Harriet Lane Johnston: The Legacy of a White House Hostess

On the cool, overcast day of May 9, 2017, a dozen nurses from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center arrived by bus at Green Mount Cemetery, a leafy 19th-century oasis in center city Baltimore. They carried a generous bouquet of flowers to decorate the grave of Harriet Lane Johnston, niece of James Buchanan (1791–1868), Pennsylvania’s only U.S. president. “Without Harriet Lane, we don’t know what...
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Editor’s Letter

The cover of this edition of Pennsylvania Heritage is graced with the famous 1822 painting titled The Artist in His Museum, in which Charles Willson Peale portrayed himself at age 81 in the museum he established in Philadelphia, located at the time in the Long Gallery on the second floor of the Pennsylvania State House (now called Independence Hall). In the painting, Peale lifts a curtain,...
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Franklin County

Our forefathers never could have envisioned the Franklin County we live in today. The hardships and struggles to merely survive while trying to establish new homes in a new land on a new frontier created memories that will live as long as man cares to remember. Modern major highways, a wide diversification of indus- try, fertile farm lands and persons who still care help make Franklin County,...
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The Political Ascent of James Buchanan

As the nation enters the third century of the American presi­dency, only one Pennsylvanian has had the distinction of serving as its chief executive. In 1857, at the age of sixty-five, James Bu­chanan of Lancaster County became the fifteenth president of the United States. He was well prepared for the office, having spent more than thirty years in public service in various elected and appointed...
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Letters to the Editor

A Doc in the House Every Pennsylvania resident and visitor is indebted to “Doc” Goddard for his foresight and determination [see “Maurice K. Goddard, The Commonwealth’s Conservation Czar” by Ernest Morrison, Fall 2002]. No matter where you travel in this beautiful state, what you don’t see – polluted streams and rivers, desecrated scenic areas, and...
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“With a Woman’s Instinct”: Mira Lloyd Dock, The Mother of Forestry in Pennsylvania

On a frosty December night in 1900, Mira Lloyd Dock (1853–1945) presented an illustrated lecture to the Harrisburg Board of Trade entitled “The City Beautiful.” Using vivid descriptions and dramatic images, Dock contrasted the “roughness, slime and filth” of the state capital and the Susquehanna River with the well-kept cities and rivers of other American states and European nations. She...
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From the Editor

After a long winter of brutal back-to-back snowstorms, and a cool spring, summer is finally here! And what better time to discover all that Pennsylvania has to offer travelers of all ages! This edition of Pennsylvania Heritage is your “go to” guide for exploring the Keystone State’s culture and heritage-especially our African American history. The Pennsylvania Historical and...
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Marking Pennsylvania’s African American History

Charged with collecting, preserving, and interpreting more than three centuries of the Keystone State’s history and culture — as well as millions of years of its prehistory — the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) has launched a number of widely acclaimed, innovative, and popular public history programs over the years. One of its most popular is the state historical marker...
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The 54th Mass. Infantry Regiment, US Colored Troops

Although its name might lead many to believe that the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, United States Colored Troops (USCT), was made up of African American soldiers from New England, the unit included a number of Pennsylvanians. In fact, forty-five of the recruits lived in Franklin County, and an additional thirteen joined the 55th Massachusetts, organized for the overflow from the 54th....
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Sacred Places in Pennsylvania: Signs of Religious Freedom and Diversity

When William Penn established Pennsylvania, he did so in part to create a place where his own faith community, the Religious Society of Friends (or Quakers), could worship freely, just as the Puritans did in Massachusetts and the Baptists in Rhode Island. But Penn went further – he established freedom for other faiths and creeds, welcoming one and all, regardless of their beliefs and...
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