Letters presents readers' comments and reactions to specific articles in Pennsylvania Heritage, the initiatives of PHMC, and other developments in the historical, cultural and museum communities of Pennsylvania.

Homestead Revisited

Thank you for the contribution by Brent D. Glass in the winter 1992 issue, “‘The Public is Enti­tled to Know’: Fighting for the Public Memory of Henry Clay Frick.” Many Pittsburgh resi­dents with three generations of local family knew that his reputation was built on the backs of coal miners and steel workers whose wretched lives he ignored. An objective bal­ance to Clayton, the Frick family’s opulent residence, would be the circa 1890 work­ers’ housing in Frick’s coal patches and steel towns, to let those who gush about the Gilded Age also know how most who toiled for Frick lived. The acreage at Clayton would permit it, but the spirit­ual heritage of the Frick legacy among the managers of that museum is as broad and inclu­sive as that of his late daugh­ter, Helen Clay Frick. There is one factual error in the article. As one of the editors of the recently published “The River Ran Red”: Homestead 1892, an anthology which reconstructs the contemporary images and voices of those who were part of the Homestead strike story (see “Bookshelf” in the fall 1992 edi­tion), I can say that we re­searched all aspects of the battle and its casualties as thoroughly as possible. We have not found more than the seven workers and three Pin­kertons who were killed or who died as a result of the battle. Our accounts also agree with those of Paul Krause, who is considered the defini­tive Homestead historian, in his book The Battle for Home­stead (see “Bookshelf,” summer 1992). Accordingly the state­ment that “twelve were left dead,” would need to be sub­stantiated.

Russell W. Gibbons
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Russell W. Gibbons served as director of the 1892 Homestead Steel Strike Centennial Confer­ence held in July 1992.


Equality of Man

A sentence in my article, “Thaddeus Stevens, Equality of Man Before His Creator,” in the spring 1992 edition of Pennsylvania Heritage is mis­leading, assuming “cause and effect” when the relationship is not as clear as I had as­serted. Upon reflection, the description of Stevens’ amend­ment to the constitution should read: “He argued that Black males holding property should not be denied the right to vote and he did not sign the revised constitution, appar­ently because the document excluded the provision.” My research of the constitutional convention of 1837-1838 sug­gests that some biographers were a little too eager to as­cribe motives to Thaddeus Stevens that are not clear.

Beverly Wilson Palmer
Claremont, Calif.

Beverly Wilson Palmer serves as editor of the Thaddeus Stevens Papers.


Paradise Lost

Bayard Taylor (see “Paradise Lost: A Poet Lost in the Politi­cal Labyrinth” by Paul C. Wer­muth in the spring 1992 edition) must have died of a broken heart. I enjoyed this story immensely, as it made me realize that (even a century ago) politicians and poets made strange bedfellows. What an appropriate article for a topsy-turvy election year!

Kent M. Baer
Philadelphia, Pa.

Broken promises! Is it any wonder that poor Bayard Tay­lor grew tired and sick and old without receiving the presi­dential appointment he de­served? The article opened my eyes to the political intrigue that even “Honest Abe” Lin­coln took part in. “Paradise Lost” was excellently written and beautifully illustrated, and I hope we see more “behind­-the-scenes” glimpses of Ameri­can history.

Wanda N. Greene
Brooklyn, N. Y.

The article about Bayard Taylor has placed Phoenixville in Montgomery County. Phoenix­ville has always been in Ches­ter County. During the time period of this article, Phoenix­ville was the second largest city in the county.

Lois Donovan
Phoenixville, Pa.

Lois Donovan is archivist for the Historical Society of Phoenixville Area.