Here as so often in American history the railroads brought a new political and economic impulse.
The biggest wave of anti-immigrant resentment in American history, a nativistic movement called Knownothingism, swept the country.
Irish and German immigrants became the main targets for this militant and aggressive group.
The first railroad station for the settlement-to-be was named Cedar Bridge.
In their initial plans the promoters went completely overboard.
Direct immigration from the German fatherland might be channeled into Egg Harbor to swell the ranks of the settlers. A refuge for all German countrymen who want to combine and enjoy American freedom with German Gemtlichkeit, sociability and undisturbed happiness.
In 1859 the Association put out a special pamphlet under the heading "Was wir wollen What we want." The answer developed the entire program of the project. A place to develop German folk life, German arts and sciences, especially music.Thus the railroad company had a vital interest in filling up the demographic white spots in the thinly settled stretches of land between Philadelphia and the coast. On the Board of Directors of the railroad company there were several men of German descent.They may have conceived the idea of a German settlement.However, this alone does not account for the fact that Egg Harbor City was planned as a pure German town and that this project soon became known to German-Americans all over the country.The decade preceding the Civil War was a time of turmoil and unrest, of tension and prejudice.The original idea seems to have been to develop simultaneously an urban core and a loosely settled farming area.