William Penn became the largest private landowner in the world when Charles II granted him the 45,000 square miles of what is now Pennsylvania in 1681. An early champion of religious freedom, Penn also was among the few Europeans to deal fairly with the original inhabitants of his lands. Nevertheless, his royal charter conflicted with earlier lands deeded to Lord Baltimore, prompting a survey that resulted in the iconic Mason-Dixon Line dividing Maryland and Pennsylvania. We have just posted a new catalog on our website with early Pennsylvania deeds and grants, important maps, and documents related to the border dispute.
You can view the online catalog here
Additionally, we have added a number of other items to our website. Here are some highlights:
Thomas Paine’s First “Enlarged Version” of Common Sense
“Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its
best state is but a necessary evil
Furious when his original publisher printed an unauthorized edition, Paine engaged a cross-town rival to print an expanded version of his Revolutionary pamphlet. Among the new content was Paine’s first use of the phrase, “the Free and Independent States of America.”
Andrew Jackson Discusses Politics, Family, and Horse Racing
An insightful letter from Andrew Jackson as president, discussing the official business of appointing a competent Indian agent, and then moving on to family matters, a discussion of horse racing, and rebuilding his recently-burned home, the Hermitage.
A New Map of the United States Reflecting
the 1840 Census Returns and Westward Expansion
This 1841 edition of the 1829 Tanner map shows considerable Westward expansion with particular detail of the Independent Republic of Texas.
Grand Requiem March
A beautifully-illustrated piece of sheet music memorializing the late president.
The First Book of Detailed Road Maps to the New Federal Capital
This rare guide, only the second American book of road maps, ties together three cities that served as early U.S. capitals: Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, D.C. The authors note landmarks and points of interest, key buildings, and a description of the new federal city including notes on the Capitol and President’s House.