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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Free-Thinking, 19th-Century Style

Francis Ellingwood Abbot (1836–1903) was nothing if not determined. In 1872, as editor of The Index, the nation’s leading free-thought magazine, he began to muster the full force of his small army of subscribers against what was being called “the God-in-the-Constitution amendment.” A philosopher and theologian, he sought to reconstruct theology in accordance with scientific methodology. From the...
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Mailbox

The work of photographer José B. Alemany of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and Provincetown, Massachusetts, is cur­rently the subject of research. Alemany not only photographed landscapes and industrial scenes, but created modern and sen­sual images distinctive for the use of light and dramatic shadow, as well as for the fluidity of forms. He showed at the Gulf Gal­leries and the Kingsley House...
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Letters to the Editor

Sheer Eloquence I enjoyed reading David McCullough’s first-person account of how he tackles research and writing (see “Homeward Bound: An Interview with David McCullough” by Brent D. Glass in the summer 1994 edition). He is articulate and perceptive. His words are nothing short of sheer eloquence. Aren’t we fortunate to be able to claim him as a native Pennsylvanian?...
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Shorts

The Friends of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is offering an in-depth study tour of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania on Monday, October 16 [1995]. Sessions include an exploration of the museum’s extensive collections and the history of the Pennsylvania Railroad, in addition to a living history performance by Richard L. Pawling and lunch on the Strasburg Railroad...
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Currents

Beaux’s Art Pennsylvania native Cecilia Beaux (1855-1942) was one of the most important and successful portrait painters of her time (see “Artistic Ambitions: Cecilia Beaux in Philadelphia” by Tara Leigh Tappert in the winter 1996 edition). Among the significant commissions she completed in the early twentieth century was a portrait of President Theodore Roosevelt’s...
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The Protégé Becomes a Prophet: Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller

Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) pronounced her a born artist, and in the dazzling cultural circles of Paris her works of art garnered breathless praise. Yet, in her own country, African American sculptor Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller (1877-1962) of Philadelphia lived and worked unknown to many, until at last she emerged from the stultifying shadows of racial intolerance and domestic responsibilities to...
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Currents

Let’s Motor! Although Detroit has earned the title of “Motor City,” Pittsburgh was home to twenty automobile makers at the turn of the century, manufacturing such notable vehicles as the Penn 30 Touring Car, the Standard Model E Touring Car, the Keystone Six-Sixty, the Brush Model D Runabout, and the Artzberger Steam Surrey. Several of these automobiles attracted widespread...
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Letters to the Editor

New World Plaudits! I was captivated by the detailed article entitled “New Sweden and the New World – History Lessons from the Morton Homestead” by Sharon Hernes Silverman in the Winter 1999 edition. It treated one of my primary subjects of interest, John Morton (1725-1777). I have an observation about this founding father. Morton is among several signers of the Declaration of...
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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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