Untouched by the Conflict, edited by Jonathan W. White and Daniel Glenn

Untouched by the Conflict: The Civil War Letters of  Singleton Ashenfelter, Dickinson College edited by Jonathan W. White and Daniel Glenn Kent State University Press, 142 pp., hardcover $29 The title of this unique collection of Civil War letters draws from an influential work of modern scholarship. The editors observe in their introduction that it was social historian J. Matthew Gallman who...
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Pennsylvania Polymath: Samuel Stehman Haldeman

Samuel Stehman Haldeman was a pioneer in American science with an uncompromising empirical bent who made definitive contributions in geology, metallurgy, zoology and the scientific study of language. His groundbreaking lifework touched nearly seven decades of science and included identification of one of the oldest fossils in Pennsylvania, elucidation of a plan for an anthracite coal furnace for...
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Backcast: Pennsylvania’s Legacy of Split Cane Fly Rods

  It’s important not to rush this. A mistake will obliterate a month of work. I take care to make sure that my workbench is uncluttered, the lighting is adequate to the task, and the tools I’ll need are handy but not in the way. Before me is a tapered hexagonal shaft composed of Tonkin cane (Arundinaria amabilis McClure), a type of extraordinarily tough bamboo found mostly in southeastern...
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The Pennsylvania Turnpike, From Tollbooths to Tunnels: Rediscovering America’s First Superhighway at 75

Few Pennsylvania-born celebrities have made the kind of splash that the Pennsylvania Turnpike did when it first arrived on the scene in October 1940. Its 160 miles of limited-access, four-lane paved highway across the Alleghenies were hailed as America’s answer to the Autobahn, Germany’s highly regarded network of high-speed “super roads.” After the war, as the United States’ population expanded...
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250 Years on the Pennsylvania Trails of History

Two historic battles being commemorated late this summer bookend a fifty-year period that started with American colonists fighting to defend British interests and ended with the new United States defending its own interests and sovereignty against British attacks. Battle of Bushy Run 250th Anniversary In July 1763 during Pontiac’s War, British forces commanded by Col. Henry Bouquet marched west...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Summer 2013 Newsletter: Stories from the Homefront: Pennsylvania in the Civil War Opens in September New PaHeritage.org Website Trailheads: 250 Years on the Pennsylvania Trails of History Welcome New PHF Members Welcome New State Museum Affiliate Members PHF Board Harrisburg SciTech High School Docents Washington Crossing Historic Park Visitor Center Pennsylvania Lumber Museum...
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History Cast in Iron: Rediscovering Keystone Markers

From Airville to Blooming Valley, from Camptown to Dornsife, and all the way to Wysox, York Haven and Zion View, Pennsylvania literally claims unusual – as well as unique – place names from A to Z. Most of the Commonwealth’s cities, towns and villages were once marked with cast iron name signs, painted in the rich blue and gold colors associated with Pennsylvania. Manufactured in an...
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Landis’ Independent Battery

Pennsylvania faced a dire predicament in mid-June 1863. It needed to raise troops quickly to help protect the Commonwealth from invasion by the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin issued a call for emergency troops on June 15, 1863. His proclamation raised the specter of the impending invasion, “I now appeal to all the citizens of Pennsylvania, who love liberty...
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Cornplanter Speaks to the Thirteen Fires

Winter had broken into spring so that the trail through the wilds of Pennsylvania leading east from Fort Pitt was at least passable. The Com­missioners of Indian Affairs who had spent the winter at the fort set out with the first break in the weather anxious to return home and report their Indian treaty negotiations to the Continental Congress. They had been gone only a few days when, on the...
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Baird of the Smithsonian

“You see sir, I have taken (after much hesitation) the liberty of writing to you. I am but a boy, and very inexperienced, as you no doubt will observe from my description of the Flycatcher.” In this way, young Spencer Fullerton Baird, seventeen years of age, introduced himself by letter to John James Audubon. His accurate description and measurements of the flycatcher enabled Audubon...
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