The French and Indian War and the Revolution

If in spite of all the Bicentennial reminders the Revolutionary War seems somewhat far away, the French and Indian War must seem so much more remote as to be irrelevant. The familiar Pennsylvania events of the Revolution – the battles of Brandywine and German­town, the Valley Forge encampment, the Declaration of Independence – took place in the settled parts of the State, the battles were fought...
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One Should Not Overlook Union County

Union County on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River is one of Pennsylvania’s smaller counties, encompassing a bare 258 square miles, with a population of 30,000, including 3000 college stu­dents and 1900 inmates of two federal prisons. Few of its residents have held high political office and fewer of its names have appeared in Who’s Who in America. Yet the historical...
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Washington’s Mission to Fort Le Boeuf

The Lands upon the River Ohio, in the Western Parts of the Colony of Virginia, are so notoriously known to be the Property of the Crown of Great-Britain; that it is a Matter of equal Concern and Surprize to me, to hear that a Body of French Forces are erecting For­tresses, and making Settlements upon that River, within his Majesty’s Dominions …. If these Facts are true, and you shalt...
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The French in Northwest Pennsylvania, 1753-1759

Every summer numerous va­cationers from both within and beyond Pennsylvania’s borders come to the northwest comer of the state to use the recreational facilities of Presque Isle State Park. Probably few of the summer visitors sunning themselves along the state park’s beaches, or swimming in Lake Erie, pause to ask themselves how the park and peninsula came to bear a French name. It...
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The Missionary and the Clockmaker: A Saga of Two Brothers-In-Law

Scion of a decayed Anglo-Irish Ascend­ancy family of Ireland’s County Monaghan, the young Rev. Thomas Barton journeyed in spring 1755 through the largely unbroken forests of Pennsylvania to the settlement known at the time as Contwager or Conewago. He made his way – “over Susquehanna,” as the contem­porary traveler commonly described it-to lands lying along the Bermudian...
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Forts at the Forks: Frontier History Comes to Life at the Fort Pitt Museum

As the French moved south from Canada in the mid-eighteenth century, seeking new settlements in the vast Ohio Valley, Great Britain began to resist encroachment into regions its leaders long claimed. Taking action in 1753, Virginia Governor Robert Dinwiddie placed a letter into the hands of his young surveyor, George Washington, telling him to deliver it to the commander of Fort LeBoeuf (in...
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Executive Director’s Message

The articles in this issue underscore the diversity of Pennsylvania’s history – from the role of women in industrv to Cuban baseball players in Williamsport. The range of these topics is matched by the complexity and breadth of the PHMC’s mission and programs. With 17 million visitors each year to our more than two dozen historic sites and museums – comprising more than...
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Out and About

Ben’s Big Birthday Bash To mark the three hundredth anniversary of Benjamin’s Franklin’s birth on January 17, 2006, the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary, a private, non-profit alliance, is spearheading a year-long observance dedicated to educating the public about the senior states­man’s enduring legacy and inspiring renewed appreciation for the values he embodied. Projects...
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