News and Notes

News presents briefs about current and forthcoming programs, events, exhibits and activities of historical and cultural institutions in Pennsylvania.

On the Cover

The Caleb Pusey House, located along the Chester Creek in Upland, Delaware County, two miles from the Delaware River, is the only original residence which William Penn is known to have frequently visited. Pusey, a partner in business with Penn, came to Pennsylvania in 1682 to serve as manager and agent for Chester Mills, the first official Proprietary saw and grist mill to be established by Penn and his associates. Once in the colony, Pusey began building this house for his family. The gambrel roof section, which consists of a single room with sleeping quarters above, was completed in 1683. The portion pictured in the foreground was added sometime prior to 1700.

In 1960, the Friends of the Caleb Pusey House, Inc. was organized to restore the property, a project undertaken with the support of the PHMC and matching funds from the Commonwealth. Today, under the continuing management of the Friends organization, the site is suitably furnished with pieces from the early colonial period, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and open to the public as part of the larger Landingford Plantation complex.


William Penn’s Landing

William Penn’s arrival in Pennsylvania represented not only a goal attained but an ordeal ended. Transatlantic voyages in that day were hazardous at best, but the approximately one hundred passengers on board the Welcome which sailed from Deal, England in August 1682 had endured tribulations well beyond the ordinary. Smallpox broke out, and about a third of the prospective settlers died without ever reaching their destination. Penn himself, having survived the disease as a child, was immune, and spent much of the time while illness raged helping to nurse the sick and comfort the dying. More than two months passed before landfall was made and, at about sunset on October 27 by the Old Style calendar then in use (November 6 by the modern calendar), the vessel reached New Castle, Delaware.

Although not part of the Pennsylvania grant made to Penn by King Charles II, Delaware had been deeded to him by its proprietor, the Duke of York. Consequently, when Penn land­ed on the morning of October 28 he formally took possession of the town and the surrounding territory. Going back aboard the Welcome, he sailed up the Delaware River on October 29 to the village of Upland, a community of perhaps a hundred people, dating from the period of Swedish settlement. There at last he set foot on Pennsylvania soil.

Among his first actions was to give the temporary capital of his province an English rather than a Swedish name. Official­ly, although not for some time in popular usage, it became Chester.

He took other actions as well. He created three new coun­ties-Philadelphia, Chester and Bucks. To these, and to the three existing Delaware counties (New Castle, Kent and Sussex), he sent summonses for the freeholders to meet at Chester on December 4 for the purpose of forming a govern­ment. In the meantime, he took the opportunity to gain a first­hand view of his new surroundings.

He visited Philadelphia, New York (to call on the governor there), New Jersey, in which he had a special interest as one of the founders of the colony, and then traveled to Pennsbury, where he approved the site that had been tentatively selected for his personal country residence (see “Okie Speaks for Pennsbury, Part I“). He may also have met with a group of Indians, including the Delaware chief, Tamamend, at Shackamaxon, a few miles north of the prospective city of Philadelphia.

In any case, he returned to Chester in time to preside over the sessions he had called. From these would emerge Penn­sylvania’s first, if short-lived, constitution, known as the Great Law. The Holy Experiment was now formally launched.


Annual Pennsbury Manor Americana Forum

“The Arts of Pennsylvania: In Celebration of the 300th An­niversary of the Founding of the Commonwealth,” and “The Arts and Crafts Movement in America” will be the two main topics for the annual Pennsbury Manor Americana Forum being held at Pennsbury Manor on September 15, 16 and 17 [1982]. Session, scheduled to run from 9 A.M. through 5 P .M. on Thursday and Friday and ending at 2 P.M. on Saturday, will be held concurrently on each of the three days.

The Forum is co-sponsored by The Pennsbury Society and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and is held at Pennsbury Manor, a documented reconstruction of William Penn’s seventeenth century country plantation on the banks of the Delaware River near Morrisville, twenty-six miles north of Philadelphia (see “Okie Speaks for Pennsbury, Part I“). Held annually at Penns­bury Manor since 1965, the Forum has become one of the best­-known academic forums in the nation, with a well-founded reputation for excellence in presenting topics relating to the decorative arts, historic preservation and Pennsylvania culture.

