American History and Genealogy Project

State of Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania, one of the middle United States, is bounded n. by New York and Lake Erie; t. by New Jersey, from which it is separated by Delaware River; s. by Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia; and w. by Virginia and Ohio. It is between 39° 43' and 42° n. lat., and between 74° aid 80° 40' w. Ion.; and between 3° 31' w. and 2° 18' e. from w. It is 307 miles long, and 160 broad, containing 46,000 square miles, or 29,440,000 acres. The population in 1790, was 434,373; in 1800, 602,545; in 1810, 810,091; in 1820, 1,049,313; in 1830, 1,347,672; in 1840, 1,724,033. Of these 844,770 were white males; 831,345 do. females; 22,752 free colored males; 25,102 do. females. Employed in agriculture, 207,533; in commerce, 15,338; in manufactures and trades, 05,883; in mining, 4,603; navigating the ocean, 1,815; do. lakes, rivers, &c, 3,951; learned professions, &c, 6,706.

The state is divided into 55 counties, which, with their population in 1840, and their capitals, are as follows:

County, Population, Capital

Eastern District Western District
Adams, 23,044, Gettysburg Alleghany, 81,235, Pittsburgh
Berks, 64,569, Reading Armstrong, 28,365, Kittaning
Bucks, 48,107, Doylestown and Bristol Beaver, 29,368, Beaver
Chester, 57,515, West Chester Bedford, 29,335, Bedford
Cumberland, 30,953, Carlisle Bradford, 32,769, Towanda
Dauphin, 30,118, Harrisburg Butler, 22,378, Butler
Delaware, 19,791, Chester Cambria, 11,256, Ebensburg
Franklin, 37,793, Chambersburg Centre, 20,492, Bellefonte
Lancaster, 84,203, Lancaster Clearfield, 7,834, Clearfield
Lebanon, 21,872, Lebanon Clinton, 8,323, Lock Haven
Lehigh, 25,785, Allentown Columbia, 24,267, Danville
Monroe,,879, Stroudsburg Crawford, 31,724, Meadville
Montgomery, 47,241, Norristown Erie, 31,344, Erie
Northampton, 40,996, Easton Fayette, 33,574, Union
Perry, 7,096, Bloomfield Greene, 19,147, Waynesburg
Philadelphia, 258,037, Philadelphia Huntingdon, 35,484, Huntingdon
Pike, 3,832, Milford Indiana, 20,782, Indiana
Schuylkill, 29,053, Orwigsburg Jefferson, 7,253, Brookville
Wayne, 11,848, Honesdale Juniata, 11,030, Mifflintown
 York, 47,010, York Luzerne, 44,006, Wilkesbarre
... Lycoming, 22,649, Williamsport
... McKean, 2,975, Smithport
... Mercer, 32,873, Mercer
... Mifflin, 13,092, Lewistown
... Northumberland, 20,027, Sunbury
... Potter, 3,371, Cowdersport
... Somerset, 19,650, Somerset
... Susquehanna, 21,195, Montrose
... Tioga, 15,498, Wellsborough
... Union, 22,787, New Berlin
... Venango, 17,900, Franklin
... Warren, 9,278, Warren
... Washington, 41,279, Washington
... Westmoreland, 42,699, Greensburg

Harrisburg is the seat of government, on the E. bank of the Susquehanna River, 97 miles w. n. w. from Philadelphia.

The Alleghany Mountains cross the state from s. w. to n. e., and there are many smaller ranges on each side of the principal ridge, and parallel to it. These mountainous tracts cover all the central part of the state, embracing nearly one seventh of its whole surface. In the s. e. and n. w., the country is either level or moderately hilly. The soil is generally good, and much of it is of a superior quality; the richest tract is in the s. e., on both sides of the Susquehanna. This part of the state has been long settled, and is under high cultivation. Between the head waters of the Alleghany and Lake Erie, the soil is excellent. The most important production of the state by far is wheat, which grows here in great perfection; and next in value is Indian corn. Rye, barley, buckwheat, oats, hemp, and flax are also extensively cultivated. Cherries, peaches, and apples are abundant, and much cider is made. Although the state is better adapted to grain than to grazing, yet in many parts there are large dairies, and fine horses and cattle are raised.

