First Capitol U.S.A.

1912 Calendar Plate promoting the First Capitol of U.S.A. as the York County Court House in York, PA (Collections of S. H. Smith)

1912 Calendar Plate promoting the First Capitol of U.S.A. as the York County Court House in York, PA (Collections of S. H. Smith)

Several years ago I purchased this 1912 Calendar Plate on eBay. The plate has no markings on the back; possibly it was a local Pfaltzgraff creation. The central illustration and text promotes the York County Court House as the first capitol of the United States of America; making York, Pennsylvania, the first capital of the United States.

While the Continental Congress met in the York County Court House, the ‘Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union’ were adopted on November 15, 1777. The articles turned the thirteen separate colonies into a single nation. The articles named the new nation ‘The United States of America.’

I’ve always wondered when was the earliest that York promoted the first capital of the United States claim. The 1912 plate is the earliest promotional item I’ve seen; here I’ve zoomed in on the central illustration on the plate. Click on this LINK for a Full View of the illustrations in this post; since the site will occasionally cut off important details in the cropping of illustrations. Have any of my readers seen any related ‘First Capital’ promotions prior to 1912?


‘Is York the First Capital of the United States?’ is one of the topics during ‘An Evening To Unravel York County History.’ This free evening, open to the public, is set for 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, at Wyndridge Farm, 885 Pleasant Avenue, near Dallastown. Check Jim McClure’s post ‘Can you stump these 5 York County historians?’ for additional details.

Related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

About Stephen H. Smith

Stephen H. Smith is a design engineer who worked at York International Corp. for 33 years before retiring several years ago to research and write books full time; his second career. The initial emphasis was on family history when he won a national award during 2002 for his first book “Barshingers in America." Positive feedback and that award were influential in his decision to retire early from engineering and start a retirement career.
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