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Title Charter of the City of Hoboken, in the State of New Jersey, March 28, 1855; with Supplements to 1871.
Object Name Charter
Catalog Number 2012.010.0001
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Collection Hoboken Government & Politics Collection
Credit Gift of Mary O'Grady.
Scope & Content Charter of the City of Hoboken, in the State of New Jersey,
Passed by the Legislature of Said State, March 28, 1855,
with The Several Supplements thereto, including the Supplement Approved April 6th, 1871, and Acts Creating the Fire Department of said City, Board of Water Commissioners, etc, etc.

Compiled by John C. Besson, Counsellor-at-Law, for
The Mayor and Council of the City of Hoboken.

Hoboken, N.J.: A.O. Evans, Steam Book and Job Printer, 56 Washington St. 1871.

Softcover issue; printed wrappers, 5-3/4" wide x 8-3/4" wide, 192 pp. Ex-libris: Library of Francis B. Lee, Trenton, N.J. (bookplate may be contemporary - late 19th century at latest.) Full copy, disbound.

PDF on file: large and small versions.

Text of first nine pages is transcribed in notes.

BELOW: Index transcribed from pages [183]-192:


Act approved PAGE.
March 28 1855, ...... 3
March 20 1857, 45
March 6 1858,....... 46
March 23 1859,....... 48
March 15 1861,....... 58
February 10 1862, 65
February 18 1862,...... 67
March 19 1862, 70
February 16 1863, 74
February 16 1863,....... 77
February 16 1863, 79
March 18 1863,............ 80
February 19 1864,............ 82
March 23 1864, 83
February 28 1865,..... 85
March 21 1865,............ 88
March 21 1865,.89
March 29 1865,....... 94
March 21 1866,....... 95
April 6 1866, 96
January 29 1867,....... 100
April 4 1867, 101
April 1 1868 105
April 7 1868, 106
April 6 1868,....... 108
March 16 1869, 110
March 30 1869,....... 111
March 31 1869,...... ......117
February 23 1870,. ......118
March 1 1870,... ....122
March 17 1870, ....... 123
April 6 1871,...... 128-137
March 15 1854,.... . 138
March 4 1856, 145
March 1 1859,. 147


March 11, 1857,............ 148
March 22, 18 ,............ 152
March 14, 1856,............ 154
March 20, 1857,............ 155
March 15, 1859,............ 161
April 2 1868,............ 165
March 2, 1869,............ 167
February 15, 1870,............ 168
April 4, 1866,............ 169
April 9, 1867,............ 117
April 21, 1868,............ 118



Adoption of Charter by election, 42
Adjournment of tax sale, 32
Agreement between borrower andlender of money,98
Annual statement,18
Appeal from decision of Recorder, 12
Appeal, Commissioners of how elected, 5
Appeal Commissioners of powersand duties,13, 120
Assessments, sale of lands for31
Interest on when paid 59,132
Assessment of State and County tax,34, 99
Assessment for opening; streets,35, 93
Assessment payment of damages, 36
Assessment of taxes for city purposes, 99
Assessment for filling sunken lots, 135
Assessment, Board of Commissioners 133
Assessment by Drainage Commissioners, 99
Assessment of water rents,161, 167
Auditing claims,38
Animals running at large, 22, 48
Appointment of Street Commissioner and other officers, 91
Assessor to give notice of valuations,103, 128
Assessor, election of128
Assessor, votes in County board of129
Assessor, compensation of129
Advertising for proposals,136

Boundaries of City,3, 52, 56, 96, 100
Boundaries of Wards,4, 110


Bonds, officers to give16
Bonds given by Collector of Revenue,130
Bonds issued for relief of militia,65
Bonds issued to pay bounty to volunteers,81, 83, 85
Bonds issued for Fire Department purposes,102
Bonds, special improvement131
Bonds, Treasurer of Fire Department fund,150
Bonds, Water Commissioners may issue156, 167
Borrow money, Council may when 26
Burial grounds, sale of44, 138
Burial grounds to be laid out into plots, 67, 138
Bloomfield street sewer,103

