Executive Director’s Message

“George Washing­ton slept here.” No other state – besides Virginia, of course – claims a closer connection to the life and times of George Washington than Pennsylvania. Travels during his extraordinary military and political careers took him to dozens of settlements and sites across the Commonwealth. Many of these places survive and offer vivid reminders of the presence...
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The Boat Ride that Changed America: Washington Crossing Historic Park

The characters a seem straight out of a big screen military blockbuster: the protagonist, a distinguished squire turned military commander, appearing outwardly controlled, yet besieged by internal doubts; his antagonist, a general whose redeeming qualities are negated by his arrogance and complacency; a comely widow; heroes, cads, and a supporting cast of thousands. The plot is also...
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Strolling Through History at Hopewell Village

For more than a century, Hopewell Furnace in southeastern Pennsylvania had exemplified the technological growing pains of a nation initially built on agriculture but destined to become the industrial titan of the western hemisphere. Between 1771, when Mark Bird (1739-1816) established his furnace at the headwaters of French Creek in Berks County, and 1883, when the­ fires finally cooled,...
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News

Rare Discovery After their September 11, 1777, victory in the Battle of Brandywine, British General Sir William Howe and his troops captured and occupied Philadelphia. It was not long, however, before General Howe realized he faced a challenging supply problem. He was surrounded by General George Washington’s Continental Army and, more importantly, the Royal British Navy could not bring...
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The Rise and Fall of “Young Napoleon”

On Wednesday evening, November 13, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln paid a visit to the residence of George Brinton McClellan (1826–1885), who he had recently appointed general in chief of the Union Army. Located on Lafayette Square, near the White House, McClellan’s luxurious dwelling also served as his Washington, D.C., headquarters. Accompanied by Secretary of State William H. Seward...
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Past, Present, and Future at PHMC

I should have written at the launch of this regular department for Pennsylvania Heritage, which debuted in the Summer 2011 edition, that there would be some experimenting with how to best capture the feel of Trailheads, a blog I write weekly. In the previous issue of the magazine, I took an in-depth look at Drake Well Museum’s renovation project, which had been covered in small bites on the...
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