Wayne is a township in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States, located less than 20 miles (32 km) from Midtown Manhattan, and is home to William Paterson University. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township had a total population of 54,717, reflecting an increase of 648 (+1.2%) from the 54,069 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 7,044 (+15.0%) from the 47,025 counted in the 1990 Census.
Wayne was formed as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 12, 1847, from portions of Manchester Township. Totowa was formed from portions of Wayne and Manchester Township on March 15, 1898.
Points of interest include William Paterson University, Willowbrook Mall, Wayne Towne Center, High Mountain Park Preserve, and Dey Mansion.
In 1694, Arent Schuyler, a surveyor, trader and land speculator, was sent by the British into northwestern New Jersey to investigate rumors that the French were trying to incite the local Lenape Native Americans to rebel against them. He found no evidence of a rebellion, but discovered a fertile river valley where the Lenape grew crops. Schuyler reported his findings to the British and then convinced a group including Major Anthony Brockholst and Samuel Bayard to invest in the land he referred to as the Pompton Valley. The group chose Schuyler to be the negotiator with the Lenape and Bayard to negotiate with the East Jersey Company, the owner of the land rights from the King of England. The group completed their purchase of 5,000 acres (20 km2) on November 11, 1695, and the area became part of what was then known as New Barbadoes Township in Bergen County. Schuyler constructed the Schuyler-Colfax House at this time.
In 1710, the area became part of Saddle River Township. During the Revolutionary War, General George Washington made his headquarters at the Dey Mansion, first in July 1780, and again in October and November 1780.