In this state there were in 1840,361,558 horses and mules; 1,161,576 neat cattle; 1,755,597 sheep; 1,485,360 swine. There was produced poultry to the value of $681,979. There were raised 12,993,218 bushels of wheat; 206,858 of barley; 20,485,747 of oats; 6,544,654 of rye; 2,096,016 of buckwheat; 14,077,363 of Indian corn; 3,028,657 pounds of wool; 48,694 of hops; 32,708 of wax; 9,477,343 bushels of potatoes; 1,302,685 tons of hay; 2,644 of hemp and flax; 325,018 pounds of tobacco; 7,262 of silk cocoons; 2,265,755 of sugar. The products of the dairy amounted to $3,152,987; and of the orchard, $610,512. There were made 14,328 gallons of wine. The value of lumber was $1,146,355.

The mineral wealth of Pennsylvania is very great. Iron ore is widely disseminated, and has been extensively wrought. But the coal regions furnish the most interesting portion of its mineral productions. West of the Alleghany ridge, bituminous coal is found, of an excellent quality, and in inexhaustible quantities. In Pittsburgh and the vicinity it is extensively used for manufacturing purposes. In this region salt springs occur, which afford a strong brine. But the anthracite coal region, E. of the Blue Ridge and between it and the n. branch of the Susquehanna, is immense, and is extensively wrought. The Mauch Chunk, Schuylkill, and Lynken's valley coal-field, extends from the Lehigh, across the head waters of the Schuylkill, and is 65 miles in length, with an average breadth of about 5 miles. The Lehigh coal, procured at the northern portion of this field, is heavy, hard, and difficult of ignition. At Mauch Chunk this coal is found near the surface, and extends to the depth of from 12 to 50 or 60 feet. The Schuylkill coal is from the centre of the above field, burns with less difficulty than the Lehigh, and yields red ashes. The Lackawanna coal-field extends from Carbondale, on the Lackawannock, to 10 miles below Wilkesbarre, on the Susquehanna. This field is made accessible by the Carbondale railroad and the Delaware and Hudson canal, extending to the Hudson River. Limestone is abundant in all parts of the state, and in the s. e. parts a fine marble.

The climate of Pennsylvania is various. In the mountainous region in the interior, the winters are severe. The weather is colder on the western than the eastern side of the mountain ridge and in both the rivers are frozen between one and two months in the year. In the s. e. portion the winters are mild, and on the whole the climate is healthy.

The Delaware River washes the eastern border of the state, and is navigable for largo ships to Philadelphia. The Lehigh, after a course of 75 miles, enters it at Easton. The Schuylkill, 130 miles long, unites with it 6 miles below Philadelphia. The Susquehanna is a large river, which rises in New York, flows s. through this state, and enters the Chesapeake Bay, in Maryland. It is much obstructed by falls and rapids. The Juniata rises among the Alleghany Mountains, and, after a course of 180 miles, enters the Susquehanna, 11 miles above Harrisburg. The Alleghany River, 400 miles long, from the n., and the Monongahela, 300 miles long, from the s., unite at Pittsburgh, and form the Ohio. The Youghiogeny is a small river which flows into the Monongahela.

Philadelphia, between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, and Pittsburgh, at the junction of the Monongahela and Alleghany Rivers, are the most commercial places in the state. The other principal towns are Lancaster, Reading, Harrisburg, Easton, York, Carlisle, Alleghany, and Erie.

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The exports of the state for the year ending September, 1840, were $6,820,145; and the imports were $8,464,882.

There were 194 commercial and 178 commission houses engaged in foreign trade, with a capital of $3,662,811; there were 6,534 retail drygoods and other stores, with a capital of $35,629,170; there were 5,064 persons engaged in the lumber trade, employing a capital of $2,241,040; 2,146 persons employed in internal transportation, who, with 466 persons employed as butchers, packers, &c, employed a capital of $727,850; 58 persons were employed in the fisheries, with a capital of $16,460.

