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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The Frankford Avenue Bridge over Pennypack Creek

In 1830 a Philadelphia journal dedicated to literature and the arts included a lithograph by William Breton (c.1773–1855) featuring the Pennypack Creek Bridge, also known today as the Frankford Avenue Bridge. Breton was based in Philadelphia and focused his work on local landmarks and bucolic settings. The bridge satisfied both inclinations. As described in the journal, it was already recognized...
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Battlefield Pennsylvania by Brady J. Crytzer

Battlefield Pennsylvania A Guide to the Keystone State’s Most Sacred Ground by Brady J. Crytzer Westholme Publishing, 288 pp., cloth $28.00 Ironically, the soil of Pennsylvania, founded by pacifist and Quaker William Penn, was soaked with the blood of its inhabitants. Brady J. Crytzer’s Battlefield Pennsylvania documents the many battles waged in this state. Some near present-day...
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Frontier Rebels by Patrick Spero

Frontier Rebels The Fight for Independence in the American West, 1765-1776 by Patrick Spero W. W. Norton & Co., 268 pp., cloth $27.95 Frontier Rebels is a brief, engaging and elegantly written account of violence on the Pennsylvania frontier in the decade leading up to the American Revolution. Several recent historians have demonstrated that the Revolution had a strong western as well as...
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PHMC Highlights

Lost Revolutionary War-Era Legislative Minutes Returned A lost original volume of the minutes of Pennsylvania’s unicameral Revolutionary War–era General Assembly was recently returned to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for safekeeping at the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg, Dauphin County. The book, with entries dated from March 16 through September 27, 1779, and pages numbered 1...
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Sentiments of a British-American Woman by Owen S. Ireland

Sentiments of a British-American Woman Esther Deberdt Reed and The American Revolution by Owen S. Ireland Pennsylvania State University Press, 264 pp., cloth $89.95 Esther DeBerdt Reed led a remarkable and significant life. Born in 1746, this daughter of a prosperous London merchant fell in love with Joseph Reed, a young American law student with whom she sustained a years-long transatlantic...
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