Women’s Suffrage: Pennsylvania’s Ratification of the 19th Amendment

The struggle for women’s suffrage in Pennsylvania has a long history. Throughout the Colonial Period, 1681–1776, only adult males who owned property could vote. After breaking from the British crown, Pennsylvania’s revolutionary political leaders broadened male voting by abolishing the property qualifications; however, they did not extend the vote to women. A significant precursor to the women’s...
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Ann Preston: Pioneer of Medical Education and Women’s Rights

One of the earliest supporters of a woman’s tight to a medical education was Ann Preston. In the late 1840s, she was refused admission to the famous medical schools of Philadelphia because of her sex, yet she persevered in her efforts to obtain medical training, earned her M.D. degree and spent the rest of her life working for the improvement of women’s medical education and for the...
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Montgomery County: Cultural Microcosm of the Commonwealth

The third most populous county in Pennsylvania, with ap­proximately 480 square miles of rolling hills criss-crossed by rivers, streams and superhighways, Montgom­ery County is a microcosm of the Com­monwealth, a reflection of its cultural development. Pan of Philadelphia County until 1784, Montgomery Coun­ty served as a sanctuary for numerous ethnic and religious groups seeking the freedom...
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Women in Pennsylvania … The First Two Hundred Years

In the past two hundred years thousands of women have contributed significantly to the social, economic, political and cultural richness of Pennsylvania. An encyclopedia could barely sketch their contributions. Since this article cannot possibly present a complete picture of women’s history in our state, it will survey the changes in women’s roles with brief accounts of a few famous...
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A Black Underground: Resistance to Slavery, 1833-1860

The Underground Railroad is an important historical link with which most Pennsylvanians are familiar. Ever since William Still, the Black histo­rian, published his famous record of fugitive aid in 1872, however, many have questioned whether in reality the Underground Railroad existed. Some say that fugitive aid in Pennsylvania was rendered individually and spontaneously. Others say that an...
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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...
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William C. Kashatus: Bringing History to Life

A Man for All Centuries “Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia and Africa hath expelled her. O, receive the fugitive and prepare it for all mankind!” exclaims William C. (Bill) Kashatus with fists stabbing the air. In this instance, Bill is passionately portraying Thomas Paine (1737–1809), the bellicose British radical who advocated the American Revolution. Much of Bill’s passion...
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African Americans and Civil Rights in Pennsylvania

Summer and swimming go hand in hand – or so thought the Creative Steps Day Care Camp. The camp’s leaders had signed a contract to use the pool at a private swim club, but when the children – 46 African Americans and ten Hispanics ranging from kindergarten through seventh grade – arrived for their summer swim, they were subjected to harsh criticism by some club members....
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Civil War Muster Rolls

The son of wealthy Philadelphia sailmaker and noted abolitionist James Forten (1766–1842), Robert Bridges Forten was born in Philadelphia on May 12, 1813, and followed in his father’s footsteps as a successful businessman and distinguished antislavery activist. Although he was more than fifty years old and in London when he learned the Union Army was enlisting African Americans in dedicated...
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Remembering Place: Black National Historic Landmarks in Pennsylvania

The National Historic Landmarks (NHL) program was established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and refined by amendments to it in 1980. The federal law requires the U.S. Department of the Interior to certify the historic authenticity of NHLs based on strident criteria, including association with events, people, and great ideas; distinguishing characteristics in architectural or...
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