Letters presents readers' comments and reactions to specific articles in Pennsylvania Heritage, the initiatives of PHMC, and other developments in the historical, cultural and museum communities of Pennsylvania.

Date of Death?

Good article on Hannah Penn and, of course, on William Markham, whose name graces the street on which I live [“Hannah Penn, Pennsylvania’s First Woman Governor” by William C. Kashatus, Fall 2003]. In the first column of page 17 you list two different death dates for William Penn: July 18, 1718, and July 30, 1718. Which is correct?

James H. Wagner
Bethlehem, Pa.

The editor regrets the confusion and thanks this eagle-eyed reader for his bringing the discrepancy to light. William Penn died at the age of seventy-four on July 30, 1718.


In My Opinion

I have been a subscriber to Pennsylvania Heritage for over twenty years. I even have issues of smaller size from the 1970s. l just finished reading the Fall 2003 issue, which is in my opinion the best you have put out. Four outstanding articles in one issue! A hard act to follow, I’m sure. Usually in the past you had one or two great articles in one issue and one or two that were, to me, just ho-hum. These were all great – and so interesting! I loved the Crayola story [“A Centennial of Color for Crayola Crayons!” by Liz Armstrong Hall]. I remember as a boy the smell of fresh new crayons coming out of the box-and the colors. Wow! Keep up the good work.

Arthur E. Ullrich
New York, N.Y.


As Witness

Since I was born in the Brandywine Valley at Chadds Ford – where the Battle of Brandywine took place – I was delighted with the article written by Thomas J. McGuire [“British Images of War at Brandywine and the Tredyffrin Encampment,” Fall 2002]. The watercol­ors by Augustus West are most interesting to me as witness to the battle. Your whole magazine is very fine.

Andrew Wyeth
Chadds Ford, Pa.


Centennial Voices

For those interested in learning more about the early years of the forestry school at which Maurice K. Goddard taught and led for more than a decade [“Maurice K. Goddard, The Common­wealth’s Conservation Czar” by Ernest Morrison, Fall 2002], please see A History of the Pennsylvania State Forest School, 1903-1929, by Elizabeth H. Thomas. Dr. Goddard is also profiled in our recently released book Centennial Voices: Penn State Mont Alto, 1903-2003, an anecdotal history edited by faculty member Joan Hocking and published as part of our one hundredth anniversary celebration.

Margaret Taylor
Mont Alto, Pa.

Margaret Taylor is director of the office of university relations for Penn State Mont Alto.


Soulful and Sultry

What a pleasure it was to read Edward McCann’s “The Soulful and Sultry Miss Ethel Waters” [Summer 2003]. I remember so clearly my mother’s emotional praise for Miss Waters in The Member of the Wedding for how beautifully she portrayed the spirit of the wise and motherly Berenice Sadie Brown. My parents, who had come to the country as refugees from Hitler, always identified deeply with other minority groups. This, however, was the first time I can recall when I sensed the great power of that shared humanity. Ethel Waters must have been an exceptional actor to create such feeling. I was sorry, therefore, to read that she was criticized in later life for portraying a domestic. Miss Waters was right that all people should be proud of what they do. After all, it is on the basis of our individual identity – which includes what we were and where we came from – that we wish to be respected and even admired.

Suzanne McInerney
Brewster, Mass.