The earliest residents of the area were the LenapeNative Americans, who called the point on which the city lies "Ompoge". Perth Amboy was settled in 1683 by Scottish colonists and was called "New Perth" after James Drummond, 4th Earl of Perth; the native name was eventually corrupted and the two names were merged. Perth Amboy was formed by Royal charter in 1718, and the New Jersey Legislature reaffirmed its status in 1784, after independence. The city was a capital of the Province of New Jersey from 1686 to 1776. During the mid-1800s, the Industrial Revolution and immigration grew the city, developing a variety of neighborhoods which residents from a diverse range of ethnicities lived in. The city developed into a resort town for the Raritan Bayshore near it, but the city has grown in other industries since its redevelopment starting from the 1990s.
The LenapeNative Americans called the point on which the city is built "Ompoge", meaning "level ground" or "standing or upright". When settled in 1684, the new city was dubbed "New Perth" in honor of James Drummond, Earl of Perth, one of the 12 associates of a company of Scottish proprietors; Drummond has been honored with a statue located outside of city hall. The Algonquian language name persisted, corrupted to Ambo, or Point Amboy, and eventually a combination of the native and colonial names emerged, also appearing in South Amboy.
Perth Amboy was settled by Scottish colonists around 1683 who had been recruited to inhabit the share of the East Jersey colony owned by Robert Barclay, a Quaker who would later become the absentee governor of the province.
Charter and incorporation
Perth Amboy was formed by Royal charter on August 4, 1718, within various townships and again by New Jersey Legislature on December 21, 1784, within Perth Amboy Township and from part of Woodbridge Township. Perth Amboy Township was formed on October 31, 1693, and was enlarged during the 1720s to encompass Perth Amboy city. Perth Amboy Township was incorporated as one of New Jersey's initial 104 townships through the Township Act of 1798 on February 21, 1798. The township was replaced by Perth Amboy city on April 8, 1844.
A few of the buildings from this early period can still be seen today. Most notably, the Proprietary House, the home of William Franklin, the last Royal Governor of New Jersey and estranged son of Benjamin Franklin, still stands in the waterfront area of the city. Architect John Edward Pryor was hired in 1761 to design and construct the building, which was completed in September 1764, years late and over budget. Franklin preferred his alternate home in Burlington. Franklin finally moved in 1774 into the Proprietary House. Franklin's father, Ben, tried unsuccessfully to convince his son to support the Colonial cause. William Franklin was arrested and detained at Proprietary House in 1776 until he was tried and convicted of treason.
Perth Amboy City Hall was first built as a court house for Middlesex County in 1714, having been designated as the county seat the previous year. The building was later used as the home of the East Jersey Provincial Assembly. The building was destroyed by a major fire in 1731 and rebuilt in 1745. Another fire was deliberately set in 1764, forcing a rebuilding that was completed in 1767. It is the oldest city hall in continuous use in the United States. On November 20, 1789, City Hall was the site where the New Jersey General Assembly met to ratify the Bill of Rights, becoming the first stae in the nation to do so.
Market Square, located across from City Hall, is a park that had been an outdoor marketplace during the Colonial era. Market Square includes a replica of the Liberty Bell, a statue of George Washington and the Bill of Rights Arch, which commemorates the fact that New Jersey was the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.
St. Peter's Church, which held its first service in 1685 and received a royal charter in 1718, has been recognized as the first Episcopal congregation in the state. Its current building, dating from the 1850s, is surrounded by a graveyard of early inhabitants and displays a collection of stained-glass windows with religious scenes as well as early depictions of New Jersey receiving her charter and a meeting between William Franklin and his father, Ben.
Perth Amboy was New Jersey's primary inbound port for African slaves.
The Kearny Cottage is a remaining example of 18th-century vernacular architecture. Operated as a historic house museum and operated by the Kearny Cottage Historical Society. Built in 1781 on High Street, the house was moved to Sadowski Parkway in the 1920s, and was later relocated to its current site at 63 Catalpa Avenue, just inland from the mouth of the Raritan River.
During the colonial period and for a significant time thereafter, Perth Amboy was an important way-station for travelers between New York City and Philadelphia, as it was the site of a ferry that crossed the Arthur Kill to Tottenville, Staten Island. The first ferry operated in 1684 and regular service began operating in 1709. This ferry became less important when the Outerbridge Crossing opened in 1928, but continued to operate until 1963. In 1998, the Perth Amboy Ferry Slip was restored to its 1904 appearance. A replica of the ticket office has been constructed and is used as a small museum.
By the middle of the 19th century, immigration and industrialization transformed Perth Amboy. Factories such as A. Hall and Sons Terra Cotta, Guggenheim and Sons and the Copper Works Smelting Company fueled a thriving downtown and employed many area residents. Growth was further stimulated by becoming the tidewater terminal for the Lehigh Valley Railroad and a coal shipping point. Perth Amboy developed tightly-knit and insular ethnic neighborhoods such as Budapest, Dublin, and Chickentown. Immigrants from Denmark, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Russia, and Austria quickly dominated the factory jobs.
In 1914, Perth Amboy had a baseball team called the Pacers; they only played for one season.
In late August 1923, an estimated 6,000 persons rioted, breaking through police lines after the Ku Klux Klan attempted to organize a meeting in the city.
