Into the Woodlands

Rarely does his name enjoy prominence in horticultural history, but William Hamilton (1745-1813), owner of The Woodlands, a picturesque eighteenth-century countryseat on the banks of the Schuylkill River in West Philadelphia, made sev­eral significant contributions that forever changed the landscape of North America. An avid plant collector he filled his English-style garden with as many new...
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Current and Coming

Constitution Center Drawn up by nearly five dozen dele­gates to the Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia during the swelter­ing summer of 1787, the Constitution of the United States is a system of the nation’s fundamental laws, defining distinct powers for the Congress, the president, and the federal courts. Ratified by the states the following year, the Constitution offers a...
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Slaves at the President’s House

President George Washington arrived in Philadelphia on the morning of Sunday, November 21, 1790, exhausted and depressed. The journey north from Mount Vernon, his beloved Virginia plantation, had not been pleasant. Heavy rain made the roads impassable at various points along the route, extending the journey from two to three days. A drunken coachman overturned the president’s baggage wagon...
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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....
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Survival of an American Boom Town

No stirring debates reverberate through the chambers of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall; white-hot molten steel no longer pours out of the fiery cauldrons in the sprawling mills of Pittsburgh and Bethlehem; and little coal ripped from the earth by giant steam shovels in Carbon, Schuylkill, Luzerne, and Lackawanna Counties in the Keystone State’s anthracite region. As surprising as...
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Bookshelf

The WPA His­tory of the Negro in Pittsburgh Edited by Lawrence A. Glasco University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004 (cloth, 422 pages, $39.95) The story of Pitts­burgh’s African Americans is deeply in­tertwined with that of other ethnic groups, yet in many ways it is unique. Before the Civil War, Pittsburgh’s rivers and proximity to the Mason­-Dixon Line made it a critical junction on the...
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Two Hundred Years and Counting – The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Two centuries ago, on Thursday, Decem­ber 26, 1805, seventy-one individuals gathered at the State House (now Independence Hall) to formally establish an art institution for Philadelphia. Meetings throughout the summer had led to the drafting of a charter, formation of a board of directors, and the collection of funds for a building. By the day after Christmas, a professional calligraph­er had...
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The Pittsburgh Agreement

The largest concentration of Slovakians living outside of their – homeland in 1918 was in western Pennsylvania. In addition to opportunities offered by the booming city of Pittsburgh, Slovaks, as well as Czechs, wanted their native country to be rid of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that had taken over their lands by the seventeenth century. World War I and the defeat of the empire created an...
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Current and Coming

Titanic Science When launched in 1912, he was the grandest, most luxurious moving object ever built, and few stories in history have captured the world’s imagination like hers. The saga of the RMS Ti­tanic actually began five years earlier, in 1907, at a dinner party at Downshire House, the residence of Lord James Pirrie in the fashionable Belgravia section of London. A guest of Lord...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Society Newsletter

Topics in the Fall 2006 Newsletter: Teaching American History Project – Summer Highlights Signature Series – David Hackett Fischer at Washington Crossing The Conference on Black History in Pennsylvania Calendar for October – December 2006 Gift Membership to Pennsylvania Heritage Society Recent Grants Received Contributions, June 2006 Welcome New Members  ...
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