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Type of Item
Map of New Netherland, Virginia, and New England
Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This pen-and-ink and watercolor map ...
Declaration of Independence. In Congress, July 4, 1776, a Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress Assembled.
This document is the first printed version of the American Declaration of Independence. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduced a resolution urging Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, to declare independence from Great Britain. Four days later, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston were appointed as a committee to draft a declaration of independence. The committee’s draft was read in Congress on June 28. On July 4, Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, containing a list of grievances against the British ...
Titusville, Pennsylvania, 1896
This panoramic map shows Titusville, Pennsylvania, as it appeared in 1896. Located in western Pennsylvania, Titusville is known as the place where the modern oil industry began. In 1859, the recently formed Seneca Oil Company hired retired railroad conductor Edwin L. Drake to investigate suspected oil deposits near Titusville. Drake used an old steam engine to drill a well that began the first large-scale commercial extraction of petroleum. By the early 1860s, western Pennsylvania had been transformed by the oil boom. The numbered index at the bottom of the map ...
New Records on the Travel Round the Globe
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, in 1876 the United States held a Centennial Exhibition in the same city. The Foreign Office of the late Qing court authorized the Commercial Tax Office for the Western Countries to arrange the Chinese display at the exposition. Li Gui (1842–1903), a secretary at the Customs Office, was dispatched to the United States with a delegation to assist in the arrangements. On his journey he also visited England, France, and other countries. After his ...
Map of the Atlantic Highway
The National Highways Association (NHA) was established in 1911 to promote the development of an improved national road network in the United States. Under the slogan “Good roads for everyone!” the NHA advocated the building and permanent maintenance by the federal government of a system of 50,000 miles (some 80,500 kilometers) of highways. This map, issued by the NHA in 1915, shows the Atlantic Highway, proposed by the Atlantic Highway Association and endorsed by the NHA. The projected route runs from Calais, Maine to Miami, Florida, a distance ...
Engrossed Declaration of Independence
On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, in which the American colonies set forth a list of grievances against the British Crown and declared that they were breaking from British rule to form free and independent states. On July 19, 1776, Congress resolved that the Declaration passed on the 4th be "fairly engrossed on parchment with the title and stile [sic]: 'The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America'...and that the same, when engrossed, be signed by every member of Congress ...
Illustrated Family Record (Fraktur) Found in Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land-Warrant Application File W3079, for Philip Frey, Pennsylvania
During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress passed laws promising pensions or grants of government-owned land to officers and soldiers who served in the war, as well as to the survivors of those killed. This illustrated family record in the German Fraktur script, hand-colored with large birds, is a birth and baptismal document submitted as part of the application for a pension by Anna Margaretha Kolb, wife of Revolutionary War veteran Philip Frey. From Pennsylvania, Frey served between April 1776 and January 1778. He fought in the battles at Long ...
Dunlap Broadside [Declaration of Independence]
John Dunlap, official printer to the Continental Congress, produced the first printed versions of the American Declaration of Independence in his Philadelphia shop on the night of July 4, 1776. After the Declaration had been adopted by the Congress earlier that day, a committee took the manuscript document, possibly Thomas Jefferson's "fair copy" of his rough draft, to Dunlap for printing. On the morning of July 5, copies were dispatched by members of Congress to various assemblies, conventions, and committees of safety as well as to the commanders of ...
Articles of Confederation
On June 11, 1776, the Second Continental Congress appointed three committees in response to the Lee Resolution proposing independence for the American colonies. One of these committees, created to determine the form of a confederation of the colonies, was composed of one representative from each colony. John Dickinson, the delegate from Delaware, was the principal writer. Dickinson’s draft of the Articles of Confederation named the new country "the United States of America." It also provided for a Congress with representation based on population, and gave to the national government ...
Destruction by Fire of Pennsylvania Hall. On the Night of the 17th May, 1838
This dramatic print shows the destruction of Pennsylvania Hall, a large building that was constructed in 1837–38 at Sixth and Haines Streets in Philadelphia as a meeting place for local abolitionist (antislavery) groups. Dedication ceremonies began on May 14, 1838, and continued over several days in a climate of growing hostility from anti-abolitionist forces in the city. On the night of May 17, 1838, an anti-abolitionist mob stormed the hall and set it on fire. Fire companies refused to fight the blaze, and the building was completely destroyed. A ...
This lithograph shows a view of Founder's Hall at Girard College in Philadelphia, which was constructed in 1833–47 from designs by Philadelphia architect Thomas Ustick Walters. The hall occupied a site between what became Girard Avenue and Ridge Avenue at Corinthian Avenue. Girard College was established through a bequest from Stephen Girard, a Philadelphia financier and philanthropist, for the creation of a school for poor white male orphans. The illustration is by John Caspar Wild (circa 1804–46), a Swiss-born artist and lithographer, who arrived in Philadelphia from ...
