The charter, which was officially proclaimed on April 2, 1681, named the territory for Admiral Penn and included also the term sylvania (“woodlands”), at the son’s request. A broad belt of wide valleys, alternating with narrow mountains, stretches across the state from the south-central boundary to the northeast corner. [Return to top], Cayuse Canyon, LLC The first of these species is now extinct, the second has been exterminated, and the last two are no longer abundant.

Its interior included land that was claimed by the French, and, as time went on, the Indians became increasingly hostile to the expansion of settlements to the west and north. Originally Pennsylvania was a transition zone between northern and southern primeval forests. Once the war broke out, Pennsylvania once again became a centre of military and political activity. Beginning in 1820, important mining companies were formed to exploit Pennsylvania’s deposits of hard and soft coal, and in 1859 Edwin L. Drake drilled the world’s first successful oil well at Titusville. Pennsylvania still contains a rich diversity of natural and geological features.

The century that followed was a period of great expansion and turmoil for Pennsylvania. Other Europeans, primarily the Dutch, established trading posts within Pennsylvania as early as 1647. P.O. Today, deer, pheasants, rabbits, ducks, and turkeys are popular with hunters. There are minor climatic differences within the state because of altitude and geological features. Pennsylvania's rivers were originally filled with sturgeon, shad, salmon, trout, perch and, surprisingly, mussels.

The most famous border dispute was with Maryland and was ultimately settled when the English Crown accepted the Mason-Dixon Line in 1769, a border which, in subsequent years, became the symbolic demarcation in the United States between the North and the South. Because much land was later cleared by settlement and by lumber operations, very little virgin timber remains, but even today half the state is wooded. The Pennsylvania Emancipation Act of 1781 had pledged the gradual abolition of slavery in the state. 1953 - Dr. Jonas Salk discovers the vaccine for polio while working at the University of Pittsburgh. 1608 - English explorer Captain John Smith sails up the Susquehanna River. These tribes included the Shawnee in the southwest, the Susquehannock in the south, the Delaware in the southeast, and the Iroquois (Oneida and Seneca tribes) in the north. The land of Pennsylvania was inhabited by Native American tribes long before the first Europeans arrived. 1863 - The Battle of Gettysburg occurs.

Outposts such as Fort Pitt (Fort Duquesne under the French; now Pittsburgh) became settlements vital to the flow of trade from the opening lands to the west. During the next 70 years, roads were improved and extended, canals were built, farm equipment was mechanized, and railroads spanned the state, all combining with the economic strength of the thrifty Philadelphians to make Pennsylvania a major commercial power. 1775 - The Second Continental Congress meets, creating the Continental Army with George Washington as the leader. 1767 - The Mason-Dixon Line is agreed upon as the southern border with Maryland. Penn arrived in 1682 and called a General Assembly to discuss the first Frame of Government and to adopt the Great Law, which guaranteed freedom of conscience in the colony. Spokane, In spite of its proximity to the ocean, Pennsylvania has a continental climate because the prevailing winds are from the west.
1731 - The first U.S. library is opened by Benjamin Franklin. Pennsylvania's highest peak is Mt.

1609 - Henry Hudson claims much of the region for the Dutch. Tribes of the Ohio River valley lived in the central and western parts of the state. Box 21032 He names it Pennsylvania. Through advanced agricultural methods, a large part of Pennsylvania soil which was only marginally fertile has been made very productive. 1774 - The First Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania ranks tenth in value of mineral production among all the states.
Johan Printz of the colony of New Sweden established his capital on Tinicum Island (New Gothenborg) in 1643. Originally Pennsylvania was a transition zone between northern and southern primeval forests. Midway between the North and the South, the fledgling colony prospered and became the keystone of the young nation. For many Pennsylvanians, the period following these conflicts marked growing dissatisfaction with British rule. A rivalry between the Dutch and the Swedes led Peter Stuyvesant, governor of New Netherland, to seize New Sweden in 1650. Pennsylvania's location and its characteristics of climate, waters, minerals, flora, and fauna helped shape the growth not only of the state but of the entire nation. To the east of this section is the Great Valley, which is divided into southern, central, and eastern sections - the Cumberland, Lebanon, and Lehigh valleys, respectively.

The frost-free period, for example, is longest in southeastern Pennsylvania, in the Ohio and Monongahela valleys in southwestern Pennsylvania, and in the region bordering Lake Erie. Elsewhere borders are based on those established in the charter granted to William Penn by King Charles II of England, although it was 1787 before land and border disputes with other states were settled and Pennsylvania took clear title to its land. The southern boundary of Pennsylvania, ratified in 1769, was the Mason and Dixon Line, which became the dividing line between the slave and the free states before the American Civil War. In the northern plateau area the original species were white pine and hemlock, mixed with beech and sugar maple. This makes for extremes of heat and cold but not with so marked a variation as in the central states. In the west, the Ohio River begins at the confluence of the Allegheny and the Monongahela, and its tributaries include the Youghiogheny, Beaver, and Clarion Rivers. The Pennsylvania Emancipation Act of 1781 had pledged the gradual abolition of slavery in the state. 1701 - The Charter of Privileges is signed by William Penn establishing a government. At Gettysburg the Union army achieved one of the decisive victories of the war, against a Confederate force led by Gen. Robert E. Lee. Others are fire clay, iron ore, lime, slate, and stone. 1777 - The city of Philadelphia is occupied by the British. The state has a great variety of soils, ranging from extremely rich in Lancaster County to very poor in the mountain regions. Much of the fighting during the French and Indian War (1754–63) took place in Pennsylvania. 1664 - The land comes under the control of the British. The Delaware's important tributaries are the Schuylkill and Lehigh Rivers. Innumerable forest fires and storms, unrecorded by man, led to gradual change because they altered the soil composition and the degree of shade from sunlight. It has a land area of 44,820 square miles and 735 square miles of the area of Lake Erie. Confederate prisoners during the American Civil War, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.



In the northern plateau area the original species were white pine and hemlock, mixed with beech and sugar maple. Further to the east is a line of discontinuous mountains, as well as lowlands of irregular form and a deeply dissected plateau of moderate height which gradually slopes to the Delaware River. Swedes were the first European settlers in Pennsylvania. Coal, petroleum, natural gas, and cement are the principal products. Traveling up the Delaware from a settlement at the present site of Wilmington, Del., Gov. Animal and bird life, including the wild pigeon, panther, black bear, and Canada lynx, was abundant in the primeval forest. Native Americans. Dutch control of the region ended in 1664, when the English seized all of New Netherland in the name of the Duke of York (the future King James II). Europeans Arrive. Under Penn’s influence, fair treatment was accorded the Native Americans, who responded with friendship in return. William Penn intended that the colony provide a home for his fellow Quakers (members of the Society of Friends). By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. While still in England, he drew up the first of his “frames of government” and sent his cousin, William Markham, to establish a claim to the land and also to establish the boundaries of what became the city of Philadelphia.

Members of the Continental Congress signing the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, July 4, 1776; painting by John Trumbull, 1818.

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