A Historical Sketch of Indiana County

Indiana County was named for the native Indians. During historic times the two principal tribes were the Delawares and Shawnees. Being reluctant to give up their lands, the Indians struggled desperately to keep out the tide of European settlers. Perhaps the first white settler to enter Indiana County was James LeTort, an Indian trader, about 1726-27. A place called “Letart’s...
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Historical Sketch of Luzerne County

The Proclamation Line of 1763 was a stopgap devised to give England a chance to gather her forces and to adopt a policy for further expansion of the American colonies along the Atlantic seaboard. The Treaty at Fort Stanwix in 1768 resulted in a pre-revolutionary division of Indian land to establish a boundary between the Indian hunting grounds and the white settlements. The treaty was the last...
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The Search by Blacks For Employment and Opportunity: Industrial Education in Philadelphia

I Historian Sol Cohen describes the industrial­-education movement at the end of the nineteenth century as an effort to relegate the new immigrant to the lower levels of society. Placing emphasis on the “status rivalry” between the middle-class progressives and the new immigrant, Cohen views industrial education as the means used by the progressives to keep the immi­grant in his...
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Lehigh County: The Land and Its People

Lehigh County encompasses the western half of the Lehigh Valley in eastern Pennsylvania. Bounded on the east by the Lehigh River, the main geographical feature of the larger valley, and on the north by the Blue Mountain range, the land is a mosaic of lime­stone plain, sinks and rolling hills. While the southern region of the county lies astride the so-called South Moun­tain and the hills of the...
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Lawrence County

Bart Richards, the unofficial historian of Lawrence County, indicates that little of historical significance has occurred in the county. He points out that it has had no wars, Indian uprisings, or great discoveries to its credit. Very few of its citizens have qualified for the pages of Who’s Who. Therefore, this history is the story of average, ordinary people striving to make a better...
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The Romance of Pennsylvania Agriculture

When a small group of men met at Lancaster’s Leopard Hotel in August 1916 to organize the first Pennsylvania Farm Show, they did not have in mind mammoth displays of fifty thousand dollar tractors, mountains of steaming baked potatoes or presentations of grand champion livestock ribbons. They didn’t envision a state fair of the type that had become so popular in places like Iowa,...
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Noble Ambitions: The Founding of the Franklin Institute

In the minds of its founders, the Franklin Institute was built on noble ambitions,” historian Bruce Sinclair has written. And born of a young man’s fury, it might be added. In 1823, twenty-two year old Samuel Vaughan Merrick was denied membership in a Philadelphia mechanics’ asso­ciation. A number of similar organizations had sprung up in the early part of the nine­teenth...
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Thaddeus Stevens, Equality of Man Before the Creator

In his thirty-five year legislative career, Thaddeus Stevens garnered several reputations. Ex-Confederates called him “the scourge of the South,” an epithet which survived into the twentieth century. In D. W. Griffith’s classic film Birth of a Nation, character Austin Stoneman is unabashedly modeled on Thaddeus Stevens, complete with clubfoot and wig. For his en­deavors to...
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Thirty Years Ago Today: R. Wakefield Roberts and His Community Civic League Respond to History

The explosion of Black protest in the 1950s and 1960s – in both the North and the South – surprised many Americans who were unaware of the deep unrest in their midst. But one Pennsylvania community had a different solution to the abusive conditions with which its African American community was forced to live. In 1964, many of the descendants of the African Americans who had staked...
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Jr. High Quiz

“Spell ‘millennium.'” It’s Sunday afternoon, one o’clock, when my family and I gather in front of our television for our favorite show. The picture fades in and out, snowy at times, for these were the days before cable – but we couldn’t miss this show. The poor reception was due to the distance as this special program was only shown only on Channel...
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