The city was a resort town in the 19th century and early 20th century, located on the northern edge of the Raritan Bayshore. Since the early 1990s Perth Amboy has seen redevelopment. Small businesses have started to open up, helped by the city's designation as an Urban Enterprise Zone. The waterfront has also seen a rebirth. The marina has been extended, and there are new promenades, parks, and housing overlooking the bay.
The chapter "More Alarms at Night" in humorist James Thurber's biography My Life and Hard Times involves Perth Amboy. One night during his adolescence in Ohio, young Thurber is unable to go to sleep because he cannot remember the name of this New Jersey community. He wakens his father, demanding that he start naming towns in New Jersey. When the startled father names several towns with single-word names, Thurber replies that the name he is seeking is "two words, like helter skelter". This convinces his father that Thurber has become dangerously insane. Thurber also wrote the story later made into the film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, about an "inconsequential guy from Perth Amboy, New Jersey". Perth Amboy's water pumping station is located in Old Bridge Township.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 5.957 square miles (15.429 km2), including 4.702 square miles (12.178 km2) of land and 1.255 square miles (3.251 km2) of water (21.07%).
Perth Amboy sits on a geological layer of clay several hundred feet thick. Consequently, clay mining and factories such as A. Hall and Sons Terra Cotta located in Perth Amboy in the late 19th century.
In the September 2005 issue, Golf Magazine named Perth Amboy the unofficial "Golf Capital of the U.S.", despite the fact that there are no golf courses within the city limits, citing the city's access to 25 of the magazine's Top 100 Golf Courses in the U.S., which can be found within 150 mi (240 km) of Perth Amboy.
Typical Victorians on High Street
Arthur Kill along waterfront walkway just south of Ferry Slip
Perth Amboy features a historic waterfront, which has gone through significant revitalization. Local attractions include the Perth Amboy Ferry Slip, two small museums, an art gallery, a yacht club, and a marina. Near the marina lies a park with a small bandshell. On Sunday afternoons in the summertime, Perth Amboy hosts the Concerts by the Bay in the park's bandshell. Every Thursday evening in the summer, Perth Amboy hosts the Mayor's Concert Series in Bayview Park. Perth Amboy also hosts an annual Waterfront Arts Festival. The waterfront is also characterized by a redbrick promenade near the water and many stately Victorian homes, some on hills overlooking the bay and tree lined streets with well-manicured lawns. The land rises steeply after two blocks. This hides the rest of the town, making the waterfront look like a quiet fishing village. Points of interest on the waterfront include St. Peter's Episcopal Church, and the Proprietary House, which is now the former governor's mansion and houses a museum and some offices. Kearny Cottage, which also has a museum, is here. This section of Perth Amboy once had a thriving Jewish community with yeshivas, synagogues, kosher butchers and bakers. Today, however, there are only two synagogues left, each with only a few older members.
A project called 'The Landings at Harborside' was to have featured 2,100 residential units along with indoor parking, 150,000 sq ft (14,000 m2) of retail space, a community center, and recreation amenities for the public as well. However, after meeting with Charles Kushner, the developer who spent two years in prison after being convicted of witness tampering, tax evasion and making illegal campaign contributions, Mayor Wilda Diaz endorsed a scaled-back design concept for the development, allowing Section 8 housing rentals instead of owner-occupied units as originally promised.
The Raritan Yacht Club is the state's second-oldest and one of the oldest yacht clubs in the United States, founded in 1882 from the merger of two older clubs, one found in 1865 and the other in 1874. Also located on the waterfront and founded in 1917, St. Demetrios was one of the first Greek Orthodox churches in central New Jersey. Established by the Greek immigrants who came to the United States at the turn of the 19th century, this community has stood as a beacon of the Orthodox Faith and Hellenism in Middlesex County.
Perth Amboy was settled by Europeans in 1683 and incorporated as a city in 1718. It was founded by English merchants, Scots seeking religious freedom, and French Protestants, who sought to make use of Perth Amboy's harbor to its full potential. Downtown is the main commercial district, and is centered on Smith Street. It is an Urban Enterprise Zone, and the reduced sales tax rate (half of the statewide rate) funds revitalization of Smith Street with newly planted trees, Victorian streetlights, benches, garbage cans, and redbrick sidewalks. Smith Street is a shopping center seven blocks wide, with stores catering to working-class customers. The street is flanked by mainly two- to three-story buildings of varied architecture. It also has a lone bank skyscraper called 'Amboy Towers', 10 stories tall, located at Five Corners, the intersection of Smith Street, New Brunswick Avenue and State Street. Once home to several department stores downtown, the largest today is discount retailer Bargain Man.
Harbortown is a townhouse development on the waterfront which continues to be expanded since construction started in 1987. Affordable housing (Section 8) along with more affluent homes can be found in Harbortown, an economically and ethnically diverse townhouse development in the city.
This area was the Lehigh Valley Railroad marshaling yards where coal was loaded onto barges for shipment to New York City and elsewhere until the LVRR went bankrupt in 1976.
Hall Avenue is a neighborhood centered on Hall Avenue east of the NJ Transit train tracks. The street itself, Hall Avenue, is no longer the commercial strip it once was. However, there is a recently built strip mall on the corner of Hall Avenue and State Street called the "Firehouse Plaza". There is also a "Banco Popular" branch of the bank headquartered in Puerto Rico. However, Hall Avenue is now primarily residential. Most of the homes are aging apartments, but there are also some newly constructed homes. Hall Avenue remains a traditional Puerto Rican neighborhood, and it hosts the city's annual Puerto Rican Day Festival, which is held on the same day of the historic Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City. Rudyk Park is north of Route 440 and features the Roberto Clemente Baseball Field and an industrial park.
