refer to the area, including on highway exit signs. Signage for Exits 47B and 52 on Interstate 80 and Exit 5 on Interstate 280 refer to "The Caldwells" as a destination.
The three municipalities are:
All three of the Caldwells were formed from what was known at the time as Caldwell Township that was incorporated by New Jersey in 1798: Caldwell incorporated (February 10, 1892), North Caldwell (March 31, 1898) and West Caldwell (February 24, 1904). The remainder of Caldwell Township was renamed Fairfield Township on November 6, 1963.
For other groups of similarly named municipalities in New Jersey, see:
- NJ Community Prepares to Honor Fighting Spirit of Reverend James Caldwell Archived 2006-05-06 at the Wayback Machine, accessed August 6, 2006
- "The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968", John P. Snyder, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 126.