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

Welcome to the Winter 2011 edition – and volume 37 of Pennsylvania Heritage! It’s sometimes difficult to believe the magazine is nearing its fortieth anniversary, especially when we look back at the early issues which were quite modest. But time marches on and so do we.

This issue offers a preview of the annual theme for 2011 adopted by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), “William Penn’s Legacy: Religious and Spiritual Diversity.” John Fea’s “William Penn’s Pennsylvania: A Legacy of Religious Freedom” is the first of four installments devoted to our theme. Keystones appearing on the table of contents page during 2011 identify regular departments that are theme-related. As in the past, the spring 2011 edition will be exclusively dedicated to the theme.

In this exciting edition, popular contributor William C. Kashatus – who has been entertaining and educating readers since he began writing regularly for Pennsylvania Heritage with the Fall 1987 edition – does it again! Bill takes a hard look at George Brinton McClellan and his service during the American Civil War [see “The Rise and Fall of ‘Young Napoleon’“]. Crowned the “Young Napoleon” by admiring newspaper correspondents of the day, McClellan antagonized Lincoln, on one occasion ignoring the president while he futilely waited to meet with the haughty general. McClellan didn’t mince words, either. He described Lincoln as an “idiot” and commanding officer Winfield Scott as “a perfect imbecile.”

Joseph Trimble Rothrock is another Pennsylvanian of distinction. Rebecca Diane Swanger, a former environmental intern at the Pennsylvania State Archives, celebrates his distinguished career as the “Father of Forestry in Pennsylvania” in her well-written biography. For our cover story, authors Linda A. Ries, Ronald E. Ostman, and Harry Littell present a selection of photographs by William T. Clarke, who chronicled northcentral Pennsylvania’s lumber heyday of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Don’t miss the exhibit by the same title, Wood on Glass: The Lumber Industry Photographs of William T. Clarke, on view at The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg through Sunday, May 1, 2011.

Just as PHMC’s historic sites and museums have begun relying on volunteers in the wake of harsh budget cuts, so too, has Pennsylvania Heritage. Nancy L. Shelly, Harrisburg, recently volunteered to serve as proofreader. Nancy received her B.A. from Grove City College and her M.S./L.S. from Drexel University. She was trained and acquired experience as a proofreader, reference librarian, cataloger, database manager, and freelance editor. Nancy and her husband John faithfully volunteer for PHMC’s staff library. John Shelly is no stranger to PHMC; he served as an archivist for more than thirty-three years at the Pennsylvania State Archives.

The talents of contributors, consulting editors, new proofreader and, of course, our talented art director, Kimberly L. Stone, whose stunning design sets the benchmark for other state history magazines throughout the nation, make for an exceptional team dedicated to bringing you yet another remarkable edition of Pennsylvania Heritage. I hope you enjoy.

Best wishes,

Michael J. O’Malley III