William Penn founded Philadelphia, located at the junction of the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, in 1681. He created a Quaker settlement that was a haven of tolerance and peace; Philadelphia means brotherly love. The gridiron of streets in central Philadelphia (Center City) follows the original plan of the city's founder. Philadelphia is a major manufacturing, transportation and financial center. It is the second largest city on the east coast. In 1800, not L.A., not New York, but Philadelphia was our largest city, a distinction it held until 1830. The top five were Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, Boston, and Charleston, S.C. The sixth largest American town in 1800 was Northern Liberties, now part of Philadelphia. And seventh was Southwark, now also part of the present Philadelphia.
The city of Philadelphia, as laid out by William Penn, comprised only that portion of the present city situated between South and Vine Streets and Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers. In fact, the city proper was that portion between High (Market) Street and Dock Creek. Here is where the pioneers dug caves in the banks of the Delaware or built huts on the land higher up. Meanwhile, the women equally busy in their sphere, had lighted their fire on the bare earth, and having "their kettle slung between two poles upon a stick transverse," thus prepared the meal of homely and frugal fare for the repast of diligent builders.…
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