The southwestern section is a mainly working-class residential neighborhood with some light industry, once the site of Eagleswood Military Academy. The city's largest strip mall is located here. This neighborhood has a large and diversified Hispanic neighborhood with many Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, and recently, South Americans. Much of the city's Mexican population also lives in this section. Previously, this section of Perth Amboy had a large Irish population and was once named "Dublin". Following the Irish came the Eastern Europeans, primarily Polish and Hungarian. Most of the housing consists of small one- or two-family houses. The main commercial strip is Smith Street, west of the NJ Transit train tracks.
The western section of the waterfront is west of Kearny Avenue. It is an overwhelmingly blue-collar Hispanic neighborhood. Most of the homes are over 100 years old; many are modest row houses. Sadowski Parkway Park lines through the southern end of the neighborhood and has a walkway with a beach. The park also hosts the Dominican festival and other festivals during the summer.
State Street is a neighborhood east of the NJ Transit train tracks, north of Fayette Street, and south of Harbortown. Like the southwestern section of Perth Amboy, it is predominantly working-class Hispanic. In addition, this neighborhood had many industries and factories before they moved overseas. The neighborhood is mainly Caribbean Hispanic. This section once had a large Cuban community. The State and Fayette Gardens, an apartment complex in the neighborhood, were called "The Cuban Buildings" at one time. The Landings at Harborside redevelopment project is being constructed in this neighborhood.
Amboy Avenue is a quasi-suburban, working to middle-class neighborhood. It is also referred to as the "Hospital section" or the "High School section" due to the fact that these places are located in the neighborhood. Today most residents are Hispanic; Amboy Avenue once had a strong Italian population.
Maurer is a chiefly working to middle-class neighborhood that lies in the northern part of Route 440. It is heavily industrial with many oil refineries and brownfields. Like Amboy Avenue, it is quasi-suburban.
Chickentown is a neighborhood in the western part of Route 35 south of Spa Springs, just south of Route 440. It shares many of the same characteristics of Spa Springs but to a lesser extent. The city's largest park, Washington Park, is located here. It received its name from all the chicken farms (hens and eggs) that were located here before World War II.
Along with the waterfront, Spa Springs, in the northwestern part of the city, remains one of the most attractive and middle-class areas of the city. The population tends to be older. Spa Springs is the wealthiest neighborhood in town and is the most suburban with single-family houses and garages.
Of the 15,419 households, 40.0% had children under the age of 18; 40.1% were married couples living together; 24.6% had a female householder with no husband present and 25.7% were non-families. Of all households, 20.3% were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.25 and the average family size was 3.65.
27.3% of the population were under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.4 years. For every 100 females, the population had 97.3 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 94.3 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $47,696 (with a margin of error of +/− $3,644) and the median family income was $53,792 (+/− $2,943). Males had a median income of $38,485 (+/− $2,450) versus $30,078 (+/− $3,452) for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,162 (+/−$933). About 16.3% of families and 19.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.8% of those under age 18 and 15.2% of those age 65 or over.
There were 14,562 households, out of which 40.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 21.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.1% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.20 and the average family size was 3.63.
In the city the population was spread out, with 28.5% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 31.6% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,608, and the median income for a family was $40,740. Males had a median income of $29,399 versus $21,954 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,989. About 14.3% of families and 17.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.1% of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over.
In 2000, 27.79% of Perth Amboy residents identified themselves as being of Puerto Rican ancestry, the fifth highest concentration of Puerto Ricans on the U.S. mainland of those municipalities with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry. In the same census, 18.81% of Perth Amboy residents identified themselves as being of Dominican ancestry, the third highest concentration in the country of Dominicans in the United States after Haverstraw, New York and Lawrence, Massachusetts using the same criteria.
Portions of the city are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), one of 32 zones covering 37 municipalities statewide. The city was selected in 1994 as one of a group of 10 zones added to participate in the program. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the UEZ, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (half of the 65⁄8% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants. Established in October 1994, the city's Urban Enterprise Zone status expires in October 2025.
The City of Perth Amboy is governed under the Mayor-Council system of municipal government under the Faulkner Act. The city is one of 71 municipalities statewide governed under this form. The governing body is comprised of a mayor and a city council, all of whom are elected at-large on a non-partisan basis. The city council is comprised of seven members who are elected to four-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election in even-numbered years. The mayor also serves a four-year term of office, which is up for election the same year that two council seats are up for vote. In October 2010, the City Council voted to shift the city's non-partisan elections from May to November, with the first balloting held in conjunction with the General Election in November 2012.
As of 2020[update], the mayor of Perth Amboy is Wilda Diaz, the first Latina mayor in state history, whose term of office ends on December 31, 2020. She succeeded former mayor and 19th legislative district Assemblyman Joseph Vas, who served as mayor for 18 years. Members of the City Council are Helmin J. Caba (2020), Fernando Irizarry (2020), Joel Pabon Sr. (2022), William A. Petrick (2022) and Milady Tejeda (2022).
In the November 2014 general election Fernando Gonzalez came in third place, winning the final seat up for election ahead of Sergio Diaz by nine votes. In March 2015, a Superior Court judge ordered a special election between Diaz and Gonzalez after finding that votes had been illegally cast and that there was evidence of fraud in mail voting. In the special election, Gonzalez beat Diaz by a 112-vote margin.
