This is not a Newark "Memory"
but rather a look back at the Newark of 1835-36 when the town of
Newark, with a population of 19,732, was a thriving community of
business and commerce.
It consisted of about 1,600 buildings with its westernmost residential
settlement at High Street.
It was a time when much of Newark's manufactured goods was being
exported (more than 8 million dollars worth in 1835) to southern
ports, and to South America and the West Indies...a time when oil
lamps were installed on Newark streets for nighttime illumination,
and a time when on March 18, 1836 the town was incorporated as a
city, with mayor and common council through the acceptance of a
Its first elected mayor was William Halsey.
It was also the time when Newark, now an incorporated city, issued
its first City Directory, published at the office of The Newark
Daily Advertiser, but printed in Clifton.
Newark's 1835 Population Breakdown
I found it interesting that in a 1907 Newark history book that
described Newark's population in 1835 the residents were categorized
- Free White Americans ...... 10,562
- Irish population ...... (about) 6,000
- English and Scotch ............. 1,000
- German................. (about) 300
- Free people of color .......... 359
Not listed in the above population counts were the 20 slaves in
Newark in 1836.
Some Other Newark 1835 Statistics
It was the time when Newark got its first railroad, the Morris
and Essex...when there were 12 hotels in Newark...and when the newly-incorporated
city boasted 18 churches.
Newark in 1835 was also a whaling port. One report of that year
showed that a whaling vessel from Newark returned after a 27-month
voyage with a cargo of 3,000 barrels of whale oil and 16,000 pounds
First City Directory
It was also the time that Newark--now an incorporated city--issued
its first City Directory. It was published at the office of The
Newark Daily Advertiser, but printed in Clifton.
I was able to borrow a copy of the Directory and to browse the
contents of the miniscule book measuring 4¼ inches in width
and 7 inches high, and one-half inch thick.
What fascinated me was the wide variety of occupations for a community
of just under 19,000, and the many skills that prevailed at that
era that have since been lost in time.
Sampling of Occupational Specialties
I took note of the male occupations of the first 150 names in
the Directory and observed these predominant occupational specialties:
27 shoemaker (but only one shoe and boot store) ... eleven grocers
(but only one dry goods store) ... ten carpenters (but only one
cabinetmaker) ... nine hatters (but only one milliner) ... eight
blacksmiths ( and six individuals engages in saddle and harness
manufacture) ... five individuals involved in carriage and coach-making
... five masons.
Among the first 150 occupational listings in the Directory, I
took note of the following specialty businesses: 11 grocers ...
four jewelers ... a boot and shoe store ... a tin and stove store
... a dry goods store ... a clothing store ... a printer ... and
Among the specialized occupations, there was both a justice of
the peace, a constable, and two attorneys. Also a school principal
and two teachers ... and a boatman, a dock builder, and a mariner.
In the building trades, aside from the 10 carpenters mentioned
earlier, there was a lumber merchant, a builder, and a sash and
Three Newarkers in the 150 listed their occupation as farmer,
while there was only one gardener. The three farmers were all of
the same family and their address was shown as "Orange above
And for the drinking trade, there was a listing of one distiller,
and one cooper.
It should be noted here that the above mini-survey of Newark occupations
in 1835 reflects only a narrow slice of the city's various 1835-36
occupations, taken from the first two letters of the alphabetical
listings. But I found it interesting mainly for the flavor of its