Q. Was there ever a time that York County residents supported a tax?
A. Yes. Can you believe it? But you have to go back a few years… .
It was in 1747 when residents west of the Susquehanna were lobbying the Pennsylvania Assembly to let York County withdraw from Lancaster.
In a recent publication, Charles H. Glatfelter and Frederick S. Weiser provided exhaustive, and no doubt exhausting, research on those seeking establishment of York County.
“More importantly, they (the petitioners) advised the assembly that ‘he setlements are very numerous & the Improvements greatly enlarged within these few Years & daily encreasing & That the People are Capable & Willing to Contribute to the raising of such sums of Money as may be Necessary for the Publick Service.’ “
Q. Why were those residents willing to fork over the money?
A. Glatfelter and Weiser note that law enforcement west of the river was much needed. Also, residents were tired of trekking to the river, navigating across and then traveling farther to Lancaster to conduct public and private business.
By the way, 238 future York countians signed the petition, which eventually led to the county’s founding in 1749.
The authors wrote short bios on most of these founders. Whew!
The publication is a must-read for those who are interested in York County’s founding.
Q. Where can I get this publication?
A. “The Petition of 1747: A Study in York County’s Founding” was published by the South Central Pennsylvania Genealogical Society in 2005. Try the society’s website or contact the York County Heritage Trust’s archives at www.yorkheritage.org.