The Pennsylvania Frontier

The process of naming and re-naming places, towns, and people was a feature of European colonization efforts throughout North America. In an effort to reveal this process at work in regions important to the history of the Moravian missions, the interactive map "The Pennsylvania Frontier" provides three mapping layers representing both Native and settler places to explore. 


1. The first layer, "Pennsylvania Frontier Places," was created by the Moravian Soundscapes project team to mark places that are important to the history of the Moravian Church. Transformations in the naming of particular communities are revealed by labels that list the Native name followed by the settler name in parentheses.

2. The second layer, "A Map of the State of Pennsylvania," is a 1792 map created by cartographer Reading Howell. The map is notable as a record of Pennsylvania's swift transformation into an early U.S. state, complete with newly-constructed roadways and communities, including growing incursion by the Pennsylvania and U.S. governments into Native lands in western Pennsylvania.

3. The third layer, "Historic Indian Paths of Pennsylvania," is a map created by the influential Pennsylvania historian, Paul A. W. Wallace, to document his extensive research on Pennsylvania's Native American communities and transportation corridors. Although based on work carried out by Wallace in the 1940s and 50s, including detailed archival work and numerous trips across Pennsylvania, the map remains unequaled in its usefulness to contemporary research on Pennsylvania's Native history.


Use the map's legend to explore its layers. Individual layers can be revealed or hidden by checking/un-checking the boxes beside each name. Turn off both the "Wallace" and "Howell" map layers to reveal the modern-day locations of the "Pennsylvania Frontier Places" map points.

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