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On December 25-26, 1776, Washington and his army, after crossing the icy Delaware River to Trenton, defeated the Hessian troops garrisoned there.

While the city was preferred by New England and other northern states as a permanent capital for the new country, the southern states ultimately prevailed in their choice of a location south of the Mason–Dixon line.

The incident was the subject of the book Jersey Justice: The Story of the Trenton Six, written by Cathy Knepper.

Several bridges across the Delaware River — the Trenton–Morrisville Toll Bridge, Lower Trenton Bridge and Calhoun Street Bridge – connect Trenton to Morrisville, Pennsylvania, all of which are operated by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission.

Trenton Township was incorporated as one of New Jersey's initial group of 104 townships by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798.

On February 22, 1834, portions of Trenton Township were taken to form Ewing Township.

Portions of Ewing Township and Hamilton Township were annexed to Trenton on March 23, 1900.

The first settlement which would become Trenton was established by Quakers in 1679, in the region then called the Falls of the Delaware, led by Mahlon Stacy from Handsworth, Sheffield, England.Trenton dates back at least to June 3, 1719, when mention was made of a constable being appointed for Trenton, while the area was still part of Hunterdon County.Boundaries were recorded for Trenton Township as of March 2, 1720, Trenton became New Jersey's capital as of November 25, 1790, and the City of Trenton was formed within Trenton Township on November 13, 1792.The city is sometimes included as part of North Jersey and as the southernmost city of the Tri-State Region, while others consider it a part of South Jersey and thus, the northernmost city of the Delaware Valley.Locals consider Trenton to be a part of an ambiguous area known as Central Jersey, and thus part of neither region.With the involvement of the Communist Party and the NAACP, there were several appeals, resulting in a total of four trials.

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