John Hayward, Gazetteer of the United States of America.... (Philadelphia: James L. Gihon, 1854), 598.
Trenton, N. J. City, capital of the state, and seat of justice of Mercer co. 29 miles N. E. from Philadelphia, and 57 miles S. W. from New York. Population in 1810, 3003; in 1820, 3942; 1830, 3925; 1840, 4035; 1850, 6766.
Trenton is situated at the head of sloop navigation, on the E. side of the Delaware River, opposite the lower falls. The Assunpink Creek here enters the Delaware. At the foot of the falls, or rapids, the Delaware is crossed by a fine bridge, 1100 feet in length, consisting of 5 arches, resting upon stone piers, which is considered a superior specimen of this species of architecture. It was built in 1806, at an expense of $180,000. The Philadelphia and Trenton Railroad is carried over the river on this bridge. The ground on which the city is built, as well as the surface of the town generally, is considerably varied. The districts of Mill Hill, Bloomsburg, and Lamberton, included in the borough of South Trenton, and extending about a mile down the river, may in a general description be regarded as a part of the city.
Trenton is regularly laid out, and has many handsome stores, dwellings, and other edifices. The public buildings in the city proper are the state house, the governor's house, a public library, a lyceum, and 7 or 8 houses of public worship. The state house is beautifully situated near the Delaware, commanding a fine view of the river and the surrounding country. It is 100 feet long and 60 feet wide, built of stone, and stuccoed to resemble granite. Several of the public offices are fire-proof buildings. The governor's house is a plain but commodious edifice. The public buildings in South Trenton are the court house, the state prison, and 4 or 5 churches. The court house is a handsome edifice of brick, stuccoed, in the Grecian style of architecture, with a portico of 6 Ionic columns on each end, and surmounted with a balcony. The state prison is well situated, near the Delaware and Raritan Canal, and the railroad from Philadelphia to New York. The walls, 20 feet high and 3 feet thick, enclose an area of 4 acres. The entrance is through the main building, in which reside the family of the warden and his assistants, to an observatory in the rear, from which diverge, at an angle of 45 degrees, on each side, the two corridors, in which are the cells for the prisoners. If the enlargement of this penitentiary is ever wanted, it is the design to add other radii, in conformity to the plan of these corridors.
The Delaware and Raritan Canal, which forms an inland navigation from Brunswick to this place, passes through the city. It is 42 miles long, 75 feet wide, and 7 feet deep, and is sufficient for the passage of small sloops. It crosses the Assunpink Creek, on a fine stone aqueduct. It was finished in 1834, at a cost of $2,500,000.
The Delaware is navigable for large boats above the falls at Trenton, as far as Easton, Pa. The New Jersey Railroad, between New York and Philadelphia, via Newark, Elizabethtown, and Princeton, passes through this place.
Trenton was first settled in 1720; and received a city charter in 1792. It will ever be memorable as the place where the favor of Providence began decidedly to smile on the American arms in the war of the revolution; for here, on the night of December 25, 1776, at a gloomy period of the war, Washington crossed the Delaware, with 2400 of the continental troops, and suddenly attacked and captured 1000 Hessians of the British army, "which greatly revived the spirit of the nation, and had an important influence on the final result of the contest." The ground on which the Hessians laid down their arms is a little to the N. E. of the state house.
Trenton is an admirable site for manufacturing purposes, possessing, as it does, an extensive water power, created by artificial means, from the falls on the Delaware, and the waters of the Assunpink Creek.