Map of Historic Philadelphia in the Late 18th Century

Click on a location on the map or in the legend to learn more about the significance of that historical site.

Note: The image used in this map is taken from Birch’s Views of Philadelphia in 1800, which includes 29 engraved plates of historic Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Skyline in 1787

phillymap-small

There are several versions available of George Heap’s engraved sketch of Philadelphia (above left) taken from New Jersey in the latter part of the 18th century. See, for example, the following: The New York Public Library, the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, George Mason’s residence in Virginia, and the Library of Congress.

Click on the engraving to open a larger version. You will notice that the engraving is marked with numbers that identify the various buildings. Those identifications follow:

  1. Christ Church (which was the tallest building in Philadelphia)
  2. State House (which is also reproduced in the sketch above right)
  3. Academy
  4. Presbyterian Church
  5. Dutch Calvinist Church
  6. Quaker Meeting House
  7. Court House
  8. The wharf at the end of High Street (also known as Market Street)
  9. Mulberry Street (which is also known as Race Street and marks the northern boundary of Philadelphia)
  10. Safsafras Street (this street would be considered outside the city limits)

Contents

Introduction

The year was 1787. The place: the State House in Philadelphia. This is the story of the framing of the federal Constitution.

The Convention

Read the four-act drama and day-by-day summary by Gordon Lloyd, as well as Madison’s Notes on the Convention.

Interactive Map of Historic Philadelphia in the Late 18th Century

Learn about historic Philadelphia and where the founders stayed, ate, and met.

View Interactive

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