LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA, a city and the county-seat of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., on the Conestoga river, 68 m. W. of Philadelphia. Pop. (1900) 41,459, of whom 3492 were foreignborn and 777 were negroes; (1910 census) 47,227. It is served by the Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia & Reading and the Lancaster, Oxford & Southern railways, and by tramways of the Conestoga Traction Company, which had in 1909 a mileage of 152 m. Lancaster has a fine county court house, a soldiers' monument about 43 ft. in height, two fine hospitals, the Thaddeus Stevens Industrial School (for orphans), a children's home, the Mechanics' Library, and the Library of the Lancaster Historical Society. It is the seat of Franklin and Marshall College (Reformed Church), of the affiliated Franklin and Marshall Academy, and of the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Church, conducted in connexion with the college. The college was founded in 1852 by the consolidation of Franklin College, founded at Lancaster in 1787, and Marshall College, founded at Mercersburg in 1836, both of which had earned a high standing among the educational institutions of Pennsylvania. Franklin College was named in honour of Benjamin Franklin, an early patron; Marshall College was founded by the Reformed Church and was named in honour of John Marshall. The Theological Seminary was opened in 1825 at Carlisle, Pa., and was removed to York, Pa., in 1829, to Mercersburg, Pa., in 1837 and to Lancaster in 1871; in 1831 it was chartered by the Pennsylvania legislature. Among its teachers have been John W. Nevin and Philip Schaff, whose names, and that of the seminary, are associated with the socalled " Mercersburg Theology." At Millersville, 4 m. S.W. of Lancaster, is the Second Pennsylvania State Normal School. At Lancaster are the graves of General John F. Reynolds, who was born here; Thaddeus Stevens, who lived here after 1842; and President James Buchanan, who lived for many years on an estate, " Wheatland," near the city and is buried in the Woodward Hill Cemetery. The city is in a productive tobacco and grain region, and has a large tobacco trade and important manufactures. The value of the city's factory products increased from $12,750,429 in 1900 to $14,647,681 in 1905, or 14-9 %. In 1905 the principal products were umbrellas and canes (valued at $2,782,879), cigars and cigarettes ($1,951,971), and foundry and machine-shop products ($1,036,526). Lancaster county has long been one of the richest agricultural counties in the United States, its annual products being valued at about $10,000,000; in 1906 the value of the tobacco crop was about $3,225,000, and there were 824 manufactories of cigars in the county.
Lancaster was settled about 1717 by English Quakers and Germans, was laid out as a town in 1730, incorporated as a borough in 1742, and chartered as a city in 1818. An important treaty with the Iroquois Indians was negotiated here by the governor of Pennsylvania and by commissioners from Maryland and Virginia in June 1744. Some of General Burgoyne's troops, surrendered at Saratoga, were confined here after the autumn of 1780. The Continental Congress sat here on the 27th of September 1777 after being driven from Philadelphia by the British; and subsequently, after the organization of the Federal government, Lancaster was one of the places seriously considered when a national capital was to be chosen. From 1799 to 1812 Lancaster was the capital of Pennsylvania.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)