Cover

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Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

List of Maps and Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-11

Why Carlisle? is a question I was asked frequently while I worked on this project. Some people have never heard of Carlisle. Others know it only as a place where Interstate 81 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike nearly meet, or they have heard of the Carlisle Barracks, home to the U.S. Army War College and former site of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Still others actually know ...

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Chapter 1. Creating a Town In-Between

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pp. 12-43

In 1751, Pennsylvania governor James Hamilton journeyed westward to Carlisle, the recently founded seat of the sprawling new interior county of Cumberland. Upon his return to Philadelphia he admitted with surprise that this interior village, which he had assisted the colony’s principal proprietor, Thomas Penn, in planning, had “exceeded my Expectations in all respects.” ...

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Chapter 2. Negotiating the Boundaries

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pp. 44-74

As the 1750s progressed, it was clear that creating Carlisle would be neither the simple nor predictable process Thomas Penn anticipated. Surveying a town determined its borders and asserted provincial authority over contested territory, but these were only first steps. To control this new town and its first inhabitants, survey lines had to be made meaningful and preserved over ...

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Chapter 3. New Lines Drawn

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pp. 75-111

In May 1768, Joseph Rigby, an agent of the Philadelphia trading firm of Baynton, Wharton, and Morgan, noted in a letter to his employers that he hoped to forward the lead he was holding at the company’s warehouse in Carlisle with the troops who would soon be “going up” to Fort Pitt.1 Although at first glance this seems a routine correspondence, it was not. Rigby’s presence in ...

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Chapter 4. War and Revolution

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pp. 112-149

Soon after the signing of the Declaration of Independence in July 1776, John Montgomery—one of Carlisle’s wealthiest men by the 1770s and chair of the county’s Committee of Inspection and Observation, the political body then governing the town—wrote “With pleasure” to John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, to “assure you that a noble Spirit appears ...

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Chapter 5. Still In-Between

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pp. 150-176

It was December 26, 1787. Another year nearly over, but with little to celebrate. The 1780s were a tough decade in America. The Revolutionary War was won, but victory had costs. In Pennsylvania, these costs included a postwar economic depression that worsened cash scarcity, accelerated declining land prices, gave rise to property foreclosures, and encouraged...

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Chapter 6. Adapting to the Next Century

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pp. 177-208

"Upon the whole,” said one visitor, Carlisle had “a respectable appearance” by the nineteenth century. No longer was it the woods that Euro-Americans such as the fur trader James LeTort encountered in the 1720s when he built his cabin along the creek that later bore his name. Nor was it the fledgling interior town said to be “much at a Stand” in the 1760s when a host of fur traders, ...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. 209-214

Notes

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pp. 215-272

Index

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pp. 273-284

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 285-287

A project that has taken as long as this one incurs many debts. Where do I begin to offer my thanks? To be sure, the staff at many libraries and archives aided immensely in this work. While researching this book, I spent months at the Cumberland County Historical Society in Carlisle and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The staffs at these libraries offered ...