Two Faces of Molly Pitcher

Perhaps one of the most enduring legends of the American Revolution is that of a woman, who while carrying water to thirsty troops during the Battle of Monmouth in 1778, witnessed the death of her husband as he was manning a cannon in the heat of battle. Desperate to secure a victory, this woman takes his place, continuing to fire the cannon and inspiring the men around her to fight on as well....
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Editor’s Letter

History begets questions. What would have happened if events unfolded in a different way? How do present circumstances impact progressions from the past? How reliable is the available evidence in providing greater truth about the stories that have come down to us? The questions we ask are often as meaningful as the history itself. One of the most popular traditional stories of the American...
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Run-Up to the Revolution: Philadelphia’s Response to the Taxation Crisis

Colonial America in the 18th century was a dynamic environment — constantly shifting, changing and growing as its population increased and governments and institutions developed to support it. More merchants progressively established shops in cities such as Philadelphia, Boston and New York, selling a dizzying array of necessities and luxury goods both domestic and imported. These goods,...
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William Logan Comments on William Pitt and the Stamp Act of 1765

The Stamp Act was passed by British Parliament on March 22, 1765. It was levied to help pay for debt caused by the stationing of British troops in America during the French and Indian War, the North American conflict in the global Seven Years’ War (1756–63) between France and Great Britain. The act was to take effect on November 1, 1765. It was a direct tax imposed by the British on the American...
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Editor’s Letter

The cover of this edition features a poignant watercolor portrait, Woman in Blue, Waiting, by a Philadelphia artist whose work has been regrettably overlooked in the past but is now being rediscovered as new studies and exhibitions, as well as a preservation effort to save his home, have emerged in recent years. Printmaker and painter Dox Thrash sought to document the African American experience...
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World of Trouble by Richard Godbeer

World of Trouble: A Philadelphia Quaker Family’s Journey through the American Revolution by Richard Godbeer Yale University Press, 480 pp, hardcover $38 Fortunately, some historians are meticulous researchers, and their thoroughness inspires deep confidence in their narratives. And fortunately, some historians are skilled topic-choosers and narrative-spinners; readers are mesmerized by their...
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To Form a More Perfect Union: Violet Oakley’s Murals in the Pennsylvania Senate Chamber

At breakfast tables on Sunday morning, December 3, 1911, readers of The New York Times were confronted with a surprising headline running across the magazine section: “A WOMAN CHOSEN TO COMPLETE THE ABBEY PAINTINGS.” Four months earlier, the news that the American artist Edwin Austin Abbey (1852–1911) had passed away in London raised speculation about who would receive the remainder of his...
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Archaeology at the Site of the Museum of the American Revolution by Rebecca Yamin

Archaeology at the Site of the Museum of the American Revolution A Tale of Two Taverns and the Growth of Philadelphia by Rebecca Yamin Temple University Press, 152 pp., paperback $19.95 Philadelphia’s rich archaeological heritage has benefited from urban archaeologist Rebecca Yamin’s passion for telling the stories of the colonists in one of America’s earliest cities. Research and excavations...
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Rush by Stephen Fried

Rush Revolution, Madness, and the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father by Stephen Fried Crown, 608 pp., hardcover $30 Benjamin Rush is difficult to write about, although at first glance that makes no sense. He was an interesting man who lived during interesting times, someone who knew prominent people and became prominent himself. He had opinions on everything and everyone, with an...
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Valley Forge by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

Valley Forge by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin Simon & Schuster, 432 pp., hardcover $30 In Valley Forge, Bob Drury and Tom Clavin explore the harsh realities of Gen. George Washington’s most trying winter in impressive and vivid detail. Utilizing the writings of an impressive who’s who of the American Revolution, the authors weave a narrative that accurately and dramatically recreates the...
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