Trenton. 1 City (1990 pop. 20,586), Wayne co., SE Mich., on the Detroit River opposite Grosse Ile, in a farm area; settled 1816, inc. as a city 1957. An early river port, it has plants that make metal products, chemicals, and transportation equipment.
2 City (1990 pop. 88,675), state capital (since 1790) and seat (since 1719) of Mercer co., W N.J., at the head of navigation on the Delaware River; settled by Friends 1679, inc. as a city 1792. Situated between Philadelphia and New York City, it is an important transportation hub. Its pottery industry dates from Colonial times. Other leading manufactures include metal products, rubber goods, textiles, and plastics. Trenton's population and industrial production declined in the late 20th cent.; however, there was suburban development, especially to the city's northeast.
The settlement was first called the Falls, then Stacy's Mills, and finally Trenton. In the American Revolution, Trenton was the scene of a battle when Washington crossed (Dec. 25, 1776) the ice-clogged Delaware and surprised and captured (Dec. 26) 918 Hessians. The Americans, avoiding a British relief force led by Cornwallis, then struck at Princeton. A 155-ft (47-m) granite monument topped by a statue of Washington commemorates the battle, and the place where the Americans crossed the Delaware is marked in a state park. Trenton grew as a commercial center and became the site of many industries; the famous Roebling Works, where wire rope was manufactured, was established in 1848.
The city's noteworthy buildings include the golden-domed capitol (1792), much remodeled and enlarged; the capitol annex (1931); the state cultural center, with a museum, planetarium, and state library; the World War I memorial building (1932); the old barracks, built in 1758 and restored as a museum; and the William Trent House (1719), the city's oldest standing building, also a museum. The explorer Zebulon Pike was born in Lamberton, now part of Trenton. The city is the seat of the College of New Jersey; Rider Univ. is in nearby Lawrenceville.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.