Pennsylvania: The Keystone State
Original, hand-drawn story map and accompanying gifts of Pennsylvania by renowned Illustrator and Xplorer Maps Co-Founder, Chris Robitaille.
Originally founded in 1861 through a royal land grant to Willaim Penn, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (the state’s “official” name) was admitted to the Union on December 12, 1787; becoming the 2nd (after Delaware) of the original Thirteen Colonies to ratify the Constitution.
Pennsylvania immediately became a haven for religious and political tolerance; inspiring our nation’s Constitution; and hosting the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia and the first two Constitutional Conventions leading up to the American Revolution.
With the Appalachian, Allegheny and Pocono Mountain ranges running through the center and northeast parts of the state, 60% of Pennsylvania is forested and the state has more navigable rivers than any other in the country. Coal, steel, and railroads formed the industrial backbone for the country throughout much of the 20th century and Pennsylvania is now the mushroom capital of the U.S.! Today, Pennsylvania is the 5th most populous state and over 80% of the population is centered in the Greater Metro areas of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.