The manufactures of Pennsylvania are extensive. There were in 1840, home-made or family goods produced to the amount of $1,292,429; 235 woolen manufactories, and 337 fulling mills, employing 2,909 persons, producing articles to the value of $2,298,861, and employing a capital of $1,500,546; 106 cotton manufactories, with 146,494 spindles, employing 5,522 persons, producing articles to the value of $5,013,007, and employing a capital of $3,325,400; 2,977 persons produced 359,686 tons of anthracite coal, with a capital of $4,334,102; 1,798 persons produced 11,620,654 bushels of bituminous coal, with a capital of $300,416; 213 furnaces, producing 98,395 tons of cast iron, and 169 forges, &c, producing 87,244 tons of bar iron, employing 11,522 persons and a capital of $7,781,471; 87 paper manufactories produced to the amount of $792,335, and other paper manufactures to the amount of $95,500, the whole employing 794 persons and a capital of $581,800; mts and caps were manufactured to the amount of $819,431, and straw bonnets to the amount of $80,5 12, employing 1,467 persons and a capital of $449,107; 1,149 tanneries employed 3,392 persons, and a capital of $2,729,536; 2,132 other leather manufactories, such as saddleries, &c, produced articles to the amount of $3,453,243, employing a capital of $1,249,923; 30 powder mills manufactured 1,184,225 pounds of powder, employing 58 persons and a capital of $66,800; drugs, paints, &c, employed 519 persons, producing articles to the amount, of $2,179,625, and turpentine and varnish to the amount of $7,865, the whole employing 519 persons and a capital of $1,179,625; 28 glass-houses, and 15 glass cutting establishments, employed 835 persons, producing articles to the amount of $772,400, with a capital of $714,100; 182 potteries employed 322 persons, producing articles to the amount of $157,902, employing a capital of $75,562; 1,969 persons produced machinery to the value of $1,993,752; 763 persons produced hardware and cutlery to the amount of $783,482; 168 persons produced 5 cannon and 21,571 small-arms; 245 persons manufactured the precious metals to the amount of $2,679,075; 536 persons manufactured granite and marble to the amount of $443,610; 3,858 persons made bricks and lime to the amount of $1,719,796; 770 persons manufactured carriages and wagons to the amount of $1,203,732, with a capital of 559,831; 1,005 distilleries produced 6,228,768 gallons, and 87 breweries produced 12,765,974 gal->ns, employing 1,601 persons and a capital of $1,585,771; 725 flouring mills produced 1,181,530 barrels of flour, and with other mills, employed 7,916 persons, producing articles to the amount of 3,232,515, employing a capital of $7,779,784; 353 persons manufactured 5,097,690 pounds of soap, 316,843 pounds of tallow candles, and 5,002 do. of spermaceti candles, employing a capital of £94,442; ships were built to the amount of $668,015; 2,357 persons manufactured furniture to the amount of $1,151,167, with a capital of $714,817; 1,991 brick houses, and 2,406 wooden houses are built, employing 9,881 persons, and cost $5,339,530; 221 printing offices, 46 binderies, 12 daily, 10 semi-weekly, and 162 weekly newspapers, and 42 periodicals, employed 1,702 persons and a capital of $680,340. The whole amount of capital employed in manufactures in the state, was $31,629,415.

The colleges in this state are numerous. The following are their names, location, and the date their being founded. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1755; Dickinson College, Carlisle, 1783; Jefferson College, Cannonsburg, 1802; Washington College, Washington, 1806; Alleghany College, Meadville, 1815; Pennsylvania College, Gettysburgh, 1832; Lafayette Col-re, Easton, 1832; Marshall College, Mercersburg, 1836. Besides these are the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1765; Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, 24; Medical Department of Pennsylvania College, Philadelphia, 1839. The Theological Seminary of the Lutheran Church, Gettysburg, 1826; German Reformed, York, 1825; Western Theological Seminary at Alleghany, 1828; Theological Seminary at Cannonsburg; Theological Seminary at Pittsburgh. In all these seminaries there were in 1840, 2,034 students. There were in the state 290 academies, with 15,970 students, 4,968 primary and common schools, with 179,989 scholars. There were 33 940 persons over 20 years of age who could neither read nor write.

Of the religious denominations, the Presbyterians, including the Associate Reformed, had in 1836, about 400 ministers; the Baptists, 140; the Methodists, 250; German Reformed, 73; Episcopalians, 70; the Friends, 150 congregations. Besides, there are several other denominations less numerous.

In Jan. 1840, there were in this state, 49 banks, with an aggregate capital of $24,286,405, and a circulation of $9,338,636. At the close of 1840, the state debt amounted to $34,723,261.

