Behind the Battle of Gettysburg: American Nursing Is Born

The battle of Gettys­burg cannot only be characterized as the turning point of the Civil War, for it was so much more. During the war, with casualties high and the need undeniable, women entered hospitals to care for the wounded, but – shockingly­ – were made to feel unwelcome. These resolute women, though, stood fast, and pro­ceeded to establish a new profession. When the war...
read more

U.S.S. Niagara Spans Over 160 Years

Erie’s claim to maritime fame came early in its history. And this was due mainly to its geographic location. War was declared by the United States against Great Britain on June 18, 1812. The British were much better prepared for the war. Along the Great Lakes they had military posts from Niagara to Sault Ste. Marie and, equally important, had a fresh water navy. The summer campaign of 1812...
read more

Painting for Peer, Patron and the Public

For three centuries, Pennsylvania has en­joyed a rich and di­verse cultural heritage. The elegance of its colonial and federal architecture and furniture in Philadelphia is unrivaled, prompting architect Benjamin Latrobe in 1811 to christen the city “the Athens of the Western World.” During the opening years of the nine­teenth century, Philadelphia attracted artists and artisans from...
read more

Shorts

The first exhibition in Philadelphia devoted to identifying and honoring African American women tap dancers, “Plenty of Good Women Dancers: African American Women Hoofers from Philadelphia,” features glamorous photographs and dancers’ vivid recollec­tions portraying the golden age of swing and rhythm tap of the 1930s and 1940s. “Plenty of Good Women Dancers”...
read more

Charles Grafly: An Apostle of American Art

From the earliest days through most of the nineteenth century, sculpture in America was the enterprise of w1tutored artisans, craftsmen, stonecutters, and woodcarvers modestly plying their trade on furniture, gravestones, figureheads, and shop signs. Lacking opportunities for academic training at home, ambitious craftsmen flocked first to Rome and, following the Civil War, to Paris to learn the...
read more

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...
read more

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....
read more

Supporting the Troops: Soldiers’ Right to Vote in Civil War Pennsylvania

As the presidential election of 1864 neared, the eyes of politicians in the North turned warily towards the armies of the Union. During the previous two years, nineteen northern states had passed legislation permitting volunteers to vote in the field, and many politicians believed that the soldiers’ votes would determine whether President Abraham Lincoln would be reelected in November....
read more

George Gordon Meade (1815-1872)

General George Gordon Meade (1815–1872) may be best known as the commander of the victorious Army of the Potomac that defeated Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. Meade was born in Cadiz, Spain, the eighth of eleven children. His father, Richard Worsam Meade (1778–1828), a native of Chester County, was a wealthy Philadelphia merchant serving the...
read more

An Address for the Afterlife at Laurel Hill Cemetery

It all began in 1836, when architect John Notman (1810–1865) laid out a series of meandering walkways and terraces on the east bank of the Schuylkill River above Fairmount Park. With his design for Laurel Hill Cemetery, the twenty-six-year-old native of Scotland created the first architecturally designed cemetery in the country. He also established the nation’s second garden-type cemetery,...
read more