Middlesex County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose seven members are elected at-large on a partisan basis to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held in January, the board selects from among its members a Freeholder Director and Deputy Director. As of 2015[update], Middlesex County's Freeholders (with party affiliation, term-end year, residence and committee chairmanship listed in parentheses) are
Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios (D, term ends December 31, 2015, Carteret; Ex-officio on all committees),
Freeholder Deputy Director Carol Barrett Bellante (D, 2017; Monmouth Junction, South Brunswick Township; County Administration),
Kenneth Armwood (D, 2016, Piscataway; Business Development and Education),
Charles Kenny ( D, 2016, Woodbridge Township; Finance),
H. James Polos (D, 2015, Highland Park; Public Safety and Health),
Charles E. Tomaro (D, 2017, Edison; Infrastructure Management) and
Blanquita B. Valenti (D, 2016, New Brunswick; Community Services). Constitutional officers are
County Clerk Elaine M. Flynn (D, Old Bridge Township),
Sheriff Mildred S. Scott (D, 2016, Piscataway) and Surrogate
Kevin J. Hoagland (D, 2017; New Brunswick).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 22,737 registered voters in Perth Amboy, of which 9,212 (40.5%) were registered as Democrats, 1,022 (4.5%) were registered as Republicans and 12,500 (55.0%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 3 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 87.0% of the vote (11,774 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 12.3% (1,667 votes), and other candidates with 0.7% (100 votes), among the 13,869 ballots cast by the city's 24,253 registered voters (328 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 57.2%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 81.6% of the vote (10,999 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 16.8% (2,261 votes) and other candidates with 0.7% (91 votes), among the 13,473 ballots cast by the city's 23,248 registered voters, for a turnout of 58.0%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 71.0% of the vote (8,677 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 27.5% (3,359 votes) and other candidates with 0.4% (79 votes), among the 12,223 ballots cast by the city's 21,686 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 56.4.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 63.1% of the vote (3,574 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 35.6% (2,014 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (74 votes), among the 5,915 ballots cast by the city's 24,593 registered voters (253 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 24.1%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 69.8% of the vote (4,645 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 24.2% (1,611 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 3.4% (228 votes) and other candidates with 0.8% (50 votes), among the 6,654 ballots cast by the city's 22,185 registered voters, yielding a 30.0% turnout.
Roads and highways
View south along Route 440, the largest and busiest highway in Perth Amboy
As of May 2010[update], the city had a total of 75.25 miles (121.10 km) of roadways, of which 58.36 miles (93.92 km) were maintained by the municipality, 11.45 miles (18.43 km) by Middlesex County and 4.27 miles (6.87 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
The Victory Bridge carries Route 35 over the Raritan River, connecting Perth Amboy on the north with the borough of Sayreville to the south. From the time of its construction in 1926 until the Edison Bridge was completed in 1939, all traffic heading across the Raritan River was funneled through the Victory Bridge, whose original single-span swing bridge was replaced under a project completed in 2005 that provides two spans of traffic, including a 134-metre (440 ft) main span that was the longest precast cantilever segmental construction in the United States at the time of its construction.
Based on data from the 2013-2017 American Community Survey, 14.5% of adults over the age of 25 in Perth Amboy have a bachelor's degree or higher, a percentage significantly below the state average of 38.9% and the 42.7% of those in Middlesex County.
The Academy for Urban Leadership Charter High School is a public high school serving grades 7–12 open since September 2010, operating independently of the Perth Amboy Public Schools under the terms of a charter granted by the New Jersey Department of Education. The school opened with one hundred 9th graders, with plans to add a class of 100 students each year until it reached its goal of 400 students in grades 9–12 by the 2013–14 school year and has since added grades 7 and 8. As of the 2017–18 school year, the school had an enrollment of 576 students and 49.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.8:1.
In 1903, the Perth Amboy Public Library became the first Carnegie library in the state, made possible through a grant of $20,000 from Andrew Carnegie Foundation and donations from local philanthropists, which were supplemented in 1914 by an additional $30,000 in Carnegie grants to pay for two additional reading rooms. The library reopened in 2015 after a $2 million renovation project that kept the library closed for more than two years.
Miles Browning (1897–1954), officer in the United States Navy in the Atlantic during World War I and in the Pacific during World War II who was a pioneer in the development of aircraft carrier combat operations concepts.
^ abMakin, Bob. "Walking guide to Perth Amboy's Colonial, Revolutionary War history", Courier News, June 28, 2018. Accessed December 18, 2019. "Outside city hall is a statue of James Drummond, 4th Earl of Perth, a Scottish statesmen who partnered with William Penn in the settlement of East Jersey in 1681. In 1683, he and Penn were among the 12 Proprietors who established the city as a port, fishery and trading post. Perth Amboy is named in the Earl’s honor, Amboy being an Anglicizing of the Lenape word for valley, 'ompoge.'"
^Klett, Joseph R. "Using the Records of East and West Jersey Proprietors", New Jersey State Archives, 2014. Accessed April 9, 2015. "Scottish Colony, 1683 – Following the purchase of a share of East Jersey by Scottish Quaker and later Governor Robert Barclay, Scottish settlers were recruited and began to arrive in Perth Amboy and surrounding areas beginning in 1683. Most were not Quakers, but rather Calvinists from Edinburgh, Montrose, Aberdeen and Kelso. Settlers and their servants were granted lots in Perth Amboy and areas of Monmouth County. Perth Amboy became the capital of East New Jersey in 1686."
