This article considers how struggles over land shaped the process of “anglicization” in colonial Pennsylvania. It focuses on a property dispute in the 1720s that pitted a second-generation Swedish yeoman and his fellow “Ancient Settlers” against an aspiring English Quaker entrepreneur and his high-placed allies. Drawing on property records, official minutes, and contemporary correspondence to reconstruct the controversy, the article demonstrates that disputes over land not only mobilized the Swedish population in Pennsylvania as “Swedes” but also embedded them within the colony as property-owning and rights-bearing British subjects. Their eighteenth-century cultural transformation was ultimately a negotiated process of “Britonization” that fostered appeals to ethnic and national forms of distinction as well as to shared attachments to Englishness and Britishness.

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