Dr. Paul A. Chew, director of the Westmoreland County Museum of Art in Greensburg, is topic chairman of the Penn­sylvania arts theme and Cleota Reed of Syracuse, New York will chair the arts and crafts program. Speakers from a number of nationally renowned institutions, including the Pennsylvan­ia Academy of Fine Arts, the University of Pennsylvania, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Winterthur Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and others, will present a variety of papers. Pennsylvania German Folk Art, Art in Pitts­burgh, Pennsylvania Still Life Painters, Thomas Eakins, In­laid Furniture of Southwestern Pennsylvania, The Moravian Pottery and Tile Works, Wilson Eyre, Community and Uto­pian Vision, Arts and Crafts Furniture in America, and Henry Chapman Mercer’s Art Pottery are but a sample of the topics which Forum participants will have the opportunity to enjoy.

For registration fees and further information, please call (215) 946-0400.


The Papers of William Penn

The Papers of William Penn is a select letterpress edition of Penn’s most interesting and representative letters and papers, designed to commemorate the tercentenary of Penn’s found­ing of Pennsylvania. Penn was a voluminous author, who wrote nearly 140 books, pamphlets and broadsides. Close to 3,000 of his letters and papers survive, but there has never been a modern edition of his writings. To remedy this sad situation, Mary Maples Dunn and Richard S. Dunn are editing four volumes of Penn’s papers. A fifth volume is an annotated bibliography of Penn’s books and pamphlets, edited by Edwin B. Bronner and David Fraser.

The project is jointly sponsored by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (owner of the chief collection of Penn papers), the University of Pennsylvania, Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College. The project bas been generously supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Historical Publications and Records Commis­sion, and a number of Pennsylvania benefactors.

The editors began work in 1978, drawing on a master file of all known William Penn letters and papers. When work is complete, approximately a third of these documents will be printed in the four volumes. Volume I presents the young Quaker activist, 1644-1679; Volume 2 will cover the founding of Pennsylvania, 1680-1684; Volume 3 will deal with Penn’s tortuous career in England, 1685-1699; and Volume 4 will document his second visit to Pennsylvania and the political and business problems of his final years, 1699-1718. The edi­tion is being published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, Volume I having already been released in March 1981. Volume 2 is scheduled for publication in October 1982, with Volumes 3-5 scheduled for publication between 1983 and 1985.

The editors are also producing a special tercentenary volume, William Penn and the Founding of Pennsylvania: A Documentary History, edited by Jean R. Soderlund and Richard S. Dunn, which is designed so that interested citizens, and particularly high school and college students, can have easy access to the basic documentary source materials on the founding of the Commonwealth. In effect, this volume will be a streamlined version of Volume 2, with the language of the texts modernized, the annotation simplified and a reduced number of documents presented. All of the chief texts, however, will remain, including Penn’s petition to Charles II; reports of the various government agencies involved in draft­ing Penn’s royal charter; several drafts of Pennsylvania’s first constitution, the Frame of Government; material relating to Penn’s quarrels with Lord Baltimore, over the Maryland­Pennsylvania boundary, and with the governor of New York, over Indian policy; and letters describing the early stages of settlement in 1682-84, when Penn was personally managing the colony. Thanks to a grant from the Glenmede Trust Com­pany, this illustrated volume, also published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, will be distributed to all high school, college, and municipal libraries in the Commonwealth and will be made available for sale to the public in late 1982 or early 1983.


National History Day Winners

Two of Pennsylvania’s first-place State History Day winners placed in the national competition held at the University of Maryland this past June. A junior division entry by Sean Bryan, Mark Ainsley and Peter Kim of Incarnation School, Philadelphia, entitled “An American Dream Becomes a Reali­ty,” won second place in the group project. In the media category, junior division, Charlene Touvell of Brookville Area Jr.-Sr. High School, Brookville, Jefferson County, won third place for her entry “Making History ’57 Ways’.” A special prize, awarded by the government of Greece, went to Kristen Switala of Harrison Middle School, Whitehall, Allegheny County, for her entry in the individual performance category entitled “The Ancient Greek Pottery Industry.” Ms. Switala and eight other students selected for this award bad the oppor­tunity to travel to Greece with their sponsoring teachers as guests of the Greek Government.

Participation in National History Day is open to all Penn­sylvania students in grades six through twelve. Each year a dif­ferent theme is selected. The theme for 1982-83 is “Turning Points in History.” Students may enter papers, exhibits, per­formances or media categories at a district-level competition sponsored by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Com­mission. State winners attend National History Day.

