Sydney Ware, Eastern State Penitentiary Artist

Built in the 1820s as part of a new type of prison system, Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia was founded on the belief that prisoners could be rehabilitated during incarceration through separate confinement and industrious labor. During the penitentiary’s span of operation, 1829–1971, numerous records were compiled about the inmates and maintained at the prison, including statistics on...
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Major League Murder

Samuel Byrem “Red” Crane’s life was one of extremes. Born on September 13, 1894, in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, he achieved the pinnacle of his chosen profession early in his adult life, playing seven seasons in Major League Baseball. He played for the Philadelphia Athletics, 1914–16, and the Washington Senators, 1917, before a two-year hiatus in the minor leagues, 1918–19. He returned to MLB,...
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Doing Time in Dauphin County, 1842-1901

They locked up Elias Nation on April 18, 1842, giving him official first place in Dauphin County’s new prison. (For the record, Jacob Stripe was registered nearly two weeks earlier, for assault and battery, but he was out before the prison’s grand opening.) Nation was twenty­-nine years old and looked “yellow,” wrote Keeper Wil­liam Watson; he underlined that fact in his...
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Bedlam in Penn’s Woods

Pennsylvanians have been concerned with the welfare of the insane since the earli­est provincial days. Indeed, as befits the Commonwealth’s humanitarian Quaker heritage, Pennsylvania has made pio­neering efforts in the field. For most of the pre­Revolutionary period, care of the mad was restricted to physical support and occa­sional confinement for public safety. Victims’ families...
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Currents

Great Greek Following six years of extensive gallery and storage area renovations, The Univer­sity Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadel­phia, has recently reopened its exhibition space devoted to ancient Greek civilization. This new exhibit, entitled “The Ancient Greek World,” offers visitors a broad overview of the history and culture of ancient Greece and its colonial...
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Executive Director’s Message

The city of Philadelphia is facing enormous opportunities and challenges in preserving its rich heritage. Recent initiatives are as impressive as they are legion. The National Park Service (NPS) is developing a new general management plan for Independence National Historical Park. Following an extensive public process and consultation with historians and planners, the NPS will address several...
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“Punishment, Penitence, and Reform”: Eastern State Penitentiary and the Controversy Over Solitary Confinement

In 1842, popular British novelist Charles Dickens traveled to Philadelphia to visit the mam­moth Eastern State Penitentiary. What he found caused him to lament the “picture of forlorn affliction and distress of mind.” Surrounded by an imposing thirty foot high stone wall joined by castle-like towers at rising at each corner and dominated by a grim, turreted entrance, the prison...
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Letters to the Editor

Eastern State! I was keenly interested in William C. Kashatus’ article in the Winter 1999 issue [“‘Punishment, Penitence, and Reform’: Eastern State Penitentiary and the Controversy Over Solitary Confinement”]. I have something to add. In Pennsylvania Forestry, 1912-1913, an official report of the Department of Forestry, under a section showing activities in the...
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Bookshelf

Hope Abandoned: Eastern State Penitentiary By Mark Perrott Pennsylvania Prison Society and Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, 1999 (105 pages, cloth, $28.00) The images by Pittsburgh photographer Mark Perrott of Philadelphia’s “modern ruin,” Eastern State Penitentiary, are haunting in their portrayal of a medieval-looking fortress that is falling into grave disrepair....
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Capitol Building for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia acquires thousands of architectural drawings and hundreds of rare books and trade catalogues each year. Recent acquisitions include drawings from Charles Barry’s Italianate Travellers’ Club in London, reputedly a source for architect John Notman’s design of the Athenaeum; high-style Victorian period designs by Philadelphia architects Edward Collins...
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