Alternate Author Name(s)

Joseph John Hogan, Jr.

Document Type


Date of Award



Montrose (Susquehanna County, Pa.), Social conditions, Pennsylvania

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Walter Hugins

Second Advisor

Bernard Mason

Third Advisor

Mary Ryan


In recent years the community study has become a widely used and valuable historical tool, testing general theories of American social development by an intensive investigation of one community. A growing number of colonial communities and nineteenth-century cities have been examined in this manner, adding much to our knowledge of American social history. Yet we still have not had a study of rural small-town life in the antebellum era. This omission is particularly important since the great majority of Americans lived in small country towns and rural villages between 1800 and 1860, experiencing conditions that differed greatly from urban American life. In 1800 only 202,000 persons lived in urban communities, defined by the United States Census as towns larger than 2,500 persons, whereas 3,728,000 Americans resided in primarily rural, small-town societies; by 1860 a total of 6,217,000 people lived in urban areas, while 25,227,000 persons, or, approximately, seventy five percent of the population, lived in rural towns.

This dissertation seeks to make a contribution to our knowledge of small-town life by a study of Montrose, Pennsylvania, between 1800 and 1840. During the course of this period Montrose underwent its initial settlement, growing from a pioneer village of 265 persons in 1820 to a commercial borough of 630 persons in 1840, which dominated the political, economic and religious life of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Through reference to town and county records, United States Census materials, private manuscripts and local newspapers, the following pages will describe the relationship between the changing demographic and socio-economic patterns of the town, and the religious, political and economic developments of the period. Through this approach I will examine the applicability to this antebellum town of the basic findings made by studies of colonial communities and nineteenth-century cities concerning the nature of social stratification and the social bases of political leadership.