The seat of justice of Dauphin Co and capital of PA, is situated on the east bank of Susquehanna river, 97 miles northwest of Philadelphia, and 110 miles from Washington. It is a borough built on rising ground, which subsides toward Paxton creek into a plain. From the elevation upon which the state house stands, appears a wide and varied prospect of hills, fertile vales, and winding streams. Across the Susquehanna and the island which here divides it, extends the Harrisburg bridge, nearly a mile in length, and not far below, the bridge of the Cumberland Valley railroad. The channels of communication, the Pennsylvania lines of railroad and canal, besides opening a way to remote part of the state, convey to Harrisburgh the products of the neighboring fertile region, of which it is a profitable market. The Susquehanna with its large volume of water, is not navigable, except for timber rafts, which can only descend with its swift current.
The Capitol is an imposing structure, consisting of a main building and two wings, each adorned with a portico and Ionic pillars. The central edifice is 180 feet wide, 80 feet deep, and 108 feet from the ground to the top of the dome. The whole is surrounded by an open space adorned with trees, walks and an iron railing. The other prominent buildings are a Masonic Hall, two banks, a prison and a number of churches.
By the Mount Airy water-works, water is elevated from the Susquehanna into a reservoir, on a hill above the borough, and thence is distributed through iron pipes. Manufactures to a considerable extent are produced in Harrisburgh, and the town is gradually increasing in population and wealth.
Population: in 1810 was 2,287; in 1820 was 2,990; in 1830 was 4,311; in 1840 was 6,020, and in 1850 was 8,173