The Loyal Son by Daniel Mark Epstein

The Loyal Son The War in Ben Franklin’s House by Daniel Mark Epstein Ballantine Books, 464 pp., cloth $30 The Loyal Son vividly narrates the complex and often painful relationship between Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) and his son William Franklin (c.1730–1813), from its beginnings in Philadelphia to its foundering on the rocks of the American Revolution. For some 40 years, the pair were on warm,...
read more

Celebrities Discover Who They Are at the Pennsylvania State Archives

Archivist Aaron McWilliams smiles and shifts his gaze toward the floor when asked about his brush with TV stardom. Every so often, a patron visiting the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, where he works, will ask him what it was like to appear alongside veteran Hollywood actor Steve Buscemi on a 2011 episode of Who Do You Think You Are? a reality series in which...
read more

Monster Bones: Charles Willson Peale and the Mysterious Nondescript Animal

On October 14, 1800, a New York City newspaper called Mercantile Advertiser published a rather lengthy news/opinion piece on some large and very curious bones that had been unearthed on a farm belonging to John Masten, located about 14 miles from the New York state village of Newburgh. The unidentified author observed that “these huge bones irresistibly force upon us by the power of associating...
read more

2017 Trails

Another year has passed on the Pennsylvania Trails of History. Exhibits, special events, thousands of visiting schoolchildren, more than a few beer and wine festivals, and several battle reenactments are now recorded in the books. As a way of wrapping up the year, we look back at a few milestones along the way. But before we turn our attention to the World War I centennial and an overview of...
read more

Editor’s Letter

“Persons and places conceive each other.” While preparing this edition of Pennsylvania Heritage, I was reminded of this quote from the preface of an American studies textbook I read as a graduate student, American Ground: Vistas, Visions and Revisions, edited by Robert H. Fossum and John K. Roth. It continues: “No people would have become American without a place of their own. Nor would any...
read more

“Remember Paoli!”

Two centuries ago, in September 1817, local War of 1812 veterans gathered in a Chester County field with Revolutionary War veterans and citizens to place a marble monument on the grave of soldiers killed in the Battle of Paoli, or “Paoli Massacre,” four decades earlier. Today, it remains the second oldest Revolutionary War monument in the nation, and the campaign to “Remember Paoli!” continues...
read more

Washington Memorial Chapel

In December 1777, in the midst of the American Revolution, Gen. George Washington directed the Continental Army to set up a winter encampment in an area known as Valley Forge, less than 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia, the U.S. capital that had been captured by British troops in the Philadelphia Campaign. Approximately 12,000 troops endured the winter at Valley Forge, training and drilling...
read more

Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Summer 2017 Newsletter: Third Annual Giving Circle Dinner The Giving Circle PHF-Held Endowment Funds Whiskey Still for Fort Pitt Museum Collection PHF Welcomes New Board Member PHF Receives Grant in Partnership with Eckley Miners’ Village Join the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation  ...
read more

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...
read more

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,...
read more