Executive Director’s Letter

William Penn first visited Pennsylvania 325 years ago this October. He arrived aboard the Welcome after an arduous journey of two months. “I am come well hither, I thank God,” he wrote, “and like the land, air and food very well.” In December 1682, he called the first meeting of the Pennsylvania Assembly that met for four days to establish procedural rules and pass an act of naturalization for...
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Letters

William Penn’s Legacy As a lifelong resident of the City of Brotherly Love, I enjoyed the essay by John Fea [“William Penn’s Pennsylvania: A Legacy of Religious Freedom,” Winter 2011], which intelligently addresses what he describes as the tension between Penn’s original vision for the colony and the attempts to adhere to those ideals in the everyday life of the province....
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Bookshelf

Harmony in Wood: Furniture of the Harmony Society by Philip D. Zimmerman published by the Friends of Old Economy Village, 2010; 214 pages, cloth, $60.00 Creators of an immensely successful nineteenth-century utopian society, the Harmonists, led by George Rapp (1757–1847), emigrated from Germany and first settled Harmony in Butler County in 1804, moved west to Indiana ten years later where they...
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1769 German Manuscript

A German manuscript translated as “List of Necessitous Churches and Persons under the care of the Christian Synod of Overyssel prepared by Theodorus Van der Bell, Pastor of Rhynsburg, 1769,” reports on the status of the Dutch and German Reformed churches in Meckelenburg- Schwerin, Debritzin, Hesse-Hamburg, Baden-Durlach, Erkrad, Westphalia, Holstein, Gronow, Grunstad, Gulik, Homburg, Kircheim,...
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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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Cultivating Piety: The Religious World of Joseph Price

Joseph Price (1752-1828) was a carpenter, coffin-maker, sawmill operator, innkeeper, turnpike supervisor, and farmer who lived in Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County. His daily activities were governed, like most ordinary men living in the early American republic, by the relentless regularity of the agricultural calendar and the market economy. Price’s economic activities, recorded...
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Jimmy Stewart’s Wonderful Life Began in Pennsylvania

It’s Christmas Eve 1945 in the small town of Bedford Falls. George Bailey, president of the Bailey Building and Loan Association, stands in despair at the edge of a bridge wishing he had never been born. An unscrupulous competitor, Henry F. Potter, has threatened to shut down the financial institution and see Bailey thrown into prison on the pretense of stealing the townspeople’s money. In fact,...
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Kitchen at Daniel Boone Homestead

The kitchen has long been called – especially by architects, interior designers, and shelter magazines – “the heart of the home.” At the Daniel Boone Homestead, Birdsboro, Berks County, the birthplace and childhood home of the legendary frontiersman, the kitchen was the warmest and busiest room in the house. The kitchen was known to English settlers, such as the Boone...
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