Chester County Welcomes Thee

The history of Chester County constitutes a significant part of the history of Pennsylvania, both province and commonwealth, and of the history of the United States of America. At the beginning of our nation’s Bicentennial and on the threshold of our state’s and our county’s tricentennial celebrations, Chester County looks proudly upon its past accomplishments and with...
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The Pennsylvania Archives and Research Opportunities in the Era of the American Revolution

Over the years the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has amassed a rich treasure of source materials for re­search and writing on Pennsylvania history.* The archival, manuscript, and microfilm holdings of the Pennsylvania State Archives are certainly significant as they relate to doing research on the era of the American Revolution, 1763 to 1790. It is unfortunate that these research re­sources...
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The Unhappy Tale of Building Philadelphia’s City Hall

Philadelphia’s City Hall is widely regarded as one of the most im­pressive in the world. A great marble wedding cake that fills the square at Broad and Market streets. So big in fact that it was the largest public building in the country until the Pentagon was built in the early 1940s. The building is also admired as something of an outdoor art museum, with decorative stone and bronze...
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Northumberland County: The Mother County

Although named for the most northern of England’s shires, Northumberland County has been often called by many the “Mother County.” Organized on March 21, 1772, as Pennsylvania’s tenth county, at one time it encom­passed eighteen thousand square miles! The county once extended from the Lehigh to the Allegheny rivers, with the New York border as its north­ern boundary. Its...
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Benjamin Franklin, Image Maker

The history of our Revolution,” John Adams once sniffed, “will be one contin­ued lye from one end to the other. The essence of the whole will be that Dr. Frank­lin’s electrical rod smote the earth and out sprung General Washington, fully clothed and on his horse. Franklin then proceeded to electrify them with his rod and thence for­ward these three – Franklin, Washington...
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The Missionary and the Clockmaker: A Saga of Two Brothers-In-Law

Scion of a decayed Anglo-Irish Ascend­ancy family of Ireland’s County Monaghan, the young Rev. Thomas Barton journeyed in spring 1755 through the largely unbroken forests of Pennsylvania to the settlement known at the time as Contwager or Conewago. He made his way – “over Susquehanna,” as the contem­porary traveler commonly described it-to lands lying along the Bermudian...
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John James Audubon, Squire of Mill Grove and Genius of Art and Science

In Pennsylvania, a beautiful state … , my father, in his desire to prove my friend through life, gave me what Americans call a beautiful “planta­tion,” refreshed during the summer heat by the waters of the Schuylkill River, and traversed by a creek named Perkioming. Its fine woodlands, its extensive acres, its fields crowned with evergreens, offered many subjects to my pencil....
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Pushing William Penn’s “Holy Experiment” to Its Limits: Ephrata Cloister

On the banks of the Cocalico Creek in northern Lancaster County a group of remarkable individuals established Ephrata, one of colonial Pennsylvania’s most unusual communities. A place of intense spirituality, unconventional way of life, literary and artistic brilliance, and medieval-style architecture, Ephrata was the center of a religious society whose principles gave William Penn’s...
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Executive Director’s Message

This year marks the three hundredth anniversary of the Charter of Privileges, a document issued by William Penn on October 28, 1701, that served as the Commonwealth’s constitution for seventy-five years. Few documents in our history have had greater significance in defining the political traditions of Pennsylvania. The influence of the Charter of Privileges is even evident in the basic...
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Heritage Highlights

Brandywine Battlefield Park, Chadds Ford Lecture: “Loyalists”, February 22, 2001 Performances by the Bard of Brandywine, March 11, 2001 Program: The Delaware Continentals, April 8, 2001 Joseph Priestley House, Northumberland Special Interpretive Tour: The Daily Lives of Eighteenth-Century Women, March 25, 2001 Washington Crossing Historic Park, Washington Crossing General...
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