James Wilson, Forgotten Founding Father

Carlisle buzzed that night with festivities. On the streets of the usually quiet little Cumberland County town bonfires blazed while spirited political speeches rang out on every corner, all in celebration of Pennsylvania’s vote to ratify the new Constitution of the United States. The Federalists had finally won their cause, and it was time to savor the victory. But not everyone was in a...
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Executive Director’s Message

The two hundredth anniver¬≠sary of Joseph Priestley’s arrival in Pennsylvania presents a time to reflect on the life and work of an individual who was truly a unique citizen of our state, nation, and the world. During his lifetime, Priestley was the representative man of the Age of Enlightenment in England and America. His discovery of oxygen in 1774 established his reputation worldwide as...
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Plagued! Philadelphia’s Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793

On August 5, 1793, Dr. Benjamin Rush was summoned to the waterfront residence of fellow physician Hugh Hodge, whose daughter had recently taken ill. For days Rush had been treating Philadelphians for a serious outbreak of influenza and had assumed that this was yet another case. But when he found the small girl on her deathbed, gasping for breath and vomiting black bile, Rush instinctively knew...
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Firm Foundations in Philadelphia: The Lewis and Clark Expedition’s Ties to Pennsylvania

For a century and a half, from 1807 until the early 1960s, the celebrated expedition undertaken by Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) and William Clark (1770-1838) between 1803 and 1806 was generally perceived to be strictly a western United States phenomenon. Historians and educators who discussed it in their writings or in their teaching usually described the twenty-eight month ordeal as beginning...
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Bookshelf

Benjamin Rush: Patriot and Physician By Alan Brodsky St. Martin’s Press, 2004 (404 pages, cloth, $35.00) When Benjamin Rush (1746-1813) died, Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Adams that “a better man than Rush could not have left us, more benevolent, more learned, of finer genius, or more honest,” to which Adams replied that he knew “of no Character living or dead, who had...
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Bookshelf

Pennsylvania Civil War Trails: The Guide to Battle Sites, Monuments, Museums and Towns by Tom Huntington Stackpole Books and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 2007; 150 pages, paper, $14.95 As the 2011 opening of the American Civil War Sesquicentennial draws near, the national observance is guaranteed to produce a spate of weighty tomes analyzing the epic event of the nineteenth...
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Making Heritage Chocolate at the Historic Crossing

On Saturday, June 16, 2012, Washington Crossing Historic Park (WCHP) in Bucks County, administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), partnered with the American Heritage Chocolate division of Mars Inc. to present a program entitled “Taste a Revolution in Chocolate.” The chocolate-making demonstration and lecture on the history of chocolate was attended by...
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