Lancaster was founded by the Honorable James Hamilton and became the county seat on May 10, 1729. It was first settled by German immigrants, known at Pennsylvania Dutch, in 1709. The town derives its name from John Wright, who named it after Lancaster, England, the town which he had emmigrated from. Under Commonwealth of Pennsylvania laws, Lancaster became a Third Class City on May 27, 1924. An interesting fact about the town is that it is the oldest inland city in the United States. It is 71 miles west of Philadelphia and is located near the Susquehanna River. Lancaster played a big role in the early years of the United States. During the Revolutionary War, it served as an important munitions center for Continental troops. It also became the National Capital of the American Colonies on September 27, 1777. The reason for this was because the Continental Congress had to flee Philadelphia, which had been captured by the British forces. Lancaster remained the capital of Pennsylvania from 1799 to 1812.