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Trenton City

Mercer County, New Jersey

Trenton City Hall is located at 319 East State Street, Trenton NJ 08608; phone 609‑989‑3000.

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Beginnings

In the history of Trenton the first thing that arrests our attention is the early name of the place and its origin. The first settlement, as will hereafter appear, dates from the year 1679, at which time the region on the Delaware River in the vicinity of what is now Trenton was known as the Falls of the Delaware. All the authorities agree upon that point. A few white men were at the Falls in the seventeenth century, before the settlement of 1679, or passed through them in voyages on the river, but no permanent settlement was made until the coming of Mahlon Stacy and the other Friends, or Quakers, in the year mentioned.

An early description of the Falls, and certainly the first after the settlement was made, is that given in the Journal of a Voyage 1679-1680 by Dankers and Sluyter under date of Friday, November 17, 1679. The entry ... tells among other things of the travellers' disappointment in the "falls," which they found to be "nothing more than a stretch of about two miles in length where the river is full of stones almost across it, which are not very large, but in consequence of shallowness the water runs rapidly and breaks against them, causing some noise." And this condition is recognizable today, although the bank of the river from Calhoun Street down to the Assunpink Creek has been filled out from the narrow fringe of land along the Sanhican (formerly called the Water Power) to a considerable extent, covering many of the rocks and sandbars, which, except in times of high water, were formerly discernible from the bank.

  1. Source: A History of Trenton 1679-1929, Princeton Historical Society, Princeton Univ Press

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