The Loyal Son by Daniel Mark Epstein

The Loyal Son The War in Ben Franklin’s House by Daniel Mark Epstein Ballantine Books, 464 pp., cloth $30 The Loyal Son vividly narrates the complex and often painful relationship between Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) and his son William Franklin (c.1730–1813), from its beginnings in Philadelphia to its foundering on the rocks of the American Revolution. For some 40 years, the pair were on warm,...
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Castanea … From Blight to Backcross Breeding

Not far from my home at the base of the South Mountain in Cumberland County, there is a wide spot in the road where you can park a couple cars at the edge of a block of public land. From that place, the visible but overgrown bed of a Colonial-era haul road ascends the mountain. Scattered along the road are the small, flat and circular remains of 18th- and 19th-century charcoal kilns that...
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Coatesville Veterans Hospital

More than 4.5 million men and women served in the various branches of the United States military during World War I. It was the first fully mechanized war, with soldiers exposed to mustard gas and other chemicals. The large number of veterans and the hazards of service resulted in a need for the U.S. government to provide specialized medical care on a scale not seen since the Civil War. Within...
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Trails for the Holidays

As summer turns to fall and you start to wonder where the time went, rest assured that the Pennsylvania Trails of History still have much to offer before 2014 winds down. Take some time to explore your favorite site – or make a first visit – and see if the pace doesn’t slow just a bit. Between changing exhibits, special events and our regular offerings, it isn’t difficult to find...
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A Pitcher, A President and a Home Movie

In November 2013 the Pennsylvania State Archives was contacted by Mrs. Judith Savastio regarding a home movie that her father filmed. She had questions about preserving the film and was interested in finding a repository for its permanent care. Mrs. Savastio’s father, Major League Baseball pitcher James “Jimmie” DeShong (1909-1993), shot the film on his new 8mm home movie...
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The Swedes and Dutch in the Land of the Lenape

More than half a century before the Eng­lish and German migrations brought large numbers of people into William Penn’s colony on the Dela­ware, three distinct populations had entered into this ancient land of the Lenape. By 1630 Susquehannock invaders as well as Swedish and Dutch traders had established themselves in the Delaware Valley. Very little has been written about the Susquehannock...
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Bucks County

As one of the three original counties of Pennsylvania created shortly after William Penn arrived in his nascent colony in 1682, Bucks County has a heritage that reaches back to the very beginnings of the Commonwealth. Long before Penn’s arrival, the intrepid settlers of the Dutch and Swedish colonies farther down the Delaware River had ex­plored the wooded banks of the river as far as the...
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Transportation in Pennsylvania in 1776

During the Revolution, Pennsylvania was a central stage from the standpoint of geography, leadership, manpower, and supplies. Therefore, its transportation facilities were of special significance. The southeastern part of the State produced large quantities of the very materials needed by the Continental Army. A modest network of roads made possible the transporting of those materials to Valley...
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Currents

The Gift A spectacular collection of nearly three hundred and fifty colorful feathered objects is featured in an unusual exhibi­tion at The University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropol­ogy, Philadelphia. Designed to invite the museum visitor “to be an anthropologist” and explore culture as it is experi­enced by diverse South American natives, “The Gift of Birds: Featherwork...
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Bookshelf

Harrisburg Industrializes by Gerald G. Eggert The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993 (412 pages, cloth, $35.00) In 1850, Harrisburg-state capital and county seat-was a community not unlike many others in the United States, employing most of its citizens in trade and commerce. Unlike its larger neighbors, Pittsburgh to the west and Philadelphia in the east, Harrisburg had not yet...
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