City, corporate name of4
City, general powers of4, 133
City officers, election of 5, 91,128,
City Clerk, duties of14
City Clerk power to administer oaths, 58
City Clerk compensation,58, 90
City Clerk, clerk to Commissioners of Appeals,90
City Clerk fees of in certiorari cases,90
Charter election when held,6, 40
Charter election who entitled to vote at, 6
Commissioners of Deeds,42
Commissioners of Appeals,5, 15, 48
Commissioners, Water155
Compensation of officers, 41, 50, 90,103, 129, 130
Council, constitution and duties of 16, 79
Council, meetings of19
Council, powers of95
Council, Chairman of17
Council, member of power to arrest offender, 15
Councilmen, Board of16
Councilmen, disability of19


Councilmen, liable for excess of appropriation,63
Councilmen, compensation of90
County tax, 34
Consent of owners of lots to be assessed for paving required, 35
Commissioners of Assessments to take oath,37
When and how appointed 121,59, 60
Commissioners to be assisted by Surveyors, 119
Board of appointment of132
Commissioners of Police,123
Claims against City to be audited, 38
Claims against City not to bear interest,39
Costs of action against City,39
City Physician, compensation of130
Contracts for work, 37, 60
Collector of Arrears of Taxes, duties of61
Collector of Arrears of Taxes, fees of62
Collector of Revenue, election of 128
Collector of Revenue, powers andduties, 129
Collector of Revenue, compensation of 130
Coster map, confirmation of77
Court street, part of vacated88
Contingent fund, appropriations from92
Compensation to Assessors,101
City Hall, erection of 101, 111
Certified copy of ordinances, evidence, 112
Certificate of tax title transferable by Treasurer,116
Correction of Assessments for improvements,120
Chief of Police force,124

Dock at Third street, 23
Dogs, power to restrain from running at large,25
Dogs, tax on25,49


Delinquent tax-payers returned to Council,29, 113
District lamp and water,34, 50
Duties of officers, how prescribed,59
Duties of Police,108
Drainage Commissioners, Hoboken and Weehawken169
Drainage Commissioners, work to be done by contract,177

Election returns, how made,6
Election duties of Board of Canvassers,7, 80
Election, State and County9
Election duties and powers of officers,10
Election, first Charter40
Evidence of publication of ordinances,49, 112
Exempt Firemen’s Association,14

Fire Department, incorporated 141, 145, 147
Fire Department certificate of membership,150
Fire Department, Chief Engineer of5,143
Fire Department. Assistant Engineer5
Fire Department, duty of President of Board of Trustees,144
Fire Department, power of Council over20
Fire Department, power to maintain59,102
Firemen Exempt Association,74
Firemen exempt from Jury duty,143
Fire Company, Hook and Ladder No. 2, house for,137
Fines to be paid to Treasurer,16
Freeholders, Chosen 5
First Charter election,40
Fund, burial ground69
Fund, Fire Department, incorporated,148

Grading streets,22

Health laws,24
Hacks not to run without license,49
Houses to be numbered,63


Hoboken and Weehawken Drainage Commission,169,126
Health Warden Compensation of 130

Inspectors of election,5
Inns and taverns 24, 49
Interments, Power to regulate,25
Interest on taxes, when to be deducted,30
Improvements exceeding one hundred dollars,37,60
Inspectors of Weights and Measures, &c.,101
Improvements, assessments for35, 93, 120
Improvement, certificates to bear interest,122
Improvement bonds, special,131

Judge of election,5
Justices of the peace election of16

Lamps, Council to provide for streets,21
Limitation of action for claim, 38
License to hawkers, &c.,49,98
Liability of Council for excess of appropriations,63

