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Dauphin County is one of the oldest and most influential counties in the development of our nation. Located in south central Pennsylvania, this 557.7-square-mile area is approximately 100 miles west of Philadelphia and 200 miles east of Pittsburgh. The days of the Harris Ferry, Indian trails, canals, and Conestoga wagon and stagecoach routes have yielded to a vast network of highways and air routes.
In the beginning of Provincial government in Pennsylvania, what is now Dauphin County was part of Chester. An act of Assembly of 1729 included a major portion of it in the new county of Lancaster. John Harris, Jr. argued against the inconvenience of having to travel to Lancaster for the conduct of legal business and court sessions, so he presented an appeal to the General Assembly in 1782 to carve out a separate county around Harris' Ferry.
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