Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Plan of Doylestown, 1850

Map of Doylestown in 1850

Doylestown’s development by 1850 is show in this detail from a map of Bucks County. The county seat’s original courthouse and jail are depicted in the lower right. (Library of Congress)

Library of Congress

After taking root at a crossroads anchored by eighteenth-century taverns, Doylestown Township was formed in 1819 from parts of existing townships: Warwick, Buckingham, and New Britain, which had been populated by English Quakers, Scots Irish, and Welsh settlers. From the core of Doylestown Township, the borough of Doylestown was incorporated in 1838.

By 1850, when this depiction of Doylestown appeared as part of a map of Bucks County, the borough remained a small crossroads town of about one thousand people, most of them described by the U.S. Census as “white” and thirty-two as “colored.”

In the lower right of this map detail, an illustration documents the first Bucks County courthouse, completed in 1813, and other county government buildings. In the accompanying map, they are represented as black boxes near the center. Nearby, a “lawyers row” of Federal-style offices developed, helping to establish Doylestown’s identity as a professional and residential community. By the middle of the nineteenth century, a wave of building construction during the 1830s and 1840s had formed the town core, and the subdividing of large tracts near of the government complex had created residential neighborhoods.

Click to enlarge and explore this map in the collections of the Library of Congress.

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