Frankford, Philadelphia: A 19th-Century Urban Black Community

In the last two decades, American historians interested in Black history have focused increasingly on both the slave and free Black communities. These scholars have sought to explain how, in the face of white hostility and, at times because of it, Blacks have managed to create a viable setting for themselves and their children. By examining the web of social relationships and cultural traditions...
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Howard L. Barnes, Dean of Philadelphia’s Amateur Historians

Howard L. Barnes claims that Frankford is the oldest settlement in Philadelphia. Historians in neighboring Germantown dispute him, contending theirs to be the oldest community in the Quaker city area. How­ ever, no one has proven him wrong – nor can one, especially when he produces the original land deed of his beloved home­town, which dates to 1660. That would make Frankford not only the...
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Letters to the Editor

Back to Barnes The summer 1992 issue featured a salute to Frankford historian Howard L. Barnes (“Profile: Howard L. Barnes, Dean of Philadelphia’s Amateur Historians” by William C. Kashatus III), in which I noted as especially curious his claim of Swedish settlers occupying the Frankford area in the 1660s. Darby, in Delaware County, also boasts continuous permanent settlement...
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Remember the Ladies: Women and the American Revolution

Today, American women are barred by law from most combat roles, but they have played a part in battle since the American Revolu­tion, a tradition that continued through the Civil War, the World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict, the invasion of Panama in 1989 and, most recently, the Persian Gulf War. During the Civil War, at least four hundred women – those actually caught and...
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The Pottsville Maroons, Cheated Again and Again

Pottsville, like many communities in the Roaring Twenties, was a rugged, hard-living, hard-working city. The small Schuylkill County seat in northeastern Pennsylvania was best known for the booming anthracite industry and D. G. Yuengling and Son, established in 1829 and touted as America’s oldest family-owned brewery. Coal mining had been good to Pottsville, crowned the Queen City of the...
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