Seals of the Delaware River Valley Counties (1683)

Our earliest Founders—one hundred years before the Revolutionary War was concluded and the Constitution was ratified—took great pride in the new nation they were setting up.

Things were slightly more disorganized back then, but they still saw the value of symbolic seals for the new nation—or it could be more accurately said that they wanted their own province to be organized. (In 1683 the states did not exist as the United States, but as disparate provinces or commonwealths or colonies).

They were fully aware of how their decision would influence future generations, though they (or anyone else) could not predict the future with complete accuracy.

Nonetheless, they wanted to be inspirational.

At the Provincial Council, the highest governing body over newly formed Pennsylvania, the Councilors ordered that the following symbols should be assigned to the Delaware River Valley Counties, under Penn’s and the Council’s jurisdiction.

Members seated on the Council that day:

Wm Penn, Proprietor and Governor of Pennsylvania and Counties annexed

Capt. Wm. Markham, Capt. Tho. Holmes, Christo. Taylor, Wm. Clarke, Fran. Whitwell, James Harrison, Wm. Haige, Jno. [John] Moll, Jno. Hilliard, Wm. Clayton, Wm. Biles, Jno. Richardson, Jno. Simcock

Modernized transcription begins:

Ordered that the Seal of Philadelphia be the Anchor
Of the County of Bucks a Tree and Vine
Of the County of Chester a Plow
Of the County of New Castle a Castle
Of the County of Kent three Ears of Indian Corn
Of the County of Sussex one Wheat Sheaf

Transcription ends.

Minutes of the Provincial Council, vol. 1, 1683-1700, (Jo. Severns and Co. 1852), p. 66.

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