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

Watercolor by Davis Gray

General Horatio Gates rented this Georgian-style house (ca. 1751) in 1777 following his victory which led to the surrender of General Burgoyne’s British army at Saratoga, N.Y. Gates’s success, coupled with a number of setbacks to the Continental army under Washington, brought increasing sentiment among some members of Congress to oust the commander-in-chief in favor of Gates, who had tacitly approved the idea. This secret movement, known as the “Conway Cabal,” ended soon after Washington learned of its existence and brought it to the attention of Congress as a whole. Whether a confirmed, organized conspiracy to supplant Washington had in fact developed, however, is still a highly debated issue.

The General Gates House and Golden Plough Tavern (1741), part df which can be seen to the left, are located at 152 East Market Street, York. Both are restored, furnished with period antiques and open to the public.


PHMC Lists Annual Events

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission coordinates a wide range of historical activities. Throughout the year, pageantry, conferences and numerous other events punctuate the calendar and offer an assortment of programs for nearly everyone interested in Pennsylvania’s historic past. To raise public awareness of this annual programming, the following list is being published with the hope that more citizens will participate in the PHMC’s schedule of yearly events and expand their involvement in the Common­wealth’s heritage. In each instance, a check with the PHMC and a particular museum or site to confirm the program is suggested. as schedule alterations are always a possibility and specific dates may vary.


January 1980

  • First Pennsylvania Regiment of the Line. Daniel Boone Homestead, Birdsboro (Monthly Matches through Sept.)

February 1980

  • Celebration of Washington’s Birthday, Wash­ington Crossing State Park, Washington Crossing (Third Mon. and Feb. 22)

March or April 1980

  • Pennsylvania Historical Association Annual Research Conference, Harrisburg (Fri. and Sat. – Dates to be Announced)

April 1980

  • PHMC Black History Conference, Rotating Location (First Thurs. and Fri.)

May 1980

  • Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Soci­eties Annual Meeting, Rotating Location (First Sat.)

June 1980

  • Annual Heritage Festival, French Azilum, Towanda (Third Weekend)
  • Craft Days, Pennsylvania Farm Museum, Landis Valley (Third Full Weekend)
  • Institute of Pennsylvania Rural Life and Culture, Pennsylvania Farm Museum, Lan­dis Valley (Third Week)
  • Kunstfest, Old Economy Village, Ambridge (Second Weekend)
  • Patriot Days, Daniel Boone Homestead, Birdsboro (Second Weekend)
  • Pottsgrove Mansion Fete, Pottsgrove Man­sion, Pottstown (First Sat.)

June to September 1980

  • Vorspiel, Ephrata Cloister, Ephrata (Sat. Night)

July 1980

  • Barkpeeler’s Convention, Pennsylvania Lum­ber Museum, Galeton (July 4)
  • Fort LeBoeuf: Waterford Heritage Days, Fort LeBoeuf, Waterford (Second Weekend)

August 1980

  • Craft Festival, Robert Fulton Birthplace, Quarryville (Third Sat.)
  • Tulpehocken Historical Settlement Society’s Family Festival, Conrad Weiser Home­stead, Womelsdorf (First Sat.)

September 1980

  • Brandywine Battlefield Commemoration, Brandywine Battlefield State Park, Chadds Ford (Second Weekend)
  • Erntefest, Old Economy Village, Ambridge (Fourth Sun.)
  • Mountain Craft Days, Somerset Historical Center, Somerset (Second Weekend)
  • Pennsbury Manor Americana Forum, Penns­bury Manor, Morrisville (Third Thurs.-Sat.)

October 1980

  • Celebration of William Penn’s Birthday, Penns­bury Manor, Morrisville (Sun. nearest Oct. 24 – All PHMC sites have free admission.)
  • Harvest Days, Pennsylvania Farm Museum, Landis Valley (First Full Weekend)

October to November 1980

  • PHMC and Pennsylvania Federation of Histor­ical Societies Regional Workshops, Ro­tating Location (Sats.)

November 1980

  • PHMC Oral History Workshop, Rotating Location (First Sat.)

December 1980

  • Christmas at Landis Valley, Pennsylvania Farm Museum, Landis Valley (Week be­fore Christmas)
  • Christmas Program, Ephrata Cloister, Ephrata (Second Mon. and Tues.)
  • Old-Fashioned Christmas, Old Economy Vil­lage, Ambridge (Second Fri. and Sat.)
  • Reenactment of the Crossing of the Delaware, Washington Crossing State Park, Washing­ton Crossing (Noon Christmas Day)


Archival Techniques Guide Released by PHMC

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission announces the publication of A Manual of Archival Techniques, edited by Roland M. Baumann. The publication is a by-product of three regional archival techniques work­shops held in 1978 at Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Wilkes­Barre sponsored by the PHMC under a grant from the “Records Program” of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The Manual is designed to assist local historical societies and small archival units affiliated with religious institutions, colleges and universities in pre­serving Pennsylvania’s rich heritage.

This 125-page archival techniques guide, which in­cludes illustrations, appendices and a select bibliography, is a compilation of the writings of seventeen distinguished experts in historical administration and all phases of manu­script preparation and preservation. Offering a ground­-level approach, the authors cover subjects such as appraisal, arrangement. description, conservation, reference, security, space. and sources of information and assistance. The volume can be ordered from the Commission, Box 1026, Harrisburg 17120, for $2.75 plus tax.