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

The Archives of the State

 
 
The Archives of the State Marker image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, August 2008
1. The Archives of the State Marker
Inscription. New Jersey maintains offices all across the State in support of the business of government. The very first of these facilities, the offices of the Secretary of State and the Clerk of the Supreme Court, was situated on this spot within a one-story building that stood in the northeast corner of the State House lot. Constructed in 1795-96, just three after the opening of the State House, the building housed vital legal documents pertaining to New Jersey’s colonial past and emergent statehood. The offices were pulled down in 1846 when the State House underwent a major expansion planned by architect John Notman. Among the modern descendants of this modest structure are the New Jersey State Archives located down the block at 225 West State Street.

Recent discovery of the office building stemmed from the interplay of archival research and archaeological investigation. Enabling legislation, bookkeeping accounts and other records held by the New Jersey State Archives describe the form and layout of the building and the construction materials used. A map of Trenton from around 1804 shows the State House lot and the office building’s approximate location. Archaeological excavations carried out in conjunction with security improvements along West State Street in 2006 uncovered the building’s foundations and cellars. As you read this sign,
This artist’s rendition image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, August 10, 2008
2. This artist’s rendition
of the offices of the Secretary of State and the Clerk of the Supreme Court is based on archival and archaeological evidence. Delaware Street formerly ran along the eastern edge of the State House lot, passing in front of the office building. Portions of the original New Jersey State House erected in 1792 still survive encased within the core of the present-day capitol building.
you are standing in the rear office in the northwest corner of the building. The outline of the northern end of the building is delineated by the stones set into the sidewalk.
 
Erected 2008.
 
Location. 40° 13.248′ N, 74° 46.164′ W. Marker is in Trenton, New Jersey, in Mercer County. Marker is on West State Street 0 miles west of Barracks Street. Touch for map. This marker is in front of the New Jersey State House. Marker is in this post office area: Trenton NJ 08608, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. State House (a few steps from this marker); The Story of Trenton (a few steps from this marker); Old Steel Mill (within shouting distance of this marker); Petty's Run (within shouting distance of this marker); The Trenton Steel Works (within shouting distance of this marker); West Front Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Changing Landscapes Along Petty's Run (within shouting distance of this marker); Front Street Paper Mill (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Trenton.
 
Categories. GovernmentNotable Buildings
 
This reconstruction of the floor plan image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, August 2008
3. This reconstruction of the floor plan
of the building shows offices, with cellars beneath, at each end and fireproof vaults with iron doors in the uncellared central portion of the structure.
A map showing the Trenton properties of Daniel W. Coxe, Esq. image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, August 2008
4. A map showing the Trenton properties of Daniel W. Coxe, Esq.
around 1804 depicts the original State House in the center of the State House lot and the offices of the Secretary of State and the Clerk of the Supreme Court in the corner of the lot along the Second (West State) Street frontage.
The office building was designed and built by Jonathan Doan, image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, August 2008
5. The office building was designed and built by Jonathan Doan,
who was similarly responsible for constructing the State House. This document is one of Doan’s bills to the State for carpentry work.
Below the sidewalk of West State Street, image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, August 2008
6. Below the sidewalk of West State Street,
an archaeologist exposes the footings of the stoop beneath the northern entrance into the office building [above left]. In the summer of 1797 a “State House Necessary” was constructed within the State House lot. Probably a stone masonry structure with at least three privies beneath a single roof, these facilities served State legislators and office staff alike. In March of 2006 archaeologists found one of the privy shafts of the State House necessary directly beneath the West State Street portico of the State House [right].
The Archives of the State Marker image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, August 2008
7. The Archives of the State Marker
The stone outline of the building can be seen in the sidewalk.
The Archives of the State Marker image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, August 10, 2008
8. The Archives of the State Marker
The main entrance to the State House is in the background.
225 West State Street image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, August 11, 2008
9. 225 West State Street
Current home of the New Jersey State Archives at corner of Calhoun Street.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 11, 2008, by Gary Nigh of Trenton, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 715 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on August 11, 2008, by Gary Nigh of Trenton, New Jersey. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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