Free-Thinking, 19th-Century Style

Francis Ellingwood Abbot (1836–1903) was nothing if not determined. In 1872, as editor of The Index, the nation’s leading free-thought magazine, he began to muster the full force of his small army of subscribers against what was being called “the God-in-the-Constitution amendment.” A philosopher and theologian, he sought to reconstruct theology in accordance with scientific methodology. From the...
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Letters to the Editor

It’s a Small World I am a maker of miniature furniture and tremendously enjoyed “Finding the Fabulous Furniture of the Mahantongo Valley” by Henry M. Reed in the fall 1995 edition. Needless to write, this particular issue is a real inspiration. My interest in pieces made in the Mahantongo Valley of Pennsylvania stems from my love for painted furniture and for historical...
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Current and Coming

Steel Poetry Inspired by the various aspects of the steel industry in Bethlehem, Mildred T. Johnstone (1900-1988) created unusual canvas embroideries in the late 1940s and early 1950s. As the wife of Bethlehem Steel Corporation executive William H. Johnstone, she had the singular honor of being the first woman to tour the compa­ny’s steel mills. Although the mills have grown silent,...
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Minersville V. Gobitis

People all over the world consider America to be a great country, partly because of the many free­doms and rights it offers to its citizens. With these rights, as with any rights, come responsibilities. Some, such as obedience to laws and payment of taxes, are very clear, but oth­ers are more complicated and sometimes even controversial. Such responsibilities include those involving patriotism...
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High Street, Freeport, Pa.

To seasoned travelers, Freeport conjures visions of pure-white sandy beaches crystal-clear waters, and bright azure skies above the Grand Bahama Island in the Caribbean. To others, it’s the coastal village known as the birthplace of the State of Maine because leaders met at the com­munity’s Jameson Tavern to plan the separation from Massachusetts in 1820. But nearly a century ago to...
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George Gordon Meade (1815-1872)

General George Gordon Meade (1815–1872) may be best known as the commander of the victorious Army of the Potomac that defeated Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. Meade was born in Cadiz, Spain, the eighth of eleven children. His father, Richard Worsam Meade (1778–1828), a native of Chester County, was a wealthy Philadelphia merchant serving the...
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Elizabeth Langstroth Drexel Smith (1855-1890) and Louise Bouvier Drexel Morrell (1863-1945)

When Francis Martin Drexel (1792–1863) arrived in Philadelphia from the Austrian territory of Tyrol in 1817, he might have established a family of artisans—he was an accomplished artist and musician. Instead, his interest in finance, coupled with his business savvy, earned him a niche as patriarch of one of the wealthiest, most philanthropic families in the United States. Drexel’s sons, Francis...
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Stegmaier Brewed Beer and a Regional History

“Ring-A-Ding-Ding! Do the Stegmaier Thing, In the Summertime. It’s Cold and It’s Gold like a Pocono Spring, In the Summertime. So, Ring-A-Ding-Ding, Do the Stegmaier Thing, Any Time At All!” Pennsylvanians may recall the infectious jingle advertising Stegmaier beer on WFIL radio and television in Philadelphia and shouted across billboards in the Pocono Mountains and the...
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The Union League of Philadelphia and the Civil War


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