A Dynasty Tumbles

The saga begins and ends with two com­monplace scenes: a teenaged immigrant alighting a ship in colonial Philadelphia with but two letters of introduction and three guineas to his name, and a gravesite ringed by a half­-dozen black-clothed mourn­ers. But during the century and a half that encapsulates these vignettes, a Pennsylva­nia dynasty rose and fell- and rose and fell again. From Robert...
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How to Uncover Black Family History

Genealogy has replaced astrology as America’s favorite topic at social gatherings. Several factors are responsible in sparking the present upsurge in Black genealogy. The civil rights movement of the 1960’s encouraged a feeling of Black solidarity that had not existed before. Marches, demonstrations, and mass jailings brought together diverse elements of the Black community and made...
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A Blast from the Past: Cornwall Iron Furnace

Driving on narrow sinuous back roads through lush, verdant forests – just a half dozen miles north of the busy Pennsylvania Turnpike – unsuspecting travelers can’t help being struck by an odd-looking complex of Gothic Revival-style buildings and structures. This place, this curious collection of buildings, both large and small, appears to have been literally plucked from a far...
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