Mayor, powers and duties of11, 17, 126
Mayor to sign ordinances,17
Mortgagee, notice of sale given to33
Map of lands assessed for improvement,35
Map of laying out westerly part of city confirmed,77
Map of general assessment,101
Market Square, sale of70
Meeting of the Council19

Nuisances, power of Council to declare24,109
Nuisances, stagnant water135
Notice of time for redemption of lands sold for taxes,34
Notice of assessment to be given by assessor,103
Notice of meeting of Commissioners of Appeal,104


Notice of proposals for improvement contracts, 136
Numbering houses, 11, 12

Ordinances, how enforced, 63
Ordinances, warrant for breach of11
Ordinances, to be signed by Mayor,17
Ordinances, how passed, 18
Ordinances, publication of18
Ordinances, service of process for violating61
Ordinances, publication of, in pamphlets,114
Oath of Commissioners of assessment,37
Oath of Assessor,128
Officers, compensation of41
Officers, election duties and terms,5
Officers, to give bond,16

Penalty for breach of ordinance,25
Penalty for not delivering books to successor,12
Penalty for neglect of duty by officers,99
Publication of ordinances,18,49
Publication of proceedings of Council,104,136
Powers of Council to pass ordinances, 20
Powers of Council to grade and pave streets,37,92
Paving streets,22
Payment of assessment of damages,36
Policemen to serve process,61,89
Policemen, powers and duties of89, 108,125
Policemen, payment of125
Police Commisssioners,123
Prison, city20
Poll tax,121

Quorum of Council,17,48
Quorum of Board of Police Commissioners,126

Resignation of Councilmen,17
Removal and resignation of officers,19,58


Real estate may be sold for taxes, 30
Real estate, liens upon30, 114, 171, 161
Redemption of lands sold for taxes and assessments,31, 34, 135
Record of tax sales,33
Record of assessment to be made,36
Repeal of former acts,43
Removal of bodies from burial ground,45
Repeal of sections of former act,50
Railroads, Council may allow construction of61
Recorder, election and powers of89, 91
Recorder, recognance before90
Recorder, salary of113
Registrar of Water Commissioners,165

Sewers, construction of22, 23, 95
Sewers in Bloomfield street,103
School fund, to whom paid,91
Schools, trustees of5, 91
Streets, grading and paving, 37
Streets, change of certain ones, 46
Streets to be cleaned, direction of Street Commissioner, 109
Salaries of officers, how fixed, 40, 41
Salary of Recorder,113
Salary of Street Commissioner,113
Salary of Collector of Taxes,113
Superintendent of burial ground,45
Squares, public assessment on92, 103
Square authorized to obtain title to, 106
Squares, improvement of, 111
Sidewalks, proceeding in repair of, 113
Surveyors may be appointed to assist Commissioners of Assessments,119
Sunken lots, filling of and assessment for135
Specifications for improvements to be published with notice,136

Treasurer, duties of13, 116
Taxes and collection of, 26, 61,93, 99, 113,116
Taxes not to exceed eight mills ondollar for City purposes,27


Taxes, how asessed, 27
Taxes, interest to be charged on unpaid29
Taxes to pay interest on water bonds,157
Tax payers, delinquents returned28, 39
Taxation, property exempt from68, 75
Tax Commissioners election, powers and duties,133, 134
Terms of Township officers,41
Term of office of Councilman,79
Trustees of Schools to be elected, 91
Trustees of Hoboken Cemetery,138
Trustees of Fire Department fund,148
Trustees of Fire Department fund election of149, 152

Vacancy in Board of Commissioners of Assessment, how filled,133
Vacancy in office of Collector and Assessor, how filled,130
Vacancy in offices, how filled,13, 108
Vested rights of persons and corporations,43
Vacated streets,47
Volunteer bounty bonds,81, 83, 85
Volunteer bounty poll tax abolished,121

