Railraod iron is a magician’s rod, in its power to evoke the sleeping energies of land and water. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)
It was a town of machinery and tall chimneys, out of which interminable serpents of smoke trailed themselves for ever and ever, and never got uncoiled. Vast piles of building full of windows where there was a rattling and a trembling all day long, and where the piston of the steam-engine worked monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness. - Charles Dickens (Hard Times)
Coming up next on Gotham City Perspectives:
Today on Gotham City Perspectives, we're going to look at the rise of Gotham City during the time of the Early Republic in through the 19th century in an era referred to as the Industrial Revolution. We will see how the rise of American liberties, capitalist enterprise and most importantly the railroad, had a major impact in Gotham City's transformation from typical port city to the major industrial and commercial powerhouse it has become.
Side Note: I apologize as this post wasn't supposed to take nearly as long as it did. I had some major hard drive/server malfunctions (completely unrelated to sc4) so I had to replace, reformat and restore all my final cut stuff. I work as a DP & film/video editor so the footage took priority. And with close to 10 TB of stuff ... it took a while ... but all is back to normal and with no data loss soooo on to the show.
From revolution to ratification:
The time of the American Revolution was one of great uncertainty for the country at large as well as with the Port and City of Gotham. In the years leading to the Revolution many prominent citizens of Gotham, like the young Darius Wayne and Charles Tyler, were quite outspoken in their opposition the British Crown's oppresive policies in her colonies including most of the new taxes King George imposed. Meanwhile, other city residents like Mr. Wayne's own father Thomas, spoke harshly of this rebellious business believing that Gotham's financial future would be secured with her ties to Great Britain. This was the stuff that ripped families apart like we wouldn't see in Gotham for another hundred years. Darius and his cousin, war hero "Mad" Anthony Wayne of Pennsylvania would go on to serve under General George Washington and rise prominently among the new American elite.
After the war, Darius would later serve as a delegate from New Jersey at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. It was here he befriended Alexander Hamilton who had convinced Wayne to purchase several fledgling publications in Gotham which were then consolidated and would become the Gotham Gazette in 1786. Wayne was eventually elected Senator in the New Jersey Legislative Council where he served throughout the remainder of his life. Darius was instrumental is pushing New Jersey toward ratification of the new United States Constitution arguing its case to the Council, General Assembly and to the people. Using the Gotham Gazette to publish many of the Federalist Papers he helped push a progressive movement among Gotham and Southern New Jersey residents toward ratification. On October 26, 1787, the State of New Jersey became the third state to ratify the Constitution and as in counties all across the State, Darius Wayne wrote to the Gazette:
Now be it known, that we, the delegates of the state of New Jersey, chosen by the people thereof, for the purpose aforesaid, having maturely deliberated on and considered the aforesaid proposed Constitution, do hereby, for and on the behalf of the people of the said state of New Jersey, agree to, ratify, and confirm, the same and every part thereof.
Done in Convention, by the unanimous consent of the members present, this 18th day of December, in the year of our Lord 1787, and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth.
In witness whereof, we have hereunto subscribed our names.
DARIUS WAYNE, President,
and delegate from the county of Gotham.
The Rise of Gotham and the American City
In the years between 1790-1860 Gotham experienced one of the largest expansions in the city's history due in large part to the coming of the steam powered locomotive. As we learned last week, by 1780 Gotham had earned a reputation as a major shipping and exporting hub throughout the northern East Coast centered largely around Rogers Harbor and the Port of Gotham. With America's new found freedom, markets which were previously off limits to the colonies were now a vital part of Gotham's growth. As the city's shipping industry grew, so did all other areas of business. Businesses from all across southern New Jersey flocked to the wares of Gotham to more easily move their products and offer their services and along with them, jobs. The population doubled from 1790-1800 and again by 1830 becoming the nation's 4th largest city with a total of 81,643.
Artist rendering of Gotham City, 1804. view from Land Lease & Trust Company Building looking south over some of Gotham's neighborhoods.
Areal photograph of Uptown. Land Lease and Trust Company Building is across from North Penn Station (intersection of Federal St. & 16th St.)
Railraods, Steam and the American Dream:
As Gotham cit grew throughout the 19th century, Georges Island (popularly referred to as Uptown) was overtaken by the city incorporating towns such as Yeaverly and Ensbury as well as the larger Buroughs of Granton and Jerod, just to name a few. The city itself was beginning to spill over into the Miangani and Worrell Islands. (the later now known as Midtown) The rural residents of Gotham County and surrounding Cape May & Atlantic Counties feared being overrun by the growing city and were able to pass state legislation limiting the city proper to Georges Island further congesting the young city. But by 1830, with the advent of the steam powered locomotive, Gotham City was once again changed. It became much easier and faster to move goods to and from Rogers Harbor via railroad lines to the outlying areas around Gotham. Those towns that only 30 years earlier had looked at Gotham's growth with concern, were now welcoming the new development & accompanying business opportunities that the railroad was able to offer. Gotham was able to pass its 3rd City Charter in 1829 which now was to include all of Gotham County.
