Independence Hall, The Birthplace of a Nation

September 1824 was a busy month for Phila­delphians. The Mar­quis de Lafayette returned to America for the first time since the Revolution­ary War, and it was rumored that the high point of his tra­vels would be a visit to Penn­sylvania’s venerable State House. Naturally, much of the preparation for his visit cen­tered on the old red brick building where the events of the Revolution had...
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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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Lost and Found

Lost Southern soldiers largely restrained themselves from destroying private property during the American Civil War’s Gettysburg Campaign. Their final foray into the Commonwealth, however, was drastically different. On July 30, 1864, Confederate Brigadier General John McCausland’s forces torched the Franklin County seat of Chambersburg in southcentral Pennsylvania in retaliation for Union...
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The Union League of Philadelphia and the Civil War


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All’s Fair: Philadelphia and the Civil War Sanitary Fair


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Pennsylvania’s War Governor

On September 14, 1862, Pennsylvania’s Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin invited the governors of the northern and border states to a meeting to be held at Altoona, Blair County, in ten days. The purpose of the meeting that became known as the Loyal War Governors’ Conference — or, simply, the Altoona Conference – was to “take measures for a more active support of the government’s prosecution of...
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