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Old 09-27-2014, 09:27 PM
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Glory Day: Lancaster PA Brief Stint as Our Nation's Capital

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If you’ve visited Lancaster, Penn., you probably remember it as a nice mid-sized city right in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish country. What you might not know is that on this date in 1777, it became our young country’s third capital city, a position it held only briefly. Very, very briefly. Let’s take a look at how Lancaster became our capital for a single day.


Get Out of Town

Things began looking grim for Philadelphia, the old capital city, in September 1777.
British forces under General William Howe had been advancing north from the Chesapeake Bay in an effort to capture the revolutionary capital, and American forces led by George Washington had moved south of Philadelphia to intercept the invading force. On September 11, Washington’s men clashed with Howe’s troops in the Battle of Brandywine.
The battle was a catastrophe for the Continental Army. Howe outmaneuvered Washington, and the rebellious colonists had little choice but to retreat after the British appeared on their flank. Although Washington’s forces would sporadically engage the advancing British soldiers over the next two weeks, the loss at Brandywine effectively ended the chances of successfully defending Philadelphia. On September 26, 1777, the British waltzed unopposed into the City of Brotherly Love.
The crushing military defeat was obviously bad news for the colonial cause, but it had political repercussions, too. As the capture of Philadelphia became a foregone conclusion, the Second Continental Congress realized that it needed to find a new revolutionary capital pronto. The delegates packed up their gear and hoofed it 60 miles west of Philly to Lancaster. On September 27, 1777, just one day after the British strolled into Philadelphia, the Continental Congress met in Lancaster’s county courthouse, a building that had been constructed in the town square in 1737.
Just like that, Lancaster became the third capital of the fledgling nation. (Baltimore had also briefly served as the capital between December 20, 1776 and February 27, 1777.) The Continental Congress got some work done that day, including electing Benjamin Franklin as commissioner to negotiate a treaty with France, but the delegates didn’t have much time to get comfortable.
On the Road Again

Even a 60-mile buffer from the British forces in Philadelphia seemed a bit thin given the easy march the red coats had just made into the old capital, so after one day in Lancaster, the Continental Congress again packed its bags. This time the delegates headed to York, Penn., which offered another 20 miles of cushion from the British. Plus, York was nestled on the western side of the Susquehanna River, which made it easier to defend from potential British encroachment.
The Second Continental Congress had a longer stay in York. The delegates met in York’s courthouse from September 30, 1777, all the way through June 27, 1778, at which time the congress moved back to Philadelphia.
Lancaster wasn’t the only unexpected capital in the country’s early days—Princeton, Annapolis, and Trenton all had stints of their own under the Articles of Confederation—but its time at the top was certainly the shortest. Today we tip our caps towards Pennsylvania in honor of the anniversary of Lancaster’s brief moment in the sun.... well unless we move there
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Old 09-28-2014, 12:30 AM
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Just got back from a day in Lancaster...lived there for several years as a kid before moving to Ohio. If we didnt have jobs we loved and a house with my dream garage we would move to Lancaster is a heart beat.

For some odd reason they have a thing for spying on tourists.
http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun...-spycam-city21
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Last edited by Uncle ENzo; 09-29-2014 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:52 AM
Don Wohlfarth Don Wohlfarth is offline
 
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Looks like you've already knocked the fenders off your new ride. BTW only 1 HP?
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Old 10-04-2014, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Wohlfarth View Post
Looks like you've already knocked the fenders off your new ride. BTW only 1 HP?
Good God, that's a voice from the past!!! Where have you been lurking Don??
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Old 10-04-2014, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopper Dropper View Post
Good God, that's a voice from the past!!! Where have you been lurking Don??
Dirk
No kidding. I had to check that it was a current thread.

How you doin' Don?
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Old 10-04-2014, 03:33 PM
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I imagine it will be another year before Don responds. He seems to drop in about once a year, make a post, and disappear again. Can't say I blame him, as there are a LOT of seedy characters around here...
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Old 10-04-2014, 05:59 PM
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Nah, he's too busy HVACing. If Don returns, you'll need a curmudgeon section of this site.
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Old 10-04-2014, 06:34 PM
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Chopper Dropper Chopper Dropper is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonNewton View Post
Nah, he's too busy HVACing. If Don returns, you'll need a curmudgeon section of this site.
Well it took Track Rat to get Don out of the woodwork!!
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Old 10-04-2014, 09:30 PM
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<SNORT>
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:37 PM
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Trak Ratt Trak Ratt is offline
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^ ^^ hey Don, L and me used to sweat to the numbers in the auto-x "timing trailer" for years!!! No to mention time trials at SP and much more! BTW he throws kick-ass parties too!

Just don't forget who's "senior" if you start talking Curmudgeons
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I hope to arrive to my death, late, in love, and a little drunk!

Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand... Homer Simpson

"That's what's keeping me out of F1.... Too much mental maturity...." N0tt0n

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

CHAOS, PANIC, AND DISORDER my work here is done...

Live without pretending, Love without depending, Listen without defending, Speak without offending

Last edited by Trak Ratt; 10-05-2014 at 11:01 PM.
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