Morristown, New Jersey

From Academic Kids

Morristown is a town located in Morris County, New Jersey. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 18,544. It is the county seat of Morris CountyTemplate:GR. Morristown is governed under the Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council) system of municipal government.



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Headquarters Plaza
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Morris Frank Statue

18th Century

Morristown was settled around 1715 by English Presbyterians from Southold, Long Island and New Haven, Connecticut as the village of New Hanover. The town became the seat of the new Morris County shortly after its separation from Hunterdon County on March 15, 1739. The village and county were named for Lewis Morris, the first and then sitting royal governor of a united colony of New Jersey.

By the mid-century the 250 people shared the village with two churches, a courthouse, two taverns, two schools, several stores, and numerous mills nearby.

George Washington, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the continental army was encamped near Morristown from January to May 1777 and from December 1779 to June 1780 at Jockey Hollow. Washington had his headquaters during the first encampment at Arnold's Tavern located on the Morristown Green. During the second encampment Washington's Headquarters was located at the Ford Mansion, a large mansion near the edge of town. Arnold's Tavern was lost to fire in the 19th century, but the Ford Mansion, Jockey Hollow, and Fort Nonsense are all preserved as part of Morristown National Historical Park managed by the National Park Service.

During Washington's stay, Benedict Arnold was court-martialed in Morristown, not for treason, but on minor charges. Alexander Hamilton courted and wed Betsy Schuyler at the residence used by Washington's personal physician. The home is owned and operated by the Daughters of the American Revolution as the Schuyler-Hamilton House.

19th Century

The Marquis de Lafayette returned to Morristown in July 1825 on his return tour of the United States, where a ball was held in his honor at the 1807 Sansay House on DeHart Street, which still stands.

Antoine le Blanc, a French immigrant laborer murdered the Sayre family and their servant (or possibly slave) Phoebe. He was tried and convicted of murder of the Sayres (but not Phoebe) on August 13, 1833. On September 6, 1833 Le Blanc became the last person hung on the Morristow Green. The house where the murders were committed is today known as Jimmy's Haunt which is purported to be haunted by Phoebe's ghost since her murder never saw justice.

Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail built the first telegraph at the Speedwell Iron Works on January 6, 1838. The first telegraph message was "A patient waiter is no loser." The first public demonstration occurred eleven days later as the first step towards the information age we enjoy today.

The largest statue of Thomas Paine is located in Morristown.

Morristown was the home of Thomas Nast for more than 20 years.

Morristown & Erie Railway, a local short-line freight railway, has its main office, yard and shop here.

The Seeing Eye, founded in 1929 by Morris Frank, trains dogs in town and are a common site on the streets.


Morristown is located at 40°47'56" North, 74°28'43" West (40.798900,-74.478526)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 7.8 km² (3.0 mi²). 7.6 km² (2.9 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 2.00% water.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 18,544 people, 7,252 households, and 3,698 families residing in the town. The population density is 2,435.3/km² (6,303.9/mi²). There are 7,615 housing units at an average density of 1,000.1/km² (2,588.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 67.63% White, 16.95% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 3.77% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 8.48% from other races, and 3.36% from two or more races. 27.15% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 7,252 households out of which 22.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.4% are married couples living together, 12.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 49.0% are non-families. 38.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.43 and the average family size is 3.19.

In the town the population is spread out with 18.4% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 40.4% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 100.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 99.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town is $57,563, and the median income for a family is $66,419. Males have a median income of $42,363 versus $37,045 for females. The per capita income for the town is $30,086. 11.5% of the population and 7.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 11.5% of those under the age of 18 and 14.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

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