They Left with the British: Black Women in the Evacuation of Philadelphia, 1778

Black women were a small but important segment of the eighteenth-century Pennsylvania laboring classes. As slaves, as indentured servants, or as free persons of color, their options were extremely limited, but they could and did make decisions that affected their lives. The evacuation of Philadelphia by the British in 1778 during the Revolutionary War reveals the kinds of limited choices which...
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When Worlds Collide: Philadelphia’s Queen Village – A Glimpse at a Community in Eclipse

Pier 30 Tennis Pavilion is situated on the Delaware River to the east of the historic downtown of Philadelphia and Just to the south of the Penns Landing Revitalization project. By comparison with the drab, desolate or abandoned piers that haunt the waterfronts of many cities in the Northeast, this freshly painted white cement structure is a refreshing contrast. In the place of old, rusted...
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Lawrence County

Bart Richards, the unofficial historian of Lawrence County, indicates that little of historical significance has occurred in the county. He points out that it has had no wars, Indian uprisings, or great discoveries to its credit. Very few of its citizens have qualified for the pages of Who’s Who. Therefore, this history is the story of average, ordinary people striving to make a better...
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Genealogical Research of Pithole

Genealogical research can best be described as a search for matching up the crosshairs of “time and place” to find what records a specific era and particular location can yield. The phenomenon of the “boom town” can be one of the most frustrating situations for family historians. While many might think of boom-to-bust ghost towns in terms of the American West,...
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Our Old Citizens (1888)

Rarely are so-called “genealogical records” created with genealogists in mind. Whether it’s the U.S. Census, church registers, newspaper reports, or courthouse wills and deeds, these “primary sources” are given a new use by genealogists. But even this “new use” by genealogists, which usually takes the form of seeking data about direct line ancestors, is...
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Birthplace of Commercial Ice Cream Production

The small southern York County borough of Seven Valleys – which counted a population of 517 residents in the 2010 Census – has a lengthy history dating to the earliest German settlers in the mid-eighteenth century. In 1838 after the Northern Central Railroad Company’s line linked Baltimore, Maryland, with York, Jacob Smyser and John E. Ziegler opened the first store and...
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Black Settlement on Yellow Hill

Anyone who has ever read about the Battle of Gettysburg or visited the historic American Civil War battlefield undoubtedly learned about the generals, the courageous soldiers who fought in the grisly three-day encounter, and the thousands that lost their lives on that hallowed ground in Adams County. The stories of the famous engagements that took place at Little Round Top, Devil’s Den, and the...
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Marking Pennsylvania’s African American History

Charged with collecting, preserving, and interpreting more than three centuries of the Keystone State’s history and culture — as well as millions of years of its prehistory — the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) has launched a number of widely acclaimed, innovative, and popular public history programs over the years. One of its most popular is the state historical marker...
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William Penn’s Pennsylvania: A Legacy of Religious Freedom

In a letter written August 25, 1681, William Penn (1644–1718) described his new colony to friend and fellow Quaker James Harrison (circa 1628–1687). He hoped that in the development of Pennsylvania “an example may be set up to the nations.” The colony would serve as a “holy experiment,” a place where people of different ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs would find a peaceful home. His...
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