Burlington, a city of Burlington county, New Jersey, U.S.A., on the E. bank of the Delaware river, 18 m. N.E. of Philadelphia. Pop. (1890) 7264; (1900) 7392, of whom 636 were foreign-born and 590 were of negro descent; (1905) 8038; (1910) 8336. It is served by the Pennsylvania railway, and by passenger and freight steamboat lines on the Delaware river, connecting with river and Atlantic coast ports. Burlington is a pleasant residential city with a number of interesting old mansions long antedating the War of Independence, some of them the summer homes of old Philadelphia families. The Burlington Society library, established in 1757 and still conducted under its original charter granted by George II., is one of the oldest public libraries in America. At Burlington are St Mary's Hall (1837; Protestant Episcopal), founded by Bishop G.W. Doane, one of the first schools for girls to be established in the country, Van Rensselaer Seminary and the New Jersey State Masonic home. In the old St Mary's church (Protestant Episcopal), which was built in 1703 and has been called St Anne's as well as St Mary's, Daniel Coxe (1674-1739), first provincial grand master of the lodge of Masons in America, was buried; a commemorative bronze tablet was erected in 1907. Burlington College, founded by Bishop Doane in 1864, was closed as a college in 1877, but continued as a church school until 1900; the buildings subsequently passed into the hands of an iron manufacturer.
Burlington's principal industries are the manufacture of shoes and cast-iron water and gas pipes. Burlington was settled in 1677 by a colony of English Quakers. The settlement was first known as New Beverly, but was soon renamed after Bridlington (Burlington), the Yorkshire home of many of the settlers. In 1682 the assembly of West Jersey gave to Burlington "Matinicunk Island," above the town, "for the maintaining of a school for the education of youth"; revenues from a part of the island are still used for the support of the public schools, and the trust fund is one of the oldest for educational purposes in the United States. Burlington was incorporated as a town in 1693 (re-incorporated, 1733), and became the seat of government of West Jersey. On the union of East and West Jersey in 1702, it became one of the two seats of government of the new royal province, the meetings of the legislature generally alternating between Burlington and Perth Amboy, under both the colonial and the state government, until 1790. In 1777 the New Jersey Gazette, the first newspaper in New Jersey, was established here; it was published (here and later in Trenton) until 1786, and was an influential paper, especially during the War of Independence. Burlington was chartered as a city in 1784.
See Henry Armitt Brown, The Settlement of Burlington (Burlington, 1878); George M. Hills, History of the Church in Burlington (Trenton, 1885); and Mrs A.M. Gummère, Friends in Burlington (Philadelphia, 1884).