Wards, boundaries of4, 110
Ward officers,5
Wells and pumps,21
Witnesses - inhabitants not incompetent,41
Weehawken township,52
Westerly part of city plotting and laying out confirmed,77
Willow street improvement, assessment for118
Water, Mayor and Council to contract for154
Water Commissioners,155
Water Commissioners, powers and duties, 156
Water Commissioners, election of 158
Water Commissioners, removal,159
Water rents, collection of 161, 167
Water works, penalty for injuring163


Notes Archives 2012.010.0001


[cover title]
Charter of the City of Hoboken, in the State of New Jersey, Passed by the Legislature of Said State, March 28, 1855, with The Several Supplements thereto, including the Supplement Approved April 6th, 1871, and Acts Creating the Fire Department of said City, Board of Water Commissioners, etc, etc. Compiled by John C. Besson, Counsellor-at-Law, for The Mayor and Council of the City of Hoboken.

Hoboken, N.J.: A.O. Evans, Steam Book and Job Printer, 56 Washington St. 1871.

page [3]
An Act
Title I. — Of the boundaries and civil divisions of the city,

Boundaries of City
1. Be it enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey, That the inhabitants of that part of the county of Hudson embraced within the following boundaries, to wit : Beginning at a point in the middle of Hudson river due east from the mouth of Loss or Sluice creek; thence running due west to the centre of said creek at its mouth ; thence along the centre of said creek, the several courses thereof, to the great bend in the same;* thence down the centre of the principal ditch, on the west line of lands of the late John G. Costar [sic - Coster], to the public road leading from North Bergen to Hoboken :+ from thence due south to the north line of Jersey City;++ thence along said north line easterly to the mouth of Eel Creek ; thence to the middle of Hudson river ; thence northerly, up and along the middle of said Hudson river, to the point of beginning,

*See act entitled "An Act to create a new township in the county of Hudson, to be called the Township of Weehawken," approved March, 1859,

+See Pam. L. 1867, p. 956, sec. 6, Sup. approved April 6, 1866, For southerly boundary see supplement, approved Jan. 29, 1867.

++See "An Act to Incorporate Jersey City," approved March 18, 1851 . Pam. Laws 1851, p. 392.

[end page 3]


be and they are hereby constituted a body corporate
and politic, in fact and in name, by the name of " the
Mayor and Council of the city of Hoboken ;" and they
and their successors may use a common seal, and, by
their corporate name, shall be in law, within the limits
and under the restrictions hereinafter prescribed, capa-
ble of purchasing, holding, and conveying, for the pub-
lic use of said corporation, any estate, real or personal,
that the public good requires to be so purchased, held,
or conveyed ; and the said mayor and council of the
city of Hoboken, and their successors, shall, by virtue
of this act, become and be absolutely and completely
vested with all the lands, tenements, hereditaments,
property, rights, causes of action, and estate whatso-
ever, both in law and in equity, in possession, rever-
sion, or remainder, which at the time of the passing of
this act are vested in or belong to the inhabitants of
the township of Hoboken, in their corporate capacity,
and be liable to pay all the just debts of the said in-
habitants of the township of Hoboken owed in their
corporate capacity.
2. And be it enacted, That the said city shall be di-
vided into three districts or wards, in the manner
following, to wit : All that part of the city lying south
of the middle line of Third street shall constitute the
first ward of said city ; and all that part lying north of
the middle line of Third street, and east of the middle
line of Bloomfield street, shall constitute the second
ward of said city ; and all that part of said city lying-
north of the middle line of Third street, and west of the
middle line of Bloomfield street, shall constitute the
third ward of the said city of Hoboken.*
*" An Act to create a Fourth Ward in the city of Hoboken" approved March 16, 1869.
[end pg 4]



