Belleville (French: “Belle ville” meaning “Beautiful city / town”) is a township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township’s population was 35,926, reflecting a decline of 2 (0.0%) from the 35,928 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,715 (+5.0%) from the 34,213 counted in the 1990 Census.Originally known as “Second River” or “Washington”, the inhabitants renamed the settlement “Belleville” in 1797. Belleville was originally incorporated as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 8, 1839, from portions of Bloomfield. Portions of the township were taken to create Woodside Township
(March 24, 1869, now defunct) and Franklin Township (February 18, 1874, now known as Nutley). The independent municipality of Belleville city was created within the township on March 27, 1874, and was dissolved on February 22, 1876. On November 16, 1910, Belleville was reincorporated as a town, based on the results of a referendum held eight days earlier.In 1870, Belleville became the first city on the East Coast of the United States with its own Chinatown. While the country experienced strong anti-Chinese sentiment, the town welcomed a group of Chinese workers from the West Coast who had been involved in construction of the Central Pacific Railroad.
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