Pottsville Fishing Party China

Instituted on August 21, 1853, the Pottsville Fishing Party held only one meeting each year-during the last week of August. Ironically, members of the Schuylkill County organization did not fish. According to the memoirs of member Richard Henry Koch, published in 1938, “we ate, drank fish-house punch, old rye and champagne, told stories, made speeches, played cards, chatted, and sang from...
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West Family Tureen at Hope Lodge

The family of William West Sr. (1724-1782) resided from 1776 to 1784 at Hope Lodge in Fort Washington, Montgomery County, one of the finest Georgian period houses in the United States. Built between 1743 and 1748, Hope Lodge offers a look at architecture and art of the Colonial era and the popular Colonial Revival period of the early twentieth century. Of particular note is a remarkable service...
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Nellie Bly (1864-1922)

When Nellie Bly died January 27, 1922, at the age of fifty-eight, New York’s Evening Journal eulogized her as “the best reporter in America.” A rebellious child of Michael Cochran and his second wife, widow Mary Jane Kennedy Cummings, she channeled her noncon­formjty and fire into becoming one of the most notable journalists of all time. At a time when most female reporters...
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Two Gentlemen of the China Trade

The American Revolution ended with the surrender of the British at the Virginia tobacco port of Yorktown on October 19,1781. For merchant traders eager to engage in commerce with China, the war would not be over until a treaty with Great Britain recognizing American independence was signed. The British Acts of Trade had forbidden the import of any goods into the colonies that had not passed...
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Letters

From China to the Civil War I very much enjoyed the article by Willis L. Shirk Jr. in the Winter 2013 issue [“Woo Hong Neok: A Chinese American Soldier in the Civil War”]. What a fascinating story of one Chinese person in Lancaster and Pennsylvania history and his association with the Episcopal Church. As a lay person of the Episcopal Church, I served for forty-two years as a...
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News

Rare Discovery After their September 11, 1777, victory in the Battle of Brandywine, British General Sir William Howe and his troops captured and occupied Philadelphia. It was not long, however, before General Howe realized he faced a challenging supply problem. He was surrounded by General George Washington’s Continental Army and, more importantly, the Royal British Navy could not bring...
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Woo Hong Neok: A Chinese American Soldier in the Civil War

In the popular imagination, the American Civil War is an extraordinary drama portraying the denouement of the exceptionally serious struggle to preserve the Union and end the institution of slavery. In the unfolding drama the actors on the battlefield, as well as on the home fronts in both the North and the South alike, are nearly always white or black Americans with a smattering of Native...
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Dan Desmond, Eyewitness to Energy History

Pennsylvania news writers have crowned him Pennsylvania’s Energy Czar and legions of admirers look to him as the Keystone State’s energy guru. And it’s little wonder why. Daniel J. Desmond served the Commonwealth for nearly two decades and helped guide the growth of Pennsylvania’s renewable energy industry. He joined the Pennsylvania Energy Office in 1983 and served as...
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Carpet Mill, Bloomsburg, Pa.

The Magee Carpet Company in Bloomsburg, Columbia County, was an outgrowth of James Magee and Company, a small factory of twenty-five looms founded in Philadelphia by James Magee at the close of the American Civil War. Magee’s son and namesake, James Magee II, began working in his father’s mill by sweeping floors. He eventually worked in a number of departments and earned the position of plant...
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Peter Kalm in Pennsylvania

The territory now recognized as Pennsylvania was once part of a Swedish colony stretching from Delaware to New York. Swedish farmers settled in small villages along the Delaware River, in southern New Jersey, and in the Hudson Valley. Established by the New Sweden Company in March 1638, it was administered from Fort Christina (Wilmington) in what is now Delaware. In 1655, a band of Dutch...
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