The Revolution Affects Pennsylvania Communities

Every county and community in the Commonwealth was in some way involved or connected with the American Revolution and Pennsylvania’s attainment of statehood. Certain places associated with famous events in the struggle for independence come to mind immedi­ately: Philadelphia, Lancaster, and York for civil affairs, and Brandywine, Germantown, Whitemarsh, Valley Forge, and Washington’s...
read more

A Tour Through Very Early York County

Everyone has some interest in the past, even if only an intrinsic realization that our present existence is shaped by past experiences. For many, there is a much greater aware­ness of our debt to the past, or at least an abiding interest in prior human events and products. The degree and reasons for these curiosities vary enor­mously: from the function of a rusted tool, or the fascina­tion with...
read more

The Pennsylvania Archives and Research Opportunities in the Era of the American Revolution

Over the years the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has amassed a rich treasure of source materials for re­search and writing on Pennsylvania history.* The archival, manuscript, and microfilm holdings of the Pennsylvania State Archives are certainly significant as they relate to doing research on the era of the American Revolution, 1763 to 1790. It is unfortunate that these research re­sources...
read more

The Black Press in Pennsylvania

I The Black press in Pennsylvania played a leading role in the struggle for Afro-American freedom in the pre-Civil War period. After the war, Afro-American tabloids in the Commonwealth were among the first newspapers to call for the civil rights and enfranchise­ment of Afro-Americans in the South and North. Fre­quently, editors of these newspapers became elected politicians and they used their...
read more

Southern-Born Blacks in Harrisburg, 1920-1950

Beginning in 1974, John Bodnar, Chief of the Division of History of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, some six other inter­viewers, and I have been taping the rich store of memories and experience that is the possession of Pennsylvania’s ethnic, minority, and working-class groups. This material can provide answers to some important historical questions, among them the...
read more

A Black Underground: Resistance to Slavery, 1833-1860

The Underground Railroad is an important historical link with which most Pennsylvanians are familiar. Ever since William Still, the Black histo­rian, published his famous record of fugitive aid in 1872, however, many have questioned whether in reality the Underground Railroad existed. Some say that fugitive aid in Pennsylvania was rendered individually and spontaneously. Others say that an...
read more

A History of the York-Pullman Automobile

In the first two decades of the twentieth century, there were a number of manufacturers in eastern Pennsylvania producing both passenger cars and trucks. Much of the activity centered around Reading, where in addition to the famous Duryea, the Acme, Boss, Daniels, Dile, Meteor, Middlebury, Reber, Riviera, Snader and S.G.V., not to mention the “Read­ing Steamer,” were made – all...
read more

Setting the Standard for Others

With a rich heritage rooted in colonial military formations – such as the forces furnished in 1740 for a disastrous English expe­dition against Cartagena, Spain’s principal seaport in South America, and Benjamin Franklin’s ten thousand mem­ber military Association, estab­lished in 1747 – the 28th Infantry (Keystone) Division, Pennsylvania Army National Guard, is the...
read more

Thaddeus Stevens, Equality of Man Before the Creator

In his thirty-five year legislative career, Thaddeus Stevens garnered several reputations. Ex-Confederates called him “the scourge of the South,” an epithet which survived into the twentieth century. In D. W. Griffith’s classic film Birth of a Nation, character Austin Stoneman is unabashedly modeled on Thaddeus Stevens, complete with clubfoot and wig. For his en­deavors to...
read more

Mailbox

The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, is compiling a comprehensive listing of works by Pennsylvania artist Lloyd Mifflin (1846-1921), hailed as the “Poet and Painter of the Sus­quehanna River.” Born in Columbia, Lancaster County, Mifflin studied in Europe in the early 1870s and returned to his home­town to devote his life to painting and poetry. In addition to his paintings,...
read more