TITLE II.- Of the officers of the city, their election, duties,
and term of office.
3.And be it enacted, That hereafter, and until other-
wise provided for by law, there shall be elected, in and
for the said city, a mayor, a treasurer, a clerk of the
city, a collector, a collector of arrears of taxes,* an
overseer of the poor, a superintendent of common
schools, a street commissioner,++: a pound keeper,§ a
chief engineer of the fire department, and one assistant
engineer, who shall hold their offices for one year, all
of whom shall be elected at the charter elections, ex-
cept the chief engineer and the assistant engineer of
the fire department, who shall be elected by the mem-
bers of said department, in the same manner as pre-
scribed by an act entitled, An act to incorporate the
fire department of the township of Hoboken, in the
county of Hudson," approved March fifteenth, one
thousand eight hundred and fifty-four.
4.And be it enacted, That the ward officers shall be,
for each ward, two councilmen,|| one judge of election,
two inspectors of election, one assessor, one trustee of
common schools, = two chosen freeholders, one consta-
ble, one commissioner of appeals, and a clerk, who shall
be clerk of election ; and the councilmen of each ward
shall perform such duties as by the laws of the state
devolve ex-officio on the town committeemen in the
other townships of this state ; and each ward, for gen-
eral purposes not provided for in this act, shall be con-
sidered a township, and each of the three city asses-
* Supplement approved April 6, 1871.
|Superintendent of Schools abolished by supplement, approved March
21, 1865, sec. 12.
++Street commissioner and overseer of poor to be appointed. Supple-
ment approved March 21, 1865, sec. 13.
§"A pound keeper " stricken out. See act approved March 15, 1861?
sec. 1.
||" Three councilmen," term of office, &c. See supplement approved
Feb. 16, 1863.
=Three trustees. See supplement approved March 21, 1865, sec. 10
[end pg 5]

sors shall, in the meeting of county assessors, have the
same voice as the assessors of any township in the
5.And be it enacted. That the charter election shall
be held on the second Tuesday in April, in each year,
at such place, in each ward, as a majority of the council
shall designate ; provided, however, that the first elec-
tion shall be held for the first ward, in the town hall ;
for the second ward in school room in Washington
street, near Fourth ; and for the third ward, in the
academy on public square on north side of Fourth
street, in rear of Methodist church, or at such other
places as the. township committee may direct; said
elections shall be held and conducted by the judge, in-
spectors, and clerk of election, at the same hours, in
the same manner, and under the same regulations, in
all things, as prescribed bylaw for the state elections
and for members of the legislature, except that the re-
turn of the election shall be made to the city clerk
within forty-eight hours after the closing of the polls,
which return shall be a full, true, and correct copy of
the original statement of the result of such election,
made by such judge and inspectors, and shall be
signed by them with their own hands and attested by
the clerk, and the city clerk shall, when he receives
such return, immediately file the same in his office as
an official paper.
6.And be it enacted, That every person who would,
by the existing laws of the state, be entitled to vote at
an election for members of the legislature, if held on
that day, shall be entitled to vote at the charter elec-
tion ; and any person voting in any ward shall have
actually resided in said ward at least five days pre-
vious to such election, and he shall be entitled to vote
in that ward, and no other ; and no person shall be
*See supplement approved April 6, 1871.
[end pg 6]


7.eligible to vote upon any proposition appropriating
moneys raised or to be raised by taxation, unless he
shall be entitled to vote at the charter elections for
charter officers.
8.And be it enacted, That the person or persons re-
ceiving the greatest number of votes of those given in
the city, for any city office, and of votes given in each
ward, respectively, for any office in that ward, shall be
elected to that office.
9.And be it enacted, That the judge of election in
each ward, in every such election, shall attend the
meeting of the board of city canvassers, hereinafter
provided for, as a member thereof, with the original
statement of the result of such election in such ward,
which shall have been made, signed and certified as
herein before directed; that the judges of election, to-
gether with the members of the board of councilmen
whose term of office will not expire till after the next
succeeding charter election, shall constitute the board
of city canvassers ;* a majority of said board shall be a
quorum, and the city clerk shall be clerk of said board ;
that such board shall meet on the Friday next after
such election, at five o'clock in the afternoon of that
day, at the council chamber in said city, and at that
hour, without delay, the members of said board who
shall be then present, if more than five in number, shall
proceed to choose one of their number, who shall be
chairman thereof; and as soon as such chairman shall
be appointed, it shall-be his duty to administer to each
of the other members, and of each of the other mem-
bers to take an oath or affirmation in the following
form : " I do swear (or affirm, as the case may be,) that,
I will faithfully and impartially execute the duties of a
member of this board of city canvassers according to
law and thereupon one of the members of said board
[end pg 7]


