"The stile of this confederacy shall
be the United States of America."
These powerful words marked the first time the thirteen
colonies who had declared themselves independent from
British rule on July 4, 1776 came together to create the
United States of America. They are from the Articles of
Confederation, one of the single most important documents in
U.S. history. Many people dont realize that the draft
document, which came to be known as the Articles of
Confederation, was adopted in York, Pennsylvania in November
1777 by the Second Continental Congress, which met in York from
September 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778. During these mostly dark
days of the American Revolution, the Second Continental Congress
also proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving in celebration
of a victory in Saratoga, New York.
In 1781, a site east of York Town was chosen to be the site
Security / Camp Indulgence. Its primary purpose was for
of General Burgoyne's men, originally captured during the Battle
Saratoga (NY) in 1777. At the time, the Second Continental
meeting in York. These prisoners were marched to Boston,
Charlottesville, VA. In 1780, they were again relocated to
and again to Lancaster, PA, where they were incarcerated with
soldiers captured in South Carolina. These men were then
most of the Hessian soldiers sent to Reading, PA, and the
to Camp Security in York.
Upwards of 2,000 men were imprisoned at Camp Security. In
of these soldiers brought their families with them. As
many of these prisoners were permitted to move into huts with
(Camp Indulgence), and some were even allowed to go into York to
they had made, including spoons, buckles, and other items.
In 1783, a
fever raced through the camp, taking the lives of many British
the process. Many of these prisoners were buried nearby,
and there may
still be many remains under the York County soil.
Prisoners stayed until
the Treaty of Paris was signed, and then freed. Stockades,
fences were slowly dissembled and used for other purposes (e.g.,
construction, etc.) It is believed that Camp Security is
remaining prisoner-of-war camp from the American Revolution.
Part of the
site has been developed, and a developer is currently looking to
the rest of the site. As a result, a number of groups
including the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum
Historic York, and others have banded together to preserve the
more history and information on the group attempting to preserve
Security, visit www.campsecurity.com.
In 1788, both York and Wrightsville were considered for the
location as the permanent national capital.
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