“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Camden in Camden County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Cooper Family

The Cooper Family Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, September 6, 2015
1. The Cooper Family Marker
Inscription.  Beginning in the 1620s European settlers of Dutch, Swedish and English origin arrived along the Delaware River in the vicinity of present-day Camden, and by the 1670s English Quakers had established permanent homesteads throughout the region. One such Quaker, William Cooper, arrived in America in 1679, first settling in Burlington and moving in 1681, to an area near the mouth of Cooper’s Creek in what is now Camden. William Cooper was a member of the first colonial assembly and was actively involved in the affairs of what was then the province of West New Jersey. By 1689 he had established one of the several other local ferries proved to be essential to the development and expansion of both the city and the surrounding region.

William Cooper’s children and subsequently their children also helped to ensure Camden’s development and growth during the next two centuries. In 1773, William’s great-grandson, Jacob, laid out some of the area’s earliest residential plots on Cooper-owned farmlands, calling the newly established town Camden, and naming the street running along the town’s northern border Cooper Street. Jacob’s nephews, Joshua and William,

The Cooper Family Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, September 6, 2015
2. The Cooper Family Marker
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created additional developments, establishing much of what would eventually become the core of present-day Camden. While ensuring Camden’s residential growth, the family also continued to operate their successful ferry service throughout the 18th century, thereby assisting Camden in becoming, during the 19th century, the urban, economic and legal center of southern New Jersey. In the 1870s, Cooper siblings Richard M., William D., Elizabeth, and Sarah founded the Cooper Hospital (now known as the Cooper University Medical Center) on property known as Cooper’s Hill. The hospital, located at One Cooper Plaza, represents another valuable contribution of the Cooper family to the City of Camden that continues, today, to serve the needs of the city and the region.

This light-rail station stop is located within the Cooper Street Historic District, which was historically the city’s most fashionable. Some of the oldest and most architecturally significant residences within the city, dating from the early 1800s and located within Jacob Cooper’s original plan, may be found within the boundaries of this district. The original home of the family founders of the Cooper Hospital was located at nearby 121 Cooper Street and was replaced, during the late 1910s, with the present-day Johnson Library. All of these homes help to illustrate the more than 300-year history of the City of Camden.


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under the image on the left) Artist’s interpretation of the ferry service on the Delaware River. Water color by T. Birch, 1779

(Inscription under the image on the right)
The Richard M. Cooper House, formerly located at 121 Cooper Street (the current location of the Johnson Library in Camden, NJ 1897.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Quakerism series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1679.
Location. 39° 56.859′ N, 75° 7.459′ W. Marker is in Camden, New Jersey, in Camden County. Marker is on Cooper Street. The marker is located at the Cooper Street/Rutgers University rail stop. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Camden NJ 08102, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Edward Sharpe House (within shouting distance of this marker); Enslaved Africans Once Sold Here (within shouting distance of this marker); Cooper's Ferry (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Daniel Cooper Ferry Hotel (about 600 feet away); The Victor (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Campbell Kids (approx. ¼ mile away); Benjamin Franklin Bridge (approx. ¼ mile away); L-3 Communications (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Camden.

Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 9, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 358 times since then and 121 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 9, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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May. 25, 2022