“Prepare Thyself … to Meet the Lord Thy God!”: Religion in Pennsylvania During the Revolution

Religion in the colony of Pennsylvania was distinctive. In contrast to most areas of the western world, this province practiced freedom of religion. It never had an established church. Friends who controlled the first legislative assembly, meeting in Upland, now Chester, in 1682, specified that no one was “at any time [to] be com­pelled to frequent or Maintain anie religious worship, place...
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Chester County Welcomes Thee

The history of Chester County constitutes a significant part of the history of Pennsylvania, both province and commonwealth, and of the history of the United States of America. At the beginning of our nation’s Bicentennial and on the threshold of our state’s and our county’s tricentennial celebrations, Chester County looks proudly upon its past accomplishments and with...
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Black Harrisburg’s Resistance to Slavery

In April 18, 1825, a fugitive slave from Mary­land was found by his owner in Harrisburg and was imprisoned in the Dauphin County jail. A hearing on the matter was held in the courthouse that day, with Judge Bucher presiding. It took most of the day to con­vince the Judge that the slave should be returned to the custody of the slaveholder, during which time, according to the Pennsylvania...
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“A New County to Be Called Snyder”

Snyder is a small rural county covering 327 square miles with a population exceeding thirty thou­sand. Situated near the center of the Commonwealth, it is bounded on the northwest by Jack’s Mountain, on the southeast by the Mahantango Creek and on the en­tire eastern end by the beautiful Susquehanna River. Most of the remaining boundaries are unrelated to natural features. Geologically,...
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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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Religion on a Moving Frontier: The Berks County Area, 1700-1748

Because of the tolerant policy of the Penns, thousands of people of various ethnic backgrounds and religious faiths poured into the colony of Pennsylvania, many of them moving directly to the frontier. Within fifteen years after the founding of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania frontier had moved more than fifty miles north and west of the city. By 1700 the area comprising the southeastern part of...
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Butler County: A Story in Diversity

The story of Butler County is one of many stories. It is the story of an unusual religious commune. Of an engineer whose invention made the Brooklyn Bridge a reality. Of a European baron who con­structed a German castle he named Bassenheim. Of an oil boom town which sprang up­ – and crashed nearly overnight. Of the birthplace of that be­loved American automotive institution, the jeep. Of...
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Shorts

The Friends of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is offering an in-depth study tour of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania on Monday, October 16 [1995]. Sessions include an exploration of the museum’s extensive collections and the history of the Pennsylvania Railroad, in addition to a living history performance by Richard L. Pawling and lunch on the Strasburg Railroad...
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Finding a Light in the Forest: Conrad Weiser Homestead

More than any other, Conrad Weiser (1696-1760) captured the imagination of the Pennsylvania German community during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a time when its leaders asserted its right to be considered a major participant in the building of America. The veneration he was accorded led to the creation in 1923 of the historic park bearing his name and interpreting his...
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The Aaronsburg Story

Thanks to Penn State coach Joe Paterno and his loyal fans, it’s not uncommon to find tens of thousands of motorists jamming Centre County roads on autumn weekends. Fifty years ago this fall – Sunday, October 23, 1949, to be precise – thirty thousand people from throughout the United States converged not in State College to enjoy a football game but in the considerably smaller...
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