“Restless Progress in America”: Drawing the Mason-Dixon Line

“When I found I had crossed that line,” recalled Harriet Tubman, “I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything . . . I felt like I was in Heaven.” Such was the power of the Mason-Dixon Line. Within 75 years of its completion to resolve an eight-decade-long dispute between two colonial proprietors, a boundary line drawn in the 1760s by two English...
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From the Executive Director

As a trained historian who has devoted his life to the preservation and teaching of American history, I am embarrassed to admit how little I knew about my own family’s history—only a few bits and pieces passed down from my parents. I was told that our family settled in the old Northwest Territory before Ohio became a state in 1803 and that some of my ancestors came from Pennsylvania. I...
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Pennsylvania: A Military History by William A. Pencak, Christian B. Keller and Barbara A. Gannon

Pennsylvania: A Military History by William A. Pencak, Christian B. Keller and Barbara A. Gannon Westholme Publishing, 304 pp., cloth $35 In 16 incisive and insightful original essays covering wars among Indians to the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, the authors reveal a Pennsylvania that was and is very different from the “peaceable kingdom” image of art and myth. Indeed,...
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Emilie Davis’s Civil War by Judith Giesberg

Emilie Davis’s Civil War: The Diaries of a Free Black Woman in Philadelphia, 1863-1865 edited by Judith Giesberg, transcribed and annotated by the Memorable Days Project Penn State Press, 240 pp., cloth $59.95, paper $16.95 Free African American servant and seamstress Emilie Davis lived in Philadelphia during the Civil War and recorded her daily experiences and thoughts in a diary from January...
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The Parker Sisters by Lucy Maddox

The Parker Sisters: A Border Kidnapping by Lucy Maddox Temple University Press, 256 pp., cloth $28.50 The border where Chester County, Pennsylvania, adjoined Cecil County, Maryland, was contested territory in the conflict between “free” and “slave” states in the decades before the Civil War. Lucy Maddox provides a thoroughly researched account of one notable incident in this history, the...
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Historic Districts in Pennsylvania: An Evolving Sense of Place

Jim Thorpe, originally named Mauch Chunk, is a small and picturesque borough of well-preserved 19th-century buildings perched on the side of a mountain along the Lehigh River in Carbon County. It once served as an important railroad and coal shipping center. As these industries waned in the 20th century, the town sought new economic purpose by marketing its scenic appeal as the “Switzerland of...
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Native Philadelphian Cherokee Fisher: From Andersonville Prison to Major League Baseball

William C. “Cherokee” Fisher was born in Philadelphia in November 1844. As a young man he desired an opportunity to defend his country in the American Civil War, so he enlisted for a three-year term on October 11, 1862, as a private in Company A of the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, also known as the 152nd Pennsylvania Volunteers. This company was recruited in his hometown of Philadelphia....
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From the Executive Director

Over the past few months I have been spending time with visitors in the new Pennsylvania Icons exhibit at The State Museum of Pennsylvania (see “Pennsylvania Icons: State Treasures Telling the Story of the Commonwealth,” Winter 2016). There is a small but very powerful section of the exhibit entitled “Pennsylvania and the Nation.” It is a dramatic reminder of the close connection between...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Summer 2013 Newsletter: Stories from the Homefront: Pennsylvania in the Civil War Opens in September New PaHeritage.org Website Trailheads: 250 Years on the Pennsylvania Trails of History Welcome New PHF Members Welcome New State Museum Affiliate Members PHF Board Harrisburg SciTech High School Docents Washington Crossing Historic Park Visitor Center Pennsylvania Lumber Museum...
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Pennsylvania Governors Residences Open to the Public

Pennypacker Mills Pennypacker Mills possesses a lengthy history dating to about 1720 when Hans Jost Hite built the fieldstone house and a gristmill near the Perkiomen Creek, Schwenksville, Montgomery County. Purchased in 1747 by Peter Pennypacker (1710-1770), the house was enlarged and a saw mill and a fulling mill were constructed. The property acquired its name for the three mills. Peter...
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