Harriet Lane Johnston: The Legacy of a White House Hostess

On the cool, overcast day of May 9, 2017, a dozen nurses from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center arrived by bus at Green Mount Cemetery, a leafy 19th-century oasis in center city Baltimore. They carried a generous bouquet of flowers to decorate the grave of Harriet Lane Johnston, niece of James Buchanan (1791–1868), Pennsylvania’s only U.S. president. “Without Harriet Lane, we don’t know what...
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Setting Boundaries: The Penn-Baltimore Agreement

By 1730 violence had broken out between Pennsylvania and Maryland colonists over conflicting border claims. On May 10, 1732, Charles Calvert (1699–1751), Fifth Lord Baltimore and proprietary governor of Maryland, established a provisional agreement with William Penn’s sons, John (1700–46), Thomas (1702–75) and Richard Sr. (1706–71), proprietors of Pennsylvania, to survey their mutual border. At...
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Recruitment, Conservation and Liberty Bonds: Posters and the War to End All Wars

The Pennsylvania State Archives holds a large and significant collection of World War I posters – 460 in all – that were hung throughout the Keystone State and around the country during the Great War. Many of these posters were produced on a national scale, although some were created specifically in Pennsylvania. The posters provide a fascinating glimpse at the means by which valued...
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Pennsylvanians in Allied Country Units During World War I

World War I began in Europe in July 1914, shortly after Austria’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip, on June 28. Initially the United States remained neutral as the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Turkey and Bulgaria) fought against the Allied Powers (France, Great Britain, Russia and Italy). It was not until April 1917 that the...
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Braddock’s Defeat by David Preston

Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution by David Preston Oxford University Press, 480 pp., $29.95 As the sun set on a warm July evening, Gen. Edward Braddock (1695-1755) lay amongst the dead and dying of his ruined army. Still disbelieving the tragic outcome of his battle against the French four days ago, he muttered among his staff, “Who’d have thought it? We...
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250 Years on the Pennsylvania Trails of History

Two historic battles being commemorated late this summer bookend a fifty-year period that started with American colonists fighting to defend British interests and ended with the new United States defending its own interests and sovereignty against British attacks. Battle of Bushy Run 250th Anniversary In July 1763 during Pontiac’s War, British forces commanded by Col. Henry Bouquet marched west...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Summer 2013 Newsletter: Stories from the Homefront: Pennsylvania in the Civil War Opens in September New PaHeritage.org Website Trailheads: 250 Years on the Pennsylvania Trails of History Welcome New PHF Members Welcome New State Museum Affiliate Members PHF Board Harrisburg SciTech High School Docents Washington Crossing Historic Park Visitor Center Pennsylvania Lumber Museum...
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If Only the Walls Could Talk: The Story of the Federal Barn

“There is no building that does nor develop some unexpected charm with age; but the early American barn, taking into consideration its reason for being, I’ve found to be an exceptional and impressive subject. The growth of moss, the dust of hay, the powdering of mortar in joints, the mellowing of cut stone, the aging of wood – all things thought to be unfortunate – are...
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Bitumen: All Gone with the Wind

Maps of Pennsylvania­ – and Clinton County, for that matter – no longer carry the name of Bitumen. In fact, Bitumen has not appeared on maps for the last half-century. It’s not because the village is insignificant or unimportant. Simply put, the village is no longer there. With the excep­tion of a small wooden church and cemetery, Bitumen has disappeared. The history of Bitumen...
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A Flowering for the Ages

Botanists who classify and name plants are called plant taxono­mists, plant systema­tists, or systematic botanists, most of whom work in her­baria, a name first applied by Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778), the great Swedish systematist. A herbarium, the plant taxono­mist’s basic reference source, is a collection of preserved plant specimens, mostly pressed and dried (although certain specimens...
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