Historian of Pennsylvania Exceptionalism: Samuel W. Pennypacker

Reflecting on “the play of forces” that propelled him to Pennsylvania’s governor’s office in 1903, Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker (1843–1916) confidently declared, “there is no such thing as an accident” (a notion popularized by Sigmund Freud, the founding father of psychoanalysis). This was not to say chance plays no part in history because he pronounced with equal certitude: “To every man certain...
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Religion on a Moving Frontier: The Berks County Area, 1700-1748

Because of the tolerant policy of the Penns, thousands of people of various ethnic backgrounds and religious faiths poured into the colony of Pennsylvania, many of them moving directly to the frontier. Within fifteen years after the founding of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania frontier had moved more than fifty miles north and west of the city. By 1700 the area comprising the southeastern part of...
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