But John, isn't this just a typical history of just about every city in the northeast and Midwestern U.S.? Yes but what made Gotham City special, was that as cities grew to be either a "Pennsy", Reading, or B & O town, Gotham acted as s hub connecting nearly all lines from Boston to Washington to Chicago.
The New Jersey Railroad Company was founded in 1815 and meant to lay rail connecting Gotham to Trenton, and by extension, Philadelphia to the west, New York to the north and Metropolis to the south. Rail cars at the time were drawn by horses which limited the size of a consist to only several cars at a time. It was just much easier to move goods and people using waterways opposed to railways and by 1819, construction on the NJRRC main line was halted extending only about 15 miles north & west of Gotham. In 1829 however, when the Baltimore & Ohio railroad began using steam locomotives for its "Tom Thumb", Judge Solomon Wayne started to invest heavily in the continued construction of the line.
A site of the original NJRRC main line as seen today currently used at Rogers Railyard connecting one of the maintenance shops to the Maintenance S/R yard.
Another section of the original line; connecting to the Ship Yard at Rogers Harbor.
Judge Wayne played an critical role in the rise of the Railroad tycoons which in turn attracted young entrepreneurs like your host's own Great-great-grandfather Issac Reese who patented fireproof brick giving a huge boost and an already booming local industry. Wayne's newly founded Wayne Shipping Company (and Wayne Chemical Co.) used his recent railroad investments and leased track usage to B & O, Pennsylvania and the also newly formed New York Central railroads. This required a brand new rail yard to be constructed near the port as it would allow trains from several different companies to arrive and depart easily to and from their own track lines. The yard itself was eventually sold to PRR by Solomon's son Alan Wayne in 1859 who would use the sale to consolidate the family businesses into Wayne Enterprises. Solomon had amassed a fortune in the shipping industry, which he used after his retirement in 1854, to finance the construction of a new "temple" in central Uptown for the Free and Accepted Masons of Gotham. It was to be here where Solomon created (with help from many of Gotham's elite) the Gotham City Society for Abolition while also secretly constructing very expansive underground tunnels that would become part of the "Underground Railroad" connecting as far as Elizabeth, NJ. These weren't just tunnels however, they featured cutouts with cots every 2-3 miles and many secret entrances to the homes of some of Gotham's local abolitionists to help those escaping tyrrany along the way. A section of this tunnel is preserved and on display at the GC African-American Museum.
This map depicts a terminus at Gotham City which was a point of confusion for many shippers. What PRR couldn't show due to space limitations are the rails that allowed trains to move from Philadelphia to Gotham which would then cross the Delmarva Penninsula back into DC (leased on what was then B & O track) -or- move right up the coast into New York finishing a massive loop connecting Phila., Gotham & NYC to the North and a second loop connecting Gotham with Philly, Baltimore & DC to the souh with lines all across country able to connect to these loops.
(side not on the Underground Railroad: the tunnel was discovered around 1919 as the "Red Line" subway was being constructed which cause much of the tunnel to collapse ... though it was originally routed through what is now the Bat cave, Patrick Wayne, then occupying the Manor, was nervous of the Bolshevik movement in Russia and fearing the "Communists" would be interested in taking over and destroying Wayne Enterprises in the name of socialism, he destroyed the Manor's entrance to the tunnel. To this day, historians do not know why Judge Solomon Wayne would finance this section of the Underground Railroad yet not offer his own house as a "stop" along the way. Only Patrick, his grandfather Solomon and his great-grandson Bruce know the truth.
As the rails in and around Gotham where moving more cargo than many cities in America, even more business opportunities opened up. The George Stevenson Locomotive Company opened a factory in Gotham as did Baldwin (based out of Philadelphia) and would bring with it a satellite Gotham headquarters. As B & O continued to build south, Penna RR west out to Chicago and the young New York Central to the north, by 1861 the major (and minor) railroad companies began to depend on Gotham City not just for regional commerce and industry, but the Western Expansion of the United States. An expansion, that would have to be put on hold as America braced for war.
Next time on Gotham City Perspectives, we'll look at the American Civil War and the role Gotham City played in preserving the Union.
Gotham City Perspectives is a Public Broadcasting production made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Wayne Foundation, The Historical Society of New Jersey ... and viewers like YOU!
As I continue to grow and develop Gotham City from the ground on up, you'll notice I never saw Gotham City as the megalopolis of massive highrise buildings encompasing the entire city. Though it certainly has its skyscapping areas in downtown with more commercial highrise districts in midtown and uptown, I see Gotham as a city of neighborhoods ... of houses and W2W apartment buildings. A sort of comination of the Philadelphia style row-homes, and Chicago style brick apartment buildings with some art-deco, neo-gothic AND modern styled commercial districts connecting these neighborhood and to the industrail parks. I'm basically taking when I know and love about Gotham City (usung of course my own personal interprutation) and spicing it up with elements I've found and come to love the places I've lived.
Here's an update:
A neighborhood in east Uptown.
The curves are a little tight on the left ... I'm in the process of widening some of the connections. I'll post the update next time.
Norston: a neighborhood in northern Uptown. North Federal Station (Federal St. & Broadway)