Israel Daniel Rupp’s ‘View of Easton’

In 1845, Israel Daniel Rupp published his (extravagantly titled) History of Northampton, Lehigh, Monroe, Caron, and Schuylkill Counties: Containing a Brief History of the First Settlers, Topography of Townships, Notices of Leading Events, Incidents, and Interesting Facts in the Early History of These Counties : with an Appendix, Containing Matters of Deep Interest. It also was supplemented with several engravings which, by all accounts, are some of the earliest portrayals of towns in Pennsylvania.

Of course, I do enjoy the one he has of Easton:


View of Easton, looking North from the banks of South Easton.   Click to embiggen.

You can see this is etched a few decades after the turn of the nineteenth century, as there are steeples on the churches and during the Revolutionary War period the court house steeple (the steeple most prominently viewed just left of center in this etching) dominated the landscape–in fact, the First Reformed Church’s steeple was not completed until 1832 (and it is also clearly visible in this etching; small steeple to the left of the court house).

What I find most interesting is that, while just under 90 years old, the city–when this etching was made–had not expended beyond its original borders quite yet.  The warehouses and ferry boats are still in service at this time (pictured dead center along the river) and the town is still sparsely populated by buildings.  That’s pretty cool!  What is more fascinating is that the same could not be said for the population, which at this point was soaring.  While during the Revolutionary War, Easton and its surrounding regions could bolster a claim of about 700 citizens, by the time of the Civil War, it had doubled.  Yet the city does not appear, at a prima facie glance of this etching, to show any signs of that increase.

EDIT: I did some fancy (not so much) editing with an awesome iPhone app, and did my best to colorize the photo.  It isn’t great, but it was fun to do.  When I have time, I’ll do some real editing in Photoshop on a computer, but in the meantime, here is the “prototype” colorized image:


Not too bad for an iPhone app!


2 responses to “Israel Daniel Rupp’s ‘View of Easton’

  1. Pingback: View of Easton Redux | American History and Ancestry·

  2. Pingback: A Few More Antique Views of Easton | American History and Ancestry·

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