Pennsylvania Copperheads: Traitors or Peacemakers?

Panic swept through Philadelphia in 1860, gripping manufacturers and merchants in its throes as southern slave states threatened to leave the federal union. The South had grown into an enormous market for Philadelphia’s merchants, and the city’s textile manufacturers depended on Dixie to supply the cotton they needed. Fears of secession and resulting massive unemployment prompted Mayor Alexander...
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“In Immortal Splendor”: Wilkes-Barre’s Fugitive Slave Case of 1853

On Saturday morning, September 3, 1853, U.S. Federal Marshal George Wynkoop of Philadelphia and two deputies, John Jenkins and James Crossen, sat down to breakfast in the dining room of the Phoenix Hotel on River Street in the Luzerne County seat of Wilkes-Barre. At the far end of the room was a handsome, powerfully built mulatto named Bill (or, according to various newspaper accounts, known as...
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Advanced Technology “Rubs” the Ancient Past

With more than 400,000 visitors, the Pennsylvania Farm Show, held each January, is a terrific opportunity to highlight the best of Pennsylvania agriculture. It’s also an exciting venue to showcase Pennsylvania archaeology and remind the public that archaeological sites are important endangered resources that need protection. Since 1980, PHMC’s Bureau for Historic Preservation and The...
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Black Settlement on Yellow Hill

Anyone who has ever read about the Battle of Gettysburg or visited the historic American Civil War battlefield undoubtedly learned about the generals, the courageous soldiers who fought in the grisly three-day encounter, and the thousands that lost their lives on that hallowed ground in Adams County. The stories of the famous engagements that took place at Little Round Top, Devil’s Den, and the...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Recommends

The Civil War in Pennsylvania: A Photographic History Written by a trio of savvy and inveterate collectors of photographs, artifacts, objects, and ephemera documenting the American Civil War and its associations with the Keystone State and its soldiers and citizens, The Civil War in Pennsylvania: A Photographic History (Senator John Heinz History Center for Pennsylvania Civil War 150, 2012,...
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African Americans and Civil Rights in Pennsylvania

Summer and swimming go hand in hand – or so thought the Creative Steps Day Care Camp. The camp’s leaders had signed a contract to use the pool at a private swim club, but when the children – 46 African Americans and ten Hispanics ranging from kindergarten through seventh grade – arrived for their summer swim, they were subjected to harsh criticism by some club members....
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Mr. Peanut’s Hometown: Wilkes-Barre and the Founding of Planters Peanuts

Few may realize it, but for nearly a half-century, the Luzerne County seat of Wilkes-Barre, in northeastern Pennsylvania, was the peanut capital of the world. Founded in 1906, the Planters Peanut Company operated its national headquarters at 632 South Main Street in an impressive two-story Federal-style building. A handsome balustrade encircled the roof of the elegant concrete edifice and was...
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Bookshelf

Soldiers to Governors: Pennsylvania’s Civil War Veterans Who Became State Leaders by Richard C. Saylor published by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 2010; 196 pages, cloth, $59.95 The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) safeguards a literal treasure trove of artifacts and documents associated with the American Civil War and six veterans of the war who later...
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