1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hoboken (New Jersey)

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HOBOKEN, a city of Hudson county, New Jersey, U.S.A., on the Hudson river, adjoining Jersey City on the S. and W. and opposite New York city, with which it is connected by ferries and by two subway lines through tunnels under the river. Pop. (1890) 43,648; (1900) 59,364, of whom 21,380 were foreign-born, 10,843 being natives of Germany; (1910 census) 70,324. Of the total population in 1900, 48,349 had either one or both parents foreign-born, German being the principal racial element. The city is served by the West Shore, and the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western railways, being the eastern terminus of the latter, and is connected by electric railway with the neighbouring cities of north-eastern New Jersey. In Hoboken are the piers of the North German Lloyd, the Hamburg American, the Netherlands American, the Scandinavian and the Phoenix steamship lines. Hoboken occupies a little more than 1 sq. m. and lies near the foot of the New Jersey Palisades, which rise both on the W. and N. to a height of nearly 200 ft. Much of its surface has had to be filled in to raise it above high tide, but Castle Point, in the N.E., rises from the generally low level about 100 ft. On this Point are the residence and private estate of the founder of the city, John Stevens (1749-1838), Hudson Park, and facing it the Stevens Institute of Technology, an excellent school of mechanical engineering endowed by Edwin A. Stevens (1795-1868), son of John Stevens, opened in 1871, and having in 1909-1910 34 instructors and 390 students. The institute owes much to its first president, Henry Morton (1836-1902), a distinguished scientist, whose aim was “to offer a course of instruction in which theory and practice were carefully balanced and thoroughly combined,” and who gave to the institute sums aggregating $175,000 (see Morton Memorial, History of Stevens Institute, ed. by Furman, 1905). In connexion with the institute there is a preparatory department, the Stevens School (1870). The city maintains a teachers’ training school. Among the city’s prominent buildings are the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western station, the Hoboken Academy (1860), founded by German Americans, and the public library. The city has an extensive coal trade and numerous manufactures, among which are lead pencils, leather goods, silk goods, wall-paper and caskets. The value of the manufactured product increased from $7,151,391 in 1890 to $12,092,872 in 1900, or 69.1%. The factory product in 1905 was valued at $14,077,305, an increase of 34.3% over that for 1900. The site of Hoboken (originally “Hobocanhackingh,” the place of the tobacco pipe) was occupied about 1640 as a Dutch farm, but in 1643 the stock and all the buildings except a brew-house were destroyed by the Indians. In 1711 title to the place was acquired by Samuel Bayard, a New York merchant, who built on Castle Point his summer residence. During the War of Independence his descendant, William Bayard, was a loyalist, and his home was burned and his estate confiscated. In 1784 the property was purchased by John Stevens, the inventor, who in 1804 laid it out as a town. For the next thirty-five years its “Elysian Fields” were a famous pleasure resort of New York City. Hoboken was incorporated as a town in 1849 and as a city in 1855. On the 30th of June 1900 the wharves of the North German Lloyd Steamship Company and three of its ocean liners were almost completely destroyed by a fire, which caused a loss of more than 200 lives and over $5,000,000.