Restless Soul: A Portrait of Bayard Taylor

A century ago the name of Bayard Taylor was familiar in most American households and in many homes in other parts of the world. Every cultured person in the United States at that time had read Bayard Taylor’s writings, or had heard him lecture. Old and young alike were enthralled by the tales he told, and no wonder, for Bayard Taylor had been everywhere and had done everything. When he...
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A Philadelphia Family at the “Centre of the Universe”

For forty years after the Civil War, a Victorian home on South 21st Street in Philadelphia was con­sidered “The Centre of the Universe” by its promin­ent residents and their visitors. American writers and actors were drawn to this cultural center by the talented parents of Richard Harding Davis, the flamboyant archetype war correspondent who thrilled readers at the turn of the...
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The President Meets the Press

The road to glory traveled by Abraham Lincoln on his way to his inauguration took him in and out of Pennsylvania three times: first to Pittsburgh, then through Erie County along the southern shore of the lake, to Philadelphia, and finally through Harrisburg where he spoke to the state legislature. Throughout the trip he was well received by great crowds who thronged to the train depots and,...
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Dan Rice’s Monument: Patriotism or Circus Promotion?

On storied battlefields and at thousands of heroes’ graves and historic monuments, Pennsylvanians gather to commemorate the bravery and valor of the indi­viduals who made – and kept – this a free country. In the northwestern corner of the state, in a little town called Girard, Erie countians gather around a tall stone monument which claims special distinc­tion. The monument was...
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Wayne County: A History Deep and Clear

The Land of Lakes, it might best be called. Its sweeping verdant valleys and velvety golden meadows harbor dozens of picturesque settlements – and more than a hundred natural and artificial lakes. Its resorts teem with summer colonists – primarily expatriate New Yorkers escap­ing the stifling heat of Manhat­tan in August – and recall a less frenzied era when there seemed to be...
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Pike County: A Peak of Natural Perfection

“I went through a constant succession of scenery that would have been famous had it existed anywhere in Europe.” – Washington Irving   Shaped roughly like a diamond, Pike County is situated in Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier, bordering the Delaware River on the cast across from the states of New York and New Jersey. The northwestern side of the diamond lies in Lake...
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Letters to the Editor

A Giant Among Men Congratulations to William C. Kashatus on his extraordinary article, “A New Birth of Freedom,” which appeared in the Fall 1999 issue. Americans, who have witnessed the downfall of so many latter-day heroes in recent years, can take heart in knowing that Abraham Lincoln was truly a giant among men. The article has enhanced my already considerable admiration for this...
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Pennsylvania’s War Governor

On September 14, 1862, Pennsylvania’s Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin invited the governors of the northern and border states to a meeting to be held at Altoona, Blair County, in ten days. The purpose of the meeting that became known as the Loyal War Governors’ Conference — or, simply, the Altoona Conference – was to “take measures for a more active support of the government’s prosecution of...
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