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In the year 1825, Pennsylvania began a splendid course of internal improvements. Her greatest work is a canal from Philadelphia, including a railroad from Johnstown to Hollidaysburg, 37 miles, over the Alleghany to Pittsburgh, 400 miles. There is a tunnel on the railroad 870 feet lone 200 feet below the top of the mountain. The Schuylkill Navigation canal extends 108 ms. from Philadelphia to Port Carbon; the Union canal, 82 ms. from Reading to Middletown; the Lehigh, 84 ms. from Easton to Stoddartsville; the Lackawaxen, 25 ms. from Delaware r. to Honesdale; the Conestaga, 18 ms. from Lancaster to Safe Harbor; the Codorus, 11 ms. from York to Susquehanna River; Bald Eagle, 25 ms. from West Branch canal to Bellefonte; the Susquehanna, 45 ms. from Wrightsville to Havre de Grace, and several small canals.

The railroads of this state are still more numerous. The Columbia, 81 ms. from Columbia to Philadelphia; Valley, 20 ms. from Norristown to Columbia railroad; Harrisburg and Lancaster, 35 ms; Cumberland Valley, 50 ms. from Harrisburg to Chambersburg; Westchester, 10 ms. from Columbia railroad to Westchester; Franklin, 30 ms. from Chambersburg to Williamsport; York and Wrightsville, 13 ms.; Strasburg, 7 ms. from Cumberland Valley railroad to Strasburg; Philadelphia and Reading, 95 ms. from Reading to Pottsville; Little Schuylkill, 23 ms. from Port Clinton to Tamaqua; Danville and Pottsville, 44½ ms. from Pottsville to Sunbury; Little Schuylkill and Susquehanna, 106 ms. from Tamaqua to Williamsport; Beaver Meadow branch, 12 ms. Irons Lardner's Gap to Beaver Meadow railroad; Williamsport and Elmira, 73½ ms. between the 2 places; Corning and Blossburg, 40 ms. do.; Mount Carbon, 7i ms. from Mount Carbon to Norwegian Creek; Schuylkill Valley, 10 ms. from Port Carbon to Tuscarora; branches of do. 15 re.; Schuylkill, 13 ms. from Schuylkill to the Valley; Mill Creek, 9 ms. from Port Carbon to Coal Mine; Mine Hill and Schuylkill Haven, 20 ms. from Schuylkill Haven to Mine Hill Gap; Mauch Chunk, 9 ms. from Mauch Chunk to Coal Mine; branches of do. 16 ms.; Room Run, 5¼ ms. from Mauch Chunk to Coal Mine; Beaver Meadow, 20 ms. from Parrysville to Coal Mine; Hazelton and Lehigh, 8 ms. from Hazelton Mine to Beaver Meadow railroad; Nesquehoning, 5 ms. from Nesquehoning Mine to Lehigh River; Lehigh and Susquehanna, 19½ ms. from White Haven to Wilkesbarre; Carbondale and Honesdale, 17½ ms., connects the 2 places; Ly kin's Valley, 16½ ms. from Broad Mountain to Millersburg; Pine Grove, 4 ms. from Pine Grove to Coal Mine; Philadelphia and Trenton, 26¼ ms. from Philadelphia to Morrisville; Philadelphia, Germantown, and Norristown, 17 ms. from Philadelphia to Norristown; Germantown branch of do. 4 ms.; Philadelphia and Wilmington, 27 ms. from Philadelphia to Wilmington.

This state was granted to William Penn, of the Society of Friends, by James II of England in 1681. It had previously been settled by the Swedes and Finns, and conquered by the Dutch in 1654. Penn disposed of 20,000 acres to a company of Friends, for 400 pounds sterling, and a colony of them came over towards the close of the year, and formed a settlement at Philadelphia It was governed by the proprietors until early in the revolutionary war, when the legislature purchase it, by paying the proprietors 130,000 pounds sterling, in lieu of all quit-rents. This state was the theatre of several hard fought battles in the revolutionary war, particularly of Brandy wine and Germantown; and Philadelphia was for some time in the possession of the British.

The constitution of the United States was adopted in convention, December 13th, 1787; yea; 46, nays 23; majority, 23. The United States congress removed from Philadelphia to Washington in 1800.

Table of Contents

Source: A Complete Descriptive And Statistical Gazetteer Of The United States Of America, By Daniel Haskel, A. M and J. Calvin Smith, Published By Sherman & Smith, 1843

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