The 6 States That Border Pennsylvania

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, also referred to as the Keystone State due to its noteworthy placement in the center of the original 13 colonies, is reachable from numerous east coast cities. The states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and Ohio border Pennsylvania. Furthermore, it abuts Lake Erie.

Early American colonial history, the American Revolution and independent government, and the westward expansion of the 13 original colonies were all greatly influenced by Pennsylvania. In several occasions, Pennsylvania’s borders with neighboring states were established and upheld all the way to the Supreme Court. The Keystone State now has positive connections with its surrounding states. Numerous Pennsylvanian cities, including Philadelphia, attract tourists from throughout the globe.

New York-Pennsylvania Border

The border between New York and Pennsylvania is around 225 miles long, and it offers lots of sights to visit. Particularly in this area, the climates of these states are comparable. Both are mountainous, with the breathtaking Pennsylvanian Allegheny Mountains located immediately to the south. There are three primary parts to the border. Pennsylvania and New York share a relatively short north-south border that runs from the northern tip of Lake Erie to the center of the Erie Triangle.

The majority of the border between Pennsylvania and New York is formed by the 42nd parallel, which serves as the east-west barrier. The border was drawn and examined by experts circa 1786. In contrast to the actual 42nd parallel, some sections of the border are a little shaky because technology at the time was not quite exact. The Delaware River forms the final border, which runs along the eastern portion of the state. From the 42nd parallel, it runs south to the Tri-states Monument, which marks the meeting point of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey.

New Jersey-Pennsylvania Border

Pennsylvania keeps its southern boundary with New Jersey along the Delaware River. There are approximately 164 miles of Delaware River waterfront shared by Pennsylvania and New Jersey. New Jersey and Pennsylvania have largely gotten along, despite the fact that the two states have had several land conflicts throughout the years. Its uneven shape results from the Delaware River forming the border between the two. However, this may have made reaching a boundary agreement simpler, particularly in the early going while both states were forming.

Two of the largest cities near the border between these two states are Trenton and Philadelphia. Trenton is primarily in New Jersey. As the location of George Washington’s first significant victory in the American Revolution, Trenton rose to prominence. On December 25, 1776, General Washington led American troops to Trenton in order to attack forces there. This was the historic crossing of the Delaware River. It was made immortal by German painter Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze’s painting Washington Crossing the Delaware.

However, the majority of Philadelphia is located in Pennsylvania. In addition to being the state’s largest city, it was crucial to the American Revolution. The Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia at a meeting of the Continental Congress. Philadelphia is located directly across the Delaware River in Camden, New Jersey.

Delaware-Pennsylvania Border

The Delaware and Pennsylvania border is arc-shaped, and because of this, it is known as the Twelve-Mile Circle. The arc connecting Pennsylvania and Delaware was one of the formally established boundaries in the region in 1934, following a protracted legal battle between Delaware and New Jersey over state limits that ultimately reached the Supreme Court.

It was founded on a land grant made to William Penn, the future founder of Pennsylvania, in 1681 by Charles II, King of England at the time. The tides that would rise around the Delaware city of New Castle determined the precise location of the Twelve Mile Circle. Despite being a somewhat sized community, it is situated directly on the Delaware River and within a floodplain. The shortest boundary separating Pennsylvania from a neighboring state is found here.

Maryland-Pennsylvania Border

Pennsylvania and Maryland are separated by the Mason-Dixon line in the north and south, respectively. It is commonly acknowledged as the east coast’s north-south border. This served as the border between the slave states of the South and the free states of the North both before and during the Civil War. At the time, it continued west from the Pennsylvania-Maryland border all the way to Missouri, where it formed an erratic state border. The two surveyors who drew the 233-mile Mason-Dixon line in 1767 are honored by the name of the entire line.

Before the official survey that resulted in the Mason-Dixon Line, there were numerous disagreements over the boundaries between Pennsylvania and Maryland. Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore, was granted property that would become Maryland, and William Penn was granted land that would become Pennsylvania. King Charles II granted Penn’s gift in 1681, whereas King Charles I granted Baltimore’s grant in 1632—nearly 50 years earlier.

The additional land that was awarded to Penn in 1682 was part of the area that Baltimore had claimed. Conflicts persisted until the 1750s between the two, their heirs, and the cities they founded. The resolution to the nearly century-long debates was the Mason-Dixon line. The coats of arms of Penn and Baltimore are shown on border markers on opposite sides of the line.

West Virginia-Pennsylvania Border

The Mason-Dixon line forms the east-west part of the border between West Virginia and Pennsylvania. It is 65 miles long. The counties of Preston, Monongalia, and Wetzel are located directly south of the line. But the border shifts to the north at that point. Until it reaches the Ohio River, the north-south border stretches for around 55 miles. Following conflicts between Pennsylvania and Virginia over which state claimed specific areas of the territory, this northern panhandle was created in the 1780s.

The distance from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to the West Virginia border is less than 40 miles. Only slightly behind Philadelphia in terms of population, this city is the second largest in the state. Pittsburgh has a long industrial past and was a prominent player in the manufacturing of steel, much like West Virginia. It also boasts a large number of bridges—466 in all. It is referred to as the City of Bridges at times.

Ohio-Pennsylvania Border

Ohio and Pennsylvania share a common boundary that extends north-south until it meets Lake Erie. The Mason-Dixon line was mapped in 1786 by surveyor Andrew Ellicott, who was a member of the team that finished the surveying for the line. Ohio and Pennsylvania share a border that runs roughly 92.5 miles north to south. Ellicott Line is the name given to it by the surveyor.

The United States’ expansion depends on this boundary. Most of the boundaries between the colonies, which later became states, were set by land grants awarded by the King until that time in American history. They originated in colonial America, though several were contested long after that. The commencement of westward expansion was marked by the drawing of borders between Pennsylvania, Virginia, and neighboring colonies with land further west. These borders were set and accepted by the states and the federal government of the United States, not by the King as land concessions. This marked a significant shift in American history.