Letters to the Editor

New World Plaudits! I was captivated by the detailed article entitled “New Sweden and the New World – History Lessons from the Morton Homestead” by Sharon Hernes Silverman in the Winter 1999 edition. It treated one of my primary subjects of interest, John Morton (1725-1777). I have an observation about this founding father. Morton is among several signers of the Declaration of...
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A New Birth of Freedom

President Lincoln listened patiently to Everett’s lengthy speech, noting the powerful cadence of his delivery. Then he rose, his lanky frame casting a shadow across the lectern. He reached into a pocket of his black frock coat and withdrew a single sheet of paper. He began his address with words that have since become immortal. A crowd of nearly fifteen thousand dignitaries, spectators,...
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The Lincoln Train is Coming!

On Saturday morning, April 15, 1865, news of President Abraham Lincoln’s assas­sination reached Philadelphia. The treacher­ousness of the crime created a mix of feel­ings surging from fear and horror to inconsolable grief. A galvanized nation began mourning immediately. Printer cranked out broadside that were posted throughout Philadelphia lamenting the “Martyred Father.”...
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In Franklin’s Footsteps: An Interview with Ralph Archbold

Greater hero worship may be accorded to other historical figures, but Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) has, for better or worse, been more commonly identified with the American national character. His remarkable success as a printer, as well as the popularity of his essays, aphorisms, and almanacs, allowed him to spread his notions of industry and frugality among the common people. In the process,...
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Bookshelf

Down the Susquehanna to the Chesapeake By Jack Brubaker Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002 (288 pages, cloth, $34.95) As the largest river on the East Coast, the rolling Susquehanna River is the indispensable tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary. Gathering strength from the scores of streams along its four hundred and forty-four mile journey – ­three...
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Current and Coming

Constitution Center Drawn up by nearly five dozen dele­gates to the Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia during the swelter­ing summer of 1787, the Constitution of the United States is a system of the nation’s fundamental laws, defining distinct powers for the Congress, the president, and the federal courts. Ratified by the states the following year, the Constitution offers a...
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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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Slaves at the President’s House

President George Washington arrived in Philadelphia on the morning of Sunday, November 21, 1790, exhausted and depressed. The journey north from Mount Vernon, his beloved Virginia plantation, had not been pleasant. Heavy rain made the roads impassable at various points along the route, extending the journey from two to three days. A drunken coachman overturned the president’s baggage wagon...
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A City of Fountains

Rome, with its plethora of fountains, including the famous 1735 Fontana di Trevi, which occupies center stage in the 1954 motion picture, Three Coins in the Fountain, starring Clifton Webb, is known to the world as “The City of Fountains.” Rome’s sister city could be Philadelphia, also a city of fountains, although few visitors, or residents, see these wonderful works of water....
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Current and Coming

New Heritage Center Founded in 1904, the Lehigh County Historical Society, head­quartered in Allentown, has grown through the past century to administer several historic sites and museums representing the area’s industrial, cultural, agricultural, and political his­tory. On Monday, April 11, the so­ciety will formally open the Lehigh Valley Heritage Center, an advanced, seven-million...
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