^Was Trenton NJ's only capital? If not what other city was?, New Jersey History's Mysteries, updated July 14, 2011. Accessed December 18, 2019. "The very first capital of New Jersey was Elizabethtown (now Elizabeth) named in 1668 when the original Proprietors, Lord Berkeley and George Carteret, send Philip Carteret to govern their new possession. Later they moved the capital to Perth Amboy in 1686, and when New Jersey was divided into East and West Jersey, Burlington became the capital of the latter, and Perth Amboy remained the capital of the former. In 1702, New Jersey became a Royal Colony, but both towns remained capitals and the Royal Governors split time between the two (when they didn't govern from New York City, but that is another story)."
^Ryan, Joe. "Looking Back: Lawmakers call Trenton home", The Star-Ledger, November 25, 2007, updated April 2, 2019. Accessed December 18, 2019. "On Nov. 25, 1790, the New Jersey Legislature ended its years of wandering and named Trenton the state capital.... Elizabeth was the first Colonial capital, followed by Perth Amboy and Burlington as the capitals of East and West Jersey in 1676. Trenton, named for Philadelphia merchant William Trent, was well positioned on the Delaware River, roughly halfway between New York and Philadelphia."
^Construction 1762 -1764, Proprietary House. Accessed December 18, 2019. "On March 25, 1761, the Board of the Proprietors of the Eastern Division of New Jersey (to give them their full title) proposed to construct a fine mansion worthy of serving as the residence of the Royal Governors. They hired the English architect and builder John Edward Pryor to design and build what they called the 'Proprietary House in Amboy.'... Troubled by cost overruns and delays that almost ruined Pryor, major construction was at last completed in September of 1764.... New Jersey's royal governor at the time was William Franklin. London was slow to support his plan to buy the mansion in Perth Amboy and he had heavily invested in a fine estate in Burlington, closer to Philadelphia where his family still resided."
^Royal Governor 1774 -1776, Proprietary House. Accessed December 18, 2019. "The Franklins didn’t move into Proprietary House until 1774. Their time there would be short but fateful. With the outbreak of hostilities between the colonies and Britain in 1775, high drama played out at the governor’s mansion when Ben Franklin visited and tried in vain to win his Loyalist son over to the cause of independence. But William remained loyal to the crown. The New Jersey Assembly ordered the Governor held under house arrest at Proprietary House in January 1776 and removed him for trial in June of the same year."
^National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form for Perth Amboy City Hall, National Park Service, received November 1980. Accessed December 18, 2019. "The Perth Amboy City Hall, believed to be the oldest municipal office still in use in the United States and constructed during the years 1713-1714, began its existence as a combination jail and court house. It was built in response to Perth Amboy's designation in 1713 by the Provincial Assembly (Legislature) of New Jersey as the location for the Middlesex County Court House and Jail. City Hall also became the meeting place of the Provincial Assembly when it sat in East Jersey (since Perth Amboy was its capital) and the site wherein New Jersey's Royal Governors were inaugurated. As such, City Hall was a seat of 'state' government at this time."
^ abcThe History of Perth Amboy, City of Perth Amboy, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 13, 2011. Accessed December 18, 2019. "Perth Amboy is also 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."
^Russell, Suzanne. "Veterans Day Celebration", Courier News, November 11, 2014. Accessed December 18, 2019. "In 1789 Perth Amboy was the capital of New Jersey. Members of the General Assembly of New Jersey met in the courthouse, now part of City Hall, to ratify the Bill of Rights. William Livingston was governor of New Jersey at that time and on Nov. 20, 1789 the Bill of Rights was ratified in Perth Amboy, officials said. The document became a part of the Constitution on Dec. 10, 1791."
^Assembly Resolution No. 63 State of New Jersey 217th Legislature, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed December 18, 2019. "Whereas, It was in Perth Amboy City Hall that the State of New Jersey became the first state in the country to ratify the Bill of Rights on November 20, 1789, and this event is commemorated by the Bill of Rights Arch, located in Market Square Park; and Whereas, Market Square Park, commonly referred to as City Hall Park or City Hall Circle, celebrates and stands as a monument to the City of Perth Amboy’s historical significance, and contains the Bill of Rights Arch and an exact replica of the Liberty Bell"
^History, St. Peter's Church. Accessed December 18, 2019. "St. Peter’s is proud to be the oldest Episcopal parish in New Jersey. Historic records show that the first service was held in 1685. Our first rector arrived from England in 1698. In our history we have had twenty-six rectors, only four since 1914. Our royal charter was received in 1718, the same year as the city of Perth Amboy received its charter."
^Kearny Cottage, New Jersey Historic Trust. Accessed December 18, 2019. "Constructed in 1781, Kearny Cottage is a rare surviving example of an eighteenth- century vernacular residence in urban Perth Amboy. Once home to the successful and influential Kearney family, the cottage has since served as Perth Amboy's sole museum and repository for local historical memorabilia since the 1920s."
^Home Page, Kearny Cottage. Accessed December 18, 2019. "Built in 1781, the four-room cottage is a museum operated by Kearny Cottage Historical Society and serves as a repository for many items donated by citizens of Perth Amboy reflecting the maritime history of its owners and the city."