shall administer to said chairman, and said chairman
shall take an oath or affirmation in the same form as
that taken by the other members of such board ; and if
the city clerk shall be absent at such meeting, at the
time appointed therefor, the board shall forthwith,
alter the oaths or affirmations shall have been admin-
istered, as herein before directed, proceed to appoint a
fit person to be clerk of such board; and before pro-
ceeding to canvass and estimate the votes, the chairman
of the said board shall administer to the clerk thereof,
and the said clerk shall take an oath or affirmation in
the following form : " I do swear (or affirm, as the case
may be,) that I will faithfully execute the duties of
clerk ot this board, according to law thereupon the
judges of election, who shall be present as members of
said board, shall produce the original statements which
shall have been delivered to them, respectively, by the
electors, and lay the same before such board ; and
from them the said board shall proceed to ascertain
the votes given at such election, for the several persons
voted for thereat, for the several offices mentioned in
such statements.
9. And be it enacted, That if any of the judges shall
be unable to attend such meeting, on the day appointed
therefor, he shall, at or before the hour of five o'clock
in the afternoon of that day, deliver, or safely transmit
to the city clerk, the original statement of the result of
the election, which shall have been delivered to him, as
herein before directed ; and if, from any cause, such
original statement shall not be produced to said board
of citj- canvassers at the time appointed for the meet-
ing of said board, the city clerk shall produce and lay
before the said board the certified copy thereof filed in
his office ; and thereupon the said board shall proceed
to make their statement and declaration from such cer-
tified copy, in the same manner and with the same
effect as if the original statement had been produced
[end pg 8]


by the judge of election to whom the same was deliv-
10.And be it enacted, That the said board of can-
vassers shall make a written statement of the whole
number of votes given for mayor of said city, as well
as for the several other officers to be elected for said
city, and the several wards thereof, the names of the
persons for whom such votes, were given, and the num-
ber of votes given for each.
11.And be it enacted, That upon such statement, the
board shall proceed to determine and declare what
person or persons have received the highest number of
votes for each of the offices mentioned in such state-
ment ; in case any two or more persons shall have re-
ceived an equal number of votes for the same office,
a new election shall be ordered within five days from
the meeting of said board, to fill any or all such offices;
the statement and final declaration of the board shall
be certified by the presiding officer and clerk, and filed
in the office of the city clerk.
12.And be it enacted, That the clerk shall keeps
proper minutes of the proceedings of the board, and to
enter the same, with the statement and declaration of
the board, in the book of minutes of the council ; said
statement and declaration shall, within one week there-
after, be published in one or more of the newspapers
printed in said city ; and within ten days after the
board shall have determined what persons have been
elected to the several offices in said city, the said clerk
shall cause written notices of his election to be given
to each of the persons so elected.
13. And be it enacted, That all elections hereafter to
be held within the city, for members of the senate and the
general assembly of this state, for sheriff, clerk, surro-
gate, and coroners of the county of Hudson, and for
members of congress and electors of president and vice-
president of the United States, or for any other officers-
[end pg 9]


People Besson, John C.
Besson, John
Date 1855-1871
Year Range from 1855
Year Range to 1871
Search Terms City Council, Hoboken
Caption 000 Front Cover
Imagefile 289\20120100001.TIF
Classification Government & Politics
Law Enforcement