Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

First Purchasers of Pennsylvania

Thomas Holme’s “Mapp of the Improved Part of Pennsylvania in America,” 1687

A map of Pennsylvania in 1687 showing land purchases and town and county borders

Thomas Holme’s 1687 map of Pennsylvania shows tracts surveyed for the first purchasers. (Library Company of Philadelphia)

Library Company of Philadelphia

William Penn arrived in Pennsylvania accompanied by surveyor Thomas Holme. Holme drafted this map of Pennsylvania in 1687 delineating the land bought by the first purchasers. Though Penn’s original plans were to sell off large tracts, most of the purchases were for 500 acres and plots as small as 125 acres could be purchased. Almost all of these land purchases were made by Quakers. Penn’s “Conditions and Concessions” for these purchases stipulated that the tracts had to be settled within three years of purchase, which led to rapid settlement of the Philadelphia area.

One Comment Comments

  1. Do you show the last names Kerlin or the Tracy as first purchasers?

    Joe Kerlin Posted March 18, 2021 at 2:42 pm

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