^"Staten Island Ferry facts and vintage photos", Staten Island Advance, October 21, 2016, updated January 3, 2019. Accessed December 18, 2019. "The Perth Amboy Ferry slip, located on Arthur Kill Road, was once a vital slip for vessels entering and exiting New York Harbor -- ferry service dates back to 1684, with regular service beginning in 1709. It was operational until 1963.... It became less important with the opening of the Outerbridge Crossing in 1928."
^Ginxburg, Ralph. "Perth Amboy Church Is 302 And Counting", The New York Times February 15, 1987. Accessed December 18, 2019. "The first black man to vote in America, Thomas Mundy Peterson, was a member of St. Peter's and is buried in its graveyard. He voted in the Perth Amboy mayoral election of March 31, 1870, one day after adoption of the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution."
^"Thomas Peterson Casts the First Vote", University of Richmond. Accessed December 18, 2019. "The first African American to take advantage of the new right to vote was Thomas Mundy Peterson. Peterson cast his historic vote on March 31, 1870. The iconic vote was cast in a local election in Perth Amboy, New Jersey for the town’s charter. Gary Sullivan of the News Tribune stated, 'Exercising his right to vote in a local election on March 31, 1870. Peterson became the first black man in the United States to cast a ballot. The amendment had been ratified on February 3, 1870, and within just two months the Fifteenth Amendment was put to use.'"
^ abOur Story, Perth Amboy Free Public Library. Accessed December 20, 2019. "Our Library was built on its present site on Jefferson Street, in 1901, on land donated by J. C. Mc Coy, of the Raritan Copper Works and constructed with the aid of a $20,000 grant from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation, a $1,000 donation from Adolph Lewisohn to purchase new books, and an agreement by the City to provide for the Library's upkeep. On December 9, 1903, the building, the first in New Jersey to be the beneficiary of Mr. Carnegie's generosity, was opened to the Public. The growth of the Library from that time was so marked, that in 1914, the Carnegie Corporation donated an additional $30,000 for the creation of two reading rooms."
^ abRussell, Suzanne. "Renovations completed at Perth Amboy Public Library", Courier News, October 19, 2015. Accessed December 19, 2019. "More than two years after the Perth Amboy Public Library closed its doors in 2013 for a much-needed $2 million renovation, residents will be welcomed back to the Jefferson Street building Saturday, Oct. 24, to tour the restored 112-year-old structure and sign up for library cards.... 'We're still making repairs. The majority of the work has been done, but it's still a work in progress,' said Diaz, noting a stair tower, to provide handicap accessibility, has yet to be completed on the structure which opened in 1903 with funding from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation."
^ abStaff. "Review: 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty'", Variety (magazine), December 31, 1946. Accessed April 9, 2015. "Thurber's whole conception of Mitty was an inconsequential fellow from Perth Amboy, NJ, to whom nothing – but nothing – ever happened and who, as a result, lived a 'secret life' via his excursions into daydreaming."
^Haydon, Tom. "Old Bridge seeks to pump own water from reservoir in effort to reduce costs", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, December 12, 2010. Accessed September 22, 2016. "Middlesex Water Company takes water from the large reservoir that Perth Amboy built on property the city purchased in Old Bridge in the 1920s. The city turned over operation of the reservoir, known as the Runyon Watershed, to the water company more than 10 years ago."
^"The Golf Capital of the U.S.", Golf Magazine, backed up by the Internet Archive as of November 11, 2007. Accessed December 19, 2019. "Amboy, N.J. (perhaps best known as Bon Jovi's early stomping grounds) is an easy drive from a quarter of the best golf courses in the country, making it the unofficial golf capital of the United States. Exactly 25 of our Top 100 Golf Courses in the U.S. are found less than 150 miles from Perth Amboy -- creating a hub of great American golf."
^Silverstein, Marilyn. "Rabbi hopes to bring renaissance to shul"Archived 2012-02-22 at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey Jewish News, June 17, 2004, accessed April 11, 2007. "'Once upon a time, Perth Amboy was the hub of a thriving Jewish community', observed Rabbi Israel Einhorn. 'Perth Amboy used to be the No. 1 shtetl in New Jersey. They had butchers, bakers, yeshivas,' Einhorn said as he sat in his office at Congregation Shaarey Tefiloh, an Orthodox shul on the waterfront in the economically depressed town."
^Top Projects Started 2003-2004: The Landings at HarborSide, New York Construction, backed up by the Internet Archive as of May 1, 2011. Accessed December 19, 2019. "The Landings at HarborSide - one of the largest comprehensive redevelopment projects in the United States between a private developer and municipality - is a comprehensive, eight-year $600 million plan that incorporates residential and retail development, recreation, parks, marina and future hotel site."
^Raritan Yacht Club, 1683 Society. Accessed December 19, 2019. "The Club itself was established in 1882 from two others, the Carteret Boat Club (1865) and the Perth Amboy Yacht Club (1874), making it the second oldest yacht club in New Jersey and one of the oldest in the country."
^Deas, Wayne L. "Perth Amboy's Rebirth Tied To Project", The New York Times, August 16, 1987. Accessed July 14, 2012. "The massive Harbortown waterfront development will displace the old Union Carbide warehouse near State and Parker streets on Arthur Kill. The multi-million-dollar development is to consist of 2,250 town houses, a marina, lagoon and restaurant along 120 acres of the waterfront."
