Map of Philadelphia, 1796.
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Map of Philadelphia, 1796.

Credit: Courtesy of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

In the 1790s, Philadelphia was the nation's largest city and growing rapidly. Each year 400 to 500 new houses expanded the size of the city, which spread out in the half moon shape seen in this map from 1796. By the dawn of the new century, close to 68,000 people lived within the municipality and the bordering suburbs of Northern Liberties and Southwark.

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