Teachers or school districts who are interested in more in­formation about National History Day may contact Donna Munger, Division of History, PHMC, Box 1026, Harrisburg 17120.


“Bibliophiles Philadelphia­ Style” Exhibit

If one is what one reads, the new exhibit at the Library Company of Philadelphia, which continues through October 29, reveals some intriguing facts about Philadelphians of old. The show, entitled “Bibliophiles Philadelphia Style,” features sixty rare books from the Library Company’s collection that were once owned by notable Philadelphians.

A volume containing the bookplates of both William Penn and his son Thomas is extremely rare, and Stephen Skinner’s Etymologicon Linguae Anglicanae (London, 1671) has both. The volume was given by Thomas to James Logan, whose 2,650-volume library was placed in the care of the Library Company in 1792. Thomas’s bookplate was printed by Ben­jamin Franklin in 1733.

Benjamin Franklin’s copy of Crevecoeur’s Lettres d’un Cultivateur Americain (Paris, 1787) is significant: it is the work of a Frenchman who loved America given to an American who loved France. Crevecoeur asked John Paul Jones to deliver the book to Franklin.

Anthony Wayne is best remembered as the “mad” general of the Revolution, but the book he owned that is on display is nothing less sedate than A Selection of English Plays (Edin­burgh, 1759).

Captain John MacPherson’s bookplate befits a one-armed privateer: it depicts a sailing ship, above which hovers a sword grasped in a strong hand. The eccentric MacPherson may have used bis copy of Dionysius Longinus On The Sublime (Lon­don, 1752) for the lectures on moral philosophy he gave in the 1780s.

A recent gift from a Philadelphian and friend of the Library Company is a set of Alexander Pope’s Works (Edinburgh, 1764). The small volumes were once owned by Anne Willing, the beautiful and charming wife of William Bingham, one of Pennsylvania’s early senators. It was to please her that Washington sat for the famous Gilbert Stuart portrait.

Also on display will be books owned by the artist Charles Willson Peale, the actress Fanny Kemble, the botanist John Bartram, the abolitionist and feminist Lucretia Mott, and other illustrious Philadelphians. The exhibit reveals the identi­ty of the first Philadelphian to carry a silk umbrella (Dr. John Morgan, 1735-1789); why Debby Norris Logan, a good Quaker, owned a book of beer recipes (she served beer to the hired hands at harvest time); and which eighteenth-century Philadelphia gentlemen was known as the “Man-Who-Tells­-The-Truth” (Charles Thomson, adopted by the Delaware In­dians in 1758).

The Library Company of Philadelphia, located at 1314 Locust Street, is an independent rare book library founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1731. It is the oldest cultural institution in the United States, and recently celebrated its 250th anniver­sary. Hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 A.M. to 4:45 P.M., and admission is free. For more information, call (215) 546-3181.


New Services Offered at WPMM

In a continuing effort to improve visitor services, the William Penn Memorial Museum in Harrisburg has recently relocated, expanded and reopened a Museum Shop, Bookstore and Lunch Room.

The Museum Shop, now located on the ground floor of the State Museum, is operated by the Friends of the William Penn Memorial Museum, a newly incorporated associate group. Stocked with museum-related items, such as hand-woven shawls, redware pottery, mineral specimens and antique reproductions, the Museum Shop is open during regular museum hours, Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M., and Sundays from noon to 4 P.M. Proceeds from the shop will be used by the “Friends” to sponsor museum pro­jects, classes and other special events.

Just down the ground-floor hallway, visitors will find the Gallery Bookstore, which was informally opened in mid-June. There, guests to the museum can browse through and purchase Commission publications, as well as books produced by numerous other publishers on economic and military history, arts and crafts, fine arts, ethnic literature and a host of other subjects. In addition to the Gallery Bookstore, Commission publications are now available at each of the PHMC’s historic sites and museums where visitors are encouraged to review them and involve themselves in the rich heritage of the Com­monwealth.

The Lunch Room, expanded in scope beyond the old Snack Bar, provides the public with a place to eat breakfast or lunch, or simply to take a break during a tour of the museum. Open Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7 A.M. and closing at 4 P.M., noon to 5 P.M. on Sundays, the Lunch Room features on its menu sandwiches, homemade soups, biscuits and desserts. Supervised by the Office for the Blind, Department of Public Welfare, the Lunch Room is located behind the museum’s Auditorium, also on the ground floor.