^Raum, John O. The History of New Jersey: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Volume 1, p. 271, J. E. Potter and company, 1877. Accessed May 10, 2013. "Perth Amboy city is situated at the head of Raritan bay. In 1850 it contained 1,865 inhabitants; in 1860, 2,302; and in 1870 2,861. It takes its name from James Drummond, one of the proprietors, and Earl of Perth, and Amboy from Ambo, meaning in the Indian language, a point."
^Urban Enterprise Zone Tax Questions and Answers, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, May 2009. Accessed October 28, 2019. "In 1994 the legislation was amended and ten more zones were added to this successful economic development program. Of the ten new zones, six were predetermined: Paterson, Passaic, Perth Amboy, Phillipsburg, Lakewood, Asbury Park/Long Branch (joint zone). The four remaining zones were selected on a competitive basis. They are Carteret, Pleasantville, Union City and Mount Holly."
^Staff. "Special election in Perth Amboy after judge rules voter fraud", MyCentralJersey.com, March 25, 2015. Accessed April 9, 2015. "A special election will be held for a city council position here after a judge's ruling on Wednesday found voter fraud occurred during the November 2014 election. Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Heidi Currier ordered a new election to be held in 45 to 50 days, as required by law, thereby vacating the election of Fernando Gonzalez. Gonzalez defeated Sergio Diaz by nine votes in November."
^Bichao, Sergio. "Perth Amboy do-over election ends with mayor's critic winning again", Courier News, May 13, 2015. Accessed July 13, 2016. "After a hotly-contested special election Tuesday for a seat on the City Council, voters backed Fernando Gonzalez — the same candidate who had won in November by just nine votes.... Diaz on Tuesday received 1,298 machine votes while Gonzalez received 1,273. But with the mail-in votes, Gonzalez had 1,488 votes to 1,376."
^Victory Bridge, Preservation New Jersey. Accessed December 24, 2019. "Until the completion of the Thomas Edison Bridge in 1939, the Victory Bridge served as the sole north–south crossing of the Raritan River on the eastern side of the state and carried all of the automobile traffic for what are the present-day routes 9, 34, and 35."
^Lettiere announces completion of Route 35 Victory Bridge and Victory Circle Project, New Jersey Department of Transportation press release dated October 27, 2005. Accessed December 24, 2019. "The original Route 35 Victory Bridge was built in 1926, connecting the municipalities of Perth Amboy City and Sayreville Borough in Middlesex County. The 360-foot structure was the longest swing span bridge in New Jersey at the time it was built.... The Route 35 Victory Bridge provides a vital highway link over the Raritan River in Middlesex County. Its traffic volume currently exceeds 20,000 vehicles per day and is projected to exceed 25,000 vehicles per day by 2015. A combined 350,000 cars travel over the Raritan River each day via the Parkway, Route 35 and Route 9."
^Figg, Linda; and Pate, W. Denney. "Precast Concrete Segmental Bridges -- America's Beautiful and Affordable Icons", PCI Journal, September–October 2004. Accessed December 24, 2019. "In 2004, the record for a balanced cantilever span length in America was broken again. With a fully match-cast, precast concrete main span of 440 ft (134.1 in), the current record holder is the new twin-span Victory Bridge in northern New Jersey. The 3971 ft (1210 m), $109 million precast concrete segmental bridge will carry traffic 110 ft (33.5 m) above the Raritan River between Perth Amboy and Sayreville, replacing a 1927 steel swing bridge."
^Our School, Academy for Urban Leadership Charter High School. Accessed December 19, 2019. "The Academy for Urban Leadership Charter School is a public school that operates under a charter granted by the State Commissioner of Education on September 8, 2010. As of September 2016, AUL will be serving 500 students in grades 8-12, one hundred students per grade. In September 2017, AUL will be serving an additional one hundred students in grade 7."
^Heyboer, Kelly. "How to get your kid a seat in one of N.J.'s hardest-to-get-into high schools", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, May 2017. Accessed November 18, 2019. "Middlesex County has two stand-alone career academies for high-achieving students: the Academy for Science, Math and Engineering Technology, located on the campus of Middlesex County College in Edison, and the Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences in Woodbridge. How to apply: Students must attend a mandatory information session and submit an application by November of their 8th grade year."
^About Us, Assumption Catholic School. Accessed December 19, 2019.
^About Us, Perth Amboy Catholic School. Accessed December 19, 2019. "Since its inception in 1987, PACS has had the privilege of educating children from Perth Amboy and the surrounding area, as we live out our Mission Statement"
^Zolotow, Maurice. "S. S. Adams - mischief, incorporated" from It Takes All Kinds, at CSAdams.com. Accessed December 19, 2019. "The future Ford of foolery was born Soren Sorenson Adams in Aarhus, Denmark, in 1869. His father was a sabot maker, who removed to Perth Amboy, N. J., when Sam—as he has always been called—was two years old."
^1992 Award WinnersArchived 2017-07-08 at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame. Accessed September 17, 2015. "Solomon Andrews (1806-1872)... In addition, he built a successful medical practice, served three terms as Mayor of Perth Amboy, constructed the city's first sewer, and saved the residents from cholera and yellow fever epidemics."
^Staff. "Toy Bulldog at 72; New Jersey Sports", The New York Times, April 16, 1973. Accessed December 19, 2019. "He became New Jersey's second world champion (Johnny Buff of Perth Amboy was first) when he won a decision from Jack Britton in 15 rounds on Nov. 1, 1922, for the welterweight crown."
