The City Hall of Perth Amboy, NJ!!!

If you have read my blog, you will know this was my first city in the USA. Perth Amboy was the city of my teens , middle and HS schools, driving license, US citizenship, English, and first taste of real work before moving on in life to Florida and then France. A long journey indeed, looking back it was all worth it.

However, there is not a place I have been that I am not thankful for whatever was given to make me a better person. The city of Perth Amboy and my Panthers of High School are still within me. I had written a post a long time ago about the City, County,and State but believe for historical reasons that I must update this older post and tell you about the City Hall of Perth Amboy. Therefore, here it is.

Perth Amboy is a city in Middlesex County, New Jersey, USA. The City is part of the New York metropolitan area. Perth Amboy was settled in 1683 by Scottish colonists. It was called “New Perth” after James Drummond, 4th Earl of Perth, and the Lenape Native Americans called the point on which the city lies “Ompoge”; the native name was eventually corrupted and the two names were merged. Perth Amboy was formed by British Royal charter in 1718, and the New Jersey Legislature reaffirmed its status in 1784, after US independence. The city was a capital of the Province of New Jersey from 1686 to 1776.

The City Hall is a historic building built in the early 17C, listed on New Jersey Register of Historic Places and the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It is now the oldest City Hall still in use in the United States.  Located at 260 High St, not far from the waterfront and across NYC, and very near my last home there.

Perth Amboy is ,of course, home to the oldest City Hall in continuous use in the United States, built during 1714-1717 or 1718, to serve as the County courthouse and jail. It burned in a fire in 1731 and was not rebuilt until 1745. It was again burned in 1765 or 1766 when a man named Martin, angered by his earlier imprisonment in the City Hall on debt charges, allegedly set fire to the building. It was rebuilt in 1767. City Hall contained court chambers, rooms for the Provincial Assembly until 1775, and was used as a schoolhouse and for community meetings. It was in City Hall that the State of New Jersey became the first State to ratify the Bill of Rights. Although City Hall was renovated in 1826, 1872 and 2006, some of the 1717 structure still remains. The current structure is Victorian with a mansard roof and several new wings.

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The Market Square Garden or City Hall Park was also developed with a historic statue of George Washington and an exact replica of the Liberty Bell. There is an arch in brick to mark the spot of the signing of the Bill of Rights. 

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On November 20, 1789, the State of New Jersey became the first to ratify the United States Bill of Rights. On March 31, 1870 Thomas Mundy Peterson became the first African-American to vote in an election under the just-enacted provisions of the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution!

The historical footnote in this hard working class city is that Benjamin Franklin had a son called William Franklin, and they did not agree on principles. Therefore, Benjamin was the American heroe and a huge historical figure for the United States. While William was a traitor who sided with the English! They met twice during the war to tried to settle their difference but to no avail, each hung strongly to their beliefs. Benjamin and William Franklin only saw each other one time after the end of the war, when they met in London in 1785. The purpose of the meeting was not to heal the rift between them, but to sort out some business and financial matters, including the property which William owned in Willingboro.  The two men never reconciled as father and son, and they never spoked again.  Benjamin died in Philadelphia in 1790, and William died in London in 1813!

It is a nice ride from either New York or Philadelphia by train ,and nice big roads by car even if traffic has picked up over the years. I learned to drive a car there and as we used to say locally, drive here and you can drive anywhere! indeed proven! By car , the easiest is to go under the Lincoln tunnel to the I95 interstate road that becomes the  NJ turnpike exit 10. Follow signs for Perth Amboy.

The city of Perth Amboy: https://www.perthamboynj.org/

The local newspaper Amboy Guardian on historical facts : https://www.amboyguardian.com/category/historical/

The Revolutionary War New Jersey on the American wars on their story and that of Perth Amboy with many sights !:https://www.revolutionarywarnewjersey.com/new_jersey_revolutionary_war_sites/towns/perth_amboy_nj_revolutionary_war_sites.htm

There you go folks, a history of America right here in nice Perth Amboy, It has change a lot since my days, practically unrecognisable , was there last in 2007 ! Hope you have enjoyed the bit of historical tip and do come over to New Jersey , a small State but huge in American history. And of course, Perth Amboy is a big part of it!!! Not to mention my life’s history !!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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