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Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

County: Philadelphia

State: Pennsylvania

Lat/Long: 40.1167, -75.0000

Philadelphia County is a county in southeastern Pennsylvania. Along with Chester and Bucks, Philadelphia was one of the three original counties organized by William Penn in 1682. The city of Philadelphia became the county seat. Pennsylvania officials would carve two new counties out of Philadelphia County, Berks in 1752, and Montgomery in 1784. Between its inception and 1854, the governments of the city and county acted separately. By the 1840s, the city-county administrative system proved inadequate for the growing metropolitan area, as both the city and county struggled to provide public services, most notably police and fire protection . Acknowledging the need for a city-county consolidation, the Pennsylvania General Assembly in February 1854 enacted a revised charter that defined all the districts, townships, and boroughs of the county as within the city, making the borders of the city and county coterminous.

Webster's New Geographical Dictionary (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1988), 939; Allen C. Thomas, A History of Pennsylvania (Boston, New York, and Chicago: D. C. Heath, 1913), 34, 302; Russell F. Weigley et al., Philadelphia: A 300-Year History (New York and London: W. W. Norton, 1982), 359-60; "A Further Supplement To an Act, Entitled 'An Act to Incorporate the City of Philadelphia,'" Laws of Pennsylvania (1854), 21-46.