The Girard College, Philadelphia
This lithograph shows an exterior view of Girard College at Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, including Founder's Hall and the eastern and western outbuildings. The school buildings, designed by Philadelphia architect Thomas Ustick Walter in the Greek Revival style, were constructed in 1833–47. Girard College was established through a bequest from Stephen Girard, a Philadelphia financier and philanthropist, for the creation of a school for poor white male orphans. The illustration is by John Caspar Wild (circa 1804–46), a Swiss-born artist and lithographer, who arrived in Philadelphia from Paris ...
Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Philadelphia
This print is an exterior view of the rough-cast second edifice of the Bethel African American Methodist Episcopal Church at 125 South 6th Street in Philadelphia. Pedestrians and parishioners, predominantly women, stroll the sidewalk and enter the building, which is adorned with a simple stone tablet inscribed "Bethel Church." Known as "Mother Bethel," the church was founded in the 1790s by free Blacks who broke away from Saint George’s Methodist Episcopal Church, where they faced racial discrimination. The church’s first building was dedicated in July 1794. The larger ...
A Fourth Day Morning View of Friends Meeting House on Cherry Street, Philadelphia
This print shows the Friends (Quaker) Meeting House on Cherry Street in Philadelphia. Quakers count Sunday as the first day of the week, so the reference in the title to the fourth day is to Wednesday. Members of the Hicksite congregation, including men, women, and children, are shown arriving at and leaving the church. Some of the women carry umbrellas. The caption at the bottom explains: “The Building which is about 42 feet front on Cherry Street by 100 feet deep was commenced on the 19th of the 11th month ...
North-East View of Saint Peter's Church (Episcopal), Philadelphia
This print is a northeast view of Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church, located at Third and Pine Streets in Philadelphia. Well-dressed people, possibly members of the church, are seen walking on the sidewalks along the walls of the churchyard. The illustration is by William L. Breton, a watercolorist and early lithographer of Philadelphia scenes who was active in the city between about 1825 and 1855. Born in England circa 1773, Breton immigrated to Philadelphia about 1824. In the late 1820s, he contributed illustrations to Annals of Philadelphia, compiled by the ...
Philadelphia Baths, Corner of George and Seventh Streets, near Chestnut Street
This lithograph dating from circa 1829 shows the public baths, located at the corner of George and Seventh Streets, near Chestnut Street, in Philadelphia. The illustration is by William L. Breton, a watercolorist and early lithographer of Philadelphia scenes who was active in the city between about 1825 and 1855. Born in England circa 1773, Breton immigrated to Philadelphia around 1824. In the late 1820s, he contributed illustrations to Annals of Philadelphia, compiled by the antiquarian John F. Watson. In 1829 Breton entered the lithographic trade to execute the illustrations ...
The Catholic Church of Saint Mary, Philadelphia
This print shows the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Mary, located on Fourth Street between Locust and Spruce Streets in Philadelphia. Men, women, and a small girl dressed in their Sunday finery are shown walking on the sidewalk in front of the church. George Washington and John Adams were among the important figures of the Continental Congress who sometimes attended services at Saint Mary’s, which was built in 1763 and renovated in 1810. The illustration is by William L. Breton, a watercolorist and early lithographer of Philadelphia scenes who ...
First Congregational Unitarian Church, Philadelphia
This print is a view of the front facade of the First Congregational Unitarian Church, located on the 900 block of Locust Street in Philadelphia. The church was built in 1828 after the designs of Philadelphia architect William Strickland (1788–1854), who was one of the first architects of the Greek Revival style in the United States, as well as a civil engineer and artist. Also shown are pedestrian traffic and a partial view of neighboring buildings obscured by trees. The columns supporting the portico of the church were salvaged ...
Comlyville near Frankford, Philadelphia
This print, published by Louis A. Godey in the first volume of his Lady’s Book (one of the earliest successful women’s magazines in America), is a pastoral view with mill and factory buildings along Frankford Creek in Comlyville, near Philadelphia. It includes the mill, converted to a calico print works by Smith & Brother in 1827, the loom factory of "Mr. S. Steel," and the dye works of "Mr. Horrick," i.e., Jeremiah Horrocks. In the foreground, two horse-drawn wagons and a man travel on Asylum Road. Horses and ...
Road to Philadelphy
This circa 1830 print by Edward Williams Clay (1799–1857) caricatures the pretentiousness and prejudice of early 19th-century Philadelphia Quakers toward people they regarded as their social inferiors, but it also mocks those seeking to imitate the Quaker elite. On a Philadelphia road in front of a small house with an open picket fence and a visitor arriving on horseback, a raggedly dressed, dark-skinned traveler with buck teeth, possibly an Irishman or African American, asks a rotund Quaker man and his daughter, "I say, this isn't the road to ...
This landscape print shows a couple walking along the bank of the Schuylkill River near the industrial village of Manayunk. A large tree stands in the foreground and small factories and dwellings are visible in the background. Also shown are groves of trees, rocks, and ground cover. Located along the east bank of the river, northwest of Philadelphia, Manayunk played an important part in the early industrial development of the United States. It was the site of large textile mills, which were built to take advantage of Manayunk’s plentiful ...