PHMC Highlights

A British Lord in the Pennsylvania State Archives In April 2018 a member of the House of Lords of the United Kingdom visited the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, to study documents related to Pennsylvania’s founder and first proprietor William Penn in hopes of learning more about issues of tolerance. Nathanael Ming-Yan “Nat” Wei of Shoreditch was introduced in the House...
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The Last Days of William Penn

“My poor Dearests last breath was fetchd this morning between 2 & 3 a Clock.” So wrote a distraught Hannah Penn to longtime friend and advisor Thomas Story on July 30, 1718. The remains of her husband were taken to Jordans Meeting House in Buckinghamshire and buried there on August 5 beside his first wife Gulielma. Quakers and non-Quakers alike attended the funeral. Jordans is a quiet place,...
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From the Executive Director

As the state’s history agency, the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission holds historic objects and documents in trust for the people of Pennsylvania. The breadth of these collections is staggering. Within the Pennsylvania State Archives, we preserve some of the oldest documents in the state, such as William Penn’s 1681 Charter, the 1682 Great Law of Pennsylvania, and 33 deeds starting...
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William Penn’s Constitutional Legacy

In his proclamation marking the three hundredth anniversary of the birth of William Penn in 1944, Gov. Edward Martin described him as “one of the truly great men of history … whose tolerance, wisdom, enlightenment and vision as a statesman of the common weal render him an outstanding figure among the builders of states.” The tercentenary celebration of his glorious...
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And They’re Off! Pennsylvania’s Horse Racing Tradition

Thoroughbred racing doesn’t normally look to Pennsylvania for its next champion, but a small colt may have changed all that. In November 2003, Smarty Jones, foaled in Chester County two years earlier, ran his first competitive race at Philadelphia Park, one of the state’s four licensed horse race tracks. Six months later, on Saturday, May 1, 2004, the plucky little horse became the...
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