Violence and Vigilantes: The KKK in Pennsylvania

It was a warm, muggy day in early August 1921 in Philadelphia when F. W. Atkins of Jacksonville, Florida, and W. J. Bellamy of Cincinnati, Ohio, rented an office in the Bellevue Court Building to quietly recruit members for “a great and patriotic crusade to save the nation.” Their goal was to organize a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Posing as a prospective KKK initiate, a...
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Edward Drinker Cope, Pennsylvania’s Greatest Naturalist

Despite Americans’ age-old fascination with dinosaurs, probably few recognize the name Edward Drinker Cope (1840-1897). Although his name may not be as familiar as others in the long record of natural history – John James Audubon, John and William Bartram, Louis Agassiz – he has earned bis rightful place among America’s most accomplished and eminent natural scientists....
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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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Our First Friends, the Early Quakers

Armed with a charter granted by England’s King Charles II, William Penn (1644-1718) and one hundred travel-weary Quakers arrived in the New World aboard the Welcome on October 27, 1682, with the intention of establishing the founder’s “holy experiment,” a colony that would be free of the religious persecution they suffered abroad. Once safely docked in the Delaware Bay at...
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