^Haddock, Addy. Alan CheuseArchived 2014-07-03 at the Wayback Machine, Middle Tennessee State University. Accessed August 4, 2013. "NPR commentator and critic Alan Cheuse was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, on January 23, 1940. His early years were spent at Perth Amboy High School in 1957, and he graduated from Rutgers University in 1961."
^Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey, Volume 203, Part 2, p. 1002. J.A. Fitzgerald, 1989. Accessed August 4, 2019. "Bernard J. Dwyer, Dem., Edison - Mr. Dwyer was born on Jan. 24, 1921, in Perth Amboy. He was graduated from Perth Amboy High School in 1938, and has taken courses in insurance at Rutgers University, Newark."
^Proprietary House, 1683 Society. Accessed December 20, 2019. "Ready for occupation, the house was leased to New Jersey's Chief Justice Smyth, and then another lawyer, before Royal Governor William Franklin finally took up residence in 1774. The son of Benjamin Franklin, William was loyal to the King as he took his commission as Royal Governor very seriously."
^"Vida Guerra: libre e independiente en Playboy", El Heraldo (Tegucigalpa), June 8, 2006. Accessed October 23, 2007. "Nacida en Bauta, pueblo cercano a La Habana, en marzo de 1980, Vida fue traída por sus padres an Estados Unidos cuando contaba apenas seis años, pero no ha perdido ni el idioma ni sus costumbres latinas, ya que se ha mantenido oscilando entre las dos culturas desde su hogar en Perth Amboy, Nueva Jersey."
^Spacewatch Minor Planets Joe Has Named, University of Arizona. Accessed December 19, 2019. "(12465) Perth Amboy - 1997 AD10. Discovered 1997 Jan. 3 by Spacewatch at Kitt Peak. Perth Amboy, a New Jersey city, was settled 1683, incorporated 1718. Important industrial city and port of entry with a fine harbor, near New York City. Birthplace of William Dunlap, playwright, Mary White, actress, and Joe Montani, asteroid and comet discoverer."
^Waters, Gisele. "Entropy Be Gone!...Enter John Nosta, Renaissance Man"Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, Nuviun.com, April 20, 2015. Accessed April 27, 2016. "Born about a half hour from Manhattan in a mid-size urban city, Perth Amboy, N.J.; John Nosta personifies one of the many success stories of 2nd generation European immigration and American ingenuity.... In the last stage toward adulthood, John Nosta attended a boys' private Catholic high school, St. Joseph's in N.J. with 2 notable public figures—Jon Bon Jovi and Jimmy Burke (former Johnson & Johnson CEO James Burke's son)."
^Pace, Eric. "Edward Patten, 89, Who Served Nine Terms as a Congressman", The New York Times, September 19, 1994. Accessed December 19, 2019. "Edward J. Patten, who served nine terms as a Democratic Congressman from New Jersey and retired in 1981 after a political career of nearly five decades, died on Saturday at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Edison, N.J. He was 89 and lived in Perth Amboy."
^Ginzburg, Ralph. "Perth Amboy church is 302 and counting", The New York Times, February 15, 1987. Accessed December 19, 2019. "The first black man to vote in America, Thomas Mundy Peterson, was a member of St. Peter's and is buried in its graveyard. He voted in the Perth Amboy mayoral election of March 31, 1870, one day after adoption of the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution."
^Levitt, David M. "GOP Assemblywoman Dies at 64", The Central New Jersey Home News, May 19, 1998. Accessed July 14, 2020. "Having grown up in Perth Amboy, Smith was steeped in the best of the old-style constituent-oriented politics, which made it hard to score political points against her, Gillespie said.... Smith was born in Perth Amboy and lived in Old Bridge since 1955."
^Staff. "Sport: Bar Bellmen", Time (magazine), July 17, 1939. Accessed December 11, 2019. "Steve Stanko wanted to be an interior decorator but his father, a Hungarian immigrant, put him to work in an iron foundry close by their home in Perth Amboy, N. J."
^Dunlap, William. A History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts and Design in the United States. C.E. Goodspeed & Co: Boston, 1918.
^Ruth White, Playbill. Accessed December 20, 2019. "Performer Born: Apr 24, 1914 In Perth Amboy, New Jersey."
^Jacobs, Alexandra. "California Girl", The New York Times, September 3, 2006. Accessed December 19, 2019. "A few years ago, Amy Wilentz's husband got a job offer from The Los Angeles Times and she agreed, ambivalently, to move from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to the West Coast with their three sons and dog. Raised in gritty Perth Amboy, N.J., Wilentz is an accomplished journalist who has corresponded from Jerusalem for The New Yorker and written a book about Haiti."
^Sullivan, Joseph F. "Wilentz Reappointment Cleared By Jersey Panel", The New York Times, July 30, 1985. Accessed December 19, 2019. "Mr. Wilentz, who has an apartment in Perth Amboy and a home in Deal on the Jersey Shore, also has an apartment in Manhattan, where he has stayed virtually every night since October 1984, when his wife, Jacqueline, began undergoing chemotherapy for cancer in New York City. Mr. Wilentz said he hoped to be able to resume his former routine of staying in his Perth Amboy apartment five nights a week and visiting the Manhattan apartment only on weekends, if his wife's condition continues to improve.... He said that he voted and paid his taxes from his 166 Water Street address in Perth Amboy and that he considered New Jersey his home."