Editor's Letter is an introduction to the contents and themes of each issue of Pennsylvania Heritage by the editor.

As the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) moves towards the conclusion of its 2010 theme, “Black History in Pennsylvania: Communities in Common,” at the end of this year, I am pleased that Pennsylvania Heritage continues to play an ongoing role. Readers will discover even more about the Keystone State’s African American heritage and culture in regularly appearing departments, including Letters, Our Documentary Heritage [see “‘A Corn Song’ Musical Score by Henry Thacker Burleigh“], Trailblazers [see “Henry ‘Harry’ T. Burleigh“], Marking Time [see “The 54th Mass. Infantry Regiment, US Colored Troops“], Hand-On History [see “Pioneering the Civil Rights Movement” and “The Grand Review Revisited“], and Sharing the Commonwealth [see “Losing the Way by Horace Pippin at State Museum of Pennsylvania“]. Over the past year, I, like so many Pennsylvanians, have learned much about the myriad contributions made by African Americans, thanks to PHMC’s annual theme.

This issue also contains fascinating and beautifully illustrated features on a variety of topics. In “General Meade’s Press Warfare!,” Joan Wenner and Andy Waskie offer a piercing look at the controversial American Civil War general, George Gordon Meade, and his contentious relationship with the war correspondents who refused to note his achievements and wrote only about his failures. Robert M. Sullivan, senior curator of paleontology and geology at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, writes in “Rising From the Muck: The Marshalls Creek Mastodon” about the discovery, in Monroe County in 1968, of a nearly intact mastodon skeleton and how it has been recently restored and reinstalled as one of the museum’s highlights. The Susquehanna River is a majestic waterway; it’s the longest river on the East Coast and the sixteenth largest in the United States. Thanks to nineteenth-century Lancaster County artist Lloyd Mifflin, we have a record of what the river, and the communities along it, looked like. Author Irwin Richman offers an intimate portrait of Mifflin and the river he so dearly loved in “Lloyd Mifflin, Artist of the Susquehanna.”

As we slip into autumn, there’s much to see and do at PHMC’s historic sites and museums. Check out the special activities and events in the Pennsylvania Heritage Society’s newsletter calendar. There’s something for everyone-especially families. One event you won’t want to miss is the Heritage Society’s annual Holiday Marketplace. This year’s event will be held on Thursday and Friday, November 18-19 [2010], at the Commonwealth Keystone Building, adjacent to The State Museum. This is an exciting opportunity to find special gifts from PHMC’s popular destination museums that you won’t find anywhere else.

Fall also brings change. A great change for Pennsylvania Heritage is the departure of Ted R. Walke, chief of the Publications and Sales Division. Many readers know Ted through the Pennsylvania State Bookstore presentations and the publications which he oversaw, especially Soldiers to Governors: Pennsylvania’s Civil War Leaders Who Became State Leaders by Richard C. Saylor of the Pennsylvania State Archives (see “Bookshelf” in this edition). The editorial staff and I are grateful to Ted, who returned to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, for mentoring us and generously sharing his expertise and experience.

PHMC’s marketing director, Howard M. Pollman, has taken the helm of the publications program and we, as should you, look forward to more exciting editions of Pennsylvania Heritage and related initiatives. With Howard’s leadership, the magazine will continue to bring you the best – and sometimes the not-so-best – of the Keystone State’s history, culture, and art.

Michael J. O’Malley III