With these expanded and improved services, the William Penn Memorial Museum has become an even better place to visit and to enjoy the heritage of the state.


Commission Internships Available

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has prepared a catalog of internships available through its newly introduced Applied History Program. The program is based on the premise that students will benefit by significant skill development in applied research as well as by instruction in subject matter content. To provide this background in skill development, the PHMC offers nonpaying internships, which can be arranged for course credit to advanced undergraduate and graduate students. Although the internships are aimed primarily to dovetail with the new and growing field of Public History, many are available in non-history fields such as ar­chaeology, fine arts, invertebrate paleontology, herpetology, ichthyology and other areas of natural history.

Internships are available in every branch of the Commis­sion. These include the William Penn Memorial Museum, the State Archives, the Division of History and the Bureau for Historic Preservation, all of which are headquartered in the state capital at Harrisburg. Internships also are available at field museums and historic properties operated by the Com­mission across the Commonwealth. These include the Scran­ton Anthracite Museum, Eckley Miners’ Village, Pennsylvania Farm Museum, Pennsbury Manor, Pennsylvania Military Museum, Drake Well, Ephrata Cloister, Old Economy Village and Washington Crossing Historic Park.

For a catalog and more information on the Internship Pro­gram please contact the Internship Office, Division of History, PHMC, Box 1026, Harrisburg 17120.


The Papers of Henry Bouquet

In 1947, keeping faith with the goals established in 1938 for the preservation and distribution of primary historical sources of Pennsylvania history, the PHMC Launched a project for an eight-volume comprehensive, scholarly series entitled The Papers of Henry Bouquet. These books concentrate on Penn­sylvania’s frontier experience from 1757 to 176.5, a period for which few other original sources exist. Based largely on the 4,600 original Bouquet items in the British Library in London, this edition eliminates the confusing overlapping divisions used by the English archival system. Proceeding in strict chronological sequence, the PHMC books include footnotes identifying people and places mentioned in the documents, making their interpretation and evaluation far easier. The editors have also added Bouquet documents found in over a dozen document centers outside the British Library. It is like­ly, in fact, that fifteen percent of the over five thousand items that will finally be published will have been found outside the British Library.

Four volumes are now on sale, carrying the story down to September 1760. Unfortunately, funding has been recently restricted, with much of the most interesting material yet to appear at the end of the series in Volumes 7 and 8. They are to deal with Bouquet’s victory at Bushy Run (Westmoreland County) and his expedition against the Indians in central Ohio – “Braddock’s Revenge.” The editors of The Papers of Henry Bouquet, therefore, ask those interested in seeing the eight volumes completed to express a commitment to purchase either the four unpublished volumes or the entire series of eight. For this, contact Ms. Amy Kelchner, Public Resources Development Office, PHMC, Box 1026, Harrisburg 17120. There is every assurance that PHMC sale prices will continue to be very low in comparison with other publishers.


Century IV Celebration

Philadelphia’s celebration of its 300th birthday, known as Century IV, will culminate during the last week of October 1982 and will involve communities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware associated with William Penn. Titled William Penn Heritage Week and running from October 23 to 31, this week will be a joining together to commemorate Penn’s vision for Philadelphia, for Pennsylvania and the New World.

October 23 and 24, “William Penn Sabbath,” will find religious leaders throughout the Delaware Valley speaking to their congregations on Penn’s concept of religious freedom. Mid-day on the 24th (Penn’s birthday), there will be an in­terdenominational worship service at Penn’s Landing, follow­ed at 3:00 P.M. by a pealing of church bells to remind people of the ideal of religious freedom. Philadelphia will then celebrate its 300th birthday with a special party – “Make a Joyful Noise” – presenting the music, song and dance of the world’s religions.

In addition, from the 23rd to the 31st, Heritage Week will present the “Up River Festival” – a re-creation of Penn’s ar­rival in the New World and his stops along the Delaware River, with local communities staging historical commemorations.

The William Penn Heritage Week Committee has published a special brochure describing all of the events and activities which will take place during this nine-day period in an attempt to encourage residents and tourists to take part in these ex­citing programs and to visit historic sites and buildings associated with the first one hundred years of settlement in the Delaware Valley. For more information, call toll-free (800) 241-8444.