Indian Queen of the Wyoming Valley

A vision hangs over the Wyoming Valley of Northeastern Pennsylvania and over the long course of the Susquehanna River beyond the New York border. This vision is that of a gray-haired figure with a face of light tan, lined from age and the cares of a hard life. The eyes are wide and darkly cruel, and the mouth is agape in a terrifying scream. The slim but commanding body, slightly bent, is...
read more

Blair County: Center of Transportation

Blair County was among the last counties created by the Pennsylvania General Assembly. One factor which delayed the establishment of an additional county in the southern portion of central Pennsylvania was geography. The rugged, eastern slopes of the Appalachian Mountains, in which Blair County was eventually located, diverted settlers to other areas. Only after the discovery of iron ore...
read more

Westmoreland County: Welcome to the Western Frontier

Westmoreland County, estab­lished by the Provincial As­sembly with an act signed on February 26, 1773, by Lieut. Gov. Richard Penn, was the eleventh – and last – county created by the proprietary government. Taken from part of Bedford County and named for a remote county in En­gland, it has played many significant roles in the origin and development of both the Commonwealth and the...
read more

The Value of Pennsylvania History

George W. Bush won the presidential election of 2000 because the fifty states cast more electoral votes for him, even though more people actually voted for his opponent, Albert A. Gore Jr. The election reminded Americans about a curious institution called the Electoral College, and an equally peculiar system known as federalism in which each state conducts elections according to distinct laws...
read more

Old State Line

The modern-day map of Pennsylvania reveals an anomaly most puzzling – a triangular appendage of land extending to the City of Erie and providing the Commonwealth with access to Lake Erie. Early maps show that the original border of Pennsylvania ran south of its present boundary of Lake Erie. Originally, Pennsylvania was fundamentally rectangular, with an undulating eastern border defined...
read more

Susquehannocks, Catholics in Seventeenth-Century Pennsylvania

With its seemingly endless vistas of shopping malls, housing developments, technology parks, truck terminals, and warehouses, it’s hard to imagine Pennsylvania’s lower Susquehanna River valley a vast, undisturbed wilderness. Yet, little more than two centuries ago, the region was home to a group of Native Americans generally called the Susquehannocks, but also known as the Minqua, the Andaste,...
read more

Seneca Religious Ceremony Transcript

From the period of early contact of Native Americans with European settlers through the first half of the nineteenth century, little effort was made by most Americans of European descent to understand the religious beliefs and practices of the Native peoples. This began to change in 1855 when Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem “Song of Hiawatha” captured the American imagination with a...
read more

Fishing on the Yough River

The Youghiogheny (pronounced yock-ah-gay-nee) River – known to locals, anglers, and kayakers as “The Yough” – is a 134-mile long tributary of the Monongahela River which rises in northern West Virginia, flows through Maryland, and enters southwestern Pennsylvania on the border between Fayette and Somerset Counties. It joins the Monongahela from the southeast at...
read more