For years now I’ve been looking for a decent map of Easton, PA during the time of the American Revolution. I have always wondered how the city looked back in its days as a frontier town, as the county seat, in a time of intense emotional turmoil. As I also do research for my book, having a good grasp of the layout is extremely important. While the Sigal Museum has some brilliant (and beautiful) paintings of Easton from the early-mid Nineteenth Century on exhibit, I did not see any paintings or maps available from the Revolution (admittedly, I have not checked the library above the museum).
So when I picked up a copy of A.D. Chidsey, Jr.’s volume A Frontier Village: Pre-Revolutionary Easton (1940; Northampton County Historical Society) I was absolutely delighted to find that not only did the book contain some very detailed maps of Northampton County following the French and Indian war (including indicators of native attacks on settlers and small engagements throughout the county), but also two maps of Easton during the Revolution (cir. 1776). Interestingly, I discovered this article from 2011 which lists some of downtown Easton’s original street names, but the maps contradict this article in two big ways.
- The author of the article lists the original name of 3rd street as Juliana Street and the original name of Front Street as Pomfret Street. However the map suggests that 3rd Street was originally named Pomfret Street and 5th Street was originally named Juliana street (and the map suggests that Front Street was always Front Street).
- The sources the author lists for the article are pretty dated (one book published in 1885 was used and maps dating to the same century were also used); the reason I am inclined to believe Chidsey over the author’s sources is a simple one: Chidsey published in 1940–at a time when historians were more methodical (and moreso than they were in the 1880’s). Still, the map could be wrong, but until shown otherwise, I think I’d rather trust the map.
Getting to it then, I’d like to share one of the maps from the book with you, my reader, in the hopes that you might get some enjoyment from it. Along with the map I’ve included the key. If you haven’t yet decided to pick up the book (also available at the Sigal Museum gift shop), I recommend you quit squirming and get a copy (you’ll thank me later).
And the key: