The French and Indian War and the Revolution

If in spite of all the Bicentennial reminders the Revolutionary War seems somewhat far away, the French and Indian War must seem so much more remote as to be irrelevant. The familiar Pennsylvania events of the Revolution – the battles of Brandywine and German­town, the Valley Forge encampment, the Declaration of Independence – took place in the settled parts of the State, the battles...
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Lehigh County: The Land and Its People

Lehigh County encompasses the western half of the Lehigh Valley in eastern Pennsylvania. Bounded on the east by the Lehigh River, the main geographical feature of the larger valley, and on the north by the Blue Mountain range, the land is a mosaic of lime­stone plain, sinks and rolling hills. While the southern region of the county lies astride the so-called South Moun­tain and the hills of the...
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One Should Not Overlook Union County

Union County on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River is one of Pennsylvania’s smaller counties, encompassing a bare 258 square miles, with a population of 30,000, including 3000 college stu­dents and 1900 inmates of two federal prisons. Few of its residents have held high political office and fewer of its names have appeared in Who’s Who in America. Yet the historical...
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The French in Northwest Pennsylvania, 1753-1759

Every summer numerous va­cationers from both within and beyond Pennsylvania’s borders come to the northwest comer of the state to use the recreational facilities of Presque Isle State Park. Probably few of the summer visitors sunning themselves along the state park’s beaches, or swimming in Lake Erie, pause to ask themselves how the park and peninsula came to bear a French name. It...
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Forts at the Forks: Frontier History Comes to Life at the Fort Pitt Museum

As the French moved south from Canada in the mid-eighteenth century, seeking new settlements in the vast Ohio Valley, Great Britain began to resist encroachment into regions its leaders long claimed. Taking action in 1753, Virginia Governor Robert Dinwiddie placed a letter into the hands of his young surveyor, George Washington, telling him to deliver it to the commander of Fort LeBoeuf (in...
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Bookshelf

Coal and Coke in Pennsylvania by Carmen DiCiccio Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1996 (223 pages, paper, 16.95) Coal and Coke in Pennsylvania began in 1991 as a written guide for the nomination of soft coal operations and coke extractive facilities in western Pennsylvania to the National Register of Historic Places. During the project, diverse sources were consulted, including...
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A Kentucky Frontiersman’s Pennsylvania Roots: The Daniel Boone Homestead

Mere mention of the name Daniel Boone conjures images of an American icon: trailblazer of the Wilderness Road, preeminent Kentucky frontiersman, defender of early settlements, a crack shot with a long rifle. Boone’s real and folkloric exploits are so well-known that his character is often overlooked, as is the fact that his personality took shape during a boyhood not spent in...
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Bookshelf

Connie Mack’s ’29 Triumph: The Rise and Fall of the Philadelphia Athletics Dynasty by William C. Kashatus McFarland & Company, Inc., 1999 (216 pages, cloth, $28.50) To baseball historians, Connie Mack (1862-1956) is a star among managers. His professionalism, penetrating knowledge of the game, and ability to handle his players helped him claim nine pennants, win five World...
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Executive Director’s Message

“George Washing­ton slept here.” No other state – besides Virginia, of course – claims a closer connection to the life and times of George Washington than Pennsylvania. Travels during his extraordinary military and political careers took him to dozens of settlements and sites across the Commonwealth. Many of these places survive and offer vivid reminders of the presence...
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Somerset Historical Center: Portraying the Pioneer Spirit of Southwestern Pennsylvania

While there are many similar stories to be told on the subject of historical and social evolution in all regions of Pennsylvania, there are also many tales unique to every city, town, or county. Southwestern Pennsylvania has its share of unique stories, and no museum interprets the saga of this region so succinctly as the Somerset Historical Center. Adding to the effectiveness of docu­menting...
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