Maps of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia from The North American Atlas [1775-1777]

Published a few months after the Battles of Lexington and Concord (April 19, 1775), this large map of the “province of Pennsylvania” is primarily based on the map by William Scull in 1770. It shows the Pennsylvania frontier in detail, including the roads, pathways, rivers, mountains, and forts. Note Fort Pitt in the west that will become the City of Pittsburgh and the newly defined Mason-Dixon line (1763-1767). Scull’s map would prove to be a reliable base for many subsequent maps and surveys. This map, printed in 1776 for Robert Sayer and J. Bennett, includes additional topographical descriptions and markers for latitude and longitude, which were likely added to help British troops fighting in North America. This “Province of Pennsylvania” is bound alongside maps of twenty other locations, including Philadelphia, Boston, Quebec, etc. in “The North American Atlas” by William Faden (1749-1836). 

When examined closely during Special Collections class sessions, many Pennsylvanian students are surprised to see that their hometowns and counties had not yet been established as of 1775. This includes the Lehigh, Monroe and Carbon Counties, with only nine counties being represented on this map. Cumberland, the largest county, extends from the center of the colony to its western end. Today there are 67 counties in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The two views of Philadelphia displayed here are examples of one the most culturally and industrially developed cities from the American Colonial period. The rendering in the second map shows the  “Elevations of the State House,'' later known as Independence Hall after its association with the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. Independence Hall is now a land-mark World Heritage Site. 

William Faden. The North American Atlas [1775-1777]

“A Map OF Pennsylvania exhibiting not only the improved parts of that province, but also its extensive frontiers: Laid from actual surveys, and chiefly from the late map of W. Scull, published in 1770”
London: Printed for Robert Sayer & J. Bennett, 1775.

A Plan of the City of Philadelphia, the Capital of Pennsylvania, from Actual Survey by Benjamin Easburn, Surveyor General.
London, Andrew Dury: 1776.

A Plan of the City and Environs of Philadelphia, Surveyed by W. Scull and G. Heap, Engraved by William Faden.

▶Galleria - Maps of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia